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NATO's Failure in Libya: Lessons for Africa

Horace Campbell

Publication Year: 2013

When the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings erupted in Africa, in the first two months of the year 2011, with the chant, ëthe people want to bring down the regimeí, there was hope all over the continent that these rebellions were part of a wider African Awakening. President Ben Ali of Tunisia was forced to step down and fled to Saudi Arabia. Within a month of Ben Aliís departure, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was removed from power by the people, who mobilised a massive revolutionary movement in the country. Four days after the ousting of Mubarak, sections of the Libyan people rebelled in Benghazi. Within days, this uprising was militarised, with armed resistance countered by declarations from the Libyan leadership vowing to use raw state power to root out the rebellion. The first Libyan demonstrations occurred on February 15, 2011, but by February 21 there were reports that innocent civilians were in imminent danger of being massacred by the army. This information was embellished by reports of the political leadership branding the rebellious forces as ëratsí. The United States (US), Britain and France took the lead to rush through a resolution in the United Nations (UN) Security Council, invoking the principle of the ëresponsibility to protectí. This concept of responsibility to protect had been embraced and supported by many governments in the aftermath of the genocidal episodes in Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo. The UN Security Council Resolution 1973 of 2011 was loosely worded, with the formulation ëall necessary measuresí tacked on to ensure wide latitude for those societies and political leaders who orchestrated the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervention in Libya. In the following nine months, the implementation of this UN resolution exposed the real objectives of the leaders of the US, France and Britain. With the Western media fuelling a propaganda campaign in the traditions of ëmanufacturing consentí, this Security Council authorisation was stretched from a clear and limited civilian protection mandate into a military campaign for regime change and the execution of the President of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi.

Published by: African Books Collective

Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-ii

Contents

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pp. iii-iv

Abbreviations and Acronyms

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p. v-v

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Preface

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p. vi-vi

...‘The European experiment is of no use to us … the area known as North Africa should be Africanised. Either it will become a part of Africa or it will be an anomaly, and will therefore have no future. ‘As an inhabitant of North Africa, I have always rejected the Barcelona agreement which regards North Africa as part of the Middle East, with a vocation to integrate with Europe. This is a conspiracy against the integrity...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

...When the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings erupted in Africa, in the first two months of the year 2011, with the chant, ‘the people want to bring down the regime’, there was hope all over the continent that these rebellions were part of a wider African Awakening. President Ben Ali of Tunisia was forced to step down and fled to Saudi Arabia. Within a month of Ben Ali’s departure, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was removed from power by the people...

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The Independence of Libya and the Birth of NATO

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pp. 13-16

...The history of Libya has, for thousands of years, been intertwined with the social and economic transformations of Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Sitting at the North of the continent of Africa, the peoples of the region west of the Nile Valley were engulfed in the fortunes of trade, ideas and religious expansion. Europeans along the Mediterranean coast interacted with the...

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The Collapse of the Soviet Union and Emergence of a Global NATO

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pp. 17-22

...Historically, when an alliance is formed for a specific purpose – in this case, halting the spread of communism – that alliance is folded when the mission is complete. Hence, after the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1991, it was the expectation of those who considered this period as one of a ‘peace dividend’ that the mission of NATO would be scaled down. Instead, NATO expanded...

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Muammar Gaddafi and the Elusive Revolution

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pp. 23-28

...King Idris on September 2, 1969. This bloodless coup was orchestrated by the Union of Free Unionist Officers under the leadership of its Chairman, then Captain Muammar Gaddafi. King Idris’ rule was replaced by that of a ‘Revolutionary Council’, but Gaddafi emerged from the ranks of the free officers and quickly asserted his authority over the following years to...

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The Neo-Liberal Assault on Libya– London School of Economics and Harvard Professors

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pp. 29-35

...While Gaddafi publicly proclaimed himself a revolutionary, he was spending millions of dollars supporting centres for Libyan studies in Europe and the US. Many of the Libyans who came out of Western institutions were loyal supporters of the most conservative sections of the Anglo-Saxon culture. While they studied and worked in North America and Europe...

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UN Security Council Resolution 1973 and the Responsibility to Protect

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pp. 36-46

...This organisation included members who had aligned with the US to fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Some of its functionaries were named as beneficiaries of Saudi funds in North Africa and the Middle East. According to George Tenet, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency...

