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Assassination of Libya's revolutionary leader condemned

By Brian Muhammad Contributing Writer | Last updated: Oct 25, 2011 - 11:23:28 AM

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They can kill the man but not his ideas

( - Muammar Gadhafi, the “Lion of Africa” is gone and as with great African luminaries before him like Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of independent Ghana; Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Egypt's visionary advocate of Pan Arab unity and others; the Libyan revolutionary's life, work and struggles can begin to be studied and assessed.

When Col. Gadhafi led the Al-Fateh revolution on Sept 1, 1969 deposing King Idriss-al-Sanousi—who was a tool of foreign powers—Libya was one of the poorest nations in the world.

Through the revolution he championed, the power equation where outside interests controlled Libya's rich oil deposits for their own benefit while the Libyan people suffered in abject poverty changed.

He evicted Americans and the British, and then shut down their military bases. He nationalized the oil industry and used the revenue to build schools, universities, hospitals, and infrastructure.

He shared oil profits directly with the citizens of Libya and gave material support to liberation movements worldwide.

Before the revolution, only 15 percent of Libyans were educated, under Col. Gadhafi the literacy rate blossomed from 20 percent to 83 percent and higher education was a human right, provided free of charge.

He established state of the art health care and manufactured pharmaceuticals that were given free of charge.

A Native American woman holds a photo of Col. Muammar Gadhafi at the United Nations during his visit to the United States in 2009.
Housing was also a right and he provided homes or apartments to every Libyan. Every couple entering marriage was given a $50,000 stipend to start their new lives.

He completed one of the greatest engineering projects anywhere in the world with the “Great Man Made River” that turned a barren desert land into a fertile oasis allowing Libyan self- sufficiency through growing their own foods.

To the Western forces of terror and neo-colonialism, for which of these good works was this man killed?

There were mixed reactions of shock, pain, disbelief by many and celebration and jubilation by others upon hearing that the leader of the revolution and visionary figure for oppressed people everywhere was dead. “Brother Leader,” as the 69-year-old Gadhafi is known was fighting an insurgency since February by Libyan counter-revolutionary forces backed by the United States, France, Britain and Italy under the umbrella of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—NATO. 

“Muammar el-Qadhafi stood against all forces of tyranny, tirelessly campaigning for human emancipation and dignity,” reflected Gerald Perreira, founding member of the former Tripoli based World Mathaba in a statement.

“I am very ashamed as an Arab and as a Muslim to see the ending of Muammar el-Gadhafi,” said Ali Baghdadi, Arab Journal publisher and Middle East adviser in reaction to the news.

“I am ashamed to see people who claim to be Muslims act in a very savage and barbaric way. Of course the real criminal is really the United States of America, particularly Hillary Clinton,” he continued.

Mr. Baghdadi was referring to the words of Mrs. Clinton days before and after the Oct. 20 killing and public mishandling of Col. Gadhafi in the last moments of his life captured on camera then replayed in the media throughout the world.

Mrs. Clinton paid a visit to the National Transitional Council (NTC) in Libya where she openly called for the political assassination of Leader Gadhafi two days before it happened.

“We hope he can be captured or killed soon,” she said.

Then Mrs. Clinton came under heavy condemnation by opponents of American Libya policy after she was caught on camera gloating over the Libyan leader's death. Smiling and joyously clapping her hands, America's top diplomat quipped, “We came, we saw, he died.”

Group shot in front of new $500 million hospital facility after Col. Gadhafi gave Minister Farrakhan and his delegation a tour in mid-1990s.

Was Brother Leader Gadhafi executed?

Mahmoud Jibril, the NTC's de-facto prime minister, initially said Gadhafi was killed in “crossfire” trying to escape his hometown of Sirte on foot after a convoy of cars he was in came under attack by French aircraft and unmanned U.S. drones. Both countries denied knowing Col. Gadhafi was present.

However widely circulated videos taken from camera phones first showed a wounded Col. Gadhafi alive in rebel hands and then showed several angles of him lifeless. Also killed in Sirte were Libya's Defense Minister Abu Bakr Younus, and Mutassim Gadhafi, a son and former national security adviser.

The apparent inconsistency of NTC accounts with the film footage caused the United Nations and human rights advocates to demand an inquiry into the exact circumstances of his death. Reports further said that both Gadhafi and Mutassim appear to have been “executed” after being detained alive.

