Imperialists escalate Libya war
Published Apr 27, 2011 6:39 PM
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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