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Libya: From Africa’s Wealthiest Democracy to US-NATO Terror Haven

TaiShang

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Libya: From Africa’s Wealthiest Democracy under Gaddafi, to US-NATO Sponsored Terrorist Haven
Global Research, October 19, 2015

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October 20, marks the four-year anniversary of the US-backed assassination of Libya’s former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and the decline into chaos of one of Africa’s greatest nations.


In 1967 Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; by the time he was assassinated, he had transformed Libya into Africa’s richest nation. Prior to the US-led bombing campaign in 2011, Libya had the highest Human Development Index, the lowest infant mortality and the highest life expectancy in all of Africa.

Today, Libya is a failed state. Western military intervention has caused all of the worst-scenarios: Western embassies have all left, the South of the country has become a haven for ISIS terrorists, and the Northern coast a center of migrant trafficking. Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have all closed their borders with Libya. This all occurs amidst a backdrop of widespread rape, assassinations and torture that complete the picture of a state that is failed to the bone.

Libya currently has two competing governments, two parliaments, two sets of rivaling claims to control over the central bank and the national oil company, no functioning national police or army, and the United States now believes that ISIS is running training camps across large swathes of the country.

On one side, in the West of the nation, Islamist-allied militias took over control of the capital Tripoli and other key cities and set up their own government, chasing away a parliament that was previously elected.

On the other side, in the East of the nation, the “legitimate” government dominated by anti-Islamist politicians, exiled 1,200 kilometers away in Tobruk, no longer governs anything. The democracy which Libyans were promised by Western governments after the fall of Colonel Gaddafi has all but vanished.

Contrary to popular belief, Libya, which western media routinely described as “Gaddafi’s military dictatorship” was in actual fact one of the world’s most democratic States.

Under Gaddafi’s unique system of direct democracy, traditional institutions of government were disbanded and abolished, and power belonged to the people directly through various committees and congresses.

Far from control being in the hands of one man, Libya was highly decentralized and divided into several small communities that were essentially “mini-autonomous States” within a State. These autonomous States had control over their districts and could make a range of decisions including how to allocate oil revenue and budgetary funds. Within these mini autonomous States, the three main bodies of Libya’s democracy were Local Committees, Basic People’s Congresses and Executive Revolutionary Councils.

The Basic People’s Congress (BPC), or Mu’tamar shaʿbi asāsi was essentially Libya’s functional equivalent of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom or the House of Representatives in the United States. However, Libya’s People’s Congress was not comprised merely of elected representatives who discussed and proposed legislation on behalf of the people; rather, the Congress allowed all Libyans to directly participate in this process. Eight hundred People’s Congresses were set up across the country and all Libyans were free to attend and shape national policy and make decisions over all major issues including budgets, education, industry, and the economy.

In 2009, Gaddafi invited the New York Times to Libya to spend two weeks observing the nation’s direct democracy. The New York Times, that has traditionally been highly critical of Colonel Gaddafi’s democratic experiment, conceded that in Libya, the intention was that

“everyone is involved in every decision…Tens of thousands of people take part in local committee meetings to discuss issues and vote on everything from foreign treaties to building schools.”

The fundamental difference between western democratic systems and the Libyan Jamahiriya’s direct democracy is that in Libya all citizens were allowed to voice their views directly – not in one parliament of only a few hundred wealthy politicians – but in hundreds of committees attended by tens of thousands of ordinary citizens. Far from being a military dictatorship, Libya under Mr. Gaddafi was Africa’s most prosperous democracy.

On numerous occasions Mr. Gaddafi’s proposals were rejected by popular vote during Congresses and the opposite was approved and enacted as legislation.

For instance, on many occasions Mr. Gaddafi proposed the abolition of capital punishment and he pushed for home schooling over traditional schools. However, the People’s Congresses wanted to maintain the death penalty and classic schools, and the will of the People’s Congresses prevailed. Similarly, in 2009, Colonel Gaddafi put forward a proposal to essentially abolish the central government altogether and give all the oil proceeds directly to each family. The People’s Congresses rejected this idea too.

For over four decades, Gaddafi promoted economic democracy and used the nationalized oil wealth to sustain progressive social welfare programs for all Libyans. Under Gaddafi’s rule, Libyans enjoyed not only free health-care and free education, but also free electricity and interest-free loans. Now thanks to NATO’s intervention the health-care sector is on the verge of collapse as thousands of Filipino health workers flee the country, institutions of higher education across the East of the country are shut down, and black outs are a common occurrence in once thriving Tripoli.

Unlike in the West, Libyans did not vote once every four years for a President and an invariably wealthy local parliamentarian who would then make all decisions for them. Ordinary Libyans made decisions regarding foreign, domestic and economic policy themselves.

