To Cut or Not to Cut

To Cut or Not to Cut

It’s come down to this.Either the Libyan government is going to cut the militias down to size, accept an autonomous Eastern Libya, allow Libya to break or conquer the militias and allow the Tuareg to have autonomy under the auspices of a federal Libya.

If I were the Libyan government in Tripoli, I would go for the last option, because it would assert their authority over the people of Libya while acknowledging and allowing for the democratic sentiments of the people of Libya to be maintained.  A society needs a government that is going to lay down order within the society, and it cannot have more than one government.  The government in question must have the monopoly on the socially legitimated use of violence (emphasis on being on the phrase, “socially legitimated”).
Therefore, I would suggest that the Libyan Army make preparations to fight and root out the militias while doing no harm to the civilian population.  All harm done to the civilians in the form of looting, pillaging, raping, murdering and what not needs to be punished with the utmost severity in order to enforce discipline within the ranks and to compensate for the damage that might be done to them.
For our part, I would simply work in this advisory role with the Libyan government in Tripoli.  We shouldn’t supply hardware as that would debase the legitimacy of the Libyan government, yet we should also work to maintain their legitimacy (as well as our legitimacy) by publically advising them to back off trying to domineer Eastern Libya while socially and in a legitimate manner discouraging them from doing so.
To abandon the Libyan people now would be a terrible mistake, yet we cannot play the role of cop or mediator.  I think we can only act as a humble adviser, in the end, for the sake of the Libyan people first, and for the sake of their official government second.
To leave them in a lurch now would be a terrible mistake as it’s simply allowing al-Qaeda and extremism to grow in the region.
Would be best to work to mitigate people flying off the handle, for our own sake, as well as for others’ sakes (which is also, for our sake).
Think about it.

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