Today finishing up this piece by Darya Mitina. Commemorating the 5-year anniversary of Colonel Gaddafi’s brutal murder at the hands of American-backed violent jihadists affiliated with Al Qaeda. (Just tellin’ it like it is, bros…)
A Debt Delayed Is Still A Debt To Pay
Russia’s role in the Libyan disaster was totally un-laudable. Yesterday we discussed how the earlier pro-American Russian government of the 1990’s went along with Western economic sanctions against Libya, even refusing to pony up some cash that was owed to Libya by the former Soviet Union. Two decades later, and the Russian Federation had partially dug its way out from under American vassalage, and yet still tended to bend to the West in key international issues. Even after the Iraq War; even after it was crystal clear to a foetus in the womb that America was pursuing a policy of hegemonistic aggression directed at the overthrow of secular Arab governments — even then Russia turned a blind eye to the vicious economic, political, propagandistic, and ultimately military campaign that was being waged against Libya. In March of 2011 Russia had the opportunity to veto UN Security Council Resolution #1973, which laid the basis for the destruction of this sovereign Arab state. As with many U.S. crimes against humanity, the resolution was worded using pseudo-humanitarian language, setting up a “no-fly” zone to protect the Al Qaeda militias who had taken over parts of the city of Benghazi. Recall that Gaddafi called these guys “terrorists” and “rats” and vowed to drive them out of the nest they had set up for themselves in Benghazi. America and her allies (especially France, playing a leading role here) took umbrage at the words “rats” and rushed to protect their client jihadists. They instituted a no-fly zone over Benghazi. This no-fly zone then morphed into an all-out air war against Libya. In effect, NATO became both the air force and the air cover for Al Qaeda in its Libyan base.
The resolution to destroy Libya passed the Security Council by 10 votes, with none against, and 5 abstentions. The 5 abstainers were: Brazil, China, Germany, India, and Russia. By abstaining they allowed the dogs of war to prevail. As Mitina points out, there are times when abstention is an even greater crime than engaging on the wrong side.
For the next five years the more sentient among the Russian citizenry, those who follow international news, were horrified (in the main) at the ensuing ramifications: the bombing of Tripoli, the triumphal jeep convoys of the Mad Max jihadists bouncing across the desert, the thousands of innocent victims, the final gruesome denouement. Russian public opinion was affected, at a gut level.
“Rationalists” claim that the Russian reaction was based on economics: The fact is that a Russian “colony” used to exist in Libya. This was a remnant of Soviet times, when the Soviet Union exported to various Third World nations military and civilian specialists, engineers, construction workers, other laborers, doctors, teachers and diplomats. The Russian enclave in Libya consisted of around 15,000 people.
The USSR had constructed a series of infrastructure objects in Libya: An airbase and railroad in Sabha, a nuclear plant in Tahura, a gas pipeline in Misrata. Hundreds of Libyan students were sent to study in Russian universities — in Moscow, Petersburg, Rostov and Voronezh. NATO’s destruction of Libya caused economic damage to Russia as well: There were contracts in place worth tens of billions of dollars. But all of this was just in addition to the gut reaction which the Russian public experienced on viewing the destruction of Tripoli and the battle for Sirte.
Sirte fell, and the world witnessed the gruesome martyr’s death of a man who had become a symbol of resistance to the Evil Empire. Even people who had not cared so much for Gaddafi before (his eccentricities, his blunders) respected how he fought back, and felt human pity for how he died.
A Happy Life
On the whole though Gaddafi enjoyed a happy, blessed and full life. He was a poet, a philosopher, a revolutionary leader. He was the classic “modernizing” leader of a bygone era of secular modernizers. Gaddafi was beloved by many, and hated by some.
Muammar was born in a bedouin tent in the middle of the Sahara desert. He grew up to be the founder of a wealthy and important nation, the leading nation of the African continent, a country teeming, under his leadership, with gardens, irrigation canals and oil pipes. Oil aka “black gold” was the foundation of Libya’s wealth. Being a socialist by ideology, Gaddafi believed that the nation’s wealth belonged to all the people, not just to the 1% or 2%. He worked out his own unique political philosophy and wrote it down in his famous “Green Book”, which was not just a political party platform, but also the foundation of the Jamahiriya social system.
The fundamental credo of the Jamahiriya system is the notion of “human dignity”, the idea that every human being possesses inalienable dignity and inalienable rights. Including the right to employment, health, education, well-being, and a cut of the national wealth. This is the idea of the “welfare state” in a nutshell. And a welfare state can work well when the nation possesses actual wealth to share. Plus the technological know-how to extract that wealth. Though far from being a perfect human being, Gaddafi was such an astute and talented political leader, that he was able to bring Libya, in the course of just 40 years, from a primitive bedouin society, to a modern industrialized and highly literate nation. As a socialist and a fervent believer in literacy, Gaddafi gave special perks to poets. He wrote poetry himself. If you were a poet in Libya, then you essentially got a free ride.
Gaddafi’s ambitions did not stop at his nation’s borders, and this is one of the factors which did him in. The Libyan leader had ambitions to unite all of the Arab world, along with sub-Saharan Africa, into a continental force with its own currency, freed from the domination of Western capital and the American petro-dollar. As a socialist and a revolutionary, Gaddafi assisted other liberation movements throughout the world — again, a factor in his downfall, because the Empire always fights back. And the Empire seeks to destroy anybody who challenges the supremacy of the U.S. dollar.
Gaddafi enjoyed a happy family life. His first wife Fatiha Al-Nuri bore him one son, Muhammad. That marriage did not last, but Gaddafi and his second wife, Nadia Farkash, were together for almost 40 years. She bore him seven additional children. Except for one daughter, Aisha, all the children were sons. Gaddafi’s children all loved him, and none betrayed him during the final ordeal. One of his Gaddafi’s sons, Mutassim, died with his father in Sirte.
Mutassim was a Libyan army officer. Showing an extraordinary level of filial piety, Mutassim fought alongside and protected his father until the very end. Severely wounded and captured by the terrorists in Sirte, Mutassim’s final minutes were recorded on videotape. There are various versions out there on the internet, some more gruesome than others. All show a calm heroic persona who reacts with dignity to the taunts of his captors and dies bravely without begging for mercy.
Along with the Colonel and his sons, the nation of Libya also died an agonizing death. The same people who firebombed Vietnam back in the day, also bombed Libya. The weakened corpse was then given over to the jackals. Tribal animosities take the place of Jamahiriya equality and fair-dealing. Without realizing it, Gaddafi has become the symbol of a by-gone era. The man is dead, but his vision of human dignity, of Arab unity and prosperity lives on.