Anti-Imperial Voices – by Stephen Lendman
Last August, over 140 prominent Africans expressed opposition to NATO’s imperial war against Libya. South African signatories to an open letter included former President Thabo Mbeki, former Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils, former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad, and ANC National Executive Committee member Jesse Duarte.
Their letter, in part, said:
Africans have long “been subjected to the fury of war by foreign powers which have clearly repudiated the” UN Charter.
Security Council Resolution 1973 resolved “to take all necessary measures….to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya….”
“(T)he Security Council produced no evidence” such attacks occurred. Nonetheless, “they empowered themselves openly to pursue the objective of ‘regime change’ and therefore the use of force and all other means to overthrow the government of Libya….at variance with” its own founding document and other international law principles.
Contrary to UN Charter provisions, the “Security Council authorized and has permitted the destruction and anarchy which has descended on the Libyan people.”
As a result:
- war substituted for diplomacy;
- regional countries were destabilized, including “Sudan, Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauretania,” among others;
- violent intervention denied Libyans the right to determine their own destiny;
- many Libyans died, were wounded or maimed;
- vital infrastructure was destroyed; and
- Libyans were impoverished and immiserated.
As a result, prospects for Libya and North Africa are “increasingly ominous.” In vain, signatories demanded NATO end its “war of aggression in Libya…immediately.”
Former Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, Cynthia McKinney, spent weeks in Tripoli last summer.
In a June 30 article headlined, “The War Against Libya,” she published remarks she made the previous day in front of Congressman John Lewis’ Atlanta District Office, saying:
When Americans are asked to make sacrifices, “teachers are receiving pink slips….health care (is) in crisis (for millions), and the US government is in serious threat of default, our President and Congress have decided that a new war (against) Libya is appropriate.”
At the same time, about “$3 billion per week (is spent) for war against Iraq and Afghanistan….Additionally, US Admiral Locklear admitted to a Member of Congress that one of NATO’s missions was to assassinate Muammar Qaddafi.”
He wasn’t exaggerating about a mission now accomplished, no matter how outrageous and lawless.
In Tripoli, McKinney “witnessed NATO’s targeting of civilians: NATO bombs and missiles landed in residential neighborhoods, hit schools, exploded near hospitals, destroyed parts of the public broadcasting infrastructure, and narrowly missed killing students at Al Fateh University.”
These and similar incidents are grievous war crimes. Military powers never admit them, say they’re sorry, or explain that military strategy uses terror tactics to crush resistance.
They know nothing about Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans and others throughout the region who revile imperial aggression and won’t quit struggling until it’s expunged.
Libyans and other oppressed people “have the right to self-determination. They have a right to ‘resource nationalism.’ They have a right to live in peace. They have a right to determine their future,” and resist NATO terror without compromise until it’s secure.
On October 25, Reuters quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying:
America and other Western powers want to “plunder” Libya’s oil and other wealth, adding:
“Show me one European or America president who has not traveled to Libya or has not signed an agreement” with Gaddafi.
“Some people said they killed (him) to make sure he would not be able to say anything….” Calling the Security Council an “organization with no honor,” he denounced its resolution used as authorization to wage war.
“Any decision that would strengthen the presence, domination or influence of foreigners would be contrary to the Libyan nation’s interests,” he stressed. “The expectation of the world of the Libyan nation is that they stand and run (their) country themselves,” free from imperial intervention.
AP quoted Hugo Chavez urging mediation to end Libya’s war. He called it “disgusting” that America, Britain, France, and other NATO partners attacked a nonbelligerent country.
“More death, more war. They are masters of war,” he said. “What irresponsibility. And behind that is the hand of the United States and its European allies,” wanting to colonize and exploit another country.
“They want to seize Libya’s oil. The lives of Libya’s people don’t matter to them at all. It is deplorable that once again the warmongering policy of the Yankee empire and its allies is being imposed, and it is deplorable that the (UN) lends itself to supporting war, infringing on its fundamental principles, instead of urgently forming a commission to go to Libya” and stop the carnage.
On September 26, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro gave Chavez’s speech to the UN General Assembly, stressing Charter provisions to “sav(e) future generations from the scourge of war.”
Calling it “a dead letter,” he said wars since 1945 “inexorably increase(d) and multipl(ied) themselves. We see, once again, Libya destroyed and bloodstained by the will of the powerful.”
