Libya's Finest Hour....As NATO Presses Conquest
Kwame Nkrumah declared that the independence of Ghana and of individual African countries had no meaning unless all Africa unified and created a continental army and command. He said otherwise African countries would not be able to protect their independence and resources.
[Black Star News Editorial]
With superior firepower more than a century ago the Italian invaders mowed down Ethiopians, mostly civilians and drove emperor Menelik II into submission.
The newspapers of the day including The New York Times celebrated "Italy's Great Victory" in Africa, saying the defeat of the Abyssinians meant "civilization" had prevailed over "barbarity." Africa would now be opened up to profitable Western commerce, the Times opined.
Then in 1896 Menelik II, together with his wife Empress Taytu leading the charges, struck with ferocious power and courage. Menelik II destroyed an entire Italian army of an original 10,000 troops, vanquishing nearly half, including most of the leading officers and capturing half of the army.
That was Ethiopia's greatest hour and indeed Africa's finest moment against European imperial aggression. Gen. Oreste Baratieri, the Italian commander was later court-martialed in Italy and charged with cowardice for the defeat. Today NATO forces, including Italy, again press Western conquest and are poised to seize control of Libya through proxy "rebels", and its tremendous oil wealth--more than 44 billion barrels of known proven oil reserves and vast quantities of natural gas.
Italy was once also colonial power in Libya, where as occupiers a genocide of Libyans was carried out; Libyans valiantly fought back led by Omar Muhktar who was captured and executed. Eventually the Italians were thrown out. Muammar al-Quathafi might meet a similar fate, possibly at the hands of the NATO "rebels."
Italy has returned with European allies and with the U.S., covetous of the country's vast riches. Libya is so wealthy that each household could get a check or more than $2 million if all the oil and gas wealth was sold at today's prices.
That's the true reason why U.S. President Barack Obama, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicholas Sarkozy were determined to oust Muammar al-Quathafi and even to have him killed. If these Western leaders cared so much about African lives, NATO would have carried out war against al-Shabab in Somalia; the Western leaders hold al-Shabab responsible for the political malaise that's now left Somalia helpless to deal with famine there. Tens of thousands of Somalians could die from starvation.
Similarly, why hasn't NATO waged war on Uganda's and Rwanda's armies and allied militias that have caused the deaths of a reported 7 million Congolese since 1997 and also raped tens of thousands of Congolese women and men if there is a mission to save African lives?
What's more, when is the last time the Western leaders spoke of saving civilian lives? How were civilian lives saved by NATO's 24 x 7 bombardments? The pretext collapsed with reported NATO atrocities including the massacre of 85 civilians, including children, in Zlitan.
The NATO war of aggression on Libya was well defined when the leader of the Transitional National Council in Benghazi Mustafa Abdel Jalil told The Financial Times that oil concessions, post-Quathafi, would be doled out to the West based on the amount of help each country gave the so-called "rebels" in deposing al-Quathafi.
So brazen was the invitation to loot that Russia's Vladimir Putin was spot-on when he called the NATO invasion a medieval call to crusade against Libya. NATO's maximum destruction may also have been designed with an eye towards future reconstruction contracts for Western countries.
NATO's bombardment escalated after President Obama, Prime Minister Cameron and President Sarkozy wrote a joint Op-Ed article including in The New York Times --which as it did in the 19th century, continues cheerleading war on Africa. The Op-Ed in part stated al-Quathafi "must go" and "go for good." In essence it was a Fatwa. Thereafter, NATO started bombarding al-Quathafi's residences, killing one son and three grand children. In recent week's NATO has not even pretended about wanting to "save" innocent civilians.
NATO has been responsible for what U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich characterized as possible "war crimes" in Libya. Rep. Kucinich wrote a letter to the International Criminal Court (ICC) asking for the court to investigate NATO commanders.
A genuine and legitimate domestic uprising is one thing; a NATO and Western financed "rebellion" is another monster--usurping and corrupting home grown insurrection. NATO now has a blank check on Libya.
While media focused only on reported abuses by the Libyan army, the "rebels'" human rights abuses have been exposed all along: summary killings of suspected opponents; lynchings and beheadings, including of Black Libyans; and ethnic cleansing of the entire Black population of Misurata, reported in The Wall Street Journal on June 21, 2011 and ignored by CNN and The New York Times.
The "rebels" also murdered their own commander, Gen. Abdel Fattah Younes and burned his body; the residents of Tripoli have legitimate fears about a bloodbath should the Obama-, Sarkozy- and Cameron-backed "rebels" seize power.
In fact it was after Gen. Younes's murder, when the "rebellion" seemed to be unraveling, that NATO took full control of the fight. The major media, including the Times, ignored the "rebel" atrocities not wanting to "tarnish" their image; media, thereby preferred to ignore abuses so long as the end result was al-Quathafi's ouster.
Meanwhile, the African Union peace plan, calling for a ceasefire, creation of a constitution, and democratic elections, was totally ignored by President Obama, P.M. Cameron and President Sarkozy. Massive bloodshed and destruction could have been avoided had President Obama picked up the phone and told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to publicly endorse the AU plan.
Yet the Western leaders were always intent on making it clear that Africa's fate, as was during the Berlin Conference and partition of Africa in 1885, is still determined today in Western capitals.
As early as the 1960s the visionary Kwame Nkrumah had declared that the independence of Ghana and of individual African countries had no meaning unless all Africa unified and created a continental army and command. He said otherwise African countries would not be able to protect their independence and resources.
Nkrumah's warning fell on deaf ears; ironically, al-Quathafi was even more detested by Britain and France because of his drive in recent years for African unity.
Libya, standing alone, withstood the full force of NATO attacks for six months. NATO never would have invaded a unified Africa with a single army as envisioned by Nkrumah.
African countries should ponder the lessons of Libya.
Libya offers a great lesson for the entire continent. Remain divided at your own peril.
"Speaking Truth To Empower."
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