Dear Maggie:

I am sorry if somehow what I wrote implied assigning fault to anyone--I just wanted to share with you what I remembered about this discussion and not to assign anyone with any faults. I apologize. 

In response to a situation where any government engages in massive repression of the people, I do not think the correct position is to ask for imperialist intervention in any form (including the fig leaf of the Security Council).  People of the world have been subject to imperialist slaughters for too long for anyone rational person to believe that they will act purely out of humanitarianism. 

The sad truth is that we the working people of the world have very little power of our own. The key reason for this state of affairs is that massive reformist Socialist and Communist parties and trade union bureaucracies have consistently supported this or that bourgeois power as opposed to building powerful working class movement to take control of politics and economics of our daily life and to go to the aid of those that need us with our own independent power. Just consider the role Cuba played in southern Africa in regards to Namibia and Angola when Apartheid still ruled in South Africa.  It simply give a sense of what we can do if hundreds of millions of workers here and elsewhere are guided by internationalism and not politics of "lesser evilism." 

Best regards,


On Mon, May 30, 2011 at 2:21 PM, Maggie Zhou <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Dear Kamran,

I agree with what you are saying.  I just thought that this list all agreed with Michael B when he said Qaddafi "has been slaughtering his own people" and no one questioned it.  I didn't follow the earlier discussions on this list - my fault.

I do think it's a key question whether Gaddafi has been slaughtering his own people, because if he has been as the 'rebels' and the western media have been saying he has, then it is difficult for us to find a practical way of carrying out our position/desire as you stated in your last sentence, namely, "to oppose imperialist interventions and wars as well as the oppressive regimes in the South by supporting the struggle of the peoples in these countries to full human rights", without some form of intervention that could stop the slaughtering in its tracks.


Re: Has Gaddafi really been slaughtering his own people?

Sat May 28 2011 12:32:20 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
"Kamran Nayeri" <[log in to unmask]>

I do not think most people (if any) on this list have claimed that Qaddafi "has been slaughtering his own people."  I think some have argued (e.g., Michael B.) that Qaddafi will/might "slaughter his own people," therefore felt like the other countries, including the United State, should intervene "to stop a genocide" like in Rwanda.  We have discussed this proposition in some detail and I need not go over them again. 

However, Qaddafi's rule is certainly no democracy (bourgeois or otherwise).  Prior to imperialist intervention and the current civil war Qaddafi forces were putting down peaceful protests. There are reports of previous massacres, like the Abu Salim 1996 mass executions of political prisoners (reportedly up to 2500 prisoners were executed).  These have been reported widely in the press and by investigative journalists like Lee Anderson in the New Yorker.  Clearly, an autocrat's 40-plus rule has not been all milk and honey for his subjects. Class rule is a repressive rule and massive attacks can happen even in bourgeois democracy--take a look at the police next time attending a union rally or an anti-war protest, they are to ensure "law and order" is kept, that is, the class rule. 

The problem as far as I can see are two errors. To focus entirely on imperialist oppression of the Middle East and North African peoples and end up giving political support to "anti-imperialist" dictators like Qaddafi. Or, to focus exclusively on these autocrats and be willing to support imperialist intervention in the hope to prevent  this or that atrocity against the people. 

A class analysis reveals that the ruling classes of the North and the South belong to the same capitalist club that has its own hierarchy.  Sometimes, some "nationalist" leader rise up against the imperialist masters, but never to allow the working people form their own state and take their destiny into their own hand. Like Qaddafi, the nationalist leader will come back to the imperialist fold--as he did during the past decade.  The fact that the masters prefer a more subservient ruler in Libya or Syrian or Iran does not means that these regimes are not highly repressive of their own people.  

The difficult task for the extremely weak socialist currents today is to oppose imperialist interventions and wars as well as the oppressive regimes in the South by supporting the struggle of the peoples in these countries to full human rights.