ON MONDAY the bourgeois press proclaimed the rag-bag of mercenaries and brigands who make up the so-called ‘rebels’ had crushed the forces loyal to the Libyan revolution and its leader Colonel Gadaffi, had conquered the capital Tripoli and arrested two of his sons.
This fiction lasted until Tuesday when it became clear that, far from walking into Tripoli in triumph, these counter-revolutionary agents of imperialism are facing stiff resistance from the Libyan masses.
When Gadaffi’s son, Saif al-Islam, appeared on the streets of Tripoli to declare that the ‘rats’ who have crept into the capital behind the carpet bombing of the city by NATO would be smashed, he exposed the lying propaganda that Gadaffi and his family had either fled or were cowering in hiding.
When it emerged that the other son, Mohammed Gadaffi, had apparently just walked out of captivity it showed the hollowness of the boasts that the game was over, the war won and the imperialist gangsters of NATO were triumphant.
While it is widely recognised that the rebels could not advance one inch without the murderous cover of NATO air forces bombing the road clear for them, or that their advance into Tripoli came courtesy of a barbaric onslaught from drones and aircraft that has left many thousands of civilians dead or wounded, what has so far been denied is the direct involvement of imperialist forces on the ground.
In fact, it is widely acknowledged in military and diplomatic circles that foreign ‘military advisors’ have been active throughout the campaign and that without them the ‘rebellion’ would have collapsed months ago.
What has also emerged is that British, French and US imperialism is now preparing for the complete occupation of Libya by its armed forces.
This became apparent yesterday when Tory prime minister, David Cameron, specifically refused to rule out sending troops in on the ground ‘if the situation deteriorates’.
As far as the imperialists are concerned, the situation has deteriorated with a vengeance. Far from the walkover they predicted, the Libyan masses are not willing to passively accept the gains of the 1969 revolution being smashed up and seeing their country turned into an armed outpost for the imperialist domination of the Middle East and Africa and its mineral wealth handed over to the oil companies.
As the imperialists drive to invade and physically conquer Libya the spotlight is firmly on the role of the organised trade union movement.
Workers must understand that the same government that is responsible for the wholesale slaughter of civilians and is now preparing to send its armed forces in to crush the resistance of the Libyan masses is exactly the same government that is preparing to use police and troops to crush strikes at home.
It is the same government that has unleashed the full force of the state to put down uprisings by young people and students – the same government that is preparing to make the very existence of unions and strikes illegal.
It is the same government that is daily visiting the most extreme violence against its own working class through smashing up the NHS, destroying social benefits and mass unemployment.
This is a government that is the mortal enemy of the Libyan masses and the working class at home.
The demand for the annual conference of the TUC (meeting on 12th September) must be for a campaign to halt the imperialist onslaught against Libya by organising a general strike to bring down the Cameron government and go forward to a workers government.
We urge all workers and youth to join our lobby of the TUC and demand that it leads this fight against the common enemy.