On March 17, after several weeks of discussions in which big differences among the various imperialist powers emerged, the UN Security Council gave a green light for an air attack on Libyan territory, using as a cover “humanitarian reasons” and “protection of civilians,” explicitly in Benghazi, the heart of the popular uprising against Gadhafi. Resolution 1973 authorizes the United States, France, Great Britain, and other Western powers to “to take all necessary measures” which includes bombings and attacks with missiles fired from warships stationed in the Mediterranean since the uprising against Gadhafi broke out in the middle of February, although invasion with ground forces is excluded, in view of the fear that it will be seen as another imperialist war in a Muslim country.
This resolution was approved with 10 votes in favor, among them the United States, Great Britain, France and Lebanon. Germany, Brazil, India, Russia and China abstained; Russia and China, permanent Security Council members, avoided using their veto power, which would have made approval of the resolution impossible. Furthermore, it also has the support of the reactionary Arab League and the oil monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council, among which are no less than Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, that sent troops to help the monarchy of Bahrain, a member of the Council and an essential ally of the United States, to put down the popular revolt that for more than a month has been shaking that small kingdom, the headquarters of the US Fifth Fleet.
The Libyan National Transition Council (NTC), basically composed of former officials from the Gadhafi dictatorship and “notable people” that include lawyers, judges, and bourgeois groups opposed to the Gadhafi regime, has been asking the Western powers to intervene, creating the illusion that the imperialist governments could act in favor of any popular cause. But, meanwhile, they have taken care of promising the representatives of those governments that, just like Gadhafi, the new regime that will possibly emerge will respect the imperialists’ economic and geopolitical interests. The “humanitarian” justification for imperialist intervention in Libya is a big hypocrisy. While Obama is “worried” about Libyan civilians, he is backing repression by the Bahrain monarchy against its own people and continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where tens of thousands of civilians have died because of the imperialist bombings. For his part, Sarkozy, who is now posing as a “champion” of “Arab democracy” and was the first to recognize the NTC, supported up to the last minute Ben Ali’s regime in Tunisia, with which he had ambiguous relations.
The real objective of the military intervention by the imperialist powers, backed by their reactionary allies, like the dictatorships and monarchies of Arab League, is to abort the development of the armed popular uprising and prevent Gadhafi’s possible downfall from resulting in the emergence of a regime that could challenge their interests and the deals of the big oil companies like the Italian firm ENI and the French firm TOTAL. They are intervening to guarantee that the government that replaces Gadhafi will be as pro-imperialist as the current one. Furthermore, at the regional level, an imperialist intervention in Libya would be an advance party against the revolutionary processes that have been taking place in several Arab and Muslim countries, in order to impose controlled solutions or diversions and maintain the subjugation of these countries to the different imperialisms.
The revolutionary wave that is shaking the Arab world is exposing the real interests of the main powers. Not only were they until scarcely a few weeks ago the main partners of the autocratic regimes against which the masses are revolting, but they continue defending reactionary regimes, as the United States does, with the monarchies of Bahrain or Saudi Arabia, to protect their most important agents, that guarantee their interests in the region. The reformist left, among them, the Socialist Party, the Party of the Left and the Green Party in France, believe the “humanitarian card” and consider that, in view of Gadhafi’s military superiority, it is permissible for the rebel leadership to ask imperialism for assistance, and in that way they are acting as a “progressive” cover for the military attack, as they previously did regarding the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo.
Any government that emerges backed up by an imperialist intervention will only be a puppet serving the interests of the great powers and capitalist corporations.
Against those who are trying to present the Libyan uprising as an “imperialist conspiracy,” as Hugo Chávez, Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, and other “progressive” governments are doing, to justify their shameful defense of Gadhafi’s dictatorship, we revolutionary Marxists of the Fracción Trotskista – Cuarta Internacional declare that only the Libyan people have to right to overthrow Gadhafi.
We condemn the United Nations’ resolution and all interference or imperialist military intervention. The real allies of the Libyan people are the workers, the unemployed youths and the poor people of the Arab countries that have stood up against their own autocratic and pro-imperialist governments, and all the exploited who are confronting imperialist oppression throughout the world. The only real assistance that the revolutionary processes can receive from the imperialist countries will be that which the workers and young people, together with the millions of Arab workers who are exploited there, create in struggle against their own governments, against their policy of plundering and dominating the Arab world, and in support of organizing help in all their fields for their struggle against Gadhafi and imperialist aggression.
We call on workers’, students’ and popular organizations, human rights organizations and leftist organizations, to organize a big mobilization right now in solidarity with the struggle of the Libyan people and against any military attack or imperialist interference.
No to imperialist military intervention in Libya! Down with Gadhafi! For a workers’ and popular government!