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As imperialism expands in Africa

Libyan forces regroup to resist puppet regime

Published Nov 14, 2011 10:22 PM

As the U.S.-NATO war against Libya enters another phase, the neocolonial designs on the state with the largest oil reserves in Africa become more and more obvious. Executive decrees enacted by the imperialist-installed National Transitional Council are attempting to reverse the gains made since the beginning of the Al-Fateh Revolution of Sept. 1, 1969.

The announcement that the country will be governed by Islamic law must be examined in relationship to the actual policies of the NTC regime.

The social gains of the Al-Fateh Revolution under Moammar Gadhafi guaranteed free education, health care, housing, pensions and civil rights of the Indigenous people and women. These benefits will be targeted under the existing system. Objectively, the status of women is threatened with the repeal of the marriage act instituted under the Jamahiriya (Gadhafi’s name for the state translated as “state of the masses”) republic, which accorded women the right to divorce and inherit property.

Widespread retribution is being carried out by the NTC forces against loyalists of the former government.

Nonetheless, these changes being imposed on the Libyan people are being met with growing objections and resistance. This defiance is being revealed through graffiti painted on walls that sharply criticize and condemn the puppet government and call for its removal.

An effort is underway to formally organize opposition to the neocolonial plans for Libya. It is largely based in the southwest of the country. In the region known as the Sahel, former officials, operatives and supporters of the Gadhafi government are meeting on a daily basis to chart the next phase of the struggle to reclaim their nation.

Calling itself the Libyan Liberation Front, the organization plans to activate existing popular committees established during the rule of Gadhafi to initiate a campaign to render the NTC regime ungovernable. The country is awash with sophisticated light arms, mortars and short-range missiles as a result of the wide distribution of these weapons by the Jamahiriya government in the aftermath of the U.S.-NATO onslaught on this North African state.

Also the LLF is examining ways of intervening in the supposed national elections that the NTC announced recently in Tripoli. These elections are slated to be held by mid-2012, and LLF forces are planning to field candidates — if they are not banned by the pro-Western regime.

Prospects for a national resistance
movement in Libya

Despite the disaffection of certain sectors of the Libyan population from the Gadhafi government, demonstrations in support of the Jamahiriya attracted hundreds of thousands of people prior to the fall of Tripoli in late August.

With the destruction of the national infrastructure, along with the theft of the state treasury and foreign assets of Libya, anger and discontent are spreading rapidly. These factors will breed resistance to the current political situation and spark acts of rebellion that the NTC will face.

In addition, NTC forces are heavily armed by the U.S. and NATO and remain largely an undisciplined network of autonomous units. Deep divisions within rebel ranks have resulted in shootouts among various factions. The apparent political leadership of the NTC has been unable to rein in the armed militias, which have refused to unite into a single military structure controlled by the officials.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that neighboring Niger is serving as a rear base for the LLF as they organize for future actions. According to one member of the resistance movement, “More than 800 organizers have arrived from Libya just to Niger and more are coming every day.” (Franklin Lamb, counterpunch.org, Nov. 4-6)

This loyalist fighter is quoted as saying, “It is not like your Western media presents the situation, of desperate Gadhafi loyalists frantically handing out bundles of cash and gold bars to buy their safety from the NATO death squads now swarming around the northern areas of our motherland. Our brothers have controlled the borderless routes in this region for thousands of years and they know how not to be detected even by NATO satellites and drones.”

The LLF is reported to be working initially toward building a “people’s struggle employing the Maoist tactic of 1,000 cuts against the current group claiming to represent Libya.” Resistance movement organizers have access to satellite phones, laptops and other equipment that will be utilized to gather information and dispatch fighters throughout the country.

The LLF has already claimed responsibility for two major operations inside the country. The bombing of a fuel storage facility in Sirte, which was reported in the Nov. 10 issue of Workers World, resulted in the reported deaths of more than 100 NTC rebels. Also the LLF says that it carried out the assassination of NTC official, Amin al-Manfur al-Manfa, who had previously worked for Gadhafi but switched sides after the Feb. 17 rebellion began in Benghazi. (adnkronos.com, Nov. 4)

An LLF spokesperson was quoted as saying that the movement is launching a campaign of assassination targeting the 500 top officials and operatives of the NTC regime. The resistance movement stresses, “We are ready to initiate a campaign to eliminate all the leaders of the National Transitional Council, killing them one by one. This is only the first list that we intend to draw up. There are names of all the traitors that deserve the death penalty.” (feb17.info, Nov. 4)

At the same time LLF officials have denied reports that the son and heir-apparent of Moammar Gadhafi, Seif al-Islam, is seeking to turn himself in to the International Criminal Court to stand trial for alleged war crimes. Statements made by Seif al-Islam over the last several weeks have reaffirmed his commitment to resistance against the neocolonial regime now claiming to be the legitimate authorities in Libya.

The ICC issued arrest warrants against Moammar Gadhafi, Seif al-Islam and other officials during the imperialist bombing campaign earlier this year. This body, located in the Netherlands, serves as a tool of Western foreign policy in efforts aimed at regime change in various African states.

The ICC is notorious for its attempts to prosecute African leaders. It has not targeted any official from the imperialist states and their allies who have committed horrendous war crimes over the last two decades. Although the ICC made statements indicating that it would investigate crimes committed by the NATO-led NTC forces, no indictments have been issued against the rebels, let alone their supporters within the ruling classes based in Western Europe and North America.

Anti-imperialist solidarity with Africa, including Libya

The U.S.-NATO war in Libya, the installation of a puppet regime, and the large-scale theft of the treasury and national resources of the country portend much for the rest of the African continent. Africa’s strategic role of supplying oil and minerals to the world capitalist system is necessitating the expansion of militarism on the continent.

Developments in Libya cannot be viewed separately from the enhancement of the role of the U.S. Africa Command in various countries. In Central and East Africa, the Pentagon has dispatched at least 100 advisers and Special Forces commandos to four separate independent states.

In Somalia, hundreds are being killed every week by CIA-Pentagon predator drones in a military campaign to liquidate the Al-Shabaab Islamic resistance movement, which controls large sections in the center and south of this Horn of Africa nation. The U.S.-backed regime in Kenya has launched a full-scale invasion of southern Somalia, supported by Washington and Paris.

Kenyan military forces lost 15 soldiers on Nov. 6 when their battalion was ambushed by Al-Shabaab fighters in the southern town of Tabata. Kenyan air force planes have dropped bombs in southern Somalia, and the French navy has also shelled areas thought to be occupied by Al-Shabaab supporters.

These attacks on the sovereignty and independence of Africa will continue. African peoples will inevitably organize politically and militarily to meet this renewed challenge on the part of imperialism to solidify its neocolonial control of the continent.

The pro-Western regimes in Africa are economically and socially fragile and are therefore subject to pressures exerted by the U.S. and other imperialist states. The anti-war movement inside North America and Europe must categorically oppose this new wave of military interventions in Africa.

These struggles in Africa against imperialist militarism are closely connected with the worsening economic crisis inside the capitalist states. Resources that should be utilized for the creation of jobs, adequate housing, universal health care and quality education in the Western countries are being squandered in repeated failed attempts to dominate Africa, Central and South Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

Consequently, progressive forces in the Western countries must demonstrate their maximum solidarity with the African peoples in their fight against military intervention and exploitation by the imperialist states. This international unity of purpose and action can ensure the necessary advancement needed during this period to further the liberation of humanity throughout the world.