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The Shameful Slave Trade In Libya

BY DANIEL SAENZ

One of the biggest struggles that Europe has had to deal with in the past couple of years is an influx of migrants from Libya. Why are so many refugees fleeing Libya? After the United States intervened to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, the dictator of Libya, in 2012, it left a wide power gap to be filled, leaving Libya in a permanent state of chaos.

While the intentions behind the invasion may have been noble, the lack of a long-term plan was the beginning of an inevitable disaster. As of now, Libya is without a properly functioning government, making it easy for ISIS to overrun the country. ISIS now plots terror attacks from Libya and has made Sharia, or Islamic law, the governing force in the land.

One of the most tragic developments in Libya now is the reemergence of the African slave trade. Black Africans are now being sold in auctions all across the country for as little as $300 to simply perform tasks such as digging and farming. Because they understand the dangers of remaining, blacks are fleeing Libya in droves.

Why is such a dehumanizing practice taking place in Libya? While there is officially a U.N. backed government, it is largely a failed state without any power to enforce any laws or control over these slave auctions. Muammar Gaddafi was a dictator of the highest degree. After mounting a coup in 1969 to take over Libya, he ruled his country with an iron fist. He banned the press. Political dissidents were regularly kidnapped, tortured, and killed. And most horrifyingly, he had his own sex dungeons.

The selection process for these dungeons was sadistic. Gaddafi would routinely walk into schools and universities unannounced with government forces. He would then pat a random girl on the head whom he found to be attractive, which would signal for the guards to kidnap her for Gaddafi’s sick amusement. Unfortunately, Gaddafi was not just a domestic threat to his people. He also posed a grave security threat to outside nations.

In a 1986 report, the State Department found that terrorist plots against western interests were a regular part of Gaddafi’s foreign policy agenda. These plots would finally culminate in a 1988 terror attack in Scotland, which would end up killing over 189 U.S. citizens. Only one man was convicted of the attack, and Gaddafi denied any role in the attack for years. However, the government finally acknowledged its role in the attack in 2003.

With all of this being said, Gaddafi was a terrible and vicious dictator that had no right to rule. Any desire to overthrow him was justified. However, NATO went about it in the wrong way. The coalition dethroned Gaddafi and made him pay for his crimes against humanity. The problem, however, was that we did not fully commit ourselves to democratizing the nation and simply left once Gaddafi was killed.

As a consequence, Libya has gone from one extreme to another. Libya went from being a deadly dictatorship with no freedom to being a ruleless state of anarchy where minority groups will be sold as slaves to the highest bidder since there is no one to stop it. If something is not done about this, the world may be eyeing another refugee crisis.

 

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