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A blow aimed at all of Africa

Gadhafi lynched by U.S.-NATO

Published Oct 26, 2011 4:51 PM

Col. Moammar Gadhafi, leader of the Libyan people for 42 years, was brutally targeted, tortured and executed in a series of events on Oct. 20 in the coastal city of Sirte. The city is a bastion of resistance to the U.S.-NATO war in Libya.

Gadhafi, 69, was there directing resistance fighters who have defended the country against an imperialist-engineered civil war and bombing campaign. The war has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Libyans and other foreign nationals. The Libyan state and its supporters have heroically held out for eight months and are still waging a struggle to reverse the counterrevolution financed and coordinated by the U.S.-NATO governments.

Just two days prior to Gadhafi’s assassination, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Libya, meeting with the “rebel” National Transitional Council regime and calling for his capture and killing. There have been several attempts on Gadhafi’s life since the beginning of the March 19 bombing campaign. Gadhafi’s son and three grandchildren were killed in one of them, when their residence came under attack by imperialist warplanes. It has been reported that another one of Gadhafi’s sons, Mo’tassim, was captured and executed, purportedly by the NTC rebels, on Oct. 20.

Stories reported by the NTC spokesperson illustrated the inherently dishonest character of the U.S.-NATO rebels. They initially said Gadhafi was killed in a crossfire involving loyalist forces and the NTC rebels. However, this fabrication quickly evaporated when a video shot by someone in the lynch mob showed that Gadhafi was alive when apprehended and extrajudicially killed.

Various reports indicate that the convoy Gadhafi was travelling in was tracked by a U.S. Predator drone. Another account suggests that French Mirage fighter jets were also involved.

The video shows people who appear to be NTC rebels beating and torturing Gadhafi, a series of gunshots and, later, the dead body being thrown onto a truck. Those in the crowd cheer and celebrate at the carnage.

In contravention of Islamic law and international norms, Gadhafi’s remains were put on display in a meat storage facility. People claiming to be rebellion supporters were allowed to view the body and take photographs. Gadhafi’s remains were not turned over to his family for a proper burial within the time period required by his religious and cultural traditions.

A massive cover-up is being attempted to deflect responsibility for his death away from U.S. imperialism and its collaborators in Libya. After international outrage over Gadhafi’s assassination escalated, the U.N., the U.S. and the NTC client regime called for an investigation into the circumstances of his death.

The U.S. has supported the anti-Gadhafi rebels for more than three decades. The U.N. Security Council voted to impose a so-called “no-fly zone” over Libya despite the fact that there was no evidence that alleged massacres had occurred in areas retaken by the government from the NTC forces.

The “no-fly zone” was a pretext for total war against the state of Libya. A naval blockade was imposed by the NATO countries; more than $120 billion in foreign assets belonging to the government were frozen; the NTC rebels were armed, financed, promoted politically and given military cover by the U.S.-NATO countries and their allies in the region; the Pentagon-NATO air and naval forces conducted more than 20,000 sorties and 9,500 bombings; and corporate-government media campaigns were conducted against the Libyan government to justify the deliberate destruction of the most prosperous country on the African continent.

Despite the objection of the 53-member African Union, the U.S.-NATO states refused to negotiate and demanded that the government resign. The International Criminal Court in the Netherlands issued unsubstantiated charges and indictments against the Libyan leadership to further isolate the government amid a massive military invasion and bombing campaign.

Gadhafi’s assassination must be viewed within the broader context of the atrocities engineered against the Libyan people by the U.S.-NATO alliance and their NTC rebels. A systematic racist campaign targeting Black Libyans and other Africans living and working inside the country has exposed the true nature of the opposition to Gadhafi.

Hundreds of dark-skinned people and other presumed and actual supporters of the Gadhafi government have been persecuted by the rebels. Numerous people have been beaten, tortured, driven out of their hometowns and cities, imprisoned and lynched in the same fashion as Gadhafi and other high-ranking officials.

The U.S.-NATO air campaign was specifically designed to destroy the national wealth and infrastructure of the country, which had achieved tremendous progress since the Al-Fateh Revolution of 1969 and the assumption of People’s Power in 1977.

In the same city where Gadhafi was assassinated, a massacre of 53 pro-government supporters was reported at a hotel. According to Human Rights Watch, “The hotel is in an area of the city that was under the control of anti-Gadhafi fighters from Misrata before the killings took place.” (Afrique en ligne, October 24)

HRW called upon the NTC to conduct an immediate investigation into the massacre. In a statement, HRW said: “We found 53 decomposing bodies, apparently Gadhafi supporters, at an abandoned hotel in Sirte, and some had their hands bound behind their backs when they were shot. … This latest massacre seems part of a trend of killings, looting and other abuses committed by armed anti-Gadhafi fighters who consider themselves above the law.”

