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Submitted by AWL on Thu, 31/03/2011 - 00:56

"Libyan working-class control of society" is not on the table right now, is it Jason? You have to respond to concrete realities based on the balance of forces, not some abstract desire for socialism. You don't raise the demand "abolish the police now!" in Britain, do you? Presumably that's because there's no independent working-class force capable of dealing with the consequences which that slogan would imply. So why can't you apply the same logic to Libya?

I don't really understand how the intervention is aimed as "derailing the rebellion" in a direct way, but even if it was, I honestly cannot understand how anyone could deny that if it had not taken place then the rebellion would have been massacred or at least severely set back. Unless you're positively in favour of that happening (i.e. you support Qaddafi), no attitude other than an opposition to the forces responsible and their motives but a recognition that the immediate effect of intervention was beneficial makes sense.

"An irreconcilable attitude against bourgeois militarism does not signify at all that the proletariat in all cases enters into a struggle against its own “national” army. At least the workers would not interfere with soldiers who are extinguishing a fire or rescuing drowning people during a flood."

The intervention rescued the Libyan rebellion from drowning. Yes, it did it using imperialist means and yes, it did it for imperialist reasons. But if our common aim is a social movement in Libya capable of overthrowing Qaddafi and, ultimately, asserting itself against imperialism too then it's hardly in the anti-imperialist interest for the existing rebellion - out of which the movement we'd want must necessarily grow - to be crushed.

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Daniel Randall

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