Last night ITV aired a "documentary" called 'Exposure', covering Gadafi and Libya's support for the IRA during the 70s and 80s.
As part of that "documentary" the showed a clip they claimed was actual footaage of the IRA shooting down a British Army Lynx helicopter. This was labelled on screen as "IRA film 1988" (28 mins - http://www.itv.com/itvplayer/video/?Filter=276162 UK only, sorry).
I live within half a mile of a traveller site. I live within 3/4 of a mile of four of the most deprived and notorious housing estates in Scotland, indeed western Europe. I have never heard of or witnessed any trouble with the travellers. The same cant be said for some of the "settled" occupants of the housing estates, rife with poverty, unemployment and the associated malaise of drug abuse, anti-social crime and violence.
Of course, even there it is just a minority. One in a hundred adds up to a problem when it is from schemes of several thousand. One in a hundred aint too many on a traveller site of a few dozen families.
All find themselves scape-goated to one degree or another. But the residents of a travellers site or of a dumping ground housing estate aren't the reason the global economy is down the toilet. They aren't the reason food prices are rising, they arent the reason jobs are being lost and they arent the reason your electricity bill has jumped another 20%.
So why are the tabloids today full of the same type of horror stories about travellers, muslims, disabled "scroungers" and "greedy" immigrants that were common during the last global economic collapse in the 1930s? Why are governments across Europe using that media frenzy to push populist headline grabbing polices about clearing out travellers and banning veils, whilst our economies go down the toilet and those responsible make off with billions of our money?
And what is it about Europeans that makes us so happy to swallow it all again?
Incidentally, the cost of Cameron's ongoing vanity war in Libya, £1.75 Billion.
The cost to the UK taxpayer bail out the British banks that fraudulently gambled the western economy into collapse, £1.162 Trillion.
Video journalist Julie Platner has covered everything from the earthquake in Haiti to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But nothing prepared her for the year she spent chronicling the life of an American neo-Nazi and his family.
Interesting segment at 2:20 with footage of an Anti-Racist Action attack on the NSM meeting. ARA certainly seem to come off the winners. But really, are Hollywood Nazis like the NSM worth bothering with? Im open to debate on this one, I know the NSM ( particularly the now dead by his own son, Jeff Hall, the focus of this report) are deeply involved in the armed "border patrols" in Arizona, basically hunting Mexicans, but they are small fish compared to the mainstream ultra-right around the Tea Party and the like.
Does ARA have a strategy beyond these adventures, as noble and fun as they are? I remember in Anti-Fascist Action this was a source of debate and friction between AFA in the UK and ARA in the US. And to be honest I now accept some of ARA's criticisms of AFA as correct.
AFA believed that black, asian, immigrant communities did not need AFA to tell them that fascism was a bad thing, and that they were more than capable of dealing with it themselves. AFA argued that we, as white working-class anti-fascists should work to undercut the far-right in the white working-class communities that they recruited from and to do that we needed a program that would reach those communities beyond just beating up BNP members.
ARA took what could be considered a more "3rd worldist" line, that the job of white anti-fascists was to supplement and support the fight of immigrant and black communities against racism and fascism. Many of them argued that the US white working class was lost. I dont know if this is an accurate reflection of their position today (which was always pretty amorphous at the best of times, split as it was between various anarchist and autonomist factions), but it is one I would tend to agree with.
The failure of AFA, and in particular Red Action, via the Independent Working-Class Association (IWCA), to make any serious gains in the white working class, despite over a decade of hard, and at times dangerous work, and with what small gains that were made were only by essentially depoliticising and bending the stick so far towards accommodating to the backward political culture of the English working-class, demonstrates clearly that the English working-class is not a potentially revolutionary class, but in fact a bulwark of white-supremacy and loyalism.
The IWCA have essentially become the *Stickies of the British Left. And I take no happiness in coming to that conclusion. (Another example could be the Socialist Party (formerly Militant) who, who have built what little support they have amongst white workers, by being the most reactionary empire loyalist section of the "far-left")
AFA no longer exists. The EDL march in their thousands undeterred by the liberal anti-fascism of the ANL/UAF. If "squaddism" is not the answer to the EDL, then clearly neither is the IWCA.
Which begs the question, is there an answer than includes the English, white working class. Sadly I have to conclude, no, there isnt.
Reading the IWCA's statements since 2009, and in particular their latest one on the English riots of this year ("The Lumpen Rebellion" - http://www.iwca.info/?p=10184), a statement that dripped with racist fear-mongering that would not be out of place in the Daily Mail, it is hard not to conclude that they have sadly gone the same way as the Sticks.
