Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why Libya? Another side of Qadhafi (Gaddafi)

In This Edition:

- Why Libya? Another side of Qadhafi (Gaddafi) [Edited 9/8/11]

- The Siege of Sirte: NATO Bombs and Libyan Rebels Terrorise Sirte, Massacre to follow?

Why Libya? Another side of Qadhafi (Gaddafi)

It is obvious that oil played a part in the motivation of the West to provide close cover military support to the rebels of the National Transitional Council. But are there other compelling reasons?

What about the ideology of socialism itself, including Gaddafi's "Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya?" Gaddafi's "Green Book" version of socialism, with it's free education and healthcare, along with it's restrictions on capital accumulation, must be especially repugnant, not to mention threatening, to wealthy Western elites. Capitalist systems, especially those of the Western powers and the US, have tried, over the last century, to stamp out the remnants of real or approximate socialism, where state resources are used to provide for most of the country's people, not just the wealthy. Serbia (former Yugoslavia), is one example. These nationalist and socialist countries that take charge of their own resources to provide for their own people, and, most importantly, protect their resources and people from looting and control by outside capitalist powers, are the targets of regime change. In recent decades, this is usually accomplished under the banner of "democracy" and "humanitarian" intervention, no matter how absurd the claims are.

There are many examples where the US has attempted, usually successfully, to take out regimes that present any socialist example (Cuba, former Soviet Union, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Libya), where all, or most of the people, not just economic elites, actually have some control over their government and destiny, and where the peoples basic needs, like heath care, are provided for. The Western capitalists target these countries to stamp out all socialist examples and to gain capitalist multi-national corporate control over the resources of these countries. Western governments and their corporate media, from Fox News to MSNBC, to NPR and Al Jazeera will pretend in their class oriented, propagandistic coverage, to say it is not so, but it is really that simple.

Some of you may benefit, but the moral, ethical, and economic costs are high.

What Libyan system did they overthrow?

Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

[After overthrowing the monarchy] The remaking of Libyan society that Qadhafi envisioned and to which he devoted his energies after the early 1970s formally began in 1973 with a so-called cultural or popular revolution. The revolution was designed to combat bureaucratic inefficiency, lack of public interest and participation in the subnational governmental system, and problems of national political coordination. In an attempt to instill revolutionary fervor into his compatriots and to involve large numbers of them in political affairs, Qadhafi urged them to challenge traditional authority and to take over and run government organs themselves. The instrument for doing this was the "people's committee." Within a few months, such committees were found all across Libya. They were functionally and geographically based and eventually became responsible for local and regional administration.

People's committees were established in such widely divergent organizations as universities, private business firms, government bureaucracies, and the broadcast media. Geographically based committees were formed at the governorate, municipal, and zone (lowest) levels. Seats on the people's committees at the zone level were filled by direct popular election; members so elected could then be selected for service at higher levels. By mid-1973 estimates of the number of people's committees ranged above 2,000.

In the scope of their administrative and regulatory tasks and the method of their members' selection, the people's committees embodied the concept of direct democracy that Qadhafi propounded in the first volume of The Green Book, which appeared in 1976. The same concept lay behind proposals to create a new political structure composed of "people's congresses." The centerpiece of the new system was the General People's Congress (GPC), a national representative body intended to replace the RCC.

. . . .

Remaking of the economy was parallel with the attempt to remold political and social institutions. Until the late 1970s, Libya's economy was mixed, with a large role for private enterprise except in the fields of oil production and distribution, banking, and insurance. But according to volume two of Qadhafi's Green Book, which appeared in 1978, private retail trade, rent, and wages were forms of "exploitation" that should be abolished. Instead, workers' self-management committees and profit participation partnerships were to function in public and private enterprises. A property law was passed that forbade ownership of more than one private dwelling, and Libyan workers took control of a large number of companies, turning them into state-run enterprises. Retail and wholesale trading operations were replaced by state-owned "people's supermarkets", where Libyans in theory could purchase whatever they needed at low prices. By 1981 the state had also restricted access to individual bank accounts to draw upon privately held funds for government projects.

While measures such as these undoubtedly benefited poorer Libyans, they created resentment and opposition among the newly dispossessed [wealthy]. The latter joined those already alienated, some of whom had begun to leave the country. By 1982 perhaps 50,000 to 100,000 Libyans had gone abroad; because many of the emigrants were among the enterprising and better educated Libyans, they represented a significant loss of managerial and technical expertise.

Some of the [wealthy] exiles formed active opposition groups. Although the groups were generally ineffective, Qadhafi nevertheless in early 1979 warned opposition leaders to return home immediately or face "liquidation." A wave of assassinations of prominent Libyan exiles, mostly in Western Europe, followed. Few opponents responded to the 1979 call to "repentance" or to a similar one issued in October 1982 in which Qadhafi once again threatened liquidation of the recalcitrant, the GPC having already declared their personal property forfeit.

Internal opposition came from elements of the middle class who opposed Qadhafi's economic reforms and from students and intellectuals who criticized his ideology. He also incurred the anger of the Islamic community for his unorthodox interpretations of the doctrine and traditions of Islam, his challenge to the authority of the religious establishment, and his contention that the ideas in The Green Book were compatible with and based upon Islam. Endowed Islamic properties (habus) were nationalized as part of Qadhafi's economic reforms, and he urged "the masses" to take over mosques.

The most serious challenges came from the armed forces, especially the officers' corps, and from the RCC. Perhaps the most important one occurred in 1975 when Minister of Planning and RCC member Major Umar Mihayshi and about thirty army officers attempted a coup after disagreements over political economic policies. The failure of the coup led to the flight of Mihayshi and part of the country's technocratic elite. In a move that signaled a new intolerance of dissent, the regime executed twenty-two of the accused army officers in 1977, the first such punishment in more than twenty years. Further executions of dissident army officers were reported in 1979, and in August 1980 several hundred people were allegedly killed in the wake of an unsuccessful army revolt centered in Tobruk.

Source: U.S. Library of Congress -

See also:

The Siege of Sirte: NATO Bombs and Libyan Rebels Terrorise Sirte

Libyan Rebels Enforce Stone Age Condition On Sirte

Asiel spoke to many people in Sirte today - and recounts to us what is going on - it is surrounded by NATO's rebels.

"There is no military in Sirte."
NATO is bombing civilian targets--Food storage facilities bombed, little food, electricity has been knocked out, no fuel, people may starve. Massacre to follow, with ensuing long war.

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