Skip to content

German Imperialism and the Crisis in Libya

by Peter Schwarz and Alex Lantier

As Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has faced increasing internal opposition from the working masses and sections of his own regime, Germany has emerged as a full-fledged participant in the great power drive for imperialist intervention in Libya.

Already a week ago the German navy sent three warships with 600 soldiers on board to the Libyan coastat a time when the United States was still contemplating its response. At the end of last week, two German military Transall planes flew from Crete to Libya, ostensibly to rescue EU citizens from the Al-Nafoura oil installation. Several paratroop units trained for covert operations behind enemy lines had joined the Transall units in Crete.

The German media has pushed for a Libyan no-fly zone. As in Iraq, this would be the first step towards targeting Libyas warplanes and seizing control of Libyas air space. The media has also pressed for the seizure of Libyan funds abroad.

These measures are justified on humanitarian groundsto protect the insurgent population from the Gaddafi regime. Such humanitarian pretexts are utterly cynical and without any credibility. There were no similar proposals for German forces to be deployed to evacuate European civilians from other pro-Western regimessuch as Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Yementhat fired upon their people in the course of the mass uprisings sweeping North Africa and the Middle East.

The reasons why media and state officials advocate different treatment for Libya are not hard to fathom. Libya is large, sparsely populated, and contains massive reserves of a critical commodity that it exports in large quantities to Europeoil. It offers a more tempting target for direct plunder by Western imperialism, which continues to stagger under the shocks of the global economic crisis.

German corporations have developed extensive interests in Libya since 2004, when then Chancellor Gerhard Schrder, a Social Democrat, first visited Gaddafi. BASF subsidiary Wintershall, based on an investment of $2 billion, has developed into the largest foreign oil producer in Libya. German industrial companies such as Siemens are also heavily involved in Libya, earning large sums from infrastructure projects financed by Libyas oil revenues.

Germany, no less than the United States and the other imperialist powers, fears the implications of a political vacuum should Gaddafi fall. It is currently unclear who is leading the opposition movement. In interviews from Benghazi and other cities held by anti-Gaddafi forces, many people have made clear that they oppose an intervention by the great powers.

Libya, which suffered heavily under the colonial rule of Italy, has a long tradition of anti-imperialist strugglea tradition that Gaddafi exploited before he made his peace with imperialism.

To defend the investments German corporations worked out with the Gaddafi dictatorship, Berlin must be able to threatenand, therefore, to usemilitary force. This is a major reason why the German army and navy are sending forces to the region.

The open assertion of Berlins imperialist appetites goes hand-in-hand with the resurgence of public rivalry with other imperialist powers for the division of the spoils. Commenting on Westerwelles performance in Geneva, Spiegel Online wrote: Germany is playing an active role in the Mediterranean and not conceding terrain to France and Italy, which are more compromised than Berlin due to their links with former and existing potentates in North Africa. After initial hesitation regarding the rulers in Tunisia and Egypt, the foreign minister was quite blunt in the case of Libya.

The precipitate and reckless haste of the German ruling elite to flex its military muscle in Libya suggests that it sees the crisis there as an opportunity to shed whatever remnants remain of the post-World War II restrictions on the German military.

For Germany, intervention in Libya represents a further step towards the countrys full return to the circle of major powers. It follows the countrys participation in both the 1999 Kosovo war and the NATO occupation of Afghanistan, and a concerted campaign by leading German politicians to overcome the anti-militarist sentiment in the German populationthe product of the devastating experiences of Nazism and two world wars.

After German President Horst Khler resigned last May to protest criticisms of his statement that Germanys Afghan deployment aimed to protect economic interests, Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg publicly advocated the use of military forces to defend German economic interests.

The main political brake preventing the spread of imperialist war throughout the Middle East, and ultimately the world, is opposition in the working masses. The great powers have not yet decided to openly dispatch troops to the Libyan mainland, fearing they could become trapped in an endless war against the population, as in Afghanistan, and that this could provoke popular oppositionboth at home, where the wars are hated, and among the Middle Eastern masses who are now rising up against imperialist-backed dictatorships throughout the region.

This means, however, that the question of developing a new political perspective and political leadership for the rapidly developing struggles of the working class takes on the greatest urgency. The critical question is how the working class can fight the imperialist drive towards war.

Germanys conservative government has been able to pursue its military aims unhindered due to the lack of any opposition by the established political parties, which have adopted openly pro-militarist and pro-imperialist positions and suppressed mass anti-war sentiment.

The chair of the Social Democratic (SPD) parliamentary fraction and former foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has expressly welcomed the UN Security Council sanctions and the German government’s support for them. His vice-chairman, Gernot Erler, supports a flight ban and a mandate under Chapter 7 of the Charter of the United Nations. This clause was used by the US government to justify the Iraq war.

Support has also come from the camp of the Greens. On February 25, Green Party leader Claudia Roth attacked the German government for being too soft on Libya. The deliberations by the EU for sanctions against the Gaddafi regime come too late and are more than overdue, Roth said. She criticized the inaction of the European Union and called upon the government to help shape EU policy against Gaddafi with a clear plan of action and push for a unified, rapid and effective sanctions policy.

The Left Party has notably held back from commenting on the situation in Libya and has refrained from criticizing the deployment of the German navy along the Libyan coast, in common with the SPD and Greens. Instead, it is preparing to undermine and demobilize any opposition to a new war.

Executive member Christine Buchholz, who entered the Left Party as a member of the Linksruck (International Socialist) fraction, issued a short statement entitled Libya: No Military Intervention. In it she calls for an arms embargo but advises against a military intervention, arguing that it would drive the people behind the regime and cost a lot of lives.

This demonstrates the unprincipled role of the Left Party, which functions as an adviser to the German government on the best tactics to defend its imperialist interests. Buchholz does not advance a principled opposition to imperialist intervention in Libya, warning of the colonialist character of any sanctions by the great powers and insisting that it is the task of the Libyan masses themselves, not imperialism, to rid themselves of both Gaddafi and the Libyan bourgeoisie as a whole.

She speaks on behalf of neither the Libyan nor the German working class, which must see in Westerwelle and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as their counterparts in the SPD, their most bitter class enemies.

The social and political issues that have driven millions into the streets in the Maghreb and the Middle Eastpoverty, inequality, the lack of democratic rightscannot be resolved within the framework of the capitalist system. These same issues are impelling millions of workers in Germany, Europe and throughout the world into struggle against the financial aristocracy and its ossified political system.

The struggle for democracy is inextricably linked to the struggle for workers power and the socialist transformation of society throughout the region and worldwide. German workers must demonstrate their solidarity with the Libyan and Arab workers by opposing any military intervention and mobilizing against the exploiters at home on the basis of socialist and internationalist policies.

View the original article at Global Research

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Middle East, Politics.

Tagged with , , , , , , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?