News / USA

Possible US Attack in Libya Faces Opposition

The United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya is seen in flames during an attack that killed four U.S. staffers, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens on September 11, 2012.
The United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya is seen in flames during an attack that killed four U.S. staffers, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens on September 11, 2012.
The United States is said to be weighing the option of a military strike against those found responsible for the September 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya that killed four American embassy personnel dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

One of the first hurdles they face is identifying who carried out the attack. The main suspects in the case, the militant Ansar al Sharia, have denied responsibility, despite witness accounts of their involvement. They are but one of dozens of militias across Libya that lie beyond government control.

But some analysts warn of the consequences to the fledgling Libyan state should the United States intervene.  The former opposition spokesman during last year's uprising, Mustafa Gheriani, argues any justice must be served by Libya itself.

“If you want to be a country of law and not to be like Afghanistan or Pakistan, then we need to take matters through the proper channels," Gheriani said. "It might be later date if there is a question about their strength at the present time, but definitely not to have anything irrational taking place at this moment.”

The compound attack plays large in the American presidential campaign, raising concerns the United States could act soon.  But Washington also has longer term plans in Libya, including training a core Libyan military group aimed at reining in the militias.

Political analyst Said Sadek of the American University in Cairo says a danger of this tack is it could make the Libyan government appear a puppet of the Americans.  It also would negate a key point of the NATO mission that helped bring the new government to power - keeping foreign troops off Libyan soil.

Sadek believes a faster and more practical solution would be a political effort to unite competing militias against extremists - a practice dubbed al sahawat, or awakening - that the United States tried in Iraq.

“It will take a long time to prepare and get a professional force ready for action and stability in the country," said Sadek. "So the only option for them in the short term, in the immediate urgency of the matter, is to try al sahawat experience from Iraq and try to apply it in Libya,” he said.

Libya's prime minister-designate has vowed to tackle the security problem, calling it the nation's foremost problem.
Ali Zeidan said earlier this week the key will be an inclusive government.

But Islamist militias are not the only groups whose role is threatening to undermine Libya's democratic future.

Human Rights Watch Wednesday presented evidence of a massacre last year of men captured with ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi by then-rebel militias.

The rights group's emergencies director, Peter Bouckaert, said despite promises by the Libyan government to investigate, there is no evidence they have.

“They have to try to bring all of these different militias under centralized control to stop them from committing abuses but also to investigate them and to bring them to account when serious abuses are committed," Bouchaert said.  "They fought a revolution for a better Libya where people could live in security and free of the kind of fear that they lived under Gadhafi."

He argues the greatest challenge in any post-conflict situation is to try to move from the rule of the gun to the rule of law.  

One year after the death of Gadhafi, that challenge remains undiminished.

You May Like

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: musawi melake
October 18, 2012 6:15 AM
It's a stern warning that whatever the aims and intention the US had in toppling the old regime, the new found leaders will not allow the US touch any Lybians even when they have committed crimes against the US, a very good policy in deed to be repeated over and over again in Syria and elsewhere.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs