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United States Must Lead in Libya

Written on Friday, August 26, 2011 by

libyan conflict

With approximately 135 different tribes within its borders, the hard lifting in Libya now begins. It is incumbent upon the United States to take a lead role in this vital area. No more of the Obama policy of leading from the rear — the U.S. must lead, and must lead from the front.

The Libyan people have not breathed freedom since the tyrant Gadhafi took control of their government way back in 1969. It may not be easy for Libyans to learn how to be free after all that time, but we can and must help them.

There are factions in Libya that support terrorism, and we cannot allow them to gain control of a nation with $85 million a day coming from oil sales and with upwards of $150 billion in assets now frozen by international action. We also cannot allow known weapons supplies and raw nuclear material to get into the hands of the enemies of freedom now vying for power.

That lead role will be critical. With Gadhafi’s 42-year-long dictatorship all but over, Libya’s new leaders face what Peter Apps of Reuters called “the daunting task of restoring order, beginning reconstruction and avoiding collapse into conflict and chaos.”

Libya’s now-frozen assets need to be made available to the new government. Providing access to frozen funds and restoring oil exportation should enable the government to build a stable authority and support the change to a market economy.

“What you almost always find in these cases is that postwar planning hasn’t kept pace with the planning for the conflict itself,” according to David Hartwell, a Middle East analyst at IHS Janes, as reported by Reuters. He adds, “There’s going to be a lot to do”

Gadhafi’s corrupt dictatorship spent more than 40 years imposing a socialist framework to put most of the economy into the fumbling hands of the government; perhaps 70 percent of all Libyans are dependent on government employment of some sort. New leaders will inherit an infrastructure damaged by corruption, neglect and war. It might take years to restore oil production and rebuild the economy.

Mohsin Khan, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told, “It’s going to be a tough economic situation. The new Libyan government will have a choice to make — which way it wants to go. That’s critical in determining how it rebounds.”

This is reminiscent of the choices faced by governments in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union.

In the face of all this chaos, America’s leadership plays golf in Martha’s Vineyard, seemingly oblivious to the perils involved in the political chaos of the Middle East.

In the meantime, the need to unfreeze Libyan assets so that funds can quickly flow back into Libya was addressed by Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign affairs chief who insists that frozen funds flow freely back into Libyan coffers.

“This is about making sure that people are paid, civil servants police officers, whoever, also making sure that there are supplies in the shops and so on, helping to make the economy function,” Ashton said in a speech Tuesday.

She didn’t add that it’s hard to do all that on the ninth hole of a golf course in Martha’s Vineyard.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press, 2011). He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his website at, or e-mail comments to

©2011 Mike Reagan. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. For info contact Cari Dawson Bartley. E-mail, (800) 696-7561.

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  • judith

    I love Michael Reagan, I loved his father, now Ronnie knew how to handle Gaddafi, and Michael is right, I think Obama instead of bringing all the troops home from Iraq by the end of the year he should send them directly to the Libyan oil fields, As well Donald Trump is right that oil belongs to Americans, the blood of those who died on Pam Am 103 paid for it.
    Bush left Obama with the greatest military the world has ever known, To bad Obama don’t have the brains on how to use it for the good of all of us.

    • ARMYOF69

      Bill them for our expenses , and get the oil.

    • covert1970

      mas and

    • covert1970

      Have we lost our balls ? The time for action on three fronts is now ! Go to Lybia , take charge, Install and support a duly elected government, find and secure any biological, nuclear or other WMD immediately and make sure there is no other terrorist group attempting a takeover then come home and YAKE OUR OIL BACK ! After this is done, release all of the remaining funds held by the current administrator ! UNTIL THEN MAKE SURE THE POLICE ARE PAID, FOOD IS AVAILABLE, AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND ATTENTION FOR ANY WOUNDED ! “EVERY SO OFTEN THE TREE OF LIBERTY ,MUST BE WATERED WITH THE BLOOD OF PATRIOTS AND TYRANTS ALIKE” !

    • Hank

      It is not our oil. we get hardly any oil from Libya. The French, Italians, and British get their oil from Libya. If they want to steal it, they can do it themselves! We don’t need those Eurotrash Commies as much as they need us. Let them do their own dirty work.

