Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Imperialism Exposed Again

The last 24 hours has seen the lies and duplicity of Imperialism exposed once again. Imperialism claimed it had started bombing Libya for humanitarian purposes, to prevent a slaughter of civilians in Benghazi. Long after that danger had ended it continued its massive bombing campaign against the country. It has launched something like 20,000 bombing runs against Libya using the latest high-tech bombs, planes, and Cruise Missiles. Such has been the extent of the bombing that Britain alone has spent approaching £300 million in the process. This, of course, at a time when the British Government is closing schools, hospitals, and attacking British workers living standards, because, we are told by the Tories, the British State is as broke as Greece!!!
The Imperialists have completely destroyed the infrastructure of Libya with the extent of their bombing. No doubt lagre construction companies from those same Imperialist states will be happy to make massive profits from rebuilding that infrastrcuture paid for on the broken backs of the Libyan workers. It has been widely reported that the Imperialists have been using depleted uranium munitions, and the poisonous effect of that, as it hangs in the air, and seeps into the water table will affect the Libyan people for generations to come. The whole process has been one of lies on a massive scale to match that of the devastation of Libya being inflicted by Imperialism.

The UN resolution, 1973, gave the Imperialists permission to protect civilians. Yet, from Day One, the Imperialist bombing campaign put far more lives in jeopardy than even the potential threat of a massacre in Benghazi, by Gaddafi represented. In fact, as I pointed out in my blog, Victory To Libya, Down With Gaddafi, Channel 4 News quoted Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch as saying,

“Now both Amnesty and Human Rights Watch say they’ve found no evidence in Libya to back up allegations used widely by politicians to justify the war.”

In fact, they went on to explain that the International Criminal Court had issued its warrants against members of the regime for crimes such as the use of rape without any evidence of its own whatsoever, and solely on the basis of what it had been told by the rebels.
These were the same rebels that other independent observers had themselves accused of committing war crimes, including the use of rape. But, as Channel 4's Alex Thompson reported,

“It’s war, people lie. In Benghazi Libyan rebels will tell beseiged Misrata is running short of food. You go there. The shops are open, reasonably well-stocked. The butchers’ stalls hung with freshly-slaughtered goats.

The Misratan rebels will tell you government forces have been issued with gas masks because they’re preparing to use chemical weapons. Again – lies, propaganda and rumour. No journalist in Misrata bothered to report this junk, even with appropriate attribition and caveats. We could see it for the paranoia it was.

Twas ever thus. Back in 1991 a rather younger A Thomson found himself debunking the propaganda lie that Saddam Hussein’s soldiers had ripped babies from incubators in Kuwait’s hospital.

Eventually it was all exposed as lies cooked up by a US PR firm contracted to the displaced Kuwaiti authorities.

So it goes on down the years. During the British invasion of Iraq the MoD spouted a series of lies about the actions of Iraqi forces in Basra. The Americans were doing much the same of course.

Never take anything on trust from a politician who has a war to justify should be the obvious rule of thumb for any journo – any person – in a time of war.”

And, so it proves again here too. On Sunday night, the rebel TNC were reporting that they had taken over all of Tripoli, and that Gaddafi's sons were in custody. That assertion was echoed by the International Criminal Court.
Surprise surprise, on Monday it appears that not only was Gaddafi's son, Muhammad not in the custody of the rebels, but the heir apparent, Saif Al Islam, pops up driving around Tripoli with thousands of Tripolitans apparently prepared to fight to defend the City! The International Criminal Court, we are told, is supposed to be a neutral international State body whose purpose is to bring international criminals to book. Yet, like the United Nations, it is shown to be just another tool for Imperialism to exercise its control over the globe.

A look at those that have been brought before it can easily be seen to be those who have been on the other side to the Imperialists in numerous conflicts. Most of those from the Balkans have, for example been Serbs, yet there were at least as many atrocities committed by Croatians, Albanians and others during that conflict. Such as the ethnic cleansing of Serbs by Croats in the Krajina.
In large part, of course, the Imperialists were on the side of these other forces. That is, of course, not to say that the Serbs brought before it were any friend of the working-class, or that they were not grotesques in their own right. It is to show that there is nothing impartial about Capitalist/Imperialist justice at an International level, anymore than there is at a national level. And, of course, the biggest international criminal, US Imperialism, which has been responsible for the deaths of millions of people throughout the globe, for dropping two nuclear bombs, killing tens of thousands of civilians in Japan, for dropping an even greater tonnage of bombs on Vietnam than was used in the whole of WWII, which used dioxin, in the form of Agent Orange, to defoliate and sterilise agriculture in Vietnam and so on does not recognise the ICC.
It is not prepared to allow any of its citizens to even have any risk of being dragged before it!

