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Today We Stand With Libya - Commemoration
Monday December 19, 2011 22:46 by Nico
“If Gaddafi resists and does not yield, he will enter history as one of the greatest figures of the Arab Nation” - Fidel Castro
Today was a very honourable day (18-12-11) when here in Dublin in the garden of Remembrance, we commemorated a great revolutionary martyr. An old friend and ally of Ireland and who had been a leading figure in Libya for the past 42 years. A country in where he brought prosperity and stability to the region and also where he opposed with a fiery passion, the efforts made by those who engaged in and tried to legitimise the Imperialist backed coup in Libya led by NATO sponsored mercenaries.
And for this he paid the ultimate sacrifice, as he laid down his own life for his fellow countrymen, for Africa and for Libya. And true to Castro's words, he entered history as one of the greatest figures of the Arab Nation.
Today we also commemorated the deaths of the thousands of innocent civilians killed by NATO and its proxy Libyan Forces during the imperial plunder and predatory war against Libya.
And let us not forget too, the other countries who have fallen victim to imperialism's foul genocidal acts and who continue to suffer at the hands of their murderous regimes. In places such as Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq. And while the US pulls its troops out let us remember too the thousands of innocents who died in Iraq in what is now a destroyed and divided country just as Libya is today. And let us also remember all of those who have endured and continue to endure, torture and cruelty from the American, British and French imperialist armed forces.
Today we paid homage to a man who came to the aid, when no one else would, to the Irish people in a time when Ireland needed an ally in the long drawn-out fight against British oppression. But alas, today we bid our final farewell to an old comrade who was martyred by the hands of NTC mercenaries in Libya. Gaddafi was cut down by these stooges who were controlled by the very same imperialist forces that have wreaked havoc and death among the Irish people for generations and who still, to this day, remain in occupation of six counties in Ireland.
Under Gaddafi, Libya was one of the most modern, prosperous, self sufficient countries in all of Africa that had zero national debt. But now the IMF, like a territorial shark lusting for blood, has entrapped Libya within its mighty jaws while its predatory insatiable blood-lust kicks in and razor sharp teeth prepare to sink into its prey and gorge upon the misery of the Libyan people. Even though Libya has billions of its assets frozen, the IMF will ensure that it will borrow money so that it can enforce its dictatorial rule over the country.
We have watched in horror, the spectacle that is imperialism, as it sought to fulfill its desire for maximum profit and domination and how it must first, destroy in order to build. We have seen with our very own eyes how the imperial plunderers deny people to the means of life by systemically bombing infrastructures such as water utilities, electrical grids, hospitals, TV and radio stations. People's homes are not spared from these sporadic aerial bombardments as entire cities are flattened while the slayed and twisted bodies from the victims of Western 'democracy' lay strewn across endless piles of rubble for as far as the eye can see.
Gaddafi had greatly enhanced the lives of the majority of Libyan people. Nowhere in Africa was there a higher standard of living than in Libya. The longevity of life there was over 70 years of age, people had access to free health care and free education. Newly weds were giving €50.000 as they embarked on a new life together and every Libyan had €500 put into their bank account every year from the profits of oil.
But now, the Libyan people will find themselves hard pressed under the dictatorship of the new NTC government the Islamic fundamentalists and IMF, who will ensure that it will be very difficult to ever receive such a high standard of living in Libya ever again.
There is also a misconception among those who are in the belief that the popular democratic movements in Egypt and Tunisia against the autocratic regimes there, were in some way the equivalence as the NATO backed revolt in Libya. This is nothing short of a farcical assessment and one that only serves to strengthen the position of imperialism's conquest against smaller nations.
The only purpose for NATO's campaign in Libya was to tighten imperialism's grip on Africa and the middle East.
Never the less, the mainstream media was able to portray barefaced lies as a popular 'uprising' as they tried to justify the illegal Imperialist backed coup in Libya led by NATO sponsored mercenaries.
It is also a crying shame that so many people, especially those within republican circles, have fallen into the web of deceit spun by the main stream media who have shoved down our throats and hurled out among the masses in what we accepted as the purest gospel in all it's glory. And we're led to believe the insidious lies and ugly propaganda purported to be a truthfulness that we all must digest even though its dishonesty and deception was plain for all to see. Indeed, it is a worrying time when the prevailing westerly media winds change course, so much so, that all untruthfulness and falsehoods are uncovered and hardly anybody bats an eyelid.
Before the ceremony commenced people indulged in hot wine and mince-pies and chatted among themselves in the freezing cold weather while reflecting back to the siege of Libya.
Many had also wore green to remember the people and the resistance who fought and died fighting against NATO's genocidal invasion.
We also had an ancient Japanese ritual were people wrote their own small personal messages that were later spiritually burned.
As the main orations had finished the opening speaker Donnchadh Mac an Ghoill recited a beautiful poem in Irish “An Róisín Dubh” that was followed by the same poem only this time played on the Tin Whistle by myself.
And as the ceremony came to an end, a wreath and a bouquet of lilies were laid in honour of all of those who died in NATO's illegal imperialist war against the Libyan people.
Donnchadh Mac an Ghoill
"A chairde dílis, a chairde uaisle, a chairde nach ndéanann dearmad ar a gcairde. Táimid bailithe le chéile ar an bhfód ro-uasal seo, le cuimhne a dhéanamh ar chairde nach bhfuil inár measc níos mó.
Déanaimid cuimhne ar na mílte, is na céadta milte, is na milliúin Éireannaigh a bhfuil bás de bharr saint cine-bhánach na hImpireachta Sasanacha. Déanaimid cuimhne ar na mílte, is na milliúin, is na ceadta milliúin, a fuair bás ar fud na cruinne, agus atá ag fáil báis go fóil, de bharr impriúlachais.
Tugaimid ar n-ómós, ach go háirithe, do na céadta mílte fir agus mná, in Éirinn, agus i Libya, agus ar fud na cruinne, a sheas sa bhearna baol, le hairm ina láimh, in aghaidh olc an impriúileachais.
Luamaid anim amháin i measc an slua oirdhearc sin. Ní toisc go raimh a íobairt níos mó, ach toisc go dtarlíonn sé, i nach glúin don straichailt seo ar son na daonachta, go dtuilleann duine amháin naimhdeas and namhaid ós cionn gach duine eile – de barr maitheas a gcuid eachtaí. Sa ghúin s’againne, b’é an duine sin ná An Coirnéal Muammar Gaddafi. "
Dear friends, friends who do not forget their friends. We are gathered together on this sacred sod, to remember friends who are with us no longer.
We remember the thousands, and the hundreds of thousands, and the millions of Irish people who have suffered death because of the genocidal greed of the British empire. We remember the thousands, and the millions, and the hundreds of millions, all over the world, who have died, and continue to die, because of imperialism.
We give our particular respect to those thousands and hundreds of thousands of men and women, in Ireland, and Libya, and around the world, who have stood in the gap of danger, with arms in their hands, against the evil of imperialism.
Today, we mention one name only among that noble host. Not because his sacrifice was greater, but, because it happens, in every generation of this struggle for humanity, that one person earns the particular hatred of the enemy – because of the goodness of his deeds. In our generation, that man was Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
I could keep you here for the rest of the day listing the great and noble achievements of Colonel Gaddafi. It would be a great pleasure to discuss at leisure the way Colonel Gaddafi took back the natural resources of Libya from alien powers and their comprador lackies, and set those resources to work for the good of the people of Libya. I could recount how he housed every single Libyan before he housed his own parents. His father died in a tent before he could be housed. I could recount how Colonel Gaddafi made sure the resources of Libya were used to provide free health care, free education, jobs for life, secure pensions, subsidized housing, subsidized transport, and the highest living standards in Africa. Every family got a social salary from the oil wealth. And you note that Colonel Gaddafi did not insult the Libyan people by pretending that they were getting dole or social security as some kind of charity. He said they were getting their own money – as a salary.
I could discuss at length the Great Man Made River, that supplies Libyans with as much fresh water as the Nile flowing for 200 years. The "wise" people of the world condemned him as a madman when he suggested doing such a thing. He has literally turned the desert into green fields. His plan was to supply water to Niger, Mali, Chad, and other African countries, thus revolutionizing their agriculture, and saving millions of lives. Nato went out of its way to bomb this water supply. And now two French water companies want to privatize it, and sell the water to the highest bidder. Once more, the Wretched of the Earth, the ordinary people of Africa, can simply die. Profit is king.
I could mention the fact that Gaddafi had stockpiled 140 tons of gold in Tripoli, to be the basis of the African Central Bank. He planned to launch the Gold Dinar this September. This would have freed Africa from the claws of the IMF and World Bank, and saved millions of lives. This will not now happen. Indeed, the Scramble for Africa, the full re-conquest of Africa is underway.
Some Irish Times reader will object that Libya has oil, so it was easy to do all this. Really? The USA has far more oil, and its national debt is 16 trillion dollars – that's a 16 followed by 12 zeros. Libya had zero national debt. 50 million people are living on or below the poverty line in the USA. Well, it seems, Gaddafi does have his followers in the US. Thousands of Americans are following Gaddafi’s lifestyle – living in tents – though not from choice. In Seattle the authorities are now licensing tent cities. In winter, its be known to drop to -18 C there.
Some media brainwashed sheep is bound to object: But, Libyans didn’t get to elect their leaders every four years like we do. Does anybody here really believe that the likes of Obama or Cameron or Kenny actually rule anything? They can’t even rule themselves. They’re puppets on a string. Puppets of whom? Of the landowers and their bankers. Not the right wing, not the left wing, these guys have no wing – they just have money, and greed for more and more money. Ask yourself – what’s Nama all about. Its about keeping up the price of land – when it should now be literally “cheap as dirt.” And the landowners and their bankers should be broke and off our backs.
Of course, all this ignores the fact that Libya had the most advanced system of Direct Democracy of any state in the world. Millions of people took part in the decisions of the nation. Some claim that Gaddafi ignored these democratic institutions. Nothing could be further from the truth. He did listen. The move towards liberalization of the economy came from the People’s Congresses. Gaddafi backed down on his plans to create a more consistent Socialist economy – because the majority had spoken. Compare that with Ireland, or Britain, or the US. Do we citizens have any forum in which we can voice our rejection of the bailouts of corrupt and criminal banksters? It is no accident that the first building Nato bombed in any Libyan town was the Hall of the People’s Congress. In the new Nato Libya, the people will write some numbers on a page every four years – and then stay quiet and docile – just as we must do in the “democratic” West.
We remember with gratitude the help and support that the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya gave to the People of Ireland, when we were being beaten and murdered off our own streets, and while the so-called Irish government either stood idly by, or actively collaborated with the enemy. This is a debt of honour that the Irish people can never forget – despite the shameful wriggling and self-serving denials of certain elements.
Today, we can only touch on these great matters, and move on. We stand here before one of the great works of art of the Irish nation. It depicts the ancient legend of The Children of Lir – Clann Lir, as Gaeilge. It is the story of human beings turned into dumb animals (though beautiful swans) by an alien curse. Behind us here, is represented the moment when the Children of Lir regain their human form, and with it their power of speech and reason. It is also, for them, the moment of death.
And so this story was chosen to represent the struggle against the alien curse of imperialism, which seeks to turns us into fearful herd animals, without the power of reasoned speech. It is no longer done by the power of magic, but by the almost irresistible power and deluge of media brainwashing and the bribery of cheap consumer goods – fresh from the slave labour sweat shops of the Third World. The 1916 Rising in Dublin was just such a moment of revelation. The revelation of the human spirit through the tyranny of lies, imperialist greed and the slavish acceptance of evil. The price the leaders of 1916 paid was death. But, the moment of human revelation has not died. It shines in eternal glory for all future generations. For a moment, on the streets of Dublin, men and women shed off the skin of dumb , fearful, animals, and shone forth as human beings. Such a moment sends shock waves through the whole universe. Such a moment shines as an eternal star.
And so it is with the life and death of Muammar Gaddafi. This man, born in a tent, mostly self educated, saw the world as it is. He saw “reality,” as the “wise” men have made it - and he said NO. In his heart, he said onto himself: It is not my destiny, it is not the destiny of my people, nor of the people of the world, to live as dumb beasts of burden – for the enrichment of a corrupt few.
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi lived life as a human being. Such a crime could not go unpunished by the Masters of Men. They gathered the most murderous array of killing power ever directed against a nation. They clogged up the avenues of information with their lies and slanders – treating the peoples of the world as mindless and gullible herd animals, not deserving of truth. They funded and armed racist lynch mobs, who hung and butchered Black people on the streets. And still, the People of Libya would not be cowered. They defied Nato white phosphorous and depleted uranium attacks, and came out onto the streets of Tripoli in the most remarkable display of human courage seen since the day when a similar multitude gathered to hear the words of Martin Luther King, as he defied and condemned the very same enemy. That enemy who denies the goodness and decency of the human race.
