[Marxism] Libya is now set to be a scene of multiple battles

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Sep 7 13:46:58 MDT 2011

On 9/7/2011 3:29 PM, Paul Flewers wrote:
> Whilst I deplore his being sent by the British government back to
> Libya to be brutally interrogated, this man is definitely no 'hero' of
> mine. Libya under the likes of him and his pals will be no better and
> probably could be even worse than under Gaddafi.

Now it is entirely possible that Belhaj is lying through his teeth 
when he told this to the NY Times on 9/2/11, but as a rule of 
thumb jihadists usually say what they mean and mean what they say:

Mr. Belhaj conceded that Islamists had no role in creating the 
revolution against Colonel Qaddafi’s rule; it was instead a 
popular uprising. “The February 17th revolution is the Libyan 
people’s revolution and no one can claim it, neither secularists 
nor Islamists,” he said. “The Libyan people have different views, 
and all those views have to be involved and respected.”

Forty-two years of Qaddafi rule in Libya had, he said, taught him 
an important lesson: “No one can make Libya suffer any more under 
any one ideology or any one regime.” His pledge to disband 
fighters under his command once Libya has a new government was 
repeated to NATO officials at a meeting in Qatar this week.

Some council members said privately that allowing Mr. Belhaj to 
become chairman of the military council in Tripoli was done partly 
to take advantage of his military expertise, but also to make sure 
the rebels’ political leaders had him under their direct control.

Many also say that Mr. Belhaj’s history as an Islamist is 
understandable because until this year, Islamist groups were the 
only ones able to struggle against Colonel Qaddafi’s particularly 
repressive rule.

After Mr. Belhaj and a small group of Libyan comrades returned 
from the jihad against the Soviets, they formed the Libyan Islamic 
Fighting Group and had a secret base in the Green Mountain area of 
eastern Libya, until it was discovered and bombed, and many of its 
followers rounded up.

Mr. Belhaj escaped Libya in the late 1990s and, like many 
antigovernment exiles, was forced to move frequently as Libya used 
its oil resources as a way to pressure host countries.

“We focused on Libya and Libya only,” he said. “Our goal was to 
help our people. We didn’t participate in or support any action 
outside of Libya. We never had any link with Al Qaeda, and that 
could never be. We had a different agenda; global fighting was not 
our goal.”

He said that America’s reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks led to his 
group’s classification as terrorist.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, the rapprochement 
between Libya and Western countries led to the apprehension of 
several anti-Qaddafi activists, who were returned to Libya by the 
United States.

While Mr. Belhaj insisted that he was not interested in revenge, 
it is not a period of his life that he has altogether forgotten. 
“If one day there is a legal way, I would like to see my torturers 
brought to court,” he said.

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