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[Dehai-WN] Globalresearch.ca: LIBYA UNDER PENTAGON-NATO RULE: Corruption, internecine conflict and the "fruits" of imperialist warfare

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 00:35:52 +0200

LIBYA UNDER PENTAGON-NATO RULE: Corruption, internecine conflict and the
"fruits" of imperialist warfare


by Abayomi Azikiwe


 <http://www.globalresearch.ca> Global Research, May 16, 2012

Some 200 disgruntled rebels who fought with the Pentagon and NATO in the
regime-change military mission against the Jamahiriya government in Libya
during 2011, made an effort to assassinate the interim Prime Minister
Abdurrahim al-Keib on May 8. The rebels were supposedly angry over the
cancellation of monthly payments to the militiamen who served as ground
troops in the campaign that overthrew the martyred leader Col. Muammar

The compensation program for the rebels, which distributed $US1.4 billion,
has been riddled with fraud and consequently was suspended in April. There
were reports that people were paid who were dead and that those who never
joined the anti-Gaddafi efforts also received monies. In addition to these
problems with public funds being turnover to rebel fighters, others were
sent on trips abroad for medical treatment but were not injured.

The militia groups served as the ground forces in the imperialist war
against Libya that resulted in an arms embargo against the Gaddafi
government, a naval blockade, sanctions, foreign assets seizure and bombing
missions involving 26,000 sorties and 10,000 airstrikes. Corruption has been
endemic to the so-called National Transitional Council (NTC) since its
inception during the war last year. After being placed in power in Tripoli
in late August 2011 and throughout the country after the brutal murder of
Gaddafi on October 20, billions of dollars have gone missing from the
national treasury. With the exposure of the widespread corruption in Libya,
the interim finance minister Hassan Ziglam announced on May 11 that he would
soon resign. The reason for his departure is the "wastage of public funds."
(Reuters, May 11)

The interim prime minister al-Keib, who was the target of the assassination
attempt, called those responsible for the shooting that left at least one
person dead, "outlaws." The various militia groups scattered throughout the
capital of Tripoli and other parts of the country have never been brought
into a national army. Ziglam, the outgoing finance minister, said of the
incident on May 9, that "They came with weapons. How can you work in such an
environment." (Reuters, May 11)

Other allegations of corruption over the last several months have included
irregularities with the Libyan Investment Authority where some $US2.5
billion in oil revenues that were supposed to be transferred to the national
treasury remains unaccounted for. Also the foreign assets that were frozen
by the imperialist states in the early stages of the war on Libya remain a
source of dispute in regard to the actual value of these funds. In the
eastern oil-producing region of the country, the Arabian Gulf Oil Company
has been hampered by work stoppages by employees who are demanding
accountability from the executives running the firm. Although oil production
has reportedly increased to a million barrels a day, there are questions
about the utilization of revenue and the compensation of workers.

Human Rights Violations Ignored by the Imperialists and Their Surrogates The
rationale for the imperialist war on Libya during 2011 was that the Gaddafi
government was violating the human rights of its citizens during an armed
rebellion that was financed and coordinated by foreign interests. Despite
the fact that no concrete evidence of mass killings and imprisonment were
uncovered, this same narrative is being maintained as a justification for
what transpired.

Yet under the current NTC regime reports indicate that at least 7,000 people
are still being detained inside the country with many of them suffering
torture and extrajudicial killings. Even the United Nations, which through
Resolutions 1970 and 1973 provided a pseudo-legal basis for the bombing of
Libya and the overthrow of its government, has spoken out against the unjust
incarceration by the Libyan rebels. According to Ian Martin, who heads the
UN mission to Libya, "Cases of mistreatment and torture of detainees
continue. Addressing these practices should be a top government priority in
pursuit of a new culture of human rights and the rule of law." (AFP, May 11)

In April there were claims that three people were tortured to death in a
prison in the coastal central city of Misrata. This prison has been
notorious for its mistreatment of detainees and there are allegations that
another seven people have been murdered there as well. The detainees are
accused of fighting with the Libyan military in defense of the country that
was being attacked internally and from the air and sea during 2011. Another
method of arresting people is by outlawing any "glorification" of the former
leader and government of Col. Muammar Gaddafi. The NTC government has passed
a law that orders the militias to round up for prosecution anyone in support
of the former political system that ruled the country for 42 years.
Consequently the upcoming elections will bar political interests that still
remain supportive of the Jamahiriya. Threats against supporters of the
former Gaddafi government also extend outside of Libya.

