WORLD FUTURE FUND
AMERICA'S 2011 ATTACK ON LIBYA
LIES, DEATH AND DISASTER
Today Libya and North Africa are in chaos. The war in Libya to depose Gaddafi was initated with a series of lies that culminated in a disaster for the region. Both the media and the Obama administration sold the war in Libya as a "quick war," a "cheap war," and a "humanitarian war." There were claims that this war would prevent further bloodshed to the people of Libya, and free the people from the reign of an oppressive dictator.
Yet this was a war initiated with blatant lies - lies that have unleashed a nightmare of violence and chaos upon the Libyan people. A further look at the reality of NATO's intervention in Libya reveals that the intentions were more focused on regime change, rather than the safety of the Libyan people. It also can't be a coincidence that the Largest Oil Reserves in Africa are located in Libya (Libya: Energy Information Administration PDF). This oil is al1so low on sulfur, which means that it is easier to refine.
The truth is that NATO's intervention increased the death toll dramatically, dragged out the length of what could have been a brief conflict, has allowed violent fundamentalist groups to take power in the region and has sown the seeds for further violence and chaos to spill out across the northern Sahara and Syria. NATO's actions have truly been a harbinger of death in the region.
LIES AND PROPOGANDA KICK START NATO INTERVENTION IN LIBYA
Protesters Initiated Violence, Not Gadaffi:
There were claims that NATO just had to intervene in Libya, because Gaddafi was presiding over a massacre of Libyan civilians. This was a lie.
The truth is that Colonel Muammer Gaddafi did not initiate Libya's violence by targeting protesters. The United Nations and Amnesty International have documented that in all four Libyan cities initially consumed by civil conflict in mid-February 2011—Benghazi, Al Bayda, Tripoli, and Misurata—violence was actually initiated by the protesters (Belfer Center, September 2013).
Gaddafi did not use indiscriminate force. Early press accounts of the death toll were exaggerated in the Western Media by a factor of 10:
The government responded to the rebels with military means, but never intentionally targeted civilians or resorted to "indiscriminate" force, as the Western media sources claimed. Early press accounts exaggerated the death toll, citing "more than 2,000 deaths" in Benghazi during the initial days of the uprising, whereas Human Rights Watch (HRW) later documented only 233 deaths across all of Libya in that period.
Officials in the West claim Libyan War as "humanitarian success," when war was actually a "humanitarian disaster"
In the immediate aftermath of the Libyan War, it was “hailed as a model intervention” by then U.S. envoy to NATO Ivo Daalder and Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stravidis.
Even after the terrorist attack in Benghazi, President Obama proudly asserted that “we were able to—without putting troops on the ground, at the cost of less than what we spent in 2 weeks in Iraq—liberate a country that had been under the yoke of dictatorship for 40 years, got rid of a despot who had killed Americans.”
Yet was it truly a success? The facts tell a more gruesome story.
NATO RADICALLY INCREASES LENGTH OF CONFLICT AND THE DEATH TOLL
Estimates place the death toll of the conflict in Libya at 30,000 and more than 4,000 are missing (Huffington Post, 2011).
The Libyan Civil War (also referred to as the Libyan Revolution) was an armed conflict that was fought between forces loyal to Gaddafi and the rebels who were seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in 2009, and finally culminated in protests in Benghazi, on February 15th 2011. These protests led to a clash with security forces. Soon the protests erupted into a rebellion that swept the across the entire nation.
When NATO began their intervention in Libya, around March 2011, Gaddafi had already gained control over most of the region. The rebels were fleeing towards Egypt. The conflict was drawing to a close barely six weeks after it started with a death toll of about 1,000.
Yet when NATO got involved, the rebels resumed their attacks, which prolonged the war for another seven months and drastically increased the death toll.
NATO CLAIMS THEY WERE TRYING TO PUT A QUICK END TO BLOODSHED
EVIDENCE SHOWS REGIME CHANGE WAS THE PRIMARY GOAL
NATO interfered in Libya with claims that this was a "humanitarian war," and that they were trying to prevent further bloodshed to the Libyan people. Yet evidence reveals that NATO's primary aim was to accomplish regime change, even at the expense of causing further harm to Libyan civilians. NATO attacked Libyan forces indiscriminately, including some in retreat and others in Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte, where they posed no threat to civilians. NATO continued to aid the rebels, even when they repeatedly rejected government cease-fire offers that could have ended the violence and spared civilians. Such military assistance included weapons, training, and covert deployment of hundreds of troops from Qatar, eventually enabling the rebels to capture and summarily execute Gaddafi and seize power in October 2011.
