‘Democracy was West’s propaganda excuse for destroying Libya’
Five years ago a day of rage was proclaimed in Libya with anti-government protesters pouring onto the streets across the country. February 17th is considered the official start of the Libyan revolution which resulted in its leader ousted and murdered, and the country plunged into chaos and ongoing infighting.
RT: Words like "gloom" and "chaos" dominate today's headlines when it comes to Libya. But five years ago the country was hailed as being on its way to freedom and democracy. What went wrong?
Diana Johnstone: It didn’t go wrong. The fact is, this is being hailed as the way to democracy was the propaganda excuse for destroying the country and destroying a country that was the most prosperous, had the highest standard of living in Africa, but it was deliberately destroyed because it was a nuisance to the Western domination. Gaddafi was using his oil wealth to try and build up an independent Africa, sponsoring a gold-backed currency – Libya had huge reserves. All of that has been destroyed. The country was peaceful, and in fact I would take exception with something you previously said, that five years ago there were demonstrations all across the country – that’s not true. There was an uprising in Benghazi, which was the historic center of Islamism and that was well-known. In fact in Tripoli… there were more than a million people who came out in favor of Gaddafi and that was not reported. So, this whole thing that it was “for democracy” is public relations, propaganda, fake.
"The West will keep using Islamic extremism here and there feeling that these are the useful idiots that they can control eventually.”
RT: The US and France's top brass have recently discussed "decisive action" against ISIS in Libya. What could this mean for the country?
DJ: I don’t think that they are really against ISIS. I think the Western powers - the US, especially followed by Britain and France - are using Islamic extremism as their foot soldiers in conquering various countries. They are quite confident that once they’ve used these fanatics to get rid of regimes they don’t like, then they will be able to take over what they want – the pieces that are left of that country for themselves. In Libya, the piece left that they want for themselves is of course the oil. They will be going in there in order to be able to control the oil. But it is not against ISIS; they will keep using Islamic extremism here and there feeling that these are the useful idiots that they can control eventually.
RT: ISIS is now threatening Libya's main oil producing region. What consequences would there be if the jihadists seize the refineries?
DJ: That’s exactly why they are going in because the West wants the oil for themselves. That’s clear. But who is it threatening in the region? So far, Israel seems safe, Saudi Arabia seems safe. They are the only countries… that the West cares about in the region. They don’t care about Syria, they don’t care about Lebanon; those countries are expendable. Basically, ISIS is against those countries. You see, they don’t want them to go too far, but they want to use them to destroy Syria, for instance. All of the aims by the Western powers and the US in particular are to destroy the modernizing countries in the region.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.