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Libya, Getting it Right: A Revolutionary Pan-African Perspective

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by Gerald A. Perreira

The conflict in Libya is not a revolution, but a counter-revolution. The struggle “is fundamentally a battle between Pan-African forces on the one hand, who are dedicated to the realization of Qaddafi's vision of a united Africa, and reactionary racist Libyan Arab forces who reject Qaddafi's vision of Libya as part of a united Africa.” The so-called Black African “mercenaries” are misnamed. As a result of Libya's support for liberation movements throughout Africa and the world, international battalions were formed” which are part of the Libyan armed forces.

 

Libya, Getting it Right: A Revolutionary Pan-African Perspective

by Gerald A. Perreira

The media and their selected commentators have done their best to manufacture an opinion that Libya is essentially the same as Egypt and Tunisia.”

Thousands of Indians, Egyptians, Chinese, Filipinos, Turks, Germans, English, Italians, Malaysians, Koreans and a host of other nationalities are lining up at the borders and the airport to leave Libya. It begs the question: What were they doing in Libya in the first place? Unemployment figures, according to the Western media and Al Jazeera, are at 30%. If this is so, then why all these foreign workers?

For those of us who have lived and worked in Libya, there are many complexities to the current situation that have been completely overlooked by the Western media and 'Westoxicated' analysts, who have nothing other than a Eurocentric perspective to draw on. Let us be clear - there is no possibility of understanding what is happening in Libya within a Eurocentric framework. Westerners are incapable of understanding a system unless the system emanates from or is attached in some way to the West. Libya's system and the battle now taking place on its soil, stands completely outside of the Western imagination.

News coverage by the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera has been oversimplified and misleading. An array of anti-Qaddafi spokespersons, most living outside Libya, have been paraded in front of us – each one clearly a counter-revolutionary and less credible than the last. Despite the clear and irrefutable evidence from the beginning of these protests that Muammar Qaddafi had considerable support both inside Libya and internationally, not one pro-Qaddafi voice has been allowed to air.  The media and their selected commentators have done their best to manufacture an opinion that Libya is essentially the same as Egypt and Tunisia and that Qaddafi is just another tyrant amassing large sums of money in Swiss bank accounts. But no matter how hard they try, they cannot make Qaddafi into a Mubarak or Libya into Egypt.

Libya's system and the battle now taking place on its soil, stands completely outside of the Western imagination.”

The first question is: Is the revolt taking place in Libya fuelled by a concern over economic issues such as poverty and unemployment as the media would have us believe? Let us examine the facts.

Under the revolutionary leadership of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has attained the highest standard of living in Africa. In 2007, in an article which appeared in the African Executive Magazine, Norah Owaraga noted that Libya, “unlike other oil producing countries such as Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, utilized the revenue from its oil to develop its country. The standard of living of the people of Libya is one of the highest in Africa, falling in the category of countries with a GNP per capita of between USD 2,200 and 6,000.”

This is all the more remarkable when we consider that in 1951 Libya was officially the poorest country in the world. According to the World Bank, the per capita income was less than $50 a year - even lower than India. Today, all Libyans own their own homes and cars. Two Fleet Street journalists, David Blundy and Andrew Lycett, who are by no means supporters of the Libyan revolution, had this to say:

The young people are well dressed, well fed and well educated. Libyans now earn more per capita than the British. The disparity in annual incomes... is smaller than in most countries. Libya's wealth has been fairly spread throughout society. Every Libyan gets free, and often excellent, education, medical and health services. New colleges and hospitals are impressive by any international standard. All Libyans have a house or a flat, a car and most have televisions, video recorders and telephones. Compared with most citizens of the Third World countries, and with many in the First World, Libyans have it very good indeed.” (Source: Qaddafi and the Libyan Revolution)

Large scale housing construction has taken place right across the country. Every citizen has been given a decent house or apartment to live in rent-free. In Qaddafi’s Green Book it states: “The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others.” This dictum has now become a reality for the Libyan people.

Large scale agricultural projects have been implemented in an effort to “make the desert bloom” and achieve self-sufficiency in food production. Any Libyan who wants to become a farmer is given free use of land, a house, farm equipment, some livestock and seed.

The standard of living of the people of Libya is one of the highest in Africa.”

Today, Libya can boast one of the finest health care systems in the Arab and African World. All people have access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of all charges. The fact is that the Libyan revolution has achieved such a high standard of living for its people that they import labor from other parts of the world to do the jobs that the unemployed Libyans refuse to do.  Libya has been called by many observers inside and out, “a nation of shop keepers.” It is part of the Libyan Arab psyche to own your own small business and this type of small scale private enterprise flourishes in Libya. We can draw on many examples of Libyans with young sons who expressed the idea that it would be shameful for the family if these same young men were to seek menial work and instead preferred for them to remain at home supported by the extended family.

No system is perfect, and Libya is no exception. They suffered nine years of economic sanctions and this caused huge problems for the Libyan economy. Also, there is nowhere on planet earth that has escaped the monumental crisis of neo-liberal capitalism. It has impacted everywhere – even on post revolutionary societies that have rejected “free market” capitalism.  However, what we are saying is that severe economic injustice is not at the heart of this conflict. So then, what is?

