The world, including the US press, is looking on in horror at recent events in Libya. Libya is now a center of human trafficking, with human beings packed into ships bound for Europe. Libyans are so desperate to escape their country, now wrecked with civil war and astounding levels of poverty, they are risking their lives. Ships filled with desperate human beings have crashed, and a number of corpses have washed up on Libya’s beaches.
Furthermore, the Islamic State organization, which has been terrorizing and murdering people in Iraq and Syria, is moving into action on the African continent. Libyan Christians are being executed by ISIS fighters.
400,000 people in Libya are declared by Human Rights Watch to be “internally displaced.” In 2014 alone, over 250 journalists, religious and political leaders, and judges have been assassinated.
Is there any rational human being, who can argue that the Libya of today is better off than the Libya that existed prior to 2011? Can any rational, logical case be made that funding the anti-government insurgents, and the eventual US NATO bombing campaign, improved the conditions of the Libyan people?
While the US media has often played up false or exaggerated stories of Cubans fleeing to Miami on rafts, the whole world is seeing how thousands of Libyans are piling into boats, desperately trying to cross the Mediterranean. Just like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, Libya has been destroyed by a campaign of western intervention.
Before the US/NATO Attack
Prior to the foreign backed war and bombing of 2011, Libya had the highest life expectancy on the African continent. The government that emerged from the 1969 revolution, led by Colonel Moammar Gaddafi had resulted in the development of nationalized oil resources.
Every Libyan was guaranteed an income, based on a personal share of the country’s oil profits. Food and housing were heavily subsidized. Libyans received free education and free medical care. The Libyan government constructed the worlds most efficient irrigation system, bringing water to an extremely dry country.
The huge economic achievements of Libya’s independent economic development were marveled at by people around the world. The “Green Book” that explained Gaddafi’s “Third Universal Theory” was studied around the world by people who were inspired by Libya’s achievements.
Libya funded other peoples who fought for their national liberation. Libyan money went to the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam. Libyan weapons and support went to the African National Congress, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and many other anti-imperialist armed groups.
What has happened to Libya since 2011 is yet another illustration of the sinister intentions behind US foreign policy. The unfolding chaos in Iraq, the instability in Afghanistan, the continuing campaign of violence and terrorism in Syria, and the horrendous state of Libya are not the result of miscalculations or blunders by western governments.
An Intentional Policy of Destruction
Samantha Power, declared to be the architect of the Libyan intervention has been promoted to the rank of US ambassador to the United Nations. Many of the armed terrorists who fought to destroy Libya have been transported to Syria, and told to continue their efforts.
Libya’s oil exports are a mere 11% of what they were prior to 2011.
The state owned Libyan oil company has been removed from the world market, and what little remains of Libya’s oil infrastructure, is now controlled by western capitalists. Wall Street has retaken Libya for itself, overturning the 1969 revolution. Stability, development, and arguably the most prosperous society on the African continent, has been destroyed.
The results of US intervention are on display in Libya for the whole world to see. Whenever the US media whips itself into a frenzy, talking about “humanitarianism” and the need to “rescue innocent people”, the intervention that results always makes the situation worse. The people the US and its allies intend to rescue, end up far worse off than before.
We should all look at the horror of Libya, and realize that we can never trust US officials, and that all calls for foreign intervention by the United States and the European Union must be loudly opposed by progressive forces.
Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.