International Courier Supplement – August 2011-08-24
People in arms demolish the Gadafi regime!
The bloodthirsty regime of Muamar el Gadafi in Libya is falling to pieces. The whole world is deeply moved at the sight of armed rebels accompanied by hungry crowds thirsting democratic freedoms, entering Tripoli City (the Capital) as part of what might be the final offensive of a civil war that is now five months old.
These scenes of men and women, with weapons in their hands, waving flags, fists raised high, storming bravely at the Bab El Aziziya Palace, Gadafi’s residence and headquarters of the dictatorial palace are so powerful that they cannot but bring back to our memories the most grandiose victories staged by our class. There is popular joy in the streets of Tripoli. People feel victorious, they feel free, and they can feel their own power. The dictator, even if his whereabouts are not known, has lost control over his country. He who only a few months ago spoke of “crushing the rats” and of persecuting the rebels “palm by palm” and “street by street” finds that his present is much nearer to the former dictators of Tunisia and Egypt.
From the IWL-FI we greet this doubtless tremendous political and military victory of the Libyan people and of the entire revolutionary process most effusively. Let us call things by their name: what we have in front of our eyes is a tremendous victory of peoples who took weapons – and their own destiny in their hands, waged a civil war against a fierce dictatorship that wielded power for 42 years. Libyan people, armed and organized in Popular Committees are annihilating not only the dictatorial government but also the entire oppressive regime with its top institution: the armed forces.
Nevertheless, as we shall see further on, it is necessary to warn against the perils that lie ahead of this democratic victory of the Libyan people and have a lot to do with imperialism being so eager to defeat or deviate the revolutionary process by means of the traitors from the Transitory National Council (TNC), bourgeois and pro-imperialist instance advancing themselves to rule when Gadafi falls.
The crumbling down the Gadafi administration and regime due to the direct action of the masses is part and representation of an enormous impulse for the Arab revolution as a whole, which is – together with Europe – one of the two central poles of the world revolutionary process. Just as, at the beginning of the of the Arab spring, the heroic struggle waged by the masses in Tunisia and Egypt cleared the way for the revolutionary process in the entire region and expanded it, now the Libyan revolution will echo and boost the revolution of the Middle East and North of Africa. In Syria and in Yemen and even in Tunisia and Egypt, this popular achievement stirred the hearts and minds. The victory of the Libyan people is pure petrol in the incendiary Arab situation. Arab masses and the whole world watch the armed Libyans smashing statues or portraits of Gadafi and draw the only possible conclusion: it is possible to Overcome. This “Arab spring” moves towards a blazing summer.
This Libyan revolution can be added to the fantastic revolutions that took place at the beginning of the process of Arab revolution, but it has superior elements. Unlike the popular insurrections in Tunisia and Egypt, in Libya people rose in arms and destroyed the armed forces, main institution of the bourgeois state and the Gadafi regime. There are no regular troops in Libya now. What does exist is thousands and thousands of armed men and women, thirsting for deep changes for which they risked or gave their lives. And this is qualitative from the point of view or a local or regional revolution.
The contradiction of the process
It is a well-known fact that imperialism has been intervening in Libya by means of the NATO. They marched onto the scene no because of the “massacres” or in defence of “human rights”. This was their hypocritical rhetoric meant to justify their actions. Their intervention began when the popular armed insurrection had already started in order to stabilize the situation as soon as possible, fundamentally to control the revolutionary process and in this way to recover the control of the reserves and maintain the normal flow of oil. But their central interest, let us insist, is political: it is to control and defeat the ascent of Libyan masses, preventing the example from spreading to other countries within the Arab world. This aim had to be obtained with or without Gadafi.
At first, the military intervention was aimed at forcing Gadafi to a negotiated withdrawal; make him negotiate. This never happened. Then they had to face the fact that Gadafi had not only lost his capacity to contain the headway of the masses but also exacerbated them additionally. Consequently, imperialism staked directly on his fall. This is the great contradiction of the process. In the middle of a civil war – an element that did not occur in either Tunisia o in Egypt – imperialism was compelled to intervene militarily in order to defeat Gadafi. But because he was an “anti-imperialist” as Chavez and the Castro brothers say; Gadafi had been giving away oil to American and European multinationals since the beginning of the century. It was because in the middle of armed popular insurgence, Gadafi could no longer stabilise the country. The contradiction is that, within military scope, there was a united front between but with directly opposite ultimate aims: the masses wanted to free the country from oppression and imperialism wanted to stop the revolution so as to be able to keep on looting on the wealth of Libya and the Middle East.
