by Harpal Brar
Comrades, those of you who are on the list of membership of the Stalin Society will know that this meeting was meant to be a tribute to the late Ludo Martens, long-time president of the Workers Party of Belgium, who died in June. We had to change our programme in view of the events taking place in north Africa. I am sure that Ludo would not have wanted it any other way. Ludo was somebody who had devoted a considerable portion of his political activity and life to supporting the cause of the oppressed people, particularly the cause of the Congolese people who had been so badly treated and massacred by Belgian imperialism. As a Belgian, he felt that he owed a tremendous lot to the Congolese people. In the cause of helping the Congolese people he literally destroyed his health. I sometimes disagreed with him. I told him the best thing was to build a strong working-class movement in Belgium and that could help the Congolese and other people much more. He disagreed with me and continued to be in the Congo. He did build a strong working-class party in Belgium, but nevertheless his heart was always in the Congo. Had he been alive, I am sure he would have taken the lead in defending Libya and in defending Muammar Gaddafi.
Muammar Gaddafi was a controversial figure in his lifetime and is sure to be controversial in his death as well. There is so much confusion and so many lies being told about Muammar Gaddafi and the Libya of which he was the leading figure for 42 years. Colonel Gaddafi, all his family members and the government he led continue to be demonised. In these difficult circumstances it is very important for those who are revolutionaries, who in this society want to defend the heritage of Stalin and the old Soviet Union, who want to defend Marxism Leninism, and want to defend socialism, to tell the truth.
For, in the words of Lenin, “the proletariat needs the truth and there is nothing so harmful to its cause as plausible, respectable, petty-bourgeois lies”. There are a lot of plausible, harmful and respectable bourgeois lies being told, not only by the parties of imperialism overtly, but also by their hangers on and flunkeys in the working-class movement.
We do not, at the moment, completely know the circumstances of the death of Muammar Gaddafi. There are a several stories going around. One is that he was killed by Nato bombing. Another story is that everybody in his convoy died in the Nato bombing, but he miraculously survived. It is perfectly possible that he survived. Then he and a few of his comrades were returning to Sirte in order to escape their enemies and in the process Muammar Gaddafi was caught. And as befits ‘humanitarians’ fighting against his government, they dragged him in the streets and tortured him before shooting him dead. A third story is that he was wounded, put in an ambulance and being taken to Misurata. Then a fire fight ensued between his supporters and the NTC Nato rebels and he was killed by a bullet in the crossfire and nobody knows whose bullet it was. It is more than likely that the second of these stories is the closest to the truth. But one thing certain is that he is no more, he has been killed.
The newspapers, not only the gutter section of the press, but also ‘respectable’ bourgeois newspapers have been gloating over the fact that his dead body was beaten with shoes, his hair was pulled, his lifeless body was rolled over on the pavement, stripped to the waist with a pool of blood under his head. That body was then paraded through the streets of Misurata. Since then we have been told the body was put in a walk-in refrigerator.
Every attempt is being made to humiliate the man, even after his murder, who for so long was a thorn in their side. The purpose of all this is to legitimise the predatory war that imperialism has waged against the Libyan people.
The treatment meted out to Muammer Gaddafi is reminiscent, only in harsher form, to the way the Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic was treated. Milosevic was taken to a criminal court by the very criminals who waged the war against the Yugoslav people, for the sole purpose of demonising Milosevic and his government, and, to legitimise NATO’s predatory war. Something similar is being done now in the case of Libya.
Normally, if a cat is run over by a driver in a London street, there are days and days of news coverage about how the cat died – was it really taken care of? – was it taken to the right vet? And all the rest of it – if not why not? The people in charge should be called to account.
In the case of Libya and Colonel Gaddafi, as with all opponents of imperialism, the organs of bourgeois propaganda have been showing their concern for life by gloating over Colonel Gaddafi’s murder at the hands of Nato’s mercenaries. Here is a small bouquet of headlines carried by the British press on Friday 21 October (the day after the murder of Colonel Gaddafi) to express their sordid delight: “No mercy for a merciless tyrant” (Daily Telegraph); “End of a Tyrant” (Independent); ”Gaddafi gunned down in a sewer – murdering rat gets his deserts” (shrieked the Express); “Death of a dictator” (thus spake the ‘humanitarian’ Guardian); “A ruthless dictator who impoverished and oppressed his people” (wrote the ‘truth-loving’ chief organ of British finance capital, the Financial Times).
