‘Libyans don’t feel Christmassy and happy about Obama's congratulations’

Catherine Shakdam
Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. A regular pundit on RT and other networks her work has appeared in major publications: MintPress, the Foreign Policy Journal, Mehr News and many others.Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Catherine is also the co-founder of Veritas Consulting. She is the author of Arabia’s Rising - Under The Banner Of The First Imam
© Ismail Zetouni
When you have a failed state such as Libya you need to invest a lot of money into its reconstruction, but the international community isn’t interested in it, they care only about diktat, says Middle East expert, Catherine Shakdam.

RT: Obama's congratulations come as the violence in the country sees no end in sight.  Were his remarks appropriate?

Catherine Shakdam: I don’t think Libya is extremely happy with the international community right now. Such comments will be taken the wrong way, it is understandable given the circumstances and given the violence ongoing in Libya and the state of chaos and unrest. I think that people are feeling not very Christmassy, I would say.  

RT: Obama said that Libyan people are committed to resolve their “profound challenges.” Given that so many factions are involved do you see any unity there?

CS: They’ve just signed a unity accord. And I think that on paper those factions would be able to breach the differences. But it is another thing to actually manifest this on the ground. And the problem is when we see UN or Western powers in general trying to sponsor the same system again and again. They tried this in Afghanistan and Yemen, in many places already and it doesn’t work. And it doesn’t work only because they are refusing to address the real issues which are reconstructing the economy and institution of the state that they were bombing previously. So, it is all well and good when it comes to the so-called destruction of terrorists or enemies of the state. They know how to destroy; they don’t know how to reconstruct. And the problem is when you have a country such as Libya which is essentially a failed state; you need to invest a lot of money into reconstructing. And you need to invest a lot of money in the people of Libya and try to empower them rather than trying to tell them what to do, how to vote and how to organize themselves. And I am afraid that the international community is never interested in this: they do not care about the reconstruction, they care about diktat...

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