War is nothing but the sowing of hatred. None of conflicts proclaimed by the West since 1991 — Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria — solved any of the problems on the battlefield. Actually they have tragically aggravated them.
Without the Iraq intervention in 2003, the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair apologetically confessed, the Islamic state wouldn’t even exist. The “Friends of Syria” — that is, the occidental-European line-up, plus Saudi Arabia and Turkey — have done the impossible. In three years they turned Syria into another Libya, fueling and funding militias and reducing the country to a pile of rubble at the mercy of jihadist groups. They’ve made so many mistakes that in the end, even Putin’s Russia had to step in, militarily and at the negotiating table.
The failures in Libya will even have an impact in the U.S. elections, as The New York Times has pointed out in a two-part investigation focused on Hillary Clinton’s actions there. The report reminds voters of the presidential candidate’s hawkish position in the face of a recalcitrant Obama.
Not to forget the Benghazi tragedy of Sept. 11, 2012, when Ambassador Chris Stevens, the former liaison with jihadists who took down Gaddafi with the help of NATO air raids, fell into a trap by Islamic fundamentalists and died along with another diplomat and two CIA agents. Clinton, then Secretary of State, exited the scene and then-CIA chief David Petraeus was dismissed. Because the war returns home. Spinning in the spiral of Islamist terrorism.
Millions of human beings are fleeing from “our” wars. When the first NATO raid on Libya started in late March 2011, a mass exodus of more than 1.5 million people began, many of those coming from central Africa who were working in Libya. The fragile and newly won democracy in Tunisia was affected by it. Those refugees, plus the ones from Iraq and Syria, desperately try every day to scale the barbed walls of Fortress Europe.
All this is happening in broad daylight. Like the fact that our ally, Sultan Erdogan, well paid by Europe, prefers to massacre the Kurds fighting against ISIS than to sever his business deals and back channels with the “caliphate.”
Yet we are again about to ignite another war in Libya. Pentagon secretary Ashton Carter has tapped Italy to lead the coalition against ISIS and secure its oil fields. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni declares he is “ready.” In the past, it would have been said that a country with colonial responsibility should not be involved. Now, it is a badge of honor: We are in the neo-colonialist era.
We will justify this adventure in the most hypocritical way: It will be a “war against smugglers.” Six months ago when it was announced, E.U. foreign affairs minister Federica Mogherini put her hands up reminding us, as you can imagine, that unfortunately there would be “side effects.” Of course, we hide the business deals and the strategic and economic interests. We are now chasing after the pat on the back from the U.S., and the French, the British and the American Special Forces already on the ground.
In recent days, Italy has called up its Supreme Defense Council and is preparing for the Libyan deployment. With Egypt now an ally in Libya, the assassination of Giulio Regeni is overshadowed. There is a fear that justice for Regeni’s death may be further delayed. Silencing the truth about the regime in Cairo is as criminal as ISIS. Because Egypt remains critical to the war in Libya: It provides direct support to General Khalifa Haftar, military leader of the Tobruk government and parliament, which again this week postponed its consent (which will eventually come) to a unitary Libyan Executive Power. This is a formality, needed only to apply for Western military intervention.
Libya remains split in at least three parts. Tripoli is governed by Islamist forces who fear that a Western intervention will support the Islamic State forces positioned in Sabratha, Derna and Sirte. Already the anti-Italian propaganda has begun, shamelessly hoisting the flag and the exploits of Omar Mukhtar, the hero of the resistance to Italian fascist colonialism.
We’re just a few days away from the precipice. For those who believe violence cannot resolve conflict and for those who oppose war, this is one of the reasons for rebuilding and strengthening the left. Raise your voices now.