Sea deaths

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The horrific death toll of African and Middle Eastern refugees and migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe is a damning indictment of all the major imperialist powers, and most particularly the United States.

The American president, Barack Obama, and his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, have blood up to their elbows. They set the present catastrophe in motion through brutal wars for regime change waged under the hypocritical and discredited banner of “human rights”.

Of course, 2011 was the year that the US and its Nato allies, principally France and Britain, launched their war for regime change in Libya, under the fabricated pretext that they were intervening to prevent a massacre by the government of Muammar al-Gaddafi in the eastern city of Benghazi.

This “humanitarian” mission initiated a six-month US-Nato bombing campaign that killed at least ten times the number who died in the scattered fighting between government troops and armed rebels that had preceded it.

This imperialist intervention, which utilised Islamist militias with ties to al-Qaeda as its proxy ground forces, left Libya descending rapidly into chaos and destruction.

There were no such mass sectarian murders in Libya before the US-Nato war for regime change, nor for that matter did al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militias exist as any more than a marginal force.

These elements were promoted, armed and backed by massive air power after the major imperialist powers decided to topple and murder Gaddafi and carry out a new rape of Libya.

The disastrous consequences of this predatory neocolonial intervention are now undeniable.

It is only one in a growing number of imperialist wars and interventions in the oil-rich Middle East and North Africa that have destroyed entire societies and turned millions into refugees.

These include the wars in Iraq, Syria and now Yemen, as well as interventions by the imperialist powers or their regional proxies in Mali, Somalia and Sudan.

Alan Hinnrichs

Gillespie Terrace