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Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution Paperback – March 15, 2013
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About the Author
is a leading American expert in international law. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia-Herzegovina at the World Court. He served as legal adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization on the Palestinean Delegation to the Middle East peace negotiations from 1991 to 1993. In 2007, he delivered the Bertrand Russell Peace Lectures.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
After the Bush Senior administration came to power, in late 1991 they opportunistically accused Libya of somehow being behind the 1988 bombing of the Pan American jet over Lockerbie, Scotland. I advised Libya on this matter from the very outset. Indeed, prior thereto I had predicted to Libya that they were going to be used by the United States government as a convenient scapegoat over Lockerbie for geopolitical reasons.
Publicly sensationalizing these allegations,in early 1992 President Bush Senior then mobilized the U.S. Sixth Fleet off the coast of Libya on hostile aerial and naval maneuvers in preparation for yet another military attack exactly as the Reagan administration had done repeatedly throughout the 1980s. I convinced Colonel Qaddafi to let us sue the United States and the United Kingdom at the International Court of Justice in The Hague over the Lockerbie bombing allegations; to convene an emergency meeting of the World Court; and to request the Court to issue the international equivalent of temporary restraining orders against the United States and the United Kingdom that they not attack Libya again as they had done before. After we had filed these two World Court lawsuits, President Bush Senior ordered the Sixth Fleet to stand down. There was no military conflict between the United States and Libya. There was no war. No one died. A tribute to international law, the World Court, and their capacity for the peaceful settlement of international disputes.
Pursuant to our World Court lawsuits, in February of 1998 the International Court of Justice rendered two Judgments against the United States and the United Kingdom that were overwhelmingly in favor of Libya on the technical jurisdictional and procedural elements involved in these two cases. It was obvious from reading these Judgments that at the end of the day Libya was going to win its World Court lawsuits against the United States and the United Kingdom over the substance of their Lockerbie bombing allegations. These drastically unfavorable World Court Judgments convinced the United States and the United Kingdom to offer a compromise proposal to Libya whereby the two Libyan nationals accused by the U.S. and the U.K. of perpetrating the Lockerbie bombing would be tried before a Scottish Court sitting in The Hague, the seat of the World Court.
Justice was never done. This book tells the inside story of why not.
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Top customer reviews
And I am, as is Mr. Boyle, dismayed at the ease with which the U.S. and other Western powers have adopted the "Right to Protect",. which
purports to give us the right to invade any country which isn't treating its citizens as well as we believe appropriate. I found his discussion of this perverted doctrine extremely helpful in further supporting my own views. As he repeatedly notes, it is nothing but new clothing for several earlier Western doctrines justifying invasions of countries we didn't like. My own view is that if one of our politicians wants to invade Libya or Syria, they should be free to do that, with a volunteer force of which they are the leader--first ashore out of the landing craft.
What then, leads me to such a negative reaction to the book? Basically, two serious failings. First, the writing would have to get better to earn a grade of "atrocious." He is unable to refer to people of whom he disapproves--and there are a lot of them--without adding a derogatory modifier. From Reagan to Obama, every President is always referred to as a "Neo" something--neoconservative, and neoliberal seem to be his favorites. I lost count of the repetitions of those descriptions early on. It makes wading through a book like this a chore when the author won't assume that the reader is able to remember how much Mr. Boyle dislikes various of those of whom he writes.
Which gets to the final point, that ultimately led to my dismissal of this book. Mr. Boyle is not satisfied with establishing that what was done to Libya was both foolish and unjustified. But this is not enough--he also insists that it, and many of the other incidents to which he refers, are evil to the point of being genocidal. I don't know whether they were or not. But I do know that hurling words like "genocidal" around doesn't prove that things were evil. It just makes the writer's job a lot harder. It's relatively easy to convince me that the invasion of Libya was a stupid and ill-thought out venture. But that doesn't make it genocidal, or even evil. Nor does it prove that those who pushed this idea were lackeys of Israel who hated Qadaffi because he was pro-Palestinian. Much as I dislike our Nobel prize winning President, I would need a lot of evidence to persuade me that he had evil motives for his ill-starred war on Libya.
Mr. Boyle has a wealth of information about our dealings with Libya. And, as noted, I learned a lot of background that was of interest to me. But I doubt that this book will persuade anyone to adopt Mr. Boyle's conclusion that our Libyan policy since at least the time of the Reagan administration is motivated by evil designs on the country's well-being, coming from lackeys for Israel.
One final caution: For those who insist on getting the book despite my misgivings, I urge that you skip Chapter 1, which is an extended discussion of "International Law." It is entirely irrelevant to the subject of the book, and involves an agonizingly long discussion of the Hobbesian view of the world and its systems. It is most definitely an arduous discussion, with no relevance to the average reader.
In November 1991 I was in the USA and was asked by a TV news team who I thought was guilty of my daughter's murder. I replied, "My daughter is dead because of US foreign policy. Whether you believe the official version of the guilt of Libya or that it was a reprisal for the downing of the Iranian airbus by the Vincennes, it was a revenge strike for US agression. It is the arrogance of power." I then added, "But you US policy makers will never be half as good at that as we British have been - we had over 300 years practice!!!".
How right I was all those years ago.
John F. Mosey - Father of Helga (aged 19) who was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie.