Anti-U.S. demonstrations spread throughout the world
In over twenty countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia and
Europe, hundreds of thousands of people have held mass demonstrations
against the United States and other western embassies. The protests in
the Libyan city of Benghazi resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador
Christopher Stevens and three other diplomatic personnel on September
Stevens was well known in eastern Libya where the rebellion against
the former government of Col. Muammar Gaddafi began in February 2011.
The attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi where the imperialist
states initiated their regime-change program for Libya, illustrates
the political dilemma that the White House finds itself throughout the
Although it has not been clearly stated who was behind the attacks on
the consulate in Benghazi, and whether it was planned or spontaneous,
or a combination of both, what is important about the response of
President Obama is that he immediately announced the deployment of 50
Marines to Libya. In addition to the sending in of the Marines, the
president announced that warships would be dispatched off the coast of
Libya and both predator and reaper drones will be flying over the
North African country ostensibly in search of those responsible for
the September 11 attacks in Benghazi and any other purported threats
against U.S. personnel or interests.
There have been conflicting assessments even within U.S. ruling
circles over the character of the attack on the Consulate and the
killing of its personnel. Some within the Congress, including former
Republican presidential candidate John McCain, publically stated that
the destruction of the diplomatic buildings in Benghazi was part of a
However, others within the administration have been ambivalent for
obviously political reasons. If there was a longstanding perceived
threat then why did the State Department, the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) and other U.S. personnel operating inside Libya not take
The U.S.-backed General National Congress President of Libya, Mohamed
Yusef al-Magariaf, said of the September 11 attack that “The way these
perpetrators acted and moved, and their choosing the specific date for
this so-called demonstration, this leaves us with no doubt that this
was preplanned, predetermined.” Magariaf reported that the GNC regime
had arrested 50 people in connection with the investigation. (Face the
Nation, September 16)
On the same day, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice
said that “Based on the best information we have to date…it began
spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some
hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a
violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video.
But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate
in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremists elements,
individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that
are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution.”
(Face the Nation, September 16)
Neither the U.S. administration nor the GNC government in Libya could
address the underlying reasons behind these widespread demonstrations
both peaceful and violent. Washington and its installed puppet regime
in Libya have created mass unemployment, poverty and social
dislocation as a result of the large-scale bombing, naval blockade and
the overthrowing of one of the most prosperous and stable governments
in Africa under former leadership of Gaddafi.
Washington Post blogger Glenn Kessler pointed out on September 17 that
“It is in Magariaf’s interest to emphasize that this tragedy does not
reflect anti-American feelings by the Libyan people”… and that “It was
planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months
ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their arrival.”
It is quite obvious that the demonstration in Libya against the U.S.
diplomatic installation was quite similar to actions taken in
countries throughout the region and internationally. All of these
protests could not have been organized by people from outside these
respective states because the anger expressed by millions throughout
the planet is a clear reflection of the animosity generated through
the foreign policy dictates of Wall Street and their agents within
ABC News reported that one of the former Navy Seals who was killed
along with Ambassador Stevens, Glen Doherty, was there on a separate
mission related to tracking down the availability of shoulder-fired
surface-to-air missiles. This report noted that “Doherty had said he
traveled throughout Libya chasing reports of the weapons, and once
they were found, his team would destroy them on the spot by bashing
them with hammers or repeatedly running them over with their
vehicles.” (Washington Post, September 17)
In the aftermath of the killing of the diplomatic personnel, the
administration is seeking to continue the same political trajectory.
The aim of these diplomatic missions is to act on behalf of the
economic, military and political interests of the U.S. ruling class.
U.S. policy toward the nations of Africa, the Middle East and Asia is
becoming more aggressive due to the worsening economic crisis of
capitalism and the failure of the Pentagon and the CIA to control
events within these geo-political regions. With the deployment of
additional military personnel to Libya, these imperialist troops will
become targets for not only the groups identified by the U.S. as its
enemies, but by ordinary Libyans who will object and oppose the even
more aggressive occupation of their country.
Demonstrations Illustrate Global Discontent With U.S. Imperialism
Mass protests took place as well in the North African state of Egypt.
Egypt last year was the scene of an uprising that led to the toppling
of longtime Washington ally President Hosni Mubarak.
Even with the election of President Mohamed Morsi in June, the U.S.
administration is still attempting to control Egyptian domestic and
foreign policy. Morsi at the time of the demonstrations in Cairo
outside the U.S. embassy was in Brussels, Belgium attempting to
negotiate a deal with the European Union for economic assistance to
his new government.
Egypt has also been in talks with the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) for the re-scheduling of a portion of its foreign debt. The
U.S.-allied Gulf state of Qatar also has reportedly agreed to invest
$18 billion in the economy of Egypt.
All of these measures cannot deflect attention away from the social
aspirations of the Egyptian masses and other working people and youth
throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The historic unequal
relations between the oppressed nations and the imperialist states is
intensifying therefore propelling the masses into motion against what
is perceived as those elements that are in opposition to their class
and national interests.
Protesters in all of these countries denounced U.S. imperialism and
Zionism. They ripped down U.S. flags from embassy building and burned
them along with the flag of the State of Israel.
In Sudan, the demonstrators could not get at the U.S. embassy and
therefore attacked the German outpost where windows were broken and
fires were set. In Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, Palestine, and other
states, people demonstrated in large numbers demanding that the U.S.
government stop its hostility toward Islam and countries with
predominant Muslim populations.
In other countries such as Afghanistan and Indonesia, thousands
protested the U.S. and its diplomatic presence in these states.
Demonstrators and even some members of parliament in these governments
called for the severing of relations with Washington.
Rallies were also held in England, Australia, Turkey, Iran and
Pakistan on September 17. In Lebanon, Hezbollah mobilized hundreds of
thousands of its supporters for a demonstration through South Beirut
where chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” rang out
across the areas.
These demonstrations and other manifestations of anti-U.S. sentiment
will continue in light of the escalating imperialist aggression around
the world. Workers and the oppressed inside the U.S. must express
their solidarity with the Muslim people internationally.
Inside the U.S. and Europe, Muslims are profiled, persecuted, falsely
prosecuted and imprisoned on trumped-up charges. These acts of
institutional discrimination against Muslims are designed to demonize
the religion of Islam in order to justify repressive measures
domestically as well as the continuation of imperialist wars abroad.
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