Libya — Sticks and Stones
March 26, 2016Posted by on
This week on Facebook I have to admit that I gave little attention to the bombing of Libya in 2011, on the occasions when I did pay attention it was done in the safe space of my home. It unfolding before me on a large screen, presented as carefully edited media entertainment of an undeclared war, justified under the guise of a palpable necessity. The truth behind this debacle may never be found, but social media has exposed its dark side and the consequences of that euphemistic collateral damage.
This month, having decided to read the criticism that President Obama levelled against the Europeans in general regarding the aftermath of the Libyan bombing — and Prime Minister Cameron in particular — I was promoted to do some research into the debacle. What I discovered was a murky world in which the UK, France and the USA have been disingenuous regarding their motives in Libya, compounding their failings elsewhere in the world. Hardly a surprising discovery in a world where governments propagate disinformation on an unprecedented scale for global consumption.
Of course, there is no question that Libya – and the world – will be better off with Gaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means. But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake. [Barack Obama]
The times of Arab nationalism and unity are gone forever. These ideas which mobilized the masses are only a worthless currency. Libya has had to put up with too much from the Arabs for whom it has poured forth both blood and money. [Muammar el-Qaddafi]
A piece with the the title Obama: Master of Dissociation suggest that the world’s presumably most powerful man, is playing the role of participant-observer while still in office and now seeks to disassociate himself from any failings of his administration. My initial interest was less in Obama’s Clintonesque remarks but rather his criticism of the UK’s involvement in Libya, especially the UK media harping on about the special relationship between the USA and the UK.
Last Saturday evening I read a reflection on Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s former Foreign Minister, who just passed away aged 54 and his part in keeping Germany out of the Libya bombing debacle. To my mind it puts further question marks over the whole Libyan affair, especially the murder of Muammar el-Qaddafi. Having already prepared this week’s theme on the bombing of Libya I decided to open it with the reflection in The Globalist. A reflection that has prompted me to dig even further into the dirty world of political machinations that led to this debacle.
Sunday — Libya Bombing Revisited: Two Men and World History (The Globalist Mar 19 2016). This is the story of two men, one from France and the other from Germany Each man was a key player in the drama that played out in Western politics a few years ago when the rallying cry was to go and hunt down Ghaddafi. Ultimately, this is also a cautionary story about the presumed power of a hyper-intellect versus the instincts of a more down-to-earth man who was at times considered more of a bumbler.
Monday — Obama: Cameron was ‘distracted’ after Libya intervention (BBC — Mar 11 2016). It’s like we’ve seen a curtain drawn back on the unspun thoughts of President Obama, complete with frustration as well, and what we’ve seen tonight is the White House trying to close the curtain as quickly as it can.
Tuesday — About That Special Relationship (The Atlantic — Mar 11 2016). The UK media frenzy in defending Cameron’s position, concluding with the Financial Times, which wrote that broadly speaking Obama’s critique rings true but it is not clear that there were good alternatives in Libya that Mr Cameron somehow failed to embrace. The West as a whole has lost power in the Middle East and violent anarchy is on the march.
Wednesday — Obama’s Libya Debacle (Foreign Affairs — Mar/Apr 2015). Sub titled How a Well-Meaning Intervention Ended in Failure and perhaps implying that Obama was sucked into the bombing of Libya by his European NATO allies. Something we may expect to read in Obama’s memoirs. Nevertheless, The UN Security Council Resolution and the resulting NATO initiative would not have taken place without the leadership of the USA.
Thursday — A New Libya, With ‘Very Little Time Left (New York Times — Feb 27 2016). This article points out that the fall of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi seemed to vindicate Hillary Clinton but when militias fanned a civil war by refused to disarm, Libya had moved quickly off the top of the administration’s agenda. The regular situation room meetings on Libya, often including the president, simply stopped.
Friday — The Next Disaster: Islamic State Expands as Libya Descends into Chaos (Spiegel International — Mar 12 2016) A German take on the Libyan debacle suggesting that Libya creates ideal conditions for an Islamic State. If the Islamists are defeated in Syria or Iraq, Libya could serve as an ideal fallback. It also seems that this debacle has created strange bedfellows with the German government willing to supply weapons to its allies despite its fundamental opposition to the war,