October 11, 2013
NEW YORK—Libyans are among the most civilized people on Earth. When a Russian hooker (I assume) killed a Libyan Air Force officer, a mob stormed the Russian embassy seeking revenge. They failed, but not for lack of trying. This time last year another mob murdered the American ambassador and three others in a similar attack, although no Yankee gal had harmed any Libyan flyer. The civilized Libyans also did democracy proud when they captured Qaddafi. They shot him up the bum with an AK-47, dispensing with a boring trial. The bad guy that got away is Hannibal Qaddafi, who with wifey allegedly used to beat up and torture Filipino servants and intimidate the Swiss government by kidnapping Swiss citizens working in Libya and holding them on charges unknown. He slipped over to Algeria, where his ill-gotten moolah is welcome. My friend Saif Qaddafi wasn’t as lucky. He was “detained” while fleeing the country and is held by some nice guys south of Tripoli. I call him my friend because we were introduced in New York four years ago and I mistook him for a coke dealer and politely asked if he had anything good.
Yes, folks, war is in the air all over the Middle East and no use saying that war has always been with us and always will be. War in the Middle East has been endemic since the 7th century, and if you don’t know why, ask George W. Bush, who went to war without knowing the difference between Shiite and Sunni. (He thought the former were terrible shits and the latter nice and sunny. It’s the other way around.) W. will go down in history as a modern Alexander the Great. Like the Greek, he stirred things up down south two years into his presidency. Iraq is now the most violent place on Earth, competing with Syria for numbers killed and exiled. Libya—a Cameron/Sarkozy/Obama triumph (with Taki’s blessings, I hate to add, because Saif’s coke was so lousy)—has become a safe haven for militants seeking rest and recreation far from American government officials. Jordan and Lebanon hang in the balance and are being swept under by refugees.
What are the moral responsibilities of liberal democracies in a situation such as the Middle East at present? That’s an easy one. Stay the hell away and let the Saudis and Qataris do the fighting, which is like asking them to be nice to guest workers from Pakistan. My question is: Why is it that I knew what was happening in Syria two and one half years ago, while such brains as Obama and Cameron and Hague and la Clinton were out in left field? Why is it that I knew that extremists who want to erase Syria’s borders and establish a transnational Islamic state were the enemy, while the media and the EU were screaming bloody murder against Assad? Only three weeks ago on The Week, the arse-licker Christiane Amanpour was shouting about democracy and human rights and how we have to intervene in Syria. Andrew Neil was polite, as was Simon Schama, who dared suggest that the mercenaries doing the fighting were not all they pretend to be.