Helen Shelestiuk

For several weeks now the entire world community, with bated breath, has been watching the developments in Libya. What do we know for certain about Libya? In fact, nothing, at least from the official media. The media persuade us that Gaddafi is a bloodthirsty dictator. But is it rightful to call Gaddafi a dictator and, of all the Arab leaders, “punish” him and his people with a full-scale intervention? Let us look at facts.

The dismissed Russian Ambassador to Libya, Vladimir Chamov, when answering a half-question and half-statement of the interviewer whether Gaddafi had oppressed his citizens, said: “What oppression are you talking about? Libyans were lavishly granted twenty-year interest-free credits for construction of their houses, a liter of gasoline cost about 10 cents, food did not cost anything at all, and a new South Korean KIA jeep could be bought for a mere $ 7,500. That country is no more…” (1)

What are other facts and figures that we know about Libya and its leader?

* Libya’s GDP per capita is $ 14,192.

* For each family member the state pays a $ 1,000 yearly subsidy.

* Unemployed are paid 730 $ monthly.

* The salary of a hospital nurse is $ 1,000.

* For every newborn $ 7,000 is paid .

* Newly weds are donated $ 64,000 to buy an apartment.

* To open a private business one gets a one-time financial aid of 20 000 $.

* Large taxes and duties are prohibited.

* Education and medicine are free.

* Education and Internships abroad are at government expense.

* There are chain stores for large families with symbolic prices for basic foodstuffs.

* For the sale of products past their expiry date large fines are levied, in some cases detention by the police is foreseen.

* A number of pharmacies have free dispensing.

* Counterfeiting medication is considered a major crime.

* No rental payments.

* No payment for electricity for the population.

* The sale and use of alcohol is prohibited, “prohibition” is a law.

* Loans for buying a car and an apartment are given at no interest.

* Real estate services are prohibited.

* If an individual decides to buy a car up to 50% of the price is paid by the state, to militia guards it donates 65% of the price.

* Gasoline is cheaper than water. A liter of gasoline costs $ 0.14. (2) The profits from oil sale were spent on the population welfare and rising life standards.

* Gaddafi has amassed more than 143 tons of gold. He planned to introduced the dollar-free zone use a gold dinar instead of currency in settlements with other countries. (3)
* In Libya, much money is spent on irrigation by the country’s groundwater, the amount of which is about 100 annual runoffs of the Nile. By its scale, this water project has earned itself the name of “the Eighth Wonder of the World.” It provides 5-million cubic meters of water a day across the desert, greatly increasing the irrigated area. 4,000 kilometers of pipes are buried deep into the ground to secure them from the heat. All that was needed for the project was carried out mostly by Libya herself. Nothing was bought in the First World, which has never helped developing countries to rise from a supine position, and if it does, then with the further enslavement of the receiving country. With this water project, Libya was able to start a real “green revolution”, in the literal sense,  that would solve a lot of problems with food in Africa. And most importantly, it would ensure stability and economic independence. At one time, Gaddafi said that Libya’s water project would be “the strongest response to America, which accuses Libya of supporting terrorism.” (4)

* In 2010 Gaddafi made a motion to the UN General Assembly to investigate the circumstances of the US and NATO aggression against Iraq  and bring to justice those guilty of mass human rights abuse. He also submitted a draft resolution on the liability of former colonial states to their former colonies for the exploitation during the colonial period, and on compensation payments thereupon. (5)

Western propaganda has been demonizing Muammar Gaddafi as pathological tyrant and implacable foe of the democratic aspirations of the Libyan people. This is not true. There exist some mechanisms of popular control and democracy in Libya: elected councils of citizens and self-governing communities (communes). All that without the Soviet-style party nomenklatura, bloated bureaucracy, but with very high standards of living and social security of its citizens. Something of a society that in a number of ways looks like communist. Is this why Libya has been demonized and attacked by the old imperialist powers?…

Let me quote a passage from Sigizmund Mironin’s article ‘Why Is Libya Bombed’: “Libya, which is believed to be Gaddafi’s military dictatorship is actually the most democratic state in the world. There, in 1977, Jamahiriya was proclaimed the highest form of democracy in which the traditional institutions of government are abolished, and all power belongs to the people directly and through the people’s committees and people’s congresses. The state is divided into many communities which are self-guided ‘mini-states within a state’, with full authority in their district, including the allocation of budgetary funds. Recently Muammar Gaddafi proclaimed more democratic ideas – to distribute the budget revenues among the citizens directly and equally…. This measure according to the leader of the Libyan revolution eliminates corruption and parasitic bureaucracy.” (6)

Yet anyway, there have been clashes with certain rebel groups. Why, and what are those groups? The answer, supported by some evidence (7), seems to be as follows. In Libya, there are several clans. Apparently the U.S. through its own channels pushed some of them to fight for the control of Libyan oil. Then, calling a spade a spade, there were specially coached gangs of mercenaries, some “unknown snipers” – and – bingo! you have a revolution. True, it was not easy to summon enough rebels, in fact there were few – most are very happy with the regime. That is why the Western intervention was needed to instigate real turmoil.

So what are the reasons for the inevitable ‘direct’ intervention? Putting aside the special reasons of Britain and France (and the former appears to play first fiddle, while the latter, alongside with other countries, to play up), let us concentrate on the United States. This is what above-mentioned S.Mironin suggests. The most important immediate reason for the aggression of the West against Libya, from the US perspective, appears to be the need to plug a hole in the U.S. state debt. As you probably know, before March 2011 Japan had been one of the major buyers of U.S. securities, especially treasury bonds, it accumulated these assets to the tune of over $ 880 billion dollars. In the circumstances where the cumulative damage from earthquakes, tsunamis and the nuclear accident at  Fukushima-1 is estimated at about $ 300 billion, it was natural to assume that these ‘gold’ reserves will be used by Japanese for the post-disaster. However, senior U.S. officials have firmly warned the Japanese side not to discharge its treasures on the world markets. Nevertheless, the inevitable withdrawal of Japan, who was an active buyer of U.S. securities, still makes this market a “hole” to fill, that in this situation can be done only with the help of oil-producing Arab countries, Russia and China. This entails a new jump in world oil prices and, respectively, the demand for the dollar. That, apparently, is designed to be achieved through the intervention of international forces in Libya under a UN mandate.

1. Chamov, Vladimir. “Gaddafi’s regime can endure 2-3 months”, an interview to Moskovsky Komsomolets


3. Sterligov, Genrich. Bombing Libya as a punishment for the attempt to introduce a gold dinar

4. Kholmogorov, Ye. Gaddafi: questions, answers and lessons of history

5. Mironin, Sigizmund. “Why is Lybia bombed?”

6. Boldyrev, Yu. Executioners, Not Warriors”

7. Scott, Peter Dale. Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?

By piotrbein