Support SF BayView
Donate or Subscribe to SF Bay View
Follow Us Twitter Facebook

War on Libya is war on Africa

June 4, 2011

by Minister of Information JR

African immigrant families working in Libya in rebel-held areas have been detained, raped and hundreds murdered and are fleeing to refugee camps on the Tunisian border. On May 29, local Tunisian residents attacked, burned and looted the Chucha refugee camp, killing 3-8 refugees, after the camp dwellers had staged a protest.
Gerald Perreira has lived and worked in Libya as an organizer and journalist and has been giving regular reports to Block Report Radio and the San Francisco Bay View newspaper about what is happening on the ground in the war torn country.

It is important for the Black community and the African community to develop our own media and experts who can speak from an African perspective on the NATO war on Africa, because as we now have it, we are currently voiceless in the psychological war that international media giants Al-Jazeera, CNN and BBC are waging against Libya and African people worldwide.

Block Report Radio and the Bay View are doing what we can to educate our listeners and readers, and we hope that all of you reading this will do the same to educate a few more people about this grave imperialist violation of sovereignty. Check out this exclusive interview with Gerald Perreira …

M.O.I. JR: Recently the African Union (A.U.) has criticized NATO, alongside many other countries all over the world, for bombing Libya for humanitarian reasons. What do you think about the continuous bombing that has been going on for months and the U.N. mandate that authorized it?

Gerald Perreira: An A.U. delegation was in Tripoli and Benghazi to help resolve the conflict. However Britain, France and the U.S., with their usual arrogance and their Al-Qaeda-inspired hirelings in Benghazi, displayed total contempt for the A.U. delegation.

They ignored them and their suggestions in a blatant display of racism. Clearly NATO has overstepped its U.N. mandate and launched an all out illegal war on Libya. But this is nothing new. The U.N. is a toothless institution and one of the most undemocratic of global institutions. It has, from its inception, shown itself to be merely a rubber stamp for U.S. and European imperialism.

The African Union agrees with the majority of Libyans that only a political solution in Libya, not a U.S.-NATO invasion, can lead to a lasting peace. – Photo: Warren Allott, AFP
What has developed in Libya is a conundrum for NATO and the West. They may have imagined that with such vicious ongoing bombing raids, Qaddafi’s forces would have crumbled. Instead, what they have witnessed is the opposite. In the face of this all out aggression, Qaddafi’s forces and the vast majority of Libyans have remained steadfast and loyal, defending their revolution and its leader.

There are even pro-Qaddafi rallies in Benghazi and constant gun battles between pro-Qaddafi forces and the rebels in Benghazi and Misrata. One thing is clear: If Qaddafi did not have mass support he could not be resisting this attack and the rebels so effectively. Every day the rebels reveal themselves to be mere surrogates of a well planned imperialist plot to overthrow the Libyan revolution. They clearly have no agenda beyond this aim. They cannot call for health-care, housing, free education, subsidized food, a share in the oil wealth because they have all of that.

The rebels cannot call for health-care, housing, free education, subsidized food, a share in the oil wealth because they have all of that.

So now the West has realized that they have made a grave mistake – there is a stalemate on the ground that even an all out intervention of ground troops could not resolve. We only need look at Iraq to know that these are no win wars.

M.O.I. JR: What do you think about the reactions of China and Russia on U.N. Security Council?

Gerald Perreira: At the end of the day China and Russia will, like the majority of other nations, take positions that fundamentally serve their national interests. Sadly, in the instance of the Security Council vote on the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, I think that either Russia or China might have vetoed it if it was not that the Arab League almost unanimously supported it, and this was a great shame.

Jean Ping of Gabon, who chairs the African Union Commission, wants the A.U.'s roadmap to be used as a basis for resolving the conflict in Libya. Ping, whose father was Chinese, was previously the foreign minister of Gabon from 1999 to 2008 and served as president of the United Nations General Assembly from 2004 to 2005. – Photo: Tony Karumba, AFP
Keeping it real, the issue is this: As nations in the so-called Third World, we have had support previously from both Russia and China against U.S. and Western European imperialism. Russia and China both have the potential and the global influence to act as brokers in situations like the current one in Libya. Whether it is for altruistic purposes or because they have beef with the U.S. and Western Europe, frankly I don’t care.

I honestly believe that we have to put all of our efforts into pushing for the realization of Nkrumah and Qaddafi’s concept of a United States of Africa that includes the African Diaspora – a strong and truly independent Africa with one government, one defense force, one currency based on our African gold standard as Qaddafi has proposed – because if we could achieve this level of unity, we would completely shift the global balance of power and we Africans could then attain a similar level of global influence to that of Russia and China and would no longer need brokers. Only then will demands made by the A.U. not be able to be ignored.

I honestly believe that we have to put all of our efforts into pushing for the realization of Nkrumah and Qaddafi’s concept of a United States of Africa that includes the African Diaspora.

M.O.I. JR: What do you think about the mainstream as well as alternative media’s coverage of the invasion – for example, Democracy Now?

Gerald Perreira: Astounding! I mean we recognize them for what they are – BBC, British state media, CNN etc. – “weapons of mass deception,” and we are used to their completely distorted reporting of events. On our side of the fence, we want to know if they are reporting on the same events that we are witnessing, since their take on every situation is so fallacious.

The white supremacist Winston Churchill stated that “in war, the truth must be guarded by a bodyguard of lies.” Never have his words rung more true.

In the case of Libya, their blatant exclusion of a single Qaddafi supporter when there are thousands of them in Libya and worldwide is, like I said, astounding. Recently an old woman in our community said to me: “The BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera have not allowed us to hear the opinions of one single Qaddafi supporter or soldier. We have not been able to hear one good thing that the man has done and we know that he has done many good things.”

An old woman in our community said to me: “The BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera have not allowed us to hear the opinions of one single Qaddafi supporter or soldier.”

This silence has been deafening. There are political commentators and analysts all over the world who would be more than willing to present arguments defending Qaddafi and the Al Fateh revolution, but they cannot find one. It has shown us once and for all that Al Jazeera is really no different from CNN and BBC and that we must get our news from other sources which we are now able to do online. With the internet, social media outlets and excellent publications like this one, we simply do not depend on the mainstream for our news.

M.O.I. JR: Economically speaking what is this war all about in a nutshell?

Gerald Perreira: In the ‘80s, Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, addressing a conference in Tripoli, pointed out that “Europe and the U.S. cannot go forward into the new century without unfettered access to the vast natural resources of Africa,” adding that “Qaddafi is one who stands in their way.” This is a fact, not an opinion. Leaders such as Qaddafi and Laurent Gbagbo who are committed to dismantling neo-colonial structures and achieving real economic independence will simply not be tolerated by the West.

Qaddafi’s creation of the African Investment Bank in Sirte and the African Monetary Fund to be based in Cameroon would have supplanted the IMF and undermined Western economic hegemony in Africa. Furthermore, his proposal for the creation of a gold dinar based on the African gold reserve to replace reliance on the U.S. dollar, the French franc and the British pound threatened to finally swing the global economic pendulum. In addition, Libya has an estimated 60 billion barrels of oil reserves – the largest on the African continent. It is these economic factors that resulted in the West’s frenzied attack on Libya.

Western banks have frozen an estimated $70 billion U.S. dollars of Libyan assets belonging to the Libyan Investment Authority, the 13th largest international investment fund in the world. This of course will hurt not only Libya but the whole of Africa, as Qaddafi assists many African development projects.

Western banks have frozen an estimated $70 billion U.S. dollars of Libyan assets belonging to the Libyan Investment Authority, the 13th largest international investment fund in the world. This of course will hurt not only Libya but the whole of Africa, as Qaddafi assists many African development projects.

The fact is that Qaddafi and the Libyan authorities knew how to play the West at their own game. They dared to wield real economic power in the name of Africa, and anyone who dares to do so will feel the full wrath of Empire.

M.O.I. JR: How does support for Qadaffi look around Africa currently? What does the world think outside of the U.S. media empire?

Gerald Perreira: Amazing! There have been huge rallies all over the world – in Serbia, Britain, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Venezuela and India, to name a few. In Bamako, Mali, tens of thousands attended a pro-Qaddafi rally. There have been mass outpourings throughout the continent, including in Niger, Guinea Conakry, Uganda, Ghana, Zanzibar and Kenya.

