Muammar el-Qaddafi Killed! What Now For Libya?

Muammar el-Qaddafi Killed! What Now For Libya?
Muammar al-Qaddafi Image: Public Domain

The Arab Spring fells another despotic regime as revolutionaries killed Muammar el-Qaddafi in his hometown of Sirte, Libya. But what now for Libya?

While no one knows for sure – if recent events in other Arab countries are any indication – there will be plenty of chaos.



While culling the Reuters website I came across this interesting comment:

Former MI5 Agent Annie Machon said in a report to the conflict in Libya:

“They’ve had free education, free health, they could study abroad. When they got married they got a certain amount of money. So they were rather the envy of many other citizens of African countries. Now, of course, since NATO’s humanitarian intervention the infrastructure of their country has been bombed back to the Stone Age. They will not have the same quality of life. Women probably will not have the same degree of emancipation under any new transitional government. The national wealth is probably going to be siphoned off by Western corporations. Perhaps the standard of living in Libya might have been slightly higher than it perhaps is now in America and the UK with the recession,” she said.

“What really was the UN & NATO trying to achieve?”

My sentiments exactly Ms. Machon. When the US joined France and the UK in their so-called humanitarian mission, I questioned the rationale and more importantly for the U.S. – the added expense given our other war fronts were, and continue to, suck the US Treasury dry. I still don’t understand what our participation in Libya was for, except maybe mending political fences with one nation (UK) whose Prime Minister blindly followed former President Bush into Iraq under false pretenses and of course another nation (France) who was snubbed by the former president, but one who has long ties to African colonialism.

If, however,  it was for the oil as some have suggested, well that wouldn’t be quite right because Libya’s sweet crude is of no use to American consumers unless of course they traveled to Europe and rented a clean-burning diesel vehicle. And if it was for revenge over all the terrorist acts Qaddafi bestowed upon Americans, well, that wouldn’t be quite right either as he accepted responsibility and paid the fines and lawsuits against him and we in turn accepted his contrition. As a matter of fact – Qaddafi was even hopeful of, in his own words,  his “brother” President Barack Obama and renewed relations.

So again – what exactly was America’s true motivation for its complicity in bringing down a sovereign nation instead of letting internal forces,  or shall we say the inertia of the Arab Spring, take its natural course? Your guess is as good as mine – but I certainly hope we get reimbursed for all those Tomahawk Missiles and sorties we flew. That was a pretty big chunk of change, you know?

Now for anyone thinking that I may be a Qaddafi sympathizer – Think Again! I am not!

But here is the problem I have had with this whole operation. For one thing we were (and still are) engaged in war on two fronts and it’s cost has been great. Worse yet is the realization that the cost in human lives was for satisfying a vendetta Dubya had to exact revenge on Saddam Hussein for the attempted assassination of his father while visiting Kuwait. Secondly, Americans were sold a false bill of goods regarding weapons of mass destruction and some innuendo that Saddam Hussein had somehow been indirectly involved in the attacks of 9-1-1. Both, of course, have been proven false. Yet we continue to have our young sons and daughters coming home in boxes thanks to an insurgency that will probably NEVER leave Iraq and/or Afghanistan. And when we speak of Afghanistan and its massive corruption under Hamid Karzai, that too has probably had a direct impact on the number of American deaths as he continues to play the fence with Al-Qaeda and other terrorists. In the meanwhile Karzai has benefited mightily from all the American Aid given him. Problem is that aid is just divvied up very nicely among Karzai and his Tribal Leaders.

Let’s not kid ourselves here. Our President of Change hasn’t been much different when playing the same game of deception that George W. Bush did. I do, however, understand the desire for freedom and democracy by the Arab peoples – the only problem is that the people don’t always get what they desire. We have a propensity for looking the other way whenever another regime takes over. As we have seen – the Arab Spring has not exactly given the world much hope that the region is getting more stable.  Instead, it has been more of a perfect example in “be careful what you wish for.” Especially in Egypt. Even as Libya turned into a toxic stew of discontent, I asked who these insurgents and rebels were. Well I am still wondering?

Now that the dirty deed has been done, I believe what we will see in the New Libya is exactly what the former MI-5 Agent alluded to. Except, those Western Corporations will no doubt be of French and British interests since they were the ones who were pushing for immediate intervention. I still don’t like the fact that we joined in, and in effect, softened-up the target for our allies. My biggest fear is that the New Libya will fall into a protracted civil war after this and that history won’t be very kind to America when everything is written. It seems we have a habit of backing the wrong horse and this could very well be another one of those times.

As repulsive as it may seem to us, dictators and tyrants are a way of life in the Arab World. Somehow it even works fairly well, in spite of it all. I mean Egypt for all intents and purposes was a dictatorship in spite of its official form of government. But, hey, it seems to work for them if there is an illusion of moderation. Thus, thinking that we can bring our form of democracy to the Middle East or Northern Africa is more an illusion than a reality. I am sorry to say but the Arab World will always be akin to the lyrics penned by the Who in “We Won’t Get Fooled Again,”  you know – “Come meet the new boss, same as the old boss?”

I don’t know about you but I don’t think Libya will be a better place.

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  • If nothing else, we have an interest because his agents blew up one of our airliners.

    Also, it appears that, for a change, France and Britain took the lead, hard as it is to believe in the first case.

    As for oil, it is pretty fungible in the world market. Even though Italy got most of the Libyan oil, world prices skyrocketed when the revolution broke out. Some things I have read say that it will take 2 or 3 years to get Libyan oil back fully on line, but there are enough companies with an interest in doing so. Anyway, Venezuelan crude was supposedly too high sulfur to sell here, but CITGO found a way to do it (not that I would by there).

    As far as how it will turn out for the Libyan people, Egypt shows that that seems how dependent those now in charge are to western influence. By contrast, nobody in the west seems too concerned about Syria, and Assad is still butchering his people there (according to the BBC).

  • In reply to jack:

    Well that true, in re: to the airliner but if I recall he paid all penalties and we accepted the terms of the verdict. Of course that doesn't take away the sting and/or sorrow inflicted but just like in our own justice system - there is that thing called double jeopardy just for sake of argument. Of course this is also the extent of my legal argument and don't stand a chance against your knowledge there (LOL).

    That second part though - got a problem with that. France and Britain took the lead sure in the public arena, but if you recall they needed our buy-in desperately and waited until we engaged as a threesome. There also seems to have been a rush to this so-called humanitarian mission. As we found out France and the UK put boots on the ground rather quickly as advisers. Don't get me wrong - I know the game well because I've been there done it - but there was something more to this from the get go. It really was an invasion of a sovereign nation. Yea the guy was kook and world is better of blah blah blah - got that. But it sets a bad precedent.

    Where I do agree with you is on Syria - since they have actually engaged in active terrorism against us. An act of war if you will. Qaddafi, though, had backed off long before this coalition blitz.

    Wrong country got destabilized and I am sure we again will pick up much of the tab for a country that will eventually become our enemy. it smells.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    I wasn't making a legal argument, although I suppose one could say that the Scottish court sort of dealt with the legal case. More relevant to my point is whether dropping a bomb on his daughter's tent during the Reagan years, or deposing Saddam gave him the message to get out of the terrorism business.

    Probably the only distinction between this and Iraq vs. Egypt was that the Egyptian army was affected by our influence, so we didn't have to go in there to bail them and the rebels out, while it is pretty questionable whether the Libyan rebels could have done it themselves.

    However, unless Libya turns into Iran, getting rid of Qadaffi (or however it is spelled) would seem to be in our strategic interest.

  • In reply to jack:

    I see the logic you are using although I still wonder what group will now (if not already there) force a wedge into any transitional government. Again we still don't know much about all the players aside from discontented Libyans. Could be a mess for a long time.

    unrelated sidebar question:
    Why was Hollywood producer Thomas Rosenberg given immunity in the Cellini Trial? I was just reading the latest and I don't think he engaged in anything illegal right? Or am I missing something with Capri Capital?

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    I did the easier thing of highlighting the relevant terms above, and selected "Search Google for..." The Trib didn't say much, but the Sun-Times had a clue:

    Rosenberg said he didn’t think Cellini was personally trying to get money from him, but he believed Cellini was passing messages to and from fund-raisers Chris Kelly and Tony Rezko.

    Essentially that would have made him a coconspirator, sort of like how Robert Blagojevich got sucked in, even though Rob didn't do much of anything himself.

    The more interesting thing is since all reports were that Rosenberg was adamant that he wouldn't go along (and lawyers like Mike Monaco indicating that Cellini knew that), whether there was the necessary "substantial step" to constitute attempted extortion, but I guess the jury will have to determine that.

  • In reply to jack:

    I see - thank you so much for explaining that. I guess that would be "knowing after the fact." Yes, I see. But Jack, I thought he immediately did inform authorities? These articles, which I did read are so vague! I did see that he told Cellini he was gonna "kick the **** out of those two" and that he wouldn't take it and report and then Cellini got nervous. I guess he didn't then immediately inform the authorities then. But Okay! I think I got it. Thanks.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Of course, we don't know exactly what was said in chambers, and, of course, what initially happened when the FBI showed up. While he said that he was going to blow the whistle, maybe the lawyers told him to clam up, given the possibility of, say, a lying to the FBI charge or, as indicated, being associated with the conspiracy, until making a deal. Monk and Harris were deeper into it, so the only deal they could make was a plea bargain.

    Thus, one has to wonder how far the defense can go into the reasons for immunity on cross-examination, and, of course, the purpose of the conference in chambers as reported in the S-T was exactly to determine that.

  • In reply to jack:

    I have to amend my remarks to the extent that today's Tribune article indicates that Cellini was not shaking down Rosenberg himself, but just saying what Rezko and Levine would do if Rosenberg didn't pony up. Thus, any inference that can be drawn (and I'm not sure that we will find out anything since Rosenberg has left the stand) is that the immunity issue might be related to prior deals between TRS and Rosenberg, and not the present one.

    Again, though, this reinforces what I said above whether there is sufficient evidence of attempted extortion. The remaining crux of the charges in the indictment seems to be conspiracy with and aiding and abetting Levine and Rezko.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes one somehow got stuck in the ether - I think the limit on links is 2 or 3 I'll have to check. Sorry for late reply - Friday Night Lights! We Won!

    Anyhow - yes I see what you are saying and it makes good sense to me the way you have laid it out and reference to prior deals.

    Cellini didn't take the stand and closing arguments will begin next week. Apparently Webb didn't think that the Feds met their burden of proof. Especially after Levine muddied the waters with his muddied memory.
    I guess I have to agree and that Cellini will probably walk here.

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