The asinine commentary issuing from some leftist quarters, the wild-conspiratorial ramblings, the incapacity to handle dilemmas — all of this would be amusing if it weren’t for the slanders and falsehoods which have so quickly ossified into conventional wisdom. Over half a century after Richard Hofstadter wrote his famous essay it appears the paranoid style still thrives in the politics of both the left and right. The western leftists’ answer to liberation struggles elsewhere is to project their own impotence and assume that there must be a grand conspiracy at play. How else could ordinary people take charge of their own lives and refuse to be silenced and repressed? No, they must be Al Qaeda, or CIA agents, or both — as figures such as Alexander Cockburn, Edward Herman and John Pilger have imperiously declared (relying on a report by West Point’s Counter Terrorism Center no less–never mind that it is a dubious outfit run by neoconservative terrorologists). What better way to divest yourself of moral dilemmas? Blame the victims!
There is a good reason why radicals of the left often find it so easy to turn into radicals of the right. Both are possessed of a Manichean worldview governed by absolutes, free of moral dilemmas, disdainful of ambiguity. This kind of simple-mindedness is the prerogative of those who are either completely powerless and thus free of responsibility, since their actions are of no consequence, or of the absolutely powerful, whose actions are beyond accountability. The rest of us, alas, are doomed to a world where the choices are rarely as simple as between ‘good’ and ‘bad.’
Jeffrey Blankfort has some apt comments:
Also, check out Stephen Shalom’s commentary on Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah’s speech on Libya.
The Western intervention in Libya aroused much more passion in the Western left than it did in Arab countries. Or, to put it more accurately, passions with regard to Libya were not focused on the same issues in the West and in Arab countries. In recent mass demonstrations in Cairo, the tricolor flag of the Libyan uprising was prominently displayed (see pictures), whereas there were no noticeable gestures against the ongoing Western intervention in Libya.
Overall, in the debate within the Western left, little attention, if any, was paid to the positions of anti-imperialist forces in the Arab world. It is thus of some interest to see what Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Lebanon’s Hizbullah, has to say. Hizbullah has been the most prestigious of the Arab world’s opponents of Western domination. On March 19 — two days after the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1973 — Nasrallah gave a major speech in Beirut in solidarity with the Arab peoples’ struggles.
Nasrallah first addressed the claim that the United States was in some way responsible for the various Arab uprisings:
“Any accusation that claims that America is behind these revolutions, has incited and stirred them, and is leading them represents a false, unjust accusation of these peoples, especially if we talk about these five regimes [Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, and Yemen] which are allies to America. They are regimes that follow America and harmonize with it, that have offered and still offer services for the American plot, and that do not constitute any threat to the American policy — which is Israel in the Middle East region. Is it logical that the American government criticizes obedient, harmonizing, submissive, and allied regimes and incites popular revolutions?
“This is illogical, especially when America knows very well — upon polls, surveys, and public and intelligence information — that the awareness and insight of these peoples has now become obvious and that these peoples have a very aware, steadfast, and committed attitude against the American policy and government and against the presence of Israel. Thus, how could the American government incite revolutions of peoples who are aware, have foresight and are well-determined, without knowing what consequences these revolutions will result in and what alternatives these peoples will produce at the level of governments and regimes? So this is a false and unjust accusation.
“Had we been talking of a withstanding, resistant regime that does not submit to the will of the United States of America or the American plot, a system that withstands and challenges Israel, a system that is then objected by protests, then we could have wondered — excluding prejudice — whether it is likely to be discussed that there are provocateurs and inciters against this regime. But can some say that these are American revolutions against regimes submissive to the U.S.A.? This is unaccepted — as is the ridiculous accusation that Al Qaeda has incited the Libyan revolution and the ridiculous accusation that Iran has provoked the uprising of the people in Bahrain.”
Rather than U.S. plots, these were genuinely popular revolts, declared Nasrallah.
“These are true, popular revolutions that people have launched — primarily youth — then men, women, children, and elders, who were followed by elites and then political powers. These revolutions are based on faith, awareness, anger, enthusiasm — and most important — great readiness for sacrifice….
“We have watched televisions and seen, with our own eyes, youth challenging guns to shoot them, and they were shot. We’ve seen this in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya. But it doesn’t stop here; afterwards, other youth challenge bullets and guns.”
Nasrallah had no illusions about U.S. and Western benevolence. They are pursuing their own interests, trying to minimize the harm to their positions in the region:
“What we must carefully consider is the unveiled and hypocritical American and western performance through all of these incidents that have been taking place for several months in our Arab region. We can simply discover or understand the currently applied policies by the Americans concerning these maneuvers and revolutions as such:
“Shallow reforms can be made in submissive regimes that the Americans can maintain. Besides, a short-termed chance could be given to the submissive regime to modify the battle with its people in order to avoid inner, serious repercussions.
“Then, in case the American government foresees that the battle will be very costly for American interests, it sets rulers aside, asks them to leave, and mitigates as much damage as can be so as to satisfy the peoples or deceive them — bringing them back to their homes without the accomplishment of the revolutionary declared objectives.
“The American government exploits all of these scenarios to appear as the advocate of civil rights, peoples’ freedom, change, and reformation.
“What we request today is that nobody in our Arabian, Islamic world be deceived. Certainly no one has been since the peoples now are quite conscious and enjoy high foresight as respects the American policies. They recognize that America has fabricated these regimes and has been protecting them for decades. The regimes’ weaponry, reinforcement, and hegemony on their peoples have been handled by America. Consequently, the American government takes part in all of the crimes these regimes have committed against their peoples throughout all of the past years.
“Moreover, any American talk of protecting the peoples of our region, respecting legal and civil rights, and convicting coercion and horrifying acts enjoys no credibility. This is upon the declared, persistent American policy towards the oppressed Palestinian people. Days ago, the American government vetoed a resolution against settlement construction in the [UN] Security Council session. The Palestinians are killed, shelled, and dislodged. Their houses, fields, and trees are destroyed. Eleven thousand Palestinians are detainees. The Islamic and Christian sacredness in Al Quds [Jerusalem] are endangered, but the Americans defend the killer, the murderer, the ravisher, the bone crusher, and he who shells the civilians’ houses in Gaza with his air force.
