Some conservative Facebook friends posted the above meme last week. This is the dumbest and most dishonest meme currently on the internet. Sorry, it just is.
President Reagan may have bombed “their leader’s house” in 1986, but President Obama actually helped end the gruesome dictatorship of Libyan Muammar Gaddafi last year. The meme is trying to take a shot at President Obama, but the facts just don’t line up. Libya wasn’t quiet for 25 years nor did Obama apologize last week in the wake of the deaths suffered at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
After 1986, when the meme states that Libya went quiet, the country actually continued to commit acts of terrorism against the United States and the United Kingdom, supported horrific civil wars in West Africa, and imprisoned, tortured, and kill its own people. During the Bush Administartion, Republicans actually saw Libya as a partner in torture and used the country for its extraordinary rendition program. Turns out both Bush and Gaddafi were big fans of water-boarding.
Here is a quick timeline of events after 1986 in Libya.
1988, Libyan agents blew up Pan Am Flight 193 in mid-flight above Lockerbie, Scotland. All 243 people on the plane died, along with an additional 11 peopleon the ground.
1996, Gaddafi forces murdered over 1270 prisoners in what is now called the Abu Salim Prison Massacre. This prison was infamous for its human rights abuses before the massacre. Overall, torture and disappearances were common practice in Gaddafi’s Libya, and it was also common for Libyan dissidents living abroad to be targets of assassination
1999-2003, Libya funds and backs Liberian warlord Charles Taylor. Over 200,000 people in Liberia and Sierre Leone are killed in these wars instigated by Taylor. This is how horrible things got: Thousands of victims, whose arms and limbs were chopped off by rebels, were reduced to paupers, roaming the streets as beggars in Freetown and other cities. Children as young as a day old were also among those whose arms and limbs were hacked off by Gaddafi’s rebels. Pregnant women, too, were disemboweled with delight in their display of ghastly brutality.
By the 2000s, things started to get really weird. A report released THIS WEEK by Human Rights Watch has this headline “…United States government under George W. Bush tortured opponents of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi before transferring the prisoners to Libya for further torture.” It turns out Libya was a useful site for the extraordinary rendition/torture by proxy program and the Bush-Cheney people took advantage of this. (Plus, Libya has a lot of oil and natural gas.)
While it appears that George W. Bush colluded with the brutal Gaddafi regime, President Obama’s administration helped end the Gaddafi’s reign of terror last year when his administration made the politically risky decision to intervene on the side of the Libyan Arab-Spring protestors turned revolutionaries. Unlike the last bunch of Republicans, President Obama never cozied up to the Libyan dictator and didn’t allow him to continue to torture and kill his own people.
President Obama has nothing to apologize for but the writer (and the re-posters) of this meme does.