COSATU condemns foreign military occupation in Libya
Published Mar 31, 2011 9:31 PM
Bongani Masuku, international relations secretary of the Congress of
South African Trade Unions, issued the following statement on behalf of the
labor federation on March 22.
COSATU has reiterated its position in support of the legitimate and
genuine struggles of the people and workers of the Middle East and North Africa
for democracy, human dignity and social justice. In doing so, however, we seek
to exercise caution [at] the manner Western powers claim to be advancing the
struggle for democracy in that region.
In their own imagination, military occupation can deliver democracy to the
masses. Is it not the same doctrine that failed in Iraq before, Afghanistan
recently, and is it not inevitably bound to fail in Libya? This can be best
described as helicopter democracy, which disempowers the masses in whose name
the struggle for democracy is waged and renders them spectators as foreign
powers arrogate [to] themselves the role of liberators.
It is very clear that the United Nations resolution fit into a well-designed
scheme which was deliberately set by the big powers to ensure military
occupation and regional reconfiguration to further assert imperialist
domination and neoliberal economic orthodoxy in the interest of profiteering at
all costs for their giant oil companies. It was further meant to ensure
stage-managed “regime change” which sought to impose regimes that
would best service their interests, as was the case with [former Egyptian
president] Hosni Mubarak for a long time.
International solidarity does not mean foreign occupation or undermining the
sovereign rights and territorial integrity of any country and peoples, but
supporting the struggling masses to defeat an oppressor through their own
The abuse of the U.N. system to advance narrow corporatist interests of Western
countries and their big multinationals [which], for too long, have been eager
to secure for themselves the huge oil and natural gas reserves in this part of
the world, discredits the standing of the U.N. in the eyes of the world. In
particular, the double standards of the U.N. Security Council and the
International Criminal Court are shocking.
The world is still waiting for action in relation to the war crimes charges
against Israel following the findings of the Goldstone Report, and we have not
seen anything close to that, except for continuous U.S. blocking, with the full
support of the European Union, of any resolution holding Israel to account.
In this regard, we believe that the honesty of the U.N. in dealing with global
problems is in doubt. We have not seen similar determination to deal with
despots in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, where people are being killed and
imprisoned for marching peacefully, state of emergencies have been declared and
foreign forces have been called to reinforce against peaceful activities for
democracy. Could this be explained by the fact that U.S. oil supplies are
guaranteed by the existence of the despots running these countries, as with the
U.S. military bases in this part of the world?
From Western Sahara to Palestine and Libya, foreign military and political
occupation is wrong and must be fought with all the determination necessary.
Wherever it happens, it threatens and substitutes the genuine struggles and
role of the people in determining the future of their countries.
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