Book Review: Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Reverse the Qaddafi Revolution By Francis A. Boyle
It took three decades for the United States government-spanning and working assiduously over five different presidential administrations (Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama)-to overthrow and reverse the 1969 Qaddafi Revolution in order to resubjugate Libya, seize control over its oil fields, and dismantle its Jamahiriya system. This book tells the story of what happened, why it happened, and what was both wrong and illegal with what happened from the perspective of an international law professor and lawyer who tried for over three decades to stop it.
Francis Boyle provides a comprehensive history and critique of American foreign policy toward Libya from when the Reagan administration came to power in January of 1981 up to the 2011 NATO war on Libya that ultimately achieved the US goal of regime change. He deals with the repeated series of military conflicts and crises between the United States and Libya over the Gulf of Sidra and the fraudulent US claims of Libyan instigation of international terrorism during the eight years of the neoconservative Reagan administration. This book sets forth the inside story behind the Lockerbie bombing cases against the United States and the United Kingdom that he filed at the World Court for Colonel Qaddafi acting upon his advice—and the unjust resolution of those disputes. In 2011, under the guise of the UN R2P “responsibility to protect” doctrine newly-contrived to provide legal cover for Western intervention into third world countries, and override the UN Charter commitment to prevention of aggression and state sovereignty, the NATO assault led to 50,000 Libyan casualties and the complete breakdown of law and order. Boyle analyzes and debunks the doctrines of R2P and its immediate predecessor, “humanitarian intervention”, in accordance with the standard recognized criteria of international law. This book provides an excellent case study of the conduct of US foreign policy as it relates to international law. The concluding chapter explains how the US/NATO war against Libya has destabilized the Maghreb and Sahel, including the French military intervention into Mali.
Professor Francis A. Boyle is an international law expert and served as Legal Advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organization and Yasser Arafat on the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence, as well as to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations from 1991 to 1993, where he drafted the Palestinian counter-offer to the now defunct Oslo Agreement. His books include “ Palestine, Palestinians and International Law” (2003), and “ The Palestinian Right of Return under International Law” (2010).