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Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic and Philosophic Science Review

Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. V. I. Lenin

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No 1385 12th April 2011

Glaring Nazi atrocities under Western intervention in Ivory Coast and the foul NATO onslaught on Libya have exposed the fake-“lefts” of all shades, the Trots for their foul collusions with Western Goebbels hate propaganda and lies; the revisionists for their cover-ups and confused pacifist reformism even as “Stop the War” ineffectuality is glaringly exposed. Western uncertainty and failure to suppress even tiny Libya is the real story, a continuation of its growing catastrophic crisis difficulties unravelling in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc etc etc, and in slump disaster at home. Revolution is fermenting everywhere but Leninist understanding is still the missing ingredient

Rapid exposure of the alleged “freedom movement” in Libya as a vehicle for yet more fascist NATO blitzkrieging and murderous colonialist bullying, and the massacres and atrocities which have followed the equally Nazi “rebel” campaign of Alassane Outtara in the Ivory Coast, have caught the fake-“left” and liberal pacifists of all shades on the hop.

Most have been completely bamboozled (albeit willingly) by the West’s sickeningly hypocritical pretences about “freedom” and “humanitarian concerns” and the degeneration of its “support” into overt bloody violence and destruction by the NATO forces or its stooges (including the puppet UN, now as manipulated and pointless as the former League of Nations).

But their instincts, as always at critical moments of the international class struggle, to capitulate to the imperialist propaganda pressure and hypocritical moralising about “defending humanitarian principles” and being “against dictators” (!!) have quickly come unstuck.

Setbacks and defeats, as the Gaddafi bourgeois nationalists have pushed back the nasty little Libyan “rebellion” and its vicious, vengeful and hate-filled counter-revolutionary provocations and attacks (for the moment at least), have helped rapidly turn world “public opinion” – already deeply suspicious of yet more warmongering – against this latest costly and barbaric war escalation.

Desperate backpedalling has followed by the Trotskyists and assorted liberals and pacifists to try and recover an “anti-war” posture and some “left” credentials as the humbug about “protecting civilians” and “support for democratic decisions” are revealed to be just another excuse for continuing and escalating the now 13 year long, non-stop US led crisis war programme.

But the bankruptcy and slimy opportunism of virtually all of the fake “lefts” is forever exposed by their willingness either to go along with, or even enthusiastically join in, the latest demented Goebbels campaign by the West against Gaddafi’s bourgeois nationalist regime, hated by the ruling class for its anti-imperialism (albeit sometimes flaky), over four decades.

Most have swallowed hook, line and sinker, the nonsensical notion that monarchists and middle-class elements, who hate the partial egalitarianism of Libya’s post-1969 anti-colonialist revolution which Gaddafi led, constitute an extension of the “Arab revolution” despite the glaring evidence, from day one virtually, of the joke “rebellion’s” reactionary and pro-Western stooge orientation, and its immediately violent character designed (successfully) to provoke state force reaction and trigger civil war chaos.

But even the few like the revisionist Lalkar/Proletarian and the WRP Trots who correctly declared the anti-Gaddafi movement to be a grotesque fraud (eventually), have failed completely to bring out to the working class the real purpose of the imperialist conspiracy.

Instead they further confuse matters by calling uncritically for “support for Gaddafi”, whose sometimes barmy individualist “Green Book socialism” has been at best erratic and confused, and at times fostering illusions in the possibility of fair-minded deals with imperialism, along with hostility to Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory and perspectives.

Even the “Socialist Fight”, a group that gets it nearly it nearly correct (on Libya at least) by calling for “defeat for imperialism” in an article reproduced by the CPGB’s sometimes eclectic Weekly Worker, still fails to bring out the vital world crisis context which is essence of a Leninist understanding.

The primary point to be making to the working class above all else is that Libya is only the next stage of an unstoppable plunge into complete world economic, credit, trade war and ultimately international war turmoil (WW3).

Beyond any particular aspects, which all the “left” groups limit themselves to in their alleged explanations, is the overriding purpose of this war and all the others being waged by imperialism.

That is to jack-up the international warmongering atmosphere come what may to cover up the world wide disintegration and slump failure of monopoly capitalism.

The blitzing, arming of the counter-revolutionaries, and possible invasion, is not essentially a punishment for Gaddafi, despite his record as a major thorn in the side for imperialist interests over Ireland, Lockerbie and many other issues.

Not is it a “war for oil” as shallow and trivial revisionist impressionism presents it, elevating a single aspect of the crisis into a main cause, and incorrectly at that since capitalist overproduction slump may yet see dramatic falls (in real terms if not in inflated dollars) in the price of oil, as in everything else once the great unstoppable deflationary crashes of production downturn really bite.

The oil argument also presents the situation as new expansionism by imperialism which again gives completely the wrong emphasis; while capitalism is endlessly looking to seize and control resources the issue now is one of failure and faltering in its world domination, not a new surge forwards.

But the Libyan stunt is not even, ultimately, a blitzkrieging intimidation of the spontaneous Arab revolution which has deeply shocked the imperialist ruling class everywhere as it has erupted in those countries which truly do have “brutal dictators” supplied and funded by the West precisely to keep a lid on Third World rebellion and keep the region available for exploitation.

The foul and barbaric attacks of course contain all those things, and particularly want to try and push the terrifying genie of Arab street revolution back into the lamp.

But to see only those aspects is to miss the point in a big way, that the onslaught blowing apart hundreds and thousands already, (well photographed and testified in contrast to the lying “massacre” allegations against Gaddafi poured out by the dissidents and the Western press), is part of the far bigger unfolding of the historic disintegration of the monopoly capitalist order.

Essentially it does not matter to imperialism where the war is, or who it is against, so long as it can wind up the atmosphere of militarism, aggression, chauvinism and hostility which it needs for the oncoming world conflict which must eventually break out between the greatest of the capitalist powers just as it has done in the past great crises of the system, before the First and Second World Wars.

This destructive warmongering has been brewing off and on since Thatcher reestablished chauvinist war diversion as way out of slump troubles in the early 1980s against Argentina, and has sporadically continued with the first Gulf War, the no-fly zone on Iraq and attacks on Gaddafi, Afghanistan and Sudan, as well as the deliberately fermented Balkan turmoil culminating in the NATO blitzing of hapless Serbia in 1998.

The neocon “New American Century” fascist agenda pushed it to the fore with now debt-ridden but still overwhelmingly dominant and powerful US imperialism determined to “shock and awe” the world back into submission, in order to keep in place its supreme power and wealth despite its effective total bankruptcy, bullying the entire planet into maintaining trade and creditor relations with it for worthless dollar credits, come what may.

Total aggression on a Nazi scale (and with the same increasingly deranged hysterical character) has been escalated too, to face down brewing rebelliousness among the ruthlessly exploited but increasingly no longer cowed billions in the Third World, erupting initially as “terrorism” or “insurgency” or anti-imperialist feints by various smaller states.

Simultaneously this aggression aimed to put a shot across the bow of any reviving major imperialist challenges to US dominance, which can only become increasingly fractious as the slump disintegrates further and the already cutthroat viciousness of market conflict becomes a matter of a total fight for survival or sure destruction.

These inter-imperialist conflict undertones will become increasingly strident and vicious as the world slump credit-collapse disaster pushes the level of international trade war, cutthroat market scrambling and currency manipulations, to red heat.

Splits and argument among the major imperialist powers making up the “international community’s” bullying attack on tiny Libya (tens of millions total population against a population of 5 million), with Turkey against France, Germany hanging back, American reluctance to let France and Sarkozy take the credit, and all parties jostling for “glory” and sabotaging the joint NATO leadership, all reflect the deeper potential conflicts of the oncoming Slump crisis between major imperialist powers.

