‘Divide and ruin’: How NATO’s policy is destroying Libya
RT:Nearly 100 people have been killed and around 400 wounded in the past few days in Libya. What's the cause of this escalation?
Sukant Chandan: The cause of the current escalation in Libya is that a former leading member of the Libyan Army, General Hifta, who then went to hang out with the CIA in Virginia since the early 80s, and has come back now after NATO has destroyed the previous government of the Jamariya. He has decided to clean up as I suppose his own vernacular, some of the so-called Islamist militias who are ravaging country along with other non-Islamist militia, has to be said. And what has been going on for the past several weeks and a couple of months: General Hifta allied with other militias across the country. So you have basically Hifta and his entire militia on the one hand and other militias, especially the Misrata militias, on the other hand. But what is a deeper issue here is that the grounds for this whole situation were laid by NATO and its ally forces throughout 2011. And former leader Moammar Gaddafi made it very clear during 2011 that “if you want to turn Libya into a country with lawlessness and no central government like Somalia or Afghanistan, then NATO and its allies are doing the right thing.”
RT:According to some estimates, the past two weeks have been the deadliest since the ousting of Gaddafi in 2011. Do you think the country is close to becoming a failed state?
SC: What is the definition of a failed state? The definition of a failed state is when the central governance or any semblance of governance cannot bring law, order, peace and stability to its people, and this has been the case in Libya since October 2011 when the former Jamariya failed. There is no national government, there is no national army or national police force, everything is being run according to little enclave run by militias, whose best job it seems is a pursuit of power and privilege and authority based on massacring people, kidnapping people and raping people. That is what we have unfortunately seen and it what's befallen the people of Libya. I have no idea whatsoever why Libyans are calling back those same forces that destroyed their country, i.e. NATO, to come and save them from this mess. They won’t, they put them in this mess and they are going to remain putting [them] in this mess until the Libyan people once again go on path of Omar Mukhtar and the Jamariya and the September 1969 revolution and start to unite their people in a patriotic, pan-African and pan-Arab cause.
RT:NATO countries have been forced to evacuate their embassies in Libya. How embarrassing is it for them to admit their intervention has in fact led to the current violence, when they have hailed their operation as a success?
SC: There will be something if those people who collaborated in NATO’s destruction of Libya have now reflected and understood that they took an extremely embarrassing and actually an unjust position supporting the destruction of Libya. No one has actually admitted that they were wrong in terms of the countries that we are referring to, but it is [enough] to see for those who want to see that the NATO project failed. But assume that NATO attempted to bring any type of stability to Libya – they haven’t. The slogan for the neocolonial system is “divide and ruin.” It’s a “scorched earth” policy; the West understands that if it cannot have total domination and control of places like Libya, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Somalia, then they are not going to allow Russia, China and the BRICS to have a functional relationship with these countries, so they would rather destroy the whole place and try to [ensure] at least that the oil is running into their coffers and into their pockets. That even is not happening. That’s what NATO would like to see, but such is the lawlessness in Libya that Libyan oil production is not even one-third of what it was under the Jamariya.
RT:Do you think any lessons have been learned from the intervention and its disastrous consequences?
SC: NATO has learned many lessons from the disastrous consequences of its intervention in Libya. It has learned that this is a great model to roll out on other countries and as soon as they rolled out this disastrous mess on Libya, it rolled it out on Syria and they want to roll it out on Lebanon and many other sections of the globe, including Russia and China. I do not think we can disassociate and disconnect what happened to Libya and Syria, what is happening now to Gaza with what is happening now to eastern Ukraine. It is the same forces of NATO who are impacting all of these people, and all of these people who are resisting the same forces.
RT:Is there any realistic prospect of establishing a democratic system in Libya in the foreseeable future?
SC: Tragically and sadly, we have to be honest and realistic about the situation. In the foreseeable future it look highly unlikely there will be any stability leading to democracy in Libya unless the Libyan people can start to unite themselves together [to defend] the sovereignty of their country, defending their natural resources which God has given to the Libyan people, the best crude oil in all of Africa, unless they can really ally with global south forces and the non-aligned movement, particularly peoples like the Egyptians and Algerians. Unless this happens, Libya and the Libyan people will tragically continue to see the drama that they have been facing for the last several years.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.