“As long as this is the American policy towards Palestine and its people, every American talk of honest, sincere concern to defend the rights of the Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, Yemenis, Bahrainis, or others is hypocrisy. The American intervention actually aims at enhancing the American image, running the crisis, guaranteeing the convenient alternatives for the American plot where submissive regimes have failed to continue, or pursuing oil fields instead of letting them into the hands of sincere, honest patriots. This is the background of American intervention rather than the one Obama wants us to believe.
“It is not a different government; neither does it defend peoples. No, I ask the Arab peoples to keep their eyes wide open for Palestine because this American government supports Israel that is crushing the Palestinian people and assailing the peoples of the region. All the American allegations of human rights and democracy are false.
“We may reconsider the American government once we witness a radical evolution of the U.S.A. policies regarding Palestine and its people. This is why it is essential that the peoples be cautious with the American policies and attempts to pillage these revolutions and the martyrs’ blood. The peoples should also be cautious with the unstoppable efforts at diverting the path of public revolutions, at dividing Arab countries, and at inciting a civil open war. These are grave dangers that serve the American alternative plot for our region.”
Turning to Libya, Nasrallah went on:
“Just as the peoples rebelled in Tunisia and Egypt, the Libyans did. A group of youth started at Benghazi, and they were confronted with bullets and murder. Then people rushed to embrace them, and the revolution moved from one city to another. There were demonstrations and civil disobedience, which were confronted with bullets, planes, and tanks. War was imposed on the peaceful and civil public revolution. What is going on in Libya is a war imposed by the regime on a people who wanted change without using arms.
“Hereupon, this people had the choice of self-defense without being an armed organization or having any military experience or enough weapons. War broke out against the Libyan people in the west and east. The planes, tanks, cannons, and rows of Katyusha-missile emplacements, which you and we have seen on television, remind us — the Lebanese — of the Israeli invasion in 1982 and of all of the Israeli wars. What Gaddafi is assailing his people with is the same as that of the previous Israeli war against Lebanon and Gaza. All of the noble in the world must condemn these great crimes committed by Gaddafi’s regime. Besides, every person who can offer any kind of help to these rebellious people must do so in order to assist their steadfastness and tolerance of demolitions and massacres.”
Nasrallah accused Western powers of deliberately delaying their intervention:
“Our rebellious brothers in Libya and our Arab peoples must recognize that America and the west have offered the Libyan regime enough time to crush the revolution. Although they wasted all this time with sessions and so much talk, people were steadfast and tolerant. They fought and embarrassed the world with their steadfastness and tolerance. Had the Libyan revolution collapsed in a few days, a week, or two weeks, the world would have admitted, again, Gaddafi’s regime, settled issues with him, and bought oil from him at the required and convenient prices. Gaddafi’s money would have, anew, been into the pockets of presidents, European-Union MPs, and others. The steadfast of those revolutionists has changed the equation today.”
Nasrallah considered the Western intervention very dangerous, but, significantly, he didn’t explicitly condemn the no-fly zone, while urging Libyans to be vigilant to the dangers:
“Certainly, the Libyan situation today is very complicated because of the international intervention that has commenced and that might lead Libya to [become a prey of] the game of nations. As a result, the rebels must be aware and patriotic enough. The last thing I tell them is that the Lebanese Resistance was steadfast for 33 nights and days at a time when more than a hundred Israeli planes were shelling all regions — killing and demolishing. Today, in the name of this victorious Resistance, I send a thousand salutations to the steadfast Libyan fighters, in Benghazi, Ajdabya, Tobroq, Misrata, and all of the other steadfast, patient Libyan cities.”
Nasrallah wished the Arab and Islamic countries had come to the aid of the Libyans, and claimed that their failure to do so had given an opening to the West. But still, he did not explicitly denounce the Western intervention or call for its immediate termination:
“…the Arab and Islamic countries must hold responsibility for what is going on in every Arab country. Yes, their duty is to interfere by sending armies to defend the peoples and prevent foreign intervention instead of oppressing them.
“Unfortunately, today, upon the renouncement of responsibility by most of the Arab and Muslim governors, western and American intervention has easy access into Libya. We don’t know what will occur in Libya. Allowing access to foreign intervention in every Arab country will take us back into the era of occupation, direct colonialism, partition, or whatever.”
Note: Where the posted English translation was unclear, slight corrections based on the original Arabic were made with the help of Bashir Abu-Manneh.
40 thoughts on “Libyan revolution and more infantile leftism”
Were you looking in the mirror when you wrote this?
I was wondering the same thing and thought maybe my browser had been hijacked to some right wing zionist site, such as “little green footballs”. A supposed left wing site that engages in bashing people like Herman and Pilger because these two refuse to promote the israeli’s proxy’s war crimes in Libya. That’s real desperation.
if you would be good enough to post a text version of Jeff’s remarks I would be happy to consider them. Thanks…
I second that. I did listen to his speech, but it covers a lot of different events. To copy down what he says in order to discuss the views would take too long. A transcript would make it accessible for discussion.
Sorry, Idrees, much as I admire Jeff and yourself and value your good works, I am not even close to being convinced by your arguments.
What I see is a lot of ad hominem characterizations, but not a lot of comparing sourced fact with sourced fact. It is true that when confronted by a succession of idiots I sometimes get impatient and resort to ridicule, insult and even colorful language. But when talking with people with whom I’m in agreement on so much, I try to take a more courteous approach.
I have formed certain opinions on this Libya business which go very much counter to those you express, but I didn’t depend on any of the “imperious” sources you mention. A couple of sources which did influence me include Cynthia McKinney and Glen Ford; I wonder if you would include either or both in the “infantile leftism”/paranoid style category?