Gadhafi’s contributions
to the African Revolution

Despite the imperialist-controlled media assertions that Gadhafi’s rule was solely characterized by undemocratic processes, many throughout the world admired the leader and paid tribute.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez called the fallen leader a martyr who died a hero. The Global Alternative Agenda African youth organization, based in Nigeria, called Gadhafi’s assassination “highly irresponsible, a breach of all international laws. It was barbaric and humiliating to all Africans. It must be condemned in the strongest terms.” (GAA Statement)

The Zimbabwe state newspaper Sunday Mail said on Oct. 23: “Gadhafi’s heroic last stand against NATO hegemony is a defining moment in this era of U.N.-backed imperialism. He could have fled Libya, but he did not. Col. Gadhafi chose to fight alongside his people in Libya, to his last breath. He stood his ground until the end, refusing to flee, choosing to be martyred on African soil.”

The paper noted that “Gadhafi’s legacy speaks for itself. He guaranteed the right to free education for everyone from elementary school right up to university and post-graduate studies, at home or abroad; free health care; 1:673 doctor-patient ratio, free electricity for all citizens; interest-free housing loans; and free land for farmers.”

The African National Congress, the ruling party in South Africa that gained tremendous support from the people of Libya during and after their struggle for national liberation, said: “It is regrettable that the Libyan conflict ended with the gruesome killing of the Libyan Leader Muammar Gadhafi. … We once again call on western countries under the command of NATO to stop the bombardment of Libya and its people.” (ANC statement, Oct. 21)

A statement from the ANC Youth League calls Gadhafi an anti-imperialist martyr: “The ANCYL salutes Colonel Muammar Gadhafi, a brave soldier and fighter against the recolonization of the African continent. Brother Leader was ruthlessly killed by rebels armed by NATO forces who invaded Libya because of its natural resources. Brother Leader resisted imperialist domination of the African continent and never agreed to the continued draining of natural resources from beneath Africa’s soil. He understood and appreciated that Africa’s natural resources should be economically used to benefit the people of Africa.”

In the East African state of Uganda, 30,000 people attended a memorial service in honor of Gadhafi. In Nigeria, a former militia leader said that the Libyan leader would be avenged.

Reports in the aftermath of Gadhafi’s martyrdom indicated that his son and heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, was captured by the NTC rebels. Yet in a broadcast over the Libyan-owned Al-Rai satellite television in Syria, Seif issued a statement saying: “We continue our resistance. I am in Libya. I am alive, free and intend to go to the very end and exact revenge.” (hamsayeh.net, Oct. 24)

In response to the reported capture of Seif al-Islam, attorney Franklin Lamb in an open letter asked if the heir apparent would survive to stand trial before the ICC. Lamb said that a delegation of lawyers hired by the Gadhafi family “have been advised by Gadhafi supporters in Libya and neighboring countries that the NTC at the direction of NATO fully intends to see Seif al-Islam killed before he can address the international media and his supporters, following the transfer of his father’s leadership authority to Seif on August 29, 2011.” (Oct. 21)

Lamb states, “We intend to prove in Court that NATO did repeatedly sanction others to carry out Muammar Gadhafi’s assassination and that his killers on October 20, 2011 knew that a large cash award awaited them if they killed Colonel Gadhafi, thus silencing him from testifying against NATO officials and current western leaders who led the eight month destruction of Libya.”

Why was Gadhafi killed?

Gadhafi was lynched in a vain attempt to end the resistance of the Libyan people against imperialist aggression. The extrajudicial killing is also designed to send a message to other opponents of imperialism in Africa, where the U.S. and NATO states are intervening at a rapid rate.

Africa is increasingly supplying larger amounts of oil and other strategic resources to the U.S. and Western European states. This attempt at regime change in Libya is also designed to impede the increasing cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the African continent.

If the social justice and anti-war movements inside the U.S. and Europe are going to achieve any results aimed at ending militarism and austerity imposed by the banks and transnational corporations, they must seriously address the escalating imperialist aggression against the African continent, its people and leaders. The massacre of Libyan people and the attacks upon its government can only be viewed as a setback to working and oppressed people within the imperialist states who are suffering as a result of low-wage capitalism and wars of occupation abroad.

It will take an alliance of the working people in the capitalist states and around the world to bring down world imperialism. Only with the destruction of imperialism will there be an opportunity to achieve genuine peace and development throughout the planet.