Wed Jun 19, 2024
June 19, 2024

Support the Libyan people to overthrow Gadhafi! No to the NATO intervention

Currently it is impossible to find an Arab country that has not been shaken by riots or demonstrations of protests. The global economic crisis has affected countries in the Middle East and the Maghreb.

The workers of these countries who have immigrated to Europe are the first ones to lose their jobs and thus the remittances to their countries of origin are drastically diminished. The IMF has been imposing privatization programs of public services, drastic reduction of state expenditure, decrease of the number of public employees and officials … Nothing that sounds strange for us, but the consequences are much more devastating in these countries with unemployment rates that average 50% of the workforce. To this we must add, since the ending of 2010, food prices increases, the largest since 1990, and its impact on the Arab countries, one of the major world areas of food importation. Libya, for example, imports 75% of the food it consumes.

Add to this the hate for the puppet governments of imperialism, which are dictatorships responsible for implementing the plans of the IMF at the expense of people’s hunger and whose countries has been held under state of emergency for the last decades.

It was in this scenario, which the events of Tunisia lighted up like a wick that started a domino effect throughout a region united by feelings of nationality, tradition of struggle and rejection of imperialism and Zionism. We witnessed a process of upheaval, a revolution that has as its banner the struggle for bread, for employment and for freedom. It is a revolutionary process which includes the young people, plagued by unemployment and no chance even to emigrate.

For these reasons all the popular uprisings in the Arab countries were regarded with great affection and unconditional support by all the Left in order to reach the so desired victory. The events of Libya, in contrast, have sparked controversy across the Left, a very difficult and very hard controversial. The positioning related to Libyan facts certainly involves matters of principle and the dividing line does not group the more traditional allied parties or the organizations which are ideologically related. Being so, the positions range, among others, as from those who have been placed since the beginning at Qaddafi’s side, with particular vehemence given to Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega, Venezuela’s President Chavez, Fidel Castro and the Cuban leadership, up to those who have been placed, from the beginning, to support the popular uprising against Qaddafi as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Communist Workers Party of Tunisia, the LIT-CI, the Hezbollah…

Beyond each specific position, a debate of this nature requires more rigor than that placed by all the Left that support the “conspiracy theory”, not just because of what Libya actually means, but because the shock can be repeated and even expanded, now that the Arab revolution advances to Syria.

Conspiracy theory or class struggle?

What is striking about this debate is that, when there is no single Arab country freed from popular revolts, the connection of this process with the Libyan process is refused.

For those who have sought, since the beginning, to keep distance of the uprising in Libya and to differentiate it from the overall process in the Middle East and the Arab world, the reason given is that the Libyan uprising is run by “the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (…) an organization financed by the CIA [that] calls on the Libyan people to repeat an oath of loyalty to King Idris-Senusi as the historical leader of the Libyan people.”

At a recent public event, Julio Anguita (General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain) showed his agreement with this explanation referring to the facts in Libya as something encouraged by “seditious” people financed by the CIA. According to this reasoning, there are popular uprisings in all Arab countries except in Libya, where a seditious provocation would be managed by the CIA.

This way of explaining political and/or social phenomena is certainly very close to the proliferating conspiracy theory. But let us for a moment take this “theory” as a true one and let us accept the argument that the uprising in Libya is explained as part of a plan drawn up by the CIA. Then many questions arise:

Qaddafi was the man of imperialism in Libya since 2003 and especially since 2006, when a rampant exploitation by multinational companies took place. Eight days before the popular uprising, the IMF publicly welcomed the Libyan government in view of the economic plans implemented by Qaddafi. He was photographed together with every president in the world and was specially invited by Obama to the G-8 Summit. Qaddafi enthusiastically supported Ben Ali, Tunisian dictator, and Mubarak when they were being challenged by popular uprisings and offered both shelter in Libya. Qaddafi is the man who has the gold keys of Madrid and is a declared friend of Aznar (former rightist Prime Minister of Spain). Qaddafi is the partner of Berlusconi; the Libyan government is a shareholder in the aerospace and defense group Finmeccanica, the Italian state-controlled company, shareholder of the oil company ENI, of textile Olcese and Juventus soccer club, among others. Moreover, the Libyan Government is a shareholder in Quinta Communications, of which the major shareholder is Berlusconi.

The inevitable question is: why does CIA organize a plot against a man with such a curriculum?

What happened in the 8 days between the IMF statement congratulating Qaddafi’s administration and the popular uprising on February 17 to provoke the change of the imperialism’s political position and its support to the popular uprisings against who, up to that day, was an ally?

The conspiracy theory reaches the most diverse political trends. Qaddafi also believes in such a conspiracy, but he says it’s a plot by Al Qaeda supported by NATO: “We face the terrorism of Al Qaeda on one side and on the other NATO, which now supports Al Qaeda” (Qaddafi).

Historically, the CIA’s interventions are characterized by the impulse of military coups, but it is surprising that in Libya the CIA has encouraged and continues to encourage a popular revolt, especially in the midst of turmoil as is the Arab world rocked by riots everywhere. It looks like a crazy fireman trying to extinguish the fire of a huge fire by throwing gasoline around it.

But, once again, let us suppose that it is true and the CIA was placed captaining a popular uprising against who only a month ago was a friendly government. Why then, didn’t imperialism intervene in the beginning of the uprising movement that swept Qaddafi’s troops, but chose to do it only after Qaddafi had recovered his forces and the “seditious” movement was massacred and cut to Benghazi? Why, when the rebels demanded arms, did the Governments deny sending them?

Marxism and especially Lenin, despite not having Internet, or web pages, used to carefully read the bourgeois press and define their policy not on conspiracies, but on the classes analysis, their role, their contradictions, national and international. Where, in this conspiracy theory, are placed the classes, the class character of the states, the internal contradictions of each class, the contradictions among imperialist states and among multinational groups, the contradictions between social movements and their leaders … ?

As for the old Greeks and Romans the fate of the world is explained by Destiny, for conspiracy theorists, everything is written, bound to happen in a certain way. It is just this way they explain the facts of Libya.

For them, any fact of reality is secondary or is explained because imperialism “confuses us.” “We cannot be guided by the imperialist media” but it does not bother them to read the few or many available data, they strongly move against the reading of the bourgeois newspapers in order not to be prisoners of the confusion [who cares about what the enemy says!]. The only articles worthy to be read are the “true” ones, those coming from opinions which “prove” the conspiracy of the CIA.

However, they have no qualms about following in support of their conspiracy theory allegedly led by NFSL since the first day, based on a report of the New York Times of February 25.

Lenin’s criteria to “discover the true essence of a war”

Before wars, Lenin, against the pacifists who used to condemn all war on the grounds of principle and against the opportunists who capitulated to the governments and bourgeois states, demanded to determine the nature of war before setting up a political position.

For those who advocate the conspiracy theory in Libya it is enough just to repeat that “everything is a fake,” and that “the press lies” and after the initiation of imperialist intervention there is nothing to discuss, because the revolutionary position is defined on the basis that the “enemy attacks.” With this line of reasoning, it seems futile to demand them an answer for Lenin’s requirement before defining a policy: “what is the nature of this war?”

Lenin, who incidentally spent hours and hours reading as many bourgeois newspapers as they fell into his hands, argued about the war with all those who made “caricature of Marxism” saying: “How, then, can we disclose and define the ‘true essence’ of a war? War is the continuation of policy. Consequently, we must examine the policy pursued prior to the war, the policy that led to and brought about the war”. “The philistine does not realize that war is ‘the continuation of policy’, and consequently limits himself to the formula that ‘the enemy has attacked us’. More strongly, Lenin continues in this controversy: “If we did not do this we should not only be neglecting an essential requirement of scientific socialism and of all social science in general, but we should be unable to understand anything whatever about the present war (…) How can a war be accounted for without considering its bearing on the preceding policy of the given state, of the given system of states, the given classes? I repeat: this is a basic point which is constantly overlooked. Failure to understand it makes nine-tenths of all war discussions mere wrangling, so much verbiage. We say: if you have not studied the politics of both belligerent groups (…) if you have not shown what bearing this war has on preceding policies, then you don’t understand what this war is all about.” [1]

For conspiracy theorists all these Lenin’s criteria are dispensable. For them the explanations of political or social phenomena that occur in the world do not need scientific basis, material or Marxist basis; knowing that “the enemy attacks” is just enough. As in the old dictatorship (in Spain) that we had to endure for forty years and any social revolt was explained by “outside agitators”, “professional agitators paid with gold from Moscow.”

