Socialist Worker

Crisis deepens for the West in Libya

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2250

The British embassy in Tripoli was burned to the ground when news broke that a Nato attack had killed the second youngest of Colonel Gaddafi’s sons, 29-year old Saif al-Arab, and three grandchildren under the age of 12.

Since United Nations (UN) resolution 1973 was passed in March, Western politicians have denied they are looking to target Gaddafi.

Yet it’s clear that this is exactly what is planned.

Nato claimed the building they bombed was a “control and command” centre. But it appears to have been the family home of a son who is widely acknowledged not to have been involved in the regime.

This attack has brought back memories for many Libyans of the US bombing exactly 25 years ago that killed a young daughter of Gaddafi. Far from weakening Gaddafi’s hold in Libya it may have the opposite effect. Gaddafi’s claim to be a victim of Western imperialism is now more credible.

How can the US and its allies maintain that their intervention has any moral authority after this?


The UN forces are now exposed. This is a mission that was supposed to protect civilian lives but has killed many.

The revolution was threatened by bloody repression, but the West never wanted to see the victory of a genuine popular uprising.

Instead they wanted to install a new regime that favours the West. Many recent defectors from Gaddafi’s regime have become increasingly dominant in Benghazi—which was the heart of the revolt.

Many ordinary people, inspired by Tunisia and Egypt, have lost their lives in courageous battles against Gaddafi’s regime.

In Misrata this continues as thousands suffer a horrendous and sustained assault.

The sacrifice of so many was to fight for a revolution to win freedom and democracy from a tyrant who has ruled for four decades.

Yet their courageous struggle is being derailed and the hopes of the revolution destroyed by the cynical intervention of the West, which claimed to be on their side.

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Tue 3 May 2011, 18:14 BST
Issue No. 2250
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