The news of the killing of Colonel Gaddafi in the battle to take Sirte marked one more episode in this NATO war in Libya and North Africa. The killing has all of the hallmarks of a coordinated assassination, synchronized between NATO aircraft and forces on the ground. The reports are that Gaddaffi was attacked when he was attempting to leave Sirte in a convoy. The convoy was attacked from the air. The National Transitional Council has announced that the war is over but the very nature of this execution guarantees that this uprising will not end soon.
This execution comes one day after the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of the United States openly called for the political assassination of Col Gaddafi, the Libyan leader. “We hope he can be captured or killed soon,” This statement guaranteed that although Gadhafi was captured alive he was killed while injured.
The very management of the news of this execution represented efforts to influence the continued political/military struggles within the divided forces. The hijacking of the body and its transportation to Misrata was one more indication of the internal struggles in the NTC and Libya.
It is still urgent that the African Union and the United Nations work for the demilitarization of Libya and for the work to organize an inclusive government in Libya. The execution of Gaddafi comes in a week of heightened military action in parts of Africa, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and the Horn.
This remilitarization of Africa and new deployment of Africom is a new stage of African politics. Remilitarization, killings, and death will not answer the cries for democracy, peace, and food in Africa and other areas of the world where the exploited and marginalized are raising their voices against oppression. A new revolutionary energy is sweeping the world manifest in the current general strike by workers in Greece and the massive occupy wall street movement with 900 manifestations all over the world last weekend.
In every case over several decades, examples of militarization and remilitarization have increased the anguish of those living on the margins of wealth and power. I am certain that careful investigation will expose the callous disregard for human life, what in NATO and Western Military language is called “collateral damage.” Given the cloud that hangs over this killing that it was most likely a coordinated execution – those of us who are on the side of peace and justice asks the following questions:
Why did the West want him dead?
Did they have something to hide?
The answers to these and other questions now lie with the corpse of a man who was more friendly to capital than to his people.
Peace and justice forces must work harder to end wars, plunder and western military interventions in Africa.
* Horace Campbell is professor of African-American studies and political science at Syracuse University. He is the author of ‘Barack Obama and 21st Century Politics: A Revolutionary Moment in the USA’. See horacecampbell.net, and a contributing author to African Awakening: The emerging revolutions. He is currently Visiting Professor, Department of International Relations, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.