President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday ordered the U.S. State Department to issue an alert to Americans in Libya to leave the North African nation and to U.S. citizens contemplating a trip to that "unpredictable" and "unstable" country advising them to cancel their travel plans.
The aftermath of the rebellions in Libya and Egypt has been disappointing for the Obama administration, with the Egyptian government at war with the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Muslims, while the Libyan government remains weak and unable to deal with terrorists, militias and warlords, said security expert Iris Aquino.
"Leading from behind isn't what it's cracked up to be, is it Mr. Commander in Chief?" quipped Aquino, a former NYPD cop and undercover officer.
The warning, promulgated on Tuesday, said in part: "Due to security concerns, the Department of State has limited staffushing at Embassy Tripoli and is only able to offer very limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Libya. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued on December 12, 2013."
Fierce battles have been fought in Libyan cities and towns between heavily-armed militias and equally powerful Islamic terrorists in Benghazi and even the capital city of Tripoli. Just recently armed jihadists attacked Libya's National Congress.
While the news media in the United States, for the most part, has ignored the allegations that it was President Obama and his underlings who armed the Libyan jihadists in their rush to depose the country's ruthless dictator Moamar Khadhafi, it is now viewed as one of the reasons for the hesitation by the Obama White House to arm the rebels in Syria attempting to depose its own dictator.
The Obama administration has deployed Navy warships and military forces off Libyan coast should the need to conduct an emergency evacuations arise, according to government officials.
"Because of the presumption that foreigners, especially U.S. citizens, in Libya may be associated with the U.S. government or U.S. NGOs, travelers should be aware that they may be targeted for kidnapping, violent attacks, or death," the State Department warned in its alert.
"U.S. citizens currently in Libya should exercise extreme caution and depart immediately," it said.
In a separate statement, officials at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, said, "Libya is at a crossroads. On one side lies the achievement of the transition through the political process and the forging of a Constitutional Charter based on nationally agreed principles, with a view to achieving the goals of the 17th of February revolution and fostering the rule of law, the respect of human rights and the welfare of its citizens. On the other lies chaos, fragmentation, violence and terrorism."