Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution

Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution

Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution

Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution


It took three decades for the United States government—spanning and working assiduously over five different presidential administrations (Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II , and Obama)—to terminate the 1969 Qaddafi Revolution, seize control over Libya’s oil fields, and dismantle its Jamahiriya system. This book tells the story of what happened, why it happened, and what was both wrong and illegal with that from the perspective of an international law professor and lawyer who tried for over three decades to stop it.

Francis Boyle provides a comprehensive history and critique of American foreign policy toward Libya from when the Reagan administration came to power in January of 1981 up to the 2011 NATO war on Libya that ultimately achieved the US goal of regime change, and beyond.

He sets the record straight on the series of military conflicts and crises between the United States and Libya over the Gulf of Sidra, exposing the Reagan administration’s fraudulent claims of Libyan instigation of international terrorism put forward over his eight years in office.

Boyle reveals the inside story behind the Lockerbie bombing cases against the United States and the United Kingdom that he filed at the World Court for Colonel Qaddafi acting upon his advice—and the unjust resolution of those disputes.

Deploying standard criteria of international law, Boyle analyzes and debunks the UN R2P “responsibility to protect” doctrine and its immediate predecessor, “humanitarian intervention”. He addresses how R2P served as the basis for the NATO assault on Libya in 2011, overriding the UN Charter commitment to state sovereignty and prevention of aggression. The purported NATO protection in actuality led to 50,000 Libyan casualties, and the complete breakdown of law and order. And this is just the beginning. Boyle lays out the ramifications: the destabilization of the Maghreb and Sahel, and the French intervention in Mali—with the USA/NATO/Europe starting a new imperial scramble for the natural resources of Africa.

This book is not only a classic case study of the conduct of US foreign policy as it relates to international law, but a damning indictment of the newly-contrived R2P doctrine as legal cover for Western intervention into third world countries.


I have unique experience in Libya. To the best of my knowledge, during the 1980s I was perhaps the only American professor to spend a significant amount of time in Libya because of the serial armed hostilities and the imposition of draconian travel prohibitions and economic sanctions inflicted by the Reagan administration. I spent a sum total of four weeks in Libya on three different trips.

In 1985 Libya invited me to conduct a week-long lecture tour and visit. I lectured at universities in Tripoli and Benghazi. I also lectured live on Libyan national television from their studio in Tripoli, and some of my public lectures were broadcasted by Libyan television.

During my first trip to Libya, I spent an entire day visiting their museum dedicated to the documentation of the Holocaust that had been perpetrated upon them by Italy. In 1911 Italy had attacked and invaded the territory we now call Libya and proceeded to occupy it until toward the end of the Second World War. During this period of time (1912–1943), Italy exterminated somewhere “between 250,000 and 300,000” Libyans out of a population of somewhere “between 800,000 and 1 million at the time.” About one-third of all Libyans. In proportional terms, this approached the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews. Of course Italy also exterminated Jews and Ethiopians as well as Libyans. These victims included the Italian murder of Libya’s acclaimed national liberation hero and martyr, Omar Muktar.

At their request, I would later advise Libya on how to sue Italy over its colonization and outright genocide perpetrated against the Libyans. Protracted negotiations between Libya and Italy eventually led to a settlement of those claims that was concluded between Colonel Qaddafi and Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi in 2008, providing for a $5 billion dollar compensation package to be transferred to Libya over twenty years. This token sum was a mere pittance compared to the actual number of human deaths and the amount of physical destruction that Italy had inflicted upon Libya. Nevertheless, that agreement was treacherously repudiated by Berlusconi during the course of his 2011 . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.