Looking forward to some serious discussion:)
BTW, I’m prepared to jettison long-held premises as I’ve had to do numerous times over the decades, in the face of undeniable facts and indisputable argument. For instance, for a long time I dismissed charges that CPUSA leaders were paid agents of the Soviet state as the ravings of rightwing conspiracy mongers. But that didn’t make me any more willing to accept Solshenytsin and Lech Walesa, or the Birchers, as among The Good Guys. Or Vaclav Havel neither:)
oops, double oops: One, I didn’t see the link to Nasrallah’s speech. As it happens I did come across a summary of his position expressed in the speech sometime last month, and I must admit it gave me considerable pause, since in my view he is one of the foremost genuine people’s leaders of our time.
But after considering the positions taken by other genuine leaders, and facts that have been reported more recently, and after reading the English of the speech Nasrallah gave Sat April 9, in which he mentions Libya as one of several areas of concern but does not discuss recent developments or his stance re Gadaffi, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Mr Nasrallah will make some major adjustments to his expression of support for this “western” ie. zionist backed “revolution”.
I wasn’t there the day it all started; I don’t know what set it off. From her it’s within the realm of possibility that some idealistic young people inspired by the events in nearby countries decided to mount a public protest calling for a change of government But if that’s how it all started, it seems pretty obvious that there were CIA/Mossad and French Intelligence “assets” right there on the spot right on time, which suggests that such ” assets” likely were in contact with “idealist circles” well in advance.
It is true that since the collapse of the Soviet bloc, Gadhaffi and associates changed their stance toward Imperialism and allowed a lot of penetration. I read this as an attempt to deploy an Appeasement strategy in hopes of avoiding what has happened to Iraq. If so, it didn’t work.
But at this point, the over-riding reality is that Zio-Imperialism is mounting a fullscale assault on Libya’s existence as a coherent society and polity — which is the first step in a recolonization of the African continent.
So we in the US have got to stop coddling Democrat Party “progressives”.
Did I just open another can of worms? Sorry. Can’t cover it all in one Comment, try again later:)
Thanks, teafoe2, you mention one of the main actions of colonialism: to de-structure a given society and convert it into a shallow capitalist dependent one, with an extroverted economy and a local compradore bourgeoisie or oligarchy, who will specialize in managing the monoculture as assigned…
It is true that in the era of globalization self-centered societies have been destroyed, and are almost impossible to survive. (The defeated populations end up in slums and prey of crime and squalor, without any social protection.) Yet some marriage of indigenous character and modernity are still possible, although highly offensive to imperialism, because they demand a better slice of their riches than allowed by the predatory nature of imperialism.
Libya was still an exception. Rich thanks to its hydrocarbons, enjoying relevant reserves of the purest oil, it had broken with the compradore neocolonialist time as embodied by the Sanussi monarchy, and established a creative regime of self-rule, which should develop also by trial and error, and which would be denied by global uniformity. This regime of direct democracy was the modern face which allowed the survival of self-centered, ancestral, maintenance of the tribes.
The balance between revolutionary committees and tribes was dialectical, in tension but creative. The tribes correspond to the fierce and proud tradition of a Bedouin society, and all invaders of the Libyan lands tried to break them. But the tribes always needed some referee who could guarantee their difficult relationship among each other in balance.
During the wars of independence and until the monarchy this role was played by the Sanussi Brotherhood, which provided a spiritual guidance, and although quite alien to Tripolitania, even the latter accepted their mediation. The problem is that when independence was granted, under a Sanussi king, the regime quickly had all political activity banned and turned into a dictatorship, keeping British and US military bases and assuring all political and economic posts to members of the Brotherhood, most of them from the eastern Cyrenaica, what was a good business as soon as petroleum was discovered in the early 1950s.
The young officers who put an end to this situation after 18 years inaugurated a Pan-arabic regime. But nationalism à la Nasser had to adapt to the tribal reality in Libya, hence the Green Book, and Gaddafi’s long tenure, as he guaranteed that equilibrium demanded by what in fact was a tribal confederation. In a word he supplanted the role of the Sanussis, who had become discredited, and had failed that task by complying to the neo-colonialist demands of foreign states and business.
What we are beholding now is, inter alia, the revival of the Sanussi monarchy (with flag and all), allied with the Islamist (a phenomenon which emerged as a result of the return of volunteers from Afghanistan in the late 1980s), and disgruntled officials of Gaddafi, who also wanted to control the oil production and profit from their alliance with the majors.
If Gaddafi is so successful against all odds is because the tribes have rallied behind him as the rampart capable to keep that national unity against an invading de-structuring and predator capitalism which seeks to destroy the self-centered and ancestral tribal structure, which is at the heart of the Bedouin identity.
Obviously the task of the CIA-trained neoliberal economists and commanders just landed from the US is to break that identity whose “tribalism” should not be regarded negatively, because here it is real, not just a metaphor, and the sign of liberty and belonging.
OK, I’ll stop here, it is late, but all I meant to say is that one thing which lies behind this struggle and that obviously the official pundits won’t discuss, is the original identity of the Libyan people, which has been conditional to their desert environment, and which they aren’t ready to throw overboard.
They are expected to oppose a fierce resistance, as they did against the Italian colonialism
Ha, ha, this is actually the height of actual impotence, to bring out good old Lenin from his well-kept mausoleum to support the Libyan rebels’ capital sin (by way of paraphrasing him)!