Of 72 African immigrants headed to Italy, only 11 survived 16 days adrift at sea while deliberately ignored by Italian coast guard and NATO. In a futile effort to keep them alive, survivors gave their last water to the two babies on board.
The Pan African Parliament, meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, last week, has called for an end to the illegal attacks against Libya and for Libyans to be left alone to resolve their own conflicts. Riaga Ogallo, vice chair of the House of Traditional Elders of Kenya, strongly condemned the U.S., U.K. and French attack on Libya. In his words, “It is unfortunate that this man who would oversee the development of Africa is now facing the wrath of white men.”

In South Africa, ANC youth have condemned their government’s stance and are pushing President Jacob Zuma to take a pro-active position in defense of Libya. What is noticeable is the large amount of support for Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution amongst youth. Rappers have taken to the airwaves calling Qaddafi an African hero. Young Serbian hackers have done a remarkable job disrupting and closing down anti-Qaddafi websites and Facebook pages.

In South America there is massive support. At the 17th Sao Paulo Forum held in Nicaragua this month, revolutionary and progressive governments including President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela have condemned the bombing and called for an immediate ceasefire. A proposal put forward by members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas (ALBA) has called on NATO to immediately cease their bombing of Libya. Movements for Direct Democracy throughout South America, influenced by Qaddafi’s Green Book, have been blogging and demonstrating.

Libya’s outreach has been huge. Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution have been exceptional over the years in their commitment to assisting oppressed people everywhere, from liberation movements throughout Africa and the world to groups such as the Roma people – known as Gypsies, these are the same people who Sarkozy recently expelled in huge numbers – and indigenous peoples throughout the Americas. Despite the fact that much of this assistance was in fact detrimental to Libya’s national interests rather than in any way beneficial, Qaddafi believed it was Libya’s moral duty to help all those who were oppressed. These are Libya’s friends – they know the invaluable contribution Brother Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution have made globally and they are now raising their voices.

Qaddafi believed it was Libya’s moral duty to help all those who were oppressed. These are Libya’s friends – they know the invaluable contribution Brother Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution have made globally and they are now raising their voices.

M.O.I. JR: Contrary to news reports, is Qaddafi’s support strong on the ground of his country?

Gerald Perreira: Quite simply, if Qaddafi did not have strong support on the ground, he could not have survived these last months. I think this is the worst part of the mainstream news coverage: It is limited to coverage of the rebels in Benghazi who make up less than 2 percent of the Libyan population. In fact, according to Jon Lee Anderson, a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine who was in Benghazi recently, “The number of opposition fighters on the front lines are fewer than anyone would think and they are poorly armed and badly trained … number of fighting men is well under one thousand.”

There is no coverage of the majority of Libyans who are pro-Qaddafi supporters. It is actually as if these people are no longer considered legitimate Libyans. The fact is that this is a battle of ideas and if Qaddafi exited Libya tomorrow the battle would continue on both sides.

Unfortunately, instead of assisting the Libyans to find a resolution to what is basically an ideological, religious, tribal and ethnic conflict, Western intervention has exacerbated the situation and has left the Libyans on both sides with no way out. Whatever happens now, some revenge is inevitable, and that is the sad situation that has been created by the imperialists, who definitely have never had the welfare of the Libyan people at heart.

M.O.I. JR: What have the lives of the Black African immigrant workers been like since the invasion started in February?

Gerald Perreira: Their lives have been shattered. Not only have they been prevented from earning much needed salaries that support whole families back home but also they have been victimized by the racist anti-Qaddafi rebels. They started to detain, insult, rape and even execute African immigrants, students and refugees as soon as they were in control. Reports coming out of Libya state that hundreds of Africans are believed to have been killed by the rebels.

Gerald Perreira is from Guyana and a founding member of the Guyanese organizations Joint Initiative for Human Advancement and Dignity and Black Consciousness Movement Guyana (BCMG). He lived and worked in Libya for many years, serving in the Green March, an international battalion for the defense of the Libyan revolution, and was an executive member of the World Mathaba based in Tripoli. He continues to participate actively in the struggle for the liberation and salvation of his homeland Guyana and the scattered Black Nation.
Immigrant workers from Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Nigeria, Chad, Mali and Niger have been murdered. Some were led into the desert and stabbed to death. There are reports that Black Libyan men receiving treatment in hospitals in Benghazi were reportedly abducted by armed rebels. They are now amongst more than 200 African immigrants held in secret locations by the rebels.