Facts of the reality

Beyond the political conclusions to be extracted, the objective fact is that we witness a revolutionary wave across the Arab world and Middle East. In Libya, Qaddafi’s government, the man of the oil multinationals, the guarantor of imperialist plunder, was faced with protests and struggles that culminated on February 17 in a popular uprising. It is worth to mention a simple example. Samir El Maghrebi, a stevedore at the port of Benghazi, while explaining to a Venezuelan correspondent that he earns 200 dinars and lives with his family in one room of the house of his parents in a humble neighborhood, El Zeitoun, said: “We are in six brothers and three sisters and just three of the nine have work. Finding a job today is very difficult, almost impossible”. “The first things we need to improve after the revolution are the issues of housing, employment and wages. It is what we all hope, that the situation improves”.

As in the rest of the area, the uprising indicates that the core of their demands is the fight against rising prices and for basic needs against the corrupt government and for democratic freedoms.

The revolt of February 17 extends through the main cities of the country and becomes stronger in the region of Cyrenaica, where there is an old tradition of opposition to Qaddafi. Qaddafi responds with blood and fire which, far from stopping the protests, generates an armed confrontation. The use of the army against the protests far from solving the problem opens a deep crisis of the regime.

Army officers desert, ministers, diplomats, “business men” leave the ranks of the regime and pass to the opposition side. The insurgents assault barracks and arsenals of weapons, to confront Qaddafi’s elite troops and mercenaries.

The web news, an unsuspected pro-imperialist media, reported the following: “Netanyahu’s cabinet has asked Global CST to assist the friendly regime of Colonel Qaddafi … recruit and transport up to 50,000 mercenaries, which seems to be quite an ambitious project.”

For those who identify the Zionist Netanyahu but not the company mentioned, merely saying that Global CST is a multinational specialized in, among other things, trading war mercenaries, and is headed by retired Zionist Army officer, Gen. Israel Ziv.

So the facts confirm that, unlike Egypt and Tunisia, the regime is institutionally incapable of redirecting the revolt, is divided and Qaddafi appeals to the elite troops and mercenaries to quell the protests that, far from succumbing, they generalize and lead to a Civil War.

The transformation of a popular uprising in civil war is the objective fact and the qualitative difference, for now, of Libya compared with Egypt or Tunisia.

Returning to the demands of Lenin before defining a policy, what is the nature of this war? It must be said that the NATO intervention in Libya, the imperialist war, happens on the existence of another previous war, the civil war. So in Libya we are in the middle of two wars. Proponents of the conspiracy theory actually deny the existence of the first one and reduce the Libyan conflict to a single war where “the imperialism attacks”; they deny the popular uprising and end up being at Qaddafi’s side, either confessedly or not.

The insurgent movement and its leadership

To all supporters of the CIA conspiracy theory, the difference between Libya and Egypt and Tunisia lays precisely in the leadership of the process. For them, the uprising leadership and the uprising itself are only one thing, which gives the insurgency a reactionary, counterrevolutionary, seditious character, as said by Anguita.

Defining the nature of a movement for its leadership is a mistake so common among some sectors of the Left and alien to Marxism.

The developments in the Spanish State are full of examples. The recent labor protests have had to face a corrupt leadership that is part of the regime and ally of the government. Each movement they called was aimed to be better placed to negotiate with the Government and betray the struggle, including the general strike. Relying on this true fact, some sectors of the left again and again refused to participate in the demonstrations called by the CCOO and UGT, even refusing to support the general strike of the past September 29. Why did we support these demonstrations? Why did we rally and enthusiastically urge a general strike, even acknowledging the nature and the objectives of that leadership? Didn’t we know they would betray us? What were we doing “mixed” with corrupt traitors and agents of the regime and the system?

Sectors of the Left that today separate Libya from the rest of the Arab revolutionary process took part, since the beginning, in the manifestations of support to the uprising in Tunisia and Egypt – and who was the leadership of those processes?