The previous oil minister and Prime Minister Dr. Shokri Ghanem, was found
dead in Vienna in late April floating in the Danube River. Ghanem was being
pressured to return to Libya by the NTC to provide evidence for the further
persecution of former members of the government. In a Reuters interview in
December 2011, the Boston University graduate told a reporter in regard to
the NTC rebels, "One man they were interviewing, they threw him out of the
window." (Reuters, May 13) Noman Benotman, an analyst and a long-time
opponent of the Gaddafi government, said of the death of Ghanem that "It was
a professionally executed crime. It is the global energy mafia. It's to do
with corruption, secret deals. People wanted to make sure he is not around
anymore to talk." (Reuters, May 13)

The son of Muammar Gaddafi, Seif al-Islam, is still being held in a secret
prison in Zintan and is not being allowed to have legal representation of
his choice. An International Criminal Court (ICC) representative visited him
recently for an interview in which it was witnessed that two of his fingers
were severed and a tooth was missing. ICC prosecutors are allowing the
detention of Seif al-Islam inside Libya although the NTC government claims
that it is not in control of the facility where he is being held. Under such
conditions and with overall political chaos inside the country, it will be
impossible for him to have any semblance of a fair trial. Elections Will
Inevitably Be a Sham There is no way that the elections scheduled for June
19 can be considered free and fair.

The former officials of the Gaddafi government and their supporters have
been criminalized and many of them remain outside the country. The entire
registration process has been marred by confusion and inconsistencies.
One Libyan who was quoted by the BBC said of the process that "We don't
understand elections. There are some who don't know anything at all! There's
nothing on TV even about how elections work, how to vote, what to do." (BBC,
May 11) Meanwhile the secessionist elements in the eastern part of the
country where the anti-Gaddafi rebellion began in February 2011, the
so-called Barqa Council, has rejected the election process and is calling
for a boycott. The leadership within the region, which is calling itself the
Council of Cyrenaica, is pushing for autonomous status outside the authority
of the NTC in Tripoli.

At the same time in the southern region of Libya reports of ongoing
sectional conflict continues. Many have been killed in fighting over the
last several months between what is described as the Toubou people and Arab
tribesmen. On May 14 the French Press Agency (AFP) reported that "A
candidate in the upcoming poll for a constituent assembly was murdered in
Libya's southern desert on Sunday shortly after submitting his registration.
'Khaled Abu Saleh was murdered 30 kilometers (22 miles) from Ubari."
Mohammed Saleh, who is described by AFP as the deputy chairman of the High
Security Commission, said that "An armed gang traveling in five cars
followed him after he registered with the electoral commission. They
surrounded and killed him."

The Fruits of Imperialist War in Africa The situation in Libya represents
the outcome of imperialist wars that have been waged by the U.S. and other
Western countries over the last decade. Initiated on the basis of
humanitarian concerns, these interventions always result in the worsening of
conditions for the masses within the respective countries. In the U.S.
itself, the economic crisis is causing the destruction of the cities and the
rise in racist violence. The runaway military spending has not created any
job growth for the tens of millions of unemployed workers. In Canada, which
ostensibly led the NATO operations in Libya, a scandal is emerging over the
cover-up of the cost of the war. Conservative government Defense Minister
Peter MacKay took to the airwaves on May 13 in a damage control effort amid
allegations of misrepresentation of funding in the war. Press reports say
that the actual cost of the Libya bombing campaign for Canada was 700
percent higher than what has been stated publically. MacKay said "The
interventions are expensive. In my view, this was money well spent."

Abayomi Azikiwe is the editor of Pan-African News Wire , an international
electronic press service designed to foster intelligent discussion on the
affairs of African people throughout the continent and the world.


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Received on Wed May 16 2012 - 18:36:41 EDT
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