The Wall Street Journal reports that Egypt had begun arms shipments to Libyan rebels. Had this effort been expanded into full blown support by Egypt for their Libyan brethren it might have been enough to turn the tide in Libya and prevent Big Power states led by France and the US from intervening. That would have been a far better outcome for the wider future of the democratic wave sweeping the Middle East and North African region.
Now, however, the Big Powers – which to date have only brought the IMF’s and World Bank’s neo-liberal reforms to the region – will have gained a significant role in influencing the MENA revolution. They will try to shape it in their interests.
In fact, the willingness of Egypt to help Libya may have frightened the US into acting preemptively lest they lose all influence in the region. Of course a key role was also played by “State Department Socialists” like Human Rights Watch and other groups that have developed the theory of “humanitarian intervention” as a new form of fig leaf for Big Power intervention in the region and elsewhere. I have written on this development here.