Tag Archive | "LIBYA"

Media Erase NATO Role in Bringing Slave Markets to Libya


NOVANEWS

Twenty-first century slave markets. Human beings sold for a few hundred dollars. Massive protests throughout the world.

The American and British media have awakened to the grim reality in Libya, where African refugees are for sale in open-air slave markets. Yet a crucial detail in this scandal has been downplayed or even ignored in many corporate media reports: the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in bringing slavery to the North African nation.

In March 2011, NATO launched a war in Libya expressly aimed at toppling the government of longtime leader Muammar Qadhafi. The US and its allies flew some 26,000 sorties over Libya and launched hundreds of cruise missiles, destroying the government’s ability to resist rebel forces.

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with their European counterparts, insisted the military intervention was being carried out for humanitarian reasons. But political scientist Micah Zenko (Foreign Policy3/22/16) used NATO’s own materials to show how “the Libyan intervention was about regime change from the very start.”

NATO supported an array of rebel groups fighting on the ground in Libya, many of which were dominated by Islamist extremists and harbored violently racist views. Militants in the NATO-backed rebel stronghold of Misrata even referred to themselves in 2011 as “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin”—an eerie foreshadowing of the horrors that were to come.

The war ended in October 2011. US and European aircraft attacked Qadhafi’s convoy, and he was brutally murdered by extremist rebels—sodomized with a bayonet. Secretary Clinton, who played a decisive role in the war, declared live on CBS News (10/20/11), “We came, we saw, he died!” The Libyan government dissolved soon after.

In the six years since, Libya has been roiled by chaos and bloodshed. Multiple would-be governments are competing for control of the oil-rich country, and in some areas there is still no functioning central authority. Many thousands of people have died, although the true numbers are impossible to verify. Millions of Libyans have been displaced—a staggering number, nearly one-third of the population, had fled to neighboring Tunisia by 2014.

Corporate media, however, have largely forgotten about the key role NATO played in destroying Libya’s government, destabilizing the country and empowering human traffickers.

Moreover, even the few news reports that do acknowledge NATO’s complicity in the chaos in Libya do not go a step further and detail the well-documented, violent racism of the NATO-backed Libyan rebels who ushered in slavery after ethnically cleansing and committing brutal crimes against black Libyans.

O NATO, Where Art Thou?

CNN (11/14/17) published an explosive story in mid-November that offered a firsthand look at the slave trade in Libya. The media network obtained terrifying video that shows young African refugees being auctioned, “big strong boys for farm work,” sold for as little as $400.

CNN: People for Sale

CNN (11/14/17) does not bring up the US role in allowing people to be sold.

The flashy CNN multimedia report included bonuses galore: two videos, two animated gifs, two photos and a chart. But something was missing: The 1,000-word story made no mention of NATO, or the 2011 war that destroyed Libya’s government, or Muammar Qadhafi, or any kind of historical and political context whatsoever.

Despite these huge flaws, the CNN report was widely celebrated, and made an impact in a corporate media apparatus that otherwise cares little about North Africa. A flurry of media reports followed. These stories overwhelmingly spoke of slavery in Libya as an apolitical and timeless human rights issue, not as a political problem rooted in very recent history.

In subsequent stories, when Libyan and United Nations officials announced they would launch an investigation into the slave auctions, CNN (11/17/1711/20/17) again failed to mention the 2011 war, let alone NATO’s role in it.

One CNN report (11/21/17) on a UN Security Council meeting noted, “Ambassadors from Senegal to Sweden also blamed trafficking’s root causes: unstable countries, poverty, profits from slave trading and lack of legal enforcement.” But it failed to explain why Libya is unstable.

Another 1,200-word CNN follow-up article (11/23/17) was just as obfuscatory. It was only in the 35th paragraph of this 36-graf story that a Human Rights Watch researcher noted, “Libyan interim authorities have been dragging their feet on virtually all investigations they supposedly started, yet never concluded, since the 2011 uprising.” NATO’s leadership in this 2011 uprising was, however, ignored.

An Agence France-Presse news wire that was published by Voice of America (11/17/17) and other websites similarly failed to provide any historical context for the political situation in Libya. “Testimony collected by AFP in recent years has revealed a litany of rights abuses at the hands of gang leaders, human traffickers and the Libyan security forces,” the article said, but it did not recount anything that happened before 2017.

Reports by the BBC (11/18/17), the New York Times (11/20/17), Deutsche Welle (reprinted by USA Today11/23/17) and the Associated Press (reprinted by theWashington Post11/23/17) also failed to mention the 2011 war, let alone NATO’s role in it.

NYT: Sale of Migrants as Slaves in Libya Causes Outrage in Africa and Paris

New York Times story (11/19/17) was exceptional in connecting the rise in Libyan slavery to Muammar Qadhafi’s overthrow–yet it failed to mention the US’s leading role in that overthrow.

Another New York Times story (11/19/17) did provide a bit of context:

Since the Arab Spring uprising of 2011 ended the brutal rule of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, Libya’s coast has became a hub for human trafficking and smuggling. That has fueled the illegal migration crisis that Europe has been scrambling to contain since 2014. Libya, which slid into chaos and civil war after the revolt, is now divided among three main factions.

Yet the Times still erased NATO’s key place in this uprising of 2011.

In an account of the large protests that erupted outside Libyan embassies in Europe and Africa in response to reports of slave auctions, Reuters (11/20/17) indicated, “Six years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is still a lawless state where armed groups compete for land and resources and people-smuggling networks operate with impunity.” But it did not provide any more information about how Qadhafi was toppled.

A report in the Huffington Post (11/22/17), later republished by AOL (11/27/17), did concede that Libya is “one of the world’s most unstable [sic], mired in conflict since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in 2011.” It made no mention of NATO’s leadership in that ousting and killing.

Part of the problem has been the unwillingness of international organizations to point out the responsibility of powerful Western governments. In his statement on the reports of slavery in Libya, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres (11/20/17) did not mention anything about what has happened politically inside the North African nation in the past six years. The UN News Centre report (11/20/17) on Guterres’ comments was just as contextless and uninformative, as was the press release (11/21/17) on the issue from the International Organization for Migration.

Al Jazeera (11/26/17) did cite an IOM official who suggested, in Al Jazeera‘s words, that “the international community should pay more attention to post-Gaddafi Libya.” But the media outlet provided no context as to how Libya became post-Qadhafi in the first place. In fact, Al Jazeera‘s source went out of his way to make the issue apolitical: “Modern-day slavery is widespread around the world and Libya is by no means unique.”

While it is true that slavery and human trafficking happen in other countries, this widespread media narrative depoliticizes the problem in Libya, which has its roots in explicit political decisions made by governments and their leaders: namely, the choice to overthrow Libya’s stable government, turning the oil-rich North African nation into a failed state ruled by competing warlords and militias, some of which are involved in and profit from slavery and trafficking.

Selective Attention to NATO’s Aftermath in Libya

Corporate media reporting on Libya largely mirrors reporting on Yemen (FAIR.org11/20/178/31/172/27/17), Syria (FAIR.org4/7/179/5/15) and beyond: The role of the US government and its allies in creating chaos abroad is minimized, if not outright ignored.

Strikingly, one of the only exceptions to this overwhelming media trend came back in April from, of all places, the New York Times editorial board. The Times editorial (4/14/17) did not mince words, directly linking the US-backed military operation to the ongoing catastrophe:

None of this would be possible if not for the political chaos in Libya since the civil war in 2011, when — with the involvement of a NATO coalition that included the United States — Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was toppled. Migrants have become the gold that finances Libya’s warring factions.

This is a significant reversal. Immediately after NATO launched its war in Libya in March 2011, the Times editorial board (3/21/11) cheered on the bombing, effusing, “Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has long been a thug and a murderer who has never paid for his many crimes.” It waxed poetic on the “extraordinary,” “astonishing” military intervention, and hoped for Qadhafi’s imminent downfall.

The April 2017 Times editorial stopped far short of a being a mea culpa, yet it was still a rare admission of truth.

At the time this surprisingly honest editorial was written, there had briefly been a bit of media attention to Libya. The International Organization for Migration had just conducted an investigation into slavery in post–regime change Libya, leading to a string of news reports in the Guardian (4/10/17) and elsewhere. Practically as soon as this appalling story got the interest of corporate media, however, it quickly died out. Attention shifted back to Russia, North Korea and the bogeymen of the day.

Guardian: Migrants from west Africa being ‘sold in Libyan slave markets’

This Guardian piece (4/10/17) cites “the overthrow of autocratic leader Muammar Qadhafi,” but does not say that the US (or Britain) was instrumental in overthrowing him.

When Western governments were hoping to militarily intervene in the country in the lead-up to March 19, 2011, there was a constant torrent of media reports on the evils of Qadhafi and his government—including a healthy dose of fake news (Salon9/16/16). Major newspapers staunchly supported the NATO intervention, and made no secret of their pro-war editorial lines.

When the US government and its allies were preparing for war, the corporate media apparatus did what it does best, and helped sell yet another military intervention to the public.

In the years since, on the other hand, there has been exponentially less interest in the disastrous aftermath of that NATO war. There will be short spikes of interest, as there was in early 2017. The most recent spurt of press coverage was inspired by the publication of CNN‘s shocking video footage. But the coverage invariably rapidly peaks and goes away.

The Extreme Racism of Libyan Rebels

The catastrophe Libya might endure after the collapse of its state had been predictable at the time. Qadhafi himself had warned NATO member states, while they were waging war against him, that they were going to unleash chaos throughout the region. Yet Western leaders—Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the US, David Cameron in the UK, Nicolas Sarkozy in France, Stephen Harper in Canada—ignored Qadhafi’s admonition and violently toppled his government.

Even from the small number of media reports on slavery in Libya that do manage to acknowledge NATO’s responsibility for destabilizing the country, nevertheless, something is still missing.

