Archive | Libya

Sarkozy’s Hand in the French Cookie Jar?

There was something refreshing about watching former French president Nicolas Sarkozy being interrogated in a French jail.   Particularly since he may soon be accused of conspiracy in the murder of my old friend, Col. Muammar Khadaffi of Libya.

Sarkozy and his former chief of staff, Claude Guéant, are being investigated for secretly accepting at least fifty million Euros from Khadaffi for his 2007 electoral campaign.  Such a payment violated France’s maximum permissible limit for political donation, not to mention a ban on foreign financing of candidates and failure to report the payments.  Sarko also faces investigation over secret payments from the Gulf oil states.

French political candidates often have to wade through the sewers to finance their campaigns because spending limits were set relatively low to prevent big money from buying the elections, as in the United States.

These charges against Khadaffi and Guéant have been percolating for years with only a muted response.  Sarkozy also got into hot water after he was accused of bilking large sums of cash from a senile heiress to France’s L’Oréal cosmetics company.

But three years ago, a French-Lebanese businessman told the French investigative site Mediapart that he had given suitcases with 5 million Euros (US $6.2 million) to Guéant.  The former chief of staff would later claim the cash was payment for a painting he had sold to the shady Lebanese. Of course it was!

In 2007, Sarkozy became president of France. At the time, he and Khadaffi appeared to be best of friends.  The Libyan leader made a gala visit to Paris, pitched his Bedouin tent on the grounds of the presidential palace and received the lavish official welcome that the French do so well.

France was interested in Libya’s high quality oil and using Libya as a beachhead for expanding Paris’ former influence in North Africa.  France and Libya secretly colluded to fight Islamist rebels in the region who were battling French-installed puppet rulers in West and Central Africa.

But then Sarkozy turned sharply against the Khadaffi regime and joined US and British efforts to overthrow it.  This was not the first time.  Former French president, François Mitterrand, ordered his intelligence chief, Count de Marenches, to destroy Khadaffi’s personal jet with an altitude-fused bomb.  Marenches told me the bomb was secreted aboard the plane, then removed when relations with Tripoli improved.

British intelligence, MI6, also tried to assassinate Khadaffi by means of a car bomb in Benghazi, Libya, but failed, though many civilians were killed.

Sarkozy eventually heeded demands from Hillary Clinton, then US Secretary of State, to launch a war against ostensible ally, Khadaffi, and seize his oil riches.

Warplanes and special forces from the US, France and Britain joined in a sustained attack on Libya, which was cynically misrepresented as a humanitarian rescue mission.   French aircraft strafed Khadaffi’s convoy. French special forces and Libyan mercenaries caught Khadaffi, tortured him with a knife, then shot him dead.

Khadaffi had made the fatal mistake of telling his eldest son, Saif al-Islam, and senior officials about his secret payment to Sarkozy.  When word leaked out from Saif, Sarkozy quickly ordered the attack on Libya. Dead men tell no tales.  French intelligence is very skilled at rubbing out foes and nuisances.

My surmise is that French justice will find some tenuous link between Sarkozy and Khadaffi’s murder, but no hard proof Sarko was directly involved.  If George W. Bush and Dick Cheney could get away Scott free after killing over one million Iraqi civilians in a trumped-up war, why prosecute Sarko for this minor ‘contretemps?’

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Gaddafi’s Son, Saif al Islam Welcomes Sarkozy Arrest, Offers Evidence

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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of fallen Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has welcomed the detention of former French president Nicholas Sarkozy and reiterated his offer of evidence showing that Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign was funded by illicit funds.

Saif al-Islam alluded to the evidence he gave to European media channel, Euronews in Tripoli in 2011, and lamented that it had taken the French justice system seven years to act on the matter.

An official of the French Judiciary told journalists on Tuesday that Sarkozy was being held in police custody for questioning by magistrates looking into allegations of Libyan funding for his 2007 election campaign.

A judiciary inquiry into the matter had been opened by France in 2013, while in January this year, Britain arrested and charged a French businessman suspected by investigators of funneling money from Gaddafi to finance Sarkozy’s campaign.

Speaking to Africanews, Saif al-Islam mentioned that there are several witnesses willing to testify against Sarkozy, including Abdallah Snoussi, the former director of the Libyan intelligence services and also Bashir Saleh Bashir, the former CEO of Libya Investment.

According to Saif al Islam, Snoussi has a recording of the first meeting between Sarkozy and Gaddafi held in Tripoli before his 2007 election campaign.

Saif al Islam adds that he too can testify, having witnessed the delivery of the first portion of the money to Sarkozy’s former chief of staff, Claude Guant in Tripoli.

He goes on to accuse Sarkozy of being a war criminal who is responsible for the spread of terrorism and illegal immigration in Libya. He urges French president Emmanuel Macron to right the wrongs of his predecessor and prosecute Sarkozy for crimes committed against Libya.

Back in January, UK police arrested French businessman Alexandre Djouhri in the corruption probe involving ex-French President Sarkozy and funding from Libya.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2GKnJPI  pic.twitter.com/UvL5Rvqvnb

WATCH: During an exclusive interview with Euronews in 2011, Colonel Gaddafi’s son demanded Sarkozy to repay Libya the money he took for his 2007 campaign election that helped him become French president.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2pquZsJ  pic.twitter.com/Mo3SHK2D1V

Saif al Islam who has expressed interest in the Mlibyan presidency also told Africanews that he supports an expeditious organisation of presidential elections in the North African country.

He warned that there are parties in Libya and abroad that seek to maintain the current chaotic situation in Libya, saying an endless war is imminent if elections are not held quickly.

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Another Reason Why Imperialism Wanted Libya Overthrown

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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy detained for questioning over Gaddafi loan

 

Featured image: Libya leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi along with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (Source: the author)

Seven years ago this month, beginning on March 19, 2011, the United States Pentagon and NATO began a massive bombing campaign against the North African state of Libya.

For seven months the warplanes flew tens of thousands of sorties over Libya, at the time the most prosperous state in Africa. Nearly ten thousand bombs were reportedly dropped inside the country resulting in an estimated 50,000-100,000 dead, many more injuries and the dislocation of several million people.

On October 20, longtime Libyan leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, was driving in a convoy leaving his home area of Sirte when the vehicles were struck. Gaddafi was later captured and brutally executed by counter-revolutionary forces which were led, armed and financed by the U.S., NATO and its allies.

France played an instrumental role in the destruction of Libya as a nation-state. The then President Nicolas Sarkozy praised the overthrow of the Jamahiriya political system and the execution of Gaddafi.

