On current operations against Gaddafi by coalition of western countries:
1: distinguish between demonstrations and insurrections. leave it to internal forces
2: What will you do for China?
3: West has double standards take a look at Bahrain, other pro-Western regimes and wat about Somalia?
4: Using technological superiority to spread war on poor countries, warns of arms race
5: Gaddafi should sit down with opposition under AU mediation
6: calls ‘extra-ordinary’ Summit of the AU in Addis Ababa to discuss this grave situation.
7: West intervention never really helped Middle East and Africa. remember killing of Lumumba!
Coming to the present crisis, therefore, we need to point out some issues:
- The first issue is to distinguish between demonstrations and insurrections. Peaceful demonstrations should not be fired on with live bullets. Of course, even peaceful demonstrations should coordinate with the Police to ensure that they do not interfere with the rights of other citizens. When rioters are, however, attacking Police stations and Army barracks with the aim of taking power, then, they are no longer demonstrators; they are insurrectionists. They will have to be treated as such. A responsible Government would have to use reasonable force to neutralize them. Of course, the ideal responsible Government should also be an elected one by the people at periodic intervals. If there is a doubt about the legitimacy of a Government and the people decide to launch an insurrection, that should be the decision of the internal forces. It should not be for external forces to arrogate themselves that role, often, they do not have enough knowledge to decide rightly. Excessive external involvement always brings terrible distortions. Why should external forces involve themselves? That is a vote of no confidence in the people themselves. A legitimate internal insurrection, if that is the strategy chosen by the leaders of that effort, can succeed. The Shah of Iran was defeated by an internal insurrection; the Russian Revolution in 1917 was an internal insurrection; the Revolution in Zanzibar in 1964 was an internal insurrection; the changes in Ukraine, Georgia, etc., all were internal insurrections. It should be for the leaders of the Resistance in that country to decide their strategy, not for foreigners to sponsor insurrection groups in sovereign countries. I am totally allergic to foreign, political and military involvement in sovereign countries, especially the African countries. If foreign intervention is good, then, African countries should be the most prosperous countries in the world because we have had the greatest dosages of that: slave trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, etc. All those foreign imposed phenomena have, however, been disastrous. It is only recently that Africa is beginning to come up partly because of rejecting external meddling. External meddling and the acquiescence by Africans into that meddling have been responsible for the stagnation in Africa. The wrong definition of priorities in many of the African countries is, in many cases, imposed by external groups. Failure to prioritize infrastructure, for instance, especially energy, is, in part, due to some of these pressures. Instead, consumption is promoted. I have witnessed this wrong definition of priorities even here in Uganda. External interests linked up, for instance, with internal bogus groups to oppose energy projects for false reasons. How will an economy develop without energy? Quislings and their external backers do not care about all this.
- If you promote foreign backed insurrections in small countries like Libya, what will you do with the big ones like China which has got a different system from the Western systems? Are you going to impose a no-fly-zone over China in case of some internal insurrections as happened in Tiananmen Square, in Tibet or in Urumuqi
- The Western countries always use double standards. In Libya, they are very eager to impose a no-fly-zone. In Bahrain and other areas where there are pro-Western regimes, they turn a blind eye to the very same conditions or even worse conditions. We have been appealing to the UN to impose a no-fly-zone over Somalia so as to impede the free movement of terrorists, linked to Al-Qaeda, that killed Americans on September 11th, killed Ugandans last July and have caused so much damage to the Somalis, without success. Why? Are there no human beings in Somalia similar to the ones in Benghazi? Or is it because Somalia does not have oil which is not fully controlled by the western oil companies on account of Gaddafi’s nationalist posture?
- The Western countries are always very prompt in commenting on every problem in the Third World – Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc. Yet, some of these very countries were the ones impeding growth in those countries. There was a military coup d’état that slowly became a Revolution in backward Egypt in 1952. The new leader, Nasser, had ambition to cause transformation in Egypt. He wanted to build a dam not only to generate electricity but also to help with the ancient irrigation system of Egypt. He was denied money by the West because they did not believe that Egyptians needed electricity. Nasser decided to raise that money by nationalizing the Suez Canal. He was attacked by Israel, France and Britain. To be fair to the USA, President Eisenhower opposed that aggression that time. Of course, there was also the firm stand of the Soviet Union at that time. How much electricity was this dam supposed to produce? Just 2000 mgws for a country like Egypt!! What moral right, then, do such people have to comment on the affairs of these countries?
