The Libyan front: How terror could soon metastasize in Africa

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SHAFAQNA – The forgotten child of Western interventionism, Libya continues to battle those demons: terror, instability, mass migration, the NATO ever-so willingly unleashed onto the war-torn nation under the convenient label of “humanitarian interventionism.”

If Libya stands today free of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, and the violent nepotism his ruled asserted as the predominant socio-political matrix, the North-African nation is not exactly home free either. And while there is no denying that Gaddafi had to go … if anything, because his people wished it so, Western interventionism literally exploded Libya’s chance at a unified transition of power.

Should Libya had been allowed to handle its own affairs, should Libyans had been allowed to practice their free political will, it is likely the country would not have fallen prey to Terror – it is likely war would not have broken out in between tribal factions, and it is likely radical militants would never have had the opportunity to open a new front of terror in Africa – right at Europe’s doorstep.

In true neo-con fashion, the NATO preferred to destroy first, bomb now, and then blame someone else later … in most cases: Russia. Funny though how strikingly different Western interventionism has been from Russia’s careful, and lawful collaboration with its foreign partners: ie Syria. Wherever Western powers have dropped bombs, chaos, death and more radicalism have ensued – whenever Russia has stepped in however radicals have retreated, and IDPs returned home.

Are you still under the impression that Western capitals know best? Clearly they don’t! Clearly their agenda – because it would be foolish to think that their actions are only the products of stupid politicking, lies not in the promotion of stability, but rather absolute chaos.

Let us remember that chaos has been good for business. Chaos has allowed Western governments to cultivate a new form of neo-colonial co-dependence, where the master needs his subject, just as much as the subject needs his master to survive. While most industries in the Western hemisphere have suffered from the effects of global recession, there is one sector which has thrived above all: the military industry.

Now tell me that from a purely capitalistic standpoint wars are not needed!

Libya, like so many other countries in the Greater Middle East: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen … has been framed within a narrative of righteous interventionism.

Back in 2011 the UN Security Council legitimized the NATO’s calls for military action with a resolution which argued that in view of Gaddafi’s “crimes against humanity” the world had a responsibility of care. It is such a stance which eventually permitted the NATO to unleash its military forces against the Gaddafi regime.

If the NATO’s Libyan campaign was then hailed a success, since it allowed for Gaddafi’s demise, it also opened up Libya to the likes of al-Qaeda, and ISIL – de facto fracturing an otherwise relatively united nation. Since its liberation Libya has reverted to its pre-colonial set up – back when tribes were still looking to assert their competing authorities over one another, thus making territorial unity but a mirage in the distance.

Abdelkader Abderrahmane, an independent geopolitical researcher and analyst on African security recently noted in an interview: “Gaddafi is gone, as are the foreign fighter planes, but Libya is far from stable. There are two rival governments – one in Tobruk and one in Tripoli – and the so-called Islamic State has been making major gains in the embattled and now chaotic country. Foreign powers have been expressing concern about the group’s expansion in the oil-rich state, and although US Secretary of State John Kerry has ruled out another military intervention, there are signs that such action may be on the cards. Some Libyans, forced to flee ISIL or live under its rule, are themselves beginning to discuss intervention as the only way forward.”

Although the NATO has long argued that if not for its intervention Libya would have suffered many great crimes, somewhat trying to rationalize a second coming of sort, logic would caution against it. It was Albert Einstein I believe who defined insanity as doing the same actions again, and again while expecting a different result.

I think we already establish how the militarization of the Greater Middle East has only EVER resulted in the rise of more instability, and more radicalism – playing directly in the hands of Terror’s masterminds, especially since Western powers have gone about it with no real vision. You can’t pulverize a country into stability …

As pointed by Abderrahmane: “A new intervention would have dramatic consequences for Africa, already suffering under the weight of Islamist radicalisation.”

The spread of Terror to Africa is only half the problem. With war and the inevitable bombing campaigns the West is so fond of more people will attempt to resettle elsewhere. And since there are only so many ways they can actually go, Europe will most likely be the destination of choice. And then what?

The fear today is that ISIL could metastasize across Africa, now that it has gained a foothold into Libya

According to the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies an estimated 25 000 to 30 000 foreign fighters would have already swollen ISIL ranks, with about 7 000 fighters in Libya itself – a number which could very well double, should the NATO returns to the offensive, playing into the group’s argument that Western powers seek to colonize the African continent once more.

With access to billions of dollars through the black terror trade, ISIL has the finances and the manpower to take a firm hold in Africa. Rather than help solve Libya’s instability conundrum, a second military intervention is likely to send ISIL into a dangerous flight that will resonate in the rest of the continent, as radicals will go underground, breaking themselves up into sleeping cells across the Sahel and further south.

If ISIL has relied on its foreign fighters to expand its reach, the group’s ability to recruit locals should not be underestimated.

In January Algeria arrested some 300 Moroccans attempting to cross into Libya.

How many times will we have to repeat the same mistakes before we realise that brutal force is not a solution in itself, and that wars are not conduits for democracy-building? One would think that Syria would have taught Western governments a thing or two … especially in the light of Russia’s victory against terror.

THAT no one wants to talk about of course.

By Catherine Shakdam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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