Libya and Slavery: Sheep without a Shepherd

Slavery_capture
Slave capture

For several weeks now, we have seen many people scream loud about the enslavement of Black people in Libya. I have seen Claudy Siar, whom I love, stand up outraged about the treatment of Black people in Libya, yet, I did not see him outraged when Libya was being bombed by NATO; I did not see him this outraged when migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea; I have not seen him outraged because MartiniqueGuadeloupe (where his family is from), and French Guiana, have been deprived of independence and are still Overseas territories of France today. I saw Samuel Eto’o and other footballers come out outraged, yet… I never saw Eto’o outraged that there are no roads to go to his village in Cameroon, I never saw him outraged that international companies exploit huge plantations in Cameroon without paying taxes (was he outraged when Lapiro de Mbanga was imprisoned for asking those companies to pay some little taxes?). I never saw these big footballers outraged that African youths are unemployed largely due to their presidents working hand-in-hand with European interests. Faure Gnassingbé, president of Togo even raised his voice against the enslavement of Africans in Libya, and was outraged! Are you serious, when he inherited the throne, presidency of Togo, after 38 years of Gnassingbé Eyadéma, his father’s reign? Alpha Blondy never said a word when Côte d’Ivoire was being bombed by France in 2011, yet today he opens his mouth for Libya, and wants the migrants to take up arms! Seriously?

Libya, the Prey of the West
Libya, the Prey of the West

I do not understand why we always act like sheep without a shepherd! Back in the middle of the 2000s, we were served with the genocide in Darfur, when Hollywood stars such as George Clooney came out in numbers claiming to care about the plight of the Black man, and saying that the Black people of Darfur Sudan were enslaved by their lighter skinned Sudanese brothers. This led to the creation of South Sudan, and Darfur, well… nothing happened in Darfur… so it had all been a scheme to split Sudan into 2, and take away its rich southern oil fields from the nation itself!

Children begging
Children begging

Do you think that African youths, if they had jobs in their countries, will not stay home? Do you think that if the FCFA was not this tax imposed on African countries (The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa), they will not be developed? This outrage I hear should not be taken out on Libyans who had no say when their country was bombed by the Coalition that is NATO, but rather against our presidents who continue to stay in the FCFA zone (FCFA: France’s Colonial Tax on Africa), who continue to give at least 50% of our economies to France! France gets $500 Billions every year from 14 countries in Africa just from the currency, plus of course the free uranium of Niger, the free gold of Mali, the free plantations of Cameroon, the free cocoa of Côte d’Ivoire, etc. This has to stop! Our outrage cannot be taken out on Libyans, but rather on NATO, and now more than ever on those puppets that we call our presidents, who serve the interests of the Hexagon. Get out of the FCFA zone, and create jobs! Stop importing pencils, pens, and food, when you can grow and make your own and become sustainable economies to serve your youths! Africa is the continent with the youngest population, and with so many resources, and thus so much to develop! Africa is the future!

500 Fcfa_BEAO
500 Fcfa_BEAO

Yesterday, I heard a talk by Robert Bourgi who was the adviser to so many African presidents, good servants of Imperialist forces: MobutuOmar Bongo, etc; and he said that, what Africans were asking for was governmental alternance, i.e. election of new presidents. NO, we do not need new presidents who are just puppets of the West like Macky Sall or Alassane Ouattara who will sign off our future to the IMF and World Bank. We need a definite change, we want to be in charge of our economic destiny; we want to have our own currency, we do not want to pay a colonial tax when our forefathers died in WWI and WWII to liberate the French and the whole of Europe, when our ancestors were taken into slavery by Europeans to the Americas where their sweat was used to build Western economies. We want economic freedom to decide on our own terms whether we live or die. We will rather be poor with our own currency, than be a happy slave with a fake currency pegged to the Bank of Paris, which used to take 85% of our revenues and now takes 50%. All the same, We have had enough! So our outrage should not be at our Libyan brothers, because we do know that our true Libyan brothers will never do that, Khadafi fought for us Africans to be free from imperialist forces, but to our presidents, to our elites, who refuse to free us, who refuse to stand up and seize the moment! We, the people, want freedom, economic freedom! No More FCFA!

Why the name: Tripoli?

Tripoli, capital of Libya (Source: scoopempire.com)
Tripoli, capital of Libya (Source: scoopempire.com)

I always wondered why the capital of Libya was named Tripoli.  The name did not sound so ‘Arabic’ or ‘Berber’ to me… and I always thought that maybe the name had some Italian origin, since Libya was once part of the Roman empire, and later in the 19th/20th centuries an Italian colony.

