[This is an updated translation of an important analysis of the war in Libya, from the Revolutionary Front for the Defense of People’s Rights of Brazil. — Frontlines ed.]
Down with the imperialist aggression against Libya!
Long live the war of resistance of the people of the world!
On March 19th, with the U N’s approval, NATO imperialist forces composed of the USA, France, England, Canada, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Denmark and others, began bombing on Libyan territory, on the pretext of protecting the civilian population from massacres perpetrated by the fascist front of massive Gadaffi protests.
Imperialism is again using the pretext of defending human rights and democracy for promoting more aggression against the people. These same governments, mainly the USA, maintain feudal monarchical regimes in neighboring countries, such as Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and they do nothing before the massacres of the masses that these same governments have been committing. Much to the contrary, while advising caution in the international diplomacy with the excesses, they continue supporting these reactionary regimes which provide them with more arms and resources. Last December, the North American Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, praised the government of Bahrain for its “commitment […] towards a democratic path.”
More so, the USA and coalition forces maintain a criminal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, supported by mercenary armies, they have been perpetrating an ongoing genocide against the masses, on which the UN has said nothing.
Imperialist wars of domination — and worldwide revolution
The aggression undertaken by NATO/USA is a continuation of historical colonial oppression over the people of Africa and a new chapter of imperialist war of shares, facing the profound worldwide crisis that gives life to capitalism. It is a violation of the right of self-determination of the people and part of the counter-revolutionary offensive started by Bush and continued by Obama. It seeks to divert the just struggle of the masses against oppression and exploitation, to restructure bureaucratic capitalism in these countries, directing fractions and power groups of the grand bourgeoisie so that they can introduce “new” government puppets.
The US seeks to impede the existence of a legitimate revolutionary process, strengthening lackey forces of the opposition, and at the same time, prevent other imperialist powers (prominently France, Russia, China, Germany) from seizing their former areas of domain. So the Yankee military intervention is also a desperate measure of its own decline with the failure of its policies of aggression and the accelerated Chinese penetration in Africa. And that is done as part of its new doctrine of national security, nicknamed “The Doctrine of Obama,” in collusion with the local dominant groups and forces of opportunism to assume the front of the “new” governments.
The surveys of the masses are in the wake of crisis of the worldwide imperialist system and are the expression of the development of the revolutionary situation in the world. The masses, thus antagonized, launch these large and violent rebellions pushed by the economic and political conditions to which they are subjected, and that without a more consistent orientation, battle against everything that represents the old order.
They rise up against puppet governments of imperialism, for democratic rights and against all fascist-feudal-monarchy orders. They are taking part of the second large wave of the worldwide revolution.
The crisis of the world imperialist system sharpens all three fundamental contradictions in the world today: those between oppressed nations/people and imperialism; between proletariat and bourgeoisie and the inter imperialist contradictions which translates as contradictions between superpower and power and between all monopolies.
The deepening of the crisis in Europe, as the continuation of the crisis of the whole global imperialist system, rests over the shoulders of the Arab and African people, intensifying the exploitation and oppression over the people of its countries and stopping the real escape valve which turned into immigration to the European countries. All of this has resulted in grave worsening of the living conditions of the masses.
The torrent of rebellion of the masses from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Qatar, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Sudan, Jordan, Oman, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, extending to Pakistan and the People’s War in India, in South Asia, composes a true iron wall of armed masses, which launch deadly spears at the heart of imperialism, pushing it more and more towards the pile of the ashes of history.
In turn, under current conditions, the situation of the US imperialism is increasingly different from the 1990s, when it reached the status of sole hegemonic superpower and boosted its “neo-liberal” offensive, it rose as police of the world, and when it overused its “Cold War” strategy and opened its fifth strategy called “New Order.” Even the offensive carried out by the Americans from September 11, 2001, the “War on Terror” is another coordination of aggressive forces worldwide.