    • Hank

      Get the hell out of Libya! Just another nation building experiment that we will regret in a few years. Just another unconstitutional war. But, you are right, Ronald knew how to handle Gaddafi: slap on the wrist, and then leave him alone. That is what Reagan really did, Neocon propaganda notwithstanding.

      And NATO is was responsible for more deaths of innocent civilians during the Balkan crisis than the Serbs, Bosniaks, Croats, Slovenians, Macedonians, Kosovars, and Albanians COMBINED! Real conservatives opposed Clinton during that little experiment with nation building (that actually gave al-Qaeda a foothold in Europe), and they should oppose Obama here as well.

      This war is about nothing more than getting cheap oil for the French, the Italians, the Brits, and the Germans(make no mistake about it, Sarkozy, Berlusconi, Cameron, and Merkel, despite all the rhetoric, are every bit the fascists and socialists that their supposed political rivals are).

      This is amazing: when the whole Libya thing started, conservatives, 10 to 1 were opposed to it, and now it seems to be the opposite. Are you folks that fickle, expedient, forgetful, malleable, and shortsighted? IOf so, then there is no hope for America. You will probably just elect Bush III, and the cycle of the lesser of two evils will commence again. And you will all act surprised when the Neocon you elect again doubles the size of the DOEd, doubles the size of the DOEn, leaves the borders open, starts more unnecessary wars, and cowers before the media when they reprimand him for the few times he does seem to be principled!

      I don’t give a shit about the oppressed people of the world. Screw them all. If they can’t figure out how to get freedom for themselves (without the help of NATO, the CIA, the US military, and foreign aid), then they deserve to be oppressed and tyrannized and raped and beaten and imprisoned! The bastards can all go to hell. I could care less who wins, but as long as our fascistic military-industrial complex (re: EISENHOWER, one of our last decent presidents) is taking the ‘rebels’ (more like gangstas, al-Qaeda, and the wealth envy lobby) part, I am inclined towards Gaddafi!

      One lesson from recent history: We toppled Saddam for little or no good reason, when he was the only one willing and capable of keeping Iran at bay, and we wonder why Ahmadinejad is so bold, and why he is on his way to a Nuke? Who is to say toppling Gaddafi won’t be a mistake? Gaddafi was one of our staunchest allies in the so-called war on terror (which if it wasn’t a joke to begin with, certainly is now).

      Sarkozy, and likely Berlusconi are actually indebted to Gaddafi. He, through various Libyan-owned front companies headquartered in France, financed Sarkozy’s campaigns. And now Sarkozy has turned on him? Big surprise.

    • Hank

      Wow? A positive rating? Cool!

  • Whackajig

    Has Gadhafi been traded for some as yet unknown al qaeda leader?

    • judith

      I sure don’t know where that creep is, he sure had the hots for Condi Rice.
      Wonder why he didn’t feel the same about Hillary?
      Maybe Condi should auction off that $200,000 diamond ring the Colonel gave her and give the proceeds to the RNC.

  • john

    In other words, we as the 50% that pay taxes get to pay for ongoing US care in Lybia for decades to come. But wait! Where are we going to get the money?

    • judith

      Trump says get their oil, Bush played it cool and got all his nukes first, he did have to give him some of our money, but now’s the time to get it all back and then some.

      Bush disarmed Gaddafi of his WMD’s(same as in Iraq) but Obama like with Bin Laden gets all the credit.

      The Liberal Media gives Bush no credit big surprise

    • glenn

      Lest we forget, the US has spent nearly a Billion dollars. All of it borrowed from Global Banking. Principle and Interest payable by the American Taxpayer. I wonder how much we’ll have to “invest” in the rebuilding of Libya.

    • Sue

      John, believe it or not, but insisting that the US should not continue being the world’s policeman is one of the things for which both his appoonnts and the media condemn Ron Paul. I looked up the figures, and just since 2001, other nations’ wars have cost the US ( the middle-class tax payer) $1,235,948,151,072. That’s 4 trillion a year. Ever wonder how our deficit got where it is today?

    • Sue

      Guess we’ll be forced to raise the national debt limit.
      Have any of you folks heard that any of the Republican contenders for president mention what to do about the FED?
      Ron Paul has proposed a plan to do just that. He has presented that plan to his fellow Congressmen several times (either close it down or, at the very least, audit it on a regular basis). He could never get any support from his fellow Congressmen, and the FED continues to play with dollar and its worth.
      As far as I can see, Ron Paul is the only person in the House or the Senate whose purpose is (and always has been) to serve the people and to keep America safe and prosperous nation that is her right.

