[Warning, I go on for much too long. Please ignore unless bored]
Growing insurgency? Was it a growing insurgency? How do you know - media sources? And why was it a growing insurgency? Lots of reasons but there are plenty of finger prints showing who was involved. And consider it was not the only insurgency - how about Egypt for example? I guess the point I would make is one might choose to ask oneself why one dictatorship is very much in need of being addressed by the “Great Powers” while another dictatorship should be free to shut its citizens up by employing the death sentence when the actually elect an “inappropriate” form of government and get rid of our preferred dictator (Anyone remember General Mubarak? Im sure General Sisi is a great improvement).
While I am at it, dictatorship is very much in the eye of the beholder. Here in the US, its very unsafe to be stopped by the police when black. If you complain about how unhealthy it is to interact with the police when black, you will not fair well whether you are a star quarterback or a humble demonstrator. Sometimes I wish the Canadians or French might have some kind of military intervention here (for humanitarian purposes) to protect a clearly mistreated minority (and might I add this has been going on for some time). But it doesn’t look likely. Its not just blacks though - anyone present in NYC during the OWS protests would have seen lots of nice middle class white people being beaten up and pepper sprayed by the forces of law and order. It can be youtubed. Im sure Libya was worse (for some) but then I hear its a tough neighborhood.
Gaddafi’s administration repeatedly asserted that the rebels included al-Qaeda fighters. Rebels denied this. NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander James G. Stavridis stated that intelligence reports suggested there were “flickers” of al-Qaeda activity among rebels, but that there was insufficient information to confirm a significant presence of terrorist groups. Gaddafi’s claims are supported by a 2008 secret cable from the US embassy in Tripoli to the US State Department, and an analysis by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point of a set of documents called the Sinjar Records, purporting to show a statistical study of the al-Qaeda personnel records. The West Point analysis of these documents concluded that Libya provided “far more” foreign fighters in per capita terms than any other country. A disclosed file from 2005 on WikiLeaks found that rebel leader Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda Bin Qumu was a former Guantanamo Bay detainee alleged to be a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, to have joined the Taliban in 1998, and that he was a “probable member of Al Qaida and a member of the African Extremist Network”.
My wider reading suggests that the British and French inserted Libyan jihadi fighters back into the country to assist the “organic” insurgency. One of those fighters on returning was responsible for the Manchester concert bombing (Ariana whatever her name).
So it doesnt seem quite as organic as you suggest it was. That’s ignoring the well documented presence of SAS and French Special forces groups on the ground - I imagine assisting with targeting and providing tactical leadership and guidance for the “insurgency”.
In fact British SAS soldiers are still in Libya. “Helping” I would imagine.
Now - for the much more interesting points on history. Rome lasted some 700 years or some 1700 years depending on whether you consider Byzantium Roman. That’s pretty much as long as the modern English state, and way longer than the UK. I think you have your own definition of stability which ignores modern wars cos they havnt happened on your soil for quite a long time. Im sure someone sitting in - say Vietnam or Iraq or Syria etc might feel differently. So I dont think of these as peaceful times. Yes Rome was a parasitic state after its first 300 years or so. But so was the UK. So is America today. Global resources are consumed well in excess of population and this consumption is explained as because of “superior production/productivity” when the terms of trade are artificially manipulated using war and other levers of power. China’s oligarchs are not special in stealing billions. I think you have probably not noticed the increase in inequality in the US/UK/Western Europe because the media you read characterize it as benign and natural and a product of the ‘merit’ of the rich. Well that’s what exactly what the Chinese say too! For me its bullshit, and stealing in both cases. So we half agree.
I often wonder whether promoting chaos in the rest of the world is in the interest of a place like the UK. After all what is the UK selling these days? Relative stability and a good reliable business climate (to stash your loot if you are a foreign oligarch). There are two ways to promote relative stability. One of which involves sowing havoc everywhere else. Particularly where there is oil.
I go on way too long. But you were warned. So some bald statements of my world view.
There is no ethical argument for what the West did in Libya. Any ethical arguments were manufactured to justify a baldly self-interested policy of regime change. One of the inescapably obvious consequences of regime change was making the lives of people who live in Libya much much worse. It is obviously so - how would you feel about people rescuing Americans from the idiot Trump by bombing your local electricity generating company and empowering Jihadis to come and “liberate” you?
Just for color - this was in the Guardian today.
Apparently both sides thought a bit of male rape was good for public order - my suspicion is Jihadis are especially keen users. As far as I am concerned the place has NOT been improved by our intervention, and I think the burden of proof for using such interventions should be much much higher. Otherwise you are guilty of engaging in aggressive war to achieve policy ends. The Allies defined that as a war crime in Nuremberg.
Forgive the blather.