Bloodshed, disease in NATO’s ‘new’ Libya

This 13 April 2019 video says about itself:

Clashes in Tripoli leave dozens dead

Battles continue to rage between the forces of Libya’s … Government of National Accord (GNA) and former military commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces in the southern suburbs of Tripoli leaving dozens dead and thousands displaced.

On Friday, fierce clashes erupted in Wadi Rabie, south of Tripoli, as pro-government forces fought off an assault by Haftar fighters.

Heavy shelling and gunfire in the Libyan capital over the past 6 days has wounded 266 people and killed 56, including an ambulance driver and 2 medical doctors. Thousands of people have fled their homes, while others are trapped in conflict areas.

Hospitals inside and outside the city are receiving daily casualties, says the World Health Organization

Britain: For once a Tory has told the truth about Britain’s wars. Foreign office minister Mark Field admitted in parliament on Monday that Britain’s interventions in Libya have had “calamitous outcomes”: here.

This 12 April 2019 video says about itself:

Disease outbreak feared in Libya

Gunfire and blasts echoed in Libyan capital Tripoli herald the outbreak of an epidemic.

The World Health Organization, WHO, says it fears an outbreak of infectious diseases linked to poor water quality, among thousands of people fleeing their homes.

The United Nations agency is particularly concerned about the significant population displacements caused by the Friday’s gunfire.

WHO Spokesman, Tarik Jasarevic said, “WHO is working with local health authorities to pre-position and provide equipment to hospitals. We treat those who need medical treatment. Obviously, with the situation worsening, we fear new health problems, such as epidemics as people are on the move and being driven out of their homes.”

On Friday, the WHO estimated that 75 people have died and 323 others wounded since the beginning of hostilities weeks ago. The casualties include seven civilians killed and 10 wounded.

Libya, yet more bloodbaths threaten

This 25 November 2017 video says about itself:

Sweden: Thousands decry Libyan slavery in Stockholm

Thousands of people gathered in Stockholm’s Sergels Torg square on Saturday, to demonstrate against slavery in Libya.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Libya on the brink of all-out civil war

9 April 2019

As troops and tanks of the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) of “Field Marshal” Khalifa Hifter [also spelled: Hsaftar] advance on the capital of Libya, Tripoli, the internal conflicts that have been ripping the North African country apart are dramatically intensifying.

Advancing from its base in the east, the LNA has captured the abandoned international airport south of the capital. On Monday, it carried out bombing raids against the country’s sole functioning airport in Tripoli’s eastern suburbs.

The Pentagon responded on Sunday to the threatened siege of the city of 1.2 million people by withdrawing its military personnel by sea. The chief of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, said that the “security realities on the ground in Libya are growing increasingly complex and unpredictable.” He added that the US military command in Africa would “continue to remain agile in support of existing US strategy.”

Whether the withdrawal signals US acquiescence to Hifter’s offensive or the preparations for American airstrikes against his forces remains to be seen.

Hifter, a former general in the Libyan army, turned against the government of Muammar Gaddafi in the late 1980s after becoming a prisoner of war during a conflict with neighboring Chad. He was quickly picked up by the US Central Intelligence Agency and remained a CIA “asset” for decades, taking up residence near the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia and becoming a US citizen.

Sent back to Libya in advance of the 2011 regime-change operation mounted by Washington, Paris and London, he was overshadowed by the Islamist Al Qaeda-linked forces that served as ground troops for the US-NATO air war, which ended up claiming the lives of as many as 50,000 Libyan civilians.

Unable to find a path to power, Hifter went back to the US, returning to Libya to mount a bloody campaign in 2014 to seize control of the eastern city of Benghazi from Islamist militias. He formed a military force comprised of various militias, which became the backbone of a regime based in the eastern city of Tobruk. His government has rivaled the US- and UN-recognized Government of National Accord in Tripoli, chaired by wealthy businessman Fayez al-Sarraj. A third rival for state power is the Islamist-dominated General National Congress, which proclaimed itself a Salvation Government and rejected Sarraj’s authority.

Before his advance on Tripoli, Hifter managed to establish control in the summer of 2018 over oil facilities in central Libya, and, earlier this year, over a swathe of southern Libya that includes one of the country’s major oil fields.

Casualties in the latest fighting reportedly include nearly 50 dead and over 80 wounded, while thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes. If Hifter’s forces enter the city, there is danger of a bloodbath and massive destruction, as disparate militia groups have vowed to resist Tripoli’s takeover.

