Libya

Libya is gripped by civil war. General Haftar has launched an offensive to oust President Fayez al-Serraj and his Government of National Accord (GNA), which is recognised by the UN. The offensive began on the same day that the General Secretary of the UN, António Guterres, arrived in Tripoli to secure a national reconciliation conference, scheduled on 14 April. His visit was useless, as the UN has been in Libya since 2011.

The imperialist military interventions in Iraq, Syria and Libya were portrayed by Western leaders as “humanitarian” operations to restore democracy and human rights. But what has instead occurred is the exact opposite with the rise of different degrees of barbarism in all three countries. Just like in Syria and Iraq, we are now also witnessing the rise of slave-like conditions in Libya on a systematic level.

Everything has now been set in place for an imperialist intervention in Libya. Ashton Carter, United States Defence Secretary, has anointed Italy as leader of the “Coalition”. Meanwhile, in Italy, the past imperialist master of Libya, the war drums are beating.

The political, tribal, and religious divisions in Libya, which have been fuelled for many years by imperialism, are dragging the country into a bloody civil war, never seen before. Just as in Iraq, military intervention by the imperialists rather than stabilise the country enormously destabilised it.

The capture and killing of Colonel Gaddafi has been described in detail by the mass media in all its gory details. With the death of Gaddafi and the taking of Sirte the National Transitional Council is talking about forming a transitional government. The NTC is recognized by the imperialist powers whose interests it represents. However, many ordinary Libyans look with justified mistrust at the NTC and their imperialist backers.

Workers at Waha Oil company have been on strike and holding protests for 7 weeks now. Their main demand is the purge of the top management of the company from directors whom they accuse of being stooges of the old regime. It is an example of class issues coming to the fore once the old regime has been put to one side.

Twenty four hours ago, the streets of Tripoli were full of the sounds of rejoicing. Now they are filled with the sounds of gunfire. The real battle for Tripoli has commenced.

The end came suddenly and without warning. In the moment of truth the Gaddafi regime fell like a house of cards.

Last night the streets of Tripoli were filled with wild rejoicing as rebel forces occupied Green Square in Tripoli. Libyan rebels waved opposition flags and fired shots into the air in jubilation after reaching the central square of the capital in the early hours of Monday. Until now the vast square was reserved for carefully orchestrated rallies praising Moammar Gaddafi.

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We provide a brief historical outline of the development of the Gaddafi regime from the bourgeois Arab nationalism of the early days, to the period of so-called Islamic socialism, to the recent period of opening up to foreign investment, with major concessions to multinational corporations and the beginnings of widespread privatisations.

What started as a genuine revolution against Gaddafi, has been taken over by reactionary bourgeois elements. In the Interim Council, and now the newly formed Interim Government, direct representatives of imperialist interests have been promoted to leading positions.

On Saturday afternoon French warplanes were the first to bomb Libya, in what one can only describe as open imperialist aggression. This was followed by US and UK ships and submarines launching 110 Tomahawk Cruise missiles. The French are strengthening their position by sending their Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier into waters off the Libyan coast.

Yesterday the United Nations Security Council voted by 10 votes in favour against 5 abstentions to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. The resolution authorises UN member states "to take all necessary measures... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory".

After taking one town after another in the early days of the Libyan revolution, now the insurgents are having to come to terms with the fact that Gaddafi has managed to hold together a significant section of his special security forces and is hitting back. How does one explain this dramatic turnaround?

There has been a lot of discussion in Latin America about the events unfolding in Libya. This article explains the position of the IMT, which is one of support for the uprising of the Libyan people, while at the same time opposing any imperialist intervention. We also critically examine the position adopted by Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

Rebels in the Libyan city of Az Zawiyah (close to the capital) have fought back an attempt by Gaddafi’s forces to retake the city. According to eyewitness reports there were six hours of fighting during the night as the two sides struggled for control of the city. As one anti-Gaddafi activist explained, “We managed to defeat them because our spirits are high and their spirits are zero.”

In Venezuela, and Latin America as a whole, some on the left have been presenting the Gaddafi regime as if it were anti-imperialist, failing to see the real nature of the revolution that is taking place. Here we publish a statement of the Venezuelan Marxists of Lucha de Clases, where they explain the real nature of the regime and explain the need to support the uprising of the Libyan people.

Power is rapidly slipping out of the hands of Muammar Gaddafi, as anti-government protests continue to sweep the African nation despite a brutal and bloody crackdown. As city after city falls to the anti-Gaddafi forces his only base is now Tripoli. The East is in the control of the insurgents and most of the West has fallen into the hands of the rebels, including cities very close to the capital.