Libya is breaking up, and a death sentence shows how

It’s no surprise that ousted Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s son and political heir, Seif al-Islam

son and father

Son and father

Gadhafi, has been sentenced to death. What this article shows, using the death sentence as a jumping-off point, is how Libya has degenerated into fiefdoms, armed camps and spheres of influence in the wake of the NATO-backed civil war that ousted Gadhafi.

The West thought it was on the side of good when it backed Libyan rebels against the crazy, capricious dictator. No one predicted the chaos that would result. The same thing is happening in Syria, and it happened in Yemen, too. Both are deep into civil wars now, and it’s not clear at all whether the old regimes were better or worse for anyone.

The problem is–we in the West look at a map and see countries. From the region itself, though, many of those countries are just artificial lines on a colonial-era map that few regard as real or legitimate.

I’ve been predicting that Libya would break up into three countries. This article indicates it might be even more than three–but most of all, it shows how Arab Spring was just the beginning of a historic realignment of the Middle East to replace, on the ground if not in fact, those artificial lines on that illegitimate colonial map.

The fact that all this chaos leaves a wide opening for ISIS is just one of the aspects of the problem, and there’s no solution anywhere on the horizon. The West and Israel simply have to sit this one out, protect themselves from direct threats and wait until the dust settles. Any direct involvement will prolong the internal conflicts by distorting them and reshaping them into locals-vs-West fights.

That might be the hardest part for the West–staying out of this.

Thanks to my friend Tarek el-Tablawy for pointing this article out.

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