Friday, 20 February 2015

Destroying Libya

[What follows is excerpted from this week’s syndicated column by US political columnist and cartoonist Ted Rall:]

Barack Obama destroyed Libya.

What he did to Libya is as bad as what Bush did to Iraq and Afghanistan. He doesn’t deserve a historical pass.

When Obama took office in 2009, Libya was under the clutches of longtime dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. But things were looking up.

Bush and Gaddafi had cut a deal to lift Western trade sanctions in exchange for Libya acknowledging and paying restitution for its role in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. In a rare triumph for Bush, Libya also agreed to give up its nuclear weapons research program. Libyan and Western analysts anticipated that Gaddafi’s dictatorship would be forced to accept liberal reforms, perhaps even free elections and rival political parties, in order to attract Western investment.

Libya in 2009 was prosperous. As citizens of a major oil- and natural gas-exporting nation, Libyans enjoyed high salaries, low living expenses, generous social benefits, not to mention law and order. It seems like a mirage today.

Looking back, many Libyans miss their former tyrant. “Muammar Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa,” notes Garikai Chengu of the Du Bois Institute for African Research at Harvard University. “However, by the time he was assassinated, Libya was unquestionably Africa’s most prosperous nation. Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy in Africa and less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.”

As a dictator, Gaddafi was guilty of horrendous human rights abuses. But life was better then than now. Women enjoyed more rights in Libya than in any other Arab country, particularly after the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein in Iraq. By regional standards, Libya was a relatively sweet place to live. (...)

Obama threw Gaddafi, whose regime was secular and by all accounts had been cooperative and held up his end of the deals with US, under the bus.

American forces jammed Libyan military communications. The US fired missiles to intercept Libyan missiles fired at rebel targets. The US led numerous airstrikes against units loyal to Gaddafi. US intervention turned the tide in favor of the Benghazi-based rebels.

Before invading Iraq, then Secretary of State Colin Powell warned Bush about his “Pottery Barn rule“: if you break it, you own it.

Obama has broken the hell out of Libya.


  1. Living with the "Lockerbie Affair", 2015 - (goggle translation, german/english):

    In support of the decline and the moral bombing Directive of the peaceful 'Libya Jamahiriya', was deliberately as memory, the 'Lockerbie Tragedy' against the Gaddafi-Regime, with promised evidence of guilt, from Mustafa Abdul Jalil, former Chairman of the National Transitional Council of Libya - used as a reminder.
    After the death of Moammar Gaddafi - Mustafa Abdul Jalil, could not provide any evidence in connection with the 'Lockerbie Case', against the Gaddafi regime !!!


    Zur Unterstützung des Niedergangs der friedlichen 'Libya Jamahiriya' wurde vorsätzlich, erneut die 'Lockerbie Tragödie' gegegen das Gaddafi- Regime, mit versprochenen Beweisen der Schuldigkeit, durch Mustafa Abdul Jalil, former Chairman of the 'National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya - als Erinnerung eingesetzt...
    Jalil konnte nach dem Tod von Muammar Gaddafi, keine Beweise gegen das Gaddafi Regime - im 'Lockerboie-Fall' - erbringen !!!

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage:

  2. The next target is Syria. Here's Obama featured in the Wall Street Journal claiming that ISIS is all caused by Assad being in power. Meanwhile Turkey is being funded by the US to create a "moderate rebel" force to firstly destroy Isis, then go after Assad.

    Obama used the world wide summit to make his declaration. The drumbeat of war on Syria and Assad is beginning, led by Fox News. First Iraq, then Afghanistan, then Libya. And after Syria, Iran?

    It's pretty much the old imperial deck of cards. Destroy the government, replace with paid lackeys, divide and then rule. It's not personal, it's business, strictly business.

  3. I've always had a horrible feeling Lockerbie was partly to blame for what happened to Libya. When the western allies sided with the rebels in Benghazi, Gaddafi looked as if he was winning. Without the intervention, he could well have repulsed the rebels. Who were a bunch of thugs no better than he was anyway.

    Britain and the USA needed to monster Gaddafi in order to keep their own people on board for this intervention. Gaddafi perpetrating human rights atrocities against his own people wasn't enough. He had to be portrayed as a monster on an international scale. To that end the murder of Yvonne Fletcher and Lockerbie were both constantly referred to at the time. Lockerbie in particular, and Megrahi who was still living in Tripoli at the time.

    I asked a Libyan commentator on Twitter about this some time ago, and she said Lockerbie had nothing to do with the present situation. I said, I'm talking about the false accusation levelled against Gaddafi. She said, all the evidence points to Gaddafi having done it. End of conversation. I think the Libyans want Gaddafi to be guilty of everything at this stage in the game.