Monday, July 18, 2011

Libya News Update: Gaddafi Vows to Never Leave North African State

Gaddafi vows to never leave Libya

Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:40AM

Libyan revolutionary leader Muammar Gaddafi has told his supporters that he will never leave the land of his "ancestors" and those who have “sacrificed” their lives for him.

“They are asking me to leave. That's a laugh. I will never leave the land of my ancestors or the people who have sacrificed themselves for me," he said in an audio address to his supporters in the city of Zawiya, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of Tripoli on Saturday.

“After we gave our children as martyrs, we can't backtrack, or surrender or give up or move an inch," he said.

Gaddafi's fresh remarks came after the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) was recognized as the legitimate authority of the country by representatives of the imperialist countries involved in NATO-led war in Libya, Xinhua reported on Sunday.

More than 30 countries attending the so-called Libya Contact Group meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, in June agreed to recognize the National Transitional Council (NTC).

Earlier on Sunday, more than a dozen explosions were heard in Tripoli.

Witnesses reported a number of dull rumbles and flashes and huge plumes of smoke billowing to the east of Tripoli in the aftermath of the NATO aerial attacks.

The state-run Al Jamahiriya television network said that there have been several casualties as a result of the attack but did not give any figures.

NATO airstrikes rattle Libyan capital

Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:10AM

NATO airstrikes have caused a series of powerful explosions in the main bastion of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

At least eight blasts were heard early on Sunday in the Libyan capital Tripoli, according to AFP.

Witnesses reported a number of dull rumbles and flashes and huge plumes of smoke billowing to the east of Tripoli in the aftermath of the NATO aerial attacks.

The state-run Al Jamahiriya television network reported that "the colonialist crusader aggressor" (NATO) had attacked civilian and military sites in the Ain Zara and Tajoura districts in the eastern suburbs of Tripoli.

The television network added that there have been several casualties as a result of the attack but did not give any figures.

On Saturday, clashes broke out between rebel forces and Libyan military units in the town of Bir Ghanam in Libya's Western Mountains.

The counter-revolutionary US-baced forces in Bir Ayad, situated 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of Bir Ghanam, said Gaddafi supporters were sending a column of reinforcements to Bir Ghanam to take on the opposition forces, which hold the high ground on the outskirts of town.

According to western-based corporate media sources, rebel bands in Libya's Western Mountains have made steady progress in recent weeks. It is said that they are advancing toward the town of Gharyan after managing to repel attacks by Gaddafi forces.

Yet these claims are refuted by the government inTripoli.

Libya has been the scene of intense fighting between NATO-backed rebels and forces loyal to Gaddafi since mid-February that has left hundreds dead and thousands injured.

Tripoli and some western provinces remain under government control while the rebels hold Benghazi, sections of the east, and several western cities.

NATO has recently intensified its attacks on Libya, ostensibly to increase pressure on Gaddafi.

Readying Libya for subjugation

Sunday 17 July 2011
London Morning Star

The decision of the US-led so-called Contact Group to recognise the National Transitional Council (NTC) as Libya's legitimate authority is a provocative and cynically self-serving development.

It short-circuits the necessary process of bringing political forces in the country together to negotiate a lasting solution in favour of imposing its own nominees.

While disquiet grows in some countries at the rising cost of intervention, it provides a sales opportunity for the merchants of death.

US banks alone have $30 billion in Libyan assets, which will be made available to pay for arms and other supplies for the Benghazi-based NTC opposition.

Those assets belong to the Libyan people as a whole, not to a body that is not so much self-appointed as anointed by Washington.

The NTC clearly has a right to be part of any debate on Libya's future, but it has no monopoly in that regard.

For all the legitimate criticisms of the Gadaffi regime and the demands for democratic opening, its non-collapse in the face of an unrelenting aerial blitz by imperialism's air power indicates a measure of popular support.

Once again, the most bellicose imperialist states are substituting themselves for the United Nations, claiming to act on its behalf.

Who is British Foreign Secretary William Hague to tell Gadaffi "that he has no legitimacy and there is no future for Libya with him in power. He must go and go now?"

There is only one UN resolution on the situation in Libya - 1973, which provided for a no-fly zone to protect civilians at possible risk from the Libyan air force.

Its first clause, under chapter VII of the UN charter, "demands the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians."

Its second clause stresses the "need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis which responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people."

Yet no sooner was the ink dry on the UN resolution than the imperialist states opened a free-fire zone for their bombs and rockets across Libya and declared their intent for regime change.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the gall to claim that, even though UN resolution 1973 specifically reiterates the necessity of an arms embargo, it somehow "amended or overrode the absolute prohibition on arms to anyone in Libya."

The US and its Nato allies, together with such Arab beacons of democracy as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, have been single-minded in their determination to install a compliant regime in Tripoli.

Their motives require little elucidation, but for those in any doubt, let the Contact Group's own words provide explanation.

At its July 15 meeting in Istanbul, the group encouraged participants to provide "substantial financial aid to the NTC within the context of applicable laws, including through mechanisms enabling entities controlled by the NTC to export hydrocarbons."

And if that wasn't clear, "participants stressed the importance of international support to help the NTC to resume the production and export of crude oil."

South Africa already regrets its support for 1973, while five security council members, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Germany, which abstained on 1973 and represent an absolute majority of the world's population, are urging a ceasefire and negotiations.

Britain's labour movement must speak out against imperialism's reconquest of Libya and support that clear call.

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