Egyptian masses staged an exemplary uprising against Mubarak government – the Liberation Square was the symbol of the uprising – but bourgeois leaders like the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the pro-imperialist El Baradei assured its control. The Egyptian army, the key institution of the regime, assisted and supported by imperialism, disarmed the demonstrators while permitting Mubarak’s gangs to enter into the Liberation Square to attack them. The masses that were fighting against the government and eventually managed to oust Mubarak ended up by applauding the Army. The movement was driven, for the time being, by the regime. Today, in Egypt, Mubarak army preserves the power and together with it, all agreements that provide hunger and misery, as well as keeping support to imperialism and Zionism. Why, then, we enthusiastically participated in the demonstrations supporting the riots in Egypt when such a pro-imperialist leadership was in command and the demonstrators at Liberation Square called for the intervention of the Egyptian army?

The explanation is that we do not ever confuse the movement with its leadership. The political nature of a popular protest movement is determined by its aim; what or who is being faced. The movement, for a Marxist, is by definition unconscious, there is not any awareness of the general course of the fight or of its historical objectives. When the masses burst they do it in rejection of their means of life, denouncing what condemn them to poverty or oppression. The political leadership works on that unconscious and objective action. This political leadership is the subjective reason, the conscious motif, no matter if these leaderships are stronger or weaker, are more or less prestigious, whether they are revolutionary or reactionary. On furthering the masses purposes, such conscious elements work representing interests of different and opposing classes, aiming at bringing together in one way or another the process by providing it with a program.

For Marxists this process, far from any linear course, is full of tensions, contradictions and confrontations between the various forces that are going to dispute the leadership. A lively and determined struggle is brought, whose result is not predetermined by any conspirator or any force of destiny.

The struggle in Libya and its leadership

What then is the nature of the protest movement against Qaddafi? The specific event that triggers the demonstrations first and the regime’s repression afterwards is well known. Libya protests started, as in many other Arab countries, when Tunis process took place. On February 17, demonstrations in Benghazi led by families of detainees who were slaughtered in Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison in 1996 – resulting in death toll of 1200 prisoners – were responded by the arrest of their lawyer and shooting on the crew by Qaddafi’s forces. So the current events are triggered. The Libyan people, tired of seeing their living conditions deteriorate, tired of corruption and tired of a dictatorship that lasted for more than 40 years, as in Tunisia and Egypt, have seized the streets. It is a progressive movement, objectively revolutionary and objectively anti-imperialist once it faces the puppet government of IMF and the imperialism.

A fundamental question that should be made to all that Left is what they would do if they were in the place. We would not hesitate a single minute to be together with those who went to the streets against Qaddafi, supporting that movement, regardless of its leadership’s nature. And the more reactionary are their leaders the more obliged we are to intervene and prevent them from consolidating their position.

Al Jazeera and several agencies’ news around the world have realized the constitution, since the beginning of the revolt, of the so-called People’s Committees. For anyone interested in the chronicles on the side of the insurgents there is plenty of information, including the Venezuelan Telesur and its correspondent in Libya, Reed Lindsay, by no means suspected of pro-imperialism.

After the events of February 17, the People’s Committees spread throughout the country. In the liberated cities, the Peoples’ Committees were made responsible to ensure the food supply, ensure the electricity, get the oil for fuel supply to power plants, and ensure the distribution of food and water. These committees guaranteed that those local Ministry of Finance’s officials who joined the revolution “had the checks signed to ensure the payment of wages”; these armed Committees were in charge of defense tasks and the functioning of the Central Bank offices. The committees ensure that those banks that had resumed their work allowed the withdrawal of up to $ 160 daily.

The absent institutions in the liberated areas were replaced by these Committees. It is not difficult to guess what all that process entails: all revolutionary process that puts down the State and its central column, the army, which is split, is forced to replace all that apparatus, to improvise in this case.

Who are in the basis of all these militias and the insurgency movement? As in many other Arab countries, they are the guys (Shaba), young men and women who led the uprising against the tyrant.

Just look at the photos on the media to see a makeshift militia, poorly armed, with little discipline, with no structure of command. Far, far away from the disciplined, well-paid and better armed elite corps defending Qaddafi. Just a brief look is enough to notice the armed militias, product of a popular uprising, very similar to what anyone could see in the first moments of the Spanish revolution against the fascist military coup.

The determining factor rises at this point, the revolutionary leadership, which could exist or not before the blast, but that cannot be improvised or invented on the march. How to ensure the militias? How to centralize the efforts of supplies, military, etc.? How can national centralized organizations be provided taking into account the local dispersion? How to form a centralized government of all the liberated areas?

