Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, during a speaking tour in Virginia on April 24-25, 2010. (Photo: Ana Edwards), a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
NATO, Rebels Continue War Against the People of Libya
Imperialist Plot Theft of African Wealth
By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Even though the corporate media is daily championing the nearly seven-month-old war against the North African state of Libya, the combined forces of NATO and the National Transitional Council rebel units are tightening their noose around the areas of the country where armed resistance has prevented the intervention of the counter-revolution. Those millions of Libyans who remain loyal to the government and are actively opposing the efforts to loot the national wealth of this oil-producing nation, are being pressured to lay down their arms and surrender.
On September 4 it was announced that the purported negotiations between the NTC rebel leaders and the people of Bani Walid had failed to persuade the loyalist forces inside the city of 100,000 to allow the intervention of the NATO-backed rebels. On September 3 NATO figther jets carried out at least 48 airstrikes in and around Bani Walid.
The battle for Bani Walid is viewed by the imperialists and their allies as key in their strategic objective of taking control of the central and southwest regions of Libya. These areas are viewed as bastions of defense against the United States and Western European ruling class plot to seize the natural resources of the country and establish North Africa as a beachhead for imperialist intrigue on the continent.
Roads leading into Bani Walid have been blocked by NATO airstrikes that bolster the armed checkpoints of the rebels. People attempting to leave Bani Walid have been halted with men being arrested and women and children sent back into the city in order to face further NATO airstrikes that have targeted fuel depots, water and food storage facilities and other surviving infrastructural resources.
The Wall Street Journal, which serves as the voice of the bankers and transnational oil firms that are estatic over the prospects of robbing Libya of its vast wealth, indicated on September 15 that the seizure of Bani Walid is essential in consolidating their plans for Libya. This country is reported to contain the largest known oil reserves in Africa where prior to the imperialist-instigated war on February 17, 1.5 million barrels per day were being produced.
Charles Levinson writing for the Wall Street Journal on September 5 asserted that "If Bani Walid falls, it could help expedite the fall of Sirte, since it would help cutoff Sirte's access to the south, leaving it fully invested by rebel forces from the east, west and south and from North Atlantic Treaty Organization warships at sea to the north." (WSJ, Sept. 5)
The Central Role of the Pentagon
Since the invasion of Tripoli on August 20-21 various news agencies and publications have revealed through statements cited by governmental officials from the western states that the NTC rebels would not have been successful without the tactical and strategic assistance from special forces units from Britain, France, Canada and the U.S. along with various intelligence agencies including MI6 and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This support for the ground movements of the rebels forces was even more essential in the assault on Tripoli.
Whereas NATO ostensibly took over control of the war against Libya on March 31, the indespensable role of the U.S. was further confirmed with a statement made by NATO figure-head Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The NATO chief remarked that "European Allies and Canada led the effort. But this mission could not have been done without capabilities which only the United States can offer. (Azerbaijani Press Agency, Sept. 5)
Rasmussen then went on to say "Let me put it bluntly:those capabilities are vital for all of us. More Allies should be willing to obtain them. That is a real challenge. And we will have to find the solutions at the next NATO Summit in Chicago."
NATO and the G8 will be holding a joint summit May 15-19, 2012 in Chicago, a city severely impacted by the current world economic crisis within the capitalist states. Activists are planning to organize protests and a counter-summit to expose the criminal actions of NATO and the economic policies within the capitalist states where millions of jobs, homes, healthcare and pension plans have been taken away from the workers.
A recent meeting convened by the United National Anti-War Committee (UNAC) at the Kent School of Law in downtown Chicago drew activists from various organizations across the U.S. and Canada to respond to the NATO-G8 Summit invasion in May. Although the Democratic Mayor Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago is the former chief-of-staff to Barack Obama, who began his political career in Chicago, the authorities in the "Windy City" say they are prepared to arrests thousands of activists during protests surrounding the summit.
Paris Conference Convenes to Carve Up Libya
Another meeting called and sponsored by the western imperialist states that are seeking to dominate Libya was held in Paris on September 1. This date also represented the 42nd anniversary of the Al-Fateh Revolution that brought Col. Muammar Gaddafi to power in 1969.