It is highly telling in this adventure that the biggest and most efficiently organised of the potential challengers, reunited Germany, which has been pushing ahead strongly in the intensified trade war and financial manoeuvring of the post-2008 credit crash, has refused point blank to joint the claque and hysteria against Libya.

This is a major echo of this second most powerful imperialist power taking a different path, just as it did in the run-up to the Gulf War in 2002 when the rivalries and tensions between the major powers burst to the surface, including then against France with the savagery of the “surrender monkeys” insults flying around – far more than just a “joke”.

Despite this abrasiveness, in general for the moment, the blitzing still suits all the ruling class in the major powers who need war as a deliberate distraction from the desperate and catastrophic failure of their system, now beginning to accelerate again as the stop-gap “quantitative easing” measures work though into growing inflation, the savagery of Slump cuts begins to bite and sovereign debt defaults threaten to destabilise the entire finance system almost daily in Portugal, Ireland and Greece at present and more beyond soon, including potentially the UK.

They hope to keep eyes focused elsewhere to confuse with lying “national interest” any coordinated revolts against “austerity” deprivations which are still yet to be imposed in their full savagery in even the most “advanced “ countries.

War is the ultimate excuse for a desperate and increasingly uncertain ruling class (watch the LibCon Coalition fumbling and reversing on taxes, the NHS, schools etc at present) looking to explain away the disastrous misery, pain, suffering and agony that its chaotic, anarchic and greed-ridden profit system alone is inflicting once more on the world, and will continue to inflict over and over again on an ever more damaging scale, until it is ended.

Instead of pointing the finger at the real cause of the mayhem and chaos, the contradictions of a private-profit grabbing system which is no longer suitable for a modern, technologically advanced, universally sophisticated and capable world population, (which needs cooperative worldwide planned socialist production under common ownership), the aim is to blame “outsiders” and scapegoated “tyrants” “dictators” and “rebels”.

The Libyan blitzing is already being blamed for the current oil rises for example, (despite Libyan production being a small fraction of world output) as if it is some unforeseen external factor and not a war begun deliberately by the West to distract attention from the inflationary pressures of the Quantitative Easing injections which capitalism has itself made.

Ultimately, war destruction is also the sick “solution” to the problems of “overproduction”, the contradiction at the heart of capitalism which always eventually produces too much stuff to be able to sell it all at a profit (because the vast world majority, billions, who need even the most basic things, live in desperately exploited poverty) as Marx identified in his great scientific teasing apart of the nature of capitalism, as valid now as 150 years ago (see page 6).

[It is worth noting as an aside how the natural destruction in Japan’s tsunami and nuclear disaster has, staggeringly, led to predictions by the bourgeois economic pundits of an upturn in the stagnant Japanese economy (one of the most advanced capitalist powers and therefore one of the first paralysed by “overcapacity” and “too many” bank loans) as the need for rebuilding cities and infrastructure stimulates new demand temporarily – a microcosm of the destruction-of-capital phenomenon which gave 1930s slump-ridden world capitalism a boost into 1950s “boom” conditions after the horrific destruction of the Second World War.]

This total fake-“left” failure to grasp, understand and explain a complete perspective of capitalism’s historic disintegration, is not some incidental question.

It is part of their shallow philistine incapacity to grasp and explain any world developments in the class war and crisis terms and to fall for capitalist stunt after stunt.

The opportunism and MIS-leadership that results is a deadly problem for a working class that will increasingly be taught by the Slump disaster coming, that there is no future at all in capitalism, only war misery and deprivation.

Building a party of scientific Leninism is crucial to make the revolution that is the only way out of this historical blind alley for humanity.

Its constant struggle for a worldwide class-conscious perspective of events grows more and more important as the crisis events speed up.

The long historic view across the whole world of the balance of class forces is a crucial framework in which to assess every development and identify clearly who is on what side and where any events are heading.

In the current historic crisis context of near-terminal economic collapse and political failure, which few of the “lefts” even perceive fully let alone explain to workers, the alarm bells will instantly ring whenever there is the slightest hint of Western enthusiasm for any “popular movement”.

They had been clanging since November when the Ivory Coast stunt was first being prepared behind Alassane Outtara, the western stooge (and ex-IMF banker!!) who was outrageously declared to be the “internationally recognised” winner of presidential elections and who is never mentioned except with this intelligence agency created tagline appended.

Almost certainly until the Tunisian and Egyptian eruptions took place, utterly unexpectedly, and the subsequent extensions in Yemen, Bahrain, and even into the most backward feudalism of Saudi Arabia, the imperialist agenda was to focus on this issue to get more war going (on top of faltering Afghanistan, Pakistan etc).

Constant coordinated propaganda poured out at the end of last year against the actual winner Laurent Gbagbo alleging that he had “lost” the election (which like all bourgeois “free elections” was manipulated and stitched-up by imperialist interference and even then failed to secure a result for the favoured stooge candidate) simply declaring repeatedly that the Western approved stooge Alassane Outtara was “recognised by the international community”, meaning the entire gang of stooges, client regimes, pocket dictators, bribed NGOs and the compliant bribed and intimidated “United Nations” (now as discredited and pointless as the League of Nations had become in the run up to WW2) and African Union (dominated by more bribed and corrupt capitalist dictatorships like Nigeria with its endless coups and oil company bribery, and Ethiopia – installed by a previous Western subversion against the former Denge socialist regime of the 1980s).

The pure Goebbels-ism, working on the process of simply repeating a big lie over and over, to force the world to accept it as “fact” was blatant bullying, simply overriding the internal constitutional mechanisms in the Ivory Coast which had found for Gbagbo in the local constitutional court challenges

Completely contradicting the lying, pious humbug phrases about “the people’s right to decide matters within their own country” used over Libya, the Ivory Coast was being readied for an international fascist armed “intervention” in January (finally now done – of which more below) when along came a better prospect for getting something underway, using the cover of genuine revolution in the Middle East to provoke a laughable and bogus “uprising” in Libya.

The groundwork here too was already long prepared by the major Western intelligence agencies via constant subversion, bribery and infiltration in Libya as into every potential hotspot (and everywhere else too including the pivotally important countries like Britain which is saturated with CIA as well as its home-grown “secret services” and the low level daily subversion of the media) and imperialism recognised its chance to activate its sleepers and stir counter-revolution into the mix.

It was helped because the rebellions in Egypt and Tunisia are by no means settled yet and are swirling with confusion about “democracy” (because no rational and scientific Marxist science has prevailed in the world for decades after the disastrous Stalinist revisionist retreats of the USSR leadership and its eventual degeneration into fullscale liquidationism under Mikhail Gorbachev (whose “birthday celebration” in London last month attracted such reactionary figures as Arnold Schwarzeneger!)).

The Trots and liberals, responded like the good petty bourgeois they are, pumping out almost word for word the stream of bilious lies and Goebbels allegations which were a key part of getting the civil war going.

But stream of demented shock-horror nonsense pouring out of capitalism was just layers of deliberate rumour-mongering built on lies all designed to stampede a rebellion.

Endless lurid reports of alleged massacres poured out in “as yet unconfirmed” stories and alleged “witness accounts” none of which were ever followed-up, let alone proven, verified or developed, all to demonise Gaddafi as some kind of monster (and supposedly so for decades despite no such allegations or hysteria previously before February).

Not one photo or real evidence emerged and nor could it since it was pure GOEBBELS LIES.

A typical incident, but only one among many, in the run up to Western intervention is a gobsmacking Channel Four News report of “civilian clothed” gunmen “shooting at unarmed demonstrators”.

No possibility existed to know who such gunmen might have been, if they existed at all, so it was simply declared that Gaddafi had sent them.

Despite being “not confirmable” (like 99% of the reports coming out of mass killings, mercenaries, rebel military success, alleged defections and even Gaddafi himself “leaving the country” – all disinformation and plants), the reporter declared it was OK because “it was in line with all the other reports received”.

But “all the other reports” were equally “unconfirmed” and equally cannot be verified!!!

In another day or so, this report would itself have been used for justification of some new rumour or disinformation “in line” with it.

But maybe they were Western provocateurs anyway???

Too much of a conspiracy story perhaps (the catch-all get out used to sneer at all such notions)???

But then capitalist world control has been one of constant intrigue and subversion as testified by numerous books and memoirs. Typical some years ago were the revelations of one of the more bizarre twists and turns from MI6 agent David Shayler of a plot to use Al-qaeda to assassinate Gaddafi.

No surprise then when it is revealed that Barack Obama had signed a presidential order weeks ago to send in hundreds of CIA and undercover agents to Libya – (except perhaps to those like the EPSR renegades who insist that Obama is a “step forwards for the working class of the world” and not the continuation of US Nazi imperialist warmongering as analysed by the EPSR):

The scope of active US and British involvement with the Libyan rebels came under close scrutiny last night as it emerged that western intelligence agents were on the ground in the country and that Barack Obama had signed a secret order authorising covert help.

Obama signed an order, known as a “finding”, within the last two or three weeks, Reuters reported. The move will undoubtedly fuel speculation that the US and its allies are planning to actively arm the rebels. The White House and the CIA both declined to comment on the report.

However, a US intelligence source pointed out such orders were the beginning of a process of authorisation and concrete actions – such as having agents actively supplying arms to the rebels – would need further authorisations before they can proceed.

“Rather than full go ahead, the idea is that there is a nuance to this process,” the source told The Guardian.

However, at the same time details were revealed of CIA and British intelligence operations inside Libya itself, which do involve a presence on the ground though fall short of a full operation of assistance. The New York Times reported that the CIA had inserted clandestine agents into the country to gather intelligence and help with identifying targets for airstrikes.

They included spies who had already been stationed in Libya and others who have arrived more recently. The newspaper also reported that “dozens” of British agents and special forces were also inside Libya, helping direct attacks by British aircraft

The whole self-fulfilling “atrocity report” circle is a lying fraud – and the journalists know it.

Indeed Kate Adie, she of the BBC reports during the 1980s Libyan bombing, even admitted the rumour mongering on Radio 4’s Weekending programme where she was recounting “old campaigner” stories in wide-eyed disingenuous innocence about “how surprised” news crews had been when they entered Bucharest after the fall of Ceausescu in 1989.

“We had heard reports of 20,000 killed and piles of bodies in the streets” she said. “But when we got there, there were only eleven dead.”

Well surprise, surprise.

This outrageous dissembling was all done to suggest “how prone ‘ordinary’ people are to passing on what they hear because confusion reins” she said.

But it was the BBC which was passing on (actually broadcasting internationally) the rumours, not the people, who got their information from the transmissions.

It is the Western media which always “passes on” the rumours, usually qualified with the “we cannot verify” disclaimer so that these petty bourgeois scum can pretend none of this was deliberate.

It is the Western media which simultaneously plays down news from elsewhere of real atrocities, killings and oppression, just as the huge events in Yemen, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia have been virtually ignored except for the usually token reports (in the serious news outlets only and without any pompous statements from politicians) so that the “free press” lie can be maintained.

It was the BBC and the world’s media which lied outright about thousands shot down and killed in Tian an Men in 1989 when not one person was killed in the Square at all, (as some of the capitalist press reports later conceded) and the death toll of the entire incident, caused by attacks on state forces in the streets around the square did not reach 400 people. Half of those were Chinese state police and soldiers, lynched and grotesquely murdered by the mob, which was intent “there should be blood”.

John Simpson has since been on various chat shows (for yet more memoir “reminiscences”) discussing China 1989 and always talks now of only of a “few hundred dead” despite the deliberate lies at the time, still left uncorrected and prevailing ever since.

What happened to the ten thousand that he and Adie and others were talking up??

What happened to the 69 000 allegedly shot in Timosoara in Romania by the Securitate??

It never happened, just as babies were never thrown out of incubators in Kuwait in 1991, like there was no “cold-blooded massacre” by the Serbs at Recak in 1998, no “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq in 2002, no attack by the Vietcong boats in the Gulf of Tonkin to trigger US attacks on North Vietnam, etc etc etc.

Constant demented allegations now pour out from assorted self-chosen Libyan “dissidents” alleging “thousands slaughtered” with not a grain of checking, cross examination or especially proof.

At one point on the Radio 4 Today programme an exasperated presenter Sarah Montague did suddenly crack and irritably ask some “witness” pouring out this nonsense in a phone call that “surely there has been no evidence yet” because the account was so ludicrously exaggerated.

But this is an exception in a media tide which uncritically pumped this filth non-stop and unquestioned.

But other admissions are made. The New York Times in a slightly circumspect piece declared:

The behavior of the fledgling rebel government in Benghazi so far offers few clues to the rebels’ true nature. Their governing council is composed of secular-minded professionals — lawyers, academics, businesspeople — who talk about democracy, transparency, human rights and the rule of law. But their commitment to those principles is just now being tested as they confront the specter of potential Qaddafi spies in their midst, either with rough tribal justice or a more measured legal process.

Like the Qaddafi government, the operation around the rebel council is rife with family ties. And like the chiefs of the Libyan state news media, the rebels feel no loyalty to the truth in shaping their propaganda, claiming nonexistent battlefield victories, asserting they were still fighting in a key city days after it fell to Qaddafi forces, and making vastly inflated claims of his barbaric behavior.

Skeptics of the rebels’ commitment to democracy point to Libya’s short and brutal history. Until Colonel Qaddafi’s revolution in 1969, Libya could scarcely be considered a country, divided as it was under its former king into three separate provinces, each with myriad tribes of rural, semi-nomadic herders.

Retaliatory tribal killings and violence were the main source of justice.

Although Colonel Qaddafi worked hard to forge the provinces into a single state, he did little to calm the culture of violence, among other things ordering his revolutionary committees to shoot the “stray dogs” of the revolution and staging public hangings of his political opponents in neighborhood squares or even school gymnasiums.

And, historians say, Colonel Qaddafi has often sought to capitalize on the bellicose culture of many tribes, including supplying arms to Sahara tribes to fight others across the border in Chad or, more recently, arming the tribes of the central coast to fight against the eastern rebels.

In the neighborhoods of the capital that have staged major peaceful protests against Colonel Qaddafi, many have volunteered — speaking on the condition of anonymity — that their demonstrations were nonviolent mainly because they could not obtain weapons fast enough.

Even one religious leader associated with Sufism — a traditionally pacifist sect something like the Islamic equivalent of the Quakers — lamented his own tribe’s lack of guns for the fight.

That stands in sharp contrast to Libya’s neighbors, Tunisia and Egypt. In Egypt, in particular, the young leaders of the revolution were so seized with an ethic of nonviolence that in the middle of winning a battle of thrown stones against a loyalist mob, two young protesters said they believed they had lost, simply because they had resorted to violence.

Nor did Colonel Qaddafi’s Libya ever do much more than place a veneer over the long-simmering tribal animosities.

The eastern region around Benghazi had always been a hotbed of opposition to the colonel, in part because tribes there had enjoyed the favoritism of the former king, Idriss I, whom the colonel overthrew, while he in turn favored the tribes of the central and western coast.

When the uprising came, many of the most significant defectors — including Gen.

Abdul Fattah Younes, the rebel army head and a former interior minister — were members of the eastern tribes.

But the legacy of such tribal rivalries in Libya may in fact be fading, thanks in part to the enormous changes that Colonel Qaddafi — a modernizer, in his idiosyncratic way — helped bring about. Coming to power just before the oil boom, he tapped Libya’s new wealth to provide schools, hospitals and other benefits for Libya’s desperately poor, semi-nomadic population.

Though many of the people who flocked to the growing cities continued to identify closely by tribe, they now live mixed together. Many from eastern tribes now live in western Tripoli, and tens of thousands of members of the predominantly western tribes, Warfalla and Tarhuna, which form the core of Colonel Qaddafi’s support, now live in Benghazi and last weekend staged a major public demonstration there calling on their western cousins to join the revolt.

What’s more, after trying for a time to block out any outside influence — for a while he banned the teaching of English, and he still insists that curriculums center on his eccentric Green Book — Colonel Qaddafi realized that prosperity depended in part on lessons from abroad.

The result might be called the Seif generation — a rising cohort of affluent, English-speaking young Libyans educated abroad like his Anglophile son Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, who became the public champion of a more open and democratic system. (During the revolt, though, he has sounded as determined as his father to crush the rebels.)

Libyan officials say that 12,000 Libyans now receive government scholarships to study abroad each year and about another 12,000 pay their own way to do the same. Although those numbers may seem small in a country of 6.5 million, George Joffe, a Cambridge University scholar who has studied Libya and its tribal politics, argued that it is just the leading edge of a larger Westernized elite — fed on Libya’s oil money — that adds a degree of worldly sophistication lacking in other tribal countries like Somalia and Yemen.

“For a sophisticated person, it is just difficult to cope with the Qaddafi regime,” he argued. “For many, many people in Libya, the Qaddafi regime is cruel, uncouth, and morally offensive.” He added, “One of its characteristic is that it has always had a real contempt for form, so you look at these people and you realize that they have power but you don’t really respect them for it.”

Take away the sneering tone of the “sophisticated” (meaning middle class) here and what you have is an admission that the “rebellion” has been a fascist-minded middle class counter-revolution which has always hated Gaddafi’s anti-imperialism and egalitarianism, was violent from the beginning and aiming not at democracy at all but a restoration of privilege and advantage through “meritocracy” for those able to pay for the education and skills.

Or as an alleged Benghazi novel writer was quoted in the Observer (beginning with a panegyric for the old monarchist order):

Our flag is no longer a solid green field; the one we carry now is red, black and green with a crescent and star in the middle. The colours are a reminder of the darkness and colonisation we have suffered in our history.

For decades, we lived in terror, surrounded by spies and informers, facing the risk of imprisonment or “disappearance” at any moment. No one could intervene on your behalf; there were no real courts, no human rights, nothing.

...I don’t want to speak of the massacres that have been committed in the last weeks by the regime: the world has been listening to accounts and watching images of these brutal, gut-wrenching crimes. I want instead to speak of the people who have won, who have defeated death. The martyrs of this revolution have not just been young men and women; there have been martyrs of all ages, of all educational levels, of all social classes. Libya has risen in its entirety.

...Now, it seems, the country is beautiful. Its women are lovelier than ever, their smiles are sweeter and their hearts are full of song. Even the sick have been healed;their disease was caused by the blight of dictatorship.

The people of the entire world are with us. And even before we had their support, we had their respect for our revolution, which has not been marred by looting or vandalism. Our goal is clear: to bring down a fascist regime that made us as a nation unwelcome in the world.

We will transform Libya into a beacon of civilisation and science and culture, a meritocracy where each person will earn his or her position, regardless of ideology or tribe. We will work as transparently as we can, and we will make the world trust us, and help us. Everyone here is convinced that Libya’s liberty has already been won, and that now we must work toward its safety. The revolution now needs talent, not loyalty.

The Libyan people are now brothers of mankind. We can speak freely to those in the Arab world and elsewhere, whom we have longed to meet, and can embrace them without fear. Our lives as Libyans have been troublesome: for those of us lucky enough to travel, everywhere we faced an accusatory finger - for the disappearance of the Lebanese Shia cleric Musa al-Sadr on a trip Libya in 1978: for the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and the downing of a French airline over Niger the next year.

But now we have shown the world that the blame for these acts does not lie with the Libyan people, but with the heinous dictatorship.

The classic trick of “not speaking” about something in order to say it is used to spew out a stream of lies which make up much of the rest of the piece. The world had precisely not been “watching images” of the “brutal events” at that point (at least a week before the NATO war intervention) because there had been no images at all and have not been any to this day of the endless alleged “atrocities by Gaddafi”, the fantasy stories of which are simply buried away in the tide of new lies which follow.

A few other admissions of the real nature of the events creeps through even in the bourgeois press, to keep up the “objectivity” pretence or because events happen too quickly, and these are usually slightly more credible because they do not serve capitalist interests:

The young gunmen at the roadblock took no chances. They put a knife to the throat of the driver before hauling the three men and one woman from the car, dragging them through the street into a nearby mosque for a rough round of interrogation.

Inside the car they say they found an AK-47 and 10 cartridges of ammunition.

A frenzied mob formed outside the mosque as word spread that Gaddafi assassins had been cornered. It only dispersed when rebel gunmen arrived to take away the suspects to an uncertain fate. It wasn’t supposed to be like this in free Benghazi. After throwing off the shackles of Gaddafi’s brutal rule, Libya’s young opposition movement is rounding up suspected opponents and delivering its own brutal form of justice.

Rebel leaders admit that dozens of Gaddafi supporters have been arrested or killed.

Every night, gangs of vigilantes assemble at makeshift roadblocks – made from piles of rubble, oil drums or piping – to control entry and exit from their neighbourhoods.

On Sunday, gunfights echoed around the city as gangs sought to mop up pro-Gaddafi elements after government troops had been fought back a day earlier.

Foreign workers fled the city long ago in fear of being mistaken for a government-hired mercenary.

Many residents are now too frightened to drive through the dark streets at night, fearing a shakedown or worse at the proliferating checkpoints.

“If they don’t know who you are, and are in their part of town, and you have a nice car, then they are going to think you are a car thief or they say you are with Gaddafi,” said one driver who now stays close to home after dark.

“Maybe you hesitate or seem nervous and they will think you have something to hide.

“Not all of them are good people.”

The rebel’s interim government is made up of professionals academics, businessmen and lawyers often educated in the UK or US who make all the right noises about democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

But they are far removed from the excitable volunteers who man roadblocks through the night, stopping cars they believe may have been stolen or dragging suspected Gaddafi loyalists into the street.

Mustafa Gerhiani, the urbane spokesman for the rebels’ provisional government in the east, said there were several hundred government supporters in the city who had formed sleeper cells.

“We know where they live and many have been rounded up. There are people looking for them. A lot have been caught and killed,” he said.

However, he added that some had been detained for their own protection and that the revolutionary council did not condone mob justice.

“But if they start shooting what can you do?”

Libyan rebels hanged at least two suspected pro-Gadhafi fighters in the chaotic early days of the uprising, witnesses say, ...

The full extent of revenge killings in eastern Libya is unknown. Near the coastal city of Darna, locals say they discovered a heap of bodies in the badlands south of town, where at least a dozen men appeared to have been executed with gunshots to the head. But the circumstances of those deaths remain unclear.

Doctors at four rebel-controlled medical facilities say they struggled – and failed on at least one occasion – to prevent mobs from killing patients accused of loyalty to Colonel Moammar Gadhafi.

The arguments over the fate of suspected pro-Gadhafi prisoners, whether in the emergency wards of Al Bayda or among screaming crowds in Darna, illustrate the tension between educated leaders and fiery young people that has emerged as a defining feature of the rebellion.

The New York Times quoted anonymous U.S. officials this week saying they have cautioned the rebels against harming civilians, even suggesting that air strikes could target anti-Gadhafi forces if they fail to respect the laws of armed conflict.

The actions of those who desperately tried to save the lives of pro-Gadhafi prisoners weren’t motivated merely by the fact that such revenge killings would sap the rebels’ international support. More fundamentally, they felt themselves fighting for the soul of the revolution.

Abdul Karim bin Taher, a 60-year-old English teacher, stood in the shadow of a rusty pedestrian bridge in Darna where he saw revolutionaries hang a man on Feb.23 and recalled how he tried to stop the murder.

Ultimately, moderates such as Mr. bin Taher appear to have gained the upper hand after the initial burst of violence in towns along Libya’s eastern coast, with most stories of revenge killings confined to the first week of the revolution.

Those captured by the rebels remain in grave danger, however. Hospitals sheltering injured pro-Gadhafi fighters must keep them hidden and guarded. At one medical facility, on a quiet floor, a handwritten sign in Arabic – “Closed for repairs” – marks the secret door leading to the prisoners.

A guard carrying two Kalashnikov rifles banged on the door, and other gunmen inside confirmed the guard’s identity before removing a metal bar and allowing visitors inside. Past the barred door, a series of locked rooms contained suspected pro-Gadhafi fighters recovering from their injuries.

Now safely in the hands of rebels who appear to respect human rights, the patients said they were eating well and were being treated kindly. One of them sat in a wheelchair and seemed incapable of speaking for himself, babbling softly in confused sentences. “The revolutionaries tried to hang him,” said a young attendant in a white doctor’s coat. “The rope broke. They thought he was dead, so they put him in the freezer. He is still alive, but his brain is not working.”

Medical records confirmed that the man arrived at the hospital unconscious, showing signs of strangulation, but other details of his story were unclear. A day after his first contact with journalists, rebels transferred him to another location.

Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, said he is familiar with the man’s case. “It’s quite sensitive,” he said. “He is a witness to a mass execution.”

Other such incidents have occurred since the beginning of the revolution, Mr. Bouckaert said. “There were quite a number of cases of hangings,” he said. “A lot of unruly armed elements detain people on their own initiative, without proper oversight.”

The two most public executions, with hundreds of witnesses, allegedly happened in the early morning of Feb. 18 in the city of Al Bayda, and on the evening of Feb. 23 in the smaller city of Darna. In both cases, witnesses say, a mob lynched a dark-skinned soldier suspected of being an African mercenary.

Paranoia about mercenaries remains strong among the rebels, despite assurances from human-rights groups that most of the fighters among the pro-Gadhafi forces are Libyan citizens. Rebels have frequently treated dark-skinned prisoners more harshly than men of Arab ancestry.

That distinction was made brutally obvious to doctors at the intensive care unit of Al Bayda’s main hospital on Feb. 17 when they admitted two men – one black, the other with the local olive-skinned complexion – who stood accused of fighting the rebels. A crowd gathered outside the hospital, calling for blood.

Some armed rebels pushed their way into the ward.

“They had guns and knives,” said Mahmoud Anass, 27, a resident on duty that night. “It was really scary. They wanted to kill the black soldier.”<

Doctors managed to hold off the enraged youths until a few hours after midnight, when the rebels dragged the two patients into the street.

“An old man tried to stop them,” said Faraj Khalifa, a doctor. “He said our religion does not permit the killing of unarmed men. But the youths were very, very angry. They hanged the black man in front of the hospital.”

The patient with lighter skin was beaten, shot, and returned to the emergency room, Dr. Khalifa said.

A cellphone video later circulated among residents showing a Christian cross tattooed on a black man. Locals pronounced this as proof that the hanged man, whom they called “John,” had been a non-Muslim outsider.

Rebel officials deny the story, or remain vague about it. “We had no hangings,” said Uthman Suleiman, 32, who describes himself as a security chief for the rebels, sitting in a room filled with war trophies, weapons and ammunition. “No, no, no, it’s all rumours.”

The main spokesman for Al Bayda’s rebel council, Mohammed Mabrouk, said he saw John in intensive care at the hospital but did not know what happened to him.

The rebel military says it has not killed any prisoners. “I don’ know about any executions,” said Ahmad Zine Al-Abedine, chief military prosecutor, while cautioning that he could speak with confidence only about the rebels’ actions in Benghazi, not further up the coast in Al Bayda or Darna. “Maybe it’s just a rumour,” he said.

During a visit to the rebels’ main jail on Monday in Benghazi, guards said they were holding about 76 prisoners suspected of involvement with pro-Gadhafi forces – with more arriving all the time, as fighting continues.

The chief prosecutor promised that all of them would receive a fair trial, with defence lawyers, after the fall of the Gadhafi regime.

Such formal systems did not exist in the turbulent early days of the uprising, however, when justice was meted out by whomever won the argument with gunmen in the street. This produced wildly different outcomes for the various pro-Gadhafi groups captured by the rebels. More than 160 of the soldiers who fought the rebellion during several days of bloody standoff at the airport south of Darna were eventually released after ceasefire talks brokered by respected elders.

Before the ceasefire, however, a group of 22 soldiers who broke through the rebels’ barricades near the airport on Feb. 23 seem to have fared worse.

Residents say the soldiers climbed into three pickup trucks and raced down the highway that winds down the cliffs toward Darna, blasting their way through a rebel encampment along the way. Two revolutionaries were killed.

The surviving rebels called ahead to warn the city of an impending attack.

Locals say that a rebel commander named Abdul Hakim Al-Hasadi organized an ambush near the outskirts; the 45-year-old had quickly become a prominent figure among the rebels because of his expertise in guerrilla warfare, which he received at training camps in Afghanistan from 1999 to 2002. (In an earlier interview with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Al-Hasadi declined to say who operated his training camp; al-Qaeda ran camps in the same part of Afghanistan during that period.)

The rebels caught all 22 soldiers and started transporting them in pickup trucks back to Darna; although seven leapt from the back of the trucks they were recaptured the next morning in a neighbouring village. The remaining 15 arrived at the central mosque in Darna, where a large crowed gathered and called for their execution.

“We were screaming, ‘Please don’t do this,’” said Jamal El-Magri, 48, a veterinarian who now serves on Darna’s rebel council. “My own cousin was killed at the airport, but I’m a Muslim and I must respect the prisoners of war.”

Mr. El-Magri said a group of educated men tried to shelter the prisoners inside the mosque and planned to disperse them among safe houses with families in the city. Most of them were bundled into vehicles and kept away from the mob, he said, but men in the crowed snatched one of them from the back of a pickup truck. He saw them hang him with rope from a green pedestrian bridge near the mosque.

Families that sheltered the prisoners that night remain afraid to speak to the media, fearing retribution. Abdel Gadir, 29, said one of his friends took in a group of prisoners and soon found it difficult to keep them.

“His door alarm rang in the middle of the night,” Mr. Gadir said. “Men with guns were in the road with covered faces. They told him, ‘Give us those criminals.’”

The masked men took away the prisoners. The next day, Mr. Gadir said he returned home in the evening to his village of Makhtuba, 20 kilometres east of Darna, and found his neighbours upset. They had discovered a pile of bodies, apparently executed with gunshots, at a nearby crossroads known as Hisha. “My friend said, ‘Our revolution has taken a wrong turn,’” Mr. Gadir said. “Each of the bodies had a bullet in the head.”

A local mullah organized a team of men and a backhoe to bury the corpses, he said. None of them were willing to talk about the incident on Friday, although a freshly heaped pile of earth remains at the crossroads in the barren scrubland.