Since reality does not tolerate the vacuum of power, it begins to produce a fight, surely full of tensions, open clashes and contradictions among the different social and political competing sectors who are obliged to solve all these problems.

Available data indicate that the Municipal Councils are widespread, and coordination among them has begun in some areas. Initially all the data points to a relevant role of the “Revolutionary Coalition of 17 February” whose spokesman is Abdelhafid Ghoga, lawyer and human rights defender. There are very vague articles and difficult to prove that many “Islamists and communists” militants belong to rebel militias. Add to this picture of chaos in the ranks of the insurgency due to lack of a unified leadership, the mass exodus of those who are the central component of the Libyan working class, the immigrant workers, especially the Egyptians. In a population of nearly 6.5 million people, including over 1.5 million foreign workers it is estimated that between a million and 1.5 million people have left Libya since the conflict began.

Formation of the so-called National Council appears as the “necessary” answer both to “bring order” in the ranks of the insurgents and to establish an interlocutor, a representative before the regime and the world.

The National Council model reflects the internal tensions and the different goals of their own components. Generational and political differences among its components are notable. “The Council has been helpful in maintaining cohesion. It is normal that at first there are different points of view. It is not easy that all the members accept the authority of the Board … The most difficult to control are the youths “, said Mohamed Gheriani one of its most famous spokespersons.

The contradictions between the National Council and the insurgent grassroots are acknowledged not only by the statements above. At the same day UN approved the resolution authorizing the intervention in Libya, thousands of people gathered together in a central square in Benghazi to celebrate the news. The images, which were broadcast by Al Jazeera, show in the square a huge and widespread all over the world banner, with a slogan in English: “No foreign intervention, Libyan People can manage it alone”.

The National Council comprised of 31 members, most clandestine, is composed of representatives of different cities, of prestigious people in the struggle for democratic rights and of a hard core of men from the Qaddafi regime (and no news of the irrelevant and so much cited NFSL). Mentioning some names of former pro-Qaddafi’s members: Younis Abdul Fatah, the former head of the Ministry of Interior, who joined the rebels’ side in the early days of the revolution; Ali Aziz Al Issawi was the former Minister of Economy and resigned his post of ambassador to India; former Justice Minister Abdel Jalil Mustafa, who resigned from this position on 21 February. The Council begins to be taken over by “respected personalities, intellectuals and businessmen.”

To ensure that this Council “fulfills its mission” is not an easy task, so the supreme commander of NATO forces, Admiral James Stavridis, stated before the U.S. Senate that there were “traces of Al Qaeda or Hezbollah elements among the rebel forces. “We’re looking very closely at the content, composition, and the personality’s profiles of the opposition’s leaders”. Similarly, the French Foreign Affairs Minister, Alain Juppe, expressed doubts about this Council, whose recognition had been pioneered by the Gallic government: “The Libyan National Transitional Council (CNT) ‘does not have the monopoly’ of the rebel’s representation in his country”.

Imperialism rushs to recognize the Council, first to help it to bring “order” and discipline to the undisciplined militias and especially, according to their own admission, to discipline the youths.

The formation of the National Council, far away from conspiracy theories, shows the internal contradictions and struggles in a revolution between the objective, anti-dictatorial and anti-imperialist character that expresses the mass uprising and the absence of a revolutionary leadership, which enables that men of the old regime and bourgeois sectors (business people) to place themselves as leaders in order to bring back the uprising to an agreed transition with the imperialism and to keep what is possible of Qaddafi’s regime.

What is the purpose of the military intervention of imperialism?

It is said that when the Prussian government asked the General Karl von Clausewitz a war plan to face France, Clausewitz answered: tell us what the politics objective is and we will trace the war plan. This famous nineteenth-century Prussian general, author of the treatise On War was highly appreciated by Engels and especially by Lenin. He is the author of the well-known sentence repeated by Lenin: “war is the continuation of politics by other means.”

The imperialist governments, no matter how deeply wicked and scoundrel they are, are far from being categorized as mindless idiots who are not aware of their actions. Therefore, the French Minister of Defense, Longuet, echoing the tensions that arose in the ranks of allies, recalled: “If there is not a political project it does not make sense to intervene”. What then is the political objective that precedes the intervention? For advocates of conspiracy theory, it is summarized by putting an equal sign between the current intervention in Libya and that of Iraq.

