Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Libya, Iran: Leftist's Dilemma

The imposition of the no-fly zone over Libya by NATO forces and the bombing of Ghaddhafi’s military hardware have rejuvenated the opposition in Libya.  These operations are broadly supported by the other Arab states and their population.  The opposition is taking back territories, cities and towns which were savagely attacked and ran over by Ghaddhafi forces.  By all indications Ghaddhafi's days are numbered.
The unexpected outbreak of the opposition demonstrations against Ghaddhafi a few weeks ago and the intervention of NATO showed that Western powers can muster forces in these situations.  As these developments were unexpected and probably not even welcomed among the Western powers, it only tells that the unexpected can happen.
This must create a dilemma among the Iranian “anti-imperialist” leftist crowd.  They have been hounded and suppressed by the Islamic regime but their “anti-imperialist” hearts throb for finding an alliance with the same regime against the Western democracies.  With the growing opposition in Iran similar situations could arise, where the external powers find it necessary to intervene.  The future developments of the Islamic regime and its interaction with the opposition and the world powers cannot be determined a priori, but the developments in Libya show the crisis among the “anti-imperialist” left.
Should one oppose the NATO intervention for putting a stop to Ghaddhafi’s advance, where this intervention was requested by Libya’s disenfranchised opposition?  Do slogans such as “Hands off Libya!”, “Let the Libyan People Decide Their Destiny!” and “The Right to Self Determination for Libya!” help Libyans in their struggle for democracy?  As crazy as it might sound that is what they say.  Their “anti-imperialist” ideological foundation obligates them.  They just pray to a different Kaaba than the radical Islamists!
The equivalent versions of the above slogans have been polished by the Iranian leftists in case similar confrontations ensue.  I sometimes wonder if they ever look at the reality around themselves.  “Hands off Iran!” or “Let the Iranian People Decide Their Destiny!” could have made some sense at the time of Shah’s rule where the state power was monopolized by a section of the society, supported by the Western powers, and had disenfranchised others.  What does “Hands off Iran” in the present context mean?  The Western powers do not have any “hand” in Iran and the state power is monopolized by a reactionary ruling group which is denying basic human rights to the others, in particular to the women of Iran.  Are these slogans an appeasement to the ruling clique so they might bring the “anti-imperialist” leftists into their fold?  Is it a type of lunacy?  In a sense yes, lunacy is a warped view of the reality.  Their “anti-imperialist” rules dictate that view; more on that later.

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