No organized units of pro-Gadhafi forces existed at that location by the time of the apparent killings, however, which supports Mr. Gadir’s belief that they were executed by rebels.

This Nazi terror atmosphere and racist vigilantism – covered up by the Western propaganda lies about “peaceful” demonstrators and excused by the bourgeois press as “rough justice” when it is no longer deniable – is exactly in line with the barbarism and vengeful bloodletting that the bourgeoisie has always carried out in its counter-revolutionary onslaughts, from the days of the suppression of the Paris Commune uprising in 1871 to the anti-communist Hitler invasion of the Soviet Union with its tens of millions killed, and then post-war the nuclear intimidation of the USSR and China, the destruction of North Korea, the B52 high explosive and napalm attempts to destroy the Vietnamese revolution, and constant endless massacres, concentration camp slaughter torture etc against every attempt to throw off the imperialist jackboot (as just revealed about Kenya for example).

It is in line too with the latest devastation in Ivory Coast where the Western intervention with French troops and French controlled “UN” troops, behind its stooge Outtara figurehead, has unleashed a storm of barbarity and slaughter in its wake, which even the Western press machine has not suppressed:

“I can’t go home, the rebels have guns. I don’t have a gun. They kill people and rape women. They can kill children and then they take the small children to go and fight. It’s impossible. I can’t go back.”

In the crowded Liberian refugee camps, just across the western border of Ivory Coast, there are thousands of frightened civilians who share the despair and sorrow of Djeke Fulgence. He stands amid the dusty rows of tents in the UNHCR transit camp for refugees in Toe Town, eastern Liberia.

Fulgence, 25, fled with his wife, children and other family members when pro-Ouattara rebels began firing on his home town of Toulépleu. He and his neighbours had been abandoned to their fate. The government soldiers in the area took to their heels, leaving residents defenceless. Four members of his family were shot dead. The survivors ran into the surrounding countryside. “The rebels came with guns and started firing all over the place,” said Fulgence. “I saw many wounded and dead people.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said that at least 800 people were killed in intercommunal violence in the western Ivorian town of Duékoué last week. Dorothea Krimitsas, a spokeswoman, told the Reuters news agency that Red Cross officials had visited the Carrefour area of Duékoué on Thursday and Friday. “Our colleagues saw hundreds of bodies,” she said. “We strongly suspect that was the result of intercommunal violence. Since Monday or so, tens of thousands of people have fled the area. This is not the first time that there has been intercommunal violence in Duékoué.”

Dominique Liengme, the head of the ICRC delegation in the country, said in a statement: “This incident is particularly shocking in its scope and brutality.”

At the Toe Town transit camp, the shock and fear is palpable. Terrified and traumatised, more people flood into the camp by the day. There are constant reports of savage attacks on villages by rebels armed with guns and machetes. Their orders, according to the refugees, are “to kill everyone and anyone”. There are even reports of cannibalism by rebel forces.

Rosalie Ziminin, also from Toulépleu, grabbed every member of her family that she could when the pro-Ouattara rebels came. Fifteen of them made it to the transit camp, but two of her children – aged two and five – were lost in the chaos as they escaped the attack. She still has no idea where they are. Ziminin, like many Ivorians, has not forgotten the devastation from Ivory Coast’s last civil war in 2002. She lost everything during the fighting which claimed the lives of both her mother and father. “I’ve only just rebuilt my life,” she said yesterday. “I’ve lost everything again and I don’t want to go back.”

More than 100,000 Ivorians have sought refuge in Liberia as the rebels have moved south towards Abidjan. Most are being housed and fed by Liberian families. In some of the smaller, more remote villages the number of fleeing Ivorians outnumbers Liberians by 20 to 1.

Alice Bomie, 12, managed to get across the border with her mother and brother. The family became separated from her sister and she had to leave without her.

Now they have been taken in by a Liberian family in the village of Gbei Vonwei in north east Liberia. Sitting outside the village school in a torn blue dress – the only thing that she now owns – she talks of the corpses she saw as she ran through the town of Danané.

“I saw many dead bodies. It pains my heart when I think of my sister.”


Rival forces in Ivory Coast are continuing their battle for power as it emerged that more than 800 people were killed this week in inter-ethnic violence in the town of Duekoue.

Soldiers backing the country’s UN-recognised president, Alassane Ouattara, clashed with forces loyal to the voted-out president, Laurent Gbagbo, in the country’s main city and former capital, Abidjan.

Gbagbo’s military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Alphonse Guano, made a televised address after his forces retook the state TV headquarters on Saturday.

Guano called on security forces to report for duty to resist attacks by forces loyal to the internationally recognised president, Alassane Ouattara, whose fighters now control about 80% of the country.

Pro-Ouattara forces made a rapid advance through the country this week. The International Committee of the Red Cross has said at least 800 people were killed in intercommunal violence in Duekoue believed to have taken place on Tuesday, the day after the town in the west of Ivory Coast was taken by the pro-Ouatarra fighters.

It is not clear what prompted the killings and whether Ouattara’s forces were involved.

UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had received “unconfirmed but worrying reports” that the pro-Ouattara force “has been committing human rights violations” during the advance toward Abidjan.

But the faction has denied taking any part in the atrocities and blamed any killings on the retreating Gbagbo fighters.

Red Cross spokeswoman Dorothea Krimitsas said delegates from the Ivorian Red Cross had visited Duekoue on Thursday and Friday to gather evidence and saw a “huge number of bodies”.

Ouattara was internationally recognised as president last year after the electoral commission declared him the winner of a November run-off vote. But Gbagbo also claimed victory. Sanctions have failed to dislodge Gbagbo.

The four-month standoff since the election has killed nearly 500 people, according to UN figures, although the real toll is probably far higher. Around one million people have fled Abidjan alone and 122,000 more have crossed into Liberia, the UN says.

Again the Western press excuses or downplays the direct links between capitalist interference and the eruptions of bloodletting, cynically and racistly describing the massacres, as “intercommunal violence”, as if they have nothing to do with the four-month long Western campaign to arm and back Outtara.

For what reason? Another older quote gives a clue:

Both Ouattara and Gbagbo have been invited to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Thursday to hear the verdict of the African Union’s peace and security council, which was attempting to find a solution that will avert civil war. Ouattara is expected to attend but sources suggested that Gbagbo will send one of his ministers.

Ouattara has called on the international community to launch an armed intervention against Gbagbo, who appeared on state television last week to say that he is “hanging in there.”

Meanwhile, as economic pressure intensifies,

(ie Western strangulation)

Gbagbo has issued a decree under which the state becomes the sole purchaser of cocoa and handles its export to world markets. Ivory Coast is the world’s top cocoa producer and the move has been widely criticised.

US state department spokesman, PJ Crowley, said: “His plan to nationalise the cocoa industry of Côte d’Ivoire, which is the world’s largest suppler of cocoa beans, amounts to theft. It is another desperate act in his campaign to cling to power.”

Cocoa prices have broken 30-year highs since the disputed election. Kwame Banson, west African co-ordinator of Fairtrade Africa, said: “The uncertainty following Gbagbo’s move is concerning. At this stage, we don’t know what nationalising cocoa production means for Côte d’Ivoire farmers who are in danger of being treated like a political football.

“One thing we do know is that the current unrest is hitting farmers, their families and communities very hard. We urge the international political and business communities to facilitate a peaceful resolution so stability can swiftly return for the farmers and people of Côte d’Ivoire<

Or so that capitalism can again have the right freely exploit the commodities produced in the Ivory Coast just it does throughout Africa?

