Libya’s Robin Hood and the Robbers

By Ameen Izzadeen

With every passing day, the Libyan picture becomes clearer. The emerging picture confirms what most people, including imperialists, know — that the reason for the military action against Libya is anything but humanitarian.

Protecting Libya’s civilians from Muammar Gaddafi’s forces is only a cover for a campaign aimed at regime change and the plunder of the resources not only of Libya but also of the whole of Africa.

According to a shocking article posted on, the Libyan war has its roots in oil and Lockerbie. The author, Susan Lindauer, a CIA ‘asset’ turned anti-war activist, says Libya was made a fall guy in the Lockerbie bombing that was carried out by the CIA’s drug mafia. {For a compilation of the CIA’s drug operations, visit}

Lindauer claims that Gaddafi was the fall guy and he was forced to cough up about 2.7 billion dollars in compensation for the 270 victims who died when a bomb planted on Pan Am flight 103 exploded on December 21, 1988 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Gaddafi paid the money in 2008 after admitting to a crime which he had not committed to save his country from the pangs of gruelling UN sanctions.

When Gaddafi improved relations with the West in the wake of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, US oil companies wasted no time in striking deals. But they withdrew last year, complaining about the huge kickbacks Gaddafi was demanding.

Justifying the Libyan leader’s demand, Lindauer says, “Gaddafi took on the role of a modern-day Robin Hood, who insisted on replenishing his people for the costs they’d suffered under UN sanctions… You’ve got to admit that Gaddafi’s attempt to balance the scales of justice demonstrated a flair of righteous nationalism.”

She adds: “Don’t kid yourself. This is an oil war, and it smacks of imperialist double standards”. {Visit for Lindauer’s article.}

If oil is the reward that the US is seeking from the Libyan war, the enslavement of Africa is perhaps what France and Britain are after.

Though Gaddafi courted the West by dismantling Libya’s weapons of mass destruction programmes soon after the US invasion of Iraq, the Libyan leader had other ideas. He conceived a vision to free Africa from the West’s neocolonialist clutches.

In 1992, 45 African nations formed RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organisation) aimed at bringing down the cost of communications in the continent. Africa was paying some US$ 500 million a year as satellite fees to French and other European companies, and the call charges in the continent were the highest in the world. RASCOM had a plan to launch its own African satellite. The project would cost US$ 400 million. For 14 years, they went behind the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other donors. These imperialist-run institutions made borrowing difficult by placing tough conditions.

Gaddafi put an end to these futile pleas and offered US$ 300 million. The African Development Bank with US$50 million and the West African Development Bank with US$27 million contributed to the project which was brought to fruition in December 2007. Africa’s gain was Europe’s loss. No wonder Gaddafi has become a villain for France, Britain and other imperialists though he is a hero for Africa.

Gaddafi had also pledged to fund three ambitious African projects — the creation of an African investment bank, an African monetary fund and an African central bank. Africa felt that these Africa-centred institutions were necessary to end its dependence on the IMF and the World Bank — institutions that prescribe unrealistic and unpopular measures to qualify for loans. These conditions which include measures to privatize natural resources and allowing unlimited access to foreign companies are designed to keep Africa eternally poor or dependant on the West. Libya had pledged funds for these projects from its investments in the United States. The US$ 30 billion which the Barack Obama administration froze (or robbed) at the first signs of the orchestrated troubles in the Libyan town of Benghazi was meant to finance these three African projects which would have given Africa some economic freedom.

Besides oil and Africa’s economic freedom, Libya’ refusal to join Africom, the United State’s African Command, is also a casus belli for the war on Libya. Though Africom’s stated objective is to assist African nations, critics say its military objective is to prevent China from gaining a strategic foothold in Africa. At present Africom operates from an old French base in Djibouti. Is the Libyan war aimed at bringing Africom to Libya? The one who controls Libya controls the Mediterranean, the Middle East and half of Africa. Since the end of World War II, the United States had a huge military base in Libya until Gaddafi in 1969 told the US to get out. Amidst uncertainty over the direction a civilian government in Egypt will take, a base in neighbouring Libya assumes added significance. Gaddafi opposed these moves and played a dangerous game with the West — offering them oil deals while taking steps to check the West’s influence on Africa and the Middle East.

In one such anti-West tirade in 2003, Gaddafi at an Arab summit slammed Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah who was seated opposite him. “You are a product of Britain and protected by the US.”  Six year later, he repeated the accusations at another summit, saying “After six years, it has been proven that with … the grave before you, it is Britain that made you and the Americans that protected you.”

No wonder that Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Gulf states have joined the military campaign against Libya — something they would not even dream of doing to protect the Palestinian people from Israel.

(This article first appeared in the Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka)

About ameenizzadeen

journalist and global justice activist
This entry was posted in Political analysis and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Libya’s Robin Hood and the Robbers

  1. Pingback: countries that have nuclear weapons | nuclear war 2011

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