All of the imperialist states and their cohorts told the international community that the counter-revolution in Libya would lead to an era of democracy and prosperity. These proclamations could not have been further from the truth.

Sarkozy wanted the Libyan state eviscerated and Gaddafi assassinated because he had borrowed millions of dollars from the African leader in 2007 to finance his presidential campaign. Rumors and later documented proof surfaced to substantiate these claims.

On March 20, people around the globe awoke to news reports that Sarkozy was in custody and being questioned over financial irregularities involving the Libyan state under Gaddafi. During the period in question, Libya was a leading country within the African Union (AU) where the basis for the revitalized Organization of African Unity (OAU) founded in May 1963, realized its birth. The Sirte Declarations of 1999 led to the creation of the AU in 2002, shifting the focus of the continental body mandating deliberations on the development of viable institutions encompassing more meaningful objectives such as economic integration and regional security.

The spotlight turned on Sarkozy raises again the question of the genocidal war against Libya during 2011 and the subsequent underdevelopment, instability and impoverishment of the country and its implications for North and West Africa along with the continent as a whole. Today Libya is a source of terrorism, enslavement and internecine conflict where there are at least three sources of purported authority.

Despite the efforts of the United Nations Security Council to form a Government of National Accord (GNA), the unity of the country has remained elusive. The UNSC bears responsibility for the Libyan crisis due to the fact that Resolutions 1970 and 1973 provided a pseudo-legal rationale for the blanket bombing and ground operations in the 2011 imperialist war and its brutal aftermath.

According to an article published by France24:

“Agents of France’s office for anticorruption and fiscal and financial infractions are questioning Sarkozy in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, where he has been detained since Tuesday (March 20) morning. It is the first time authorities have questioned Sarkozy in connection with this dossier. They can keep the 63-year-old conservative former head of state in custody for up to 48 hours, after which he could be released without charge, placed under formal investigation or asked to reappear at a later date.”

The Imperialist Camp and Neo-Colonial Rule in Africa

Whether Sarkozy is placed under formal investigation, indicted or imprisoned for his financial crimes, broader issues remain over the outcomes of the war against Libya. The overthrow of a legitimate African government and the targeted assassination of its leader constitute crimes against humanity stemming from the desire to maintain the neo-colonial domination by imperialism over the continent.

The Jamahiriya state prior to the Pentagon-NATO led war represented the aspirations of not only people in Libya notwithstanding the AU member-states as well. Libya was politically stable, owed no money to global financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank and provided assistance to other African nations in the areas of social, technological, monetary and religious affairs.

While serving as chairperson of the AU in 2009, Gaddafi traveled to the UN General Assembly where he presented his vision of continental imperatives and international relations. During this period a campaign of slander and defamation was launched with the assistance of the corporate media in the U.S.

Even though Libya under the Jamahiriya had modified its stance on a number of issues related to its dealing with the U.S. and other imperialist states, the West wanted to overthrow the government to seize its oil fields and foreign reserves amounting to well over $160 billion. A pretext of impending genocide against western-funded rebels whom had sought to remove the Gaddafi government was utilized to justify a war of regime-change.

The rebels could have never overthrown the Libyan government on their own. Therefore, they called in their paymasters in Washington, London, Paris and Brussels to ensure a victory for neo-colonialism. However, this scheme has failed to bring into existence the compliant regime sought in the post-war period.

This crisis extends beyond the legal issues facing Sarkozy. Moreover, it is a problem of modern-day imperialism which is seeking new avenues of conquest for purposes of exploitation and profit-making.

France is a leading capitalist state yet it is in perpetual economic stagnation. Joblessness remains high while a burgeoning population of African, Middle Eastern and Asian immigrants is fueling racial hatred. Notions of egalitarianism and bourgeois democracy must be selectively implemented so that the white ruling class maintains it power at the expense of a darker and growing minority seeking civil and human rights.

Abroad France still maintains its interests throughout Africa and other parts of the world. Paris is in fierce competition with London and Washington for its status within the imperialist matrix related to the control of oil, strategic minerals and essential trade routes.

The Meaning of African Unity

Therefore on the seventh anniversary of the imperialist war against Libya, the need for unity among AU member-states is more important in this period than ever before. African economic growth, development and integration cannot however be looked at separately from the indispensable need for independent security structures to safeguard resources and the sovereignty of the people.

The war against Libya represented the first full-blown campaign of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) which was established under the administration of President George W. Bush in 2008. AFRICOM was strengthened and enhanced under Bush’s successor President Barack Obama.

Three African states, Gabon, Nigeria and South Africa, voting in favor of the UNSC Resolution 1973 was the worse error of the post-independence period. Although the AU sought to bring about a ceasefire after the bombs began to fall, it was to no avail. This proves conclusively that imperialism should never be trusted and peace and security in Africa can only be won with its destruction.

Many Africans both on the continent and in the Diaspora felt that since Obama was a partial descendant of its people that he would develop a more favorable policy towards the continent and Black people inside the U.S. This was a gross miscalculation because the social and economic conditions worsened for Africans all over the world under his leadership on behalf of the imperialist world.

Consequently, it is not the individual which shapes domestic and foreign policy. Imperialism is an exploitative system which arose from the exigencies of slavery and colonialism. In the modern period neo-colonialism is the last stage of imperialism which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah documented as early as 1965, a prediction which cost him his presidency in the First Republic of Ghana at the aegis of Washington, serving as a major setback for the African Revolution as a whole.

Nevertheless, African people must learn from these historical events in order to move forward with a sober mood of determination and fortitude. Self-reliance and an independent national and global policy is the only solution to the crises facing the continent and its people in contemporary times.

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Video: Obama/Clinton to Blame for Slave Trade in Libya?

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Reality Check
  

It’s been three months since the media outcry over the open market slave trading in Libya and yet, the problem persists.

And the root cause of how these slave markets were created, thanks to U.S. foreign policy, has been ignored.

Do you want to end the slave trade in Libya?

We’ll tell you the biggest step toward making that happen… in a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

The video shocked the world. CNN posted the images: men who appeared to be sold at auction in Libya for $400. The grainy undercover video appears to show smugglers selling off a dozen men outside of the capital city Tripoli.

So how did we get here? Most media will tell you that Libya is the main transit point for refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.

According to Time,

“In each of the last three years, 150,000 people have made the dangerous crossing across the Mediterranean Sea from Libya. For four years in a row, 3,000 refugees have died while attempting the journey, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the U.N.’s migration agency.”

What’s more, according to a September report by the United Nations Human Rights Agency, there are estimates that “400,000 to almost one million people” are now bottled up Libya. “Detention centers are overrun and there are mounting reports of robbery, rape, and murder among migrants.”

