In 2011, NATO launched an illegal, savage attack against the country with the Highest Human Development Index in Africa. Let us see where Libya stands today.
When Cameron, Sarkozy, Obama, Clinton and that sickening clique of warmongering, interfering, imperialist thugs decided to attack Libya in 2011, in an attack planned and orchestrated for months in advance, they told us their fight was not against the people of Libya. Looking at Libya today, who were they fooling and who is suffering? Under international law regarding the scope of applicability, there are rules as to the wanton and brazen use of force turning a peaceful situation into an ongoing theater of conflict. Why then have those responsible not been held to account?
The indictment and the tens of thousands of comments zapped from the Net
The names are clear to see in my indictment of NATO’s political and military leadership in 2011, a document which was sent to the ICC at The Hague and the European Court of Human Rights. As predicted, it did not even merit the courtesy of a reply. The tens of thousands of comments and materials produced by readers over the years were zapped from the Net numerous times, as you can see from the comments section below the article, here.
Libya, in 2011 and under Muammar al-Gaddafi, was the African country with the highest Human Development Index, for which Gaddafi was about to receive a United Nations Prize at the time of the savage attack by NATO, an attack launched to protect the terrorists it had planned to orchestrate from the west (Tunisia) and east (Egypt). At the time, Libyans were fed, they had homes (free), education (free), healthcare (free), a good water supply and Libya was a filter and staging post for migrants moving towards Europe.
From prosperity to misery – the hand of NATO
Libyans lived in safety, whereas today many need protection; migrants had reasonable living conditions as they were housed in camps, half-way homes in their trip towards Europe after receiving documentation. Today they are sold as slaves or tortured or raped. Or all three. Or murdered. Libyans enjoyed free public healthcare, in Libya and paid public healthcare abroad if they could not get the treatment they needed. Today the healthcare system has collapsed. Libyans used to enjoy a plentiful food supply and prided themselves on offering guests copious portions of their national dishes. Today a third of the population is hungry or starving. Libyans benefitted from Gaddafi’s great manmade water supply across the desert, bringing clean water to the cities and countryside alike. Today an increasing number of people have no access to clean drinking water.
NATO destroyed all of that. They bombed the water supply, then bombed the factory producing tubes so that it could not be repaired, they strafed the electricity grid “to break their backs”, murdered Gaddafi’s grandchildren because they were classified as “legitimate targets”, murdered civilians, told lie after lie after lie after lie after lie after lie after lie about the Government forces attacking indiscriminately when all they were doing was try to stem the onslaught of foreign terrorists shipped in to do NATO’s dirty work, orchestrated by NATO boots on the ground, in direct breach of UNSC Resolutions 1970 and 1973 (2011).
Let us now take a look at Libya, 2019, and draw some conclusions as to who is responsible and as to why these people are not facing the consequences of what they have done. Before we start, we can conclude that if nothing has happened to them, if they have not even been the subject of due legal process, then international law per se does not exist, and therefore using it as a precept is a fallacy and pointless. Therefore on this case lies the entire moral fiber of NATO’s international standing and the countries which fund and follow its policies of interference, intrusion and military intervention.
NATO’s Libya: Chaos, collapse, calamity
The key-words describing Libya today are chaos, breakdown of the law, collapse of the State, massive displacement, danger, insecurity, hunger, murder, slavery, slave markets, a dysfunctional economy, deteriorating public sector. What a spectacular epitaph for Messrs. Cameron, Sarkozy, Obama and Madame Senator Clinton.
552.000 people in need of urgent humanitarian need, 823.000 in need of humanitarian assistance, including 248.000 children. Out of a population of some 6.37 million. The international media has forgotten the story because it is embarrassing to NATO, politicians across the world refuse to bring it up because they are threatened, the international community sniffs in derision, and so the 2018 campaign for humanitarian financing was 74 per cent underfunded.
Which leaves people like myself, and others, and media outlets such as this, and others, to carry the story, amid death threats, hacking, harassment, threatening emails, interference in communications and so on.
