Our responsibility to Libya

Map showing Libya

Today another tragedy is in the news - hundreds of Libyans - estimated at upto 700 - have drowned to death when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean sea.

These people were escaping the chaos of Libya trying to get to the stability of Europe. This is not the first such incident, but many Libyans have made the calculation tha the situation in Libya is so dangerous, these risks are worth taking.

The news reports will treat this latest even as a tragedy, but those who read about it won't get a sense of what is happening or our responsibility.

I am not talking about our responsibility as Muslims, or even our responsibility as humans. I am talking about our responsibility as Britons. Most people reading this will be from the UK, but we will not know our own culpability and responsibility for such tragedies.

There has been a politician who has touched upon this truth but this politician is not someone many readers of this blog post will generally agree with or hold with any respect - UKIP leader Nigel Farage has spoken up about Britain's culpability, while Nick Clegg has defended British Actions. It is east to look at the messenger and ignore the message, but in this case I think it is important to see what has actually been said and see if it matches reality.

In the wake of the Arab spring when protests and chaos took hold in Libya - probably with covert support from western intelligence agencies - Britain and France rushed to get involved "to help the people".

The then leader of Libya Gaddafi's actions were indefensible and I was one of those that was swept up in the marketing of intervention, to help the people. It has later transpired through leaks that Gaddafi made contact with the western military offering to step aside before the intervention took place but he never recieved a response to his offer.

A UN resolution was passed allowing foreign intervention to protect civillians, which was ultimately used as the airforce of the rebels and used to create regime change.

As Nigel Farage put it:

...The fanaticism of [former French president] Sarkozy and Cameron to bomb Libya - and what they've done is to completely destabilise Libya, to turn it into a country with much savagery...

Libya is still dealing with these events. We may have forgotten here in the UK, but the Libyans are dealing with this on a daily basis.

The UK and France carried out Aerial bombardments to destroy the Libyan army and allow the rebels to take over. But it didn't stop here - western intelligence agencies also got involved to try to control the outcome following the fall of the old regime.

This has all lead to multiple "governments" fighting each other and a former CIA backed general waing war and bombing Tripoli.

Once again turning back to Nigel Farage:

"There were no migrants coming across from Libya in these quantities before we bombed the country, got rid of [the then Libyan leader] Gaddafi and destabilised the situation."

Ofcourse, when speaking he is oly speaking of the harm come to the Libyan Christians and not the whole population, but what the Christians are suffering, the whole population is suffering. It is convenient for him to focus on a segment of the Libyan population he thinks his supports can sympathise with:

...to turn it into a place where for Christians the situation is virtually impossible...

"I have not got a problem with us offering refugee status to some Christians from those countries."

This is not the first western intervention and likely not the last intervention into the lives of people living in the middle east and surrounding areas.

We destroyed Iraq. We bought chaos to Syria. We are responsible for supporting Saudi Arabia, Israel,  and a handful of other despotic regimes in the region.

Most britons will be shocked to know, or more likely not believe or accept, that an estimated 4 million Muslims have been killed by western intervention since 1990.

Libya remains in chaos, a lot of its infrastructure destroyed and the level of chaos and barbarism is at such a level that many are willing to risk death to get to a place with greater safety.

This is a country that only 4 years ago had infrastructure, education, wealth and stability. 4 years ago the majority of its residents did not need to flee, seek asylum or risk death in such ways.

The Gaddafi regime did not give its citizens freedom, but it did provide much else, giving them higher living standards than surrounding countries.

We have destroyed this country, we have done this to the people, we have responsibility over the people killed in Libya and those fleeing Libya.

Comments

A good summing up, but what do you suggest the west does?

A UN resolution was passed allowing foreign intervention to protect civillians, which was ultimately used as the airforce of the rebels and used to create regime change.

I suppose if public opinion had not prevailed we would have had a UN resolution to bomb Syria and act as air support for anti Assad forces?

It is just a pity we do not keep to the UN rule. What happens within a countries borders is the countries problem, let them sort their own problems.

But it is too late now the damage is done. I come back to my original question. " what does the West do now".

Sanction a UN peace making force to enter Libya, Syria/Iraq and now Yeman. Made only of Muslims, so as not to leave the west open to "The west is mounting a new Crusade against Muslims". 

We destroyed Iraq. We bought chaos to Syria. We are responsible for supporting Saudi Arabia, Israel,  and a handful of other despotic regimes in the region.

Most britons will be shocked to know, or more likely not believe or accept, that an estimated 4 million Muslims have been killed (link is external) by western intervention since 1990.

 http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/unworthy-victims-western-wars-have-...

That link makes thought provoking reading, but it seems to omit the point that Iraq invaded Kuwaite first in 1991. I shall be the first to say, Sadaam was a Dictator, but he was our Dictator.

Two further points, The west had two major civil wars and millions were killed, most of these were civillians. The second civil war 1939-45 it was more civillians then military. We hopefully have moved on and i hope and pray that we don't have another major civil war in the west.