Russia has economically recovered, mostly because of its vast oil reserves, and reaffirmed its imperialist status and nuclear military superpower. The social-imperialist China penetrates over vast areas of influence, commercially and economically dominating, seriously competing with the USA in different parts of the globe.
As a result of the aggravation of the inter-imperialist contradictions over control and mastery of new areas of influence, feuds have been aroused between the bureaucratic fractions and the big bourgeoisie within the colonies and semi-colonies for the control of the state’s apparatus. It is under these conditions, between those cracks, which hatch the uprisings of the masses that from a heroic form are emboldened to address the three mountains that exploit and oppress: imperialism, semi-feudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism. They furiously shake the bureaucratic regimes, defeat their current managers and old dynasties, whose posts are mostly for decades, mere puppets of American and European imperialism.
The masses are the arena of struggle between revolution and counterrevolution. What imperialism is trying to do and always will is try to manipulate the uprisings of the masses to use them for their domination interests and exploitation and in order to crush them. To do this, imperialism uses its low intensity war, as it has done in the Arab uprisings and from the political conditions created, if necessary, intervene militarily. But the crisis objective of imperialism pushes the masses into the struggle and the struggle is more violent each time. The revolutions struggle to advance through all attempts to deceive the masses, and advance the popular rebellion in ever-more organized forms.
Mao Tsetung said “Make trouble, fail, make trouble again, fail again . . . until their doom–that is the logic of the imperialists and all reactionaries the world over in dealing with the people’s cause … Fight, fail, fight again, fail again, fight again . . . until their victory; that is the logic of the people.”
Popular rebellion and inter-imperialist struggle in Libya
What happens in Libya is both a popular uprising against a fascist government and a bitter inter-imperialist dispute for their domination and share of their oil. Then the powers seek to influence and likewise direct the course of these events each towards the favoring of the interests of their respective monopolies and of their imperialist policies. The imperialist intelligence services act in all forms, searching inside the forces of resistance to channel them for their interests. They try to convince all that they defend a foreign intervention to “protect civilians,” while at demonstrations in Benghazi and other insurgent strongholds, there were people carrying giant banners written in English: “No to foreign intervention – The Libyans must themselves do it.”
The popular uprisings in Libya are the result of the desires of the masses against the fascist bureaucratic regime of Qaddafi, who long ago put aside the anti-imperialist slogans of other times to become more of a pawn of U.S imperialism on the board of the political divide in the region.
Qaddafi rose to power in 1969, its triumph represented the rise of a group of nationalist forces of radical sectors of national bourgeoisie (middle class), as part of the wider Pan-Arab movement lead by Gamal Nassar. These forces could come to power in the context of the 1960s and 1970s when the national liberation struggles shook Asia, Africa and Latin America. While the social-imperialist Soviet Union and the US competed for the rest of the world as their areas of influence and domination at the time, they also united to fight the revolution, with the theories of peaceful transition and coexistence—while socialist China encouraged and supported the revolutionary forces in all parties. This situation created openings so that national class forces could ascend to power and promote a series of measures of national-democratic character.
Despite its anti-imperialist rhetoric, given the limitation of bourgeoisie character of its leadership, the Libyan regime degenerated the national liberation struggle into bureaucratic capitalist rule, soon lining up and submitting to the social-imperialist Soviet Union. In the years 1970-80, Qaddafi supported many national liberation armed movements, prominently Palestinian and in areas that mattered to the social-imperialist Soviet Union. That earned it its economic sanctions by the USA and by the European imperialism.
Despite promises regarding the independent development of industry and agriculture in the early years, Libya has submitted within the world capitalist system, maintaining the country’s economy based almost solely on oil, depending heavily on the market powers of Western Europe. It used oil resources to increase its military and security forces, so much for internal control to function as regional intervention force. They bought French jets and used oil as a currency exchange in international politics, attracting German and Italian capitalists.
Their popular committees and other supposed bodies of participation of the masses, which claimed the name “socialist,” became instruments for the fascist corporatization of the masses, while it prevented any form of independent popular organization.
