By Barry Rubin
--To demoralize their relatively more moderate rivals. The message is: Give up, don’t help the Americans. If they won’t protect themselves they certainly won’t save you. That's why the Libyan government will do little or nothing to help catch those responsible. It is more afraid of the perpetrators than it is of the United States.
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Well, there is a big problem here, isn't there? How can the Obama Administration announce that the Libyan attack--and now the large-scale attack on an Algerian oil well where at least one American was killed among several dozen people--was carried out by al-Qaida since it has previously announced that it destroyed that organization. It is possible that politics is getting in the way of the punishment of the perpetrators that Clinton allegedly thirsts for.
Of course, it is embarrassing for the Libyan government to cooperate in going after these terrorists because they are fellow Arabs and Muslims andmight seek revenge against that government. But one would think, especially given Secretary of State Clinton’s remarks, that the U.S. priority on getting these individuals would override that political consideration for the Libyan government. It doesn’t.