Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, was interviewed on Press TV News Analysis program on Aug. 23, 2011. Azikiwe emphasized the central role of the US and NATO in the war against the North African state of Libya., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
'TNC fully reliant upon NATO forces'
Interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire, Detroit
To watch this interview just click on the website below:
Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:51AM GMT
As Libyan rebels celebrate the capture of Muammar Gaddafi's heavily fortified compound in Tripoli, the Libyan ruler is reported to have said the withdrawal from his headquarters was “a tactical move”.
Members of the Transitional National Council [TNC] have said they plan to fly to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to start work on forming a new government.
Press TV talks with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire in Detroit, to share his thoughts on the events taking place in Libya.
Press TV: Mr. Azikiwe, I'd like to have your view on why you think we are seeing the events taking place in Libya. How do you explain the so much rapid fall of Tripoli, of course not completely but vey near now?
Azikiwe: Well, first of all, we have been getting conflicting reports coming out of Tripoli over the last three days. We do know that NATO had escalated the bombing operations against Tripoli and the suburbs beginning on Saturday evening.
There have also been reports that numerous opposition fighters were unloaded from a ship off the coast of Tripoli to stream into the capital on Saturday evening and early Sunday morning.
There were numerous reports that the Green Square had fallen and that a large portion of the city had been occupied by the TNC forces and also the reports about the capture of Gaddafi's sons. Many of these reports have turned out to be false.
We see very clearly that the Libyan defense forces as well as the militias are putting up a formidable resistance to the entry of the rebel forces into the capital. We also know that, according to the New York Times yesterday, NATO through their airstrikes, actually paved the way for these rebels to enter Tripoli since Saturday.
Also in the London Telegraph today they admitted, and we have talked about this for the last several months, that British special forces as well as French special forces have been operating hand in glove with the TNC rebels in order to arm them, train them and coordinate their activities and this 'Operation Mermaid Dawn' was actually drafted some two and a half months ago. The idea was to spark some type of uprising in Tripoli.
But in terms of the compound, that compound has been bombed numerous times over the last several months by the NATO forces. It was bombed also again today. So, to say that the TNC forces are responsible...
Press TV: It is said that a deal has been made for Gaddafi to stand down and to protect himself from further prosecution. Would you agree that there has been a deal now and that is why we are seeing Gaddafi agreeing somewhat apparently to step down?
Or that do you think, no, we are still going to see more battles take place, we are going to see the Gaddafi forces reemerging again and this is becoming a prolonged civil war?
Azikiwe: We have to wait and see what the actual conditions on the ground reveal. This is a psychological war that has been waged not only against the people inside of Libya but also in regard to the international community.
It was very interesting yesterday and also on Sunday that the reports were coming out from various international media sources that the war was essentially over and this is not the first time we have heard this. There have been repeated reports over the last several months that either the Gaddafi regime had resigned and that he had gone to exile or that the capacity of the military forces to defend Tripoli had been obliterated.
Of course, we know that a number of rebel forces have been killed over the last three days. They have admitted this in various media outlets. We also have to recognize the central role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], the United States and the Pentagon in creating this whole scenario that has impacted the political situation inside of Libya over the last three days.
We really have to be very cautious in regard to the comments that are coming out of Benghazi that have been issued by the TNC.
Press TV: Mr. Azikiwe, the interesting point raised was again members of that Transitional Council and also the rebels who have been carrying out this fight.
Do you think that they are simple citizens taking their destiny in their own hands, simple Libyans calling for democracy while others have been saying that these are people linked with al-Qaeda, others have been saying that they are Western pawns going for the interests of the Western powers.
Would you agree with these statements and would you say that these people, that this council and these rebel forces are capable of steering Libya towards the democracy that would be demanded by the people?
Azikiwe: I do not think they have the capacity to establish a government of national unity in Libya. The only program that they have advanced over the last six months is the removal of the existing government in Tripoli.
We have to understand that many of the leading forces inside the Transitional National Council have been an opposition to the Gaddafi government for the last three decades.
[Khalifa] Hefter was a resident in Virginia. He was financed by the Central Intelligence Agency. He was flown back to Libya in February to take charge of the rebellion. There's been conflicts within the hierarchy of the TNC over what direction the organization should go in.
We also have to keep in mind that many of the rebels in Misratah and in the Nafusa mountains do not consider themselves to be part of the TNC. If there is some attempt to establish a provisional government there, it is going to have to be totally reliant upon the United States and the NATO forces.
They are going to have to put forces inside the country in order to stabilize Libya. Twenty thousand sorties, over 7500 airstrikes on the country over the last five months, this is clearly a NATO war and a NATO operation against the people of Libya.