France recognizes opposition while imperialists plot intervention, regime-change
By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
While the military forces of the Libyan government drive rebel groups out of several towns and the oil producing port at Ras Lanuf, the western-backed counter-revolutionaries are repeating calls for greater intervention on the part of the imperialist states. Although the United States, Britain, France, the European Union and NATO are clearly supporting and coordinating the actions of the groups battling to topple the Libyan government, the failure of the monarchists, defectors and CIA-trained units to damage the fighting capacity of the patriots prompted NATO to hold a meeting to assess their strategy on March 10.
Libyan forces have reportedly moved out hundreds of rebels from both Ras Lanuf and Zawiya causing them to drive their vehicles further east where the unrest was started some three weeks ago. Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, has maintained that the rebels are backed by the western imperialist countries and that they are attempting to divide the country along regional and tribal lines. Gaddafi has made several appearances on Libyan and international television where he has reiterated that his government will not relinquish any territory or political authority to the rebels and their supporters. Since the beginning of the unrest, the corporate media outlets in the U.S. and around the world have given unconditional support to the western-backed rebel groups.
Nonetheless, even Al Jazeera, which has exclusively provided a one-sided, pro-rebel, and consequently pro-imperialist, perspective on the situation in Libya, was forced to admit that the
counter-revolutionary units were retreating from key areas in the west and central regions of the country and that morale among the opposition was declining even in Benghazi, which is the de facto headquarters of the anti-Libyan government forces.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent Tony Birtley mulled that “We’ve been wondering for the last few days about why Gaddafi has not employed his full forces, and today we’ve seen those forces in action. We were caught right in the middle as his forces out-flanked, and then out-bombed and out-shot the opposition forces. There was sustained aerial and artillery and mortar bombardment, and then following in by a flanking movement.” (Al Jazeera, March 10) This same reporter went on to say that “There have been a number of casualties. We’ve seen trucks going along the highway, but that’s being shelled by Gaddafi forces all the way along. I counted…50 shells falling.”
Birtley also noted that the offensive by the Libyan military forces illustrated the “professionalism of Gaddafi’s troops, and it shows that…he’s hitting back. We’ve seen trucks with wounded lying in the back of pick-ups, and I think the casualty toll is going to be high.” One rebel fighter was quoted by the French Press Agency (AFP) as saying that “We’ve been defeated. They are shelling and we are running away. That means that they’re taking Ras Lanuf." Another town, Ajdabiya, where the rebels claim to be in control, has seen a major push into the area by the Libyan military. Jacky Rowland, also from Al Jazeera, stated that “The latest that we’ve heard on Thursday (March 10) is that the Gaddafi forces are attacking by land from the west, along the coastal roads.” In addition, Rowland notes that the Libyan military is “also attacking from the south, from the desert and, a key development, they’re attacking as well from the sea, to the north. This is clearly a concerted effort to route the rebels from their western-most positions, and it comes on the heels of intense fighting from the two sides the day before.” France, U.S., NATO Intervention Aimed at Toppling Government All of the major imperialist states are lined up against the Libyan government in their demand that Muammar Gaddafi and his supporters be overthrown. Nonetheless, these western countries are divided over the best way to proceed in carrying out the removal of the current government and the seizure of the oil and natural gas resources inside this North African state.