|Part of||Arab Spring|
|Date||February 15, 2011-October 23, 2011|
|Libyan government||Libyan opposition (mercenaries)|
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb
|Muammar al-Gaddafi||Mustafa Abdul Jalil|
The Libyan War started as the Benghazi rebellion, a series of protests in extremist dominated eastern Libya on February 16, 2011 after the toppling of secular regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. The scale of violence contrasted markedly with the more peaceful and generally popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. The Islamist terror group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group with its elements of Ansar al-Shariah, the local branch of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (Al-Qaeda in North Africa), vowed to do everything in its power against the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The same group later murdered the U.S. Ambassador and others and burnt down the U.S. Embassy.
- 1 Libya before the 2011 uprising
- 2 French aid to rebels
- 3 Security Council Res. 1973 and NATO
- 4 United States intervention
- 5 Role of China
- 6 Formation of the National Transitional Council
- 7 Outside intervention escalates the conflict
- 8 External links
- 9 Notes
Libya before the 2011 uprising
In 1951 Libya was officially the poorest country in the world, but by the time of the 2011 uprising, Libyans' living standards were considered the highest in Africa. The GDP per Capita was more than double that of Egypt, and above that of Russia. All people had access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of charge; but more than the advances in housing, agricultural, industry, health care, education, was the advance in direct popular democracy. Condoleezza Rice praised Libya for its "excellent co-operation" in the US-led war on terror.
The living standards of Libyans improved significantly since the 1970s, ranking the country among the highest in Africa. Urbanization, developmental projects, and high oil revenues enabled the Gaddafi regime to elevate the people's living standards. The social and economic status of women and children has particularly improved under the secular ruler. Various subsidized or free services (health, education, housing, and basic foodstuffs) ensured basic necessities. The low percentage of people without access to safe water (3 percent), health services (0 percent) and sanitation (2 percent), and a relatively high life expectancy (70.2 years) in 1998 indicated improved living standards. Adequate health care and subsidized foodstuffs sharply reduced infant mortality, from 105 per 1,000 live births in 1970 to 20 per 1,000 live births in 1998. The Gaddafi regime also subsidizes education, which was government supported, co-educational and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 15. The expansion of educational facilities elevated the literacy rate (78.1 in 1998). There now are universities in Tripoli, Benghazi, Marsa el-Brega, Misurata, Sebha, and Tobruk.
|“||In a world where the strong may seek to impose upon the more vulnerable; and where particular nations or groups of nations may still seek to decide the fate of the planet - in such a world respect for multilateralism, moderation of public discourse and a patient search for compromise become even more imperative to save the world from debilitating conflict and enduring inequality. When we dismissed criticism of our friendship with yourself, My Brother Leader, and of the relationship between South Africa and Libya, it was precisely in defence of those values.||”|
By 2011 the Libyan people seemed to be thriving with Gaddafi as leader. A delegation of medical professionals from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus wrote in an appeal to "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin that after becoming acquainted with Libyan life, it was their view that in few nations did people live in such comfort". Libya then was not a highly polarized society divided between extremes of wealth and poverty.
On February 24, 2011, no threat was seen to Libya’s Seat on top U.N. Human Rights Body. A European Union draft resolution “strongly condemned” human rights violations sparked by opponents to the government, rather than condemning Gaddafi or the regime for committing them. 
The "United Nations Development Program (UNDP) confirms that the country had excellent prospects for achieving United Nations development goals by 2015. NATO's war will have already dashed those hopes. A collapse like the one in Iraq now threatens the country. 
Outside assistance to Islamist rebels
Journalist David Wood reported,
|“||Eastern Libya has been described by U.S. diplomats as a breeding ground for Islamist extremism. In diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks, the region’s young men were said to have "nothing to lose" by resorting to violence. Sermons in the local mosques are "laced with phraseology urging worshippers to support jihad," one diplomat reported.||”|
|“||extremist elements make up only a portion of the resistance to Gaddafi and have been present in every popular uprising in the region stretching from the Iranian revolution to the Egyptian people’s overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.||”|
An international coalition intervened in what many described as an "illegal war" led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), whose own leaders have openly questioned what the value, purpose, and reason for existence of NATO is.
It was reported on February 24, 2011, that an emergency meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Libya would take no action, or make no recommendation to the UN General Assembly, to remove Libya from its seat on the UN Human Rights Council, despite alleged human rights abuses. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) then voted on March 17, 2011, to pass Security Council resolution 1973 proposed by France, along with its British and Lebanese partners, initiating the use of military force in Libya. China, Russia, India and Brazil (the so-called BRIC nations) all abstained from the vote. The Obama administration called for Gaddafi to step aside, and has provided assistance to the insurgent tribes. US Congressional leaders were not consulted, nor did the United States Congress ever authorize any use of force in Libya.
Military and intelligence experts in France, Britain, and the United States warned about uncertainties, but were overruled by political leaders. The result was a set of decisions focusing on short term considerations and gambling on the outcome. French, British, and US leaders did not fully coordinate, but according to Anthony Cordesman, it became clear,
|“||they sought and got international cover from the UN by claiming a no fly zone could protect civilians when their real objective was to use force as a catalyst to drive Gaddafi out of power.||”|
Sarkozy, Cameron, and Obama seem to have assumed that a largely unknown, divided, and fractured group of insurgents could win through sheer political momentum, and could then be turned into a successful government. Within the first month it was obvious a "weak, divided, poorly led, and badly equipped and supplied set of rebel tribes can only hang on with the present level of air support" that was provided.
The assault on Libya set off a frenzy of speculations about the real motive behind the war in the oil-rich country, with many analysts saying that under the guise of protecting civilians, as enshrined in the UNSC Resolution 1973, Washington and its Western allies are basically after the North African country’s vast oil reserves.