The point is that imperialism could not just sit looking at the development of a civil war of unforeseeable consequences and duration, while the flow of oil was paralysed and the revolutionary gale was sweeping across the Arab world. That is the reason for the intervention via NATO, with France and the United Kingdom as main supports of the operation. They intervened with all they could afford to stake. If they sent no troops it was not for lack of will but because what with Iraq and Afghanistan and the Arab world ablaze the way it is now, imperialism can no longer land whenever and wherever they wish to. This is the root of the main problem that imperialism will have to face once Gadafi falls: as they could not intervene the way they did in Iraq an Afghanistan – with thousands of marines in direct action – now they have to deal with the problem of having to disarm the masses who have every right to feel triumphant and have the real power in Tripoli- Imperialism will have to manoeuvre, to confuse, to negotiate and, if it all fails, then disembark with all the occupation troops.
Defeat or victory of the masses?
Chavez as well as the Castros expressed their unconditional support to the Gadafi dictatorship. This may seem a “contradiction” in governments that claim to be “revolutionary”, from whom one would expect some support for people fighting against dictatorial and murderous governments as that of Gadafi. In this particular case, supporting such dictators as Gadafi o Assad, what they are doing is to strengthen the position of imperialism, for they clear the road for it to hypocritically enrol themselves into the rank and file of the defence of human rights and democratic liberties to fool the masses. Thanks to this position, such reference points of the world left may increase the confusion in the mind of a Libyan or Syrian fighter who watches the “left”(Chavez & Castro) supporting the dictator who is starving him and killing him while imperialism (Obama, NATO, etc.) “help” to defeat this dictator. This plays havoc with the awareness of the masses and the world vanguard that is caused by the shameful support of Castro-Chavism for these bloodthirsty dictators.
The Venezuelan president went as far as decorating the Arab dictator saying, “What Bolivar is for us, Gadafi is for the Libyan people”. Faced with the massacres committed by Gadafi, Chavez said, “I have no proof of that, and of course from so far away, I shall not condemn somebody who has been my friend for such a long time without knowing exactly what is going on in Libya.” This shamefaced support was accentuated when the imperialist intervention began, when the Castro-Chavist trend intended to exploit this fact in order to galvanize the support of most of the left for the Libyan dictator. Now they started defending the hypothesis that it was all about an “international conspiracy” against an “anti-imperialist” leader. The thousands of casualties, effect of Gadafi’s butcheries when he had popular demonstrations bombed from the air suddenly turned into inventions of imperialism, “I am sure that USA is exaggerating and distorting things so as to justify an invasion.”
Now that Gadafi’s end is near, this trend has begun to say that what is happening in Libya is really a defeat of the people and a victory of imperialism, specifically of the military intervention of UN-NATO. This is not true. That fact that imperialism had to intervene, the way they did on countless occasions, this belittles the victory of the mobilized and armed masses that are now getting rid of a ferocious dictatorship that lasted for four decades.
The fact that during this last leg imperialism withdrew their blessing for Gadafi and staked for his fall does not automatically turn the Libyan dictator into an “anti-imperialist” entitled to political support form the left all over the world. Facts are facts. Just under a decade ago, Gadafi stopped having any rubs with imperialism and became their agent in the region. Imperialism supported him. If now they have changed their minds it is not due to Gadafi’s anti-imperialism. It is due to the Libyan revolution: Gadafi was no longer effective in containing it. What Castro-Chavism does is to present Gadafi’s defeat as a defeat of the peoples. It is exactly the opposite.
In the face of the imperialist interventions our position has always been that of unwavering rejection of it, for we saw it quite clearly that their aim was to defeat the revolution underway. However, this did not lead us to support the bloodthirsty Gadafi.
No confidence in imperialism or in the CNT!
Imperialism will do their best to control the situation, for they fear, and quite rightly so, that the popular armed uprising may go beyond the mere toppling of Gadafi. After decades of hunger and oppression, accumulated ire is unpredictable.
Consequently, from Washington they get out of their way in order to capitalize the victory as if it were only the outcome of the NATO military intervention (a widespread opinion in the international press) with the unconcealed objective of minimizing the effect of the action of the Libyan masses and so minimize the example of struggle for other Arab countries and for the rest of the world. On the other hand, they will try to control and lead the “transition” in Libya, the “after Gadafi”. But even at risk of being repetitive we have to insist things will not be easy for imperialism, for they will have to convince Libyan mass to get disarmed and go back home peacefully after such a tremendous victory. They will not only have to convince the masses to disarm themselves but also and as soon as possible, reconstruct a new regime and new bourgeois armed forces in Libya, for the old ones were destroyed by the action of the insurrect masses. The contradiction is that they can deal with this task with a certain amount of prestige for having cooperated in the destruction of Gadafi’s military apparatus.
