Sheldon Richman on U.S. Intervention in Libya


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All has not been well in Libya since the U.S. military led NATO forces in an air campaign to overthrow former ruler Muammar Gaddafi. American officials assured us that "moderates" would succeed the cruel and unpredictable dictator, who had become a U.S. ally during the Iraq war. However, it turns out that the moderate victors were not so moderate; in fact they resembled al-Qaeda. 

The overthrow of Gaddafi should stand as a lesson in the dangers of interfering with other countries, writes Sheldon Richman. Gaddafi was a brutal dictator, of course, and the people would have been justified in kicking him out. But outsiders can never know what will follow their intervention. And if the first rule governments should follow is, "Do no harm," the second rule is: Assume that intervention will do far more harm than good.