A Battle for Africa

The battle that is being waged in Libya is fundamentally a battle between Pan-African forces on the one hand, who are dedicated to the realization of Qaddafi's vision of a united Africa, and reactionary racist Libyan Arab forces who reject Qaddafi's vision of Libya as part of a united Africa and want to ally themselves instead with the EU and look toward Europe and the Arab World for Libya's future.

One of Muammar Qaddafi's most controversial and difficult moves in the eyes of many Libyans was his championing of Africa and his determined drive to unite Africa with one currency, one army and a shared vision regarding the true independence and liberation of the entire continent. He has contributed large amounts of his time and energy and large sums of money to this project and like Kwame Nkrumah, he has paid a high price.

Many of the Libyan people did not approve of this move. They wanted their leader to look towards Europe. Of course, Libya has extensive investments and commercial ties with Europe but the Libyans know that Qaddafi’s heart is in Africa.

Many years ago, Qaddafi told a large gathering, which included Libyans and revolutionaries from many parts of the world, that the Black Africans were the true owners of Libya long before the Arab incursion into North Africa, and that Libyans need to acknowledge and pay tribute to their ancient African roots. He ended by saying, as is proclaimed in his Green Book, that “the Black race shall prevail throughout the world.”  This is not what many Libyans wanted to hear. As with all fair skinned Arabs, prejudice against Black Africans is endemic.

Brother Leader, Guide of the Revolution and King of Kings are some of the titles that have been bestowed on Qaddafi by Africans. Only last month Qaddafi called for the creation of a Secretariat of traditional African Chiefs and Kings, with whom he has excellent ties, to co-ordinate efforts to build African unity at the grassroots level throughout the continent, a bottom up approach, as opposed to trying to build unity at the government/state level, an approach which has failed the African unification project since the days of Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Toure.  This bottom up approach is widely supported by many Pan Africanists worldwide.

African Mercenaries or Freedom Fighters?

In the past week, the phrase “African mercenaries” has been repeated over and over by the media and the selected Libyan citizens they choose to speak to have,  as one commentator put it, “spat the word ‘African’ with a venomous hatred.”

The media has assumed, without any research or understanding of the situation because they are refusing to give any air time to pro-Qaddafi forces, that the many Africans in military uniform fighting alongside the pro-Qaddafi Libyan forces are mercenaries. However, it is a myth that the Africans fighting to defend the Jamahiriya and Muammar Qaddafi are mercenaries being paid a few dollars and this assumption is based solely on the usual racist and contemptuous view of Black Africans.

Actually, in truth, there are people all over Africa and the African Diaspora who support and respect Muammar Qaddafi as a result of his invaluable contribution to the worldwide struggle for African emancipation.

It is a myth that the Africans fighting to defend the Jamahiriya and Muammar Qaddafi are mercenaries being paid a few dollars.”

Over the past two decades, thousands of Africans from all over the continent were provided with education, work and military training – many of them coming from liberation movements. As a result of Libya's support for liberation movements throughout Africa and the world, international battalions were formed. These battalions saw themselves as a part of the Libyan revolution, and took it upon themselves to defend the revolution against attacks from within its borders or outside.

These are the Africans who are fighting to defend Qaddafi and the gains of the Libyan revolution to their death if need be. It is not unlike what happened when internationalist battalions came to the aid of the revolutionary forces against Franco's fascist forces in Spain.

Malian political analyst, Adam Thiam, notes that “thousands of Tuaregs who were enrolled in the Islamic Legion established by the Libyan revolution remained in Libya and they are enrolled in the Libyan security forces.” 

African Migrants under Attack

As African fighters from Chad, Niger, Mali, Ghana, Kenya and Southern Sudan (it should be noted that Libya supported the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army under John Garang in their war of liberation against Arab hegemonists in Khartoum, while all other Arab leaders backed the Khartoum regime) fight to defend this African revolution, a million African refugees and thousands of African migrant workers stand the risk of being murdered as a result of their perceived support for Qaddafi.

One Turkish construction worker described a massacre: “We had 70-80 people from Chad working for our company. They were cut dead with pruning shears and axes, attackers saying: ‘You are providing troops for Qaddafi. The Sudanese were also massacred. We saw it for ourselves.”

This is a far cry from what is being portrayed in the media as “peaceful protesters” being set upon by pro-Qaddafi forces. In fact, footage of the Benghazi revolt shows men with machetes, AK 47s and RPGs.  In the Green Book, Qaddafi argues for the transfer of all power, wealth and arms directly into the hands of the people themselves. No one can deny that the Libyan populace is heavily armed. This is part of Qaddafi's philosophy of arms not being monopolised by any section of the society, including the armed forces. It must be said that it is not usual practice for tyrants and dictators to arm their population.

Qaddafi has also been very vocal regarding the plight of Africans who migrate to Europe, where they are met with racism, more poverty, violence at the hands of extreme right wing groups and in many cases death, when the un-seaworthy boats they travel in sink.

Qaddafi has also been very vocal regarding the plight of Africans who migrate to Europe.”

Moved by their plight, a conference was held in Libya in January this year, to address their needs and concerns. More than 500 delegates and speakers from around the world attended the conference titled “A Decent Life in Europe or a Welcome Return to Africa.”

