Protests in Libya

Submitted by Khawaga on February 17, 2011

Things are really heating up in Libya.
Here's just from one Twitter feed. Sorry for the crappy formatting.

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
and this is what has happened for the past two days (going out evening) but I hear the numbers are increasing #Libya #Feb17
3 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
and some of the airforce in the skies, we in libya go out late afternoon and sunset, so this is when protesters are coming out..
3 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
but god help us, it was limited to central benghazi but now its spreading all over, mainly through deprived areas, there is helicopters ...
4 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
they are doing their best to kill our spirits and the motivation, we know we can not stop, coz if he remains we are first in the black list
5 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
arrest us one by one when we turn away, they beat you first so you are unconscious, then take them to tripoli and elsewhere #Libya #Feb17
6 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
they caught a lot of us who appeared on videos from the night before, there are ppl undercover between us hiding in between cars and..
8 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
contact: I spoke to my friend in central Benghazi, he said so many were arrested, and trapped in the corners of central Benghazi cont
9 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
shocking account from a resident in #Benghazi we just spoke to #Libya #Feb17 #gaddafi crimes: as follows..
10 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
contacts in benghazi: 'we need to write accounts urgently' to @AJArabic watch your site, you will receive accounts shortly #Libya #Feb17
17 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
@
@EEE_Libya Try to protest through the streets chanting for #Tripoli to come out #Libya #Feb17
19 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
confirmed: 400 in the streets of #Tripoli, come on guys let it snowball #Libya #Feb17
20 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
@
@almanaralibya I have emails for BBC and Jazeera, they need videos and pictures asap, please tell the ppl uploading #Libya #Feb17
21 minutes ago
»

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
the last we have from Ajdabiya is 4 ppl killed by sniper fire, we need info from there asap #Libya #Feb17 #Libya is at war with its regime
24 minutes ago

http://twitter.com/#!/ShababLibya

Submitted by Devrim on March 8, 2011

I seem to have stirred up a bit of a hornets nest here. I will try to reply to each point in separate posts as there are a lot:

Mark.

Devrim - I'll stand corrected then. Still I wonder if the relationships between the unions and the state in Egypt and Libya were really equivalent.

They were state controlled unions. There may have been certain differences, but I would imagine they were pretty fundamentally the same.

MT

But Devrim, the Egyptian ones tried to disconnect themselves with the structure and when the chance emerged, they organized independent federation(s) - although with not very different politics I would say, but I see a difference here.

I would say that one of the reasons that they tried to disconnect themselves might quite probably be to remain relevant during a period of class struggle when workers were striking and the regime was shaky. Perhaps the fact that seems to be virtually no class struggle during these events in Libya is a reasons why it hasn't happened there.

Devrim

Khawaga

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on March 8, 2011

By the way, the organization of an independent Egyptian labour federation has been in the works for years; it is not a new development. What is new is that it was finally formed (or could go ahead full speed) during the uprising.

Submitted by Devrim on March 8, 2011

Yorkie Bar

So just to be clear we're now going to stop posting updates about the situation or discussing its trajectory in any concrete way, we're just going to argue back and forth as to whether any of it 'counts' as class struggle in the bizarre otherworld of the ultra-left?

I am sorry if you feel it has taken the thread of topic. I think it is important though to try to understand what is going on.

Personally I find the whole thing of constant live updates difficult to follow. I am not saying that it has no function, but to me it is like you are getting lost in a sea of information. The newspapers are doing the same thing, and I tried to find out what was happening in Wisconsin the other day, and I had to wade through masses of information including details of where to buy 'solidarity pizzas' just to find out who was actually on strike.

It is not about what 'counts' as class struggle, but about understanding what is going on. In my opinion it is important though maybe I should have started a new thread, and the admins should split it if they feel it needs it.

Devrim

Submitted by Devrim on March 8, 2011

squaler

Devrim

...from the word go, this movement has come across as Islamicist and tribalist.

I'd be interested in knowing why it came across that way to you?

Many things from the initial protests being over the arrest of the lawyer of an islamicist group to tribal leaders being prominent from day one. The Arabic media has played more on this than the English.

Devrim

Submitted by Devrim on March 8, 2011

rooieravotr

Then, even if there is now bourgois domination of the revolt, I think thast it is not in a tribalist or Islamist fashion. The dominant symbol is the pre-Kadhafi flag. That is a symbol of the Libyan state, a monarchy, but more important: a national state (a state with national ambitions). It is not a flag tribalist forces would be very comfortable with,

Why not? I imagine a monarchy would be their preferred system

rooieravot

I would think. And it would certainly not be the flag that Islamist forces would use. None of the reports from Benghazi mentions much Islamist presence.

Islamicism is very flexible. One of its manifestations in this country is the 'national Islamic synthesis', another is the Islamicism of the governing party. Not all Islamicists are al-Quida jihadists.

Devrim

baboon

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 8, 2011

I don't think that Devrim has provided any evidence whatsoever that events in Libya were tribalist and Islamist from day one and nor was it an inter-bourgeois faction fight from the off. On the contrary, it seemed very clear that the question of repression, unemployment and misery was at the core of the outbursts and the uprising was part of the contagion of revolt spreading throughout. There was a particular responsibility on the working class to reinforce the already existing local health and security committees and coordinate self-defence and go beyond these, but circumstances haven't been favourable to it. Now any self-defence, any coordination is likely to be subservient to the government in waiting. But to write off this struggle as nothing from the beginning seems very blinkered to me and while Gaddafi has been lampooned as a fool, he seems to have played a very clever hand, not least backed up by his western provided hardware and training. I agree with roo and Alf above about the present prognosis.

I think that the updates on this and other threads on the revolts have been very useful and there's no reason that discussion can't take place around them.

Libya is a predominately muslim country - that's the religion that's more or less followed by the majority including workers. Young people, not necessarily devout, often use terms like Alluah Akbar, inshallah and so on. Many working class women wear the hijab. As we saw elsewhere none of this excludes them from joining a revolt against the state of things or the class struggle.

Televised executions have been part of the Libyan state's repressive weapons for decades.

Submitted by Devrim on March 8, 2011

baboon

I don't think that Devrim has provided any evidence whatsoever that events in Libya were tribalist and Islamist from day one and nor was it an inter-bourgeois faction fight from the off.

No, I haven't. I have just said what my general impression is overall from the total of things I have read, watched, and listened to about the events. What I do say is evidence of class struggle seems absent.

baboon

But to write off this struggle as nothing from the beginning seems very blinkered to me and while Gaddafi has been lampooned as a fool, he seems to have played a very clever hand, not least backed up by his western provided hardware and training. I agree with roo and Alf above about the present prognosis.

What you seem to be suggesting is that a couple of weeks ago there was a strong class movement, and now it has virtually disappeared into a civil war. If it were that strong how could it have dissipated that quickly?

baboon

Libya is a predominately muslim country - that's the religion that's more or less followed by the majority including workers. Young people, not necessarily devout, often use terms like Alluah Akbar, inshallah and so on. Many working class women wear the hijab. As we saw elsewhere none of this excludes them from joining a revolt against the state of things or the class struggle..

No, they don't. It is a specifically religious term. The other one that you mention 'inşallah' isn't, and is used casually to mean 'I hope so'. People don't, however, casually shout 'Alluh Akbar' in conversation.

Of course, it couldn't be Islamicists shouting it as you have already told us they have no influence whatsoever.

Devrim

Submitted by Jazzhands on March 8, 2011

No, they don't. It is a specifically religious term. The other one that you mention 'inşallah' isn't, and is used casually to mean 'I hope so'. People don't, however, casually shout 'Alluh Akbar' in conversation.

It's basically the Muslim equivalent of John 3:16. Pretty much every devout Christian in America has this plastered on his webpage, car or house. It's one of those "Jesus Loves You" lines. Doesn't mean said person is one of those assholes who bombs abortion clinics. Just means he's a devout Christian who probably eats squirrel. Likewise, "Allahu Akbar" doesn't mean he's an Islamist. Just a Muslim who needs a generic sticker to put on his car or protest sign and was too lazy to come up with anything particularly imaginative.

Submitted by Devrim on March 8, 2011

Jazzhands

It's basically the Muslim equivalent of John 3:16. Pretty much every devout Christian in America has this plastered on his webpage, car or house. It's one of those "Jesus Loves You" lines. Doesn't mean said person is one of those assholes who bombs abortion clinics. Just means he's a devout Christian who probably eats squirrel. Likewise, "Allahu Akbar" doesn't mean he's an Islamist. Just a Muslim who needs a generic sticker to put on his car or protest sign and was too lazy to come up with anything particularly imaginative.

Funnily enough I have never seen any car with a sticker saying Alluh Akbar.

Devrim

Submitted by Devrim on March 8, 2011

Jazzhands

It's basically the Muslim equivalent of John 3:16. Pretty much every devout Christian in America has this plastered on his webpage, car or house. It's one of those "Jesus Loves You" lines. Doesn't mean said person is one of those assholes who bombs abortion clinics. Just means he's a devout Christian who probably eats squirrel. Likewise, "Allahu Akbar" doesn't mean he's an Islamist. Just a Muslim who needs a generic sticker to put on his car or protest sign and was too lazy to come up with anything particularly imaginative.

Funnily enough I have never seen any car with a sticker saying Alluh Akbar. Nor have I ever heard it shouted on a worker's or leftist demonstration in Turkey, Syria, or Lebanon, let alone on a placard.

Devrim[/quote]

Boris Badenov

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Boris Badenov on March 8, 2011

I think it's a futile endeavor to criticize the current events in Libya and other Middle Eastern countries against an ideal "workers' movement." This is not because there are no workers' movements anymore, or because the language of socialist/leftist ideas is dead, or any of that. But it seems to me pretty obvious that in Libya, there is basically no tradition whatsoever of a self-asserting working class culture. This makes it equally obvious that any revolt will appropriate the language and symbols of the traditional pre-Gadafi culture, hence the monarchist flag, the religious slogans and so forth.
Marx

The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language.

It's also debatable what actual percentage of the opposition groups are working class per se. The revolt includes soldiers, deserting officers, oil refinery workers, nomadic peoples, etc. How can this movement possibly reflect a homogeneous "workers' rights" type rhetoric? It clearly cannot. But does that mean the workers involved in the protests have no consciousness whatsoever of their role in the economy (Gadafi-controlled or not)? Personally I don't see any evidence either for or against right now. There certainly isn't a convincing case to be made for the notion that they are islamist-inspired and tribal-oriented.

Also, Devrim, since you graced some of the other posters with replies, I'm hoping you'll do me the same favor, and answer this question:

What is a proper, unadulterated working-class struggle in your opinion? What criteria must it meet to be truly revolutionary?

I ask because you and other "sceptics" on this thread seem to have a pretty clear mental picture of what a real working class revolution is all about. But where are the actual examples?

I also think it's important to divorce the self-appointed "professional" leaders of the opposition movement from the rank-and-file. It would be silly to imply that all anti-Gadafi forces are "neoliberals in the making" because one opposition leader has a degree in marketing (or something to that effect).

rooieravotr

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on March 9, 2011

Here, some info on Islamist influence in the revolt - from the beginning. Seems to at least partially confirm what Devrim is arguing, 2 b honest: Zero hour in Benghazi

Submitted by Jazzhands on March 9, 2011

Devrim

Jazzhands

Funnily enough I have never seen any car with a sticker saying Alluh Akbar. Nor have I ever heard it shouted on a worker's or leftist demonstration in Turkey, Syria, or Lebanon, let alone on a placard.

Two things:

1. These "Workers' or leftist demonstrations" couldn't possibly exist in reality, at least not in Libya, a country with no history whatsoever of anything other than feudalism before Gaddafi. They're idealized concepts you're trying to compare Libya to. Do you honestly think all revolutions turn out exactly the way you want them to? Reality is not supposed to bend to theory. Theory is supposed to bend to reality.

The reality we face is that Libya has no history of leftist politics whatsoever. Libya has no leftist presence. I don't think there's anyone right now that's claiming the Libya situation is an actual workers' revolution. The most we can say is that there's a seed that's been planted. It might grow if we work at it, but so far we don't have much to work with here.

2. You do realize you're complaining about Muslims...in the middle of the Muslim world? And if there really are a bunch of Islamists gaining influence in the protests, what we need to do is take the protests from them, replace them as a possible source of leadership. Not just disengage and sit on our asses complaining about how it's not "workers" enough.

Submitted by Devrim on March 9, 2011

Jazzhands

These "Workers' or leftist demonstrations" couldn't possibly exist in reality,

I am not sure what you are saying here. Are you saying that the countries that I mentioned don't have workers or leftist demonstrations. They do. At last years, Istanbul Mayday march for example there were over a million people. I'd imagine that is a few more than in the country you live in. In Libya of course they occur less, but I have seen them.

Jazzhands

at least not in Libya, a country with no history whatsoever of anything other than feudalism before Gaddafi.

or are you saying that they couldn't exist in Libya. Yes, I would imagine they have been few and far between. That wasn't my point though. My point was that people do not casually shout 'Alluh Akbar' on workers' demonstrations in Muslim countries, to which I gave the example of the three countries where I have seen them.

Jazzhands

You do realize you're complaining about Muslims...in the middle of the Muslim world?

No, I am not complaining about Muslims. I am merely saying that people who shout 'Alluh Akbar' on demonstrations might just be influenced by Islamicists.

Jazzhands

And if there really are a bunch of Islamists gaining influence in the protests, what we need to do is take the protests from them, replace them as a possible source of leadership. Not just disengage and sit on our asses complaining about how it's not "workers" enough.

And you have a plan for how to do this from America.

Devrim

Submitted by Intifada1988 on March 9, 2011

Please stop arguing about Arabic colloquialisms its stupid...but for the record I was raised a Muslim, grew up in the States and have never heard Allahu Akbar outside religious discussion.

Some good things happening here though, I like to see theoretical contradictions getting banged out

I'd like to just personally add something as well. You have to remember that society is a network comprised of groups of individuals with common interests. So with all this debate about who's the Islamicist and whether or not there is genuine struggle taking place...forget about that and look at it another way.

If you first understand the daily life of a Libyan worker, and/or even better the condition of the worker as well as the elite, then maybe you can begin to ponder on the question of revolutionary class activity. For now we have to chill out and see what materializes on the ground over the next couple of weeks but I feel some points of agreement have been established between us. I.e. noticing the flags and rhetoric of a pre-Ghaddafi Libya (reminding me personally of the Shah's son coming out every time something happens in Iran), and in talking about the nature of Libyan society class-wise.

Also, hopefully we can agree that whereas in Egypt (where there is a established Bourgeoisie whose interest probably went against Mubarak's and that is probably the main reason combined with US influence we saw him leave as he did)-- in Libya things aren't as clear. Honestly, it was great seeing all those Egyptian people demonstrating so hard for so long, as they were the catalyst for these events (along with Tunisia)...however they should not consider themselves the power behind the removal and should continue the call for equality and freedom that we've seen being cried genuinely from hundreds of thousands, even millions of Egyptian poor people and workers. Even if it's not a socialist cry yet, as long as people are genuine in their search for a non-oppressive form of government they will begin to form critical views about capitalism.

We should all however stand against the government ("regime") bombing/killing people (wtf), although I'm not suprised to see this. Reminds me of the film Children of Men.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 9, 2011

Related to the buildup for Western military intervention, Bob Fisk has a good piece (from Monday) about the US attempt to get the Saudis to supply Benghazi with arms.

America's secret plan to arm Libya's rebels

and an interesting point at the end of that (albeit not directly related to Libya)

[...]But Saudi Arabia is already facing dangers from a co-ordinated day of protest by its own Shia Muslim citizens who, emboldened by the Shia uprising in the neighbouring island of Bahrain, have called for street protests against the ruling family of al-Saud on Friday.

After pouring troops and security police into the province of Qatif last week, the Saudis announced a nationwide ban on all public demonstrations.

Shia organisers claim that up to 20,000 protesters plan to demonstrate with women in the front rows to prevent the Saudi army from opening fire.

If the Saudi government accedes to America's request to send guns and missiles to Libyan rebels, however, it would be almost impossible for President Barack Obama to condemn the kingdom for any violence against the Shias of the north-east provinces.

Thus has the Arab awakening, the demand for democracy in North Africa, the Shia revolt and the rising against Gaddafi become entangled in the space of just a few hours with US military priorities in the region.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 9, 2011

More on links between the UK and Gaddafi - control orders and threats of deportation for Libyan dissidents, presumably Islamists of some kind.

