Archive | Libya

Why We Can’t Ignore Libya, Enslavement and the Damages of US Intervention

NOVANEWS

By William C. AndersonTruthout 

Members of the Africa Diaspora Forum (ADF), civil society organisations, churches, trade unions and other coalitions wear chains and shout slogans during a demonstration against the slave trade and human trafficking in Libya on December 12, 2017 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. (Photo: Gulshan Khan / AFP / Getty Images)

Members of the Africa Diaspora Forum (ADF), civil society organisations, churches, trade unions and other coalitions wear chains and shout slogans during a demonstration against the slave trade and human trafficking in Libya on December 12, 2017, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. (Photo: Gulshan Khan / AFP / Getty Images)

In November, CNN released footage of Africans being sold into slavery at an auction in Libya, shocking and angering many around the world. The outlet reported witnessing “a dozen men being sold like commodities — some auctioned off for as little as $400.” However, though the auction has been portrayed as part of a recent phenomenon, the disaster that is enslavement is not new at all, even in the modern world. Though the conditions that enable such markets have grown increasingly bad in Libya amid instability after a US-backed NATO intervention, the enslavement of Africans — particularly in the Middle East and North Africa — has gone on for much longer than some care to remember.

In 2011, at the height of the Arab Spring, many people were ecstatic about the prospects of new governments throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The revolutionary rebellions throughout the affected countries happened quickly, one after another, following the initial uprising in Tunisia. Many — not only in the countries undergoing change, but throughout the world — were happy about what they felt was an opportunity within the grasp of many self-determined people calling for new governments. Still, there was also hesitancy among critical onlookers abroad and protesters alike regarding how much of the Arab Spring uprisings were playing out organically, wholly separate from the machinations of meddling Western nations. No matter where anyone stood, much of the world was watching intently.

Per usual, the United States and many other Western actors had chimed in on these happenings and deemed that they were largely positive developments for the prospects of new democracy. Despite the fact that the US and the Western world sponsored and directly inflicted much of the repression people were rising up against, these imperialist governments and former colonizers positioned themselves, in general, as supportive of the uprisings. They framed the movement as something in line with the supposed Western values of equality and the freedom to protest. Parts of the movements in support of revolution in some countries were strategically co-opted by the US and Western forces, and the devastating lessons of what happened are present with us today. We can see these insights very clearly when we begin to examine the state of Libya.

Understanding how Libya went from rule under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to a country marked by clashing brigades and markets trafficking enslaved Africans requires us to examine Western influence in recent years. We must acknowledge, first of all, that the human trafficking we’re now seeing was also happening throughout the Middle East and North Africa (including Libya) during or prior to Gaddafi’s reign. However, its intensification in the years since is no accident. It should be an uncontroversial statement to say that the international politics of the West rely heavily on the manipulation of political events. Situations that are both favorable and unfavorable to the West (and specifically the US) are hidden behind the sealed lips and political speeches of state theatrics. When the Arab Spring became a threat to the government of US-backed Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, the US waited and temporarily backed away without engaging in an all-out war intervention. However, the situation in Libya did not seem to warrant any restraint for US officials. Preexisting tensions with Gaddafi revolving around regional differences and conflicts between different groups in the country were ultimately exacerbated by the Western intervention. “We hope he can be captured or killed soon,” then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in 2011, referring to Col. Gaddafi, although he had been regularly cooperating with the West, notably Britain’s MI6, as well as agreeing to give up his nuclear arms in 2003. However, he was ultimately murdered during a NATO-backed intervention, despite his disarmament cooperation.

We came, we saw, he died,” Clinton stated infamously, laughing and clapping her hands together in celebration afterward. Prior to her chilling glee at Gaddafi’s murder, she had welcomed his son in 2009 on a visit to Washington, saying, “We deeply value the relationship between the United States and Libya,” and then stating she was looking forward to “building on the relationship” with Libya. It was only two years later that she would persuade President Obama to join other nations in bombing Libya to prevent Gaddafi from suppressing the Arab Spring protests. The war effort was bipartisan. A crucial observation we can gain here is the fickleness of politicians and how deadly and misleading appearances can be. Regardless of what one thinks about the brutal killing of Gaddafi — who was assassinated while begging for his life — we can observe that this extrajudicial action is a contradiction to the values the West claims to invest in abroad.

Gaddafi’s murder plunged Libya in a fight between warring factions. Power, as well as cultural and economic differences, fueled new conflict amid the confusion. While the transitional government attempted to maintain order, the problems extended beyond that government’s reach. Brigades controlling former military weapons and tools began clashing and running rampant. Those who many of us would describe as “Black people” in Libya (both living there and passing through as migrants) became targets by default, accused of supposedly being Gaddafi “mercenaries” and “loyalists,” often solely based on their appearance. This much wasn’t an accident or a mistake, but an opportunity to seize upon those who were already discriminated against and vulnerable in the midst of turmoil. Though reports of “Black Africans” being targeted by anti-Gaddafi forces were widespread in 2011, the US and NATO coalition went through with its intervention. The targeting and displacement of Tawerghans and the detaining of sub-Saharan migrants were opportunities that were seized upon by anti-Gaddafi forces during the conflict, and which still have repercussions today.

The migrant crisis worsened as much of the Arab Spring came to an unfortunate end, and many residents of the involved countries began to flee their homes. Empowered brigades and vigilantes took advantage of the vacuum created by Western intervention in Libya. What some thought would be new progress turned into new despots, instability and more repression. While countless people fled Syria, Iraq and other countries where other Western interventions had made life dangerous, Libya — which was a hub for many passing through on the way to Europe — was destabilized. Even now, many migrants who make it onto boats fleeing Western-engineered crises in the Middle East and North Africa are regularly at risk of robbery, abuse, drowning (forced or accidental), kidnapping, murder and rape by human traffickers. People on the boats are often given preferential treatment based on lighter skin tone. Even now, the West is more concerned with the desire to police migration (which it also negotiated with Gaddafi) and militarize the tragic situation it’s worsened. Ideas like reception centersmigrant patrols and even private police have been floated while Western accountability has been neglected.

None of this is new. The enslavement of Africans throughout the Middle East and North Africa is an age-old practice that has unfortunately carried on into this century. There is no mistake about why Black people are being targeted in the Middle East and North Africa; this is a standard rooted in the history of Arab enslavement of Africans. Enslavement and human trafficking of Africans is happening in Sudan and EgyptMauritania (a country with an active movement to end slavery); KuwaitQatar; Saudi Arabia; the United Arab Emirates; and many more. Even in Western countries like the UK and the United States, people are trafficked to be slaves. The Arabic word “abd” (plural: “abeed”) meaning “slave,” maintains its presence in all of the aforementioned places and elsewhere as a slur hurled at African and African-descended people.

It’s not surprising that the enslavement happening in Libya has drawn international attention throughout the African diaspora around the world. Black people abroad (and many celebrities in the US) have been enraged at a recent reminder that slavery, upon which the US was built, is not just in the past, but is actively happening today. The failure of the UN and African Union to alleviate the migrant crisis and halt the continuation of slave markets exposes the fact that when it comes to protecting and defending the most marginalized people, these organizations are often symbolic.

Tragedies like the current enslavement crisis have been worsened by the intervention, exploitation and the ruthless excess of the West. While some people living in Western nations like the US may show concern, the politicians we elect and the very foundation of the lives we live are based on the plunder and destruction of other countries. President Obama naively recalls Libya as the “worst mistake” of his presidency — as if US interventions ever have sincere motivations — and Hillary Clinton has made it clear she doesn’t share Obama’s sentiments. These “mistakes” that happen at the expense of millions of people’s lives and wellbeing become merely talking points and debate topics for the privileged few inside of empire. After all, crisis abroad helps build and maintain empires like the United States. No matter how concerned some of us may be in the West, we can help prevent these problems from growing worse by working to end imperial interventionism itself. Our lives are not more important than those who reside in the places that empire regularly uproots and destabilizes to exploit for surplus.

What is perhaps most unfortunate is that the US and other Western nations could possibly attempt to co-opt the current outrage to intervene on their own behalf anywhere in the Middle East or North Africa all over again. We must not let that happen. The only Western intervention needed is the one that should take place inside of the West: a movement of people demanding an end to the violence of empire itself. That intervention would benefit the whole world.

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Slave markets in ‘liberated’ Libya and the silence of the humanitarian hawks

NOVANEWS
Image result for Slave markets CARTOON
By Neil Clark  | RT 

The reports that black Africans are being sold at slave markets in ‘liberated’ Libya for as little as $400 is a terrible indictment of the so-called ‘humanitarian intervention’ carried out by NATO to topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

In March 2011 virtue-signaling Western ‘liberal’ hipsters teamed up with hardcore neocon warmongers to demand action to ‘save’ the Libyan people from the ‘despotic’ leader who had ruled the country since the late 1960s. “Something has to be done!” they cried in unison.

