Friday, March 28, 2014

Morning Glory Seized and Returned to Tripoli by Pentagon Forces
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, in Press TV graphic.
Libya facing greater intervention by imperialist states

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire

Three years after the massive eight-month bombing campaign against
Libya was carried out by the Pentagon and NATO, divisions within the
rebel forces that served as ground troops for the imperialist war of
regime-change is prompting greater foreign intervention. The seizure
of an oil tanker, the Morning Glory, off the coast of Cyprus, by
United States commandos and naval forces illustrates what is at stake
for Washington in their efforts to remake the North African state.

The oil vessel was claimed to be North Korean-flagged but the
Pyongyang denied any knowledge of the ship. Mediterranean waters
around Libya are heavily patrolled by Pentagon and NATO warships.

Rebels who are in opposition to the General National Congress
neo-colonial regime in Tripoli are holding three ports where oil is
exported from Libya. A dispute over economic and political control of
the oil-rich eastern region of the country has brought the production
and export of oil from Libya to a virtual standstill.

During the era of the Jamahiriya under the leadership of Col. Muammar
Gaddafi, Libya produced 1.6 million barrels of oil per day. With
unrest escalating over the control of the ports, official figures for
exports have declined to approximately 200,000 barrels per day.

Militias which control the ports in the east are threatening to export
oil in contravention to the wishes of the GNC in Tripoli. Yet the GNC
is weak politically and militarily as represented by the recent coup
against Prime Minister Ali Zeidan who was forced out of his position
fleeing the country to Europe after his fledging military failed to
prevent the Morning Glory from leaving the port of Es Sider.

On March 24 international press agencies were allowed to board the
Morning Glory docked at Tripoli. A crew of 21 people was removed and
may face prosecution for what is claimed to be an illegal purchase of
oil from the country.

"They, (the crew), will be referred to the relevant judicial
authorities," according to Lieutenant Colonel Salim ash-Shwirf,
standing on the tanker. "The 21 and the Libyans are in good health but
there are some damages at the tanker." (Reuters, March 23)

"The crew of the oil tanker is now under my authority and is being
investigated," said the neo-colonial Libyan state prosecutor
Abdelqadir Radwan. Yet without the intervention of the U.S. Special
Forces and the Navy the vessel would have never been returned.

GNC plans for the creation of a new national army in Libya are
unfolding at a slow pace. The soldiers are being trained by the U.S.
and the European Union.

Consequently, the proposed army will be an outpost of the U.S. Africa
Command and NATO, the forces responsible for the overthrow of the
Gaddafi government and the destruction of the Libyan society and
economy. Plans have also been floated for a more aggressive training
program by NATO and the deployment of troops on the southern border of
Libya where pro-Gaddafi forces are in control of numerous towns and

Instability in Libya and Hostility Towards Russia Raises Oil Prices

The destruction of the previous political and economic system in Libya
has had a devastating impact on the people of this country of 6
million. Prior to the 2011 war of regime-change, Libya enjoyed the
highest standard of living in Africa.

Lacking a coherent system of governance and economic production, the
overall quality of life inside the country has deteriorated sharply.
The constant fighting between the various militias factions has
created a highly precarious security situation which consequently
impacts production within the major industries.

Libya oil and natural gas production provides supplies of these
critical resources to Europe. With the decline in these industries,
the price of crude oil has gone up in recent weeks.

The Associated Press reported on March 24 that "The price of oil edged
above $100 a barrel Monday as Russia's annexation of Crimea and
Libya's continued difficulties to stabilize its oil industry worried
investors. Russia is a key supplier of crude oil and natural gas to
Europe while Libya's production of crude, valued by refiners for its
high quality, has yet to recover fully since the 2011 civil war which
ousted Muammar Gadhafi."

U.S. foreign policy related to various geo-political regions of the
world is deepening the existing world capitalist crisis. Resources
utilized to maintain these hostile actions towards sovereign states in
Africa, Eurasia, the Middle East and Latin America could be
re-channeled to rebuild the cities inside the U.S. which are suffering
from massive unemployment, pension losses, increasing poverty and
declining public services.

Instability within the international petroleum markets inevitably
result in higher energy prices in the U.S. A continuing decline in
consumer spending in the western industrialized states creates more
joblessness and declining wages.

This same Associated Press report noted that "The supply risks should
still lend support to the oil prices, for there is no sign as yet of
Libyan production recovering," an expert at Commerzbank in Frankfurt
told clients. "Furthermore, if the West were to impose additional
sanctions on Russia, this could -- at least theoretically -- curb
Russian oil exports and justify a certain price premium."

Imperialist Sanctions and War Breed Instability and Poverty

Another illustration of the tense security situation even in the
capital of Tripoli, a bomb exploded on the runway at the international
airport on March 21. Although there were no reported injuries, the
incident reveals that the military and security elements around the
GNC are incapable of maintaining order at key installations.

Reuters observed that this location is "Supposedly one of the best
guarded places in Libya, unknown people managed to get onto the runway
at Tripoli International Airport, plant an explosive device at dawn
and detonate it using a timer, Transport Minister Abdelqader Mohammed
Ahmed said. Authorities closed the airport, the gateway into Libya,
for several hours. There is little traffic after midnight as foreign
airlines avoid late flights due to the poor security at night in the
capital, where the government is unable to control militias which
helped oust long-time leader Gaddafi in 2011 but have kept their
guns." (March 21)

Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Egypt, South Sudan and other areas of the
world where the U.S. and NATO have engaged in destabilization
operations have only brought about destruction and underdevelopment.
With tensions escalating with Russia over the coup in Ukraine and the
union between Crimea and Moscow, the imperialist states will seek to
impose sanctions and other acts of war in Eurasia.

These developments call for a rejuvenated anti-war and
anti-imperialist movement in Western Europe and North America. The
danger of additional imperialist wars of regime-change and conquest
are all too real.

Demonstrations around the U.S. against the escalation of war
provocations against Russia, Venezuela and Syria exposed the fact that
not everyone in the U.S. supports the foreign policy imperatives of
the Obama administration. The forces supported by Washington in these
various regions of the world are fascists and seek to take these
countries back into the total political influence of the imperialist
states led by the Pentagon and Wall Street.

With the continuing economic decline in the western capitalist states,
the ruling class finds no other alternatives outside the imposition of
austerity and the escalation of imperialist militarism. Workers and
youth must organize against these policies since they provide no
future for the majority of people within society.

No comments: