Libya: Another Example of Imperialism Run Amok

by lizard

Yesterday marked the third anniversary of Gaddafi’s violent death at the hands of the “rebels” NATO empowered in the so-called humanitarian intervention of Libya. Here’s wikipedia’s depiction:

Muammar Gaddafi, the deposed leader of Libya, died on 20 October 2011 during the Battle of Sirte. Gaddafi was found hiding in a culvert west of Sirte and captured by National Transitional Council forces. He was killed shortly afterwards. The NTC initially claimed he died from injuries sustained in a firefight when loyalist forces attempted to free him, although videos of his last moments show rebel fighters beating him before he was shot in the head.

I also think it’s important to revisit posts like this from Intelligent Discontent, titled Libyan Intervention: Another Example of Rational Humanitarian Foreign Policy. Here is how Pogreba launches his condescending jab at the leftist critique of Libyan regime change:

I don’t write a lot about foreign policy, simply because I think there are far more intelligent and knowledgeable people out there writing much more cogent analysis, but it’s hard to ignore the reflexive criticism of all things Obama that comes from certain elements of the principled left.

Although I’m no longer surprised that some Americans seem to have a better grasp of events in Libya than reporters, government officials, those with access to military satellites and other international observers on the ground in Libya, it might make their case against WESTERN IMPERIALISM a bit stronger if they could back their assertion that the situation was “trumped up” by the US government.

I think it’s fair to say that Obama overstated the danger–but I’d suggest that was more the result of a lack of clarity about the situation than some grand, Western plot to rule the world. It turns out that moral clarity and perfect vision are much easier in hindsight.

Humanitarian interventionists were dupes and the subsequent years have proven the “reflexive” criticism was accurate. While the interventionists have mostly slunk away from the disaster they cheered on 3 years ago, some of us continue writing and quoting sources to provide the context sorely missing in the lead up to NATO’s regime change, like a post I wrote last year, titled Slouching Toward Regional War.

At Counterpunch yesterday, this piece takes a before/after look at the descent of Libya, contrasting the destruction brought on by NATO with the pre-intervention reality of one of Africa’s most successful states:

In 1967 Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; however, by the time he was assassinated, Gaddafi had turned Libya into Africa’s wealthiest nation. Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy on the continent. Less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.

After NATO’s intervention in 2011, Libya is now a failed state and its economy is in shambles. As the government’s control slips through their fingers and into to the militia fighters’ hands, oil production has all but stopped.

The militias variously local, tribal, regional, Islamist or criminal, that have plagued Libya since NATO’s intervention, have recently lined up into two warring factions. Libya now has two governments, both with their own Prime Minister, parliament and army.

On one side, in the West of the country, Islamist-allied militias took over control of the capital Tripoli and other cities and set up their own government, chasing away a parliament that was elected over the summer.

On the other side, in the East of the Country, the “legitimate” government dominated by anti-Islamist politicians, exiled 1,200 kilometers away in Tobruk, no longer governs anything.

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 a center of migrant trafficking. Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have all closed their borders with Libya. This all occurs amidst a backdrop of widespread rape, assassinations and torture that complete the picture of a state that is failed to the bone.

Don’t expect humanitarian interventionists to acknowledge this reality. I hope on some level they realize how wrong they were so the next time a warmongering Democrat uses R2P as justification for regime change they won’t be useful dupes parroting the proven bullshit of America’s “rational humanitarian foreign policy”.


  1. Steve W

    The irresponsibility, the naivety, the silence, is breath-taking.

    Pogie, The guy who criticized (rightly so imho) MSLA DA Fred Van Valkenberg for failing to prosecute rape advocated action that resulted in ISIS, beheadinbgs, de-evolution of society, and wide-spread systematic rape in Libya. Oops!

    But, since it’s not Don’s or PWs , kids wife, sister, mom or grandmother being raped he writes zero about the results of his little adventures with Obama in Libya.

