Imperialist bombardment, assault on Libya continuesBy Brian E. Muhammad -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: May 19, 2011 - 1:18:56 PM
As each day passes, the conflict appears to get thicker as Libyan opposition leaders work to gain international recognition and solidify their support from Western nations.
Meanwhile the United Nations and other bodies are positioned to support the demise of Col. Gadhafi, whose compound was recently struck again by NATO missiles, despite Western denials that the strikes are attempts to kill the revolutionary leader.
Representatives of Libya's rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) recently met with White House officials to lobby for aid and on-record acknowledgement of the council as the legitimate government of Libya, which France and Italy have already done.
Falling short of recognizing the NTC as a Libyan Provisional government, an AP report said, U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon called the group a “legitimate and credible interlocutor of the Libyan people.”
As for leader Gadhafi, Mr. Donilon said the man who has spent 40 years building the North African nation has “lost his legitimacy to rule.”
Abdul Karim, an NTC official, said part of the group's agenda was a push for the release of seized funds that the U.S. claims belong to the Gadhafi family.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the United States is trying to access more than $30 billion of the frozen assets for use by the rebels. The U.S. has promised $25 million in non-lethal aid to forces opposed to the Gadhafi government.
With no end in sight for clashes raging since February, there have been several calls for cease fires by the Libyan government that have gone largely ignored by the Western nations that make up NATO. However a special envoy for the United Nation met with Libyan officials in Tripoli May 15 to discuss a ceasefire for both sides. The UN resolution that authorized protection of Libyan civilians has become justification for direct attacks on forces loyal to Col. Gadhafi, the head of state and his family.
According to a UPI, Abdel Elah al-Khatib, the United Nations' special envoy for Libya, met with the country's foreign minister, prime minister, the secretary-general of the Libyan Public Congress and a tribal forum that supports Mr. Gadhafi.
“Their discussions focused on the need to fully implement Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973, to allow full humanitarian access, and to establish a cease-fire and political process,” a representative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said in a release.
But in a counter narrative, observers questioned if a genuine halt to the fighting would be honored by the imperial forces of NATO in light of recent attacks on the Gadhafi family compound which included an April 30 bombing aimed at eliminating the Libyan leader. Instead the strike killed Col. Gadhafi's 29-year-old son Seif al-Arab Gadhafi and three young grandchildren.
The bombing occurred one day after Muammar Gadhafi appealed to America, France and Britain for a cease fire and may be a blatant disregard of international law and rules of engagement. The attack was redolent of the 1986 assassination attempt on Col. Gadhafi when U.S. air forces bombarded his home killing his two-year-old adopted daughter Hana. It has been called the most expensive assassination effort in history.
NATO's commander in Libya, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, said, “we do not target individuals,” according to the Associated Press. But the leaders of America, Britain and France have declared “Gadhafi must go,” prompting warnings from UN Security Council permanent members Russia and China as well as Brazil against any NATO attempts at regime change.
The Russian Foreign Ministry accused NATO of a “disproportionate use of force” and cast doubt on NATO's assertion that it is not targeting Col. Gadhafi or members of his family, AP reported. Russia called for an immediate cease-fire.
Gerald A. Pereira, an executive member of the former World Mathaba, a Tripoli-based organization, tied the events in Libya to a larger issue of Western imperialist nations safeguarding their hegemony in a changing world.
In a New Dawn magazine article, Mr. Pereira, quoted Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, who noted at a past conference, “Europe and the U.S. cannot go forward into the new century without unfettered access to the vast natural resources of Africa.”
He added: “Gadhafi is one who stands in their way.”
Mr. Pereira wrote, “If they (Western nations) cannot maintain control, then at least they must try to maintain Africa's divisions, thereby ensuring it is always in a position of weakness. African unity and true independence is something white supremacy, in all of its manifestations—capitalism, imperialism and neo-colonialism—will oppose with all its might.”
“The French are presently spearheading a plan, with other southern European nations, to form a Mediterranean bloc, incorporating the whole of North Africa, to try to bring about the balkanization of the continent, in an attempt to halt this unification project,” he further wrote.
“We have to put it in historical context that Libya and the Jamahiriya revolution has been the most revolutionary African country since the CIA overthrow of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah (of Ghana), in terms of Pan-Africanism,” said political analyst Dedon Kimathi to The Final Call.
Brother leader Gadhafi jumpstarted the idea of a United States of Africa advanced by many leaders advocating African independence—including Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Sekou Toure of Guinea and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania. If successful, a United States of Africa could shift the power equation on the world stage, threatening the historical exploiters of Africa. However not united, Africa remains marginalized where only a few benefit from the tremendous resources of the continent.
Meanwhile, the Western world sought to squeeze Muammar Gadhafi further by processing a warrant for his arrest as well as his son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, and brother-in-law Abdullah al-Sanousi through the International Criminal Court. On May 16, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo charged Col. Gadhafi, his son and Mr. al-Sanousi crushed protests and ordered the use of live ammunition and heavy weaponry against peaceful demonstrators.
The Libyan government maintains the court has no jurisdiction because the country is not a signatory to the treaty signed by 114 nations.
Furthermore the ICC has no arresting powers and must depend on the political will of member states to execute the warrants and in Libya's case, the chief prosecutor stipulated in his statement that any Gadhafi detention must be done by Libyans.
“Since we are not a party to the treaty, I think we will not be paying a lot of attention to the announcement of the I.C.C.,” said Khalid Kaim, a deputy foreign minister at a May 16 press briefing.
The court had no jurisdiction over Libyan affairs and has a vendetta against African states, he charged.
“We are more interested in the human rights council and in moving forward with trying to implement a ceasefire,” he said.
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