VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) For National Independence and Socialism • www.cpaml.org
Oppose imperialist war on Libya!
Statement by the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
US, British and French imperialism have launched a war of aggression to tighten their control over the rich oil reserves of Libya and the region.
The imperialist war has nothing to do with defending the Libyan people. The internal conflict is for the Libyan people alone to resolve, without foreign interference and without foreign military intervention.
The US-led imperialist war will bring much death and suffering, and is also aimed at stemming the anti-imperialist revolutionary strivings of the people in the region for genuine democracy, national sovereignty and freedom.
Weapons of mass deception
As the frenzied smokescreen of misinformation breaks down, there can be no doubt that this new imperialist war will be opposed by the people of North Africa and the Middle East, especially by the people of Libya, who will not be shaken from defending their national independence and sovereignty. They will receive strong support from all peace-loving people of the world.
To justify its war of aggression against Libya, imperialism is now demonising Gaddafi. Yet, for the past decade, the imperialists have been happy to do business with his regime.
There is little difference to the US invasion of Iraq. Under the pretexts of eliminating “weapons of mass destruction” and “regime change”, the US has slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, reducing a modern country to rubble. Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction have proven to be an imperialist concocted lie.
The transparent US hypocrisy of protecting rebel forces from Gaddafi’s violence is astounding. For more than 30 years, US imperialism oversaw and supported militarily, politically and economically Egypt’s murderous and oppressive Mubarak regime that tortured and murdered workers and unionists, civil libertarians and anyone who dared to criticise Mubarak’s dictatorship.
Today it is backing the brutal slaughter of Bahraini protestors by the invading Saudi and Emirates armies, two of its most loyal puppet regimes in the region. It underwrites and bankrolls the violent Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.
We condemn the shameful actions by the Australian government in doing its utmost to assist US imperialism in its aggression plans, first with Rudd vigorously selling the “no fly zone” internationally, followed by Gillard enthusiastically extolling the virtues of invasion.
A brief history
The modern history of Libya is complex, but is a necessary background to the current crisis.
Gaddafi came to power in 1969, after a nationalist military coup against the autocratic King Idris. After expelling US and British military bases, and nationalising the oil fields and refineries, Gaddafi expelled the remnants of Italian colonialism, improved health, housing, and education services for the people, extended the rights of women, and supported various national liberation struggles across the continent. For this he earned the respect of progressive people the world over, but incurred the hatred of imperialism and the reactionaries.
In 1986, US imperialism attacked Tripoli and Benghazi, killing Gaddafi’s daughter by way of ‘collateral damage’, as they like to say. By 2003, in the wake of the Lockerbie Pan Am incident in 1988 and severe UN sanctions, Gaddafi agreed to a process that involved the trial of two Libyan suspects and surrendering Libya’s Soviet-era long range missiles and nuclear weapons program.
Imperialism forced Libya to make further concessions, with Exxon Mobil, Texaco and Conoco Philips setting up joint ventures inside Libya in 2004. The International Monetary Fund has been imposing privatisation policies on Libya’s state-owned companies and opening up the country to foreign investment from the US, Britain, France, Italy and Germany, among others. More recently, China has also joined in, with 36,000 guest workers in the construction and oil industries. Extending and securing US and European imperialism’s domination of Libya’s oil industry is driving this war.
Taking advantage of instability
Not surprisingly, the conditions of life for the Libyan people deteriorated. In part, this explains the dissatisfaction with Gaddafi among sections of the population. The imperialist forces inside and outside Libya seized on this dissatisfaction to create instability and division amongst the people. Conditions were laid for greater interference and control by imperialist powers.
All about oil
As rebellion broke out in bordering countries, imperialism was quick to incite and stoke feelings of dissatisfaction in the Libyan population. Tribal divisions were exploited. The flag of the old monarchy suddenly reappeared in the western media and was heavily promoted as a symbol of the anti-Gaddafi forces. Their English speaking, western-educated leaders were soon organising armed rebellion against the government in Tripoli.
Their initial success was welcomed by the western media and imperialist governments. No calls for restraint and “peaceful protest” in Libya – contrast this to Bahrain and Yemen, where unarmed protesters are still being murdered by the puppet regimes of imperialism.
It all stinks of US imperialism moving to tighten its grip on the oil resources of North Africa and the Middle East, at the same time disrupting Chinese influence and supplies of oil. But there are several problems for the imperialists.
Problems for imperialism
Firstly, there was no quick and easy victory. In fact, the Gaddafi forces were able to win back territory and threaten to wipe out the rebellion. Gaddafi will not go quietly, nor will Libya be easily conquered.
Secondly, there is conflict and division among the imperialist powers about how best to achieve their aims. US imperialism, who calls the shots here, has been gearing up for possible conflict with Iran and is wary that war over Libya may trigger further unrest in the region, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, where the US has large military forces. Nor do the people of the European countries want to get bogged down in another “Iraq” situation.
Finally, among the people of the world, including the people of the United States, there is a strong and growing chorus opposed to military intervention and imperialist war. In Iraq and Afghanistan, countries also having oil and gas reserves, the people of the world have seen hundreds of thousands slaughtered by imperialism in the name of ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’, and ‘humanitarian assistance’ along with the legitimatisation of corrupt and subservient dictators. Aggression in Libya will only further expose imperialism as the main enemy of humanity and the main threat to the peace of the world.
We oppose the aggressive war and foreign intervention in the affairs of Libya, and support all forces and struggles for anti-imperialist Libyan independence.