How Decades of US-Led Imperialism Destroyed Libya, w/ Matteo Capasso

Libya seems to be trapped in endless conflict between rival militias and outside powers, with migrants trapped in neo-slavery and others drowning in the Mediteranean trying to flee to the European. Prior to the 2011 Arab uprisings and subsequent NATO regime change operation that destroyed the country, most outsiders knew little of Libya except for its caricature as a bizarre authoritarian country led by the idiosyncratic Gaddafi. But history did not start in 2011. To understand the Libya of today requires going back many decades.

To discuss how and why the US-led imperial order destroyed Libya, Rania Khalek was joined by Matteo Capasso, a Marie Curie Research Fellow between the University of Venice and Columbia University.

Matteo’s latest article here:

0:00 Intro
2:06 Libya’s Jamahiriya
6:00 Impact of sanctions and international isolation on Libya’s economy
12:28 Accomplishments of Gaddafi and Libya’s revolution
18:04 Understanding Libya through the context of imperialism
21:01 Dependency on oil
26:08 Hybrid war
30:19 Impact of 1973 civil war in Chad
37:02 Capitalism & Libya’s ideological contradiction
40:08 Religious extremism & tribal groups
47:52 Support for national liberation & then collaboration in war on terror
53:12 Centrality of war & militarism to US capitalism
58:37 Emergence of militias in Libya
1:00:58 How imperialism underlies the ongoing destruction of Libya
1:06:47 2011 uprising: What really happened?
1:11:50 Libya’s destruction destabilized Africa

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