|We are with the Libyan and Syrian revolution. Down with imperialist intervention.|
|Written by IWL-FI|
|Thursday, 19 May 2011 15:13|
|AN IWL-FI STATEMENT.
We are with the Libyan and Syrian revolution.
Down with imperialist intervention.
The Arab revolution keeps on spreading. Even in such countries as Egypt and Tunisia, where dictatorial regimes have been abolished, the processes keep on developing. Their roots are in the 30 or 50 year-old struggle against dictatorships, the tremendous social contradictions between the wealth of the natural resources contrasting with the poverty of most of the population and the corruption of the regimes and governments. The effects of the international economic crisis triggered off unemployment, especially among the youth, and the increase of prices of basic products. In the Arab world there is not a single country that remained immune to revolutionary processes: Tunisia was the first one to start, there was a leap with Egypt, and then it spread to Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and the entire region of North Africa and Middle East, including Syria. But today, all these processes have to face the counterattack of the counterrevolution that becomes manifest with great virulence even if their shape and main characters differ.
Syria is part of the Arab revolution.
The Arab revolution as a whole expresses the struggle against imperialist looting and against Israel. Libya and Syria are no exception to this rule. The explanation coming from their governments (the popular struggle is said to be a “conspiracy” against the regimes that “oppose imperialism”) is an absolute lie. In spite of all his speeches, the president of Syria is now also a guardian of regional order and stability: the borderline between that country and Israel are the most peaceful in the entire region. Gadafi, on the other hand, did not even try to keep up his anti-imperialist discourse when the Libyan revolution broke out.
The struggle of the Syrian people has been going on for 50 days now and an increasing number of cities and sectors get together and join the process of revolutionary struggle against the dictatorship of the Assad (as if it were a dynasty, Bashar inherited power from Hafez) which responds with more and more violence to the just struggle of the people. There have already been 500 mortal casualties in demonstrations repressed by tanks against unarmed civilian population. The toll of death accrues. But in spite of repression, struggle keeps on spreading. And news begin to crop up of splits in the ruling party and in the army. In the year 2000, the administration of Bashar el-Assad (whose family has been ruling for the past four decades) began by promising “some democratic demands”, but faced with the current struggles, they unleashed increasingly ruthless repression that, apart from the hundreds of dead people can now display thousands of prisoners.
USA does not wish the Syrian regime to fall, because much alike Israel, they prefer to stick to the old proven tool in the face of Syrian revolution. Even in Syria, whose government dons a discourse against the Israeli aggression, destabilisation, that is to say the headway of the revolution, is still the greatest menace. That is why, in spite of this different discourse, in spite of having been regarded up to a few years ago as the “axis of evil”, imperialism repeats what they said in the face of the Egyptian revolution and is still saying now in Yemen; they advise “reforms”, they press for “opening”, but they do not risk to topple the regime.
In the Arab world, there is a situation of crossroads where imperialism and the national bourgeoisies start a counterrevolutionary counteroffensive against the revolutionary process. In Libya it rests on the military intervention with the support from the UN; in Bahrain it is the invasion of soldiers from Saudi Arabia; in Yemen, a vicious repression from the regime. The same can be said for Syria even if this regime is regarded as opposition to Zionism and imperialism.
So what is the imperialist policy in the face of the Arab revolution? To try and keep the control and stability in the region with whichever regime can guarantee “order”. The Arab revolution jeopardises the root of this imperialist “order” and “stability” for it is a struggle against the regimes that constitute the explicit part of this contraption as well as against those that – regardless their discourse – actually help to keep the mechanism working.
At present, the greatest peril for imperialism is the possibility that the process mat spread into Saudi Arabia, world’s greatest oil producer and the guarantee of the supplied of it on international scope. Together with this, the imperialist military enclave, Israel, is in danger, for there is instability along all the frontiers: with Egypt, with Syria and due to revival of the Palestinian struggle in spite of the collaboration of the PNA.
