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The Imperialist Intrigues Against Libya – Revolutionary Initiative (Canada) Statement from the General Secretary

Posted by ajadhind on March 22, 2011

The Imperialist Intrigues Against Libya
Expose and oppose all designs against the Libyan People

Revolutionary Initiative (Canada)
Statement from the General Secretary
March 13, 2011

The Imperialist Intrigues Against Libya
Expose and oppose all designs against the Libyan People

Gaddafi’s relationship to imperialism

In stark contrast to the manner in which the Western imperialists have
responded to developments across North Africa and the Middle East over
the last two months, for the armed opposition in Libya they have been
only too ready to support the anti-Gaddafi movement. For all their
clamoring about the necessity for “peaceful transitions” where the
masses threatened their clients in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere, the
imperialists have abandoned their pacifist demagogy when it has come
to Libya. NATO is pushing for a military assault against Libya that
could range in devastation anywhere from NATO’s operation against
Kosovo in 1999 to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

To be sure, the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya is neither
anti-imperialist nor or a defender of the interests of the Libyan
masses. Despite Gaddafi’s support to national liberation movements
throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, from the late 1990s onwards the Gaddafi
regime took the road of capitulation and collaboration, negotiating
its détente with imperialism and sharing in the spoils of a
structurally adjusted Libya. UN sanctions were lifted in 1999 and by
2006 the US lifted its own sanctions and normalized relations as it
looked to get in on the massive investments opportunities that
European corporations were availing themselves of.

In the 2000s, the Gaddafi regime consolidated its status as a strong
ally of imperialism, becoming a partner in the ‘War on Terror’ and
rigorously implementing neoliberal structural adjustment programs in
Libya. The amount of foreign direct investments from the Western
imperialists – especially France, U.K., Germany, Britain, Italy, and
Canada – have sky-rocketed in the past decade. According to an April
2010 report from the Libyan government, over the past ten years 110
state-owned companies have been privatized and the same report
promised to privatize 100% of the Libyan economy over time.

The Canadian imperialists, for their part, have made substantial
investments in Libya in the past few years and want to ensure the
protection of those investments. Among the top companies working out
of Libya include Canada’s largest oil company, Suncor and the
Quebec-based engineering and construction firm SNC-Lavalin. Amongst
SNC-Lavalin’s contracts include the construction of the Benghazi
airport, a prison in Tripoli, and the massive Great Man-Made River

For his opening up to the forces of imperialist globalization in the
2000s the Gaddafi regime became tolerable, even celebrated – or at
least so long as his rule was secure. But in the second half of
February 2011, Gaddafi has lost all support from the imperialists.

The emergence of opposition forces in Libya has provided the
imperialists with the opportunity to reclaim the initiative in the
region’s ongoing developments; restore their image as apparent
defenders of justice, democracy and progress; and re-legitimize the
logic of imperialist meddling in the region. There’s no doubt that
they view Libya as strategically significant and recognize that there
is a greater share of spoils to be seized.

As the popular rebellions of the Middle East and North Africa unfolded
throughout January and February 2011, the Western imperialists
desperately struggled to save face in the midst of popular movements
that revealed just how hated imperialism’s comprador front men really
were. The toppling of Mubarak served as a huge embarrassment for U.S.
policy in the region. Mubarak’s Egypt was second only to Israel as the
staunchest defender of American imperialist interests in the Middle

At first, the imperialists cautioned the masses to exercise restraint
and ensure that their resistance would remain peaceful. As the
people’s movements in various countries advanced and threatened to
topple imperialism’s clients, especially in Egypt, the imperialists
saved face by feigning neutrality. When the strength of the people’s
struggles melted away the support for Ben Ali and Mubarak regimes,
some of the imperialists even celebrated these developments
“Revolutions” (with the subtle implication that it was time to go home
and let the “transition to democracy” work its magic).