The Gaddafi connection

During the past week academic institutions have expressed contrition at past links with Libya and parliament has debated whether control order legislation should continue. Yet there has been total silence as to why it was that Libyan dissidents came to form a significant block of those made subject to control orders, and to a second highly contentious measure: deportation to a country that practised torture.

Following the bombings in London on 7 July 2005, known within a day to have been carried out by young British nationals, Tony Blair said: "The rules of the game have changed." Within weeks he had initiated an agreement with Colonel Gaddafi on the deportation of Libyan dissidents who had sought asylum and whose presence, he claimed, constituted one of the gravest threats to the security of this country.

As to why this small group required such urgent and extreme attention, parallel chronologies provide some clues. In 2005 Libyan oilfields were made available for public auction. Might there have been a two-way accommodation? You give us oil, we give you your dissidents?

In order to achieve the men's removal to Libya, a country whose leader had a grim record of eliminating opponents, the government had created new mechanisms: memorandums of understanding (MOU), whereby regimes known to practice torture might sign up to an unenforceable promise that they would not torture deported individuals. Gaddafi was evidently a man who could be trusted, but for good measure an independent organisation would monitor the wellbeing of the men deported to Libya: the Gaddafi Foundation, headed by Gaddafi's son Saif…

Submitted by gypsy on March 9, 2011

Cleishbotham

Caiman del Barrio

Why do you want to ban the ICC from this thread especially when two of them (Devrim and Alf) clearly are expressing seriously different points of view (unless of course you think this is all part of their "recruitment strategy").

I can understand past frustrations with the ICC but libcom will become be libdemcom if it invokes the banning of an independent communist like Devrim...

I agree Devrim is sound.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 9, 2011

On that islamist theme

BBC

1241: The Guardian's Martin Chulov tweets: "Between Benghazi and Tobruk, saw a convoy from 'Salafists of Egypt' on supply run to #libya. Radicals see opportunity in chaos #feb17"

baboon

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 9, 2011

Most of the oil companies report that production is down by 90%, which is not catastrophic in itself, but potentially very destabilising.

The situation is very grim for many in Libya with the regime already taking its terrible revenge. In Ras Lanuf the BBC consistently reports that there are no officers or representatives of the government in waiting. There is just a collection of armed, disorganised youths and men on the warpath against the regime and they are becoming cannon fodder for an opposition that's not even supporting them.
In Tripoli there is terror: any protesters have been driven into hiding or on the run and informers and death squads are reportedly everywhere. In towns around, the regime is using tanks, mortars, artillery and jet fighters to kill its own people and flatten everything. While there are some similarities with Spain, there are also some elements, in the sense of a capitalist crime against a desperate people (who know they are going to be tortured and killed) of the Warsaw Ghetto.

I can't see into the future and given the wave of protest I thought that there was a potential in the movement of protest but the situation has now gone well beyond any idea that this was tribal or Islamist from the beginning.There is a discussion to be had though (not here I don't think) about the relationship of class struggle to popular revolt.

Events here now are an expression of imperialism and we can only support the victims of this onslaught by the Libyan state and express our solidarity towards them as internationalists.

The regime's actions are the self-defence of the national interests of the state of Libya - just as any emergent opposition is and will be - and it's turning into a growing threat to the national interests of larger sharks in the waters. Not least through the weakness of the working class here, the threat is posed of wider imperialist conflict that will not at all be in the interests of the wider working class. Adding to what Ocelot above says, there was a report in Monday's Telegraph that the US had approached Saudi to provide the opposition with more sophisticated weapons. This proposal carries its own difficulties and contradictions - not from the point of view of the destruction they cause, they are not worried about that - but from the point of view of possible Saudi repression in the future, how the Americans would react to that, and "end-user concerns", ie, where the arms eventually end up.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 9, 2011

a London angle

Guardian

1.58pm: The home of Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, in Hampstead Garden Suburb, north London, has been occupied by squatters showing solidarity for the Libyan revolution, according to the local paper, the Hampstead and Highgate Express

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 9, 2011

While the onslaught against Zawayiah continues, Ghaddafi has been sending out emissaries and holding phone calls (well at least one phone call to Greece) as part of opening some diplomatic front.

Guardian

3.46pm: Libyan government emissaries have flown to Brussels to talk to European and NATO officials ahead of the organisations meetings on Thursday and Friday, the Italian foreign minister, Franco Frattini, said today. It seems that Gaddafi is on a diplomatic offensive but what his representatives are putting on the table, if anything, is unclear. From Reuters:

"Two aircraft of the Libyan regime appear to have left Libya for Brussels with the intention of enabling emissaries of Gaddafi to meet representatives taking part in the meetings of the EU and NATO tomorrow and the next day," Frattini said.

He noted that the visits to Cairo and Brussels suggested that the situation was very fluid and he cautioned against taking any action which might be premature. "I don't know what will be said in Cairo, I don't know who will meet whom in Brussels but these movements are a fact that we have to take account of," he said.

Earlier, a Maltese official said Libyan emissaries had arrived on the Mediterranean island on Wednesday for talks with Maltese officials, and then flown to Portugal. There was no immediate confirmation from Lisbon but a source in Brussels said the plane was carrying a moderate member of Gaddafi's government to meet Luis Amado, the Portuguese foreign minister.

No clue so far what the content of that is. An overly paranoid and conspiratorial mind makes me think that the explosion of oil storage tanks at the oil terminal at Ras Lanuf may well not be entirely a coincidence. We'll see.

Also opposition forces claim to have retaken Bin Jawad, but it's not clear if that's just an attempt to shore up morale.

3.27pm: The opposition movement has claimed it is in back in control of Bin Jawad, which the government claimed to have retaken over the weekend, Reuters reports:

The rebel movement announced via loudspeakers in the centre of Benghazi that rebels now controlled Bin Jawad, a town near the front between rebels and Muammar Gaddafi's forces about 550 km (340 miles) east of Tripoli. Crowds in Benghazi cheered.
A Reuters correspondent at the frontline, who spoke to rebels, said their fighters had moved forward towards Bin Jawad from the town of Ras Lanuf after a heavy exchange of fire. But one rebel back from the front said they had not reached Bin Jawad.

mikail firtinaci

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on March 9, 2011

It is strange to consider the revolt as "islamist and tribal" and not Kaddafi. Actually libyan state is based on integration of tribes into the state under the unifying discourse of Islam. That is I think is the essence of Kaddafi's ideology. When Kaddafi took power it was non-other than the islamists to support him. It was at the time a precious example of proof for the islam's 'potential' against russian style state capitalism.

I think what is happening in Libya is the bankruptcy of Kaddafi style state capitalism. A third element, working class is rejecting the regime w/o beeing able to propose another thing. But I also don't think that Libyan burgeouisie can propose a solution. Because neither workers' will easily accept a burgeoisie alternative easily nor the tribal-capitalists has an alternative for islamist-tribalist state capitalism. That is why it is not surprising that so-called "opposition government" could easily include ex-Kaddafi bureaucrats.

I think the problem can be posed in Libya but it can only be solved internationally. We should accept the fact that in a country like libya, w/o any significant industry except oil, agricultural or any other important natural resource (again except oil) it is very difficult to for Libyan working class do anything other than defeating Kaddafi.

The necessary support both as being an example and providing every necessity of life etc. should come from Europe, American and East Asian working class. I think then the class characther of the movement may be judged based on the side it took regarding the conflicts in the other sides of the world.

mikail firtinaci

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on March 9, 2011

My basic point is, what is happening right now in Middle East is not the beggining of a civil war in conventional sense. It is basically the state capitalisms are collapsing w/o any alternatives. These state capitalisms are not only illegitimate, they are not even operating any more. They are collapsing and dissolving under their own weights.

Contemporary ethnic clashes in Egpyt and the situ in libya, the continuing government crisis in Tunisia etc, seems all similar in the way that the dominant classes do not seem to be able to offer any stability and laborers also do not seem to accept any capitalist solution easily. I don't see any internal threat (islamism etc). Islamism just like leninism was a cold war weapon which is also not very convincing for an important part of the working class in middle east anymore. I know this comes up against the media portrayal but I think the real danger is an external one the late coming of western&eastern proles to join in the struggle.

Khawaga

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on March 9, 2011

Actually libyan state is based on integration of tribes into the state under the unifying discourse of Islam. That is I think is the essence of Kaddafi's ideology.

It's more than just Islam that was used to unify. It's one of the pillars, but is combined or rather influenced by Marxism, communism, anarchism (though obviously Gadaffy does not "get" any of that) to make up Gadaffy's personal political philopsphy, but since he is the Libyan state also the official philosophy of the state and the form of governance. This mumbo-jumbo is all laid out in the Green Book.

Gadaffy

The Green Book rejects modern liberal democracy, "free press", and capitalism. Democracy in Libya is based on direct democracy in the form of popular committees. (However this system is limited by the fact that Gadaffi himself appoints a cabinet and departamental ministers, and the influence of unelected revolutionary committees throughout the government.[9][10]) Freedom of speech is based on state ownership of all book publishers, newspapers, television and radio stations, on the grounds that private ownership would be undemocratic. (At least one observer has called the resulting media "dull" and lacking in a "clash" of ideas.)[11] Libya's economic system is based on the premise that all employees must be "partners not wage-workers", and forbids paying employees a wage in return for labor.[12]

In other words, mental. But I think that Gadaffy's use of Marxist and communist inspired philosophy might make people skeptical to anyone that is a "real" libcommer. Kinda like Eastern Europe?

edit: that quote is from Wikipedia on the Green Book, not the words of "brother leader" himself.

mikail firtinaci

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on March 9, 2011

I think while evaluating his ideology, the social composition of classes in Libya should be considered first. The thing about "wage" is a clear legitimation of forced labor - an attempt to devalorize labor power in order make available the necessary conditions for state-capitalism to operate while having large numbers of unemployed at the same time.

Popular committees seem as a joke to me. I don't think that anyone on the anarchist camp does support an inter-classist "direct democracy". It seems to me that this is a reflection of the corporatist nature of the regime and not its "anarchism" or "marxism" - I know that you did not say so I just wanted to say it-. In fact, when he first came to power, in order to create a "national unity" (which he defined as the "biggest form of tribe") he tried briefly to undermine the power of different tribes by this "direct democracy" in order to skip over the tribal mechanism. However with the crisis in 70's he quickly fell back to the old fashion tribe-state alliance since the oil revenues dropped.

I agree with your comment about the combination of many ideologies. But when Kaddafi came to power this was kind of a "must to do" among the islamists. Ancestors of current "liberal" AKP government in Turkey, what at that time hold a programme called "Milli Görüş" (National View) had a very similar statist line and anti-semitic demagogy with those of the leftists (leninists). It was necessary for them to defend these statist ideology at the time, in order to compete with the strongest opponent - the left - and also for them these ideas seemed to be succesful in defending national interests of capital. That is why Turkish islamists at the time were amazed by the "libyan example". Till the iranian (counter) revolution, it was their single most important ideological example.

I think the tribal mechanism which enabled Kaddafi to form his statist alliance around, was also the hindrance in front of the Libyan islamism to transform itself -or at least a fraction of it- into a turkish islamist AKP style party. Simply because the state needed that strongest and sole base of support in order to consolidate itself unlike the turkish islamists who had to negotiate with lots of different ruling groups in order form a "democratic" coalition to form a government.

I quess or tend to think that, when the majority of society became either proletarianized or unemployed clearly and when there were practically very limited jobs except petrolium industry (where also a high population of foreigners work) with crisis, the economic crisis became social and political as is now, in the sense that old statist alliance could no more cope with these thanks to its unflexible characther. Its strength turned out to be its weakness. And I don't think there will be any solution except a proletarian solution to the siuation because of this idiot characther of the ruling elite.

Just like in Afganistan capitalism can not form its natural environment for stability, the nation state. It is not able to do it any more. And tribes became the cannibalistic apparatusus of the state -in a contradictory way-. The state can not do without them and also with them... But I don't think that the meaning of this movement is ONLY this self-destruction of tribal state. IThis has become visible and reach to a higher level by the discontent of the Libyan proletariat.

--

PS: I hope I did not repeat myself

squaler

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by squaler on March 9, 2011

Here's video confirmation that rebels have Grads: http://j.mp/gEfB0L (video taken between Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad). #Libya

it's strange you know, because they're saying allahu akbar but it doesn't look like they're praying.

mikail firtinaci

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on March 10, 2011

You should not exagerrate "allahu ekber". It does not necessarily mean that those people are islamist. It is just they are exited and not very clear on politics...

squaler

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by squaler on March 10, 2011

petersbeaumont
Hearing from various sources that the many closed shops in Tripoli are closed not for safety but because of civil disobedience campaign

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 10, 2011

And now the liquidation of the "militias" and regularisation of the military forces by the TNC state-in-waiting.

Guardian

10:48 am The Guardian's Chris McGreal, in Benghazi says there has been a shake-up in the opposition forces amid the bombardment by Gaddafi's forces of other rebel-held territory in recent days.

The rebels seem to be becoming better organised militarily. They've now got a new experienced leader, Omar Hariri. He used to be one of Gaddafi's officers, in fact was part of the coup that brought him to power 40 years ago. They're digging in their defences around Ras Lanuf, strengthening them. It's not clear whether that means they're intending, for now, to simply sit there and try and resist Gaddafi's forces if they now turn their intentions east once they are dealt with Zawiyah, if they have indeed dealt with Zawiyah, that situation remains unclear or whether the rebels intend to continue to advance towards Tripoli...

One of the things that has happened is that the military leadership is clearing out all of the hundreds upon hundreds of young men who simply grabbed weapons in Benghazi and around from military bases and headed towards the front to fight. They have been very poorly disciplined, they have no experience, they have shot at the slightest provocation and they have become a danger to themselves, and to the rebel cause in some way. They are now being replaced by more experienced soldiers, people who have served with Gaddafi's army, in an effort to give some coordination and discipline.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 10, 2011

Transitional National Council website http://ntclibya.org/english/

Noa Rodman

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on March 10, 2011

http://somalilandpress.com/libya-rebels-execute-black-immigrants-while-forces-kidnap-others-20586

baboon

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 10, 2011

I agree that this is a crisis of state capitalism/militarism as exressed in the Libyan state with similarities elsewhere. There are tribal and Islamicist expressions here but they are completely secondary and incorporated into the capitalist state.
Today's French recognition of the of the "rebel" government is an expression of wider imperialist machinations which have only a tenuous relationship with tribalism and Islamicism which are again completely secondary.
The Telegraph reports today that Gaddifi is holding back on using the regular army forces that he has on "front lines" - these troops are not insubstantial - because of the danger of them going over to the other side.

I think that the difference between events here and the economic and political collapse of the eastern bloc's state capitalism regimes is that, despite the weakness of the working class in Libya, the initial movement here takes place in the context of wider uprisings of populations and exploited classes against regimes of overt terror as well as the untenable conditions of unemployment and misery for the masses from the economic crisis of capitalism.

squaler

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by squaler on March 10, 2011

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/8407522-us-troops-already-on-the-ground-in-libya

According to a Pakistan Observer article, (the only English Newspaper in the country) " The United States, Britain and France have sent several hundred defense advisors to train and support the anti-Gadhafi forces in oil-rich Eastern Libya where armed rebel groups have apparently taken over."

Although the troops are classified as "advisers" they have brought not only fighting know-how but several caches of weapons and all the necessary provisions for a prolonged stay in the region, as well.

It has not beed stated specifically what weapons the special forces operatives have brought with them. It has reported that a Libyan official has said "the three Western states have landed their special forces troops in Cyrenaica and are now setting up their bases, and training centers." This is to reinforce the rebel forces that are resisting pro-Gadhafi forces in several adjoining areas.

rooieravotr

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on March 11, 2011

I checked that last article, and its source, that Pakistan Observer article. Story does not look too credible to me. A "Libyan official" - presumably a regime official, but it remains a mystery - says there are these Western troops. It fits a bit too nicely into the Kadhafi story that the whole revolt is an operation from outside forces. Then again, these kinds of troops in such situations are one of the options. But, until I see more info, I remain sceptical that these kinds of things are already in that stage.

Submitted by Kinglear on March 11, 2011

Yorkie Bar

So just to be clear we're now going to stop posting updates about the situation or discussing its trajectory in any concrete way, we're just going to argue back and forth as to whether any of it 'counts' as class struggle in the bizarre otherworld of the ultra-left?

I hope we're not going to stop posting updates, confusing as it all seems, but what gets me is the idea of 'the bizarre otherworld of the ultra-left'. Oh gosh! What is this? I guess 'ultra-left' is a reference to adherents of the ICC. But how can they be said to be 'bizarre' (nice word though it is) or suspected of being other-worldly. After all they are only interested in working class struggle and in it's identification and support. What's other-worldly about that? Isn't class struggle the motor force of history? To have an interest in it classified as bizarre, strikes me as weird. And anyway, is it possible in any meaningful manner, to discuss the trajectory of a struggle in a concrete way, without considering it's class content? We wouldn't want to end up supporting the wrong side, would we. And please stop all this talk of banning the ICC from the forum. Where would we be without Devrim et al even if they do occasionally go round in circles.

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 11, 2011

Where would we be without Devrim et al even if they do occasionally go round in circles.

Getting somewhere, maybe. And not just "occasionally".

All circles are vicious, but none so vicious as "revolutionary" circles.

These discussions about something we almost all know very little about are largely a way of saying "I ramble on speculatively therefore I am", as Descartes almost said. Sure, I've done that at times, but, outside the useful information, it seems endemic on this thread. "Revolutionaries" always feel they've got to say "something" even if it"s essentially nothing, merely to show they exist . Plus the narrow definition of "working class struggle" on the part of some that tends to reduce everything to what largely male adult employed workers are doing against the bosses and their economy has been criticised over 30 years ago. Which says a lot about how "avant-garde" the self-styled "avant garde" are.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 11, 2011

FT: US official says Libya ‘regime will prevail’

US official says Libya ‘regime will prevail’
By Richard McGregor in Washington

Published: March 11 2011 00:31 | Last updated: March 11 2011 00:31

Muammer Gaddafi’s superior military forces meant his “regime will prevail” in the longer term, the US director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said in comments that undermined a robust defence by Washington of its Libya policy.

Mr Clapper said in testimony to Congress on Thursday that Col Gaddafi was relying on two of his brigades – which appeared to be “very, very loyal”, “disciplined” and “robustly equipped with Russian equipment, artillery, tanks”.

Mr Clapper, who oversees America’s 16 intelligence services, said the rebels faced great difficulties as Col Gaddafi “intentionally designed the military so that those select units loyal to him are the most luxuriously equipped and the best trained”. [...]

The EU foreign ministers are meeting today with reports from the NATO meeting yesterday that France and the UK's interventionist stance is being opposed by Germany and Italy at least.

AFP: West heads divided into pivotal Libya crisis talks

[...]
The EU's top diplomat had no criticism of France's surprise decision to recognise Libya's opposition as the country's rightful representative. Recognition of governments was "a question for member states", she said.

But President Nicolas Sarkozy's sudden move, along with his call for aerial action, cast a pall over talks between the bloc's foreign ministers Thursday.

"Recognition should be a European, not a national, decision," said Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

Berlin too objected, with Chancellor Angela Merkel not only taken aback at France's recognition of Libya's opposition but also warning against "use of military means".

"Merkel is surprised that France has recognised the national council," said a statement issued by the German lower house of parliament. She had also underlined the "scepticism of the German government over the use of military means in Libya," it added.
[...]

P.S. These censorious attacks on Devrim are imo unwarrented, unseemly and unfair. Much as I may be distant from many of his political positions, honest debate between people of differing perspectives is a vital and necessary part of analytical work.

Noa Rodman

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on March 11, 2011

These censorious attacks on Devrim are imo unwarrented, unseemly and unfair.

There have been no attacks on Devrim or the ICC. Caiman's response, with which I have to agree (see the Kenya 2008 thread), was against baboon, who does not stop to discover that the American and British state are doing imperialist things. Who'd have guessed.

Noa Rodman

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on March 11, 2011

Could we also stop ignoring this:

that is not a cigarette lighter being held against his neck

Submitted by gypsy on March 11, 2011

Noa Rodman

Could we also stop ignoring this:

that is not a cigarette lighter being held against his neck

That is disgusting. :(

Also there is thousands of sub saharan workers, mostly Nigerians and Ghanians camped next to tripoli airport. Most unable to go home because they lack the necessary papers.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 11, 2011

On the racism story

UNHCR: Sub-Saharan Africans fleeing Libya report serious intimidation, violence

specific case of some Eritreans in Libya
blog: The Tragedy of Eritrean Refugees Caught Up in Libyan Uprising

the "mercenaries" story
Afrol: African mercenaries in Libya: Fact or racism?

a popularly re-posted blog article on the situation and the (patchy) response of the 'home countries' of the various mingrant communities in Libya
blog: A mercenary and an immigrant; a story of black Africans and Libya

One other note, whatever the current whys and wherefores around the "African mercenaries" rumour in the current conflict, there have been serious race riots (pogroms against sub-saharan africans by arab-berber Libyans) in years past, e.g. 2000 and going back to the early 1980s iirc.

rooieravotr

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on March 11, 2011

petersbeaumont
Hearing from various sources that the many closed shops in Tripoli are closed not for safety but because of civil disobedience campaign

Link? This is rather important, I would think.

Noa Rodman

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on March 11, 2011

I don't know. Why always assume that civil disobedience is positive, while the 'government' is bad. Maybe the rebel government put the blacks in prisons to protect them from the mob (sorry, collective processes of self-organisation).

afrolnews from Feb. 26th

The "mercenary" hype in Libya is already causing attacks on Africans. A Turkish construction worker told the 'BBC': "We had 70-80 people from Chad working for our company. They were cut dead with pruning shears and axes, attackers saying: 'You are providing troops for Ghaddafi.' The Sudanese were also massacred. We saw it for ourselves."

rooieravotr

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on March 11, 2011

Why always assume that civil disobedience is positive, while the 'government' is bad.

I'm wondering, wanting to know. Hence the question. That the "'goverment' is bad", seems to me beyond any reasonable doubt, but that also is not a matter of 'assuming', whatever we think of the other side.

Submitted by gypsy on March 11, 2011

Noa Rodman

I don't know. Why always assume that civil disobedience is positive, while the 'government' is bad. Maybe the rebel government put the blacks in prisons to protect them from the mob (sorry, collective processes of self-organisation).

afrolnews from Feb. 26th

The "mercenary" hype in Libya is already causing attacks on Africans. A Turkish construction worker told the 'BBC': "We had 70-80 people from Chad working for our company. They were cut dead with pruning shears and axes, attackers saying: 'You are providing troops for Ghaddafi.' The Sudanese were also massacred. We saw it for ourselves."

Funnily enough a relative of mine who used to work in the oil industry in Libya told me awhile back. That when Gaddafi took power in his coup awhile after he claims some young gaddafi militia came to his oil refinery that he used to manage and bayoneted a young sudanese cook right infront of him. He said he tried to put his guts back inside him but he bled to death. He protested, struck one of the young men that did it and was thrown in jail and then rescued by the PLO after his oil company paid a ransom(he is known to bullshit and is really old but I believe him.). I think racism has been entrenched in that part of the world for a long time.

Noa Rodman

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on March 11, 2011

rooieravotr, my comment is based on info from the links:

According to Somali refugees in Libya, at least five Somalis from Somaliland and Somalia were executed in Tripoli and Benghazi by anti-Gaddafi mobs.

and this

Benghazi and Al-Bayda revolutionary authorities now felt obliged to protect these "mercenaries" against popular rage, informing journalists these Africans also were victims of the Ghaddafi regime.

My point is to counter the dominant story on this thread (specifically by ocelot) of initial popular revolt vs. bourgeous recuperation. Maybe the rebel government is right to liquidate these militias.

rooieravotr

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on March 11, 2011

Noah Rodman, fair enough. Still, my question was about civil disobedience in Tripoli, a story I found interesting and wanted to know more about.

Having said that, I think you can have popular revolt, now in the process of being recuperated - and at the same time racist attacks by parts of the revolt. The fact that people revolt does not make them immune from reactionary ideas/ practices that were quite dominant before the revolt as well. That is no excuse for these attacks; but the fact that they are happening is not, in itself, reason to oppose the revolt as a whole, or to deny that the revolt expresses legitimate rage against the regime as well, despite reactionary ideas and acts expressed in its wake.

Yes, these attacks are scandalous, should be mercilessly exposed, condemned and attacked. But I do not believe that the whole point of the revolt, the core of its dynamics, was racist. People did not go to sthe streets saying, hey, let;s overthrow Kadhafi, so that we can attack Somali workers, or something like that...

Khawaga

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on March 11, 2011

Anti-black sentiment is unfortunately extremely common in North Africa and the Middle East. When bunch of Sudanese refugees that were camped in a square to protests UNHCR's treatment, the army moved in after a few weeks, killed quite a few (I am not sure anyone knows exactly how many) and beat up and arrested all of them, including very young children, a lot of "liberal" Egyptians gleefully cheered for the army. In Libya, the negative connotations to black (iswid in Arabic) is so bad that often Sub-Saharan Africans prefer to be called abeed (slave) instead.

Submitted by Mark. on March 11, 2011

Khawaga

Anti-black sentiment is unfortunately extremely common in North Africa and the Middle East.

For example see these reports on the problems faced by black Iraqis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaUsR-blSw0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8-JiZlfTyA

Jazzhands

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jazzhands on March 12, 2011

I hate to be going back to this topic, but in case anyone's still interested in the Allahu Akbar thing, it turns out that's the title of the national anthem. Both for Gaddafi Libya and the Libyan Arab Republic. It's also an Egyptian marching song, and...you know what? Just read the damn link.

baboon

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 12, 2011

It's a war of imperialism Noa - what do you think it is?

I bet the bourgeoisie of the major countries are happy with the Japanese earthquake taking out not only an economic competitor for the time being but taking away the publicity of this mass slaughter that they are fully implied in.

I don't believe the report above of western countries providing arms directly to the rebels - that's too risky after the SAS debacle and the precipitous French recognition of the National Council as the legitimate government. Not that arms would abate the massacres on the "front line". The National Council has made it clear that its first and foremost responsibility is to protect its oil installations in the east. Any possible arms channelled through Saudi for example would be for that purpose but the Americans may have stopped that.

All the major powers are at each others throats over their national interests in Libya and there is absolutely no element of cooperation. They've all set up the regime and provided it with the arms to do the job and elements of them will do the same for the National Council if it succeeds. At the moment, the US and Germany are blocking any moves by the UK and France to assert their influence and there are differences between the latter two. Russia has just signed a $2 billion deal with Gaddafi with more in the pipeline and Italy is tending to support the regime.

The UN, Nato, the EU, far from cooperating have once again shown themselves to be factions of national interests unable to agree on anything but fine sounding phrases. Britain, as others, has maintained links with the regime (it's still receiving oil money from the major countries to pay its mercenaries) and the UK's point man now that Saif is out of favour is the "moderate" (BBC) Foreign Minister.

Win, lose or draw for the regime or the Nation Council will not alter the fact that the explosion of this war is a blow to the working class across the region.

Sir Arthur Str…

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Sir Arthur Str… on March 15, 2011

Rebels are done for, according to The Guardian

It's taken Gaddafi about 10 days to (nearly) win this war after looking like he was finished,
Lord Knows what will happen next, there will be mass executions for the rebels, followed by sanctions from the UN which will hit the working class the hardest.

As Baboon said, a classic example of international powers looking after their own interests. States that can get away with dealing directly with Gaddafi do so, while those who can't um and ah over impossible action, while trying to find ways to sneak in the back door.
A big win all round for the ruling class.

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 17, 2011

Don't know how much this has been reported in the anglophone media, but Saif Gaddafi has very publicly, and angrily, claimed that Gaddafi gave funds to Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign, and he's going to reveal the evidence (and also wants the money back), which, of course, has been denied by the UMP (Sharko's party). It should be remembered that Sharko warmly received Gaddafi just a few months after the election (not at all proof of his funding the UMP's election campaign, but significant nevertheless).

Submitted by gypsy on March 17, 2011

Samotnaf

Don't know how much this has been reported in the anglophone media, but Saif Gaddafi has very publicly, and angrily, claimed that Gaddafi gave funds to Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign, and he's going to reveal the evidence (and also wants the money back), which, of course, has been denied by the UMP (Sharko's party). It should be remembered that Sharko warmly received Gaddafi just a few months after the election (not at all proof of his funding the UMP's election campaign, but significant nevertheless).

The bbc were reporting a few days ago that libyan tv were saying they were going to reveal some secrets about France. This must be it.

klas batalo

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by klas batalo on March 17, 2011

http://www.cnbc.com/id/42124342

US preparing for air strikes

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 18, 2011

BBC: UN backs action against Gaddafi

Like baboon I saw the situation of the imperialist powers in the last weeks as divided. UK and France for intervention and a 4-Tops 'coalition of the unwilling', - US, Germany, Russia and China - against. The fact that they (who?) have managed to orchestrate unity behind a UN resolution which is effectively a blank cheque for all military intervention, short of the hackneyed cliché of "boots on the ground", is big news. Exactly what it means (and by that I don't mean exclusively for the Libyans) is, imo, an open question. At first sight, this appears to be a significant recomposition of the global ruling classes. The exact shape of the deal is unclear at the moment (but I suspect it's bad news for the Bahrainis...) and the question of whether or not an agreement on paper can be turned into facts on the ground (and what exactly those facts will be) is still to be determined. But evenso, it appears to be a shot in the arm for Negri's Empire thesis. I guess things will become clearer in the next days but this is definitely deserving of attention.

baboon

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 19, 2011

Ocelot, I'm not familiar with Negri's position here - perhaps you could give a brief synoposis of it?

This is an extremely important question for the working class, not least in relation to elements of capitalist cooperation in the face of social movements and unrest. On the question of this seeming agreement "to do something about Libya", what is the content of it? That capitalist nations can come to some agreement on mutual interests is shown in the example of Israel where almost every major nation has supported this country as a regional policeman and a body that they can all deal with: China, the US, the EU, Britain and many Arab nations. But these contingent interests are themselves expressions of imperialism. Similar can be said about Egypt: funded not just by the US, the regime has been financially supported by billions of euros from the EU in its role as regional cop, supported by the assistance of diplomacy, arms sales, political credibility, intelligence and so on, with British interests here into the wider Middle East.
Gaddafi has been similarly supported in his role in providing stability with particular emphasis from Britain, France and Italy due to political and historical reasons. Clearly Germany is unhappy about its major rivals taking part in a war in the Mediterranean and thus asserting their own interests of capitalist order under the guise of restoring democracy. British and French diplomacy has scored something of a victory here and this diplomacy has been war by another name.
None of this "cooperation" can be persistent and harmonious because it is based on purely contingent national interests that can only become an increasing factor of instability. The ruling classes are having to perform contortions faced with the wave of social unrest sweeping the region in going from, and continuing to, support their dictators and strongmen, while trying to set up their "popular", democratic factions.
Outside of this other regional powers are being drawn into the maelstrom: the Turkish foreign minister said last week: "The region is ours and we will be the rebuilders of it", which is an expression of the emerging national interests of that country. And then there's Iran, which see its interests threatened by certain moves made by the US around the region.

Submitted by slothjabber on March 19, 2011

Or by the Libyan army.

BBC was reporting earlier that it was a rebel plane shot down by pro-Gaddafi forces.

On the constellation of forces, I remember a skit on some British comedy programme several years ago (Dead Ringers? Rory Bremner?) about a meeting between Blair and Chirac, which had lots of arguments and rudeness, but ended:

Chirac: Ah well, at least, you are not ze Americains...
Blair: ...and you're not, the Germans.

Britain and France can work together sometimes. Not in West Africa, that would be madness, but in the Balkans and Middle East (and by extension North Africa/the Med) British and French interests do sometimes co-incide. Don't forget, in 2002-3, Chirac was toying with supporting intervention in Iraq, at least via a UN resolution, and only came over to the German-Russian position quite late in the day.

Alexander Roxwell

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on March 19, 2011

The protests in the Arab world, despite being led by a largely incoherent hodge podge of working class, professional, and miscellaneous others (including deranged religious zealots) is a protest from below against the comprador capitalist lackeys of U.S., French, and British Imperialism.

This presents a grave threat to the three Empires and they have tried to reframe to the issues so as to rehabilitate the "Arab League" and focus in on one of their traditional favorite targets -Mohamar Khadafy of Libya.

Our focus must be on defending the popular protest from below and exposing the machinations of the Empires and their comtador lackeys to resolve this area-wide protest in a manner favorable to the continued subordination of the Arab world to the Empires.

Alexander Roxwell

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on March 20, 2011

Both of the above sites are well worth reading - but we must draw our own conclusions from our knowledge of what is central to Empires - and it isn't "democracy" or "freedom" for subject people.

What is central to the U.S. Empire is U.S. hegemony over the planet earth. All the rhetoric about "democracy" and "freedom" is just smoke and mirrors to mask their real motives. Obama, like Bush before him, wishes to restore to power little local hitmen who will do the bidding of the Empire. He will support "democracy" if he can fool the people into supporting someone who allows 2 (or 3 or 5 or 8) nearly (but not quite) identical bourgeois or less political "parties" to peddle their meaningless rubbish "freely" but not if someone comes along - "democratic" or otherwise who would propose something contrary to the interests of the Empire. The British and French Empires disagree only with details irrelevant to subject people.

Right now we have a tug-of-war between those who would assert the rights and desires of the local rank-and-file people vs. those who wish to reign in the struggle to "resolve" itself in meaningless cosmetics and get in line for lackey of the month.

The "Arab League" is association of local gangsters. Obama's attack on Libya is his way of restoring legitimacy to them and denying it to the most "uppity" of the tyrants.

[color=#FFFFFF] .[/color]

[color=#FF0000]Bullshit to [/color]
[color=#FFFFFF].[/color]
[color=#FFFFFF].[/color]
[color=#FF0000]the Empire ![/color]

Hieronymous

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Hieronymous on March 21, 2011

Map of anti-Gaddafi forces poised to continue attacking Libya:

bootsy

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bootsy on March 21, 2011

According to twitter Gaddafi's son is dead:

BREAKING: It has been confirmed by a few sources and now also Al Manara, Khamis Gaddafi has died today, as a result of burns #Libya #Feb17

Submitted by Jazzhands on March 21, 2011

bootsy

According to twitter Gaddafi's son is dead:

BREAKING: It has been confirmed by a few sources and now also Al Manara, Khamis Gaddafi has died today, as a result of burns #Libya #Feb17

Daily Planet confirms. Mini-G is dead. http://dailyplanetdispatch.com/gaddafis-son-khamis-killed-by-kamikaze-pilot-claim/856968/

John1

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by John1 on March 21, 2011

Not sure if this has been said before but RT (Russian news channel) have been reporting that according to Russian intelligence there wasn't any air strikes by Libya at all, what has been reported by BBC et al was all bogus apparently. Of course there's no reason to believe one set of arseholes over another though. Haven't really been keeping up with news on LIbya myself, perhaps someone would like to comment on this conspiracy-esque stuff?

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 21, 2011

I haven't seen anything from RT but as far as I know Telesur from Venezuela is more or less following the official Libyan government version of events, and this is being taken seriously by the Spanish speaking left, including anarchists to some extent. So Gaddafi's ceasefires and casualty figures are being taken at face value. Seen from this angle some of the implausible propaganda and media management starts to make more sense, though actually I imagine it's mainly aimed at the regime's support base in Libya.

robot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by robot on March 22, 2011

Sometimes I found this blog worth reading. It is mainly made by people from Benghasi. The blogs founder apparently was killed yesterday by a gaddafiist sniper. Though I have no idea about the intentions of the bloggers and do not know if one can take everything for true, it gives at least an idea about the extent of militarization that civil war has taken.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 22, 2011

Just on the Venezuela thing. A comrade drew my attention to a statement released on the French NPA site a couple of weeks back, signed by the Marea Socialista sub-group of the PSUV, (including by one of the Chavista TU leaders who rejoices in the glorious name Stalin Perez Borges). Didn't entirely seem to be on message with the Chavez line.

Kadhafi massacre des manifestants désarmés. Le peuple libyen vaincra!

The Arab revolution moved to Libya. And it has taken its most violent face. Gaddafi's government has unleashed a massacre that shows people of the world the horror of which are capable of dictators whether or not subject to imperialism. The aerial bombardment of demonstrators in the country's second city and the shootings in Tripoli, the capital, bear witness of this massacre.

Some in the world, pretend to doubt the reality of this uprising. They put forward the interests of NATO and imperialism, their efforts to maintain control over oil and gas in Libya and the Arab world. This argument is false although this interest exists.
[...]

I guess Telesur feel that there's an argument to be won in Venezuela over this. Knowing absolutely nothing about the current situation there, I couldn't make any more sense of it.

Submitted by Valeriano Orob… on March 22, 2011

Mark.

I haven't seen anything from RT but as far as I know Telesur from Venezuela is more or less following the official Libyan government version of events, and this is being taken seriously by the Spanish speaking left, including anarchists to some extent. So Gaddafi's ceasefires and casualty figures are being taken at face value. Seen from this angle some of the implausible propaganda and media management starts to make more sense, though actually I imagine it's mainly aimed at the regime's support base in Libya.

I don't know what does exactly mean the spanish speaking left...concerning the anarkos from what can be read and listen to in a-las-barricadas (http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=49732&start=60), they haven't got a clue (just like in here?) However there is a worrying trend of buying the "anti-imperialist" shit. In the interview you can listen to in the link, a woman presents qadafi as a humanitarian that once the west pressure had weakened had decided to share all the oil profits with the people. Therefore a palace revolt took place and a part of the tribes represented in government (the benghazi ones) rejected that to keep all the part for themselves and the upheavel got started...hilarious and childish, yes but no one in the site denounce it.

On the other hand there is a so-called libertarian (in our sense) site from galicia (unionlibertaria) that posts an article saying that the trigger for the west intervention (or funding the upheaval) was the decission taken by qadafi of closing the tap for the western oil companies.

Not much trust to the insugents, sure. Nevertheless what i find likely is that probably there are irreconciliable diferences between apparently two sides in lybia's ruling class (two groupings of tribes?) about which use give to oil revenues from now on. In an article in a spanish site on energy (crisisenergetica.org), it was held that saudy arabia reserves have been hugely overestimated and that would put lybia in a advantage position to negotiate with western powers. If that's basically what happens there, not much chance of any working class advancement there in the short run, i'm afraid.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 24, 2011

.

.

Alexander Roxwell

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on March 25, 2011

Who is this "pulse.media.org" ? They do not know their ass from a hole in the ground.

The ruling classes of the United States, Great Britain, and France do not, and never will, fight on the side of revolutionaries. At best they might fight "for" the revolutionaries in the same way Stalin "fought for" the Spanish Revolution in the 1930s by funneling arms to wholly owned lackeys posing as fifth columnist "good guys" while starving the real revolutionaries and ultimately strangling the revolution. The Three Stooges are doing this to "re-frame" the Arab uprising against their waterboys into its opposite: the United Waterboys as the good guys up against the evil single dictator who just so happens to have once upon a time been the big bad bogeyman dangled before the United States public.

Any leftist who gives any quarter whatsoever to the shenagigans of these Empires is a sellout and should be expunged from our midst.

These “Arab leaders” were created to serve the Empires and that is the only reason they are there in the first place.

[color=#FFFFFF] .[/color]

[color=#FF0000]Bullshit to [/color]
[color=#FFFFFF].[/color]
[color=#FFFFFF].[/color]
[color=#FF0000]the Empire ![/color][/quote]

Submitted by redsdisease on March 25, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

These “Arab leaders” were created to serve the Empires and that is the only reason they are there in the first place.

What are you referring to when you say "the Empires?" And what is the argument for Gaddafi being "created" to serve them?

Submitted by Mark. on March 25, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

Who is this "pulse.media.org" ?

http://pulsemedia.org/about/

Apart from this I don't know anything about them.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 25, 2011

Interview with Gabriele del Grande, an Italian journalist in Benghazi (in Spanish)

machine translation

This seems like a realistic analysis of the situation to me.

----

Edited to add:

For anyone with Italian Gabriele del Grande's blog would be worth looking at
http://fortresseurope.blogspot.com/

From before the uprising it has some English translations of articles on emigration from Libya to Europe and there's an interview on this here.

Alexander Roxwell

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on March 26, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

These “Arab leaders” were created to serve the Empires and that is the only reason they are there in the first place.

[color=#FFFFFF].[/color]
redsdisease

What are you referring to when you say "the Empires?" And what is the argument for Gaddafi being "created" to serve them?

The borders of the "nation-states" in the old territories of the Ottoman and Persian Empires were not carved out by the people that lived there - as was, more or less, the case in Western Europe. They were modifications of the old borders of the European colonies or imperial "protectorates" of the League of Nations. Their original "leaders" were chosen by their imperialist overlords and successive "leaders" were "screened" by them as well.

When successive "leaders" become too uppity in the eyes of the Overlord Empire that is "in charge" he is targeted, as was Mosaddegh, Khadafy, Saddam Hussein, the current leaders of Iran, Hamas, and pre-invasion Afghanistan and so forth and either castrated or eliminated. In the case of the last three the ability of the Empires to control their dominions is diminishing.

The "Empires" I am referring to are the "Three stooges" - the United States, Britain, and France.

Submitted by Mark. on March 26, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

The borders of the "nation-states" in the old territories of the Ottoman and Persian Empires were not carved out by the people that lived there - as was, more or less, the case in Western Europe. They were modifications of the old borders of the European colonies or imperial "protectorates" of the League of Nations. Their original "leaders" were chosen by their imperialist overlords and successive "leaders" were "screened" by them as well.

This may be largely true of the post-WW1 carve up of what remained of the Ottoman Empire. I don't think it really holds for North Africa. Egypt and Tunisia were originally semi-autonomous states within the Ottoman Empire, with borders that I think corresponded more or less to the modern ones. Libya was put together by the Italians colonising a couple of states, which I suppose is part of the origin of the current east-west divide there. I'm not sure about the monarchy in Libya between WW2 and Gaddafi's coup, but certainly Gaddafi was never anyone's puppet ruler. Likewise Nasser in Egypt.

Mark.

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 26, 2011

[quote=Brian Whitaker]
Finally, a quick word on Libya which I am not attempting to cover in detail here because it is getting so much attention elsewhere.

Suggestions that the situation will turn into a stalemate or result in a Korean-style division of the country don't strike me as very persuasive. I wouldn't rule that possibility out, but it seems to me there is also a reasonable chance of the Gaddafi regime imploding fairly quickly – in a matter of weeks rather than months or years.[/quote]

I suggested on another thread that Libya might be heading towards some kind of partition but actually I suspect Brian Whitaker is right here.

Assuming that the regime does collapse then it leaves the question of whether the outside powers involved in military intervention will have control over what happens next. My guess is that their influence would be limited, as in Tunisia and Egypt. I may be quite wrong about this though.

rooieravotr

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on March 27, 2011

I think the sooner the regime falls, the weaker the hold of the bombing intervention coalition will be. The longer it drags on, the more crucial the intervention will be felt to become for the victory over Kadhafi. If he falls now, people will perceive this as still partly a victory of the revolt. If he falls after three months of NATO bombings, with the revolt even more reduced to a sideshow, his fall will be perceived as mainly produced by NATO intervention. That will weaken any remnant of independence of the insurgents even further. That is part of the harm intervention is doing already: undermining that independence.

subprole

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by subprole on March 27, 2011

a comment from bill weinberg on ww4 report: http://ww4report.com/node/9700

ocelot

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 27, 2011

Looks like the close air support is having a pretty decisive effect.

Libya: Rebels take Ras Lanuf, Brega , Uqayla, Bin Jawad

Libyan rebels have recaptured four more towns and are moving quickly towards Muammar Gaddafi's heartland of Sirte.

They seized the eastern coastal towns of Ras Lanuf, Brega, Uqayla and Bin Jawad after pro-Gaddafi forces withdrew, under pressure from allied air strikes.

redsdisease

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by Alexander Roxwell

Submitted by redsdisease on March 27, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

The "Empires" I am referring to are the "Three stooges" - the United States, Britain, and France.

Am I reading you incorrectly, or do you seriously believe that other powerful nations don't have interests and influence in what's happening in Libya?

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on March 28, 2011

redsdisease

Alexander Roxwell

The "Empires" I am referring to are the "Three stooges" - the United States, Britain, and France.

Am I reading you incorrectly, or do you seriously believe that other powerful nations don't have interests and influence in what's happening in Libya?

Gobble Gobble ? What would make you leap over everything I have said and come to such an idiotic conclusion?

Submitted by Jazzhands on March 28, 2011

redsdisease

Alexander Roxwell

The "Empires" I am referring to are the "Three stooges" - the United States, Britain, and France.

Am I reading you incorrectly, or do you seriously believe that other powerful nations don't have interests and influence in what's happening in Libya?

You're reading it completely incorrectly. The thing is that those three are the ones with permanent seats on the UN Security Council. So they're in the most position to make decisions that benefit them.

Submitted by redsdisease on March 28, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

redsdisease

Alexander Roxwell

The "Empires" I am referring to are the "Three stooges" - the United States, Britain, and France.

Am I reading you incorrectly, or do you seriously believe that other powerful nations don't have interests and influence in what's happening in Libya?

Gobble Gobble ? What would make you leap over everything I have said and come to such an idiotic conclusion?

Sorry, you're right. I got this discussion mixed up with another one I was having elsewhere. My bad.

evilcake

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by evilcake on April 1, 2011

"The US and NATO can't resist taking advantage of the conflict in Libya to promote military intervention," said Fidel Castro. How much money is the arms industry worth today really? The hiroshima bomb was dropped simply because too much money was invested into it NOT to drop it. I'm trying to pick up the pieces of what is going on.

slothjabber

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by slothjabber on April 1, 2011

The bomb was dropped on Hiroshima primarily to demonstrate to the USSR that America could destroy cities if it wished. And then they dropped the bomb on Nagasaki to prove they could do it again.

America is the world's biggest arms dealer. Britain, France and China are all big players. It's a multi-billion dollar industry. Obviously, the thing about weapons is that if you use them, you have to buy more. If you don't, the arms industry goes out of business. But wars don't happen just to sell weapons.

baboon

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on April 1, 2011

Global arms sales have risen 60% since 2002 to total $400 billion in the year 2009. An exploding bomb is a pure waste for capital as is the whole arms industry. This doesn't preclude advantages given to particular national capitals that armements give them nor profitability to particular sectors. But for global capital, it is a waste.

On Libya, amid the latest hypocritical contortions, there are direct testimonies that coalition "advisers" are working in Benghazi with the opposition. Where such "advisers" are, so too goes special forces as a matter of course.

On the "Jihadi" forces in Libya. On Newsnight two nights ago, there was a report from the area in Darnah, eastern Libya from where a suspicious number of Jihadists have left in order to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. One world-weary old boy from this poorest of regions - deliberately kept poor by the regime - knew all about the export of these Jihadists as did, he said, everyone else around. If he knew all about it, isn't it reasonable to assume not only that the all-pervasive secret police, torturers, networks of spies and informers extremely active in this region, knew all about it too but to ask why they did nothing about it when they could have so easily done so? After all, the regime hasn't baulked at wiping out a thousand odd young men at time here and there. The only conclusion that I can draw is that the regime was complicit in the creation and movement of these Jihadi elements in order to justify its status as reliable partners in the "war on terror" - precisely the reason that Tony Blair brought Gaddafi in from the cold.

After being initially disorientated by events, specifically the social uprising that took place, the ruling class has scrambled to imperialist war around this region. I don't want to derail this thread, but if Syria goes the same way as Libya, ie, centrifugal tendencies dominate, it will make Libya look like nothing.

Submitted by jesse blue on April 7, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

The "Empires" I am referring to are the "Three stooges" - the United States, Britain, and France.

may i ask for whom these powers are stooges? for i have no idea what you mean.

wojtek

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on April 13, 2011

Admittedly I'm not scholared in Libyan affairs, but this article comments on the probable reasons for intervention. Though it does present Qaddafi's regime as being benevolent.

http://truthout.org/libya-all-about-oil-or-all-about-banking/1302678000

Gerostock

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Gerostock on April 13, 2011

It's worth noting that selfishly-motivated military interventions occasionally yield positive results. The British intervention in Sierra-Leone is the most recent example. Charles Taylor's mercenaries were terrorizing Sierra-Leone and destabilizing its pro-British government. To protect his client, Blair sent a large British contingent to fortify the ineffective UN forces; they arrested the leading thugs and quickly finished a nine year long civil war which had displaced millions.

Also consider the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. The Vietnamese were very open about their disregard for Pol Pot's massacres. They made it as clear as they could that the invasion was entirely defensive. And in the course of this selfish, and partially imperialistic adventure, they ended one of the worst genocides of the 20th century.

So don't lower yourself to the common fallacy of saying, "imperialistic powers are involved, so the outcome will necessarily be malign". History refutes this position. The Libyan civil war will have to get very bloody to be worse than what would have happened in Eastern Libya if Gaddafi had taken Benghazi. He has a reputation for being vindictive and punitive; even close family member's who've vocally differed from him on trifling matters have been found dead. Instead of watching NATO planes destroy Gaddafi's tanks, we could be seeing a North African recreation of Halabja.

Sir Arthur Str…

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Sir Arthur Str… on April 13, 2011

Another reason for intervention that hasn't been mention so far, is that the military fucking love these kind of actions.
They get to test out all their new toys, justify their budget and crank up the patriotism and sense of moral duty. All with miniscule risk to their own. Suddenly the military are important again, after all those abuse stories and the Trident black-hole.

I think what we are seeing is a mix of imperial resource grabbing, the genuine belief that they can stop Gaddafi and bring peace and military cock-waving.
Interestingly NATO don't seem to be doing very well, they've stopped a possible massacre in Benghazi but bloodshed has increased elsewhere and Gaddafi shows signs of increasing barbarism.

Obviously while this is still going on they can't control the oil.
There seems to be two likely scenarios; Firstly NATO backs out quietly blaming diplomacy, maybe they finance they back the rebels a little but just enough to make it an even fight hoping that a stalemate will be reached and appropriate the resources from both sides.
Or Secondly they stop intervening halfheartedly and send in the boys (and some girls).

Either way it' shit for the working class of Lybia.

Submitted by Gerostock on April 13, 2011

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling

Another reason for intervention that hasn't been mention so far, is that the military fucking love these kind of actions.
They get to test out all their new toys, justify their budget and crank up the patriotism and sense of moral duty. All with miniscule risk to their own. Suddenly the military are important again, after all those abuse stories and the Trident black-hole.

I think what we are seeing is a mix of imperial resource grabbing, the genuine belief that they can stop Gaddafi and bring peace and military cock-waving.
Interestingly NATO don't seem to be doing very well, they've stopped a possible massacre in Benghazi but bloodshed has increased elsewhere and Gaddafi shows signs of increasing barbarism.

Obviously while this is still going on they can't control the oil.
There seems to be two likely scenarios; Firstly NATO backs out quietly blaming diplomacy, maybe they finance they back the rebels a little but just enough to make it an even fight hoping that a stalemate will be reached and appropriate the resources from both sides.
Or Secondly they stop intervening halfheartedly and send in the boys (and some girls).

Either way it' shit for the working class of Lybia.

NATO agreed to finance the rebels today.

It's important to recollect how reluctant the west was to get involved when this all started. They didn't pass a resolution authorizing a no fly zone until the eleventh hour (For perspective: After the invasion of Kuwait, It took mere hours for the US to table a resolution in the Security Council authorizing a war against Iraq) And one of Obama's spokesman said that they only went in because they were worried that the electorate would blame them for a massacre in Benghazi.

I don't think we can talk about the working class of Libya as if they're an innocent monolithic entity in the middle of an unfortunate war. The working class in Sirte are overwhelmingly pro-Gaddafi, and the working class of Benghazi are overwhelmingly pro-rebellion. And they're both violently militant. According to the New York Times, a thousand Benghazians volunteer for the rebellion every week. The pro-Gaddafi proles in Sirte and Tripoli have armed themselves and are eager for a ruckus.

Marxist class analysis isn't helpful here.

Khawaga

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on April 13, 2011

Marxist class analysis isn't helpful here.

Of course it is; it's the same analysis you use for Israel/Palestine, in Egypt, Tunisia or at home. It's just that the working class was defeated a long time ago in Libya. There's been some working class activity, but not on any scale close to that of Tunisia and Egypt.

Submitted by Gerostock on April 13, 2011

Khawaga

Marxist class analysis isn't helpful here.

Of course it is; it's the same analysis you use for Israel/Palestine, in Egypt, Tunisia or at home. It's just that the working class was defeated a long time ago in Libya. There's been some working class activity, but not on any scale close to that of Tunisia and Egypt.

I didn't say it doesn't apply, I said it isn't helpful. It doesn't compliment an analysis of the situation.

Khawaga

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on April 14, 2011

Ah, ok. Fair enough, I guess I just read too much into your statement.

Samotnaf

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on April 14, 2011

Gerostock:

It's worth noting that selfishly-motivated military interventions occasionally yield positive results.

Is this a case of "the road to heaven is paved with bad intentions"? Don't have time to check out what's been happening in Sierra Leone since Blair's wonderful initiative, but I suspect it's not that much better. Wasn't the whole thing about control of the diamond industry (iirc?). The BBC seemed to have the same take as you, Gerostock:

Still showing this minute on BBC News 24 - 'the rebels were annihilated... a just war... targeted military intervention... Britain, the old imperial power is forging a new kind of partnership with the colony it once ruled...'
The report, by Alan Lyttle, proudly states how it was briefed by the British military and influenced Blair into supporting a longer term involvement. Much hand-wringing about continuing poverty... continued British involvement needed... Still showing... over and out.
... 'European-style good governance... shaping its long-term future... taking it by the hand... "pretty much running the country isn't it?"... Civilising mission of 19th century... European institutions and values take root... save Africa from itself...

- Wellclose Square here. Hope you won't be supporting Sharko in the Ivory Coast next.

Alexander Roxwell

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 15, 2011

I think class analysis is perfectly helpful to untangling the struggle there in Libya. From conversations that I have had on other sites here on libcom.org I would hazard a guess that the problem isn't your "class analysis" so much as what appears to be a very narrow definition of "Marxism" that is interfering with what you see out the window without blinders on.

One of the people I really admire in this world is Noam Chomsky. Mark posted an interview with Noam Chomsky on Libya that really nails it right on target. Noam Chomsky's "theory" is (in my opinion) mush but he does not subordinate what he sees when he looks out the window to that "theory" which is a big big problem for many dogmatic leftists, including, I believe, many of you here on libcom.org. Chomsky sees what is actually out there and calls a a dog a dog and a grasshopper a grasshopper. As a result he has amended his eclectic anarchist theory to include the right of nations to self determination (or he always supported it).

If you deny the right of nations to self determination you cannot understand what is happening in the Middle East today. In fact I believe that it messes up your ability to understand Imperialism. This is not a struggle between "factory workers" and "capitalists" but it is a struggle between big empires and a number of subordinate classes who are exploited by them.

The world is messy. All of the workers are part of the oppressed but the "class line" is fuzzy in the "Third World" and some of the workers there in Lybia (and elsewhere) side with the Empires and some of them side with subordinate national oppressors. Our first principle is that we must always oppose the Empires because it is a system created by them. In Lybia we do need to support those who are fighting the Khaddafi regime. Are these two things mutually exclusive? I think here in the heart of the Empires we can do this. In Lybia it would be much more problematric - but, I think, revolutionaries must do their best.

Life is messy. All "theory" is reductionist and never infallible. We need to adjust our theory whenever we see that it misleads us in identifying what we see when we look out the window,

Submitted by Tojiah on April 15, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

If you deny the right of nations to self determination you cannot understand what is happening in the Middle East today. In fact I believe that it messes up your ability to understand Imperialism. This is not a struggle between "factory workers" and "capitalists" but it is a struggle between big empires and a number of subordinate classes who are exploited by them.

That is patently false. If anything it seems that people who "deny" this right nations to self determination are in a better position to explain why nationalist leaders "betray" their "own" people, which never fails to happen.

Alexander Roxwell

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 16, 2011

Do "nationalist leaders" actually "betray" their people? Did George Washington "betray" the people of the United States? Did Simon Bolivar "betray" the people of Greater Columbia? Did Sandino "betray" the people of Nicaragua?

"Nationalist Leaders" today sometimes do pretend to be "socialists" but they do not generally call themselves "communists" and promise to create a new regime governed by workers councils. Exactly what "nationalist leader" in the Middle East is "betraying" their people?

Because you fail to understand that the struggle for national self determination against foreign overlords is an important and decisive struggle in the world today (and was even more important in the just recent past) you fail to understand what is actually going on in the world today and thus can't tell a "traitor" from an ashtray.

Why did capitalism survive World War II? Was it all due to "traitors"? Or does it have something to do with the ability of some Imperialist capitalists to generate superprofits out of conquered overseas areas of the globe?

People fight what they perceive is oppressing them and if an Iraqi (or an Egyptian or a Iranian or ..........) today sees his enemy as a foreign overlord is he or she wrong?

Shaking your bony finger at "traitors" is only a small part of what a communist must do. The main thing a communist must do is point the way forward for workers - and for other oppressed classes as well - like peasants. Sometimes the road forward is clear - sometimes it is not.

[color=#FF0000]If you deny the right of nations to self determination you cannot understand what is happening in the Middle East today.[/color]

Gerostock

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Gerostock on April 16, 2011

What a weird and rambling comment.

Tojiah

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on April 16, 2011

That people are using nationalist rhetoric for their political ends is not indicative of a "right of nations to self-determination" as some kind of ahistorical magical entity, any more than the repeated wars over resources are indicative of a "right of people to private property". And repeating this in red is not going to win you any arguments.

Submitted by redsdisease on April 16, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

Do "nationalist leaders" actually "betray" their people? Did George Washington "betray" the people of the United States? Did Simon Bolivar "betray" the people of Greater Columbia? Did Sandino "betray" the people of Nicaragua?

"Nationalist Leaders" today sometimes do pretend to be "socialists" but they do not generally call themselves "communists" and promise to create a new regime governed by workers councils. Exactly what "nationalist leader" in the Middle East is "betraying" their people?

You are missing the point. The point isn't that they are "betraying their people," in fact those same nationalist leaders are usually working in the interest of an entire section of "their people" (the owning class). The point is that nationalist struggles encourage the working class to ally themselves with the very people who exploit them, fighting to create a new nation where they are still exploited.

Alexander Roxwell

People fight what they perceive is oppressing them and if an Iraqi (or an Egyptian or a Iranian or ..........) today sees his enemy as a foreign overlord is he or she wrong?

No, of course not. But again you're missing the point. One can fight against an imperial overlord without, at the same time, fighting for a nation state. We would be crazy not to see that the US presence in Iraq is oppressive and exploitative, this does not mean that we must necessarily support the Iraqi government or the Bathe Party or any other nationalist cause. You seem to believe that anti-imperialist struggle intrinsically affirms nationalist struggle, which I think is just not true.

Tojiah

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on April 16, 2011

You know, I've been dismissive but let's target this head-on. Allow me to show you why "the right of national self-determination" is completely useless in analyzing the situation in the Middle East today, while class analysis makes more sense, by using the glaring example of Egypt: the turmoil there started with a US-backed regime. It has lost most of its impetus even though the regime is still US-backed. The majority of remaining unrest is linked to working-class struggle: strikes and occupations. Now let us look at it through the two analyses:

[*] Class analysis: there was a break within the bourgeoisie due to the deteriorating economic situation. After years of class struggle, and the example of Tunisia, they sided with workers already struggling against the regime, as well as recruiting more workers into demonstrations and sit-ins, forcing out a specific manifestation of it, but holding back as soon as it seemed like the coup would result in a revolution, which would be against their interests as bourgeoisie. The class struggle, meanwhile, continues with greater vigor now that the regime's hold has shaken.
[*] Nationalist analysis: The people of Egypt have had enough of an oppressive US-backed regime. They struggled to overthrow the dictatorship, but betrayed their people once Mubarak was ousted and are now working with the same US-backed infrastructure to create a more malleable US ally. How dare they?!

This is of course a caricature of your nationalism, and I suppose a caricature of class analysis, as well. But our caricature looks better. You are more than welcome to fill in the gaps or explain what you actually mean about the need for this "right of nations to self-determination" in understanding the Middle East.

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 16, 2011

I find it very difficult to argue with people who do not state their positions clearly.

Tojiah

Allow me to show you why "the right of national self-determination" is completely useless in analyzing the situation in the Middle East today, while class analysis makes more sense, by using the glaring example of Egypt: the turmoil there started with a US-backed regime. It has lost most of its impetus even though the regime is still US-backed. The majority of remaining unrest is linked to working-class struggle: strikes and occupations. Now let us look at it through the two analyses:

O.K. Show me.

Tojiah

[list]
[*] Class analysis: there was a break within the bourgeoisie due to the deteriorating economic situation. After years of class struggle, and the example of Tunisia, [color=#FF0000]they[/color] sided with workers already struggling against the regime, as well as recruiting more workers into demonstrations and sit-ins, forcing out a specific manifestation of it, but holding back as soon as it seemed like the coup would result in a revolution, which would be against their interests as bourgeoisie. The class struggle, meanwhile, continues with greater vigor now that the regime's hold has shaken.

Who, exactly is "they"? One unidentified section of the bourgeoisie? Altho not written well I don't think I would disagree strongly with it as I understand it.

Tojiah

[list]
[*] Nationalist analysis: The people of Egypt have had enough of an oppressive US-backed regime. [color=#FF0000]They[/color] struggled to overthrow the dictatorship, but [[color=#FF0000]they[/color]] betrayed their people once Mubarak was ousted and are now working with the same US-backed infrastructure to create a more malleable US ally. How dare they?!

Here the first "they" appear to be the "people" - which includes workers, petit bourgeois, peasants, bedouins, and ........ do you include some segment of the bourgeoisie? The comrador bourgeoisie is the dictatorship itself is it not - or did the comprador bourgeoisie itself split? The second "they" (inserted by me as it is implied rather than stated) is whom exactly? It certainly does not include the workers. Is it the "other" part of the unidentified split? This statement needs a rewrite. It doesn't make sense.

Your unclear writing style makes it difficult to know where you are coming from here but it appears that you think that when I embrace the right of nations to self-determination I abandon class analysis. Did I say something somewhere to give you that impression? Or are you "shadow boxing" not with me but with some Nasserite that you met somewhere.

I am a communist who believes that the right of nations to self determination is one of the things we must fight for as we fight for the workers liberation. I do not "choose" to fight for the nation against the workers. Pardon me if you don't think that. I am just trying to be clear.

You certainly failed to Tojiah

show [me] why "the right of national self-determination" is completely useless in analyzing the situation in the Middle East today

Tojiah

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on April 17, 2011

For some reason I cannot edit the original post to make it clearer. Instead, I will rewrite it verbatim with corrections:
"Now let us look at it through the two analyses:
[list]
[*] Class analysis: there was a break within the bourgeoisie due to the deteriorating economic situation. After years of class struggle, and the example of Tunisia, a portion of the bourgeoisie (middle class intellectuals?) sided with workers already struggling against the regime, as well as recruiting more workers into demonstrations and sit-ins, forcing out a specific manifestation of it, but this portion of the bourgeoisie held back as soon as it seemed like the coup would result in a revolution, which would be against their interests as bourgeoisie. The class struggle, meanwhile, continues with greater vigor now that the regime's hold has shaken.
[*] Nationalist analysis: The people of Egypt have had enough of an oppressive US-backed regime. They struggled to overthrow the dictatorship, but the popular leaders betrayed their people once Mubarak was ousted and these leaders are now working with the same US-backed infrastructure to create a more malleable US ally. How dare they?!"

Is this somewhat clearer?

As for the second part, I expect you to fill that in, because it is you who claims that you cannot understand the situation in the Middle East without accepting "the right of nations to self determination", so you should provide an analysis under that article of faith. I see no reason to use "self determination" as an analytical tool or as something communists should work for, and indeed, this doesn't seem to bear out as a very important. To quote myself: " the turmoil there started with a US-backed regime. It has lost most of its impetus even though the regime is still US-backed. The majority of remaining unrest is linked to working-class struggle: strikes and occupations." So it doesn't seem like there is much for "self determination" to add to the class analysis. In fact, it seems to contradict what is going on on the ground, so it would detract from an analysis by adding a wrong premise. But it should be easy for you to prove me wrong. How does "the right of nations to self determination" fit in here at all?

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 17, 2011

I have very little time today to spent on the computer but I was glad to get your clarification of what the several theys meant. Thank you.

