Further US bombing in Libya will create, and is creating right now in Syria, far more civilian casualties, far more destruction of the infrastructure, says Sara Flounders, head of the anti-war activist group the International Action Centre.
The US military began air strikes on Monday targeting an ISIS stronghold in Libya at the request of the Libyan government. The terror group gained a foothold in the country following the NATO-led intervention that ousted Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
RT: What do you think will be the result of these air strikes? Do you think they will be successful?
Sara Flounders: I don’t think that for even one minute we should give any credibility that this latest US bombing in Libya has anything to do with destroying ISIS. The US policy has been the complete destruction of Libya. We can’t forget who is responsible for creating the chaos in Libya today, and that was seven months of massive US bombing of a country that the most modern and developed infrastructure, the highest level of healthcare and education, and has turned it into a howling wasteland. The present government in Libya has not a shred of credibility, of stability, of security for the population. It really is a gang willing to make a deal with the US and it has been unable to stabilize itself. What further US bombing will do in Libya; I don’t think anyone has any confidence in whatsoever. It will create – as it is creating right now in Syria – far more civilian casualties, far more destruction of the infrastructure that’s remaining in Libya which can’t be much at this point. So, really we should acknowledge, and say that it is US destruction in Libya and US wars in Iraq, in Syria and Afghanistan, in Sudan that have created such destruction and a refugee crisis now of more than 10 million people who are dislocated by these US wars.
RT: In 2011, the NATO-led intervention in Libya eventually toppled Muammar Gaddafi leaving the country with a number of groups still clashing over ruling the country. In your opinion, will the new US airstrikes help stabilize the situation?
Richard Becker from the anti-war Answer Coalition: I think we don’t have a crystal ball, but based on what we’ve seen now for the last five years – no, I don’t think that it will. Libya, which was a unified state when Gaddafi was in power, is now divided not in two or three but in six, seven or eight different sections of the country with different forces. We are talking about a country of only 6.3 million people. Even within the different groups that I just mentioned, there are multiple forces. And so what we are seeing is Libya really is a shattered state. A country that did have the highest standard of living in Africa, I don’t think there is any dispute in that. But now it is a shattered state with many people leaving the country, with so many people killed, so many people victimized. And this is very traceable back to what the US did in March of 2011, President Obama signed off in the war. The two main protagonists within the administration were Susan Rice, who is now the National Security Advisor…then she was the UN ambassador and did a lot of the lobbying at the UN to get Russia and China to abstain, to line up barely enough votes for this, and Hillary Clinton who was Secretary of State, who really bears responsibility as the leading voice inside the US administration for carrying out this war that has turned Libya into another disaster, a disaster for the people of Libya, first and foremost.
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