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Libya and the Gulf Cooperation Council

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pp. 47-52

...An IMF study of the banking sector in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) drew attention to the fact that Bahrain was the top banking centre in the GCC and the Arab Banking Corporation was at the forefront of wholesale banking for the region. In the words of the study, ‘Bahrain also has a...

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Libyan Resources

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pp. 53-58

...Prior to the major discoveries of fossil fuel by US oil companies in the 1950s, Libya was considered a poor country whose economy was based on poor farmers and herders who were marginally integrated in the international capitalist system. So many tanks and artillery pieces had been deployed in...

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France and Libya

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pp. 59-67

...At the moment of the Libyan intervention, the French society was glued to a long-running soap opera scandal about the history of the corrupt practices and the financing of elections in France by African leaders. For years there had been trials in France on the role of the French oil company ELF...

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Libya and the Financialisation of Energy Markets

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pp. 68-74

...The history of the financialisation of energy markets followed the trail of the explosion of new financial products that were being invented by Wall Street in the aftermath of deregulation. During the period after the Reagan Revolution, there were a series of mergers and acquisitions and in...

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The NATO Campaign

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pp. 75-89

...At present, very few reports have linked the Libyan dominance in the Arab Banking Corporation to the seismic events in Libya since February 2011. Those writers and analysts from Wall Street with the links to the think tanks that they financed were front and centre in the call for war....

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The African Union and Libya

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pp. 90-95

...When the AU was formally inaugurated in Durban, South Africa, on July 8, 2002, the international relations experts were dismissive of this new international organisation. They had been taken aback by the speed with which the Constitutive Act had been drafted, debated and finally ratified...

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NATO in Libya as a Military Information Operation

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pp. 96-106

...From the start of its campaign in Libya, control over information was crucial to the mission of Global NATO. It was in this war that the differences between Al Jazeera, CNN, the BBC and French media subsided, and there was agreement between these news organs that they would cooperate...

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Who Took Tripoli?

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pp. 107-112

...The infighting and intrigue among the differing militias had compounded the weaknesses of NATO in Libya. Despite the coordination with the special forces, the rivalries between the militias ensured that there could be no effective planning between them. NATO had been bombing Libya for nearly...

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Tawergha and the Myth of ‘African Mercenaries’

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pp. 113-117

...The fighting in Tripoli went from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, with NATO planes and apache helicopters supporting the ground forces that were in the process of ‘seizing the city’. Once the Western media focused on the Libyan leadership that led the assault on Green Square and on the Gaddafi...

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The Execution of Gaddafi

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pp. 118-124

...The details of the escape of Colonel Gaddafi from Tripoli and the bombing of the convoy ferrying Gaddafi from Sirte have been provided for posterity by Mansour Dhao Ibrahim, an aide to Gaddafi who survived the NATO attack on the convoy. Dhao, who was then the head of the People’s Guard, was...

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NATO’s Libyan Mission: A Catastrophic Failure

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pp. 125-130

...Was there morality to the insurrection? It is important not to be misdirected by this philosophical detour by Bernard-Henri Lévy. This expression of revulsion by one of the architects of the Western ‘humanitarian’ mission to Libya – Bernard-Henri Lévy – was one indication of the scale of hypocrisy of the Western intellectual establishment. Lévy made a self-congratulatory...

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European Isolation in Africa

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pp. 131-134

...The heightened instability in Africa consequent to the destruction of Libya by NATO was strengthened by new calls for accountability. Within Africa, the media reported on the dislocations and the consequences of NATO military actions. New voices emerged from within the left in the...

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Conclusion: NATO and the Recursive Processes of Failure and Destruction in Libya

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pp. 135-143

...The NATO intervention in Libya, under the mantra of ‘responsibility to protect’, came at a crucial turning point in the history of the world. Multiple crises – economic, ecological, political, military and social – were demanding for new modes of social and economic management. Exploitation, alienation and dehumanisation had deepened...

Notes and References

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pp. 144-159

Appendix 1 - LIBYA, AFRICA AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER: An Open Letter t the Peoples of Africa and the World from Concerned Africans

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pp. 160-164

Appendix 2 - African Union Peace and Security Council

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pp. 165-167

Appendix 3 - UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL

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pp. 168-176

Appendix 4 - CHINESE BUSINESSES IN LIBYA

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p. 177-177

Appendix 5 - THIS IS MY WILL

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pp. 178-179

Back cover

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p. 186-186


E-ISBN-13: 9780798303705
Print-ISBN-13: 9780798303439

Page Count: 184
Publication Year: 2013