That is why, ever since the beginning of the Arab revolution, there is great fear with imperialism and Zionism that the process any annihilate the dictatorships, which like Saudi Arabia, guarantee the production of oil or, in Egypt, helped with Israel’s “security”. If preventing the regime from falling is not possible, then it should be replaced by another one that will also ensure these central issues.
Aiming at the maintenance of order and preventing a total regional destabilisation, imperialism applies different tactics and policies depending on the countries. So far he supports Assad in Syria. In Libya they had made up for the past with Gadafi and they supported his regime, until the popular insurrection and the civil war initiated by Gadafi destabilised the country completely and jeopardised the flow of oil towards Europe. In Bahrain, they supported the invasion by the Saudi Arabian troops, letting them start a fierce repression and so temporarily stop the revolution.
Down with the imperialist intervention in Libya!
Imperialist military intervention in Libya takes place precisely because, when Gadafi lost control of the country and the civil war began, armed popular committees were organised and they drove the army out of Bengazi and other cities. And caused a division in the armed forces and this made re-stabilising the country with Gadafi in power became impossible. Today there is an impasse there as the rebels, due to their military weakness, could not topple Gadafi; nor could the latter – in spite of all the weaponry in the past provided by imperialism – defeat the rebels. It has been weeks now that the military front is all but stuck.
Imperialism took advantage of this situation and intervened in the name of “saving lives” and “peace”. Why then, in spite of the imperialist intervention this military impasse remains unchanged? A central aspect here is the characteristic of this intervention. Imperialism did not send land troops and only, through the NATO they keep on raiding with air force and missiles from nearby ships. Not even France or Great Britain has so far dared to send troops to Libyan territory.
Why? The background lies with the defeat of the Bush project. There is a deep discussion inside American imperialism as to what “vital interest” of the USA in the area is and what is not. Within this context, the proposal of vast sectors was to leave the “burden” of the intervention in Libya in the hands of the European partners and it has even been posed that the Afghanistan war should be “passed on” to the new “partners” (Such as Russia, China, India or even Iran).
This is the “Iraq syndrome” (very bad military result of the invasion in that country and the erosion it caused to the Bush administration) that has spawned a new policy of avoiding land military intervention. Let the statements of Obama’s Defence secretary, Robert Gates, who said that a new intervention with land troops is “unthinkable. If a Defence minister proposed it, he should be hospitalised in a madhouse.” That is why they use missiles, air force and drones so much.
Libyan National Council.
On the other hand, the main weakness of the rebel camp is its leadership, the so-called Libyan National Council located in Bengazi. It is necessary to expose that they are playing along with imperialism: they request further intervention, negotiate with imperialist governments and so allow Gadafi to use his discourse of victim of imperialist invasion. Furthermore, the impasse and the ensuing constant suffering of the population of Libyan cities gives room to imperialist proposals of coming in with the hypocritical alibi of “saving lives” by seeking a “political solution”. A great many of the members of this Council are former figures of the Gadafi government, such as Mustafa Abdul Jalil, former minister of Justice, who resigned to join the protests, and the General Omar al Hairiri, who has taken some distance from Gadafi in 1975. The lack of real leadership in the rebel camp allowed these former Gadafists to occupy the vacancy. Imperialism is making good use of the request by the National Council and their collaboration to justify the bombing massacring ever greater quantities of civilians, including those who are all for the Libyan revolution.
At the same time, the NATO refuses to provide the rebels with adequate and modern weaponry, because they do not trust them to control their grassroots. Among them – according to the Al Jazeera agency, there is an important amount of militants who had been outstanding in previous combats against USA in Iraq during the imperialist invasion of that country.
The “solution” of dividing the country.
Imperialism has submitted a motion for discussion, which is a replica of what has been done in the Balkans (Yugoslavia) in the 1990s. At that time, faced with the civil war, it was the NATO first and then the UN who intervened in the name of the peace and so they transformed Kosovo into a UN protectorate.