We should live in Europe with decency and dignity,” Qaddafi told participants. “We need a good relationship with Europe not a relationship of master and slave. There should be a strong relationship between Africa and Europe. Our presence should be strong, tangible and good. It’s up to you as the Africans in the Diaspora. We have to continue more and more until the unity of Africa is achieved.

From now on, by the will of God, I will assign teams to search, investigate and liaise with the Africans in Europe and to check their situations...this is my duty and role towards the sons of Africa; I am a soldier for Africa. I am here for you and I work for you; therefore, I will not leave you and I will follow up on your conditions.”

Joint committees of African migrants, the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and international organizations present at the conference discussed the need to coordinate the implementation of many of the conference's recommendations.

Statements are appearing all over the internet from Africans who have a different view to that being perpetuated by those intent on discrediting Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution. One African commented:

When I was growing up I first read a comic book of his revolution at the age of ten. Since then, as dictators came and went, Colonel Qaddafi has made an impression on me as a man who truly loves Africa! Libyans could complain that he spent their wealth on other Africans! But those Africans he helped put in power, built schools and mosques and brought in many forms of development showing that Africans can do for themselves. If those Africans would abandon him to be swallowed by Western Imperialism and their lies and just let him go as a dictator in the name of so-called democracy...if they could do that...they should receive the names and fate that the Western press gives our beloved leader. If there is any one person who was half as generous as he is, let them step forward.”

And another African comments:

This man has been accused of many things and listening to the West who just recently were happy to accept his generous hospitality, you will think that he is worse than Hitler. The racism and contemptuous attitudes of Arabs towards Black Africans has made me a natural sceptic of any overtures from them to forge a closer link with Black Africa but Qaddafi was an exception.”

Opportunistic Revolt

This counter-revolutionary revolt caught everyone, including the Libyan authorities, by surprise. They knew what the media is not reporting: that unlike Egypt and Tunisia and other countries in the region, where there is tremendous poverty, unemployment and repressive pro-Western regimes, the Libyan dynamic was entirely different. However, an array of opportunistic forces, ranging from so-called Islamists, Arab-Supremacists, including some of those who have recently defected from Qaddafi's inner circle, have used the events in neighbouring countries as a pretext to stage a coup and to advance their own agenda for the Libyan nation. Many of these former officials were the authors of, and covertly fuelled the anti-African pogrom in Libya a few years ago when many Africans lost their lives in street battles between Africans and Arab Libyans. This was a deliberate attempt to embarrass Qaddafi and to undermine his efforts in Africa.

Qaddafi has long been a thorn in the Islamists side. In his recent address to the Libyan people, broadcast from the ruins of the Bab al-Azizia compound bombed by Reagan in 1986, he asked the “bearded ones” in Benghazi and Jabal al Akhdar where they were when Reagan bombed his compound in Tripoli, killing hundreds of Libyans, including his daughter. He said they were hiding in their homes applauding the US and he vowed that he would never allow the country to be returned to the grip of them and their colonial masters.

Al Qaeda is in the Sahara on his borders and the International Union of Muslim Scholars is calling for him to be tried in a court. One asks why are they calling for Qaddafi's blood? Why not Mubarak who closed the Rafah Border Crossing while the Israeli's slaughtered the Palestinians in Gaza. Why not Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Blair who are responsible for the murder of millions of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan?

An array of opportunistic forces, ranging from so-called Islamists, Arab-Supremacists, including some of those who have recently defected from Qaddafi's inner circle, have used the events in neighbouring countries as a pretext to stage a coup.”

The answer is simple - because Qaddafi committed some “cardinal sins.” He dared to challenge their reactionary and feudal notions of Islam. He has upheld the idea that every Muslim is a ruler (Caliph) and does not need the Ulema to interpret the Quran for them. He has questioned the Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda from a Quranic/theological perspective and is one of the few political leaders equipped to do so. Qaddafi has been called a Mujaddid (this term refers to a person who appears to revive Islam and to purge it of alien elements, restoring it to its authentic form) and he comes in the tradition of Jamaludeen Afghani and the late Iranian revolutionary, Ali Shariati.

Libya is a deeply traditional society, plagued with some outmoded and bankrupt ideas that continue to surface to this day. In many ways, Qaddafi has had to struggle against the same reactionary aspects of Arab culture and tradition that the holy prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was struggling against in 7th century Arabia – Arab supremacy/racism, supremacy of family and tribe, historical feuding tribe against tribe and the marginalisation of women. Benghazi has always been at the heart of counter-revolution in Libya, fostering reactionary Islamic movements such as the Wahhabis and Salafists.  It is these people who founded the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group based in Benghazi which allies itself with Al Qaeda and who have, over the years, been responsible for the assassination of leading members of the Libyan revolutionary committees.

