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Prior to the United States arming "freelance jihadists" with ties to al Qaeda and dropping countless bombs on their cities, Libya was a bastion of development and quality of life in Africa.

Prior to 2011, Libya played a key role in eliminating poverty and developing the country's educational and health infrastructure. According to Italian Journalist Yvonne de Vito, “Differently from other countries that went through a revolution – Libya is considered to be the Switzerland of the African continent and is very rich and schools are free for the people. Hospitals are free for the people. And the conditions for women are much better than in other Arab countries.”

Muammar Gadaffi was certainly no saint. However, the Libyan people are now far worse without his regime in power. The condition of Libya -- post-US intervention -- is so horrid that Barack Obama is calling his post-invasion reaction to ousting Gadaffi -- the worst mistake of his presidency.

Sunday, Obama went on Fox News to discuss the highs and lows of his presidency. During the Q and A, Chris Wallace asked Obama what the "worst mistake" was that he made as president.

Obama answered, “Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.”

While the US government is known for its irresponsible and deadly incompetence, the idea that they had "no plan" after invading Libya is asinine. Libya, like the rest of the countries in the wake of the US war machine was more than likely meant to be in a state of disorder.

After US intervention, the country quickly descended into chaos as rival governments and armed groups fought for control, providing Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other extremist groups with the opportunity to gain a foothold in the oil-rich country. According to RT, Libya is now a key operating base for IS terrorists, and other local militant groups control large parts of the country as well.

Destabilizing the region, while it has displaced and left dead hundreds of thousands of people, has proven highly beneficial for US interests -- especially banks and oil companies.

Only two years before the US turned the Switzerland of Africa into a living hell, Gaddafi announced he was going to hand over the country's oil reserve to the people. As Reuters reported at the time:

Hundreds of thousands of Libyans gathered on Wednesday to discuss the proposal by their leader Muammar Gaddafi to disband the government and allow the country’s oil wealth to flow straight to the people.

“Libyans, this is your historic opportunity to take over your oil wealth, power and full freedom. Why do you want to let the chance slip away from you?”

Nationalization of a country’s resources is often a cause for invasion. For example, Guatemala’s nationalization of its fruit processing facilities led to a U.S.-sponsored coup.

Libya also had more than 140 tons of gold which made the corrupt heads of state across the globe chomp at the bit to invade under the guise of "liberation."

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As the Free Thought Project reported, an April 2011 email, sent to the Secretary of State Hillary by unofficial adviser and longtime Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal with the subject line “France’s client and Qaddafi’s gold,” revealed the predatory intentions of the West in Libya.

The Foreign Policy Journalreported earlier this year:

The email identifies French President Nicholas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five specific purposes in mind: to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy’s reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi’s influence in what is considered “Francophone Africa.”

Most astounding is the lengthy section delineating the huge threat that Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves, estimated at “143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,” posed to the French franc (CFA) circulating as a prime African currency.

The email makes clear that intelligence sources indicate the impetus behind the French attack on Libya was a calculated move to consolidate greater power, using NATO as a tool for imperialist conquest, not a humanitarian intervention as the public was falsely led to believe.

According to the email:

This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).

(Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.)

The email provides a peek behind the curtain to reveal how foreign policy is often carried out in practice. While reported in the media that the Western-backed Libyan military intervention is necessary to save human lives, the real driving factor behind the intervention was shown to be the fact that Gaddafi planned to create a high degree of economic independence with a new pan-African currency, which would lessen French influence and power in the region.

While the emails from 2011 indicate recent Western intentions in the invasion of Libya, toppling Gaddafi had been in the pipeline even before 9/11.

As American reporter Gareth Porter reported in 2008:

Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith’s recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith’s account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country’s top military leaders.

Feith’s book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing “new regimes” in a series of states…

General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].

When this writer asked Feith . . . which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, “All of them.”

With Iraq, Syria, Libya, and recently Somalia all finding themselves the subject of deadly and chaotic US intervention, Sudan and Lebanon should take heed. Iran is already feeling the heat and has been for some time as propaganda campaigns of fear have been waged against them by US interests worldwide -- in spite of Iran not attacking a single county in decades.

The notion of Obama acting apologetic or even hinting at it by calling the Libyan aftermath his "worst mistake," rings hollow to those who've watched this Peace Prize recipient lay waste to the Middle East during his last 7.5 years.

If by "worst mistake" he means getting caught for his war crimes, then we can agree.

Perhaps the reason the US is now rattling the saber toward the Russians is because they called a spade a spade on US foreign policy in Libya years ago, saying that UN Resolution 1973 spoke only of establishing a no-fly zone to guarantee civilian security, and was not a green light to bring about regime change.

[author title="" image=""]Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Follow @MattAgorist[/author]