Mobilize against the Expansion of the Imperialist War! Defeat the Imperialist Aggressors and Their Lackeys in Libya!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 23.2.2016, www.thecommunists.net
1. American warplanes bombed what were allegedly houses and camps of Daesh (the so-called “Islamic State”) in Western Libya on 19 February, killing at least 40 people. This seems to part of a long-term military campaign of the imperialist Great Powers to intervene in Libya and to regain control of the country. The New York Times reported: “For weeks, American and allied Western officials have mulled a possible air campaign against the Islamic State in Libya, particularly around its de facto headquarters in Surt. Libyan officials and news media outlets have reported the presence of American, French, British and Italian special forces units in the country in recent weeks, ostensibly on reconnaissance missions and to liaise with local militias.” (19.02.2016)
2. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) unreservedly condemns this latest aggression by the Great Western Powers. The imperialists claim to be waging a war against the reactionary Daesh forces. In fact, as we see every day in Syria, their war is mostly directed against Islamist rebel forces (fighting against the Assad dictatorship in the case of Syria) and the civilian population. The war against Daesh is a pretext – both of the Great Western Powers, as well as of imperialist Russia – for their attempts to liquidate the revolutionary process which started in the Arab world in 2011 in addition to expanding their respective spheres of influence. Their true goal is to gain control of the oil and gas reserves in the region (at the expense of their imperialist rivals) and, consistent with this, to enthrone loyal lackeys. Yet another aim of the Great Powers is to stop the poor in North Africa from migrating to imperialist Europe. European media have claimed that there are currently about 150,000 people waiting in Libya to cross the Mediterranean. The EU, which in the past could rely on the collaboration of the Gaddafi dictatorship to stop migrants from coming to Europe, has already adopted plans to intervene with its military on the Libyan coast to repulse potential African migrants.
3. The latest military aggression of the US follows the failure of the Great Powers to impose a settlement of the civil war in Libya. As a result of the overthrow of the Gaddafi dictatorship in the autumn of 2011, there is no centralized state authority in that country and more than a quarter of a million people are armed and organized into various local militias. The imperialists and the Gulf monarchies have been attempting to regain control of Libya for some time by supporting the coalition called Amaliya al-Karama (“Operation Dignity”). This alliance is led by former Gaddafi officer and CIA agent, General Haftar, who heads up the so-called government based in the eastern city of Tobruk. However, until now, these forces have failed to defeat the rival alliance named Fajr Libya (“Libyan Dawn”) which constitutes the government based in the country’s capital, Tripoli. This latter government is dominated by various bourgeois and petty-bourgeois Islamist forces which previously played a leading role in the uprising of 2011. When Haftar’s war failed, the Great Powers – under the veil of the United Nations – tried to force the two camps to end the civil war and form a unity government. However these diplomatic negotiations, led by the German diplomat Martin Kobler, have failed until now because of the resistance of the Islamist government in Tripoli. The latter has even refused to allow Kobler’s plane to land in the capital since early January. While we give no political support to the Islamists and are fighting for independent mass organizations of the working class, we categorically state that, in this civil war, the main enemy is the camp of General Haftar.
4. Against the chaotic backdrop of the civil war, Daesh has been able to build some local bases of support (mainly in the central coastal region around Sirte, the home town of the Gaddafi clan, and around the Western town of Sabratha). Marxists firmly denounce the Salafi-Takfiri Daesh as a counter-revolutionary force which often acts as an enemy and constitutes a physical threat to legitimate popular struggles (the anti-Assad rebels and the Kurds in Syria, the Fajr Libya forces, the popular resistance led by the Houthis in Yemen, etc.). Furthermore, Daesh has executed numerous barbaric terrorist attacks against civilians throughout the Arab world, Turkey, and recently in Paris. Daesh is a direct result of the failure of the Arab Revolution to achieve its democratic and social goals. It has profited from the increasing desperation of the plebeian urban and rural youth who want to fight against the ruling elite, but who lack any class-based organization and orientation. Naturally, Marxists support the legitimate struggle of popular forces in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries against Daesh in order to eliminate this arch-reactionary threat.
5. However, as the RCIT has pointed out many times, the imperialist Great Powers – the US, EU, Japan as well as China and Russia – remain the main enemies of the international working class and oppressed peoples. The control of the world economy by the imperialist monopolies and the domination of world politics by the Great Powers remain the main causes of the devastating economic, ecological and social catastrophes which are causing the deaths of millions of people each year. Hence, revolutionaries welcome all blows by oppressed peoples against the Great Powers’ drive to subjugate the world’s semi-colonial countries. In cases where local forces – even if they are Islamists (including Daesh) – resist the imperialist aggressors, we support such actions without, however, giving any political support to such forces of reaction.
6. We call upon the international workers’ movement to mobilize against the new imperialist aggression in Libya. We condemn the reformist left – like the “Communist” Party of France and their friends in the Party of the European Left – which have failed to oppose the imperialist aggression. These hypocritical forces even voted in the French parliament for the “state of emergency” law after the 13 November attacks in Paris, legislation which became the cover for a wave of repression against Muslim migrants, including 3,289 raids and hundreds of arrests since then. We criticize all those centrists within and outside Europe who, while opposing the imperialist aggression, cowardly refuse to support the military struggle of the – mostly Islamist-led – resistance against the imperialist occupants.
7. Revolutionaries should join forces on the basis of the position “Defend Libya – Defeat the Imperialists and their Lackeys!“ They should unite and fight based on the following slogans:
* Stop the US Bombing of Libya! Mobilize against the Great Powers’ plans to intervene militarily in Libya and along its coast! Support the resistance against imperialist aggression!
* Defeat General Haftar’s alliance of imperialist lackeys, without giving any political support to the Islamists!
* No to reactionary sectarianism! Down with the Salafi-Takfiri Daesh!
* For independent workers’ and popular councils and militias! For a workers’ and popular government in Libya which will expropriate the domestic bourgeoisie and the foreign monopolies! For the nationalization of industry and banks under workers control!
* Victory to the Syrian Revolution against the Assad Regime! Solidarity with the popular resistance in Egypt against General al-Sisi!
* For a socialist federation of the people of the Maghreb and Mashriq!
International Secretariat of the RCIT
We refer readers to the numerous statements and articles on the Arab Revolution and the imperialist aggression which can be found on the RCIT’s website http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. In particular we refer to the following documents:
RCIT: World Perspectives 2016: Chapter IV.2. Counterrevolutionary Offensive: The Retreat of the Arab Revolution Continues Despite Heroic Popular Struggles, January 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/part6/
Yossi Schwarz: Why Revolutionary Marxists Oppose Daesh/ISIL, 15.12.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/marxists-vs-daesh/
RCIT: Great Powers Aim to Liquidate the Syrian Revolution! Mobilize for International Solidarity with the Syrian Liberation Struggle against the Assad Dictatorship! Stop the US, Russian and French Air Strikes! No to Daesh/IS-Terrorism! 18.11.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/great-powers-syria/
RCIT: Throw Open the Gates of Europe to Refugees! Long live International Solidarity of the Workers and Poor! Down with the Imperialist Fortress EU! Advance the Arab Revolution to Build Workers and Peasant Republics! 15.9.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/refugees-are-welcome/
RCIT: Europe / North Africa: Storm the Gates of Rome! Open Borders for Refugees! Stop the Imperialist EU-War against Refugees! No to the Preparations for an Imperialist Aggression against Libya! 22.5.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/eu-war-against-refugees/
RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/
RCIT: General Sisi, Hollande, Obama: Hands Off Libya! Defeat General Haftars’ Imperialist Lackeys! Down with the Daash-Gang of Killers! For a Workers’ and Popular Government! 26.2.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/hands-off-libya/
RCIT: Defeat Obama’s New Crusade in the Middle East! For an International Mass Movement to Defeat the Offensive of the Great Western Powers! Support the Kurdish Struggle for an Independent State! No to the Harassment of Muslims in Western Countries! 18.9.2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/obama-s-new-crusade/