You must break a few eggs to make an omelet, Washington’s social engineers apparently believe when intervening in other societies. Sure, a few people might die. Others might end up disabled or displaced. But think of all the good that will be done when America’s plans are realized for [fill in the blank country], which will be well on its way to the bountiful future that its people deserve.
This mindset has repeatedly afflicted U.S. policymakers. Get rid of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Oust the Afghan Taliban. Toss out Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Dump Libya’s Muammar Khadafy. Don’t worry, the good times will come.
One might forgive George W. Bush for Iraq. At least a little. His father intervened in Iraq a decade before, bombed Baghdad, destroyed some tanks, freed Kuwait, and got out. Sanctions and no-fly zones remained, but the US didn’t fight an interminable guerrilla war or engage in nation-building. It looked easy. So why shouldn’t Bush fils one-up Bush pere and completely transform the country and region?
Yet after Iraq II how could anyone so carelessly launch another war? Why would anyone assume that blowing up Libya would generate good results, that peace, stability, and democracy would magically appear? President Barack Obama always posed as a reluctant warrior, but he recklessly lent the U.S. military to European states which hoped to force their way back into an area where they once had colonial ties and economic interests.
The more proximate architect of the disaster was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She was proud of her handiwork. After hearing reports of Muammar Khadafy’s death, she joked with a reporter: “We came, we saw, he died.” Her laughter, more a maniacal cackle, foreshadowed the horror that unfortunate nation had only just begun to suffer.