It's a fundamental principle of international law that people accused of serious crimes are tried in courts of law. Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said, “Summary executions are strictly illegal. It is different if someone is killed in combat.”

“We believe this was a targeted assassination that was carried out by the United States and the other NATO countries,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, analyst and editor of Pan-Africa Newswire.

“I think it's a great tragedy for the people of Libya,” said Brian Becker of Answer Coalition which organized anti-NATO rallies across the country condemning the incursion into Libya. “They've taken out the leader and replaced him with a new government, which will be basically a NATO client regime.”

Other observers concur and are closely scrutinizing how the interim government handles the investigation moving forward.

But so far, against Islamic law and human dignity, the bodies of Col. Gadhafi, his son Mutassim and Mr. Younus were mockingly placed on display in a Misrata walk in freezer for public view.

Mutassim Gadhafi shaking hands with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton April 21, 2009. He was reportedly executed with his father Oct. 20. Photo: MGNOnline/Courtesy of Dept. of State
“The disgraceful way he was handled … that wasn't necessary,” said A. Akbar Muhammad, international representative of the Nation of Islam and Minister Louis Farrakhan.

“If they wanted to capture him and take him alive and take him to The Hague and stand trial—that's one thing. But to shoot him and then put him on display like an animal and line up people with cell phones to take pictures, it's just uncivilized.”

However as imperialists and their local minions rejoice and boast of victory, serious questions are yet unanswered concerning the future of Libya, the geo-political region and Africa in a post-Gadhafi era.

What's next for Libya?

On Oct. 23, the American and NATO-sanctioned interim leaders officially declared Libya liberated and free. Nevertheless infighting and resistance to the NTC is expected to occur in various regions of the country.

“The challenge facing post-Gadhafi Libya is daunting. The power, accountability and especially the legitimacy of the interim governing structure remains contested,” wrote Phyllis Bennis, of the Institute for Policy Studies, in a article.

The NTC announced elections in eight months, albeit with challenges because broad unity was never established among the different actors in the insurgency. The loosely organized groups remain armed and acutely tribal. What role they're expecting to play is uncertain, heightening the potential for conflict over who will ultimately control Libya.

“The anti-Gadhafi militias largely remain independent of the NTC, with fighters from the western town of Misrata and the Nafusa Mountains, making public their lack of accountability to the NTC,” wrote Ms. Bennis.

Additionally there is a difficulty factor inherent within the new Libya involving Al-Qaeda elements reminiscent of Afghanistan. It became pronounced with the presence of Abdel Hakim Belhadj, a known Al-Qaeda operative, appointed to the top military post in Tripoli by the NTC interim government.

In the aftermath of the fall of Col. Gadhafi, similar to U.S. support of Osama Bin-Laden and the Mujahidin fighters against Soviet occupation in Afghanistan during the 1980s, “unpredictable forces” may now be unleased.

According to analysts, in order to affect the overthrow and assassination of Col. Gadhafi, America formed alliances with enemies they are battling in Afghanistan. These forces described as “Islamic fundamentalists” were the front line soldiers among the rebel forces.

NATO potentially introduced additional troubles for the region by giving military training to Berber minorities to fight the Gadhafi government. There are concerns about what is next for that group in the “new” Libya—and beyond.

“The Berber minority plays a pivotal role throughout North Africa, not least in Algeria and in Morocco. And by empowering them thusly in Libya, it seems to me that the NATO forces may be introducing further instability” in the entire region, said Dr. Gerald Horne, History Professor at the University of Houston in a Sept. 10, article.

NATO destroyed the infrastructure of the country and killed 50,000 Libyans through indiscriminate bombing, said Mr. Baghdadi. He estimates reconstruction costs will be trillions of dollars and the contracts are part of the shared pickings for America, France and Britain.

“The whole thing had nothing to do with liberation; had nothing to do with democracy; it has to do with robbing the entire country for many years to come,” he said.

International consultant and author Adrian Salbuchi agrees and told that NATO in Libya doesn't end with Col. Gadhafi's assassination. 

“This is just the beginning and part of global regime change. This means orange alert for Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador and definitely red alert for Syria and Iran,” he warned.


Implications for Africa

For Africa, Muammar Gadhafi was a stalwart for African advancement and development and his death comes amid increasing popular unrest across the globe.

A modern-day scramble for Africa featuring China on the one hand and America and France on the other hand is already underway.