Petrodollars and oil
According to a Russian article titled Bombing of Libya - Punishment for Qaddafi for His Attempt to Refuse US Dollar, Gaddafi initiated a movement to refuse the dollar and the Euro as payment for Libya's oil, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency, the gold dinar. Gaddafi proposed establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency. The initiative was viewed negatively in the United States and the European Union, with French president Nicolas Sarkozy calling Libya a threat to the financial security of mankind. But Gaddafi continued his push for the creation of a united Africa. As early September 9, 1999, the first steps towards the formation of the African Union were taken by the Heads of State of the Organisation of African Unity.
In the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008 forcing the United States into recession, both China and Russia called for the dollar’s role in the global financial system to be diluted. Both China and the USSR abstained from UNSCR 1973.
Bloomberg News reported in September 2010 that China and Russia planned to start trading in each other’s currency as the world’s second-biggest energy consumer and the largest energy supplier seek to diminish the dollar’s role in global trade. Bhanu Baweja commented
|“||Given the risk to the dollar and U.S. assets from their fiscal position they want to reduce their dependence on the dollar as an invoicing currency....It makes sense for two large economies to exclude a third, overly dominant economy from their trading equation.||”|
The African Union
An observer spelled out one of Gaddafi’s motivations for proposing an African Union:
|“|| It began in 1992, when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual US$500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country.
An African satellite only cost a one-time payment of $400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a $500 million annual lease. Which banker wouldn't finance such a project? But the problem remained – how can slaves, seeking to free themselves from their master’s exploitation ask the master’s help to achieve that freedom? Not surprisingly, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the USA, Europe only made vague promises for 14 years. Gaddafi put an end to these futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put $300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added $50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further $27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.
Libyan Central Bank
In an article posted on the Market Oracle, Eric Encina observed:
|“||One seldom mentioned fact by western politicians and media pundits: the Central Bank of Libya is 100% State Owned.... Currently, the Libyan government creates its own money, the Libyan Dinar, through the facilities of its own central bank. Few can argue that Libya is a sovereign nation with its own great resources, able to sustain its own economic destiny. One major problem for globalist banking cartels is that in order to do business with Libya, they must go through the Libyan Central Bank and its national currency, a place where they have absolutely zero dominion or power-broking ability. Hence, taking down the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) may not appear in the speeches of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy but this is certainly at the top of the globalist agenda for absorbing Libya into its hive of compliant nations.||”|
Ellen Brown adds,
|“||Libya not only has oil. According to the IMF, its central bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults. With that sort of asset base, who needs the BIS (Bank of International Settlements), the IMF and their rules.||”|
Gaddafi’s proposal to introduce a gold dinar for Africa contravenes IMF rules and is designed to bypass them.
U.S. State Dept Report on Religious freedom (2009)
The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report for 2009 said this of religious freedom's under Gaddafi's regime:
a basis for some degree of religious freedom is provided in the Great Green Charter on Human Rights of the Jamahiriya Era, and the Government generally respects the right to observe one's religion freely in practice. The Government tolerates most minority religions but strongly opposes militant forms of Islam, which it views as a security threat... The World Islamic Call Society (WICS) is the official conduit for the state-approved form of Islam....WICS serves as the religious arm of Qadhafi's foreign policy... There were no reports of forced religious conversion...prominent representatives from the Government and society made new efforts to promote religious coexistence and harmony. ...minority religious communities achieved several symbolic milestones within the context of the country's increasing openness to the international community. ...There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.
Italian Friendship treaty
"We signed a friendship treaty with Libya, that includes a non-aggression clause, but when the counterpart no longer exists — in this case the Libyan state — the treaty cannot be applied”, said Italy’s foreign minister, Franco Frattini on February 26, 2011, ten days after the uprising began.
|“||Italy’s treaty with Libya, signed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in August 2008, calls on Italy to pay Libya $5 billion over 20 years in reparations for its colonial past there. In return, Libya pledged to help block the flow of illegal immigrants to Italy and grant favorable treatment for Italian companies seeking to do business in Libya.||”|
French aid to rebels
A report from Congressman Dennis Kucinich corroborated the claim of Franco Bechis in Italy that "plans to spark the Benghazi rebellion were initiated by French intelligence services in November 2010."
On March 10, 2011, France became the first and only country to recognize the Libyan Transitional National Council “as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.” "France recognizes states, not parties", said a senior official on March 9. After a meeting arranged by Bernard-Henri Lévy the next morning, on March 10, two representatives of the Libyan opposition emerged from President Sarkozys office at the Elysée Palace to announce that "France recognizes the Libyan Transitional National Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people".
On March 19, two days after passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, French President Nicolas Sarkozy convened an emergency meeting of allied and Arab leaders in Paris which endorsed the immediate deployment of military aircraft to attack Gaddafi forces defending Benghazi and establish a no-fly zone. Before the end of the meeting, French fighter planes were attacking armored vehicles and tanks outside Benghazi. Some participants at the Paris meeting were critical of the French government, both for insisting on convening the meeting before agreeing to endorse air strikes, and then for launching air strikes before the meeting was over. French officials claim that meeting participants were informed of the operation beforehand. The strikes had clearly been planned and coordinated with the United States and some other NATO forces.
