Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes Killed: Libyan "Rebels" Devour Each Other
It was a profound mistake for the U.S. to recognize Benghazi gangsters. These are the people that the U.S. wants to surrender $30 billion of frozen Libyan assets to?
[Black Star News Editorial]
Time For Peace In Libya
Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes, the Libyan "rebel" commander has been killed, most likely by his own compatriots, some of whom he engaged in a power-struggle with in April.
Possible clues to Gen. Younes' demise can be gleaned from an April 3, New York Times article under the headline "Rebel Leadership in Libya Shows Strain." The story described the rivalry between Gen. Younes and a former Libyan army general, Khalifa Heftar, "who returned recently from exile in the United States and appointed himself as the rebel field commander," the Times had reported.
According to the article, "the men could hardly stand one another." At the same time, the Times reported, a former political prisoner named Omar el-Hariri, "occupied the largely ceremonial role of defense minister."
To resolve the divisions, meetings ensued, but according to the Times' article, "When they concluded late last week, Mr. Younes was still the head of the army and Mr. Hariri remained as the defense minister. Only Mr. Heftar, who reportedly refused to work with Mr. Younes, was forced out. On Sunday, though, in a sign that divisions persisted, Mr. Heftar's son said his father was still an army leader."
"As the struggle with Colonel Qaddafi threatened to settle into a stalemate, the rebel government here was showing growing strains thatimperil its struggle to complete a revolution and jeopardize requests for foreign military aid and recognition," the Times also reported, in that April article.
"After the Benghazi meetings, a screaming match broke out when Mr. Heftar’s supporters berated a rebel leader for choosing Mr. Younes to lead the army," the article reported. As with the case today, the "rebels" needed a scapegoat for their lack of significant victories: "The rebel army’s nominal leader, Abdul Fattah Younes, a former interior minister and friend of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi whom many rebel leaders distrusted, could offer little explanation for the recent military stumbles..." the Times reported.
Heftar reportedly has ties to the CIA and lived near its headquarters while in U.S. exile.
The Times also quoted, Fathi Terbil, a young lawyer who helped start the "rebel" uprising, saying: "At least they're not shooting each
other." Terbil may have spoken too soon; the "revolutionaries" may have already started devouring each other.
The "rebels" are united only in one thing--their hatred of Muammar al-Quathafi; they have no alternative vision for Libya. Younes himself, until February had been an al-Quathafi supporter, once serving as his interior minister; similarly, Mustafa abdel Jalil, who is now the titular political leader of the "rebels" was previously al-Quathafi's justice minister.
The other "rebels" include former U.S. Guantanamo Bay inmates who had been detained by the United States for acts of terrorism in Afghanistan. Upon their release, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, they eventually found their way to eastern Libya and started training the Benghazi "rebels." Monarchists, including deposed King Idris Senussi's son, are also in the "rebels'" ranks.
These "revolutionaries" are also trained by the CIA, Egypt, Qatar, and officers on loan from France and Britain. Additionally, NATO serves as the "rebels" Air force.
The "rebels'" opportunism was exposed when Jalil told The Financial Times in a March 14 front-page article that oil concession would be granted post-Quathafi, based on how much support each Western country gave the "rebels" in deposing the colonel.
No wonder they have not inspired the kind of spontaneous support that the Blackberry-Face book revolutionaries did in Tunisia and Egypt.
Combined with their terror campaigns, including beheadings of suspected al-Quathafi supporters, especially Black people, and the racialist ethnic cleansing of Misurata Black Libyans, as reported in The Wall Street Journal on June 21, it's no wonder that three weeks ago more than one million Libyans showed up in the streets of Tripoli to denounce the "rebels."
Gen. Younes' death portends a dangerous moment for Libya, in case the "rebel" factions decide to turn their guns at each other. Some of Younes' supporters may also defect and rejoin al-Quathafi. All this could mean more chaotic bloodshed in Libya, with multiple rivalries.
It was a profound mistake for the United States to follow the lead of the reckless Nicholas Sarkozy in recognizing gangsters as the "legitimate" authority in Libya. If Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had any moral decency she would tender her resignation. These are the people that the U.S. wants to open an embassy in Washington and to surrender $30 billion of frozen Libyan assets to?
More than at any time, the outside powers that have been pushing for war in Libya must come to their senses and embrace the African Union peace proposal. Washington, London, and Paris, are the muscles behind the "rebels."
Now is the time to call for a ceasefire and the creation of a humanitarian corridor as outlined in the African Union plan, which also clears the path for a constitution and democratic elections.
Let warmonger Sarkozy step aside. This is the time for South African President Jacob Zuma to make a third trip to Tripoli where "rebel" leaders should join him. The Holy month of Ramadan starts next week. There is no better time than now for peace in Libya.
"Speaking Truth To Empower."