By Damir Nazarov, Political Scientist from Russia

Debunking Western-Made Myths of Libyan War

Saturday, August 1, 2020 - 10:26
Libyan War

Western media are trying to frame Russia as a destructive player in Libya where different interest groups are seeking their own agendas against the benefit of the Arab country.

In connection with the endless stream of lies and misinformation about events in Libya, I will try to briefly point out the facts that will crush Pro-Western propagandists.

The first myth is that Russia is supporting the Haftar. Speaking about Libya, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that Moscow takes a neutral position in Libya and calls on the warring parties to dialogue. Moscow has repeatedly tried to mediate between Tobruk and Tripoli, but without success.

One of the goals of the West is to make the world believe in the alleged myth that the Russian Federation is the prototype of the former USSR. They say the Russian Federation is the USSR 2.0 whose goal is to capture half of the Middle East. This is done in order to impress the peoples of the Middle East that a new player has appeared in the region, "whose goal is to implement another colonization project." Thus, the goal of Western provocations is to turn Muslims against the Kremlin. You probably remember the period from 2015 to 2018, when Western propagandists shouted about "the oppression of Sunnis" under the blows of "Shiites and Russians". It is obvious that the purpose of such throw-ins in the media is to cause hatred among the entire Sunni population of the Ummah towards Russia. On the other hand, analyzing what is happening in Syria, Washington and the EU actively encouraged Moscow to take part in other hot spots in the Middle East. The logic is simple, to involve the Russian Federation in a series of wars and, like in Afghanistan, to wait for a natural collapse inside Russia. The West incites all independent players to the conflict, aiming to exhaust both sides and finish off the remnants.

Of course, the Russian Federation has interests, but I think they are limited only to business, the sale of weapons is traditionally a good business of the Kremlin. Speaking about Russia in Libya, it is important to understand that Moscow has no desire to get involved in any conflicts. Putin has said in the past, "Russia does not claim to be a world power." Intervention and hybrid wars require a strong economy, ideology, an alliance with local loyalists, and so on. The Kremlin doesn't do anything like this even in Syria, let alone in Libya. Since 1991, the Russian Federation has been on the defensive in the face of the West's insatiable thirst to finish off the remnants of the USSR.

The second myth is the influence of the local Muslim Brotherhood. The factor of the Libyan Ikhwans is greatly exaggerated and a huge role in this was played by the regional enemies of the Brotherhood in the face of the Saudis and the UAE. Western sources also note that the Libyan Ikhwans did not have much support among the locals. The goal of the Persian Gulf regimes in demonizing the Libyan Ikhwans is to create the impression of an "Islamist threat" and to create an image of the Brotherhood as "an archaic, unpromising political force with elements of extremism". 2012 by a large margin, and in 2014 they left the Tripoli Parliament altogether.

Speaking about the political activities of the Libyan Brothers, it should be noted that the leaders of the organization are fixated on "democracy and liberalism" in the style of their current Egyptian counterparts. You will not hear from JCP calls for reviving the ideas of Hassan al-Banna or Sayyid Qutb. Instead, the local branch of the Brotherhood promotes a liberal theme reminiscent of colleagues from Tunisia.

Myth three is that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan supports the Muslim Brotherhood of Libya and other Islamic organizations. The Turkish dictator considers himself an outstanding pragmatist, and such people will never be guided by their actions based on ideology or sympathy. For them, the main thing is profit and minimal risk. As you know, the Libyan Ikhwans are not the second or even the third force in Tripoli. Therefore, it is much more important for Erdogan to build relations with the favorites of the political arena of the capital of Libya, which are secularist forces. And that's where the fun begins.

After the 2015 elections, Erdogan's rule symbolizes a mix of liberal conservatism with radical pan-Turkism (an incredible tandem!). Due to internal changes, foreign policy resorted to a slight correction in its priorities, for example, a bid was made for aggressive intervention under the aegis of pan-Turkism in Syria and Iraq(Ankara suddenly began to shout about the necessary assistance to the "oppressed Turkmen" of the Arab countries located in the neighborhood). Now we see something similar happening in Libya. This is how Erdogan pays "respect" to his ally in the ruling coalition in the person of Davlet Bahceli. For his part, the pan-Turkist leader is trying to prove his importance and increase his authority for the Turkish right by pushing the idea of "protecting fraternal peoples" throughout the Middle East. It is difficult to predict how soon the AK Party - MHP tandem will crack, but this scenario is obvious in the future.

Playing along with the pan-Turkists, Erdogan does not forget about his own strategy, which is to support the "democratic forces" formed after the events of the first wave of the Islamic awakening. And here, Erdogan relies on the secular segment of political forces; the local Islamic factor (not only the Ikhvans) is only a temporary tool for him. Moreover the Turkish dictator based on the foundations of liberalism demands that the Islamic forces abandon their identity in favor of secularism.

And I ask the question, what role do the Libyan ikhvans play in the interests of Turkey's foreign policy?

P.S. There is a Lot of information about alleged flights involving Damascus, the UAE and territories captured by Haftar. Portals such as Al-Monitor write about alleged deals between former Syrian insurgents in the South of Syria with official Damascus, according to which yesterday's militants are sent to fight for Haftar. In this case, it turns out that the heads of Syria and Turkey are sending Syrian "opposition" to the slaughter in distant Libya, pursuing a similar goal, to get rid of cannon fodder in the face of irreconcilable militants? Irony, even 5 years ago, the entire liberal world stood up for the Syrian rebels of different stripes, and now with the help of Turkey and the UAE* gets rid of the recent "favorites". The Syrian war will be a lesson to all those Muslims who saw the West as an ally.

* - This is the UAE, not Assad, Damascus just plays along in "anti-Turkish" speculation, and even more so the Baath will not pay the rebels for the war in Libya, first, there is no money, and secondly-in the easternmost country of the Maghreb, there are people ready to fight for their future. Abu Dhabi's interest lies in the so-called "anti-Turkish policy", which is a consequence of Bin Salman's struggle with the old part of the Saudi elite.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the ISCA News Agency. Although the Agency does not accept any responsibility for any statement in its content, it is open to all sides of story to reflect their opinion and defend their entities.

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