Read just about any mainstream report on what is happening in Libya, and what you will not hear is who is responsible for the utter failure of Libya.

The policies that have created some of the most horrific conditions in the world fall squarely on the shoulders of former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Keep in mind, in 2003, under the Bush administration, the long time leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, had entered into an agreement where Gaddafi would give up any weapons of mass destruction and the U.S. would leave Gaddafi and Libya alone.

But under Obama and Clinton, the U.S. broke that agreement. In 2012 the U.S. insisted that there was an “Arab Spring” uprising taking place in Libya. There was not. As I reported at the time, the fighters attempting to overthrow Gaddafi were al Qaeda fighters.

Under Obama and Clinton, on March 21st of that year, a no fly zone was imposed over Libya. And then, seven months later, with the U.S. tracking a Gaddafi convoy, the Libyan leader was caught and killed in the streets.

Was Muammar Gaddafi a dictator? Yes. No question.

But was Libya under Gaddafi a relatively peaceful place? Yes.

Gaddafi actually promoted a Pan-Africanism, spoke out against anti-black Arab racism and was pushing for unified African currency.

Bragging about her so-called accomplishments after the fact, Hillary Clinton famously said…

“We came, we saw, he died.”

The problem is, so many others are dying now as a result.

In an interview after the leaving the White House, former President Obama called the overthrow of Gaddafi his greatest single mistake in office. While that is difficult to argue, what is truly stunning about that statement? The policy to overthrow Gaddafi was attempted again for the next four years by the Obama administration as they attempted to overthrow the Assad regime, even as Libya continued to slip deeper into chaos.

And that’s what you need to know. Because Obama is no longer president, Clinton is no longer secretary of state and Gaddafi is no longer alive.

The answer to how Libyans should fix what is happening in Libya is beyond me. But the answer as to what the U.S. should do about Libya is not.

If we want to prevent these chaotic failed states around the world, the U.S. must stop intervening and thereby creating them through the toppling of governments in the Middle East and Africa.

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How the BLACK PANTHER & ‘Wakanda’ Came to Represent Gaddafi’s Libya…

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I haven’t seen the Black Panther movie yet; but I’m looking forward to it.

T’Challa, the Black Panther, has for a long time been one of my absolute favorite comic book characters – and I’ve been glad that his mythology has been given the cinema treatment: and that it appears to be doing so well and generating so much conversation.

But, amid all of that conversation (much of which, rightly, is focused on the subject of the first entirely black superhero movie), one thing that probably won’t be discussed is the subject I’m going to cover here now: which gives me a rare opportunity to talk about both my love of comic-book mythologies and my interest in real-world geo-political conspiracies at the same time.

This isn’t an article about the film or even about the character’s history. Rather, it’s about a specific perception I have of the Black Panther mythology and how it relates to particular real-life North-African nation that I’ve written a lot about in the past – specifically Libya, and more specifically the Gaddafi-era Libya.

Now, obviously, I’ll need to justify this – and I will.

Firstly, having not seen the movie yet, I can’t speak for whether the Libya/Gaddafi aspect is prominent or noticeable in the film. But it has definitely been noticeable to me in the source-material – this being the comic books, and particularly in recent years.

That shouldn’t necessarily be surprising – comic-books very often channel or mirror real-world events and are often a very good medium for exploring real-world or contemporary subjects in a different way.

If anyone here has seen the film already, I’d be interested to know whether the connections highlighted in this article below are also reflected in the movie. Similarly, if anyone reads this article and is planning to see the film yet, it might be interesting to note whether the film backs up these observations any further.

Now, for the record, I’m not claiming that the Black Panther mythology was always intended – at its conception in the 1960s – to reflect or parallel real-world Libya or that the character was intended to channel or reflect Gaddafi.

I’m 100 percent certain this was not the case.

At its inception in the 60s, the Black Panther comic book was about other things entirely. In fact, one of my favorite stories about the legendary Jack Kirby is that, when he received complaints about the Black Panther comic and was put under pressure to put more white characters into the book, he responded by having T’Challa – in the very next issue – beating the crap out of the KKK.

Without question, the Black Panther comics originally were – aside from being just superhero fun at the basic level – designed to reflect or speak to entirely domestic social or cultural issues in America at the time.

Rather, I’m saying that the Black Panther mythology has become a Libya analogy over time – and especially very recently.

Now, you could debate where this is deliberate or just coincidental: but one example in particular – which I’ll explain in a moment and which forms the basis of most of this article – is almost certainly deliberate.

Also, someone might argue that – in my observations – the fictional ‘Wakanda’ could be analagous to a number of past or present African (or Arab) societies. Which, in various ways, is true – but there are specific reasons I’m citing Libya, as you’ll see.

For anyone who doesn’t know about the Black Panther, the character is the king of a fictional African nation called ‘Wakanda’ that exists in the Marvel Universe. Wakanda is presented always as a resource-rich nation, highly developed, and constantly having to deal with foreign interest or violations due to Wakanda posessing a precious natural resource called ‘Vibranium’.

Wakanda is the most highly developed nation in Africa – just as Libya was. Wakanda is also a desert country for the most part, just like Libya. And reference is often made to the tribal nature of Wakandan society and its power structure – again, mirroring Libya. T’Challa rules partly thanks to the support and confidence of the different tribes, just as Gaddafi did.

Although ‘Vibranium’ is a fictional substance, it has for a long time seemed to me to be a metaphor for oil.Because all these foreign powers or organisations want vibranium, they are constantly trying to involve themselves in Wakanda – and, across many stories over many years, the very protective, nationalistic Wakandans are constantly alert to defend their country, sovereignty and resources.

That’s arguably the core of the Gaddafi/Libya parallels (Libyan oil reserves made it a target for decades) – but it goes a lot further.

In fact, while the idea of Wakanda and T’Challa as fictional representations of the former Libyan Arab Republic and Gaddafi have been occuring to me for a few years, it wasn’t until about a year-and-a-half ago that this connection became firmly solidified in my perception.

The final reason was a Black Panther comic-book series that was so obviously a retelling of the fall of Gaddafi and the collapse of Libya that it seemed intentional. The series was written by a well-regarded journalist, educator and expert in social and political issues – a MacArthur Genius and National Book Award-winner named Ta- Nehisi Coates.

The initial arc of the story was titled ‘A Nation Under Our Feet’.

And, as I will shortly elaborate on, the more I read it a year ago the more I found that ‘A Nation Under Our Feet’ closely paralleled (surely on purpose) the very real crisis that unfolded in Libya in 2011.