Humanitarian aid groups have warned of the threat to civilian lives and called particular attention to the fate of thousands of refugees being held against their will under appalling conditions in detention camps run by the militias that back Sarraj’s regime. The Libyan Coast Guard is lavishly funded and advised by the European imperialist powers, who utilize it in their efforts to halt the flow of refugees to Europe. It turns migrants over to the militias, which subject them to torture, rape, abuse and summary execution, while attempting to extract ransoms from their relatives.

Hifter has enjoyed open support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, while France has provided covert backing, including military advisers. Italy and Qatar have backed the Tripoli-based regime.

While US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement declaring that “we oppose the military offensive of Khalifa Hifter’s forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital,” Washington has established the closest alliance with the general’s principal backers in the Arab world, Saudi Arabiaand Egypt. The latter’s dictator, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is to receive a red-carpet welcome at the White House today.

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council, following a closed-door meeting, issued a statement to the press calling for Hifter’s LNA to “halt its military activity” near Tripoli. When Britain proposed a formal resolution along these lines, however, Russia opposed it, no doubt fearing that it could become the pretext for a fresh Western intervention in Libya.

The British draft included a passage calling “for those who undermine Libya’s peace and security to be held to account.”

What hypocrisy! There was no such call when the UK joined with France and the United States to overthrow the country’s government and inflict death upon its population and destruction upon its infrastructure. No one, from Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron on down, was ever held accountable for a criminal war of aggression that turned the country into a living hell.

Launched under the pretext of a UN resolution authorizing the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya to halt the supposed (but non-existent) threat of a massacre in the eastern city of Benghazi, the war saw money and arms poured into Islamist militias and lavished on Al Qaeda operatives, who were backed by a relentless bombing campaign, which included nearly 30,000 sorties in the course of seven months.

A war launched on the pretext of protecting civilians culminated in the carpet bombing of Sirte, a bastion of popular support for Gaddafi, and the lynch-mob torture and murder of the Libyan leader, over which then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laughingly gloated, “We came, we saw, he died.”

In the intervening eight years, the attempts to install a pro-Western puppet regime in a devastated country controlled by clashing Islamist, tribal and other militias have failed miserably. The regime headed up by Sarraj, recognized as Libya’s “legitimate” government, barely controls even Tripoli. Under its supposed rule, the country’s education and health systems have collapsed, while inflation is ravaging living standards, the unemployment rate has reached 30 percent, and fully a third of the population lives below the poverty line. Conditions of life for masses of Libyans have deteriorated dramatically since the overthrow of Gaddafi.

In addition to the leaders of the major imperialist powers, which intervened to assert control over the largest oil reserves on the African continent, those who should be held to account include a whole layer of pseudo-left parties and spokesmen who echoed and amplified the imperialist pretexts of intervening to save lives (code-named R2P: Responsibility to Protect) and even to defend a “Libyan revolution”.

Thus, Gilbert Achcar, the academic and prominent member of the French New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA), insisted that the defense of the “Libyan revolution” was the paramount issue, and declared that “You can’t in the name of anti-imperialist principles oppose an action that will prevent the massacre of civilians.”

Similarly, the University of Michigan professor Juan Cole, whose “left” credentials stemmed from his limited opposition to the Iraq war, declared, “To make ‘anti-imperialism’ trump all other values in a mindless way leads to frankly absurd positions.” He added, “If NATO needs me, I’m there.”

Similar arguments were advanced by, among others, the recently dissolved International Socialist Organization (ISO) [in the USA] in support of the even more bloody US regime change-operation in Syria.

These forces, expressing the interests of privileged layers of the middle class, are totally exposed by the reality of Libya eight years after an intervention that was supposed to protect lives and promote “revolution”.

As the World Socialist Web Site wrote at the time: “Far from a ‘revolution’ or struggle for ‘liberation,’ what the world is witnessing is the rape of Libya by a syndicate of imperialist powers determined to lay hold of its oil wealth and turn its territory into a neo-colonial base of operations for further interventions throughout the Middle East and North Africa.”

With the latest escalation of Libya’s protracted civil war—between rival forces that are all the products of CIA conspiracies and imperialist interventions—the consequences of this rape and the political criminality of those who justified and promoted it have become all the more evident.

The anti-war movement has been utterly vindicated over Libya. There has not been a single day of peace in Libya since Cameron and co proclaimed the overthrow of tyranny, says KEVIN OVENDEN.

Bloodbath in Libya, a British view

This 9 April 2019 video says about itself:

Libya is in the spotlight once again. Thousands are fleeing clashes in the capital Tripoli following violence between the country’s two rival armed political factions.

