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[Dehai-WN] Globalresearch.ca: AN ONGOING DISASTER: Libya, Africa and Africom

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2012 23:04:06 +0200

AN ONGOING DISASTER: Libya, Africa and Africom

More than 50,000 Deaths

 

by Dan Glazebrook


http://www.globalresearch.ca/coverStoryPictures2/31053.jpg

 <http://www.globalresearch.ca> Global Research, May 27, 2012

The scale of the ongoing tragedy visited on Libya by NATO and its allies is
becoming horribly clearer with each passing day. Estimates of those killed
so far vary, but 50,000 seems like a low estimate; indeed the British
Ministry of Defence was boasting that the onslaught had
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/849881
7/Libya-Osama-bin-Ladens-death-is-warning-to-Gaddafi.html> killed 35,000 as
early as last May. But this number is constantly growing. The destruction of
the state’s forces by British, French and American blitzkrieg has left the
country in a state of total anarchy – in the worst possible sense of the
word. Having had nothing to unite them other than a temporary willingness to
act as NATO’s foot soldiers, the former ‘rebels’ are now turning on each
other.
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/31/libya-tribal-clashes-sabha-deat
hs> 147 were killed in in-fighting in Southern Libya in a single week
earlier this year, and in recent weeks government buildings – including the
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17995427> Prime Ministerial compound
– have come under fire by ‘rebels’ demanding cash payment for their
services. <http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/bre8491ed-us-libya-minister/>
$1.4billion has been paid out already – demonstrating once again that it was
the forces of NATO colonialism, not Gaddafi, who were reliant on
‘mercenaries’- but payments were suspended last month due to widespread
nepotism. Corruption is becoming endemic – a further
<http://www.workers.org/2012/world/libya_0524/> $2.5billion in oil revenues
that was supposed to have been transferred to the national treasury remains
unaccounted for. Libyan resources are now being jointly plundered by the oil
multinationals and a handful of chosen families from amongst the country’s
<http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE7AN1W820111124> new elites;
a classic neo-colonial stitch-up. The use of these resources for giant
infrastructure projects such as the Great Manmade River, and the massive
raising of living standards over the past four decades (Libyan life
expectancy rose
<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/world/africa/25assess.html?pagewanted=all
> from 51 to 77 since Gaddafi came to power in 1969) sadly looks to have
already become a thing of the past.

But woe betide anyone who mentions that now. It was decided long ago that
<http://www.arabstoday.net/en/2012010375457/libya-to-ban-gaddafis-supporters
-from-running-in-elections.html> no supporters of Gaddafi would be allowed
to stand in the upcoming elections, but recent changes have gone even
further.
<http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/05/05/libya-revoke-draconian-new-law> Law 37,
passed by the new NATO-imposed government last month, has created a new
crime of ‘glorifying’ the former government or its leader – subject to a
maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Would this include a passing comment
that things were better under Gaddafi? The law is cleverly vague enough to
be open to interpretation. It is a recipe for institutionalised political
persecution.

Even more indicative of the contempt for the rule of law amongst the new
government – a government, remember, which has yet to receive any semblance
of popular mandate, and whose only power base remains the colonial armed
forces – is
<http://www.libyanjustice.org/news/news/post/23-lfjl-strongly-condemns-new-l
aws-breaching-human-rights-and-undermining-the-rule-of-law> Law 38. This law
has now guaranteed immunity from prosecution for anyone who committed crimes
aimed at “promoting or protecting the revolution”. Those responsible for
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/875437
5/Gaddafis-ghost-town-after-the-loyalists-retreat.html> the ethnic cleansing
of Tawergha – such as Misrata’s self-proclaimed “brigade for the purging of
black skins” – can continue their
<http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/02/20122622397129438.html>
hunting down of that cities’ refugees in the full knowledge that they have
the new ‘law’ on their side. Those responsible for the
<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/25/world/middleeast/libyas-interim-leaders-t
o-investigate-qaddafi-killing.html?pagewanted=all> massacres in Sirte and
elsewhere have nothing to fear. Those involved in the widespread torture of
detainees can continue without repercussions – so long as it is aimed at
“protecting the revolution” – i.e. maintaining NATO-TNC dictatorship.

This is the reality of the new Libya: civil war, squandered resources, and
societal collapse, where voicing preference for the days when Libya was
prosperous and at peace is a crime, but lynching and torture is not only
permitted but encouraged.

Nor has the disaster remained a national one. Libya’s destabilisation has
already spread to Mali, prompting a coup, and huge numbers of refugees –
especially amongst Libya’s large black migrant population – have fled to
neighbouring countries in a desperate attempt to escape both aerial
destruction and lynch mob rampage, putting further pressure on resources
elsewhere. Many
<http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0976ef5e-5248-11e1-a155-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1vs
uBCrRR> Libyan fighters, their work done in Libya, have now been shipped by
their imperial masters to Syria to spread their sectarian violence there
too.

Most worrying for the African continent, however, is the forward march of
AFRICOM – the US military’s African command – in the wake of the aggression
against Libya. It is no coincidence that barely a month after the fall of
Tripoli – and in the same month Gaddafi was murdered (October 2011) – the US
announced it was
<http://www.johnpilger.com/articles/the-son-of-africa-claims-a-continents-cr
own-jewels> sending troops to no less than four more African countries – the
Central African Republic, Uganda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of
Congo. AFRICOM have now announced an unprecedented
<http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=7673> fourteen major joint
military exercises in African countries for 2012. The military re-conquest
of Africa is rolling steadily on.

None of this would have been possible whilst Gaddafi was still in power. As
founder of the African Union, its biggest donor, and its one-time elected
Chairman, he wielded serious influence on the continent. It was partly
thanks to him that the US was forced to establish AFRICOM’s HQ in Stuttgart
in Germany when it was established in February 2008, rather than in Africa
itself; he offered cash and investments to African governments who rejected
US requests for bases. Libya under his leadership had an estimated $150
billion of investments in Africa, and the Libyan proposal, backed with
<http://www.africanews.it/english/kadhafi%E2%80%99s-africa-the-untold-story-
by-j-p-pougala/> 30billion cash, for an African Union Development Bank
would have seriously reduced African financial dependence on the West. In
short, Gaddafi’s Libya was the single biggest obstacle to AFRICOM
penetration of the continent.

Now he has gone, AFRICOM is stepping up its work. The invasions of Iraq and
Afghanistan showed the West that wars in which their own citizens get killed
are not popular; AFRICOM is designed to ensure that in the coming colonial
wars against Africa, it will be Africans who do the fighting and dying, not
Westerners. The forces of the African Union are to become integrated into
AFRICOM under a US-led chain of command. Gaddafi would never have stood for
it; that is why he had to go.

And if you want a vision of Africa under AFRICOM tutelage, look no further
than Libya, NATO’s model of an African state: condemned to decades of
violence and trauma, and utterly incapable of either providing for its
people, or contributing to regional or continental independence. The new
military colonialism in Africa must not be allowed to advance another inch.

Dan Glazebrook writes for the Morning Star newspaper and is one of the
co-ordinators for the British branch of the International Union of
Parliamentarians for Palestine. He can be contacted at
danglazebrook2000_at_yahoo.co.uk

 






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