If the political objective is the same as in the Iraq war, to destroy Saddam Hussein, to occupy militarily Iraq and impose a colonial government, why does the UN expressly rejects the occupation of Libya? Why, as properly stated by Corriente Roja “they not only remained impassive while the popular uprising was being devastated, but also explicitly denied to give the resistance weapons when asked?” Why do the big oils continue to fund Qaddafi? Why, even more surprisingly, Obama and Zapatero stated categorically: “The operation in Libya does not intend to oust Qaddafi”, “Resolution 1973 of UN Security Council did not intend and do not intend to oust Colonel Qaddafi, its goal was to warn him to stop using the weapons against his people, and in case he did not stop the international community would be willing to use the force to end the killings of his people “(Zapatero).

To be faithful to that advice of Lenin, “War is the continuation of politics”, we need just to observe the military operations. Since it began on March 19, NATO operations are focused in the airstrike of Qaddafi’s positions and the bombardment with Tomahawk missiles. Each bombardment allows the rebel troops to advance, but once NATO stops Qaddafi’s forces recover ground again. If the goal is, as in Iraq, quickly destroy Qaddafi, occupy the country militarily and impose a colonial government, why this current form of military intervention is being used which does not destroy Qaddafi, nor permits the triumph of the insurgents?

Let’s recall Lenin’s advice: to “examine the policy pursued prior to the war”, “to account for a war by considering its bearing on the preceding policy of the given state, of the given system of states, the given classes”. Where are the analyses of the global economic crisis, the competition among imperialist countries by the markets? Where are the analyses about imperialist countries which are mired in two wars like Iraq or Afghanistan? Conspiracy theorists erase with the elbow what they handwrote just weeks before the outbreak of the conflict.

It is well known around the world that intervention in Libya is generating tensions within the ranks of imperialism and also tensions between the latter and countries like Russia and China. The head of the imperialists, Obama was clear: “Extending our military mission in Libya to bring about regime change would be a mistake … The alliance would have been divided, we would have to put troops on the ground, the dangers faced by our soldiers would increase as well as our responsibility in the events following”.

Having in view the global economic crisis that includes a reduction of military spending in the U.S. of 55,000 million euros, also two unsolved wars and an entire region shaken by popular uprisings, repeat the Iraq policy is like committing suicide. The recent meeting of imperialism in London concludes that everyone wants “Libyan sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity”. Without ignoring the demagogic speech and the imperialist tricks, those statements are remarkably different from the statements made in the Iraq war.

The UN resolutions, the reiterated denial of giving weapons to the rebels, the NATO military actions and the imperialism statements, especially from their commander in chief, Barack Obama, show the political objective of the intervention, as stated by Corriente Roja: it is to ensure control of the region and impose “stability” in a strategic area for energy resources, because in face of the increasing popular uprisings the governments and political regimes in the region have shown themselves incapable of maintaining political stability.

Unlike Egypt and Tunisia, they failed to reach an agreement within the regime to dismantle the uprising because in Libya the mobilization has destroyed the state and its spine, the army. Nor Qaddafi, supported by mercenaries and elite troops, neither the insurgency leadership that shows no controlling over the population and does not appear as an indisputable leadership, are able to ensure that stability; therefore the NATO military actions have the purpose of cornering both sides and forcing them to reach a negotiated settlement for a national unity, a negotiated transition under imperialist control.

If the policy of imperialism were simply to overthrow Qaddafi, it would have been sufficient to arm the opposition to the teeth, since the first day, and do not stop the air strikes to oust Qaddafi in two days, without a single NATO soldier stepped on Libya. But let’s reiterate once again, a National Council which do not demonstrate be representative of all the insurgents and much less able to control the armed youth, is no guarantee whatsoever for imperialism.

The proposal of Franco Frattini, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the country with more presence in Libya, is clear: “drive a Libyan national reconciliation”. “The solution for the crisis will be political, not military”, repeats the belligerent Sarkozy. To open the doors for the exile of Qaddafi, without any punishment for his past, as they did with Ben Ali and Mubarak is not only the “political proposal” on what the imperialism bets, but also the one to which Saif Al-Islam, Qaddafi’s son and the central figure of the regime, joins to. The National Council statement pledging to respect all international agreements signed by Libya (as did the Egyptian military), Qaddafi’s recent speech stating he would accept any decision of the African Union and the sending of emissaries to London further open the door to such a negotiation that is a “secret” known by everybody.