But when on earth did the Russian revolutionaries bring in foreign armies to salvage their revolution. They fought all alone against the counterrevolutionaries and a bunch of interventionist armies, and had the Brits, Americans, and other had Tomahawks and Depleted Uranium, they would have used it all, like the interventionists now against the Libyan patriotic forces, who like the Russians, or the Chinese, or the Vietnamese, or the Algerians, and so many more, fought alone for their revolution and liberation against all odds, and certainly foreign powers. Get it over: The rebels are fighting a fake revolution, and you can’t dismiss so lightly that there was a plot at least since October which initiated in Paris, as it has been widely documented in a newspaper above suspicion, from the Berlusconi group
Or else: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/libya030411.html
There are a lot of other “leftists” who have denounced the imperialist adventure in Libya, like Tariq Ali and many others I have forwarded. But you can google the following libya imperalists war and you will find 1.130.000 hits (in 0,11 seconds)
It is a shame that we have to collect in formation through internet, because the corporate mass media are feeding scandalous lies to get their war approved by the opinion. But do you actually believe all you are told by the corporate media? Do you know WHO are the Libyan “rebels”? I’m afraid you want some information, and there is a lot nowadays, that we lacked at the beginning of the crisis.
WHAT AN ODD REVOLUTION! FOREIGN POWERS PROVIDE AIR AND NAVAL COVER, INSTRUCTORS AND SOON CONTRACTORS (I.E., MERCENARIES), PERHAPS EVEN TROOPS, WEAPONS, MONEY, EVERYTHING. AND THE REBELS? CONSCRIPTS, WHO LACK ANY REVOLUTIONARY AND FIGHTING SPIRIT AND WISELY RUN AWAY AT FIRST NOTICE! WHOSE WAR IS THIS?
The latest development shows that the rebels are more blood-thirsty than Gaddafi, as the latter accepted immediately the AU cease fire, whereas the rebels rejected it, even if they are losing the war on the ground they still think the former colonial powers will achieve their “revolution” and present them with Gaddafi’s head on a silver plate. So more Libyan blood will be spilled, but neither the Libyan quislings nor their imperialist patrons care too much…
Let me add some more links, if you don’t mind:
Johann Hari: We’re not being told the truth on Libya
Look at two other wars our government is currently deeply involved in – because they show that the claims made for this bombing campaign can’t be true
Friday, 8 April 2011, The Independent
‘War for Libyan oil planned long ago, no one cares about people’
Susan Lindauer, a journalist and author specializing on American interventions, has never believed the allied forces intervened in Libya out of humanitarian reasons. It is a war for oil which was prepared long ago, Lindauer argues – anyone who cared about the Libyan people would stop immediately.
RT on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RTnews
RT on Twitter: http://twitter.com/RT_com
Libya and the CIA Role in Africa
Responding to the Office of Legal Counsel’s Positively Orwellian Rationale for Libyan War
Wagging the dog in Libya
First we had a “no fly” zone.
That evolved into bombing missions.
But NATO’s running it now, not the US, so no worries, right?
Now there’s talk of putting US troops on the ground.
All in support of the noble and downtrodden Libyan “rebels.”
But what if there are no Libyan rebels?
Hint: My money says there aren’t any.
Prof. Herman exposes
UN Praised Libya’s Human Rights Record. Washington Attempted to Block Release of UNHRC Report
Read complete Report Here
Click to access A-HRC-16-15.pdf
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THE STATEMENT OF THE GREAT RICHARD FALK:
RICHARD FALK: OBAMA’S LIBYAN FOLLY: TO BE OR NOT TO BE..
oops, forgot my second oops: I think I may, for the benefit of some,need to connect the dots re certain CPUSA leaders, who, regardless of other possible virtues in working for needed reforms in US society, did in fact, given what I take as incontrovertable evidence, accept a lot of $$ from Moskva.
I have been following this site since beginning, and I must say, this is the first time I disagree with Idrees.
“Burn” was a movie starring Marlon Brando about a slave uprising in a Carribean island. Made by a guy named Pontecorvo? For me it shows clearly the dynamic at work right now in Libya.
I am with you 100% and very shocked by some of the reactions from leftists that seem to have forgotten exactly why things got to the point of intervention. Shame that Arabs did nothing to help so that West wouldn’t have to, personally, I am suspicious of their (Nato) intentions but also glad that Libyans are not fending for themselves against Qadhafi. Thanks for writing this piece and I hope more Arabs speak up because it’s the right thing to do.
BTW, idress and yassin-kassab, you have some rather distinguished company on your side (how distinguished and distinguished in what way, I’ll leave unsaid…):
Libya and Humanitarian War
Robert Dreyfuss, April 11, 2011
(Dreyfuss describes the excuses henry kissinger and james baker use to justify their support for the israeloamerican/eu war crimes against Libya.)
With those 2 big time criminals on board, what could go wrong, eh?
I ♡ NATO
by Victor Nieto
“Fortunately, they are our ‘allies.'”
British Peace Delegation Departs for Libya
by Roshan Muhammed Salih, 10.04.11
“Roshan Muhammed Salih: Angered by the NATO bombing of Libya, this delegation made up of British academics, lawyers, and journalists set off from London’s Heathrow Airport on a peace mission to Tripoli. Their intention is to emphasize that the Western intervention isn’t altruistic and has made the situation there worse.
Dave Roberts: It’s really a foreign intervention into a sovereign country. We feel that there are probably not two but three sides to this unfolding war. The NATO needs to step out and allow the Libyan people the space to arbitrate and resolve the clear issues and problems that they’re facing.
Ishmahil Blagrove: . . . We haven’t heard alternative voices in the media. It’s been very much one-dimensional. . . .”
(Partial transcript of the video at the link)
Idrees is telling us yet again that to not agree with him is to be infantile. While the riff-raff are rebelling (as it their right) against the enlightened views of bloggers who are experts because they are, err, bloggers (to quote Patty Smith, “This is the era where everybody creates”). The enlightened Pulse bloggers are now reduced to a discourse that is identical to the riff-raff (another “infantile leftism” argument and then this wonderfully articulate comment from Yassin-Kassab, “That’s right, Wikispooks and Enrique, Western leftists with their heads up their arses know much better than Libyans themselves. Your insults to the Libyan people are pathetic. I look forward to the day when your friends and family are confronted by a tank. I will then laugh when you run away.” While I am headed immediately to the delete button on my bookmarks bar.
“No, they must be Al Qaeda, or CIA agents, or both — as figures such as Alexander Cockburn, Edward Herman and John Pilger have imperiously declared (relying on a report by West Point’s Counter Terrorism Center no less–nevermind that it is a dubious outfit run by neoconservative terrorologists).”
Here we have idrees trying to associate Cockburn, Herman and Pilger with neo-con ziofascists. The neo-cons are on record as being in favour of these zionist war crimes against the people of Libya, in fact, they want american/nato ground troops there. Both Herman and Pilger are on record opposing this zionist aggression (cant vouch for Cockburn – he’s always been a bit flakey). Meanwhile, idrees is posting zionist propaganda in favour of this zionist aggression against the people of Libya, and denouncing those opposed to it. In other words, idrees is on the same side as the neo-cons (pro-war) and yet is claiming those opposed to this ziofascist war crime are associated with the neo-cons. Let’s summarize, shall we: both idrees and the neo-cons are in favour of this zionist aggression, Herman and Pilger are against it, but idrees associates their views with those of the neo-cons. This is typical zionist Orwellian double-speak and duplicitous to the max in typical zionist style.
What kind of excuse can you dream up to justify such behaviour, idrees? That is really disgraceful, to put it very mildly. I doubt you even have the guts to post this comment?
European Union prepares to send ground troops to Libya
By Chris Marsden, 11 April 2011
“The European Union is seeking to utilise the humanitarian cover of the fate of the besieged city of Misrata to send ground troops to Libya under its command. The operation could be mounted within a matter of days. In a reversal of previous policy, the German government of Angela Merkel has offered to play the leading military role (now that the German vote is over and the ziofascists in power there need not fear ousting – h)…”
Thank god we got people on the [cough] left supporting, promoting and otherwise getting the “marks” ready for this escalation of zionist ordained war crimes. Imagine what would happen if progressives and the left opposed ziofascism, inc. on this and put a stop to their disgusting war?
What if the stalled revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt succeed, and at the same time, ziofascism, incs. regime change ops in Libya fail? That will mean a huge block opposed to israel/zionism. A much more serious challenge to israeli/zionist local hegemony (not to mention the bitch slapping the things would get in world opinion, and their image of being able to project power).
Libyan oil is just the icing on the cake, what these ziofascists are really after is a continued divided Muslim Middle East which they can continue to manipulate to their advantage. Both the peoples of Tunisia and Egypt are overwhelmingly opposed to israeli ziofascism, and if they succeed in gaining their independence from ziofascism, inc., it will make the threat of Nasser’s Egypt to israeli hegemony look puny in comparison. Throw in Libya, and you got a solid block, with the likelihood of many more countries joining. Then add in Syria and Lebanon. One hell of a zionist nightmare and the probable neutralising of their control over the region. The israelis/zionists are against the wall and desperate.
And so are their puppets and supporters…
I wish I had read Herman’s piece on ashcar’s defense of ziofascist wars of aggression earlier. It’s very good and quite devastating. I can understand why the zionist “left” are out to get him now. He foiled their lies defending the mossad/cia green “color rev” against Iran, he demolished the stealth zionist, stephen zunes totally last december, and now he sweeps ashcar into the dustbin of zionist quisling obscurity. This is the end of his superbly done piece debunking the zio-imperialist war mongers:
Gilbert Achcar’s Defense of Humanitarian Intervention
By Edward s. Herman Friday, April 08, 2011
“This defines a position for what we may call the “imperialism fine-tuning left,” that will help show that the left as well as the leaders of imperialism really care for civilians.
What makes this stance exceedingly foolish as well as distinctly non-left is the idea that the “left” would be able to seriously influence policy once a war is embarked upon (and with “left” encouragement). This simultaneous approval and disapproval of the war will further splinter the left and carry it beyond mere marginalization to butt of jokes.
Achcar tells us that this intervention to protect civilians in Libya will prove “embarrassing” to the imperial powers, as the next time Israel bombs Gaza or Lebanon the world will demand a no-fly zone and picket for the same, and Achcar himself “definitely” will join the picket line. But why wasn’t there a demand for a no-fly zone with Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006 and attack on Gaza? And why isn’t Achcar picketing today against the killing of Bahraini civilians with the aid of a Saudi invasion force and the drone attacks on Afghanistan and Pakistan that take a heavy civilian toll right now? Perhaps he is too busy worrying about civilians in the latest U.S-.targeted state.”
Among the books recommended by Pulse, I see that there is one by John Pilger. Good.
Teafoe2, thanks for reminding Burn (Queimada), an impressive fresco of how colonialism and Western cynical barbarity operates in undeveloped countries they mean to exploit. Everyone should watch it. The end at least opens some perspective…
Achkar’s position has been widely criticized even in the site he posted it. He was actually the only “leftist”, well-known anti-Zionist I know who supported the intervention on “humanitarian” grounds. You shouldn’t be surprised, especially Hayate, that some “leftists” sustain that the Zionist ally is actually Gaddafi. I had a lively discussion with freepalestine about this; I mention it because he has sent a message of support to Idreess. He was honestly persuaded that Gaddafi, via his son Saif, had become an intimate friend of Israel…
I won’t elaborate, he may do so if he likes, our discussion was on another forum, all I mean is that such an opinion exists. Ashkar’s mistake though is not related to Israel, but to the empire as a whole, he has failed to grasp that no developping country may allow itself selling its soul to the imperialist camp, because the prize they’ll have to pay is too high to survive as a sovereign country in which its people may live decently…
There are other two well-known people who have supported the intervention: Juan Cole and Uri Avnery. The former is no leftist of course, but a liberal who also supported the intervention on Afghanistan. He may be added to the liberal “humanitarians”. And as for Avnery, he is a post-zionist leftist, he contributes a lot against the occupation and for peace in Palestine, albeit from “within Israel”, but he is obsessed with WW2, and he honestly thinks that if Hitler had been stopped in Spain, such war might have been spared. Now in Spain there was indeed a foreign intervention: Hitler and Mussolini did send troops and planes, whereas the democratic powers decreed a non-intervention which was rather a blockade. So now the imperialist intervention on Libya looks more like the Fascist intervention in Spain during the Spanish civil war.