Something was done. Libya was transformed by NATO from the country with the highest Human Development Index in the whole of Africa in 2009 into a lawless hell-hole, with rival governments, warlords and terror groups fighting for control of the country.

Under Gaddafi, Libyans enjoyed free health care and education. Literacy rates went up from around 25 percent to almost 90 percent. A UN Human Rights Council report on Libya from January 2011, in which member states praised welfare provision, can be read here.

It was clear that while there were still areas of concern the country was continuing to make progress on a number of fronts.

In the Daily Telegraph – hardly a paper which could be accused of being an ideological supporter of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – Libya was hailed as one of the top six exotic cruise ship destinations in June 2010.

Cruise ships don’t have Libya on their itineraries today. It’s far too dangerous.

The only surprising thing about the return of slave markets (and it’s worth pointing out that before the CNN report, the UN agency, IOM also reported on their existence in Libya earlier this year) is that anyone should be surprised by it. Human rights and social progress usually go back hundreds of years whenever a NATO ‘humanitarian’ intervention takes place. And that’s not accidental. The ‘interventions,’ which purposely involve heavy bombing of the country’s infrastructure and the subsequent dismantling of the state apparatus are designed to reverse decades of social progress. The ‘failure to plan’ is actually the most important part of the plan, as my fellow OpEdger Dan Glazebrook details in his book Divide and Destroy – The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis.

Libya was targeted, like Yugoslavia and Iraq before it, not because of genuine concerns that ‘another Srebrenica’ was about to take place, (note the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee report of September 2016 held that ‘the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence’) but because it was a resource-rich country with an independently-minded government which operated a predominantly state-owned socialistic economy in a strategically important part of the world.

Neither Libya, Iraq or Yugoslavia did the bidding of the West’s endless war lobby, which is why they were earmarked for destruction. The chaos which routinely follows a NATO regime change op is a ghastly experience for the locals, who see their living standards plummet and their risk of violent death in a terrorist attack greatly increase, but great for rapacious Western corporations who then move in to the ‘liberated’ country en masse, taking advantage of the lack of a strong central authority.

Of course, this is never mentioned in NATO-friendly media. The role of the Western elites in turning previously functioning welfare states into failed states is missing from most mainstream reports on the countries post ‘liberation.’

In his recent piece for FAIR, journalist Ben Norton noted how reports “overwhelmingly spoke of slavery in Libya as an apolitical and timeless human rights issue, not as a political problem rooted in very recent history.”

The dominant narrative is that slave markets have re-emerged in Libya ‘as if by magic,’just like Mr. Benn’s shopkeeper. The country’s ’instability’ is mentioned, but not the cause of that instability, namely the violent overthrow of the country’s government in 2011 and the Western backing of extremist, and in some cases blatantly racist, death squads. Everyone is blamed for the mess except the powerful, protected people and lobbyists who are ultimately responsible.

The French government played a leading role in the destruction of Libya in 2011, yet today the French president, the ‘progressive’ Emmanuel Macron blames ‘Africans’ for the country’s slavery problem. “Who are the traffickers? Ask yourselves – being the African youth – that question. You are unbelievable. Who are the traffickers? They are Africans, my friends. They are Africans.”

Macron, like other Western leaders, wants us to see the slavery issue in close-up, and not in long-shot. Because if we do, NATO comes into the picture.

There is similar whitewashing over Iraq and the rise of ISIS. Again, we are supposed to regard the group’s emergence as “just one of those things.” But ISIS was not a force when the secular Baathist Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq; it only grew following his ousting and the chaos which followed the occupiers’ dismantling of the entire state apparatus.

Six-and-a-half years on, it’s revealing to look back at the things the cheerleaders for the ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya were saying in early 2011 and what actually happened as a result of NATO’s 26,500 sorties.

“The price of inaction is too high” was the title of one piece by David Aaronovitch in The Times, dated March 18, 2011. “If we don’t bomb Gadaffi’s tanks, Europe is likely to face a wave of refugees and a new generation of jihadis,” was the synopsis.

Guess what? The West’s military alliance did bomb Gaddafi’s tanks (and a lot more besides) and we got “a wave of refugees” of Biblical proportions and “a new generation of jihadis,” including the Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi.

But there’s been no mea culpa from Aaronovitch, nor from his Times colleague Oliver Kamm – who attacked me after I had penned an article in the Daily Express calling for NATO to halt its action.

In the Telegraph, Matthew d’Ancona wrote a piece entitled ‘Libya is Cameron’s chance to exorcise the ghost of Iraq.’

In fact, the experience of Iraq should have led all genuine humanitarians to oppose the NATO assault. In many ways, as John Wight argues here,

Libya was an even worse crime than the invasion of Iraq because it came afterward. There was really no excuse for anyone seeing how the ‘regime change’ operation of 2003 had turned out, supporting a similar venture in North Africa.

Unsurprisingly the politicians and pundits who couldn’t stop talking about Libya in 2011 and the West’s ‘responsibility to protect’ civilians seem less keen to talk about the country today.

Libya and its problems have vanished from the comment pages. It’s the same after every Western ‘intervention’: saturation coverage before and during the ‘liberation,’ bellicose calls from the totally unaccountable neocon/liberal punditocracy for military action to ‘save the people’ from the latest ‘New Hitler,’ and then silence afterwards as the country hurtles back in time to the Dark Ages.

The ‘liberators’ of Libya have moved on to other more important things in 2017, with Russophobia the current obsession. Anything, in fact, to distract us from the disastrous consequences of their actions.

 

Read more:

Macron urges military action in Libya to fight human trafficking

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Syrian War Report – December 1, 2017: ISIS Plans To Move Its Caliphate To Libya

NOVANEWS

…from SouthFront

The elite Tiger Forces have reportedly redeployed most of its units from the province of Deir Ezzor to northeastern Hama and southern Aleppo to support the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in its clashes against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in the area. Pro—government sources speculate that this is a sign of the upcoming large-scale advance towards the Abu al-Duhur Airbase.

Members of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have successfully counter-attacked against the SAA and entered the villages of Ramlah and Abisan. Two SAA soldiers were reportedly captured by militants.

On November 30, Ahrar al-Sham said that its members have repelled an SAA attack on its positions in the Armored Vehicles Base in Damascus’ Eastern Ghouta. The militant group added that a battle tank of the SAA was destroyed during the clashes.

Pro-government sources claimed on November 21 that the SAA had restored control over the entire area of the base after repelling the attack of Ahrar al-Sham. However, it appears that the militants still control some positions in the command section of the base.

The US-led coalition has announced that it withdraws the 1st Battalion of the 10th Marine Regiment from Syria. The battalion includes 400 US marines armed with M777 howitzers. The US Marines participated in the Raqqah battle supporting the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has ordered the remnants of the terrorist group to focus on Libya to compensate for losses in Iraq and Syria, the UK-based Saudi newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported. The report quoted documents allegedly found in ISIS locations in various parts of Libya, including al-Baghdadi’s letters to 13 of his top supporters. The documents contained orders to turn southern Libya into a new ISIS base, which will be used for operations in North Africa, including Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Army, told Fox News that al-Baghdadi is currently hiding in the ISIS-held area on the Syrian-Iraqi border. According to the general, the terrorists’ leader sustained “severe injuries” on February 11 as a result of the Iraqi airstrike on the city of al-Qaim.

If al-Baghdadi is really alive, he and his inner circle will likely attempt to leave the shrinking ISIS-held area in Syria and Iraq soon and to establish a new ISIS base in some African or Asian country. It’s high likely that Libya can become such a country.

Posted in Middle East, Iraq, Libya, SyriaComments Off on Syrian War Report – December 1, 2017: ISIS Plans To Move Its Caliphate To Libya

Slave Markets in ‘Liberated’ Libya and the Silence of the Humanitarian Hawks

NOVANEWS

The reports that black Africans are being sold at slave markets in ‘liberated’ Libya for as little as $400 is a terrible indictment of the so-called ‘humanitarian intervention’ carried out by NATO to topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

In March 2011 virtue-signaling Western ‘liberal’ hipsters teamed up with hardcore neocon warmongers to demand action to ‘save’ the Libyan people from the ‘despotic’ leader who had ruled the country since the late 1960s. “Something has to be done!” they cried in unison.

