Libya in Free Fall
by Stephen Lendman
Wherever America shows up, mass slaughter, destruction, instability and unspeakable human misery follow.
On March 19, 2011, Obama lied saying:
"Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians. That action has now begun."
"In this effort, the United States is acting with a broad coalition that is committed to enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for the protection of the Libyan people."
In September 2010, James Petras' article "Imperialism and Imperial Barbarism" explained what's become all too familiar.
"The organizing principle of imperial barbarism is the idea of total war," he said. Tactics include:
• mass destruction weapons use;
• ravaging and destroying entire countries and societies;
• dismantling "the entire civil and military apparatus of the state;" and
• replacing it with "colonial officials, paid mercenaries and unscrupulous and corrupt satraps."
Stooge governance with no legitimacy. Or as Petras explained:
"The entire modern professional class is targeted…(It's) replaced by retrograde religious-ethnic clans and gangs, susceptible to bribes and booty-shares."
"All existing modern civil society organizations are pulverized and replaced by crony-plunderers linked to the colonial regime."
"The entire economy is" disrupted by "shock and awe" bombings and ground attacks. They destroy essential civilian infrastructure on the pretext of demolishing military and "dual use" targets.
US-led NATO is a ruthless killing machine. It's for offense, not defense. It deplores peace and stability. It wages permanent wars. It threatens humanity's survival.
Its "responsibility to protect" (R2P) claim is rubbish. It's subterfuge for war without mercy. It's Trojan Horse deception. Months of terror bombing ravaged Libya.
Tens of thousands were murdered in cold blood. Multiples more were injured and/or displaced.
Violence, instability, insecurity and chaos reflect daily life. No end in sight looms. Millions of Libyans live in constant fear.
Obama bears full responsibility for ravaging, destroying, raping and plundering North Africa's most developed country. Anarchical charnel house conditions replaced it. Dystopian harshness persists.
Libya under Gaddafi was paradise compared to now. His Green Book said:
"The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others."
"Women, like men, are human beings."
"…(A)ll individuals have a natural right to self-expression by any means…"
"In a socialist society no person may own a private means of transportation for the purpose of renting to others, because this represents controlling the needs of others."
"The democratic system is a cohesive structure whose foundation stones are firmly laid above the other (through People's Conferences and Committees). There is absolutely no conception of democratic society other than this."
"No representation of the people - representation is a falsehood. The existence of parliaments underlies the absence of the people, for democracy can only exist with the presence of the people and not in the presence of representatives of the people."
Gaddafi rejected Western-style democracy. He did so for good reason. He deplored predatory capitalism.
It's one of many reasons why he was ousted. He used Libya's oil revenues responsibly. He provided social services Americans can't imagine.
Libyans lost what may never be restored. Benefits included free electricity. Interest-free loans from state-owned banks.
Homes considered a human right. Generous $50,000 stipends given newlyweds to begin married life, buy a home and start a family.
Free healthcare and education. Free land, facilities, equipment, seeds or livestock for Libyan farmers.
Government-funded education and healthcare abroad plus $2,300 monthly for expenses.
Subsidies of 50% for car purchases. Gasoline at about 53 cents a gallon.
Freedom from IMF and other external debt bondage. Salaries paid new graduates until jobs were found.
A percent of oil revenue automatically credited to individual citizen bank accounts. Generous $5,000 payments given new mothers.
Practically free bread: 40 loaves for around 15 cents total. Gaddafi's Great Man-Made River (GMMR) project.
It made the desert bloom. It provided free water. Gaddafi called it the 8th wonder of the world. He did so for good reason.
He developed an ocean-sized aquifer beneath Libyan sands. It was decades-long work in progress.
What he created, US-led NATO destroyed. Connecting pipelines and infrastructure were targeted.
Depleted uranium weapons were used. Doing so irradiated clean, fresh water.
Free supplies no longer exist. Western corporate predators exploit them for profit.
Turmoil and collapse reflect today's Libya. Conditions are horrific. Militia gangs control local areas. Battleground conditions affect the entire populated north.
Central governance is more illusion than reality. In July, Washington's Tripoli embassy was evacuated.
Diplomatic staff was relocated to neighboring Tunisia. Doing so by air was too dangerous.
Moving personnel required dozens of marines. It was "due to the ongoing violence," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
UN authorities moved their staff. Daily violence and instability required doing so for "security reasons," according to UN spokesman Farhan Haq.
Libya's US-installed stooge government sought safe refuge east of Tripoli. Armed militia gangs control the city. According to a government statement:
"Ministry and state offices in Tripoli have been occupied by armed militias who are preventing government workers from entering and are threatening their superiors."
In late August, Russia's UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, said Libya is in "free fall." Moscow's diplomatic staff was relocated to Tunisia.
Its foreign ministry urged Russians to avoid Libya. Ongoing violence and political turmoil were cited.
In late July, the State Department "warn(ed) US citizens against all travel to Libya and recommend(ed) (those) currently (there) depart immediately."
Its travel warning superseded an earlier May 27 one. Conditions remain "unpredictable and unstable," the State Department said.
