Socialist Alliance: Support the Libyan uprising but reject foreign military intervention

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February 22, 2011 -- Solidarity rally in Sydney with the Libyan people in their struggle for democracy. Photo by Kiraz Janicke. See an article about this action here:

Socialist Alliance statement

March 18, 2011 -- The threat of military air strikes against Libya by Britain, France, the US and allies — now supported by a March 17 UN Security Council resolution — may or may not force the despotic Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi to stop using its armed forces against the rebel-held city of Benghazi in the short term.

However, it does pose grave dangers for the sovereignty of Libya and for the wave of democratic revolts that have swept the Arab world this year.

The Socialist Alliance is a strong and active supporter of this wave of democratic uprisings. We welcomed the uprising in Libya that began on February 17 and have helped organised actions in solidarity with this uprising — as we have with the uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen and Bahrain.

The Socialist Alliance has also consistently opposed and warned against the dangers of foreign intervention — especially from the governments of the rich and powerful nations in the West. These governments have long supported and propped up many dictatorial regimes in the Arab world.

We understand and sympathise with the desperation of the Libyan opposition — which was threatened by Gaddafi with a “merciless” attack on Benghazi, the second biggest city in Libya.

But we believe that if Western powers and their allies (including the Saudi monarchy now occupying Bahrain) begin a military intervention in Libya, this will threaten Libyan solidarity. It will weaken the democratic uprising politically and help rollback the wave of democratic uprisings across the Arab world.

Imperial military intervention in Libya may even help the despotic Gaddafi regime win some support within Libya and other less developed countries for being seen to stand up to the western interference.

Gaddafi has already tried to resume his previously discarded posture as a fighter against imperial aggression.

The governments of Britain, France, the US and other allies (including the Australian government) are not interested in the lives or liberty of the Libyan people. These powerful forces only seek to preserve their global privilege at the richest exploiters of the world.

If these powerful governments were serious in helping the Libyan people’s uprisings, they would have found ways a lot earlier to enable the freedom fighters to obtain the anti-aircraft and other weapon that would have helped them fight off the warplanes, helicopters and tanks of the pro-Gaddafi forces.

Instead, they waited until the rebels suffered a string of demoralising military defeats before presenting themselves as “saviours”.

The UNSC resolution calls on Member States “to take all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamhariya, including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force.”

However, history has taught us that these governments of the world’'s richest exploiters can not be trusted to protect the people. They have always acted to further their own selfish interest as exploiter nations. For example, even though the UN has passed numerous resolutions on the right of Palestinians to self-determination, the UNSC has never once authorised force to be used against Israel for denying this right.

The Socialist Alliance opposes imperialist intervention into Libya. We call on the Australian government not to participate in this latest military adventure.

The Socialist Alliance believes the Libyan revolutionaries need solidarity. We support a campaign of international isolation of the Gaddafi regime, through the breaking of diplomatic ties with the Gaddafi regime and recognition of the rebel Interim Transitional National Council, and financial sanctions on leaders of the Gaddafi regime and its assets.

We also support immediate international aid (including military supplies without conditions) to the Libyan uprising.