    The fact that Don et al censored JC so vigorously shows he can’t stand the heat of real debate. Spam is fine. Debate is verboten. And now of course he can’t admit he blew it and thousands of women were needlessly raped, thousands of children dead, as a direct result of US led NATO attacks.

    He’s mum on his misguided misadventure.

    But now in 2014 Don censors himself. He is silent on Libya, he’s silent on the connection between Libya and ISIS, and he’s failing to assign any responsibility to the main actors nor is he undertaking analysis of the outcome to humans on the ground.

    Don et al (Intelligent Disconnect) is his own Independent Record and Great Falls Tribune when it comes to what has been wrought in Libya as a direct result of the US led NATO campaign.

    Maybe Don, the PW or any of the other many interventionists out there would like to comment on the success or failure of the NATO bombing campaign to help people?

    http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2014/8/25/libya_in_chaos_vijay_prashad_on

    http://www.today.com/video/today/55969223#55969223

    • Wow, I’m responsible for ISIS? I didn’t realize how much my blog mattered. Thanks, guys, for the affirmation of my importance.

      JC certainly isn’t blocked at my blog, by the way, despite his repeated untrue claims that he is. You’ll find ample evidence of me being censored when I question his posts here, though. Does that mean he’s responsible for ISIS, too? Ebola? The disappointing final season of How I Married Your Mother?

      I’ll admit I lack your sophistication to understand the nuances of blame. I look forward to being enlightened.

      • JC

        Steve didn’t say “blocked.” He said “censored” about your actions towards me. But of course you need to create a straw man just to knock it down. Usual tripe from you, which is why I haven’t found any reasons anymore to go to ID and comment, much less read what you have to “write.”

        So when you admit you lack “sophistication to understand… nuances”, you hit the nail on the head. That you await enlightenment is doubtful.

  2. steve kelly

    “It’s interesting I was looking at a chart just the other day – I mentioned this 3 million barrels a day that has increased in the last three years – so if you plot that U.S. production increase of 3 million barrels a day, there’s a mirror image of 3 million barrels a day of production that has been offline from places like Libya, Iran because of sanctions, disruptions in Iraq and Nigeria and other parts of the world. That’s why we have enjoyed this period of tremendous price stability. So this production on the top only continues to grow.”
    – Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO, Exxon-Mobile, October 2, 2014

    http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/company/news-and-updates/speeches/the-state-of-energy-strong-and-transformative

    Don’t you just love a big, fat (Note: Iran, Iraq, Libya and Nigeria) coincidence?

  3. steve kelly

    re: Ebola.
    “Ebola Manufactured by Western Pharmaceuticals, US DoD?: Scientists Allege”

    By Dr. Cyril Broderick, Professor of Plant Pathology
    October 19, 2014 “ICH” – “Liberian Observer”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40013.htm

    • JC

      Francis A. Boyle, the guy who was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 weighed in on the origins of this ebola outbreak today:

      Q. Is Ebola just a result of health crisis in Africa – because of the large gaps in personnel, equipment and medicines – as some experts suggest?

      A. That isn’t true at all. This is just propaganda being put out by everyone. It seems to me, that what we are dealing with here is a biological warfare work that was conducted at the bio-warfare laboratories set up by the USA on the west coast of Africa. And if you look at a map produced by the Center of Disease Control you can see where these laboratories are located. And they are across the heart of Ebola epidemic, at the west coast of Africa. So, I think these laboratories, one or more of them, are the origins of the Ebola epidemic.

      • Steve W

        Crises capitalism only works if you have a crises, after all.

  4. Eric

    I’m still waiting to see if Libya haunts Hillary in 2015/2016, or if history can be re-written by then.

    • Yes, because in the end, it is all about American partisan politics. You nailed it buddy.

  1. 1 Monday Morning Enlightenment | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Pogreba did make a little appearance in last week’s post about Libya as another example of Imperialism run amok, but it wasn’t to admit he was wrong. Instead it was to counter another commenter calling him […]




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