The rest of leftist authors and sites I know have been consequent with their anti-war principles and denounced the aggression.
I hope even freepalestine and Pulse, as soon as they find out more details and more revealing information, will change their mind.
Oh, a spicy detail from today’s newspapers: finally the French sub-imperialism has got to depose the president from Ivory Coast in order to enthrone their own candidate, who presumably will be more pliable to Western demands. Now the problem they sit with, although the mass media are trying to sideline it, is that their man Ouattara’s troops, especially during these last days, have perpetrated dreadful atrocities, massacring whole villages, raping and killing hundreds, as HRW and others have denounced. What are our champions of humanitarian interference going to do? Will they bring their stooge and lieutenants to justice? Just bet!
This should give some food to think to our pro-interventionist “leftists”.
“You shouldn’t be surprised, especially Hayate, that some “leftists” sustain that the Zionist ally is actually Gaddafi.”
I saw some of that. There were a few articles going around how israel supplied qaddafi with mercs and stuff like that. It looked like a zionist attempt to smear qaddafi by associating him with themselves, like they have done with Hamas periodically. It’s a standard zionist tactic. I can see how some people might have got sucked in by it, they’re getting pretty good at making disinformation look legit.
The obvious thing the belies any israel support for qaddafi is the fact they would never allow their american/eu colonials to attack his country, as these colonials are doing now. They (meaning the leaders of these countries) do not disobey massa and survive very long after wards (either politically or in the flesh).
The israeloamerican/israeloeu establishment is a gigantic, worldwide protection racket. Libya was given a choice a few years back. Accept the conditions ziofascism, inc. imposes, and pay up, or become like Afghanistan or Iraq. Qaddafi paid up. This is why one finds “libyan money” spread throughout the assets of ziofascism, inc. (such as sarko the sayan’s campaign coffers). Now the protection racket has decided that payments are not enough, they want to be “part of the action”. In other words, ziofascism, inc. wants a controlling ownership now. When looking at how ziofascists operate, one need just look how “the mafia” operates. It’s basically the same business model. In fact, “the Jewish mafia”, which controls organised crime worldwide now, has always been closely intertwined with the rest of the oligarchy.
Agree with your analogy of Spanish Civil War. I wrote similar things on an earlier article a week or 2 ago. Then reading the other comments to the article noticed somebody else also made the same analogy (can’t remember the poster’s name, it may have been you).
accusing the Libyan people of being stooges and traitors, laughing at them because they can’t defeat Qaddafi’s special forces, imagining that they are a minority when they are the vast majority – all of this is ignorant and infantile. It’s offensive. I’ve just come back from Cairo – a far more pleasant environment, where everybody is on the side of the Libyan revolution.
I completely agree Robin, and I am very happy to hear that more Arabs feel the same way I do. I feel like I am watching an online schizophrenic mafia that can’t decide whether the Libyan opposition are al Qaida operatives or American stooges and to be honest I am sick and tired of it! This post and select comments are giving me hope that there is humanity afterall!
Which is why there were strong demonstrations against Ban Ki-moon when he visited Cairo on the occasion of the adoption of UNSC Resolution 1973, and also al-Ahram is one of the few media which regularly publishes critical accounts on this intervention…
My goodness, Hayate, you really manage to put the ‘infantile’ in ‘infantile leftist’. I don’t disagree with many of the points you raise, but you really have a knack of coming across as someone who needs to climb down off of their own rhetorical highs.
I mean, I’m very glad that you have definitively ascertained that there is no popular movement against Gadaffi. That Gadaffi – a dictator who has built a power clique around his family and had no qualms getting in bed with Western oil interests over the past decade – is now the victim of a imperialist-zionist plot in which the Libyan people play no role apart from what their puppet master Western-Israeli overlords make for them. I love the way you speak with absolute certainty, in superbly black-and-white terms against what is obviously a complex and evolving situation. I admire the way to dissolve any moral ambiguities, all shades of grey turn into black and white. After all, it’s not your life at stake, so it’s nice to be able to be so certain about your moral righteousness.
My point? Is there really no room left in this debate to suggest that what is occurring in Libya is at the crossroads of a dictator’s struggle to maintain power, the attempt of certain popular forces within Libya to challenge that, and imperialist ambitions to shape events to serve geo-political strategies? Because if so, then perhaps it is useful to start thinking in more than black and white terms. Regretfully, that would mean that some posters won’t quite be able to take the sickening moral highground they currently feel belongs to them. Maybe they should grow up.
If the Egyptians do care their brothers and sisters in Libya, they would advice not to relay on foreign military aid. Otherwise it would not be a genuine revolution.
Precisely, hagle, this is this point! Markus is right about the shades, and I buy his argument that shady lines intertwine and criss cross. In fact, as I said earlier, and you can check on a message I sent here in February, I was sympathetic with the rebels at the begining, i.e., when they looked like real protesters demanding freedom and democracy, and refused foreign intervention. Short afterward, things became muddier, as complex matters happen indeed in history.
We began to make acquaintance with the leaders of such a revolution, or at least those who had taken over, and whose names were known. Bar a couple of dignified exceptions, murky people began to pop up, and who had little to do with brave young protesters in Tunisia and Egypt.
Former Gaddafi’s ministers and generals, al-Qaida veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq, and finally long-time residents in the US, former turn-coats… We also began to learn about defectors in Paris plotting a coup already in October/November, and the Qatari spin to launch a global media campaign and get the UN and AL on board (not so the AU), although now we know the Arab League held the discussion on a Resolution in a restrictive group under the leadership of the great democracy Saudi Arabia, who was preparing its invasion of Bahrein.