America’s bombing campaign of 2011 has not only destroyed the infrastructure of Libya’s democracy, America has also actively promoted ISIS terror group leader Abdelhakim Belhadj whose organization is making the establishment of Libyan democracy impossible.

The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups in North Africa and the Middle East will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.

The CIA first aligned itself with extremist Islam during the Cold War era. Back then, America saw the world in rather simple terms: on one side the Soviet Union and Third World nationalism, which America regarded as a Soviet tool; on the other side Western nations and extremist political Islam, which America considered an ally in the struggle against the Soviet Union.

Since then America has used the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt against Soviet expansion, the Sarekat Islam against Sukarno in Indonesia and the Jamaat-e-Islami terror group against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan. Last but certainly not least there is Al-Qaeda.

Al Qaeda: The CIA’s Computer Data Base

Lest we forget, the CIA gave birth to Osama Bin Laden and breastfed his organization throughout the 1980′s. Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that Al Qaeda was unquestionably a product of western intelligence agencies. Robin Cook explained that Al Qaeda, which literally means “the base” in Arabic, was originally the computer database of the thousands of Islamist extremists who were trained by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) used to have a different name: Al Qaeda in Iraq.

ISIS is metastasizing at an alarming rate in Libya, under the leadership of one Abdelhakim Belhadj. Fox News recently admitted that Mr. Belhadj “was once courted by the Obama administration and members of Congress” and he was a staunch ally of the United States in the quest to topple Gaddafi. In 2011, the United States and Senator McCain hailed Belhadj as a “heroic freedom fighter” and Washington gave his organization arms and logistical support. Now Senator McCain has called Belhadj’s organization ISIS, “probably the biggest threat to America and everything we stand for.”

Under Gaddafi, Islamic terrorism was virtually non existent and in 2009 the US State Department called Libya “an important ally in the war on terrorism”.

Today, after US intervention, Libya is home to the world’s largest loose arms cache, and its porous borders are routinely transited by a host of heavily armed non-state actors including Tuareg separatists, jihadists who forced Mali’s national military from Timbuktu and increasingly ISIS militiamen led by former US ally Abdelhakim Belhadj.

Clearly, Gaddafi’s system of economic and direct democracy was one of the 21st century’s most profound democratic experiments and NATO’s bombardment of Libya may indeed go down in history as one of the greatest military failures of the 21st century.

@jamahir , @Chinese-Dragon
 

oproh

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Thank you america for once again destroying a prosperous and functioning country and turning it into terrorists nests.
 

gambit

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Aahhh...So now Libya was a shining example of democracy. :lol:

All those human rights problems were imaginary. Lockerbie, Pan Am 103, anyone remember ? Of course not.
 

Genesis

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Aahhh...So now Libya was a shining example of democracy. :lol:

All those human rights problems were imaginary. Lockerbie, Pan Am 103, anyone remember ? Of course not.

First you forgot to mention wealth, which was in the title, last time I checked that's pretty important. America, the land of the free, not the land of the homeless.

I don't know why the title mentioned democracy, which libya was not, but it is prosperous, won't argue that.

As to your later examples, come on man, the last two can happen to anyone , 655 anybody, sending Suicidal monks into China anybody. You remember? Of course not.

I'm not claiming a great Libya, but it's head and shoulders above the shit hole that exist now, and who had a hand in that.
 

Nan Yang

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First you forgot to mention wealth, which was in the title, last time I checked that's pretty important. America, the land of the free, not the land of the homeless.

I don't know why the title mentioned democracy, which libya was not, but it is prosperous, won't argue that.

As to your later examples, come on man, the last two can happen to anyone , 655 anybody, sending Suicidal monks into China anybody. You remember? Of course not.

I'm not claiming a great Libya, but it's head and shoulders above the shit hole that exist now, and who had a hand in that.
Some people are too simple minded.
 

gambit

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First you forgot to mention wealth, which was in the title, last time I checked that's pretty important. America, the land of the free, not the land of the homeless.
Wealth in comparison, not in absolute value, which is not possible anyway considering how many ways wealth can be interpreted and measured.

In inter-states relations, what matters to US is whether a country is willing to ally with US, not how wealthy it is. Believe it or not, what matters to US matters the same for everyone else as well.

Some people are too simple minded.
You are correct. This thread proved it.
 

TaiShang

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That's why Syria should not be another US-crafted Libya 2.0.

***

Why US Is Terrified of Putin Success in Syria

Russian success in Syria would herald power shift away from US

The US and its allies would like to see Russia’s military operations in Syria go horribly wrong as Russia’s success heralds a crushing defeat for Western regime-change machinations. It would also signal the balance of power shifting away from US hegemony.

Last week, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter darkly predicted that Russia would suffer blowback from its intervention in Syria with acts of terrorism being committed on “Russian soil.”