Something was done. Libya was transformed by NATO from the country with the highest Human Development Index in the whole of Africa in 2009 into a lawless hell-hole, with rival governments, warlords and terror groups fighting for control of the country.

Under Gaddafi, Libyans enjoyed free health care and education. Literacy rates went up from around 25 percent to almost 90 percent. A UN Human Rights Council report on Libya from January 2011, in which member states praised welfare provision, can be read here.

It was clear that while there were still areas of concern the country was continuing to make progress on a number of fronts.

In the Daily Telegraph – hardly a paper which could be accused of being an ideological supporter of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – Libya was hailed as one of the top six exotic cruise ship destinations in June 2010.

View image on Twitter

Libya before and after US & UK given “freedom”

Cruise ships don’t have Libya on their itineraries today. It’s far too dangerous.

The only surprising thing about the return of slave markets (and it’s worth pointing out that before the CNN report, the UN agency, IOM also reported on their existence in Libya earlier this year) is that anyone should be surprised by it. Human rights and social progress usually go back hundreds of years whenever a NATO ‘humanitarian’ intervention takes place. And that’s not accidental. The ‘interventions,’ which purposely involve heavy bombing of the country’s infrastructure and the subsequent dismantling of the state apparatus are designed to reverse decades of social progress. The ‘failure to plan’ is actually the most important part of the plan, as my fellow OpEdger Dan Glazebrook details in his book Divide and Destroy – The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis.

‘Three countries, three continents: One imperial Western project’ (Op-Edge by @NeilClark66http://on.rt.com/8hbx 

Three countries, three continents: One imperial Western project — RT Op-Edge

A resource-rich, socialist-led, multi-ethnic secular state, with an economic system characterized by a high level of public/social ownership and generous provision of welfare, education and social…

rt.com

Libya was targeted, like Yugoslavia and Iraq before it, not because of genuine concerns that ‘another Srebrenica’ was about to take place, (note the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee report of September 2016 held that ‘the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence’) but because it was a resource-rich country with an independently-minded government which operated a predominantly state-owned socialistic economy in a strategically important part of the world.

Neither Libya, Iraq or Yugoslavia did the bidding of the West’s endless war lobby, which is why they were earmarked for destruction. The chaos which routinely follows a NATO regime change op is a ghastly experience for the locals, who see their living standards plummet and their risk of violent death in a terrorist attack greatly increase, but great for rapacious Western corporations who then move in to the ‘liberated’ country en masse, taking advantage of the lack of a strong central authority.

Of course, this is never mentioned in NATO-friendly media. The role of the Western elites in turning previously functioning welfare states into failed states is missing from most mainstream reports on the countries post ‘liberation.’

In his recent piece for FAIR, journalist Ben Norton noted how reports “overwhelmingly spoke of slavery in Libya as an apolitical and timeless human rights issue, not as a political problem rooted in very recent history.

The dominant narrative is that slave markets have re-emerged in Libya ‘as if by magic,’just like Mr. Benn’s shopkeeper. The country’s ’instability’ is mentioned, but not the cause of that instability, namely the violent overthrow of the country’s government in 2011 and the Western backing of extremist, and in some cases blatantly racist, death squads. Everyone is blamed for the mess except the powerful, protected people and lobbyists who are ultimately responsible.

The French government played a leading role in the destruction of Libya in 2011, yet today the French president, the ‘progressive’ Emmanuel Macron blames ‘Africans’ for the country’s slavery problem. “Who are the traffickers? Ask yourselves – being the African youth – that question. You are unbelievable. Who are the traffickers? They are Africans, my friends. They are Africans.

Macron, like other Western leaders, wants us to see the slavery issue in close-up, and not in long-shot. Because if we do, NATO comes into the picture.

There is similar whitewashing over Iraq and the rise of ISIS. Again, we are supposed to regard the group’s emergence as “just one of those things.” But ISIS was not a force when the secular Baathist Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq; it only grew following his ousting and the chaos which followed the occupiers’ dismantling of the entire state apparatus.

The result of intervening in Libya has been “disappointing at the very least”, says Observer leader, arguing against action in Syria. Balls.

Six-and-a-half years on, it’s revealing to look back at the things the cheerleaders for the ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya were saying in early 2011 and what actually happened as a result of NATO’s 26,500 sorties.

The price of inaction is too high” was the title of one piece by David Aaronovitch in The Times, dated March 18, 2011.

If we don’t bomb Gadaffi’s tanks, Europe is likely to face a wave of refugees and a new generation of jihadis,” was the synopsis.

Guess what? The West’s military alliance did bomb Gaddafi’s tanks (and a lot more besides) and we got “a wave of refugees” of Biblical proportions and “a new generation of jihadis,” including the Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi.

But there’s been no mea culpa from Aaronovitch, nor from his Times colleague Oliver Kamm – who attacked me after I had penned an article in the Daily Express calling for NATO to halt its action.

In the Telegraph, Matthew d’Ancona wrote a piece entitled ‘Libya is Cameron’s chance to exorcise the ghost of Iraq.’

In fact, the experience of Iraq should have led all genuine humanitarians to oppose the NATO assault. In many ways, as John Wight argues here,

Libya was an even worse crime than the invasion of Iraq because it came afterward. There was really no excuse for anyone seeing how the ‘regime change’ operation of 2003 had turned out, supporting a similar venture in North Africa.

Unsurprisingly the politicians and pundits who couldn’t stop talking about Libya in 2011 and the West’s ‘responsibility to protect’ civilians seem less keen to talk about the country today.

Libya and its problems have vanished from the comment pages. It’s the same after every Western ‘intervention’: saturation coverage before and during the ‘liberation,’ bellicose calls from the totally unaccountable neocon/liberal punditocracy for military action to ‘save the people’ from the latest ‘New Hitler,’ and then silence afterwards as the country hurtles back in time to the Dark Ages.

The ‘liberators’ of Libya have moved on to other more important things in 2017, with Russophobia the current obsession. Anything, in fact, to distract us from the disastrous consequences of their actions.

Posted in LibyaComments Off on Slave Markets in ‘Liberated’ Libya and the Silence of the Humanitarian Hawks

ISIS Plans to Move Its ‘Caliphate’ to Libya? ‘Video’

NOVANEWS

ISIS Plans to Move Its ‘Caliphate’ to Libya? Relocate Terrorists to Africa, Asia?

The elite Tiger Forces have reportedly redeployed most of its units from the province of Deir Ezzor to northeastern Hama and southern Aleppo to support the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in its clashes against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in the area. Pro—government sources speculate that this is a sign of the upcoming large-scale advance towards the Abu al-Duhur Airbase.

Members of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have successfully counter-attacked against the SAA and entered the villages of Ramlah and Abisan. Two SAA soldiers were reportedly captured by militants.

On November 30, Ahrar al-Sham said that its members have repelled an SAA attack on its positions in the Armored Vehicles Base in Damascus’ Eastern Ghouta. The militant group added that a battle tank of the SAA was destroyed during the clashes.

Pro-government sources claimed on November 21 that the SAA had restored control over the entire area of the base after repelling the attack of Ahrar al-Sham. However, it appears that the militants still control some positions in the command section of the base.

The US-led coalition has announced that it withdraws the 1st Battalion of the 10th Marine Regiment from Syria. The battalion includes 400 US marines armed with M777 howitzers. The US Marines participated in the Raqqah battle supporting the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, [and allowing for the exodus of ISIS terrorists as documented by the BBC, see Global Research article, GR. Editor]

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has allegedly ordered the remnants of the terrorist group to focus on Libya to compensate for losses in Iraq and Syria, the UK-based Saudi newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported. The report quoted documents allegedly found in ISIS locations in various parts of Libya, including al-Baghdadi’s alleged letters to 13 of his top supporters. The documents contained orders to turn southern Libya into a new ISIS base, which will be used for operations in North Africa, including Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Army, told Fox News that al-Baghdadi is currently hiding in the ISIS-held area on the Syrian-Iraqi border. According to the general, the terrorists’ leader sustained “severe injuries” on February 11 as a result of the Iraqi airstrike on the city of al-Qaim.

If al-Baghdadi is really alive, he and his inner circle will likely attempt to leave the shrinking ISIS-held area in Syria and Iraq soon and to establish a new ISIS base in some African or Asian country. It’s high likely that Libya can become such a country.

Posted in Middle East, LibyaComments Off on ISIS Plans to Move Its ‘Caliphate’ to Libya? ‘Video’

The Imperialist Destruction of Libya. Impasse at the Fifth European Union-Africa Summit

NOVANEWS
2011 Counter-revolution against Gaddafi underlines the reemergence of enslavement and genocide

Abidjan, Ivory Coast is the scene of the annual European Union-Africa Summit where the centuries-long crises of relations between the two continents has reached a tipping point with the escalation of human trafficking in Libya stemming directly from the Pentagon-NATO destruction of the North African state in 2011.