There are more than two rival paramilitary gangs.

Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar

So, warlord Haftar has promoted himself to Field Marshal. At least, Gaddafi never promoted himself to a rank higher than colonel.

launched last week on Thursday an offensive to the west, aiming to take control of Tripoli, from the [Tripoli] government.

Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj on the other hand accuses him of attempting to carry out a coup. On Monday, Haftar’s forces launched an airstrike on the Mitiga airport, the capital’s only functioning airport, which the UN has strongly condemned.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Libya faces a bloodbath as imperialist stooges fight for control

A BLOODBATH is being predicted in Libya after the leader of the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), General Khalifa Haftar, launched a military offensive against the capital Tripoli aimed at smashing the ‘Government of National Accord’ (GNA) imposed on Libya by American imperialism and recognised by the UN as the ‘legitimate’ government of the country.

The head of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj, in a televised address on Saturday accused Haftar of ‘betraying’ him over the military offensive to capture Tripoli and install himself as supreme leader of Libya. Al-Sarraj pledged that his own forces would fight back in a new civil war over control of the country.

The bloodbath that is unfolding in Libya is the outcome of the war for regime change launched by US, British and French imperialism in 2011 to smash up Libya, the most advanced country in North Africa, a war that cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Libyans.

Now the two forces of the GNA and LNA are on course for a bloody civil war that will claim the lives of even more. Both these two armies are backed by different imperialist powers. The GNA is officially backed by the US and UN

and by Salvini’s Italy

while Haftar’s LNA enjoys the support of France, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.

Haftar originally served in the Libyan army under Colonel Muammar Gadaffi and took part in the overthrow of King Idris in 1969, but he broke with Gadaffi and was implicated in plots to overthrow the regime aligning himself with a US-sponsored opposition group the National Front for the Salvation of Libya.

He spent nearly 20 years in the US at Langley, Virginia as a US [CIA] ‘asset’, returning to Libya in 2011 after the US, British and French air forces had bombed the country to pieces.

It is estimated that in six months the imperialist powers launched 8,000 bombing raids dropping over 30,000 bombs on Libya killing over 60,000 people. They destroyed a country that the United Nations Development Programme said in a report had the highest human development indicators (which measure levels of health, education and income) in all of Africa, with a life expectancy of 74.5; undernourishment of the population at under 5%; and adult literacy at over 88%.

Libyan workers under Gadaffi enjoyed the benefits of a nationalised oil industry with secure job tenure, government subsidies of around $800 a month for the average Libyan household, and petrol at a mere 60 cents a gallon. This … was anathema to imperialism which was desperate to smash it up and seize its oil wealth.

This attack was spearheaded by the then British PM Tony Blair who, fresh from his lying campaign about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, met with Gadaffi … Imperialism was then able to send in its Islamist allies from Iraq to destabilise Libya and open the door for a ‘humanitarian’ bombing campaign to destroy the country and brutally murder Gadaffi.

Former UK PM Cameron, along with then French president Sarkozy, descended on the city of Benghazi in 2011 to proclaim a glorious ‘revolution’ and crow: ‘Your city was an inspiration to the world, as you threw off a dictator and chose freedom.’

The Libyan people have experienced imperialism’s ‘freedom’ – the destruction of the modern secular state of Libya, reduced to a hell hole of competing warlords and now threatened with even more bloody civil war.

For the workers and masses of the world, Libya stands as a vital lesson that the only way to defeat imperialism is to build a Marxist leadership that can unite the working class and the masses in socialist revolution to overthrow capitalism and advance to a world socialist society.

Another ‘humanitarian’ oil bloodbath in Libya

This 5 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Oil Politics Drive Turmoil in Libya

With two of the largest oil producers, Iran and Russia, under U.S. sanctions, all profiteering eyes of the west turn to oil rich Libya, says Vijay Prashad, the author of the book Arab Spring Libyan Winter.

This 5 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

External Powers Fuel Bloodshed in Libya

General Khalifa Haftar of Libya has been a very disruptive force for the formation of the UN’s unity government, says Vijay Prashad, the author of the book Arab Spring Libyan Winter.

Translated from Dutch daily Trouw:

Bloody battle around Tripoli, residents hoard food and water

Arjen van der Ziel– 11:50, April 8, 2019

General Haftar, a former protegé of the CIA, is trying to conquer the Libyan capital. …

North African Libya threatens to head for a major bloody battle for the capital Tripoli. Troops of [Haftar’s] Libyan National Army (LNA) approached Tripoli from different sides this weekend and attempted to capture the former international airport south of the city on Sunday. The troops were about 25 kilometers away from the central square of the city. The small rudimentary air forces of the LNA and the government in Tripoli also bombed each other ….

