Wednesday, January 23, 2013

North Africa Is the New Afghanistan

Another brilliant analysis by Daniel Greenfield, this time on the state of the grand jihad that is being played out in North Africa.


North Africa Is the New Afghanistan

January 23, 2013 By Daniel Greenfield

When Obama took office four years ago, North Africa wasn’t keeping CIA analysts up at night. There were known trouble spots in the region, but no one thought that it was likely to turn into the next Afghanistan. Then along came the Arab Spring.

Egypt, the great regional power, has since fallen into the hands of the Islamists and has become part of the pipeline for Islamist fighters moving weapons from Libya into Gaza and Syria. Islamists have won elections in Tunisia and Morocco. With the Muslim Brotherhood in ascendance in Libya, Algeria is the only large North African country to have beaten back the Islamists. Now it’s also under attack.

Islamist ambitions had led to a brutal civil war in Algeria that the country is still recovering from. With Libya and Egypt to the West and Mali to the south, it is now more vulnerable than ever. And if Algeria sinks into another civil war, then North Africa really will be reduced to the level of another Afghanistan. And that may be exactly what the Gulf oil tyrants behind the Arab Spring really want.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is already speaking of a North African conflict that could last for decades. It is a more sober assessment than the earlier claim by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that the fighting in Mali would be over in a matter of weeks.

By the time French President Fran├žois Hollande got around to naming a timeline, it was the familiar one to most people from Afghanistan and Iraq. “We have one goal. To ensure that when we leave, when we end our intervention, Mali is safe, has legitimate authorities, an electoral process and there are no more terrorists threatening its territory.” It was the Afghanistan timeline all over again.

When Mitt Romney brought up Mali in the presidential debate, the reference was met with sneers from the left and bewilderment from the media. “Despite Romney Claims, Mali is No Afghanistan, Expert Says,” is how US News and World Report headlined the rebuttal. Three months later, it’s become increasingly clear that not only is Mali turning into Afghanistan, but North Africa is sliding down the same muddy slope.

Article contionues HERE.