And what was Nato’s answer to that million Libyans who filled Green Square? More and more bombs. They bombed and they bombed and they bombed, day and night, for eight months, without mercy or descrimination. Sirte was leveled, street by street, and house by house, in a crime not seen since the Nazi leveled Stalingrad. And, to the last, Colonel Gaddafi and that brave few by his side would not be broken or bowed.
Colonel Gaddafi was an African. The People of Africa were his great love. Accross Libya, the Nato rats had hunted down Black people. In their racist desire to deny that they themselves are of Africa, these brutal mobs burned and looted the homes or anyone with a dark complexion, and hung them up in the market square – the victims of crazed lynch mobs. There could have been no death more appropriate to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, than to share in the very same fate as his beloved Africans. In the videos the vile media took pleasure in flaunting before the world, we see that beside Colonel Gaddafi are several Black men, tied up to trucks, beaten and bloodied, and awaiting the “justice” of the lynch mob. How ironic that it was the first Black president of the United States that unleashed this horror.
The life and death of Muammar Gaddafi shines forever as an eternal star, in the array of human resistance and hope. There is a saying in Irish – ní bheith a leithéad ann arís – his like will not be seen again. Well I hope the like of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi will be seen again. In their hundreds, and then thousands, and millions, and billions. On that day, the Wretched of the Earth will rise as a mighty force, will cast off the chains of deception, collusion and capitulation. On that day, the People of the Earth will become human beings – beings of reason – speaking beings. On that day the weapons of the corporate media, and the white phosphorous, and the depleted uranium, and the drones and the stealth bombers will become useless. Because we will no longer be afraid.
The Nato’s war on Libya is illegal
The use of force is the most controversial area of international law and it is an exceptional right under the Charter of the United Nations. The UN Charter rests on two pivotal points in terms of international peace and security, these points are the use of force and protection of sovereignty. Under article 2-4, sovereignty is protected. Member states are banned from using “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence” of other nations (1). According to Art 2-7, the UN is not authorized to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of a state. (2) Under article 51 the UN Charter allows for the use of force in self-defence, collective self-defence, and authorises the use of force to maintain and restore international peace and security.
The Security Council (SC), under Article 39 of the charter of the UN, is granted discretionary powers to determine what constitutes “a threat to the peace or breach of the peace and act of aggression”. (3) The formulation of Article 39 is broad and the distinction between the use of force by the Security Council under Chapter VII to protect civilians and the use of force to prevent a threat to international peace and security is blurred.
How does the SC justify the link between the use of force to protect civilians and the use of force to maintain international peace and security? When does the SC conclude that such internal humanitarian crisis constitutes a threat to international peace and security? What sort of humanitarian crisis would unify SC to act under Chapter VII to protect civilians? Why has the SC no response to the crackdown on protesters in Bahrain and Yemen? The criteria of the justifications of use of force under chapter VII Art 39 are unclear and selective. The ambiguity of these criteria has led to the enlargement of the notion of “the threat to peace,” laid down in Article 39, and justified the use of force under Chapter VII. The use of force is not mentioned in the UN Charter, but the SC invokes Article 42 to justify the use of force (4)
1- “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations”(UN Article 2-4)
2- “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll”(UN Article 2-7)
3-The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security (UN Art 39)
4- “Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations” (UN Art 42)
The absence of clear criteria reveals that the Security Council has discretionary powers to decide what constitutes a humanitarian crisis or what is a domestic jurisdiction matter.
A question arises regarding the potential scope for interpretation of the Charter in providing justification for the use of force to establish democracy and to protect civilians from oppressive regimes. (5) Cohn Marjorie argues (6) that the UN Charter does not allow for the use of military force for humanitarian interventions, he argues that that the use of force against Libya and Ivory Coast was predicated a “responsibility to protect doctrine,” whereas this doctrine is not incorporated in an international treaty nor has it became a norm of customary international law. It is clear that there was no humanitarian crisis in Libya requiring a military intervention. Another question arises as to what extent are member states responsible for implementing Security Council Resolutions (SCRs) for the use of force to protect civilians. What are the restrictions on the use of force to enforce SCRs regarding protection of civilians?
It has become obvious that the member states (NATO) who were responsible for implementing SCR 1973 in Libya have interpreted the concept of protection of civilians in order to achieve geopolitical and economic aims (7), that there was no imminent threats of violence from Libyan government, which could endanger unarmed Libyan civilians, and there was no serious threat to international peace and security posed by Libyan government. It is clear that they exceeded the proportionality and necessity of the use of force and the purposes of the Security Council Resolution, and this position endangered lives of civilians instead of protecting them.