"WE CAME, WE SAW, HE DIED"
GADDAFI IS TORTURED TO DEATH AND HILLARY LAUGHS
In 2011, the world was shocked at a brutal video that showed Muammer Gaddafi being tortured and killed by Libyan rebels. In the most definitive account of Gaddafi's death, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that Gadaffi was injured by shrapnel from a hand grenade that exploded yards away from him as he tried to escape his home town of Sirte. Following the grenade explosion, groups of militia fighters captured the badly bleeding Gaddafi. Raw, unedited cell phone footage obtained by Human Rights Watch documents the three minutes and 38 seconds of his capture. As soon as the militia men had custody of Gaddafi, they began to abuse him. Blood was already gushing from the shrapnel wound in his head. He was laid upon the road where a militia man stabbed him in the anus with a bayonet, causing more rapid bleeding. The militia men surrounded Gaddafi, punching and beating him, yelling "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) over and over again.
In an interview with Human Rights Watch, the commander of the militia acknowledged that the situation was totally out of control:
"When we captured Gaddafi, the situation was a mess. There were very many fighters around. He was alive when I saw him, so he must have been shot later, not when we saw him here. But it was a violent scene, he was put on the front of a pickup truck that tried to drive him away, and he fell off. It was very confusing. People were pulling on his hair and hitting him. We understood there needed to be a trial, but we couldn’t control everyone, some acted beyond our control."
Finally the militiamen loaded Gaddafi's body into an ambulance, but he was already dead by the time the ambulance arrived in Misrata at least two hours later. There are many conflicting account about the exact cause of death. Some militia men claim that Gaddafi was shot amidst the dispute about where to take him, but these claims remain unconfirmed.
However, what is clear is that the entire situation was a complete mess. There was no organization or control over what would happen to Libya's former dictator. This man did not receive a fair trial before his execution and the gruesome manner of his death is certainly no laughing matter. However, Hillary Clinton disagrees.
In response to Gaddafi's brutal death, Hillary Clinton laughs. Clinton jubilant over Gaddafi's death: "We came, we saw, he died" (YouTube, 10-20-11)
Death of a Dictator (Human Rights Watch Report on Gadaffi's death, 10-17-12)
BRUTAL AFTERMATH OF LIBYAN CONFLICT
A NIGHTMARE OF VIOLENCE SPREADS ACROSS THE SAHARA
Many in the West think the conflict in Libya has been resolved, yet the evidence shows that troubles in Libya are far from over. In fact, there have been several nightmarish consequences of NATO's intervention that continue to unfold. These consequences include the surge of racial and ethnic violence, a rise in radical Islamic groups, the spread of violence and terror across the Sahara and the sale of arms from Libya to some of Syria's most extreme rebels.
RACIAL AND ETHNIC VIOLENCE
In the aftermath of "Post-Gaddafi Libya", the victorious rebels have perpetrated scores of reprisal killings and expelled 30,000 mostly black residents of Tawerga on grounds that some had been "mercenaries" for Gaddafi. Human Rights Watch reported in 2012 that such abuses "appear to be so widespread and systematic that they may amount to crimes against humanity." Ironically, such racial or ethnic violence had never occurred under Gaddafi's regime.
THE RISE OF RADICAL ISLAMIC GROUPS
Radical Islamist groups were suppressed under Gaddafi's regime. Yet during the conflict, they emerged as the fiercest rebels and refused to disarm or submit to government authority in the aftermath of the conflict. These radical groups have become a persistent threat in the region. In September 2012, they were responsible for the infamous attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues. Even more recently, in April 2013, a vehicle bomb destroyed half of the French embassy in the capital, Tripoli. In light of such instability, it is not surprising that most Libyans responding to a postwar poll expressed nostalgia for a strong leader such as Gaddafi.
BOKO HARAM INCIDENT COINCIDES WITH ARMING OF LIBYAN REBELS
Boko Haram has been in the news recently because of their savage attacks in Nigeria, such as the one where 240 school girls were kidnapped, and because of Michelle Obama posting a picture of herself on Twitter with the hastag "Bring Back Our Girls."
Yet the irony of the whole incident is that the Boko Haram incident coincided with the arming of Libyan Rebels, which increased in ferocity after the death of Gaddafi. This is because weapons have made their way from Libya to Nigeria via Boko Haram's Al Qaeda connection. With new arms from Libya, Boko Haram is now closer than ever to their goal of achieving its dream of creating an Islamic rule in the lawless areas around Lake Chad.
MALI GOES FROM A BEACON OF PEACE AND DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA
TO ONE OF THE LARGEST TERRITORIES CONTROLED BY ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS IN THE WORLD
Mali, one of Libya's neighboring countries, had previously been an example of peace and democracy in the region. Yet now the country has suffered some of the worst consequences from the intervention. After Gaddafi's defeat, his ethnic Tuareg soldiers of Malian descent fled home and launched a rebellion in their country's northern region, prompting the Malian army to overthrow the president. The rebellion, however, was quickly hijacked by local Islamist forces and Al-Qaida, which together imposed Sharia Law and declared the vast north an independent country. By December 2012, the northern half of Mali had become "the largest territory controlled by Islamic extremists in the world," according to the chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Africa. This chaos also spurred the massive displacement of hundreds of thousands of Malian civilians, which Amnesty International characterized as "Mali's worst human rights situation in 50 years."