    • LadyLiberty

      Sue, you’re absolutely right about all the other presidential candidates…they are very nice, but it is the sameo sameo BS and no one has a real vision or direction for our country. Ron Paul has the vision that people can believe in to make the changes necessary for country…I trust Ron Paul and his record proves he is the real deal and a great Patriot.

  • DaNangMe

    I never wanted us to get involved in Libya to begin with and I think our aggressions should end with search and seizure of the stockpile of SAMS and yellow cake.Let the drones and satellites do the intel and Spec. Forces seize and/or destroy the weapons.If we don’t move quickly,our troops won’t need to go to Tripoli,they’ll be facing the deadly ordinance in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Patti Patriot

    Its time the US does what Libya did.
    Totally sick of the way current admin keeps making their own rules and not following our constitution.

    • judith

      (Its time the US does what Libya did.
      Totally sick of the way current admin keeps making their own rules and not following our constitution)

      I don’t understand Patti, don’t our Constitution call for elections and not the overthrow our government?

    • RevMike

      Libyans love Gaddafi. NATO is there to steal gold and oil. Hired African mercenaries and al quida thugs are being paid and armed by NATO forces. Humanitarian purposes wouldn’t have bombed water plants, water pipe plants and irrigation facilities, in fact it;s against international law to bomb these places because of the humanitarian harm it does. NATO is there at the world bank orders and media which is owned by the world banks will tell you sheep whatever they want you to believe. Vote Ron Paul if you want real change or somebody else for more of the same crap we’ve had.

    • Hank

      AMEN! I don’t know if they love him or not, but the rest of what you said I am sure about! i could care less whether they love him. If they don’t, they should overthrow him without our help or NATO, which is responsible for way more civilian deaths than all the groups it has tried to reign in in a given span of time for a given conflict.

  • Scott

    Well Lets see the tyrant Gadhafi took control from the tyrant british empire, So who are the tyrants? Gadhafi run the new world order puppets out of rule and created a Lybia that had a semi dictatorship that was very prosperous. The issue is with Lybia is that the very poor want everything and where minipulated into there logic that they can have everything not to mention helped by foreign scum bags “NATO & US” for stealing all of Lybia’s Gold 144,000 tones that Gadhafi has to support his people in this country. It would be like the US goverment telling all the people in the Ghetto that they deserve much more and its there time to go take what is theres and then givving them guns to do it. This is the same thing that happened to Lybia. The US Goverment is the biggest Theives in the world. They are controlled by a foreign group that have stold all wealth from here and will continue until nothing is left and them destroy it from within. US will be a Lybia within 2 years GAURANTEED! So when you realize who the real tyrants are NATO & US then you start to ask what really is going on in all these so called wars. Ron Paul is the only one who will ever stop this dictatorship that the US has created….

    • liberalsownfalsehood

      Scott, try using spell check, and reality check too. Thanks.

    • oldgringo

      So your another one of those self righteous blow hards who beieve they are more intelligent than the rest of the population…..Big mouthed concieted idiots like yourself deserve to have a boot shoved up their…where the sun don’t shine.

    • Whackajig

      If everyone in the nation were bright, we would not have a lfn as presidunce.

      Not all of us are phi beta kappas, and not all of us are retards either.

    • Barbara

      If you wish others to read and understand your post/s, would you please, please check your grammar and spelling.
      THEIR not there. You are not talking about “over there” you are talking about “THEIR logic, THEIR time.” Also it is LIBYA,
      NOT Lybia. I don’t wish to be so picky, but some of these posts are so annoying with all the errors, that I just scroll on down and do not read them. There is only so much that one can blame on typo’s.

  • luangtom

    Why must we take the lead in Libya? We cannot even run our own government. What country has the right to do what is being proposed? What if another tries to step-in here and break our grid-lock? The Democrats and Republicans bickering and not accomplishing a thing are not any different that tribal feuds, except our parties do not carry guns. Let’s put our house in order before we try to dictate what other countries should or should not do.

  • jim shipley

    The only lead we need in Libya is to lead the out!!!!

