Remembering the Destruction of Libya

Published on 2nd April 2019

Libya lies in ruins and became a haven for terrorists, from al Qaeda to ISIS, and spilling to other African nations. Black Africans are sold as slaves.

The use of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in relation to Africa's permanent interest varies. But when the members, individually or collectively, claim to speak for Africa when their conducts are selective and opportunistic, the exploitative posturing is far more dangerous to the African community welfare.

On the destruction of an African nation during the presidency of the first Black US President through an unnecessary military carnage, the reproduction of a publication from the Black Agenda Report by Glen Ford, which classified The Good, The Confused; and The Hopeless, is used to show the contribution of the CBC members to the sufferings.

The Arab League voted for the bombing. The Arabs' antipathy toward Muammar Gaddafi, the then leader in Libya, betrays the stinking hypocrisy when they decry foreign military incursions that the Arab autocratic leaders do not like.

Former President Obama had his hawkish peers in Europe. In 2016, British Members of Parliament denounced former British Prime Minister David Cameron’s ‘ill-conceived’ Libya intervention. In 2018, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was indicted and is standing trial on alleged benefits from financial shenanigans in fraudulent dealings with Gaddafi, including Libya's funding of Sarkozy's election in 2007.

Before the ruinous expedition, Libya had the highest Gross Domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capital in Africa. Libya had the highest Human Development Index of any country on the continent. It had a lower percentage of people lived below the poverty line compared to Western countries, for example, in the Netherlands. It had the lowest infant mortality rate in Africa. Libya was among the African Union "Big Five" countries that funded the largest share of the budget.

Then nightmare happened.

8 years ago, in March 2011, and almost daily for more than six months, bombs rained in Libya. As the horror and phony pretext of the UN Resolution for No Fly Zone became clear, on June 15, 2011, African leaders demanded an immediate end to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s bombing campaign in Libya and called for the African Union and United Nations to take the lead in reaching a political solution.

“We have not voted for a substitute for bombing of one group by the other,” South Africa’s Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters in New York, referring to the UN resolution authorizing military action against Libya leader Muammar Qaddafi’s regime, which her government supported. “All forms of military intervention and bombing must stop now.”

Nkoana-Mashabane and ministers of Mali, Mauritania, Uganda and the Republic of Congo, which formed the AU’s Ad Hoc Committee on Libya, expressed their concern about the NATO bombing campaign to the UN Security Council. Adoption of a draft statement demanding a “complete end to violence and all attacks against and abuses of civilians” was blocked by the U.S. and other Western nations. A black woman, Susan Rice, was the US Ambassador to the UN.

“This was a meeting for expressions of frustration,” said Ambassador Nestor Osorio of Colombia, a Security Council member. Ambassador Jose Moraes Cabral of Portugal, also a council member, said Uganda’s Foreign Minister Ruhakana Rugunda suggested the NATO intervention amounted to “going back to colonialism” in Africa.

On June 24, 2011, most of the Democrats, 115 Democrats, including 24 Blacks, gave Obama their assent to U.S. participation in NATO’s bombing, whether he claims to need it or not.

Only six members of the Congressional Black Caucus showed themselves to be of any use to Africa in particular and the peaceful world in general.

Based on the Black Agenda Report, there were more Confused Congressional Black Caucus members (8) than The Good (6), and The Good were outnumbered four to one by The Hopeless (24).

Writing at the time, Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report wrote:

“Most Black legislators are desperately seeking a rationale to give the First Black President his license to kill.”

The Black Caucus has never been showered with such special attention in the almost five years that the Obamas have resided on Pennsylvania Avenue. The CBC can’t get the time of day from Obama when it comes to jobs, foreclosure relief, or the sacrifice of Detroit on the altar of austerity. But when the commander-in-chief needs votes for what may go down as the most unpopular war in modern U.S. history, he summons his dutiful Negroes from out of the fields of irrelevancy, to the Big House, so that they might do their part for the maintenance of Empire.

Then then Chair of the Black Caucus, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri and current Chair, Karen Bass of California, made the list of the hopeless category.

The Good: Pro Africa on Obama War on Libya

John Conyers, Jr. (MI); Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL); Barbara Lee (CA); Laura Richardson (CA); Bobby Scott (VA); Maxine Waters (CA).

The Good voted to cut off funds to Obama’s Libya war and to pull U.S. forces out of the NATO operation.

The Confused 8: Obama War on Libya

Sanford Bishop (GA); Andre Carson (IN); Yvette Clarke (NY); Hansen Clarke (MI); William Lacy; Clay (MO); Danny Davis (IL); John Lewis (GA); Gwen Moore (WI).