Tripoli, or Tarabulus in Arabic, is known as Tripoli-of-the-West, to distinguish it from its ancient Phoenician sister city of Tripoli in Lebanon which means Levantine Tripoli or Tripoli of the East.  Tripoli, Libya, is affectionately called the Mermaid of the Mediterranean (arusat-el-bahr: bride of the sea) describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings.  In reality, Tripoli is a Greek name which means “Three Cities(Tria for three, Polis for city) in reference to the Libyan province of Tripolitaine encompassing the three cities of Oea (modern-day Tripoli), Leptis Magna, and Sabratha.

Map of Tripoli
Map of Tripoli

Tripoli is located in the north west of the country.  It extends to the edges of the desert, on a rocky piece of land jutting out into the Mediterranean sea, forming a bay.  Tripoli was founded in the 7th century BC, by the Phoenicians, who gave it the Libyco-Berber name Oea (or Wy’t), probably built upon a native Berber town.  The Phoenicians were probably attracted to the site by its natural harbor, flanked on the western shore by the small, easily defensible peninsula, on which they established their colony.  The city was then taken by the rulers of Cyrenaica (a Greek colony on the North African shore, east of Tripoli, halfway to Egypt), although the Carthaginians later wrested it from the Greeks.  Around the 2nd century BC, Tripoli belonged to the Romans, who included it in their province of Africa, and gave it the name of Regio Syrtica.  Around the beginning of the 3rd century AD, it became known as the Regio Tripolitana, meaning “region of the three cities“, namely Oea, Sabratha and Leptis Magna.  It was later raised to the rank of a separate province by Septimius Severus, who was a native of Leptis Magna. Tripoli was later conquered by Muslim dynasties around the 8th century AD; it was temporarily part of the Berber Almohad empire and of the Hafsids kingdom.  Tripoli was included in the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries AD.

Jamahiriya Museum in Tripoli (Source: Tripadvisor.com)
Jamahiriya Museum in Tripoli (Source: Tripadvisor.com)

With a population over 1.68 million (census before the 2011 NATO attacks on Libya) Tripoli is the largest city, the principal port, and the biggest industrial and commercial city of Libya.  It is the heart of government and that of the prestigious university of Tripoli.  Due to its long historical importance, Tripoli has a lot of archaelogical sites.  Many of these sites (which were already derelict) were bombed by the NATO forces during their intervention in Libya 2011 against the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

True, the city today is very far from its splendid and beautiful self.  Tripoli is healing its wounds today, which may take years or decades to heal, but I thought you would enjoy watching this 2010 video of Tripoli, the Mermaid of the Mediterranean! 

‘No More’ by Kelvin Karani

Children begging
Children begging

I was talking to a friend the other day about the suffering in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya, and my friend said “hush, we should be grateful that this is not happening in our country.”  I was dumbfounded, as I was thinking, how could somebody just rejoice for their lot, instead of helping the others? instead of doing something?  the least we can do is talk about it, cry, do something, not just watch and rejoice about our silly existence which could go down in flames in a day as in Cote d’Ivoire or Libya which were under fire from France and NATO (the mighty armies of the world) for their oil, cocoa, and gold. Then I found this really good poem by Kelvin Karani, talking about the things we all see in Africa, the things that hurt, and the things that tire. Enjoy “No More.”

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No more
Taking of silly slogans
Of change from the corrupt politicians
We need statesmen and stateswomen
People who see beyond elections

No more
Sitting back as others suffer
Saying that we are blessed
Happy that we are not in pain
In common bond united
We’ll rise or fall as a people

No more
Taking the aid of Aids
Which makes sick and
In perpetual need.

No more
Class divisions in Africa
Imperialism of whatever nature
White evils or black ones either
For time has come
For Africa, my Africa-our Africa
To dust herself and move on
Undeterred, unhindered
To show the rest of the world
What humanity truly is.

 Kelvin Karani

Francafrique: Raison d’Etat

After the joke of elections held in Egypt this past month, and with all the turmoil in Libya, Mali, and Côte d’Ivoire, I thought it will be best to watch this great documentary by Patrick Benquet which stirred thoughts across French Africa since December 16, 2010, date of its official diffusion.  It tells you all about the tricks, and machiavelism of France (Africa’s policeman) in Africa, and of course the effect of the cold war on African leaders and countries. Enjoy the first part titled the Francafrique Reason of State (Raison d’Etat) and share with others! It is important to know!

