When will they ever learn?

SO, THE Nato jets are screaming through the air again, dropping death and destruction on to another Arab country in an effort to protect western civilisation’s right to an unceasing supply of oil. We’ve seen it before and we know, after Iraq and Afghanistan, that in the long run the imperialists are likely to do as much damage to their own standing as world powers as they do to their “enemies” — the people who happen to live where the oil is located.

But in the meantime they also inflict untold pain and suffering on those people.

One of the saddest aspects is the way the imperialist propaganda machine yet again fools so many liberals, intellectuals and “lefties” who should know better by now. And they use the same old tricks, time and time again. As soon as any leader of an Asian, African, East European or Latin American country takes a stand that the imperialists disapprove of they are immediately labelled “mad” — from the “Mad Mahdi” — who was actually a very intelligent military strategist — through Nasser, Saddam, Castro, Noriega, Kim Il Sung, Allende, Milosevic, Mugabe, Kim Jong Il, Chavez, many others and now Gaddafi.

And as soon as they are labelled “mad” they and their followers become sub-human and lose all respect and human rights in the eyes of the western media and anything is permissible in the struggle to get rid of them.

Hundreds of the “lefty” intelligentsia fell for it in March 2003 and initially supported Bush and Blair on their murderous shock-and-awe, followed by invasion against the people of Iraq — only a couple of years later to realise how badly they had been misled. Yet they are allowing themselves to fall for the same old lies yet again.

And they are blindly supporting the rebels against Gaddafi without bothering to look at who they actually are. They assume these rebels are coming from the same political perspective as the popular risings in Egypt and Tunisia but it is not so. They are largely from the tribe of the former King Idris, who was overthrown by Gaddafi and his followers. Now if you want a real, western-backed, anti-democratic, brutal and murdering despot, it was King Idris.

The rebels have already shown their political perspectives by lynching, murdering and raping all the black Africans in the area they control.

Gaddafi has a long history of solidarity with other, poorer African nations, like Mali, and the nationalist rebels have resented Libyan money being spent to help black people in struggle. Gaddafi also has a history of spending the country’s oil wealth on schools, hospitals, roads and so on in Libya; until recently it had the highest standard of living in Africa.

The leaders of the Arab League should be ashamed of themselves for supporting the “no-fly” zone imposition. Did they really imagine it would be just a few jets firing warning shots at Gaddafi’s planes? It is too late for them to hold up their hands in horror now at the carnage that has been unleashed. They knew the imperialists tell lies and care about nothing but oil and power.

How long will the imperialist media be able to get away with this rubbish? It seems middle class intellectuals can be fooled endlessly into believing “this case is different” to the times they have been fooled before.

But there is another factor — the economic situation. Workers are certainly not going to stand for endless very expensive wars as the cuts to jobs and public sector infrastructure are causing pain and havoc in their daily lives.

This is one of the reasons why Obama prefers other Nato countries to take the lead in this instance and is insisting there will be no ground invasion. In that case the West will not be able to defeat Gaddafi but their intervention will allow the civil war to continue for a very long time. They are probably hoping that eventually they will be able to divide Libya into smaller, more manageable pieces.

We must continue to protest at this intervention and keep reminding the world how much it is costing, in terms of jobs, hospitals, libraries, schools and so on. We must use it to help bring down this Con-Dem Coalition and force Miliband to oppose it or force him out too in favour of John McDonnell or someone like him.