These forces hate Qaddafi's revolutionary reading of the Quran. They foster an Islam concerned with outward trappings and mere religiosity, in the form of rituals, which at the same time is feudal and repressive, while rejecting the liberatory spirituality of Islam. While these so-called Islamists are opposed to Western occupation of Muslim lands, they have no concrete programmatic platform for meaningful socio-economic and political transformation to advance their societies beyond semi-feudal and capitalist systems which reinforce the most backward and reactionary ideas and traditions. Qaddafi's political philosophy, as outlined in the Green Book, rejects unfettered capitalism in all its manifestations, including the “State capitalism” of the former communist countries and the neo-liberal capitalist model that has been imposed at a global level.  The idea that capitalism is not compatible with Islam and the Quran is not palatable to many Arabs and so-called Islamists because they hold onto the fallacious notion that business and trade is synonymous with capitalism.

Getting it Right

Whatever the mistakes made by Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution, its gains and its huge contribution to the struggle of oppressed peoples worldwide cannot and must not be ignored. Saif Qaddafi, when asked about the position of his father and family, said this battle is not about one man and his family, it is about Libya and the direction it will take.

That direction has always been controversial. In 1982, The World Mathaba was established in Libya. Mathaba means a gathering place for people with a common purpose. The World Mathaba brought together revolutionaries and freedom fighters from every corner of the globe to share ideas and develop their revolutionary knowledge. Many liberation groups throughout the world received education, training and support from Muammar Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution including  ANC, AZAPO, PAC and BCM of Azania (South Africa), SWAPO of Namibia, MPLA of Angola, The Sandinistas of Nicaragua, The Polisario of the Sahara, the PLO, The Native American Movements throughout  the Americas, The Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan to name but a few. Nelson Mandela called Muammar Qaddafi one of this century’s greatest freedom fighters, and insisted that the eventual collapse of the apartheid system owed much to Qaddafi and Libyan support. Mandela said that in the darkest moments of their struggle, when their backs were to the wall, it was Muammar Qaddafi who stood with them. The late African freedom fighter, Kwame Ture, referred to Qaddafi as “a diamond in a cesspool of African misleaders.”

Nelson Mandela called Muammar Qaddafi one of this century’s greatest freedom fighters.”

The hideous notion being perpetuated by the media and reactionary forces, inside and outside of Libya, that this is just another story of a bloated dictatorship that has run its course is mis-information and deliberate distortion. Whatever one’s opinions of Qaddafi the man, no one can deny his invaluable contribution to human emancipation and the universal truths outlined in his Green Book.

Progressive scholars in many parts of the world, including the West, have acclaimed The Green Book as an incisive critique of capitalism and the Western Parliamentary model of multi-party democracy. In addition, there is no denying that the system of direct democracy posited by Qaddafi in The Green Book offers an alternative model and solution for Africa and the Third World, where multi-party so-called democracy has been a dismal failure, resulting in poverty, ethnic and tribal conflict and chaos.

Every revolution, since the beginning of time, has defended itself against those who would want to roll back its gains. Europeans should look back into their own bloody history to see that this includes the American, French and Bolshevik revolutions. Marxists speak of Trotsky and Lenin’s brutal suppression of the Kronstadt rebellion by the Red Army as being a “tragic necessity.”

Let's get it right: The battle in Libya is not about peaceful protestors versus an armed and hostile State. All sides are heavily armed and hostile. The battle being waged in Libya is essentially a battle between those who want to see a united and liberated Libya and Africa, free of neo-colonialism and neo-liberal capitalism and free to construct their own system of governance compatible with the African and Arab personalities and cultures and those who find this entire notion repugnant.  And both sides are willing to pay the ultimate price to defend their positions.

Make no mistake, if Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution are defeated by this opportunistic conglomerate of reactionaries and racists, then progressive forces worldwide and the Pan African project will suffer a huge defeat and set back.

Gerald A. Perreira has lived in Libya for many years and was an executive member of the World Mathaba. He can be contacted at mojadi94@gmail.com.

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re Libya getting it right

Gerald A. Perreira has lived in Libya... member of the World Mathaba. Other informations that should have been added are that this "mathaba" is the Libyan center for Qaddafi's propaganda. Visit http://www.mathaba.net and you're in the green land the wonder land of Qaddafi's green book.

Gadafi's wants the Enslavement of Black Africans.

Gadafi is not Pro Black and is not a Marcus Garvey type Pan Africanist Dr Clarke said so. The esteemed  Professor   Chinweizu is the expert on Arabs, Libya and Black Africa. Gadafi hates Black people. And anygood he has done was trickery to impose Arabism on African people.

South Sudan and the problem of Arab racism in Black Africa--   written by the Legendary African professor Chinweizu

http://www.houseofknowledge.org.uk/new/doc/6_South_Sudan_and_the_pr...

Article from Paul Ifayomi  website

 

 

In the past 40 years, Libya’s Gadhafi has been particularly active in sponsoring chaos, anarchy and civil wars in Chad, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire etc., and in trying to Islamise Uganda, Rwanda, the CAR etc. For example, in a live broadcast on Rwanda Radio on 17 May 1985, Gadhafi said:

First you must stick to your Islamic religion and insist that your children are taught the Islamic religion and you teach the Arabic language because without the Arabic language we could not understand Islam. . . You must teach that Islam is the religion of Africa. . . You must raise your voice high and declare that Allah is great because Africa must be Muslim. . . We must wage a holy war so that Islam may spread in Africa.
--quoted in [Bankie, F. and Mchombu, K. eds (2006) Pan Africanism, Windhoek: Gamsberg Macmillan, pp. 239-240]
Q7:

 

 

 

Q10: What would Khartoum’s victory over South Sudan, or Gadafi’s USAfrica, enable the Arabs to do to Black Africa?
First of all, South Sudan is focal ground in the very heart of Africa. The Arabs see it, in the words of Sadiq el-Mahdi, a former Prime Minister of Sudan, as “a step board for Arab entry and Islamic influence into the heart of Africa”—[quoted in Peter Adwok Nyaba, “Arab racism in the Sudan” p. 160] If South Sudan falls to Khartoum, that would open the way for nomadic Arab tribes to infiltrate into Kenya, the CAR, Uganda and further east, west and south, all the way to Kinshasa, Luanda, Windhoek, Harare and Cape Town.
 

