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The People’s Statement on the Global Crisis is initiated by RESIST! and the Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN). RESIST! is an international campaign against neoliberal globalization and war. The APRN is a regional network formed in 1998 to develop cooperation among alternative research centers of NGOs, and social movements in the Asia-Pacific region and raise capacity in advocacy and education, particularly in the conduct of research, education, information and advocacy related activities.

HOW MIGHT THINGS MOVE FORWARD IN LIBYA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yash Tandon   
Tuesday, 19 July 2011

WHOSE DICTATOR IS QADDAFI?

To put the West`s case bluntly and simply, it has apparently intervened in Libya to `protect the people` from the `dictator` Qaddafi. This begs the question: whose dictator is Qaddafi?

 

If there is one third world leader in the whole galaxy of the Empire`s neo-colonial dictators, one who best exemplifies the contradiction between the Empire and a neo-colony, it is Qaddafi. Libya is a neo-colony in the sense that Kwame Nkrumah used the term, and Qaddafi, like Robert Mugabe, is objectively a neo-colonial dictator though subjectively anti-imperialist.

To understand this apparent contradiction, one needs to appreciate the vital difference between a colony and neo-colony. A neo-colony is ruled by the Empire not directly; only indirectly -- through its agents in the countries concerned. Whilst a neo-colonial economy, and hence the neo-colonial state, is, in the ultimate analysis, controlled by the Empire – on behalf of global finance capital – there is a `government` that is in the seat of governance, and this government, or regime, is often in open defiance of the Empire. When the Empire talks of `regime change`, it means change in government without losing its control over the neo-colony.

To put the matter from the other side, a neo-colony is not, as the term might imply, a docile, submissive, community. It is a community, or a people, still in struggle against the Empire for its full liberation. The people occasionally rebel against the government if they are oppressed or economically marginalised, as, among others, in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Zimbabwe. In rebelling against a neo-colonial government, however, the people also rebel, objectively, against the Empire, against the neo-colonial economic and political order. These are two sides of the same coin; they are the same phenomenon. Flip one side of the coin, and you see the face of Qaddafi; flip the other side and you see the face of the Empire. The challenge facing a neo-colonial `upstart` like Qaddafi and Mugabe is how to keep the coin with the face of the Empire visible. Of course, the Empire has the reverse challenge. In the case of both Zimbabwe and Libya, the Empire has been better than its rebellious neo-colonial dictators in keeping the coin with the `dictator`s` face visible at the top. How has the Empire managed to do this? It has done so by using three weapons: one, by exploiting the divisions among the people; two, by using the `humanitarian` card; and three by exploiting its bigger control over the world media. In both Libya and Zimbabwe, the Empire has been able to portray itself as a `saviour` of the people, an `ally` to `help` them remove the government and put in place one that is more `democratic`. This is what is currently happening in the Arab world and many parts of Africa where the people have taken to the streets to protest against a system that is oppressing and exploiting them.

Each neo-colony is different. Each has its own history, culture, economic links with the global economy and ethnic, religious and class configuration. To understand the specific character of Libya and Qaddafi, a bit of knowledge of history is necessary. It is important to bear in mind that Libya is part of an ancient civilisation going back to the Phoenicians in the 5th century B.C., well before the birth of western civilisation. In more recent times, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Libya fell in the hands of Italy. In October 1911, Italian battleships attacked Tripoli bombing the city for three days. Resistance followed under Omar Mukhtar's Mojahideen guerrilla forces. Thousands of Libyans were forced to leave their land and live in concentration camps. Thousands died of hunger, illness and some of them were hanged or shot because they believed to be helping the Mojahideen. The Libyan historian Mahmoud Ali At-Taeb said in an interview with the Libyan magazine Ash-Shoura (October 1979) that in November 1930 there were at least seventeen funerals a day in the camps due to hunger, illness and depression. Mukhtar's nearly twenty years struggle came to an end when he was captured in battle and on September 16, 1931, hanged in front of his followers in the concentration camp of Sollouq by the orders of the Italian court. He was about 83 years old, but he refused and kept on fighting until death. Today Mukhtar`s face is shown on the Libyan 10 Dinar bill. His final years were immortalized in the movie `The Lion of the Desert` (1981). This history, and the heroic resistance put by Libya`s national hero, Omar Mukhtar, go some way to explain the arrogance of Qaddafi towards Western civilisation and colonisation.

