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By F.H. Buckley
Obama has taken imperious overreach to new extremes
Topic - William Lawrence
Libya's deteriorating security was evident Monday when troops and armed civilians in Benghazi clashed with members of a militant group blamed for the attack last year that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.
The Obama administration and other Western governments ignored early warnings about small arms and explosives being smuggled out of Libya — weapons that now have fallen into the hands of al Qaeda-linked militants waging war across North Africa.
Five days of riots last week in a town in Tunisia's impoverished interior wounded hundreds of people and deepened the rift between the two most powerful forces in this North African country: the moderate Islamist ruling party and the main labor union.
"I don't believe that terrorism, tribalism, ethnic conflict, criminality or even disputes over the black market networks pose any kind of existential threat to the Libyan state, but this whole debate over federalism, if it is mishandled, does," Mr. Lawrence said.
"The political game in Tripoli is a high-stakes game with some level of impunity, which involves militias extracting concessions from the government they work for by taking threatening actions, whether it is occupying the parliament building or kidnapping an official for a few hours or refusing to give up a post they have been guarding since the revolution," said Mr. Lawrence.