 

Secondly, Gadafi’s USAfrica would give the Arabs state power over all of black Africa, and literally turn all of Black Africa into a colony under an Arab-dominated continental government. If Gadafi’s USAfrica should ever come into being, the Arabs would replicate throughout Black Africa what the Arab minority has been doing to the majority Black Africans in the Sudan.
To appreciate what that would mean for us, we need to educate ourselves on the relationship between Islam, Jihad and enslavement. Here is a recent and authoritative statement of that relationship:
“Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long as there is Islam.” --from a 2003 lecture by Saudi Arabian religious leader Sheik Saleh Al-Fawzan
 

 

Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan's remark helps explain why the abolition of slavery is incompatible with Islam, and gives insight into the religious/ideological factors contributing to why the several ''abolitions'' in Mauritania have come to nothing. It also explains why, if Gadafi's USAfrica comes into being, the enslavement of Black Africans will expand beyond Sudan and Mauritania to all of Black Africa. As everywhere becomes a theatre for jihad, all of Black Africa will be subjected to what Khartoum has been subjecting the Darfurians and South Sudanese to for the past 50 years.

 

In helping South Sudan, we will be helping ourselves to avoid conquest and enslavement and expropriation and worse by the Arabs.
If we allow South Sudan to be conquered by Khartoum, the Arabs will be emboldened to grab even more of our lands. Who’s next? Kenya, the CAR, Uganda, Ethiopia? And after that? Chad, Congo, Nigeria? And then all the way to Accra, Dakar, Harare and Cape Town?
If you do nothing to stop Khartoum and its Arab League masters today, it will, some day, sooner than later, be your turn to be raped, enslaved and ethnic cleansed by them, and you might find yourself lamenting and saying:
The Arabs came for the South Sudanese, and I did nothing to stop them because I wasn’t a South Sudanese;
Then the Arabs came for the black Africans in Darfur, and I did nothing to stop them because I wasn’t a black African in Darfur;
And then the Arabs came for my black African ass in Cape Town/Accra/Dakar, and by that time there were no black Africans left to stop them killing or enslaving me and taking my land.
Conclusion
South Sudan has, for over 50 years, and without our help, valiantly defended us against the Arab invaders, and fought them to a draw, as represented in the CPA. Isn’t it time we extended to them an appreciative and brotherly Pan Africanist hand and so help them to victory? This their war is our war. Our collective security is at stake. They are holding tenuously the current frontline in this long Afro-Arab race war. It is touch and go. The struggle can go either way. If they lose, we lose. In helping them we shall only be helping ourselves.
---------------------------
For more information on Sudan, please contact Chinweizu sundoor777@hyperia.com
To join

 

The black bourgeoisie shows its ugly head

What we have above is incitements to anti-Arab racism. The black bourgeoisie shows its ugly head again. 

Qaddafi warns Europe against black immigrants

Here’s just one report on the love-fest between the great Pan-Africanist and the right-wing Italian sexist pig [Berlusconi]:

The European Union is keen to strike a pact with Muammar Gaddafi to stem the flow of immigrants across the Mediterranean, officials said today, after the Libyan leader put a price tag of €5bn (£4.1bn) a year on the deal.

“There is great scope to develop cooperation with Libya on migration,” said Matthew Newman, a commission spokesman. Other officials said three negotiating sessions were expected by the end of the year between Brussels and Tripoli as well as the staging of a summit of EU and African leaders in Libya in November.

In a highly theatrical visit to Italy this week, Gaddafi warned that Europe would turn “black” unless it was more rigorous in turning back immigrants. Libya is a key transit point for illegal migration from Africa to Europe. The Libyan leader said the bill for sealing the crossing routes would be at least €5bn a year.

Quote taken from Unrepentant Marxist

The situation is as complex as the man Qadthaffi

I have come to this conclusion, there is no popular revolution going on in Libya.  I picked up this from www.RT.com.  A former Russian envoy had this to say about Qadthaffi's recent dalliances with the west.  It seems Muammar has been not as generous as they wanted.

---------------

RT: Less than two years ago at the G8 summit in Italy, world leaders sat at one table with Gaddafi and talked huge business deals. Gaddafi felt free to set up tents on the lawns near the government buildings. But everybody knew back than who they were dealing with. Why is it only now that they’ve started talking about human right violations in Libya and the need for radical change?