The Libyan Exception

Yet, the chorus sung by the imperialists when it came to Libya
contrasts sharply with their positions in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and
all the other popular struggles. The imperialists have made no effort
to temper the opposition forces brandishing RPGs and Kalashnikovs
against Gaddafi, capturing city by city by force of arms. Certainly,
the people have a right to struggle by any means necessary. But had
any of the recent mass movements in the region (except for in Iran,
perhaps) taken up this level of armed resistance, the West would have
immediately labeled them as “terrorist” and provided direct assistance
in a merciless military assault.

The opposite has been the case with Libya. The imperialists are
supporting wholeheartedly the anti-Gaddafi forces. Every diplomatic
maneuver taken by the imperialists has been aimed at isolating Gaddafi
and supporting the opposition forces.

The development of an opposition movement against Gaddafi in the
broader context of the protest movements sweeping the region has
allowed the imperialists to conflate what’s happening in Libya with
everything else. The Western press has given top priority to the cause
of the anti-Gaddafi forces, eclipsing all other developments across
the Middle East and North Africa, many of which still pose a threat to
imperialism’s interests in the region. The diplomatic moves and
military maneuvers of the Western imperialists against Libya in the
past two weeks signal that they are actively working to steer the
popular anti-dictator sentiments in the region and around the world to
pursue their own imperialist interests in Libya.

Imperialism’s Intrigues Against Libya

The maneuvers of the Western imperialists must be exposed and opposed.
Any type of meddling or interference by the imperialists will prove
disastrous to the interests of the Libyan masses. Whether the
imperialists resolve upon stricter economic sanctions, NATO aerial
strikes, or outright military occupation, each and every move being
contemplated by the imperialists will only intensify the misery felt
by the masses under Gaddafi. All we have to do is look to the examples
of the Iraq sanctions regime throughout the 1990s, NATO’s aerial war
against the former Yugoslavia in 1999, or the occupations of
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Haiti in the 2000s to see what bloody
catastrophes imperialism has caused in the past decade. The combined
effect of these U.S. or NATO-led campaigns has left millions upon
millions dead, and tens of millions languishing.

On February 26, the U.N Security Council voted unanimously in favour
of limited sanctions against Gaddafi and his close associates. The
following day, Stephen Harper announced that Canada would take the
sanctions one step further by blocking all transactions with the
government of Libya, its institutions and agencies, including the
Libyan central bank.

On March 1, the General Assembly suspended Libya from the UN Human
Rights Council. The International Criminal Court has announced that it
will investigate Gaddafi for “crimes against humanity” for the
regime’s actions from February 15, 2011 onwards. Such charges are
never hurled at the clients of the Western imperialists fighting
counter-insurgency campaigns far more ferocious than what’s being seen
in Libya. Colombia’s decades-long war on its people and the armed
revolutionary forces, claiming tens of thousands of lives; Sri Lanka’s
genocidal assault against tens of thousands of Tamil civilians in
2009; the Philippine state’s notorious disappearance campaign against
thousands of mass activists amidst its own anti-Maoist
counter-insurgency campaign; India’s anti-Maoist ‘Operation Green
Hunt’, the largest military exercise against the Indian people in that
country’s history; and Israel’s invasions and sieges against Lebanon
in 2006 and Gaza in 2009 – none of these anti-people offensives led to
charges of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”. These cases do
not diminish Gaddafi’s crimes against the Libyan people; they only
reveal the great terror that will befall the Libyan people if the
imperialist’s intervene.

All diplomatic moves taken against Libya have been aimed at
delegitimizing Gaddafi while strengthening the hand of the
anti-Gaddafi forces. However, with the position of the opposition
forces being beat back and incapable of immediate success – a piece of
military intelligence that the U.S. imperialists began to admit openly
by March 10 – the only option left to the imperialists is to secure
the support they need from the “international community” to impose a
no-fly zone (which would be followed by air strikes). According to the
“international law” of the imperialists, the only legal way to do this
is through approval from the United Nations Security Council. However,
two of its veto-wielding members, the imperialists to the east, Russia
and China, have expressed their opposition to and will likely block
any attempt to legally sanction an intervention in Libya. Hence, the
imperialists are side-stepping China and Russia by taking their
campaign outside UN framework, encouraging the Arab League and the
African Union to sanction imperialist intervention.