National Public Radio (NPR) reported Sarkozy enjoyed a "burst of public support" while the London Guardian wrote Sarkozy's actions may save him from "electoral humiliation." Several analysts speculate Sarkozy used the crisis to propel France into a Superpower role, usurping the global leadership of the United States abrogated by President Obama. Columnist Jim Hoagland of the Washington Post observes,
|“||France is a country that has a past being involved in world affairs, wanting to count in world affairs, and being willing to pay its way for defense forces and to use those forces abroad. So, France plays a natural role in that. At a time when governments are slashing defense spending and reducing troops, France still wants to occupy an important role in world affairs....the reason you're seeing France taking on such a much larger role is that other countries, including the United States, are not willing to do it anymore. And Sarkozy is trying to fill that vacuum.||”|
Sarkozy's approval rating stood at 30% prior to the intervention.
Legality of French actions
On May 29 two French lawyers, Roland Dumas and Jacques Vergès, announced plans to initiate legal proceedings against President Nicolas Sarkozy for crimes against humanity over the NATO led campaign in Libya. Dumas (who also served as a foreign minister under President François Mitterrand) said that the NATO mission, which was meant to protect civilians, is in fact killing them. On July 4 a French lawyer, Marcel Ceccaldi, called for investigation of the International Criminal Court on NATO "war crimes". 
Security Council Res. 1973 and NATO
UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973 of March 17, 2011 followed on the heels of Gaddafi’s public announcement on March 2 he may throw western oil companies out of Libya, and his invitation on March 14 to Chinese, Russian, and Indian firms to produce Libyan oil in their place. China, Russia, India and Brazil all abstained on UNSC Resolution 1973.
Despite France taking the lead role in the intervention, the Congressional Research Service reports, "Only the United States and NATO possess the command and control capabilities necessary for coalition operations enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya." France only recently rejoined the NATO alliance, in 2008, after a 40-year absence. The Congressional Research Service, which analyzes information and prepares reports for members of Congress, also states,
|“||In spite of statements underscoring NATO unity on steps announced to date, the initial planning and operational phases were also marked by significant levels of discord within Europe and NATO on the aims and future direction of the mission. A key point of contention was reportedly the amount of flexibility that NATO forces would be granted to protect civilians and civilian areas, as called for in paragraph 4 of UNSCR 1973. Reports indicate that French officials insisted on maintaining the ability to strike ground forces that threatened civilian areas, while their Turkish counterparts vocally opposed any targeting of ground forces. Adding to the strain within NATO, NATO ally Germany abstained from UNSCR 1973 and, opposed to any potential combat operation, on March 23, withdrew its naval assets in the Mediterranean from NATO command. Throughout the first week of operations, other European allies contributing to the mission, including Italy and Norway, expressed increasing frustration with the lack of agreement within NATO, with Norway refusing to deploy its fighter jets unless under they were under NATO command and control.||”|
Of NATO's 28 members, 14 are said to be "actively participating," but only 6 provided military support. By June Norway announced its intention to quit the coalition and French and British leaders expressed concerns over being able to meet the costs of a war they dragged the United States into. Of the 22-country Arab League, whose appeal prompted the United Nations to vote on intervention, only Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are involved. Of the 192 members of the UN General Assembly, who all have a legal "responsibility to protect" civilians attacked by their own governments, only Sweden has responded. After the authorization and commitment of NATO and U.S. forces, Secretary Gates announced,
|“||The mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country, yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the U.S., once more, to make up the difference.||”|
|“||The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress—and in the American body politic writ large—to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense.||”|
Exceeding UN mandate
Resolution 1973 authorized strict limitations, according to international law, on NATO as the organization with responsibility for the implementation of the resolution. Particularly, it provides only for a naval blockade enforcing the arms embargo, and enforcement of a no-fly zone. On March 29, 2011, Russian envoy Dmitry Rogozin commented after a meeting with NATO officials in Brussels, Belgium, that Russia expressed deep concern over the interpretation of the Security Council’s resolution, as some countries have effectively turned it into an approval for ground operations.
|“||Moscow has many questions about how the UN Security Council’s resolution is being carried out...First of all, there are reports that civilians have been killed in the air strikes. This is odd if you consider the message of the resolution, which says that the foreign forces’ actions should protect civilians. So it’s hard to comprehend how you can protect civilians by killing them....we demanded that the UN Security Council be fully informed about the actions of the alliance in Libya at all times... We have reports of air strikes against convoys far from the front line. This is a far cry from the UN Security Council resolution.||”|
NATO planes and ships have been striking cities and military installations in Libya since mid-March, 2011. Allied military officials have spoken in recent weeks of the need for escalation to help protect Libyan civilians and have called for Gaddafi to step down. Libyan officials have said that NATO is picking sides in a civil war and complained that strikes on Gaddafi’s Tripoli compound are attempts to assassinate the leader of a sovereign country. NATO launched its largest airstrike against Moammar Gaddafi’s regime on May 24, 2011, with at least 15 massive explosions rocking the Libyan capital. 
On May 15, two months into the NATO bombing campaign against loyal Gaddafi’s forces, Britain’s top military commander said that the Libyan leader could remain “clinging to power” unless NATO broadened its bombing targets to include the country’s infrastructure.
The French and the British described plans for a wargames exercise for an attack on Libya last November, in the end they used those military assets that had been mobilized for the real thing 3 months ago. We know that NATO doesn’t just go and bomb a country over night, these things are planned far in advance, and in this case there is conclusive evidence that there have been plans for this for many many years.
On Jun 18, Prime minister of Libya Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi accused NATO of a "new level of aggression" over the past 72 hours in which he said the military alliance intentionally targeted civilian buildings, including a hotel and a university. "It has become clear to us that NATO has moved on to deliberately hitting civilian buildings. ... This is a crime against humanity," he told reporters in the capital. Libya's Health Ministry released new casualty figures that put the number of civilians killed in NATO air strikes through to June 7 at 856.
