Above: Libya's Conflict Museum: photo from the Metropolitan Workshop (metwork.co.uk) - 2009 - 2011?
The Conflict Museum: Libya
Freedom of speech cries for true revolution: freeing the mind.
The war museum was envisaged by Gaddafi's government to house some of Libya's rich war heritage, from the colonial periods that attended to Benghazi's utter devastation and the fake independence of installed king Idris (and his pompous Turkish pashas in their hopeless reign), and down to the staged September Coup, which Gaddafi called "white revolution" but many Libyans came to see as yet another hapless "foreign operation". The Saudi King pointed with his index finger: "men jaabek lilhokom, men jaabek lilhokom" ('who brought you to power') when Gaddafi called Arabia the agent of Satan in the Arab League. The NTC itself was installed by the UN-bomb to send Libya back to square one, in a "troubled foray" the foreigners call the "Arab Spring", the spring that sprouted with metal stings, the sad fall that turned Libya into a "Jihadist Wonderland" for world terrorists to reap, the "unintended mistake" of the world's diplomats; whilst leaving the Berbers no more than the usual "agents of foreign agenda" in their own home.
Installed Gaddafi was indeed shortsighted to start his museum from the recent colonial history, since the wars in and on Libya go all the way back to prehistory. The Ancient Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Sea People, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Turks, and the barbarians of medieval Europe and their modern colonial intruders have all had their share of the Berber spoils. That is why the indigenous Berbers still are to this day scattered across ten North African countries (occupying nearly half of Africa) without an official "identity" and without the free will to determine their own destiny – just mere hamlets waiting for overdue justice to be served, by the masters of course and not by the slaves.
Even recent America fought its first ever foreign war in history in Libya, namely The Barbary Wars of Tripolitania, where the phrase "the shores of Tripoli" still is memorialised in the Marines' Hymn. Ladies and gentlemen, Libya is thus the Museum of War.
WWII Tobruk: vintage weapon of medium destruction (wmd*)
The spectacular design of the conflict museum, by London's Metropolitan Workshop, employs dynamic and environmental technology, aesthetic principles, powerful desert landscape, impressive nomad camps, and a camouflage veil draped over the structure, eerily illustrating the point in disguise; with some parts below the ground, incorporating unique mixture of angled exterior skins, interlocking square floors, and shining gallery terraced-spaces; spiraling to the top, contrastingly aspiring contradictions of conflict: "conditioned" & "non-conditioned" spaces existing in harmony!
The entrance to the Conflict Museum even has a lovely remembrance poppy field to wholeheartedly welcome Libya's peaceful visitors from far afield.
Construction Versus Destruction
The construction of the Conflict Museum in Tripoli was envisaged to begin sometime before September 2009, and was hoped to be finished by the end of 2011. By the time the February Operation was nearing its expected end, as war-torn Libyans were left to pick up the pieces and heal their deepest wounds without "any means", the scheduled deadline for the conflict museum to open was lost in the conflict. Initially, we have setup this page (just with the above information) in anticipation of the opening, but due to the war the museum project was never completed. This means that the museum does not exist in the real world yet.
Instead of leaving our online museum vacant, Temehu.com took a step further to occupy the museum (for the time being) with factual conflict information, war imagery and damage inflicted for freedom & chaos; and chose 11/11/2011 the day to open the online war museum in remembrance of this historic year – the 11th year of the third millennium that dearly transformed Libya in so many ways. We have also included photos from Misrata's War Museum – one of the new war museums that sprung up in the spring after the February War. The Dictator's Crimes Museum, in Benghazi, is housed inside the palace from which King Idris was made to declare the fake independence of Libya in 1951.
The 2011 February War
What started as peaceful protests by Libyan women and children was quickly transformed into a gruesome armed rebellion against government troops, before it broke out as an international war, Africom's first war in Africa; authorised by the UN and involved 18 countries (representing nearly 50 countries from three world unions: the United States of America, the European Union, and, of course, the mostly-dictatorial Arab League).
The coalition's air force was guided by "special" boots on the ground (CIA, Qataris, General-Advisors and Special Forces), "training rebel groups" and pin-pointing target coordinates for pilots in the sky; when Resolution 1973 specifically excludes any "foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory". Apparently using local rebels as soldiers not only saves money but also "wins popularity at home".
Roaming Libya's sovereign sky, allegedly in hunt of "command & control centres", UN-mandated forces blasted 26,000 sorties, 9,600 missile strikes, and 5,900 bombing missions; reportedly demolishing government buildings, pulverising military convoys, and destroying Libya's entire infrastructure including bombing Libya's TV station (where 3 journalists were killed and around 20 more were injured, despite the UN's 1738 (2006) Resolution condemning acts of violence against peaceful journalists during conflict). It was also reported that Apache helicopters were used to take out targets on the ground; and that "retreating" convoys were pulverised seemingly in conflict with resolution 1973's Article 4, which calls for protecting civilians "under threat of attack".
