Libya, a case of Western interests and the liberation into chaos
By Nicholas Sengoba
Because of the speed at which news stories develop, and are replaced by new events, it is not surprising that Libya, the once admirable great giant of Africa no longer makes it even in the new briefs.
Two years ago the Libyan autocrat Muammar Gaddafi, was assassinated after an uprising sponsored by the West with intensive aerial bombing and other subversive actions led by NATO.
Gadaffi who had been in power for 42 years from September 1969 till August 2011 was killed on October 20, 2011. During his reign it was reported that Libya had a terrible human rights record, supported terrorists and for this it was isolated for more than two decades.
But it was also known that Libya was a leader in many of the indices regarding human development from income per capita to access to water, health facilities, housing and education. Besides being a leading oil producer and exporter, Libya using oil proceeds, invested in the development of agriculture through huge land reclamation projects in the desert. It also had a large investment portfolio in several oil, banking, telecommunication and housing projects both globally and on the African continent.
But the so-called international community led by the West and with the cheerleading of the media would not have any of this as a story worth telling.
According to Professor Maximillian Forte, author of the book Slouching Towards Sirte; NATO’s war on Libya and Africa, “NATO’s war in Libya was proclaimed as a humanitarian intervention — bombing in the name of “saving lives.” Attempts at diplomacy were stifled.
Peace talks were subverted. Libya was barred from representing itself at the UN, where shadowy NGOs and “human rights” groups held full sway in propagating exaggerations, outright falsehoods, and racial fear mongering that served to sanction atrocities and ethnic cleansing in the name of democracy. The rush to war was far speedier than Bush’s invasion of Iraq.”
It was quite obvious that this war was more about pecuniary interests than humanitarian ones. The allies namely France, Italy, Britain and USA warned those who did not take part in the war that they would not be considered when it came to contracts to rehabilitate Libya.
This not only exposed their motive but implied that the more damage they would visit on Libya, the more lucrative the contracts they would have. As such Libya’s oil sector, roads, buildings and several infrastructures were badly hit.
Fast forward to today the chaos in the country has virtually shut down Libya’s oil export sector. The country is total chaos and torn between several armed militias and bandits with a misguided sense of entitlement which stems from their contribution to the overthrow of Gadaffi.
Professor Maximillian Forte argues that the war on Libya was not about human rights, nor entirely about oil, but about a larger process of militarising US relations with Africa. The development of the Pentagon’s Africa Command, or AFRICOM, was in fierce competition with Pan-Africanist initiatives such as those spearheaded by Gaddafi.
Far from the success NATO boasts about or the “high watermark” proclaimed by proponents of the “Responsibility to Protect,” this war has left the once prosperous, independent and defiant Libya in ruin, dependency and prolonged civil strife
There has been a total breakdown of law and order and Libya now lives in the shadow and fear of remnants of the volunteers who brought Gadaffi down. They now hold Libya at ransom. This group attacked the US Embassy in Benghazi and killed the ambassador Christopher Stevens in 2012. Recently, they briefly kidnapped Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. Last week, the same breed of gun wielding ruffians fired at protestors in Misrata killing several.
This definitely is not a better Libya and the West knows and knew it even before they hatched the plan to remove Gadaffi.
This is essentially because the West in whatever guise is very focused on the issue of subjugation of especially the African continent.
It does not matter if the guise comes in the form of economic aid, assistance towards a liberation war, outright support for a dictator etc. The motive is the same, to intimidate, dominate so as to have influence and control over the vast resources of the continent. The leaders who do not realise and accept this stance will go the way Gadaffi went. The stooges and puppets that do will have a safe careers even if they are abhorable dictators. We wish the Libyan liberators and their allies well.