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Libya now nation at risk with weak U.S. influence; embassy closes as chaos grows


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libya-now-nation-at-risk-with-weak-us-influenceWashington Times:

With violence spreading across Libya and the U.S. Embassy closing in Tripoli, Republican lawmakers over the weekend blasted the Obama administration for failing to stop yet another troubled Middle Eastern nation from descending into complete chaos, and even some Democrats conceded that America’s influence in the world has waned considerably.


Two warring factions have turned Libya again into one of the most dangerous spots on Earth, and the country — in flux since the U.S.-backed overthrow and subsequent death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 — is not safe for Western diplomats.


The State Department announced Saturday that it was temporarily shuttering its facility in Tripoli after rocket fire and bullets hit the complex. British officials confirmed Sunday that a convoy carrying embassy personnel came under fire, though no one was hurt.


The evacuation of the U.S. Embassy harks back to Sept. 11, 2012, when an American diplomatic post in Benghazi was attacked and four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed.


The White House is taking steps to prevent a similar disaster, but critics argue that the broader goal of a peaceful Libya now appears little more than a pipe dream.


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