As someone who researched and wrote on the subject of the Libyan ‘revolution’ at length (and in fact compiled a book on the subject), the analogies struck me throughout this story – and is a primary reason I found it such a compelling book.

The story in this series is roughly as follows: the fictional African nation of Wakanda is in turmoil, with the people rising up against T’Challa’s rule. There are mass riots and protests, quickly turning to violence. The early chapters are told from T’Challa’s own perspective, as he tries to cope with the suddenness and the scale of the uprising and tries to figure out how on earth he is supposed to deal with this. Having for years been on-guard against foreign, outside threats, he is taken completely off-guard by this threat rising from within his own population.

At some point, as the story progresses, T’Challa and his forces are forced to even attack their own people. But we see him struggling with this problem of whether he can bring himself to attack his own citizens in order to stop them bringing the country to ruin.

As the saga progresses over several months, we learn that the people are being goaded into revolution by sinister agents and agencies; some of them being home-grown traitors to the nation, some being foreign powers. Evidently, there is a foreign-backed conspiracy behind the unrest.

Anyone familiar with the events of the Libya collapse in 2011 could not read ‘A Nation Under Our Feet’ and not see it as a retelling or chanelling of those events. A restless population rising up against their powerful figurehead, manipulated by cynical outside agencies into doing so, the figurehead/ruler (T’Challa/Gaddafi) struggling with how to deal with this threat to the nation, etc.

Reading ‘A Nation Under Our Feet, Part 1’ in particular, the points of comparision come up so frequently throughout. But take page 6 of Black Panther #1: T’Challa has lines like, ‘The hate did not spread on its own. Deceivers are loose in my kingdom’. You could find Gaddafi saying more or less the exact same thing back in 2011.

On the very same page, you then see a mob of angry Wakandans seizing T’Challa, one of them crying out “Death to Tyrants!” This scene immediately echoes Gaddafi’s death in October 2011, when he was seized by the viscious mob and executed.

A couple of pages later, one of T’Challa’s attendants urges him to withdraw from the angry mob, warning “call the soldiers back – we cannot massacre our own people.” This, again, directly echoes Gaddafi issuing orders to his army generals (in the initial stages of the unrest) to not open fire on the crowds, no matter how violent they became.


It would not surprise me in the least bit if Ta-Nehisi Coates – an expert in social, political and African affairs – has deliberately used the Libyan nightmare as a basis or inspiration for this storyline.

I haven’t seen Coates say this anywhere, but the similarities between the real-life Libyan horror story and this fictional Wakandan story are so strong that I would be astonished if there was no conscious mirroring going on here.

In Coates’s storyline, there are even visual cues in the artwork: not just the abundance of the color green (the Libyan, Gaddafi-era colors), but, for example, in a simple image of T’Challa moving across the water (Black Panther #1, page 24). In this image, the way the skyscrapers and apartment blocks line the coast is immediately reminiscent of Gaddafi-era Tripoli.

There is no escpating that Birin Zana – the ‘Golden City’ of Wakanda – does look a hell of a lot like Gaddafi-era Tripoli.

For the record – and to support my argument – I can also cite as far back as Black Panther Vol.4 #21 (during the original Civil War storyline in 2006): in that book, the X-Men’s Storm points out that Wakanda secretly funded Nelson Mandela’s anti-Aparteid movement for years.

It is a known fact that the biggest sponsor of Mandela and the ANC in the real world was Gaddafi and Libya.

If A Nation Under Our Feet #1 was striking for its real-world parallels, the cover for Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet #2 really, fully confirms the point. The image shows a large statue of the Black Panther being brought down by angry citizens in the street.

It’s an image that very clearly echoes real-world events, uprisings and coups in recent years. The backdrop also makes it look a lot like Tripoli again (Libya) – though, in fact, the general idea is more referencing the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Baghdad and the famous footage of people pulling down Saddam’s statue.


What is also interesting about this series is that T’Challa – our ‘hero’ and a Marvel standard – is at times depicted with the trappings almost of an African or Arab dictator.

There isn’t any real attempt here to water him down or make him more compatible with Western-centric sensibilities. He is very much a figure who believes entirely in his divine, sacred right to rule and in the power of his position. He is even shown having ‘Secret Police’ that work for him (the ‘Hatut Zeraze’). While at no point is he depicted as being brutal or an oppressor, it is nevertheless interesting and even somewhat refreshing that Coates doesn’t try to gloss things over or avoid the reality that Wakanda isn’t meant to be an entirely open, liberal democracy.

It is a dictatorship.

In the Marvel world, what has always been particularly curious is that T’Challa is never presented as anything other than a hero – but he is, nevertheless, a dictator in his country: and this fact is never glossed over. The perception is always that the fictional Wakanda is a very delicate society that works in a very specific way that outsiders don’t always understand – again, evoking real-world Libya in the Gaddafi era.

What this Black Panther series further reinforces is the reality that some countries and societies – in Africa and elsewhere – are built on very unique, delicate and specific dynamics, cultural idyosyncracies and sensibilities, that evolve and coalesce over many centuries: and that high-minded foreign powers should always think twice before storming in and knocking over the entire edifice in a misguided attempt to ‘bring Western democracy’, as if it can work that simply.

The Libya analogy is cemented further in Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet #4, when we learn for certain that the unrest in the country is being manipulated by foreign hands: echoing how the CIA, French Intelligence and other external actors were revealed to be guiding the Libyan unrest in 2011.

In #5, the story gets dirtier and more grey as T’Challa seeks out the counsel of some highly dubious figures, counter-terrorism and counter-revolutionary experts, conveying the depth of his dilemma and what he is being dragged down to in order to try to save Wakanda.

In actual fact, it is a trick to fully and finally discredit him among his people – and, by this point, the real-world/Libyan similarities are so thick and fast that I don’t even bother to note all of them any further (we also have the rebels being specifically referred to as ‘terrorists’ and we even have a suicide-bombing occuring).

Again, I’ll be interested to see whether the film incarnation of the Black Panther reflects any of this or not.

It’s unlikely that the widespread hype and discussion over the Black Panther and what it represents will include any of what I’ve discussed here – or any reference to Libya or Gaddafi. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Not that any of this has much to do with why the Black Panther is such a great character or why the mythology is so rich: but with subjects like this, it is nevertheless always interesting to observe what gets discussed (or deliberately noticed) and what gets ignored (or deliberately ommitted from discussion).


Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is a journalist and National Correspondent for The Atlantic, was an inspired choice of writer for this series and did a great job creating a rich, absorbing scenario, mythology and re-framing of an iconic character.