The desperate floundering of the Trots and reformist “lefts” trying to wriggle away from this Nazi reality of the capitalist “freedom” humbug has produced a variety of excuses for their former enthusiasm all of which only further underline their complete philistine opportunism and shallowness.

Zionist “liberal” Guardian writer Jonathan Freedland repeated the absurd justification used by Cameron that a “Benghazi massacre” had been stopped (which is the ultimate in fantasy atrocity allegations since it did not happen and was never going to happen) but said that the “airstrikes had gone too far” – which is like telling Hitler that hat it was alright to roundup trade unionists but the Jews was “going too far”.

The Trots, like “left guru” Tariq Ali or the SWP, have equally tried to squirm away from their obvious siding with imperialism, this time with the excuse that capitalism “doesn’t really mean it” and is hypocritically attacking Gaddafi for “its own purposes.”

But they continue to pour out the poison against “the dictator” Gaddafi, which gives imperialism all the cover it needs to “justify” what it is doing.

And the SWP even calls for the arming of the monarchist rebels!!!!!!!!

Since when has Marxism been about opposition to “dictators” per se, anyway, and “for democracy” without any reference to their class position and standing in the worldwide context??

The rebels want their own class domination, not “democracy”.

And what “democracy” anyway????

There is no “democracy” in a world dominated by giant banks, corporations and the military-industrial complex of the advanced capitalist countries– only the rule of big money and the ruling class which owns and controls it.

It is the very ABC of Marxism to expose the reality of capitalism as a dictatorship of capital hiding behind the fraud of “parliamentarianism” when it is rich enough (so therefore rarely in the poorer Third World where stooge gangsters rule instead).

And that bourgeois dictatorship will use every manipulation, brutality, duplicity, torture, police intimidation, violence and ultimately military coup suppression to stay in power if the democracy illusion ceases to hold.

It can only be countered by the most determined revolutionary struggle to establish a dictatorship of the exploited and downtrodden, the majority, under which firm control and suppression of the old bourgeois minority and all its inevitable violent counter-revolution, a new planned economy and rational culture and society can be built, which can steadily draw in more and more people to rule.

Ironically this first REAL democracy will become less and less needed even as it is built, because the old reaction will gradually disappear and there will be no need to suppress anyone in a world where socialism is internationally dominant.

But that will take generations to achieve fully.

Lenin was a dictator essentially, as the head of the dictatorship of the proletariat established in 1917 in the USSR which built the first great climb to a new level of society in the brilliant achievement of the 70 year long USSR (whose working class dictatorship the Trots always hated).

Posing the question as “dictatorship or not” to decide world events is either pathetic and ignorant of all Marxism, or slippery opportunism by petty bourgeois mountebanks (who hate Lenin too, despite not having the philosophical capacity to directly challenge his untouchable revolutionary understanding spelt out in nearly 50 volumes of writings, letters and speeches [and recommended as essential basic reading for all serious revolutionaries}.

Meanwhile calling for support for Gaddafi and “victory”for the Libyan struggle as such, as the CPGB-ML Lalkar/Proletarian and the WRP remnants do is not only not the answer but contains as much illusion mongering and opportunism as anything pumped out by the Trots.

To their credit they are at least on the right side, but then pump out all the old reformist pacifist illusions which harm and damage the working class.

The slogan “Hands off Libya - Victory to Gaddafi” from Lalkar is a million miles from the Leninist understanding of “Defeat for imperialism” and its active wish to see all the imperialist onslaught come a complete cropper, however that might happen in military, political, diplomatic split, economic or other means.

The problem is not necessarily with the implied support for Gaddafi’s anti-imperialist aspects but the total failure to draw out for the working class either the world crisis context of this latest onslaught or the conclusion that follows from that, of the need for the revolutionary overturn of the entire capitalist order.

There is no mention of the world crisis in the first leaflet the Proletarian put out which treats the entire Libyan war blitzing as an issue about Libya itself and its oil, nor in its longer piece in the latest issue of its paper.

The mentions it makes of the surrounding Arab developments are simply to contrast Gaddafi’s anti-imperialist record with the stoogery of Mubarak and Ben Ali, not to understand them a part of an unrolling world rebellion caused by the general world crisis of capitalism.

A separate article looks at the Bahrain, Yemeni and Saudi revolts and whilst it is almost impossible not to see them as a joined up wave of Arab revolution, the need to overturn world imperialism and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat is still not drawn out,nothing is said about the historic collapse of the capitalist system (and therefore its revolutionary implications for everyone) and the economic crisis gets one brief mention - in the very last paragraph.

This is a reflection of revisionism’s complete failure to see the world as whole and in dialectical motion, the revolutionary perspective which is glaring by its absence in everything they say and do.

Leninism would still argue that it is better to focus working class attention on the problem that faces all workers everywhere, including within Libya, throughout the Arab “street” and in the Middle East as well as into the heart of the very most “advanced” countries like Europe and the US, namely the existence of the capitalist system and its tearing contradictions which are the source of all world conflict and war.

“Hands off” implies a completely ineffectual demand – pleading almost - for withdrawal and only from Libya, which is pure reformist cotton wool and nothing to do with the only useful way forwards which is to see imperialism come a total cropper.

A call for defeat also implies no support for Gaddafi as such, making it clear to the working class that the bizarre, individualistic philosophy of Gaddafi is not an answer for the further development of mankind, for all its attempts at egalitarianism and genuine social progress in many aspects in Libya (womens’ rights, raised living standards, education, etc etc).

As has been many times spelt out there is no contradiction in calling for defeat of imperialism and being clear that there should be no illusions in the other side, starting with the Bolsheviks’ united stand alongside the Kerensky government forces in August 1917 against the putsch attempt by the Tsarist General Kornilov to re-store the feudal monarchy.

But such united struggle against a common enemy was accompanied by complete clarity that there was no support implied at all for the Kerensky bourgeois “liberalism” – or any trust in what it would do even against Kornilov – and that as soon as the immediate proto-fascist threat was dispersed, fullscale political hostilities should be waged on the parliamentarians and their imperialist policies continuing the revolutionary struggle.

It is basic Leninism, that opposing the immediate and direct enemy has got nothing to do with spreading illusions in flawed leadership.

Such defeatism (for the ruling class) means a willingness to see imperialism brought down, split, fragmented, humiliated, damaged and set back by whatever forces range against it, be they the revisionist nationalism of Slobodan Milosevic, the CIA stooge-gone-bad opposition of Saddam Hussein, the once CIA-manipulated anti-Sovietism of the Taliban now fighting Western imperialist neo-colonialism to a stalemate disaster in Afghanistan or any other of the odd and partial expressions of the rising discontent of the exploited planet.

It does not mean at all any support for often barmy, sometime backward, even locally reactionary leaderships let alone wishing for their victory as Lalkar/Proletarian suggest for example.

Gaddafi is as contradictory as any of these, and though having a relatively good form opposing and battling imperialist influence, if somewhat erratic, is still not a Marxist, for all the Jamahariya semi-socialist Green Book posing of the past.

Just the opposite. His refusal to learn and use Marxism and even opposition to it, emerges in political weakness and illusions in the possibility of deals with imperialism and a confusion in dealings with the West which do not help world clarity.

Even during the current aggression he has made some bizarre remarks flattering Barack Obama which indicates not the slightest grasp of the sly and devious trickery involved in the Obama phenomenon, which far from being some kind of “softening” of the US imperialist world dominance, and the “assertion of the people’s will against the excesses of Bush-ism” is the most subtle form of the Goebbels duplicity of “democracy” yet, as it slides more and more into Nazi crisis aggression.

The greatest Goebbels propaganda after all is the one that pulls off the lies and brainwashing without being seen through and Obamaism plays all slippery cards from “handsome” to “black” to “feminist” etc. while stepping up the warmongering.

