Yet another middle east wrinkle
On the 100th anniversary of WWI, you cannot help but look at something like this, on top of everything else, and have a little shudder go through you:
Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly teamed up to launch airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation between the supporters and opponents of political Islam.
Yeah, that's happening too.
The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington or seeking its consent, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied the operation to American diplomats, the officials said.
The strikes are another high-risk and destabilizing salvo unleashed in a struggle for power that has broken out across the region in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolts, pitting old-line Arab autocrats against Islamists.
All the smarter foreign policy pundits keep saying that this problem will only be solved by people in the region banding together to fight the Islamists. But according to the article these strikes are doing no good and the US thinks they are counterproductive to some plan they apparently have to cool the situation. I wonder. Maybe it's actually better if they don't "consult" with the US --- or at least nobody admits to it. Our constant interference is part of what's fueling this upheaval and the less involved we are seen to be, it's probably the better. On the other hand, the "collateral damage" from air strikes is always awful so ...
Yes, everything feels like more destabilization in the region. On the other hand, it's already destabilized, partially thanks to our ridiculous invasion of Iraq, so that ship may have sailed.
This is just one of half a dozen stories that are appearing int the major papers each morning. That shudder I feel is getting stronger every day.