In this year’s gathering, the fifth of such meetings, the African Union (AU) has gained official recognition as a continental body. In previous summits due to the desire by the EU to exclude certain states, the participation of African governments was based on an invitation-only basis.

However, beginning on November 29, both regional institutions sat down to negotiate new agreements on the migration of Africans from their homelands into Europe where an estimated 1.5 million people have traveled since 2015 only to be largely met with racism and national discrimination by EU member-states. Thousands have died in the Mediterranean due to sub-standard vessels in which people have paid thousands of Euros to travel across the waters to an uncertain future in the historical centers of slavery and colonialism.

Despite the concerns prompted by corporate media exposures of the recrudescence of the Atlantic Slave Trade, the actual causes underlying the contemporary crisis remains hidden through platitudes of concern by the leading EU states such as Germany and France along with their principles allies in Africa whom remains dominated by neo-colonialism. Although most African states gained formal independence decades ago, the economic and consequent political policies of these states are still largely dictated by Western European and North American imperialist governments.

Ironically the host of the EU-AU Summit President Alasane Ouattara of Ivory Coast was himself installed through French imperialist intervention in the early months of 2011. The previous head-of-state, President Laurent Gbagbo, was overthrown at the aegis of paratroopers deployed from Paris.

Gbagbo is now imprisoned in the Netherlands where he awaits trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague over alleged crimes committed in Ivory Coast. His wife, former First Lady Simone Gbagbo, a political figure in her own right, was railroaded through the unjust imperialist-controlled court system in Ivory Coast where she is serving a 20-year prison term absent of any identifiable criminal wrongdoing.

European Union-Africa Summit in Abidjan, Nov. 29, 2017

The ICC has been accused of racism and bias by numerous AU member-states due to its preoccupation with events on the continent while war crimes and genocidal policies carried out by the imperialist states of the West in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Haiti, etc. have not even been investigated by the ICC let alone being the subject of sanctions, arrest warrants, indefinite detentions and show trials. Only one African state has been able to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the ICC being Burundi which is facing retribution by the West.

Ouattara at the opening of the EU-AU Summit described slavery as a “wretched drama which recalls the worst hours of human history. I would like to appeal to our sense of responsibility to take all urgent measures to put an end to that practice, which belongs to another age.”

Nonetheless, the gathering of these 55 AU and 28 EU nations is not prepared to discuss the development of a new political and economic arrangement that could re-correct the six centuries-long disproportionate control by Europe and its descendants in North America over Africa. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron may present themselves as representatives of a neo-liberal Europe prepared to “integrate” African migrants, the reality is that the legacy of slavery and colonialism is very much a determining factor in the horrors of the second decade of the 21st century where the worse crises of displacement in human history has been spawned by imperialist wars and gross economic exploitation against the peoples of Africa and the Asia-Pacific.

Western Imperialism Destroyed Libya and Must Accept Responsibility for Its War Crimes

Col. Muammar Gaddafi, the former leader of the Libyan Jamahiriya, was targeted by the U.S., Britain, France, Italy, along with their allies in North Africa and the Middle East in February 2011 for removal. Rebels were financed, armed and coordinated to wage a ground war of terrorism to overthrow the government in Tripoli.

Although Libya had given up most of its offensive and defensive weapons in an effort to avoid war with the imperialists during the same time period as the destruction of Iraq in 2003, the Gaddafi forces were able to defeat the counter-revolutionaries chasing them back into their launching base of Benghazi by the second week of March 2011. Not willing to see the triumph of the Libyan military over its agents, the U.S. and other NATO governments went before the United Nations Security Council to pass two resolutions mandating an arms and economic embargo against the Jamahiriya as well as a massive bombing campaign which lasted for seven months.

The counter-revolutionaries fighting the Libyan government were labelled as “freedom fighters” attempting to institute “democracy” inside the country. Tens of thousands of Libyans and other Africans lost their lives in the process while the basic infrastructure of the AU’s most prosperous state was destroyed. These atrocities were committed under the leadership of the first “Black” president of the U.S. Barack Obama, who also escalated the presence of the Africa Command (AFRICOM) on the continent, with Libya being its first full mission.

Similar to the events in Ivory Coast, there were African governments and non-state entities which supported the recolonization of Libya. Today these same states are suffering from destabilization, the continuing impoverishment of their people emanating from the economic dependency on the imperialist nations.

Despite the purported “Arab Spring” seizure of power in Libya, some six years later, the country is one of the most unstable and destitute in Africa. Numerous attempts to configure a compliant neo-colonial dispensation in Libya have failed miserably. In 2017, at least three identifiable sources of putative “authority’ are in existence while militias and criminal gangs roam free throughout the country reigning down havoc upon millions.

The existence of slave marts in Libya is a by-product of imperialist intervention. This situation did not arise spontaneously and is a natural socially evolutionary process emerging from the failure of world capitalism struggling desperately to exert its influence over the majority of humanity.

Contributing to this state of affairs has been the U.S.-NATO wars waged in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Palestine and other geo-political regions. Islamist “terror” groups were created and promoted by the imperialists. They have been utilized for decades by Washington, London and Brussels through formal networks operating in compliant territories such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Africa Must Unite Against Imperialism and Neo-Colonialism

The EU-AU Summit cannot solve the problems of African migration. These difficulties can only be eradicated when Africa unites under an anti-imperialist program designed to rebuild the continent based upon its own economic and political interests.

This was the contribution of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the prime minister and president of the West African state of Ghana which was overthrown as well in 1966 at the aegis of Washington and Wall Street. Later Gaddafi also called for the creation of a United States of Africa in the Nkrumaist mode leaving him open to attack by the same imperialist system.

African migrants trapped in Libya

Recently during his tenure as AU Chairperson in 2015-2016, President Robert Mugabe of the Republic of Zimbabwe urged African nations to unite through the construction of its own trading system, currency, political integration and a military force that is independent of the Pentagon and NATO. Mugabe recently resigned from office under pressure from elements within his own political party, ZANU-PF.

The degree to which imperialism was responsible for this series of events known as “Operation Restore Legacy”, will become clearer as the actual policies of his successors become evident particularly in the arenas of land reform, indigenization, their posture towards U.S. militarism and the continuation of an anti-imperialist, Pan-Africanist and Socialist-oriented domestic and foreign policy.

What remains undisputed is the historic role of Europe in the underdevelopment of the African continent. Therefore only the genuine independence of Africa from this system of exploitation and national oppression can bring about true freedom and liberation to its people.

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Media Erase NATO Role in Bringing Slave Markets to Libya

NOVANEWS

Twenty-first century slave markets. Human beings sold for a few hundred dollars. Massive protests throughout the world.

The American and British media have awakened to the grim reality in Libya, where African refugees are for sale in open-air slave markets. Yet a crucial detail in this scandal has been downplayed or even ignored in many corporate media reports: the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in bringing slavery to the North African nation.

In March 2011, NATO launched a war in Libya expressly aimed at toppling the government of longtime leader Muammar Qadhafi. The US and its allies flew some 26,000 sorties over Libya and launched hundreds of cruise missiles, destroying the government’s ability to resist rebel forces.

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with their European counterparts, insisted the military intervention was being carried out for humanitarian reasons. But political scientist Micah Zenko (Foreign Policy3/22/16) used NATO’s own materials to show how “the Libyan intervention was about regime change from the very start.”

NATO supported an array of rebel groups fighting on the ground in Libya, many of which were dominated by Islamist extremists and harbored violently racist views. Militants in the NATO-backed rebel stronghold of Misrata even referred to themselves in 2011 as “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin”—an eerie foreshadowing of the horrors that were to come.

The war ended in October 2011. US and European aircraft attacked Qadhafi’s convoy, and he was brutally murdered by extremist rebels—sodomized with a bayonet. Secretary Clinton, who played a decisive role in the war, declared live on CBS News (10/20/11), “We came, we saw, he died!” The Libyan government dissolved soon after.

In the six years since, Libya has been roiled by chaos and bloodshed. Multiple would-be governments are competing for control of the oil-rich country, and in some areas there is still no functioning central authority. Many thousands of people have died, although the true numbers are impossible to verify. Millions of Libyans have been displaced—a staggering number, nearly one-third of the population, had fled to neighboring Tunisia by 2014.

Corporate media, however, have largely forgotten about the key role NATO played in destroying Libya’s government, destabilizing the country and empowering human traffickers.