Looking back at Libya’s anti-Qadhafi rebels, both during and after the 2011 war, it is very clear that hardline anti-black racism was widespread in the NATO-backed opposition. A 2016 investigation by the British House of Common’s Foreign Affairs Committee (Salon9/16/16) acknowledged that “militant Islamist militias played a critical role in the rebellion from February 2011 onwards.” But many rebels were not just fundamentalist; they were also violently racist.

It is unfortunately no surprise that these extremist Libyan militants later enslaved African refugees and migrants: They were hinting at it from the very beginning.

Most American and European media coverage at the time of NATO’s military intervention was decidedly pro-rebel. When reporters got on the ground, however, they began publishing a few more nuanced pieces that hinted at the reality of the opposition. These were insignificant in number, but they are enlightening and worth revisiting.

Three months into the NATO war, in June 2011, the Wall Street Journal‘s Sam Dagher (6/21/11) reported from Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city and a major hub for the opposition, where he noted he saw rebel slogans like “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin.”

Dahger indicated that the rebel stronghold of Misrata was dominated by “tightly knit white merchant families,” whereas “the south of the country, which is predominantly black, mainly backs Col. Gadhafi.”

Other graffiti in Misrata read “Traitors keep out.” By “traitors,” rebels were referring to Libyans from the town of Tawergha, which the Journal explained is “inhabited mostly by black Libyans, a legacy of its 19th-century origins as a transit town in the slave trade.”

Dagher reported that some Libyan rebel leaders were “calling for the expulsion of Tawerghans from the area” and “banning Tawergha natives from ever working, living or sending their children to schools in Misrata.” He added that predominately Tawergha neighborhoods in Misrata had already been emptied. Black Libyans were “gone or in hiding, fearing revenge attacks by Misratans, amid reports of bounties for their capture.”

The rebel commander Ibrahim al-Halbous told the Journal, “Tawergha no longer exists, only Misrata.”

Al-Halbous would later reappear in a report by the Sunday Telegraph (9/11/11), reiterating to the British newspaper, “Tawarga no longer exists.” (When Halbous was injured in September, the New York Times9/20/11—portrayed him sympathetically as a martyr in the heroic fight against Qadhafi. The Halbous brigade has in the years since become an influential militia in Libya.)

Like Dagher, the Telegraph‘s Andrew Gilligan drew attention to the slogan painted on the road between Misrata and Tawergha: “the brigade for purging slaves [and] black skin.”

Gilligan reported from Tawergha, or rather from the remnants of the majority-black town, which he noted had “been emptied of its people, vandalized and partly burned by rebel forces.” A rebel leader said of the dark-skinned residents, “We said if they didn’t go, they would be conquered and imprisoned. Every single one of them has left, and we will never allow them to come back.”

Gilligan noted “a racist undercurrent. Many Tawargas, though neither immigrants nor Gaddafi’s much-ballyhooed African mercenaries, are descended from slaves, and are darker than most Libyans.”

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization assisted these virulently racist rebels in Misrata. NATO forces frequently launched air attacks on the city. French fighter jets shot down Libyan planes over Misrata. The US and UK fired cruise missiles at Libyan government targets, and the US launched Predator drone strikes. The Canadian air force also attacked Libyan forces, pushing them out of Misrata.

In a public relations video NATO published in May 2011, early in the Libya war, the Western military alliance openly admitted that it intentionally allowed “Libyan rebels to transport arms from Benghazi to Misrata.” Political scientist Micah Zenko (Foreign Policy3/22/16) pointed out the implications of this video: “A NATO surface vessel stationed in the Mediterranean to enforce an arms embargo did exactly the opposite, and NATO was comfortable posting a video demonstrating its hypocrisy.”

Throughout the war and after, Libyan rebels continued carrying out racist sectarian attacks against their black compatriots. These attacks have been well documented by mainstream human rights organizations.

HRW: Libya: Stop Arbitrary Arrests of Black Africans

Human Rights Watch (9/4/11) documented racist persecution in post-Qadhafi Libya.

Human Rights Watch’s longtime executive director Kenneth Roth cheered on NATO intervention in Libya in 2011, calling the UN Security Council’s unanimous endorsement of a no-fly zone a “remarkable” confirmation of the so-called “responsibility to protect” doctrine.

Roth’s organization, however, could not ignore the crimes anti-Qadhafi militants committed against dark-skinned Libyans and migrants.

In September 2011, when the war was still ongoing, Human Rights Watch reported on Libyan rebels’ “arbitrary arrests and abuse of African migrant workers and black Libyans assumed to be [pro-Qadhafi] mercenaries.”

Then in October, the top US human rights organization noted that Libyan militias were “terrorizing the displaced residents of the nearby town of Tawergha,” the majority-black community that had been a stronghold of support for Qadhafi. “The entire town of 30,000 people is abandoned—some of it ransacked and burned—and Misrata brigade commanders say the residents of Tawergha should never return,” HRW added. Witnesses “gave credible accounts of some Misrata militias shooting unarmed Tawerghans, and of arbitrary arrests and beatings of Tawerghan detainees, in a few cases leading to death.”

In 2013, HRW reported further on the ethnic cleansing of the black community of Tawergha. The human rights organization, whose chief had so effusively supported the military intervention, wrote: “The forced displacement of roughly 40,000 people, arbitrary detentions, torture and killings are widespread, systematic and sufficiently organized to be crimes against humanity.”

These atrocities are undeniable, and they lead a path straight to the enslavement of African refugees and migrants. But to acknowledge NATO’s complicity in empowering these racist extremist militants, corporate media would have to acknowledge NATO’s role in the 2011 regime change war in Libya in the first place.

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Libya: Ten Things About Gaddafi They Don’t Want You to Know


This article was first published by Global Research in November 2014. Today Libya as a Nation State has been destroyed by US-NATO.

What do you think of when you hear the name Colonel Gaddafi? Tyrant? Dictator? Terrorist? Well, a national citizen of Libya may disagree but we want you to decide.

For 41 years until his demise in October 2011, Muammar Gaddafi did some truly amazing things for his country and repeatedly tried to unite and empower the whole of Africa.

So despite what you’ve heard on the radio, seen in the media or on the TV, Gaddafi did some powerful things that are not characteristic of a “vicious dictator” as portrayed by the western media.

Here are ten things Gaddafi did for Libya that you may not know about…

Muammar Gaddafi Libya

1. In Libya a home is considered a natural human right

In Gaddafi’s Green Book it states: ”The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others”. Gaddafi’s Green Book is the formal leader’s political philosophy, it was first published in 1975 and was intended reading for all Libyans even being included in the national curriculum.

2. Education and medical treatment were all free

Under Gaddafi, Libya could boast one of the best healthcare services in the Middle East and Africa.  Also if a Libyan citizen could not access the desired educational course or correct medical treatment in Libya they were funded to go abroad.

3. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project

The largest irrigation system in the world also known as the great manmade river was designed to make water readily available to all Libyan’s across the entire country. It was funded by the Gaddafi government and it said that Gaddafi himself called it ”the eighth wonder of the world”.

4. It was free to start a farming business

If any Libyan wanted to start a farm they were given a house, farm land and live stock and seeds all free of charge.

5. A bursary was given to mothers with newborn babies

When a Libyan woman gave birth she was given 5000 (US dollars) for herself and the child.

6. Electricity was free

Electricity was free in Libya meaning absolutely no electric bills!

7.  Cheap petrol

During Gaddafi’s reign the price of petrol in Libya was as low as 0.14 (US dollars) per litre.

8. Gaddafi raised the level of education

Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. This figure was brought up to 87% with 25% earning university degrees.

9. Libya had It’s own state bank

Libya had its own State bank, which provided loans to citizens at zero percent interest by law and they had no external debt.

10. The gold dinar

Before the fall of Tripoli and his untimely demise, Gaddafi was trying to introduce a single African currency linked to gold. Following in the foot steps of the late great pioneer Marcus Garvey who first coined the term ”United States of Africa”. Gaddafi wanted to introduce and only trade in the African gold Dinar  – a move which would have thrown the world economy into chaos.

The Dinar was widely opposed by the ‘elite’ of today’s society and who could blame them. African nations would have finally had the power to bring itself out of debt and poverty and only trade in this precious commodity. They would have been able to finally say ‘no’ to external exploitation and charge whatever they felt suitable for precious resources. It has been said that the gold Dinar was the real reason for the NATO led rebellion, in a bid to oust the outspoken leader.

So, was Muammar Gaddafi a Terrorist?

Few can answer this question fairly, but if anyone can, it’s a Libyan citizen who has lived under his reign? Whatever the case, it seems rather apparent that he did some positive things for his country despite the infamous notoriety surrounding his name. And that’s something you should try to remember when judging in future.

This quirky video documentary spells out an interesting, if rather different, story from the one we think we know.

 

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Libya: A New False Dawn


NOVANEWS
 

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. That quote is worth bearing in mind when assessing the chances of the latest United Nations peace plan for Libya.

Every autumn, along with the falling leaves, comes a new UN plan for ending Libya’s civil war, now into its fourth year.

Like the plans before it, the current version of the United Nations Support Mission for Libya has superficial attractions.

It proposes a new slimmed-down version of the government the UN itself installed in Tripoli two years ago, cutting the number of its presidency from nine members to three, one chosen from each of the country’s three regions.

The elected parliament in Tobruk voted yes to it this week, and there were encouraging signs from its rival, unelected, parliament, the State Council in Tripoli. Cue optimistic words from the new UN envoy, Ghassan Salame, to the United Nations Security Council – his boss – earlier this month about how the peace process is advancing.

But the reality is, it ain’t going to work.

And it ain’t going to work for the same reason that all the previous UN peace plans didn’t work.

The most obvious reason why it will not work is right there in the UN plan: The three-strong presidency needs to be agreed by a grand council of all Libya’s factions, expected to be called by the UN in February, which will also decide a date for new elections. But if all Libya’s factions could agree a way forward, there would never have been a civil war in the first place.

That is reality behind the superficial optimism that greeted the yes-vote to the new presidency by Tobruk – Libya’s only governing group that was actually elected.

