By Ameen Izzadeen
It is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for a rich man (read imperialists) to enter the Kingdom of God. As the Christian world marks Good Friday today, this saying of Jesus Christ is totally lost on today’s greed-driven imperialists who are gearing up to gobble Libya’s resources.
Libya was relatively a peaceful country with a high literacy rate and advanced health and education facilities. On last year’s Human Development Index, it was ranked 53rd — ahead of 116 countries. Dissent was not unheard of in Libya. Muammar Gaddafi had a way of dealing with it. He rehabilitated the dissidents. Even pro-al Qaeda elements who had resorted to terrorism were rehabilitated and pardoned. None accused Gaddafi of killing political opponents.
If not for the western intervention or interference, the present crisis would also have been solved by peaceful means or by a minimum use of violence. The crisis is no more a Libyan crisis. The imperialist forces —– the United States, Britain, France and Italy — have hijacked it. The Libyan rebels merely do what the imperialists order them to do.
Unfortunately, the rebels seem to have not understood that the imperialists have little interest in the wellbeing of the Libyan people. The imperialists only want to further their agenda of militarily dominating the world to plunder the resources of the weaker nations.
The imperialists will not change their habits. They want to make the poor poorer so that they can be richer. When they foresee a decline in their power either because of an economic crisis or because of a military threat, they resort to wars and interventions in resource-rich countries. Their modus operandi has been the same throughout history. They fund and sustain opposition groups in target countries before they invade it. The opposition groups support the imperialists in the hope that they would be made the rulers. This was how the imperialist British colonised India, Sri Lanka and the Ottoman empire’s Arab provinces in the past. This was how the United States colonized Iraq and Afghanistan in the recent past. The same plan is now being executed in Libya by the imperialist West on the pretext of humanitarian intervention.
That the war in Libya comes at a time when the Western economies are facing a bleak future is no coincidence. The United States’ economy is in the doldrums with its debt burden rising to a catastrophic 14 trillion dollars — that is 14 with 12 zeroes. What is more alarming to the Americans and the rest of the world is that the signs of recovery are few and far between with international rating agency Standard and Poor downgrading the outlook on the US sovereign bond from stable to negative. In fact, the real situation is much worse than what Standard and Poor had rated. A Chinese rating agency had commented that western rating agencies were highly politicized and therefore usually cushioned the ratings for Western economies. The negative rating has alarmed China, the biggest investor (1.5 trillion dollars) in US sovereign bonds. China is worried about the United States’ ability to sustain the sovereign bonds amid a huge budget deficit and public debt.
The economic crises facing Britain and France are no better. To overcome the situation, the imperialists resort to wars. In the short-run, wars in the Middle East may increase oil prices and affect economic growth but once the wars are over, the plunder begins, boosting the economies of the imperialist nations. Last week, leaked documents in Britain showed how the Tony Blair government discussed Iraq invasion plans with British oil giants a year before the war actually began. It was Iraq yesterday and it is Libya today, tomorrow, as the imperialists’ economies face further crises, it may even be Saudi Arabia, no matter how servile or submissive its rulers are to the imperialists.
In Libya, the imperialists have taken a step closer to a ground invasion, interpreting UN resolutions 1973 to their advantage. France and Britain have decided to send small groups of military advisors to assist the rebels, while the Western media deliberately exaggerate the casualty figures in Misrata and report largely one-sided stories. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, a British non-governmental fact-finding team returning from Libya accused the Western media of distortion, manipulation and “failing in their duty to report the conflict truthfully”. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/19/gaddafi-violence-exaggerated-british-group?CMP=twt_gu)/.
A video posted on youtube shows NATO-guided rebels lynching a captured soldier in public while a shocked crowd pleads for clemency. A comment on the video asked where the CNN was when this horror was taking place. If only Gaddafi’s forces had done such an act, the Western media would have repeatedly shown the gory video.
The British-French decision to send military advisors reminds one of the Vietnam War. The United States in 1961 sent some 400 troops to advise the South Vietnamese military. But a decade later the US troop presence in Vietnam rose to 500,000. It is a matter of time before tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of imperialist soldiers roam the length and breadth of Libya. Some reports say groups of western military officers are already in Libya guiding the rebels’ war. Gaddafi’s government has warned NATO that it will deem any ground troop deployment as a hostile military act.
Well a provocation is all that the imperialists want so that they can launch an all-out war and start plundering Libya in a bid to boost their flagging economies. The US government has allocated 700 billion dollars for defence in next year’s budget at the expense of cuts in education and health while the budget deficit is a gaping 1.6 trillion dollars. But how long can the imperialists depend on wars and plunder for economic growth? The breaking point is not far away.
(This article first appeared in the Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka)