A few random thoughts on Libya…

…for whatever it’s worth:

1. I am most emphatically NOT in favor of Moammar Gaddafi. The man is a son of a bitch. And he’s been just about everyone’s son-of-a-bitch at some point, including the CIA’s. I will never be in favor of anyone they ever co-opted.

2. I am most emphatically NOT in favor of a “no-fly zone”, either. It’s a war measure by any other name, and it sure as hell doesn’t smell like a rose, even if the UN okays it. If you think it works worth a shit, I’ll point you toward Kosovo and Iraq (which had not one but two of them between the Gulf Wars). Worked great for them, eh? No flying, no problem–you can still slaughter people just as easily from the ground. And that’s just what’s happening now.

3. I don’t know who are the “freedom fighters” in Libya, or what their real motives are. (And yes, I said “motives”. I’m pretty sure they don’t have just one.) If I don’t know who they are, or what their motives, I don’t know if I can support them, notwithstanding Point #1. “Everyone in Libya except Gaddafi and his loyalists” doesn’t tell me enough about them for me to truly feel confident supporting their uprising. Which I sadly note has NOT been peaceful. Benghazi is no Tahrir Square.

4. I’m all for freedom and democracy. Especially when people in the Middle East and North Africa take courage in hand to obtain those for themselves. I admire the people of Egypt and Tunisia in particular; they’re keeping their good fight up.

5. I am NOT for “freedom” and “democracy” (note the quotation marks) imposed by third parties, at gunpoint, from without. Not even with a UN sanction. Imperialism by any other name still stinks as foul.

6. Chavecito may have taken his anti-imperialist stance a bit too far with the wrong man here (see Point #1), but he’s nevertheless right, in principle–foreign military interference is the same thing no matter what it’s called. And it is uncalled-for in Libya, no matter what “benevolent” official pretext is used. Ironically, Chavecito is the only person who offered to help forge a peaceful way out of this, and he was spurned not only by the rebels, but by all the “benevolent” internationalists are now bombing the shit out of Libya. Coincidence?

7. Also, Chavecito never sold weapons to Libya. Unless you call a replica of Simón Bolívar’s sword–a gift–a weapon. Who did arm the son-of-a-bitch, then? You might be surprised. I am not. Those “benevolent” internationalists are wolves in sheepskins.

8. Saying “But he’s a son-of-a-bitch, so we have the right” is a great, beautifully simplistic justification for imperialism. Hey, it worked with Saddam, right?

9. Unfortunately, even getting the son-of-a-bitch in the end doesn’t make a country free or democratic. Iraq has sham elections and zero freedom. I wouldn’t call it a democracy.

10. The motive for interference in Libya is the same as that in Iraq, ultimately.

11. And it ain’t freedom OR democracy.

12. If it were, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria et al would have had no-fly zones, too.

13. Also, Palestine. What’s left of it, that is.

14. There is no oil under Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, et al.

15. None under Palestine, either.

16. There is, however, plenty of oil under Libya. And Venezuela. And off the coast of Cuba a massive deposit, yet to be developed.

17. Therefore, even liberals agree that it’s okay to declare war on Libya, Venezuela and Cuba–in the name of getting rid of leaders they’ve been well trained by a steady stream of crapaganda to detest.

18. Liberals are sure easily misled, aren’t they? Not as easily as conservatives, mind you, but they are perfectly open to accepting crapaganda as truth if you keep bombarding them with it, and denying them any alternatives, for long enough. They’re remarkably ignorant about the real popularity of the leaders of Venezuela and Cuba; ignorant enough to equate them with Gaddafi. With whom there is no such equivalence.

19. Therefore, don’t look to liberals to be any more genuinely principled on this matter. They are just more dedicated to believing the best of a bad situation because this time, it’s their man leading the corporatist bayonet charge. And they have high hopes for his exceptionalist “leadership”.

20. Barack Obama has not earned that pre-emptive Nobel Peace Prize. I don’t think he ever will. I don’t think he’ll return it, either. Not even in the name of common decency. And yes, I am deeply disappointed in him. But then, I have been for the past two years. He campaigned on hope and change, and so far, in all truth, he hasn’t delivered.

21. He is, however, bidding fair to dethrone Henry Kissinger as the least deserving recipient of said prize. And that’s really saying something.

22. This will not end clearly or well, even if the Pentagon tries to spin it as such. Remember “Mission Accomplished”? This will be a quagmire–one from which Barack Obama will have no choice but to extricate himself ignominiously, if at all. Or else his unlucky successor.

23. This is not a humanitarian mission, even if it was initially couched as such in the media. This is war on Libya–a cowardly, undeclared war. It’s the same shit no matter who’s the asshole.

24. This was Libya’s civil war. Win or lose, only Libyans should have fought it.

25. No matter who “wins” now, Libyans will lose. Foreign imperialists will take charge of the country and its oil. “Freedom” and “democracy” will be sham. Remember Iraq?

