Lt. Col. Oliver North says what follows the death of Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi could prove much more dangerous than the situation that is evolving in Egypt after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak earlier in the Arab Spring. North — who served on President Ronald Reagan’s national security staff — also told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday that celebrations might be premature.
“Sean, I know there is a lot of back slapping and high-fiving going on at the White House,” said North, who — along with his family — was targeted by Gadhafi assassins, after Reagan authorized air strikes on Libya, following the bombing in 1986 of a German disco frequented by American servicemen. “I wonder if it isn’t premature: There are at least six armed militias who are part of this Transitional National Council — and not part of it as well — there is no agreement as to who is going to lead the country.
“On top of all of that, you have friction between Arabs and Berbers, and in the southern part of the country between North Africans and all the rest of them,” he said. “And you’ve still got 20,000 — perhaps even more — surface-to-air, man-portable missiles that are missing from the ordinance depots that Gadhafi had, all of which make a major threat to the United States.”
Hannity noted the unrest taking place in Egypt after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak and the fears the Muslim Brotherhood might make a power grab.
“This could actually be much worse than what’s already happening in Egypt. Just 10 days ago you had Egyptian Coptic Christians at a prayer vigil gunned down by Islamists and by the army, crushed under the vehicles that were supposedly there to protect them — you now have the Muslim Brotherhood as part of the problem in Egypt,” North said. “And right next door, you have armed Islamist groups that well may be after those [Libyan] surface-to-air missiles — some of them perhaps potentially supported by the Iranians who’ve got their fingers in all of this. Look, of course, what’s happening in Syria.
“The Iranians are not getting the message that Barack Obama delivered just a few moments ago,” North continued. “He is saying that this is what happens to despots — the message they are getting at the ayatollah’s headquarters in Tehran is: Brutal oppression is going to prevail because the Americans couldn’t do what they said they were going to do.
“Remember: All of this was supposed to happen in days not months — that was on March 17th,” he said. “And you now look at how NATO ran out of ordinance and the United States had to come in and backfill behind them. Why would they be worried about consequences in Iran?”
North then said he is not ready to celebrate Gadhafi’s demise because — although it is great news that he is gone: “I don’t think the news coming up is necessarily going to be a whole lot better.”
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