Libya: Stop Gaddafi's killings, no Western intervention

March 5, 2011

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on February 26.

The Socialist Alliance extends its full solidarity to the people of Libya now being brutally repressed for demanding an end to the corrupt and unjust regime of dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Their courageous struggle, launched on February 15, for democracy and economic and social justice, has resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of people being killed.

Civilians have been strafed and bombed from helicopters and planes, and snipers with high-powered rifles have fired into unarmed crowds. 
The Gaddafi regime has tried to seal off international knowledge of these events by blocking the internet and locking out journalists, but it is now clear that the people have not been defeated.

While the atrocities against the Libyan people unfolded, it was days before the US, Britain and other Western governments were prepared to condemn the regime.

The reason is that, despite Gaddafi’s radical posturing and anti-imperialist rhetoric, his regime is tightly enmeshed with the world’s major capitalist powers.

In the 1980s, Gaddafi came under attack from the US administration because he took an anti-imperialist line and gave financial and material aid to many national liberation movements at the time. The imperialist governments saw this as an attack on their presumed right to exploit Libya’s oil resources.

However, since Gaddafi’s rapprochement with the West in the late 1990s, which resulted in the lifting of sanctions by the United Nations in 1999, and Europe and the US in 2004, large Western corporations have flocked to Libya under the regime’s guarantee of access to huge profits.

Several major US oil companies, including ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil and Hess Corp, now have significant stakes in Libya.

European companies such as British Petroleum, Italy’s Eni, Spain’s Repsol and Royal Dutch Shell have even bigger stakes in Libya’s economy, and there are now about 150 British companies operating in Libya.

Alongside the Western powers’ moves to get their hands on a share of the largest oil reserves in Africa, European governments have supplied Gaddafi with large amounts of arms and other military and electronic jamming equipment.

Britain has been heavily involved in training Libya’s police, and has authorised the export of tear gas and crowd-control ammunition to the Libyan state.

These same Western powers that have for the past decade propped up Gaddafi’s rule to profit from the country’s oil wealth are now talking about direct military intervention to “restore stability” in Libya — that is, to quell the protests and secure their investments.

While the Libyan and Western capitalists have grown rich, the roughly half of Libyans who fall outside the oil economy have been impoverished.

Unemployment is 30% and youth unemployment is estimated at between 40% and 50%, the highest in North Africa. Twenty per cent of Libyans remain illiterate, there are few work opportunities and decent housing is unavailable to many.

This situation, alongside the stifling political repression and the corruption in the ruling regime, has led to the current people’s rebellion.

The Libyan people were no doubt inspired by the massive mobilisations of people’s power that toppled dictators Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.

The Socialist Alliance, too, takes great heart from all the people’s struggles for justice across the Arab world.

These are not simply uprisings against Western-backed dictators, but the active expression of millions of people’s desire for an end to the policies of neoliberalism that create poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunity for ordinary people.

We pledge to continue to take action in solidarity with the ongoing peoples’ struggles in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria, Syria, Jordan, Djibouti, Iran, Iraq and elsewhere.

The Socialist Alliance expresses its 100% solidarity with the Libyan people’s demands for democracy and social justice, and calls for:

• An immediate end to the massacre, and for Gaddafi and his henchmen to step down.

• The immediate release of all political prisoners in Libya.

• No Western intervention in Libya.

• An end to Western powers’ arms trade with Libya.

• An end to all Western military occupations and interference in the Middle East and Africa.


I find it interesting that Hugo's position is quite far removed from the SA's position if the corporate media is to be believed in his refusal to condemn Gaddaffi. I agree with the SA's position on this though. Just because Western Imperialist forces are wrong, doesn't mean Gaddaffi is right.
The news from the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) has been consistently just one way propaganda. With Egypt, the key word was "stability", and the dreaded "Muslim Brotherhood". But with Libya it is "No fly zone" and "military intervention". I have seen the ABC interviewers actively propose this to people being interviewed about other topics. Talk about having an agenda! The ABC seems to be the best we can have on Australian airwaves, and I am sick of it. This reminds me of the propaganda back in early 2003. We only hear one side, and lots of it. Where was all of this pro-active "military intervention" stuff during Operation Cast Lead, or the invasion of Lebanon in 2006? It was nowhere to be seen. Instead we had talk of "defending Israel". But when it comes to reclaiming an oil rich dominion that used its oil for people's welfare back into the economic domination of the USA, the propaganda faucet must be turned on full blast ensuring our population has no room in their heads left to think what this is all about.
So what happens if Gaddafi and his henchmen don't stand down? No western intervention? Then who's going to do it then? Interesting position you have when it comes to opposing western intervention but not liking the dictator? Face it, unless the west intervenes, he WILL slaughter everyone who opposes him - he saw what happened to Saddam. And Gaddafi was bombed because he gave weapons and funding to terrorist organisations, not "national liberation movements". Like semtex to the IRA to blow up civilians and place bombs randomly. Guess that was all fine until his own people got jack of it.
I think we all understand why we must resist American military/industrial interventions around the world, and why the motives of the administration can not be trusted, especially when western (capitalist) interests are so nakedly at stake. However I think the current Libyan crisis illustrates why blanket resistance to military actions can, in certain instances, prove tragic and counter-productive. Given that the actions are limited to the imposition of a no - fly zone and limited strikes on strategic targets, such actions are tantamount to support for Libya's civilian and rebel population, vastly improving their chances of survival, and the continuation of the resistance to Gaddafi. Discussions of the motives of the bombs as they drop are as relevant as the debates of ancient theologians as to the gender of angels. There are several obvious differences between Libya and Iraq/Afghanistan. Firstly there is no real prospect of a coalition ground war or occupation of the country. Hence the possibilities for western countries making the kinds of direct political intercessions - such as installing mini-me governors in the provinces of Afganistan and Iraq - that US foreign policy so adores, is diminished. Be assured, the western powers will attempt to exert their influence, and that any intervention has the intention of furthering capitalist interests in the region. However, the crisis was initiated by the very real prospect of the rebellion's success, which shows how ripe the populace are for direct action against the regime. A torturous regime, murderous, oppressive. A civilian uprising, inspired and energetic, but with few military means, and but hours away from an almost certain massacre. Let us make no mistake - the interevention prevented this, prevented more strafing of civilians, more bombing of rebel areas. This has not won the war, and may still not make success an odds-on chance. But the rebel force is resurgent where two days ago it was facing defeat. Long may they continue!

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