THE TRUTH AND THE MYTH OF THE WAR IN LIBYA

The truth about Libya

Hilary Clinton told USA Senators that American State Department needs more money to fight information war. She conceded that America was losing on this front. Unfortunately, African broadcasters do not seem to understand that they are weapons of US’s national interest warfare. There is no visible national interest in Africa political commentary on geo-political matters.

Libyan armed rebellion commonly presented as peaceful protest on mainstream media is a classic case of interest based political analysis among various national broadcasters. Aljazeera show Qatar’s perspective informed by the fact that Gaddafi denied them investment opportunities in Libya. BBC supports a British angle anchored by grudges of Lockerbie bombing. France24 put across a French point of view based on Libya’s support of revolutionaries in French speaking Africa whereas the CNN articulates American viewpoint which stems from Libya’s refusal to handover control to American oil corporations.

The big question to African broadcasters is what are they saying to promote African interests?

The conflict in Libya is not about religion or the sectarian differences among Muslims as is usually alleged by Western imperialists. Gaddafi, People Committees and rebels are mainly Sunni Muslims. Muslim Brotherhood that operates underground in Libya is Sunni. Iran is mainly Shai Muslim but materially supports the Sunni Muslims in Palestine, Hamas and various branches of the Muslim Brotherhood across Western Asia. Al Qaeda is mainly Sunni. The Libyan and Iran revolution removed oppressive kingdoms which were feudal surrogates of western powers. Americans and Europeans view Sunni and / or Shai or Christian anti-imperialists as terrorists or sponsors of terrorist groups. The truth however is that religion is not at core of the issue. The current political disagreement is not about ethnicity either.

Libyans have been under a single state, whether it is the feudal state under the king back then or the people’s government under Colonel Gaddafi today. The Libyan leadership was drawn from competent individuals from all tribes. The individuals who have now constituted themselves under the ‘National Council’ leading the rebellion were until very recently ambassadors and ministers in Colonel Gaddafi’s government. The so called National Council has individuals from different tribal backgrounds. Tripoli, like any capital city, is home to all Libyan people and host people from across the world. In all fairness, tribalism is but a neutral factor in this quarrel.

The war is also not about a struggle for democracy. Libyans annually elects their Revolutionary People Committees that directs government business. Rebels burnt people’s offices. Why would democratic forces show such aggression to people centered and driven institutions? Former Justice Minister controlled courts that were understood to be delivering injustice, and now is the head of the rebellious National Council! The National Council also has the former Interior Minister, who was responsible for policing and meting out alleged brutality on dissents. By and large, spokespersons of this rebellion are mainly people, who were crucial pillars of Libyan government for many years. These people are not suddenly against so called undemocratic political system of government.

The quarrel is also not about the living conditions. The Human Development Index (HDI), of Libya, that measures the living standards and distribution of wealth is the highest in Africa and one of the highest in the world. The working conditions are family friendly and this include the unconventional four hour lunch break. The unemployment rate is 50% lesser than those of major continental economic giants like South Africa and Egypt. Libyans have access to good health care for all including village communities, which are located deep in the desserts. There is free national education and state sponsored enrolment in international institutions of learning for young people in Libya.

The country offers comprehensive welfare programmes including food grants, housing support, utility subsidy, employment benefits and old age pensions to its citizens and foreigners alike. Libya has actively promoted women emancipation and empowerment. The quality of life in Libya has attracted large numbers of economic migrants from countries including China, Eastern European, Bangladesh, and the rest of the African continent, from Cape Town to Cairo. Comfortable living conditions, therefore, can be a source for civilian compliance rather than a cause for armed rebellion.

The war in Libya is an economic orchestrated violence. Libya is a cash-flashed country with quality investments in all regions of the world, negligible government debt and high cash generating oil. The Libyan blood is flowing because someone to take control of proceeds from the Libyan oil. The imperialist handlers of rebels are willing to violently take Libya back to the feudal system of government so that they can be absolutely in charge of its finances.

The western imperialists powers, in particular the US, France and Britain have demonized the leader of the revolution, imposed economic sanctions, attacked Libya and later dumped sanctions to gain control over Libyan oil proceedings. Their looting has not been allowed in Libya instead that cash has been funding anti-imperialist movement in Africa.

A Libyan Head of Intelligence predicted that any relationship with the West would result in the destabilization of Libya. His fears were well placed. Imperialist nations are promoting armed rebellion to settle grudges and steal wealth endowments in Libya and they found partners or stooges inside the Libyan Government who are willing to help them in their imperialist agenda. The Congolese independence was taken away with the help of an insider in the name of Mobuto Seseko and Burkina Faso through Blaise Compaore. According to this wicked formula, Gaddafi is expected to fall the same way as Lumumba and Sankara.

The game is not over yet. Seasoned strategists know that victory never comes from flesh and blood but attained from the environment. The imperialists have exploited the protests in North Africa to sow seeds of a civil war in the region.

By Sbusiso Xaba

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