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Thread: Post War Libya - Where is it Going ?

  1. #346
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Post War Libya - Where is it Going ?

    This is the most detailed and well researched article I've read on Benghazi - and the attack on the State Department / CIA. Still the only thing you can be really sure about in reading it is that Hilary Clinton lied every time she spoke.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  2. #347
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Post War Libya - Where is it Going ?

    From the London Review of Books, a well-informed article by Hugh Roberts from 2011, after the defeat of Gadhaffi and a blog post by Roberts the following year, on the subsequent collapse of the State of Libya. The hostile comments from those who considered that Libya had experienced a successful 'revolution' look pretty irrelevant now.

    Roberts views on what happened were substantially born out by the House of Lords enquiry last year, which condemned Cameron for an unjustified war.

    An article from March 2017's LRB by Tom Stevenson, which documents the disintegration of Libya in some detail.

    Today, more than five years after Gaddafi’s fall in October 2011, Libya has been relegated to that class of countries (Afghanistan, Somalia) from which we hear occasional news of US drone strikes but little else. Gaddafi’s overthrow was quickly followed by a national implosion. The historical divide between Tripolitania in the west and the cities of Cyrenaica to the east reopened; disparate bands of militias hacked up the country; arms dealers enjoyed a surge in business unmatched since the collapse of the Soviet Union; paramilitary forces took control of the oil infrastructure. By 2014 two competing governments had emerged, neither of which was in a position to govern. Algerian and Tunisian jihadists found a haven free from French-trained counter-insurgency units. Islamic State established its most powerful satellite in Gaddafi’s ancestral seat of Sirte, where it named the city’s mosque after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and carried out public executions for witchcraft. Feuds which had lain dormant or been actively discouraged in Gaddafi’s time resurfaced and still persist, with varying degrees of severity, between at least a dozen tribal groups and rival towns. The small town of Tawergha, for example, devastated in 2011 by rebel forces from its large industrial neighbour Misrata, remains an empty ruin, its former residents scattered in four refugee camps around the country.

    Highly recommended articles for their thoroughness, detail, analysis and clear exposition of what took place and what is going on now.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 26-02-2017 at 10:14 AM.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  3. #348
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Post War Libya - Where is it Going ?

    Still quarrying away in the LRB - E. Said on America and Libya, written in 2009 on the US bombing of Tripoli.

    A great writer, not a journalist.

    Except for two details, it is difficult to imagine how this well-packaged 30 minutes of national television differs from the way a state broadcasting system would handle an attack on a weak country somewhere ‘out there’. One point is that the programme was done three times simultaneously instead of once: the unanimity of the networks was perfect. Another is that the show-business co-ordination of getting the raid onto the evening news, with appropriate preparation, commentary and summary, keeping it there for 30 minutes including commercials, was an example of how private enterprise and government can work together with remarkable, apparently unrehearsed agility. It was spontaneous, it was well-synchronised, it was, as they say, 100 per cent effective, and for days afterwards the networks ran advertisements in the papers claiming eminence and victory for their ‘version’ of the same theatrical event. At 7:01 on 14 April NBC was first, said one ad.I have never seen anything like it, this display of capsule theatricality, manipulation, violence and unadulterated patriotism, and it still goes on. Whole supplements have appeared in each of the major dailies, printing millions of words, all of them repeating more or less the same details, the same jargon about surgical strikes, collateral damage, terrorist planning and command centres. Every national and local news-and-discussion show has scheduled literally hundreds of hours of analysis: the President, Secretaries Shultz and Weinberger, General Vernon Walters, various ‘experts’ – on terrorism, counter-terrorism, the Middle East, Europe, the universe – have appeared along with a tiny handful representing ‘the other side’, interspersed with the same Libyan scenes, the same European demonstrations, the same stirring file pictures of American bombers and battleships, the same senators, Pentagon and State Department spokesmen, the same man-in-the-street interviews extolling ‘our’ side with the same, exactly the same, enthusiasm. We had to do it, ran the standard printable message, or, said the New York Times, we were ‘seeing justice done’. Kicking Libyan (i.e. nigger) ass, and feeling good about it, was the unspoken message.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  4. #349
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Post War Libya - Where is it Going ?