In my opinion, he also clearly used the platform as a way to retell the fall of Libya in a different way. As far as I know, he has never said this openly – and he has probably never even been asked about it. But it’s all there, for anyone with the eyes to see it.

For any comic-book readers who haven’t read this book – or any new fans of the Black Panther (after seeing the movie) – I highly recommend getting a copy of the A Nation Under Our Feet collection.

And for anyone who happens to be both a comic-book or Black Panther fan and someone interested in or versed in the Libya Conspiracy – which, I admit, is likely to be a very small number of people – this series will probably be a fascinating read.

 

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In Libya, ISIS Is Using Human Trafficking to Finance Its Activities

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A UN report, which was delivered to a UN Security Council committee, highlighted ISIS’ involvement in human trafficking networks.
  

A new UN report has warned of potential collusion between human traffickers and state institutions in Libya, amidst further concerns that groups such as ISIS are exploiting these processes.

The 150-page report, which was collated by UN officials, was sent to a 15-member UN Security Council committee on Wednesday and documented how state security institutions might be working with smugglers to engage in illegal trafficking activities.

For several years, these smugglers have worked with complete impunity as they transferred thousands of people across the Mediterranean. Many of the people who undertook these dangerous journeys died as they attempted to made the perilous journey towards Europe.

In the report, Eritrean migrants told the UN officials that they had been arrested by the Special Deterrence Force (SDF) and then handed over to various smuggling networks. The SDF, which is an armed group affiliated with the Ministry of Interior of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), has thus far denied these allegations.

While questions of complicity between state officials and traffickers remain, fears are also growing that the so-called Islamic State are inserting themselves into these smuggling processes.

This comes as the group attempts to regain a foothold in Libya after its losses in 2016 and 2017. In mid-2016, the group was defeated in their onetime stronghold of Sirte by troops affiliated to the GNA and in late 2017, militants were finally defeated in the city of Benghazi by troops affiliated to the rival Libyan National Army (LNA), led by the General Khalifa Haftar.

While some see this as an opportunity for ISIS to gain prominence in Libya, others see it as a ploy by ‘gangs’ to exploit the current political and security instability to make money.

“Unfortunately, this exists. These gangs rob people and seek to make money illegally and criminally,” said Salah al-Din al-Jamali, the Arab League Envoy to Libya. “Therefore, the issue of trafficking in human beings must be viewed objectively and the security capabilities of the countries concerned – Libya and the Sahel countries – including Algeria, should be strengthened.”

Despite the prevalence of human trafficking, the Italian Interior Ministry announced that 3,500 people crossed from Libya to Italy this year, which marks a 60% reduction compared to this time last year.

Posted in LibyaComments Off on In Libya, ISIS Is Using Human Trafficking to Finance Its Activities

Why We Can’t Ignore Libya, Enslavement and the Damages of US Intervention

NOVANEWS

By William C. AndersonTruthout 

Members of the Africa Diaspora Forum (ADF), civil society organisations, churches, trade unions and other coalitions wear chains and shout slogans during a demonstration against the slave trade and human trafficking in Libya on December 12, 2017 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. (Photo: Gulshan Khan / AFP / Getty Images)

Members of the Africa Diaspora Forum (ADF), civil society organisations, churches, trade unions and other coalitions wear chains and shout slogans during a demonstration against the slave trade and human trafficking in Libya on December 12, 2017, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. (Photo: Gulshan Khan / AFP / Getty Images)

In November, CNN released footage of Africans being sold into slavery at an auction in Libya, shocking and angering many around the world. The outlet reported witnessing “a dozen men being sold like commodities — some auctioned off for as little as $400.” However, though the auction has been portrayed as part of a recent phenomenon, the disaster that is enslavement is not new at all, even in the modern world. Though the conditions that enable such markets have grown increasingly bad in Libya amid instability after a US-backed NATO intervention, the enslavement of Africans — particularly in the Middle East and North Africa — has gone on for much longer than some care to remember.

In 2011, at the height of the Arab Spring, many people were ecstatic about the prospects of new governments throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The revolutionary rebellions throughout the affected countries happened quickly, one after another, following the initial uprising in Tunisia. Many — not only in the countries undergoing change, but throughout the world — were happy about what they felt was an opportunity within the grasp of many self-determined people calling for new governments. Still, there was also hesitancy among critical onlookers abroad and protesters alike regarding how much of the Arab Spring uprisings were playing out organically, wholly separate from the machinations of meddling Western nations. No matter where anyone stood, much of the world was watching intently.

Per usual, the United States and many other Western actors had chimed in on these happenings and deemed that they were largely positive developments for the prospects of new democracy. Despite the fact that the US and the Western world sponsored and directly inflicted much of the repression people were rising up against, these imperialist governments and former colonizers positioned themselves, in general, as supportive of the uprisings. They framed the movement as something in line with the supposed Western values of equality and the freedom to protest. Parts of the movements in support of revolution in some countries were strategically co-opted by the US and Western forces, and the devastating lessons of what happened are present with us today. We can see these insights very clearly when we begin to examine the state of Libya.

Understanding how Libya went from rule under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to a country marked by clashing brigades and markets trafficking enslaved Africans requires us to examine Western influence in recent years. We must acknowledge, first of all, that the human trafficking we’re now seeing was also happening throughout the Middle East and North Africa (including Libya) during or prior to Gaddafi’s reign. However, its intensification in the years since is no accident. It should be an uncontroversial statement to say that the international politics of the West rely heavily on the manipulation of political events. Situations that are both favorable and unfavorable to the West (and specifically the US) are hidden behind the sealed lips and political speeches of state theatrics. When the Arab Spring became a threat to the government of US-backed Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, the US waited and temporarily backed away without engaging in an all-out war intervention. However, the situation in Libya did not seem to warrant any restraint for US officials. Preexisting tensions with Gaddafi revolving around regional differences and conflicts between different groups in the country were ultimately exacerbated by the Western intervention. “We hope he can be captured or killed soon,” then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in 2011, referring to Col. Gaddafi, although he had been regularly cooperating with the West, notably Britain’s MI6, as well as agreeing to give up his nuclear arms in 2003. However, he was ultimately murdered during a NATO-backed intervention, despite his disarmament cooperation.