AP: Libya has an organization called the National Oil Corporation (NOC). It’s a huge state-run enterprise that controls the bulk of oil extractions in Libya. Concessions account for a very small share. So, the NOC was expected to go private and to be sold abroad to foreign companies, American in particular, and British to some extent. Naturally, the Americans and the British were very happy with that perspective. But that prospect collapsed. And when that happened, it turned out on the first occasion that Gaddafi was a bloody dictator and that liberal reforms were needed. Liberal reforms may imply, among other things, the privatization of the NOC. The anti-Gaddafi rhetoric started when the right conditions emerged. Just look, the bombings of the Pan Am jet and the UTA aircraft caused a campaign against Gaddafi; prior to that there was a campaign against Gaddafi’s support for the Irish Republican Army. We’ve seen all that before. Incidentally, as far as plane explosions are concerned, aircraft shouldn’t be blown up. It’s really horrible. It’s a terrible thing. The Israelis shot down a Libyan aircraft which was just off-course over the Sinai in broad daylight in 1973. It was an ordinary passenger airliner with 150 people onboard. The Israelis shot it down without warning and not by mistake. But no Security Council meeting or sanctions followed the incident. Does anybody remember this shot down Libyan plane now? It just seemed appropriate to mention it as an example of double standards and double approaches.

-----

Also, let's put Arab racism against Africans in perspective.  The racism is just an offshoot of european racism.  It is nothing fundamental in Islam.  The European racial hierarchy has always had blacks at the bottom.  Arabs themselves suffer from the same inferiority complexes that affect blacks.  

 

Shameful apologetics for a brutal kleptocracy

Quote: "Qaddafi’s heart is in Africa."

Right. With the most dictatorial, corrupt, and retrograde elements in Africa. Case in point, the Idi Amin dictatorship which was backed up in a substantial intervention by Qaddafi's planes, tanks and guns. Birds of a feather flock together as they say.

Never mind also Qaddafi's foul record of persecuting African immigrants and asylum seekers, and his alliance with Berlusconi's Italy and the EU towards the same end.

Perreira's article is a shameful piece of apologetics for one of the most corrupt, unprincipled, and dictatorial regimes on the African continent.

****

Pogrom

The Economist, Oct 12th 2000 | from the print edition

Sad, and wiser, Nigerians on the way home

PLANELOADS of bodies, dead and alive, flew back to West Africa from Tripoli this week, after Libya’s worst outbreak of anti-foreigner violence since the expulsion of Italians and Jews in Muammar Qaddafi’s coup in 1969. Survivors told of pogroms.

 

Emeka Nwanko, a 26-year-old Nigerian welder, was one of hundreds of thousands of black victims of the Libyan mob. He fled as gangs trashed his workshop. His friend was blinded, as Libyan gangs wielding machetes roamed the African townships. Bodies were hacked and dumped on motorways. A Chadian diplomat was lynched and Niger’s embassy put to the torch. Some Nigerians attacked their own embassy after it refused refuge to nationals without proper papers—the vast majority.

 

Libyans sheltering Africans were warned that their homes would be next. Some of Libya’s indigenous 1m black citizens were mistaken for migrants, and dragged from taxis. In parts of Benghazi, blacks were barred from public transport and hospitals. Pitched battles erupted in Zawiya, a town near Tripoli that is ringed with migrant shantytowns. Diplomats said that at least 150 people were killed, 16 of them Libyans. The all-powerful security forces intervened by shooting into the air.

 

African migrants, unfairly blamed for the disaster, were detained en masse. They once numbered over 1m but diplomats say that they have now mostly disappeared from the streets, and are in hiding or in camps pending expulsion. Over the past fortnight, hundreds of thousands of black migrants have been herded into trucks and buses, driven in convoy towards the border with Niger and Chad, 1,600km (1,000 miles) south of Tripoli, and dumped in the desert. (See link above for full article)

 

Daily Champion (Lagos)
June 24, 2010 Thursday
Libya – Migrants Live in Fear

African migrants in Libya are “living in constant fear”, a report by UK-based Amnesty International said.

The campaign group said the North African country’s record on human rights falls well short of efforts to repair its image in the world.

It documents indefinite detentions, flogging for adultery, the continued disappearance of dissidents, and the security forces’ immunity from justice.

It was partially based on a week-long visit to Libya in May 2009.

It was the first trip of its kind in five years, facilitated by the Gaddafi Foundation – run by one of the Libyan leader’s sons, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

Analysts said he is keen to liberalise the country, once a Pariah state accused of promoting terrorism to threaten Western interests but now seen as a vital source of oil and gas resources and investment opportunities.

“If Libya is to have any international credibility, the authorities must ensure that no-one is above the law and that everyone, including the most vulnerable and marginalised, is protected by the law,” Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa deputy director said in a statement.

“The repression of dissent must end,” she said.

“Libya’s international partners cannot ignore Libya’s dire human rights record at the expense of their national interests.”

Amnesty’s 135-page reported there had been an improvement and the “climate of repression over the last three decades was “subsiding gradually”.

“Some Libyans are now more willing to take risks – albeit modest and within limits – to speak out about issues that affect their everyday lives,” it said.

However, for African migrants and often those challenging the state directly, the situation is very different.

In recent years, Libya has been under pressure from the European Union to stop the flood of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa crossing the Mediterranean from its shores.

“Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants, particularly from Sub-Saharan African countries, live in constant fear,” it said.

“Fear of being arrested and held indefinitely in overcrowded detention centres; fear of being exploited, beaten and abused; and fear of being forcibly returned to an uncertain future where they may face persecution or torture,” the report said.

The Libyan authorities’ decision to expel the UNHCR from the country earlier this month was “likely to have a severe impact on refugees and asylum-seekers”, it added.

The report also showed that the death penalty continued to be used widely in Libya, with foreign nationals particularly affected.

As of May 2009 there were 506 individuals on death row, around half foreign nationals, the director general of the judicial police, Brigadier Belkacem Abdesalam Gargoum, told Amnesty.

Gadafi not nearly as bad as the europeans or americans

'Most corrupt and retrograde elements in africa': many of which have/have had EU/US support! Rwanda still enjoys US support iinspite of its dictator being an assassin, massmurderer and a liar.

Gadaffi however has usualy only suffered the indignity of ridicule. kleptocracy? Do you see Gadafi living in high splendor?

Gadafi has apologised for he arab part in slavery...the EU refuses to apologise...that makes Gadaffi a better man than the demonocratic bureacrats of Brussels

-------------------------

Great article Perreira..thanks for telling us of the gadafi many of us are ignorant of. His sin? he does it HIS way! he no lickspittle.

Does it his way with Berlusconi, Blair and Condi Rice

The superficiality, stupidity and intellectual corruption on what passes itself off for the left is something to behold. Are you not aware of the fact that the Libyan dictator, never mind his always having been a political buffoon, has long since made his peace with imperialism, and overtly allied himself with the likes of Condi Rice, Tony Blair, Tony Giddens and Silvio Berlusconi? 

As I have said elsewhere, it is to the endless shame of Glen Ford and Black Agenda Report that they have taken the side of this dictator and buffoon, against the Libyan and Arab people, by running such propaganda and apologetics on his behalf.

BAR amd Glenn Fod

The BAR and Glenn Ford aren't siding with Gaddafi. Not all articles appearing in BAR reflect the opinions of the BAR editors. Glenn Ford has said that U.S. intervention would make things worse in Libya and wants Libyans to settle their affairs among themselves without interference from the West.

Not Siding with Qaddafi?

Even assuming for a moment that publishing this article that portrays Qaddafi as some sort of pan-Africanist, BAR is not siding with Qaddafi, the fact that this article appears here in spite of Qaddafi's appalling record of siding with Berlusconi and the EU to persecute African immigrants etc, suggests that the editors of BAR have failed in their responsibility to exercise due diligence. In other words, this article suggest that they need to do a better job of filtering out crap.

This Is An Interesting Perpective...

Facts That I Know: Khaddafi is the only leader in the Arab World who prominently & regularly wears a map of Africa on his garments at official gatherings [even many / most Black African leaders don't regularly do this at official gatherings]. This either indicates solidarity w Africa or possibly an intent to rule Africa. Plus many of the robes Khaddafi wears has as much or more a traditional African flavor as a traditional Arab flavor [to most westerners this may not be obvious but there are subtle but significant differences in those 2 styles].

Mandela did make a point of recognizing Khaddafi by name as a friend & ally [to the dismay of US & the West], when Khaddafi was still on the US / NATO {s}hit-list. 

Khaddafi did reach out to the NOI & Min Farrakhan.

Khaddafi also had formed close relations [some described it as an alliance] w former Pres of Ghana Jerry Rawlings & the late Pres of Burkina Faso Thomas Sankara.

The specter looms of an Arab backlash against as many as 1.5million Black Africans working in Libya due to these alleged Khadaffi's African Mercenary accusations.

The so-called Arab Nation's stand-down regarding the Palestinian issue [w some acting in concert w the US / Israel] is curious if not telling. 

The mass media & even text books have been pushing the idea that all of North Africa is really the Middle East [a term rooted in Anglo-American geo-political interests since the digging of the Suez Canal -rather than actual history] instead of North AFRICA. Further the caucasian Arabs in N Africa [at least most of those seen in the media] often seem to blur the distinction of whether they are African Arabs & Muslims -or- Middle Eastern Arabs [Many Arab Egyptian Historians still deny that the Ancient Egyptians were actually African-Africans]

With up-risings happening all across the Arab World - only Libya has been singled-out for UN sanctions, & threat of US Military intervention. 

Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa - greater than even Nigeria [which I didn't know before].

We know Corp controlled MSNM News can never be taken at face value... Lets not forget their role in perpetuating the 'Saddam has WMD & was an ally w Al-Qaeda on 9-11' Lie -or- their more recent role in that 'CIA / Xe agent was a Diplomat in Pakistan'  Lie -or- the 'Zimbabwe' land reform was a total disaster & only benefited Mugabe's cronies' Lie.

This all suggests to me that there may be more going on here than meets the eye - & the jury is still out. We should definitely NOT want to see a US / NATO [or even a questionable] UN military intervention [we saw how that went in the Congo 1960 & in Haiti since 2004]. Hugo Chavez has offered to broker talks for a Truce between Khaddfi & the opposition - lets hope this works out OK. 

PS: Why is it that so many identifying themselves as leftist / socialist / communist / Marxists go out of their way to trash the idea of Black Nationalism / Pan Africanism???

