Still No Shame: Five Year Anniversary of NATO’s Illegal Destruction of Libya
by Patrick Henningsen - 21st Century Wire
October 20, 2016
This week is the five-year anniversary of NATO’s takedown of Libya and the brutal assassination of its leader Muammar Gaddafi. How did it happen, and why?
By now, people should really be awake to one of the most contrived frauds ever presented to the international community. It’s called the Responsibility to Protect, a globalist doctrine commonly known by its cold corporate SMS-friendly acronym ‘R2P.’
The campaign was formally introduced in 2001 in a report presented by the International Commission of Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), and later rubber stamped at the 2005 World Summit as the geopolitical framework that would head off the great horrors of our time: genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and other ‘crimes against humanity.’ It quickly became the toast of the internationalist champagne socialite circuit, where the great, the good and those who care regularly gather for canapés at book signings and Guardian-sponsored panel discussions, hosted by inviolable organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
After the traditional American and European political left’s failure to do anything about the Iraq War in 2003, the liberal intelligentsia were fumbling in limbo. They needed a guiding light, so the timing was perfect for the adoption of R2P. Moreover, it also helped give rise and a facade of credence to a newly emerging pro-war Left.
R2P was also a boon for the neoconservative pro-war Right who also used it to some degree in order to justify Washington and London’s official conspiracy theory of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ in Iraq. At the time, many argued (and still do, like Paul Wolfowitz) that the West had ‘no choice’ but to intervene to save the people of Iraq and the world from “a brutal dictator who is using WMD’s against his own people.” In the end, the WMD lie alone was enough to launch the largest ever US military deployment since Vietnam, invading and occupying the nation of Iraq.
‘Protecting the People of Libya’
Libya was an opportunity for the West to fine-tune its R2P slight of hand. This geopolitical project was spear-headed by the new liberal ‘humanitarian interventionists,’ led by America’s Barack Obama, France’s Nicholas Sarkozy and the UK’s David Cameron. They began their plan of attack against Libya in 2010, but under cover of the NATO flag. To get the ball rolling, western politicians and the media tried to frame political dissent in Libya as part of the wider ‘Arab Spring’ movement, while simultaneously supporting armed opposition groups on the ground. The trigger came in the form of this exaggerated western media claim: “Gaddafi is using his Air Force to attack peaceful democracy protesters on the streets of Benghazi and Tripoli.” Through this, UN Resolution 1973 was passed which called for a ‘No Fly Zone’. This quickly became a NATO ‘bombing zone.’
More lies followed for good measure. US envoy Susan Rice circulated another sensational lie – that the Libyan leader Gaddafi was providing Viagra pills to his troops so they would go out and commit a ‘mass rape’ of Libyan citizens. How anyone could swallow a story like that in amazing in itself. One has to either question the sheer stupidity, or the sheer deviousness of Rice. Either way, the answer is a depressing one. A UN diplomat revealed at the time, “I was in the room when she [Susan Rice] mentioned Viagra. The remark did not cause a stir at the time. It was during a discussion about whether there was moral equivalence between the Gaddafi forces and the rebels. She listed human rights abuses by Gaddafi’s forces, including snipers shooting children in the street and the Viagra story.”
Long before the country fell, the US had already assembled its hand-picked puppet government which it named the National Transitional Council. As many predicted (outside of the Washington bubble), it was an utter failure.
Looking back, it’s obvious now that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice all worked in concert to pervert R2P in order to achieve a geopolitical and international corporatist agenda. Five years later, Libya remains a failed state. The gaping power vacuum created by Barack Obama and his NATO support band created a brand new beachhead for ISIS. Naturally, the US has begun officially bombing the country again, presumably to drive out the terrorists, but it seems more likely that the neoliberal architects of Libya’s destruction now prefer long-running, “low intensity operations” rather than the shock, awe and occupation method employed by the previous organized crime syndicate in Washington.
While the liberal establishment constant blow on their R2P dog whistle in the vain hope that other political animals can actually hear it, the Obama Administration has never really bothered to present any tangible legal basis for its undeclared wars of aggression. Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, puts it eloquently, explaining:
“Like usual in the Obama administration’s wars, there was no congressional vote on the latest airstrikes in Libya and no declaration of war, as required by the constitution. The administration is pinning the legal authority for this military incursion on the 2001 Authorization for Military Force that was meant for Afghanistan and the perpetrators of 9/11, al-Qaida.”
During a FOX News interview in April 2016, Obama made a rare admission of that Libya was the “worst mistake” of his tenure, “probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.”
Demonstrating their height hypocrisy, both Obama and Clinton claim to be advocates of gun control in America, but neither have any problem with flooding Middle Eastern countries with lethal heavy weaponry and arms – if it helps to overthrow governments and nations they deem ‘unfavorable.’ This has been proven to be case – both in Libya, and in Syria too. In order to cover-up its gun-running and avoid another election scandal for Clinton, a motion was filed by the DOJ – to drop all charges against Marc Turi, the arms dealer who brokered some of Washington’s illegal arms deals , according to federal court records obtained by Politico:
“The deal averts a trial that threatened to cast additional scrutiny on Hillary Clinton’s private emails as Secretary of State, and to expose reported Central Intelligence Agency attempts to arm rebels fighting Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi.”
Then came Syria – and we are seeing a much bigger version of the exact same recycled scam, promoted by the exact same people, including former Secretary of State and Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who, after hearing of Gaddafi’s 2011 assassination by extremist mobs in the town of Sitre, jubilantly responded, “We came, we saw, he died!”
What should be crystal clear by now, is that far from being a workable international doctrine for peace, prosperity and ‘Smart Power,’ the Responsibility to Protect has been used and abused by NATO member states, led by the United States, Great Britain and France to perpetrate, among other things – genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and other ‘crimes against humanity.’ We’ve seen it in Iraq, we’ve seen it in Libya and we’re seeing it again in Syria, and in Yemen too, and in other places worldwide during the last 20 years.
It would be easy to let the liberal interventionists off the hook by saying that R2P is ‘failure.’ The reality is that R2P is a monstrosity… used by the US and its NATO brethren as a geopolitically correct end-run around actual International Law – in order to serve their own ‘national’ or transnational corporate interests.
If one is able to look beyond the grandiose rhetoric, and squarely at the foreign policy remnants of the last two decades, any rational and honest analyst would deem this pseudo doctrine as a cleverly constructed fraud. Far from respecting the international sovereignty of nations, the West have cynically used R2P to violate target nations’ sovereignty.
The following is an excellent retrospective of NATO’s “Post-Gaddafi Libya” debacle, produced by RT (sorry Washington and London, but it’s not propaganda – it’s 100% accurate and true…
Patrick Henningsen is a writer, global affairs analyst and founder of independent news website 21st Century Wire and host of the SUNDAY WIRE weekly radio show broadcast globally on Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR).
READ MORE LIBYA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Libya Files