We came, we saw, he died,” Clinton stated infamously, laughing and clapping her hands together in celebration afterward. Prior to her chilling glee at Gaddafi’s murder, she had welcomed his son in 2009 on a visit to Washington, saying, “We deeply value the relationship between the United States and Libya,” and then stating she was looking forward to “building on the relationship” with Libya. It was only two years later that she would persuade President Obama to join other nations in bombing Libya to prevent Gaddafi from suppressing the Arab Spring protests. The war effort was bipartisan. A crucial observation we can gain here is the fickleness of politicians and how deadly and misleading appearances can be. Regardless of what one thinks about the brutal killing of Gaddafi — who was assassinated while begging for his life — we can observe that this extrajudicial action is a contradiction to the values the West claims to invest in abroad.

Gaddafi’s murder plunged Libya in a fight between warring factions. Power, as well as cultural and economic differences, fueled new conflict amid the confusion. While the transitional government attempted to maintain order, the problems extended beyond that government’s reach. Brigades controlling former military weapons and tools began clashing and running rampant. Those who many of us would describe as “Black people” in Libya (both living there and passing through as migrants) became targets by default, accused of supposedly being Gaddafi “mercenaries” and “loyalists,” often solely based on their appearance. This much wasn’t an accident or a mistake, but an opportunity to seize upon those who were already discriminated against and vulnerable in the midst of turmoil. Though reports of “Black Africans” being targeted by anti-Gaddafi forces were widespread in 2011, the US and NATO coalition went through with its intervention. The targeting and displacement of Tawerghans and the detaining of sub-Saharan migrants were opportunities that were seized upon by anti-Gaddafi forces during the conflict, and which still have repercussions today.

The migrant crisis worsened as much of the Arab Spring came to an unfortunate end, and many residents of the involved countries began to flee their homes. Empowered brigades and vigilantes took advantage of the vacuum created by Western intervention in Libya. What some thought would be new progress turned into new despots, instability and more repression. While countless people fled Syria, Iraq and other countries where other Western interventions had made life dangerous, Libya — which was a hub for many passing through on the way to Europe — was destabilized. Even now, many migrants who make it onto boats fleeing Western-engineered crises in the Middle East and North Africa are regularly at risk of robbery, abuse, drowning (forced or accidental), kidnapping, murder and rape by human traffickers. People on the boats are often given preferential treatment based on lighter skin tone. Even now, the West is more concerned with the desire to police migration (which it also negotiated with Gaddafi) and militarize the tragic situation it’s worsened. Ideas like reception centersmigrant patrols and even private police have been floated while Western accountability has been neglected.

None of this is new. The enslavement of Africans throughout the Middle East and North Africa is an age-old practice that has unfortunately carried on into this century. There is no mistake about why Black people are being targeted in the Middle East and North Africa; this is a standard rooted in the history of Arab enslavement of Africans. Enslavement and human trafficking of Africans is happening in Sudan and EgyptMauritania (a country with an active movement to end slavery); KuwaitQatar; Saudi Arabia; the United Arab Emirates; and many more. Even in Western countries like the UK and the United States, people are trafficked to be slaves. The Arabic word “abd” (plural: “abeed”) meaning “slave,” maintains its presence in all of the aforementioned places and elsewhere as a slur hurled at African and African-descended people.

It’s not surprising that the enslavement happening in Libya has drawn international attention throughout the African diaspora around the world. Black people abroad (and many celebrities in the US) have been enraged at a recent reminder that slavery, upon which the US was built, is not just in the past, but is actively happening today. The failure of the UN and African Union to alleviate the migrant crisis and halt the continuation of slave markets exposes the fact that when it comes to protecting and defending the most marginalized people, these organizations are often symbolic.

Tragedies like the current enslavement crisis have been worsened by the intervention, exploitation and the ruthless excess of the West. While some people living in Western nations like the US may show concern, the politicians we elect and the very foundation of the lives we live are based on the plunder and destruction of other countries. President Obama naively recalls Libya as the “worst mistake” of his presidency — as if US interventions ever have sincere motivations — and Hillary Clinton has made it clear she doesn’t share Obama’s sentiments. These “mistakes” that happen at the expense of millions of people’s lives and wellbeing become merely talking points and debate topics for the privileged few inside of empire. After all, crisis abroad helps build and maintain empires like the United States. No matter how concerned some of us may be in the West, we can help prevent these problems from growing worse by working to end imperial interventionism itself. Our lives are not more important than those who reside in the places that empire regularly uproots and destabilizes to exploit for surplus.

What is perhaps most unfortunate is that the US and other Western nations could possibly attempt to co-opt the current outrage to intervene on their own behalf anywhere in the Middle East or North Africa all over again. We must not let that happen. The only Western intervention needed is the one that should take place inside of the West: a movement of people demanding an end to the violence of empire itself. That intervention would benefit the whole world.

Posted in LibyaComments Off on Why We Can’t Ignore Libya, Enslavement and the Damages of US Intervention

Slave markets in ‘liberated’ Libya and the silence of the humanitarian hawks

NOVANEWS
Image result for Slave markets CARTOON
By Neil Clark  | RT 

The reports that black Africans are being sold at slave markets in ‘liberated’ Libya for as little as $400 is a terrible indictment of the so-called ‘humanitarian intervention’ carried out by NATO to topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

In March 2011 virtue-signaling Western ‘liberal’ hipsters teamed up with hardcore neocon warmongers to demand action to ‘save’ the Libyan people from the ‘despotic’ leader who had ruled the country since the late 1960s. “Something has to be done!” they cried in unison.

Something was done. Libya was transformed by NATO from the country with the highest Human Development Index in the whole of Africa in 2009 into a lawless hell-hole, with rival governments, warlords and terror groups fighting for control of the country.

Under Gaddafi, Libyans enjoyed free health care and education. Literacy rates went up from around 25 percent to almost 90 percent. A UN Human Rights Council report on Libya from January 2011, in which member states praised welfare provision, can be read here.

It was clear that while there were still areas of concern the country was continuing to make progress on a number of fronts.

In the Daily Telegraph – hardly a paper which could be accused of being an ideological supporter of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – Libya was hailed as one of the top six exotic cruise ship destinations in June 2010.

Cruise ships don’t have Libya on their itineraries today. It’s far too dangerous.

The only surprising thing about the return of slave markets (and it’s worth pointing out that before the CNN report, the UN agency, IOM also reported on their existence in Libya earlier this year) is that anyone should be surprised by it. Human rights and social progress usually go back hundreds of years whenever a NATO ‘humanitarian’ intervention takes place. And that’s not accidental. The ‘interventions,’ which purposely involve heavy bombing of the country’s infrastructure and the subsequent dismantling of the state apparatus are designed to reverse decades of social progress. The ‘failure to plan’ is actually the most important part of the plan, as my fellow OpEdger Dan Glazebrook details in his book Divide and Destroy – The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis.