Italy - Berlusconi
African response to outside intervention
NATO's Libyan intervention has proven fractious in black Africa; in March Nigeria's Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia commented, "The contradictions between principle and national interest ... have enabled the international community to impose a no-fly zone over Libya ostensibly to protect innocent civilians from slaughter, but to watch seemingly helplessly (in Ivory Coast) as ...men, women and children are slaughtered in equally, even if less egregious, violence."
Amr Moussa, the outgoing head of the Arab League and a front runner to become president of a democratic Egypt, has voiced reservations about NATO's bombing campaign in Libya, calling for a ceasefire and talks on a political settlement while Muammar Gaddafi remains in power. 
The Arab League, which in March asked the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians, condemned the loss of life in bombing incidents.
"When the Arab League agreed on the idea of having a no-fly zone over Libya it was to protect civilians but when civilians get killed this has to be condemned with the harshest of statements," said Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Ben Helli.
The Libyan leader says the Western-led military campaign is an act of colonial aggression designed to steal Libya's oil. 
United States intervention
President Obama moved swiftly to support French plans to frustrate Gaddafi’s proposal for an African Union with his unilateral declaration of a national emergency in order to freeze all of the Bank of Libya’s $30 billion of funds to which America had access. This was reported in the U.S. press as a freeze of the funds of "Colonel Qaddafi, his children and family, and senior members of the Libyan government. The second section of Obama’s decree explicitly targeted "All property and interests… of the Government of Libya, its agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities, and the Central Bank of Libya. The consequences of the $30-billion freeze for Africa, as well as for Libya, have been spelled out by an African observer:
|“||The US$30 billion frozen by Mr Obama belong to the Libyan Central Bank and had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African federation – the African Investment Bank in Syrte, Libya, the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaounde with a US$42 billion capital fund and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi.||”|
War Powers Act
Under the War Powers Act of 1973 the U.S President has limited authority to use military force without Congressional authorization when there is an imminent national security threat, however President Obama made clear that he ordered the use of force for other reasons. Members of Congress of both parties have expressed concern the President may have violated the law in doing so. The War Powers Act specifically states that the President’s power to introduce forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities can only be exercised pursuant to (1) a declaration of war; (2) specific statutory authorization; or (3) a national emergency created by an attack on the United States or its forces. The War Powers Act requires the President in every possible instance to consult with Congress before introducing American Armed Forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities unless there has been a declaration of war or other specific Congressional authorization. None of these prerequisites have been met.
On March 21, 2011, President Obama publicly announced U.S. military forces commenced no fly-zone operations in Libya two days earlier, on March 19, "to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe" and cited UN Resolutions as giving him the authority to do so. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned establishment of a no-fly zone meant attacking Libaya. Officials as National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough also opposed to attacking Libya; but Hillary Clinton, tossing her "smart power" doctrine to the wind, "won the bureaucratic battle to use Department of Defense resources to achieve what's essentially the State Department's objective... and Obama let it happen". The Charter of the United Nations, in Article 2(4), prohibits the “threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence” of a member state, and many observers have wondered whether the establishment of a no-fly zone would constitute a violation of this prohibition. The Congressional Research Services advised that a no-fly zone imposed against a state that has not carried out an attack on its neighbors may consider the imposition of a no-fly zone an “armed attack.” CRS warned that even if no-fly zone operations in a given state do not constitute an “armed attack",
|“||that state, and other members of the international community, might consider them a violation of the prohibition of the “threat or use of force,” as well as of the customary duty of non-intervention in the affairs of other sovereign states.||”|
NATO's Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee days before President Obama publicly admitted to intervention that U.S. intelligence knew of al Qaeda and Hezbollah elements among the Libyan insurgents.
Organizing the Libyan Islamic Fighters Group
A document published by the U.S. West Point Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center reveals that jihadi rebels, unhappy with the Gaddafi regime, exited Libya to join the Islamic insurgency in Iraq in numbers greater than any other country. The captured Sinjar documents include background information on foreign jihadists who migrated to Iraq to kill American soldiers, many of those jihadi rebels coming from among the very people Obama pledged to protect in the name of "humanitarianism". David Wood wrote: "Almost one in five foreign fighters arriving in Iraq came from eastern Libya, from the towns of Surt, Misurata and Darnah. On a per capita basis, that’s more than twice as many than came from any other Arabic-speaking country, amounting to what the counter terrorism center called a Libyan 'surge' of young men eager to kill Americans." The report notes 82% of Libyan jihadi rebels volunteered as suicide bombers, well above the 56% of all foreign insurgents in Iraq.
The report reminded that Benghazi has long been associated with Islamic militancy in Libya, in particular for an uprising by Islamist organizations in the mid‐1990s. One group—the Libyan Fighting Group (jamaʹah al‐libiyah al‐muqatilah)—claimed to have Afghan veterans in its ranks. The Libyan uprisings became extraordinarily violent. The West Point study noted Gaddafi had taken measures to mitigate the threat from rebel jihadi groups, and amnestied some Muslim Brotherhood activists in the hope that they would moderate the views of more violent Islamist activists.
The Combating Terrorism Center document concludes,
|“||The Syrian [ Assad regime] and Libyan [Gaddafi] governments share the United States’ concerns about violent salafi‐jihadi ideology and the violence perpetrated by its adherents. These governments [Syria, Gaddafi, and the US] like others in the Middle East, fear violence inside their borders and would much rather radical elements go to Iraq rather than cause unrest at home. U.S. and Coalition efforts to stem the flow of fighters into Iraq will be enhanced if they address the entire logistical chain that supports the movement of these individuals—beginning in their home countries – rather than just their Syrian entry points.||”|
This set off a fierce debate in the Obama administration over the wisdom of arming terrorists. It is now known sometime prior to March 31, 2011, Obama signed a Presidential Finding authorizing support for what came to be known as Libyan Islamic Fighting Group which included elements of al Qaeda. Direct arms support would violate the arms embargo imposed by UN Security Council Resolution 1970 on February 26, 2011.
Public opinion initially was divided on support for President Obama's actions, within 30 days however, opposition rose 15% as the reality of the intervention set in.
Ambassador Stevens dispatched
Giving in to Hillary's pressure, on Friday March 8, 2011, President Obama told reporters he would appoint an official to maintain contact with the "Libyan opposition". The number two official at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Christopher Stevens was tasked with helping to coordinate assistance to the "rebels", whose top military commander, Abdelhakim Belhadj, was the leader of the Al Qaeda affiliate, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Hillary Clinton attended a meeting in Paris with Stevens and representatives of the "Libyan opposition", as did U.S. Ambassador Gene Cretz, who has also had contacts with the "opposition". Clinton discussed what she persuaded the Obama administration to do to help the jihadis, and that they would do more than just provide humanitarian aid.
Questions on the legality of U.S. actions
The Washington Post reported on May 20, 2011 President Obama missed the legal deadline set in the 1973 law that required him to obtain Congressional approval for U.S. military operations in Libya. Under the Nixon-era War Powers Resolution, the president must obtain Congressional authorization of military action within 60 days, or else begin withdrawing forces. Sen. Richard Lugar of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations warned President Obama,
|“||U.S. military operations in Libya have assumed a different character than you suggested when you announced the decision to initiate them. In your March 21 letter to the Congress, you indicated that these operations would be limited in their nature, duration, and scope, and focused on protecting civilians and civilian populated areas from attack. Two months into these operations, your Administration is unable to specify what limits will apply to the duration of the operations, and the coalition in which we are participating appears to have expanded its objectives to weakening the Gaddafi regime’s hold on power through strikes on leadership targets and, potentially, infrastructure targets.||”|
The evidence is President Obama’s war in Libya is illegal and unconstitutional. Columnist George Will laid out the case in, “Is Obama Above the Law?” The war is a violation of the War Powers Act, which says the president can go to war without Congressional approval only if there is an imminent threat to the U.S. and there is a 60-day deadline for the withdrawal of forces. 
The law states that “The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to
(1) a declaration of war,
(2) specific statutory authorization, or
(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States , its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”
Since there was no declaration of war or statutory authorization for the Libya action, there has to be a national emergency created by an attack on the U.S. There was none in the Libya case. A bipartisan group of legislators have begun action against what they perceive to be President Obama's unconstitutional misuse of power.
According to Rep. Dennis Kucinich:
- It is unconstitutional, violating Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution which gives the power of declaring war to the Congress.
- It is illegal, as the War Powers Resolution was exploited out of context in order to declare war.
- American public opinion is against it, as 6 Americans out of 10 oppose the war.
- It distracts the President from more immediate concerns, such as the dire state of the economy.
- It costs funds that should be used for other purposes.
- Although the war was declared by Britain and France, America is paying more than other NATO allies.
- Civilians are being killed by the same powers that are supposed to protect them.
- The U.N. Resolution that authorized limited military action did not allow for regime change
- Public support of the war is eroding even in other allied countries.
- The situation is a stalemate that ought to be solved by political, not military means.
See more at: 10 Reasons to Oppose the War in Libya.
Kucinich's bill to oppose intervention in Libya was supported by 87 conservative House Republicans.
Rep. Ron Paul said "Why did the US intervene in a civil war in a country that has neither attacked us nor poses a threat? We are told this was another humanitarian intervention, like Clinton’s 1999 war against Serbia. But as civilian victims of the US-led coalition bombing continue to add up, it is getting difficult to determine whether the problem we are creating on the ground is worse than the one we were trying to solve." 
"Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit, explained in a recent article that there is plausible reason to believe the rebels are current or former Islamist mujahedin, eager to engage in jihad. Indeed, Gaddafi has fought against Libyan Islamists for years and is seen by them as a bitter enemy. Astoundingly, it may well be that we are assisting al Qaeda in this new war! Ibidem"
Role of China
In the first decade of the Twenty-first century China quietly has overtaken the United States to become Africa's largest trading partner, particularly in oil, which accounts for 73 percent of all African exports. According to the Chinese government's first white paper on its economic and trade cooperation with Africa, China's trade with Africa has soared to $114.81 billion in the first 11 months of 2010. China uses about 8 million barrels per day (bpd), a demand that is projected to rise to 11.3 million bpd by 2015 and now receives 28 percent of its oil imports from Africa. China's top oil suppliers are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Angola, Russia, Oman and Sudan. Saudi Arabia is China's top oil supplier (1.1 million bpd.) China is also buying oil from Chad, Gabon and Nigeria as well. China's top African oil suppliers are Angola, Sudan and Nigeria. The International Monetary Fund reports, oil now accounts for 99 percent of Sudanese exports, with China absorbing for 65 percent of them. Energy is Angola's sole export hard currency earner, with China now accounting for 35 percent of Angolan exports.