In a situation where people are up in arms and the entire region – strategic as it is for the interest of imperialism – is a powder keg, there can be nothing worse for them than a prolonged impasse in the issue of power. They must urgently reconstruct a government, a regime and an army that will guarantee stability in the country and in the region so that they can resume the control of oilfields and the flow of oil, especially now, in the middle of the economic crisis. It is precisely in order to “discuss the destiny of Libya” that a meeting is being summoned in Qatar and another in Paris with representatives of all the imperialisms who participated in the military operation.
In this task of taking the revolution to pieces and of reconstructing a pro-imperialist regime, the so called National Transitional Council, an organ made up of former Kadafi ministers and other rogues who are now coming back home from abroad, that self-dubbed themselves as parallel government is now appearing as an ally of imperialist efforts. Mustafa Abdel Jalil, president of the CNT and former minister of justice in the Gadafi administration, declared that now that Gadafi is overthrown, that the new government will respect all the contracts signed by Gadafi and will consider supplying France, England and USA with oil as top priority for they were “friends” of the insurgence. Another aspect that the CNT is beginning to defend is that, once Gadafi is defeated, rebels should disarm themselves and “once more become productive citizens”. Abdel Jalil even went as far as threatening that he would resign if “acts of revenge” were committed and called for “respect for life and property” and demanded that nobody should “take justice into his own hands”.
The IWL-FI assert that – now that Gadafi has been overthrown – only Libyan people can decide their own future. This is the reason why the struggle for a free, democratic and sovereign National Constituent Assembly must be summoned to re-found the country on new political, social and economic bases and begin by guaranteeing full democratic liberties for the people.
If this is to be obtained, Libyan people should not only abstain from granting any confidence in the CNT, an organ not elected by anybody; they should also challenge it overtly. CNT is a bourgeois instance in quest of recomposing the political regime and that the armed forces in the service to keep on with the looting on the energy resources at the price of the impoverishment of the people. Neither the CNT administration nor imperialist intervention in Libya’s home affairs should be allowed. We are all for the maintenance of armed Popular Committees. Let the political power stay directly and completely in their hands.
That is why we cannot discard an imperialist attempt to occupy the country with their own troops and so exert direct control of the situation. This is probable for, in order to stabilize the country they need bourgeois and pro-imperialist like the ones that have been destroyed by the masses. What now exists is armed militias and imperialism has to annihilate that as soon as possible. We are absolutely against any possible sending of troops by imperialism, whether they are conventional or “humanitarian” under the UN or NATO disguise for they would be in Libya in the service of defeating the revolutionary process, disarming the toiling masses and reconstructing the regime in order to keep on looting on the wealth of the country. An imperialist occupation would be as dictatorial as the Gadafi administration. That is why from the IWL-FI we claim, Not a single imperialist soldier in Libya! NATO, UN or imperialism Hands off Libya and the entire Arab region!
In our opinion it is the people, armed as they are, -who should govern Libya and spread the revolution to the entire Arab world. Only a government of Libyan popular committees can summon and guarantee free elections for a really free, democratic and sovereign National Constituent Assembly. Only a Libyan workers’ and popular government, resting on armed grassroots’ committees can confiscate all the properties and fortunes belonging to Gadafi and his sinister acolytes and place them in the service of the people, punish Gadafi and the remaining members of his dictatorship for all the robberies and crimes committed against the people; annul all the oil contracts and other pacts with imperialism signed up by Gadafi; nationalize the oil and the economy of the country under workers’ and popular control, placing them in the service of satisfying the enormous needs of the toiling masses and urgently execute an emergency economic plan to satisfy the gnawing want of the people. Let us insist: only a government of the working class can guarantee this programme. From a CNT administration we can expect nothing, not even the fulfilment of the democratic aspiration of the victorious masses for it consists of Gadafi’s former ministers and also because they have already the forthcoming battle of the Libyan revolution should be: hand power over to the people by means of their organisations and boost thoroughly the Arab revolution as a whole moving towards the Federation of Arab Socialist Republics.
Long live the revolution of the Libyan people!
Long live the Arab revolution!
For a government of workers and of armed people that will ensure a free and sovereign National Constituent Assembly!!
Total dissolution of Gadafi’s armed forces!
Trial and punishment for the crimes committed by Gadafi and his dictatorship against the people!
No confidence in the CNT!
Imperialism and NATO hands off Libya and the entire region!
International Secretariat of the IWL-FI
24th of August 2011