I disagree here

Qaddafi is an unprincipled cameleon who may have embraced pan africanism earlier in his life. He has been in power for over 30 years.  In the past 10 years he has become an authoritarian enforcer for the US/Israel just like mubarak.  Note how he claims his opposition are Al Qaeda.  It is unfortunate if black migrant workers are getting in the middle of this, but it will be a good thing for progressives everywhere if Arabs and North Africans can exert independence from Americas antipalestinian, and corporate control of oil resources, policy.  The big danger here is that America will intervene before the Libyans can do the job themselves, and seize Libya oil.

Libya: Getting It Very Wrong

Mr. Perreira, thank you for your viewpoint; however, this is an irrational, troublesome, and reprehensible screed. Your “facts” are so slanted that they are laughable.

As a long suffering member of the Black Left, I instantly recognized your arguments of the ilk that completely destroyed Black Left consciousness in America during the 1970s and 1980s.

My politics has always been in lockstep with the socialism of the Black Left since the 1970’s (in the 1960s, my father was involved in the “Black Panther” movement in Lowndes County, Alabama [Dallas County too, a fact probably lost to history] before Huey Newton co-opted the name to Oakland).  

And from there, I moved forward to Black radicals groups at Ohio State University in the mid-1970s, when we were all enamored with the China of Chairman Mao and Soviet Russian, both repressive, murderous systems.  However, by the 1980s, many of us realized that we were simply pawns in the East-West Cold War game, just people of color being “used.”

Further, you completely ignore the many horrible Arabic impacts on sub-Sahara African tribes. Truly, Arabic tribes were just as ruthless as colonial powers. Recall, Arabs from North Africa invaded African tribes and forced them to abandon their tribal religions for Islam (do not be fooled that this is not equivalent to the later Christian evangelism in these same tribes, still ongoing). Remember too, as I write this, Arabs are enslaving Black Africans in Mauritania. But I suppose you would argue that this is/was a positive impact and part of Pan-Africanism forces. 

Nonetheless, you cannot excoriate European colonialism and its “White Man’s Burden” without concomitantly denouncing the “Arab’s Burden” for destroying cultures of Black African tribes.

You, incredibly, selectively ignore the tremendous complexities across Africa. I would suggest some historical reflection like Dr. Ali A. Mazuri compelling “The Africans: A Triple Heritage.”

Further, sir, your logic gives comfort and sustenance to the Western powers’ belief that people of Arabic and Black African heritages prefer totalitarian dictatorships because they have an inherent, maybe genetic, need to be controlled.

Back to my main point, your arguments are the kinds that evaporated the Black Left from the black consciousness struggle in America during the late 1970s and relegated us to the status of a "bunch of kooks,” which we still struggle with to this day.

Then, as now, any reasonable person clearly understands that democratic institutions are preferable to brutal dictatorial regimes. Freedom is a desire inherent, genetic, in all humans.

Nice try, Mr. Perriera, but a brutal dictator is a brutal dictator is a brutal dictator. And you cannot just, amazingly, gloss over that. “Westoxicated” analysts and media did not create Dictator Qaddafi. He is what he wanted to be: A loathsome dictator.    

However, you should feel relieved being able to express your views in this society. Certainly, if you had expressed such an opposing viewpoint of Dictator Qaddafi when you lived in Libya...well, you would not be here to engage in free speech.

Finally, really now, Pan-Africanism was/is a lie: Too many disparate cultures and tribes to “pan” across. In the end, Dictator Qaddafi was a pawn of the West (gladly turning over intelligence to CIA and European spy agencies for money and prestige), used to keep Arabs repressed like apartheid regimes in America and South Africa, people of color being “used” again. 

I hope you recover from your “Green Book” fetish. You can fool only some of us.   

Respectfully,

TrueMarx

The Soviet Union and Africa

Gaddafi is a complicated person. In the past he helped the helped the Libyan people by nationalizing Libya's oil and rattled sabers against Washington, but he also aided the reactionary Muhajedeen and in the last few years has made his peace with the West and participated in the Extraodinary rendition program. I diagree with you about the Soviet Union using Africans as pawns. Up until Gorbachev the Soviet Union was a reliable ally of the national liberation movements in Africa such as the African National Congress and acted mainly out of principle, not out of a desirte to dominate Africa. http://www.politicalaffairs.net/book-review-the-hot-cold-war-the-ussr-in-southern-africa/ 

yes truemarx,...you have got it very wrong

Your politics is in lockstep with the US/EU when it comes to Libya...your irrational hatred of Gadaffi only indicates that he has that habit of exposing the character flaws of people.

Your screeching hatred of the 'dictator' is hard to understand of one who never lived under him.But your  a dictator is a dictator is a dictator  rant is amusing in a wry way.  After all democracies are the one causinf all the chaos in todays world and have for the past century and more. Lets see you rant at the grim suited democracts.

Are you aware that Gadafi has apologised for the centuies of arab slaver of black africans? No? The democrats in the EU wont do it.

Thanks to Mr Perreira for his wonderful article. Like the rohrshack test, it tells us who we really are. Ignore numbskulls like 'truemarx'...he is NOT true to Marx!



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