Freedom Socialist Party – 2011-03-27 20:33:04
No Foreign Takeover of the Arab Revolutions!
Stop the US/UN War against Libya!
ACTION: End the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan!
All out for anti-war actions on April 9 and 10!
(March 25, 2011) — The foreign military bombardment now raining down on Libya is in no sense a humanitarian defense of Libya’s people against dictator Moammar Gadhafi. It is an opportunistic move by Western powers, above all the US, against the democratic uprisings shaking North Africa and the Middle East.
Working people all over the world are in sympathy with the Libyan oppositionists. As the rebels began to lose ground against Gadhafi’s soldiers and thugs, it is no wonder that many people both inside and outside of Libya clutched desperately at the hope that, this time, the US and former colonialists meant the noble phrases they mouthed.
Learning from Iraq and Afghanistan:
There is no such thing as a “good” imperialist war
But all experience shows that this hope is cruelly unfounded. The schemes and colonial occupations of the US and Europe have left much of Africa and the Middle East divided, impoverished, and without basic rights, ruled by tyrants friendly to Western countries and their oil-sucking conglomerates. Now that the people are rebelling — and with the corporations thirstier for profits than ever — can we really believe that the imperialists are siding with liberation?
The bombing of Libya began on the eighth anniversary of the start of the war against Iraq. That war, too, was advertised as a war to deliver a population from oppression (as well as to save the world from nuclear weapons Iraq didn’t have and from terrorists Iraq didn’t sponsor).
In the “humanitarian” actions against Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s estimated conservatively that 920,000 civilians and soldiers have died. Workers and young people pay the price of shameful wars — which are still going on!
In Libya, the imperialists have promised a quick, “no boots on the ground” intervention that will spare civilians. This will be just as much of a lie in Libya as it was in Iraq. And each deadly Tomahawk missile fired on Libya costs working-class taxpayers, reeling from layoffs and budget cuts, $1.4 million. In four days of war, 160 of these missiles were fired, for a total of $224 million.
That’s equivalent to an awful lot of library and public health center closures. And it’s one more good reason for the US and European working people to feel a powerful bond with the working people of Libya. From Madison, Wisconsin, to Tripoli and Cairo, the need is clearly for a new economic system, one that builds mutually rewarding international relationships based on fulfilling human needs and aspirations: socialism.
What the unfinished revolutions need: revolutionary parties
At any cost, the US wants to prevent the brave mass insurgencies of North Africa and the Middle East from concluding that socialism is the solution. Everything it does in Libya will be designed to keep power — and Libya’s oil wells! — out of the hands of working-class Libyan women, men, and youth. President Obama and his people are most likely already nurturing relations with a secret list of “acceptable” replacements for Gadhafi (who has recently been a valuable ally, despite his anti-imperialist posturing).
Between Gadhafi’s superior force and the deceitful maneuvers of the US and Europe, the Libyan opposition is up against it. Support from other working people can improve their immediate prospects. Unions, neighboring insurgencies, and organizations with the capability to get weapons or humanitarian aid to the rebels should do so. With enough determination and support, the US war machine can be backed off!
But, as people across the zone of revolt are finding, there are limits to what can be achieved spontaneously, through sheer, fired-up numbers. Even in Egypt and Tunisia, where hated regimes were successfully overthrown, it is becoming apparent that this is only an enormous first step to securing democratic gains.
The people of the region need revolutionary parties. Parties make possible an ongoing analysis of victories and defeats, collective identification of goals, development of strategy and the discipline to carry it out, and the bringing of people together across lines of gender, tribe, religion, and national origin. It will take some time to develop these revolutionary parties.
Defend the revolt in Libya through revolt at home
What US workers, peace activists, and radicals do right now is crucial in giving Libya’s people the breathing space they need to carry their revolution forward. We must continue to demand the ouster of Gadhafi. Our biggest contribution, though, would be to create our own domestic unrest, combining protest against US military intervention and against the horrendous attacks on workers’ rights here.
There are no shortcuts: only the Libyan people can win their own liberation – with as much help from their working-class friends internationally as we can give.
Freedom Socialist Party
New Valencia Hall
625 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94109