Within days for Carter’s pointed warning, Russian authorities arrested a jihadist cell in Moscow plotting terror attacks. This week, the Russian embassy in Damascus came under fire from two mortar shells – an attack which Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov quickly condemned as an act of terrorism.

It might be assumed that Washington has taken some nefarious satisfaction over what appears to be a harbinger of the terror blowback Carter warned of.

From the outset of Russia’s aerial bombing campaign against terror groups in Syria, beginning on September 30, Washington and its Western allies have sought all possible ways of discrediting and derailing the intervention. US President Obama poured scorn saying “it was doomed to fail,” while Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron labeled the Russian move as “a grave mistake” on the part of Putin.

This week, European Union foreign ministers amplified American claims that Russian air strikes are targeting “moderate rebels” and called on Moscow to halt its operations unless they are specifically against Islamic State and other “UN-designated terror networks.” The credibility of American and European claims about Russian air strikes is, of course, highly questionable.

But the point here is that it is becoming glaringly obvious that Washington and its allies want to make as much trouble for Russia’s military intervention in Syria. Why is the West going out of its way to thwart Russia’s intervention?

Also, as has been widely documented, the notion of “moderate rebels” in Syria is something of a fiction peddled by Western governments and their media to provide cover for Western support to foreign mercenaries fighting illegally in Syria to topple the sovereign government. Russia’s Sergey Lavrov last week dismissed the supposed moderate ‘Free Syrian Army’ – much lionized by the West – as a “phantom”. This view was confirmed this week by Britain’s former ambassador to Syria Peter Ford, who said “virtually all the opposition armed groups in Syrian are Islamist radicals, either ISIS [Islamic State] or interchangeable with ISIS.”

One reason why the West is gagging to see a Russian failure in Syria is simply because Putin’s intervention is being so effective in destroying the terror networks, whether they be associated with Islamic State or the plethora of Al-Qaeda-affiliated mercenaries. The latter include brigades from the so-called Free Syrian Army which share weapons and fighters with the Al-Qaeda franchises of Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Shams and Jaish al-Fatah, among others.

If we assess the four-year conflict in Syria as being the result of a Western-backed covert war for regime change, then it follows that the foreign mercenary groups fighting in Syria are Western assets. We know this because former the head of the US Defence Intelligence Agency, Lt General Michael Flynn has candidly disclosed that the Obama administration made a “willful decision” to sponsor the extremist groups for the purpose of regime change.

So Russia’s effective anti-terror operations – as opposed to the year-long ineffectual US-led so-called anti-terror coalition – are causing angst among Washington and its allies precisely because Moscow is helping to destroy Western regime-change assets. Don’t forget that billions of dollars have been “invested” by Washington, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to overthrow the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, partly in order to undermine his allies in Russia and Iran.

Another reason for Western vexation over Russia’s intervention in Syria is that it is exposing the fraudulence and criminality of the Western powers and their regional client regimes. Russia is conducting operations that are lawful under international law with the full consent of the Syrian government – unlike the US-led coalition which is bombing the country illegally. Vladimir Putin has cogently delineated the all-important legal difference. From the Western viewpoint, this exposure of their depredations is intolerable. That is partly why Washington and its European minions are desperate to discredit Moscow in Syria. But they are failing.

Even the Western media has had to report on the rising popular support for Russia across the Middle East. The Washington Post this week headlined: ‘Amid Russian air strikes, a Putin craze takes hold in Mideast’. The paper reported how the Arab Street – from Syria to Egypt, Iraq to Lebanon – is celebrating Vladimir Putin as a hero because of Russia’s decisive anti-terror operations.

“Posters of Putin are popping up on cars and billboards elsewhere in parts of Syria and Iraq, praising the Russian military intervention in Syria as one that will redress the balance of power in the region,” says the Post. The paper goes on: “The Russian leader is winning accolades from many in Iraq and Syria, who see Russian airstrikes in Syria as a turning point after more than a year of largely ineffectual efforts by the US-led coalition to dislodge Islamic State militants who have occupied significant parts of the two countries.”

Three days after Russia began its anti-terror campaign in Syria, Obama made a curious offer to Putin. On October 3, CNN reported the American president saying that the US was willing to cooperate with Russia “but only if that plan includes removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” If Russia did not go along with this scheme to unseat Assad, then Obama“warned Russia’s air campaign would only lead to further bloodshed and bog down Moscow.” Russia, he said, would become “stuck in a quagmire.”

Putin has since stated unequivocally that Assad is the legitimate president of Syria and that Russia’s intervention is aimed at supporting his sovereign government. In other words, Obama’s offer of a regime change “pact” was repudiated.

Ominously, this week the New York Times reported that militants in Syria “are receiving for the first time bountiful supplies of powerful American-made anti-tank missiles.” The paper notes: “With the enhanced insurgent firepower and with Russia steadily raising the number of airstrikes against the [Assad] government’s opponents, the Syrian conflict is edging closer to an all-out proxy war between the United States and Russia.”