26. It doesn’t matter if you like Gaddafi or not. It doesn’t matter if you can bear to keep him in power or not. As it is, your government was probably responsible anyway, for keeping in power and rehabilitating the image of the very man you now want to see gone.

27. Remember Saddam? He, not the Castros or Chávez, is Gaddafi’s real moral equivalent. After all, the west whitewashed him, too…right before it destroyed him.

28. The Libyan rebels may celebrate for a short time, but they will ultimately come up empty. Only Big Oil actually stands to gain amid all this. After all, it’s their crude under Libya’s soil. And on that point, Washington agrees.

29. Look at Iraq. That’s Libya’s real future, as of now. If you support military interference in Libya, that’s what you’re really supporting, no matter how liberal you think you are.

30. And yes, I will say I told you so. But if it’s any comfort, I will not relish being right. No matter what happens, Libyans will lose. And that’s nothing to be happy about.

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16 Responses to A few random thoughts on Libya…

  1. Slave Revolt says:

    I concur. People are so easily led and herded.

    Definitely will not work toward the West’s favor in the short or long-term.

    But rather than accept a stability in which definate democratic gains are enjoyed by the Middle Eastern people on a new level that transcends the Western neo-liberal, puppet/client model, the West and the empire would rather foment generalized and permanent destabilization and low-level terror over the long-term.

    Think Central America in the 1970s and 80s.

    From the swamp here–still don’t like the Space Shuttle–and glad the power/funding to the rocket, firey, dildo has been scaled back. Lol

    Hatred will hate me either way, just like Chavez–give-m the bird.

    Meanwhile, more problems for the empire as it struggles to maintain it’s thug legitimacy.

    Poor kids in the Brazilian fevala chanted For Obama in unison. LOL, doesn’t that make his liberal chump apologists all tingly-wingly?!

    Too fucking shameful to be funny, and scary to contemplate that this mockery is real.

    Time to organize in ways that by-pass the neoliberal death-machine order.

    Create and militate in ways that are twenty chess moves ahead these dip-shits.

    On the move, as Mumia is fond of saying in his comments from prison.

    Thanks Nichole Hanrahan.

    • Sabina Becker says:

      Well, there won’t be any stability now…Libya is going to look an awful lot like Iraq before long. Bombed, defenceless, with different factions shooting at each other, and a growing consensus that as bad as Gaddafi was, this is worse. And of course, the imperialists relying on just this excuse to impose their own “order” will be shrugging their indifferent shoulderpads all the way to the ever-more-bloated bank…

  2. Cort Greene says:

    Good post but on point 6 Qaddafi son was the first to say he did not need President Chavez’s “peace mission” and he never contacted the different rebel groupings.

    All it did was give Qaddafi time and cover to pretend he was for peace.

    Remember the protests first started as peaceful but were attacked by his regime.

    President Chavez needs to complete the revolution in Venezuela and get rid of the corrupt bureaucracy who have sabotaged and delayed socialism, workers control and proletarian internationalism. 10 years is a long time to make half a revolution…

    Rojo Rojito

    Cort

  3. Slave Revolt says:

    Like the US, France, and the UK are for democracy and “peace”?

    This is not to apologize for any of the Lybian state’s flaws—but we need to put on our critical thinking caps people.

    You can see how the state of Zulia within the context of aggression against the constitutional and democratically ratified government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela could play-out with similar dynamics.

    This is how empire rolls, folks.

  4. Corte,

    That is only partially true.

    The sequence of events was that Saif (out in the field playing general) poo-pooed the mediation offer when it was posed to him as a random question by a reporter.

    But immediately after that (may have been a matter of one hour), Gadhafi & the Libyan government commented from Tripoli saying they supported the mediation proposal 100% – no question. Their acceptance of mediation wasn’t a flippant promise to some foreign powers invading their country (like the ceasefire). It was a mans word to a friend. If Gadhafi ever went back on it, he would basically lose ALL international support (and an exile destination).

    Remember the context from that time period. The rebels had over-run just about every major city & were closing in on Tripoli. That explains their dismissive reaction of the proposal & Saif’s disconnect from Libyan command (remember, he’s not the leader).

    But now weeks have passed, and the situation is completely reversed. The rebels are isolated & surrounded.

    If they had accepted the mediation proposal back then, they stood chance of holding far more territory than they currently do…they could have also spared their revolution the indignity of begging NATO for combat assistance.

    Like empires, revolutions are also prone to hubris…if not more-so.

  5. Sabina Becker says:

    Chavecito is a hero for proposing peace talks; the villains here are the “benevolent” western powers who constantly dismiss him as a buffoon and a crackpot, and who think a few “smart” bombs will sort the matter out in their favor. Turns out the joke will be on them when this war grows unwinnable (and too expensive for the ever more limited US tax base to sustain), when the rebels turn on their erstwhile allies, and the people of Libya decide that they’d rather not be ruled by big foreign oil companies, either.

