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“International law” serves the imperialists

Discussion in the Greek parliament concerning the imperialist intervention in Libya

During the discussion, which took place in the Parliament on Tuesday afternoon 22nd March, at the request of the party the GS of the CC of the KKE, Aleka Papariga, expressed the total opposition of the KKE to the imperialist intervention in Libya and the participation of Greece in the war for petrol and other energy resources.

On the part of the PASOK government, G. Papandreou tried to defend the intervention, under the cloak of capitalist “international law”, in essence reciting the profits which the domestic bourgeois class will acquire from the massacre of the Libyan people. The speech of the representative of ND was along the same lines and in full agreement with the government. The president of the nationalist LAOS with empty anti-American demagogy, in essence called on the government to negotiate better returns for the domestic plutocracy from its participation in imperialist interventions. The president of the opportunist SYRIZA took a position against the intervention, but demanded initiatives from the government, in order to play a role in the region, in competition with the activity of Turkey.

Aleka Papariga, GS of the CC of the KKE, noted amongst other things:

“Mr Papandreou, you told us that this is a war in accordance with the principles of international law. Now, what is this international law, in reality? It has become like a piece of elastic. Why don’t you use this international law, which you support, to solve the Cyprus issue, the Palestinian question and first of all the matter of the Aegean? Why does this international law not automatically solve a series of issues which are consolidated and safeguarded by interstate and UN decisions? What international law are you talking about?

Since you speak of law, Mr Papandreou, we should mention that international law and European law have undergone important changes over the last 20 years. Of course all these things have been legalised, but the peoples must denounce them and create the conditions so that they can ignore them entirely. The law of the EU and the UN states is the following: When there is a popular mobilization in a country and the economic interests of the businessmen are threatened, there is the possibility of an external intervention in this country. Either by the mechanisms of the EU, the Euro-army and even by NATO.

You respect this law. And you treat it as gospel, as does ND when it says: “we operate based on international law”. We say the following: exactly because international law has changed and legitimises external interventions, the army exercises which you carried out in Kilkis with simulations of demonstrations, are legal. A law has been passed which says that the Greek army can be used to disperse demonstrations and break strikes, because the economic interests of the construction companies, the ship-owners, and the industrialists are affected. It is really legal. Another example is the law of 2004 which was passed in relation to the Olympic Games, and naturally it did not stop there. What do you want now? For us to accept all these things?

Taking all these things into account in relation to Libya, don’t concern yourselves with what the UN says or the various laws. Everything is legal, based on the changed and much deteriorated international law. If we struggle based on the legality of the decisions, then we will find that the majority of these crimes are absolutely legal. For example, it is legal for Suda Base to be used in the war against Libya. You remember that PASOK was going to get rid of the bases, and then there was the agreement in 1983 which was said to be an agreement so that the bases would leave. That is perfectly legal, now that we mention it. It is legal for you to use US-NATO bases without asking us.

But for us the existence of these bases in Greece is not legal neither morally or socially and not in terms of the people’s interests. We can utilise the constitution but the constitution has for a long time had a limited validity given the situation in Europe and the European and international decisions. Neither the UN (the UN Security Council or even the UN General Assembly) can at this moment provide legitimacy in accordance with the people’s interests. This is the balance of forces and it must change.

Why is there a war in Libya? When did you discover the dictatorship of Gaddafi, of your own friend? Now? Tell us when was Gaddafi labelled as being antidemocratic. He has never been a friend of ours, we have never had any relations with him but we should clarify the following: people’s uprisings occurred in Egypt and Tunisia in some way and they are not something which has just happened now. In Egypt there have been continuous strikes and local uprisings from 2007 and 2008 onwards. Similar developments took place in Tunisia. In Libya, unfortunately, there was not a people’s uprising. We wish there was one. In Bahrain there is also no people’s uprising. Do not resort to this in order to justify the interference and interventions.

Because, as you say, we have advantages that we must utilise. ND has said the same thing. So what are the advantages? That Greece is real estate for bases in Souda, Andravida, Araxos, Aktio bases, for the airspace, for the transit of military forces. This is what you claim in order to gain some returns for shipping capital, for industrial capital etc. It is this Greece which we are fighting against. What does it have to do with patriotism?

The overwhelming majority of the people is against the participation of our country in the imperialist war, and in general is against the intervention in Libya. In a survey carried out 76% stated emphatically that they were against the participation of Greece in the military operations, while 21% were in favour. In addition, 56.8% of those asked consider the decision for the air-force intervention wrong and only 31.8% consider it correct. The survey was carried out on the 21st of March from a sample of about 1000 people.


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