DESPITE all of the hurrahs coming from the manic bourgeois media, the imperialist powers have a very big problem with Libya, and the Libyan revolution, through which the Libyan people took control over their country from UK and US imperialism in 1969.
The problem is that Colonel Gadaffi is still strongly entrenched in the capital of the country, Tripoli, which contains one third of the country’s population, and which supports him and is willing to fight to defend the revolution with him.
Gadaffi’s forces also hold many other areas in western Libya and he has many supporters in the east, so the likelihood is that over half of the population gives him their support.
Tripoli is strong and taking it will be a headache, providing its defenders stand fast. That will require imperialist military intervention to stand any chance of success, since tens of thousands will defend it, and many thousands could lose their lives in an attempt to take it.
The problem for the imperialists is that, under Clinton, Blair Bush and Obama, the imperialist powers have shed the lives of millions in Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, through sanctions and war, and not lifted a finger or said a word of condemnation when their ally Israel has slaughtered the people of Gaza and the Lebanon with bomb, bullet and phosphorus.
An open imperialist intervention would enormously sharpen the revolutions that are erupting in the Arab world, so that the imperialists would prefer somebody else to do their dirty work, the Egyptian army or the Saudis or both.
But there are not many takers for such a mission. It is one thing supporting Security Council resolutions condemning Gadaffi and Libya, it is quite another mounting an invasion, even if the US and the UK are offering unlimited arms supplies.
And then, of course, there is the question of what would happen to the price of oil – it would go over $200 a barrel.
The imperialist powers for the moment have been reduced to pushing through a sanctions resolution in the UN Security Council , and banning travel for Gadaffi and his supporters from Libya. They want to kill Gadaffi and his sons at home, as they did with Saddam and his sons.
They have also been reduced to getting one of the chief war criminals, Blair, up to his neck in the blood and lies of the Yugoslav, Iraq and Afghan wars, telephoning Gadaffi and telling him that he must leave Libya, or else NATO will invade and/or he and his supporters will appear at the war crimes tribunal at the Hague.
Nothing brings out as clearly as this, that the function of the tribunal is to put the enemies of imperialism on trial!
Yesterday’s ‘Observer’ newspaper was grappling with the problems that the imperialists have in Libya and elsewhere.
It thundered: ‘Those who still stand with Gadaffi and do his bidding must be left with no doubt that judicial retribution is inevitable.’
However, it agrees that ‘The curse of those botched interventions in Baghdad and Kabul lingers as Tripoli fights for its future today.’
It adds: ‘Much of last week, for Britain, was wasted while David Cameron pottered around the Middle East with a posse of arms manufacturers and Nick Clegg strapped his half-term skis on.’
It states without any embarrassment: ‘The International Criminal Court in the Hague exists for the precise purpose of trying, and sentencing the serial killers of world politics and the lieutenants who follow their orders.’ That is except for the UK and US imperialist serial killers, and those who egg them on to do their dirty deeds.’
It continues forlornly: ‘We may hope that collapse and surrender are close at hand.
‘But throughout last week, and now perhaps through more weeks ahead, hope needs a firmer spine of resolution and at least the prospect of something sterner.’
It blurts out: ‘We need to get on with getting him out.’ And concludes: ‘Intervene in the manner of Blair and Bush? No, but don’t shrink into the empty routines of gesture politics when the moment for inevitable decision comes.’
It is a call from the heart for humanitarian imperialism of the Gladstone type. This saw a Bible in one hand and a Gatling gun in the other. This was successful in the years leading up to one of the greatest massacres in imperialist history, the battle of Omdurman, when a very moral British imperialism mowed down tens of thousands of defenceless Sudanese muslims.
We urge the working class and the youth of the world to support the Arab revolutions. These can only triumph as socialist revolutions, as part of the world socialist revolution. We must oppose those attempts that are being made to organise counter-revolutions, such as in Libya, which, if victorious, will allow the US and UK to steal Libya’s oil and gas, and put the handcuffs back onto the Libyan people.