The UN’s powerlessness was exposed two weeks ago, when Tobruk refused to let a UN plane, bringing western Libyan MPs to the parliament, was refused permission to land. The UN greeted this with a meek protest, and nothing more. Outside powers have other things to think about, and there was no Big Power heft to push Tobruk to change its mind.

The reality is that the country remains in political turmoil.

In the east, supporters of Tobruk’s army commander, Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, have begun a petition for him to be declared Libyan President. This likely will not work and the Field Marshall himself knows it is not necessary. After his successful operations against Islamists, clearing them from Benghazi, Libya’s second city, he has a fair chance of walking it to victory if Libya held a Presidential election.

With Benghazi free, the city is shrugging off three years of battle. Flights and shipping are being transferred from Tobruk, at Libya’s eastern extremity, back to Benghazi. Oil is flowing from the Sirte Basin, where the country’s oil wealth is concentrated.

Tripoli, meanwhile, is undergoing more and more deportations: The militias who control the streets fight each other, kidnappings are endemic, and citizens are humiliated by having to line up for hours to withdraw paltry sums of money from state banks just to survive. All of which is an indictment on the Tripoli government which, despite UN backing, has failed to impose itself.

In other words, eastern Libya is humming, and will not bend its knee to any UN plan not to its liking.​​​ Outside powers are also disunited. France and Italy both had strategies, Italy backing the Tripoli rulers, France Tobruk. Russia has also signaled support for Tobruk, enjoying warm relations with Haftar, though formally all three states endorse the “UN process.”

The wild card is the United States. The Trump administration has kept its distance from Libya, with Trump himself declaring the US has “no interest” in the country.

That may be changing. This month Libya’s oil chief Mustafa Sanallah and, reportedly, a member of Haftar’s entourage, were both in Houston to meet Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The location of the meetings was important: Tillerson is an oil man, the former chief executive of Exxon, and Houston is also the HQ of American oil companies who have a presence in eastern Libya. The companies are keen to see production get going again, and Haftar’s advisors are keen to remind them that, since capturing the Sirte Basin from assorted militias a year back, the general has allowed the oil to flow unlike the militias who held it to ransom.​

In the end, Libya’s war is likely to be settled by old fashioned great-powers moves, not the illusionary plans of the disrespected UN.

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Libya’s sub-Saharan “slave market” footage sparks global outrage


NOVANEWS

There has been global outrage after the CNN released a shocking video showing dozens of sub-Saharan migrants being sold like commodities.

The footage shows young boys and men from Niger and other sub-Saharan countries being sold to buyers as farm workers for about $400 (£300) at undisclosed locations in Libya.

The African Union (AU) has expressed outrage after the footage, demanding prosecutions over a “despicable” trade “from another era”.

The chairman of the AU, President Alpha Conde of Guinea, said: “These modern slavery practices must end and the African Union will use all the tools at its disposal.”

Libya has launched an investigation into the practice, the CNN reported on Friday.

“A high-level committee has been convened encompassing representatives from all the security apparatus to oversee this investigation,” Anes Alazabi, an official with the internationally recognised government of Libya’s Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency, told CNN.

Mr Alazabi added: “Priorities of the investigation are not only to convict those responsible for these inhumane acts, but also to identify the location of those who have been sold in order to bring them to safety and return them to their countries of origin.”

The Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency will be overseeing the probe.

Part of its work will be to assess whether all the locations of these auctions are under the control of the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.

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The UN Losing Poker Hand in Libya


Featured image: Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar

In poker, smart players know that the best thing to do with a weak hand is dump it.

Not so the United Nations. Libya is doubling down on backing the failing Government of National Accord (GNA), hoping that by reopening its UN base in the capital, the previously fortified “Palm City Complex,” things will improve.

They are also sending some sending in Gurkha “Security Guards,” but nowhere near enough to actually make a difference against the Tripoli-based militias. For two hundred years the Gurkhas have been the most feared force in the British Army. If anyone can destroy the Tripoli militias, they can, but what’s the point? Why shore up an unelected five-man government?

The GNA was created by the UN two years ago to unite the country and end the civil war. Instead, the GNA’s cabinet is unable even to unite Tripoli, which is “controlled” by various militias. Hence the need for Gurkhas to stop militias overrunning the ostentatious UN compound, “Palm City,” which is itself a provocation to the Libyan people.

The elected parliament in Tobruk, rival to the GNA, is increasingly calling the shots. Thanks to the increasingly popular Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Tobruk now controls the majority of the country and its oil infrastructure and ports. The idea that the GNA will ever rule over areas held by Tobruk is laughable. But, having created the GNA, the UN remains determined to back it. Last week Haftar banned GNA personnel from visiting the East — so much for the alleged French July détente efforts.

What makes the UN case so hopeless is that outside powers are split and at odds – in particular France and Italy — over who to support.

One European country is even pondering supporting the son of the late Colonel Gaddafi — that is how desperate the situation has become.

Italy supports the GNA because militias in western Libya are in a position to stop people-smuggling. Italy faces parliamentary elections in 2018 and politicians are aware the electorate will focus on the immigration issue.

Most migrants from Libya end up in Italy, not France, and for Paris migration is less important than combating terrorism. Haftar is already combating Islamist terrorists in Libya, making France a natural ally.

“Serraj leverages off of Italian support,” said Jalel Harchaoui, a doctoral candidate in geopolitics and Libyan commentator, adding “and you can be sure Haftar makes use of the prestige of France’s apparent support for his military campaign. On the ground, the inability of foreign states to coordinate among themselves on Libya has always generated more chaos.”

In July, Fayez Serraj, the UN-designated prime minister from the Government of National Accord, met with Haftar in Paris to sign a peace deal between the two sides. But neither leader actually signed the document. In an interview with France 24, Haftar later stated,

“Serraj is a good man, but he cannot implement what he agrees to.”

Russia showed its support for Haftar by inviting him aboard an aircraft carrier earlier this year. It has since hedged its bets, insisting it is working for reconciliation by talking to all sides, including the Misrata-based Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos (BMB) militia.

Yesterday the BMB militia surprisingly pledged its support for an unknown multi-millionaire businessman Basit Igtet, a Swiss based Libyan with alleged links to Israel and designs on becoming President of Libya!

One thing must be made clear: The BMB Militia are enemies of Haftar’s LNA.

Lev Dengov, head of the “Russia’s Contact Group for a Libyan settlement,” recently stated,

“Tripoli and Tobruk personnel share the same embassy building in Moscow, engineered by us, to bring them closer to each other.”

Britain is trying to have it both ways. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who presumably facilitated the Gurkhas’ deployment, visited Serraj to show support, flying east to see Haftar on the of 24th August at his headquarters, urging the field marshall to keep to the “unsigned” agreement announced in Paris. But why should Hafter do so? It’s farcical.

The United States has kept a low profile thus far. Though rumour has it there has been a shift in policy in the last few days. Expect Rex Tillerson to get involved in the near future.

With the big powers so divided, and the GNA experiment having failed, the new UN envoy, Ghassan Salame, a Lebanese politician, said by some to be distrusted by the Russians, would have done better to dump the GNA.

Instead Salame is planning to send UN staff and “British Gurkhas,” disguised as “guards,” into the Tripoli cauldron, putting many lives needlessly at risk to support a failed and unelected government.

When will the UN throw in its losing hand? And when will Russia return to the aces it had when it supported Haftar?

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Still Spinning On Libya


NOVANEWS
By James W. Carden 

In recent weeks, the Washington Post’s Cairo bureau chief Sudarsan Raghavan has published a series of remarkable dispatches from war-torn Libya, which is still reeling from the aftermath of NATO’s March 2011 intervention and the subsequent overthrow and murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

On July 2, Raghavan reported on what amounts to Libya’s modern-day slave trade. According to his report, Libya is “now home to a thriving trade in humans. Unable to pay exorbitant smuggling fees or swindled by traffickers, some of the world’s most desperate people are being held as slaves, tortured or forced into prostitution.”

The numbers help tell the tale. “The number of migrants departing from Libya is surging,” writes Raghavan, “with more than 70,000 arriving in Italy so far this year, a 28 percent increase over the same period last year.”

On August 1, Raghavan returned to the pages of the Post with a disturbing portrait of life in Tripoli, reporting that: “Six years after the revolution that toppled dictator Moammar Gaddafi, the mood in this volatile capital is a meld of hopelessness and gloom. Diplomatic and military efforts by the United States and its allies have failed to stabilize the nation; the denouement of the crisis remains far from clear. Most Libyans sense that the worst is yet to come.”

Raghavan notes that “Under Gaddafi, the oil-producing country was once one of the world’s wealthiest nations.” Under his rule, “Libyans enjoyed free health care, education and other benefits under the eccentric strongman’s brand of socialism.” It would be difficult not to see, Raghavan writes, “the insecurity that followed Gaddafi’s death has ripped apart the North African country.”

Taken together, Raghavan’s reports should come as a rude shock to stalwart supporters of NATO’s intervention in Libya. Yet the embarrassing fervor with which many embraced the intervention remains largely undiminished – with, as we will see, one notable exception.

An Upside-Down Meritocracy

Anne Marie Slaughter, who served as policy planning chief at the State Department under Hillary Clinton, emailed her former boss after the start of the NATO operation, to say: “I cannot imagine how exhausted you must be after this week, but I have never been prouder of having worked for you.”

Five months after the start of NATO operation against Gaddafi, Slaughter went public with her approval in an op-ed for the Financial Times titled “Why Libya Skeptics Were Proved Badly Wrong.” Proving, if nothing else, that the foreign policy establishment is a reverse meritocracy, Slaughter holds an endowed chair at Princeton and is also the well-compensated president of the influential Washington think tank New America.

President Obama’s decision to intervene received wide bipartisan support in the Congress and from media figures across the political spectrum, including Bill O’Reilly and Cenk Uyghur.