And last but not least we were taken by surprise by the amazing response of the Libyan government and the counteroffensive, which made Sarkozy, Cameron, and Obama (also champions of human rights in the Ivory Coast, Iraq, Afpak, and so and so forth) extremely nervous…
Now I have come to my own conclusions, and I have a lot of documentation, not only from the corporate media, and disgruntled people from the regime or the monarchy. Get it over: in Libya there was a plot for a coup d’etat especially between France and the UK, on the one hand, and some Libyan politicians and generals on the other hand. It had to be accelerated in order to catch the train of the Arab Spring (this explains that their militias weren’t ready). And now we have a patriotic force made up of the tribes and the revolutionary behind Gaddafi fighting for the national sovereign and to keep their riches for the Libyan people and not the Oil Majors and foreign patrons and braving the barbaric attack they are under, and on the other side a bunch of sold outs, stooges, renegades and Islamists (who are obvious ly seeking their own agenda, as they did in Afghanistan)allied to an unscrupulous imperialism which doesn’t give a damn for lives, but is bombarding the world opinion with a treacherous huge campaign of lies and manipulation.
I sent already a lot of links about all this. I also presented the case of the Ivory Coast, where the French interventionists have supported someone who has committe verifiable atrocities, whereas in Libya all we have is rumour, even though the patriotic forces took and lost towns, nobody produced evidence of massacres, a big lie!
And here comes Marcus with his highly selective two cents:) If anybody needs to climb down off the intemperate rhetoric, my candidate would be Mr Yassin-Kassab, who insists without providing evidence that the “rebels” equal “the Libyan people” and that the side that appears to be winning the conflict without the support of ZioImperialist military assets must be an insignificant minority, and then insists on contemptuosly insulting anyone who disagrees with his dubious proposition.
BTW, I found particularly felicitous the phrase comparing Libyan oil to “the icing on the cake” of the main Zionist motivation behind this colonialist aggression.
I would however caution those of my allies in this dispute against assuming that because Idrees appears to have taken a mistaken position that he is lacking in integrity; when Comments containing such accusations appear, the authors wind up looking foolish. Which does nothing to advance the argument.
Even though I totally disagree with Idrees’ and also Jeff’s take on this matter, I won’t forget how much they have contributed to the struggle against zionist ideological hegemony. Maybe if I just mention the beef about Steven Zunes guru Chompsky’s anti-BDS position which swirled on this site for weeks?
In my opinion Idrees is performing a service by publishing articles like the one above, and providing us a space to dissect them and expose their basic fallaciousness; and since Mr Y-K is a co-editor, he is helping as well:)
Marcus is just running a typical zionist troll wind-up routine. The first sentence announced the whole purpose of the post. None of it relates to my views and it was intended as a slander, nothing more. I’ve been seeing the same crap for 10+ years on the web from these hasbarats, the formulas they use are tired and old.
My own view of what is going on in Libya is similar to yours and those of Enrique Ferro. That legit protests, and desires of the people were quickly hijacked by ziofascist/fascist agents and the “rebel” movement there then became a tool being used by israeloamerica/israeloeu to destabilise so they can gain control of the country. The legit protesters have been supplemented by the mercenary element and have zero say or influence now in the “rebel areas” in Libya. Should these “rebels” gain control of Libya, the original, legit protesters will have about as much power as protesters in the usa protesting the Iraq war did. IE: zero. In fact, they will be much worse off, since the quislings the israeloamericans/israeloeu will put in power in Libya will undoubtedly round up any of the original legit dissenters and either death squad them, disappear them or imprison them. That is how their quislings ALWAYS operate. The people are used by ziofascism, inc., and then left rotting by the roadside when they are not needed any more.
The guilt-by-association logic becomes very tiresome after a while, and discredits those who are trying to convince others that they have some sort of an argument.
I would be curious to hear what those who categorically oppose any kind of intervention, or who doubt the authenticity of the uprising in Libya, would think if there were military intervention openly proposed from another Arab state, such as Egypt (whose army is corrupt to the core as well, and is at this moment attacking and jailing protesters). Do they oppose intervention only when it is on the part of Western traditional and present imperial powers, or more generally when it is on the part of ANY other sovereign state?
If it is the second, then they seem to be religiously abiding by the state boundaries, as they were originally rather arbitrarily drawn by the British and French in the region (except for Egypt and Syria, maybe?)- why respect such boundaries, and would it still be considered “intervention” if it were on the part of factions INSIDE the sovereign state of Libya? Would it still be an “authentic” uprising for our skeptics if violence was initiated against Gadhafi by Libyans alone, without the help of foreigners, non-violence no longer being an option? Is it the rebels’ resort to violence which poses a problem?
Said differently, is it the trespassing of state boundaries of a sovereign state that is of paramount importance here, or is it more the meddling by moneyed factions more generally – elite, Western-connected Libyans inside Libya, along with the imperial powers to influence the outcome? Are we to divide the various factions by nation-states, or by class structure?
Whatever happens here, there has been much trumpeting in the press here of the CIA operatives (for whom, if things go as planned, it will be a miracle…) and various British SF, as if the uprising could ONLY be characterized in that way once they had come in to contaminate it, and whatever else has happened can be forgotten, as the fact that there are Western elite forces there somehow becomes the only salient detail worth of note for our deep thinkers, the rest becoming irrelevant. Do they really think that Libya is the only state in which there are CIA operatives and special forces, all called in specifically for this mission alone, and that there are no contingency plans for other countries waiting for events to take place? What do they think of the war already in Pakistan? (and please don’t post the al-Qaeda Sinjar records and the cables, which we’ve all read)
There is one thing that comforts me at least, and that is that there seems to be so much confusion as to who is doing what, and incompetence on the part of the State Dept, Pentagon, NATO (and Downing Street and Elysées) that it really does seem impossible to believe they are somehow orchestrating this.
