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Libya: A Western Criminal Enterprise Underway 

By Clovis Atatah In Vienna, Austria

"Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfil it, or betray it."- Frantz Fanon, ‘The Wretched of the Earth’ . These inspiring words, written in the heat of the Algerian war of independence, and in the general context of the struggle against colonial domination, clap even more thunderously today in the background of the ongoing upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East.

Obviously, the millions of young people who have so far risked their lives in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Syria and other countries for the cause of freedom have discovered their mission and are trying to fulfil it. But in some cases the mission may be betrayed, as opportunists waving the banner of freedom are actually agents of colonialists, neo-colonialists and imperialists whose sheer immorality would make Frantz Fanon wince in his grave. In the case of Libya, greedy Western interests are in a devious campaign to re-colonise the country and seize its oil fields.

Before I proceed, it is important to state categorically that I abhor dictatorship with a passion. I will definitely not shed a tear if Moammar Gadhafi falls. But I even more passionately detest imperialism, and would rather have nationalist strongmen in Africa like Mr Gadhafi than the puppets that not only oppress their people, but also give their Western masters a free rein to Africa’s resources.

After the anti-colonial struggles in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, many Africans erroneously believed that freedom had been won. But what had happened was that the colonialists and imperialists managed to install their puppets and stooges in many countries, ensuring that they maintained their grip on Africa’s resources. In the few cases where true nationalists acceded to power, the colonialists either murdered them or waged proxy wars against their governments.

When the armed rebellion against Mr Gadhafi’s reign fired off in Libya, I had a sudden surge of joy, but the rapid war-mongering of Western leaders, especially France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, put me on my guard. I immediately recalled that these same guys, who were hiding under the cover of an "orderly transition" in Egypt to try to maintain the hated Hosni Muburak in power, were now presenting themselves as champions of freedom for the Libyan people. I did not fail to notice that these imperialists were not doing anything to help unarmed protesters in Yemen and Bahrain who were being gunned down by their dictators’ dogs of war.

It was even more suspicious that international media that are controlled by the Western military industrial complex that ensured that the likes of Mr Sarkozy acceded to power were joining their governments in describing armed Libyan opposition fighters as "civilians". The Libyan army suddenly became a "force loyal to Gadhafi" that was indiscriminately killing "civilians".

The French leader’s reaction contrasted sharply with the attitude he maintained in Chad a few years ago when he sent in jet fighters and paratroopers to N’djamena to save the murderous dictator, Idriss Derby Itno, who had been surrounded by rebel fighters. Mr Sarkozy could not bear to see true nationalists taking over a French plantation in Africa.

Today, Mr Sarkozy and other Western leaders such as Barack Obama of the United States and David Cameron of Britain, are hiding behind a mean and massive disinformation campaign to justify a so-called humanitarian intervention, which is a cover for the imperialist takeover of Libya, and an attempted derailing of the dream of a United Africa championed by Moammar Gadhafi.

In an article published shortly after the outset of the rebel campaign in Libya and before the adoption of the UN-resolution imposing a no-fly zone on the oil-rich country, Prof Michel Chossudovsky wrote: "US and NATO military advisers and special forces are already on the ground [in Libya]. The operation was planned to coincide with the protest movement in neighbouring Arab countries.

Public opinion was led to believe that the protest movement had spread spontaneously from Tunisia and Egypt to Libya (…) US and allied special forces are on the ground in Eastern Libya, providing covert support to the rebels." Today, Western media are covering up the fact that "coalition" forces claiming to be protecting Libyan civilians are killing many of them, and destroying civilian infrastructure. State buildings, bridges and hospitals have been bombed as if such actions help to implement the no-fly zone and protect civilians.

The UN resolution, which equally called for a "ceasefire" seems to apply only to the Libyan army, as the West gloats over rebel attacks, even providing them air cover, but accuse Mr Gadhafi of violating the ceasefire provision when the Libyan army acts in self defence. It will probably be a mystery to historians in future how armed fighters could possibly be synonymous with civilians.

What is happening in Libya, with the active and tacit support of not only Western stooges in Africa, but equally a good number of gullible Africans, is a reminder of Frantz Fanon’s warning that a generation could actually betray its mission.

Genuine freedom fighters in Africa need to direct their energies towards the total liberation of the continent from the fangs of colonialists, neo-colonialists and imperialists who have been emboldened by recent expansionist adventures in the Middle East and the apparent docility of Africans. Dictatorship will not survive when Africa finally breaks its imperialist chains and unites. Democratic struggles in Africa that are being confiscated by vested Western interests can only lead, once again, to a disguised form of slavery.

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