Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, standing on the Manchester Docks at the James River in Richmond, Virginia on April 25, 2010. (Photo: Ana Edwards), a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
'US after imperialistic goals in Libya'
Interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire from Detroit, MI.
Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:33PM
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire
World powers have held talks in London on the future of Libya, which they say is to coordinate a strategy on Libya's political future and its leaders.
Many observers, however, have cast doubt over the true intentions of the international community in the name of humanitarian assistance, saying Libya's political future should be left to the Libyans themselves.
The following is the transcript of Press TV's interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire, about the issue:
Press TV: Looking at the goals of London conference: to coordinate the future of Libya, to examine how Libya would respond to Gaddafi's ouster and select its future leaders. Shouldn't this be left up to the Libyans?
Azikiwe: Of course, and this is just a clear example of the continuing militaristic and imperialistic policies of the US government, even of the current administration of [US President] Barack Obama. His speech last night was extremely disappointing to the people not only in the United States but people throughout the world.
Here we are in another period of war. We already have the US troops and troops of other Western industrialized nations that are involved in Central Asia and Afghanistan. The war has escalated there under the Obama administration. Not only has it escalated in Afghanistan, but it has spread to Pakistan and then of course the situation in Iraq has still not settled, because we have over 50,000 US troops still occupying Iraq. We have over 100,000 private contractors and mercenaries still occupying Iraq and the condition of Iraqi people today is far worse than eight years ago, when the United States intervened and of course now there is going to be another period of war in North Africa and Libya. So, I think the cost is going to be tremendous not only for the people here in the US, but also for the people throughout the North African region and the Middle East.
Press TV: Doesn't the UN resolution in a sense give power to the UN to intervene militarily in other countries' affairs under the pretext of humanitarian assistance?
Azikiwe: This is not the first time that the United States has utilized the United Nations to carry out military operations against developing countries. We saw it in Korea in 1950, where the war lasted for three years and resulted in the death of millions of Koreans. It was done actually under the banner of the United Nations. We also saw it in Congo in 1960 and 1961 that resulted in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. It was done 20 years ago, when they had this so-called first [Persian] Gulf War and they attempted to do it in 2003 but it could not get another UN Security Council resolution to authorize the war against Iraq.
I strongly believe that this is just another move to engage in regime change and a full-scale occupation of Libya and other areas in North Africa. I also believe it has great implications to the democratic movements that have developed in Egypt and Tunisia as well, because what they are doing is setting up a situation where they can actually contain and redirect the course of the democratic movements in Egypt and Tunisia by having large-scale US, French, British, Canadian, Italian, Danish and Belgium military forces either in Libya or over the skies of Libya or off the coast of Libya and the Mediterranean and this of course is going to have great implications for the US-African and US-Middle Eastern relations for many years to come.
Press TV: You are in the US, the cost of war is rapidly increasing. What is the impact this is going to have not only in terms of political circles involving the Democrats, the Republicans in the Congress and US president but also on American people?
Azikiwe: It is going to continue the economic crisis that people in the US have been suffering from for the last two and half years which has spread internationally to all the industrialized and developing countries throughout the world. Right now in the US as we speak, the majority of states, some forty five out of fifty states are facing virtual bankruptcy. The US has the largest military budget of any country in the world, in fact it has greater military budget than all the countries throughout the world combined. This is simply going to add to the economic crisis inside the US where we have thirty to thirty five million people who are either unemployed or underemployed, where we have increasing poverty inside the US, where hundreds of schools in various cities throughout the country are closing.