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Imminent Victory in Libya – the struggle will continue

Sunday 4 September 2011, by Socialist Resistance

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The Executive Committee of Socialist Resistance (British section of the Fourth International) adopted this statement on 31 August 2011.

Socialist Resistance celebrates the imminent victory of the Libyan rebellion through the recent advances. This has the potential not only to carry through the democratic liberation of Libya people but to be an important boost for the rebellion in the whole region – not least in Syria where it has already had a major impact. The Libyan uprising from the start has been not only a genuine uprising of the of the Libyan masses but a product of, and an integral part of, the wider rebellion in the Arab world which began, and continues to be centred in Egypt.

SR’s position from the outset has been full support for the Libyan uprising against the Gadaffi dictatorship and against the involvement of NATO. We advocated instead the arming of the rebellion itself – preferably by the Arab regimes.

Our fears over NATO’s involvement have increased during this new phase of the conflict as it has become clear that NATO has deepened its involvement at every level – which was an inevitable process. This has not just involved the use of NATO air power against Gadffi’s defences but the involvement of special forces on the ground from at least Britain and France and probably the USA.

The recent offensive against Tripoli was planned in conjunction with NATO, which provided the intelligence and air support. Cameron and Sarkozy are already organising a conference on post-Gadaffi Libya in which oil contracts will be the central subject. Libya has not only the seventh biggest oil reserves globally (with a trillion dollar a year capacity), but a scarce grade, suitable for aviation fuel.

NATO, or the Western powers operating through it, hope to hijack the revolution. In these circumstances it is urgent for the revolution to establish its political and military independence in the process of the transition of power and to end the involvement of NATO and the Western Powers as the new democratic regime is established. To this end we support the TNC’s call for genuine elections to a Constituent Assembly that will decide on Libya’s future constitution. However we call on the Transitional National Council (TNC) to stand by its earlier decisions of opposing any NATO forces on the ground and therefore end all military intervention now, including the withdrawal of NATO military advisors.

To fill the political and administrative vacuum we support the formation of local committees and other structures separate from the Gadaffi state and for the maintenance of the armed people. No to the disarming of the people! We favour the bringing to proper and fair trial those charged with war crimes and atrocities – no to vengeance killings.

We also call for the defence of and immediate funding of any social gains, welfare provision, national health service, etc against privatisations.

All the assets of Gaddafi’s regime held outside of Libya should be handed over to the revolutionary forces, without strings or conditions, so that they can rebuild their country and meet the people’s needs. No to any “structural adjustment programmes” requiring privatisation and favourable treatment for western corporations.

All oil and commercial contracts with the Gaddafi regime should be cancelled, and zero-interest credit should be given with no strings to the Transitional National Council.

There should be no imperialist forces in Libya nor the establishment of military bases.

The form of government in Libya is to be decided by the Libyan people, with no outside interference, and by means of a Constitutional Assembly elected through universal suffrage and full democratic rights for all. Mass popular mobilisations of the Libyan people will be necessary to continue the struggle for a society based on democracy and social justice, not private profit.

The fall of the Gadaffi regime is celebrated not only in Libya itself, but throughout the region because his dictatorship had all the normal trappings of a repressive regime. The existence of some elements of a welfare state in Libya no more made his rule defendable that the situation in Iraq under Sadaam Hussein.

We call for the completion of the victory for the uprising, which is underway and for, an end to the NATO intervention, and for the future of Libya to be determined by the Libyan people themselves free of pressure and exploitation by the Western powers.

Socialist Resistance EC

31 August 2011