Ron Paul: The Libya Fiasco and the Folly of Intervention
Congressman Ron Paul
Saturday, September 15, 2012
The attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya and the killing of the U.S. ambassador and several aides is another tragic example of how our interventionist foreign policy undermines our national security. The more the U.S. tries to control the rest of the world, either by democracy promotion, aid to foreign governments, or by bombs, the more events spin out of control into chaos, unintended consequences, and blowback.
Unfortunately what we saw in Libya this week is nothing new.
In 1980s Afghanistan the U.S. supported Islamic radicals in their efforts to expel the invading Soviet military. These radicals became what we now know as al-Qaeda, and our one-times allies turned on us most spectacularly on September 11, 2001.
Iraq did not have a significant al Qaeda presence before the 2003 U.S. invasion, but our occupation of that country and attempt to remake it in our image caused a massive reaction that opened the door to al Qaeda, leading to thousands of US soldiers dead, a country destroyed, and instability that shows no sign of diminishing.
In Libya we worked with, among others, the rebel Libyan Fighting Group (LIFG) which included foreign elements of al-Qaeda. It has been pointed out that the al-Qaeda affiliated radicals we fought in Iraq were some of the same groups we worked with to overthrow Gaddafi in Libya. Last year in a television interview I predicted that the result of NATO’s bombing of Libya would likely be an increased al-Qaeda presence in the country. I said at the time that we may be delivering al-Qaeda another prize.
Not long after NATO overthrew Gaddafi, the al Qaeda flag was flown over the courthouse in Benghazi. Should we be surprised, then, that less than a year later there would be an attack on our consulate in Benghazi? We have been told for at least the past eleven years that these people are the enemy who seeks to do us harm.