Libya, Africa, and AFRICOM: An Ongoing Disaster
The scale of the ongoing tragedy visited on
Earlier this year, in-fighting resulted in 147 killed in Southern Libya in a single week and in recent weeks government buildings, including the Prime Ministerial compound, have come under fire by “rebels” demanding cash payment for their services—$1.4 billion has been paid out already, demonstrating again that it was the forces of NATO colonialism, not Gaddafi, who were reliant on “mercenaries.” Payments were suspended last month due to widespread nepotism.
Corruption is becoming endemic. Another $2.5 billion in oil revenues that were supposed to have been transferred to the National Treasury remain unaccounted for. Libyan resources are now being jointly plundered by oil multinationals and a handful of chosen families from among the country’s new elites—a classic neo-colonial stick-up. The use of these resources for giant infrastructure projects, such as the
But woe betide anyone who mentions that now. It was decided long ago that no supporters of Gaddafi would be allowed to stand in the upcoming elections. Recent changes have gone even further. Law 37, passed by the new NATO-imposed government recently, has created a new crime of “glorifying” the former government or its leader, subject to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Would this include a passing comment that things were better under Gaddafi? The law is cleverly vague enough to be open to interpretation.
Law 38 is more indicative of the contempt for the rule of law by the new government—a government, remember, which has yet to receive any semblance of a popular mandate and whose only power base remains the colonial armed forces. This law guarantees immunity from prosecution for anyone who committed crimes aimed at “promoting or protecting the revolution.” Those responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha—such as Misrata’s self-proclaimed “brigade for the purging of black skins”—can continue to hunt down that cities’ refugees in the full knowledge that they have the new law on their side. Those responsible for the massacres in Sirte and elsewhere have nothing to fear. Those involved in the torture of detainees can continue without repercussions as long as it is aimed at “protecting the revolution,” i.e., maintaining a NATO-TNC dictatorship.
Nor has the disaster remained a national one.
Most worrying for the African continent, however, is the forward march of AFRICOM—the
None of this would have been possible while Gaddafi was still in power. As founder of the African Union, its biggest donor, and its one-time elected chair, he wielded serious influence on the continent. He offered cash and investments to African governments who rejected
Now that he is gone, AFRICOM is stepping up its work. The invasions of
Dan Glazebrook writes for the Morning Star newspaper and is one of the coordinators for the British branch of the International Union of Parliamentarians for