Competition for resources
After hostilities began China evacuated over 36,000 of its energy and construction workers and shut down operations of Chinese companies with over $18.8 billion of Chinese investments in Libya. China alone is expected to invest on a scale of $50 billion a year in Libya and Africa by 2015, a figure - funded by America’s trade deficit with China - which the Western powers and NATO cannot match. China, Libya's largest Asian oil customer, called for an immediate ceasefire.
|“||to eliminate China from the Mediterranean. China has extensive energy investments and construction investments in Libya. They are looking to Africa as a future energy source. The US is countering this by organizing the United States African Command (USAC), which Qaddafi refused to join. So that's the second reason for the Americans to want Qaddafi out.||”|
|“||the protests in Libya are different from the ones in Egypt or Yemen or Bahrain or Tunisia and the difference is that this is an armed rebellion...these protests originated in the eastern part of Libya where the oil is - they did not originate in the capital city. And we have heard from the beginning credible reports that the CIA is involved in the protests, and there have been a large number of press reports that the CIA has sent back to Libya its Libyan asset to head up the Libyan rebellion... China has 50 major investment projects in eastern Libya.||”|
Whatever Washington’s ulterior motives, there is no doubt that NATO’s military operations in Libya are harming China’s fiscal interests. According to information from China’s Ministry of Trade, by March, when the military operation began, there were 75 major Chinese companies operating in Libya, and they had concluded $18 billion in contracts. Because of the NATO operations in Libya, the Chinese companies are expecting gigantic losses.
Formation of the National Transitional Council
The National Transitional Council of the Libyan Republic announced its official establishment in early March 2011 in the city of Benghazi. The stated goal was to the overthrow of Mu’ammar Gaddafi. It has been recognized by France, Qatar, Italy, Kuwait, Maldives and Gambia. They have proceeded to form a transitional government for the post-Gaddafi era. Before forming a government, they robbed about $505 million from the Central Bank of Libya in Benghazi.
|“||The top leaders of the “revolutionary” masses in Benghazi are two recent defectors of what the Left dubs Gaddafi’s “murderous regime”, Mustafa Abdul Jalil a former Justice minister (who prosecuted dissenters up to the day before the armed uprising), Mahmoud Jebril a top Gaddafite neo-liberal prominent in inviting multi-nationals to take over the oil fields (FT, March 23, 2011, p. 7) and Ali Aziz al-Eisawa, Gaddafi’s former ambassador to India who jumped ship when it looked like the uprising would succeed. These self-appointed leaders of the “rebels” are staunch backers of Euro-US military intervention just as they previously were long-term backers of Gaddafi’s dictatorship and promoters of MNC takeovers of oil and gas fields. The heads of the “rebels” military council is Omar Hariri and General Abdul Fattah Younis former head of the Ministry of Interior, both with long histories (since 1969) of repressing any democratic movements.||”|
Jihadi Death Squads
Insurgent jihadis created a wanted list and placed suspects under round-the-clock surveillance. Secret militia units raid houses without court warrants and often interrogate suspects for hours. Those released have to sign a document stating their loyalty to the revolution. As many as 30 civilians are being held at various jihadi rebel military bases around Benghazi without due process of law, said human rights activists, judges and prosecutors. In recent weeks, at least seven former members of the internal security police have turned up dead, their bodies riddled with bullets. Although it is not known who killed them, many suspect that they died at the hands of jihadi rebel-affiliated death squads. 
On May, 26, the deputy leader of Libya's rebel administration said it could take up to two years to organize elections, backtracking on promises of a six-month transition to democracy. 
Misuse of outside humanitarian assistance
In May, 2011, NATO and Arab countries agreed in Rome to set up a fund to manage donations to help areas controlled by the jihadi rebels; they announced a financial mechanism to assist the opposition in Libya. This would include a partial unfreezing of Libyan assets in banks that would go into a temporary fund managed by the U.N. Sanctions Committee. And it would be intended to help the jihadi rebels with their immediate needs to cover food, medicine and hospital costs; The insurgents would gain access to a special $3 billion (£1.8 billion) trust fund established by its Western backers to finance the breakaway regions fighting against Gaddafi on the outskirts of Benghazi. Modern urbanization and equipments may be clearly seen there.
Outside intervention escalates the conflict
UN Security Council Resolution 1973, passed in March 2011, does not authorise participating members to support the anti-Gaddafi tribes, to defend armed groups, or to oust Gaddafi. Nor does it authorise a ground invasion or military occupation. Strategic analyst Anthony Cordesman notes the similarities between Libya and Iraq and the loose uncoordinated coalitions "failure to plan for the decisive and lasting use of force, failure to plan for the civil side of military operations and to support stability operations, and focus on short term goals without a realistic plan for a successful strategic and post-conflict outcome." Cordesman notes,
|“||the lives and futures of some 6.6 million Libyans are at stake. The Franco-Anglo-American gamble now seems far too likely to fail at their expense. Moreover, it seems likely to drag the other nations that support the operation into their failure -- along with part of the reputation of NATO and credibility of the UN.... gambling on Qaddafi caving in has created a far more serious humanitarian crisis for the Libyan people than would ever have occurred if the Coalition had acted decisively from the start ...The humanitarian cost of humanitarian restraint is all too clear: Hundreds of Libyan and foreign workers have been killed...hundreds of thousands lack jobs, security, and safe conditions of life....an enduring war of attrition will turn a minor humanitarian crisis into a major one ...This kind of operation cannot be “surgical’ – if “surgical” now means minimizing bloodshed regardless of whether the patient dies. Hard, and sometimes brutal, choices need to be made between limited civilian casualties and collateral damage during the decisive use of force and an open-ended war of attrition that will produce far higher cumulative civilian casualties and collateral damage.||”|
Cordesman notes mission creep and boots on the ground ultimately lead to nation building:
|“||France, Britain, and the US now have a special obligation to both finish what they started in military terms, and deal with the aftermath. A post-conflict Libya will need extensive help in building a workable political system, in rebuilding the capability to govern, in both rebuilding the existing economy and correcting for decades of Qaddafi’s reckless and constantly shifting eccentricities.||”|
On April 19, 2011, one month after Sarkozy, Cameron, and Obama asked the UN Security Council for authorization for a limited use of force, the UK Guardian reported,
|“||Britain is now publicly doing what it expressly said it would not do when the no-fly intervention began: putting boots on the ground in Libya. France is taking similar action. Given that the rebel tribes have convincingly demonstrated their inability to win on their own, given the sizable negatives for David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy of an open-ended, inconclusive conflict, and given Barack Obama's flat refusal to do any more, the question now is: how many more British and French boots will follow, sooner or later, in the advisers' fateful footsteps?....By encouraging and assisting rebel resistance, as George Bush Snr did with the Shias of southern Iraq in 1991, Britain and France risk worsening the plight of the Libyan civilians they are primarily pledged to defend. The UN and concerned aid agencies all agree the humanitarian situation is growing steadily worse, the longer the conflict continues. .||”|
Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, in particular, has been scathing about Western intervention in Libya, comparing the Resolution 1973 to “a medieval call to the crusades” and saying “the so-called civilized community, with all its might, pounces on a small country, and ruins infrastructure that has been built over generations.” Mr. Putin returned to the subject of Libya repeatedly, despite acknowledging that foreign policy decisions were not within his portfolio as prime minister. 