    I’d be tempted to chuckle at this if it didn’t bid fair to make my own life miserable. After all, Canada is in this too, and we sure as hell don’t want to foot the bill for Harpo’s intended stealth bombers. The Libya mission was no doubt crapaganda intended to convince us that we do need those planes…to take care of “tyrants”. Meanwhile, the tyrant on Parliament Hill who is responsible for all this, will never be held accountable, and he’ll do all he can to make sure he and his wealthy cronies never have to pay, either. It will be ordinary Canadian taxpayers who end up paying for this piece of shit war. And we will no doubt be forced to do so at the expense of our needed public services, as usual!

    • Anthony says:

      It looks like Sweden is jumping onboard the war too – our Foreign Minister, who did some business deals with Gadaffi while working at Lundin Oil, says that he’s just waiting for a NATO green light to deploy fighter jets to Libya.

      Then again, he compared the Russians to Nazi Germany after they responded to Tbilisi Tie-Muncher’s shelling of Tshkianvali. He’s just the kind of hawk we need to get rid of Swedish neutrality once and for all. Fuck. -_-

      • Sabina Becker says:

        Fuck is right. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck FUCK.

        Oh well…Mission Creep Accomplished. “Humanitarian aid” to rescue Lundin and BP’s oil from under Libya…incoming!

  6. James says:

    Here in the U.S. the same “Left” wing personalities who (rightfully) decried Bush’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan are falling all over themselves to support this illegal invasion and occupation simply because a Demo, rather than a Repugnant, was responsible for it. One of three things will happen here: 1.)A “Pro Western” democracy will be put in place which will sell out the country to the IMF, World Bank, and the whole Free Trade Privitization Hell on Earth that we in the West are constantly told is Freedom. 2.) A theocracy will be elected prompting a second invasion which results in #1. or 3.)A genuine people’s movement will be democratically elected which will promise to use the nation’s oil wealth to benefit one and all, which will prompt a second invasion as we are told these “Communists” must be stopped from stealing the Libyan people’s freedom from them. See #1 for what this will result in.

    I wish I was wrong, but I’m probably right.

    • Sabina Becker says:

      I think you’re probably right. Like I said, Iraq is what Libya’s gonna look like before long…

      And yeah, just because there’s a D behind his name, doesn’t make what Obama’s doing any more right. He promised hope and change, and an end to wars is the change most of those who voted for him were hoping for. He ought to concern himself more with delivering that, and less with delivering tax money to the war profiteers and oil to BP et al.

  7. Slave Revolt says:

    Good comments. Despite Ghadaffi’s errors and the sclerotic nepotism that has mired Pan-Arab anti-imperialism in a long-term mire, the pretexts for this militarism is gonna backfire on the Western pro-imperialist camp.

    But there are enough opportunists that speak English from Libya to convince a gullible Western Liberal public.

    The folks that will take power in Libya will be seen as stooges for Western capitalism, and there will not be long-term stability in the country.

    This adventure will not play-out well. Pretty much like Iraq and Afghanistan.

    As always the lower social strata a will suffer, the Western educated upper middle class and wealthy sectors will install a quasi-dictatorship as a client of Western capitalism.

    The US and Europe will try to develop Libya as a sort of model of successful capitalist democracy–but it will adhere to the classic neoliberal model, it’s part of the DNA of imperial core beliefs.

    This is a way to put a check on more socialist, Pan-Arab and progressive Shiite movements.

    None of this is written in the cards or in stone, but one can extrapolate the game-plan from the operative beliefs and dynamics.

  8. Some fair comments, Sabina. But I have to wonder at this one:

    ”And yes, I am deeply disappointed in him [Obama]. But then, I have been for the past two years. He campaigned on hope and change, and so far, in all truth, he hasn’t delivered.”

    Why did you ever think he would?

    • Sabina Becker says:

      LOL…fair enough. I shoulda known that US politicians are just as duplicitous and capable of going back on their promises as our Canadian ones are. Even the ones with a D after their names. The only one I’ve seen who hasn’t been like that is Dennis Kucinich, whom the whore media go out of their way to marginalize. And Bernie Sanders, who doesn’t count because he’s an “independent”.

  9. Cort Greene says:

    The revolution in Libya is a a continuation of what has been taking place in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Morocco.

    Remember it was the Libyan leader who condemned the uprising in neighbouring Tunisia amid reports on January 15th of unrest on the streets of Libya.Also he has blamed the recent unrest on Al Queda.