Western Media Lies in Libya

The destruction of Libya: the cake
The destruction of Libya: the cake

With yet another lie today (the presumed death of colonel Mouammar Kadhafi… buried in the desert), I thought about recapitulating all the lies we’ve been served by western media since the attack of NATO on Libya:

21/02/2011 : The British minister of foreign affairs, William Hague, announced that Mouammar Kadhafi with his wife and daughter, had left the Libyan territory, and were in Venezuela (Lie!!!)

21/02/2011 : Saif Al Islam Kadhafi had been wounded in a fight with rebels (Lie!!!)

23/02/2011 : Aïcha Kadhafi had ran away to Malta (Lie!!!)

20/03/2011 : Khamis Kadhafi died in Brega in a plane crash (Lie!!!)

10/08/2011 or 05/08/2011? : Khamis Kadhafi died in Zliten, after a NATO raid (Lie!!!).

22/08/2011 : Saif Al Islam was captured by rebels, and his brother Mohamed had surrendered. Obama even came out of vacation to confirm in a speech… the next day, guess who was free? Saif!!! Never captured, etc…

27/08/2011 : Mouammar Kadhafi had ran to Algeria (Lie!!!)

29/08/2011 : Khamis Kadhafi had died in Tarhuna after intense combats, and was burried in Zliten… officially listed on the Wikipedia page. (Lie!)

29/09/2011: Mouammar Kadhafi was hiding near Algeria (Lie ?)

Libyan flag
Libyan flag

Last week: Moutassim Kadhafi had died (another Lie!!!)

Kadhafi is in Niger (Lie!!!) – Kadhafi is sick and will be transported to Saudi Arabia (Lie!!!) – Kadhafi is in the south of Libya (Lie!!!) – Kadhafi has been cornered in his campground (Lie!!!) – and the biggest of all, the start of it all, Kadhafi has killed 6000 of his own people (or was it 10,000?) (Lie!!!)

The list is so long… How many times has Khamis died again? 8 times! and how many times was Saif captured? at least twice! How many times did Kadhafi run away? Did we ever see OBL’s body after his supposed death in May? No wait… it was disposed off at sea! Now Kadhafi’s body has been disposed of in the desert! I guess one lie couldn’t fly twice. Well… my friends, the message is simple: stop being gullible… open your eyes and learn. Read Mathaba!

Africans and the Trap of Democracy

Libya, the Prey of the West
Libya, the Prey of the West

With the bombing of the presidential residence in Cote d’Ivoire by French forces for over a week, followed by the arrest of president Laurent Gbagbo, with the current intense bombing of Libya by NATO for the past 6 months, I cannot help but try to answer some of the same justifications used by Africans to approve the bombings by foreign troops on their neighbors’s countries, and ultimately on African soil. Any African who claimed and accepted that Cote d’Ivoire should be bombed by the French, shame on you! Any African who thought that the bombing of Libya was correct… shame on you! Any African who uses the same stupid phrase used by the West to abuse us: “… well Gbagbo had his day, he was in power for 10 years!… or Kadhafi was there 42 years!” Well my friend… Shame on you! Should democracy be imposed using bombs? Should democracy be imposed using warplanes, and Apache helicopters? Is it democracy to bomb the people you plan to help? Is it democracy to deliberately bomb civilian targets, hospitals, state televisions, homes, etc… to, like NATO said “protect civilians”? Was there not a peaceful solution? Was it so hard to re-count the votes in Cote d’Ivoire? Was it so hard to organize elections as Kadhafi asked? Why bomb? Why bomb? Why bomb?…

Libyan flag
Libyan flag

Now tell me, you, African who live in the west, are you in a democracy? When government increases taxes… do they ask you? When airline companies increase the price of air ticket, do they ask you? When school tuition goes up by 15%, have you been asked? Continue reading “Africans and the Trap of Democracy”

A message from the Guide of the Revolution

The current article can be found in its integrality on Mathaba.net

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From the international liaison office of the Green Committees Movement

Oppressed people around the world, the battle has begun. Do not despair, help is nigh. Do you realize that this is the Night of Power? What is the Night of Power? It is better than thousands of other nights, it is the destiny, when the heavens are open to receive your prayers thousands fold.

Watch what is happening now in America. Did we hit them with our missiles? No, they came and struck us, 64 hits on Bab Al-Aziziya which is now destroyed, and finally I had to leave my home, where they killed many innnocents. But I will never leave Libya and in this fight, it is either victory or death. […]

… true friends of Libya, and you are with me. Do not despair of the rat flag on only one house out of one million. All of you can cut pieces of green cloth, measured exactly two by one in dimension, that is your flag, the flag of people’s power, of hope, of truth, of the future.

