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'US govt. usurps Libyan resources'
Interview with Ralph Schoenman, a political commentator from Berkeley, CA.|
The US government takes full advantage of Muammar Gaddafi's puppet regime, usurping the country's resources for decades now, a political analyst says.
For over 40 years, under Gaddafi's regime, the US has annexed Libya with the people bearing the full weight, reports Ralph Schoenman, a political commentator from Berkeley, CA.
In an interview with Press TV, Schoenman shares his thoughts on Gaddafi's autocratic regime and US imperialist tendencies.
Press TV: To begin with, let's just go back to Sifol-Islam Gaddafi 's speech that he gave last night. It was rather long at times. I was a bit confused because I was the anchorman and it was hard at times to understand. What was your understanding of his speech, and perhaps the impact he wanted it to have on the situation in Libya, and the situation in the Middle East?
Ralph Schoenman: Well, we have to keep in mind that the Gaddafi regime, which has been a thorn in the side of imperialism for a period of years, has always been an autocratic regime, with very little empowerment of the population as such. Given that, and the ways in which the United States had setup Gaddafi, for example with that cause-flag operation in Berlin, which was an attack organized by the 'Mossad' as German newspapers and television established, let alone the so-called Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am 103, which has been documented in writings of mine called Iraq and Kuwaiti History Suppressed: an operation of US central Intelligence Agency, for a long time Gaddafi has been in the sights of US imperialism.
He has completely accommodated himself now to the ruling capitalist powers and the requirements to those of the United States, Italy, and Germany. And indeed, we have to keep in mind that Gaddafi was supporting Mubarak and Ben Ali in Tunisia, and extending his support to them even as the mobilizations in Egypt and in Tunisia were unfolding.
As to the speech of the son, it is a sort of concession to the opposition combined with threats of mass attacks by the armed forces on the population of demonstrators. It's a foundering speech of incoherence that reflects the fact that the regime is increasingly isolated regardless of the reality that imperialism always exploits an opportunity in a given country.
We have to bear in mind that it is the capitalistic and imperialistic powers that have been in complete accommodation with the Gaddafi regime for several years. And that the uprising is reflection of dissatisfaction of the people long disadvantaged and long disempowered by this regime. The uprising in Libya is part of a generalized revolt of the poor, hungry, oppressed, and exploited. There is an essential revolutionary content to the struggle in Libya as there is in the surrounding areas that we can be of little doubt.
Press TV: Government security forces are known to be very vicious in Libya no matter how high the human cost would be. They know they have to put these demonstrations down because if they fail they're the ones that will pay the highest price. They have absolutely nothing to lose.
Ralph Schoenman: I agree with you. The struggles in the East, in Benghazi, and the cities of the East are the struggles of the peoples who have been in all opposition to the regime, and who have been disposed by the regime. And the security forces of the Gaddafi government are largely mercenaries. And ironically enough, it's parallel to the way the monarchy in Bahrain operates.
Gaddafi draws on mercenaries from Chad, the Central African Republic, and Sudan because he cannot trust the army and police in his own country. As in most countries, rank-and-file soldiers, when put to the test of firing on their own population, do not do that. They have rebelled in Benghazi.
We have to recall the Iranian revolution when, in the final analysis, the soldiers in the barracks in Tehran handed out their weapons to the masses. And that was the end of the Shah's regime and the general strike of the oil workers. And let me emphasis, please, that in Libya the workers are on strike. The oil workers are on strike. The working class has joined in this struggle. It is rapidly assuming national proportions and I do not see that this regime of Gaddafi can withstand this generalized struggle. The more brutal at attempts to be, the more swift will be its demise.
Bear in mind, the generalized uprising of the hungry and oppressed in the region has now extended to Morocco, Oman, and Kuwait. This is not one country alone. This is a region. This is a whole population that is subject to imperial and Zionist domination. And, of course, the terrible exploitation of the capitalist order where food is beyond the ability of people to purchase and to obtain is in the area where the people are rebelling.
Press TV: The Unites States has shown it has this policy of preferring stability over democracy. Do you think it's satisfied with the ongoing situation or will it lead to the satisfaction of the United States?
Ralph Schoenman: When we speak about the United States, let's be clear that it's 1% of the population that owns over 95% of the national wealth and imperialism seeks to secure the resources of entire regions and cheap labor. And to do that it must destroy the sovereignty and national independence of countries and to put in place regimes that are basically semi-colonial country-ing regimes. Those are its constant objectives.
In Libya, they will seek to take advantage of the struggle against this regime. But the more that the population is empowered, and the more that the population seizes control over its own resources and seeks to create an economy in which the hungry are no longer hungry and the wealth of the country is used for the benefit of population. And the more that that is organized programmatically and politically, the more imperialism will be on the defensive. And we will see how quickly the imperialist turn on a popular government or a democratic rebellion against Gaddafi.
There are only 6 million people in Libya, not 80 million as in Egypt. And the country has enormous oil riches and wealth that could transform the lives of everybody who lives in Libya. Not only Libya but, in my politics, there should be a socialist federation of the entire region where nations are empowered together to utilize their riches and resources to advance social betterment under democratic control.