Hence it was no secret to Lord Dannatt that "The mission under UNHCR 1973 is . . . to protect people but of course the implied task . . . is the removal of Colonel Gaddafi"; while Russian officials accused the allies of overstepping their mandate by helping rebels overthrow Gaddafi via a UN resolution which they compared to "medieval calls for crusades".
The result however was "complete destruction of Libya's infrastructure" as well as pulverising Gaddafi's regime and ending in his grotesque death. The stench of his rotting body, left in a meat locker with putrefied liquid trickling beneath, had attracted onlookers to Misrata queuing for 20 Libyan Dinars; and in a secret grave in the desert he was buried to disintegrate, allegedly to avoid the contrasting conflict of his enemies' desecration and his loyalists instigating a shrine for the world to see.
It was initially reported that at least 30,000 Libyans were slaughtered during the war, and a staggering 50,000 were wounded, 20,000 of whom were seriously injured. Fifteen months later, the newly-created Libyan Ministry of Martyrs & Missing Persons had reduced the figure of dead rebels down to 4,700; before Dr. E'sam Zerieq (a technical manager at the Martyrs Ministry) finally confirmed the total number of martyrs to be 5,517. It seems evidence inventing "such figures" are good for venting further conflictive events!
Nearly 500,000 Libyans fled their homes to Tunisia due to the effects of the war, and to the combined events created by the harsh sanctions and the scorching heat of the Libyan sun. More than 150,000 Libyans were displaced from their homes including the entire population of "black" Tawergha, due to "revenge events", and the brutal humanrights violations endured in the name of "Free Libya" and "protection of civilians".
In addition to the physical damage, the "military events" had a devastating effect on the mental health of hundreds of thousands of [protected] Libyan civilians. Researchers at Queensland University (UQ) have predicted that 123,200 Libyans may suffer from severe PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and more than 220,000 are predicted to have 'severe depression' as a direct result of being exposed to a high level of political terror and traumatic events. A few years later the UN was eager to inform the world that 2.4 million Libyan civilians are in need of further protection, and around 40% of Libyan children ARE in need of psychological assistance as a result of the violence initially authorised by the UN.
Regarding structural destruction, the installed NTC had estimated the extensive devastation of Libya's infrastructure will require no less than ten years of intensive restructure to get back on its amputated feet; while bankers and financial vultures had calculated the damage will require no less than $400,000,000,000 to put back the way it was before the war.
The most terrible event however is the effected social disaster: the infestation of our beloved Libya with foreign radicals; the growth of human rights violations; robbers and criminals left to roam across all Libya's borders with 6 African turbulent countries; financial corruption in billions; morality down the drain; trafficking in "humans", arms, suicidal Tramadol, and narcotics rocketing to the sky; crime shooting up by 500% (including murder); violations of women and holy shrines; and, of course, the "disrespect" of the old generation by the euphoric teenagers of the latest imposed disaster.
The worst effected result of the UN-bombing campaign and the ensued war is the division of Libya into mutual enemies at the top of which sits the loyalists, followed by religious groups, then the federalists, the Berberists, the Tebu, and the secularists among other victims of revolt; and thus it is evident from the grotesque murder of Gaddafi (when most Libyans preferred to see him defend himself before the courts of law) and from the way the war was orchestrated that hatred, revenge and the clash of militias will dictate the future of Libya for many years to come.
Libya's Acting President, Dr. Magarief, warned his sons to open their eyes, think first, and "not be pawns on others' chess board" - just before his resignation on the 28th of May 2013; albeit too late having swallowed the bait. Dear Libyans no matter what the UN did or still does violence is not the answer and the only way to defeat the smart, anonymous enemy is not to fight each other no matter WHAT.
WWII Tobruk Vintage WMD*
Rewinding back to 1911 and the Two Wars, Libya was the stage on which a number of crucial battles were orchestrated for the control of the Suez Canal, as it was also the home of both the longest ever siege in Allied military history, and the bloodiest and most brutal African confrontation in "colonial history". During the "Libya Wars", "the longest resistance to European colonialism", more than 100,000 Libyans disappeared in Mussolini's fascist dungeons, while the Berenice of the Eusperides was bombed more than 1000 times.
After the hopeless Lausanne Agreement of the 18th of October 1912, without consultation with the Libyan people, of course, Turkey signed a deal with Italy, "granting" independence to Libya; only for the Italians to return with vengeance to capture Tripolitania, take Misrata, ransack Benghazi, and humiliatingly hang the symbol of resistance Omar al-Mukhtar on the 16th of September 1931 -- 9 years after Emir Idris Sanusi fled to Egypt. Prison camps were set up for those who refused to give up the fight, where the Barayka Camp alone imprisoned 80,000 Libyan freedom-fighters, 30,000 of whom died within two years of capture.
Chromolithograph of the Italo-Turkish War peace treaty, 1912;
Libyans ought to know better than anyone else that only peace can defeat war.
Lady Be Good, Tobruk.