By Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, New Age Islam
25 August 2021
The Devastation of Libya
1. Colonel Qaddafi ruled Libya like the traditional Arab Shaikh of a Bedouin tribe
2. The rigid stance of U.S is responsible for the growing terrorism, as it is responsible for fuelling resentment and anger among the people in the Middle East
3. If the imperial ambitions of U.S are not curtailed the time is not far away when the whole world will be engulfed in the raging fires of bloodshed and unprecedented violence
Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S Campaign to Terminate The Qaddafi Revolution
By Francis A. Boyle
Atlanta, Clarity Press, Inc, 2017,
Pp 212. ISBN 9780985335373
At one juncture, Colonel Qaddafi was a darling of the west and Libya had one of the booming economies in the Arab world. Qaddafi was a progressive leader who intended that Libya stands shoulder to shoulder with the first world countries. He was indeed a dictator who ruled with an iron fist abusing the basic rights of his people. For decades he was tolerated by the world hegemon, the United States of America, as he well served their strategic interests. Once he tried to chalk out an independent path, he was cut to size, killed by his own people and his country Libya destroyed.
Francis A Boyle, a leading American expert in international law in this book describes in an academic manner how Libya was destroyed by U.S over a period of three decades. In his Introduction, Boyle writes about the legacy of Qaddafi while surmising about fate of Libya in these words, “Colonel Qaddafi fought and died for Libya against the West just like his hero Omar Mukhtar had done. Indeed, on the basis of that precedent, I had predicted that Qaddafi would fight to the death for Libya and not flee his country in order to save his own life. Far exceeding my expectations, Colonel Qaddafi resisted the most powerful military alliance ever assembled in the history of the world for seven months. A real modern-day Hannibal!
Colonel Qaddafi ruled Libya like the traditional Arab Shaikh of a Bedouin tribe. Indeed, Libya as a state consisted of an amalgamation of disparate Arab and Tuareg tribes that Qaddafi had melded together into his Jamahiriya system, a state of the masses. The jury is still out on whether or not this now discombobulating of tribes living in Libya can ever be reconstituted as a functioning state after the U.S/NATO war. Libya stands on the verge of a statehood crack-up, as was the U.S/NATO intention from the get go.” (P-14). Boyle emphasizes the need for an academic partnership between international law and international political science in order to understand and engage with the question of Libya. So he deliberates about the methodology used in the book as, “This book applies my functionalist, Fullerian, and anti-Hobbesian framework of analysis for international law and organizations elaborated above in order to develop a comprehensive history and critique of American foreign policy towards Libya from when the Reagan administration came to power in January of 1981 until today in the immediate aftermath of the Obama administration’s orchestrated NATO War against Libya, that is for over the past three decades.” (P-34-35).
Boyle is vehemently critical of the U.S policies, because it overrules any peaceful settlement of longstanding disputes through international arbitration tribunal between Libya and U.S. This rigid stance of U.S is responsible for the growing terrorism, as it is responsible for fuelling resentment and anger among the people in the Middle East. It does not want to settle down issues amicably. “Only if America is willing to face up to its collective responsibility under international law for this crime against humanity can it then proceed to make some progress on the problem of international terrorism. Until that time, Americans will continue to become targets of attack by these frustrated and aggrieved individuals throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean.” (P-42). Further to prepare a case for attack against Libya, terrorist bombings orchestrated and conducted by other organizations were blamed on Libya. Further assassinations as a war crime were carried out by U.S as it bombed Qaddafi’s compound trying to assassinate him and his entire family. No procedures were initiated or cases registered under the sections of crimes against humanity as enumerated in international law against U.S. Instead a whole cycle of disinformation against Libya was initiated and Colonel Qaddafi was retrograded to a U.S imperial punching bag.
In the words of Boyle an axis of genocide was put in place. “The United States and its NATO Alliance constitute the greatest collection of genocidal states ever assembled in the entire history of the world…The United States and the NATO Alliance together with their de facto allies such as Israel constitutes the real axis of Genocide in the modern world. Humanity itself owes a ‘responsibility to protect’ the very future existence of the world from the United States, the NATO states and Israel.” (P-169). The world courts were approached by Libya filing suits against U.S and United Kingdom that ruled in Libya’s favour but then ultimately these judgments were thrown to winds.
Boyle has a solution for saving the world from the devastation of a new war, “Right now the only thing that can save humanity from a Third World War is the disintegration of the United States of America along the lines of late Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991. The sooner the better!” (P-182). But this surmise seems too farfetched and non-pragmatic at this point in history.
Today according to Boyle world powers are repeating the same mistake in case of U.S that they did commit by shaking hands with Hitler. “These geopolitical calculations and historical dynamics behind their 2011 Libyan sell-out were reminiscent of those manifested at the Munich Conference in 1938. There British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier sacrificed Czechoslovakia to Hitler in order to divert Nazi Germany eastwards towards the Soviet Union and away from Britain and France. Of course Stalin saw right through their Machiavellian machinations. So he decided to protect the Soviet Union by entering into the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact with Hitler on August 23, 1939. That unholy pact in turn became the proverbial ‘green light’ for Hitler to invade Poland on September 1, 1939, starting the Second World War. Sixty million people died.
(P-195) So we are baffled with devastating violence and very few serious attempts are being made to curtail this vicious cycle of violence.
According to Boyle what can and will resist this western imperialism is, “If anything can resist and defeat Western unlimited imperialism intruding upon Muslim lands and peoples today, it is Islam. Witness the spectacular successes of Islamic resistance movements in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza and Southern Lebanon. The verdict is still out in Somalia and Yemen.” (P-204-205).
The book is a very noble attempt at understanding the vicious cycle of violence that the imperial greed of U.S has unfurled all over the Middle East. If these imperial ambitions of U.S are not curtailed the time is not far away when the whole world will be engulfed in the raging fires of bloodshed and unprecedented violence.
M.H.A. Sikander is Writer-Activist based in Srinagar, Kashmir.
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