Libya's Lesson for Latin American People

Libya's Lesson for Latin American People

Until February this year, it seemed that Libya's strong man, Muammar Gaddafi, the “guide” of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (official name of the State of Libya) had managed to overcome the onslaught of the Arab revolution in North Africa and Middle East.

These events toppled “two old pseudo-democratic dictators”: TunisianBen Ali and EgyptianHosni Mubarak, both supported by the U.S. and Europe in Tunisia and Egypt respectively, complied extensively with the Western powers' brutal but simple exercise of realpolitik - ethically abhorrent individuals who use repugnant methods, but face our enemies very effectively - which suits us so well that it seems reasonable to turn a blind eye to their outrages.

Another no minor detail, which distinguished between the Egyptian and Tunisian regimes was that the Libyan one was based on a tribocracy (tribal government ), which was the system in force for the past 40 years. Before the Western invasion, this regime had succeeded in making“Gaddafi's Libya the only African country with an HDI similar to that of any European country with an income per capita of approximately USD 13,000, life expectancy at birth of 77 years, a population of just 6,530,000 people in a vast territory with 1,759,540 km², with a poverty rate that was less than 5% and a literacy rate of 83%. Besides, Libya had a juicy gross domestic product of about $ 76,557,000,000” (1).

But Gaddafi had committed a serious act of indiscipline towards the Western triad when hampering negotiations with North American or British capital companies to extract their energy resources; moreover, he had opened the game with Chinese oil companies and most serious thing was his idea of abandoning the dollar standard for his international transactions which, in the eyes of the traditional world powers, providing today's financial crisis was too much…

There began the demonization of Gaddafi and a series of rebel groups “spontaneously” appeared. These broke with the traditional balance of power especially in the area of Cyrenaica which has its center in Benghazi; and here the first movement took place. For several days, the “serious press” echoed information from the Libyan military actions killing hundreds of peaceful demonstrators (these allegations were generated by human rights NGOs of uncertain origin, generally), but they were transmitted as real data. This continued until a group of independent journalists and journalists from the Venezuelan Telesur TV network appeared, showing that the alleged attacks against civilians by planes and tanks were false and that the “peaceful demonstrators” or “rebels” were walking around the streets of Benghazi in tanks and with automatic weapons, acquired in their attacks to the city's barracks.

Then, a second movement occurred: Western powers led by Great Britain and France and supported by the U.S. began pressing the UN Security Council to establish a mandate to prevent the use of Libyan airspace by Libyan forces and to block the coast to prevent the flow of weapons to Gaddafian forces (UN resolution that was not approved by China and Russia). Still with this “mandate”, NATO started military operations to fulfill the new model of intervention in the internal affairs of other states that recently established the “principle” based on “their” “responsibility to protect” (!?), through which the old European colonial powers are unilaterally abrogating and thereby initiated the “Operation Dawn Odyssey” (which represented over 20,000 flights over Libya and more than 7,500 and ground attacks until last Friday). Despite the blockade and the air and missile strikes, the “rebels” could not advance, leaving the country divided into two main areas: Tripolitania with its capital in Tripoli (Gaddafian tribes) and Cyrenaica with its capital in Benghazi (anti-Gaddafian tribes).

And here comes into play the third movement, which involves the U.S. direct participation in the conflict to break its unstable equilibrium (which would result in Gaddafian victory in the long run), “reorganizing” the rebels with the incorporation of mercenaries and Islamic fundamentalist groups like Al-Qaeda, adding the support of the Qatar and UAE petro-monarchies, more logistical, weapon and specific bombings support (with theuse of “drones” or remotely piloted aircraft), and installing the new “military doctrine defended by the new CIA Director, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus. The war is made by the corresponding “natives”, while Washington merely prepares them for such an operation and perhaps it only gets involved with the use of its aviation or army, but not its ground troops, as happened in Iraq and Afghanistan” (2). From this, we conclude that the U.S. military aspect continues to maintain a unilateral global power. Besides, deepening the use of the most successful weapon to legitimize its wars in recent years, the media channels, the U.S. has misinformed much of the world's population, distorted information, and made up a scenario that has nothing to do with truth but with their own interests. This concentration, which deepened in the 80's and has continued so far, leads us to affirm that the concentration of media in few magnates brings about less freedom of information, and also to say that media groups are economically intertwined with the U.S. military, industrial, and technology complex (CNN International can be watched in 212 countries with a daily audience of one billion worldwide, or the Murdoch empire which includes Great Britain, Australia, START TV in Asia, FOX, NBC, and so on).

Surprisingly, the war status quo broke and rebel forces entered Tripoli causing Gaddafi and his followers to flee. The reality is that NATO acted directly under the support of the U.S., and the images of the Libyan rebels taking the capital were part of a more than real theatrical scenario. Since young people without military experience had never managed to defeat a professional army no matter how weak they would have been, the fake media went as far as to use actors to play the catch of Gaddafi's son, Seif el Islam. “Everyone watched how the rebels arrested Colonel's son”. The following night, Seif el Islam himself appeared safe and sound before foreign journalists to deny the report about his arrest. But the image of the defeat of Gaddafi's regime was already installed, and 11 countries recognized the rebels as the new leaders of the country. (3).

This story of a death foretold, should lead us to consider how the Atlanticist Western capitalist world works in crisis and we, South Americans, should take note of this events, especially after the success of the NATO-US operation to establish “order” in North Africa, install the operating head of the Africa Command (AFRICOM) with port facilities in Libya, and control energy resources very much needed for their weak economies, especially the French and British.

We now know that the new interventionist arguments will be based on the theory of the Right to Protect, and the media weapon will find the way for its implementation. Latin America is an appealing gigantic space to the interests of the powers of the triad; therefore, because of this dramatic experience, UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) and the South American Defense Council with its CEED (Defense Strategic Studies Center) must establish doctrines to ensure peace and prosperity in our region.


(1) Article “El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba”, Lic. Juan Manuel Lozita

(2) Alerta para los países del ALBA por el modelo libio:

(3) Full article at:

Tags: NATO  Latin America