This is the legacy that inspires Qaddafi, just as in Zimbabwe it is Kaguvi's spirit (his mudzimu) that inspired Mugabe and the people to fight the second Chimurenga against the British Empire. Coming to modern times, on 1 September 1969, Colonel Qaddafi overthrew King Idris in a bloodless military coup. The British tried to dislodge him (the so-called `Hilton Assignment`) but failed. Qaddafi has been in power ever since. Qaddafi created a system of `Islamic socialism` which blended Arab nationalism; `direct, popular democracy`; aspects of the welfare state; and Islamic morals (among them, outlawing alcohol and gambling), on all of which he elaborated in his `The Green Book`. He closed down American and British military bases and partly nationalised foreign oil and commercial interests in Libya. In June 1972 he announced that any Arab wishing to volunteer for Palestinian struggle for liberation could register at any Libyan embassy and would be given training on armed combat. In the hope of persuading the West to end support for Israel, he promoted oil embargoes as a political weapon. On 7 October 1972, he praised the Lod Airport massacre, carried out by the Japanese Red Army. In 1976 after a series of attacks by the Irish Provisional IRA, he claimed that he had supplying arms to the IRA. In 1977, he renamed the Libyan Arab Republic the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

Notwithstanding all this, and despite Qaddafi being a thorn in the flesh of the Empire, Libya (like Zimbabwe) has remained a neo-colony of the Empire. A few facts attest to this reality. Libya is OPEC's 8th largest oil producer. It depends primarily upon revenues from the petroleum sector, which contributes practically all export earnings and over half of GDP. According to the International Energy Agency, more than 70 percent of its oil is exported to European countries, especially Italy, France, Germany, and Spain, many of whom have invested heavily in Libyan oil. For example, by the end of October 2010, the number of French companies in Libya had nearly doubled from 2008 - most of them in the energy sector. It is no wonder that President Sarkozy is so nervous about the outcome of the current civil war in Libya. Italy alone buys a quarter of Libya's oil and 15 per cent of its natural gas. In all these years, Italian companies continued to retain a strong presence in Libya, which owned significant shares in Italy's Eni oil corporation, Fiat, Unicredit bank and Finmeccanica. In January 2002, Qaddafi purchased a 7.5% share of Italian football club Juventus for US$ 21 million, through a long-standing association with Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli. As well as Italy, several other European and British companies maintained strong commercial interests in Libya. This is at the national level. But at the personal level, the Qaddafi family became extremely wealthy as a result of his continuing links with the Empire. The $70 billion Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is a state institution, but it would be a safe bet that Qaddafi has (or had, until recent freeze on it) full control over it. Whilst he financed many groups fighting the Empire, he and his sons, known to live in opulent luxury the West, often donated money to `liberal` causes, such as the London School of Economics Centre for the `Study of Global Governance` ; indeed, the former Director of the LSE, Anthony Giddens, (Prime Minister Tony Blair’s political mentor) visited Qaddafi in 2007 to give him some lectures on `democracy`.

However, Qaddafi has his idiosyncrasies. He is trusted neither by the Empire nor by his fellow heads of state in the Arab League and the African Union. President Museveni, in praising Qaddafi as a `nationalist` criticised him for his `mistakes` -- among them, backing Idi Amin in Uganda; pushing for a United States of Africa; proclaiming himself `king of kings`; ignoring the plight of Southern Sudan; and promoting terrorism. For the Empire, Qaddafi had become an unreliable, indeed dangerous, neo-colonial dictator. The Empire had to bring him to book.

Here is a brief account of how the Empire `disciplined` Qaddafi and finally succeeded. For most of the 1980s and 90s, Libya was under the Empire`s economic and diplomatic sanctions. In April 1986, a joint U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps attacked Libya. In 1993 the U.N. imposed sanctions against it. As the sanctions began to bite, President Nelson Mandela made a media-hyped visit to Qaddafi in 1997 followed by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. As a result of these overtures, Qaddafi agreed in 1999 to hand over two Libyans accused of planting a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103, which came down on Lockerbie, Scotland. Qaddafi paid compensation to victims of Lockerbie -- US$2.7 billion to the families of the 270 victims, i.e. up to US$10 million each. The UN sanctions were thereupon suspended, but U.S. sanctions against Libya remained in force. Qaddafi went on to cooperate with investigations into previous Libyan acts of state-sponsored terrorism, and agreed to end his nuclear weapons program. On 15 May 2006, the U.S. State Department announced that it would restore full diplomatic relations with Libya, and that it would be removed from the list of nations supporting terrorism. Libya was thus restored to its ancien regime status as a neo-colony.

