The brutal lynching of Moammar Gadhafi, the leader of Libya, is the latest criminal act in NATO’s seven-month war of regime change and conquest.
Gadhafi died resisting to the very end U.S.-NATO war, as he said he would. He refused to negotiate with NATO an ignominious departure for himself or to surrender. He chose a martyr’s death for Libya’s independence and sovereignty. Despite ridicule in the West, in Africa Gadhafi will be remembered as an anti-imperialist fighter.
The gross and disrespectful behavior of the National Transitional Council (TNC) in the display of Moammar Gadhafi’s body confirms to the world in the most graphic way that these elements, who the imperialist powers have given official recognition, are in fact crude, low-life gangsters.
Instead of burying Gadhafi within a day as required under Islamic law, they chose to display Gadhafi’s battered, half naked body — bloody, unwashed and uncovered — on a soiled mattress in a meat locker at a shopping center.
This affront to religious and national custom will further deepen outrage and resistance.
TNC militias did no real fighting. These divided, competing military bands operate as scavengers or vultures, calling in air strikes and lying in wait to pick over the death that NATO bombers have blasted in front of them. In seven months of NATO bombing they have shown themselves capable of firing endless weapons in front of cameras and brutalizing Black Libyans, yet incapable of conducting any independent military action.
U.S. and NATO forces bear responsibility for this latest crime and the way it was carried out. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sounded like a gunslinger in a Hollywood western in Tripoli the day before Gadhafi’s murder, demanding his capture – dead or alive.
Loyalist forces in the city of Sirte, Bani Walid and several other cities have held out heroically two months after NATO seizure of Tripoli.
NATO bombers targeted Sirte and Bani Walid’s electrical grid, communications, food storage, the city water supply, the water towers on apartment buildings and even the water tower on the roof of the hospital. Again and again the TNC has announced that all resistance in these small cities have has been destroyed, only to be driven out each time.
The imperialist war in Libya is reminiscent of past colonial wars in Africa and Asia. Targeting of any civilian necessities, such as water, food, medicine, and communication is specifically prohibited under international law and considered a war crime under the Nuremburg and Geneva Conventions. Yet during seven months of war those are exactly the civilian targets that NATO planners focused on again and again.
The bombing of lines of cars fleeing the NATO besieged city of Sirte that led to Gadhafi’s capture is an example of systematic targeting of civilians.
U.S. British, French and Italian imperialist forces claimed to be protecting civilians and implementing a United Nations Security Council No-fly zone. But the Libyan government used no aircraft at all. U.S. and other NATO jets ruled the skies and civilians were their targets. This is an expanding war. Today U.S. drones strike with impunity at defenseless peoples around the world.
Gadhafi’s greatest threat to the imperialist countries was promoting a development plan for an African Federation and a stable African currency backed by Libya’s $90 billion reserves to help Africans free themselves from the IMF and World Bank’s onerous dictates.
Forty-two years ago Libya was one of the poorest, least developed countries of Africa. Gadhafi and other young military officers overthrew the Western-supported Libyan monarchy of King Idris in 1969, then held the imperialist’s off as the Libyans built with nationalized oil revenues a series of modern cities and infrastructure. Before the NATO bombing this year, the Libyan people had achieved the highest educational and health standards in Africa, according to UN development statistics.
In the same week that Secretary of State Clinton traveled to Tripoli and that Gadhafi was murdered, President Barack Obama ordered U.S. Special Forces and military advisors to Uganda, South Sudan, Central Africa Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo. These are countries that hold a vast reservoir of strategic minerals, including cobalt, coltan, industrial diamonds, copper in Congo and newly discovered oil in Uganda and South Sudan.
Anyone who expects that U.S./NATO forces or their corrupt collaborators will rebuild the schools, hospitals, modern housing, sports complexes, vast underground water system, electricity, advanced communications, reorganize free health care or reconstruct essential infrastructure that they have laid waste to in months of bombing need only look at their ignominious record in Iraq after eight years or in Afghanistan after ten years. The promised peace, national reconciliation, democracy and development were empty words.
Today, the vast majority of Iraqi people, even in the capital city of Baghdad, still struggle with a few hours of electricity a day. Potable water is a memory of a past, pre-occupation epoch, so is free education and health care. NATO is a war machine for corporate profit, not a social service agency. It has shown itself as incapable of reorganizing a decent life.
In Afghanistan after a decade of occupation, the rubble of U.S. bombs and rusting tanks still litter the roads. None of the promised social progress has reached beyond Pentagon press releases and politicians visits.
In Iraq the indignities and humiliations were so numerous and such an affront that even the government of compliant collaborators established by the U.S. has been forced by mass sentiment to refuse immunity to U.S. troops scheduled to remain in Iraq as relabeled trainers and advisors.
As in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen the resistance in Libya to U.S. NATO domination will continue and take on new forms.
The imperialists never expected mass mobilized resistance to their plans. They predicted a war that would be over within a week. Instead a small population of six million, spread across a largely desert country, managed through mass mobilizations of millions of people, military resistance and emergency measures to withstand more than 200 days of non-stop bombardment, more than 9,000 air strikes.
U.S., British and French corporate looters are planning a new assault on Africa, but they are finding that this is not the world of 100 years ago.
The tens of thousands of youth occupying sites in cities across the U.S. and Europe need to stand in solidarity with resistance to corporate domination at home and to imperialist wars abroad.