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U.S., Britain, France: Hands off Libya!

Published Apr 22, 2011 9:44 PM

U.S., British and French imperialism have escalated their military intervention in Libya. And it is just beginning.

The one dominant imperialist power and the two former colonial rulers of the world first stated their intentions in a joint open letter published on April 15 in the Washington Post and other media. U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy wrote that their goal was to remove Moammar Gadhafi, the leader of Libya. For good. That’s what they call “regime change.”

The rest of their letterE is a pack of lies trying to hide imperialism’s intentions and material interests in Libya and the rest of Africa behind a veil of phony humanitarian concerns. The only important point of the letter is that they wrote it. And they signed it jointly.

These three individuals have the formal leadership of the most destructive military machines on earth. Despite their internecine rivalries for plunder, despite the rejection of their plans by most African countries, despite the misgivings of their key NATO ally, Germany, they are going to war. In arrogant defiance of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, who met recently and condemned the intervention, they have decided to move forward with the conquest of Libya.

Obama’s participation in the letter is a sign that whatever reluctance U.S. imperialism may have had about the Libyan adventure, it is now on board with its junior partners in conquest. The first step, announced on April 19, is that Britain and France will be sending military officers into the Libyan city of Misrata to “advise” the collection of armed people that the corporate media calls “rebels.”

If the three imperialist powers have taken the first step toward the occupation of an African country, if Washington is ready to send “boots on the ground” for a third occupation, it is because they know that the so-called rebels are completely incapable of holding together — let alone winning a battle and forming a government — without step-by-step support from the imperialists. This means that however this “rebel” grouping may or may not have begun, it has lost any resemblance to a real national liberation movement or even a movement for bourgeois democracy — it is now a complete tool of the imperialists.

Worse, the leadership of this grouping has asked for the U.S. to use its AC-130 and A-10 Warthog planes to give close ground cover to its troops. These are planes only the Pentagon can provide. They fire a withering blast of thousands of shells a minute and have often employed depleted-uranium-reinforced shells, with long-term damaging effects on civilians. (See article by Abayomi Azikiwe on Libya, WW, April 28)

As if the use of Warthogs and DU weren’t enough to refute the “humanitarian” pretext given for this imperialist intervention, Sarkozy made it clear in another way when he stopped a train carrying refugees from Tunisia at the Italian-French border and sent the suffering people back. This is the Sarkozy the world knows, without his “humanitarian” mask. He advocated using steam water cannons on residents of North African heritage living in the French working-class suburbs in 2005.

These countries, through NATO, carried out the re-Balkanization of Yugoslavia. The U.S. is occupying Afghanistan. The U.S. and Britain have brought the Iraqi nation to ruin and sorrow. Now these three powers, through NATO, are attempting to reconquer Libya. It is beyond time to cut through the lies told in Washington, London, Paris and all the imperialist capitals and expose the role of these 19th-century colonial rulers grasping for a comeback.

These wars and occupations have nothing to do with alleged misdeeds of the national leaders, be they Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, the Taliban or Gadhafi. They are nothing but the imperialists’ attempt to reconquer and recolonize these countries. They are doing it with the resources stolen from workers and poor at home. It’s time we put a stop to them.

U.S., Britain, France — out of Africa!