NATO military actions follow, as the shadow follows the body, the pressure to enforce this policy.

Against imperialism and supporting the revolution or against the intervention to defend Qaddafi?

Corriente Roja’s statement on March 10, said:

“Peoples of the world must mobilize against imperialist intervention implemented by NATO, for the right to self-determination and against the regime of Qaddafi, in order to prevent – first – any direct or indirect support of the Spanish Government to the imperialist aggression.

We express our support to the Libyan uprising to overthrow Qaddafi’s regime, as in the revolutions of the Arab peoples against the pro-imperialist and corrupted governments. The arming of the Libyan workers and working class and the emergence of a political leadership to oppose strongly to the interference of the imperialist powers and who is able to develop, until its ultimate consequence, a strategy of armed insurrection against the Qaddafi’s regime is the only guarantee that Libyan people can reach its full national sovereignty, democracy, freedom and opportunity to advance toward socialism.”

Those who, like us, advocate this position are rated as those of the “Neither … Nor”. Taking this definition from a poor television show, a sad reality show dedicated to young people that “Neither study nor work” shows little respect, very little imagination and a disgraceful level of political awareness.

They attack us saying we defend the same position as those that in the first Iraq war stated “Neither NATO nor Saddam”. They even say that we are not consequential to the position maintained until now that we defend a country attacked by imperialism regardless of the country’s regime. We continue to strongly defend the same principle, just as we did in the wars in Iraq. Moreover, the IWL-FI militants had to hear a number of insults of those who were silent and were shocked when, during the Falklands War, we defended Argentina against aggression from England when Argentina was ruled by an unbearable dictatorship.

It surprises me especially that many of those who, with the most just reason, say “Neither PSOE nor PP” become now that belligerent to saying “Neither … Nor”. However those, referring to Lybia’s war, who accuse us of “Neither … Nor” can only do it from a point of view: ignoring the existence of the war that precedes the imperialist intervention, ignoring the popular uprising against Qaddafi. Indeed, the “Neither … Nor” do not exist; to say “Neither Saddam nor NATO”, when there was a war of imperialist aggression, just might be the flag of neutrality in the face of that war, that is, the flag of shameful capitulation to imperialist aggression.

Those who say now “Out with NATO, Out with Qaddafi”, away from neutrality, keep the right coherence of our position: we are against imperialist intervention and in favor of Qaddafi’s defeat. We made it clear that we are against imperialist intervention, but we are not neutral in the civil war, we want the insurgents do not leave any trace of the Libyan pro-imperialist and tyrant Qaddafi’s regime.

The paradox of the debate is that those whose position are against the “Neither … Nor” end up by being neutralist in one of the two ongoing wars, the civil war in Libya, and in this way they end up in a complete capitulation to Qaddafi’s regime. Worse than that, they show an extreme recklessness. If there is not such a civil war, as we affirm and if everything is an artificial assembly, if the only war that exists here is the imperialist aggression war, why not to call for military support to Qaddafi, why not to call for volunteers and weapons to defend Libya, the Qaddafi’s Libya, against imperialism? Why not to call for all Arab governments and organizations arms and volunteers to go to Libya? Instead of all this, the “anti-imperialists” state now they are committed supporters of “non interference.”

Build up a mass movement in support of the Arab revolution and against imperialist intervention

Those who, like us, declare themselves supporters of organizing a huge mass movement against imperialist intervention are required to acknowledge the reality as it is. The vast majority of the working class, including much of its best workers or activists, or the great majority of the Arab community, are not really against the NATO intervention, or have serious doubts about whether this is the “lesser evil”. Worse than that, there is a strike information that should make the conspiracy theorists to reflect: what happens in the Arab countries that – being rocked by a revolution throughout the region – have no mass demonstrations against the intervention? Why in Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt millions of people did not come to the streets to say no to imperialist intervention?

