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Libyans paying debt of gratitude

Today a Big Power carve up of Libya is taking place in the French capital, reminiscent of the 1884 Berlin Conference which divided Africa into arbitrary country lines. Dubbed Friends of Libya Conference, this Paris gathering of imperial powers taking place today has nothing to do with Libyans. The only Libyans taking part are the baptised by blood ragtag rebels who constitute the Transitional National Council (or National Transitional Council, depending on which factions translation you choose). They do not have an idea of the hubris unleashed when a government of 42 years is toppled and that the aftermath may prefigure a new era of nemesis and slip back into the cocoon of war. The Libyans whom we saw carrying Nato arms from Benghazi to Tripoli are ignorant of their future which has already been predetermined by the new imperialists. There is a rather queasy sense of dj vu here flashing back to the 1881-1914 Partition of, or Scramble for, Africa. Like back then, Europe and the United States today are in serious need of resources to oil the wheels of their declining economies. A humanitarian intervention in Libya was the hook; but securing assets and resources was the real goal. Even our naive, short-memoried media commentators were gloating at the rehabilitation of the doctrine of 'humanitarian intervention and the toppling of a dictator. Weve been here before. The ominous portents are inescapable. The shadow of Iraq, filled with bloodshed and instability, hangs over Tripoli. In 2001, BBC's highly conspicuous John Simpson rode into Kabul on a tank declaring victory for the west over the Taliban and saying that the worst was over, and that the future of Afghanistan would be more peaceful and democratic. The troops would only remain to smooth the path to a new and more stable society, he declared. Ten years later, casualties in the Afghan war are at record levels. The Taliban has grown in strength, the country remains one of the poorest and most corrupt in the world, while American companies have all the reconstruction deals. Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous places anywhere for women to live. August this year was the most deadly ever for US troops. France's backdoor deal with Libya's National Transitional Council to own 30 percent of Libya's oil resources was exposed on Thursday. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain "won't be left behind" in the rebuilding of Libya amid reports that Italian and French companies were taking the lead in jostling to secure reconstruction contracts. This is the democracy that Libyans were told would replace the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Nato did not tell the world that France gets 18 percent of its oil resources from Libya, or that Italy gets 35 percent and that all this was at stake if Libya remained in crisis. Nato did not tell the world that the real issue is that Colonel Gaddafi wanted a United States for Africa which would control its own resources and threaten the development of the West; or that he wanted to introduce a gold dinah which would threaten the US dollar. The morality of this story stinks. The spoils of war were and are still being shared by Nato powers and their allies, even before the blood of Libyans has dried up. Like Iraq and Afghanistan, the Libyan war was a Nato investment, necessitated or pretexted by a UN Resoultion 1973 whose mandate was always going to be stretched. Natos fine words about defending democracy and not selling arms to tyrants were just that words. It is business as usual, including licences to sell shotguns and ammunition to Bahrain where the monarchy has brutally suppressed peaceful protests. Our Zimbabwean ministers and leaders from the other mother, should know that when they engage in fine wording about democracy, they ought to exercise caution. It is always about resources our resources. Drones and death squads will be employed by those who need those resources to place puppet governments in power. With a fiscal deficit of US$231 trillion, almost the same as Greece, the US is in quicksand. With a third round of money printing, aptly named Quantitative Easing or QE, they are fast losing their sole superpower status in the world. QE1and QE2 failed to grow the US economy. It only managed to avoid a freefall but did nothing in real terms. European welfare states are collapsing in a manner similar to the 1970s style stagflation. These countries have no clue how to emerge out of their disaster in this globalised world. They just throw money at floundering banks who simply get the money and pay bonuses and create asset bubbles which further create problems for everyone around the world. Rather than embarking on a rethink of their economic policies, the Big Powers revisit their age-old strategy using colonization as an economic development tool. Our politicians in Zimbabwe who are waiting on the west to rescue us economically are pushing on a string. Those who oppose economic empowerment and indigenisation on some whimsical basis should beware, otherwise they create a debt of gratitude that the Libyan rebels created for themselves by allowing Nato drones and munitions to drive out Colonel Gaddafi. They will pay heavily in future. Even after the fall of Colonel Gaddafi, one Nato spokesman, Colonel Roland Lavoie, reminded reporters: Our mission is not over yet.

Nato is simply not a philanthropic or humanitarian agency, hence cannot be entrusted with humanitarian intervention. Nato, in Libya, did not salvage the principle of liberal interventionism from the geopolitical dustbin, as is often impressed upon us by international media. Dont be fooled!