Coups and Terror Are the Fruit of Nato's War in Libya
The dire consequences of the west's intervention are being felt today in Tripoli and across Africa, from Mali to Nigeria
by Seumas Milne
Iraq may have been a blood-drenched disaster and Afghanistan a grinding military and
political failure. But Libya was supposed to have been different. Nato's war to
overthrow Colonel Gaddafi in 2011 was hailed as the liberal intervention that worked.
The western powers might have had to twist the meaning of the UN resolution about
protecting civilians, the city of Sirte might have been reduced to rubble, large-scale
ethnic cleansing taken place and thousands of civilians killed. But it was all in a
noble cause and achieved without Nato casualties.
This wasn't Bush and Blair, after all, but Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy. The people were
free, the dictator was dead, a mooted massacre had been averted - and all this without
any obvious boots on the ground. Even last year the prime minister was still claiming it
had all been worthwhile, promising to stand with Libyans "every step of the way".
But three years after Nato declared victory, Libya is lurching once again towards civil
war. Over the past few days, the CIA-linked General Hiftar
launched his second coup attempt in three months, supposedly to save the country from
"terrorists" and Islamists. . . .
[General Hifter now represents the public face of the US supported forces in the western
edge of the present wars in North Africa.
. . . Hifter now 71 had been in the Libyan military from the time of the military coup
in 1969, but after 1987 he defected from the Gadaffi government. When the West had
imposed sanctions on Libya, Hifter was associated with opposition National Salvation
Front of Libya (NSFL). In 1988 he relocated to the United States and lived well in that
notorious suburb of Washington, DC, - Langley, Virginia. When the NATO bombings started
in March 2011, Hifter returned to Libya and joined in with the numerous
factions.--Horace G Campbell, "The United States, NATO and the Destruction of Libya,"
counterpunch.org, August 1, 2014]
[ . . . the BBC had to admit that Gaddafi's "particular form of socialism does provide
free education, healthcare and subsidized housing and transport"--Brian Cloughley, "Libya: Be careful
what you wish for," atimes.com, December 11, 2014]
[This week's report from the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee into the Western
intervention in Libya made uncomfortable reading for Britain's former Prime Minister
David Cameron . . .
. . . "government failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated,
and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element. By the summer of 2011, the
limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of
regime change."--Jonathan Marcus, "An obituary for the age of
intervention?," bbc.com, September 17, 2016]
[The alleged suicide bomber, Salman Abedi . . . was part of an extremist group, the Libyan
Islamic Fighting Group, that thrived in Manchester and was cultivated and used by MI5 for
more than 20 years.--John Pilger, "Terror
In Britain: What Did The Prime Minister Know?," johnpilger.com, May 31, 2017]
[their backers in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are engaged in an aerial campaign
that's seen them target each other's unmanned planes in a bid to determine Libya's
future in their favor--Samer Khalil Al-Atrush, "When the Sun Sets in Libya, Two U.S. Allies Get Down to War,"
reuters.com, August 23, 2019]