Moreover, even the few news reports that do acknowledge NATO’s complicity in the chaos in Libya do not go a step further and detail the well-documented, violent racism of the NATO-backed Libyan rebels who ushered in slavery after ethnically cleansing and committing brutal crimes against black Libyans.

O NATO, Where Art Thou?

CNN (11/14/17) published an explosive story in mid-November that offered a firsthand look at the slave trade in Libya. The media network obtained terrifying video that shows young African refugees being auctioned, “big strong boys for farm work,” sold for as little as $400.

CNN: People for Sale

CNN (11/14/17) does not bring up the US role in allowing people to be sold.

The flashy CNN multimedia report included bonuses galore: two videos, two animated gifs, two photos and a chart. But something was missing: The 1,000-word story made no mention of NATO, or the 2011 war that destroyed Libya’s government, or Muammar Qadhafi, or any kind of historical and political context whatsoever.

Despite these huge flaws, the CNN report was widely celebrated, and made an impact in a corporate media apparatus that otherwise cares little about North Africa. A flurry of media reports followed. These stories overwhelmingly spoke of slavery in Libya as an apolitical and timeless human rights issue, not as a political problem rooted in very recent history.

In subsequent stories, when Libyan and United Nations officials announced they would launch an investigation into the slave auctions, CNN (11/17/1711/20/17) again failed to mention the 2011 war, let alone NATO’s role in it.

One CNN report (11/21/17) on a UN Security Council meeting noted, “Ambassadors from Senegal to Sweden also blamed trafficking’s root causes: unstable countries, poverty, profits from slave trading and lack of legal enforcement.” But it failed to explain why Libya is unstable.

Another 1,200-word CNN follow-up article (11/23/17) was just as obfuscatory. It was only in the 35th paragraph of this 36-graf story that a Human Rights Watch researcher noted, “Libyan interim authorities have been dragging their feet on virtually all investigations they supposedly started, yet never concluded, since the 2011 uprising.” NATO’s leadership in this 2011 uprising was, however, ignored.

An Agence France-Presse news wire that was published by Voice of America (11/17/17) and other websites similarly failed to provide any historical context for the political situation in Libya. “Testimony collected by AFP in recent years has revealed a litany of rights abuses at the hands of gang leaders, human traffickers and the Libyan security forces,” the article said, but it did not recount anything that happened before 2017.

Reports by the BBC (11/18/17), the New York Times (11/20/17), Deutsche Welle (reprinted by USA Today11/23/17) and the Associated Press (reprinted by theWashington Post11/23/17) also failed to mention the 2011 war, let alone NATO’s role in it.

NYT: Sale of Migrants as Slaves in Libya Causes Outrage in Africa and Paris

New York Times story (11/19/17) was exceptional in connecting the rise in Libyan slavery to Muammar Qadhafi’s overthrow–yet it failed to mention the US’s leading role in that overthrow.

Another New York Times story (11/19/17) did provide a bit of context:

Since the Arab Spring uprising of 2011 ended the brutal rule of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, Libya’s coast has became a hub for human trafficking and smuggling. That has fueled the illegal migration crisis that Europe has been scrambling to contain since 2014. Libya, which slid into chaos and civil war after the revolt, is now divided among three main factions.

Yet the Times still erased NATO’s key place in this uprising of 2011.

In an account of the large protests that erupted outside Libyan embassies in Europe and Africa in response to reports of slave auctions, Reuters (11/20/17) indicated, “Six years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is still a lawless state where armed groups compete for land and resources and people-smuggling networks operate with impunity.” But it did not provide any more information about how Qadhafi was toppled.

A report in the Huffington Post (11/22/17), later republished by AOL (11/27/17), did concede that Libya is “one of the world’s most unstable [sic], mired in conflict since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in 2011.” It made no mention of NATO’s leadership in that ousting and killing.

Part of the problem has been the unwillingness of international organizations to point out the responsibility of powerful Western governments. In his statement on the reports of slavery in Libya, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres (11/20/17) did not mention anything about what has happened politically inside the North African nation in the past six years. The UN News Centre report (11/20/17) on Guterres’ comments was just as contextless and uninformative, as was the press release (11/21/17) on the issue from the International Organization for Migration.

Al Jazeera (11/26/17) did cite an IOM official who suggested, in Al Jazeera‘s words, that “the international community should pay more attention to post-Gaddafi Libya.” But the media outlet provided no context as to how Libya became post-Qadhafi in the first place. In fact, Al Jazeera‘s source went out of his way to make the issue apolitical: “Modern-day slavery is widespread around the world and Libya is by no means unique.”

While it is true that slavery and human trafficking happen in other countries, this widespread media narrative depoliticizes the problem in Libya, which has its roots in explicit political decisions made by governments and their leaders: namely, the choice to overthrow Libya’s stable government, turning the oil-rich North African nation into a failed state ruled by competing warlords and militias, some of which are involved in and profit from slavery and trafficking.

Selective Attention to NATO’s Aftermath in Libya

Corporate media reporting on Libya largely mirrors reporting on Yemen (FAIR.org11/20/178/31/172/27/17), Syria (FAIR.org4/7/179/5/15) and beyond: The role of the US government and its allies in creating chaos abroad is minimized, if not outright ignored.

Strikingly, one of the only exceptions to this overwhelming media trend came back in April from, of all places, the New York Times editorial board. The Times editorial (4/14/17) did not mince words, directly linking the US-backed military operation to the ongoing catastrophe:

None of this would be possible if not for the political chaos in Libya since the civil war in 2011, when — with the involvement of a NATO coalition that included the United States — Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was toppled. Migrants have become the gold that finances Libya’s warring factions.

This is a significant reversal. Immediately after NATO launched its war in Libya in March 2011, the Times editorial board (3/21/11) cheered on the bombing, effusing, “Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has long been a thug and a murderer who has never paid for his many crimes.” It waxed poetic on the “extraordinary,” “astonishing” military intervention, and hoped for Qadhafi’s imminent downfall.

The April 2017 Times editorial stopped far short of a being a mea culpa, yet it was still a rare admission of truth.

At the time this surprisingly honest editorial was written, there had briefly been a bit of media attention to Libya. The International Organization for Migration had just conducted an investigation into slavery in post–regime change Libya, leading to a string of news reports in the Guardian (4/10/17) and elsewhere. Practically as soon as this appalling story got the interest of corporate media, however, it quickly died out. Attention shifted back to Russia, North Korea and the bogeymen of the day.

Guardian: Migrants from west Africa being ‘sold in Libyan slave markets’

This Guardian piece (4/10/17) cites “the overthrow of autocratic leader Muammar Qadhafi,” but does not say that the US (or Britain) was instrumental in overthrowing him.

When Western governments were hoping to militarily intervene in the country in the lead-up to March 19, 2011, there was a constant torrent of media reports on the evils of Qadhafi and his government—including a healthy dose of fake news (Salon9/16/16). Major newspapers staunchly supported the NATO intervention, and made no secret of their pro-war editorial lines.

When the US government and its allies were preparing for war, the corporate media apparatus did what it does best, and helped sell yet another military intervention to the public.

In the years since, on the other hand, there has been exponentially less interest in the disastrous aftermath of that NATO war. There will be short spikes of interest, as there was in early 2017. The most recent spurt of press coverage was inspired by the publication of CNN‘s shocking video footage. But the coverage invariably rapidly peaks and goes away.

The Extreme Racism of Libyan Rebels

The catastrophe Libya might endure after the collapse of its state had been predictable at the time. Qadhafi himself had warned NATO member states, while they were waging war against him, that they were going to unleash chaos throughout the region. Yet Western leaders—Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the US, David Cameron in the UK, Nicolas Sarkozy in France, Stephen Harper in Canada—ignored Qadhafi’s admonition and violently toppled his government.

Even from the small number of media reports on slavery in Libya that do manage to acknowledge NATO’s responsibility for destabilizing the country, nevertheless, something is still missing.

Looking back at Libya’s anti-Qadhafi rebels, both during and after the 2011 war, it is very clear that hardline anti-black racism was widespread in the NATO-backed opposition. A 2016 investigation by the British House of Common’s Foreign Affairs Committee (Salon9/16/16) acknowledged that “militant Islamist militias played a critical role in the rebellion from February 2011 onwards.” But many rebels were not just fundamentalist; they were also violently racist.

It is unfortunately no surprise that these extremist Libyan militants later enslaved African refugees and migrants: They were hinting at it from the very beginning.

Most American and European media coverage at the time of NATO’s military intervention was decidedly pro-rebel. When reporters got on the ground, however, they began publishing a few more nuanced pieces that hinted at the reality of the opposition. These were insignificant in number, but they are enlightening and worth revisiting.

Three months into the NATO war, in June 2011, the Wall Street Journal‘s Sam Dagher (6/21/11) reported from Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city and a major hub for the opposition, where he noted he saw rebel slogans like “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin.”

Dahger indicated that the rebel stronghold of Misrata was dominated by “tightly knit white merchant families,” whereas “the south of the country, which is predominantly black, mainly backs Col. Gadhafi.”

Other graffiti in Misrata read “Traitors keep out.” By “traitors,” rebels were referring to Libyans from the town of Tawergha, which the Journal explained is “inhabited mostly by black Libyans, a legacy of its 19th-century origins as a transit town in the slave trade.”

Dagher reported that some Libyan rebel leaders were “calling for the expulsion of Tawerghans from the area” and “banning Tawergha natives from ever working, living or sending their children to schools in Misrata.” He added that predominately Tawergha neighborhoods in Misrata had already been emptied. Black Libyans were “gone or in hiding, fearing revenge attacks by Misratans, amid reports of bounties for their capture.”

The rebel commander Ibrahim al-Halbous told the Journal, “Tawergha no longer exists, only Misrata.”

Al-Halbous would later reappear in a report by the Sunday Telegraph (9/11/11), reiterating to the British newspaper, “Tawarga no longer exists.” (When Halbous was injured in September, the New York Times9/20/11—portrayed him sympathetically as a martyr in the heroic fight against Qadhafi. The Halbous brigade has in the years since become an influential militia in Libya.)

Like Dagher, the Telegraph‘s Andrew Gilligan drew attention to the slogan painted on the road between Misrata and Tawergha: “the brigade for purging slaves [and] black skin.”

Gilligan reported from Tawergha, or rather from the remnants of the majority-black town, which he noted had “been emptied of its people, vandalized and partly burned by rebel forces.” A rebel leader said of the dark-skinned residents, “We said if they didn’t go, they would be conquered and imprisoned. Every single one of them has left, and we will never allow them to come back.”

Gilligan noted “a racist undercurrent. Many Tawargas, though neither immigrants nor Gaddafi’s much-ballyhooed African mercenaries, are descended from slaves, and are darker than most Libyans.”

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization assisted these virulently racist rebels in Misrata. NATO forces frequently launched air attacks on the city. French fighter jets shot down Libyan planes over Misrata. The US and UK fired cruise missiles at Libyan government targets, and the US launched Predator drone strikes. The Canadian air force also attacked Libyan forces, pushing them out of Misrata.

In a public relations video NATO published in May 2011, early in the Libya war, the Western military alliance openly admitted that it intentionally allowed “Libyan rebels to transport arms from Benghazi to Misrata.” Political scientist Micah Zenko (Foreign Policy3/22/16) pointed out the implications of this video: “A NATO surface vessel stationed in the Mediterranean to enforce an arms embargo did exactly the opposite, and NATO was comfortable posting a video demonstrating its hypocrisy.”

Throughout the war and after, Libyan rebels continued carrying out racist sectarian attacks against their black compatriots. These attacks have been well documented by mainstream human rights organizations.

HRW: Libya: Stop Arbitrary Arrests of Black Africans

Human Rights Watch (9/4/11) documented racist persecution in post-Qadhafi Libya.

Human Rights Watch’s longtime executive director Kenneth Roth cheered on NATO intervention in Libya in 2011, calling the UN Security Council’s unanimous endorsement of a no-fly zone a “remarkable” confirmation of the so-called “responsibility to protect” doctrine.

Roth’s organization, however, could not ignore the crimes anti-Qadhafi militants committed against dark-skinned Libyans and migrants.

In September 2011, when the war was still ongoing, Human Rights Watch reported on Libyan rebels’ “arbitrary arrests and abuse of African migrant workers and black Libyans assumed to be [pro-Qadhafi] mercenaries.”

Then in October, the top US human rights organization noted that Libyan militias were “terrorizing the displaced residents of the nearby town of Tawergha,” the majority-black community that had been a stronghold of support for Qadhafi. “The entire town of 30,000 people is abandoned—some of it ransacked and burned—and Misrata brigade commanders say the residents of Tawergha should never return,” HRW added. Witnesses “gave credible accounts of some Misrata militias shooting unarmed Tawerghans, and of arbitrary arrests and beatings of Tawerghan detainees, in a few cases leading to death.”

In 2013, HRW reported further on the ethnic cleansing of the black community of Tawergha. The human rights organization, whose chief had so effusively supported the military intervention, wrote: “The forced displacement of roughly 40,000 people, arbitrary detentions, torture and killings are widespread, systematic and sufficiently organized to be crimes against humanity.”

These atrocities are undeniable, and they lead a path straight to the enslavement of African refugees and migrants. But to acknowledge NATO’s complicity in empowering these racist extremist militants, corporate media would have to acknowledge NATO’s role in the 2011 regime change war in Libya in the first place.

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Libya: Ten Things About Gaddafi They Don’t Want You to Know

This article was first published by Global Research in November 2014. Today Libya as a Nation State has been destroyed by US-NATO.

What do you think of when you hear the name Colonel Gaddafi? Tyrant? Dictator? Terrorist? Well, a national citizen of Libya may disagree but we want you to decide.

For 41 years until his demise in October 2011, Muammar Gaddafi did some truly amazing things for his country and repeatedly tried to unite and empower the whole of Africa.

So despite what you’ve heard on the radio, seen in the media or on the TV, Gaddafi did some powerful things that are not characteristic of a “vicious dictator” as portrayed by the western media.

Here are ten things Gaddafi did for Libya that you may not know about…

Muammar Gaddafi Libya

1. In Libya a home is considered a natural human right

In Gaddafi’s Green Book it states: ”The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others”. Gaddafi’s Green Book is the formal leader’s political philosophy, it was first published in 1975 and was intended reading for all Libyans even being included in the national curriculum.

2. Education and medical treatment were all free

Under Gaddafi, Libya could boast one of the best healthcare services in the Middle East and Africa.  Also if a Libyan citizen could not access the desired educational course or correct medical treatment in Libya they were funded to go abroad.

3. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project

The largest irrigation system in the world also known as the great manmade river was designed to make water readily available to all Libyan’s across the entire country. It was funded by the Gaddafi government and it said that Gaddafi himself called it ”the eighth wonder of the world”.

4. It was free to start a farming business

If any Libyan wanted to start a farm they were given a house, farm land and live stock and seeds all free of charge.

5. A bursary was given to mothers with newborn babies

When a Libyan woman gave birth she was given 5000 (US dollars) for herself and the child.

6. Electricity was free

Electricity was free in Libya meaning absolutely no electric bills!

7.  Cheap petrol

During Gaddafi’s reign the price of petrol in Libya was as low as 0.14 (US dollars) per litre.

8. Gaddafi raised the level of education

Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. This figure was brought up to 87% with 25% earning university degrees.

9. Libya had It’s own state bank

Libya had its own State bank, which provided loans to citizens at zero percent interest by law and they had no external debt.

10. The gold dinar

Before the fall of Tripoli and his untimely demise, Gaddafi was trying to introduce a single African currency linked to gold. Following in the foot steps of the late great pioneer Marcus Garvey who first coined the term ”United States of Africa”. Gaddafi wanted to introduce and only trade in the African gold Dinar  – a move which would have thrown the world economy into chaos.

The Dinar was widely opposed by the ‘elite’ of today’s society and who could blame them. African nations would have finally had the power to bring itself out of debt and poverty and only trade in this precious commodity. They would have been able to finally say ‘no’ to external exploitation and charge whatever they felt suitable for precious resources. It has been said that the gold Dinar was the real reason for the NATO led rebellion, in a bid to oust the outspoken leader.

So, was Muammar Gaddafi a Terrorist?

Few can answer this question fairly, but if anyone can, it’s a Libyan citizen who has lived under his reign? Whatever the case, it seems rather apparent that he did some positive things for his country despite the infamous notoriety surrounding his name. And that’s something you should try to remember when judging in future.

This quirky video documentary spells out an interesting, if rather different, story from the one we think we know.

 

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CNN Breaks Story on Slave Trade in Libya; French Government Voices Concern for African Migrants

NOVANEWS

The world we find ourselves in is complex and full of contradictions. It is easy to fall for rudimentary textbook propaganda based on simplistic dichotomies, such as ‘the good guys versus the bad guys’. If we are not aware of the complexities and nuances facing us, we can fall for this type of propaganda, whose sole aim is to keep us apart and destroy any type of unity that could strengthen our ability to defeat the enemy.

When examining and assessing the latest information fed to us by one of imperialism’s mouthpieces, CNN, there are important things for us, as revolutionary Pan-Africanists, to keep in mind. The first thing to note is the clear hypocrisy and insincerity which is nowhere more stark than CNN’s recent expose of “Libyan crimes against humanity” and French President, Emmanuel Macron’s call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to demand immediate action against this heinous “Libyan” crime.

I know this much for sure, as an African revolutionary I do not look to the devil for the truth. I know that the devil does not lie some of the time; he lies and deceives all of the time. In whatever form the devil manifests himself, I do not deal with him. He can come in the guise of the imperialists and White Supremacists themselves, or their mouthpieces such as CNN, BBC, Fox News or any of the mainstream corporate media outlets. We should never forget their role as cheerleaders and purveyors of the fake news that laid the groundwork for the invasion and destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya. Therefore, let us ask ourselves the burning question, why are they providing us with this information, and why now? Why are the imperialists suddenly feigning concern for the plight of Africans?

In my first article on the invasion of Libya, published March 2nd, 2011, titled, Libya, Getting it Right: A Revolutionary Pan-African Perspective, I said that

“the conflict in Libya is not a revolution, but a counter-revolution. The struggle is fundamentally a battle between Pan-African forces on the one hand, who are dedicated to the realization of Qaddafi’s vision of a united Africa, and reactionary, racist Libyan Arab forces who reject Qaddafi’s vision of Libya as part of a united Africa.”

Events have proved this analysis correct. Muammar Qaddafi and the Revolutionary Committees Movement of the Al Fateh Revolution had a monumental task on their hands: to conscientize and reposition the Libyan peoplefor a significant role in the revolutionary Pan-African project for a United States of Africa. This is a battle for all African revolutionaries. In Sub-Saharan African countries, where almost the entire population comprises Black Africans, we face the same battle. Here in the Caribbean, it is no different. So, when Qaddafi urged his people to look towards a United States of Africa and a revolutionary Pan-African perspective, he had to face Libyans who rejected this program in favor of Libya and the entire North African region joining the Barcelona Project, a Mediterranean-European alliance, whose aim is to take North Africa out of Africa.

Prejudice against dark-skinned Africans exists all over planet earth. Even in countries where the population is almost 100% Black African, we have to contend with ‘shadism’, a hangover from colonialism and plantation culture, where Africans with lighter skin shades are held in higher esteem than Africans with darker skin shades. However, to say that “Arab Libyans” are selling “Africans” is overly simplistic and deliberately misleading. There is a hidden agenda here – beware. The objective is to ignite hostilities between so-called Arab-Africans and so-called Sub-Saharan-Africans.  There is a debate amongst Africans about who is an African. On the one hand, there are those who limit the definition of African to Black Africans in the Sub-Saharan region of the continent. On the other hand, there are those of us who believe that Africa is one, and we will resist any attempt by the imperialists to redefine and further balkanize Africa. Rather than becoming part of the European Community, North Africans promoting the Barcelona Project would be better off seeking out their African roots. This is what Muammar Qaddafi told all Libyans.

Those who today call themselves “Arabs” have a historical, ancestral and moral duty to recognize their Africanity. Those “Arabs” who live in countries on the African continent and those who live in the region outside of the continent, need to explore and reexamine their history.  The region they inhabit, erroneously named “Middle-East”and “Levant” by the European colonizers cannot be divorced from Africa. I agree with Islamic theologian and historian, Dr. Wesley Muhammad, that the area known as “Middle-East” or “Levant” is more aptly named ‘Afrabia’.

Anyone interested in more information on this and the Aryanization of Christianity and Islam, should refer to the brilliant works of Dr. Wesley Muhammad, especially his book ‘Black Arabia and the African Origins of Islam’.

The North Atlantic Tribes Organization (NATO) deeply fear this type of awakening and the unity of purpose and action it could lead to in this oil rich and wealthiest region of the world.

Minister Farrakhan said many years ago, reflecting on periods of unity in our history, “we did it before and we can do it again”. Muammar Qaddafi persistent struggle to forge a United States of Africa was starting to pay off. He was on the verge of creating an African currency that would have shifted the global economic imbalance, preparing the way for Africa to take its rightful place in the world. Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Ivory Coast, was openly supporting Qaddafi with this radical move. Gbagbo believed that those who were serious should declare a United States of Africa and the others could follow. Fear of this emerging African unity, especially between countries in the north and south of the continent, prompted France to orchestrate Gbagbo’s removal from power at the same time as the NATO led invasion of Libya. Genuine African unity, resulting in anything more than talk, will always be opposed, no matter what the cost, by the forces of White Supremacy.

As we now know, even those Libyans who opposed Qaddafi’s drive for a United States of Africa, did not support the overthrow of the Jamahiriya. It is a well-substantiatedfact that the rag-tag and opportunistic conglomerate of reactionaries, including monarchists, Arab supremacists and al-Qaeda linked Islamists, such as those from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, constituted an insignificant minority. The Libyan Revolutionary Armed Forces could have easily contained these retrograde forces, if NATO had not bombed them into power. Without the backing of France, the US, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and their satellites, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, the so-called Libyan rebels amounted to nothing when confronted with the overwhelming support of the majority of Libyans for Muammar Qaddafi and the Al Fateh Revolution. This revolution brought dignity, stability, prosperity and liberation from foreign domination to all Libyans, from the fairest to the darkest in complexion. One thing you knew as soon as you stepped off the plane at Tripoli Airport was that the Libyans – all Libyans – were in control of their country!It was people power, seemingly chaotic and misunderstood by outsiders, but a truly participatory democracy to those who lived it and experienced it. The majority of Libyans were aware of this and supported Al Fateh.

Knowing who the so-called rebels truly are, it came as no surprise to me,thatin addition to the long list of crimes against humanity attributed to these scoundrels, they would auction Black Africans as slave labor.

Following the heroic battle of Sirte, back in December 2011, in an article titled, “Demons Unleashed in Libya: NATO’s Islamists Continue Program of Ethnic and Ideological Cleansing”, I wrote about the horror that was taking place. A horror that was instigated by the Anglo-Franco-American Imperialists, under the watchful eye of the UN – all of whom are now shedding crocodile tears over the sale of African migrants in Libya. In that article, I wrote about the“complete whiteout by the corporate media regarding all news from Libya”. I stated that,“Even the United Nations, an architect of the nation’s destruction, says 7,000 prisoners are held without trial or charge, most of them Black, many of them tortured. Any known Qaddafi loyalists who have not been able to get out of Libya have to stay underground. Death squads scour the land. Truckloads of bodies are being carted away, as the now feuding armed gangs, each with their own command structure, and none adhering to anything the Western installed NTC says, introduces the only policy they ever had – exterminate Qaddafi and all those loyal to him.”

These are NATO’s thugs.

I went on to note that,

“In addition to loyalty to the Leader, and defense of their country against foreign invaders, having black skin and asserting one’s Africanity has become a crime in the new Libya. Ethnic cleansing is continuing unabated. Every day Black Africans from Libya and other parts of Africa are hunted down. Thousands have been brutally tortured and executed. Rape of Black women is a favored weapon of NATO’s Islamists. Many of the female bodies found show signs of rape, beatings and torture. Large numbers of Black Africans make up the ranks of the Green Resistance.”

I quoted one Tripoli resident as saying:

“Everyone is terrified of the NTC and their armed gangs. We have seen with our own eyes what they are capable of – they are animals. All around us people are being rounded up and imprisoned. We have no way of knowing how many have been murdered. Anyone who is associated with Qaddafi or suspected of loyalty to him is at risk. Even people who have worked for people who are known supporters of the leader have been rounded up and tortured. I personally know of many persons who were just working for people associated with the leader who have been taken away and never seen again. If you are black you are an immediate suspect – these rebels call black Libyans “abd” means slave and they are rounding them up just because they are black – it is making me sick and ashamed.”

“…What these rebels have done to their own people is disgusting – some of the acts of torture I can’t even speak about. There has been a lot of rape. I wept when I learned of what these animals did to the leader’s female bodyguards – they are not human and that is why there is so much fear. Any known Qaddafi loyalists who have not been able to get out of Libya have to stay underground. Libyans are afraid to talk to other Libyans – anyone could be an informer. It feels like the last days are upon us – Libya has been turned into a living hell.”

The imperialist media, including CNN was completely silent regarding all of these crimes against humanity,despite the fact that genocide in the form of an ethnic and ideological cleansing pogrom was unfolding right before our eyes. There was no outcry from the UN or the North Atlantic Tribes. No time or motive for outcry – having shared the spoils, these callous warlords had already moved on to their next victim – Syria.

So why now?

Could it be that the Green Resistance is gaining ground? Could it be that although they killed Qaddafi and buried him in an unmarked grave (they know why), his dangerous (for them) ideas are better known now than before?  Could it be that Muammar Qaddafi’s vision for a United States of Africa could once again re-surface?

Prior to the overthrow of the Jamahiriya, thousands of Africans traveled to Libya to work, and they prospered. Employment opportunities existed across a range of occupations, including teachers, librarians, nurses, hotel workers, chefs, mechanics, electricians, construction workers and unskilled laborers. They were able to send money home to their families. African businesses and companies also traded extensively in Libya. There was zero tolerance in the Jamahiriya for the mistreatment of Libyan or migrant workers or anyone for that matter. I know of many foreigners who received favorable judgments in employment disputes.

The destruction of this most prosperous and just African country was led by France, who now dares to call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the crimes committed against African migrants “by Libyans”. This is devil-speak. The same devil who, in the words of the Honorable Minister Farrakhan, “unleashed the demons” that are now committing these and other heinous crimes, is trying to sow more discord by talking about “Libyan crimes”. Where was CNN and the French government when these same gangs of demons were committing the atrocities described above?

We have known since the first day of NATO’s invasion that this was perhaps one of the most racist and atrocious crimes of the 21st century. The question that we must ask ourselves is why CNN, the French government and others who led the charge in 2011, are all of a sudden concerned about the plight of Africans in Libya. Minister Farrakhan calls it “deceptive intelligence”, and warns us that, “every time the serpent raises its head it should be decapitated”.

Let us resist this crude attempt to divide and ruin us yet again. Let us not be distracted and misled by imperialist propaganda. Let us make sure that our enemies do not set our agenda, causing us to react to their devious attempts to pit us against each other. Let us set our own agenda for our second liberation. Crimes against Black Africans and Qaddafi loyalists, of every complexion, began in Libya in 2011, and continue to this day, unabated. Thousands languish in detention centers, Libyans of every complexion and migrants from all over Africa. Those carrying out these crimes on the ground are the foot soldiers and thugs of the criminal masterminds of the hell that is now Libya. Arrest warrants should be issued immediately for Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Cameron, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Emir Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani to name but a few.

I end with a message to “All our Brothers and Sisters in Africa and the Diaspora” from long time Revolutionary Committee Movement member, Dr. Salem Zubeidy:

“This letter is addressed to our brothers, officials, and residents of the sub-Saharan African countries, who are characterized by dark features….

There have been many reactions and statements by African leaders, politicians, organizations and institutions following an investigation published by CNN that there are markets for the selling of Africans of dark skin in Libya …

No one stopped to question the validity of this report, and where is the market? When did this happen? Where do the (alleged) slaves go?

Then, no one asked how the channel got to the supposed market, and how was it able to video the “auction”? What is the purpose of the American channel to broadcast such a program that distorts an entire people, and accuses them of committing a heinous crime that is not accepted by a reasonable mind and not approved by any logic?

We can find explanations and justifications for a US channel harboring suspicious purposes in fueling separation and instigating seditions.

As an answer to the voices and forces that see in this an opportunity to falsify the facts, and play down the Libyan people’s accomplishments, side by side with their African brothers and sisters in the golden times of the al-Fateh Revolution, it behooves us to clarify some points:

  1. Libya, which you know has been hijacked since the Fall of 2011, and its capabilities are being controlled by criminal gangs that had been enabled by means of the Western war machine of NATO, after destroying the foundations of the state.
  2. Libya was the Bureau of the liberation movements, which trained, armed and equipped thousands of young people in the southern regions of Africa, Rhodesia, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola, and enabled them to return with their full military gear, with Libyan advisers, to fight the battles of liberation.
  3. Libya offered total support to the struggle of Cabral in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde and dispatched Libyan officers as volunteers to fight alongside him, some of whom are still living witnesses amongst us.
  4. Libya presented absolute support for revolutionary and progressive regimes in African countries seeking liberation from imperialism and neo-colonialism in the Congo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Chad, and others.
  5. Libya alone has resisted the Barcelona process, which had as an objective the separation of the light-skinned in the north of the continent linking them with the Mediterranean in the so-called “Mediterranean Organization” and established the CEN-SAD in response to the Barcelona process, to prove the unity of the continent.
  6. Libya fought the battle for the unification of the continent and the affirmation of its freedom, identity, and dignity through pressing for the establishment of the African Union.
  7. Libya embraced African political opposition movements, supporting their programs and bringing many of their leaders to power.
  8. Libya represented the ongoing battle for peace, development, and construction. It convened dozens of meetings, organized dozens of mediation affairs and reconciliations. It also invested huge sums in important projects in most countries of the continent …

We can go on in more detail, but we just want to tell you and the world that your Libyan brothers and sisters cannot accept to disassociate themselves from their continent, no matter how the enemies of Africa try.”

A full statement from Libyan People’s National Movement (LPNM) can be found here.

Posted in LibyaComments Off on CNN Breaks Story on Slave Trade in Libya; French Government Voices Concern for African Migrants

Libya: A New False Dawn

NOVANEWS
 

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. That quote is worth bearing in mind when assessing the chances of the latest United Nations peace plan for Libya.

Every autumn, along with the falling leaves, comes a new UN plan for ending Libya’s civil war, now into its fourth year.

Like the plans before it, the current version of the United Nations Support Mission for Libya has superficial attractions.

It proposes a new slimmed-down version of the government the UN itself installed in Tripoli two years ago, cutting the number of its presidency from nine members to three, one chosen from each of the country’s three regions.

The elected parliament in Tobruk voted yes to it this week, and there were encouraging signs from its rival, unelected, parliament, the State Council in Tripoli. Cue optimistic words from the new UN envoy, Ghassan Salame, to the United Nations Security Council – his boss – earlier this month about how the peace process is advancing.

But the reality is, it ain’t going to work.

And it ain’t going to work for the same reason that all the previous UN peace plans didn’t work.

The most obvious reason why it will not work is right there in the UN plan: The three-strong presidency needs to be agreed by a grand council of all Libya’s factions, expected to be called by the UN in February, which will also decide a date for new elections. But if all Libya’s factions could agree a way forward, there would never have been a civil war in the first place.

That is reality behind the superficial optimism that greeted the yes-vote to the new presidency by Tobruk – Libya’s only governing group that was actually elected.

The UN’s powerlessness was exposed two weeks ago, when Tobruk refused to let a UN plane, bringing western Libyan MPs to the parliament, was refused permission to land. The UN greeted this with a meek protest, and nothing more. Outside powers have other things to think about, and there was no Big Power heft to push Tobruk to change its mind.

The reality is that the country remains in political turmoil.

In the east, supporters of Tobruk’s army commander, Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, have begun a petition for him to be declared Libyan President. This likely will not work and the Field Marshall himself knows it is not necessary. After his successful operations against Islamists, clearing them from Benghazi, Libya’s second city, he has a fair chance of walking it to victory if Libya held a Presidential election.

With Benghazi free, the city is shrugging off three years of battle. Flights and shipping are being transferred from Tobruk, at Libya’s eastern extremity, back to Benghazi. Oil is flowing from the Sirte Basin, where the country’s oil wealth is concentrated.

Tripoli, meanwhile, is undergoing more and more deportations: The militias who control the streets fight each other, kidnappings are endemic, and citizens are humiliated by having to line up for hours to withdraw paltry sums of money from state banks just to survive. All of which is an indictment on the Tripoli government which, despite UN backing, has failed to impose itself.

In other words, eastern Libya is humming, and will not bend its knee to any UN plan not to its liking.​​​ Outside powers are also disunited. France and Italy both had strategies, Italy backing the Tripoli rulers, France Tobruk. Russia has also signaled support for Tobruk, enjoying warm relations with Haftar, though formally all three states endorse the “UN process.”

The wild card is the United States. The Trump administration has kept its distance from Libya, with Trump himself declaring the US has “no interest” in the country.

That may be changing. This month Libya’s oil chief Mustafa Sanallah and, reportedly, a member of Haftar’s entourage, were both in Houston to meet Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The location of the meetings was important: Tillerson is an oil man, the former chief executive of Exxon, and Houston is also the HQ of American oil companies who have a presence in eastern Libya. The companies are keen to see production get going again, and Haftar’s advisors are keen to remind them that, since capturing the Sirte Basin from assorted militias a year back, the general has allowed the oil to flow unlike the militias who held it to ransom.​

In the end, Libya’s war is likely to be settled by old fashioned great-powers moves, not the illusionary plans of the disrespected UN.

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