Archive for August 24th, 2011


Who Will Replace The Libyan ‘Mad Dog’?

Human Wrongs Watch / International Socialist*

The reign of Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi seems to be coming to an end after anti-government fighters backed by NATO forces took control of Tripoli.

Image: Himasaram | Wikimedia Commons

Hatred of the dictatorship and a thirst for democracy and freedom drove the uprising against Qaddafi when it first arose in February, clearly inspired by the revolutions against tyrants in Tunisia to Libya’s west, and Egypt to its east.

But the character of Libya’s uprising has been twisted and transformed in the months since. The rebel forces that took over Tripoli operated in collaboration with U.S.-led NATO military forces that have no interest at all in Libyans’ desire for freedom.

Last March, the United Nations sanctioned a U.S.-led air campaign in Libya, with the justification that this was the only way to stop Qaddafi’s military from committing a massacre against the uprising.

The Western Reshape Libyan Opposition

But the air war continued and escalated. Meanwhile, Western governments were reshaping the anti-Qaddafi opposition to fit their needs–like ensuring the flow of oil from Libya for one, and even more importantly, creating a reliably pro-Western barrier against the tide of revolution that has swept through the region.

To do this, the U.S. and its European allies backed the most conservative elements among those who claimed to lead the struggle against Qaddafi. A few were already on the CIA payroll–others were former officials of the Qaddafi regime who decided to switch sides.

The new government that will form in place of the Qaddafi regime will be led by these elements. It will be beholden to the U.S. and Europe for its existence–and pliable to their interests.

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Libya: ‘Market Lords’ Rush In

Human Wrongs Watch

By Osman Sharif in Casablanca

Propelled by oil, ‘reconstruction’ and weapons private corporations, while besieged by a deep financial crisis, European and U.S. governments have already launched a frantic race to take over Libya even before the definite fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

ENI Oil platform | Image: Cipiota

In fact, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has confirmed on August 24th earlier reports that negotiations had started to unfreeze some 100 billion dollars of Gaddafi’s assets in overseas banks, even before his definite fall.

This decision has no precedents, since Europe and the U.S. continue to hold in their banks and territories huge assets belonging to the already ousted Tunisian and Egyptian ousted dictators, just to mention two examples in the region.

In another step to ensure their active role in shaping the new state to be born after Gaddafi, EU and NATO officials had announced that they were preparing to help organise elections, fund Libyan media, set up a court system, and design sound economic policies for growth, development and jobs.

“This is a rich country,” said EU top foreign policy official Catherine Ashton in a statement in Brussels on August. 23rd. “The question is how to get the economy moving again quickly.” The question is instead: which economy?

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