Residents of the capital massively hoarded food and drinking water on Sunday and foreign governments evacuated their employees. The United States withdrew their … contingent of soldiers, the Italian oil company Eni removed its Italian personnel and the United Nations also withdrew employees. On Sunday, the UN tried in vain to persuade the warring parties to a two-hour cease-fire for the evacuation of the wounded. …

Since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi eight years ago, Libya has consisted of a collection of city states with dozens of rival militias. There is an internationally recognized government that is supported by the United Nations, but it has little input outside of Tripoli and does not even control the capital. It is largely dependent on various paramilitaries, including radical Islamists who control the city, extort the population and engage in criminal activities, including the smuggling of migrants who want to travel to Europe by sea. …

And forcibly bringing these refugees back to Libya, in collusion with European Union governments. And torturing and enslaving those refugees.

[Haftar] is supported by, eg, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, France

While Italy’s Salvini government supports the Tripoli administration.

According to Dutch NOS TV today, at least fifty people have been killed; thousands of people have become refugees.

More bloodshed in NATO’s ‘new’ Libya

This 5 April 2019 video says about itself:

Troops belonging to Libya’s strongman Khalifa Haftar were pushed back on Friday from a key checkpoint just 27 km from capital Tripoli.

He had ordered his troops on Thursday to march on the capital, escalating a conflict with the [Tripoli] government.

Militiamen from the coastal town of Zawiya retook the base after a “short exchange of fire”, though Haftar has vowed to continue the fight.

Latest news on the proxy oil war between Macron‘s France and Salvini‘s Italy, waged by pro-Salvini paramilitaries against pro-Macron Haftar paramilitaries. Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Despite appeals to calmness and restraint, there is fear internationally of a new civil war in Libya.

Not really new. It never stopped ever since NATO’s ‘humanitarian‘ 2011 regime change war.

The government in Tripoli, threatened by the Libyan National Army of warlord Haftar, has announced a counter-offensive called “Volcano of Anger”.

Prime Minister Sarraj of the … government in Tripoli had a military spokesperson declare that the operation aims to clear all cities in the country from illegal forces. Sarraj blames Haftar for plunging the country into a new cycle of violence, and says that only personal motives play a role for him. …

Both parties have combat aircraft with which attacks are carried out. Since Thursday, 23 people are said to have been killed in the fighting.

Today there was a battle at the international airport of Tripoli, 24 kilometers south of the city. Yesterday Haftar’s troops reported that they had taken the airport. …

The US government has withdrawn some of its soldiers from Libya, given the unpredictable situation on the ground.

Bloodshed in Libya escalating

Map of Libya

This is an Australian government map of Libya. The whole country is red, meaning ‘Do not travel‘.

Today, Dutch NOS TV reports on the escalation of bloodshed in NATO’s ‘new’ Libya. The proxy war about oil there between the French Macron government and the Italian Salvini government; though the NOS does not call it that.

They write that the paramilitary force of warlord Haftar has reached a point 40 kilometer south of the capital Tripoli, where Haftar’s enemies govern.

They remark that Haftar from the 1980s till 2011 lived in exile in the USA. They don’t mention he was a CIA asset then.

After the 2011 NATO war, including the murder of Colonel Gaddafi, Haftar was back in Libya as boss of one of many outfits killing each other and civilians.

They quote Dutch ‘Libya expert’ Gerbert van der Aa (translated):

[Haftar] “has delusions of grandeur. …

People long for the time when Libya was the richest country in Africa. For most Libyans things went well at the time.”

The militia leader [Haftar] is not known for his respect for human rights. The International Criminal Court is investigating various videos that show how Haftar’s opponents are executed with a shot in the neck. The shooter is still walking around freely despite an international arrest warrant. Haftar does nothing about it.

The NOS article mentions that the Egyptian Sisi dictatorship, the Saudi absolute monarchy and the French Macron administration support Haftar.

Van der Aa expects that the whole European Union will come around to ‘preferring a strongman’ (Haftar).

So, the pretext for the NATO 2011 regime change oil war was that Colonel Gaddafi was a dictator. And now, eight years later, they may welcome a Haftar dictatorship. With the difference that since 2011, slavery, abolished in Libya in the 1850s, has returned. That, since 2011, there are many more torture jails and very many less hospitals with very many less life-saving medicines. That women’s rights have gone down the drain. That many militia men and still more Libyan and refugee civilians have been killed.