The civil war initiated in Libya by NATO and its allies has been going on for more than six years. Since it started, the sustainable developing state transformed into a territory torn by various groups including ISIS.
A real fight against the terrorists and armed militants, however, began with the ascend of the Libyan National Army commander Field Marshal Halif Haftar who united those indifferent to the future of their country. Due to his actions, Libya’s second largest city of Benghazi, the strategically important Mediterranean town of Ras Lanuf, and the port of Al-Sidr were liberated. Meanwhile Haftar’s achievements are a reason for the western leaders’ concern as if he comes to power all their ‘Libyan’ plans shall fail. What are these plans?
First, according to the leaked emails of Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State when the revolution started, one of the main incentives for the intervention were vast oil reserves. The West feared that Muammar Qaddafi would become a powerful African leader capable of holding out against the pressure of the U.S. and its regional allies. Obviously, Washington still intends to replace toppled Qaddafi with a loyal politician and plunder the resources by opening the country to oil and gas companies.
But it’s not only about oil. The leaked documents show that in 2011, Libya possessed outstanding gold and silver reserves. Using them, the government could create a new African currency to replace euro and dollar. Clearly, Qaddafi’s plans were in conflict with the interests of European leaders, France in particular. According to Vice, this was one of the main reasons why the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy opted in to the invasion. Curiously enough, most part of the gold disappeared.
In fact, before the 2011 events some European leaders maintained great personal relations with Muammar Qaddafi. Back in 2007, Sarkozy received 50 billion euro from him to support the presidential campaign and win the elections eventually. The French president never repaid. The former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi publicly claimed they were friends with Qaddafi, and several months before the revolution invited the latter to Rome where they celebrated the 4th anniversary of the treaty on friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
Before plundering Libya and bringing it to ruin, western politicians attempted to blunt the Libyan leader’s vigilance to borrow as much as possible and to carry out a surprising assault on the unsuspecting ally without paying off their debts.
For the West, the intervention was some kind of a ‘crusade’. To impede an emerging regional leader and exploit the resources of a foreign state, America and its European allies provoked a war that lead to the death of tens of thousands of civilians as it was in Iraq and is now happening in Syria.
Today, however, politicians lay the blame on one another. In 2016, Hillary Clinton shifted the blame for the mess in Libya and eventually the murder of the U.S. ambassador to the country in Benghazi in 2012. ‘The decision was the president’s,’ she said during the Democratic debates noting she had been responsible for intelligence only. Back in 2013, Silvio Berlusconi claimed that Sarkozy initiated the intervention adding that he wanted to resign after the invasion.
This proves one more time that the original plan of western countries failed. The attack on Libya shall remain one of the most serious mistakes in NATO history. However, the West is still waiting for a moment to completely devastate the country and capture its’ yet abundant resources.
By: Adel Karim.