Annus Horribilis: NATO Bombed Libya To The Stone Age
February 16, 2012
Price of ‘freedom’: Libya’s annus horribilis
Edited by RR
The NTC will distribute cash to all Libyan families in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Libyan revolution. This comes as a standoff between those in power, lawless militias and former Gaddafi supporters continues.
The National Transitional Council (NTC) will award each family with a sum of 1,600 US dollars and each single person will get 160 US dollars. However, this money will bring little solace to the people of Libya as one year on the NTC has made little progress in filling the void left by the collapse of Gaddafi’s regime.
Effective state institutions like courts and organized security forces are still far from a reality in the war-torn country. The new authorities only control and are able to provide security in Tripoli.
The NTC has failed to gain control over the hundreds of militias that fought in the war. Many of them are still in possession of arms they are not willing to part with. Armed gangs have control over scores of detention centers for people accused of links to the Gaddafi regime. Human rights groups say these centers hold thousands of people, with at least 8,000 being tortured.
In September, the NTC released the first figures of casualties from the six-month conflict that began in mid-February. At least 30,000 people have been killed, 50,000 more wounded, and some 4,000 are still missing.
According to the Libyan Health Office, scores were killed by Coalition air strikes. Only four months after military operations began NATO airstrikes killed 1,108 civilians and wounded 4,500 more.
Countless lives have been forfeited in what is one of the bloodiest conflicts in the chain of uprisings that rocked North Africa and Middle East in 2011. However, the death toll is only the beginning of a long list of things Libya has lost in its drive to bring down Gaddafi’s regime.
NATO’s intervention plunged Libya back into the Stone Age and the civil war cost the country’s economy more than $40 billion, shrinking it by 60%, according to the IMF. Crude oil production, that contributed half of the country’s GDP, almost vanished. Foreign trade also suffered, with imports being damaged by blocked access to its foreign assets.
“No revolution can succeed if it comes on top of foreign tanks and the Libyan revolution came with violence from outside unlike the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions.
“He was an unreliable dictator for the West, he approached the West in 2003 and repaired his relationship with it, but they wanted to replace him, because Libya has oil and this is why they have pushed for a change of government in Libya and they put this transitional council, the council that is supposed to serve Western interests not Libyan interests,” says Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, a human rights activist from Bethlehem university.
The hard-fought freedom Libyan rebels dreamed of came with a hefty price-tag. Cities abandoned and left in ruins, lawlessness, security issues, hate crimes, children pulled out of schools, people living in constant fear – this is the face of a new Libya.
“[The Libyan people] had free education, free health, they could study abroad. When they got married they got a certain amount of money,” former MI5 agent Annie Machon told RT.
Now they have $160 US dollars each and a hard task of building democracy they’ve never lived in.