Imperialism on trial: Libya, the media and Stop the War

What can the destruction of Libya teach us about what would constitute an effective anti-war movement?

Joti Brar

Joti Brar, central committee member of the CPGB-ML, and author of The Drive to War Against Russia and China, speaks at the public anti-war meeting ‘Imperialism on trial’ held in London on 31 Jan 2018, where independent Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett also spoke.

Joti makes particular reference to the vicious war of destruction and regime change waged by the US-led Nato coalition against Libya in 2011. She relates this brutal campaign in particular to the wider objective of the US to contain and subdue the independent states of Russia and China, which stand in the way of US global economic and military domination.

Libya had been the most prosperous, and arguably the most socially and economically egalitarian and progressive, nation in Africa until Nato waged an illegal war to destroy its government and infrastructure.

Joti draws attention to the campaign of imperialist media lies, of war propaganda, that was an integral part of laying the ground for that illegal war, a war that has brought devastating consequences not only to Libyans but to people all over Africa, the middle east and beyond.

The stain on humanity’s dignity represented by the return of openly-tolerated chattel slavery in Libya is the direct result of Nato’s genocidal intervention, which destroyed 40 years of popular progressive gains, yet the EU and Nato leaders now have the bare-faced arrogance and cheek to turn around and label Libya a ‘failed state’.

It is capitalist free-market fundamentalist imperialism that is responsible for the genocide in war, and imperialism that is responsible for the ongoing rape of the Libyan people.

John Rees (SWP/Counterfire/StW) and Stop the War went out of their way to portray the regime change as a ‘popular revolution’ and the democratic anti-imperialist leadership of pre-2011 Libya as ‘a brutal dictatorship’.

Andrew Murray (then CPB/StW, now Labour) talked of the ‘democratic content’ of Nato’s proxy forces.

Owen Jones (Labour ‘left’ champion of Corbynistas everywhere) opined: “We all want Gaddaffi’s overthrow, dead or alive,” and lent support to the Nato bombing that killed 50,000 Libyans and destroyed the living conditions of 6 million more.

If any of these charlatans now dare to speak out against the slavery of black skins that has resulted from the destruction of Libya, they should be shouted down as the hypocrites they are.

We need to build a real anti-war movement that relies on the collective strength of the working people; that relies on its own initiative, and does not wait for an imaginary ‘anti-war Labour government’ to solve all the working class’s problems. We need leaders who will dictate the working class’s own national policy to the brutal ruling class, which puts profit before all other considerations, domestic and international, human and environmental.