Taking advantage of the paralysis along the military front, the UN and the NATO propose a ceasefire and impose a division of the country: on the one side, Tripolitania, and on the other hand the Cirenaica (eastern region, with Bengazi as capital) and to maintain the UN troops keeping watch over the new frontier. If this happens, it would be a serious defeat for Libyan revolution and even for the entire Arab revolution, which would influence all the revolutions in the Arab world negatively.
If imperialism enters as the “warrant of order” with an agreement by both sides, this will set a serious precedent. Just as in Egypt and in Tunisia, the toiling masses have proved that they can topple the loathed governments supported by imperialism, in this case Libya would be the warning that imperialism finally won weight by intervening in a revolutionary process and so gains a political base on a strategic territory, based on the acceptation of both sides.
Arab revolution divides waters.
Faced with the Arab revolution, Castro-Chavism proved to be against the most important revolution in the last 20 years. This trend has upheld Gadafi from the very beginning, but after the NATO intervention, they tried to justify their support for the dictator, saying that the main target was the struggle only against the intervention.
In Syria, several weeks after Syrian people went peacefully but resolutely out into the streets and were massacred for it, the Castro-Chavist governments and trends still stand up for Assad. There is no imperialist intervention in Syria. Without this alibi it is now quite clear that they are for those dictatorships and justify this policy in the name of the alleged resistance they could oppose to imperialism and Israel. But we have already seen that it is a lie in the case of Gadafi as well as in that of the Syrian administration.
Hezbollah supports the massacre by the Syrian government.
Resistance movements headed by Islamic sectors are also being tested. In 2006, in the Lebanon, where Hezbollah gained great prestige having defeated Israel politically and militarily, they arrived late with their support for Libya and now they came out supporting Assad.
Why? Because of their commitment to Syrian, Iranian and Lebanese bourgeoisies. They quote the same argument the Chavists use, that is to say: Syrian revolution actually is just a plot of Lebanese Sunni politicians supported by imperialism. They have introduced in the Lebanon the polarisation of for and against Assad. In this way, they use their political authority gained in the resistance against Israel in order to support a dictatorship that had sold out Palestinian struggle several times over and even that of Lebanon and they cause confusion in the heads of thousands of activists who look up to these popular revolutions in quest of a new reference in the struggle.
In the opposite camp, we have figures of the “left” that support and defend the military imperialist intervention in Libya. Such is the case of Ignace Ramonet, director of Le Monde Diplomatique (one of the boosters of the World Social Forum and its policy of “another world is possible” without defeating capitalism) and Gilbert Achcar, main milestone of the so-called United Secretariat (USec) for Middle East issues. Ramonet wrote, “At present the UN is the only source of international legality” and Achcar said that “it would be morally and politically wrong for the left to stand against the zone of air exclusion.”
This is criminal policy that lend support “from the left” to the imperialist discourse that the intervention is “to defend democracy”. With such a position, those trends and figures actually endorse the bomb raids, help imperialism to drive their troops into the territory and create illusions among the Libyan and Arab masses and activists making them believe that this military intervention is for their sake and to support their struggle.
There is no such thing as a “bad” imperialism in Bahrain and a “good” one in Libya. Whatever imperialism may do in the region is counterrevolutionary, only that they are compelled – let us insist – to act according to different tactics.
The Arab world is in the camp of the revolution, that is to say of revolutionary struggles, of the masses and the camp of the counterrevolution is made up of imperialism, associate national bourgeoisies, dictatorial regimes with all their repression as well as all the manoeuvres they practise in order to halt and deviate revolutions is they manage to topple these regimes.
We stand on the side of the Arab masses, for the victory of the revolution and that is why and that is why, in the face of these two symmetric positions, one calling the masses to capitulate to the dictatorships or to the allegedly “democratic” imperialism, the IWL-FI is for:
No to imperialist military intervention whether via NATO or UN!
No to the division of Libya!
No to peace plans mediated by the UN!
Down with Gadafi in Libya, Down with Assad in Syria and Saleh in Yemen! Down with all the dictatorships in the Arab world!
Long live the Arab revolution! Long live the revolution in Libya and Syria!
Sao Paulo 12 May 2011.
International Workers’ League – Fourth International (IWL-FI).