Gaddafi out; another Western puppet to take over?
Across the Arab world people have risen up against their dictators. In Egypt and Tunisia mass movements successfully overthrew seemingly stable US backed tyrants.
In Syria months of murder from the regime have not stopped the demonstrations for freedom.
In key US Gulf ally, Bahrain, Saudi troops have come in to help the regime suppress a popular uprising. In Yemen the protests and fighting continue.
The Arab spring was and is a movement of the Arab masses.
That too is how it started in Libya. The rebels tried to win over their compatriots. But because of tribal loyalties and state largesse Gaddafi had some support and his forces looked as if they would defeat the resistance in Benghazi.
The shift of the rebels to NATO was the decisive point, turning the Arab spring into a civil war between a local dictator and Western imperialism.
Western imperialism has now won.
That victory has to be seen in context.
For the US Libya is not the key to the Middle East and North Africa. Israel as the US attack dog in the region holds that title. But in terms of Arab countries, Egypt more rightly wears the crown. It has the potential to undermine the whole imperialist edifice in the region, if the revolution continues and deepens.
The US does not have control of the revolutionary process there, but the Armed Forces Council represents a stability (especially with Israel) that the US supports. The Muslim Brotherhood represents a stability the US could support. They may well win any election if the revolution does not flare up again.
For the revolution to win its initial demands for freedom and food, for jobs and justice, there will need to be a second revolution, an event that would both challenge US influence and control and that of the local bourgeoisie.
There are some signs that might be occurring. Calls by the left for a second revolution have been receiving some support. There have been strikes, the formation of independent unions and big protests against Israel.
Whether the revolution deepens remains to be seen.
Just as the US is trying to adjust to the new reality in Egypt and produce an outcome that best suits its interests, so too in Libya for Western imperialism, especially the European powers.
However it is too early to say if a Western puppet will assume power in Libya. The rebels are united in their opposition to Gaddafi. That may be their only point of agreement.
Second there may be no material or political improvement in the lives of those who fought against Gaddafi or supported his downfall.
Third, events in Egypt or elsewhere in the region might overtake ‘the revolution that wasn’t’ in Libya and show an alternative way forward, one in which the Arab masses run society themselves.
No to Gaddafi. No to NATO. Yes to the masses in Libya and across the region.