"We came, we saw, he died,” Hillary Clinton famously quipped when Muammar Gaddafi, after seven months of U.S. and NATO bombing, was overthrown in 2011 and killed by a mob who sodomized him with a bayonet. But Gaddafi would not be the only one to die. Libya, once the most prosperous and one of the most stable countries in Africa, a country with free healthcare and education, the right for all citizens to a home, subsidized electricity, water and gasoline, along with the lowest infant mortality rate and highest life expectancy on the continent, along with one of the highest literacy rates, swiftly fragmented into warring factions.
Muammar Gaddafi led his nation to become the wealthiest in all of Africa. A decade after his demise, it is riven by tribalism, terrorism and slavery, all because the West could not allow an Arab leader to succeed. There was never really an ‘Arab Spring’ in Libya the way there was in Egypt or Tunisia. Protests were much smaller, and as time went on to show, the biggest players turned out to be extremist groups and foreign actors, each trying to get a slice of the country. NATO’s bombing of Libya and support for rebels seeking to overthrow Gaddafi had little to do with wanting the country to prosper. Under the guise of ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’, the Western military alliance helped murder one of the Arab world’s most prominent leaders in order to steal Libya’s resources and protect Western hegemony.