"The English proletariat is becoming more and more bourgeois, so that this most bourgeois of all nations is apparently aiming at the possession of a bourgeois aristocracy, and a bourgeois proletariat as well as a bourgeoisie." - Engels to Marx 1858
"You ask me what the English workers think about colonial policy? Well, exactly the same as they think about politics in general. There is no workers’ party here, there are only Conservatives and Liberal Radicals, and the workers merrily share the feast of England’s monopoly of the colonies and the world market." - Engels to Kautsky, 1882.
Has anything really changed? These words ring as true today as they did 150 years ago.
* The Stickies are the Workers Party of Ireland/ Official IRA. They beleived that the loyalist working-class of the occupied 6-counties could be won over to a socialist position. And in following this idea the Stickies eventually found themselves dragged to the right to appease that fascist section of society, abandoning republicanism and turning their guns upon the movement they had once led.
According to already leaked plans, sooner or later there may be troops from Persian Gulf monarchies and friendly allies such as Jordan and especially NATO member Turkey, also very keen to bag large commercial contracts. Hardly any African nations will be part of it – Libya now having being “relocated” to Arabia.
The Transitional National Council (TNC) will go for it – or forced to go for it - if, or when, Libya spirals into chaos. Still it will be an extremely hard sell – as the wildly disparate factions of “NATO rebels” are frantically consolidating their fiefdoms, and getting ready to turn on each other.
There’s no evidence so far the TNC – apart from genuflecting in the altar of NATO member nations – has any clue about managing a complex political landscape inside Libya.
Guns and no roses
Everyone in Libya is now virtually armed to its teeth. The economy is paralyzed. A nasty catfight over who will control Libya’s unfrozen billions of dollars is already on.
The Obeidi tribe is furious with the TNC as there’s been no investigation over who killed rebel army commander Abdul Fattah Younis on July 29. The tribals have already threatened to exact justice with their own hands.
Chief suspect in the killing is the Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah brigade – a hardcore Islamic fundamentalist militia that has rejected NATO intervention and refused to fight under the TNC, branding both TNC and NATO as “infidels”.
Then there’s the drenched-in-oil question; When will the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)-al-Qaeda nebula organize their own putsch to take out the TNC?
All over Tripoli, there are graphic echoes of militia hell in Iraq. Former US Central Intelligence Agency asset and former “war on terror” detainee, General Abdelhakim Belhaj – issued from the Derna circle, the ground zero of Islamic fundamentalism in Libya – is the leader of the brand new Tripoli Military Council.
Accusations have already been hurled by other militias that he did not fight for the “liberation” of Tripoli so he must go – whether or not the TNC says so. This essentially means that the LIFG-al-Qaeda nebula sooner or later may be fighting an arm of the upcoming guerrilla war – against the TNC, other militias, or both.
In Tripoli, rebels from Zintan, in the western mountains, control the airport. The central bank, Tripoli’s port and the Prime Minister’s office are being controlled by rebels from Misrata. Berbers from the mountain town of Yafran control Tripoli’s central square, now spray-painted “Yafran Revolutionaries”. All these territories are clearly marked as a warning.
As the TNC, as a political unit, already behaves like a lame duck; and as the militias will simply not vanish – it’s not hard to picture Libya also as a new Lebanon; the war in Lebanon began when each neighborhood in Beirut was carved up between Sunnis, Shi’ites, Christian Maronites, Nasserites and Druse.
The Lebanonization of Libya, on top of it, includes the deadly Islamic temptation – which is spreading like a virus all across the Arab Spring.
At least 600 Salafis who fought in the Sunni Iraqi resistance against the US were liberated from Abu Salim prison by the rebels. It’s easy to picture them profiting from the widespread looting of kalashnikovs and shoulder-launched Soviet Sam-7 anti-aircraft missiles to bolster their own hardcore Islamist militia – following their own agenda, and their own guerrilla war.
Welcome to our racist ‘democracy’
The African Union (AU) will not recognize the TNC; in fact, it charges the NATO rebels of indiscriminate killing of black Africans, all bundled up as “mercenaries”.
According to the AU’s Jean Ping, ” … the TNC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries … [They seem to think] all blacks are mercenaries. If you do that it means one-third of the population of Libya which is black is also mercenaries.”
The small port of Sayad, 25 kilometers west of Tripoli, has become a refugee camp for black Africans terrified of “free Libya”. Doctors Without Borders found out about the camp on August 27. Refugees say that since February they started to be expelled by the owners of the businesses they were working in, accused of being mercenaries – and they have been harassed ever since.
According to rebel mythology, the Muammar Gaddafi regime was essentially protected by murtazaka (“mercenaries”). The reality is that Gaddafi did employ a contingent of black African fighters – from Chad, Sudan and Tuaregs from Niger and Mali. The majority of black Sub-Saharan Africans in Libya are migrant workers holding legal jobs.
To see where this thing is going, one has to look at the desert. The immense southern Libyan desert was not conquered by NATO. The TNC has no access to virtually all of Libya’s water and a lot of oil.