With the collapse of the social-imperialist Soviet Union, Qaddafi quickly sought the same subordinate relationship with imperialist powers of Western Europe; it reconciled with England, permitting greater penetration and control of the energy sector for powers such as Italy. As part of its collaborative process with imperialism, in 1995, Qaddafi threw to the ground his mask of support for the Palestinian cause, expelling 30, 000 Palestinians from Libya
With the counterrevolutionary offensive triggered by Bush in 2001, but particularly from the second American invasion of Iraq in 2003, Qaddafi became an ally of the US in the “War on Terror.” Libya was removed from the list of “Terrorist States” and large American oil monopolies returned to Libyan soil. Libya has since then played an important role as a special American intervention force in Africa through the Union of African States.
More proof of their subjugation to imperialism and betrayal of the motherland is the letter sent by him to the U.S in early April 2011, that pleads for an end to the bombings, claiming to be an ally in the war against terror, and also saying a cheer for Obama’s reelection in the next elections, though the US during the Obama administration is responsible for hundreds of bombs over Libyan territory, besides the continuing massacres in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines and so many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
In turn, the powerful popular force of the rebellions have shown its lack of a consistent direction, since they find themselves deprived of a revolutionary vanguard to lead the struggle and give popular democratic direction. The popular forces are being frustrated as the dominant classes, allied with imperialism, maneuver to control the popular uprisings.
The U.S is doing this in Libya and the other Arab countries, but at the same time, these rebellions fertilize the ground so as to awaken and forge its revolutionary vanguards. Herein lies that the revolutionaries assume the Marxist principle that the masses make history, and engage in the whirl of masses to direct them in the overthrow of not only tyrants in power and internationally by the complete destruction of the old state and by the establishment of the new democratic republic toward socialism.
Anti-Imperialist United Front Under Proletarian Hegemony
The moment that imperialism attacks the people, as it does now in Libya, the revisionists and scared Trotskyites begin to brandish the need to support and cope with the governments of the attacked countries, without making any distinctions over these governments. It is necessary to distinguish a truly nationalist-democratic government from fascist governments that in order to survive, make demagogic appeals to the people. Not making such a distinction is criminal, because the imperialist not only throw tons of bombs over the rebelling countries, they arm negotiations and deceive the people. They sell their rotten model of democracy with their corrupt elections and in order to do so count upon the deceptions of the opportunists.
For this same reason, without proletariat hegemony in a united front with the bourgeoisie, the struggle is doomed to failure, shameful capitulation. Precisely because the character of the vacillating national bourgeoisie class – which has contradictions with imperialism, but also with the proletariat – the alliance with it is extremely unstable and dangerous. Without that proletarian hegemony such a front cannot even mobilize the masses and organize a majority of the nation, it will always tend to negotiations and compromise.
For the liberation struggle to exist, develop and triumph it is necessary to have a united front of the classes oppressed by imperialism, but under hegemony and direction of the proletariat. Hegemony and independence for the proletariat will create the worker-peasant alliance, under the direction of an authentic proletariat revolutionary party and the construction of a popular army. Only then can the proletariat impose, ensure and maintain its hegemony. Because only then is it possible to trigger a popular revolutionary war of resistance and national liberation, to unite a vast majority of the nation, to expel imperialism, to confiscate the big bourgeoisie and the landlords and establish a true republic of new democracy and transition to socialism.
It is up to the revolutionary of the world to unmask the managements of opportunism (governments like: Qaddafi, OLP, Chavez, Morales, Correa, Dilma/Lula, etc.). Elevate the anti-imperialist struggle and strengthen the worker-peasant alliance to fight imperialism and its managers and agents, whether it’s those of “rightist” politics, or if it’s those of the facade of the “left,” “socialist,” or “popular”. Only boosting and developing the struggles of resistance and the wars of liberation of the entire world is it possible to defeat imperialism and bring down their lackeys in each country.
Down with imperialist war!
Long live the people’s war!
Revolutionary Front for the Defense of the People’s Rights – Brazil