Sunday March 5, 2017
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting in Moscow with Fayez al-Sarraj, prime minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya, reminds us that security and stability has yet to be restored in the war-torn country.
Though it may have slipped off the radar of global consciousness, Libya’s central importance when it comes a region that has been mired in conflict and chaos over the past few years cannot be overstated. The country’s destruction and societal collapse will forever stand as a withering indictment of Western foreign policy towards the region and NATO’s role, not as a defender of democracy, peace, and stability, but as an instrument of Western imperial power. The savage murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi at the hands of a NATO-supported mob in October 2011 was a ghastly and despicable crime, one that stands comparison with the legal lynching of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2006.
This is without factoring in the refugee crisis that erupted in the wake of Gaddafi’s overthrow, the worst such crisis the world has seen since the end of World War II. It involved untold thousands of men, women, and children attempting a perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), over 5,000perished in 2016 alone while attempting to cross the Mediterranean, evidence that this ongoing human catastrophe shows no signs of improving.
Perhaps the most grievous aspect of the military campaign in support of regime-change in Tripoli was the fact that for most of the previous decade, Libya under Gaddafi had been an economic and strategic partner of the West, ending decades of enmity and isolation, with Western oil companies in particular benefiting from Gaddafi’s volte-face where Western governments were concerned.