by Marwah Khalid (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 50, No. 10, Rabi' al-Thani, 1443)
On December 24, Libyans are expected to go to the polls to elect a president as well as members of parliament. This will be the first time Libyans will participate in elections although it is not certain whether these will take place as scheduled.
Since the public lynching of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi on October 20, 2011 at the hands of US and Western-backed extremists, violence has marked life for most Libyans as various groups battle it out for control. Meanwhile, Western regimes have busied themselves stealing Libya’s oil wealth and other resources, one of the reasons why they attacked and destroyed Libya in 2011.
Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, son of the late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, registered to run for president but his application was rejected by the election commission. He was among 25 candidates rejected. He had vowed to steer the country out of chaos and war, if elected.
He was captured by the Zintan militia after his father’s lynching and was held for six years. He was sentenced to death by a court in Zintan but it was later overturned.
He is also wanted on war crimes allegations by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Many observers view this as the court doing the West’s bidding and whitewashing Western crimes. The former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s infamous statement, “We came, we saw, he died” should be enough to convict her of war crimes as should rulers of Western regimes that participated in the destruction of Libya.
In the UN-proposed elections, 98 candidates have registered to run for president. They include US citizen and CIA asset and military commander Khalifa Haftar. He lived for 20 years in Langley, VA, close to the CIA headquarters where he sold his soul to the devil. His US citizenship may disqualify him although his son Saddam Haftar is reported to have visited both Turkey and Israel to solicit support.
A number of “Islamists”, out of naivete or ruthless ambition, also jumped on the Western bandwagon to murder Qaddafi. They got their wish but it resulted in the complete destruction of Libya.
Haftar controls the eastern part of the country while the UN-backed government sits in Tripoli whose Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah and parliament speaker Aguila Saleh have also indicated their desire to run. Skepticism about elections is based on the fact that many contenders question the framework under which these are being held.
Libya is also in the grip of a civil war with local as well as foreign-backed militias battling it out for control. A vast, sparsely populated country, three million of Libya’s seven million people reside in Tripoli.
Before his lynching, Qaddafi had warned that if he is overthrown, it would lead to chaos. Libya’s tribes would fight each other, al Qaeda and other extremist groups would take over and result in a flood of refugees landing on the shores of Europe. This is exactly what has happened.
In 2011, protests erupted against Arabian rulers in the Middle East and North Africa. They started in an unlikely place—Tunisia—and quickly spread to Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Bahrain, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. It is instructive to note that long-entrenched dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya were overthrown but the tribal monarchies remained in power. Only in Syria, through external help, was the Western-backed uprising defeated.
In the case of Libya, the West imposed a no-fly zone through UN Security Council resolution number 1973 under the spurious pretext of preventing civilians from being bombed by Libya’s air force. Instead, the West launched an air campaign that caused widespread destruction of Libya. Nothing was spared while the West claimed it was exercising its self-proclaimed ‘right to protect’.
The real reasons behind the West’s crusade lay elsewhere: Qaddafi’s plan to break the Western stranglehold of Africa. He had broken France’s monopoly of the continent’s telephone system that was costing Africa enormous sums. The way it was set up, residents in two neighbouring African countries could not dial directly. They had to go through French satellite service and the calls were then redirected to the neighbouring country.
Qaddafi bought a communications satellite from Russia in 2007 and linked up African countries directly with each other saving them $500 million in annual fees they paid to European countries, especially France. The French were not amused.
Qaddafi had other plans that the West viewed as a threat to its interests. Western interests are, of course always paramount, at the expense of hundreds of millions of people in Africa or Asia. While Libya under Qaddafi provided free education and medical services as well as a house to all its citizens, it was his plan to make Africa independent of Western banking sharks that he was considered such a “threat”.
The putative former French President Nicolas Sarkozy went so far as to call Libya a “threat” to the financial security of the world! Sarkozy has been convicted by a French court of corruption as well as fraud in election finances.
Qaddafi was viewed as a threat because he planned to introduce the gold dinar—a new currency—instead of the French franc for use among African countries. The state-owned Central Bank of Libya (CBL) was completely independent of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). So, all Libyan transactions went through the CBL cutting out the BIS as a clearing house that charged enormous fees.
Libya had enough gold to underwrite the gold dinar. A telling example of the real reason behind the Western-backed uprising in Libya was the destruction of the Central Bank of Libya and its replacement by a new bank, the Central Bank of Benghazi as soon as the uprising began. The new bank was set up on March 19, 2011 by the Western-backed terrorists while the country was in the middle of a civil war! They also set up a new oil company.
Not surprisingly, billions of dollars in Libyan assets abroad were frozen (stolen) by Western regimes, as was Libya’s 144 tonnes of gold. Al-Qaeda and other mercenaries were let loose to attack Qaddafi, his forces as well as his supporters, while the Western thieves went about their primary business: stealing the country’s resources.
Libya, Iraq and Syria should serve as salutary lessons for Muslims on how not to fall for Western promises of help and protection. Regimes in the West do not care for their own people, why should they worry about brown or black people in distant lands?
Whether elections are held in Libya or not, unless Western forces and their mercenaries are banished from Libya, the once most-advanced country in Africa is unlikely to see peace or prosperity. Even under the best of circumstances, it will take decades before Libya returns to its economic position it held in February 2011 and before the West unleashed the terrorists.