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John Passant

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February 2011
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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)



Libya – no to intervention; yes to revolution

The political parties which co-sign this statement urgently call on the governments of the Maghreb and international authorities to do everything to halt this revolting massacre which will remain engraved as a disgraceful stain on the collective memory.

The document is signed by the Parti démocratique progressiste (PDP, Tunisie); Mouvement Ettajdid (Tunisie); Forum démocratique pour le travail et les libertés (Tunisie); Parti du progrès et du socialisme (PPS , Maroc); Union socialiste des forces populaires (USFP, Maroc); Front des Forces Socialistes (FFS, Algérie).

Voices on the Western Left too have been calling for ‘humanitarian’ intervention to save the people of Libya. That is usually in the guise of the United Nations or sometimes the Arab League, or the Organisation of African Union. 

They are all wrong.

First the statement of left parties in North Africa shows their political weakness and the incompleteness of the two revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.

These revolutions have removed the dictators but not their regimes. The regimes are the enemies of the Tunisian and Egyptian people.

To imagine they can liberate Libya when they won’t and can’t liberate their own countries is political madness.

Second none of the forces of intervention – from the armed forces of Egypt who until 2 weeks ago were Mubarak’s strongest supporters to the ruling classes’  global debating body the United Nations – can save Libya.

They intervene, if they do, to pursue the interests of the major imperialist powers, not those of the people in the countries involved. 

Anyone who imagines the US or its puppets will intervene in Libya either directly or indirectly for the benefit of its people needs to ask this question – why has the US propped up friendly dictators in the region for the last 60 years?

Because it was and is in their strategic and economic interests to do so.

 A brief look at recent interventions backs this up.

But first, let’s look at the Northern Territory Intervention in Australia.

The Australian state sent in its forces to subdue aboriginal disquiet and steal their land under the pretext of saving young children from sexual abuse. The intervention was, like many capitalist interventions, based on a lie.

In the case of the Northern Territory the lie is designed to steal the land from its indigenous owners and make them even more powerless against the relentless drive for profit in the mineral rich Territory.

Iraq shows that ‘humanitarian’ intervention is never what it seems. With more than a million civilians dead to help impose a US puppet, the lesson should be clear. Imperialist intervention does not save a country – it imprisons it. 

Haiti too is another example. The US occupation there has further mired the country in poverty. It wants to impose its favoured candidate on the people in the forthcoming elections. A year after the earthquake and thanks to US intervention the Haitian people are worse off. They have poverty and a puppet regime. 

The American intervention in Afghanistan was not about destroying bin Laden and his power base. The Taliban was prepared to hand bin Laden over if he was tried in an Islamic country.

The invasion was a forerunner to invading Iraq. It was about encircling China and reminding ‘wayward’ regimes around the globe that not toeing the American line can be met with the force of the US army. 

The American intervention in Iraq not only stopped weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. It murdered over 1 million innocent Iraqis.

If  the US does intervene in Libya it will do so for its own purposes – to protect its interests in the country from the Libyan people and to prevent the revolution getting out of control, by for example deepening and spreading. 

There is nothing humanitarian about replacing one US friendly dictator like Gaddafi with another one, which is the case at the moment with the pro-US anti-worker military government in Egypt. 

It is up to the Libyan people to overthrow their dictator. That is real liberation.

At the time of writing Gaddafi is hanging on. The internal politics and largesse he has given to various groups means that he had some support.

However the incredible bravery and determination of the masses and the overwhelming numbers involved has split the ruling elite, with large sections of the armed forces crossing over to the protestors.

It appears all the tribes and religious leaders have abandoned him. So too have most of his international functionaries, and some of his Ministers.

The East, including Libya’s second city, Benghazi, has been liberated. Cities in the West are falling. Ordinary people run large sections of the country through popular committees.

This leaves Gaddafi holed up in Tripoli and unleashing his forces against the Libyan people.

The guns of the Libyan armed forces, won to the side of the revolution through strikes and resistance on the streets, can stop the old order’s indiscriminate killing. 

US intervention will occur, if it does, not to stop the killing but to stop the revolution.

The real intervention that can win is of Libyan workers as workers taking over their workplaces and running society democratically and winning the lower ranks of the armed forces to the side of the revolution.

Readers might also like to look at Castro sides with Gaddafi and The revolutions continue.