For those who advocate the conspiracy theory the explanation is simple: the powerful media lie, falsify and confuse, thereby generating pre-determined opinion. But have the media begun to be so now? We know that media have always been so, liars, forgers, etc. How can we explain that millions of people worldwide have gone onto the streets against the intervention in Iraq, how can we explain that in all Arab countries and in each of the interventions of imperialism millions have gone onto the streets and in Libya’s case all we see is a desert?

It is said that big lies only have social credibility if they carry a dose of truth on them. The great lie of imperialism, that the intervention purpose on Libya is to save the civilian population, sits on a dose of truth – that Qaddafi is going to fire and sword the people who rose against him. When anyone in the world and especially in this country has heard Qaddafi say that he would enter in Benghazi as Franco entered in Madrid, eventually took the final dose of truth that made him/her swallow the big lie.

To combat the imperialist lies by denying the facts of reality, these “doses of truth”, is a safe way to not to build up any anti-imperialist movement.

Claiming that “what unites” is the abhorrence of NATO intervention, claiming that this must be the “minimal” agreement to boost an anti-war movement, means to bet on not building this movement of protest against the intervention at all. This is so because to say only “No to NATO intervention” being unaware of the ongoing civil war, ignoring the refusal of all governments to ship arms to the rebels, means saying “No to NATO … and that Qaddafi puts back the rebels”; it is, ultimately, the unspoken support to Qaddafi. This policy is a crime against the revolutionary process in Arab countries and gives reason those that, unfortunately, believe that this intervention “is the lesser evil”.

We have to drive an anti-war movement that says “No to NATO, Out with Qaddafi”, which screams as was done in Madrid “No to intervention, but to revolution”. We have to take this debate to the companies, to unions, and especially to the Arab immigrant workers in order to explain patiently that to support Libyan workers, Libyan people and oust Qaddafi demands that we oppose the NATO intervention and summon weapons to insurgents. We have to express full support and solidarity for those who took up arms against Qaddafi, so we do not want an intervention whose purpose is to replace one tyranny for another, the worst of all tyrants, the imperialist powers tyranny… We do not want that NATO – with the Qaddafi’s regime but without Qaddafi – and the National Council sectors that come from that same regime steal from the Libyan people their right to victory. We do not want a “new regime” to continue to plunder Libya resources, handing the country wealthy to multinationals; we do not want a new regime that, at the behest of the IMF, continue to condemn the youth to unemployment and poverty. Therefore, the uprising of February 17 will only prevail if the armed people defeat Gadhafi and close the door to NATO.

Surely more than one “anti-imperialist” will cry to heaven: ask weapons to the imperialist governments! Is it lacking any further proof of the capitulation to imperialism?

It is important to remind them, among others, that Ho Chi Minh and Vietmin asked for and received weapons from U.S. imperialism in its struggle against the French and Japanese imperialism, and as far as we know, no one accused them of being pro-imperialist. The French and Italian partisans in World War II required arms more than once to the American and to the British armies and no one accused them of being pro-imperialist Saxons. And wasn’t it one of the major demands of the Republic in 1936 (during civil war in Spain) the request for military aid to the imperialist powers, the so-called allies? Wasn’t it always a cause for complaint the wretched arms embargo imposed by Blum government to the Republic and the refusal of the allies in sending those weapons?

In all cases mentioned, to ask for weapons is a basic requirement, the right of people to defend themselves from tyrants; it is also a direct way to expose the imperialist demagogy. Those who speak of defending the Libyan people, why do they deny them the right to defend themselves? But it is, above all, the sincere and clear demonstration that we want the victory of the Libyan people against Qaddafi. To support Libyan insurgents, require weapons for its defense, is a way to put a barrier between the armed youths and the leadership of the capitulating National Council; it is the best way to build bridges with those who support “No to foreign intervention, the Libyan people can manage it alone”.

The future of Libya with a new regime emerged from the national unity or from the complete defeat of Qaddafi’s regime will not close the revolutionary process. The new regime will need to respond to economic, social and democratic demands which are placed at the root of the uprising that shook Libya today and all Arab people. No colonial government will be able to satisfy these demands and this fact gives material basis to the fight continuity. However, those that, admittedly or not support Qaddafi will have nothing to say, because they placed themselves to the tyrant side toppled by the people.


[1] – Fragments of texts by Lenin about the war. The two quotes refer to the two articles: “A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism” (1916) and “War and Revolution” (1917).

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