Supporters of Muammar Gadhafi were on hand for a huge rally when he came to the U.S. to address the United Nations in September of 2009.
There is also a fresh strategy for implementing regime change through intervention and “partnership” with leaders opposed to sovereign governments and through legal mandates from the United Nations.

Some conclude these circumstances open the door to re-colonize, militarize and pillage Africa of its natural riches while posing a major dilemma for the African Union.

The AU stood strong with Col. Gadhafi in the beginning of NATO's onslaught, but its position has now changed.

The AU announced it lifted its suspension of Libya's membership and is authorizing the current authorities in Libya to occupy the country's seat in the AU and its organs.

Mr. Muhammad believes the brutal way Col. Gadhafi—who is loved by the African masses—was murdered, coupled with the uprisings sweeping the Middle East, America, Europe and Africa is of serious concern for African leaders.

There have been continued protests in Egypt and demonstrations in Burkina Faso, South Africa and Uganda against ruling governments.

“And when somebody as strong as Brother Gadhafi goes, who they really looked at as a strong man and they see how he turned out, it's going to weaken the African Union,” said Mr. Muhammad, adding, “this loosens the appetite to focus on the importance of the African Union.”

Africa may also be negatively affected by Col. Gadhafi's assassination because of his strong support for the continent through economic development projects and the establishment of the African Union. It was Col. Gadhafi who revived the Pan-African vision of the United States of Africa, with one central government, army and a currency backed by gold.

To begin moving African states toward that goal, he financed the evolution of the former Organization of African Unity—formed by African leaders Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Sekou Toure of Guinea, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt and others—into the current African Union—a move met with unvarying pressure from outside interests.

“The African Union has been given a strong signal by Western imperialism that any effort toward unification, any effort toward us establishing our own independent standard of economy like the gold dinar that Brother Gadhafi was advocating ... is against the interest of imperialism,” said political analyst Dedon Kimathi, and host of “Freedom Now” on Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles.

“The African Union is now in a very awkward position and these will be testing grounds on whether it can survive or not,” opined Mr. Muhammad.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, whose work among the downtrodden people in North America and other parts of the world, found solidarity with the Libyan leader as his brother and friend.

Several months ago, the Minister warned imperialists against assassinating Col. Gadhafi on Pacifica Radio's “Spectrum Today” program with Askia Muhammad, saying, “If they kill Brother Gadhafi, I submit to you that American interests in Africa will come under severe strain.”  

“That man has invested in Africa more than any other leader in the recent history of Africa's coming into political independence,” he reminded. (Click here for audio.)

Col. Gadhafi championed the idea of building railroads and infrastructure in Africa. As an example, he financed an African satellite, where Libya paid $400 million, and the other African nations invested $100 million. That cut an expensive annual fee of $500 million dollars to Europe where Africa's phone calls were routed.

Minister Farrakhan pointed out that America needs African mineral resources to remain a viable power in the 21st century and historically the U.S. has viewed leaders like Col. Gadhafi as hindrances to unfettered access to the wealth of the continent.

The Muslim leader said in a March 31 press conference that the rush to eliminate Gadhafi was based on imperial powers anger for Col. Gadafi never agreeing to their agenda of “sucking the resources of Third World peoples” and their propping up dictators who acquiesce to such arrangements.

“Whenever a government arose, a leader arose, that wanted to use the resources of that nation for that nation's people; America—through the CIA—would plan insurrection, coups, terrorist activities, and even assassination of good leaders,” said Min. Farrakhan.

Mr. Azikwe added, Col. Gadhafi's killing is “part and parcel of U.S. foreign policy” objectives with implications for African nations like Zimbabwe where Western powers also advocate ousting President Robert Mugabe for his independent political positions. The assassination also silences a major voice against militarizing Africa through the U.S. African Command—AFRICOM.

“They're (America) sending one hundred special forces and military advisors to several Central and Eastern countries on the African continent including Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the newly independent, South Sudan.”

The struggle continues

In the struggle for freedom, justice and liberation where comrades betray comrades and strategic alliances with foes can't be trusted as in Libya; the elimination of Gadhafi doesn't eradicate the struggle.

“The road to power is always paved in blood and people know that. The road to power during the American Revolution, families split and loyalists went to Canada and some sided with the British empire. This is not a new phenomena, this is the road to history,” reflected Mr. Muhammad.

“They can kill the man but they can never kill his profound ideas. His legacy is only made stronger by his martyrdom,” said Mr. Perreira.

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