As to the "second part" I will have to get back to you on that when I have more time but this would an amendment to your "class analysis" rather than having anything to do with your caricature of some Nasserite's point of view.

I would say that to ignore the right of nations to self determination here is to ignore the living context in which this struggle is taking place. To fail to support whatever attempt is made to "de-link" from the Imperial Overlord is to overlook the actual genises of the problem. And to fail to opose any attempt that is made to 'link up" with a "friendly Empire" is equivilant to "treason."

Submitted by Jazzhands on April 20, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

Here the first "they" appear to be the "people" - which includes workers, petit bourgeois, peasants, bedouins

I'm sorry, what? Are the Bedouin tribes a separate class now? I would count the leadership of these tribes as petit-bourgeois or bourgeois, depending on the area. After all, Gaddafi is a Bedouin. But we can't really use proper capitalist class analysis here because the system under which the tribes are organized predates modern capitalism by a really long time.

Alexander Roxwell

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 23, 2011

What does "class analysis" mean?

First of all you take classes as they are in a given society no matter whether their origin was in capitalist society or in some previous society. You cannot do anything ridiculous like shoving bedouins into the "bourgeoisie" or even the "petit bourgeoisie" just to "disappear" them. This is classic dogmatism - shoving round mounds into square holes just to make them go away.

Are there active classes in let's say Libya that originate in pre-capitalist societies. Yes indeed. Just like there are still "peasants" in many many countries around the world. Are they "identical" to peasants from Middle Age France? No they are not. They behave differently as they exist embedded in a different society.

Classes exist in relationship to other classes.

In the United States I do not believe we ever really had a "peasantry." Instead we had "yeoman farmers." What is the difference between a "peasant" and a "yeoman farmer"? A peasant has to work part of the time on someone else's land or pay a "rent" to use someone else’s land - usually a landlord - a yeoman farmer does not. Peasants behave differently than do yeoman farmers.

Where is the "border" between one class and another vs. just a "stratum" of a class? What is the difference between a species and a genus? Between a genus and a family? Between a family and an order? People will debate these borders until doomsday. It is clearer in biology than it is in political economy and there are still disagreements in biology.

You make a mockery of “class analysis” when you try to cram fit inconvenient reality into a dogmatic box.

Once you have an idea of what classes really exist in a given society you must see how they react to current issues that come up in that society. For instance the issue of national self determination. It is not at all clear to me that many of you recognize any difference between the kind of rank jingoism that you see, say in the United States, to the fight for national self-determination, say, in Vietnam in the 40s against Japanese Imperialism or the 50s against French Imperialism or the 60s and 70s against U.S. Imperialism.

Mao Tse Tung tried to claim that what he was doing was creating a “socialist” China based upon arbitrarily reclassifying the Chinese peasantry as “proletarians” and calling himself a “proletarian revolutionary.” Some of you people do the same thing – but with a different goal in mind. Peasants are no longer peasants because capitalism has replaced feudalism and therefore a proletarian revolution is possible all over the world because the world as whole is ready for socialism. So let’s just sweep up all the leftover classes and put them under this rug or that so we are only left with two – the proletarian and the capitalist. This is not “class analysis” but just ideological fraud.

The truth is that a part of the world managed to industrialize first and then it tried to enslave the rest of the planet and prevent it from catching up. This was the “first wave” of bourgeois national revolutions. The “second wave” of bourgeois national revolutions went under the banner of “communism” and utterly messed up those who really believed in “communism” as it was “written” by Saint Karl rather than as practiced by Stalin, Mao, Ho, Castro, and so on.

The “Third World” experienced an anti-colonial revolt that was more successful after World War II and was most successful where it adopted either guerilla war or peasant war. I supported those “bourgeois national” revolts for national self determination for what they were – an attempt to get out from under the thumb of a foreign power. In fact they were not "proletarian revolutions" in any sense but that does not mean they were irrelevant or of no interest to real communists.

Where are we today?

I think we have entered a new era since the mask fell off the "second wave" and they all (or mostly all) reverted to ordinary old capitalism. I think we may see a real proletarian revolution one day “soon.” The peasantry is in fact disappearing around the world and the ranks of the proletariat are increasing. I have no access to such statistics and have no real "sense" of percentages but we may indeed finally be reaching the point where there are more workers than peasants in the world today. I think we will see some bizarre hybrids of old wars of national liberation and proletarian revolutions. Those of you who expect something pure and untainted will be sorely disappointed.

I believe the current revolt in the Arab lands must be seen more from this standpoint and less from the standpoint of "pure proletarian revolutionaries"(us) and those who have "sold them out" (everyone else).

In other words I believe in a real class analysis.

Khawaga

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on April 23, 2011

I think we will see some bizarre hybrids of old wars of national liberation and proletarian revolutions.

Sorry that wouldn't be a proletarian revolution. The one has to negate the other. This is not to say that the one cannot arise from the other, but in the end they are mutually incompatible. Liberation of a nation will lead to the formation of a local bourgeoisie, it always has it always will. Proletarian revolution, if successful, will destroy the nation-state in the process. In any case, I think it is more likely that we will see expressions of food riots mixed with self-conscious working class outbreaks and some desire for a liberal democratic state (not your bollocks national liberation), which has been uniformly the case across the Middle East and North Africa. Slogans against the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia aside, there hasn't been much liberation of nations, likely because most people in the Middle East are really fucking nationalist (Libya is a case in point).

While I agree with that it's silly to label the bedouin as petit-bourgeois and that most pre-capitalist classes are intention slated to become either proletarian or capitalist, I find your support for national liberation movements to be appalling.

Tojiah

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on April 23, 2011

There is a huge chasm between a lack of nuance in class analysis (to which I will admit - I was, after all, merely providing a very simplistic sketch) and saying that accepting the rights of nations to self-determination helps in understanding the situation in the Middle East. It seems that you are incapable of applying the lessons from the unmasking of the second wave of "revolutions" to current national liberation movements. Nor are you capable of accepting the lessons of previous "wars of national liberation" that have not changed the fact that smaller nations serve the interests of more powerful nations through neo-colonialism rather than colonialism.

Moreover, if reading libcom has gotten you to write the following:

I believe the current revolt in the Arab lands must be seen more from this standpoint and less from the standpoint of "pure proletarian revolutionaries"(us) and those who have "sold them out" (everyone else).

Then you have completely misunderstood what was written here and elsewhere. Please tell me where in this sketch of an analysis I have presented I have said this thing:

Class analysis: there was a break within the bourgeoisie due to the deteriorating economic situation. After years of class struggle, and the example of Tunisia, a portion of the bourgeoisie (middle class intellectuals?) sided with workers already struggling against the regime, as well as recruiting more workers into demonstrations and sit-ins, forcing out a specific manifestation of it, but this portion of the bourgeoisie held back as soon as it seemed like the coup would result in a revolution, which would be against their interests as bourgeoisie. The class struggle, meanwhile, continues with greater vigor now that the regime's hold has shaken.

I have not seen many other libcommers speak of betrayal either, because there is no point in trusting people with an interest in propping up capitalism to be the first on the barricades to overthrow it. You cannot be betrayed by someone you never trusted to begin with - you, on the other hand, want us to trust in national liberationists, ignoring all of the lessons of the past century.

Honestly, it would be nice if you would explain how supporting national liberation movements in yet another exercise in the cycle of capitalism is of any help.

I think we have entered a new era since the mask fell off the "second wave" and they all (or mostly all) reverted to ordinary old capitalism. I think we may see a real proletarian revolution one day “soon.” The peasantry is in fact disappearing around the world and the ranks of the proletariat are increasing. I have no access to such statistics and have no real "sense" of percentages but we may indeed finally be reaching the point where there are more workers than peasants in the world today. I think we will see some bizarre hybrids of old wars of national liberation and proletarian revolutions. Those of you who expect something pure and untainted will be sorely disappointed.

Why? Why would national liberation play a positive part in this? Your entire ramble has no explanation of this point. Yes, nationalist organizations act and agitate in different ways under different regimes, depending on how well the ruling class they serve is doing, but in what way does this mean that we should be supporting any of them?

Alexander Roxwell

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 23, 2011

Do you recognize a difference between the kind of rank jingoism that you see in the United States today and the fight for national self-determination by the Vietnamese people from the 1940s thru the 1970s?

Do you really, honestly, believe that the material pre-requisites have been laid in New Guinea for a proletarian socialist revolution?

Do you believe that India has achieved nothing at all from independence from Imperial Britain even tho it is still subject to neo-colonialism?

Do you believe that China achieved nothing at all from its revolution in 1949?

Why is China today an economic powerhouse whereas India is still weak?

Why is Brazil even weaker? Or is it?

Do you believe that Russia achieved nothing at all from its revolution in 1917?

Do you believe that Karl Marx supported the “bourgeois revolution” against the feudal aristocracy? e.g. the “first wave” of bourgeois national revolutions

If you saw the Russian, the Chinese, the Yugoslav, the Vietnamese, the Cuban revolutions as the “second wave” of bourgeois national revolutions would you have not supported those just as Karl Marx supported the “first wave”?

If you do not see them as a "second wave" of bourgeois national revolutions how do you see them?

In 1917 we saw the Russian revolution and the key role played by workers councils there. We saw similar, if less successful attempts in Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, and elsewhere in the early and middle 1920s. We saw some sputterings in the 1930s and then the last gasp in Spain in the 1930s. What have we seen since then? Portugal in the 1970s? Even that was triggered by the revolts in their colonies in Africa. We have seen almost nothing since the 1930s - and virually nothing at all of workers councils. How do you explain this if the “all the world” has been “rotten ripe” for a proletarian socialist revolution ever since 1900? Trotskyists explain it by saying the workers have been “betrayed” over and over and over again. If that is not your explanation what is it?

I already gave you my explanation – which you dismiss as my “entire ramble.”

Khawaga

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on April 24, 2011

Trotskyists explain it by saying the workers have been “betrayed” over and over and over again. If that is not your explanation what is it?

Oh, FFS. The working class was defeated, never betrayed (and I ask the same as Tojiah: by whom?). Spain was the major defeat, WW2 was simply Spain writ large. Come nearly 70 years of "labour peace" (at least in the West) and all proletarian movements in the colonized world turned into projects for membership into the nation-state system and you have your explanation.

Btw, your fucking stages approach to history is so passe. Very orthodox second international bollocks.

Submitted by Tojiah on April 24, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

Do you recognize a difference between the kind of rank jingoism that you see in the United States today and the fight for national self-determination by the Vietnamese people from the 1940s thru the 1970s?

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?
Alexander Roxwell

Do you really, honestly, believe that the material pre-requisites have been laid in New Guinea for a proletarian socialist revolution?

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?
Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that India has achieved nothing at all from independence from Imperial Britain even tho it is still subject to neo-colonialism?

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?
Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that China achieved nothing at all from its revolution in 1949?

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?
Alexander Roxwell

Why is China today an economic powerhouse whereas India is still weak?

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?
Alexander Roxwell

Why is Brazil even weaker? Or is it?

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?
Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that Russia achieved nothing at all from its revolution in 1917?

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?
Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that Karl Marx supported the “bourgeois revolution” against the feudal aristocracy? e.g. the “first wave” of bourgeois national revolutions

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?
Alexander Roxwell

If you saw the Russian, the Chinese, the Yugoslav, the Vietnamese, the Cuban revolutions as the “second wave” of bourgeois national revolutions would you have not supported those just as Karl Marx supported the “first wave”?

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?
Alexander Roxwell

If you do not see them as a "second wave" of bourgeois national revolutions how do you see them?

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?
Alexander Roxwell

In 1917 we saw the Russian revolution and the key role played by workers councils there. We saw similar, if less successful attempts in Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, and elsewhere in the early and middle 1920s. We saw some sputterings in the 1930s and then the last gasp in Spain in the 1930s. What have we seen since then? Portugal in the 1970s? Even that was triggered by the revolts in their colonies in Africa. We have seen almost nothing since the 1930s - and virually nothing at all of workers councils. How do you explain this if the “all the world” has been “rotten ripe” for a proletarian socialist revolution ever since 1900? Trotskyists explain it by saying the workers have been “betrayed” over and over and over again. If that is not your explanation what is it?

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?
Alexander Roxwell

I already gave you my explanation – which you dismiss as my “entire ramble.”

[/quote]
No. You have made no explanation. You have just strung claims together without connecting them logically in any way. That's not an explanation. That's a shopping list.

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 25, 2011

Khawaga

Btw, your fucking stages approach to history is so passe. Very orthodox second international bollocks.

Yes. Like the Mensheviks and the Second International back in 1905 / 1910 I do in fact recognize that there are in fact stages to history. That used to mark a critical difference between Marxists and Anarchists back then.

Lenin found this view inadequate so he amended it - but he did not abandon it. Even Trotsky did not completely abandon it - but did bend it out of shape. Lenin in fact called for the "dual dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry" in Russia - his way of recognizing that the bourgeoisie would oppose the coming Russian revolution despite the fact it would be of the "bourgeois" stage. Lenin in fact said - "O.K. if the bourgeoisie will not make its own revolution we will make it for them."

That is what he did and he was right. Trotsky was wrong. Russia did not have the material prerequisites to build a "dictatorship of the proletariat" which was why Stalin came to power.

This isn't "bullocks" - it is reality.

Khawaga

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on April 25, 2011

FYI, we don't live in the 1910s anymore and your "analysis" of why Russia failed is overly simplistic. Time folds diachronically, not in stages, which is an abstraction to make sense of history, i.e. after the fact, not some fucking map and compass for the future. In any case, please, then, go ahead and support all kind of bourgeois revolutions. What the fuck you're doing on libcom is beyond me. You've consistently demonstrated that you're just a Trot trying to hide under some anarchist lingo.

This isn't "bullocks" - it is reality.

First of all, it's "bollocks". It's an "o", not a "u". Second of all, you mistake theory for reality.

Alexander Roxwell

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 25, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

Do you recognize a difference between the kind of rank jingoism that you see in the United States today and the fight for national self-determination by the Vietnamese people from the 1940s thru the 1970s?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Ding Dong. Many of the people there are fighting to overthrow the puppet regimes who serve the interests of the Empires far more than they do the native people there.

Alexander Roxwell

Do you really, honestly, believe that the material pre-requisites have been laid in New Guinea for a proletarian socialist revolution?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

I chose New Guinea because I believe that no one in their right mind would pretend that New Guinea had the material prerequisites for a proletarian socialist revolution. I would argue that very few of the Arab countries involved do either. The point is – for a country where the material prerequisites for a proletarian socialist revolution are absent what do the people do when they are suffering profound oppression and exploitation? Do they, as Noa Rodman appears to think “just wait” and send their best fighters West to fight our fight – or do they fight for what they can get? And what can they get? They can get more autonomy for their nation !

Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that India has achieved nothing at all from independence from Imperial Britain even tho it is still subject to neo-colonialism?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

India did achieve quite a bit from becoming independent of Great Britain. Arab people could achieve this as well.

Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that China achieved nothing at all from its revolution in 1949?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Gee whiz. Before 1949 China was pulling a continuous train for all the Imperial rapists in the world. Now they are not. Take a look at Iraq. Is that what the future holds for the rest of the Arab world? Does China look better? Duh !

Alexander Roxwell

Why is China today an economic powerhouse whereas India is still weak?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Perhaps some Arabs could learn something here. Perhaps you could as well. Some methods work better than others.

Alexander Roxwell

Why is Brazil even weaker? Or is it?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Just driving the above point in deeper.

Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that Russia achieved nothing at all from its revolution in 1917?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

O.K. Score 1 point for Tojiah (7 for Roxwell)

Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that Karl Marx supported the “bourgeois revolution” against the feudal aristocracy? e.g. the “first wave” of bourgeois national revolutions

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Gee whiz Tojiah. Let me see. These struggles, if they are successful and not undermined by the Empires, just could work out to be “national liberation” movements. We should do everything in our power to push for that !

Alexander Roxwell

If you saw the Russian, the Chinese, the Yugoslav, the Vietnamese, the Cuban revolutions as the “second wave” of bourgeois national revolutions would you have not supported those just as Karl Marx supported the “first wave”?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Admittedly I am trying to get you to admit that my point of view is abstractly superior to yours and only touches the Middle East if I am successful. Give you another half point.

Alexander Roxwell

If you do not see them as a "second wave" of bourgeois national revolutions how do you see them?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Ditto above.