The direct consequence of NATO’s savage interference in Libya is abject misery for large swathes of the Libyan population. In the words of Maria do Valle Ribeiro, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, “Seven years of instability and insecurity have taken their toll on the well-being of many children, women and men in Libya. Each passing year people struggle to withstand the impacts of the crisis that has destabilized the country, put them in harm’s way, driven up food prices, and ravaged the economy”.
Way to go, NATO!
Where Libyans once lived in peace and security, safe to go wherever they wished, today the norm for many is torture, rape, murder, robbery, unlawful detention and shocking human rights abuses. Way to go, NATO! Where Libyans once enjoyed free public healthcare, with facilities present throughout the country, today the healthcare service is centered around the al-Jalaa public hospital in Tripoli, as even the basic healthcare facilities have been largely destroyed in the rest of the country, either directly by NATO (strafing hospitals and care centers) or by the violence which ensued the collapse of the Jamahiriya State. Way to go, NATO!
Where Libyans once enjoyed markets brimming with fresh produce grown in Libya after Gaddafi’s green agricultural revolution, providing land, seeds and know-how to farmers wishing to reconquest the Sahara, today one third of the population is classified by the UNO as living on borderline food consumption, as Libyan households spend over half their income on basic foodstuffs and people are forced to adopt coping strategies, such as eating once per day and filling up with flour and water flatbreads. Way to go, NATO!
Where Libyans once had access to the purest water from underground springs brought to households through the Great Manmade River Project, this was bombed by NATO (war crime), as was the factory which made the pipes (war crime), depriving the people of the basic necessity for human life – water (war crime), relegating households with babies to lives of misery (war crime). Today a growing number of people do not have access to clean drinking water, and worse, the sewage system has collapsed in some areas, promting the UNO to describe the situation as “alarming”. Way to go, NATO!
Where Libyans once lived in their own houses, owned and free, because the government distributed a home to every Libyan citizen/family, today homelesness is rife, with people huddling in deplorable shelters, without water, sanitation or the basic living conditions. Way to go, NATO!
Where Libyans once studied for free (education was free, literacy was close to 100 per cent) today in the Cordoba public school, as an example, 1,500 children share three toilets without running water and for entertainment in the breaks, the children can opt to sit inside stinking classrooms or else go and play in the school playground, which is today an open sewer knee-deep in excrement. Way to go, NATO! Today 343,300 people of school age do not have access to education or literacy, whereas under Gaddafi the country’s literacy rate grew from 25% to 90%. Way to go, NATO!
In the words of the UN Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator for Libya, Maria Ribeiro
“Years of instability and insecurity have taken a toll on the wellbeing of many children, women and men in Libya. Each passing year, people struggle to withstand the impact of a crisis that has destabilized the country, put them in harm’s way, and ravaged the economy.”
Whereas under Gaddafi, oil revenue funded public projects, imagine where the revenue from today’s one million barrels of oil per day is going? Let us turn again to Ms. Ribeiro:
“Libya is now producing well over one million barrels of oil a day. However, this has not yet translated into tangible benefits for people. Many Libyans get poorer every year. Basic health and education services decay, and frustrated citizens cannot understand why oil production and increased government revenue does not lead to improved living standards, security and well-being for all in Libya”.
I invite those who caused this humanitarian catastrophe to man up and visit Libya, speak to Libyans, walk around the country and see what they have done, then apologize publicly for their despicable acts and fund the reconstruction out of their own pockets, then turn themselves in for crimes against humanity and war crimes, along with common criminal and civil law violations.
They will not. They will just carry on as if nothing had happened, and international law will turn a blind eye to their crimes. Nobody will prosecute them, the media will drop the case. Welcome to Planet Earth 2019. Let this article be the political epitaph for those in my indictment of 2011, and a comment on this planet for future generations to come.
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Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey works in the area of teaching, consultancy, coaching, translation, revision of texts, copy-writing and journalism. Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru since 2002, and now Co-Editor of the English version, he contributes regularly to several other publications in Portuguese and English. He has worked in the printed and online media, in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly magazines and newspapers.