All you in the world who support truth, freedom, Jamahiriya, hang it on millions homes, cars. The green flag is yours and belongs to all the masses of the world. With the dawn of people’s authority and the end of governments, we chose the green flag and made its colour and dimension easy for all. Choose any green. Cut it one by two, exactly, and hang it everywhere, carry it with you.

Soon the green flag will fly all over the world, as governments collapse, they failed their people, I alone did more than all of them. They served different masters. They did not intend to serve the people, never. They are owned by others. They do nothing for you. Ignore them and they are gone. Prepare yourselves by forming committees, openly or in secret, set up your local mathabas to meet and share. Chart the way forward. The green flag belongs to you all.

The future is jamahiriya, everywhere. Masses self-governing societies. Basic popular congresses and people’s committees. Green committees to guide, defend, expose, call, show the way forward to people’s power. It’s all there in The Green Book, read it, copy it, share it. Use your own communication systems, don’t rely on the enemy. Make your own communications. Take back your resources to your hands, do not be afraid of power, possess it. It is your power, wealth and arms that the governments, banks and militaries stole from you. Continue reading “A message from the Guide of the Revolution”

Libya: Media lies exposed – Saif-al-Islam and a Resurgence like no Other

Dear all,

With the current events in Libya, I cannot help but try to make my contribution to the freedom of the people of Libya who are currently fighting an unjust war brought to them by the imperialistic powers of the world. The war in Libya, under the false pretense of “protecting civilians” has been a set-up from the beginning. In the name of the protection of ‘civilians’, civilians are being killed! Today NATO bombed Bab Al-Aziziya 64 times! Imagine that… 64 times! What in the world requires 64 bombs all at once in one compound? Goodness Gracious! As hatred unfurls in Libya, as my Libyan brothers and sisters are being attacked by the greed of western bankrupt bankers… As the western media continue their saga of lies with a Saif-Al-Islam captured and extradited to the ICC one day, and him resurrecting and giving a tour of Tripoli to western media the next day … I could not help but show you a different side, the side of the Libyan people, the side of our winning Spirit, the spirit of the Guide! Enjoy!

NATO’s debacle in Libya

Libyan flag
Libyan flag

This article by Alexander Cockburn is on the Pambazuka website.

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After three and a half months of bombing and arms supply to various rebel factions, NATO’s (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) failure in its efforts to promote ‘regime change’ in Libya is now glaring. Obviously NATO’s commanders are still hoping that a lucky bomb may kill Gaddafi, but to date the staying power has been with the Libyan leader, whereas it is the relevant NATO powers who are fighting among themselves.

The reports from Istanbul of the deliberations of NATO’s contact group have a surreal quality as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Minister William Hague gravely re-emphasise their commitment to regime change and the strengthening of ties to the Transitional Council in Benghazi, while the humiliation of the entire NATO expedition is entering the history books as an advertisement of the dangers of political fantasy in the service of ‘humanitarian interventionism’, appalling intelligence work, illusions about bombing and air power and some of the worst press coverage in living memory.

[….] Cameron, like Sarkozy, Clinton and Barack Obama presumably had intelligence assessments of the situation in Libya. Did any of them say that Gaddafi might be a tougher nut to crack than the presidents of Tunisia or Egypt, might even command some popular support in Tripoli and western Libya, historically at odds with Benghazi and the eastern region? If they did, did they pay any attention?

The Western press, along with al-Jazeera, was no help. The early charges of Gaddafi committing ‘genocide’ against his own people or ordering mass rapes were based on unverified rumour or propaganda bulletins from Benghazi and have now been decisively discredited by reputable organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Any pretensions the International Criminal Court (ICC) might have had to judicial impartiality have been undermined by the ICC’s role as NATO’s creature, rushing out indictments of Gaddafi and his closest associates whenever NATO’s propaganda agenda has demanded it. […]

All history shows that the dropping of thousands of bombs and missiles, with whatever supposed standards of ‘pin point accuracy’, never elicits the enthusiastic support of civilians on the receiving end, even if a certificate of humanitarian assistance and merciful intent is stamped on every projectile. Recent pro-government rallies in Tripoli have been vast. Libya has a population of about 6 million, with 4 million in Tripoli. Gaddafi barrels around the city in an open jeep. Large amounts of AK-47s have been distributed to civilian defence committees. Were they all compelled to demonstrate by Gaddafi’s enforcers? It seems unlikely. […]