Gaddafi has a chance of “working the desert”, of negotiating with a number of tribes, to buy or consolidate their allegiance and organize a sustained guerrilla war.
Algeria is involved in a vicious fight against al-Qaeda in the Maghreb. Algeria’s vast, porous, 1,000 kilometer-long border with Libya remains open. Gaddafi can easily base his guerrillas in the southern desert with a safe haven in Algeria – or even in Niger. The TNC is already terrified of this possibility.
NATO’s “humanitarian” operation has unleashed at least 30,000 bombs over Libya over these past few months. It’s safe to say that many thousands of Libyans have been killed by the bombing. The bombing never stops; soon NATO may be targeting some of those – civilians or not – it was in theory “protecting” until a few days ago.
A defeated Big G can reveal himself to be even more dangerous than a Big G in power. The real war starts now. It will be infinitely more dramatic – and tragic. Because now it will be a Darwinian, northern African, war of all against all.
By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire Published Sep 18, 2011 10:32 PM Resistance by the loyalist forces in Libya has escalated with major clashes between supporters of the Gadhafi government and the U.S.-NATO financed rebel National Transitional Council. For over two weeks the Western-backed leadership along with the imperialists have been pressuring the people of Bani Walid to surrender and allow the seizure of their city of 100,000 people in the western region of this oil-producing North African state.
After failing to convince the city’s leadership to give in to the neocolonial aims of the NTC and their backers, several attempts by the rebels and NATO to attack Bani Walid and its environs have been repelled by the armed organization of the people. In these recent skirmishes, it was revealed that the Libyan military still maintains the capability to engage in both offensive and defensive operations.
Prior to the attempt to enter Bani Walid, the armed forces of Libya shelled with grad rockets the positions of the NTC rebels outside the city. When rebel units approached the northern entrance of the town, they were hit by additional mortar rounds and sniper fire.
After the withdrawal from the areas approaching Bani Walid, the NTC rebels set out to reinforce their units in the approach to Sirte, the western coastal city that is a strong area of support to President Gadhafi. The effort to approach Sirte was also met with stiff resistance by the loyalist forces, prompting the rebels to retreat 125 kilometers from the city.
The prevention of the rebels from entering these areas exposes the falsehood that the Libyan government does not have continuing support inside the country. Prior to the invasion of Tripoli, demonstrations of millions of people came out in support of the government and in opposition to the U.S.-NATO war.
NATO escalated its bombing operations over both Bani Walid and Sirte in the days leading up to the expiration of the deadline given to the people to surrender. There were reports that NATO advised the rebels to withdraw pending additional air strikes against the loyalists in these cities still under government control.
Additional offensive operations by the loyalists against the U.S.-NATO war in the country included the Sept. 12 bold attack on the oil port at Ras Lanuf, a major focal point of the war over the last seven months. It was reported that 17 NTC rebels were killed in the attack that came after the workers set fire to sections of the refinery as an act of sabotage against the imperialist plan to steal vast amounts of oil from the state that prior to the war produced 1.5 million barrels per day of high grade crude.
On the same day, there were attacks against rebel NTC forces at the airport outside Tripoli where explosions were heard in the distance. During this same time period there was an escalation in sniper fire against NTC elements throughout Tripoli.
Even the New York Times admitted that “Abdulrahman Busin, a spokesman for the council’s military operations, said the attack on Ras Lanuf was apparently a response to news that the council had taken steps to restart oil production, which had been one of the country’s major contributors of income before the conflict. He said that forces allied with the council were still fighting loyalists to bring an industrial area in Ras Lanuf back under control.” (Sept. 12)
U.S. admits greater role amid NATO continuation of war
As the war in Libya escalated following the beginning of the rebel attacks on Feb. 17 in Benghazi and other areas in the east of the country, it has been revealed that the U.S. and the NATO countries have organized, financed and coordinated the actions and movements of the rebel NTC. The White House dispatched Central Intelligence Agency operatives to Libya to provide assistance to the counterrevolution.
It was reported during this same period earlier on in the war that British MI-6 agents and Special Forces were involved in the fighting as well as Special Forces units from the U.S.-backed military in neighboring Egypt as well as Qatar in the Gulf. This direct ground intervention by the imperialist states and their allies illustrated the degree of importance that the ruling classes in these various Western countries placed on the efforts to seize control of Libya, its waterways, national treasury and natural resources.
Moreover, further claims gave additional proof of the deployment on the ground of U.S. military units. Despite consistent reports that U.S. forces had been spotted in the theater of war, the Pentagon has repeatedly denied these allegations.