On Saturday, March 12, the Arab League, which has suspended Libya,
called on the Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya,
while paying lip service to being opposed to foreign occupation: “The
Arab League has officially requested the UN Security Council to impose
a no-fly zone against any military action against the Libyan people”,
said the Secretary-General of the League, Amr Moussa.

The African Union has thus far rejected military intervention in
Libya, not wanting a strike against Gaddafi to set a precedent that
would threaten other African heads of state. The AU has insisted that
Libya is in a state of civil war and should be treated as such.
Zimbabwe’s Mugabe said: “We took exception to interference by Western
powers … and we absolutely reject their intervention.”

Preparing themselves for this possibility, NATO forces have been
accumulating in the Mediterranean since early March, amassing aircraft
carriers and rapid strike forces. The challenge confronting the
western imperialists, however, is that while they do not want to see
the opposition get thoroughly crushed and are military positioned for
intervention, they fear making any hasty moves that will turn the
Libyan masses and the masses of the whole region and the world against

U.S. imperialism is already incredibly overstretched and there may not
be another set of powers willing to lead up any major operations. But
these restraints do not necessarily limit the dangers that remain for
the Libyan people.

Hence, the imperialist press is working furiously to foster public
opinion against Gaddafi in favour of some sort of military

The Libyan masses do not need to replace one set of reactionaries with
another set. Any forces in Libya calling on NATO to bomb Libya are
opportunists at best, if not reactionaries. The Libyan revolution does
not need a NATO campaign of aerial bombing. The overthrow of Gaddafi
remains the right of the Libyan people alone and can only come through
the fruits of their own struggle. An imperialist intervention will
only stem the tide of the revolution and foreclose the possibility of
an expansion of people’s power.

There are a number of forces claiming to have played a role in
initiating the anti-Gaddafi uprisings, including the National
Transitional Council, which declared itself the “sole representative
of all Libya” on March 5, 2011; and there is the National Conference
for the Libya Opposition (NCLO), which is claiming to have played a
role as well. Amongst these forces are military men, judges, lawyers,
academics – and in the case of the NCLO, the royalist Libyan
Constitutional Union led by the pretender to the Libyan throne,
Muhammad as-Senussi.

That certain imperialists have been quick to extend diplomatic
recognition to “the opposition” in Libya does not suggest that what we
have observed unfolding is simply a plan hatched in Washington. The
Libyan masses have sufficient reason to seek Gaddafi’s removal. In a
country with 30% unemployment and 50% youth unemployment, Gaddafi and
the bureaucrat capitalists and compradors have become richer and
richer through the period of neoliberal reforms, while the masses have
suffered immensely. The meddling of the imperialists is merely their
attempt to exploit the class contradictions that characterize the
opposition to arrive at an outcome even more preferable to

Revolutionaries in the imperialist countries have the duty to expose
and oppose the role of their own imperialist bourgeoisies in Libya,
and the people in the Middle East and North Africa have already
demonstrated that the assistance of imperialism is not required to do
away with reactionaries like Mubarak and Ben Ali. As Mao Zedong once
said, “All reactionaries are paper tigers”. Mao’s certainty in the
triumph of the people stemmed from his recognition that all
reactionaries are divorced or divorceable from the interests of the

The growing waves of protests, strikes, and uprisings by workers and
the broad masses all across the world, conditioned by the general
crisis of the imperialist world system, reveal that the position of
imperialism is in strategic decline, while that of the proletariat is
strategically improving. Today’s People’s Wars in India and the
Philippines demonstrate that, when led by a genuine communist Party,
the will of the people for liberation is inexhaustible. In the coming
years, new People’s Wars will emerge all across the world. Out of the
uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, new and revolutionary
communist Parties can and must emerge. The imperialists and all their
clients can and must be crushed.

Support the people of Libya in smashing Gaddafi and all deals with imperialism!

No to imperialist meddling! No to NATO intervention!

Support the struggles of the masses in the Middle East and North
Africa for New Democracy and Socialism!

Revolutionary Initiative
March 13, 2011.

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