Mmegi Blogs :: Western hypocrisy in Libya
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Friday 08 December 2017, 17:25 pm.
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Western hypocrisy in Libya

NATO’s military intervention in Libya in 2011 has justifiably earned its place in history as an indictment of Western foreign policy and a military alliance, which since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has been deployed as the sword of this foreign policy.
By Solly Rakgomo Thu 30 Nov 2017, 17:49 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Western hypocrisy in Libya








The destruction of Libya will forever be an indelible stain on the reputations of those countries and leaders responsible. But now, with the revelation that the people are being sold as slaves in Libya, I find it utterly shocking that in 2017 the slave trade is alive and kicking in Libya.

The  cataclysmic disaster to befall the country has been compounded to the point where it is hard to conceive of it ever being able to recover and certainly not anywhere near its former status as a high development country, as the UN labelled Libya 2010 a year prior to the so called  ‘revolution’.

Back in 2011 it was simply inconceivable that the UK, the US and France would ignore the lessons of Iraq, just nine years previously in 2003. Yet ignore them they did, highlighting their rapacious obsession with maintaining hegemony over a region that sits atop an ocean of oil, despite the human cost and legacy of disaster and chaos which this particular obsession has wrought.

When former UK Prime Minister David Cameron descended on Benghazi in eastern Libya in the summer of 2011, basking in the glory of the country’s victorious ‘revolution’ in the company of his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, he did so imbued with the belief he had succeeded in establishing his legacy as a leader on the global stage. Like Tony Blair before him, he had won his war and now was intent on partaking on its political and geopolitical spoils.

 I still have vivid memories of watching that television footage where Cameron, an imperialist war nutcase of note, told the crowd, “Your city was an inspiration to the world, as you threw off a dictator and chose freedom.”  Pondering the former UK prime minister’s fatuous boast, I am reminded of a conversation I had recently with one expatriate Phd student at University of Botswana.

During our exchange, he informed me that he was originally from Libya, before going on to reveal that he was forced to flee the country after some of his family members were killed by Cameron’s “freedom-loving revolutionaries” in 2011. In Libya, prior to the “revolution” and NATO’s air campaign, he had been a petroleum engineer with a Masters degree looking forward to pursue a PhD. He painfully told me that he was forced by hardship to work ten hours a day driving a cab in Scotland in the middle of a cruel and unforgiving winter.

The destruction of Libya shattered his dream of contributing meaningfully to the socio-economic development of his beloved country. He counts himself as lucky to have received a scholarship from some Non-Governmental Organisation to study in Botswana, which is geographically located thousands of kilometres away from the ravage turned into a dehumanising lucrative slave trade

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market! Mind you, Libya used to top the Human Development Index in Africa.

 The destruction of Libya by NATO at the behest of the UK, the US and France was a crime, one dripping in the hypocrisy of Western ideologues for whom the world with all its complexities is reduced to a giant chessboard upon which countries such as Libya have long been mere pieces to be moved around and changed at their pleasure and in their interests, interests that are inimical to the people of the countries they deem ripe for regime change.

The word extremist is perhaps overused in our lexicon, but it is entirely appropriate when describing the pro-war neo-conservative lobby that exerts inordinate influence on Western foreign policy. Here we are sadly talking of a class of rich, privileged and expensively educated men and women who are bent on purifying the world in the name of democracy.

The end result has been a litany of countries destabilised and turned upside down with the lives of their citizens completely upended in the process. War and regime change without end remains their credo, driving them ever onwards as they lurch from one disaster to the other, intent, as Beckett laments, on failing once, trying again, and failing better.

In 2011 the Libyan people fell victim to the West’s crude attempt to hijack the momentum of the Arab Spring at the very point at which it came to the end of its reach. The speed of its spread and mass support in Tunisia and Egypt, where it succeeded in toppling two pro-Western dictators in the shape of Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, caught Washington and its allies by surprise. Libya is where they decided to try and place themselves at the head of its momentum.

They did so motivated not by the desire to help effect democratic change in the country but to ensure that the extensive and lucrative oil exploration contracts and economic ties forged with the Gaddafi government were protected and upheld after its demise. This was their motivation and the result six years on is failed state in which the slave trade now exists.

Washington and Europe have never been a source of stability in the Middle East or North Africa. On the contrary, their presence and double dealing has only ever brought the people of this part of the world unremitting suffering and despair. It’s just as Gandhi said: “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” So sad for Libya and other victims of imperialist regime change interventions masqueraded as Responsibility to Protect and installation of “democracy”.

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