Libya: How to Bring Down a Nation

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More than 30,000 Libyans died during seven months of bombing by an essentially tripartite force – France, Great Britain, United States – which clearly favored the rebels. “The most successful mission in NATO’s history”, in the imprudent words of NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a Dane, in Tripoli in October 2011[1].

French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s eagerness to support a military intervention with the purported aim of protecting the civilian population contrasts with the reception offered to the Libyan president, Muammar Gaddafi, when he visited Paris in December 2007 and signed major military agreements worth some 4.5 billion euros along with cooperation agreements for the development of nuclear energy for peacetime uses. The contracts that Libya seemed no longer willing to pursue focused on 14 Dassault Rafale multirole fighter jets and their armament (the same model that France sold or is trying to sold to Egypt´s General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the self-proclaimed marshal), 35 Eurocopter helicopters, six patrol boats, a hundred armored vehicles, and the overhaul of 17 Mirage F1 fighters sold by Dassault Aviation in the 1970s[2].

The major oil companies (Occidental Petroleum, State Oil, Petro-Canada…) working in Libya helped Libya pay the 1.5 billion dollars in compensation that the Libyan regime had agreed to pay to the families of the victims of Pan Am flight 103[3]. At the time, the compensation was intended to be one of the conditions for Libya to be reaccepted into the community of international relations.

The principal Libyan investment funds (LAFICO-Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company; LIA-Libyan Investment Authority) were shareholders in many Italian and British corporations (Fiat, UniCredit, Juventus, the Pearson Group, owner of the Financial Times, and the London School of Economics, where Gaddafi was addressed as “Brother Leader” during a video conference in December 2010 and his son Saif was awarded a PhD in 2008). The New York investment bank Goldman Sachs was sued in 2014 by a Libyan fund (Libyan Investment Authority) which had lost more than 1.2 billion dollars between January and April 2008 after the American firm took a commission of 350 million dollars for investing their money in highly speculative derivatives[4].

 

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