A escalada da guerra petroimperialista na Líbia28 de abril de 2011
Apr 27, 2011
Imperialists escalate Libya war
By Abayomi Azikiwe
Actions by the U.S. government and NATO during late April indicate clearly that the ultimate objective of the war against Libya is regime change, leading to a full-scale military occupation of the North African state.
As the humanitarian crisis worsens in the areas around the contested port city of Misrata, the imperialist states and their allies are taking actions that will only escalate tensions and result in more civilians suffering and dying.
After announcing the deployment of CIA drones in the war against Libya, the Pentagon confirmed the first attack utilizing this dreaded, unpiloted weapon on April 23 near the capital of Tripoli.
Drones have been used for surveillance against the Libyan military for several weeks. The U.S. and NATO have been bombing Libya on a daily basis since March 19, causing many civilian deaths and damage to the infrastructure. In northwest Pakistan, deadly drone attacks have caused a political firestorm there in the recent period.
More attempts have also been made against the life of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. An April 25 report from Tripoli in the New York Times said that NATO war planes had struck Gadhafi’s compound early that day and bombed a state television facility in an evident escalation of the air campaign.
Libyan government officials say no one was killed in that bombing of the leader’s compound, but 45 people were injured, 15 of them seriously. Press accounts said there were no armaments in the area and that two bombs had hit the compound, propelling cement and debris at least 50 yards in all directions.
This attack is the third reported strike against the Libyan leader since the beginning of the bombings by the U.S. and NATO. Another one took place just two days earlier, on April 23. Libyan government officials say three people were killed that time.
Around the same time, Republican Sen. John McCain visited the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and made an appeal for the Obama administration to formally recognize the Transitional National Council (TNC), the name given to opposition forces collaborating with the U.S. and NATO to overthrow the Libyan government.
Britain, France and Italy, the former colonial powers in the region, are also sending military advisors to assist the rebel groups, in addition to operatives from the CIA, MI6, and British and Egyptian special forces, who have been inside the country at least since February, when the rebellion started in Benghazi.
One of the key allies in the imperialist war against Libya, the U.S.-backed government of Kuwait, is bankrolling the TNC to the tune of $181 million, according to TNC leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil. (Bloomberg, April 25)
The battle for Misrata
Despite claims by the TNC to have taken the western port city of Misrata, Libya’s third largest, fighting there appeared to have intensified from April 23 to April 25. Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim said on April 23 that the government would allow local tribal leaders two days to see if they could persuade the rebels to lay down their arms. He explained, “The tactic of the army was to have a surgical strike but, with the NATO air strikes, that doesn’t work. The leaders of the tribes decided to do something to bring normal life back. Their main demand is that foreign fighters leave the town or surrender themselves to the army.” (Guardian, April 24)
The port at Misrata has been under the control of the rebels for several weeks, and local traditional leaders want to reopen the area.
Medical personnel at the Hikma hospital in Misrata said that at least 36 people had been killed in a 24-hour period. NATO planes have been flying over Misrata providing air cover for the rebels while they regulate sea traffic between Misrata and Benghazi along the Mediterranean.
Struggle for peace remains elusive
It is quite obvious that the rebels and their backers in the imperialist countries do not want any negotiated settlement of the war without the total overthrow of the Libyan government. Several attempts at negotiation by Latin American states, the African Union and the Arab League have been rejected by the U.S. and the NATO countries involved.
A series of meetings between the African Union Commission chair, Jean Ping, and U.S. State Department officials on April 20-21 could not reach agreement on a ceasefire in Libya. The Obama administration is demanding that the Libyan government be replaced by the Western-backed TNC while the AU maintains that the people inside the country have the right to determine their own political future.
The AU since March 11 has called for noninterference by foreign military forces, the adoption of an immediate ceasefire, the protection of migrant workers from other parts of the continent and the swift distribution of humanitarian relief to the people in need of medical services, food, water and safe passage inside and outside the North African state.
Even though the U.S. and NATO have superior air power and cannot be effectively challenged militarily by the Libyan government in the skies over the country, the deployment of large-scale units of Western ground troops would serve as a rallying point for people all over Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Africa has a history of fighting protracted guerrilla and conventional wars against European colonial and settler-colonial regimes.
The war in Angola for the total liberation of southern Africa between 1975 and 1989 resulted in the defeat of the U.S.-backed South African Defense Forces under the racist apartheid regime. Liberation movements in other states such as Zimbabwe, Namibia, Guinea-Bissau, Algeria, Mozambique, South Africa and Somalia have defeated the military forces from various European capitals as well as the U.S.
Workers and oppressed people inside the U.S. are continuing to demand an end to all the wars and instead using the Pentagon budget to rebuild their cities, suburbs and rural areas in order to guarantee health care, quality education, public services and housing for all people.