Yet the casus belli used to justify the intervention, as a U.K. parliamentary report made clear last September, was based on a lie: that the people of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi were in imminent danger of being slaughtered by Gaddafi’s forces.

The report, issued by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, states that “Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.”

The report also noted that while “Many Western policymakers genuinely believed that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered his troops to massacre civilians in Benghazi … this did not necessarily translate into a threat to everyone in Benghazi. In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty. US intelligence officials reportedly described the intervention as ‘an intelligence-light decision.’”

Even as it became clear that the revolution had proved to be a disaster for the country, the arbiters of acceptable opinion in Washington continued to insist that NATO’s intervention was not only a success, but the right thing to do. It is a myth that has gained wide purchase among D.C.’s foreign policy cognoscenti, despite the judgment of former President Barack Obama, who famously described the intervention as “a shit show.”

Still Spinning

A full year after the commencement of NATO’s campaign against Gaddafi, former NATO Ambassador Ivo Daalder and NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stravidis took to the pages of that reliable bellwether of establishment opinion, Foreign Affairs, to declare that “NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention.”

According to Daalder and Stravidis, “the alliance responded rapidly to a deteriorating situation that threatened hundreds of thousands of civilians rebelling against an oppressive regime.”

In 2016, a Clinton campaign press release justifying the ill-starred intervention, claimed “Qadhafi and his regime made perfectly clear what their plans were for dealing with those who stood up against his reign, using disgusting language in urging his backers to cleanse the country of these rebels. This was a humanitarian crisis.”

Astonishingly, the campaign “Factsheet” goes on to assert that, “there was no doubt that further atrocities were on the way, as Qadhafi’s forces storming towards the county’s second biggest city.” Yet there is, as both the U.K. parliamentary report and a Harvard study by Alan J. Kuperman found, no evidence for this whatsoever.

“Qaddafi did not perpetrate a ‘bloodbath’ in any of the cities that his forces recaptured from rebels prior to NATO intervention — including Ajdabiya, Bani Walid, Brega, Ras Lanuf, Zawiya, and much of Misurata — so there was,” writes Kuperman, “virtually no risk of such an outcome if he had been permitted to recapture the last rebel stronghold of Benghazi.”

Nevertheless, the myth persists. Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Shadi Hamid, the author of Islamic Exceptionalismcontinues to insist, against all evidence, that the intervention was a success.

“The Libya intervention was successful,” says Hamid, “The country is better off today than it would have been had the international community allowed dictator Muammar Qaddafi to continue his rampage across the country.”

In this, Hamid is hardly alone. Left-activists in thrall to a Trotskyite vision of permanent revolution also continue to make the case that NATO’s intervention was a net positive for the country.

In a recent interview with In These Times, Leila Al-Shami claimed that “If Gaddafi had not fallen, Libya now would look very much like Syria. In reality, the situation in Libya is a million times better. Syrian refugees are fleeing to Libya. Far fewer people have been killed in Libya since Gaddafi’s falling than in Syria. Gaddafi being ousted was a success for the Libyan people.”

 

 Full article

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‘West must be held accountable for Libya, apologize & leave it alone’ – Gaddafi’s cousin


NOVANEWS
Image result for Gaddafi. PHOTO
RT 

The Libyan people are still suffering because Western powers continue to fuel the ongoing conflict there, the cousin of slain leader Muammar Gaddafi has said on the sixth anniversary of the Arab Spring, adding that the West should apologize and leave Libya alone.

“It is clear to everyone what is now happening in Libya: total destruction, people fleeing their homes, mass hunger. Our country has descended into total darkness, and our people are enduring suffering,” Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, the cousin of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, told RT in an exclusive interview.

“On this anniversary of the Arab Spring, we must demand an apology to all Libyans – those whose homes were destroyed, those who were humiliated. On their behalf, I demand that the UN Security Council and the leading world powers apologize for what happened in 2011.”

Friday marked six years since the start of the Arab Spring, a wave of violent and non-violent protests that engulfed the Middle East and North Africa.

The civil unrest that broke out in Libya on this revolutionary tide came after the US-backed bombing campaign of the country toppled its long-time leader Gaddafi.

The nation has since been torn apart by fighting between different armed gangs and factions seeking control, including terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), as well as two rival governments – the internationally-recognized government in Tobruk (GNA) and the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) formed by Islamists. The two bodies agreed to form a unity government under an agreement proposed by the UN in December 2015, yet there still are numerous stumbling blocks which the sides have so far failed to overcome.

Gaddaf al-Dam stresses that the conflict was stirred up by the West, and that it should be held accountable.

“The war, the destruction of Libya, all that, in their own words, was a mistake. [The West] recognized that they caused the overthrow of a revolutionary regime in Libya. All of them, first of all, should apologize and correct all that they’d done. But the suffering Libyan people, living in basements, forced to flee their homes, see nothing of the sort six years on. No one even talks about it today. What is happening in Libya is a crime from all points of view,” Gaddaf al-Dam said.

He believes the international community was not only wrong to interfere in Libya in the first place, but must now stop its meddling to let Libya deal with the crisis itself.

“Unfortunately, the international community is still trying to manage the conflict in Libya – and doesn’t want to step aside. We are caught in a swamp. Every day there are meetings, in Tunisia, in Geneva… How much more of this? We are not children,” he stated, noting that the conflict in his view can only be solved through negotiations between representatives of all rival factions in Libya – including those who are now in prison, like Gaddafi’s son and former prominent political figure Saif al-Islam – and without foreign intervention.

Despite his calls to the West to let Libya manage the conflict on its own, Gaddaf al-Dam says the international community does not really want the crisis to end, seeing the war in Libya as only a part of the West’s bigger plot to destabilize all the Muslim states of the Middle East and North Africa.

“Ever since the 1980s Muammar Gaddafi warned of an existing conspiracy of Western countries against Libya. In fact, the plot was directed not only against Libya, but against all Muslim states. The implementation of this plan began with Afghanistan. Then came the destruction of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya […]

“This hell, which was organized by Western countries in the region, aims to split the countries, and it is not only about Libya. […] Gaddafi in this regard was not an astrologist – he had the information and facts on his desk. He knew the history and was a revolutionary figure who tried to carry the values and principles of the 1969 revolution through the years. The aim of the revolution was to unite the Muslim Ummah [religious community] and the entire African continent, but as Gaddafi knew about [the West’s] plot and fought with it, he was killed,” Gaddaf al-Dam said.

The Libyan revolution of 1969, known as the al-Fateh Revolution or the 1st September Revolution, was a military coup that led to the overthrow of King Idris. It was carried out by the Free Officers Movement, a group of rebel military officers led by Colonel Gaddafi.

Posted in LibyaComments Off on ‘West must be held accountable for Libya, apologize & leave it alone’ – Gaddafi’s cousin

LIBYA, 2016: Three ‘Governments’, Foreign Intervention & the Return of Gaddafi


NOVANEWS

Saif Al-Islam

A couple of months ago when the UN-sponsored ‘Government of National Accord’ (GNA) was sent to take control of all national institutions, Libya was already being ruled by two different, rival parliaments: the Islamist-dominated ‘National Salvation’ government in Tripoli and the internationally recognised parliament based in Tobruk in the east.

The actual result of this painstaking UN brokered peace process is that Libya now has three rival governments instead of two: and none of them appears capable of governing or unifying the once stable nation. But the UN-backed GNA might be the least capable of the three and has just suffered an embarrassing vote of no confidence: members of the Libyan House of Representatives have voted against the UN ‘Government of National Accord’ by 61 to 1 (source).

Not that this is necessarily surprising; on its arrival in Tripoli at the end of March, the GNA leaders found Tripoli’s airspace closed to them and had to arrive by boat. So much for all of the UN’s diplomatic efforts: the same UN, remember, that didn’t bother to send any fact-finding operations to Libya in 2011 to try to ascertain whether there was really any basis for authorizing the NATO military intervention to force regime change.

So, to recap. The UN-backed government appears to have already failed. There are now 3 separate ‘governments’ in Libya. And the US has just begun military operations in ISIS-held Sirte, with France recently having to admit to having already been carrying out secret operations in the country.

Making sense of post-Gaddafi Libya is very hard work.

From 2014, the plethora of armed militias at large in the chaos-riddled country due to the 2011 mercenary war seemed to have gathered around either the Libyan National Army (backed by the secular ‘House of Representatives’) or the Libyan Dawn Coalition (dominated by the Islamist parties). That said, there are also roaming factions of jihadists and terror groups in various places, seemingly answerable to no one.

And it is against this confused, chaotic backdrop that reports emerged some months ago suggesting that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi – the eldest son of the late Libyan leader and one-time ‘Golden Boy’ of Libya’s political future – had been released from his detainment, having previously been sentenced to death.

It is difficult to work out whether this story is true. It was broadly reported at the time (albeit in a very low-key manner, with mass media reticence), but most news out of Libya has become increasingly difficult to verify or cross reference.

So is Saif Gaddafi at large? And how relevant would that be to the bigger picture mentioned above?

Saif Gaddafi’s lawyer reported that Saif had in fact, “been given his liberty on April 12, 2016″, this being in accordance with an amnesty law passed by the Tobruk parliament. Saif had been captured by the Zintan militia shortly after his father and brother were murdered by NATO’s Libyan death squads in Sirte in October 2011. The International Criminal Court had demanded Saif be handed over to them; but the Zintan refused.

After fierce fighting, when the Islamist Libya Dawn faction took control of Tripoli, Saif, along with dozens of other officials of Gaddafi’s former state were put on trial for their life. However, the Zintan militia – allied to the more secular Libyan National Army – again refused to hand him over.
Libya-saifgaddafi-supporters

After a cowboy trial dominated by the Libya Dawn militias and condemned by human rights groups, Saif was sentenced to execution, along with eight other former officials of Gaddafi’s Socialist Arab Republic. But the trial was never recognised by the government in Tobruk.