Alexander Roxwell

In 1917 we saw the Russian revolution and the key role played by workers councils there. We saw similar, if less successful attempts in Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, and elsewhere in the early and middle 1920s. We saw some sputterings in the 1930s and then the last gasp in Spain in the 1930s. What have we seen since then? Portugal in the 1970s? Even that was triggered by the revolts in their colonies in Africa. We have seen almost nothing since the 1930s - and virually nothing at all of workers councils. How do you explain this if the “all the world” has been “rotten ripe” for a proletarian socialist revolution ever since 1900? Trotskyists explain it by saying the workers have been “betrayed” over and over and over again. If that is not your explanation what is it?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

I am pointing out that you are holding up a standard made in another time in another place.

Alexander Roxwell

I already gave you my explanation – which you dismiss as my “entire ramble.”

Tojiah

No. You have made no explanation. You have just strung claims together without connecting them logically in any way. That's not an explanation. That's a shopping list.

I think I have explained it rather well. I think your point of view is preposterous and I think mine is much better.

Submitted by Tojiah on April 25, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

Do you recognize a difference between the kind of rank jingoism that you see in the United States today and the fight for national self-determination by the Vietnamese people from the 1940s thru the 1970s?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Ding Dong. Many of the people there are fighting to overthrow the puppet regimes who serve the interests of the Empires far more than they do the native people there.

Who are these people you are referring to? The Libyan rebels being armed and supported by the US, Britain and France? Gaddafi, who was being supported by the former just a few months ago? The Egyptian "liberationists" who have stopped struggling now that there has been a small superficial change in the government? Who are these liberationists that are at the forefront of all of these struggles, without the faith in which understanding is impossible?
Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

Do you really, honestly, believe that the material pre-requisites have been laid in New Guinea for a proletarian socialist revolution?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

I chose New Guinea because I believe that no one in their right mind would pretend that New Guinea had the material prerequisites for a proletarian socialist revolution. I would argue that very few of the Arab countries involved do either. The point is – for a country where the material prerequisites for a proletarian socialist revolution are absent what do the people do when they are suffering profound oppression and exploitation? Do they, as Noa Rodman appears to think “just wait” and send their best fighters West to fight our fight – or do they fight for what they can get? And what can they get? They can get more autonomy for their nation !

No-one in their right mind would compare Papua New Guinea to North Africa or the Middle East, where a far more advanced material, cultural and political infrastructure exists. The latter are modern industrial states, or close to it, while the former is not. It is a completely ridiculous comparison. The only similarity seems to be that in both cases the national liberationists you keep yammering about have little to do with what's actually going on on the ground.
Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that India has achieved nothing at all from independence from Imperial Britain even tho it is still subject to neo-colonialism?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

India did achieve quite a bit from becoming independent of Great Britain. Arab people could achieve this as well.

All the nation-states in which there have been upheavals in the Middle East have been independent states, in most cases since around the time India gained its independence. We are talking about the present. Again, utterly irrelevant.
Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that China achieved nothing at all from its revolution in 1949?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Gee whiz. Before 1949 China was pulling a continuous train for all the Imperial rapists in the world. Now they are not. Take a look at Iraq. Is that what the future holds for the rest of the Arab world? Does China look better? Duh !

Does Iraq have the largest population of all nations in the world, as well as having immense natural resources and being home to a significant portion of the world's manufacturing processes? Are Libya or Egypt Iraq? Are we living in the mid 20th century? No to all of these. Again, irrelevant.
Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

Why is China today an economic powerhouse whereas India is still weak?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Perhaps some Arabs could learn something here. Perhaps you could as well. Some methods work better than others.

Which methods? Methods of what? You were just extolling the virtues of both India and China as having gained immensely from independence, now you say China is better off than India. Why? What? Where? What are you trying to argue with? What should Arabs learn from you, other than that there is no dearth of condescension on the Left?
Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

Why is Brazil even weaker? Or is it?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Just driving the above point in deeper.

What point? You can't stab people with a hammer.
Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that Russia achieved nothing at all from its revolution in 1917?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

O.K. Score 1 point for Tojiah (7 for Roxwell)

I'm glad that in your mind there is a game here that you are winning, but there's a reason people usually let a referee decide on these things.
Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

Do you believe that Karl Marx supported the “bourgeois revolution” against the feudal aristocracy? e.g. the “first wave” of bourgeois national revolutions

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Gee whiz Tojiah. Let me see. These struggles, if they are successful and not undermined by the Empires, just could work out to be “national liberation” movements. We should do everything in our power to push for that !

So we're supposed to take a time machine and help Marx in the past? That sounds like a terrific premise to a science fiction/alternate history show. In practice there what we see in front of us is struggles that have nothing to do with national liberation or resistance to "Empire" occurring long after Marx's time. So.. again... irrelevant.
Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

If you saw the Russian, the Chinese, the Yugoslav, the Vietnamese, the Cuban revolutions as the “second wave” of bourgeois national revolutions would you have not supported those just as Karl Marx supported the “first wave”?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Admittedly I am trying to get you to admit that my point of view is abstractly superior to yours and only touches the Middle East if I am successful. Give you another half point.

Well, again, your hammer has no point.
Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

If you do not see them as a "second wave" of bourgeois national revolutions how do you see them?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

Ditto above.

Ditto in what sense? How are struggles which result in coups at worst, sometimes heightened class struggle at best, anywhere near bourgeois national revolutions? Your analysis has no relevance whatsoever to this discussion. Irrelevant.
Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

In 1917 we saw the Russian revolution and the key role played by workers councils there. We saw similar, if less successful attempts in Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, and elsewhere in the early and middle 1920s. We saw some sputterings in the 1930s and then the last gasp in Spain in the 1930s. What have we seen since then? Portugal in the 1970s? Even that was triggered by the revolts in their colonies in Africa. We have seen almost nothing since the 1930s - and virually nothing at all of workers councils. How do you explain this if the “all the world” has been “rotten ripe” for a proletarian socialist revolution ever since 1900? Trotskyists explain it by saying the workers have been “betrayed” over and over and over again. If that is not your explanation what is it?

Tojiah

What does that have to do with whether or not to support national liberation movements in the Middle East?

I am pointing out that you are holding up a standard made in another time in another place.

Oh, really? As opposed to you, who is claiming that we should support this or that policy because any reasonable person would have supported certain revolutions that you bring up from the past? That is not holding up a standard made in another time and another place to what is going on in the here and now? That is a modern view, keeping up to date with current events?
Alexander Roxwell

Alexander Roxwell

I already gave you my explanation – which you dismiss as my “entire ramble.”

Tojiah

No. You have made no explanation. You have just strung claims together without connecting them logically in any way. That's not an explanation. That's a shopping list.

I think I have explained it rather well. I think your point of view is preposterous and I think mine is much better.

Well, I imagine you are either surrounded by yea-sayers or don't bother getting any kind of critique from other people, because your argument, such as it is, does not hold water, repeatedly shows your ignorance of current events, and therefore the only reason you could prefer it is because you are unable to criticize your own thoughts or understand other people's criticisms thereof.

LBird

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by LBird on April 25, 2011

Tojiah, Khawaga, and anyone else tempted to enter into another futile discussion with Alexander, recently we've had two long threads on the 'national liberation of Ireland' and on the issue of 'national liberation' as a theory, at the end of which Alexander failed to engage with what the entire group of fellow posters wrote, some of whom disagreed between themselves on other issues.

Clearly, it is fundamentally pointless to engage with Alexander on this issue - he's not listening or reasoning, he's just re-iterating what he believes, like a mantra. He has a faith which can't be changed by reasoning.

Alexander - if you want to continue making your argument in favour of 'national liberation', why not return to the other discussions and answer the critical points made by the other posters who engaged with you then in good faith?

Khawaga

What the fuck you're doing on libcom is beyond me. You've consistently demonstrated that you're just a Trot trying to hide under some anarchist lingo.

In the past, I would have disagreed with Khawaga. I was wrong. It's now beyond me, too.

Jazzhands

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jazzhands on April 25, 2011

Meh, Roxwell's right. I retract my statement, which was a result of being extremely tired and rather lazy. What I was trying to say (unsuccessfully, of course) was that you can't just lump Bedouins into their own class. Bedouins are, to the best of my knowledge, an ethnic group. You have to examine each of them and their individual relations to the class structure in Libya. Which is why I mentioned Gaddafi. Combination of bad wording, sleep deprivation and laziness. umm...oops?

also, if we can get back on track with the actual updates on the situation, NPR says NATO just made an airstrike on Gaddafi's current hiding place in Bab Al-Aziya. CNN confirms that this was, in fact, an assassination attempt. No word on whether Gaddafi himself was in there.

The city of Misurata has been under heavy siege by Gaddafi for weeks. The US has just deployed its first Predator drones there to harass Gaddafi's troops. The rebels seem to be making very slow progress in retaking the entire city, since Gaddafi's troops are disguising themselves and hiding amongst the populace. They currently have control over just under half the city, on par with the rebels. The center part is still heavily contested, but the rebels are making slow progress. According to NPR, the loyalist morale seems to be very low.

My analysis:

Misurata is a critical location because it is very, very close to Tripoli. Both sides have poured so much effort into taking the city that whoever loses will never survive the morale loss. This is much more of a problem for the rebels, as morale is their only tactical advantage over Gaddafi's troops. Also, NPR has a rebel fighter saying that most of Misurata supports the rebellion. If the rebels gain control of the city, they will have an enormous morale boost and a fresh source of new fighters very close to Tripoli.

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 26, 2011

LBird

Clearly, it is fundamentally pointless to engage with Alexander on this issue - he's not listening or reasoning, he's just re-iterating what he believes, like a mantra. He has a faith which can't be changed by reasoning.

Actually I did go on this site to "hear" what the people who publish the brilliant Bordiga have to say about my ideas. The problem I have is that many of you do not write very well and go on and on on tangents that make little sense, some of you focus on minor minutia, and others think they have made profound points by digging up some quote from their favorite guru that only tangentially focuses on the point in question. I really am quite open minded and do have some holes in my theory - but so far no one has zeroed in on any of them.

LBird

Alexander - if you want to continue making your argument in favour of 'national liberation', why not return to the other discussions and answer the critical points made by the other posters who engaged with you then in good faith?

Actually I would if I could find any of the "critical points" you say were made.

Khawaga

What the fuck you're doing on libcom is beyond me. You've consistently demonstrated that you're just a Trot trying to hide under some anarchist lingo.

If you really believe I am a "Trot" you need to take a bonehead reading comprehension in grammar school. Some other bonehead called me a "Maoist." He or she needs to do the same.

I must admit I do not know too awful much about "anarchism" and am not at all impressed by it. I have found the Workers Opposition, the Workers Truth, and others of similar ilk much more to my liking. I am still trying to figure out the politics that dominate this site and what I see are some very profound contradictions. There certainly is a lot of very good information in your library - in fact some of the best stuff I have seen on the left anywhere can be found there. But the quality of the people who spend time posting seems to be of a much lower caliber. I admit that this confuses me - and this accounts for both my periodic disgust as well as pulling me back in from time to time.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The bottom line is that I am very willing to listen to a good argument. But only if you have one. I have been a Marxist since the 1960s and have had alot of arguments with alot of people, both other Marxists and ordinary workers for a long time and I must admit I have a low tolerance for idiotic arguments. Dogmatism and the worship of gurus does not impress me at all.

Submitted by Tojiah on April 26, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

The bottom line is that I am very willing to listen to a good argument. But only if you have one. I have been a Marxist since the 1960s and have had alot of arguments with alot of people, both other Marxists and ordinary workers for a long time and I must admit I have a low tolerance for idiotic arguments. Dogmatism and the worship of gurus does not impress me at all.

As they said about the Royalists, you clearly have learned nothing and forgotten nothing since then. But do go on about how dogmatic your interlocutors are while repeatedly extolling us to react to current events like you reacted to previous events which you find analogous.

Khawaga

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on April 26, 2011

I must admit I have a low tolerance for idiotic arguments.

So you must have a low tolerance for your own. Sadly, you think too highly of yourself and seem stuck in a 60s paradigm when national liberation was still the craze. At least some of us have learnt from history, you seem to not bother and cling to your beliefs regardless of what argument is levied at you. While the quality of discourse is not always high, you're certainly not doing your part to elevate it the slightest (but at least you're consistent in that).

If you really believe I am a "Trot" you need to take a bonehead reading comprehension in grammar school.

Maybe you should read some of the propaganda by the British SWP. What you're arguing is exactly the same. So-called critical support of national liberation, empty calls for working class solidarity and liberation, but nevertheless ending up supporting all kinds of anti-working class organizations.

I really am quite open minded and do have some holes in my theory - but so far no one has zeroed in on any of them.

Your nationalism is a gaping hole, but then again you don't see it as such. The same is probably the case with your other theoretical black holes.

Submitted by ocelot on April 26, 2011

Khawaga

If you really believe I am a "Trot" you need to take a bonehead reading comprehension in grammar school.

Maybe you should read some of the propaganda by the British SWP. What you're arguing is exactly the same. So-called critical support of national liberation, empty calls for working class solidarity and liberation, but nevertheless ending up supporting all kinds of anti-working class organizations.

Sheesh Khawaga, I'm surprised at you. Can't you recognise a...

...MAO-BOT when you see one? To this man Trotsky is a dangerous ultraleftist deviationist and running dog imperialist lackey of TEH EMPIREZ!

Khawaga

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on April 26, 2011

Ah, soree ;) My only experience with Maoist are the Scandies that loved Hoxa...

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on April 26, 2011

Khawaga

Ah, soree ;) My only experience with Maoist are the Scandies that loved Hoxa...

aren't those Hoxaists?

Khawaga

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on April 26, 2011

aren't those Hoxaists?

Yeah, they would be. So Scandinavian Maoists were Maoist-Hoxaist (ML) or sumthin like that. Now they seem to love the Nepalese Maoists since their old heroes and long gone and dead.

bootsy

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bootsy on April 27, 2011

Jazzhands said:

What I was trying to say (unsuccessfully, of course) was that you can't just lump Bedouins into their own class. Bedouins are, to the best of my knowledge, an ethnic group.

I'm fairly sure that isn't correct. Bedouins are Arabs but Arabs aren't necessarily Bedouins. What makes a Bedouin a Bedouin is that they're Arabs who live a nomadic lifestyle herding camels and sheep i.e. the material basis of their existence is key to defining who is a Bedouin. So maybe it is correct to discuss Bedouin Arabs as an economic class. I'm not really sure, hopefully someone who knows more about this can correct me as my knowledge here only comes from a bit of a discussion I had with a friend in Israel as well as some pretty brief internet research. A discussion about the class interests of Bedouins would frankly be a lot more interesting than yet another argument with this dogmatist Roxwell.

Alexander Roxwell

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 28, 2011

Let me see. Tojiah's response to my argument was that I am much like the Royalists.

Khawaga said I must have a low tolerance for my own idiotic arguments. (He neglected to say which of my ideas were idiotic, a minor detail.)

Khawaga reiterated his idiotic charge that I am a "Trot" based on the fact he says I say "exactly the same" as the British SWP despite my open disagreement with:

----- the foundation of the Fourth International
----- with Cliff's analysis of the U.S.S.R.
----- Trotsky's theory of the Permanent Revolution as
[color=#FFFFBF]----- [/color]the "solution" to the problems of the Third World
----- the program of forced industrialization as advocated by
[color=#FFFFBF]-----[/color] either Stalin or Trotsky.

Kind of central tenets of the British SWP I believe.

And for whip cream Khawaga levels a new charge. I am now some kind of a "nationalist" because I support the right of nations to self determination. Still this, well, this "comrade" has flunked bonehead Marxism 1A: the difference beween recognizing the right of an oppressed nation to self-determination and the jingoism of a proud empire.

Ocelot provides us with a Maoist cartoon that shows us --------------------------------------- what exactly I do not know

This illustrates the level of discourse that Khawaga seems more comfortable with so he responds with some kind of meaningless insider joke about “scandies” and Enver Hoxha.

And radicalgraffiti tops it off by asking if these “scandies” were more like “Hoxaists”?

Bootsi evidently is not taken in by the irrelevant comic book "debate" about "Hoxaists" and returns to minutia in reopening a debate about “bedouins.”

LBird

Alexander - if you want to continue making your argument in favour of 'national liberation', why not return to the other discussions and answer the critical points made by the other posters who engaged with you then in good faith?

