John Rosenthal reports here that two French think tanks who sent a 6-person expert mission to Libya this spring have produced a study with some very unsettling conclusions. Among them:
-- Islamists play a predominant role in the eastern Libyan rebellion.
-- the justifications given for Western military intervention are largely based on media exaggerations and outright disinformation.
-- current NATO actions "risk destabilizing all of North Africa, the Sahel, and the Middle East and favoring the emergence of a new regional base for radical Islam and terrorism."
-- "Benghazi has become over the last 15 years the epicenter of African migration to Europe. This traffic in human beings has been transformed into a veritable industry, generating billions of dollars. Parallel mafia structures have developed in the city, where the traffic is firmly implanted and employs thousands of people, while corrupting police and civil servants. It was only a year ago that the Libyan government, with the help of Italy, managed to bring this cancer under control . . . Following the disappearance of its main source of revenue and the arrest of a number of its bosses, the local mafia took the lead in financing and supporting the Libyan rebellion."
This is a very disturbing report; if you read Rosenthal's article, you'll find lots more detail. I don't know these think tanks and so can't vouch for them, but I suspect we'll look back on the Libyan operation and wonder how we got ourselves into such a mess.