May 25, 2012
The destruction of Libya as an independent regional power has paved
the way for the military re-conquest of Africa.
|NATO's Libyan mercenaries demonstrate whose side they are on in the struggle between white power colonialism and African liberation. |
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 killed 35,000
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. 147 were killed
in-fighting in Southern Libya in a single week earlier this year, and in recent
weeks government buildings – including the Prime Ministerial compound
– have come
under fire by 'rebels’ demanding cash payment for their services. $1.4billion
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 $2.5billion
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 new elites
classic neo-colonial stitch-up. The use of these resources for giant
infrastructure projects such as the Great
and the massive raising of living standards over the past four decades (Libyan
life expectancy rose from 51 to 77
Gaddafi came to power in 1969) sadly looks to have already become a thing of
betide anyone who mentions that now. It was decided long ago that no supporters of Gaddafi would
be allowed to stand
in the upcoming elections, but recent changes
have gone even further. 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.
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 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 the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha
– such as Misrata’s self-proclaimed "brigade for the purging of black skins" - can
continue their hunting down
that cities’ refugees in the full knowledge that they have the new 'law’ on
their side. Those responsible for the 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 Libyan fighters
their work done in Libya, have
now been shipped by their imperial masters to Syria to spread their sectarian
violence there too.
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 sending troops
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 fourteen major joint military exercises
African countries for 2012. The military re-conquest of Africa
is rolling steadily on.
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 £30billion
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.
This article first appeared in Counterpunch.Source