It was reported that in the 24 hours after word has gotten out of Saif’s recent release, Green Libyan loyalists across different cities and towns were holding up images of Saif and shouting out his name: evidence, if any were needed, that even five years on from the French/American-led NATO destruction of Libya, there is still massive support (pictured above) from the Libyan people for the former Libyan republic.

A British lawyer seemed to confirm Saif’s release, saying that his death sentence had been quashed. Karim Khan QC said he was now petitioning the international criminal court to drop its charges against Saif, which would allow him to travel abroad without facing arrest.

The Guardian noted, however, that ‘The claim could not be independently verified, and neither the UN-backed government in Tripoli or Zintan authorities has yet commented on the report, while some disputed it.’

And according to the Tripoli Post, Libyan officials were denying it.

According to Al-Monitor, however, Saif ‘has already started contacting people inside Libya and abroad who are supporting him, trying to come up with his own plan to salvage the country.’

The report continues, ‘The majority of tribes that supported his father in the 2011 civil war see him as a savior, and they are willing to support him as their de facto leader in any political process to bring about national reconciliation and reunify the country. This is especially true since the United Nations-brokered political dialogue and the Government of National Accord have so far failed to deliver stability and security, let alone anything tangible to alleviate the hardships Libyans are facing on a daily basis, which include power cuts, shortage of money in the banking system and soaring prices.’

Al-Monitor goes further and claims to have ‘learned, by having been part of these discussions’ that ‘tribal leaders who support Seif are willing to accept him as their only representative, or what is known in tribal customs as “next of kin”.’

This is a highly significant suggestion: could Saif Gaddafi, sentenced to death by Libyan militias and wanted on spurious ‘War Crimes’ charges by the ICC, be seen as the only national figure suitable as a unifier?

The going-full-circle irony of this state of affairs would be immense.

Mass rallies of pro-Gaddafi Green loyalists were occurring all throughout the violent, bloody events of the 2011 war and NATO intervention, including one march that was estimated to have been the largest protest in world history. Such rallies even continued on after Muammar Gaddafi’s murder, but the reign of terror that ensued by NATO-backed criminal gangs and death-squad militias suppressed such public gatherings or displays of loyalty to the former Libyan state.

This forced many Gaddafi supporters and Green Libyans into hiding, while many thousands were rounded up by the militias and some hundreds are estimated to have been summarily executed. That hasn’t, however, stopped a slow, steady resurgence of pro-Gaddafi activity and public displays of loyalty to the former Libya.

When word about Saif’s release broke some months ago, an RT journalist distills the essence of Saif Gaddafi’s liberty; ‘What is so significant about his release… is what it represents: the recognition, by Libya’s elected authorities, that there is no future for Libya without the involvement of the Jamahiriya movement.’

In a tribal society like Libya, the tribes — particularly the major tribes such as Warfalla and Tarhuna — are absolutely crucial for establishing any successful settlement in the ravaged country. This is a key fact that those behind the initial Libyan intervention in 2011 and those trying to maneuver its aftermath have utterly failed to appreciate, with clueless Western officials frequently displaying a completely dismissive attitude towards the tribes.

This isn’t just some quaint quirk of Libya either, but a key factor in various other Middle Eastern or African societies, such as a Western/American ally like Jordan.

As many British political experts noted in light of the Chilcot Report and the Americans’ utter lack of respect or understanding of Iraqi society in their post-war planning, the Americans have absolutely no idea about Arab societies whatsoever.

The British, by comparison, have traditionally been much better informed and able to think more intelligently, going back to even the imperial days and the role and influence of famous ‘Arabists’ like T.E Lawrence and Gertrude Bell, among others; but, as veteran Conservative politician Ken Clarke recently argued in response to the Chilcot Report, the Americans – going into Iraq – completely dismissed any need for such experts in the region; the British were also largely sidelined from post-war planning in Iraq, allowing the Americans to completely dismantle every element of the Iraqi state (and dismiss all those who had worked for it) and create the sectarian quagmire that exists to this day in that country.

The same extraordinary levels of ignorance occurred in Libya, with Hillary Clinton and others in her sphere completely dismissing any significance to Libya’s tribal make-up: and neither the French nor the British, in their blind rush to remove Gaddafi, appeared to have given the matter any thought either.

There are thought to be something like 140 tribes or clans in Libya, with 30 or so of these being particularly influential. Even in the early months of the 2011 ‘uprising’, it was reported widely that several hundred tribal elders gathered in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, for what was described as widespread show of support for Gaddafi.

It is interesting that, of the many Libyan refugees in Tunisia, almost all of them still hold onto great love for the former republic under Gaddafi and are from tribes that were loyal to the regime, such from Sirte, Bani Waled or Warshefana. A young woman speaking in this 2014 article from The World Weekly – and who spent months in various prisons after the fall of Gaddafi, in which she describes being beaten with pipes and repeatedly raped by a militia leader – essentially says she was waiting for the return of Saif al-Islam, who was seen as the only hope.

Saif Gaddafi has the loyalty of many, many Libyans – that is to say, natural, indigenous Libyans, as opposed to the foreign jihadists and the foreign-backed militias or internationally imposed ‘governments’. He, crucially, also has respect from many of the tribes.

I noted with curiosity as well that internationally recognised authorities in Libya recently allowed Muammar Gaddafi’s widow (and Saif’s mother), Safia (pictured below with the late Libyan figurehead), back into the country as part of a new attempt at ‘national reconciliation’. This would be the first time Safia has set foot in her homeland since her husband’s murder. This also might suggest a wind change in Tobruk.
gaddaf-wife

Ever since the day Muammar Gaddafi was brutally murdered in Sirte in October 2011, there has been nothing but continuous failure in Libya to establish any kind of unity or workable future; and some of this has to be down to Western sponsors’ failure to respect the tribal nature of Libya. And it may be, if some experts are to be believed, that Gaddafi’s eldest son, Saif, emerges from the brink of execution as the one figure who might be able to make the difference.

That he could also garner mass support is very likely.

When the Islamist militia court passed the death sentence for Saif last year, people in multiple Libyan cities and towns came out onto the streets in protest, holding up pictures of Saif and his father; this even happened in places under ISIS or Al-Qaeda control, where doing this was extremely dangerous.

But this also somewhat echoes the unconfirmed report earlier in the year that the late Libyan figurehead’s daughter, Ayesha Gaddafi, was secretly maneuvering to return to Libya and announce herself leader of a Libyan people’s resistance and movement for national unity. The claim about Ayesha Gaddafi (pictured below) was difficult to validate and international media entirely ignored the story; the story now concerning Saif Gaddafi appears much more substantial, but the media has mostly downplayed this story too.

This could be because Western mainstream media and Western governments alike do not want any ‘Return of the Gaddafis’ or resurgence of Green Libya; they do not want any reversal of the collapse that was accomplished in 2011.

ayesha-gaddafi

In part, this might also be because the corporate media went to such lengths to help bring about that collapse by propagating the false narratives and fake stories about what had really gone on in Libya in 2011. And having engaged in all of that deception – and having also gloried in the downfall of Gaddafi himself – to now, five years on, have to report on normal Libyans supporting or calling for a return to the old republic and chanting the name of Gaddafi’s eldest son would be not just counter to Western policy and geopolitical needs, but also just downright embarrassing.

Saif was long regarded a reformer and democracy advocate in Libya, prior to the 2011 catastrophe: in fact, a WikiLeaks document in early 2011 suggested Libya was headed towards further democratic reforms and possible elections just prior to the foreign-orchestrated bloodbath.

Many Libyans – even those who might’ve had reservations about Saif beforehand – came to respect him even more when, instead of fleeing or trying to protect his own career, he remained in Libya in 2011 and supported his father. More than that, he had actually been abroad when the trouble had started and had gone home specifically to help defend the Socialist Republic. He had even openly admitted that he bore some guilt and responsibility for having been so involved with Western and European leaders and institutions and thus allowing Libya to lower its guard and become vulnerable to international duplicity: and yet, when that betrayal was in process, he came home to try to protect and preserve the country, at risk to his own life.

Saif himself, who in the midst of the 2011 crisis (pictured below greeting Green Libya loyalists in 2011) was openly bitter about the extent to which he felt he had been betrayed by his many Western and European friends and allies, would probably not be someone most Western policy makers would want to see reemerge: not just because he is a Gaddafi and not just because he would seek to restore the country and expel all of the imported terrorists, mercenaries and jihadists, but because he is someone who has been wined and dined by the Western elites and powers and is intimately aware of them (Saif was, at one point, being befriended by everyone from Tony Blair to the Rothschilds) – and moreover, having been so comprehensively betrayed by them, he is not likely to cooperate with their agendas ever again.
libya-saif-tripoli

In short, he could never be the puppet leader that the West wants. One suspects even ISIS would be preferable to Saif. The irony is that, had the 2011 conspiracy never happened and had the Western governments simply waited for things to develop organically, Saif probably would’ve been very amenable to Western influence and interests in his steering of the political situation in Libya.

All of this forces me to wonder how Western, particularly American and French, policy makers will react if not only Assad survives in Syria, but Saif Gaddafi emerges as the most potent figurehead for re-unifying Libya.

Imagine if Assad continues to preside over a re-unified and sovereign Syria and a Gaddafi begins to gather mass support to move towards not only unification, but restoration of the former Libyan republic. Then the brutal covert, regime-change wars that were inflicted on both nations in 2011 will have ultimately failed – albiet, only after several years of vast bloodshed and destruction.

Somehow, I can’t imagine Washington putting up with that.

And it is unfortunate that these turns of events are happening just as Hillary Clinton presidency might be imminent. Hillary – especially given that she was a central player in the wars on both Libya and Syria (and was famously filmed celebrating Gaddafi’s violent killing) – will most likely seek to take measures to prevent both scenarios. She has already stated her intention to ensure Assad doesn’t remain in Damascus as being one of her “first priorities” when she comes into office. We can safely imagine that she wouldn’t tolerate either Saif or Ayesha Gaddafi – or anyone else connected to them – gaining momentum in NATO’s and Hillary’s Libya.

