By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
The US and its imperialist allies in the NATO targeted Gaddafi and his regime for complete destruction because he had grievously offended them in the following ways: he called for the nationalization and retraction of so-called neoliberal concessions that he had granted to the Western oil companies, he refused to allow the African Command (Africom) of the US to establish its central base in Libya and he pushed a gold-backed dinar as the currency of Africa.
To set up Gaddafi for the kill, so-called human rights organizations financed by the Central Intelligence and the National Endowment for Democracy fabricated exaggerated reports which were subsequently played up by the US and other Western mass media depicting him as wantonly killing his political opponents. Such reports became the basis of the UN Security Council resolution allowing the imperialist powers to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and to undertake all necessary measures supposedly to protect civilians.
As soon as the US and its NATO allies got the resolution, they proceeded to attack Libya’s military and civilian structures, using their high tech air power (including jet fighters, cruise missiles, predator drones and helicopter gunships) and all sorts of bombs (including oxygen-sucking white phosphorus bombs) in order to cripple and destroy the Gaddafi regime. The so-called humanitarian intervention to protect civilians was nothing but a deceptive expression for an extremely brutal war of aggression against Libya and the Libyan people.
The aerial bombardments by the Western powers combined with the ground action by the various armed rabble brigades of the US-NATO sponsored National Transitional Council in massacring more than 60,000 civilians and destroying entire housing blocks and social infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, cultural, sports and recreation centers and sections of the great underground water system of Libya. The Western mass media and the Qatar-owned Al Jazeera rarely showed the mangled bodies of the victims and the ruins of civilian structures even as they kept on showing the rebel rabble ever reveling and ever shooting into the air with all kinds of weapons.
The rebel bands served as baits and guides for aerial attacks and for massacring civilians and wrecking buildings on the ground. Sirte became an untenable position of defense for Gaddafi as it was almost totally razed to the ground from aerial and artillery bombardments. Upon the signal of a US predator drone, French jet fighter planes attacked the convoy of Gaddafi as it tried to escape from Sirte. Only subsequently were the armed puppets on the ground able to seek out and capture Gaddafi and finally manhandle and murder him in full public view over global television.
Following the murder and martyrdom of Gaddafi, the U.S. and NATO allies are jubilant over the prospect of collecting the spoils of war. They control the huge amount of Libya’s sovereign wealth deposited in various Western banks. They are poised to collect payment in advance for the overstated costs of the bombardment and destruction of Libyan lives and property. They are set to tighten their control over the oilfields, grab the gold resources and privatize the water system of Libya and cash in on contracts for the reconstruction of what they have destroyed.
The national traitors that have collaborated with the US and the other Western powers in taking over Libya have been in disarray and will continue to be so to the full advantage of their imperialist masters. So far, they have been put together under the monarchist flag of convenience by their hatred of the Gaddafi regime and by special advisors and special forces who have been kept invisible by television. The US expects to lord over the local conflicting forces by establishing in Libya a US military base for its AFRICOM.
Serious contradictions exist among the NTC principal leaders who defected from Gaddafi regime over the murder of fellow defector NTC commander-in-chief Abdul Fatah Younis whose Obeidi tribe is aching for revenge. There are potentially violent contradictions between the Qatar-financed Islamists (including veterans of the pro-Al Qaida Libyan Islamic Fighting Group who now head the military councils of Tripoli and Benghazi) and the secularists or otherwise who rely on the Misrata and Zintan brigades. Still, there are other complex contradictions involving a wide range of armed factions, tribes and regions.
The overthrow of the Gaddafi regime will not result in democracy, even if some elections would be staged. Whichever of the many armed factions comes on top will tend to rule with an iron fist and will be corrupt as it will wield absolute power. We have seen on global television the wanton violation of the human rights of the civilians and prisoners by those who have overthrown the Gaddafi regime. We have seen the cynicism and callousness of these imperialist agents of sham democracy in the way that they have flaunted and then waved away the flagrant murder of their own commander-in-chief Younnis and their prisoner Gaddafi.
Certain factors are bound to keep the situation in Libya volatile and rife for the growth of a national liberation movement. Most important of such factors are the puppet, violent and corrupt character of the new ruling clique, the persistence of many conflicting armed factions, the still significant following of Gaddafi and the certain loss of social benefits as a result of the widespread destruction of the social infrastructure and increased profit-taking of the imperialists. The people stand to lose such free social services as education , health care, housing,and electricity, subsidized car purchases and negligible gasoline costs, allowances for newly-weds, subsidy for farming and so on.
No matter how much the fallen Gaddafi is ridiculed by the imperialist forces and puppets who have overthrown and murdered him. His martyrdom and final stand as an anti-imperialist fighter can still be inspiring to the tribes and the black Libyans (one third of the population) whose support Gaddafi developed and to the greater number of people who are bound to be oppressed and exploited by the Western imperialists and their puppets.
The anti-imperialist successors of Gaddafi are still the ones in the best position at the moment to carry out a national liberation struggle. But the conditions are also favorable for the rise of patriotic and progressive forces, including the revolutionary party of the working class, the trade union movement and other democratic mass formations, which have been suppressed since 1973 under Gaddafi’s anti-imperialist but anti-communist rule.