In early March, Sarkozy, languishing in the polls, believed the counsel of ‘new philosopher’ Bernard-Henri Lévy, after the latter’s 6 March excursion to Benghazi, that Libya and its oil were up for grabs. On 11 March Sarkozy took the precipitate step of recognising the Benghazi gang as the legitimate government of Libya and awaited Gaddafi’s collapse with a confident heart. In a hilarious inside account of the NATO debacle, Vincent Jauvert of Le Nouvel Observateur has recently disclosed that French intelligence services assured Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Alain Juppé ‘from the first [air] strike, thousands of soldiers would defect from Gaddafi’. They also predicted that the rebels would move quickly to Sirte, the hometown of Gaddafi and force him to flee the country. This was triumphantly and erroneously trumpeted by the NATO powers, which even proclaimed that he had flown to Venezuela. By all means opt for the ‘big lie’ as a propaganda ploy, but not if it is inevitably going to be discredited 24 hours later.

We underestimated al-Gaddafi,’ one French officer told Jauvert. ‘He was preparing for forty-one years for an invasion. We did not imagine he would adapt as quickly. No one expects, for example, to transport its troops and missile batteries, Gaddafi will go out and buy hundreds of Toyota pick-up in Niger and Mali. It is a stroke of genius: the trucks are identical to those used by the rebels. NATO is paralysed. It delays its strikes. Before bombing the vehicles, drivers need to be sure they are whose forces are Gaddafi’s. “We asked the rebels to a particular signal on the roof of their pick-up truck,” said a soldier, “but we were never sure. They are so disorganised…?”’

Read the rest here → Pambazuka: Nato’s debacle in Libya

Truth Dispatch: Update on Libya

Flag of Libya
Flag of Libya

This article is by Cynthia McKinney on Pambazuka’s website.  You can read the full article there or watch videos.

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DAY ONE: On Libyan–Tunisian border, it’s back to the future with refugees
3–4 June 2011 – Djerba, Tunisia

During the last air sanctions against Libya, imposed by the United Nations in 1992 over alleged Libyan involvement in the bombings of PanAm 103 and UTA 772, many Libyans travelling to and from Tripoli were forced to fly through Tunisia, travelling overland to and from the Tunisian border to their homes in Libya. With European Union sanctions now imposed on Libya, the old travel regime is back in force.

However, there is a new dimension to the air embargo on Libya. Attracted to the Libyan–Tunisian border by refugees, most African guest workers from sub-Sahara and pan-Sahel African nations, fleeing the fighting in their country, find that scores of international aid workers now occupy the tourist hotels of Djerba, the once popular Tunisian resort that has fallen on hard times after tour operators cancelled excursions following the Tunisian revolution earlier this year.

Today, prior to crossing into Libya, this reporter is witnessing representatives of the ‘misery industry’, young international aid workers with groups like the International Committee of the Red Cross, EU and International Organisation for Migration, lounging around the tourist hotels mingling with German and French pensioners eager to take advantage of the special travel packages being offered by a depressed Tunisian tourist industry.

Not only is war good for the weapons industry but refugee crises brought about by Western-implemented wars, fattening the wallets of NGOs anxious to cash in on the human misery created by Pentagon and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) overt and covert military operations. Meanwhile, here in Djerba, near the Libyan frontier, it’s pool-side and cold Heinekens for the NGO community here to ‘save’ the Libyan refugees.

DAY TWO: Western Libya portrait is not what is being painted by the Western media
4–5 June 2011 – Tripoli, Libya

Western media reports continue to indicate that Libyan rebels trying to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from power, backed by daily NATO airstrikes, are gaining ground in western Libya. During a six-hour drive from the Tunisian border to Tripoli, the Libyan capital, this reporter saw no signs of Libyan rebel successes in western Libya. In fact, I witnessed a spontaneous pro-Gaddafi demonstration on the main Tunisia–Tripoli highway in a town about one and a half hours west of Tripoli.

The green flag of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya not only adorn flag poles in towns from Tripoli to the Tunisian border, but a number of private residences are flying the green flag from their rooftops, on flag poles and even from outside of top-floor windows in medium-size and small towns alike along the main highway.

There are some telltale signs of previous fighting in the western part of the country – bullet holes in the walls of some buildings and even some more extensive structural damage – but there are no signs that the rebels, backed by the United States, NATO and the European Union, have any substantial support in western Libya.  …..

To read more go to Pambazuka