    In a speech on Jan.15th Qaddafi, an ally of the ousted president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, said he was “pained” by the fall of the Tunisian government. He claimed protesters had been led astray by WikiLeaks disclosures detailing the corruption in Ben Ali’s family and his repressive regime and said they were written by “ambassadors in order to create chaos”.

    I am against intervention but also against Qadaffi regime that has worked with the CIA since 1999 and was a rendition point for torture for the CIA , he bought weapons from the West and had business dealing with them, kicked out 30,000 Palestinians, received funding and training from US IMET, welcomed US naval vessels, danced all over the US General from AFRICOM when he met the great leader Qaddafi twice and received funding from AFRICOM also and killed his own people.

    Its just a falling out among thieves, the imperialists and him.

    Where were the anti imperialist voices then???

    Revolutions may not always go the way we want them because of the subjective facor( leadership but the Libyan revolution must be looked at in a broader view.

    Rojo Rojito
    Cort

  10. Slave Revolt says:

    Cort, you are correct to point to quadaffi’s condemnation of the Tuniaian democrats. This pointed to the sclerotic nature of the man’s decades long rule, and the incestuous nepotism that has shaped the Lybian government and the general tendency of the country.

    Gaddaffi squandered his anti-imperialist pan-Arab and Africanist cred, big time.

    However, the Western forces backing the attack are jackels. Would have been more propitious for the authentic democratic forces to take the thug out by genuine domestic opposition, more organic.

    What results from this will be massive civilian death and generalized suffering.

    Already we have “progressives” placing Chavez and Venezuela within this type of descriptive dynamic. Not a positive portent, to be sure.

    This will backfire on the West, one can only hope.

    The hypocrisy is simply too blatant.

    Let the West expend it’s wealth trying to put out the fires their bombing has started.

    They are a power amalgam on the decline–the most dangerous and destructive kind of mafia.

    The Sunni dominance status quo is shitting their undergarments, as they should.

    This is turning into a sectarian showdown, and the West is fueling and quickening the conflict.

    The denouement will weaken the West and capitalist imperialism.

  11. Jim Hadstate says:

    Good post, ‘Bina, and dead spot, bullseye on. But…you knew that was coming didn’t you? I kinda resent, no Goddamn it, I REALLY resent being lumped in with all those weak-kneed, lily-livered, spineless jellyfish who don’t have the balls to stand up and speak truth to power. I am a liberal. I never, ever have kow-towed to the spineless attempt to hide behind words. I am not a “progressive”, or whatever label du jour that these people who should be liberals hid behind. Fuck that! I am what I am and I am too damn old too change. These wimp “progressives” who won’t speak truth to power need to have a spine transplant and say what you and I have been saying: Obama is an imperialist sell-out who will do whatever his corporate leash-holders tell him to do. He has no moral compass and he never had nor ever will. The has been co=opted by the military industrial complex and every other entity that can flash money under his nose and to Hell with what he told people he was going to do during the election. Wow. That was sure a rant. I’m glad I got that off my chest! Now I will have to pause to catch my breath. You know how us old codgers are.
    I agree that Qaddafi has to go. He is as abusive, perhaps more abusive than Saddam Hussein was. but that is for the people in Libya to decide. Some of them have, but as you said, they need to more clearly define WHY they want him out.
    If we really had anything other than imperialist intentions, and Qaddafi was so bad that he HAD to go, by hook or by crook, we could always send in an assassination team and he and his sons would be dead in a matter of minutes. And his frickin’ generals who were part and parcel to the extermination of fellow countrymen. But it’s about imperialism and adding another client state to the US-Western European axis.
    Or they could arm the ‘rebels’ if it was determined that they weren’t as bad as Qaddafi or worse. After all, the US-Western European axis armed Qaddafi in the first place. But, it’s not about regime change. It’s about oil.
    I do so seriously hope that someone has explained to the Haitians that they need to arm themselves to the teeth when they get a leader who is not a puppet of the US. With the oil reserves they and Cuba have, they will have credit in good standing with the Russians who would dearly LOVE to slap Obama in the face. I hope Hugo, Evo and that new socialist President in Brazil (I haven’t memorized her name yet) are also listening. They don’t need a few fighters. They need an advanced command and control structure (CCS), an AWACS system as part of that CCS, long range bombers, a credible nuke threat (not the overblown, fraud-filled, quadrupled systems that never worked i the first place that we have that have ceased to be a credible threat to anyone looking who knows what they are looking at), and their own delivery system. Especially Brazil. With the ocean of oil in reserves that are floating off-shore, you can bet the imperialists would like nothing better than to conjure some excuse to invade.
    You won’t be able to tell me “I told you so.” I already agree with you. We and many other like minded liberal socialists do too.We can HOPE that there is a more positive CHANGE in the White House in 2012.
    And BTW, the reason that you got me going on this rant is that the Buffalo Springfield is one of my favorite groups and that song is one of my favorites that they performed.

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