Which brings us to the matter of renewed military intervention in Libya.

US forces are already active in Libya again, and official statements have suggested there is “no end” currently foreseen for those operations. So are US forces just there to fight ISIS? Or are they also there to stick around and make sure the Green Libyan movement doesn’t experience its second coming?

There are question marks over what the US raids in Sirte are really about, along with the French military presence in general. They could legitimately be trying to weaken or drive out the ISIS presence (which is only there in the first place thanks to French, American and other Western military efforts, remember) for the sake of the weak, ineffective and corrupt puppet ‘government’ it has put in place to preside over the chaos as foreign entities finish siphoning off all of the country’s former wealth and resources.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook has said they don’t see “an end point at this particular moment in time.”

Libya’s unity government has faced backlash from the parliament and its rival government in the east for calling in US airstrikes in the jihadist stronghold of Sirte – Gaddafi’s birthplace and a town which ISIS has been allowed to virtually take over, also thought by some to be the location of the Islamic State’s so-called ‘caliph’ or global leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Protests also in July erupted in Libya over French military operations conducted inside the country without local authorities’ consent.

In fact, it seems all of the major players in the 2011 conspiracy are again active in Libya.

Leaked reports have suggested the British SAS may have been on the ground in Libya for months already – just as they had been in the early weeks of the 2011 crisis, when they had been secretly hunting for Gaddafi and aiding ‘rebel’ militias at a time when British and international officals had been insisting they weren’t interested in regime change or assasination, only a ‘ceasefire’. And earlier this year senior Conservative politicians in Britain attacked what they saw as a ‘disastrous’ plan to station some 1,000 UK troops in Libya.

Which, again, could all genuinely be for the sake of fighting ISIS and other jihadists and cleaning up their own mess. But given the extraordinary levels of blood-soaked deception and duplicity all three governments – and much of the international community – employed in 2011 to topple Gaddafi’s government and install jihadists into Libya in the first place, it is almost impossible for us now to not be very suspicious about motives.

Vijay Prashad argues that the GNA only authorises foreign military operations in Libya because the UN and Western governments are denying them $67 billion of Libyan money that it will only give back to Libya if the foreign agenda is served. He writes, ‘When the Libyan government requests US airstrikes, it does so not of its own volition but because of the conditions for the release of its own money.’

But again, could this renewed Western military presence be more to do with halting any movement back towards the old Libyan national identity? Hushed talk of this resurgence of Green Libyan loyalists or ‘Green Resistance’ isn’t just about rallies or chants.

On January 18th, when a group of armed fighters assaulted an air-force base outside the city of Sabha and expelled the forces of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan’s government (we can use the word ‘government’ loosely), reports spread that the Green Flag of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was raised again in a number of cities. International media was virtually silent on the matter, while the ‘government’ was reticent in providing details.

When writing about Libya in general, we have to be very careful; as there is a constant absence of verifiable information. These days there are always rumours or unconfirmed reports of things, but everything is a sea of uncertainty.

The Green Resistance is reported by some to be becoming an increasingly influential force within the Libyan National Army, which serves the country’s elected House of Representatives, and there have been suggestions that the LNA has been recruiting from among tribes loyal to Gaddafi. But if the Sabha story was true, it serves as a reminder that ‘Green Resistance’ fighters can be a significant force, particularly in the south – which is where there is the most popular support. Given time, and with enough organisational ability, a movement could coalesce in the south of Libya that could potentially claim and hold territory.

It could even lead to the creation of an independent state of sorts in the south. A major figurehead – like a Saif or Ayesha Gaddafi – could make that happen. And from there, anything could happen – and the old, sovereign nation of Libya could be restored.

The question is, in relation to that possibility: what would the US, France and the rest of the ‘international community’ do if that started to happen? And might they, in fact, be taking measures already to prepare for that?

Wherever Saif Gaddafi is – if he is free from detainment now – I hope he has very good protection being given to him. In fact, it actually struck me as being possible that the reason Libyan authorities and even the Zintan seemed to deny Saif’s release might’ve been to protect him and throw observers off the scent.

Related: Is Ayesha Gaddafi Leading a Secret Resistance in Libya?‘ ‘Saif Gaddafi: The Man Who Could’ve Brought Liberty to Libya‘, ‘The Story of Sirte: From Proud Libya to ISIS Caliphate‘, ‘The Libya Conspiracy: A Guide to the Crime of the Century‘, ‘Libya After Gaddafi: The Humiliation of the Failed State‘…

 

Posted in LibyaComments Off on LIBYA, 2016: Three ‘Governments’, Foreign Intervention & the Return of Gaddafi

‘THE LIBYA CONSPIRACY’ – Free, Exclusive Book Download For All Readers


NOVANEWS
The-Libya-Conspiracy_S-Awan(Book-Cover-2015)
In 2011, an international crime was committed that was so vast, so immoral, that the mainstream media even now  refuses to address it in truthful terms. It was a crime carried out by deception and subterfuge and amid a sea of misinformation, and it involved virtually every major Western government or media organisation.
This book, ‘The Libya Conspiracy’, is the definitive exposure and analysis, in its full scope and all its ugliness, of what truly was the crime of the century. This is a freedownload for all readers or subscribers to this blog.

The product of over a year’s (mostly open-source) research, this is a decisive study of the 2011 Libya ‘intervention’ and the so-called Libyan ‘Civil War’ and beyond; a vast and immoral deception that has major implications for every one of us and the entire world.

A big shout-out has to go to my good friend Mumra2k for doing the mega formatting job on the files – he burnt the midnight oil so that there could be multiple formats of the book.

The book is available for download in three formats;

To download the basic PDF, use this link here.

To download the version for your Kindle or e-book reader device, click here.

To download the version for your mobile device, click here.

Or if you prefer to read the book on-line, you can read it in Google Docs using this link.

Or you can email me directly via the contact page to request a copy and I will send it to you.

 

Although this e-book is free for anyone who wants it and I did not wish to turn it into a profit enterprise, please do consider leaving a tip or making a small ‘donation’ via the Paypal link below. You can either make a one-time contribution or do it as a regular thing. Some of the work I undertake on this blog is very time-consuming: especially something that took as much time to research, write and put together as this e-book did. Any support you might provide will help to make that time and work more beneficial to me and help me to do more and to keep this site running. Thank you.

 

Why, you might ask, should you need to understand what happened in Libya in 2011…?

Because understanding what happened in Libya means understanding what the nature of the world in geopolitical terms now is; it means understanding who the criminals are, and most of all understanding how the criminal conspiracy works. And make no mistake: a vast criminal conspiracy was carried out in Libya and was covered up by a mainstream media that was itself part of the conspiracy.

The postscript to the NATO intervention in Libya is still going on now. Europe is facing a mass migration crisis, while thousands of desperate people are drowning in the Mediterranean Sea from the Libyan coast. Terrorists and extremist militias are flourishing like never before in history and are using the fallen Libya as a staging area to wage terror on multiple nations. We are being drawn towards the brink of an engineered, continent-spanning crisis and sectarian ‘Clash of Civilisations’ that may eventually engulf the entire world. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed amid several collapsing nations, including Syria, with Libya itself now declared ‘a failed state‘ in mainstream commentary.

And most of it goes back to 2011, the NATO-led ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya and the brutal and sadistic assassination of Muammar Gaddafi.

All of this, coupled with the lies *still* being told even now by our political leaders about the 2011 intervention, convinced me that a thorough, comprehensive and clear chronicle of what really did happen in Libya in 2011 still needs to be laid down. Everyone needs to see beyond the fog of confusion and misinformation; needs to understand what really happened, how it happened, and *why* it happened; who caused it, who planned it and what the intention was.

This document is essentially a criminal investigation.

Please share this book far and wide. Across 140 pages, it can be demonstrated beyond doubt that; (1) the NATO powers are War Criminals that need to be brought to account for their actions in 2011, (2) that key officials of the governments of the US, the UK, France, several European nations and the Gulf States need to be tried in an international court for these crimes, including Hilary Clinton, Nicolas Sarkosy, and David Cameron, (3) that the alliance of governments, corporations and military agencies that currently control the Western world are morally bankrupt and need to be thoroughly investigated as criminals.

And (4) that the mainstream/corporate media and news broadcasters are entirely complicit in aiding and abetting an international criminal conspiracy and should also be either investigated or boycotted.

In doing so, it will also be demonstrated;

(1) that there was no ‘Civil War’ in Libya in 2011, (2) that there were no mass civilian ‘demonstrations’ against Gaddafi or the Libyan government in 2011, (3) that wholesale lies and fabrications were concocted by our governments and by the corporate news-media and that neither Gaddafi nor the Libyan regime was guilty of the ‘crimes’ they were accused of, (4) that NATO and the Western governments deliberately installed Al-Qaeda and other terrorist/extremist groups into Libyan cities, (5) that the entire operation was illegal under international law, and (6) that NATO, France, Britain and America, committed mass murder in Libya.

Most importantly, this book also comprehensively demonstrates how it was all done, every bloodstained step of the way, from the obscured beginning to the horrific end.
From the vast corporate media deception campaign, the Social Media sleight-of-hand and the ‘persona management software’, to the secret assassination plot, the Obama Letters, the Pentagon tapes, the Russian satellite data and everything in-between, this is the real story of the international ‘intervention’ in Libya… and there should be no ambiguity or doubt anymore about what really happened and what it was about.

Download ‘The Libya Conspiracy’ for free, using the links provided. And feel free to share the information and also to distribute this work freely, so long as no alterations are made to the files.

And thank you for supporting this blog and for supporting independent journalism in general.

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List of Main Contents

Gaddafi’s Libya: Before the Crisis
The Obama Letters

February 2011: The Beginning of the End
Gaddafi and the Media

Collapse of a Nation: How it (Really) Started
The ‘Day of Rage’
Ultra-Violence & the State of Terror
‘Peaceful, Pro-Democracy’ Protesters
Bernard Levy

Mass Deception: Enter the Corporate Media
The Media Deception Campaign
Saif Gaddafi
The Russian Satellite Data

Utilising Social Media: The Propaganda Masterstroke
Persona Management Software
The You-Tube Strategy
A Nation ‘Destabilised by Al-Jazeera’

The Brink of the Abyss: “We are the People of Libya!”

