There was a time in Libya before the Arab Spring had sprung, and before North American Treaty Organization’s (NATO) 2011 intervention turned the nation into a hotbed for violent extremism. It seems like it was all so long ago. And indeed, it’s been five years since NATO’s so-called ‘kinetic military action’ in Libya, otherwise known as Operation Unified Protector (OUP), an operation that lasted 222 days, requiring some 8,000 personnel and 26,000 sorties that degraded or destroyed some 6,000 targets.
‘WAR IS WAR’ – A school bombed by NATO forces in August 2011. (Photo link aangirfan)
What was the purpose of the 2011 Western-backed military campaign in Libya?
According to American President Barrack Obama, in his own words, “I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians.”
“Foreign ministers from NATO Allies and non-NATO partners agreed to continue OUP until all attacks on civilians and civilian populated areas ended, the Qadhafi regime withdrew all military and para-military forces to bases, and the regime permitted immediate, full, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian aid for the Libyan people.”
It bears repeating–NATO and Western actions in Libya were conducted “until all attacks on civilians and civilian populated areas ended” in order permit “immediate,full, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian aid for the Libyan people.”
All of the above Western-backed goals to help the people of Libya, could only be achieved by taking out the nation’s leader pictured below…
Ironically, five years later, the only thing really achieved by Western nations with regard to Libya, is the removal Muammar Gaddafi. The plight of the Libyan people, allegedly the reason for military intervention, appears to be worse than ever.
No one is alleging Muammar Gaddafi was a model human being, but when he was in power, there was not, literally, city-sized waves of Libyan refugees, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, fleeing Libya for Tunisia, Egypt, Europe and beyond, as seen below.
‘REFUGEE RACE’ – It’s so great after Muammar Gaddafi we can’t wait to get out of here alive. (Photo link blog.livedoor)
The Libyan refugees simply did not wake up one morning and flee the country by the hundreds of thousands for the first time in the nation’s history. This all happened after Muammar Gaddafi was rendered useless and ultimately killed, thanks to the Western and NATO military backed campaign in 2011.
What about the people? NATO and the President of the United States said that military action was for the oppressed Libyans right?
Let’s take a detour to Syria before returning to Libya…
Libya: By Way of Contrast and Detour into Syria.
Syria, just as Libya, was part of the Arab Spring. However, Syrian leader, Bashir al Assad, is still in power and there have been increased reports of the Syrian government stabilizing and regaining lost territory.
You can read a recent 21WIRE report on Russian and Syrian success against ISIS HERE.
The effectiveness of the recent Russian-assisted gains made by the Syrian Army in their fight against ISIS seem to be a source of frustration for the American government.
The New York Timeswrites, that if “a cease-fire is negotiated here [Syria], it will probably come at a moment when Mr. Assad holds more territory, and more sway, than since the outbreak of the uprisings in 2011.” Adding that it may “force Mr. Kerry and President Obama, once again, to consider their Plan B: a far larger military effort, directed at Mr. Assad.”
We see the frustration of the government echoed within Western media – as seen in the CNN video report below…
Note the spin and disappointment of the reporter talking about recent gains made by the Syrian government, as well as the lack of chaos and fleeing refugees within the government controlled areas of Syria he’s broadcasting from.
Finally, Newsweekreports that, “Russia’s commitment to fighting islamist [sic] militants in Syria has been questioned by NATO, U.S , U.K. and France who have cast suspicion that Moscow may be using the airstrikes to help Assad consolidate power.”
You still have to wonder – is unseating Syria’s President Assad the true objective for Western allies and other transnational partners or eradicating ISIS?
Are both a means to destabilize the area for an expensive war and rebuilding process with NATO-approved “good neighbors” and compliant business partners?
President Obama’s declaration that defeating ISIS is the top priority is even a sketchy premise within his own administration. President Obama’s former Defense Intelligence Agency Director, and now retired, Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn stated, “You have to really ask the President, what is it that he actually is doing with the [Syrian] policy that is in place, because it is very very confusing.”
All the while, the public has a front row seat screening the fight between Assad and ISIS, through the myopic lens of Western media. One might think that the real reason is financial, as there appears to zero regard for human suffering within the region. (Doesn’t this feel a lot like Saddam Hussein’s reign, the Iraq War, and the lead up to not finding Weapons of Mass Destruction?)
Unlike the American led campaign against ISIS, where the United States’ Department of Defense states there has been an “average daily cost is $11.4 million for 511 days of operations,” against a staggering 21,000 targets through 2015, the Russian assisted Syrian Army has had more success in stabilizing the region against ISIS.
Speaking of ISIS as a priority, let’s return to the discussion about the current state of affairs in Libya…
Is it really a surprise that ISIS has been building up a presence in Libya, when you consider the fact that Russian air power assisted the Syrian government around the same time?
With Gaddafi out of the equation for several years now and the refugee exodus spiraling even further out of control – there’s no doubt that Libya is worse off.
If “seeing is believing,” then watch the video below where BBC reporter Felas Kilani eloquently opens with, “Bengahzi, the city united in revolution, is now at war with itself.”
Approaching a year from the above report, it is of note that it mentions various jihadist groups being fought against were pledging allegiance to “IS” or Islamic State, commonly referred to as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).
