Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, at the State Capital in Lansing on February 3, 2009 covering the Moratorium Now! Coalition demonstration during Gov. Granholm's annual "State of the State" Address. (Photo: Alan Pollock), a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
'West's Libya involvement, war for oil'
Interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, of Pan African News Wire
Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:14PM
The opposition-led Transitional National Council in Libya, which supports the nation's rebels, has independently made a deal with Qatar to sell one-million barrels of Libyan oil.
Editor of Pan African News Wire Abayomi Azikiwe talked to Press TV regarding the extent of Western interference in Libya and the possibility of a US-NATO led occupation of the country. The following is a rush transcript:
Press TV: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has condemned the West and said that basically this intervening of the West in this war is because of oil only. How do you see his comments?
Azikiwe: I agree with Putin's position completely. It's always been our analysis that the war is a war for oil in the same sense that the war against Iraq was a war for oil. What's happening in Iraq is that they have privatized the oil industry in light of the invasion and occupation of the country. It's the same thing that is on the agenda in Libya. You noticed several weeks ago that the opposition Transitional National Council cut a deal with Qatar to sell 1mn barrels of oil to the tune of 120mn dollars.
All of these resources would go to the opposition forces. This is totally illegitimate in our opinion for the simple fact that no one has elected the Transitional National Council. There haven't been any elections. What legitimacy do they have to engage in trade and foreign policy on the behalf of the people of Libya? It's not clear who they actually represent, and what actual democratic standing they have within the country.
They are still largely confined to the eastern part of the country around Benghazi because despite the fact that they claim they are controlling Misrata, it's a total misrepresentation of what the situation is there now. The fighting is still very intense there despite the TNC claim they have control of the security situation in Misrata. So, yes it's definitely a war for oil and I agree with my colleague in Accra that the opposition forces have no independence from the United States, from NATO and these other Western countries that are bombing Libya.
They (the TNC) themselves have called for the bombing. They supported the deployment of drones inside of Libya, which is a deadly weapon. They've (drones) been responsible for the deaths of many people in Pakistan and Afghanistan as well. They (TNC) supported the two efforts to assassinate Gaddafi that took place just this last past weekend. So they are clearly working at the behest of the Western imperialist countries that are trying to take over Libya right now. They have no legitimacy from a political stand point. They cannot exercise any actions independently.
Press TV: Different cities and the crimes that have been committed by Gaddafi were mentioned by our guest. Is Gaddafi committing these crimes or not in your perspective?
Azikiwe: Any government has a right to defend itself against an armed rebellion. This is unquestionable. These people immediately took up arms against the central government in Libya. They also called upon the Western imperialist countries to come in and impose a no-fly zone. They support the bombing of the country, and supported attempts to assassinate the head of state.
The Libyan government has a right to defend itself against these imperialist policies that are being implemented on a daily basis. The African Union has attempted to create an atmosphere for negotiations, and for peaceful resolution of this conflict. All these attempts have been rejected by the rebels as well as by the United States and the NATO countries.
Even yesterday there was a meeting between the Secretary of Defense Gates and the Defense Minister in Britain Ham and they signed off on efforts saying that killing Gaddafi was legitimate in the implementation of a no-fly zone over Libya. If the rebels sign off on that as well, it means if you can take out a head of state, the government has a right to defend itself against these foreign attacks.
You cannot say that Gaddafi is committing crimes and not point to the crimes that are being committed by the foreign colonial powers, such as Italy, which is going to enter in the war. This is the same country that the Libyan people fought against during the early part of the 20th century for two decades that resulted in the deaths of half the population in Libya.
These opposition forces are saying they support the former colonial powers coming back and bombing one of their former colonies. Now how can they claim to have any semblance of independence when they are advocating neo-colonial policies, which will not only bring about the wholesale takeover of Libyan resources, but their government and also the death and destruction of Libyan people? These imperialist forces are even killing rebels.