Socialist Worker

Lessons from Libya - the West is no friend of revolution

Issue No. 2270

The sight of David Cameron and French president Nicolas Sarkozy arriving in Libya as conquering heroes last week was sickening.

Earlier this month they chaired a conference in Paris that involved no less than 60 different countries to discuss Libya’s future.

Western politicians insist that every initiative is Libyan-led, and that they are only interested in “helping” with stabilisation.

But there can be no mistake. Every day reveals the extent to which Western imperialism has hijacked the Libyan revolution.

Western intervention, under the banner of Nato, marked the beginning of the end of Libya’s revolution.

Nato airstrikes and sanctions fuelled a humanitarian crisis in the country.

Fulfilling ordinary people’s demands for democracy and freedom was never part of Nato’s plan.

Instead the intervention was a recognition that, if the era of simply propping up tyrants was over, the West still wanted to retain influence.

The West will still support dictators where it can, of course.

Western leaders are doing this in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia today.

But the success of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions forced them to say they were on the side of the popular revolts, to try and regain the initiative in the region.

Events are far from over in Libya.

But Cameron and Sarkozy’s achievement there so far is a warning to all those struggling in the region.

The West’s only concern is pursuing its own interests.

Its politicians are no friends of revolution.

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