The Confused had supported giving Obama all the money he needs to bomb Libya, but also wanted to withdraw congressional authorization for the war. The 8 vote-splitters could be described as schizophrenic – throwing money at a war that they want to pull out of.

The Hopeless 24: Obama War on Libya

Karen Bass (CA); Corrine Brown (FL); Emanuel Cleaver (MO); James Clyburn (SC); Elijah Cummings (MD); Donna Edwards (MD); Keith Ellison (MN); Chaka Fattah (PA); Marcia Fudge (OH); Al Green (TX); Alcee Hastings (FL); Sheila Jackson Lee (TX); Hank Johnson (GA); Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX); Gregory Meeks (NY); Donald Payne (NJ); Cedric Richmond (LA); Charles Rangel (NY); Bobby Rush (IL); David Scott (GA); Terri Sewell (AL); Bennie Thompson (MS); Mel Watt (NC); Frederica Wilson (FL)

As Glen Ford wrote, The Hopeless 24 members had absolutely no redeeming political value. When it came to an undeclared (actually, fiercely denied) war against an African country that had done nothing to harm the United States, these 24 members of a caucus that claims to be the “conscience of the Congress” would sign any check and authorize any amount of killings.

G.K. Butterfield (NC) and Edolphus Towns (NY) did not take part in either vote. Call them Irrelevant and Hopeless.

Thirty-one CBC members opted to allow Obama to continue spending on the Libyan operation, which will cost $1 billion by September 2011. Muammar Gaddafi was killed on October 20, 2011.

"George Bush could never have pulled off a scam as monstrous as Obama’s humanitarian intervention doctrine." - Glen Ford.

Ford cited the authoritative Capitol Hill newspaper: The Hill reports that Democratic and Republican “whips” didn’t enforce discipline in the party ranks on either of the June 24 votes, which would indicate that members were guided in their votes by their own moral and intellectual imperatives – a depressing thought, given that peace lost by wide margins in the Black Caucus.

Ford summarized that those who claimed a humanitarian ground and guardian of African interest at the US Congress were far more dangerous.

For example, Keith Ellison, explained: “I voted against two resolutions concerning U.S. involvement in Libya because they would have limited our ability to respond to humanitarian emergencies. "I was one of the first members of Congress to call for a no-fly zone over Libya to protect innocent civilians who want nothing more than freedom and the right to self-determination.

Ford concluded that “Ellison’s argument is far more dangerous because it purports to have a moral – and even pro-African – underpinning.” The then Minneapolis congressman’s spiel is also perfectly aligned with the ravenous “humanitarian” interventionist hawks of the Obama administration, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and advisor Samantha Power."

In a New York Times article titled "Dislike for Qaddafi Gives Arabs a Point of Unity" by Micheal Slackman, Hilal Khasan, chairman of the department of political studies at American University of Beirut was quoted as saying “The Arab street reaction to the Western attacks on Libya has been warm."

The glaring hypocrisy of repressive Arab leaders who endorsed military action in Libya does not escape many when they complain of external influence in their affairs.

The report by the U.K. parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee indicated that the former British Prime Minister's decision to intervene in Libya in March 2011 was not based on accurate intelligence, turned into an opportunistic exercise in regime change and led to a humanitarian crisis.

The intervention was meant to protect civilians from attacks by then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's troops, but that threat was "overstated" and rebel forces "included a significant Islamist element," the report said.

Instead of helping, the U.S., French and British forces led to "political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of ISIL in North Africa," according to the report.

Crispin Blunt, the committee's chair, said in a statement that the allies should have tried other options before intervening militarily. "Political engagement might have delivered civilian protection, regime change and reform at a lesser cost to the U.K. and Libya," Blunt said.

He added that the U.K.'s actions in Libya were "ill-conceived," and the fallout was still playing out today.

In 2018, Sarkozy was arrested and indicted for his own dealings in Libya.

Alas, the Western assisted "rebels" did not bring in democracy. Rather, in the aftermath, a report by the Secretary-General of the United Nations indicated that up to 7,000 people, including women and children, were held in private jails "with no access to due process in the absence of a functioning police and judiciary."

Many of the prisoners are being subjected to torture and systematic abuse, and there are reports of "women held in detention in the absence of female guards and under male supervision, and of children detained alongside adults." A large number of the detainees are sub-Saharan Africans "being targeted because of the colour of their skin" Citation: Sengupta, Kim; Hughes, Solomon (24 November 2011). "Leaked UN report reveals torture, lynchings and abuse in post-Gaddafi Libya". The Independent. London. Retrieved 11 December 2011.

Courtesy: African Union Citizen Journal


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