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Submitted by Jason on Tue, 29/03/2011 - 00:36

"You imply that we nevertheless mobilize now to bring the intervention to an immediate halt. I realize that that does not exhaust your list of demands. Still it holds pride of place. And it stands independent of the impact that it may have on the outcome of that struggle you so ardently seek to advance, almost as a point of socialist honor."

I agree with Dan2 that Barry's points are in the spirit of reasonable debate and deserve a reasonable answer.

Nowhere have I said that standing against the bombing as opposed to supporting the Libyan revolution holds 'pride of place'. I think we should be for the Libyan workers to control the war effort- no doubt Barry and others here agree with that. The imperialist control of the bombing presents grave dangers. I would attend a demo against the bombing but make support for the revolution and demands of arm the rebels the main focus. As it happens I have attended three demos in support of the Libyan revolution and none against the bombing, though on Saturday as we passed the Hands Off Libya contingent I shouted "Victory to the revolution, against Gadaffi, against the imperialsits!" and spent some fo that demo marching alongside and talking to an activist with an anti-Gadaffi placard- we agreed with each other!

If a socialist movement or workers' movement had the power of veto over the no-fly zone but no influence on aid to the rebels then that would present us with a grave dilemma. Arguably there we should take our lead form revolutionaries in Libya- possibly facing immediate deaths form Gadaffi or later defeat by the imperialists we'd take our chances and ask for arms to us under our control but if that wasn't on offer ask for the no-fly zone. It's an almost impossible situation- perhaps we'd say we either defeat Gadaffi on our own or we lose altogether; a position argued by this Libyan activist here but probably very much a minority one- it's the Libyan movement's call to make and I'd go off that. I certainly don't condemn the Libyan rebels using the advantage given to them by the no-fly zone- instead support them but ask for them to control the war.

But the fact is that we are calling for an end to the imperialist bombing and for support for the Libyan revolution- if we could achieve one without the other that would be a different matter but actually it is not an either or situation and only very peculiar (though not necessarily impossible) situations would have that character- e.g. if a socialist party held the balance of power on a war vote (as if the bourgeois would put such a question to the vote- not impossible but pretty unlikely) but didn't have enough power in society to organise military aid. If the workers' movement is powerful enought ot halt the bombing it would be powerful enough to deliver effecitve solidarity to the rebellion.

Of course sadly we're not- but we can and must do what we can, mobilsie support for the ongoing revolts in the Arab world, link global issues in with our struggles against capitalism here and thereby begin to build the movement and the politics that can produce real political change and social upheaval- to deliver victory to the working class.

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