- Another negative point is going to arise out of the by now habit of the Western countries over-using their superiority in technology to impose war on less developed societies without impeachable logic. This will be the igniting of an arms race in the world. The actions of the Western countries in Iraq and now Libya are emphasizing that might is “right.” I am quite sure that many countries that are able will scale up their military research and in a few decades we may have a more armed world. This weapons science is not magic. A small country like Israel is now a super power in terms of military technology. Yet 60 years ago, Israel had to buy second-hand fouga magister planes from France. There are many countries that can become small Israels if this trend of overusing military means by the Western countries continues.
- All this notwithstanding, Col. Gaddafi should be ready to sit down with the opposition, through the mediation of the AU, with the opposition cluster of groups which now includes individuals well known to us – Ambassador Abdalla, Dr. Zubeda, etc. I know Gaddafi has his system of elected committees that end up in a National People’s Conference. Actually Gaddafi thinks this is superior to our multi-party systems. Of course, I have never had time to know how truly competitive this system is. Anyway, even if it is competitive, there is now, apparently, a significant number of Libyans that think that there is a problem in Libya in terms of governance. Since there has not been internationally observed elections in Libya, not even by the AU, we cannot know what is correct and what is wrong. Therefore, a dialogue is the correct way forward.
- The AU mission could not get to Libya because the Western countries started bombing Libya the day before they were supposed to arrive. However, the mission will continue. My opinion is that, in addition, to what the AU mission is doing, it may be important to call an extra-ordinary Summit of the AU in Addis Ababa to discuss this grave situation.
- Regarding the Libyan opposition, I would feel embarrassed to be backed by Western war planes because quislings of foreign interests have never helped Africa. We have had a copious supply of them in the last 50 years – Mobutu, Houphout Boigny, Kamuzu Banda, etc. The West made a lot of mistakes in Africa and in the Middle East in the past. Apart from the slave trade and colonialism, they participated in the killing of Lumumba, until recently, the only elected leader of Congo, the killing of Felix Moummie of Cameroon, Bartholomew Boganda of Central African Republic, the support for UNITA in Angola, the support for Idi Amin at the beginning of his regime, the counter-revolution in Iran in 1953, etc. Recently, there has been some improvement in the arrogant attitudes of some of these Western countries. Certainly, with Black Africa and, particularly, Uganda, the relations are good following their fair stand on the Black people of Southern Sudan. With the democratization of South Africa and the freedom of the Black people in Southern Sudan, the difference between the patriots of Uganda and the Western Governments had disappeared. Unfortunately, these rush actions on Libya are beginning to raise new problems. They should be resolved quickly. Therefore, if the Libyan opposition groups are patriots, they should fight their war by themselves and conduct their affairs by themselves. After all, they easily captured so much equipment from the Libyan Army, why do they need foreign military support? I only had 27 rifles. To be puppets is not good.
- The African members of the Security Council voted for this Resolution of the Security Council. This was contrary to what the Africa Peace and Security Council had decided in Addis Ababa recently. This is something that only the extra-ordinary summit can resolve.
- It was good that certain big countries in the Security Council abstained on this Resolution. These were: Russia, China, Brazil, India, etc. This shows that there are balanced forces in the world that will, with more consultations, evolve more correct positions.
- Being members of the UN, we are bound by the Resolution that was passed, however rush the process. Nevertheless, there is a mechanism for review. The Western countries, which are most active in these rush actions, should look at that route. It may be one way of extricating all of us from possible nasty complications. What if the Libyans loyal to Gaddafi decide to fight on? Using tanks and planes that are easily targeted by Mr. Sarkozy’s planes is not the only way of fighting. Who will be responsible for such a protracted war? It is high time we did more careful thinking.
Yoweri K. Museveni
20th March 2011