In many disputes involving Libyan residents and Black Africans, the Libyans are turning in the Africans to rebel authorities, falsely claiming that they are “mercenaries.” Thousands more Africans caught up in this mercenary hysteria have barricaded themselves in their homes, while others are hiding in the desert. There have also been reports of rape of African women in rebel held territories.

Of course none of this is surprising – if we understand that one of the reasons that the rebels are opposing Qaddafi is his commitment to a United States of Africa and his financial assistance to African countries. The rebels are Arab supremacists, openly racist towards Black Africans, and their view is that Libya should look towards the Arab World and Europe rather than Africa.

One of the reasons that the rebels are opposing Qaddafi is his commitment to a United States of Africa and his financial assistance to African countries. The rebels are Arab supremacists, openly racist towards Black Africans, and their view is that Libya should look towards the Arab World and Europe rather than Africa.

Also there was the tragic story of the boat carrying 72 African immigrants which ran into difficulty trying to reach Lampedusa. The Africans on board, including women and children, were left to drift in the Mediterranean for 16 days after a number of European military units apparently ignored their cries for help. Two of the nine survivors claimed this included a NATO ship. Despite alarms being raised with the Italian coast guard and the boat making contact with a military helicopter and a warship, no rescue effort was attempted. So much for their humanitarian mission.

M.O.I. JR: What do you think about the role that international human rights activist Cynthia McKinney has played in denouncing the current foreign policy of the U.S. against Libya?

Gerald Perreira: Excellent! Cynthia McKinney must be commended for her outspoken support for the Libyan revolution and its leader, which is not easy in the midst of such a hostile political environment. I met her while she was visiting Tripoli in 2009 and I know that she was impressed with the achievements of the Al Fateh Revolution.

At a presentation she gave during her visit, she stated: “Col. Qaddafi should be highly commended for honoring our ancestors, the framers of true democracy, by reaching out from Africa to the entire world … We are here to listen and observe, then to support and carry forth the ideas of equality and democracy, universal principles embodied in the Green Book – the goal of our effort being to empower Black and indigenous and depressed peoples worldwide for the betterment of the earth and all its inhabitants.”

I think Cynthia McKinney has a clear understanding of the profound social and political transformation that has taken place in Libya and in trying to convey this she has earned the wrath of the U.S. power elites. I hope her efforts will have the full support of all progressive U.S. citizens and will inspire others to gain an understanding of Libya’s revolution.

I think Cynthia McKinney has a clear understanding of the profound social and political transformation that has taken place in Libya and in trying to convey this she has earned the wrath of the U.S. power elites. I hope her efforts will have the full support of all progressive U.S. citizens and will inspire others to gain an understanding of Libya’s revolution.

M.O.I. JR: Where do you recommend people get accurate info on Libya?

Gerald Perreira: I would recommend sites such as Pravda.ru, Pan African News Wire, Black Agenda Report, Final Call newspaper, New Dawn magazine, Free Arab Voice among others. And of course publications like this one. Basically, if you go online and look for pro-Libyan analysis you can’t miss it. This is the beauty of the internet: We are no longer dependent on mainstream media; the truth is at our fingertips in the comfort of our homes.

Also, for those who want an in-depth understanding of Muammar Qaddafi’s ideas and the Libyan revolution, there are some excellent books. I would recommend starting with “Islam and the Third Universal Theory: The Religious Thought of Muammar Qaddafi” by the brilliant theologian Mahmoud Ayoub, “Voice from the Desert” by Italian journalist Mirella Bianco and “My Vision: Muammar Qaddafi” with Edmond Jouve. If we seek the truth, the truth will find us.

Email POCC Minister of Information JR, Bay View associate editor, at blockreportradio@gmail.com and visit www.blockreportradio.com.