God alone knows how the Financial Times managed to say that Gaddafi “impoverished his people”! The truth is that the standard of living in Libya was the highest anywhere in the whole of the African continent. Their per capita GDP was $16,500 a year; the literacy rate stands at 95 per cent; life expectancy is over 70 years. Every Libyan had free access to education and health; every Libyan received free accommodation. And every Libyan was, at the time of getting married, given $50,000 to start life. Every Libyan had $5,000 put in his account every year out of the oil money. These are just a few of the statistics indicative of the prosperity and quality of life of the Libyan people during the time that Gaddafi was at the helm.
In the light of this, either the words means nothing, or the people using the words are disengaged from reality, or it is that somehow the connection between language and thought has been totally broken. How did Colonel Gaddafi impoverish his people? Even his opponents and enemies were the beneficiaries of a system of economic welfare that 42 years of his rule actually had managed to bring to Libya.
If this is the view of a serious and respectable organ of British imperialism, one can only imagine what is to be expected from the gutter press mass circulation dailies. The Sun, read by five million people every day, carried the banner headline: “Gaddafi killed by bullet in the head”, adding: “That’s for Lockerbie, and for Yvonne Fletcher and IRA semtex victims. Libyan mad dog, one of the world’s worst ever terrorists.” It went on to pay compliments to our “brilliant brave and gallant troops”. Anybody who has any knowledge of the facts knows for certain that the Libyan embassy had absolutely nothing to do with the killing of woman police officer Yvonne Fletcher. Anybody who knows anything about actual reality knows very well that Libya had absolutely nothing whatever to do with the downing of the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie. Libya paid over a billion dollars to compensate the Lockerbie victims, but that was blood money paid to the imperialist bandits who were terrorising Libya. To come out of economic and political isolation, Libya thought it was worthwhile paying the price. Having paid the price, Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s son, said Libya had nothing to do with the Lockerbie incident. Britain and America were very upset by Saif’s statement, but Saif nevertheless insisted that Libya had paid the money because it was the only way Libya could be allowed to have normal trading relations with the world at large.
As regard the bravery and gallantry of our troops, if playing computer games is called bravery, gallantry and professionalism, every child of six or seven who plays these games can be called brave, gallant and professional. Our troops, our armed forces, actually face no danger. They bomb targets against an opponent which has no means of defence. They bomb targets from several miles high, or from several miles out at sea where there is no danger to them. Yes they are professionals, they are professional killers. There is actually no soldiering honour in what they do. Anybody who was doing that and killing Libyans by the thousand actually ought to be ashamed of their murderous actions. Compared with what our soldiers, our aircrew, have been doing in Libya, I think there was a lot more soldiering honour in the Nazi army that fought against formidable opponents who had the means of defending themselves – Britain, America, and above all, the mighty Soviet Union. The Nazis were doubtless bestial, totally brutal, but they nevertheless had to risk their lives when they went to the battlefield. Our aircrew do nothing of the sort. So when compliments are paid to our troops by our leaders, by our newspapers and various ink-slingers whose wallets are stuffed with the crumbs coming from the table of imperialism’s loot, they are obviously just telling straightforward lies.
Barak Obama, after he heard the news of the killing of Colonel Gaddafi, said, “This marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the people of Libya, who now have the opportunity to determine their destiny. Today’s events prove once again that the rule of an iron fist inevitably comes to an end.” There is more meaning in Obama’s words than he actually realises. The rule of the iron fist will definitely come to an end. Notwithstanding the reverses that take place, notwithstanding the untold suffering that people go through when attacked by imperialism, and fighting against imperialism, notwithstanding the losses that they suffer, nevertheless slowly but surely the people win victories against imperialism. And there will be new chapters, there will be an end to the rule of the iron fist, even if that iron fist comes through Tomahawk and cruise missiles and drone attacks, etc.
David Cameron, not wanting to lag behind, presented himself as the great liberator of the Libyan people. He said: “I think today is a day to remember all of Colonel Gaddafi’s victims, from those who died in connection with the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie to Yvonne Fletcher in a London street, and obviously all the victims of IRA terrorism who died through the use of Libyan semtex. We should also remember many Libyans who died at the hands of this brutal dictator and his regime”. I would add, we should remember all those who died as a result of the brutal attacks by the armed forces of the US, France and Britain. Literally anywhere between 60,000 to 100,000 people have been killed during this mission, which was supposedly a mission to protect civilians.
The real dictators are to be found in the White House, Downing Street and the Elysée Palace and places like that. That is where the murders are planned on a mass scale; their occupants are the real dictators because they do not want people to have the right to determine their own affairs.