Rebels, Mercenaries, Terrorists, Proxy Militias
‘Everyone is Terrified’
Al-Qaeda’s Day in the Sun
Billion-Dollar Mercenaries
A Word About ‘Captagon’
Guantanamo Bay

The UN Resolution and NATO’s Imperialist War
UN Resolution 1973
The UN Charter
The War on Libya Begins

‘Disguised as Arabs’ – The ‘Fifth Element’ in Libya
Boots on the Ground
Special Forces, MI6, Qatar & Criminal Warfare
The 2010 Unconventional Warfare Manual of the US Military

The Corporate Media Fiction & the ‘Crimes of the Regime’
The Benghazi Narrative
The Viagra Stories
The African Mercenaries
Amnesty International & International Crisis Group
BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN & co Go to Town
The Information War

Timeline of Destruction: March – October 2011
Operation Destroy Libya
NATO War Crimes

‘Criminals and Barbarians’ – NATO’s Civilian Casualties
Piles of Bodies…’
The Fall of Tripoli
Operation Target Gaddafi
The Osama bin Laden Ruse
The ‘Nazi-Fascist Role’
Gaddafi’s Last Stand

The End of Gaddafi & the End of Libya
The ‘Largest Demonstration in World History’
Sirte & the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi

End-Game: The Gaddafi Check-Mate
Citizens Commission on Benghazi Report

Further Information to Convict Hilary Clinton, Sarkosy & Possibly Others of Murder…
The ‘White-Flag’ Convoy
The ‘Return to Barbarism’
Sarkozy and the French Connection
Three Decades of ‘Operation Assassinate Gaddafi’

After Gaddafi: The ‘National Transitional Council’
Ethnic Cleansing, Torture, Persecution & Murder
Who the ‘Opposition’ Leaders Really Were
Revolution or ‘Counter-Revolution?
Jalil’s Confession
The War in Syria

Libya NOW: A ‘Failed State’
Warlords, Terrorists, Rival Militias, & No Government
‘Islamic State’, Sharia Law, the Persecution of Women
2011 ‘Civil War’ as ‘Battle of the Sexes’
Mass Migration & the Mediterranean

The Case for the Prosecution: The Crime & the Criminals
Obama, Hilary, David Cameron & the Whole Mafia
The Mass Media Warfare
The Pentagon Tapes
Decades of Propaganda
Lockerbie
The Berlin Disco Bombing
The Failure of the UN

The Motive: Why Libya Was Targeted
The Gold Dinar & African Development
The Gold Heist of the Century
The Lockerbie Reimbursements
The ‘World Revolution’
The ‘Islamic State’, the ‘Clash of Civilisations’ & the ‘Perpetual War’

Posted in Libya, LiteratureComments Off on ‘THE LIBYA CONSPIRACY’ – Free, Exclusive Book Download For All Readers

LIBYA After Gaddafi: The Humiliation & Horror of the ‘Failed State’


NOVANEWS

gaddafi_mural

The nightmare that is post-Gaddafi Libya is showing no signs of improving any time soon.
Libyans who were promised democracy and progress by NATO and the international powers that rained bombs down across the country in 2011 have in fact been given nothing of the sort.

I have already chronicled the 2011 Libyan catastrophe at length in this book (still free to download), which comprehensively illustrates the international conspiracy conducted against Gaddafi and the Libyan people and decisively tears apart all of the false narratives about what was going on in Libya in 2011 in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’.

So what is the reality of this ‘brave new Libya’ that was supposed to have been created through all the lies and bombs of 2011? We are now four years beyond the uprising and the murder of Gaddafi. For most of those intervening four years, the same corporate/news media that was so adamant about how terrible Gaddafi was and how necessary the international intervention was has been almost completely silent about Libya, declining to report on the country or to send anyone to Tripoli, Benghazi, Sirte or anywhere else.

It was as if the media’s role was simply to demonise Gaddafi and once he was dead and the ‘regime change’ accomplished, the matter was over. It hasn’t been until the last nine months or so that mass-media organisations have reluctantly started to talk about Libya again, partly due to the fact that the increase in migrant deaths in the Mediterranean waters have made it impossible to pretend everything’s alright – because the Libyan tragedy has now directly caused a European crisis.

The reality is that the fall of Gaddafi’s administration has created all of the country’s worst-case scenarios: Western embassies have all left, the south of the country has become a haven for terrorists, and the Northern coast an uncontrollable hub for illegal migrant trafficking. Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have all closed their borders with Libya (Tunisia is now even building an Israeli-style wall to cut itself off from Libya). This all occurs amidst a backdrop of widespread rape, assassinations and torture that completes the picture of post-Gaddafi Libya.  This is Hilary Clinton and co’s gift to the Libyan people.

And the biggest joke is that the great ‘National Transitional Council’ that was propped up by the Western powers to replace the old republic is already history and there hasn’t been a proper government in Libya since Gaddafi’s death; now instead we have multiple rival ‘governments’ trying to assert themselves as the authority while the Western nations and the UN have absolutely no idea who to recognise, how to help or what to do.

Perhaps now, belatedly, some of our officials and diplomats might find themselves thinking back to all those offers Gaddafi and the old officials had made to negotiate a compromise.

And from 16th May 2014 (and ongoing) a Second Civil War has been going on in Libya, with the various factions who’d united to end the Gaddafi era now having turned on each other, as they were always bound to. Is anyone surprised by that? Did NATO and the West expect to fund, arm and unleash that level of bloodlust, violence and anarchy and then expect it to stop when Cameron or Obama clicked their fingers? Our governments, even the UN, simply left the Libyans to it after 2011. The killing never stopped. But the Hilary Clintons, the David Camerons and Nicolas Sarkosys of the world washed their hands of it and didn’t care anymore.

And instead of trying to fix the horror story they’d created in Libya, they all moved onto trying to create the same horror story in Syria, hoping for the same ‘victory’. And while the world’s attention turned to the vast Syria crisis (which itself sprang partly from the Libya crisis), Libya was sliding even further into the abyss.

Since 2011 Libya has been experiencing a refugee crisis of unprecedented proportions, a financial crisis, an environmental crisis and an infrastructure crisis. The country hasn’t been rebuilt from all the NATO bombing.

libya-sirte-postgaddafi

Benghazi is currently facing a major, ongoing humanitarian crisis. How bad is it? A petition was recently being circulated, started by a group of Libyan activists, demanding that Benghazi be declared a “disaster zone”. Benghazi, you will recall, was the initial focal point of Western ‘intervention’ in early 2011, thanks to a false narrative concocted by Western governments and mainstream media that Gaddafi had been “about to” carry out a “massacre” in the city, when in fact he had simply been attempting to retake the city from foreign-backed terrorists and gangs. Now the city that the French-led NATO forces bombed almost five years ago in order to protect the terrorist groups from the Libyan Army is “a disaster zone” at the mercy of ISIL/Daesh.

France, Britain and any other government can talk all they like now about the danger of ISIL being in Libya and the need to intervene – but never forget for a moment that the terrorists are only there because *our governments* sent NATO forces to ensure their victory.

NBC goes further and defines Libya as a “failed state”. 

It has in fact been called a “failed state” several times recently by various analysts. A ‘failed state’? Who *made it* a ‘failed state’? Libya was the most prosperous, successful nation in Africa. NATO, the US, France, the UK and every other nation involved in the intervention in Libya took a successful, self-reliant nation and TURNED IT INTO A ‘FAILED STATE’ through bombing, the arming and supporting of terrorists and through targeted assassination. And now those same leaders, and the same corporate media propagandists who encouraged and celebrated the murder of Gaddafi and the intervention in Libya, have the gall, have the nerve, to casually label it ‘a failed state’, as if it’s somehow some mere, unfortunate thing that has happened because Arabs and Africans aren’t very good at managing things.

Tripoli

In fact, it was precisely because Gaddafi was making so much progress – not just in Libya, but in Africa – that the Western officials unleashed the Libyan apocalypse. See here for a comprehensive portrait of what Libya had been during the Gaddafi era; a poor, Third World country that was utterly transformed to the extent that in 2010 – just months before the 2011 ‘uprising’ – the UN rated Libya No.1 on its global index of ‘human development’. To fully understand the scale of the tragedy here, you have to understand what Libya *was* prior to the international ‘intervention’.

And what is Libya now?

This BBC piece on ‘Lawless Libya’ reflects how dire the situation is in the country. Numerous militias each govern their own patches of territory, with successive “governments” struggling to exercise control. Libya has essentially been turned into a mixture of the Wild West and the kind of tribal/warlord dynamics that defined Afghanistan during the 9/11 era. There are lots of different armed groups – up to 1,700, according to some sources – with entirely differing goals. But money and power are what is said to be motivating most forces and parties, with religious extremism motivating the others.

‘Libya continues to suffer from a chronic absence of security, with almost daily assassinations, bombings and kidnappings.’ This sounds like an absolute copy-and-paste of what much of Iraq was like following the US-led invasion. Which is of course what Gaddafi said would happen; “they will turn Libya into another Iraq, another Somalia…” he had said in February 2011.

The Libyan tribes, what’s left of the Libyan National army and the elected Parliament in Tobruk are working hard to rid their country of the Al-Qaeda, LIFG, Ansar al-Sharia, ISIS/ISIL and other extremist/terrorist brigades that Western governments imported into Libya in 2011 (or in the case of ISIL/Daesh, came into Libya after to take advantage of the utter helplessness of the country). But the Western-backed terrorist infestation of the country has proven impossible to cleanse.