Following Qaddafi`s rehabilitation, several imperial Heads of State, most flamboyantly the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi rushed to Tripoli to shower the `dictator` with photo opportunities of kisses and hugs and to secure from him investment opportunities as well as access to oil. In March 2004, Blair went to Libya, and praised Qaddafi's for his co-operation. In July 2007, Sarkozy visited Libya and signed a number of bilateral and multilateral (European Union) agreements with the neo-colonial dictator. In August 2008, Berlusconi signed a landmark cooperation treaty in Benghazi, under which Italy agreed to pay $5 billion to Libya as compensation for its former military occupation, in exchange for Libya agreeing to stop illegal immigration to Italy, and investments in Italian companies. As the diplomatic editor of The Daily Telegraph, David Blair, said, Libya's 'Brother Leader', had gone from being `the epitome of revolutionary chic` to `an eccentric statesman with entirely benign relations with the West`. (The Daily Telegraph, 13 August 2009). Britain`s Prime Minister Cameron, not to miss his turn, went to Libya to sell arms to the Empire`s neo-colonial dictator, even as the people were marching against him in Tripoli.

 

But soon the imperial dictators were to regret their sudden passion for Qaddafi. The Tunisian and Egyptian `people`s revolutions` took them by surprise. When the contagion spread to Libya, the Empire could no longer defend the recently rehabilitated Qaddafi. It jumped on the `democratic bandwagon`, making a quick U-turn, and ditched Qaddafi as quickly as they had dashed to hug him. That Qaddafi ran a tight-fisted autocratic regime in Libya for decades was a well-known fact. His autocracy was never a matter of much concern to the Empire. There were other equally harsh regimes in the service of the Empire in other parts of the Arab world, such as Bahrain and Yemen, as well as in many pro-imperial neo-colonies in Africa. What tipped the scale against Qaddafi was his unreliability, and not the fact that he was a `dictator`. The challenge the Empire faced since his turnaround in 1999 had been how to turn Qaddafi from a dictator who served `revolutionary` causes to one who would serve imperial interests without creating problems for it. When this did not happen, he had to go, as indeed Tunisia`s Ben Ali and Egypt`s Mubarak, long time `allies` (read, `neo-colonial dictators`) of the Empire.

 

But how to get rid of Qaddafi became a bigger problem for the Empire than getting rid of Ben Ali and Mubarak. Earlier, I explained two vital differences between a colony and neo-colony. There is a third difference between the two. Unlike colonies, neo-colonies are `sovereign` states, and members of the United Nations. They have rights as `independent nations`, rights to self-determination, and rights to development. The Empire cannot just bomb a sovereign member of the UN, for example, without the UN`s sanction, especially of its Security Council which is the organ in the UN that deals with matters of international peace and security. This creates hurdles for the Empire. In the UN context, for example, the Empire has to get on board Russia and China (the two other permanent members of the Security Council with a veto power), and at least a majority of the remaining non-permanent members before it can attack a neo-colony. The Empire could not just attack Libya and take out Qaddafi. A proper rationale had to be engineered -- one that could be sold to the Empire`s own sceptical publics, to `allies` in the other neo-colonies, and to allies in non-imperial Europe and the rest of the third world. The critical support needed here was that of the other neo-colonies in the Arab World, best of all if it could be expressed institutionally by the Arab League. After much neo-colonial `persuasion` and carrot dangling this was achieved. For years the League has been belittled, even ridiculed, by the Empire for its flabbiness and foibles. Suddenly, when the League supported the `no-fly zone` against Libya, it became `the voice of the Arab people`. In the event, Russia and China abstained, as also India and Brazil, for reasons that we cannot go into here. For good measure, the African neo-colonies – South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon – voted in favour of the resolution. Once these `enabling conditions` of a new `diplomatic reality` was created, the Empire was quickly able to get the Security Council of the United Nations to pass a `consensus` resolution. Resolution 1973 (2011) demanded `an immediate ceasefire in Libya, including an end to the current attacks against civilians`, which it said might constitute `crimes against humanity`; it imposed a ban on all flights in the country’s airspace -- `a no-fly zone`; and tightened sanctions on the Qaddafi regime and its supporters. It authorized Member States, `acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory` -- requesting them to immediately inform the Secretary-General of such measures.

