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Submitted by Clive on Mon, 05/09/2011 - 18:34

CJ, you write: "The AWL often does not support national liberation struggles against imperialism based on the perceived racism or sexism of those fighting." I don't think this is true. If a movement is a genuine national liberation struggle, it should be supported, regardless of the prejudices of some of its adherents. Obviously, no movement is 'pure' (and movements emerging from decades of severe repression are even less likely to be so).

The issue with, say, the 'resistance' in Iraq is that it is *not* a national liberation movement, but various sectarian movements; and the *basic nature* of those movements is Islamist - that is, fighting for an undemocratic, as well as sectarian, programme.

What you have in Libya is a genuine, mass movement against tyranny, the ideology of which is not yet settled. Of course it has many elements (ie political tendencies, such as they are) which we oppose politically; and many of its members will have backward ideas. But in this case these features don't define the movement.

(Sometimes these distinctions might be difficult to call in the abstract. They are concrete questions. Concretely, the 'rebels' in Libya don't seem to be anything like the 'resistance' in Iraq, for instance).

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