Libya Conflict Analysis: Part 2 of 2 - Historical Factors & probable outcomes - October 3, 2011
After Bush's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, Gadaffi and his Government gave in to the West, and followed the Wests demand to liberalize, creating unemployment for the first time, and selling State Enterprises to International Corporations.
In 1995 a prison uprising occurred an 1200 Islamist Radicals were killed by the security forces, 1 in every 6,000 Libyans. It was the families of these martyrs that drove the protests of February 17.
The more populous and cosmopolitan West of Libya was favored, and many of the larger tribes were closely allied with Gaddafi two of these tribes alone comprised nearly 1/3 of Libya's population. The People of the South of Libya who were predominantly Black, were also favored, with large investments in modernization made in Sabha, the chief city of Fezzan the southernmost state of Libya.
At the time of the rebellion, which was put down violently with around 400 killed, the Misurata tribe and the Obeidi tribes along with others opposed Gadaffi and still do. The Warfala also turned against Gadaffi. But most Libyans not active in the armed element of the rebellion, became sympathetic as NATO began its campaign of bombing, killing about half the young men and women serving in the Libyan armed forces around 15,000. The clan system of Libya would suppose that at least 10 people would sympathize with the Gadaffi government with the loss of a loved one. So we can assume at least 150,000 libyans had family members killed, causing these clans to rally around the Government.
In addition the largely false rumour of African Mercenaries fueled lynching of Black construction workers, alienating several hundred thousand Libyans. Additionally as the rebellions military wing were Jihadists that had fought NATO in Iraq, many women rallied around the Libyan Government, as women had equal rights in the Socialist Jamahiriya Gadaffi built. Technically Gadaffi resigned from Government in 1978, becoming a sort of national mentor instead. Of course most would say he actually tightly controlled the Government until the present day we can estimate that perhaps 10% of Libyans were women fearful of Jihadi Islamist Sharia law requiring them to get out of their pants and into Burkhas out of their universities to serve instead in the home. This would be around 600,000 women. Additionally 900,000 Libyans worked in the Government, and many of these were pro Gadaffi once NATO began bombing, not counted elsewhere we can say at least another 100,000.
The 2 largest tribes, many other tribes, the majority of Women and Blacks then could be said to have rallied around their leader as their former colonial masters armed the Jihadists to overthrow a secular, though repressive Government. The other wing of the effective fighting forces of the rebels were the Berber, a ancient people living South of the populous coast, in the Western Mountains also called the Nafusa mountains.Looking at this constellation of factions and their allegiances it is clear that more Libyans supported Gadaffi's Jamahiriya that the rebellion. I do not see how any decent researcher could come to any other conclusion. Additionally the rebels chief General Younnes was assassinated by the Jihadists for his role in the prison massacre of 1995, which has caused some effect on his tribe , the Obeidi of the far east, based in Tobruk.
Libya though a police state, had the highest standard of living and longevity in Africa and most of the middle east similar to Argentina or even Chile, due to its oil wealth. And as a police state it had a surprisingly low number of prisoners, only 10,000 as opposed to the US's 2 million. About ¼ of our incarceration rate and 1/3 of our death rate generally.
The reason the rebels were successful was NATO's complete obliteration of the Libyan Navy Air Force and Army. The invasion of Tripoli was spearheaded by Special forces of the NATO countries and Qataris , and the present military commander of Tripoli, Belhadj was a good friend of what we call Al Qaeda. Imagine 7,000 batteries of missiles and 2000 pounds dropped on the capital of your state for 5 months, followed by the rounding up of anyone who supported your government and imprisonment of them, and attacks on ethnic groups including their killing fueled by propaganda only a Herr Goebells could have concocted.As we used to say during the cold war he might be a son of a bitch but he's our son of a bitch.
The NATO countries media outlets have suddenly discovered that some Islamist are good guys ready to embrace democracy. This about face would never have happened if the Jihadi had opposed this extremely muscular display of firepower.We end with Churchill's speech on Hitlers plan to commit patricide of France. Dieu protege la libye!
Country: United States