Washington celebrates Qaddafi’s death

Muammar el-Qaddafi was a tyrant despised by the mass of Libyans–but the U.S. helped to overthrow him for very different reasons, write Alan Maass and Lance Selfa.

Socialist Worker, October 24, 2011

Video footage posted on the Internet showed an injured Qaddafi (left) in the custody of rebelsVideo footage posted on the Internet showed an injured Qaddafi (left) in the custody of rebels

LIBYA’S FORMER dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi was killed last week as rebels, backed by NATO military forces, conquered the final city holding out against them. The U.S.-backed Transitional National Council (TNC) declared on Sunday that Libya was now “liberated”–but the manner of Qaddafi’s downfall raises questions about that claim.

Most Libyans celebrated the death of the man who ruled their country with an iron fist for more than four decades. Hatred of the Qaddafi regime spurred a popular rebellion last February. This mass mobilization against tyranny was another chapter in the Arab Spring that has spread from Northern Africa across the Middle East.

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One Response to “Washington celebrates Qaddafi’s death”

  1. Rupen Savoulian Says:

    The gruesome killing of Qadhafi is emblematic of the savagery with which NATO and its Libyan proxies on the ground have behaved. The pogroms against sub-Saharan Africans in the post-Qadhafi Libya are bad enough, but to celebrate the assassination of a clearly wounded and dazed Qadhafi highlights the desensitization of the Western populations to imperialist violence. As long as the violence is directed against official enemies and demons (Castro, Qadhafi, Hussein etc) then we gloat over the corpses.

    Qadhafi’s murder is convenient – all the secrets of his regime’s rendition and torture of suspects, the prisons, the wheeling and dealing with oil corporations, the cozying up with Condoleeza Rice, Sarkozy, Blair – all these secrets have been taken to the grave. Starting off the new regime with massacres and war crimes is hardly a new beginning. If evidence of Qadhafi’s crimes was so compelling, why not bring him to an open court of law and charge him? Sirte was completely destroyed by the constant NATO aerial bombardment, backed up by the systematic violence of the NATO-supported contras….I mean rebels. The Qadhafi regime’s cooperation with the imperial powers (especially after 2001) is to be condemned. But the Qadhafi regime’s Arab and resource nationalism of 1969 till the late 1980s and early 1990s is the reason that the imperial powers never forgave him. They had to kill off the remaining Nasserist-inspired Arab leader. It is the threat of democratisation in the Arab spring that NATO is worried about, leading the imperialist states to hijack the Arab uprising in Libya for their own economic and strategic purposes.


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