Twelve years ago, in March 2011, US-led NATO forces began a sustained bombing of Libya, in northern Africa. Their aim was to oust the government of Muammar al-Gaddafi, install a puppet regime of their choice in its place, and establish their domination over Libya.
Before the imperialists began their assault on Libya, it was the country with the highest standard of living in Africa. The rich oil revenues of the country were used to provide free health and education to its people, resulting in very high levels of education and life expectancy, and very low infant and maternal mortality rates, among other things. Libya had excellent infrastructure as well.
The government of Gaddafi was a thorn in the flesh of the US imperialists and their NATO allies. It opposed the activities of the imperialists against the peoples of North Africa and West Asia. It supported the struggle of the Palestinian people for their national rights. It used its oil revenues to assist other African countries. It was striving to strengthen the African Union — the organization of all countries of the African continent. As part of strengthening the economies of African countries, the Gaddafi government proposed that the countries of Africa establish their own currency of exchange in place of the US Dollar or the Euro.
Over the years, US imperialism and its allies had made repeated attempts to undermine the Gaddafi government. In 2011, US imperialists set in motion violent protests by opposition forces in various Arab countries to bring about regime change. These protests were labeled as “Arab Spring” protests. Within Libya, the US and its allies financed, armed and set into motion forces opposed to the Libyan government. These imperialist backed groups unleashed anarchy and violence. The US, Britain and France launched an orchestrated campaign that the government of Libya was guilty of grave violation of human rights. Then, in the name of providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population of Libya, NATO first declared a “no fly zone” over Libya and then began its brutal bombing campaign.
Not just the Libyan army, but entire cities and the patriotic Libyan people who took up arms to defend themselves and their country, were targeted. The French Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force carried out thousands of bombings across Libya. The American and British naval forces fired hundreds of cruise missiles and imposed a naval blockade on Libya. The bombing and the resulting escalated violence over the next few months led to the deaths and displacement of tens of thousands of people. In October of 2011, the imperialist forces captured and assassinated Gaddafi.
The result of what the NATO chief at that time called one of NATO’s most ‘successful’ campaigns was to plunge a prosperous and stable country into a cycle of brutal civil war and destruction that continues to this day. Over the past 12 years, Libya has been ravaged and destroyed. The country is divided amongst different armed groups, each supported by different foreign powers. These armed groups and their foreign backers have been looting the rich oil wealth of the country, while the masses of people have been driven into ruin.
The United Nations Security Council watched silently as the sovereignty of a small country was brutally violated by a coalition of rapacious imperialist powers. In June 2020, the UN Human Rights Council established a Fact Finding Mission to investigate violation of human rights in Libya since 2016. On March 27, 2023, the UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya submitted its final report on the state of human rights in Libya. It concluded that the situation facing the people of Libya was extremely grave. It reported that a wide array of war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed by the present Libyan government as well as various armed militia groups.
Who bears responsibility for this catastrophe? US imperialism and its allies and the NATO war machine must be held accountable for the destruction of a whole people and their resources, for throwing a whole country into chaos.
Today, many countries of Africa and West Asia are ravaged by brutal civil wars. The US imperialists and the old colonial powers of Britain and France have financed, armed and set in motion various armed groups to wreck these countries and advance their respective imperialist interests.
The destruction of Libya was part of the US strategy to eliminate all obstacles to establishing its domination over the whole world. The US imperialists have arm-twisted the UN into legitimising their criminal activities. They have used their monopoly control over global media to paint any government which refuses to toe the US line, as ‘tyrants’ and ‘murderers’. They have concocted excuses such as providing ‘humanitarian assistance’, eliminating ‘rogue states’, fighting ‘war against terrorism’, and unearthing ‘weapons of mass destruction’ to carry out regime change and justify their crimes. The net result has been the wholesale slaughter of peoples and the laying waste of whole countries.
Peoples cannot and must not believe the lying propaganda of the US imperialists and their allies. US imperialism and its NATO allies are the greatest enemies of sovereignty of countries and of peace.