An interview with Abayomi Azikiwi, Editor of Pan-African News Wire, from Detroit, MI.
Press TV | April 1, 2011
Press TV interviewed Editor of Pan-African News Wire Abayomi Azikiwi who believes that the United States and other Western countries, under the guise of a humanitarian effort, are justifying the war in Libya in order to preserve their economic and military policies in the Middle East.
The following is a transcript of the interview with Azikiwi.
Press TV: This news about CIA operatives on the ground in Libya. How do you respond to that?
Azikiwi: It is really not surprising. We have felt since the beginning of the uprising that the Central Intelligence Agency was playing a key role in the whole process of not only coordinating but financing and providing political covers for the rebels who are fighting against the Libyan government.
The CIA has a history in Africa since World War II by getting involved in all destabilization efforts against progressive governments and against the national liberation movement. This has continued through the Bush administration with the existence of extraordinary rendition, with the involvement in documents that were released on the Wikileaks where the US state department and the CIA is still heavily involved in trying to destabilize African governments, destabilize progressive and democratic movement on the continent.
The New York Times revealed this in an article yesterday. It pointed out, I quote, “that a small group of CIA operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks as part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes it can help lead Colonel Gaddafi's military. In addition to the CIA's presence composed of an unknown number of Americans who have worked at the Spy Agency Station in Tripoli, current and former British officials said that dozens of British special forces and MI6 special operatives are working inside Libya.”
Even The New York Times is revealing the fact that the Central Intelligence Agency as well as the military intelligence of Britain are heavily involved in supporting and coordinating these rebels that are fighting against the Libyan government. It is interesting that your correspondent in Benghazi pointed out that when NATO bombs areas in Libya they become happy and when there's a lull in the bombing their morale goes down. This is a clear indication that NATO, led by the United States, is providing political cover for these people who are fighting against the Libyan government.
There is a clear indication that this is not a genuine rebellion but an operation designed by the United States and NATO to really interfere with the regime change in Libya and to bring about the seizure of its natural resources in the same way in which they've taken over the resources of Iraq and privatized them, and instituted the government. They have the same agenda with regards to Libya as well.
Press TV: Just because the UN had expected this, does it make it OK?
Azikiwi: I think the fact that the United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 was passed was pretty clear at that time that this was an act to justify and provide a rationale for a wholesale onslaught against Libya.
What the history of post World War II Africa indicates is that the United Nations has been used on numerous occasions to justify war, used to justify destabilization in Africa, with the Korean War that took place at the leadership of the United States, was really done under the banner of the United Nations, that led to the death of four million Koreans during the early part of the 1950s when they talked about the destabilization campaign against the Congo.
In 1960 and in 1961, it was also done under the banner of the United Nations that resulted in the overthrow of the first independent government in Congo under Patrice Lumumba. We can also talk about the sanctions that were led against Iraq in the 1990s that led not only to military action against Iraq but also sanctions that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, children.
The sanctions allowed banning of medications, medical equipments and anything that can be deemed as having a dual use purpose. This was done all under the guise of the United Nations resolution.
So we are not surprised that the resolution that was purportedly designed to establish a no-fly zone is being utilized to wage all out war against a North African state. I think this has grave implications not only for the people in North Africa or the Middle East but also for the people here in the United States. What it represents is the continuation of the same policies that have been enacted under the successive US administrations.
We could talk about the role of Lyndon Johnson in the Congo during the 1960s, the role of Eisenhower and the assassination of Moomba in the 1960s, Nixon's war against Vietnam, the Nixon administration's support of Portugal during the national liberation struggles in the former Portuguese colonies, the ongoing support of the United States and Britain for the abrasive apartheid regime in South Africa and Namibia in the 1980s and early part of the 1990s.
So we don't have any illusions that despite the fact that President Obama told the National War College the other night that the motivation for military involvement in Libya was for humanitarian purposes to protect civilians, he probably does not have any knowledge of the history of US involvement in Africa and other countries in the so-called developed world.
It's never been based on humanitarian reasons or to protect civilians; in fact, it has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands to millions of civilians as a result of US military action.
There are no names on those bombs being dropped over Libya. The tomahawk missiles being launched from those planes into Libyan territories, there is no name on those bombs. They kill civilians as you reported repeatedly on Press TV.
This information has been largely concealed from the people in the United States and around the world as if to appear as if all of these Western industrialized nations have humanitarian and benevolent intentions in launching this wholesale military onslaught on a country of six million people that are virtually defenseless against these types of weapons that are being rained down on Libya as we speak.
Press TV: Let's not forget what happened in Afghanistan once the Soviets invaded. The CIA provided the same logistical support to the Mujahedin which later evolved into the Taliban and al-Qaeda. I'd like to get your response to this please.
Azikiwi: First of all, I think they do know who these rebels are. They have supported the National Salvation Front of Libya for decades. They had headquarters located in the United States, in Washington DC.
They've been instrumental in supporting factions of al-Qaeda, as you've mentioned, in Afghanistan during the 1980's. The genesis of the al-Qaeda organization was formed in order to fight against the people's Democratic Party government in Afghanistan supported by the Soviet Union in 1978.
It's pertinent to point out that the United States has often switched sides in military and political conflicts. Look at the Iran-Iraq War. At one point it appeared as if they were supporting Iraq against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and then at the same time they turned around in 1991 and waged a war against Iraq and imposed sanctions for over a decade in Iraq, and then led an intervention and occupation of Iraq that goes on until today. I think they have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, but they have permanent interests.
I believe their strategic economic and military interests trump their concern for humanitarian suffering inside of Libya or anywhere else. Look at the situation in Bahrain right now. People are literally being mowed down by a regime that's supported by the United States -- Bahrain is home to the Fifth fleet. And we hear virtually nothing about what's going on in Bahrain with the corporate media outlets, and government and media allied outlets around the world.
We get nothing about what's going on in Yemen right now where a pro-US backed regime is involved in massacring people. … There's no effort on the United States or any other Western European industrialized countries to go to the United Nations Security Council condemning the Saudi Arabian military and Bahraini government for the atrocities that are being committed inside that [Persian] Gulf state, or the atrocities that are being committed in Yemen.
Not to mention what is happening to the Palestinians in Gaza or the West Bank who are being killed every day. There's much evidence right now that Israel will launch another major onslaught against the Palestinians as they did a little over two years ago that resulted in the deaths of 1,400 Palestinians.
And the US administration, under the Republican control of George Bush, vetoed any effort to sanction Israel for their military actions and rejected the Goldstone report which was written by someone who supports … Israel and was critical of Israel's behavior on the war in Gaza in 2008 and 2009.
Just recently, right before the passing of resolutions 1970 and 1973, Susan Rice, who is the United Stated ambassador to the United Nations, vetoed a resolution criticizing the expansion of Israeli settlements in Palestine. These contradictions are going against not only the people of North Africa or the Middle East but also the people in the United States.
More and more people are becoming skeptical about US foreign policy towards Israel and towards the people of the Middle East. That's why people in both the Republican and Democratic parties are opposing what the Obama administration is doing in Libya because they realize it's a no-win situation.
The US is only involved in theatres in wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, they're waging a proxy war in Somalia, and they're supporting the Israeli occupation in Palestine. The entering of this new phase of military conflict in Africa can only mean more problems for the people inside the United States as well as others.