And the lack of definitive government makes the problem even more impossible. Karim Mezran of the Atlantic Council wrote a particularly grim blog post titled ‘Deepening Polarization in Libya, No Agreement in Sight’.  In an irony of ironies, Libya’s PM was allegedly threatening protesters with troops just last year – the precise crime that Gaddafi was accused of having committed (but which he hadn’t); except this time no Western government was jumping all over that threat, demanding ‘intervention’.

As if things weren’t bad enough, the emergence of ISIL/Daesh in Libya has only exacerbated the nightmare.

‘Daesh in Libya’ is regarded to have emerged in Derna in 2014 as Libyan jihadists and mercenaries who’d been waging their Western-backed terror campaigns in Syria were returning to the fallen country that had been their first arena in 2011. Declaring allegiance to the ‘Islamic State’, they declared eastern Libya theirs.

libya-isis

While Libya was used as the springboard for the Syrian rebellion, many of the jihadists and Western-backed mercenaries never left; and the same gangs and militias who’d fought the 2011 rebellion against Gaddafi and the state simply decided to start fighting each other and trying to control territory and resources. Eastern Libya had long been an area where Islamists and jihadists had sought dominion, but the strong Libyan state under Muammar Gaddafi had kept jihadism suppressed up until 2011 when foreign governments, aided by NATO, bombed the Libyan state into oblivion in direct aid of the various jihadist and terrorist groups, paving the way for the establishment of these extremist ‘caliphates’.

NATO and the international forces bombed the way for Al-Qaeda and the other jihadist groups in 2011, entering into a direct alliance with them; it has made the subsequent ISIL/Daesh takeover inevitable.

The Libyan people themselves have had all of their weapons taken away by NATO and its on-the-ground proxy militias; and are therefore largely unable to defend themselves. The irony is that Gaddafi and the old government had tried to directly arm the Libyan civilians during the 2011 crisis – precisely so that they could defend themselves and their homes from the roving brigades of terrorists. Even very late in the 2011 crisis, Gaddafi had tried to negotiate an agreement with Western agencies that would’ve had him give up the fight and go into exile – his only condition was that a portion of the Libyan Army be allowed to stay in the country and continue to try to fight off the various terrorist gangs and foreign mercenaries that had been imported in. He was refused, even in this.

ISIL being able to take over Sirte and other Libyan cities isn’t surprising, given the utter absence of security or even a functioning state. NATO and the Western governments disarmed the Libyan population, making resistance close to impossible; moreover they left Sirte, as with most of the rest of the country, in ruins and with no functioning system of government or law-enforcement.

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But the truly horrific post-script to the fall of Gaddafi was already unfolding long before ISIL arrived; it was unfolding, in fact, from before even Gaddafi’s brutal murder.

The entire, delicate social and cultural fabric of the country fell apart with Gaddafi’s death. While Gaddafi loyalists were tortured or killed, an unending process of crime and retaliation ensued, militias and splinter-groups broke off and tried to do their own thing, and religious extremism flourished as the Al-Qaeda-led terrorists who’d mostly fought the war continued to establish their ‘caliphates’ (just as Gaddafi had tried to tell Western media would happen), and impose their extreme religious law. Any sense of the national unity or identity that had been so key in the Gaddafi era was gone, along with any sense of secularism or inclusiveness. Instead, as in Syria and Iraq, sectarian lines formed and the violence spiralled.

libya-Rebels-arrest-Nigerian-in-Mahruga-Libya-091711-by-Francois-Mori-AP

All thought of African unity or development, so central to Gaddafi’s vision, was now gone. And indeed Black Africans in Libya were persecuted or murdered en masse by the Salafist-inspired jihadists. Aside from mass lynching of Black people that followed Gaddafi’s fall, Christians were also being persecuted once Gaddafi was gone.

Things like this and this didn’t happen in Gaddafi’s Libya, of course, as Gaddafi was vehemently opposed to sectarianism in general and to Islamic fundamentalism in particular; the character of the Green Revolution, while not completely secular in the Western sense, certainly wasn’t sectarian. The old Libya was all about national unity and identity. Post-Gaddafi Libya is the exact opposite; national identity is gone, while the religious extremists – many of them foreign and not Libyan – have free reign in much of the country. It’s the same, of course, in Syria and Iraq; wherever the foreign proxy terrorists go, minorities and Christians are persecuted or killed and the inter-cultural fabric is torn apart.

Following the end of Gaddafi’s rule, there were reports of attacks also against sites of Sufi Muslims. In late 2011, a Sufi school in Tripoli was stormed by armed men who “burned its library, destroyed office equipment and dug up graves of sages buried there,” and “turned the school into a Salafist mosque.” Sufism, by the way, is one of the oldest, most traditional interpretations of Islam; a minority sect in places like Libya, it is under attack from the various Salafi-inspired groups who want a puritanical, intolerant version of Islam to wipe away all other schools of thought. The Sufi Muslims traditionally place more emphasis on the spiritual, mystical side of the religion, somewhat comparable perhaps to the old Gnostics of early Christian traditions.

Sharia Law is in effect in various Libyan cities and towns, the Islamists establishing their various ’emirates’ just as Gaddafi said would happen. The same “Al-Qaeda Imams” Gaddafi told us were “in the mosques” guiding the uprising in 2011 are now in the town halls and civil buildings, legitimized by our Western governments. ‘Fatwas’ are being issued on a regular basis; ‘fatwas’ and indeed all the other traits of hardline Islamist/Salafist culture were entirely alien to Libya in the previous four decades.
libya-Ansar al-Sharia new Islamic police looks very much like ISIS cops 1

Hardline Islamists ‘Ansar al-Sharia’ ride around in ‘police’ convoys looking very much like ISIS/ISIL, and this was even prior to the larger-scale ISIL invasion that has occurred this year. ‘Ansar al-Sharia’ in Derna is headed by Abu Sufian bin Qumua former Guantanamo inmate who was a major Al-Qaeda figure in the 2011 uprising. Much of the uprising was, again, commanded by Al-Qaeda figures; something that is comprehensively demonstrated here. Ansar al-Sharia in fact have worked in concert with ISIL to help the latter establish a major presence in Libya.

The status of women in the new, NATO-backed Libya is yet another dimension to the tragedy.

Gaddafi’s system championed women’s involvement in decision-making, education and rights issues, in a way that most Arab countries don’t. Hilary Clinton, laughably viewed by some in America as some kind ‘women’s rights’ campaigner, gave Libyan women Al-Qaeda in place of progress. It was in fact reported very soon after Gaddafi’s death that one of the earliest new laws being sought by a number of men was the legal right to still have sexual intercourse with the corpses of dead wives for a certain amount of time before burial. That’s the sort of level we’re talking about. Western commentators could make fun of Gaddafi having an all-female bodyguard unit if they like (sure, it was very odd), but the same people are silent about Libyan women being subject now to fundamentalist-Islamic rules and restrictions.

Unlike many other Arab nations, women in pre-2011 Libya had the right to education, hold jobs, divorce, hold property and have an equal income to men. The United Nations Human Rights Council had in fact praised Gaddafi in particular for his promotion of women’s rights, and it’s no coincidence that so many of the most ardent pro-Gaddafi loyalists were women. It’s all gone now.
libya-ProGaddafi_1924414c

In March 2013, for example, Sadiq Ghariani, the ‘Grand Mufti’, issued a fatwa against the UN Report on Violence Against Women and Girls, condemning it. Later in 2013, lawyer Hamida Al-Hadi Al-Asfar, advocate of women’s rights, was abducted, tortured and killed. It is alleged she was targeted for criticising the Grand Mufti’s declaration. No arrests were made. Ghariani in fact has been using the UK as a base from which to encourage the violent extremists, including Islamic State, to consolidate their control of Libya.

In the (forced) change from Gaddafi’s Libya to the post-NATO Libya, women have gone from being highly active in Libyan life, going to universities and being a major part of the work force, to now facing the new reality of Sharia Law and the possibility also of being sold to ISIS/ISIL fighters as “virgin brides”. This is the gift Hilary Clinton, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice and others have given the women of Libya; women who, like most Libyans now, live in humiliation in their own country where they once lived in dignity.

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And of course the greatest sign, the greatest validation, of the great ‘success story’ of NATO and the West’s intervention in Libya has to be the thousands of people risking their lives to flee Libya across the sea in the hope of reaching Europe. This simply fulfils Gaddafi’s prediction prior to his murder that the Mediterranean would “become a sea of chaos” if the government fell. Some of these are Libyans, but many or most are refugees from other parts of Africa or the Middle East, who are being channeled through Libya and launched to sea by trafficking gangs and terror groups.
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Amnesty International, who – for the record – utterly refuted the Western governments/media stories about the Gaddafi government’s alleged ‘crimes’ in 2011 – now also sum up the character of post-Gaddafi Libya best when they declare ‘Libya is a place full of cruelty’; ‘Thousands of foreign nationals, including refugees and asylum-seekers, face abductions for ransom, torture and sexual violence by traffickers, smugglers and organized criminal groups. Many are systematically subjected to discrimination and exploitation by their employers or face indefinite detention in appalling conditions on account of their immigration status. Religious minorities, in particular Christian migrants and refugees, are persecuted and are at highest risk of abuse from armed groups that seek to enforce their own interpretation of Islamic law’.

This grim analysis of post-Gaddafi Libya could go on and on; but you’ve gotten the picture by now. And again, see this article for a portrait of what Libya used to be. The international intervention in Libya in 2011 stands as one of the worst, most heinous war crimes in modern history. And for the people of Libya, the chaos, suffering, degradation and humiliation didn’t end in the bombing and violence of 2011, but continues to this day. They still don’t have a government. In most parts of Libya, they don’t have infrastructure or basic amenities. And in many cities and towns, they live every day in danger of violence, arrest, rape or assassination.

The arrival now of scores of ISIS/ISIL fighters and extremists into a Libya that the international powers have left defenseless is the final rancid icing on the cake. Because with the arrival of ISIL, things can only get even worse.

Posted in LibyaComments Off on LIBYA After Gaddafi: The Humiliation & Horror of the ‘Failed State’

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