Gadaffi's regime is gone, whatever the events of the next few days have in store. But, it has gone not because of a Libyan revolution, but because of a massive military assault upon the country by Imperialism, with an assortment of rebels being used on the ground as a Fifth Column to move in to take ground only after massive bombing has cleared the way for them.
NATO complains that the regime has launched three SCUD missiles, but NATO has rained literally hundreds of Cruise Missiles down on the people of Libya. It is also clear that the Imperialists have had boots on the ground themselves for nearly all this time. Yesterday, when it looked like everything was over the Tory British Minister appeared smirking on camera, essentially admitting that British Special Forces had been in Tripoli organising things. (Edit: CNN are today reporting that Special Forces from Britain, France, Jordan and Qatar have been involved from the beginning in Libya, on the ground, and working alongside the rebels.) From day one, I pointed out that a no fly zone could not be applied unless that happened. It required Special Forces on the ground to laser tag targets and so on. For many months, Imperialism has been supplying the rebels with the latest high-tech weapons, and with training.
Despite that, for months, the Eastern rebels were unable to make any headway. (Edit - laughably on Newsnight on Tuesday the Libyan rebel spokesperson denied there had been any fighting from the South-West, claiming it had all come from the East, which is a sign of the conflicts to come, given that it was Western rebels that took Tripoli!)The break seems to have come after far more intensive bombing by Imperialism, and after the introduction of helicopters, and drones. After months of starving out the people of Tripoli, it would have been surprising if the people did not crack. Yet, the fact that a sizeable number of residents of Tripoli – that the regime felt confident enough in to have armed them over recent months – have stayed to fight, street to street against the rebels, shows the extent to which there is real opposition to those rebels.
As one commentator said it has similarities to the Battle of Algiers. Some of that is likely to be down to tribal loyalty, some down to the fact that many of them will be State employees whose livelihood has been guaranteed by the regime, and some of it down to the fact that many, whilst having no great liking of Gaddafi, are even more fearful of what might befall them under a rebel regime, whose nature remains uncertain, but whose character can probably be guessed at given the obvious extent to which the rebel fighters are dominated by jihadists, such as the Islamic Fighting Group, some of whose British fighters have been interviewed by British TV in Libya..
The extent of that is demonstrated by the Constitution drawn up by the TNC. Besides, spelling out its commitment to privatising Libya's State owned industries i.e. essentially Oil, it also menacingly states that Islamic Sharia Law will be the "principal source of legislation"!!!

Some months ago, in a discussion on Dave Ostler's blog I asked AWL supporter, Clive Bradley, how his concern for civilians would play out when the rebels arrived at Tripoli, and it was Tripolitan civilians whose lives were threatened. He had no answer, other than essentially to hope that no such conflict would arise. That depended upon swallowing the propaganda of Imperialism, and the rebels that they were really a bunch of Liberal Democrats, who only wanted to establish some western form of democracy! That, of course, is still the vision that Imperialism and the western media is still trying to portray!

In fact, what we see is a National Transitional Council that was essentially cobbled together by Sarkozy to give the idea that there was some kind of legitimate, alternative Government in waiting in Libya.
As I pointed out in my blog “Victory To Libya...” that was needed in order that Imperialism could deligitimise the Gaddafi Government so as to justify, its war against the country. Of course, the TNC itself is hardly a paragon of democratic virtue, not least because it has been elected by no one, not even the people of Benghazi!!! At least, the Bolsheviks could claim that they had been elected by a series of Soviets! In over six months, there appears to have been no attempt in Benghazi to establish any kind of functioning democracy, or democratic organs.

And there is a good reason for that. The political face of the TNC is made up of pretty unsavoury people themselves, and they are the more palatable elements. They are made up of former Gaddafi regime loyalists, reactionary tribal chiefs with an axe to grind and so on. Only the very public face, those who for at least months, and in some cases years, have had close contacts with EU Imperialism, particularly with France, can be presented as being some kind of Liberal democratic politicans. But, their problem is that they represent no one in Libya. That is why they could not, and have said they will not submit themselves for election.
It is a bit like what Trotsky said about the bourgeois politicians that the Stalinists sought to keep on board during the Spanish Civil War. They were a shadow, they represented nothing. The real social force, the real fighting forces opposing Gaddafi, are in fact made up of the jihadists, and some tribal elements who are looking after their own interests. That is why those jihadists murdered Younes, the rebel general.

This poses a significant problem for the TNC politicians. They are bourgeois politicans essentially without a Libyan bourgeoisie to represent! When Gaddafi's regime falls totally, as it surely will given the massive imperialist firepower ranged against it, the jihadists will no longer need those TNC politicians, whose only function for them has been to ensure that they obtained that Imperialist firepower. But, it is inconceivable that the Imperialists that have provided that military firepower for the jihadists, will then simply step back and allow them to take over. They will need those TNC politicans to invite them in as a “stabilising force”, or whatever title it is given, but whose real function will be to suppress the jihadists. That is when the real problems begin, as was seen in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

1 comment:

vngelis said...

This is the programme of the Transitional Council of Libya.
On paper it doesn't sound as it has been written by the multinational
But as with everything in life, the proof will be in the eating, or
whether they implement any of this. I have highlighted 7a

7. Political democracy and the values of social justice, which

a. The nation’s economy to be used for the benefit of the Libyan
people by creating effective economic institutions in order to
eradicate poverty and unemployment – working towards a healthy
society, a green environment and a prosperous economy.