Friday, 25 February 2011

No Imperialist Intervention in Libya

As the regime of the reactionary clown, Muamar Ghadaffi, goes through its death agonies, whilst taking many many lives with it, the voices of liberal interventionism raise their ugly heads.

Let us be clear. Any western intervention will be aimed not at saving lives but preserving oil for use by the invaders. Who can honestly say that the million plus lives lost in Iraq created anything other than another dictatorship, albeit one friendly to the USA?

Those who talk of intervening in Libya are not moved by the plight of those Ghadaffi is killing. Their only concern is what may come after him. It is not the death of people but death to their interests in the country that concern them. That is why Tony Blair, the archetypal liberal interventionist and war criminal, made his famous visit to Tripoli in 2003 and a rapprochment with the West’s favourite bogeyman.

We have seen a consolidation of the old elites in Egypt and Tunisia. The revolution has only been half completed and if there is no completion then it will go back to the beginning. In Libya, because of the different nature of the response, there is the danger (for imperialism) that popular and armed committees will form which put the use of Libya’s oil under the spotlight.
Our demands are clear. Any intervention by the West will destroy not safeguard lives and liberty.

Tony Greenstein

Libya – Dreams of Western Intervention

Susil Gupta – 24-2-10

The crisis in Libya is
quickly becoming an international embarrassment. Not, this time, because of Gadhafi’s clowinsh antics, but because it provides a spectacular opportunity for the world to see just how much Western power has declined during the last decade.

Despite being the most powerful nation on earth, and having a military apparatus on a scale greater than the sum of every other country, the US has patently failed to impose its solutions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Far from America being able to force the Ayatollahs into submission, Iran gains strategic ground every day. The financial crisis has paralysed the power of Western finance. Western central bankers have had to go begging to China and the oil rich countries for loans. The Arab revolt of 2011 has now destroyed the exclusive grip Anglo-American rule once had in the region.

And now Libya promises to make explicit the powerlessness of the West. As Laurence Pope, ex-political advisor to the US "Central Command" and ex-ambassador to Tripoli recently told Le Monde today (24 February), “Washington finds itself in a situation where there are only bad options and others that are worse.”

What has been the response in Europe? The European Left and the liberal bourgeoisie remain very ‘interventionist’ and are firm believers in ‘humanitarian bombing’. They are clamouring for a muscular Nato intervention along Balkan lines. An editorial in today’s Left-leaning Guardian supports the call by liberal Lord Owen that “military preparations should be made and the necessary diplomatic approaches, above all to the Russians and the Chinese, set in train to secure UN authority for such action.” Should the crisis continue, the Guardian argues, “intervention on the ground would have to be considered. The Egyptian army has the means, other Arab countries could contribute, and western forces could help.” Yes, and it would all be over by Christmas.

It is obvious that these war-enthusiasts have not thought this through – but then they would not be doing any of the fighting. The plain fact is that there are no feasible military interventions even if the major powers could agree on an intervention plan, which is very far from being the case. Consider the options.

Imposing a no fly zone. This would require extensive air patrols by foreign air forces. They would have little effect since air power is not key to Gadhafi’s strategy. It would, however, create an atmosphere of major war and give Gadhafi a propaganda boost.

Creating a military barrier or cordon sanitaire around eastern Libya to protect rebel positions. Likewise this would crystallise the situation into a two-sided war, which could only play into Gadhafi’s hands. It is to the advantage of those that want to topple Gadhafi to avoid a war of entrenchment fixed positions, preventing them from permeating every level of society and undermine further his crumbing power base. In any case such Western intervention would be impossible to implement. No Western commander is going to deploy troops at short notice into a theatre unknown to his troops but well-known to an enemy who, in any case, cannot be easily distinguished from friendly forces. It is a recipe for disaster.

Sending in a ‘peace keeping’ African Union force to separate the parties. One way to unite every Libyan behind Gadhafi, given the reputation of such forces in the past.

Sending in a ‘peace keeping’ force made up of troops from Arab countries as The Guardian recommends. One way to unite every Libyan behind Gadhafi and infect and inflame the whole of the Middle East with the vicissitudes of a Libyan civil war.

Bomb. But where? Tripoli ? Gadhafi’s hideout? In addition to the lack of any meaningful target, Western bombing might give others the idea of bombing targets that are indeed of great strategic value: oil wells and pipe lines.

Sanctions. Libya’s massively long borders are totally porous and populated by peoples and countries keen to do business and who don’t give a damn about UN Security Council resolutions. On the contrary, given the strategic importance of Libyan oil and gas to several European nations, Libya is the only country in a position to apply effective sanctions against anyone else. The price of oil has already shot up to $110. Watch how the Italians start screaming in the next couple of weeks if the crisis goes on much longer.

Unsurprisingly, Cameron and Sarkozy are making angry statements but otherwise are just looking at their shoes.

Susil Gupta


  1. Hi,
    This is true, the US and other countries are only interested in the oil and not freeing people. They waited at the begining because they didn't want to upset Gaddafi as he would have cut the oil, but as the revolution went far they started to come up and speak about Libya freedom, the las things they have every thought about or considered.
    shame on them to come up lying in our faces about killing innocents while they have been the main reason behind it.

  2. In April 1986, the USA fired a missile right into Gaddafi's presidential palace, narrowly missing taking him out. Why so prissy now? Is it because it can't see a clear outcome favorable to US interests?
    Stop the slaughter of a brave freedom-loving people now, I say, and think about oil politics later.


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