CROSSFIRE or the act of crazy “rebels” – call it whatever you like – the fact is that Col Muammar Gaddafi was grotesquely murdered last Thursday by the United States acting in league with its French and British associates after months of sustained efforts in pursuit of western economic interests.
And so the idea that NATO’s mission in Libya was to protect Libyans is a fanciful idea — one that collapses on first contact with the evidence. Let’s consider some of those facts for a moment, shall we?
Way before the Libyan “revolution” even got under way, the US, Britain and especially France had always openly looked at Libya’s oil reserves with immeasurable envy. And when the western world emerged battered and tattered from the recent economic crunch, that envy became all the more pronounced.
And this was despite Gaddafi’s efforts in the recent past to reach out to them through lucrative arms deals and oil agreements. Since their eyes were not just on pursuing regular business deals but rather on building financial empires, they regarded Gaddafi’s contractual terms not just as too harsh and too inflexible but as doing too little to advance their desires.
As if to compound matters, Libya under Gaddafi often openly and unequivocally indicated that Russia and not the US, Britain or France was her preferred business partner of record. Accordingly, Russian firms got bigger shares in the exploitation of Libyan resources. As was to be expected, this rattled the US and her allies considerably.
When Gaddafi rebuffed Nicholas Sarkozy’s proposal to institute the so-called Mediterranean Union, the purpose of which was to restore French influence in its former colonies, France was not amused at all.
China’s growing influence in Libya and beyond also did not help matters. Bilateral business engagements between China and Libya had already yielded close to US$7 billion at the time of going to war. As early as 2009, several infrastructural tenders had been awarded to over 20,000 Chinese conglomerates alone.
But to intervene in Libya, the West needed a plausible impetus. And what better way than to ride on the back of the popular uprisings which broke out in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt early in the year!
But even that was not quite enough – they needed people on the ground to coordinate protests against Gaddafi’s rule – which rule every thinking person agrees was autocratic. With friends like Mustafa Abdul Jalil (Gaddafi’s former Justice Minister) on their side, they were in for a kill – literally.
And so without further ado, America and her allies moved to create the bogus impression that a Gaddafi initiated massacre was looming in Bengazi and that, to counter it, the people of Libya needed external military assistance whose preoccupation would be to ensure the safety and security of Libya’s civilian population.
Yet by the time Libya was declared ‘liberated’ last Sunday, tens of thousands of Libyans had lost their lives to NATO air strikes. And NATO didn’t just take out lives, it destroyed Libyan infrastructure on such a massive scale that much of Libya now lies in ruin.
NATO’s assault appears to have been part of a larger scheme to eliminate everything and everyone viewed as a hindrance to western interests in Libya. To that end, Gaddafi’s close friends, including his youngest son and three grand children, were deliberately killed.
Hardly 72 hours before Gaddafi’s monstrous demise, Hillary Clinton was in Tripoli demanding that Gaddafi be brought ‘dead or alive’. On the actual day of Gaddafi’s gruesome death, both the US and France claimed credit for his assassination. How Christian of them!
Now we hear they want an investigation into his death! The US tried to drop a bomb on Gaddafi’s head by targeting his convoy and some angry ‘rebel’ finished him off and now they demand an inquiry? You’ve got to be kidding me! How stupid do they think we are?
As for Gaddafi’s ouster being a triumph for democracy, oh please! Call me a cynic but I just don’t share that optimism. Egypt is already in deep trouble with a military junta in charge. Iraq has never tasted peace ever since Bush and Blair invaded it in 2003. Quite the contrary, violence has actually escalated there.
Not an hour goes by let alone a day without a bomb going off in Baghdad. Many Iraqis now openly confirm that life under Saddam was way better than their present circumstances. Indeed the quote, ‘My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions’ rings true in Iraq.
And having started on a very wrong footing, Libya under the NTC could very well be the next Iraq. By the look of things, NATO overthrew a dictator and replaced him with a pack of lunatics. Many of the fighters are still in possession of their guns. Moreover, the atrocious murder of Gaddafi will certainly anger whatever remains of his constituency and especially his son who commands a sizeable following and has already vowed to avenge his father’s death.
In the circumstances, we are likely to see efforts at destabilising the current regime in the months and years to come. Although many sections of Libya appeared united against Gaddafi, the possibility now exists that Libya will be divided into various fragments on tribal, regional and even ideological lines.
But perhaps the main lesson to be gleaned from the Libyan crisis is that, if left unchecked, western adventurism could lead to the re-colonisation of Africa by year 2050. Western expansionism seems to have gone too far too fast and it’s up to a united Africa to stop it.
In that regard, the African Union might need to reconsider its strategy and approach in order to deal competently and capably with 21st century challenges – which challenges are proving not just to be regressive but lethal as well. A bit like NATO’s underlying principle, an injury to one African country ought to be seen as an injury to the whole of Africa.
In my opinion, Gaddafi’s sadistic death and the criminal invasion of Libya ought to have compelled the world to go to war for the third time with Africa taking a leading role in that confrontation.
In 1914, the world went to war chiefly because some Archduke was assassinated in Serbia. In 1939, Germany invaded Poland and there was turmoil across the world. If what happened in Libya is not grounds for World War III, then what the hell is?
Let’s face it, the events of the recent past serve as a stark warning to every African nation that the likelihood of similar militaristic adventures does exist. Following the redistribution of land and now the indigenisation drive both of which have disillusioned the West, Zimbabwe is especially vulnerable.
As seen in Libya, sovereignty alone may not be enough to repel America’s growing expansionist manoeuvres. It’s time for Africa, via the AU, to make it clear that we will not brook or tolerate any further moves at destabilising our continent. In that regard, it may even be necessary to forge bilateral militaristic alliances that transcend the continent by looking to countries like Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Syria and even Pakistan.
In the face of ever increasing western terrorism and imperialism, this is not just an option we have it is the only way.