    The U.K. Parliamentary Select Committee Report into the disastrous Libya intervention. A pity that people very keen on discussing Syria have no interest at all in the devastation of Libya.

    I've pulled out some salient points - apologies for the poor formatting.

    The result of the French, British and US intervention, the report finds, “was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of Isil [Islamic State] in north Africa”.

    It adds: “Through his decision-making in the national security council, former prime minister David Cameron was ultimately responsible for the failure to develop a coherent Libya strategy.”
    The United Nations Human Development Report 2010

    —a United Nations aggregate measure of health, educationand income—ranked Libya as the 53rd most advanced country in the world for human

    development and as the most advanced country in Africa.12

    Human rights remainedlimited by state repression of civil society and restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression.


    In 2014, the most recent year for which reliable figures are available, Libya generated $41.14 billion of gross domestic product and the average Libyan’s annual income had

    decreased from $12,250 in 2010 to $7,820.

    Since 2014, Libya’s economic predicament has reportedly deteriorated. Libya is likely to experience a budget deficit of some 60% of GDP in 2016. The requirement to finance that deficit is rapidly depleting net foreign reserves,which halved from $107 billion in 2013 to $56.8 billion by the end of 2015. Production ofcrude oil fell to its lowest recorded level in 2015, while oil prices collapsed in the secondhalf of 2014. Inflation increased to 9.2% driven by a 13.7% increase in food prices includinga fivefold increase in the price of flour.

    The United Nations ranked Libya as the world’s94th most advanced country in its 2015 index of human development, a decline from 53rdplace in 2010

    heading towards a humanitarian crisis, with almost 400,000 people internallydisplaced and increasing disruption to basic services, such as power and fuel supplies. Forces engaged in the conflict continued with impunity to arbitrarilydetain, torture, unlawfully kill, indiscriminately attack, abduct and disappear,and forcefully displace people from their homes. The domestic criminal justicesystem collapsed in most parts of the country, exacerbating the human rightscrisis.

    FormerFrench Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, who introduced Resolution 1973, asserted in his speech to the Security Council that “the situation on the ground is more alarming than

    ever, marked by the violent re-conquest of cities”. He stressed the urgency of the situation, arguing that “We have very little time left—perhaps only a matter of hours.”

    Subsequent analysis suggested that the immediate threat to civilians was being publicly overstated andthat the reconquest of cities had not resulted in mass civilian casualties [see paragraphs

    31 to 37].

    The British blame the French ---

    A FoI produced this capsule explanation for the destruction of Libya -
    According to these individuals Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
    b. Increase French influence in North Africa,
    c. Improve his internal political situation in France,
    d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in
    the world,
    e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to
    supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.
    The sum of four of the five factors identified by Sidney Blumenthal equated to the French national interest. The fifth factor was President Sarkozy’s political self-interest

    Behind this also lay Sarkozy's efforts to rival Le Pen in preventing migration from Africa to France.

    Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK’s future policy options

    We asked Lord Richardswhether he knew that Abdelhakim Belhadj and other members of the al-Qaeda affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were participating in the rebellion in March 2011. He

    replied that that “was a grey area”.
    He added that “a quorum of respectable Libyanswere assuring the Foreign Office” that militant Islamist militias would not benefit fromthe rebellion.

    He acknowledged that “with the benefit of hindsight, that was wishful thinking at best.”

    The possibility that militant extremist groups would attempt to benefit from the rebellion should not have been the preserve of hindsight. Libyan connections

    with transnational militant extremist groups were known before 2011, because many Libyans had participated in the Iraq insurgency and in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda.


    It is now clear that militant Islamist militias played a critical role in the rebellion from February 2011 onwards. They separated themselves from therebel army, refused to take orders from non-Islamist commanders and assassinated thethen leader of the rebel army, Abdel Fattah Younes.


    However,Muammar Gaddafi’s actions in February and March 2011 demonstrated an appreciationof the delicate tribal and regional nature of Libya that was absent in UK policymaking.

    In particular, his forces did not take violent retribution against civilians in towns andcities on the road to Benghazi.

    Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence. The Gaddafi regime had retaken towns from the rebels without attacking civilians in early February 2011.