“(S)ince September 11th, 2001, a new and unprecedented imperialist war began, a permanent war, in perpetuity.”
“Why does the UN do nothing to stop Washington?”
“What is behind this new Armageddon?: the absolute power of the military-financial leadership which is destroying the world in order to accumulate ever more profits….”
Libya is “a new imperial kind of colonialism: that of military interventionism backed by anti-democratic organisms of the (UN) and justified on the basis of prefabricated media lies.”
NATO’s Libya war resulted from “intense propaganda by the western media, who lied about the alleged bombing of innocent civilians by the Libyan Air Force….This premeditated bunch of lies was used to justify irresponsible and hasty decisions (for NATO’s planned) regime change policy….”
“And the same imperialist pattern is being repeated (in) Syria.” Paraphrasing Boliver on Yankee imperialism in 1818, he added:
“(W)e have had enough of the weak following the law while the strong commit abuses (by) destroying and plundering us.”
He concluded citing Ali Primera saying “peace involves radically reversing all that impedes humanity from being humane.”
America’s imperial agenda excludes humanitarian considerations altogether. They don’t exist in its vocabulary.
AP cited Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega calling accusations against Gaddafi “overblown or unproven.” Like others, he said imperial powers want Libya’s oil and are “putting out fire with gasoline.” He also accused UN Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon of being “an instrument of those powers.”
Bolivia’s Evo Morales condemned military intervention, saying powerful countries like America “invent a problem, and the problem is wanting to take control of oil.”
Fidel Castro asked why the Security Council exists, and said NATO wields such colossal military force that it “serves only to show the waste and chaos generated by capitalism.”
On October 24, Castro’s Prensa Latina opinion piece headlined, “NATO’s Genocidal Role,” saying:
“This brutal military alliance has become the most perfidious tool of repression known in the history of humanity.”
Soviet Russia served as pretext for its creation. After its dissolution, it became more powerful and destructive than ever. “Its criminal purpose became obvious in Serbia,” a Slavic country that fought Nazism in WW II.
In 1999, NATO lawlessly attacked Serbia/Kosovo. “A great number of Serbian patriots lost their lives.” Slobodan Misolsevic was prosecuted at the Hague, then “died under mysterious circumstances in prison.”
Earlier, Castro published “nine Reflections about the issues, in which (he) amply addressed the role of NATO in Libya and what, in (his) opinion, was going to happen.”
Commenting on Gaddafi’s murder, he said he was “mortally wounded by NATO’s most modern fighter planes, (then) was captured alive and….assassinated by men armed by this organization.”
“His body was seized and exhibited as a war trophy, conduct which violates the most fundamental principles of Islamic norms and other religious beliefs around the world.”
At the same time, NATO and TNC officials claim they’ll establish “a democratic state which defends human rights,” they’ve systematically destroyed for eight months.
Tens of thousands of Libyan graves bear testimony to their real intentions.
Survivors will keep struggling to assure they didn’t die in vain, no matter how long it takes.
A Final Comment
Gaddafi’s will “pledge(d) that I will die as Muslim.”
“Should I be killed, I would like to be buried, according to Muslim rituals, in the clothes I was wearing at the time of my death and my body unwashed, in the cemetery of Sirte, next to my family and relatives.”
On October 25, Gaddafi and his son Motassim were buried secretly at an undisclosed desert site to prevent its location from becoming hallowed ground as a shrine.
He also requested that “my family, especially women and children, be treated well after my death. The Libyan people sould protect its identify, achievements, history and the honorable image of its ancestors and heros. The Libyan people should not relinquish the sacrifices of the free and best people.”
“I call on my supporters to continue the resistance, and fight any foreign aggressor against Libya, today, tomorrow, and always.”
“Let the free people of the world know that we could have bargained over and sold out our cause in return for a personal secure and stable life. We received many offers to this effect but we chose to be at the vanguard of the confrontation as a badge of duty and honor.”
“Even if we do not win immediately, we will give a lesson to future generations that choosing to protect the nation is an honor and selling it out is the greatest betrayal that history will remember forever despite the attempts of the others to tell you otherwise.”
In the eyes of his supporters, Gaddafi died a hero, fighting on the front lines with other Libyans for their freedom. Their liberating struggle continues.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.