by Zafar Bangash (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 45, No. 8, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1437)
Five years after Colonel Muammar Qaddafi was publicly lynched, the people of Libya are again turning to the Qaddafi family to save them from the mayhem that has engulfed the country.
Who would have thought that after publicly lynching Colonel Muammar Qaddafi in October 2011 and sentencing his son Seif al-Islam Qaddafi to death in July 2015, that the younger Qaddafi would be pardoned in less than a year and Libyans urging the family to help save the country from the mayhem? Further, his mother has been allowed to return to Libya as have a number of other former officials of the Qaddafi regime. Now, the elected representatives of Libya have realized that there can be no peace without the help and support of the Libyan Jamahiriya, Qaddafi’s political movement that had ruled the country for 42 years. They are turning to Seif al-Islam to help rescue the country.
Years of bloodletting and mayhem at the hands of Western-backed terrorists who were used to overthrow Qaddafi’s government, have made people realize they were badly misled. There is no peace or security in the country. Every thug with a few men and guns is a law unto himself. Turf warfare is rampant. People are terrorized, kidnapped for ransom, and subjected to other forms of brutality. Prices have sky-rocketed and life has become an endless cycle of misery. Defying threats to their safety, people by the tens of thousands have been demonstrating in favour of Qaddafi. When he was publicly lynched, the West thought it had gotten rid of a pesky dictator that was not obeying their orders.
Few if any Western media outlets have bothered to report on these developments in Libya. They do not fit into the narrative of the Western warmongers. Libya has become a black hole that deserves no mention. From a thriving society, it has been reduced to a failed state. True, Qaddafi was not elected but he ensured the people’s basic needs. Besides, he was challenging Western hegemony in Africa. He had to be made into a horrible lesson.
The West and its media minions are not interested in such inconvenient details as the world’s attention has to be kept focused on the imposed war in Syria. The West’s obsession with the unfinished business of overthrowing the elected government of President Bashar al-Asad has to be realized. The people of Libya must wait.
Libya was supposed to be the West’s success story for regime change at nominal cost. Qaddafi was overthrown in August 2011 after the Western regimes secured UN Security Council resolution 1973 to impose a “no fly zone,” ostensibly to prevent Qaddafi’s air force from killing his people. Russia and China had abstained. The West then turned the no fly zone resolution into a license to kill, blowing up everything. When Qaddafi was captured in October 2011, the Western-backed militias publicly lynched him. The gruesome act of sodomizing Qaddafi with a knife was shown on television. A badly beaten and bruised Qaddafi was then dumped into the back of a pick up truck and somebody put a bullet into his head to end his misery.
Hillary Rodham Clinton — darling of the Democratic Party and most likely future president of the United States — uttered her now infamous words following Qaddafi’s lynching, “We came, we saw, he died.” A life snuffed out with such barbarism and Hillary gloated over this act of cold-blooded murder. What else might be in store for the Muslim world if this woman were to occupy the White House as president is not hard to imagine (not that her equally despicable rival Donald Trump would be any better! Pity, not only the American people, but the world).
With Qaddafi’s overthrow and public lynching, the West assumed his Jamahiriya would also disappear. Following the initial bloodletting against Qaddafi loyalists — in which the dark-skinned people of southern Libya were especially targeted by being branded as “foreigners” and, therefore, legitimate targets for elimination because they were accused of being Qaddafi’s mercenaries — numerous militias erupted. Libya descended into hell; its armouries were looted and the weapons smuggled into Iraq and Syria and handed to the terrorists currently on a rampage there.
The people of Libya are suffering the consequences. Nearly five years of mayhem and no safety or security for the people, Libyans are once again turning to Seif al-Islam Qaddafi. He was captured by the Zintan militia soon after his father’s lynching. The Zintan militia is allied to the Libyan National Army led by General Khalifa Haftar. Another group, the Libya Dawn coalition, after capturing Tripoli, sentenced Seif to death in absentia following a kangaroo trial in July 2015. The International Criminal Court (ICC) also demanded his extradition to stand trial in the white man’s court.
The Zintan militia, despite having fought against Qaddafi, refused to comply with the ICC demand or the Libya Dawn coalition. Amid the bloodletting and chaos, people started to hark back to the days when Qaddafi was in power. There was peace and security during his 42-year rule; now there is none. NATO and its allies blew that to pieces. The people were left to fend for themselves as best they could.
The Libyan National Army supports the elected House of Representatives that made Tobruk in the east as their base of operations. In a dramatic turn of events, less than a year after his death sentence, Seif was “given his liberty on April 12, 2016,” as per his lawyer’s interview with France 24 news agency. Seif was pardoned in accordance with the amnesty law passed by the Tobruk parliament in 2015.
Libya’s elected representatives have realized that there can be no peace in the country without the Jamahiriya movement and Seif al-Islam Qaddafi. One must ask who is responsible for the death of more than 80,000 Libyans and the destruction of Libya that once had one of the best social welfare systems in the Muslim world?