The above video demonstrates that tensions in Libya have been on the rise but for the most part, out of the mainstream media’s focus. Furthermore, any future and seemingly inevitable actions within Libya, as well as the requisite and sensationalized news reports that go along with it, should not be taken out of context, nor should they surprise anyone.
This is how the media controls both sides of a story – through a muddy maze of synthetic reality…
Since ISIS took the global stage in 2014, the media has been prepping the public that the group would spread abroad, beyond the borders of both Syria and Iraq.
It’s as if ISIS is ‘diversifying’ their portfolio of terror. If ISIS ‘terror stocks’ are down in Syria, invest in Libya.
‘FILIPINO TERROR? – The Filipino group seen above, is said to have recently pledged to ISIS. (Photo link yahoo)
Remaining in Syria though, let’s not forget Obama and NATO’s desire to help the Libyans during their deeply troubling humanitarian crisis back in 2011. In fact, as a result of the Western-backed NATO campaign in 2011 used to oust Gaddafi – the instability has only grown.
So any future reports of a sudden humanitarian need, or desire for security, will be presented as if the situation in Libya spontaneously happened. At best, reports will speak of a security vacuum left after the death of Gaddafi.
One thing is nearly certain however, and that is that ISIS will likely be the reason to go into Libya, to secure it, with the end objective being to rebuild it and stabilize it on Western terms, not unlike Iraq.
If the ISIS “terror threat” to the Western nations, or the “on-again off-again” humanitarian crisis are a little too transparent for you, then the reason to go into Libya could very simply be economic. Staying with the familiar theme of Foreign Interest in The Middle East, the oil and natural resources could be “the reason,” or among the reasons, for outside intervention.
Why not combine terror, the refugee crisis, and any humanitarian issues into one and invoke the scourge and face of terror know as ISIS? U.S. News and World Reportstates, the “Islamic State group now looks to expand its de facto caliphate, actively working to take control of the country’s estimated 48 billion barrels of oil and establish a stronghold just 350 miles south of Italy.”
Future ISIS attacks within NATO countries and their allies, any potential “boiling over” of the refugee crisis, and the potential stabilization or defeat of ISIS in Syria, are all just some of the reasons—and perhaps all that is needed—for the media push for military intervention with troops on the ground and the highly desired backing of at least most of the public.
“During the Second World War the Libyans allowed Britain to enter their country to fight the Italians and the Germans. Benghazi fell to British military control on November 20, 1942, and Tripoli on January 23, 1943. … London intended to administer the two Libyan provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica separately as colonies, while Paris was given control over the region of Fezzan.”
The plan to divide Libya into three was known as the Bevin-Sfora Plan; although it never passed the United Nations assembly (missing by one vote), the possibility of multiple states where Libya once existed, is as possible now as it ever was.
Over sixty years ago, Libya was nearly divided up as depicted below, as administered by France and Britain.
Today, Libya faces a distinct possibility of going back to the future and something closer to the 1951 Bevin-Sfora Plan.
As of this article, Libya is effectively two governments with a huge ungoverned populace between both of them. One is led by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, centered in Bayda, Libya. Khalifa al-Gwell is the other Prime Minister, based Tripoli, who runs the other Libyan Government.
It is as if everyone outside of Libya is planning for the Libyans future, and ISIS is becoming a large part of that equation. The Rand Corporation, in their February 3rd, 2016 article entitled “The Three Challenges of Countering ISIS in Libya,” declared the following:
“To take the fight beyond Iraq and Syria, globally, the United States and its allies will need a clear strategy and resources. Lacking this, defeating ISIS in Libya could just displace the group elsewhere in the region — or the world.”
Meanwhile, the mainstream media as reposted here by Yahoo!, points out that the ISIS numbers are down in Syria but have increased to around 5000 in Libya.
Any government in Libya, or “both” governments in Libya, are likely to want outside assistance in their fight for control and against ISIS.
In fact, Pentagon Spokesperson Peter Cook, states there are Special Forces within Libya assessing the situation in what appears to be a “fact finding” exercise prior to any commitments.
Many oil and resource rich nations of the region have been both friends and devils. Whether it is a CEO, a mafia boss, or a politician, it’s not personal — it’s just business.
Like with business, sometimes there are agreements between nations. Other times there are under-handed public relations campaigns, or even literal hostile takeovers that play out over days or even decades.
If you “felt like you’ve seen this game before” it is because you have.
Comply, step down, or else…
‘DEVIL’S DEAL’ – Donald Rumsfeld, “company man” for the Reagan and both Bush administrations, and special envoy to Iraq in this 1983 video still, meets with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. (Photo link twitter)
It is becoming clearer that Libya, once a sovereign and relatively wealthy nation, is becoming a mere playground for a massive geopolitical game and large economic interests and ambitions. Sadly, Libyans themselves are the very enablers behind the division of their own country, with Arab and Western powers scheming to ensure a larger share of Libya’s economic wealth and strategic value.
‘TURNING THE SCREW’ – Muammar Gaddafi seen with Barack Obama. (Photo link twitter)
The ‘economic wealth and strategic value’ of Libya, stated above, were not so easy to acquire with Libyan leader Gaddafi still in power.
In the end, Gaddafi appears to have been a mere detour for the West, no matter how many governments and sub-divisions of people and land it takes to get there.
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