Libya was targeted, like Yugoslavia and Iraq before it, not because of genuine concerns that ‘another Srebrenica’ was about to take place, (note the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee report of September 2016 held that ‘the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence’) but because it was a resource-rich country with an independently-minded government which operated a predominantly state-owned socialistic economy in a strategically important part of the world.

Neither Libya, Iraq or Yugoslavia did the bidding of the West’s endless war lobby, which is why they were earmarked for destruction. The chaos which routinely follows a NATO regime change op is a ghastly experience for the locals, who see their living standards plummet and their risk of violent death in a terrorist attack greatly increase, but great for rapacious Western corporations who then move in to the ‘liberated’ country en masse, taking advantage of the lack of a strong central authority.

Of course, this is never mentioned in NATO-friendly media. The role of the Western elites in turning previously functioning welfare states into failed states is missing from most mainstream reports on the countries post ‘liberation.’

In his recent piece for FAIR, journalist Ben Norton noted how reports “overwhelmingly spoke of slavery in Libya as an apolitical and timeless human rights issue, not as a political problem rooted in very recent history.”

The dominant narrative is that slave markets have re-emerged in Libya ‘as if by magic,’just like Mr. Benn’s shopkeeper. The country’s ’instability’ is mentioned, but not the cause of that instability, namely the violent overthrow of the country’s government in 2011 and the Western backing of extremist, and in some cases blatantly racist, death squads. Everyone is blamed for the mess except the powerful, protected people and lobbyists who are ultimately responsible.

The French government played a leading role in the destruction of Libya in 2011, yet today the French president, the ‘progressive’ Emmanuel Macron blames ‘Africans’ for the country’s slavery problem. “Who are the traffickers? Ask yourselves – being the African youth – that question. You are unbelievable. Who are the traffickers? They are Africans, my friends. They are Africans.”

Macron, like other Western leaders, wants us to see the slavery issue in close-up, and not in long-shot. Because if we do, NATO comes into the picture.

There is similar whitewashing over Iraq and the rise of ISIS. Again, we are supposed to regard the group’s emergence as “just one of those things.” But ISIS was not a force when the secular Baathist Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq; it only grew following his ousting and the chaos which followed the occupiers’ dismantling of the entire state apparatus.

Six-and-a-half years on, it’s revealing to look back at the things the cheerleaders for the ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya were saying in early 2011 and what actually happened as a result of NATO’s 26,500 sorties.

“The price of inaction is too high” was the title of one piece by David Aaronovitch in The Times, dated March 18, 2011. “If we don’t bomb Gadaffi’s tanks, Europe is likely to face a wave of refugees and a new generation of jihadis,” was the synopsis.

Guess what? The West’s military alliance did bomb Gaddafi’s tanks (and a lot more besides) and we got “a wave of refugees” of Biblical proportions and “a new generation of jihadis,” including the Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi.

But there’s been no mea culpa from Aaronovitch, nor from his Times colleague Oliver Kamm – who attacked me after I had penned an article in the Daily Express calling for NATO to halt its action.

In the Telegraph, Matthew d’Ancona wrote a piece entitled ‘Libya is Cameron’s chance to exorcise the ghost of Iraq.’

In fact, the experience of Iraq should have led all genuine humanitarians to oppose the NATO assault. In many ways, as John Wight argues here,

Libya was an even worse crime than the invasion of Iraq because it came afterward. There was really no excuse for anyone seeing how the ‘regime change’ operation of 2003 had turned out, supporting a similar venture in North Africa.

Unsurprisingly the politicians and pundits who couldn’t stop talking about Libya in 2011 and the West’s ‘responsibility to protect’ civilians seem less keen to talk about the country today.

Libya and its problems have vanished from the comment pages. It’s the same after every Western ‘intervention’: saturation coverage before and during the ‘liberation,’ bellicose calls from the totally unaccountable neocon/liberal punditocracy for military action to ‘save the people’ from the latest ‘New Hitler,’ and then silence afterwards as the country hurtles back in time to the Dark Ages.

The ‘liberators’ of Libya have moved on to other more important things in 2017, with Russophobia the current obsession. Anything, in fact, to distract us from the disastrous consequences of their actions.

 

Read more:

Macron urges military action in Libya to fight human trafficking

Posted in LibyaComments Off on Slave markets in ‘liberated’ Libya and the silence of the humanitarian hawks

Syrian War Report – December 1, 2017: ISIS Plans To Move Its Caliphate To Libya

NOVANEWS

…from SouthFront

The elite Tiger Forces have reportedly redeployed most of its units from the province of Deir Ezzor to northeastern Hama and southern Aleppo to support the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in its clashes against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in the area. Pro—government sources speculate that this is a sign of the upcoming large-scale advance towards the Abu al-Duhur Airbase.

Members of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have successfully counter-attacked against the SAA and entered the villages of Ramlah and Abisan. Two SAA soldiers were reportedly captured by militants.

On November 30, Ahrar al-Sham said that its members have repelled an SAA attack on its positions in the Armored Vehicles Base in Damascus’ Eastern Ghouta. The militant group added that a battle tank of the SAA was destroyed during the clashes.

Pro-government sources claimed on November 21 that the SAA had restored control over the entire area of the base after repelling the attack of Ahrar al-Sham. However, it appears that the militants still control some positions in the command section of the base.

The US-led coalition has announced that it withdraws the 1st Battalion of the 10th Marine Regiment from Syria. The battalion includes 400 US marines armed with M777 howitzers. The US Marines participated in the Raqqah battle supporting the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has ordered the remnants of the terrorist group to focus on Libya to compensate for losses in Iraq and Syria, the UK-based Saudi newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported. The report quoted documents allegedly found in ISIS locations in various parts of Libya, including al-Baghdadi’s letters to 13 of his top supporters. The documents contained orders to turn southern Libya into a new ISIS base, which will be used for operations in North Africa, including Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Army, told Fox News that al-Baghdadi is currently hiding in the ISIS-held area on the Syrian-Iraqi border. According to the general, the terrorists’ leader sustained “severe injuries” on February 11 as a result of the Iraqi airstrike on the city of al-Qaim.

If al-Baghdadi is really alive, he and his inner circle will likely attempt to leave the shrinking ISIS-held area in Syria and Iraq soon and to establish a new ISIS base in some African or Asian country. It’s high likely that Libya can become such a country.

