A Libyan official has said they will investigate to find those responsible for the dead in the recent flooding at Derna, Libya which may be more than 11,000. They don’t need an investigation to know the responsible party is US President Barack Obama, who devised and engineered a US-NATO attack on Libya in 2011 for regime change.
“The U.N. Security Council never aimed to topple the Libyan regime,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in April 2011. “All those who are currently using the U.N. resolution for that aim are violating the U.N. mandate.”
In 2016, a report found that the intervention of UK, French, and US armed forces into Libya in March 2011 was “not informed by accurate intelligence.”
The report said that the US-NATO attack had “drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change,” the result of which was “political and economic collapse, inter-militia and intertribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of [weapons] across the region and the growth of ISIL in North Africa.”
The attack was successful in removing the Libyan leader Muamar Gadhafi, destroying the civil infrastructure, preventing any recovery of the country from 13 years of armed conflict, and is responsible for the lack of government in Libya today, which failed to warn people about the weather danger from the storm Daniel, which unleashed enough rainfall to collapse two dams.
The US spent billions of dollars on destroying Libya, but they have not spent on reconstruction of the infrastructure they destroyed, such as dams, water supplies, hospitals, schools and electricity power stations. International donations are arriving in Libya now, but the US will not be sending anything other than what they provide to USAID, which is distributed through the United Nations humanitarian relief. Tents and bandages will not help Libya to recover from what Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron did in 2011.
The Mayor of Derna, Abdel Moneim al-Ghaithi, said the dams had been unmaintained due to the armed conflict raging since 2011.
The US never justified its destruction of Libya by developing, or even imposing, a form of democracy there. Instead, the country is divided into east and west, with two separate governments, neither of which have been voted into office by the people.
In the west, there is the Tripoli based Government of National Unity, a misnomer. The officials are followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, a global terrorist group advocating the same political platform as Al Qaeda and ISIS. They are supported by the US and recognized by the UN. Their allies are Qatar and Turkey, fellow Muslim Brotherhood regimes.
In the east, there is the Tobruk based Libyan National Army, headed by Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter, which is responsible for Derna and the region. Most of the country’s oil resources are in the east.
Libya and Syria were both US-NATO attacks for regime change begun under the Obama administration, and both followed the 2003 US-NATO attack on Iraq, also for regime change, which was a success in removing Saddam Hussein, and destroying the country. Iraq still lacks water, electricity, hospitals, medicines, and schools even after 20 years. Iraq has never recovered, or been rebuilt, and we can foresee that neither Syria nor Libya will ever recover or be rebuilt.
Like Iraq, Libya saw a huge number of civilian deaths. In over twenty thousand massive “shock and awe” aerial bombardments, major cities and civilian infrastructure were routinely targeted.
Syria suffered from a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6. The US never sent even one loaf of bread, or one bottle of water to Latakia, Syria, one of the hardest hit areas, because it remains under the Damascus central government. Instead, they sent their humanitarian donations to Idlib, which is a province living under the occupation of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. The HTS leader, Mohammed al-Julani, likes to wear a suit and tie these days as he tries to rebrand himself for the US public. He granted an interview to the US media PBS where he looked like a US supported statesman, even though he was formerly an officer under ISIS leader Baghdadi.
But, there is something different between Syria and Libya: in the case of Syria, the regime change the US was willing to use terrorists to fight for, failed. The central government in Damascus never fell, and the Syrian Arab Army never split. The Syrian infrastructure is destroyed and people lack electricity because of the US military occupying the main oil and gas field in Syria, thus cutting off the domestic energy resources.
In 2014, Seymour M. Hersh published “The Red Line and the Rat Line”. He exposed the Obama administration’s use of stolen Libyan weapons covertly sent to the terrorists in Syria to topple the Syrian government.
On the day Tripoli fell, the New York Times’ headline read, “The Scramble for Access to Libya’s Oil Wealth Begins”. Libya’s vast oil reserves, the largest in Africa and next door to Europe, were free for the taking. Now, the east and west based governments in Libya have used oil resources as a weapon in their war against each other.
Millions have left Syria as economic migrants looking for an income abroad. Europe took in millions, but many Syrians also found their way to Libya as workers. Now, reports are filtering back to families in Syria concerning dead or missing Syrian workers in Derna. Syria and Libya have shared suffering from the pattern of US-NATO attacks on foreign countries for the purpose of regime change, and now they share in the deaths and aftermath of the Derna flood.
Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist