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After the fall of Gaddafi revolution must go deeper

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Gaddafi has been defeated – now the fight is on to save Libya from NATO and the oil grabbing western powers, writes Richard Brenner

NOW THAT Gaddafi has fallen the Libyan Revolution must go deeper and break up the remains of the old regime – popular committees need to stop the new NTC government and the NATO powers from stealing the fruits of the people’s victory.

The entry of the rebels into Tripoli spelled the beginning of end for Gaddafi. The dictator’s offer to arm the people of Tripoli against the rebels went completely unanswered – because the masses were already in the streets celebrating his downfall.

Hardly surprising. In Tripoli in the early days of the uprising, Gaddafi’s forces had already murdered between 200 and 700 unarmed demonstrators.

Like all victorious uprisings the Libyan Revolution will have to crush the remaining elements of the old regime including Gaddafi and his sons. They should not be tried but put to swift revolutionary justice.

At the same time the revolution needs to discipline itself. The horrifying cases of killings of black people need to be stopped. Gaddafi hired sub-Saharan mercenaries but in Tripoli gangs seem to be treating black people all as Gaddafi mercenaries. Anyone doing this should be tried and punished harshly.

The greatest danger to the revolution is NATO. The imperialist NATO powers supported the rebel side in the civil war to regain their prestige and position in the Middle East after ‘their guys’ got toppled in Egypt and Tunisia. The international antiwar movement was absolutely right to oppose the NATO action 100 percent. Not because socialists and antiwar activists should oppose the Libyan Revolution – but because the US, British and French imperialitsts are false friends and now they will seize tighter control of Libya.

NATO have found willing allies among members of the former Gaddafi regime who defected to the revolution – many of whom are now sitting on the leadership of the National Transitional Council which is installing itself as the government in Tripoli.

Nevertheless the NTC is a heterogeneous body. It is made up of former Gaddafi officials, plus some of the original rebels who launched the democratic uprising in the first place before NATO got involved. There will be a struggle to decide the composition of the new government.

There are huge numbers of armed rebels on the streets and only cynical enemies of the Libyan Revolution will claim they are all just stooges or reactionaries. Many of them will soon come to realise that the imperialists are no friends of the Libyan people, that the defectors from Gaddafi’s regime are corrupt and won’t help the people, that the old murderous police and state bureaucracy will not meet the urgent needs of ordinary Libyans.

So the next stage of the revolution needs to be to fight the pro-imperialist leadership of the National Transitional Council. The NTC will throw open the door to the French, Italian and British multinationals who already had lucrative oil contracts with Gaddafi and will now be out to make serious money from reconstruction contracts and “security services.”

Armed Libyans
The imperialists are celebrating the downfall of Gaddafi – but are also aware they have a big problem on their hands. The Libyan people are armed and mobilised. They have just made a revolution and won a civil war. They will not want to be reduced to a client state of the west.

So the best hope for the future is that the armed people take the revolution forward, organising workers’ councils and a militia, demanding the fullest democratic rights – a Constituent Assembly – imposing the nationalisation without compensation and under workers’ control of all Libya’s oil, resources and industry.

The Libyan Revolution is part of the Great Arab Revolution of 2011. Now three countries bordering one another across North Africa have all thrown off their dictators: Tunisia, Libya and of course the biggest of the three, Egypt.

Why respect the old colonial borders that divide these states? The revolutionary people should extend their fight for democracy into a fight for a United States of North Africa.

Which force in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt is strong enough to take the fight forward in this way, to defeat the NTC in Libya and the generals in Egypt? It is the working class. A strong working class party needs to be built to link up these fights, deepen the democratic revolution and take it forward to socialism: which means the rule of workers’ councils and the peoples’ militias, and the establishment of a planned economy for the people’s need, not the greed of capitalists at home…or abroad.