However, even before the ink was dry, France had begun to bomb Libya. Soon France was joined by Britain and the United States, until the `authority` of the U.N. was effectively transferred from it to the NATO. International lawyers will no doubt write copious papers on the legality of the actions that followed in terms of both the S.C. resolution, and international law. For example, in an `open letter to President Barack Obama on the crisis in Libya` the National Conference of Black Lawyers argued that there was 'no lawful basis for commencing a military campaign' in Libya. But in the world of `diplomatic reality`, this is just `a lot of noise` after the fact. And in any case, there are always several contending views on the legality or otherwise of such actions. Above all, there is no equivalent of Nuremburg Tribunal or the International Criminal Court that dare put on trial the Imperial Dictators -- Obama, Clinton, Sarkozy, or Cameron. The ICC is essentially a neo-colonial tool of the Empire, meant to be used only against third world or former East and Central European dictators and violators of human rights.

 

I ended the last column `Whose dictator is Qaddafi?` with the question: what now? How might things move forward in Libya?  Before I deal with the question it is important to remind ourselves that Libya is a neo-colonial state, and Qaddafi has objectively been a neo-colonial dictator for global finance capital, even though subjectively he was and is anti-imperialist. The Empire might have accommodated him, and indeed did rehabilitate him after his turnaround in 1999, over a decade ago, but the `Arab Spring` upset the programme of the Empire, and it had to quickly take a U-turn and ditch Qaddafi.

So what now?  The Empire, with the connivance of sections of the Libyan population, had hoped to get rid of Qaddafi quickly. The limited `United Nations` no-fly zone operation has metamorphosed into a `NATO` military operation, which is now in violation of its original mandate. The Empire, in its hubris and delusion, had imagined for a while that the U.N. might extend its authority to allow `boots on the ground`. But this failed. Russia and China that have veto power in the Security Council argue that the NATO countries have gone far beyond their mandate. Qaddafi, the Empire`s erstwhile dictator in Libya whom they cuddled and kissed after 1999 turn around, has proven to be more resilient than expected. He is back on his anti-imperialist nationalist trail. The imperial war machine has failed to dislodge him. Since March 2011 NATO has so far flown over 6,000 sorties into Libya, 2,400 of which involving bombing strikes. This is a staggering number by any measure. Faced with a protracted war, the Empire is now using subterfuge, deceit and double-speak to illegally extend its military operation in Libya. It kills individuals targeted from the air but nonetheless denies doing so and continues to play the myth that it is only `protecting the civilians`. This is a blatant lie. It brazenly bombed Qaddafi’s personal compound in Tripoli on 22 March, hoping to kill him. Like in the case of Osama bin Laden, the Empire has an awesomely simplistic, and gruesome, military strategy – cut off the head of the snake and the rest of the body will slither or wither away. During the 22 March bombing, however, the Empire succeeded only in killing some of Qaddafi`s children, in what can without fear of contradiction be described as a criminal act. This ought to motivate Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Prosecutor of the ICC (the International Criminal Court) to investigate and charge NATO leaders for criminal acts. Of course, we know this will not happen. In the international arena impunity has only one face, the imperial face.

So back to the question: what now of Libya?

Although it sounds like a cliché, it is a truism that `the future of Libya lies in the hands of the people of Libya`. Even the Empire hypocritically endorses the principle -- it has to, or else it will have no legitimacy, no excuse, for its action in Libya. But, the fact of the matter is that the Empire cannot allow self-determination to its neo-colonies. That, by definition, would be the end of the neo-colonies, and hence the death of the Empire. The Empire must divide and rule. In Libya it has actively encouraged a section of the people to fight a proxy war for the Empire. To put it starkly, Benghazi (a province) is fighting a war against Tripoli (the Centre) on behalf of the Empire. The French have been active in Benghazi even before the U.N. Security Council resolution, and was the first imperial country to recognise the National Transitional Council (NTC) at Benghazi.  But few countries have followed suit, and so, technically, the Qaddafi`s regime remains the only legally constituted actor in the conduct of Libya`s diplomatic relations. Against him, the Empire uses `the people` as an ideological metaphor to describe the entire `nation` that is supposed to have revolted against Qaddafi. This is another myth. The media story, for example, that `the pro-democracy fighters in Misurata are engaged in trench warfare against Qaddafi` is a loaded expression. It is aimed at conveying the message that the `pro-democracy` forces are holding out against the dictator. It is also aimed to prepare the psychological and political ground to justify the Empire`s open and clandestine military support to `the people`.  The question to then ask is `which people`?  Who among the NTC at Benghazi represent the `people`? The `people` is a simplified presentation of a complex reality, because there must be people even in Benghazi who must have realised by now that they are hostages of the Empire, that they cannot run the show on their own without the Empire. But these `rebels among the rebels` (if this is what they may be called) are probably marginalised by the coalition of political forces around the NTC at Benghazi.  It is a complex issue; not as simple as the Empire and its media makes out to be.

The hard reality is that as long as the Empire dictates the terms and means of engagement with Qaddafi, `the people` will never determine their future. It is as simple as that. When a nation has surrendered its sovereignty to the Empire, it can recover it only when it liberates itself from the Empire. When the streets revolted against the regime of Qaddafi, it was also revolting against the imperial order. But now the situation is out of the people`s control. The Empire has taken over the task of removing Qaddafi from power and, apparently, help `the people` to put in power a more `democratic regime`. This new regime, the Empire will make sure, is bound so tightly to the apron strings of the Empire that it continues to service the Empire`s economic and strategic interests in the region -- including access to oil; stopping inflow of boatloads of refugees to Europe; and, above all, the protection of Israel, the Empire`s outpost in the region against threats posed by, for example, Hamas, Syria and Iran.

So, then, back to the question: what is the possible way forward for the nation of Libya? Here, it might be helpful for the nation (a better term than `people`) to take a leaf from the experience of the nation of Palestine to move forward in their struggle for national self-determination.  Palestine is an occupied nation.  The people of Palestine cannot negotiate with Israel as long as their lands are occupied. And yet, this is what the Empire has been encouraging the Palestinians to do for the last 60 years. It is an impossible situation.  How can Palestine negotiate as an equal when it is occupied? The Empire has come in to `mediate` but it is not a neutral mediator.  It is not an honest broker. Countries like Norway that have brokered negotiations between Palestine and Israel act as surrogates of the Empire, in fact, as an integral part of the imperial system. The so-called Oslo Accord mediated by Norway, for example, was a partisan process on behalf of collective imperialism.

As Ziyad Clot, one-time adviser to the PLO, says: `The "peace negotiations" were a deceptive farce whereby biased terms were unilaterally imposed by Israel and systematically endorsed by the US and EU. Far from enabling a negotiated and fair end to the conflict, the pursuit of the Oslo process deepened Israeli segregationist policies and justified the tightening of the security control imposed on the Palestinian population, as well as its geographical fragmentation. Far from preserving the land on which to build a state, it has tolerated the intensification of the colonisation of the Palestinian territory. Far from maintaining a national cohesion, the process I participated in, albeit briefly, was instrumental in creating and aggravating divisions among Palestinians. In its most recent developments, it became a cruel enterprise from which the Palestinians of Gaza have suffered the most. Last but not least, these negotiations excluded for the most part the great majority of the Palestinian people: the seven million Palestinian refugees. My experience over those 11 months in Ramallah confirmed that the PLO, given its structure, was not in a position to represent all Palestinian rights and interests.”  (Ziyad Clot, `Why I Blew the Whistle about Palestine`, The Guardian, Saturday 14 May, 2011).

Of course, nothing remains the same forever. Even after 60 years of sustained efforts by the Empire to divide the nation of Palestine, to compel them to negotiate `peace terms` with Israel with `aid` funds and graft, and to force it accept its apartheid existence, the people of Palestine are finally united (at least for now, for the Empire and Israel will continue their efforts to divide them). Hamas and Al Fatah have buried their hatchets, and are now (at the time of writing this piece) presenting a common front to Israel and the Empire -- what the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu disingenuously described as `a victory for terrorism` and a 'mortal blow to peace' (http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-hamas-fatah-unity-pact-is-a-victory-for-terrorism-1.359821).

A further word of advice from Ziyad Clot on Palestine applies to Libya too. Here is what he says: `Finally, I feel reassured that the people of Palestine overwhelmingly realise that the reconciliation between all their constituents must be the first step towards national liberation. The Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians in Israel and the Palestinians living in exile have a common future. The path to Palestinian self-determination will require the participation of all in a renewed political platform.

