There are reasons for Libyas chaotic, dysfunctional response to the disaster. And to identify them, we need to look closer to home
The reality of the Wests trademark current foreign policy marketed for the past two decades under the principle of a Responsibility to Protect is all too visible amid Libyas flood wreckage.
Many thousands are dead or missing in the port of Derna after two dams protecting the city burst this week as they were battered by Storm Daniel. Vast swaths of housing in the region, including in Benghazi, west of Derna, lie in ruins.
The storm itself is seen as further proof of a mounting climate crisis, rapidly changing weather patterns across the globe and making disasters like Dernas flooding more likely.
But the extent of the calamity cannot simply be ascribed to climate change. Though the media coverage studiously obscures this point, Britains actions 12 years ago when it trumpeted its humanitarian concern for Libya are intimately tied to Dernas current suffering.
The failing dams and faltering relief efforts, observers correctly point out, are the result of a power vacuum in Libya. There is no central authority capable of governing the country.
But there are reasons Libya is so ill-equipped to deal with a catastrophe. And the West is deeply implicated.
Avoiding mention of those reasons, as Western coverage is doing, leaves audiences with a false and dangerous impression: that something lacking in Libyans, or maybe Arabs and Africans, makes them inherently incapable of properly running their own affairs.
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