'What country are you talking about?' US envoy slammed for rose-tinted Libya views

The US Special Envoy for Libya says the country is moving towards democracy, even though it’s currently involved in a bitter struggle between rival factions. Speaking to RT, legal analyst and media commentator Lionel said nothing could be further from the truth.

The claims about Libya “joining together” were made by Jonathan Winer, the US Special Envoy for Libya in a blog for the US State Department. He also said the country had managed to unite to seize the moment to overthrow a dictator, and that this was a “moment of pride for Libyans and those outside the country,” who were seeking “freedom from Gaddafi.”

However, Lionel, who was speaking to RT, recalls a very different chain of events.

“When did that happen? My recollection was a little different. I remember there were a series of military actions with NATO and other forces that basically removed a sovereign leader allegedly, allegedly, in retrospect, who became despotic,” he said. 

Winer, who according to the State Department’s website, is responsible for developing, coordinating, and implementing US policy on Libya, also claimed that Libyans are “working to bridge differences and to realize the democratic aspirations of the revolution for which so many sacrificed so much.”

However, the current situation in Libya is a far cry from the fairytale picture that Winer is trying to present, with two rival governments vying for control and constant fighting between militias. The second government was set up after an umbrella of armed groups from the western city of Misrata seized the capital Tripoli last August. 

To add to the misery, the North African country has seen the emergence of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) as another destabilizing factor, while tens of thousands of migrants are using the country as a launchpad to try and cross the Mediterranean Sea and flee to Europe. 

“What democratic aspirations are we talking about? Have people suddenly realized we have to do something? We have to form a parliament and some type of government, which we have never had before, which we are not used to – to form a constitution. To think there will be civility and order after systems of order have been destroyed is insane!” Lionel commented, speaking to RT.

Despite the daily violence in Libya, Winer mentions in his blog that “many Libyans” from all sides of the political spectrum have “come together and made real progress in negotiations towards the formation of a unified, national government.” 

READ MORE: ‘West interested in pure crooks, psychopaths and puppets to lead Libya’ 

Even the UN understands the situation is desperate. In July, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Bernardino Leon briefed the UN Security Council on just how bad things have got in the country. 

“The situation in Libya continued to deteriorate amidst significant political fragmentation and violence. Too many Libyans continue to die in this fight among brothers and far too much destruction has taken place,” Leon said on July 15

“When I read this, and I am being very honest with you, I almost laughed. I wondered which country are you talking about? When you go into an area and you remove the controls of it – when you remove law, you remove order, when you then allow tribal factions and religious factions and cliques and families and whatever… How can you expect order to be maintained?” Lionel concluded.