Washington wants, and needs, Russia to fail in Syria. Given the stakes of America’s dirty war, not just in Syria but across the region, Russia’s success would be too much to bear for Washington’s hegemonic ambitions.
 
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jamahir

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taishang, thank you for another article that enlightens, and this article gives the facts in such a simple and broad manner, contrasting with many members who make confusing posts and engage in circular debate.

Unlike in the West, Libyans did not vote once every four years for a President and an invariably wealthy local parliamentarian who would then make all decisions for them. Ordinary Libyans made decisions regarding foreign, domestic and economic policy themselves.

i must explain here that the libyan jamahiriya system is the simplest political system and abolished two unnecessary elements present in other systems - (a). elections, (b). political parties.

since the jamahiriya system is direct-democracy ( decisions and authority of the people ) and the society must essentially work for the welfare of the people, they saw no point in creating vested-interest groups called political parties who will then engage in dividing the society along sectarian/group lines and waste the energies and efforts of the people... whether western-style multi-party systems or single-party systems, both were seen as wrong systems in libya.

the libyan system was a party-less system.

I don't know why the title mentioned democracy, which libya was not

libya was a true democracy where it is the people who were the authority... look at this section in the op...
Under Gaddafi’s unique system of direct democracy, traditional institutions of government were disbanded and abolished, and power belonged to the people directly through various committees and congresses.

Far from control being in the hands of one man, Libya was highly decentralized and divided into several small communities that were essentially “mini-autonomous States” within a State. These autonomous States had control over their districts and could make a range of decisions including how to allocate oil revenue and budgetary funds. Within these mini autonomous States, the three main bodies of Libya’s democracy were Local Committees, Basic People’s Congresses and Executive Revolutionary Councils.

The Basic People’s Congress (BPC), or Mu’tamar shaʿbi asāsi was essentially Libya’s functional equivalent of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom or the House of Representatives in the United States. However, Libya’s People’s Congress was not comprised merely of elected representatives who discussed and proposed legislation on behalf of the people; rather, the Congress allowed all Libyans to directly participate in this process. Eight hundred People’s Congresses were set up across the country and all Libyans were free to attend and shape national policy and make decisions over all major issues including budgets, education, industry, and the economy.


and below are simple explanations of the system i gave in other threads...

India to be home to 4.37 lakh millionaires by 2018: Study | Page 3

Khap offers 51 buffaloes for beheading Vinod Kapri, director seeks protection

BJP MP demands renaming of Aurangzeb Road to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road | Page 2

and please also note in the op section that taishang highlighted in red.

and how contrasting it is that this thread ( Two Dalit Children Burned Alive in India ) from today is about economic/social injustice and oppression in india which was not known in the libyan jamahiriya because of its advanced socialist form of social/political/economic arrangement whose few attributes i list below ( copy from another thread )...
1. any person interested in engaging in farming was given free land by the system, along with seeds, tools needed and housing, for free.

2. electricity and water was free ( that too in a largely desert country ), and libya had history's largest irrigation system, "the great man-made river" project ( gmrr ).

3. housing for any citizen was to be lived rent-free until the resident wished... rent was considered a compromise on the freedom of the citizen and therefore anti-human.

4. medical system was free, and if treatment was available outside, the costs would be borne by the system.

5. education system was free, and if that course was available outside, the costs would be borne by the system.

6. education was of one's choice and could not be forced by parents or circumstance.

7. food was at low cost.

8. any person interested in establishing a business was given a start-up amount of 20,000 dollars, interest-free.

9. all loans were interest-free.

10. no private banks operated in libya.

11. for a person not in employment, he or she was given the average salary ( stipend ) for the person's choice of field of employment... in fact, this was a coming-down in later years from the early days of the al-fatah revolution... in 1979, a unemployed person was given 7000 dollars per month !!

12. libyan jamahiriya being socialist, all wasteful traditions were frowned upon, like 600-guest four-day weddings like what happens in south asia.

13. at weddings, the bride and groom were together given 50,000 dollars to help them set up a new home etc.

14. car purchase was subsidized by the system.



Believe it or not, what matters to US matters the same for everyone else as well.

top quality imperialist/dictatorial nonsense.
 

jamahir

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Within days for Carter’s pointed warning, Russian authorities arrested a jihadist cell in Moscow plotting terror attacks.

didn't know about this.

Putin has since stated unequivocally that Assad is the legitimate president of Syria and that Russia’s intervention is aimed at supporting his sovereign government. In other words, Obama’s offer of a regime change “pact” was repudiated.

there seems to be difference of opinion on this between putin and medvedev.


other than the fine op, you can consult my first post in the thread for more details on jamahiriya.


i direct readers to your own thread that carries this vid because there are discussions there ( Libya With Gaddafi ).
 
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