    During fighting in Misrata, the hospital recorded 257 people killed and 949 people wounded in February and March 2011. Those casualties included 22 women and eight children. (point being made, that civilian massacres normally are gender balanced)

    issue of mercenaries was amplified. I was told by Libyans here, “The Africans are coming. They’re going to massacre us. Gaddafi’s sending Africans into the streets. They’re killing our families.” I think that that was very much amplified. But I also think the Arab media played a very important role here.

    Al-Jazeera in particular, but also al-Arabiya, were reporting that Gaddafi wasusing air strikes against people in Benghazi and, I think, were really hamming

    everything up, and it turned out not to be true.

    much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful

    and repeatedly suggesting that the regime’s security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge.


    Lord Richards told us that the UK “had a few people embedded”
    with the rebel forces.9
    Resolution 1973 called on United Nations member states to ensure the “strictimplementation of the arms embargo”.

    However, we were told that the international community turned a blind eye to the supply of weapons to the rebels.

    For example, Qatar supplied French Milan anti- nk missiles to certain rebel groups.

    We were told that Qatar channelled its weapons to favoured militias rather than to the rebels as a whole.

    We asked Lord Richards whether the object of British policy in Libya was civilianprotection or regime change. He told us that “one thing morphed almost ineluctably into

    the other”

    The Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defence were largely in the hands of militias. The head of the armed forces, Youssef al-Mangoush, did not want to create armed forces; he favoured channelling money to the Libya Shield, to some of the brigades, and so did his successor Al-Abedi.

    Libya Shield is a militant Islamist militia. It was reportedly responsible for killing anti- militia protestors in Tripoli and Benghazi in 2013.


    Unpublished House of Commons Library research found that the UK spent some £320 million on bombing Libya and approximately £25 million on reconstruction programmes.

    Libya purchased some £30 billion of weapons and ammunition between 1969 and
    Many of those munitions were not issued to the Libyan Army and were insteadstored in warehouses. After the collapse of the Gaddafi regime, some weapons and ammunition remained in Libya, where they fell into the hands of the militias. 180

    OtherLibyan weapons and ammunition were trafficked across North and West Africa and theMiddle East.

    The United Nations Panel of Experts appointed to examine the impact of Resolution1973 identified the presence of ex-Libyan weapons in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Gaza, Mali, Niger, Tunisia and Syria.

    The panel concluded that “arms originating from Libya havesignificantly reinforced the military capacity of terrorist groups operating in Algeria,Egypt, Mali and Tunisia.”

    In the 2010-15 Parliament, our predecessor Committee noted that the failure to secure the Gaddafi regime’s arms caches had led to “a proliferation ofsmall arms and light weapons, and some heavier artillery, across North and West Africa”.

    It identified that Libyan small arms had apparently ended up in the hands of Boko Haram militants.


    Islamic State seems to be encouraging its supporters in North Africa to go to Libya now, rather than to Syria and Iraq, so the trajectory is probably upwards, but it is still relatively small and weak in strength compared with theaccumulation of all the other Libyan armed forces.

    114 .
    Libyan militias initially appeared relatively unconcerned by ISIL’s presence on theground. The Guardian’s Libya Correspondent, Chris Stephen, told us that ISIL has Al Monitor, ibya Foreign Minister calls for return of monarchy

    , 7 April 2014

    Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK’s future policy optionsinserted themselves, particularly in Sirte, between the two faction

    British Special
    Forces have reportedly been deployed to Libya, where they apparently engaged in frontline combat in May 2016.
    It is difficult to square reports of British Special Forces participatingin combat with the comment by the Secretary of State for Defence in May 2016 thatwe do not intend to deploy ground forces in any combat role. Before engaging inany military operation in Libya, we would of course have to seek an invitation from the Libyan Government, and would also have to involve this Parliament.

    The GNA has not invited the UK to deploy combat troops in Libya and the UK Parliament has not considered the matter.

    French Special Forces facilitated the combat performance of a militia that
    rejected the authority of the GNA and that prolonged the Libyan civil war, despite the success of the GNA being a stated French Government foreign policy objective.

    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  5. #350
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Post War Libya - Where is it Going ?

    A vanilla colonial war, in my view.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  6. #351
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Post War Libya - Where is it Going ?

    Thank you for reminding me about the existence of that report. I must remember to take a look at it.

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