Second point, If only the west had forged ahead with alternative energy sources after OPEC first doubled, then doubled again the oil prices in 1973/4 we might [if we had had far thinking politicians] We miight not be so dependant on Imported energy sources and have no need to be so involved in the Middle East.

But Politicians are there only give the illusion of Democracy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zI5hrcwU7Dk

You might find the above link interesting it is from a film called "Network" released in 1976. Think G7 then G20 then Davos and "The World Economic Forum" and the term "Global Economy".

And i ask again " what can I, or a collective we do?" about what is happening now to fellow humanbeings.

 

The problem wiht Libya is that there is still interference from the outside with entities trying to exret influence.

One of the largest destabilising forces is of a general that was formerly linked to the CIA.

If you look at the map of Libya, its as two population centres which are separated by around 1,000km.

The dispute is largely between east and west.

I would suggest a dissolution of the state, divided into east and west. This way Benghazi can sell its oil instead of being held to ransom via international treaties and organisations and Tripoli wont need to worry about Benghazi.

In the future, tThe East maybe even should be taken over by Egypt. On the Western side, I doubt the nearby countries will want to merge.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

The problem with Libya is that there is still interference from the outside with entities trying to exert influence.

One of the largest destabilising forces is of a general that was formerly linked to the CIA.

I agree with the first point, there is still too much interference from outside entities. This could apply to Syria and now Yemen. As for the entities? Too many and all pushing their own agendas.

As for the CIA. Or Mossad, or KGB, or MI6, or Muslim Brotherhood, Al Khaida etc? It is too easy to blame others for yours and my own failings. But this, as Kipling called it [The Great Game] as gone on for millennia.

The Great Game

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/kenanderson/histemp/thegreatgame.html

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/33619/david-fromkin/the-great-game-in-asia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Game

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rhodes_Colossus

The above, especially the last two, with their cartoons

The British South-African Company's shares

May be at a discount—(Trade-martyrs!—trade-martyrs!)—

But he, our Colossus, strides on, he declares,

Whether with or without chums or charters—or charters.

 Hooray! We brave Britons are right now to the front—

Provided we've someone to boss us—to boss us;

 And Scuttlers will have their work cut out to shunt

This stalwart, far-striding Colossus—Colossus!

note the comment, "Hooray! We brave Britons are right now to the front—

Provided we've someone to boss us—to boss us;"

Simply means we the people are led by others; As this not been the same down the millennia.

Things remain the same throughout the centuries, only the locations, and cast change.

If you look at the map of Libya, its as two population centres which are separated by around 1,000km.

Yes this is correct, but the oil and gas reserves are mainly based at Marsa Brega going south for a 1000 miles. Plus there are two other points, 1] Most of Libya’s water for irrigation comes from there and 2] This area is outside of both Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, for centuries no one was interested in this area, or indeed the south of Libya. That was until oil and gas was discovered, both a blessing and a curse.

I would suggest a dissolution of the state, divided into east and west. This way Benghazi can sell its oil instead of being held to ransom via international treaties and organisations and Tripoli wont need to worry about Benghazi.

Partition won’t work, it as been tried in many countries. But you could allocate this area to Fezzan an ancient area that if one ignores modern day politics was the area to the south of Libya from Sirte to Adabya [base of the gulf of Sirte] This area had been ignored by the Greeks, Romans and the Ottomans. Nothing there but desert? Ruled, if that is the correct word from Sabha, which was on the ancient trade routes from the Red sea to the Altlantic. At least under Gaddafi, he did try to share Libya’s wealth, plus it was the area in which he was born.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrenaica

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tripolitania

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fezzan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muammar_Gaddaf

In the future, The East maybe even should be taken over by Egypt. On the Western side, I doubt the nearby countries will want to merge.

The above was the dream of both President Nasser, of Egypt. A man that Gaddafi much admired, A Pan Arab State from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. Also a man who played the “Great Game” well playing off the Western Powers against the USSR.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-Arabism

But that is only a dream, what we have to deal with is reality. Mans greed, selfishness and lust for Power [remember the 3 P’s. Politics [soft power] Power [Violence] Profits [Greed]]

Maybe a temporary solution is for several camps to be built in Libya [and other Countries in North Africa] under UN control, with Muslim troops supplying security under EU administration. These people could be given a safe haven, vetted for health etc and then some, not all, be transferred safely to Europe. Maybe paid for by a levy on oil/gas production?

I said a temporary solution; the long-term aim must be to sort out the reason why all these people want to leave the land of their birth. The west as I said before had their own civil wars, creating great loss of life, refugee’s of their own, and much damage to their infrastructure. But we have learned from it and moved on. Maybe instead of just criticising the west, these countries should learn some, not all, of western values.

A start would be the teaching of world history in a holistic form. Not in favour of one Nation or Empire. Or indeed Political or Religious Ideologies, then people may start to think for themselves.