Professor Makes Moot Point

Dear President Obama,

Lori Hartmann-Mahmud is chair of the international studies program at Centre College, Danville, Ky. In a recent column in the Lexington Herald-Leader, she discussed the plight of the impoverished people in Africa vis-a-vis the recent events concerning Libya, to wit, the Christian Ethiopians slaughtered (beheaded) there by Muslim butchers and the 700 people who set out from Libya and drowned in a shipwreck-attempt to make it across the Mediterranean to Sicily or Italy.

She could have also mentioned the Egyptian Coptic Christians beheaded in Libya by the Muslims in February. Perhaps they were trying to find work, as Professor Hartmann-Mahmud gave for the reason the 28 Ethiopians trekked across Sudan to hopefully make it across Libya and the Mediterranean to Europe. Regarding the beheadings, ProfessorHartmann-Mahmud said, “The immediate cause of death was religious extremism, but the deep determinant was poverty,” i.e., these poor souls wouldn't have been in the wrong place if they just had jobs.

Well...maybe. This was the line taken by State Department spokesperson Marie Harf in February, implying that the U.S. should either create some jobs or help poor nations develop economies that would create jobs (presumably an alternative to killing ISIS monsters), a bit ironic in that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this month that 8.6 million potential U.S. workers are unemployed, so the powers-that-be, instead of fulfilling promises of job creation, have just eliminated the jobs lost in recession or determined that millions have just quit looking for work, or both, in order to contrive an unemployment rate of 5.5%, a huge example of disingenuousness. According to Forbes, the actual unemployment rate is 12.6%, so the U.S. can't even occupy its own workforce, much less that of other countries.

The professor picked Libya as her point of reference but she could as easily remarked the same situation with respect to Mexicans, Cubans and Central Americans trying desperately to get to the U.S. She would have been better served not to mention Libya since none of the tragedies she noted would have occurred there but for the callous, un-Constitutional and totally unlawful rape of Libya by President Obama from March to October of 2011, for which the number of civilian deaths in the un-provoked military assault has never been published. President Qaddafi was fighting al Qaeda in his own country when President Obama would not stop his murderous rampage until Qaddafi was dead, and it cost only $1.5 billion.

Fast forward to the present. As a result of the president's “little war in honor of the Arab Spring,” there is no government in Libya, which has been taken over by the Islamic thugs, both al Qaeda and ISIS, who are rampaging through sub-Sahara (those Ethiopians and Nigerians, for example – think Boko Haram) with the intent of establishing Sharia Law. This is a far more profound reason for the recent Libyan atrocities than just “religious extremism.” They would not have happened if Qaddafi had stayed in power overseeing his own civil war, nothing new for the Mideast—Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen—which is always comprised of civil wars.

The professor merely stated the economic obvious that could also apply to any large U.S. city, such as Baltimore currently, with the exception that the entitlement laws of the 1950s-60s, as well as subsequent enactments, actually constituted an attempt to address the problems of poverty. Baltimore has proven that laws are effective only when people take advantage of them...or not, as has mostly been the case. Unfortunately, in the third- or fourth-world regions she mentioned there's little hope.

When George W. Bush took office, he said there would be no nation-building, a promise not kept in the fiascoes of Iraq and Afghanistan, though the wars were necessary. President Obama made no attempt to nation-build or do anything else other than totally destroy a nation and get out. At least he learned enough in the Libya caper not to try that again, in Syria, for instance, notwithstanding his red lines.

The professor has a point; unfortunately, it is moot.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark