Slave Trade in Libya: Legacy of US-Led Aggression
by Stephen Lendman
Before Obama's war, orchestrated by Hillary Clinton, launched in February 2011, Libya was Africa's most developed nation.
Today it's a cauldron of endless violence, instability, turmoil, deep poverty, mass unemployment and appalling human misery.
Libyans under Gaddafi got extraordinary benefits most Americans can't imagine, including free healthcare, education, electricity, water, training, rehabilitation, housing assistance, disability and old-age benefits, interest-free state loans, as well as generous subsidies to study abroad, buy a new car, help couples when they marry, practically free gasoline, and more.
Gaddafi shared the country's oil wealth with ordinary Libyans, a notion foreign to America and other Western nations.
He increased literacy from 20–80%. Libya's hospitals and private clinics were some of Africa's best. Now they're in shambles.
Vital public services he provided no longer exist. Pre-war, Libyans had African's highest standard of living. Homelessness and hunger were nonexistent.
Gaddafi believed all Libyans had a right to a home or rent-free apartment, notions unheard of in the West.
He rejected Western fantasy democracy, deplored crony capitalism and neoliberal harshness. He treated women and religious minorities fairly.
Libya's Central Bank was state-owned, the interest-free Libyan dinar used for productive economic growth, not speculation, profits and bonuses for predatory bankers.
He financially supported launching a public African Central Bank, Monetary Fund and Investment Bank.
He advocated a new gold standard, replacing dollars with gold dinars, aiming to provide real monetary wealth and value, free from predatory Western lending agencies.
For all of the above reasons and others, he had to go, his agenda conflicting with Washington's.
Libya today reflects the legacy of Washington's destructive imperial agenda. Benefits, peace and stability under Gaddafi are long gone, endless violence, chaos and human misery replacing it.
Slave trading in the country flourishes, Black African refugees sold for as little as a few hundred dollars, sales conducted near Tripoli, auctioning off people as commodities, victims traumatized over what's going on.
Countless thousands affected are refugees, fleeing conflict zones or homeland persecution, seeking safe haven, many hoping to reach Europe.
Their journeys endured great sacrifices and hardships. Libya's coastguard clamping down on smugglers transporting them to European destinations left them with human cargo stuck in the country.
They became slave traders, refugees used as commodities to be sold for profit. International Organization for Migration's director of operations and emergencies Mohammed Abdiker called the situation "dire," explaining:
"Some reports are truly horrifying and the latest reports of 'slave markets' for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages."
They're forcibly detained under appalling conditions, deprived of food and medical treatment if needed, beaten and mutilated.
Deplorable conditions in Libya and other nations affected by US aggression reveal what happens wherever America shows up.
Mass slaughter, vast destruction, and appalling human misery follow, along with victimized refugees and asylum seekers turned into commodities for sale.
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