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”

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

Devoir de Mémoire: Gbagbo dans le tourbillon du Golfe de Guinée

Laurent Gbagbo
Laurent Gbagbo

Aujourd’hui, nous allons faire un rappel mémoire, et regardé ce très beau documentaire qui discute des enjeux géopolitiques et économiques de la Côte d’Ivoire, et les  liens avec la République Démocratique du Congo (RDC).  Une chose très importante à retenir c’est que les enjeux du 21 ème siècle se jouent en Afrique, et que la survie des Etats-Unis et de l’Europe face à l’avancée du géant chinois se jouera en Afrique. Alors, il est primordial pour les américains et européens d’éliminer tous ceux qui voudraient ouvrir leurs frontières aux Chinois, ou qui voudraient pour une fois négocier des contrats justes et la dignité de leurs peuples tels Gbagbo. Attention, les élections en RDC auront lieu en Novembre, et nous prions de tous nos coeurs pour la paix et la survie de notre continent.  Nous, Africains, devons rester dignes et exiger d’ être traités comme des egaux et non des subalternes. Nos sous-sols regorgent de richesses, et nous rêvons de les partager avec tous, mais nous sommes désireux d’être traités comme des partenaires économiques et non des colonies. Continuons nos prières pour la Côte d’Ivoire, pour Laurent et Simone Gbagbo et tous leurs collaborateurs qui se sont battus pour la dignité de leur pays, pour la Libye et le Guide Kadhafi qui fait face à la plus grande armée mondiale transformée en gangster, et prions également pour la RDC et pour toute l’Afrique.  Ce n’est pas parce que certains pays qui nous avaient colonisés hier, sont ruinés financièrement aujourd’hui, que nous devons continuer d’être leur chasse gardée.  Arrêtons de nous faire piétiner.  Faisons preuve de lucidité, de vision, de courage, d’unité, et surtout de force.  N’Krumah rêvait d’une Afrique unie… Le Guide Libyen rêve d’une Afrique unie… rallumons cette flamme… arrêtons de nous diviser, et levons-nous comme un seul homme! (Les Etats-Unis avec 50 états forment un seul pays).

N’oubliez pas de regarder les parties 2, 3, et 4.

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

Message du Guide Libyen/ Message from the Libyan Guide

Traduit de l’arabe en anglais par le professeur Sam Hamod. English version sur The African Independent. Faites un tour sur le site Mathaba pour avoir la version libyenne des faits!

Au nom d’Allah, le Clément, le Miséricordieux… Depuis 40 ans, à moins que ce ne soit plus, je ne me souviens pas, j’ai fait tout mon possible pour donner aux gens des maisons, des hôpitaux, des écoles, et, quand ils avaient faim, je leur ai donné à manger. À Benghazi, j’ai même transformé le désert en terres arables, j’ai tenu tête aux attaques de ce cow-boy, Reagan, quand il a tué ma fille adoptive orpheline. Essayant de me tuer, il a tué à la place cette pauvre enfant innocente. Ensuite, j’ai épaulé mes frères et sœurs d’Afrique avec de l’argent pour l’Union africaine.

J’ai fait tout mon possible pour aider les gens à comprendre le vrai concept de démocratie, qui consiste en des comités populaires dirigeant leur pays. Mais ce n’était jamais assez, comme me l’ont dit certains. Même ceux qui possédaient une maison de 10 chambres, des costumes et du mobilier neufs, n’étaient jamais satisfaits. Ils étaient si égoïstes qu’ils en voulaient toujours plus. Ils ont dit aux Zuniens et aux autres visiteurs qu’ils avaient besoin de « liberté » de « démocratie » et n’ont jamais réalisé qu’il s’agit d’un système de panier de crabes, où le plus gros bouffe les autres. Ils étaient seulement ensorcelés par ces mots, sans réaliser jamais qu’en Zunie, il n’y a pas de médicaments gratuits, ni d’hôpitaux gratuits, ni de logement gratuit, ni d’enseignement gratuit, ni non plus de nourriture gratuite, sauf quand les gens sont obligés de mendier ou de faire longtemps la queue pour avoir de la soupe.

Non, peu importe ce que j’ai réalisé ! Pour certains ce n’était jamais assez. Mais les autres savaient que j’étais le fils de Gamal Abdel Nasser, le seul vrai leader musulman arabe que nous avons eu depuis Salah-al-Din. Nasser était sur ses traces quand il a exigé le canal de Suez pour son peuple, tout comme j’ai réclamé la Libye pour mon peuple. J’ai essayé de l’imiter pour garder mon peuple libre de la domination coloniale, des voleurs qui nous détroussent.

Maintenant, je suis attaqué par la plus grande force de l’histoire militaire. Obama, mon petit-fils africain, veut me tuer, priver notre pays de liberté, nous priver de la gratuité de nos biens : logements, médecine, éducation, nourriture, et remplacer tout ça par la grivèlerie à la zunienne appelée « capitalisme. » Or, nous tous, dans le tiers monde, savons ce que cela veut dire. Cela signifie que les multinationales dirigeront le pays, dirigeront le monde, et le peuple souffrira. Voilà pourquoi il n’y a pas d’autre solution pour moi, je dois prendre mes dispositions. Et si Allah le veut, je mourrai en suivant Sa Voie, la voie qui a rendu notre pays riche en terres arables, avec de quoi manger et la santé, et nous a même permis d’aider nos frères et sœurs africains et arabes en les faisant travailler ici avec nous, dans le Jamahiriya libyen.

Je ne désire pas mourir, mais si cela devait advenir, pour sauver cette terre, mon peuple, tous ces milliers de gens qui sont tous mes enfants, alors qu’il en soit ainsi.

Que ce testament soit ma voix dans le monde. J’ai tenu tête à l’agression des croisés de l’OTAN, résisté à la cruauté, contrecarré la trahison ; je me suis élevé contre l’Occident et ses ambitions colonialistes, et, avec mes frères africains, mes vrais frères arabes et musulmans, je suis dressé comme un phare de lumière. Quand d’autres construisaient des châteaux, je vivais dans une maison modeste et dans une tente. Je n’ai jamais oublié ma jeunesse à Syrte, je n’ai pas stupidement dépensé notre trésor national, et comme Salah-al-Din, notre grand leader musulman qui sauva Jérusalem pour l’Islam, je n’ai guère pris pour moi-même… En Occident, sachant pourtant la vérité, certains me qualifient de «fou» de «bizarre», ils continuent de mentir, ils savent que notre pays est indépendant et libre, et non pas sous emprise coloniale, que ma vision, ma conduite, est et a été sincère et pour mon peuple, et que je me battrai jusqu’à mon dernier souffle pour garder notre liberté.

Puisse Allah Tout-Puissant nous aider à rester fidèles et libres.

Colonel Kadhafi Mouammar, Guide de la Révolution, 5 avril 2011

Original : mathaba.net/news/?x=626396

Traduction copyleft de Pétrus Lombard

Traduit de l’arabe en anglais par le professeur Sam Hamod.

Note du traducteur : Les dirigeants occidentaux savent la valeur humaine de Kadhafi, et le danger d’éveil de conscience du public qu’elle représente. Voilà pourquoi elle est soigneusement cachée et pourquoi tous les grands médias diabolisent Kadhafi. On peut constater en creusant un peu que pratiquement tout ce dont la Libye a été accusée a été soigneusement tramé en Occident ou en Israël. Comme d’habitude, il s’agissait de coups montés. Comme l’ont démontré les pièces à conviction pipées dans les procès, il est très improbable que les attentats contre des avions de ligne étaient des complots libyens.