No to imperialist military intervention in Libya!
Long live the international proletarian struggle against capitalism!
(«Proletarian»;Nr. 7; Summer 2011)
Since Saturday, March 19, a US-led military coalition, including, besides English and French Forces, participation by Canadian, Italian, Spanish, and other countries, commenced the bombardment of military installations and concentrations of troops loyal to the Gaddafi government. The stated purpose of this military intervention which has been endorsed by the Security Council of the UN and the Arab League, is to get government forces off the offensive against the rebels, in order to avoid a “massacre of the civilian population”.
But when real massacres of civilians occurred at the beginning of the revolt, the authorities of all these countries responded with total silence. When information on the killings began to filter out of Libya, they were content with their hypocritical ritual admonitions, begging the Libyan government to exercise “restraint” and to avoid using “disproportionate” violence. It is Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi who betrayed the origin of this attitude, when he said he had not called Gaddafi asking him to stop the repression “because he did not want to disturb him”: the European governments did not wish to “disturb” the Libyan government when it was fighting to restore its order in blood!
With the unceasing onslaught of the revolt despite the repression, to the point of appearing to threaten the regime, the major Western imperialist countries began to put pressure on Gaddafi and his allies with freezes of financial assets, arms embargoes, etc. At the same time, according to reports in some newspapers (1), discreet talks were undertaken, especially by the Americans, with certain fractions of the Libyan power; the aim was not to help the rebels to topple the regime, but to implement a Tunisian or Egyptian solution: the sidelining of Gaddafi to save the regime itself. Indeed, this regime was engaged for several years in close collaboration with U.S. imperialism (the fight against Islamism) and European imperialism (the role of border guard and the blockage of African immigrant workers). Also it is a significant supplier of oil, not to mention a lucrative market, thanks to income received from oil, for the capitalist enterprises of many countries.
The evolution of the internal situation, marked by the governmental counter-attack in particular through the use of Nigerien and Chadian mercenaries and the obstinancy of the Gaddafi clan to yield anything, made this solution impossible. At the instigation of the British and French governments, the United States and other imperialist powers of the Security Council of the UN, this modern den of thieves, and the Arab League (from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates), this set of states each more authoritarian and repressive than the other, finally gave the green light to Western military intervention in favor of “democracy”. At the same time all these defenders of democracy were busy endorsing the Saudi military intervention to crush the rebellion in Bahrain and the massacre of dozens of protesters by the government of Yemen!
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The rebel movement in Libya, born on the wave of revolts that has shaken neighboring countries since the beginning of this year, undoubtedly mobilized the proletarianized masses of the country against poverty, oppression and repression; but it also, as was inevitable, expressed the aspirations of bourgeois and petit-bourgeois factions, layers or “tribes” marginalized by those close to Gaddafi, to capture a larger slice of the pie and of the power. It is this representatives of bourgeois layers who have installed themselves as leaders of the insurgents and who have been recognized by Sarkozy as “legitimate representatives of the Libyan people”. It is no coincidence that the leading representative of the so-called “National Council” of Benghazi is Al Jeleil, Gaddafi’s former Minister of Justice who in this capacity is responsible for countless arrests and arbitrary detentions. It is no coincidence either that the insurgent authorities allowed pogroms against African immigrant workers to proceed in Benghazi...
The proletarians have nothing good to expect from the murderer Gaddafi, or the imperialist coalition, but nothing either from the provisional government which was assembled under the colors of the ancient kingdom of Libya. In reality the workers in Libya, both natives and especially immigrants (migrant workers, from Egypt, Tunisia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent, represent half of the proletarians of the country by some estimates), have suffered, and will suffer the worst consequences of repression not only from Gaddafi’s militias, but also from clashes between various factions and now the imperialist military intervention.
The war unleashed against Gaddafi, even if it is “limited” for the moment to aerial bombardment is a war of imperialist plunder, like its predecessors in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. The wave of revolts which shook the regimes which used to be solid allies of the Western imperialists has at the same time sharpened the contradictions and conflicts between the great capitalist powers, at a time when the economic crisis forces each of them to defend its own interests ever more harshly against those of its competitors. The crisis of the Libyan regime has precipitated all the greater and lesser states into pushing their pawns forward, shattering the facade of unity of the “international community” . The “Libyan affair” has provided an opportunity for Britain and France to try to dictate the law in the Mediterranean – while entrenching themselves more firmly in a country rich in oil; the United States, while now maintaining a low profile once again demonstrated to their allies that they were still the real masters; tagging behind, Italy, Spain and Canada are present to claim their share of the spoils, while Egypt does not want to be shut out of what’s happening to one of its neighbors and the UAE is content to take a back seat in order to have a free hand at home. On the other hand Germany, Russia or China do not look at all favorably upon this Americano-Anglo-Franco action ...
The proletarians have interests diametrically opposed to those factions and bourgeois states that are competing in this bloody fray. They must not support a weaker bourgeois state against the all powerful imperialists , they must not support the bourgeois states experiencing aggression against “aggressor” states: all the bourgeois states, all the bourgeoisies are as one against the proletarians and wage a permanent struggle, sometimes “peaceful”, sometimes violent against them. In war as in peace, the workers are exploited, oppressed and suppressed, they experience misery, poverty and death in the workplace. Whatever the government, they can count only on their own forces, on their own struggle, on their own organization to defend themselves. And they must reserve their solidarity for their class brothers of all countries, and not for the bourgeois. This solidarity, this struggle and this organization can become possible only by breaking all ties with all bourgeois States, organizations and orientations, whether religious or secular, democratic or nationalist.
The class party embodies the struggle of the proletariat of all countries against capitalism and bourgeois power; it is the organ necessary to centralize the proletariat and to lead its struggles to revolutionary victory. This party does not exist today, except in terms of theory and program, as there is no generalized class struggle in all countries.
But the revolts like those that break out today in the Arab countries and those that will break out tomorrow, demonstrate that the incurable economic and social contradictions of capitalism are at work and they push the workers, including those in the major imperialist countries, to resume the path of real revolutionary struggle against capitalism. Tens of thousands of migrant workers fleeing Libya were greeted fraternally by their Tunisian brothers: this is a small sign of proletarian internationalist solidarity. This is the path which the class struggle will take once again and through which the revolutionary Communist party will be reborn, basing itself on the teachings of Marxism and the lessons of the great struggles and workers’ revolutions of the past.
The planes, aircraft carriers, submarines and ships of the western armada mobilized in the seas and skies of Libya will not stop the wave of revolt that is now beginning to spread to Syria and Morocco; it may perhaps mark a pause, but the struggle against all the dams built up by the ruling classes will inevitably be reborn. Until the proletariat, having paid enough of its sweat and blood to fatten the capitalists, launches itself into the only war worth fighting: the class war against all the bourgeoisies, starting with that of his own country!
March 20, 2011
(1) See for example the “Wall Street Journal” 09/03/11
International Communist Party