  • jim shipley

    Lets see, Kadafi was going to kill thousands of civilians so we went to war to stop him. The U.S. has killed many hundreds of thousand of civilians that never did anything to us in Iraq and Afghanistan and through Israel in Lebanon , Palestine, Egypt etc. and that is OK? Any one else see a little hypocrisy in that?

  • Jack the FAC

    Hasn’t the United States done enough “leading” in Lybia? We have just handed that country to the rebels who are in fact Al-Quida. Now my words–the words of the rebel leader himself a couple of months ago.

  • oldgringo

    Does any one really believe these rag heads give a hoot about Democracy….We now have no choice but to borrow more money from China and piss it away in Libya like we are doing in Afganistan and Iraq…..All at the expense of the American Taxpayer…..Our Children, our Grand Children and our Great Grand Children must pay the price for our War Mongering…..The United States has become the pawn of the One World Governance Groupies as controled by the G8/05/G20 Nations comprised of the Super Rich Financial Elitist of the World…..”When will They ever Learn”!….Peter, Paul and Mary.

  • Anthony San Diego

    I didn’t bother to read the article after the first line or two.
    Forget all this rhetoric, the only reason we, and Europe, are in Libya is because the Rothschilds don’t own the bank there.
    Look it up.

    • glenn

      Anthony San Diego is absolutely correct.Global Banking adds another victory in their plan for a New World Order. Oil rich Libya with 144 tons of gold did not have a central bank. They will now.

    • Hank

      Yay! Now an already tyrannical nation can have another tyrannical institution like the rest of the ‘civilized’ world!



  • stephen russell

    Hello, Seal Team 6, we’vefound Quackdaffi.
    Off Him please, thanks.
    & or with Brit SAS, SBS for a Joint Operation.
    SAS ran the Long Range Desert Group in WW2.

  • mcqueens2002

    Don’t know where this moron came from, but he needs to wake up. We can’t pay our bills and he wants to help these Libya’s out. That is the reason for the fix we are in now. Let the other countries take care of themselves. Our government needs to take care of the business at home.

  • praetorian

    I love you Mike and what you say but I disagree with you on Libya. I believe the US needs to but their ass out of Libya because we cannot fund a third war front. It is also possible that “Mo” or some of his friends could feed the US and some of our friends in the neighborhood a couple of WMD’s before he is killed.

  • Joe in Missouri

    Wake up sheeple. All of these so called “popular risings” were engineered by us for a reason and freedom is not one of those reasons.

    The truth of the matter was that we could not control them like we do most countries. They were even talking of going off if the dollar!!!
    The bankers could not have that so they are being brought into the national/bank fold.

    • Hank

      SOROS is documented to have orchestrated the Georgia-Russia war in 2008 and the Ukrainian Youth movement back a few years before that. Democracy is code word for DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT!

  • larry one


  • J Davis

    These people are muslims, they do not want to be led into the modern world. America cannot fix their problems. Leave them alone, they will kill each other if we just ignore them.

  • StopUSAGiveaway

    The US must lead in Libya–then you put you own ass on the line….all these safe-in-the USA behind a desk telling someone to go die for them should be H U N G!
    Each generation US Soldiers have been systematically sacrificed for C O W A R D fingerpointers telling someone what they must do!
    Shove it up your big deceptive ego mouth!

    • Anthony San Diego

      I applaud you sir!

  • Bill

    What gave the USA the right to invade Iraq-Afganistan. They never bombed NYC the Saudis did but because thet are related to Bush he went after Saddam, mainly because they knew the Saudis might kick our ass better than Iraq. Mainly because the USA had equipped them with the latest military weaponry available and still do. Let MR tell the whole story?

    • Hank


  • BillF

    If Bin Obama is involved so will be the Muslim Brotherhood! Bin Obama will help them to power.

  •!/profile.php?id=1177000219 Jared Myers

    I love Michael Reagan, but on this he is dead wrong on this. Let Libya take care of Libya, and let the U.S. take care of America. There is No. Constitutional. Authority. for the United States to get involved in Libya — i.e., STAY OUT, if the Constitution means something anymore.
    There is no other practical reason to get involved in Libya besides oil, and we have plenty of that here at home (if we’re smart enough to use it). Any emotional reason needs to get a grip on reality and realize that we don’t have the $$$ to keep on getting involved in every Middle East squabble. These people have been doing this for over 1,500 years — let them slaughter themselves, if they so choose.