INTERVENTION IN LIBYA INSPIRES SYRIA'S PEACEFUL PROTESTERS TO GO VIOLENT
Not only did the violence leak from Libya to Mali, but the effects of this war have even leaked to other conflicts in the Middle East. Sophisticated weapons from Gaddafi 's arsenal—including up to 15,000 man-portable, surface-to-air missiles unaccounted for as of 2012—leaked to radical Islamists throughout the region. NATO's intervention on behalf of Libya's rebels also encouraged Syria's formerly peaceful protesters to switch to violence in mid-2011, in hopes of attracting a similar intervention.
LIBYAN FOREIGN MINISTER ADMITS, TROOPS AND ARMS TO SYRIA ARE A SOURCE OF PRIDE
Libya´s Foreign Minister, Mohamed Abdul-Aziz admitted, that a lot of Libyans are fighting within the ranks of the armed terrorist groups in Syria and that Libya remains a hub for weapons shipments to the insurgents. The post-coup Libyan Foreign Minister states, that “helping our brothers in Syria is a source of pride”. (NSNBC International, 9-15-13)
THE REAL BENGHAZI SCANDAL
The failure to protect the personnel at an American consulate is the main part of the scandal in Benghazi covered by the press. However, this is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the real scandal that was taking place.
In September 2012, a local militia made an assault on an American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi. This assault killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens along with three others. As this scandal splashed across the media, there was outrage over the fact that the State Department did not provide a realistic level of security at the consulate, and for the intelligence community not alerting the U.S. military to the presence of this CIA outpost. As a result, there were several news stories accusing President Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up. Why did the State Department not take adequate measures to protect their own consulate? Was there something they were trying to hide?
Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter, Sy Hersh broke open a deeper story about the situation in Benghazi (Washington Blog, 4-15-14)
THE SECRET AGREEMENT TO SHIP ARMS FROM LIBYA INTO SYRIA
In 2012, a secret agreement was made between the Obama Administration and the Erdoğan Administration. By the terms of this agreement, funding from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar would help the CIA with the support of MI6 to smuggle arms from Gaddafi's arsenal into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya for this purpose. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would later resign for having an affair with his biographer.
At the time the operation was set up, it had not been disclosed to the congressional intelligence committee or the congressional leadership, as required by law. The involvement of MI6 allowed the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a "liaison operation". Only a few staff aids and eight ranking members of congress knew about the consulate's mission. The consulate's key purpose was to provide cover for the moving of arms. It did not have a political role. The embassy was the center of U.S. efforts to arm jihadis in Syria who were trying to topple the Syrian government (Washington Blog, 5-8-13).
Many of the extremist rebels fighting the Syrian government were identified as "Libyans" by the commander of the FSA (The Telegraph, 10-13-12).
There is speculation that ambassador Christopher Stevens helped broker a deal with the new Libyan Government to send seasoned Islamic Fighters and 400 tons of heavy weaponry to Syria through a port in southern Turkey.
There are many who have speculated that normal security measures were not taken to protect the Benghazi consulate or to rescue ambassador Stevens, because the CIA was trying to keep a low profile to protect its cover of being a "normal State Department operation."
The real scandal here is not simply a failure of the U.S. government to protect its own personnel, but the covert mission to funnel arms from a toppled Libyan Dictator to the fiercest fighters in the Syrian Opposition - which has fueled an endless amount of bloodshed and chaos in Syria, that is now spilling over into other countries in the region.
RELATED WORLD FUTURE FUND REPORTS
RELATED NEWS ARTICLES ABOUT LIBYA
LIES ABOUT LIBYA
"Lessons from Libya: How to Note Intervene" (Belfer Center, September 2013)
Five Ways You're Wrong About Libya (National Interest, 3-19-14)
NATO nations set to reap spoils of Libya war (Aljazzera, 8-25-11)
NATO Inflicted Libyan Deaths, Injuries Not ‘Propaganda’: Cynthia McKinney (Information Clearing House, 6-10-11)
The illegal war in Libya (Salon, 5-19-11)
False pretense for war in Libya? (Boston, 4-14-11)
Death of a Dictator (Human Rights Watch, 10-17-12)
Gaddafi's Death (Aljazeera, 10-21-11)
Clinton jubilant over Gaddafi's death: "We came, we saw, he died" (YouTube, 10-20-11)
LIBYA STILL IN CRISIS
The Pentagon, Libya, and Tomorrow's Blowback Today (Common Dreams, 4-16-14)
Libya Is Still in Crisis (DW, 3-3-14)
Two Years After Libya's Revolution, Government Struggles to Control Hundreds of Armed Militias (Washington Post, 9-6-13)
Rights Group Exposes Libyan Rebel Abuses (Information Clearing House, 7-13-11)
Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter, Sy Hersh broke open a deeper story about the situation in Benghazi (Washington Blog, 4-15-14)
CRISIS IN LIBYA LEAKS OUT TO OTHER COUNTRIES
Obama, Libya, and Boko Haram's Whirlwind (Red State, 5-9-14)
Libya FM Admits, Troops and Arms to Syria a Source of Pride (NSNBC, 9-15-13)