Violence is out-of-control. Central governance is pure fantasy. "(T)ravelers should be aware that they may be targeted for kidnapping, violent attacks, or death," the State Department warned.
On October 3, UN authorities condemned escalated violence in Tripoli, Benghazi and other areas. It persists despite ceasefire calls.
A Friday press release called on warring parties to "redouble their efforts in order to spare the Libyan people further hardship and suffering, and to allow for an environment that will be more conducive for the dialogue planned after the Eid holidays."
They begin this weekend after the annual Hajj's conclusion. It's one of the five Islamic pillars.
Muslims worldwide are required to participate in the Mecca pilgrimage once in a lifetime if they're physically and financially able to do so.
Libya is currently experiencing its worst violence and chaos since Gaddafi's ouster. Hundreds die monthly. Official body counts fall short of reality.
On August 25, a shameless joint US/French/German/British/Italian statement on Libya ignored what needs explaining.
It condemned ongoing violence. It failed to lay blame where it belongs. It urged "an immediate ceasefire…"
It called for "engag(ing) constructively in the democratic process" these countries deplore.
It urged "protect(ing) the rights of all libyans" they don't give a damn about. Not now. Not earlier. Not ever.
Imperial plunder, exploitation and control alone matter. Don't expect America and other Western countries to explain.
"We believe outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines (its) democratic transition," they said.
This and similar statements are Big Lies. They're polar opposite reality. Western monied interests and Big Oil run Libya.
Gangsterism defines things. Imperialism works this way. Destroying nations to exploit them is a small price to pay. So are mass murder and unspeakable human misery.
The State Department's 2013 report on human rights ludicrously calls Libya a "parliamentary democracy with a temporary Constitutional Declaration that allows for the exercise of a full range of political, civil, and judicial rights."
Things are polar opposite. Anarchal chaos explains them. The State Department admitted "rule of law" "failure."
Conditions include "arbitrary and unlawful killings, including politically motivated killings by groups outside or only nominally under government control; torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; and harsh and life-threatening conditions in (sometimes illegal) detention and prison facilities."
Other human rights abuses include:
• "arbitrary arrest(s) and detention(s);
• lengthy pretrial detention(s);
• denial of a fair public trial;
• an ineffective judicial system staffed by intimidated judicial authorities;
• arbitrary interference with privacy and home;
• use of excessive force and other abuses in internal conflicts;
• localized restrictions on humanitarian aid to civilians;
• limits on the freedoms of speech and press, including violence against and harassment of journalists;
• restrictions on freedom of religion;
• abuses of internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, and migrants;
• corruption and lack of transparency in government;
• social discrimination against and societal abuse of women and ethnic and racial minorities, including foreign workers;
• legal and social discrimination based on sexual orientation;
• trafficking in persons; killings related to societal violence; and
• violations of labor rights, including forced labor."
A culture of impunity prevails. Courts barely function. State-sponsored crimes go unpunished. So do Western and corporate ones.
Rare investigations are whitewashed. Political vacuum conditions exist.
Government in name only has no power whatever. Militia gangs control things.
Libya is a classic failed state. Central authority is nonexistent. Out-of-control violence persists. Public services aren't provided.
Corruption and criminality are rampant. Conditions are in free fall.
Political theorist/sociologist/philosopher Max Weber (1864 - 1920) said maintaining control through "a monopoly on the legitimate use of force" is essential for states to succeed.
Without it they fail. Governmental science Professor Robert H. Bates calls doing so the "implosion of the state."
Where it's transformed "into an instrument of predation." Under conditions where it loses its monopoly on the use of force.
Political science Professor James Piazza says failed states experience more violence and terrorist attacks.
Conditions "take advantage of globalization, trade liberalization and exploding new technologies to perpetrate diverse crimes and to move money, goods, services and people instantaneously for purposes of perpetrating violence for political ends," he says.
"Problems of (failed or) weakened states and transnational crime create an unholy confluence that is uniquely challenging," he added.
Since 2005, the Fund for Peace think tank and Foreign Policy magazine publish annual Fragile States Indexes (formerly called Failed States).
Rankings are based on zero (most stable) to 10 (least stable) scores from 12 indicators. They include:
Mounting Demographic Pressures
Massive Movement of Refugees or Internally Displaced Persons
Vengeance Seeking Group Grievance
Chronic and Sustained Human Flight
Uneven Economic Development
Poverty, Sharp or Severe Economic Decline
Legitimacy of the State
Progressive Deterioration of Public Services
Violation of Human Rights and Rule of Law
Rise of Factionalized Elites
Intervention of External Actors
States were categorized under headings designating:
Very High Alert
Very High Warning
Surprisingly, Libya was characterized as Very High Warning. It ranked 41st in stability among 178 nations studied.
Given chaotic conditions, it should have scored lower. Perhaps topping the list of failed states or close to it.
Gaddafi's Libya no longer exists. Dystopian harshness replaced it. Violence, instability, insecurity and unspeakable human misery reflect daily life. Central governance is nonexistent.
It bears repeating. Obama bears full responsibility. His entire tenure is blood-drenched. He gave ruthlessness new meaning.
He threatens humanity's survival. World peace hangs by a thread.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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