The people of Libya will eventually also realise that the contradiction between `Tripoli` and `Benghazi` is a secondary contradiction between the peoples, fuelled by the Empire in the name of `humanitarian intervention` which is selectively applied in the case of Libya, but not, for instance, in the case of Bahrain or Yemen. They will realise that their principal AND immediate contradiction is with the Empire. In the case of Palestine, the new regime in Egypt played a catalytic role in bringing Hamas and Fatah together. Perhaps they can play a similar role in Libya. Egypt can also play a role in mobilising the Arab League against NATO`s illegal bombing of Libya. Following the bombing of Tripoli, its Secretary General, Amr Moussa, said that the League’s approval of a no-fly zone on March 12 was based on a desire to prevent Qaddafi’s air force from attacking civilians and not designed to endorse the intense bombing and missile attacks — including on Tripoli and on Libyan ground forces. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/arab-league-condemns-broad-bombing-campaign-in-libya/2011/03/20/AB1pSg1_story.html

The people of Libya must apply their own historical wisdom in resolving differences among themselves. The wisdom of the Orient is deep. One is the value of patience. Especially in the desert.  It takes a long time to reach your destination on camels, and you must prepare your journey properly and with care. Also, the desert is the arena for wars and fierce battles. But an oasis is different. An oasis is not only a break with the desert but also a neutral place of sanctity and peace inhabited mostly by women and children.  Visitors never enter the life of the oasis; they leave the people in the oasis alone. It is taboo for visitors to interfere with the hospitality of the inhabitants of the oasis. This is not so with the Western empire. This is an Empire historically born out of pillage and plunder. It is an Empire of globalisation of interference; in this Empire there is no room for an oasis of decency. The Empire believes, wrongly, that it can bomb Afghanistan and Libya to force submission.  The Western Empire is an uncivilised culture. It displays its crass culture when it rejoices the killing of Qaddafi`s children in their homes. The Empire does not understand that though you can hold a grain of sand in the palm of hand and puff it away, it has taken millions of years to make the sand. Eastern civilisation is still young, but it has been there a long time, longer than the Western civilisation; you cannot just puff it away like a grain of sand. The Empire is oblivious of the finer aspects of civilisation; it does not realise that though it may win in the short run, it may lose in the long run; what goes around comes around like a catapult.

And so back to Libya again. The Libyans must get back to their `oases culture`, find a place where they can leave their guns and camels outside the tents, and sort out their differences and unite against the Empire – like in Palestine.

The next question is whether there a role for the larger international community in this sordid war? By the international community I do not mean the Empire`s `coalition of the willing`. By it I mean the community outside the War Coalition. How can the leaders of the third world help for example? After the initial Security Council resolution, these countries have unfortunately allowed the United Nations to be used by the Empire, with the blatant complicity of the current Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.  They must take control of the political and diplomatic processes of the U.N.  How might they do so? First, they must bring the Libya issue back to the Council for a review of the original mandate. Failing that they could bring the matter before the General Assembly under the `Uniting for Peace` resolution which the Americans had first used in 1950 to get the U.N.`s endorsement for action in Korea. The UNGA resolution 377 (V), the `Uniting for Peace` resolution, states that in cases where the U.N. Security Council fails to act owing to disagreement between its five permanent members, the matter `shall` be addressed by the General Assembly, using the mechanism of the emergency special session.  Secondly, the leaders of the third world must also review the Security Council resolution 1674 of 28 April 2006. This resolution reaffirms paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document containing, among other things, the concept of the `responsibility to protect`, or R2P, which has been seriously abused by the Empire in the case of Libya.

This, the concept of the `responsibility to protect`, and the concept of `humanitarian intervention`, are matters that I shall take up in the next issue of Pambazuka. The imperial dictators are inflicting carnage on Libya with complete impunity.  What we are witnessing in Libya is not `audacity of hope` but audacity of madness. This carnage and madness must stop.

 

Conclusion

Libya is a neo-colonial state; it is the imperial finance capital which, despite contradictions, is in effective control of the state and its economy. Qaddafi has been an unwilling neo-colonial dictator for finance capital, with a rather utopian vision to liberate from the Empire; utopian because he wanted to fight the Empire whilst still keeping the country`s and his own wealth within the imperial industrial, financial and banking system. The Empire might have accommodated him, and indeed did rehabilitate him after his turnaround in 1999, but the `Arab Spring` upset the programme of the Empire, and it had to quickly take a U-turn and ditch Qaddafi just as it Ben Ali and Mubarak.

The issue of how things might move forward in Libya is a big issue, one which I shall write about in the next column.

 

Yash Tandon

May 20, 2011

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 July 2011 )
 
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