Destroying a Country’s Standard of Living: What Libya Had Achieved, What has been Destroyed – Michel Chossudovsky
September 21st, 2011
“There is no tomorrow” under a NATO sponsored Al Qaeda rebellion.
While a “pro-democracy” rebel government has been instated, the country has been destroyed.
(GlobalResearch) – Against the backdrop of war propaganda, Libya’s economic and social achievements over the last twenty years, have been brutally reversed:
The [Libyan Arab Jamahiriya] has had a high standard of living and a robust per capita daily caloric intake of 3144. The country has made strides in public health and, since 1980, child mortality rates have dropped from 70 per thousand live births to 19 in 2009. Life expectancy has risen from 61 to 74 years of age during the same span of years. (FAO, Rome, Libya, Country Profile,)
According to sectors of the “progressive left” which have endorsed NATO’s R2P mandate, not to mention the terrorists, who are unreservedly upheld as “Liberators”:
“The mood across Libya, particularly in Tripoli, is absolutely—like there’s just a feeling of euphoria everywhere. People are incredibly excited aboutstarting afresh. There’s a real sense of rebirth, a feeling that their lives are starting anew. (DemocracyNow.org, September 14, 2011 emphasis added)
“Starting afresh” in the wake of destruction?
Fear and Social Despair, Countless Deaths and Atrocities, amply documented by the indepedent media.
No euphoria…. A historical reversal in the country’s economic and social development has occurred. The achievements have been erased.
The NATO invasion and occupation marks the ruinous “rebirth” of Libya’s standard of living That is the forbidden and unspoken truth: an entire Nation has been destabilized and destroyed, its people driven into abysmal poverty.
The objective of the NATO bombings from the outset was to destroy the country’s standard of living, its health infrastructure, its schools and hospitals, its water distribution system.
And then “rebuild” with the help of donors and creditors under the helm of the IMF and the World Bank.
The diktats of the “free market” are a precondition for the instatement of a Western style “democratic dictatorship “.
About nine thousand strike sorties, tens of thousands of civilian targets: residential areas, government buildings, water supply and electricity generation facilities. (See NATO Communique, September 5, 2011. 8140 strike sorties from March 31 to September 5, 2011)
An entire nation has been bombed with the most advanced ordnance, including uranium coated ammunition.
Already in August, UNICEF warned that extensive NATO bombing of Libya’s water infrastructure “could turn into an unprecedented health epidemic “ (Christian Balslev-Olesen of UNICEF’s Libya Office, August 2011).
Meanwhile investors and donors have positioned themselves. “War is Good for Business’. NATO, the Pentagon and the Washington based international financial institutions (IFIs) operate in close coordination. What has been destroyed by NATO will be rebuilt, financed by Libya’s external creditors under the helm of the “Washington Consensus”:
“Specifically, the [World] Bank has been asked to examine the need for repair and restoration of services in the water, energy and transport sectors [bombed by NATO] and, in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, to support budget preparation [austerity measures] and help the banking sector back on to its feet [The Libyan Central bank was one of the first government buildings to be bombed]. Employment generation for young Libyans has been added as an urgent need facing the country.” (World Bank to Help Libya Rebuild and Deliver Essential Services to Citizens emphasis added)
Libya’s Development Achievements
Whatever one’s views regarding Moamar Gadaffi, the post-colonial Libyan government played a key role in eliminating poverty and developing the country’s health and educational infrastructure. According to Italian Journalist Yvonne de Vito, “Differently from other countries that went through a revolution – Libya is considered to be the Switzerland of the African continent and is very rich and schools are free for the people. Hospitals are free for the people. And the conditions for women are much better than in other Arab countries.” (Russia Today, August 25, 2011)
These developments are in sharp contrast to what most Third World countries were able to “achieve” under Western style “democracy” and “governance” in the context of a standard IMF-World Bank Structural Adjustment program (SAP).
Public Health Care
Public Health Care in Libya prior to NATO’s “Humanitarian Intervention” was the best in Africa. “Health care is [was] available to all citizens free of charge by the public sector. The country boasts the highest literacy and educational enrolment rates in North Africa. The Government is [was] substantially increasing the development budget for health services…. (WHO Libya Country Brief )
Confirmed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), undernourishment was less than 5 %, with a daily per capita calorie intake of 3144 calories. (FAO caloric intake figures indicate availability rather than consumption).
The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya provided to its citizens what is denied to many Americans: Free public health care, free education, as confirmed by WHO and UNESCO data.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO): Life expectancy at birth was 72.3 years (2009), among the highest in the developing World.
Under 5 mortality rate per 1000 live births declined from 71 in 1991 to 14 in 2009
|Libyan Arab Jamahiriya General information
Source: UNESCO. Libya Country Profile
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (2009)
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 72.3
Male life expectancy at birth (years) 70.2
Female life expectancy at birth (years) 74.9
Newborns with low birth weight (%) 4.0
Children underweight (%) 4.8
Perinatal mortality rate per 1000 total births 19
Neonatal mortality rate 11.0
Infant mortality rate (per 1000 live births) 14.0
Under five mortality rate (per 1000 live births) 20.1
Maternal mortality ratio (per 10000 live births) 23
Source: Global Research