The mission to ‘protect civilians’ on the very first day killed a lot of civilians in Libya. And Colonel Gaddafi’s death in itself was an example of how civilians were ‘protected’. When Colonel Gaddafi’s convoy was leaving Sirte, there we 50-60 people with him. They were bombed by NATO. What danger did they present to the public? How were the ‘civilians protected’ by Gaddafi’s civilian convoy being bombed by NATO, and at the same time attacked by NATO’s ground troops, namely the rag-tag army that NATO had assembled on the ground – this counter-revolutionary army?
Cameron went to say, “People in Libya today have … chance … of building themselves a strong and democratic future. I am proud of the role Britain has played in helping them bring that about.” All I can say is, every Briton, every working-class person with any sense of self respect, should be ashamed of the fact that in our name this bloody crime of predatory war against Libya, as indeed against Iraq and Afghanistan, has been perpetrated.
The Libyan government hosted a conference last November, 2010, of leaders of Africa and the European Union, including representatives of Britain and France. And at the end of that conference they issued a communiqué which, inter alia, stated: “We express our gratitude to the leader of the revolution [that is Gaddafi] and the people of the great socialist Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the care, hospitality and attention extended to the participants of this summit.”
This is what these hypocrites were saying at the time, while at the same time they were busy planning the downfall of the Libyan regime. It is not that Colonel Gaddafi was in any way foolish, that he believed in their sincerity. He understood well that, if given the opportunity, they would go for him in exactly the same way as they went for Saddam Hussein. In March 2008, he attended, in Damascus, the Arab League summit. And at that summit he said, “Why won’t the United Nations Security Council investigate the hanging of Saddam Hussein? How could the leader of an Arab League state be hanged? I am not talking about Saddam Hussein’s policies or our animosity towards him. We all had our disagreements with him.” And he went on to say, “We all disagree with one another, nothing unites us except this hall [where the meeting was taking place]. Why is there not an investigation about Saddam Hussein’s execution? An entire Arab government is killed and hung on the gallows? Why? In the future it is going to be your turn too. [And the gathering at that time started laughing.] Indeed”.
He concluded, “America fought alongside Saddam Hussein against Khomeini. He was their friend, Cheney was a friend of Saddam Hussein. Rumsfeld, defence secretary during the bombing of Iraq, was a close friend of Saddam Hussein. At the end they sold him out, they hung him. Even you [the Arab leaders] who are the friends of America, no, I will say we – we, the friends of America, America may approve of our hanging one day.” How pertinent these expressions are; how well he understood what imperialism was capable of.
Libyan rebellion no part of Arab Spring
The newspapers and the spokesmen and ideologues of imperialism are saying that the downfall of Gaddafi’s regime is a significant advance in the Arab Spring revolts across North Africa and the Middle East. Actually it is nothing of the kind. It is an attempt by imperialism to prevent the spread of the Arab Spring revolt. It is to undo the damage that has been done through people’s revolt in Tunisia and Egypt. And although petty-bourgeois hangers on of the Troto-revisionist fraternity fall for it, the notion that since there is an Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt, there must be one in Libya too, is a totally false one. The fact of the matter is, the revolt in Libya can only be characterised as a counter-revolutionary revolt against a progressive regime, whereas the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia were revolutionary revolts of the people against autocratic regimes that had acted as thieves and oppressors in their countries.
Imperialism strives for domination
Imperialism is not into spreading the Arab Spring revolt. Imperialism is not in the business of bringing freedom, democracy, rule of law and human rights. Imperialism strives for domination. It strives for maximum profit. It seeks monopoly profit. That is what it is for. Under this system 29,000 children die of hunger and preventable diseases each day – 29,000! Four million perish in their very first month of life every year. And in total 11 million children die each year. And if you take into account the fact that 100,000 other people die of malnutrition every day, it adds up to a whopping 35 million a year. If developing countries had the infant mortality rates similar, for example, to those which prevail in the poor, tiny island of Cuba, 8.4 million children and half a million mothers would be saved every year.
To keep this blood-soaked and blood-thirsty predatory system going over the last 100 years humanity has lost over 110 million people in wars alone – from the first and second world wars, to all the other wars that imperialism has waged.
Notwithstanding the rhetoric about peace, this vast mass of humanity has been sacrificed at the altar of the profits of monopoly capitalism. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the East European countries a few weeks and months before, imperialism’s spokesmen promised a peace dividend. The reality has been that of a ceaseless drive to war. Just as the Soviet Union was dying on its feet, imperialism waged its first Gulf war against Iraq. And since then it has been war all the way.
