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Monday, May 20, 2024

Gadhafi’s assassination and world security

By Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine Editor

There are times one is led to believe that the global village in which we are now living has been reduced to its prehistoric moments, when the world was a free for all, when the rule of the jungle reigned and the barbaric tribes—using their military advantages—wanted to conquer every inch of the “village.” Since the accumulation of wealth was the quintessential consensus and the golden mean of mankind, power became the acceptable paradigm to achieve this mean. So despite immense progress made in the areas technology and education, we as humans cannot seem to rid ourselves from the venom of greed and barbarism.

Despite countless studies to understand human behavior and to take preventive measures to insure a safer world, the rule of the jungle appears to be an everlasting, foregone conclusion. We kill world leaders, invade and destroy their countries for failure to comply with western dictates. We condone and shelter others whose barbarisms go above and beyond imagination. And we still call our world a fair and safe environment.

No one denies the autocratic nature of the Gadhafi regime. No one can ignore the fact that he had built for a period of 4 decades a dynasty that could no longer be sustained. Does this amount to the destruction of his country in order to kill him? Is it now a fait accompli to invade and assassinate heads of states that are deemed non-compliant, hardheaded and rebellious? Of course morality has no premise in the world of power and glory. Global dominance is the heavenly prize—a prize that is slowly slipping away as other and more antagonistic global powers are emerging from the East, threatening their superpower status and wealth.

Libya is a prime example. Until last August when Hosni Mubarak of Egypt fell and the Libyan people rose up, few people believe that the regime in Tripoli was on the verge of collapsing. For sure, Libya had been known for its dictatorship and for Gadhafi’s open shallow opposition to the West, but not for its regime mistreatment of its people, especially when it comes to wealth distribution. Libyans were far better off than their Arab neighbors. From Morocco to Egypt, millions poured into Libya in search of a better life.

Today, Libya is a practically destroyed country, a no man’s land and a virtual basket case. Its urban centers are in ruins, its population has been destitute, and its future looks bleak—for it will take years to rebuild what they took weeks to destroy. The Transitional National Council (TNC) is made of former Gadhafi functionaries or mercenaries highly motivated by revanchist sentiments and greed. Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who is now the de facto Prime Minister, had been Gadhafi’s justice minister for a number of years. So, if it deemed that Gadhafi’s justice was victor’s justice, then he should be behind bars, not running an anti Gadhafi government because he headed that Justice Department for many years.

Gadhafi’s killing and its implications      

The gruesome killing of Gadhafi shed some serious light over the criminal nature of the NATO war on Libya. The assassination came after more than a month since the fall of Tripoli and after a month-long siege of Sirte, the coastal city that provided pivotal supports for Gadhafi. Sirte is said to be the former Libyan leader birthplace. The assault on Sirte, a city of 100,000 has left virtually every building collapsed with unimaginable numbers of innocent civilians slaughtered. Those who did not die were crippled by disease, as they were deprived of food, water, medical care and other basic necessities.

The orchestrated carnage has led every observer to believe that killing Gadhafi was the main aim, not saving Sirte. Associated Press reported that NATO warplanes attacked a convoy at 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning, leaving a number of vehicles in flames and preventing it from moving forward. Then the armed anti-Gaddafi militias moved in for the kill. It sounds like Gadhafi loyalists suffered that same obliteration Saddam Hussein soldiers faced back in 1991 as they were retreating from Kuwait, and the dark and caked corpses retrieved from the wreckages—as French 24 television station was showing—confirmed that assertion. Russian journalist Andrei Laskov claimed that the destruction of Sirte—a once beautiful city on the Mediterranean Sea—looks far worse than what Russian forces inflicted on Grozny in 1995 after they defeated Chechen fighters who held that that city in open defiance to Moscow.    

The details of the killings still remain foggy, but the circumstances surrounding them are quite obvious. “Photographs and cell phone videos released by the NATO-backed “rebels” clearly show a wounded Gaddafi struggling with his captors and shouting as he is dragged onto the back of a vehicle. His stripped and lifeless body is then shown, drenched in blood. It seems clear that having first been wounded, perhaps in the NATO air strikes, the former Libyan ruler was captured alive and then summarily executed,” asserted Bill Van Auken from the WS website.

In fact, one photograph showed him with a bullet hole in the head. The Colonel’s body was then taken west to the city of Misrata, where it was reportedly dragged through the streets before being deposited in a refrigerated room wrapped in a dirty sheet alongside one of his sons’ body, Mutassim.

From the White House Rose Garden, a victorious Obama hailed that “we are witnessing a new and democratic Libya.” These words send chill to the hearts of freedom lovers, especially they came from the mouth of Barak Obama, legitimizing the killing of a Head of State.

The morally and politically repugnant event was that both the US and France claimed credit for their roles in the killing. The Pentagon claimed that a US Predator drone had fired a Hellfire missile at the ousted Libyan leader’s convoy, while France’s defense minister said that French warplanes had bombed it. Whether it is Washington or Paris that engineered the murder is irrelevant for that fact is that it has achieved a shared goal.

It was a high-tech hunt for the Colonel. For days, US forces had deployed surveillance planes along with large numbers of drones in an attempt to track down Gadhafi, while US, British and French intelligence agents, special operations troops and military “contractors” operating on the ground also participated in this manhunt. It is no coincidence that just two days before the murder, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton staged an unannounced visit to Tripoli on a heavily armed military aircraft. While there, she issued a demand that Gadhafi be brought in “dead or alive”.

As the Associated Press reported, Clinton declared “in unusually blunt terms that the United States would like to see former dictator Muammar Gadhafi dead. “‘We hope he can be captured or killed soon so that you don’t have to fear him any longer’, Clinton told students and others at a town hall-style gathering in the capital city.”

The AP went on to note: “Until now, the US has generally avoided saying that Gadhafi should be killed.” The legitimate grievances of the Libyan people were hijacked as Bill Van Auken observed. “With the popular upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt—on Libya’s western and eastern borders—the US and its NATO allies saw an opportunity to put into operation a plan that had been developed over some time for regime change in Libya. With agents on the ground, they moved to exploit and hijack anti-Gaddafi demonstrations and foment an armed conflict.”

A cash-trap West watched with mounting horror the increasingly influenced Chinese and Russians flexed their economic interests in Libya and more generally in Africa as a whole. China had developed $6.6 billion in bilateral trade, mainly in oil, while some 30,000 Chinese workers were employed in a wide range of infrastructure projects. Russia, meanwhile, had developed extensive oil deals, billions of dollars in arms sales and a $3 billion project to link Sirte and Benghazi by rail. There were also discussions on providing the Russian navy with a Mediterranean port near Benghazi.

On top of that, Gadhafi has been increasingly seen as a major obstacle for France President Nicolas Sarkozy’s grand dream for the creation of a Mediterranean Union, aimed at refurbishing French influence in the country’s former colonies and beyond. To prepare for a direct imperialist takeover, they followed a well-worn path, vilifying the country’s leader and promoting the idea that only outside intervention could save innocent civilians from a looming massacre.

Events of the past few months and in particular the last few weeks in Libya represent a dangerous precedent. They could very well threaten world peace. More and more countries are becoming convince that the only way to be shield from this predatory practice arrogantly professed by the western powers is the acquiring of their own WMDs (weapons of mass destruction), for they see it as their ultimate guarantor of their own safety, thus creating a mechanism for the launch of a new arm race which sets to be far lethal from any previous ones the world has already witnessed.

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