 

Tags

Filed Under: Africa and the World
Tags:

7 thoughts on “War on Libya is war on Africa

  1. Dave

    NATO aggression against Libya will never be stopped by diplomacy. AU is wasting precious time demonstrating again to the world how little unity exists among African countries when it comes to taking concerted decisive action. Libya should have been defended in Ivory Coast. What has South African government done then? It was backing British and French military intervention into internal affairs of the Ivory Coast. If the past behaviors determine the future ones than there will be no concerted military resistance from African countries to the neocolonialism of the West unless something unprecedented in the history of the continent happens. The creation of the United States of Africa is not a part of the solution but rather of the problem. Unity and solidarity are free enterprise and once they become institutionalized they seize to exist. Institutions do not create new values but rather operate on the existing ones. In other words if there is no unity and solidarity there will be no institution who can create them. If there was genuine desire on the side of other African countries to help Libya it would have happen, without need for creation of yet another monster.

    Reply
  2. raj

    Britain.France and the United States still consider African countries as the under developed world.Since 500 hundred years Europeans are plundering Africa .From Africa Europeans captured millions of people and sold them as slaves.Now that Europe is shrinking into economic decline European governments want the unlimited wealth of Africa.In order to achieve this purpose a very long war of reconquest is underway.
    This time millions of African people will perish under the bombs of Nato.
    This will gradually lead to several wars on the African continent –Africa will be pushed into a new age of darkness.

    Reply
  3. John Owens

    African leaders need to do more to stop NATO's audacious goal to oust Gadhafi. African leaders cannot solve the problems of the continent by remaining as quiet as they are now.

    Just because NATO has refused to stop bombing Tripoli and other parts of Libya does not mean that African leaders should remain quiet.

    NATO including Britain, France, and the US have defied the wishes of almost all of Africa and its leaders. But then the whole continent is quiet.

    African leaders need to organize their peoples in loud protests on streets and if possible send troops to Libya.
    If NATO can defy almost all the leaders of Africa and continue to bomb one of its leaders, then NATO will do anything on the continent.
    African leaders, today it is Gadhafi, tomorrow it will be you.
    African leaders organize the people and protest.

    Reply
  4. John Owens

    Let the leaders of all African countries hear this message loud and clear.

    In Britain, France, and the US some anthropologists teach that the African has not fully evolved into a full human being. The African is still evolving on the evolutionary scale. This kind of thinking still exists in Britain, France, and the US about even the leaders of Africa. This kind of evolutionary thinking is behind their actions against the continent. Do you remember slavery, colonialism, apartheid?

    That means they can to anything to Africans just it is done to apes who are still developing into better creatures. Shoot them, kill them, and now bomb their leaders. Manipulate them into fighting each other. Britain, France can choose to reject the AU's plan for peace in Libya. They can bomb Gadhafi out of office as an African leader.

    African leader, if you do not stop them from bombing Libya, the same mindset will persist. Like apes that are still developing, they did nothing so we bombed.

    Reply
  5. John Owens

    By declaring war on Gadhafi, President Obama has declared war on Africa. Look at the poor child with a pacify in her mouth? Her parents came from another part of Africa and Gadhafi brought them to work in Libya. This child is from sub-Sahara Africa but she and her parents are not a mercenaries as your papers and televisions claim.

    The rebels that Mr. Obama is supporting are killing Africans from other parts of Africa. If Gadhafi is overthrown the rebels will have no place for other African who work in Libya. NATO countries will not treat them with dignity. They will tell you they will but they will not.

    To president Obama, you have set a house on fire and you must stop the fire. You have set Africa on fire by bombing and now by support France and Britain to bomb Gadhafi's homeland.

    Reply
  6. Oluwole Bayis

    Obama is simply a disgrace. He has set in motion a conflict that brutalises and degrades Africans. He cannot claim to be unaware of what these jihadis were about.He simply does not care as he is untouched by any of the suffering.What kind of government are these monsters going to create. They have no respect for law & order. There are no trials, no sentencing just racist lynchinngs. Even if they were mercenaries which I doubt they should have a right to a fair trial.I suppose this is too much to expect from the Federal Republic of Benghazi jihadis. Libya is doomed. Obama should not be re-elected, he only cares about himself 3 years of sound bites & teleprompting.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

BayView Classifieds - ads, opportunities, announcements
TOP STORES
RingCentral
Rebtel
Phone.com