The ILPS-Canada Organizing Committee strongly condemns Canada’s role in the ongoing imperialist attack against Libya, otherwise known as “imposing a no-fly zone”. Missiles and warplanes have been unleashed on the country on a scale unseen in the Arab world since the Iraq war, and casualties are mounting.
US forces have been the “leading edge” in the opening phase of the attack, with the US navy launching a barrage of missile strikes starting at 2 pm Eastern time, March 19, 2011. A day later, B-2 stealth bombers and F-16 and F-15 fighter jets struck again, with British and French forces also involved in airstrike missions. The US has at least 11 warships near Tripoli, with other ships from Italy, Britain, France and the HMCS Charlottetown from Canada.
Canada’s Harper government has also sent 7 CF-100s to participate in the assault. This is part of a continuing process of unsheathing the sword of war and involving Canada in a front-line role in the US-led global imperialist offensive, undoubtedly to help Canadian companies such as SNC-Lavalin keep building prisons and airports in Libya, and to help Calgary-based Suncor keep pumping at least $5 million daily out of that country’s old fields.
Behind the “humanitarian” rhetoric of the US and its allies is the drive to organize a regime change to replace Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi with a reliable puppet regime which would enable the imperialist forces to once again have total access to Libya’s vast oil fields. They appear intent on not only destroying the military but also the economic and social infrastructure of Libya, as they did in Iraq.
There are obviously double standards at work in Operation Odyssey Dawn when one compares the military assault on Libya with the total impunity granted the governments of Bahrain, home of the US Fifth Fleet, Yemen, Israel and other such states which have gunned down and bombed their citizens. The great humanitarians also turned a blind eye to the repression under Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Ben Ali in Tunisia, as they have always done to “friendly” dictators, agreeing reluctantly to replace them only when the people’s movements are on the verge of victory.
The so-called humanitarian mission to save people’s lives in Iraq resulted in the death of at least 92,000 civilians, even according to US Army figures. That invasion was undertaken supposedly to prevent Saddam Hussein’s use of “weapons of mass destruction,” which it turned out never existed. The humanitarian nightmare in Iraq continues to this day with an estimated 4.7 million Iraqi refugees and some 35% of Iraqi children who are orphaned.
The imperialist powers had Qaddafi in their sights since he nationalized Libya’s oil industry in the early 1970s immediately after overthrowing the monarchy.
While instituting some early internal reforms and social benefits with the oil wealth, Qaddafi further angered Washington and friends by conducting a relatively independent foreign policy. However, in recent years he had begun to reach out to the imperialist powers and institute some neo-liberal structural adjustment-like policies at home. But obviously this was not enough; the imperialists wanted a totally compliant regime.
The popular discontent that has been growing in Libya in the wake of these policies, encouraged by the revolts in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, has now been usurped by reactionary, pro-monarchist and pro-imperialist elements within Libya, who called for the “no fly zone” and plan to profit from the present foreign invasion.
We firmly oppose “humanitarian imperialism,” whether it is in Libya, Kosovo, Iraq or Afghanistan. We believe the Libyan people must be allowed to determine for themselves the sort of democratic reforms they need and to establish the political and economic set-up that will best serve their aspirations and interests. US and NATO bombs cannot bring the Libyan people true freedom, democracy and national liberation.
We must oppose the attempts of Canada, along with the US and other NATO powers, to draw Canadians into support for these bloody interventions behind the cover of “saving” the people. These interventions are carried out only to “save” the planet for further imperialist aggression and plunder.
We do not want and do not need another Iraq.
Canada, withdraw all military forces from Libya; demand an end to the attack!
US, France, Britain, NATO, hands off Libya!
No to the US-led imperialist war of aggression against Libya!
With portions from a March 19, 2011 statement by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance), made up of ILPS member groups in the Philippines. See also March 20, 2011 statement by the chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, Prof. Jose Maria Sison.
Good article by Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente: Blame R2P: The intellectuals go to war