That being said, whatever one thinks of the uprising, there IS a case to be made for a total, categorical refusal of US and European intervention in any form in any country – in the sense that historically the record is terrible and brutal, and the precedent means one can reasonably predict that it will finish in much the same way if it continues. So, despite the possibility that there may be benefits to be derived from it in the short term for the rebels, it is a tenable position to simply refuse to even consider it, arguing that in the long run, and more generally, too much can go wrong (there are reports of depleted Uranium being used) and it would be ultimately preferable for Libyans for the others to stay out, as once they have their foot in the door, they just don’t seem to ever want to leave (Iraq, Afghanistan). Think of the law of unintended consequences :
Just how bad is gadaffi: according to Blankfort and the MSM, he’s a fire breathing monster. But then what do we make of this :
On February 16, 2009, Gaddafi took a step further and called on Libyans to back his proposal to dismantle the government and to distribute the oil wealth directly to the 5 million inhabitants of the country.
However, his plan to deliver oil revenues directly to the Libyan people met opposition by senior officials who could lose their jobs due to a parallel plan by Gaddafi to rid the state of corruption.
Some officials, including Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi, Ali Al-Mahmoudi and Farhat Omar Bin Guida, of the Central Bank, told Gaddafi that the measure could harm the country’s economy in the long term due to “capital flight.”
“Do not be afraid to directly redistribute the oil money and create fairer governance structures that respond to people’s interests,” Gaddafi said in a Popular Committee.
The Popular Committees are the backbone of Libya. Through them citizens are represented at the district level.
“The Administration has failed and the state’s economy has failed. Enough is enough. The solution is for the Libyan people to directly receive oil revenues and decide what to do with them,” Gaddafi said in a speech broadcast on state television. To this end, the Libyan leader urged a radical reform of government bureaucracy.
Despite this, senior Libyan government officials voted to delay Gaddafi’s plans. Only 64 ministers from a total of 468 Popular Committee members voted for the measure. There were 251 who saw the measures as positive, but chose to delay their implementation.
Given the rejection of the Committee, Gaddafi affirmed before a public meeting: “My dream during all these years was to give the power and wealth directly to the people.”
So…another big LIE falls by the wayside, the false image of Ghaddafi the dictator who robs from his people.
The rebel alliance call in US/NATO to bomb their enemies tanks. When they refuse to bomb libyan cities where the fighting is (collateal damage makes for bad press) , the ‘rebels’ were enraged…
‘If NATO is angry, that motley crew known as the “rebels” is even angrier – accusing NATO of being incapable of carpet-bombing their own cities. This proves that the “rebels” themselves – who are practically begging for the West to do the dirty work – also don’t give a damn about “collateral damage” among their own. One thing is certain; if NATO did what the “rebels” wanted it to do, collateral damage would be horrific. And European public opinion would pull the plug on this “kinetic” regime change action.
Do Blankfort and Juan Cole and their fellow travellers really endorse carpet bombing cities? Does their irrational hatred for a man theyve never met extend that far?
so were they ever peaceful protestors?
ldrees:’No, they must be Al Qaeda, or CIA agents, or both — as figures such as Alexander Cockburn, Edward Herman and John Pilger have imperiously declared (relying on a report by West Point’s Counter Terrorism Center no less–never mind that it is a dubious outfit run by neoconservative terrorologists). What better way to divest yourself of moral dilemmas? Blame the victims!’
who exactly is ldrees? never heard of him. But its ironic to see him attacking Hermann etc when its he and his ilk who are backing the empire in its democract incarnation!
the moral dilemma he seems unaware of is SHOULD the left back a NATO/US war on a quasi socalist state to aid a mix of CIAbacked NFSL, jihadis looking to establish an islamic state, racists, free marketeers….
you really cant make this stuff up!
whos relying on th US military! LOLOL USing a west point report turns into support for the Pentagon? Its this dishonest charade that makes ldrees and Blankfort the real acme of folly
Gadaffi has been a victim of demonisation. Here his alleged atrocities bite the libyan dust:
‘He also quotes Alan Kuperman, an associate professor at the University of Texas’ Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, as having said,
Qadhafi did not massacre civilians in any of the other big cities he captured — Zawiya, Misrata, Ajdabiya — which together have a population equal to Benghazi. Yes, civilians were killed in a typical, ham-handed, Third World counterinsurgency. But civilians were not targeted for massacre as in Rwanda, Darfur, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bosnia, or even Kosovo after NATO intervention.
Chapman also wrote,
I emailed the White House press office several times asking for concrete evidence of the danger, based on any information the administration may have. But a spokesman declined to comment.
That’s a surprising omission, given that a looming holocaust was the centerpiece of the president’s case for war. Absent specific, reliable evidence, we have to wonder if the president succumbed to unwarranted panic over fictitious dangers.
(stephen Walts essay:Is america addicted to war? is cited)
Greg Elich (author of Strane Liberators)..how fitting!
‘Once again, the system of international war crimes justice is seen to serve a political purpose. Indictments against Libyan officials are already promised. There is not a single government on earth that would fail to respond with force to an armed uprising, and it is ludicrous to demand that Libya be the exception. What is taking place in Libya is a civil war, where the West has intervened in that state’s internal affairs on behalf of one of the parties in the conflict. Only those on one side of this civil war are to be charged with crimes. More importantly, NATO and its members states, as they rain down bombs and cruise missiles on Libya, are immune from prosecution.
Excellent work, Brian. BTW, Idrees is a co-editor, my guess is the main co-editor of this site, and like Jeff Blankfort, he has a trackrecord of Antizionism. I think his stance on Libya is horribly wrongheaded, but his sincerity is not open to question. IMO we should keep trying to bring him around.
Jeff is a bigger challenge since he seems to buy into quite a bit of Victor Navasky-style Solshenytzenism. What a shame.
“a mix of CIAbacked NFSL, jihadis looking to establish an islamic state, racists, free marketeers….
you really cant make this stuff up!”
No, you can’t. The only thing that outdoes your racism is your ignorance.
Please, Robin, respect!
Anyway, will you please check:
Ali Tarhouni –
General Abdel Fattah Younes al Abidi