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Death of Gaddafi

Horace Campbell

2011-10-20, Issue 553

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There are 9 comments on this article.

cc Daveeza
Gaddafi's killing - with all the hallmarks of a 'coordinated assassination' – marks 'one more episode ion this NATO war in Libya and North Africa', writes Horace Campbell. The 'remilitarisation of Africa and new deployment of Africom is a new stage of African politics,' says Campbell.

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, and a contributing author to African Awakening: The emerging revolutions. He is currently Visiting Professor, Department of International Relations, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

Readers' Comments

Let your voice be heard. Comment on this article.

At last someone brings light only after Africa's loss!!
Our leaders are undermined, the Western Press showing one sided views to the whole scenario, dead bodies of people who left a mark in African history. We never get to see a white corpse, even in cases of a natural disasters, we never see at least a dead pet.

Grace Li, YEF

It's all about oil-shamelessly.
NATO used the 'humanitarian' smoke screen to get their hands on the largest oil deposits on the African continent. Gaddafi,an independent mind, was their biggest obstacle to their unfettered access to this oil.
I wrote an insightful press article on the political economy of NATO's foray into Libya on this link:

Henry Zakumumpa

There is a saying dont know the worth of what you have until you loose it. We have lost the only African leader who completed nations building, who despite his faults tried to unite Africa against imperialism. They(westerners)have made history but we are living in it.

Biga njemanze

I just like to say hats off to Professor Campbell for his insightful writings, which in my mind contributes in great measure to the reawakening of consciousness in Africa that has been compromised by the end of the so-called cold war.
I quite agree with Professor Campbell that Africa is being militarize and to add to that I will say recolonize. The AU and its African leaders are helpless and are sitting idly by and watching with no hope of helping out. It is in the interest of the West to keep Africa down, considering its potential as a sleeping giant or power house. NATO actions in Africa are vivid examples of the West to keep Africa down as seen in Egypt, Tunisia,Cote d'Ivoire,Guinea, Senegal, Western Sahara, etc. I don't know how many people read Pambazuka News, but I think it is a powerful voice for those who live on the margins of societies in Africa to reawaken the spirit of hope for a rebirth of Africa that will take on-board everyone. The situation in Libya has generated enormous security problems for Africa as this great Country play host to many dissidents turned mercenaries, who have all now been dislodged and unleashed on the peace and democratic loving people of Africa. What becomes of Africa in the wake of all these happenings is the challenge we all have to face head on. I salute you Professor Campbell and you colleagues who write for Pambazuka News as a reward awaits you all for helping Africans rediscover themselves and a mission for Africa in the words of Franz Fannoh.

Peter F. Z.Zaizay-University of Liberia,Department of Sociology/Anthropology

Thank you for adding to knowledge of the U.S.-NATO-EU recolonization of Africa. Gaddafi's murder is a colossal tragedy.

Libya is a war by foreign oil companies to grab the largest oil and water reserves in Africa and stop the funding of African self determination.

Libyan oil profits didn't go to private corporations, like most countries, but instead funded huge public projects which enriched all of Africa:

(1) African satellite
(2) The Great Man-Made River
(3) African Development Bank
(4) the African gold dinar (a single African currency made from gold that would free the world from rule by American dollar/Wall Street and British Pound/London’s banking elite)
(5) African Union (African wide legislative body seeking to end AFRICOM, U.S. military bases in almost every African country, and end foreign-funded attacks on sovereign African countries seeking to use their own natural resources for their own, local development).

This attack on Libya was a huge attack on Africa and everyone (from America to Somalia) seeking to curb rapacious U.S.-EU global corporations from plundering the world.

Dawn Reel

This is a very big wake up call for mother Africa! How many intelligent African leaders that we have lost because of trying to awaken us? What is wrong for anyone to do the best for his fellow citizens? Africa for how long are you going to watch and rejoice over the slaughter of your own children? What is wrong to unite Africa for Africans? Where is Kuame Nkuruma? Patrice Lumumba? Samora Machel? and many others who wanted to unite Africa? What about Martin Luther King Jr? Please dismantle African Union because you are a great late down!!!Today is Col. Gaddafi; we donot know who will be next tomorrow!!!


Horace Campbell is a fake leftist who speaks from both ends of his month. One days he is slyly supporting the "humanitarean intervention" in Libya on programs like Democracy Now, the next days he is puuling woool over peoples eyes. TAlk about icoherence!

[email protected]

Thank you for this piece.

Fanon Wilkins

I feel very angry, disgusted, and hate form the criminality of Obama, Sarkozy, and Cameroon.
Also from the wicked Islamists criminals and Arab Gulf puppet oil agents.

Gaddafi was a hero and died like hero because he despised and refused the corrupt business contracts with he West and profit their brand names.
Deposing Mubarak of Egypt was necessary for these criminals to facilitate military support for the gangsters in western Libya. Libya and all North Africa must return back to Africa. Arabs oil agents, Islamists, and NATO states are dangers and insults to Africa.
Western liberal democracy, Arab oil agents and Islamism are fighting nationalism.

Patrick Henningsen wrote on, October 20, 2011, an excellent article titled: Our moral decline: Blood-lust in the streets of Libya suffices for justice.

Or read it at:

Tarig Anter

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