CSM: How the fall of Qaddafi gave rise to Europe's migrant crisis (+video):
Libya's coast has a long history of sending people – willing and unwilling – to Europe and the Americas. Ports like Tripoli and Benghazi were the final stops for medieval slave-trading caravans from the African interior until the 19th century. In recent decades, migrants have shoved off for Italy and Spain in rickety fishing boats, with Libyan officials looking the other way. Mr. Qaddafi was well aware of European alarm at the rising tide of migrants in his final years in power. He used it as a powerful wedge to improve his own standing. Back to 2004, Qaddafi began making deals with individual European states to control the tide of migrants. In August 2010, he visited his friend Silvio Berlusconi, then president of Italy, in Rome and said Europe would turn "black" without his help.
"Tomorrow Europe might no longer be European, and even black, as there are millions who want to come in," Qaddafi said. "What will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans ... we don't know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions."
Qaddafi had a handy solution. He offered to shut down his country and its coastal waters to the job seekers in exchange for €5 billion a year. He pointed to his work with Italy as proof he could get the job done. In June 2009, he signed a "friendship" agreement with Italy that involved joint naval patrols against migrants and Italy handing over migrants captured en route to Europe to Libya, no questions asked. The number of Africans caught trying to illegally enter Italy fell by more than 75 percent that year. By the end of the year Qaddafi had struck a more modest €50 million deal. Internment camps were built and watchtowers erected on the beaches. There was little concern with how Qaddafi went about his business and there were frequent reports of rape and theft by Libyan security services.
When the uprising against Qaddafi began in early 2011, the situation only grew worse for the African migrants. Many rebel groups were convinced that any foreign African in the country were mercenaries for Qaddafi and hundreds were executed. I met a group of such so-called "mercenaries" – some shoeless, all poor and underfed and insisting they were only seeking jobs – held captive by rebels outside Benghazi that spring. In the years since, Libya's lawlessness has made traveling through the country even more dangerous and unpredictable. The videotaped mass execution of Ethiopian and Eritrean migrants carried out by the so-called Islamic State makes that clear enough. Yet still people go, and the UN refugee agency is now calling the recent shipwreck the deadliest it has ever recorded.EVERYTHING OBAMA AND HILLARY DID HAS HURT OUR ALLIES AND HELPED OUR ENEMIES.