However: “The Defense Department says it has four troops in Libya — only the second time since the U.S. became involved there that it has acknowledged having any military personnel on the ground. The first time was in March when Marines rescued an Air Force pilot who had ejected over eastern Libya.” (Associated Press, Sept. 12)
Although Navy Capt. John Kirby, a spokesperson for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicated that the military personnel were only in Libya to investigate the possibility of the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, in all likelihood this is part of a much broader strategy for greater Pentagon deployment inside the country. Why should the Libyan people or the international community accept these denials by Washington when the Business Insider noted, “[This] admission contradicts the Obama administration’s repeated assertions at the outset of the Libyan military intervention that no U.S. forces would be deployed to the North African nation”? (Sept. 12)
This same publication later commented, “American officials have previously acknowledged the presence of some CIA agents on the ground in Libya who were reportedly helping coordinate NATO air strikes.” The Pentagon and the CIA also supplied the predator drones which were utilized to identify targets and to hit Libyan positions on the ground.
At the same time, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has stressed that the military alliance will continue its operations in Libya for the foreseeable future. During the course of the war against Libya, there have been over 20,000 sorties and approximately 8,000 bombings.
In response to the increased resistance against the U.S.-NATO war policy in Libya, Rasmussen said: “We have seen also during this weekend that remnants of Gadhafi’s regime still constitute a threat to the civilian population. We stand ready to continue our operations as long as necessary.” (Xinhua, Sept. 12) The NATO countries and their allies have hosted several conferences aimed at expropriating the wealth of Libya, with over $120 billion in foreign assets having been frozen over the last several months.
Divisions among rebels and further revelations of atrocities
Already among the rebel forces there are deep divisions that may very well provide a false rationale for a large-scale military intervention by the imperialist states. There were reports that 12 rebels were killed by infighting among disparate units in two towns on the eastern edge of the Nafusa Mountains. (Tripoli Post, Sept. 9)
Other reports indicate fissures between the NTC rebel fighting units and the politicians that are invited to the conferences in Western capitals, where they are hailed as the new leadership of the country. Even among the NTC spokespersons, there are deep differences based on political outlook and distrust between the Islamists, monarchists, government defectors and the longtime CIA-trained groups that have opposed the Gadhafi government since the 1980s.
In addition, there are daily reports of atrocities being committed by the rebels against Black Libyans and Africans from other countries on the continent. Hundreds of Nigerians and Ghanaians are locked up in prisons inside Libya along with dark-skinned nationals who are perceived by the reactionaries and their NATO supporters as loyalists.
Some 20 Nigerian nationals were alleged to have been found executed outside the Gadhafi compound in Tripoli that was overrun by the NTC forces during the first week of the invasion of the capital. These acts of racism and genocide have played a significant part in preventing the African Union from recognizing the NTC as the legitimate government of Libya despite tremendous economic and political pressure from the imperialist states.
Perhaps one of the most shocking stories to come out of Libya was revealed by former U.S. Rep. Walter Fauntroy, a former civil rights activist and aide to the martyred Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fauntroy, who travelled to Libya during earlier days of the war seeking to mediate a peace agreement between the U.S.-NATO forces and the Gadhafi government, said that he witnessed the beheading of people by Special Forces units from the NATO countries. (mathaba.net, Sept. 9)
Even moderate states in Africa such as Kenya are demanding the withholding of recognition of the NTC by the international community. Kenya’s Embassy was specifically targeted during the invasion of Tripoli and the foreign ministry has stressed that until there is a clear-cut plan for a transition to a representative government in Libya, the NTC should not be given diplomatic standing.
Meanwhile on Sept. 12, amid the escalation of resistance against the U.S.-NATO war against his country, leader Moammar Gadhafi issued a statement over Arrai TV based in Syria. Gadhafi called upon the Libyan people to resist the imposition of NTC rule over Libya and reiterated that the rebels were agents of imperialism.
Oppose war against Libya
It is essential that the anti-war and peace movements inside the U.S. and the other NATO countries openly oppose the imperialist plot to destroy and seize Libya. There is no such thing as a good war of neocolonization and occupation.
The lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq prove clearly that the conditions for the majority of people living under a U.S. occupation will inevitably worsen. The deterioration of the social conditions of people living under imperialist rule, either direct or indirect, will lead to greater military intervention and consequent mass deaths and destruction.
Anti-war forces must demand imperialist hands off the national wealth of the Libyan people. The war against Libya is the first full operational mission of the U.S. Africa Command (Africom), which was established by the Pentagon in 2008 to increase military intervention on the continent. With the reliance of the U.S. ruling class on the oil exports and mineral resources of the African continent, there will be greater calls from the bourgeoisie to engage in efforts aimed at further regime change following the same pattern set in Ivory Coast by France and in Libya by a collective of imperialist states led by the U.S.
Activists concerned with global peace and development should demand the dismantling of Africom and the withdrawal of all U.S. military involvement on the African continent. Africa’s affairs must be the exclusive purview of the African people, bear the brunt of imperialist intervention and occupation.
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