This conference in Paris was designed to foster the idea that the NTC rebels are the "legitimate" government of the country. The major players in the Paris meeting have recognized the NTC along with the currently western-dominated Arab League.
Although there were conflicting reports emanating from the Paris conference on how each imperialist state will take what amount of oil and other resources from Libya, the situation still remains unsettled. The ongoing resistance by the people in Libya against the neo-colonial takeover of their country could very well require the enhancing of the presence of U.S. and NATO military forces indefinetely.
According to RT.com "This foreign military and advisory presence may turn Libya into another puppet regime where the oil pipes and stations--in which Western companies have a vested interested--may become a separate "kingdom within a kingdom" to be protected by international troops in the Western importers' interests." (RT.com, Sept. 1)
Yet the African Union,the continental organization of 54-member states, has amid tremendous pressure from the U.S. and other NATO countries, refused to recognize the NTC as the government in Libya. The AU has consistently called for a negotiated settlement in Libya and the withdrawal of foreign forces.
The AU maintains that the NTC does not represent the people of Libya and has been placed in authority by the NATO states. Also the AU has continued to draw attention to the systematic abuse of Black Libyans and Africans from other countries who live and work in this North African state.
A New York Times article said on September 1 that "This is a dangerous time to be a black African in Libya." This article exposes further the imposition of racist norms within Libya as a result of the imperialist war by pointing out that dark-skinned people have been arrested, beaten, tortured and killed by the NTC and its supporters.
At detention centers set up by the U.S. and NATO supported rebels in al-Zawiya and Tripoli, up to one-half of the people being held are people from other African states. A September 1 Associated Press article said that "Rebel forces and armed civilians are rounding up thousands of black Libyans and migrants from sub-Sahara Africa, accusing them of fighting for ousted Muammar Gaddafi." (AP, September 1)
Also at least two other African states have condemned the racism carried out by the NTC rebels and their western supporters in NATO. During late August gunmen sprayed the Kenyan embassy with bullets and attempted to rape a Libyan woman working at the building.
Later the Arab League objected to the East African country having any involvement in a United Nations plan to dispatch a stabilization force into Libya. Kenya Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Richard Onyonka said that "any dark skinned people are linked to Gaddafi." (The Standard, Sept. 1)
Also another East African state Tanzania has backed the AU decision of not recognizing the NTC rebels as the government of Libya. Despite the official position of the AU not to recognize the NTC, a position held by 41 countries in Africa, some 11 states have been reported as granting the rebels recognition.
These developments within both the AU and the Arab League must be viewed within the context of the economic and political dominance of the imperialist states over the governments of oppressed and post-colonial nations. All of these states within Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America are constantly under threat of destabilization and military assault.
Challenges for the Anti-War Movement in the U.S.
It is even more crucial during this period that the anti-war and peace movements develop and maintain a solid anti-imperialist view of developments in Libya and throughout the regions of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. The worsening economic crisis within the capitalist states is propelling the ruling class to escalte the war drive against the oppressed nations and to intensify the exploitation and repression of working people inside these western countries.
What workers and the oppressed are learning in the present period is that there is no benefit for the masses when their governments wage war on other peoples throughout the world. As the "war on terrorism" evolved during the last decade, tens of millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in social wages have been taken away by the bankers and bosses.
Working people can not accept any aspects of the lies and propaganda that are generated by the Pentagon and Wall Street to build public support for the wars in Central Asia, Iraq, Palestine and Libya. The imperialist have no right to wage war and to expropriate the wealth of the oppressed nations.
Even though the corporate media has attempted to generate support for the wars being waged by the U.S. government against various nations and peoples around the world, public enthusiasm for the assaults on Libya have remained non-existent. Most people realize that the real struggle is against the bourgeoisie in the United States which has generated the economic turmoil that is rendering billions to joblessness, poverty, social destruction and death around the world.
It will by the movement and organization of the workers and farmers that can effectively arrest imperialist war and capitalist plunder. These movements in order to succeed must take on an anti-imperialist and proletarian internationalist character to ensure the total freedom of humanity.