Gaddafi is totally right in declaring that the forces against him are a “Hitlerite” invasion – exactly the correct terminology, but should pin this on Barack Obama as well.

But he was not right in the statements at the beginning of the nearby Arab revolts in which he opposed the street demonstrations despite their obviously progressive character in Egypt and Tunisia, (albeit with a long way to go) or his failure to grasp the significance of such movements as Al-qaeda, which while not remotely approaching socialism and hostile to it, reflect a growing discontent throughout the Third World against imperialism.

The continuing bourgeois nationalist character overall of Libyan society, is not the problem however (as the tricky Spartacists currently declare – sneakily suggesting that Gaddafi is bourgeois in the abstract and therefore to be opposed, ignoring his anti-colonialist and above all past revolutionary form and thereby effectively lining themselves up with the current onslaught while pretending the opposite).

It can be argued that a tiny place like Libya without any major industrial history has never been in a position to build a workers state as such and that the anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism it has shown is the best that could be expected.

And it can also be argued that under pressure, the Gaddafi regime’s legacy of anti-colonialism has shaped up better in fighting back against the counter-revolution now, and its Western partial invasion support (laughably and euphemistically alleged to be “just” a no-fly zone), than Milosovec’s revisionist-nationalism did in Serbia for example despite excellent military resources and tactics there.

And neither Gaddafi nor the Libyan regime are remotely akin to the torturing, fascist, capitalist stoogery of Hosni Mubarak and Ben Ali in Egypt and Tunisia respectively, or the other compromising petty bourgeois regimes around the Arab world and Africa, or least of all like a Saddam Hussein, as grotesquely suggested by the more demented capitalist propaganda.

He also has a relatively sound record on aiding and helping the Palestinian cause, the central manifestation of Western oppression and tyranny in the Middle East via its beserk and fanatical Nazi reactionary Zionist entity inserted into the heart of the Arab world and bullet and gunpoint, and destined to permanently to wage genocidal oppression on Palestine in particular and the surrounding Arab and non-Arab Middle East.

Similarly there is a good if patchy record of support for other national liberation movements in Africa and outside including, to the eternal displeasure of British imperialism, for the IRA’s long and heroic struggle to end eight centuries of dominance by the British ruling class, and for such anti-colonialists as Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

But equally it has to be made clear to the working class that this leadership and this understanding is not the solution to their problems which can only come about with the development of Leninist politics built around the core understanding of the need for the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The weaknesses and flaws of Gaddafi’s leadership do not lie necessarily in the compromises that Libya has been forced to make over questions like the development of nuclear technology, which it finally agreed to suspend under massive Western capitalist threats and arm-twisting sanctions and diplomatic bullying (with the constant threat of long-distance bombing as Reagan/Thatcher did) nor even in the even more painful and humiliating surrender of scapegoat figures to the outrageous Western campaign to pin the blame on Libya for the Lockerbie bombing, in a crudely manipulated show trial which has been thoroughly discredited (see endless details in Private Eye for example on the crudeness of the stitch-up and thinness of the evidence).

They do lie in the flawed understanding of the world and the individualistic rejection by Gaddafi of Marxist science.

And this kind of extraordinary incident does not raise confidence:

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son has claimed Libya helped finance Nicolas Sarkozy’s successful re-election campaign in 2007 and wants the French president to give the money back.

In an interview with the Euronews TV channel, Saif al-Islam said the Libyan regime had details of bank transfers and was ready to make them public in a move designed to punish Sarkozy for throwing his weight behind the opposition forces in Libya.

Asked what he felt about Sarkozy’s unsuccessful efforts to muster international support for military intervention against the regime in Tripoli, Saif said: “Sarkozy must first give back the money he took from Libya to finance his electoral campaign.

“We funded it. We have all the details and are ready to reveal everything. The first thing we want this clown to do is to give the money back to the Libyan people. He was given the assistance so he could help them but he has disappointed us. Give us back our money.”

The Libyan regime has yet to release any incriminating documentary evidence.

A spokeswoman for the Élysée Palace told the Guardian she had no information or comment about the claims.

Libyan sources have separately told the Guardian that substantial funds were paid into accounts to fund Sarkozy’s presidential campaign in 2007. Sources in Tripoli have made clear that the leak of this information is direct retaliation for France’s leading role in a diplomatic campaign to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and its unique recognition of the Benghazi-based rebel Libyan national council.

The Guardian has been unable to confirm the claims independently.

“Sarkozy is playing dirty, so we are playing dirty too,” said a well-placed Libyan source.

French law places strict limits on party donations to candidates. Last year, Sarkozy was rocked by a political scandal involving alleged illegal donations to his party funds by France’s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt.

Whether or not this proves to be true, though since it comes from Gaddafi’s son it seems credible enough, is raises doubts about the understanding of Gaddafi’s family and what they might be doing even contemplating the notion of funding a reactionary jumped up squirt like Sarkozy?

Clearly there was supposedly some kind of deal which Gaddafi now feels has been reneged upon but why is Libya involved in such deals with leading imperialist politicians in secret, and why, even if that was to be accepted as some kind of clever tactical manoeuvring, are they now surprised that a major capitalist power like France would prove to be as perfidious as any other?

The full details of that story may yet prove of further interest but surely it is an indication of a lack of grasp and understanding, which parallels the almost daily gobsmacked surprise of the Libyan regime to find itself being so viciously demonised by Western propaganda, and then attacked.

The key question for Marxism is developing from Libya and the Arab revolutionary developments the greatest revolutionary clarity and while Gaddafi’s anti-imperialist battling for the moment is excellent, declaring outright support for his politics is simply muddying the waters.

But then revisionism like the Proletarian/Lalkar is not interested in attempting to clarify anything.

It record is one long evasion of past mistakes and errors and particularly the difficulties caused by the slow degeneration of Moscow’s leadership from revisionist retreat from a fully Leninist understanding in Stalin’s time to the liquidationism of Gorbachev-ism which it ultimately led to.

This has been detailed in numerous polemical analyses by the EPSR over two decades which all remain unanswered.

But for the moment the glaring issue is China.

The Lalkar/Proletarian routinely runs “all hail Beijing” rallies of “solidarity” with China which not only ignore but are hostile to criticism of the disastrous revisionist-nationalist weaknesses which have led the Chinese into appalling collusion with imperialism at times and no more glaringly so than over Libya now.

This is completely part of the revisionism refusal to analyse a whole epoch of disastrous mistakes which have left world “communism” in an appalling philosophical cul de sac for the moment.

Over Libya, Beijing voted FOR sanctions in the security council, helping the momentum which built up into the “no-fly zone” motion (in reality a cover for whatever attack the West wants to make or at least can afford) for which the Chinese had recourse to the Security Council veto. Instead they abstained.

But Lalkar does not take up this opportunist betrayal at all. It covers it up by simply reporting the vote in a neutral tone, in a single slipped in paragraph, and refusing even to face the major difficulties and contradictions its politics have hit.

Equally duplicitous is its refusal to recognise the complete failure of the Stop the War movement which has fallen into a thousand shards finally over Libya.

Instead of making clear to the working class that the “peace struggle” has not only been a disastrous failure but actively misled the working class with its nonsense pacifist reformist illusions it mounts a “fiery” polemic against the anti-Gaddafi-ites, (Trots and the softer Eurocommunist versions of revisionism) for failing to continue the Stop the War politics!!!

Could anything be more wilfully blind?? Opportunist?

The reality that needs spelling out is that only revolutionary overturn of capitalism can stop its disastrous plunge into all out war chaos.

That requires a fight for Leninist understanding.

Don Hoskins


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