Afraid Moscow might fix it? US dares complain about ‘destabilizing RUSSIAN presence’ in Libya wrecked by NATO regime change
is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Telegram @TheNebulator and on Twitter @NebojsaMalic
That was the claim on Tuesday by David Schenker, the assistant secretary for near eastern affairs at the State Department. He told reporters that Russian regulars were being sent to Libya “in significant numbers” to support the Libya National Army (LNA) and said that “raises the specter of large-scale casualties among the civilian population.”
Schenker’s concern for the lives and well-being of Libyan civilians is especially touching, given that the US was one of the driving forces behind the regime-change operation in 2011 targeting the government of Col. Moammar Gaddafi. Few can forget then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cackling ghoulishly when she was informed of Gaddafi’s brutal murder at the hands of US-backed ‘moderate’ rebels.Also on rt.com Libya was destroyed due to Western leaders’ lust to continue exploiting Africa’s riches – Gaddafi spokesman
It has been estimated that some 25,000 Libyans were killed just between March and October 2011, and who knows how many more since, as the country went from one of the most prosperous in Africa to a chaotic wasteland dominated by warlords. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) was drawn to the chaos, and reporters even found open-air slave markets at one point.
Even when the “humanitarian” fallout reached out to claim the lives of four Americans at the consulate in Benghazi in 2012, Washington shrugged. Their murders were blamed on a YouTube video and Clinton famously sneered at Congress, “what difference, at this point, does it make?”
Now, however, as General Khalifa Haftar – who lived in the US for 20-plus years, mind you – and his LNA seem poised to reunite the country and brush aside the US-backed “national unity government” that clings on to the capital and not much more, Washington is suddenly concerned for Libyan lives? Please!Also on rt.com A humanitarian intervention? Situation in Libya is ‘catastrophic’, says ex-foreign minister
The US obsession for blaming Russia for absolutely everything – from the 2016 presidential election to apparently Libya now – would be ludicrous were it not so destructive. CNN even reported that “Russian mercenaries backing Haftar” may have shot down a US drone over Tripoli last week, citing anonymous Pentagon sources, of course. The network did not retract the claim even after the LNA claimed responsibility itself on Monday, and even offered to coordinate its operations with the US going forward – hardly the modus operandi of “Russians,” that.
All of this makes Washington’s objections to the supposed Russian presence on humanitarian grounds far too cynical to believe. Fear that Russia might establish a base on NATO’s southern flank, or somehow clean up the mess of America’s own making, that I could understand, but of course, the State Department can’t say any of that out loud.
Schenker’s feigned concerns fall along the same lines as the US media narrative on Syria, where the Russian intervention on the invitation from Damascus has been denounced daily as bombing nothing but hospitals, schools and civilians – and not at all, ever, the US-backed “moderate rebels” or IS terrorists.Also on rt.com What happened when she ‘supported’ Libya? Chinese media roasts Hillary Clinton over Hong Kong
In reality, even as the US and its “coalition” bombed away, IS was advancing on all fronts before the Russian expeditionary force arrived. Within mere months, the terrorists were in full retreat that would end in their ultimate defeat. US President Donald Trump likes to claim credit for that, but Syrians know who did the lion’s share of the fighting.
If Russian troops have really arrived in Libya – a claim for which Schenker has provided no evidence, mind you – then the Syrian experience suggests that poor country might finally see peace in the foreseeable future, after years of “freedom” brought by NATO bombs and local jihadists. While that might be seen as a disaster in Foggy Bottom, I totally understand if the Libyans simply don’t give a damn.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.