Posted in Middle East, Iraq, Libya, SyriaComments Off on Syrian War Report – December 1, 2017: ISIS Plans To Move Its Caliphate To Libya

Slave Markets in ‘Liberated’ Libya and the Silence of the Humanitarian Hawks

NOVANEWS

The reports that black Africans are being sold at slave markets in ‘liberated’ Libya for as little as $400 is a terrible indictment of the so-called ‘humanitarian intervention’ carried out by NATO to topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

In March 2011 virtue-signaling Western ‘liberal’ hipsters teamed up with hardcore neocon warmongers to demand action to ‘save’ the Libyan people from the ‘despotic’ leader who had ruled the country since the late 1960s. “Something has to be done!” they cried in unison.

Something was done. Libya was transformed by NATO from the country with the highest Human Development Index in the whole of Africa in 2009 into a lawless hell-hole, with rival governments, warlords and terror groups fighting for control of the country.

Under Gaddafi, Libyans enjoyed free health care and education. Literacy rates went up from around 25 percent to almost 90 percent. A UN Human Rights Council report on Libya from January 2011, in which member states praised welfare provision, can be read here.

It was clear that while there were still areas of concern the country was continuing to make progress on a number of fronts.

In the Daily Telegraph – hardly a paper which could be accused of being an ideological supporter of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – Libya was hailed as one of the top six exotic cruise ship destinations in June 2010.

View image on Twitter

Libya before and after US & UK given “freedom”

Cruise ships don’t have Libya on their itineraries today. It’s far too dangerous.

The only surprising thing about the return of slave markets (and it’s worth pointing out that before the CNN report, the UN agency, IOM also reported on their existence in Libya earlier this year) is that anyone should be surprised by it. Human rights and social progress usually go back hundreds of years whenever a NATO ‘humanitarian’ intervention takes place. And that’s not accidental. The ‘interventions,’ which purposely involve heavy bombing of the country’s infrastructure and the subsequent dismantling of the state apparatus are designed to reverse decades of social progress. The ‘failure to plan’ is actually the most important part of the plan, as my fellow OpEdger Dan Glazebrook details in his book Divide and Destroy – The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis.

‘Three countries, three continents: One imperial Western project’ (Op-Edge by @NeilClark66http://on.rt.com/8hbx 

Three countries, three continents: One imperial Western project — RT Op-Edge

A resource-rich, socialist-led, multi-ethnic secular state, with an economic system characterized by a high level of public/social ownership and generous provision of welfare, education and social…

rt.com

Libya was targeted, like Yugoslavia and Iraq before it, not because of genuine concerns that ‘another Srebrenica’ was about to take place, (note the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee report of September 2016 held that ‘the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence’) but because it was a resource-rich country with an independently-minded government which operated a predominantly state-owned socialistic economy in a strategically important part of the world.

Neither Libya, Iraq or Yugoslavia did the bidding of the West’s endless war lobby, which is why they were earmarked for destruction. The chaos which routinely follows a NATO regime change op is a ghastly experience for the locals, who see their living standards plummet and their risk of violent death in a terrorist attack greatly increase, but great for rapacious Western corporations who then move in to the ‘liberated’ country en masse, taking advantage of the lack of a strong central authority.

Of course, this is never mentioned in NATO-friendly media. The role of the Western elites in turning previously functioning welfare states into failed states is missing from most mainstream reports on the countries post ‘liberation.’

In his recent piece for FAIR, journalist Ben Norton noted how reports “overwhelmingly spoke of slavery in Libya as an apolitical and timeless human rights issue, not as a political problem rooted in very recent history.

The dominant narrative is that slave markets have re-emerged in Libya ‘as if by magic,’just like Mr. Benn’s shopkeeper. The country’s ’instability’ is mentioned, but not the cause of that instability, namely the violent overthrow of the country’s government in 2011 and the Western backing of extremist, and in some cases blatantly racist, death squads. Everyone is blamed for the mess except the powerful, protected people and lobbyists who are ultimately responsible.

The French government played a leading role in the destruction of Libya in 2011, yet today the French president, the ‘progressive’ Emmanuel Macron blames ‘Africans’ for the country’s slavery problem. “Who are the traffickers? Ask yourselves – being the African youth – that question. You are unbelievable. Who are the traffickers? They are Africans, my friends. They are Africans.

Macron, like other Western leaders, wants us to see the slavery issue in close-up, and not in long-shot. Because if we do, NATO comes into the picture.

There is similar whitewashing over Iraq and the rise of ISIS. Again, we are supposed to regard the group’s emergence as “just one of those things.” But ISIS was not a force when the secular Baathist Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq; it only grew following his ousting and the chaos which followed the occupiers’ dismantling of the entire state apparatus.

The result of intervening in Libya has been “disappointing at the very least”, says Observer leader, arguing against action in Syria. Balls.

Six-and-a-half years on, it’s revealing to look back at the things the cheerleaders for the ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya were saying in early 2011 and what actually happened as a result of NATO’s 26,500 sorties.

The price of inaction is too high” was the title of one piece by David Aaronovitch in The Times, dated March 18, 2011.

If we don’t bomb Gadaffi’s tanks, Europe is likely to face a wave of refugees and a new generation of jihadis,” was the synopsis.

Guess what? The West’s military alliance did bomb Gaddafi’s tanks (and a lot more besides) and we got “a wave of refugees” of Biblical proportions and “a new generation of jihadis,” including the Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi.

But there’s been no mea culpa from Aaronovitch, nor from his Times colleague Oliver Kamm – who attacked me after I had penned an article in the Daily Express calling for NATO to halt its action.

In the Telegraph, Matthew d’Ancona wrote a piece entitled ‘Libya is Cameron’s chance to exorcise the ghost of Iraq.’

In fact, the experience of Iraq should have led all genuine humanitarians to oppose the NATO assault. In many ways, as John Wight argues here,

Libya was an even worse crime than the invasion of Iraq because it came afterward. There was really no excuse for anyone seeing how the ‘regime change’ operation of 2003 had turned out, supporting a similar venture in North Africa.

Unsurprisingly the politicians and pundits who couldn’t stop talking about Libya in 2011 and the West’s ‘responsibility to protect’ civilians seem less keen to talk about the country today.

Libya and its problems have vanished from the comment pages. It’s the same after every Western ‘intervention’: saturation coverage before and during the ‘liberation,’ bellicose calls from the totally unaccountable neocon/liberal punditocracy for military action to ‘save the people’ from the latest ‘New Hitler,’ and then silence afterwards as the country hurtles back in time to the Dark Ages.

The ‘liberators’ of Libya have moved on to other more important things in 2017, with Russophobia the current obsession. Anything, in fact, to distract us from the disastrous consequences of their actions.

Posted in LibyaComments Off on Slave Markets in ‘Liberated’ Libya and the Silence of the Humanitarian Hawks

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