Eight years of “spring”

by

Granma | April 02, 2019

Libya has been devastated by the endless conflict provoked by the United States and its allies. Photo: Sputnik News

In 2011, the Middle East suffered a reconfiguration of its political map through protests encouraged from abroad, and interventions disguised as aid. This series of events went down in history as the “Arab Spring.” However, the similarity with one of the most festive seasons of the year is only found in the nomenclature, because this geographical region has since been hit by continuous internal crises, resulting in a climate of permanent instability.

This is the situation experienced in Libya, a nation that for four decades had seen stability and progress under President Muammar Gaddafi, a leader who promoted social and economic development in this North African country.

What happened? A well-aimed formula of manipulation, lies and “humanitarian intervention,” designed by the United States government and supported by the European Union (EU), was applied against Libya, which sounds suspiciously familiar given the situation facing the Venezuelan people today.

Opposition forces were armed to fight Libya’s army, a conflict was fabricated in the media that, as is known, had film and television studios as its real setting, with contracted actors and extras, where fighting, massacres, and bombings were filmed, in the best tradition of Hollywood, thus providing the necessary pretext to “justify” the U.S./NATO intervention to “protect human lives.”

Invented bloggers emerged, who supposedly wrote in real time from Tripoli about the events. However, months after the staging was completed, it became known that the vast majority of that “citizen journalism” was concocted thousands of miles away from Libyan territory, from the comfort of London, New York, or Berlin.

To sow chaos, the global mass media carried out a “mythification” of the Libyan President, spreading the idea that he ruled by means of extortion and humiliation.

This false image, combined with fake news about the execution of civilians in the confrontation between Gaddafi’s army and militias, was echoed by major right-wing newspapers and publications, which served to further “validate” the reports.

All these lies responded to the simple fact that Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa, and Western oil companies wanted to seize them. Also, months before Gaddafi had urged African and Muslim countries to adopt a single currency: the gold dinar. This would have threatened the empire’s dollar domination.

But the truth had nothing to do with this story. The media montage, together with the U.S. and NATO bombings, not only ended the life of the Libyan leader, but turned that nation into the failed state it remains today.

FORTY YEARS OF PEACE

Libya was an Italian colony until WWII when, by agreement with the powers Britain and France, and the United Nations, it was administered by these two countries. The British governed the regions of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, and the French occupied the area of Pezzan, until the nation achieved its independence in 1951.

Until Gaddafi overthrew the monarchy of King Idris in 1969, the people of this country lived in difficult conditions, with low development indices, as is well detailed in the article “Libya according to the UN and the harsh reality,” by French journalist and political activist, Thierry Meyssan, in which he argues, among other elements, that only 250,000 inhabitants of the total 4 million knew how to read and write.

With independence and the subsequent construction of a state characterized by its social achievements, Libya achieved one of the highest human development indices, and the highest GDP (nominal) per capita in Africa.

Several sources note that Gaddafi made his country an example for Africa and the Arab world, uniting the nation and creating institutions and ministries to strengthen institutionality.

The movement launched by the President was known as the “Green Revolution,” and had among its achievements the beginning of an agrarian reform, the promotion of a social security system, making health available to everyone, and ensuring that resources such as oil benefited the people.

To achieve this goal, the Libyan government nationalized the “black gold” industry, using its vast revenues to subsidize minimum human rights such as access to drinking water and education, which were once considered luxuries.

The Libyan state provided agricultural workers with their own land to farm, and supported their efforts. Likewise, housing was promoted as a right of all, as well as access to electricity.

According to teleSUR, loans of any kind had a zero percent interest rate, and the Central Bank of Libya was a sovereign institution at the service of citizens.

Gaddafi worked for the cooperation of African countries through the African Union (AU), founded in May 2001, with the aim of finding a way to strengthen these nations without the intervention of Western powers.

GOODBYE DEMOCRACY

Spanish newspaper El País featured many articles portraying Gaddafi as obsessed with power and sex. However, in 2016, five years after his assassination, the same publication had to accept the truly nightmarish reality in Libya following the intervention.

Libya suffers political instability, with three governments attempting to control the country. Two are based in the capital, where they compete for leadership of the west of the country, while the other is located in Tobruk, which dominates the eastern regions and controls the main oil resources.

Specialist in Libyan issues, Usef Shakir, told Sputnik that “Libya was stable and secure; the state apparatus worked well, the country was developing and growing steadily. And now chaos and fear has reigned for 8 years… We can say that from a sovereign state, Libya has been divided between various forces.”

It should be noted that since 2011, more than 5,000 people have lost their lives, and almost one million have fled their homes due to fear and insecurity. Crude oil exports have fallen by 90% and GDP losses are recorded at around 200 billion euros over the past eight years, according to figures collected by Middle East Monitor.

Women’s rights, respected during the government of the former President, are violated without the slightest remorse. According to Amnesty International, in its 2017/2018 report on the country, “Women were particularly affected by the ongoing conflict, which disproportionately affected their right to move freely and to participate in political and public life.”

Libya is a very clear example of what United States military intervention means for the world: chaos, political instability, Western transnationals’ seizure of resources, an “oasis” where terrorist groups, local militias and others converge, alongside human trafficking, and the extortion of those who arrive to the country in search of a less dangerous route to Europe across the Mediterranean.

IN CONTEXT:

– In January 2011, several Middle East countries were shaken by riots, uprisings, protests, and covert interventions, which resulted in a reconfiguration of the region’s political map. The West dubbed these events the “Arab Spring.”

– It began with the so-called Tunisian Revolution, whose start date is considered December 17, 2010, the day on which 26-year-old street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire to protest police corruption, resulting in his death on January 4, 2011.

– It soon became clear that Western powers, as always, had been behind these uprisings, with the U.S. and France among those countries leading such efforts.

–   A foreign intelligence report, quoted by French journalist and intellectual Thierry Meyssan, noted that on February 4, 2011, NATO organized a meeting in Cairo to launch the “Arab Spring” in Libya and Syria. According to the report, John McCain chaired the meeting.

SOURCE: http://en.granma.cu/mundo/2019-04-02/eight-years-of-spring

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