I wrote an article that ran on a few different websites entitled “Another Corporate-Inspired War?”. I received some information about Libya and some facts about Col. Gadhafi from a few of my readers. I have no way of completely fact-checking all of this information and so initially I wasn’t going to write about all of the information I received.
After I watched a number of news shows about Libya and saw that very few of them were trying to show an objective outlook on Gadhafi or on Libya, I decided that another perspective really needed to be presented to the American people. I have decided to write on the information presented to me and let the readers of this article make their own judgment on the information presented.
First of all, very few good things have been presented on Col. Gadhafi. I would like to mention some of the things that have taken place in Libya since he overthrew the monarchy in 1969 in a popular revolution against the US supported King.
Some aspects of Libyan progress since the downfall of the monarchy in 1969:
- Literacy rates have risen from 10% of the nation to around 90% of the population. (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_literacy_rate_in_Libya)
- Women have the right to go to school and hold down a job.
- The life expectancy of Libyans has risen by twenty years and the infant mortality rate has dropped dramatically.
- Libya had the highest Human Development Index ranking in Africa. This is a U.N. measurement of life expectancy, educational attainment and adjusted real income. (http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/)
- Most basic necessities: food, housing, fuel, healthcare and education were either heavily subsidized or became entirely free. Subsidies were considered the most effective way to redistribute the national wealth.
- Libya had a lower incarceration rate than the Czech Republic (or the United States). Libya ranked 61st in the world while the US has been number one for years.
- Libya has the third highest GDP on the African continent, South Africa has the highest, Algeria is second.(http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/)
Who is behind the insurgency in Libya?
This is the question that most people following the situation there would like to know. The details are far from clear. There are more questions than answers. One question in particular seems to be elusive, and that is why does the United States take such an active interest in a nation that has less than 6.5 million people? Egypt by comparison (with a population of almost 79 million) was a resolute ally that had a peace agreement with our other ally Israel and controlled the Suez Canal, the oil gateway into the Middle East. Why does Libya provoke such a response like the one Secretary of State Hillary Clinton articulated from the Middle-East yesterday when she said “all of our options regarding actions towards Libya are on the table” (This is euphemism for military options). Yesterday President Obama made the statement that Gadhafi’s time was up and that he should resign. This is a much harder stance than the one the United States took towards Mubarak in Egypt.
The primary opposition group most widely quoted is the National Front for the Salvation of Libya. According to Wikipedia:
“NFSL was based in Sudan until 1985 when the regime of Colonel Nimeiry fell. It opposed military and dictatorial rule in Libya, and called for a democratic government with constitutional guarantees, free elections, a free press, and separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. NFSL launched a wide campaign to topple Gaddafi in Libya, establishing a short-wave radio station, a commando military training camp and also published a bi-monthly newsletter, Al Inqadh (Salvation). According to various sources, Saudi Arabia and the United States Central Intelligence Agency had supported the NFSL.”
The facts are that the United States has considered Gadhafi an enemy of the U.S. for well over 35 years. The NFSL now operates out of Virginia. According to Sara Flounders, writing for Global Research:
“The U.S. carried out numerous assassination and coup attempts against the Gadhafi regime and financed armed opposition groups, such as the NFSL. Some U.S. attacks were blatant and open. For example, without warning 66 U.S. jets bombed the Libyan capital of Tripoli and its second-largest city, Benghazi, on April 15, 1986. Gadhafi’s home was bombed and his infant daughter killed in the attack, along with hundreds of others.”
Looking at the situation in Libya now, according to past history, the United States is not behaving in any way that could be described as anything new. She also states that:
“Even if Gadhafi were as quiet and austere as a monk and as careful as a diplomat, as president of an oil-rich, previously underdeveloped African country he still would have been hated, ridiculed and demonized by U.S. imperialism if he resisted U.S. corporate domination. That was his real crime and for that he has never been forgiven.”
As Americans, what can we do to stop American involvement in the affairs of Libya, A country we have been engaged against for almost 40 years?
It is clear from the outset that it is our political establishment and not our military that are calling for interference in another nation’s internal affairs. The Secretary of defense, Robert Gates has warned that a No-Fly Zone begins with a military attack on Libya’s air defense facilities.
“Let’s just call a spade a spade. A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya. That’s the way you do a no-fly zone. And then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down.”
That is calling a spade a spade indeed. We need people like Gates to stop another war being waged against another nation that has not attacked us. Once the military option is used in any situation, it is hard to control. We have enough debt to deal with and even without intervention in Libya we spend 53% of our total Federal spending on defense (defense, really?) Politicians like John Kerry are calling for a no fly zone in order to stop Gadhafi from bombing his people. According to the Associated Press, “Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that despite media reports of Libyan aircraft attacking rebel areas, the Pentagon had not confirmed any air attacks.”
How often are we going to allow the American military to act as the world’s policemen? In the long run, we stand to gain nothing from interfering in the politics of Libya. This will only turn out to be another in a long list of military attacks on sovereign nations. The truth of the matter is that we would not be thinking of acting militarily against Libya if they did not sit on oil reserves estimated at over 40 billion barrels of high-quality crude. If Russia or China launched military operations against Libya we would be screaming at the top of our lungs.
The American people need to see this as what it is, and that is just another attempt by the United States to secure resources by force. We are already fighting a war in Afghanistan in order to stabilize the country so that we can build the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indian pipeline (T.A.P.I.). Our attempt to control the oilfields of Iraq has yielded no significant gains for the U.S. Sending America’s military to Libya will be a grave mistake. Obama’s entire presidency will be gauged by what we do in Libya and other potential trouble spots in the resurgent Middle-East. I don’t want to be writing about what I wrote today years from now.
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