The good news is that Moammar Gadhafi is dead and with it his 40-plus years of misrule in Libya. The bad news is that a regime dedicated to imposing Sharia law is likely to come to power in that North African country.
This bit of news was announced by Mahmoud Jibril, the prime minister of the transitional government, at a liberation ceremony in Benghazi. Specially mentioned was a cap on bank loan interest rates and the legalization of polygamy.
It is not known at this time how far Jibril intends to go, whether Libya is destined to become an Islamist state with women and other groups brutally repressed. However the announcement of Sharia law coming to Libya could not come as good news to the Obama administration, still patting itself on the back over the execution of Gadhafi and the final overthrow of his regime.
While pursuing the righteous goal of placing Gadhafi on the ash heap of history, the Obama administration had clearly been inattentive as to the makeup of the rebels fighting against the Libyan government.
President Barack Obama, facing disaster in Libya, might well have done well to have listened to Sarah Palin, who posted on her Facebook page some helpful suggestions about how to manage a post-Gadhafi Libya. The main thrust of her advice was to support pro-democracy elements in the Libyan opposition and to suppress the pro-Islamist elements, using whatever diplomatic and other influence that can be mustered,
So far, Obama does not seem to have chosen to follow Palin's advice, preferring to allow events in post-Gadhafi Libya to unfold naturally, without too much American influence. This is what comes of "leading from behind." It is an excuse for relative passivity, hoping against hope that things will turn out on their own.
It is not too late for the Obama administration to try to make American influence felt in Libya, now that Gadhafi is gone. The threat to impose Sharia law can be softened, if the United States exercises some smart diplomacy. But the peril exists that the Obama administration may have killed a beast in the form of Gadhafi, only to have created a monster in the form is an Islamist Libya.
- Moammar Gadhafi
- Sharia law
- Mahmoud Jibril