ON JUNE 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie were shot dead by a Bosnian Serb nationalist during an official visit to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. The killing sparked a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I by early August and then to the 1917 October revolution led by Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolshevik party, that changed the world for ever.
The cold-blooded, cowardly murder of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani at Bahgdad airport, by the armed forces of the USA, led by President Trump, as the general engaged in an official visit to Iraq, at the invitation of the Iraqi government, is an event that is not only comparable to the assassination of Ferdinand, but its consequences will be equally momentous in their scope.
Already the struggle to have secure sources of oil has been stepped up enormously, with the imperialist powers and their various combinations seeking to grab oil resources so that any Iranian blockade of the Gulf, or any cataclysmic attack on the Saudi oilfields will not bring their economies to a halt, and bring their regimes into a life and death conflict with the working class.
Turkey is now working with Libya while Israel, Cyprus and Greece plan to construct an oil pipe line from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe.
At the same time Libya is undergoing a continuing civil war with the different factions backed by different groups of imperialist powers, who want to own and control Libya’s huge oil resources to safeguard their economies.
The Sarraj Tripoli government is supported officially by the UN but is now being physically supported by Turkish troops as well as the special forces of different EU states.
Turkey has vowed to send as many forces as is necessary to maintain the Tripoli government and defeat the rival Benghazi government led by Haftar. The Benghazi government led by ex-CIA agent general Haftar has reached the outskirts of Tripoli.
After forming an alliance with Russia, which sees its role as a fire brigade to prevent a disaster, Khalifa Haftar has formed alliances and got the support of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, France and even Israel and sometimes the USA.
On the eve of the Berlin talks, to be held under the auspices of the UN, Turkish President Erdogan warned Europe to stand united behind Sarraj’s government, as Tripoli’s fall could leave ‘fertile ground’ for extremist groups like Daesh or Al-Qaeda ‘to get back on their feet’.
Europe will face a terror threat if the Tripoli-based government falls, threatened Erdogan. The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also lashed out at Greece for hosting Haftar ahead of the international conference in Berlin, saying that the move by Athens would ‘sabotage’ peace efforts. NATO is at war with itself.
‘Inviting Haftar to Greece and highlighting the Greek national agenda sabotages the efforts to bring peace to Libya,’ Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.
The highlight of the Berlin talks will be President Putin’s meeting with Erdogan, and with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
However, Putin will not be able to put out the fires started by the imperialist powers and their agents. These fires are a product of the growing world crisis of capitalism, and its drive to war.
The real criminals of the ensuing drama are however no longer on the scene. The Blair-led Labour government convinced the then ruler of Libya, Colonel Gadaffi to give up Libya’s weapons of mass destruction, and assured him that his government would not be brought down as a consequence.
In fact Libya was invaded by the UK and France that backed Libyan Islamists with their air forces to destroy not just the Libyan government but Libya as a modern state.
After French planes bombed Gadaffi he was wounded and hacked to death by Islamists, who were put in power by the imperialists and then bombed Manchester.
They also smashed Libya as a modern state, with its free education from primary to university, free health care and low rent housing. Compared to today Libya was a paradise under Gadaffi.
Libyans must drive all of the imperialists out and take back control and ownership of their country and the workers of the world must support them!