On the situation in Libya
On the situation in Libya
(llco.org, originally published March 9, 2011)
The recent Arab and Middle Eastern revolts are not homogeneous. The different revolts have occurred in different contexts. Some of these revolts are more progressive than others. Some are not progressive nor popular at all. Mao said it is right to rebel against reactionaries, but not all rebellions are progressive. Sometimes reactionaries themselves rise in rebellion, and sometimes they draw significant numbers to their cause. History is full of reactionaries who rise up — sometimes against progressive forces, sometimes against other reactionaries. We must avoid the error of movementarianism.
Here are some points regarding the current conflict:
1. The US is reportedly trying to arm the opposition forces behind the scenes. If it has already been reported, then it is probably the case that the US has already done so.
2. The imperialists are pushing for a “No Fly Zone.” The opposition leaders are reportedly asking for one also. Some of the opposition has also reportedly asked for air strikes against Gaddafi’s forces.
3. The main opposition leadership in Benghazi is in the process of being crowned by the imperialists as the legitimate government in Libya.
4. The imperialists have announced that they want to try Gaddafi for “war crimes.” Although they said that everyone in the conflict will be investigated, we should not be naive here. The threat is clearly directed at Gaddafi and his loyalists.
5. Interpol has issued a warrant for Gaddafi and his associates. Gaddafi’s assets have been frozen abroad.
6. The imperialist media is clearly shaping this struggle as one for Western-style democracy against totalitarian tyranny.
7. Libya is a tribal society. This conflict appears to be shaping up as a tribal conflict. Gaddafi has his tribal ties. The opposition has theirs. Opposition to Gaddafi and support for him are not evenly distributed.
8. The Gulf Arab states, which are puppets of the imperialists, are calling on the United Nations Security Council to intervene.
In the past, Gaddafi aided various anti-imperialist forces from the PLO to the IRA. Even today, he aligns himself internationally with Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega who have both offered Gadaffi rhetorical support. Gaddafi continues to cast himself as an anti-imperialist and as a representative of the poor countries. However, Gaddafi is disingenuous. Gaddafi has moved closer to the imperialists in recent years. He has opened Libya up to the imperialists. He has cast himself as reformed and repentant for past errors. He extradited anti-imperialists to the West to face trial for “terrorism.” He paid up for Libya’s alleged role in the Lockerbie bombing. And he put his arms program on display for the imperialists. He also warns the imperialists of the dangers of Islamism, especially in Algeria. And he praises Obama, “a son of Africa.” Even so, Gaddafi is still perceived as erratic and unreliable in the eyes of imperialists. His style of rule and personality make him an unreliable ally in the eyes of the imperialists. Clearly the imperialists think they will get a more reliably comprador regime by supporting the opposition. As events shape up, it is clear that the imperialists have chosen the side of the opposition. And the opposition is clearly willing to work with the imperialists. However, it is also important to note that Gaddafi has signaled to the imperialists that he is willing to cut a deal if he is allowed to remain in power. In an attempt to appeal to the imperialists, he has crafted a strange narrative that the opposition is made up al-Qaeda militants and youth who have taken hallucinogens (via Nescafe). Obviously, Gaddafi’s strange signal is falling on deaf ears.
This looks like a conflict where neither alternative is good. Both sides are competing to make a deal with the imperialists, but the opposition is clearly more in the imperialists’ good graces. A likely result of the conflict will be a weakening of Libya overall. Any future state will be extremely weak, at the mercy of imperialists. In addition, the US and other imperialists will use the conflict as a way to intervene. It is important for us to oppose all imperialist meddling in the region. It is important to support Libya’s self-determination. Let’s hope that the conflict is over soon and that as few Libyans die in this fratricidal war that will only benefit the imperialists. The main enemy is imperialism.
Hands Off Libya!
Imperialists Out of Everywhere!
US Off the Planet!