In Mali, the interventionist establishment already is lying about ‘unintended consequences’

Last Friday’s Wall Street Journal brought the inevitable. In an opinion piece, Shiraz Maher, a professor at King’s College, London — wrote that “the story of what is going on in Mali”actually begins in Libya, where the unintended consequences of the Arab spring are now roiling North Africa and West Africa. When NATO forces decided to support the Libyan rebellion against Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, they could scarcely have predicted the impact of their intervention on the region’s labyrinth of competing economic and confessional interests.

Now, I have never heard of Professor Maher but, clearly, he is an intellectually dishonest jackass. Just as in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no way to truthfully argue that “unintended consequences” are at work in Libya, Mali, or elsewhere in Africa. The events that are occurring in North Africa and the Sahel presumably are not wanted by either the academy or the political leaders of the United States, Canada, the UK, and the rest of Europe, but they were perfectly predictable as a consequence of Western intervention in Libya. When the relentless, war-causing interventionists in those places decided to remove Gadhafi in favor of a “democratic revolution” that did not exist in Libya, or in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Pakistan, Syria or anywhere else in the Arab world, they ushered in everything that has happened since, and if they knew anything about history, the region, and the Islamist movement they would have known it.

How could these genius Western interventionists know that they were deliberately opening Pandora’s Islamist Box? A few facts that should have been obvious to anyone with a bit of commonsense as the Islamist Spring unfolded make a claim of “unintended consequences” preposterous in the extreme.

  • The leaders of Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt were secular dictators. One thing each of these secular leaders did was suppress Islam and persecute, imprison, or kill Muslims who held too closely to their faith, spoke too publicly and vociferously in its support, or opposed by word or deed the un-Islamic actions of their government. It is worth mentioning that each of these leaders was paid handsomely by U.S. and Western governments for the persecution of Islam. Needless to say, when the tyrants departed, the people of each country became much freer to profess, live, and apply their faith. Islam, at last, had become the way.
  • The leaders of Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt were master jailers. Their prisons were full of convicts. There were many common felons and crooks, but there was just as many — if not more — mujahideen fighters, theorists, logisticians, clerics, etc. When the Islamist Spring took down the master jailers, the prisons were opened and the freed Islamist fighters and their supporters returned to local militant groups and traveled far and wide to join al-Qaeda and other such organizations. These men had maintained and probably strengthened their faith while jailed, and they likewise burned to avenge the treatment they had received while incarcerated. Not surprisingly, this result of the Islamist Spring brought mujahideen groups around the world large numbers of experienced, skilled, and angry reinforcements.
  • The leaders of Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt were experts at keeping almost all weaponry under their governments’ control, just as President Obama seeks to do in the United States. At the time of the Islamist Spring, the militaries of Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt were exceptionally well-armed with up-to-date weaponry, and their many arsenals — like those of Sadam Hussein in 2003 — were stuffed to overflowing with reserve weapons and ammunition. When the tyrants fell, each country’s internal-security apparatus naturally disintegrated and the arsenals were thoroughly looted by Islamists who ferried away massive amounts of modern arms and munitions for safe keeping in rural areas or in remote regions of nearby countries. Thus the Islamist Spring yielded an international mujahideen force better armed than at anytime since its inception in the 1980s.

Each of these important points was easily knowable before the Islamist Spring began in February, 2011. And the results of the Islamist Spring that the world is now seeing in North and West Africa were just as easily predictable. Honest and responsible Western leaders, professors, and journalists would have warned their citizens that the Islamist Spring would cause Islamist militant organizations — al-Qaeda, its allies, and groups no one had yet heard about — to soon grow larger, more lethal, bolder, more geographically dispersed, and more bitterly opposed to U.S. and Western interventionism than ever before. Instead, those Western leaders knowingly and deliberately lied, applauding the fictitious advent of secular democracy in the Arab world — of which there was never a chance — and, as President Obama likes to say, the substantial receding of the Islamist threat.

Why do I argue that the results of the Islamist Spring were knowable at least from the moment it began, and that the events that have occurred since were just as predictable? Well, because I knew and predicted them in such places as,,; the Washington Post, the American Conservative, the National Interest, the BBC World Service, FOX News, and other media outlets. I even suggested the current unrest in Syria in my 2008 book and in a written article. A few others predicted the same things in many of the same places; I certainly had no corner on the market of the blatantly obvious that always eludes Ivy Leaguers.

I draw attention to myself on this occasion because I know that I am far from the brightest bulb in the shed. In their periodic efforts to get me fired from Georgetown University, in fact, my detractors among pro-Israel U.S. citizens tell the Georgetown deans that not only am I an anti-Semite but the school where I earned my Ph. D. — the University of Manitoba in Canada — is a “diploma mill” and that I am therefore unqualified to teach at the graduate level. Though, of course, I disagree with this conclusion and their slander of a fine university, let us suppose that they are correct and that I am a bear of little or even almost no brain. How then could I have been so right about the Islamist Spring and the disasters it would cause, while Mrs. Clinton (Yale); Senator McCain (U.S. Naval Academy); Prime Minister Cameron (Oxford); Susan Rice (Stanford, Oxford), and President Obama (Harvard and Columbia) could be so nearly 100-percent wrong?

Simple. It is because I know that the Founding Fathers warned of the mortal danger interventionism posed to America’s survival; that U.S. and Western interventionism is the main motivation for the religious war our Islamist enemies are waging against the West; and that the men and women just mentioned are among the leading practitioners of war-causing intervention. In short, it was clear as night following day that the Islamist Spring would feed Muslim hatred for U.S. and Western interventionism and supply the Islamist movement fighting that intervention with men, guns, optimism, and momentum.

My exquisitely-educated betters and their media acolytes, on the other hand, are too intellectual — that is, too dogmatic and arrogant — to have any contact points with reality; they believe in the ludicrous notion of American Exceptionalism and its concomitant duty to force our little brown brothers to be secular — if not pagan — democrats; and they are willing to get any number of America’s soldiers and Marines killed to further their utterly unattainable dream of an all-democratic world. Maybe we should consider sending send our governing elite to the University of Manitoba for a few freezing months of reeducation?

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.