One of the hangovers from our “adventure” in Libya has been the scattering of violence to other areas of West Africa… we, of course, are not involved there since there’s no oil, tourism, publicity to be gained by it. And thus — the cliche “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” is once again proven true. From the American Interest and Walter Russell Mead’s blog Via Meadia:
As we warned early on in NATO’s fudged Wilsonian effort in Libya, it was not in American or European interests to jump on a moralistic bandwagon that would end in a mere shifting of violence to the outer edges of the humanitarian disaster. Mali now stands to lose two decades of steady progress towards a more prosperous life for its citizens.
The Islamists, meanwhile, are celebrating their win by taking a leaf out of the Taliban’s Afghan playbook. Just as the Taliban destroyed ancient Buddhist sculptures in Afghanistan, the Ansar is going after the memorials and tombs of Sufi saints and other world heritage buildings in Timbuktu.
Humanitarianism that isn’t strategic isn’t just weak; it is actively evil. It wreaks havoc on the lives of poor and powerless people so that the powerful and well connected can feel good about themselves.
The impulse to help those in distress is a noble one; but acting on this impulse without thinking it through is often more destructive in its consequences than doing nothing at all.
Prepare to hear crickets from our media on this and while we probably shouldn’t be involved here strategically, we did screw up this region royally for them. Yeah… our President and his team are smart… intellectuals even.
Link Mead provided… some background here.