As anti-war sentiment grows
Imperialists escalate bombing operations over Libya
Published Mar 31, 2011 9:33 PM
After more than a week of intensive bombing of the North African state of
Libya, U.S. President Barack Obama on March 28 went on television to provide a
rationale for beginning yet another war against a developing country with a
majority Muslim population. He claimed the U.S. is no longer leading the
campaign to overthrow the Libyan government and install a puppet-regime
compliant to the West. However, the bulk of the firepower used in the war is
being supplied by the Pentagon.
Obama announced that full command of the war against Libya was being rapidly
transferred to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. However, the U.S.
government founded NATO and still controls this imperialist military
A Canadian, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, has been designated operational
commander for the war against Libya. On March 21, Canadian CF-18 fighter jets
flew their initial bombing missions over Libya amid claims by Defense Minister
Peter MacKay that Ottawa had a “moral duty” to participate in the
war in North Africa. All four opposition parties in the Canadian Parliament
endorsed the ruling Conservative Party’s decision.
Reports indicate that warplanes from the U.S., Britain, France, Canada, Italy,
Denmark and Belgium are involved in aerial and sea bombardments of Libya. In
addition, the U.S.-backed Gulf states of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates
have entered the campaign.
Since March 25, Qatari Mirage jets have flown alongside French aircraft in
bombing operations over northeastern Libya. The Associated Press explained why:
“The decisions by Qatar and UAE to join the coalition in Libya reflect
their strong traditional ties to the United States and their desires to play a
more active role internationally. The Gulf states rely on a strong regional
U.S. military presence as a buffer against Iran, which is seen as a threat by
the Gulf’s kings and sheiks.” (March 28)
Turkey, a recent member of NATO and a longtime base for U.S. military
operations against Iraq and Afghanistan, will reportedly take control of the
airport in the rebel-held city of Benghazi. Turkey’s naval forces will
patrol areas between Crete and this northeastern Libyan city, where the
rebellion against the Gadhafi government began on Feb. 17.
Bombing operations escalate
Meanwhile, Tornado aircraft flying from a base in Britain bombed Libyan
government installations in the southern area of Sabha. Libya’s state
news agency reported several casualties in the attacks.
Western imperialist airstrikes have provided cover for the rebel forces, which
are seeking to recapture key cities they lost to government forces in
mid-March. Fierce fighting between the Libyan military and the rebels has taken
place in Misrata, Nawfaliya and Sirte.
The current war against Libya represents the largest U.S. and Western European
military deployment in the region since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The
imperialists want to bring this North African state under their control not
only to seize its vast oil resources but also to forestall any revolutionary
shift in direction by the democratic movements in neighboring Egypt and
Analyst Michel Chossudovsky says the war is based on “outright lies by
the international media: Bombs and missiles are presented as an instrument of
peace and democratization. This is not a humanitarian operation. The war on
Libya opens up a new regional war theater.” (Global Research, March
Chossudovsky notes: “There are three distinct war theaters in the Middle
East and Central Asia regions: Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq. What is
unfolding is a fourth U.S.-NATO War Theater in North Africa, with the risk of
Nonetheless, the Libyan people are maintaining their resistance to the
imperialist onslaught. Libyan forces have held off the rebels in Misrata and
areas leading toward Sirte, despite heavy bombardment by U.S. and European war
planes and naval forces.
Condemnations around the world
In Mali, a West African state, thousands of people demonstrated against the war
on March 25 chanting, “Down with Obama! Down with Sarkozy!” The
crowd marched through the capital of Bamako to the French and U.S. embassies.
Public opinion throughout Africa has been highly critical of the Western states
and their war against Libya. (Associated Press, March 25)
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe called the Western countries attacking
Libya “bloody vampires.” South African President Jacob Zuma, after
much internal criticism by the African National Congress Youth League and the
Congress of South African Trade Unions over his government’s vote for
U.N. Resolution 1973, called for an immediate cease-fire.
In Greece, youth supporting the Communist Party burned flags of the European
Union in protest against the war.
Demonstrations in solidarity with the Libyan government were held in Belgrade,
Serbia. In Madrid thousands marched on March 26 protesting Spain’s
involvement as a launching pad for attacks on Libya.
A statement issued by the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC)
called for demonstrations in countries that “participate in this affront
to and crime against Africa, the African Diaspora, and World Humanity, until
any and all of their regimes are changed.”
Min. Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam spoke out forcefully against the
U.S. war on Libya. His remarks were broadcast widely on African-American
formatted radio programs.
Former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney condemned the U.S. bombing, noting that
Moammar Gadhafi is a target “because he has been a thorn in the side of
anti-revolutionary forces since he took power in Libya, overthrowing the King
and nationalizing the oil industry so that the people could benefit from their
On April 9-10 major anti-war demonstrations will take place in New York and San
Francisco called by the United National Antiwar Committee, which has issued a
statement opposing U.S. intervention in Libya.
The recent round of events in North Africa illustrates clearly that U.S.
foreign policy has not changed at all under the Democratic administration of
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