How's that Libyan adventure working out for ya, Barry?

We helped break it, but there's no fixing it.

The Libyan government exists in name only. Government officials admit they have lost all control of the ministries, as Islamist militants are occupying Tripoli.


Libya's government said it has lost control of most ministries and state institutions located in Tripoli after rival armed groups took over the capital.

Last month, senior officials and the elected parliament moved to the remote eastern city of Tobruk as an alliance of armed factions led by forces from the western city of Misrata took control of Tripoli, having expelled a rival group.

Libya is descending into anarchy as former rebels who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 have turned their guns on each other as they seek to set the country's political agenda and control its vast oil reserves.

"We announce that most ministries, institutions and state bodies in the capital Tripoli are out of our control," the government said in a statement late on Sunday. Armed groups had prevented staff from entering some government buildings, it added.

All ministries, the state-oil National Oil Corp (NOC) and central bank are located in the capital.

The persistent violence has not affected oil production but traders have said ownership of the oil might be subject to legal challenges if the Misrata forces take control of the central bank, where crude revenues are booked.

The new forces controlling Tripoli, some with Islamist leanings, have refuse to recognize the Tobruk House of Representatives, which has a strong liberal and federalist presence.

That may be the weirdest announcement ever made by a government. The entire situation is surreal, as evidenced by the takeover of our abandoned embassy and the Islamists holding a pool party in the residential compound.


Islamist fighters were videoed frolicking in a swimming pool at the abandoned US embassy in Tripoli yesterday – a further sign of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Libya.

Following a military surge in which its forces seized control of the city airport, commanders from the Dawn of Libya militia announced that they had “secured” the compound.

Footage was circulating online yesterday showed a large group of men playing at a compound pool, which is believed to be in a residential part of the embassy grounds.

Some of the men jump into the pool from an upper floor of the building while others cheered them on.

A reporter from the Associated Press news agency was invited to walk through the seized buildings, reporting that most of the equipment in the facility – including treadmills, food, televisions and computers – remained untouched.

In a message on Twitter, US Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones said the video appeared to have been shot in at the embassy’s residential annex.

She also said it seemed as though the compound was being “safeguarded” and was not “ransacked”.

Well, that's comforting. For a minute there I thought we were in trouble.

What a spectacular, humiliating, embarrassing failure the Libyan adventure turned out to be. Congratulations, Barry. You are midwife to a stillborn child. It gives us all confidence that you can apply the same dedicated policies to Iraq in order to turn that country around too.

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