"On how the western media makes the case for war. Our consent has been manufactured by the criminalization of Gaddafi and his government, and the Libyan people cannot believe it when I tell them what is said about him in the west. And if only you could see how they live, they are far more free than us in England in many ways, this does not fit in with the oppressive image of Gaddafi portrayed in the west.
So for example, I have had Libyans coming up to me asking me about a report in the popular French newspaper Le Figaro that came out about 3 days ago saying 10,000 people have been killed in Tripoli over the past 3 months by government forces. They are astonished, because this is complete and utter lies. " Letter from Libya to a close friend.
Gaddafi's murder and aftermath
Libyan rebel fighting groups with support from NATO airstrikes, overtook the capital of Tripoli and toppled the government of Libya causing Gaddafi to flee into hiding. This victory finally peaked the interests of the liberal media, who remained silent, even as the President violated the War Powers Act.
October 2011, the last enclave of government/tribal resistance fell in Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte. Ghaddafi was captured and brutally and sadistically murdered. The jihadis were immediately recognized by the U.S. and the U.N. as the legitimate government. It remains to be seen how much of the billions of dollars held in foreign banks by the former regime will be released to the new government. It will be a year or longer before Libya can resume exporting oil at its pre-war capacity.
The situation in a post-Gaddafi Libya is uncertain. Fears that the nation will be end up an Islamic state were proven true when Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, announced in late October that Sharia will be the source for all legislation in Libya and that all laws conflicting with Sharia are null and void. Abdel Rahim al-Kib, the country's interim prime minister, echoed Jalil's words a couple of days later. Around the same time these statements were made an Al Qaeda flag was flown above the Benghazi courthouse, and reports were surfacing that the Libyan jihadis imposed Sharia law in some parts of the country even earlier.
U.S. intelligence says as many as 20,000 advanced Russian surface-to-air missiles are missing and could end up in terror groups' arsenals. Already some of those missiles reached the hands of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Al Qaeda is very active in the region and the conflict. No one is sure how to rid the country of this terrorist element.
Ambassador Stevens murdered
- For a more detailed treatment, see Benghazi Attack.
A March 29, 2011 article in the Washington Post included these paragraphs:
|“||"It’s almost a certitude that at least part” of the Libyan opposition includes members of al-Qaeda, said Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA analyst and adviser to President Obama. Riedel said that anti-Gaddafi elements in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi have had “very close associations with al-Qaeda” dating back years....I would hope that we now have a good sense of the opposition in Libya and can say that this is 2 percent, not 20 percent,” Riedel said. “If we don’t, then we are running the risk of helping to bring to power a regime that could be very dangerous.||”|
With several U.S.embassies besieged on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declared authorities had no reason to believe the attack on the sovereign territory of the United States consulate in Benghazi less than two months before the 2012 Presidential election, was a terrorist attack. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was brutally and hideously murdered, as were several other Americans. Stevens was appointed by Obama as the chief liaison to give money and aid for Stevens own killers.
|“||The unrest that we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims, many Muslims, find offensive,||”|
became the official White House line. President Obama went on the Comedy Channel to say the deaths of Americans was "not optimal". When pressed by reporters, who pointed out evidence that the violence in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, Press Secretary Carney argued “the unrest around the region has been in response to this video.”
On September 16, 2012 Ambassador Susan Rice showed up on all five major Sunday morning talk shows to push the administration's spin linking the Benghazi murders and a satirical video. Rice told longtime Democratic partisan George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s This Week, the attack was “a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo” – referring to a demonstration in which a mob breached the embassy compound wall and tore down an American flag. Rice repeated the false claims throughout her morning talk-show appearances on all networks.
Around a week after the attack Obama finally ordered an investigation. The leading suspected jihadis in the murders and terrorist attack were the local Benghazi branch of Ansar al-Shariah, known to have ties to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). A commander of the terrorist group boasted jovially over drinks with reporters for the New York Times in Benghazi as President Obama's investigators failed to interview him.
Barack Hussein Obama's "Mission Accomplished"
Obama launched the war in Libya giving the reason for the need to avoid a "humanitarian" catastrophe. Not that Gaddafi's gone, lawlessness, brutality, and religious intolerance has increased. "Thousands of people, including women and children, are being illegally detained by rebel militias in Libya," and "up to 7,000 new "enemies of the state", "disappeared" in a dysfunctional system, without recourse to law.  A church bombing by the end of 2012 left two dead, and in February 2013 four foreign nationals were arrested for distributing Bible pamphlets. They may face the death penalty.
We all thought Libya had moved on – it has, but into lawlessness and ruin. Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi. (Thanks to Obama and Hillary). 
Al Qaeda in the Maghreb
- Main article: Al Qaeda in the Maghreb
Two more Americans were killed, along with 35 others, after being taken hostage by rebel jihadists in Mali shortly after the Libyan upheaval.
