By Abayomi Azikiwe
A half decade after the United States led destabilization and bombing of Libya, the attempts by imperialism to establish a stable neo-colonial dominated regime has not materialized.
On March 19, 2011, the Pentagon and other NATO forces began the aerial bombardment of the once most prosperous nation-state in Africa. After seven months of air strikes and support for an imperialist-directed ground operation by proxy rebel militias, thousands laid dead while millions were displaced amid the ruins of hundreds of development projects and government institutions.
Leaders of the U.S., Britain, France, Italy and other western countries in cooperation with their allies in Africa and the Middle East lauded the Libyan war as a success story for the remaking of the region where rebel forces would do the dirty work of international capitalism. Hillary Clinton, the-then Secretary of State under the first administration of U.S. President Barack Obama laughed at the lynching of former Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi saying “we came, we saw, he died.”
Libya is at present one of the most poor and unstable states on the continent having become a source of instability throughout the large sections of Africa and the Middle East. The once lucrative oil industry which supplied resources for the building of hefty national budget surpluses has all but failed with substantial sections of extraction locations and refineries destroyed in fighting between various rival groups backed by various western-allied governments including Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Under Gaddafi Libya enjoyed widespread recognition and respect among African Union member-states. The transition from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union in 2002 was based upon the Sirte Declaration drafted by OAU affiliates in 1999.
Many of the ideas embodied in the Sirte Declaration and the subsequent founding documents of the AU attempted to address the need for greater African unity within the realms of economic, political, telecommunications, technical and military spheres. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the former leader of Ghana during 1951-1966, and a co-founder of the OAU in 1963, had called for a union government of Africa as the best method to fight the dominance of imperialism.
The Gaddafi government had taken up this idea fostering cooperation and coordination across the African continent. Obviously these political activities alarmed the West prompting the destabilization and consequent overthrow of the Libyan state which remains in shambles.
“Unity” Regime Remains Elusive
Recent developments surrounding the attempt to install a new so-called “unity government” has prompted the declaration of a “state of emergency” by the Tripoli-based faction which drove out a rival group now based in the eastern city of Tobruk.
According to the website medafricatimes.com, “The reasons for the declaration were not officially stated but there are reports that the arrival of some members of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli provoked it. Deputy prime ministers-designate Ahmed Maetig, Fathi Majberi and Abdelsalam Kajman and Mohamed Ammari, the Minister for Specialized Councils Affairs are said to be already in Tripoli ahead of prime minister-designate Fayez Serraj’s arrival in the next few days. The four members of the GNA are reportedly at the Palm City residential compound which is expected to host the Presidency headquarters. They will serve as the advance team ahead of Serraj’s arrival.” (March 25)
Nonetheless, numerous analysts view the imposition of the GNA as only bringing about more chaos and instability. Indicative of this was the inability of UN envoy to Libya, German diplomat Martin Kobler, to land his aircraft in Tripoli.
Kobler said in a Twitter post on March 23 that “Again had to cancel flight to Tripoli… UN must have the right to fly (to) Tripoli.” The GNA has not been formally accepted and authorized by either of the rival regimes. However, the GNA announced in March that it was assuming control on the basis of a petition signed by a narrow majority of Libya’s so-called “lawmakers.”
The plan for a coalition junta is designed to pave the way for a large-scale 6,000-person Pentagon and NATO-led intervention force under the rubric of the United Nations and brokered by Martin Kobler.
Having lost faith in the local militias and political surrogates to provide any semblance of stability in Libya, the U.S. and other NATO states are aiming at sending in a conventional military force to impose the desired neo-colonial dominated regime that would ensure compliance with the foreign policy imperatives of Washington, London, Paris and Brussels.
In an article published by the military intelligence website Stratfor Enterprises, LLC (stratfor.com), it notes “Western forces may soon intervene in Libya, which has been bitterly divided since the down fall of former leader Moammar Gadhafi. Two governments have been created, one in the west and one in the east, and neither recognized the legitimacy of the other. This is particularly problematic since Western intervention is contingent on a viable, singular Libyan government.” (March 21)
This publication stresses that the putative success of the United Nations engineered GNA could be dependent upon the Misrata militia which helps to prop-up the General National Congress regime that has taken over the capital of Tripoli. The militia gained a reputation during the war of regime-change in 2011 as being one of the most violent and racist in the campaign to overthrow the Jamahiriya system under Gaddafi.
On March 21, Stratfor emphasized that: “Over the past few days, several senior members of the Misratan militia have publicly supported the unity government, calling on the head of Libya’s Tripoli-based government to resign and cede power to the GNA’s proposed prime minister, Faiz Serraj. The Misratan militia’s move comes as the group ramps up its cooperation with the West. Within the past few months, the militia has benefited from training by U.S. and British special operations forces, and its support for the new government will play an important role in the GNA’s success. Other militias in western Libya have joined the Misratan militia in backing the unity government as well.”
Regional Ally of U.S. Reveals Imperialist Regional Plans
Jordanian King Abdullah in a January briefing before the U.S. Senate confirmed the role of Britain in Libya through its Special Air Services (SAS). A leaked memorandum from the meeting with the Senators revealed several aspects of western foreign policy within the regions of Africa and the Middle East saying:
–“The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, ‘believes in a radical Islamic solution to the problems in the region’ and the ‘fact that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy, and Turkey keeps getting a slap on the hand, but they get off the hook.’
–“Intelligence agencies want to keep terrorist websites ‘open so they can use them to track extremists’ and Google had told the Jordanian monarch ‘they have 500 people working on this.’
–“Israel ‘looks the other way’ at the al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra on its border with Syria because ‘they regard them as an opposition to Hezbollah.’
–“Jordan is looking at al-Shabaab because no one was really looking at the issue, and we cannot separate this issue, and the need to look at all the hotspots in the map. We have a rapid deployment force that will stand with the British and Kenya and is ready to go over the border [into Somalia].”(Randeep Ramesh, March 25)
Libya has become a pariah throughout the regions of North and West Africa due to the lawless atmosphere characterized by human trafficking, the harboring of extremist groups bent on destruction, an ongoing economic crisis exemplified by serious damage to the oil industry and the growing presence of U.S. and British special forces and intelligence personnel.