The war in Libya is not finished yet, but imperialism has started a new war. America has sent 100 military advisers to Uganda allegedly to fight against the opposition led by Joseph Kony, who heads an outfit called the Lord’s Resistance Army. They claim this is being done to prevent Kony from establishing dictatorial rule, when everybody knows that for 27 years Museveni’s rule has been nothing but dictatorial. Museveni has, what is more, acted as an agent of American imperialism, along with Rwanda, in causing mayhem in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Leaving aside earlier Belgian crimes against Congo, in the last ten to fifteen years, six million Congolese have been killed through imperialist inspired civil strife and war. Six million, comrades, is a lot of people. Five million Jews were done to death by the Nazis during the second world war: we call this the Holocaust and we commemorate it every year. What is the point of commemorating that Holocaust if holocausts continue to be perpetrated right under our noses every day, every week [applause]. Six million Congolese is a fifth more than those massacred in the Holocaust. If we take the 35 million who die each year through malnutrition and malnutrition-related diseases, it comes to 7 Holocausts each year. These figures cut through the hypocritical concerns of imperialism for human rights and show its real brutal nature.
At the time of the First World War, for every 95 combatants, 5 civilians were killed; today, for every 10 combatants, 90 civilians are killed. When contemporary imperialism wages war, it wages total war – it doesn’t simply bomb but indulges in saturation bombing as was the case recently in Libya, as was in Iraq and Afghanistan. This has the effect of denying people the means of life – bombing of all the infrastructure – water utilities, electricity and information sources, bombing television and radio stations.
Crisis of imperialism
Imperialism is in a very deep crisis, the like of which the capitalist system has not ever faced. The crisis we are going through is worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s. Imperialism is being deprived increasingly, by the unfolding of the inherent laws of capitalism itself, of the ability to make a quick buck. There are fewer and fewer profitable opportunities for investing in production, so money goes into various speculative ventures. When the bubble burst, the whole imperialist banking system came close to a meltdown forcing governments to come to rescue the bankers, and, this in turn has turned into a monstrous sovereign debt crisis. Governments cannot pay their debts, and the very bankers who have been saved at the cost of the taxpayer are now turning round and saying “we cannot lend you money because we are not sure you will pay it back” – that’s nice isn’t it?!
Ordinary people have been asked to carry the burden. And ordinary people, without any assistance from Marxist-Leninists, are actually beginning to rebel against this racket – hence the occupation of Wall Street and the occupation of various financial centres all over the world in over a thousand cities.
Ideally, we would like there to be genuine communist parties connected with these movements leading them in the direction of socialism. The Wall Street protesters do not mention socialism; they say they are just fighting against the ‘greed’ of the bankers. Bankers were always greedy, that is what banking is – if you are not greedy, you might as well give up the business! It is not the ‘greed’ of the bankers, it is the capitalist system. And the ‘C’ word, the communist system is hardly ever mentioned. Even quite a few of those who call themselves communists just go on about the ‘greed’ of the bankers, the need for regulation of the financial system, limiting bonuses, etc. Just as it is really not the high or low wages which are responsible the misery of the working class, it is the wages system, likewise the problem is not just the ‘greed’ of the bankers, but the whole system of finance capital – imperialism. That is what must be fought against.
All the same, it is a great improvement that in the centres of imperialism, for the first time in a generation, people are beginning to revolt, albeit in an unconscious, faltering and hesitant way. They have seen through the racket and recognise what it is all about – the system is not for them. No longer can they be fooled by being told: Work hard and your life will be good; work hard and the next generation will have a better life than yours. That stopped 20 years ago, even in the Mecca of capitalism, the United States of America.
And what is the role of the police at these demonstrations in these centres of imperialism? They are hitting and pushing around peaceful protesters. The very imperialist governments that required Colonel Gaddafi not to respond to a counter-revolutionary armed rebellion which started in Benghazi are actually dispatching police forces to deal with entirely peaceful protesters in their own countries in a very, very rough manner indeed.
What drives imperialism’s war?
Imperialism is not acting anywhere in the interests of human rights, rule of law and democracy. Imperialism was never in Libya to protect civilians. 60,000 to 100,000 people have been butchered in Libya by imperialism’s war. Just imagine what would have happened if imperialism had not intervened. You would have had a few dozen people die, and the Libyan armed forces would have put paid in no time to the attempts by Islamic fundamentalists, the followers of the old monarchy of King Idris and various other reactionaries. Indeed the reactionary rebels were just about to be stopped in their tracks when the French and the British started bombing, armed, of course, with a UN resolution.
It is a matter of undying shame that the United Nations Security Council should have passed a resolution which contravenes the Constitution of the UN and which every member voting for, or abstaining on, cannot but have known would be honoured in its breach rather than in its observance.
Imperialism is in Libya because of its voracity for oil and its voracity for domination. It is not there for peace, for the protection of civilians. Its voracity for oil and insatiable urge to dominate is the driving force behind imperialism’s wars everywhere.
Gaddafi – a great Arab figure
Fidel Castro made the following statement at the start of the Libyan war: “The crude attacks against the Libyan people, which have taken on a Nazi-fascist character, may be used against any third world nation. …If he [Gaddafi] resists and does not yield to their demands, he will enter history as one of the great figures of the Arab nations.”
In response to the 7 June escalation of bombing of Tripoli by Nato and yet another attempt on his life and on the lives of his immediate family, Colonel Gaddafi said in a television broadcast: “Martyrdom is a million times better than surrender”. He stressed “we have only one option; this is our country and we shall stay here ’til the end: dead, alive, victorious – it does not matter”. This is at a time when imperialism was offering the Libyan leader a deal whereby he could stay in Libya as long as he handed over power to its appointed puppets.
Gaddafi went on to say: “You cowards, you oppressors, Hitlerites, tyrants, fascists, unjust people, you bastards, you are the ones who have a number of options: return to your countries, repent from this sin; withdraw, feel remorse, return to your homelands and leave Libya to its people.
“We are Libyans, we have nowhere to go, we are here to stay.”
Gaddafi lived true to his words to the end. He died in Libya resisting imperialism and he died a hero who deserves every honour.
The imperialist press, especially the Financial Times, is asserting that Gaddafi’s death, will go a long way towards stemming the possibility that a violent insurgency would take hold in Libya and destabilise this oil-rich country in north Africa. Imperialism has already destabilised Libya, wrecked its infrastructure. It is estimated that it would cost about $200bn to restore Libya to its pre-war state. Imperialism really is like the Mafia: it has two departments – one is in charge of explosives and destruction of buildings, and the other one is for dealing with construction, picking up lucrative contracts to rebuild. Human life and wealth is being destroyed so that imperialism can make money out of other people’s misery.
This devastation caused by imperialism will not prevent an insurgency. I continue to believe, even now, that the regime of Colonel Gaddafi had the support of the overwhelming majority of the Libyan people. Although he has died people’s sentiments have not disappeared and they are unlikely to bend the knee to imperialism’s flunkeys and serve them. A lot of people have been enraged by this predatory war. Their beautiful lives and country have been destroyed. I was in Libya, admittedly for only three days, but I could see that it was a beautiful place. Tripoli is about the only city I have seen in Africa that has no shanty towns. People there did not live in shanty towns, they lived in very, very good flats or houses, with running water and many modern facilities. Sick people were well looked after – and if Libya did not have a cure for any disease then at state expense the patient was sent abroad. Libya had many universities, but if someone wanted to study a subject, or at a level, that was not available then, at state expense, the student was sent to a university abroad. The Libyan people are going to miss what they had – they already are missing what they had. It is difficult even to imagine the kind of resistance put up in Sirte and many other places unless the defenders were single-mindedly devoted to the regime under attack.
It is the assertion of the spokesmen and organs of imperialism that what happened in Libya was a ‘popular’ revolution only slightly helped by its friends abroad. Does a ‘popular’ revolution depend upon foreigners coming to liberate you? It does not. If it was such a ‘popular’ revolution, then Colonel Gaddafi’s regime would have been swept away in the same way as Ben Ali’s regime in Tunisia and Mubarak’s regime in Egypt were. It could not be done like that in Libya, so imperialism had to bring its might to bear on the country. It did not limit itself to supplying weapons and applying sanctions, but unleashed saturation bombing on every centre of population – Misurata, Ajdabiya, Tripoli, Zawiya and several other centres of population. What was a beautiful country a few months ago has been reduced to rubble. The allegedly popular government which has come to power has still not moved to Tripoli, it is still based in Benghazi.
What is more, the murder of Colonel Gaddafi is only a prelude to a tremendous amount of infighting that will ensue between Islamists and non-Islamists, between the defectors from Colonel Gaddafi’s regime and non-defectors, between the monarchists and non-monarchists, and on top of this, of course, at some stage, between sections of these groups and imperialism. Imperialism has created the conditions for continuous warfare for a pretty long time to come; it has ended up by turning this wonderful place into another Somalia.
Imperialism is hoping to harvest the fruits of its aggression. Actually, these hopes may never come to fruition. The Financial Times has been unduly optimistic in saying that Colonel Gaddafi’s death has put an end to the likelihood of an insurgency against the newly-installed puppets. Two days ago there was a tremendous fight in Tripoli, and that is why today’s ceremony, at which the Libyan flunkeys of imperialism are expected to proclaim the Liberation of Libya, is being held in Benghazi and not in Tripoli (because they do not know which area of Tripoli is safe for holding such functions).
The Financial Times also stated that “Gaddafi’s fall should also send shivers down the spines of other Arab tyrants now using military might to fight uprisings”. Well, we know which “tyrants” the Financial Times have in mind. It has in mind Syria in particular, and any regime that stands in the way of imperialism. The list of countries and leaders who are in the cross-hairs of imperialism is a very long one. They are not thinking of the King of Saudi Arabia, the Emir of Bahrain, the Emir of Qatar, the King of Oman; they are thinking of those governments who do not allow their countries to be looted by imperialism. Those who allow their countries to be looted obviously qualify for the title of being ‘democratic’: the fact that they beat up their women the moment they get into a car and start driving that is OK. The fact that a woman cannot go into a shopping centre without being accompanied by her son or husband, this is fine with the self-proclaimed imperialist guardians of human rights.
Whether the Financial Times has them in mind or not, the Saudi King and other medieval creatures in the region are not sleeping very well in their beds these days. They do not know in which corner of their country a new Colonel Gaddafi is lurking. The rising bourgeois of these medieval states are seething with anger that the wealth of their rich countries is being squandered by the playboy rulers of those countries, who are in league with imperialism and sell their country down the river. It is not actually at all surprising that of the 18 or 19 people involved in 9/11 in New York and Washington, 15 were from Saudi Arabia and all from rich families. There is a rising bourgeoisie which is patently dissatisfied with these feudal outfits.
Comrades, I have taken plenty of your time in paying this tribute to Muammar Gaddafi, who steadfastly and intrepidly defended Libya against reactionaries and their imperialist masters. Whatever government comes into being now it will have Libyan faces but they will only be the pictorial leadership of the country. The real leadership of the country will be in the hands of the US along with Britain and France. These are the countries who will determine the shape of the coming Libyan administration and who will be trying to hold this outfit together to prevent fighting with each other and spoiling the whole show.
We have a duty to continue to support the Libyan people in their continued resistance to the predatory imperialist war and against their flunkeys who have been imposed on the Libyan people against their will.
It is a very hard thing to do that in an imperialist country. It does not make you popular. You will be in a minority. By going along with the avalanche of imperialist propaganda, the Stop the War Coalition has become very popular! They have become so popular that the same organisation which was able to mobilise 2 million people on the eve of the Iraq War, can now gather about 300/400 people. On 8 October it held a protest on the anniversary of the Afghan war, which must of course never be forgotten. But not a word was said from the platform on that occasion about the war taking place to topple the progressive regime in Libya. The Stop the War Coalition has sunk to this position because the cabal running it wants to, and does, suck up to social democracy.
So as not to lag behind Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, that unrequited love of the Troto-revisionist fraternity, has said how happy he was at the fall of the dictator Gaddafi and what a wonderful and gallant role our armed forces had played. Do not think it is the Tories or the LibDems alone who are soaked in the blood of the oppressed peoples: the Labour is very much there too. Like them, it too, when in government, attacks working people at home and wages war against oppressed people abroad. In opposition it supports the governments who do the same.
We have a duty to be brave. I close by citing this quotation from a great trade unionist who went off the rails towards the end of his life but nevertheless had a contribution to make which is worth remembering. Jimmy Reid, speaking after he had been elected Rector of Glasgow University in 1972, told the students: “A rat race is for rats. We’re not rats. We’re human beings. Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement.
“This is how it starts, and, before you know where you are, you’re a fully paid-up member of the rat pack.”
I hope that all of you here would not want to join the rat pack and that you will stand up for truth. After all, we are the followers of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels; we are the followers of Galileo who on his deathbed dared to still say in defiance of the Pope and the Catholic Church: “It still moves”, i.e., the earth moves round the sun.
Victory to the Libyan Resistance!