It is clear that the practices of SC regarding the protection of civilians from massive violence and crimes against humanity have revealed an urgent need to reform the legal structures of the UN, and particularly SC, to ensure that member states will not be able to politicise or militarise the protection of civilians in the future.
5- Gray Christine- International law and the use of force- Oxford 2008 P7
6-Cohn Marjorie: The Responsibility to Protect – The Cases of Libya and Ivory Coastn - on May 15, 2011.
7- The Clinton administration signed in May 1994, Presidential Decision Directive 25 (PDD 25) which answered the question that when would the US participate in such international military actions, the (PDD 25) exposed that the US would support UNSCR to deploy military forces under Chapter VII if there major threat to peace and security. It would support military forces under Chapter VI if there were a ceasefire agreement on the ground. The (PDD 25) clarified that the US engages in a UN operation if it served the interests of the US, if the US engagement was necessary to the achievement of the operation and if it is able to predict an end point. These directions were a reaction to the experiences of the US in Somalia and in Croatia and Bosnia
The SC, under chapter VII, is responsible for protecting civilians from “massive killing and atrocities” but the big problem is that the legal structures of the UN Charter allows for massive manipulation of this concept, and its use as a weapon of war in itself. Resolution 1973 was literally used as a weapon of war by NATO against a sovereign state – Libya. A similar abuse occurred in Ivory Coast, where one national faction was supported over another – under the cover of protecting civilians.
It is clear that the UN, in Libya, lost its neutrality and impartiality regarding the protection of civilians. Resolution 1973 had called for a ceasefire, but NATO refused to stop the bombardment against Libya when a ceasefire was offered. The goal openly changed from “protecting civilians” to “regime change,” – while still using a resolution that called for an end to hostilities, and has no mention of regime change, as political cover. It quickly became clear that NATO’s purpose was not to protect civilians, but to protect armed rebels, and enhance their killing power. The exercise of the use of force under Chapter VII is not without limitations. It is restricted to the purposes and principles of the UN charter (8). It is clear that the war against Libya was not to protect civilians but regime change that the NATO used massive bombardments, often targeting clearly civilian buildings and infrastructure, and killing more than 70 thousand people. NATO was not just a witness to the massive killing and detentions of civilians, committed by the rebel forces in Libyan cities, including Bani–Walid, Sirte, Tagore and Seedy Bo Mager, but was also a perpetrator and accomplice to these atrocities.
It can be understood that, from the beginning, the main purpose behind NATO’s war against Libya was regime change - not the protection of civilians. Colonel Gaddafi was targeted for assassination from the very start. He was not posing a threat to unarmed civilians. Those unarmed civilians who maintained their loyalty to the Libyan government, the majority of Libyans, were targeted with massive NATO bombing and psychological warfare techniques – via the media and air dropped leaflets. Its clear that the summary executions of thousands of POWs, including Colonel Gaddafi, by rebel forces, constitutes a crime against humanity under international law.
The “No Fly Zone” over Libya under SCR 1973 did not mention regime change but the protection of civilians. A “No fly Zone” under the precedents of international law, means the banning of aircraft from flying, and the creation of buffer zones to protect civilians, who are in danger of imminent attack. NATO went far beyond SCR 1973, and international law instruments, when it determined to smash the Libyan state. NATO perpetrated massive massacres against civilians and used the terror created by these massacres to impose a new regime – which, of course, has no democratic basis of its own. The war against Libya was a NATO war, and not UN war, therefore the prosecution and consequence of the war are illegal.
8- There is disagreement inside SC about the protest in Syria. The US, UK and France seeking to pass resolution against Syria authorities and to decide what measures would be necessary to protect civilians Russia and Chine still opposing any resolution against Syria. President Dimtry of Russia has justified his opposition that “ he would not be party to another pointless war” referring to NATO’s intervention in Libya. He added "We will be told the resolution reads, "denounce violence," so some of the signatories may end up denouncing the violence by dispatching a number of bombers,” an interview with President Dimtry Medvedev by John Thornhill, the Financial Times news editor, Neil Buckley, Eastern Europe editor, and Charles Clover, Moscow bureau chief, at the St Petersburg Economic Forum on 18 June 2011