Needless to say, U.S. officials will claim that but for the U.S. intervention in Libya, the revolution would never have succeeded. It’s just part of a long tradition of demeaning treatment that comes with welfare.
And make no mistake about it — such interventions are welfare. Although military welfare comes in the form of cash, bombs, bullets, invasions, occupations, and drones, it is, in principle, no different from any other kind of welfare.
What the Empire essentially did with its intervention was tell the Libyan rebels, “You are too dumb, too ignorant, too incompetent to achieve a successful revolution all on your own. You need our help, much as a child needs the help of his parents. We have lots of burdens in the world but we will come to your assistance.”
As with any welfare, the intervention will come with strings. The Empire won’t expect to be repaid in money, but it will expect loyalty and gratitude to the United States and perhaps even some favorable oil concessions to Western oil companies.
Of course, opposition to the United States will be highly unlikely, given that the U.S. government will soon be pouring millions of dollars of U.S.-taxpayer money into the new regime’s coffers. Like any other welfare, that foreign aid will make the regime even more dependent on the Empire and even more grateful. Of course, most of the money will end up in the private accounts of public officials, and they’re not likely to bite the hand that feeds them.
It won’t matter how much tyranny takes hold in the aftermath of the revolution. In fact, no matter how much the citizenry are mistreated — no matter how much civil liberties are infringed — no matter how many kangaroo trials and executions are conducted for former government officials — no matter how many people are incarcerated without trial — no matter how much socialism pervades the country — no matter how many people are tortured — no matter how much corruption there is in the government — and no matter that the nation is now governed under Islamic law, the new regime won’t be considered tyrannical at all. It will be considered “free and democratic” because it is a friend of the United States. Just look at Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Libyan people, like people everywhere, were entitled to the dignity of achieving their own revolution without the assistance of the U.S. Empire. They had the right to try on their own, even if they failed. If private Americans had wanted to donate their resources, time, and even lives to the Libyan cause, so be it. But it was no business of the U.S. government to come to the assistance of the Libyan people.
We should remind ourselves what John Quincy Adams told succeeding generations of Americans: that the United States has no business going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy” and that if America were ever to assume that role, she would become “the dictatress of the world.” Little did he know that America would also become the welfare provider for the world.