Hillary Clinton testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the wake of the Benghazi murders that occurred under her stewardship, that weapons and fighters equipped by the Obama administration made their way into Mali and Algeria:
|“||There is no doubt that the Algerian terrorists had weapons from Libya. There is no doubt that the Malian remnants of AQIM [Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb] have weapons from Libya.||”|
President Vladimir Putin of Russia observed, "Upheaval in Libya, accompanied by the uncontrolled proliferation of arms, contributed to the deterioration of the situation in Mali. Terrorist attacks in Algeria that took away the lives of innocent people – including those from foreign countries – became the consequences of such tragic developments."
- In Arming Libyan Rebels, the U.S. Would Follow an Old, Dark Path.
- America's secret plan to arm Libya's rebels. The Independent, UK.
- "Operation Libya": The US-NATO Attempted Coup d'état in Libya and the Battle for Oil.
- Why Libya's Uprising Is Bad for the World Economy.
- These humanitarians come to Libya with missiles, and an agenda. by Simon Jenkins.
- The West's War Against Gaddafi. Yet another long-lasting, tragic crime against humanity.
- Obama’s War in Libya is Illegal and Unconstitutional. by Cliff Kincaid.
- Libya disabled children school hit in NATO strike. Reuters.
- NATO's "Alternate Universe" in Libya.
- Are The Lessons of Kosovo Spreading to Libya?
- The head of the Arab League expressed "qualms" about Libya. In French.
- The Snake Behind the Arab Spring.
- Al Qaeda in N. Africa backs Libya uprising: SITE
- Libya uprising.
- Anti-American Extremists Among Libyan Rebels U.S. Has Vowed To Protect, David Wood, Huffington Post, 3/19/11.
-  (BBC News)
-  (SOURCE: Handbook of the Nations; CIA World Factbook.)
- Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links.
- Libyan, Once a Detainee, Is Now a U.S. Ally of Sorts.
- Germany slams NATO mission in Libya.
- The AU in a nutshell
- Eric Encina,Globalists Target 100% State Owned Central Bank of Libya, Market Oracle.
- Ellen Brown, Libya: All About Oil, or All About Banking, Reader Supported News, April 15, 2011.
- U.S. Department of State, International Religious Freedom Report 2009, Released by the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Washington, DC, (October 26, 2009). www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org
- The Libyan government supports the Anglican church in Tripoli, Munir Hanna Anis Armanius, Religious News Service from the Arab World, May 16, 2001.
- French plans to topple Gaddafi on track since last November, by Franco Bechis, VoltaireNet, March 26, 2011.
- “Sarkozy’s Libyan Surprise,” The Economist, March 14, 2011.
- Allies Open Air Assault on Qaddafi’s Forces in Libya, New York Times, March 19, 2011.
- [https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R41725.pdf Operation Odyssey Dawn (Libya): Background and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, March 30, 2011, p.15 (p.19 pdf).
- Gaddafi offers Libyan oil production to India, Russia, China, Agence France-Presse, March 14, 2011.
- [http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99034/ Operation Odyssey Dawn (Libya): Background and Issues for Congress,] Congressional Research Service, March 30, 2011, p. 20 pdf.
- Letter from Libya to a close friend June 4, 2011.
- Gaddafi rages at NATO after bombing.
- New York Times, February 27, 2011.
- Executive Order of February 25, 2011, citing International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, seizes all Libyan Govt assets, February 25, 2011, link. The authority granted to the President by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act "may only be exercised to deal with an unusual and extraordinary threat with respect to which a national emergency has been declared for purposes of this chapter and may not be exercised for any other purpose" (50 U.S.C. 1701).
- How Obama turned on a dime toward war.
- A First Look at the Sinjar Documents
- The Sinjar Documents are a collection of al Qaeda computer data captured by Americans in 2007 in a predawn raid near Sinjar, Iraq, six miles from the Syrian border.
- US Names Chris Stevens Liaison to Libyan Opposition, ABC News Radio, March 14, 2011.
- ‘White Out’ on Benghazi: State Dept. Issues Report, Clare Lopez, December 23, 2012. http://counterjihadreport.com
- http://www.conservativetruth.org/article.php?id=2458 Conservative Truth.
- Leslie Hook, China’s future in Africa, after Libya, March 4, 2011. The U.S trade deficit with China in 2010 was $273 billion.
- Washington Using NATO For Proxy Conflict With China In Libya.
- In Libya's Capital, Straight Talk From Christians, By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, The New York Times, August 6, 2011.
- Leading from behind - a critique of Obama foreign policy
- Libya: Al Qaeda flag flown above Benghazi courthouse - Daily Telegraph
- New Libyan PM backs Islamic sharia law
- U.S. Intelligence Now Says Up To 20,000 Advanced Surface-To-Air Missiles Missing From Lib, Weasel Zippers, September 27, 2011
- Hamas boosting anti-aircraft arsenal with looted Libyan missiles - Haaretz
- Ambassador Stevens Was Raped Before His Murder, Reports Claim, Assyrian International News Agency, 9-13-2012.
- Interview with Jon Stweart of the Daily Show.
- Attack on Libyan church building kills two, Reuthers, Dec 30, 2012.
- Libya arrests foreign 'missionaries' Four foreign nationals accused of distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty, Chris Stephen guardian.co.uk, Sunday 17 February 2013.
- Algeria: 37 Foreigner Hostages Killed in Attack, Associated Press, Jan. 21, 2013. TIME magazine.
- Clinton says militants used weapons from Libya in Algeria attack, Reuters, Jan 23, 2013.]
- Putin links Algeria attack, Mali unrest to Libyan upheaval, January 25, 2013. rt.com