Socialist Worker

Intervention tries to derail Libya's uprising

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2246

The brutal reality of Western intervention in Libya is being exposed by the day. As towns fall and are retaken, the revolution is being taken out of the hands of the revolutionaries.

Numerous CIA agents and Western special forces on the ground are calling the shots. They have been described as the “designer pumps” on the ground, as opposed to army boots.

Around them, former loyalists to the dictator Muammar Gaddafi are busily positioning themselves as the new political leadership in the country.

This has led to elements of chaos. Former members of the regime, including Libya’s ex-intelligence chief Moussa Koussa, have flown to Europe for meetings that have been described as negotiations or defections.

The people who led and made the revolution that rocked Gaddafi’s regime are at risk of becoming pawns of the West.

And the racist stereotypes are back. Politicians and the media no longer laud the rebels as brave freedom fighters.

Instead they are disparaged as a ragtag bunch, undisciplined and headstrong.

The Western powers are striving to put the Arab people back where they like them—as grateful recipients, or victims, of their military might.

An air strike killed 13 rebels and four medical workers last week because someone shot into the air and was assumed to be a target.

Yet it is the very people who are prepared to drive into battle poorly armed and trained to take on the might of Gaddafi’s forces who began this rebellion.

They are not trained because they are not an army. They are ordinary people risking their lives to liberate towns and city from Gaddafi.


But the interests of outside forces lie elsewhere.

Qatar has taken over sales of Libyan oil. Instead of handing over cash for the crude oil it is exporting, Qatar merely has to pay in kind—it provides the rebels in eastern Libya with fuel, food and medicine.

The US doesn’t want to become dragged deeper into another quagmire like Afghanistan.

It wants regime change in Libya, but it now wants the burden of what could be a long war to be carried by others.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, the head of the British RAF, has admitted that planes would be needed “for a number of months rather than a number of weeks”.

Millions who have struggled against Western-backed dictatorships across the region in the last few months have watched these tragic scenes with horror.

The Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists have published a statement against Western intervention. They point to the hypocrisy of the West’s claims:

“We did not hear the voice of the Security Council, the European Union, or the Americans, for decades while Gaddafi, and his like among the Arab regimes, suppressed their people.

“They said nothing, so long as these regimes implemented the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund for the abolition of any social support for the poor, which was the only consolation for the Arab peoples.

“For as long as companies kept open their doors to global capitalism they kept silent.

“Intervention means the sacrifice of a few scapegoats, while working to contain the Arab revolutions... it is not to support democracy, but it is part of the counter-revolution.”

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