Are these good examples of the “critical points” I failed to address on other sites?

There are a lot of you. There evidently is only one of me. Can’t any of you come up with a worthy argument?

Tojiah

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on April 28, 2011

I know that back in the 1960's, when you have set your political views in stone based on the fads current in whatever political group you grew up in, there wasn't any internet, meaning that you do not quite know what is the politically justifiable way to deal with a discussion on an online forum, so I will use a handy link to guide you to my post going over your argument and refuting it point by point. That's Post #431, if that helps.

PS: This thread isn't about you. It's about the situation in Libya. Strangely enough it seems that people want to go back to discussing that rather than wasting their time on a national liberation fetishist.

Khawaga

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on April 28, 2011

So Roxwell, do you support the interim council in East Libya then? Is what is going on in Libya "national liberation" or two bourgeois gangs fighting each other for control over the nation state. Or will you start supporting secessionist movements that will split Libya up to the three pre-Libya nations? Surely all of them have the "right" to possess the state because they're all "oppressed nations"? And what the fuck has the lingo about "rights" got to do with anything? And for that matter "oppressed nations"? Surely you must be joking.

And yeah, if that is your version of Marxism 101, I would obviously flunk it. That's the old fashioned second international, Leninist way. I am anarcho-communist that take the class struggle seriously. Anyone with a class analysis worth their salt is against any fucking form of nationalism, even if it comes from peoples in poorer parts of the world.

LBird

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by LBird on April 28, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

There are a lot of you. There evidently is only one of me. Can’t any of you come up with a worthy argument?

Don't your own words give you pause for thought, Alexander?

As you say, there seems to be 'only one of you' who supports your argument.

Do you really think that all your other comrades on this site haven't listened to your stance, reasoned about it to themselves, read the other posters' positions, and tried to persuade you with, what they at least consider, 'worthy arguments'?

Perhaps you are right, and just happen to be in a minority of one. But doesn't it make you at least reflect, just a little bit?

Not least, if you're correct, what does it say about the apparent inability of so many Communists on this site to make reasoned argument?

Alexander Roxwell

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 28, 2011

Whatever merits the revolt against Khadafi had to begin with they have been thoroughly undermined by the "support" they have received by the Empires. That was the danger thruout the Middle East. It looks as tho the Empires are winning them all - or most of them. That is a tragedy for the Middle East and for the future of the human race.

The tragedy of various "Communists" here and elsewhere to reason is another whole topic. Don't feel so all alone, it appears to be quite widespread. Have you ever had a chat with a member of the U.S. Spartacist League? How about the RCP?

Khawaga

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on April 28, 2011

Roxwell

Whatever merits the revolt against Khadafi had to begin with they have been thoroughly undermined by the "support" they have received by the Empires. That was the danger thruout the Middle East. It looks as tho the Empires are winning them all - or most of them. That is a tragedy for the Middle East and for the future of the human race.

Well, duh! But your next argument is that we then should support some adventurist national liberation stunt rather than focusing on class struggle.

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on April 29, 2011

Why can't you dispute the argument I actually made instead of what your deeply intuitive clairvoyant extrasensory perception tells you will be my next thought?

Woops. You didn't do that either. You are waiting for me to use my own clairvoyance to be able to perceive just exactly what it is that you mean by - Khawaga

...some adventurist national liberation stunt

Alas. I am getting very familiar with this method of argumentation.

Khawaga

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on April 29, 2011

Maybe you are the one that should take an elementary reading course. I was actually agreeing with your argument for once, though when it comes to the implication of your argument we will go our separate ways. Assuming from your previous "arguments" you will likely support some future national liberation movement consisting of both workers and bosses against NATO/GCC in Libya (and I assume against Saudi Arabia/GCC in Bahrain, Yemen etc.) so that their "right" to national self-determination will be upheld. Which, from the point of view of the working class, is an adventurist national liberation stunt and would set back the working class in the region even further. I've seen and heard, first hand (hmmm, that was an odd turn of phrase), how the national aspirations of even just one group of people has poisoned the well of working class consciousness and solidarity. Likely a national liberation scenario in Libya will blind the Arab working class as to who the real enemy is just has Palestine has done for decades.

Mark.

13 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on April 29, 2011

Fighting spills over into Tunisia

[youtube]1x17tN7rumk[/youtube]

Mark.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 20, 2011

The fighting has reached Tripoli

http://www.libyafeb17.com/

http://news.sky.com/home/article/16053897

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/08/20/libya.war/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Mark.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 21, 2011

Updates from Tripoli

http://feb17.info/news/live-libyan-unrest-august-21-2011/

An uprising with backing from NATO airstrikes - what do people make of this?

Edit: AJE reporting that Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi has been captured and Presidential Guard has surrendered.

Noa Rodman

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on August 21, 2011

There was a report couple of days ago about hundreds of thousands emigrant workers who fled to Tripoli, expressing concern over their fate.

Hieronymous

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Hieronymous on August 22, 2011

Al Jazeera reports that opposition fighters have taken Green Square in Tripoli.

bootsy

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bootsy on August 22, 2011

Noa Rodman

There was a report couple of days ago about hundreds of thousands emigrant workers who fled to Tripoli, expressing concern over their fate.

Noa I've been trying to do a bit of research on rebel atrocities of migrant workers and so far have only really been able to find variations on this article. If you have more information could you post it to the thread?

Mark.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 26, 2011

bootsy

Noa Rodman

There was a report couple of days ago about hundreds of thousands emigrant workers who fled to Tripoli, expressing concern over their fate.

Noa I've been trying to do a bit of research on rebel atrocities of migrant workers and so far have only really been able to find variations on this article. If you have more information could you post it to the thread?

There's this article by Gabriele Del Grande on the Fortress Europe blog.

Edit: Amnesty International report

Mark.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 26, 2011

Mark.

An uprising with backing from NATO airstrikes - what do people make of this?

Not much response here then. Anarkismo has a long article on Libya that at least tries to deal with the issues.

Lessons from Libya: imperialism, anti-imperialism and democratic revolution

The sudden end of the Gaddafi regime some 6 months after the start of the Libyan revolt leaves some difficult questions unanswered for the left. Gaddafi’s determination to physically crush the revolt quickly transformed it into a civil war, a civil war that saw considerable imperialist intervention on the rebel side, intervention that was essential to their eventual victory. This and Gaddafi’s historic record led to some on the left taking his side in the civil war while other organisations tried to balance support for the ‘Arab spring’s’ arrival in Libya with opposition to imperialism.

This question of where the balance lies between international solidarity with pro-democracy movements and opposition to imperialism could well rapidly return to the top of the agenda in a very much bigger way as the regime in Syria continues its months long military suppression of the democracy movement there.

The spread of the Arab democratic revolution to Libya and the subsequent intervention by imperialist airpower against Gaddafi led to a major and heated debate on the revolutionary left on the question of imperialism. The very complexity of the situation in Libya means that as well as the specifics of this war and revolution it provides a useful starting point for a re-examination of what has become traditional anti-imperialism. Libya like Rwanda, Srebrenicia and more rhetorically Palestine has become one of those recent conflicts where many argue for rather than against intervention.

Part of this is down to a standard dogmatic polarization between pro-intervention liberals who think the bombs are being dropped to protect Libyans on the one hand and on the other the nationalists and hard core leninist’s who think Gadaffi's past make him an enemy of imperialism today. Neither pole has much to say of relevance to those who found themselves facing Gaddafi's tanks outside Benghazi at the start of the revolt with little more than AK47's to stop them...

Any thoughts?

ocelot

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on August 26, 2011

Well I certainly agree more with the Anarkismo article than the Guardian comment piece by Seamus Milne on Wednesday, where he said:

In Libya, the basis for foreign military intervention has been the claim that Muammar Gaddafi's forces were about to carry out a massacre of civilians in Benghazi after he threatened to hunt down armed rebels "house to house". Violent repression was certainly meted out against a popular uprising, but once insurrection had morphed into war there's little evidence that the regime's troops were in a position to overrun an armed and hostile city of 700,000 people.

Frankly this is horseshit. Budapest '56? Prague '68? Hello?

When the anarkismo piece says:

This is not the 1930's, the last time when you might have believed that a rag tag army without air support could take on a modern one in a war and win. And even in the 30's superior military equipments, training and supplies played a massive role in ensuring Franco's victory over the republicans in Spain. From that perspective it would have been suicidal for the rebels (and the civilian cities they held) not to demand such strikes.

I have to agree. An improvised citizen's militia with only AK's, RPGs and a few AA guns cannot stand against heavy armour and air power that is indifferent to mass civilian casualties and urban destruction. Even in a city. Despite the clichéd saw that armour is no use in cities because of the confined space, trotted out by some "military experts" in the media recently, it didn't bother the soviet tanks in Hungary & Czechoslovakia. The limitations of urban space were further overcome by the Israeli army assault on Nablus in 2002 by their "walk through walls" overground tunnel tactics (see The Art of War).

It just seems to me that Milne's line (which has been repeated here in Ireland by the SWP, although the anarkismo piece mentions that the London SWP's Callinicos was more realistic - if still somewhat besides the point) is wishful thinking motivated by a desire to avoid the difficult questions that the episode raises.

Hmm, outside factors mean I'll have to continue this post later...

baboon

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on August 26, 2011

I briefly read the text referred to by Mark above and it contains a lot of good information. It doesn’t seem to take a position though and it’s rather ambiguous. The question what do you do when a tank’s coming towards you is not the best way to pose any question about imperialist war, which is what this now clearly is. There is no real “grey area” here any more; nationalism and democracy are poisonous for the working class.

Each of the major powers is playing their own game here with certain contingent alliances beginning with the relatively common objectives of the US, France and Britain. The Pentagon, despite some misgivings and secondary objections, have fully supported and encouraged the Anglo-French assault on the Gadaffi regime.

Initially part of a world-wide social movement, the uprising of Libyan youth has been swamped and then mobilised into a war of imperialism under a national flag, from its “humanitarian” beginnings, its special forces and “diplomats” to its call for democracy accompanied by a massive bombing campaign.

Oil is of course a factor, but I think that there’s at least important strategic considerations, somewhat thrown up by the social movement itself. These uprisings, the social struggles against the effects of capitalism’s crisis, have in their turn contributed to imperialist instability – just as effective class struggle, clearly led by the working class, can also do. The case of Egypt is very important here for the wider implications throughout the Middle East and beyond: events in the so-called demilitarized zone of the Sinai give us an indication; war planes are released over Gaza and the US stands four-square behind Israel. But deeper regional instability can only mean that imperialist antagonisms are sharpened on top of this powder keg.

In the meantime, Tehran is getting a greater grip over Syria (also Lebanon and Hamas) and the nightmare of Iran looms ever larger in the war ministries of the west. Its proxies are continuing to fight and kill US troops in Iraq and it’s possible that it has a role in stirring up the recent actions of the PKK against Turkey. Iran has resumed diplomatic ties and other connections with Egypt after three decades, with the latter allowing Iranian warships through the Suez Canal - much to the astonishment of NATO. A very compliant Libyan regime, pumping oil and probably with western military bases would be a geo-strategic “asset” against a potentially destabilised Egypt and further Iranian influence.
I think that in the text referred to by Mark there’s too much ambiguity. The examples it sort of gives in relation to “grey areas” are all black and white to me: Vietnam of the 70s (a murderous labour camp), Rwanda, Srebrenica, are all clear examples of imperialist war in which the major powers are totally complicit when they didn’t generate them outright.

The Russian anarchist Kras group has a good, succinct internationalist position on the war in Libya. It’s on the ICC’s website.

bastarx

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bastarx on August 27, 2011

ocelot

I have to agree. An improvised citizen's militia with only AK's, RPGs and a few AA guns cannot stand against heavy armour and air power that is indifferent to mass civilian casualties and urban destruction. Even in a city. Despite the clichéd saw that armour is no use in cities because of the confined space, trotted out by some "military experts" in the media recently, it didn't bother the soviet tanks in Hungary & Czechoslovakia. The limitations of urban space were further overcome by the Israeli army assault on Nablus in 2002 by their "walk through walls" overground tunnel tactics (see The Art of War).

I see your Nablus and raise you Grozny in 1994-5 where the Chechen militia armed with AKs and RPGs basically wiped out two Russian motorised regiments.

bastarx

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bastarx on August 27, 2011

Mark.

Part of this is down to a standard dogmatic polarization between pro-intervention liberals who think the bombs are being dropped to protect Libyans on the one hand and on the other the nationalists and hard core leninist’s who think Gadaffi's past make him an enemy of imperialism today. Neither pole has much to say of relevance to those who found themselves facing Gaddafi's tanks outside Benghazi at the start of the revolt with little more than AK47's to stop them...

Any thoughts?

Those facing Gaddafi's tanks are almost certainly not listening to us.

Devrim

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on August 27, 2011

ocelot

Well I certainly agree more with the Anarkismo article than the Guardian comment piece by Seamus Milne on Wednesday, where he said:

In Libya, the basis for foreign military intervention has been the claim that Muammar Gaddafi's forces were about to carry out a massacre of civilians in Benghazi after he threatened to hunt down armed rebels "house to house". Violent repression was certainly meted out against a popular uprising, but once insurrection had morphed into war there's little evidence that the regime's troops were in a position to overrun an armed and hostile city of 700,000 people.

I think that there was little evidence that they were about to assault Benghazi. The Libyan troops has paused outside the city. Of course you could argue that this was in preparation for an assault, However, it seemed at the time that Gaddafi's tactic was to attempt to split the rebels using bribes and fostering tribal division.

At the time that the Western Powers intervened, this appeared to be working.

I think the idea that there was an imminent assault using chemical weapons about to happen was propagated by those who were looking to justify their intervention.

Devrim

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 30, 2011

Mark.

bootsy

Noa Rodman

There was a report couple of days ago about hundreds of thousands emigrant workers who fled to Tripoli, expressing concern over their fate.

Noa I've been trying to do a bit of research on rebel atrocities of migrant workers and so far have only really been able to find variations on this article. If you have more information could you post it to the thread?

There's this article by Gabriele Del Grande on the Fortress Europe blog.

Edit: Amnesty International report

Channel 4's Alex Thomson saved some Nigerian workers from being killed by anti-Gadaffi fighters.

Elsewhere, both sides have been carrying out atrocities:

'Evidence mounts of atrocities by Libyan “rebels”'

'Libyan rebels carry out reprisal attacks'

Also, some of the rebels are predictably al-Qaeda members, including Abdelhakim Belhaj who is the top Libyan military commander in Tripoli:

'How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli'

'Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links'

Edit: 'Tripoli faces humanitarian crisis'

ocelot

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on August 30, 2011

Peter

ocelot

I have to agree. An improvised citizen's militia with only AK's, RPGs and a few AA guns cannot stand against heavy armour and air power that is indifferent to mass civilian casualties and urban destruction. Even in a city. Despite the clichéd saw that armour is no use in cities because of the confined space, trotted out by some "military experts" in the media recently, it didn't bother the soviet tanks in Hungary & Czechoslovakia. The limitations of urban space were further overcome by the Israeli army assault on Nablus in 2002 by their "walk through walls" overground tunnel tactics (see The Art of War).

I see your Nablus and raise you Grozny in 1994-5 where the Chechen militia armed with AKs and RPGs basically wiped out two Russian motorised regiments.

...and then the Russians turned the city into rubble. To be fair, the Russians did get their arses handed to them in the initial New Year's eve assault. It certainly goes down as a contender for the top 5 soviet military fuck-ups (a hotly contested category). However there were a couple of particular conditions that do not apply to Benghazi and many other places. Apart from the surrounding mountainous terrain and the staggering incompetence of the initial Russian tactics, an important factor was the fact that the Chechen troops were at least as well trained as the Russian regulars (having done the same military service), and in many cases generally better quality troops. Certainly the TNC irregulars do not seem to be in the same league, or even the same game as the Chechens, if the performances around Brega and Ras Lanuf were anything to go by. But anyway...

ocelot

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on August 30, 2011

Devrim

ocelot

Well I certainly agree more with the Anarkismo article than the Guardian comment piece by Seamus Milne on Wednesday, where he said:

In Libya, the basis for foreign military intervention has been the claim that Muammar Gaddafi's forces were about to carry out a massacre of civilians in Benghazi after he threatened to hunt down armed rebels "house to house". Violent repression was certainly meted out against a popular uprising, but once insurrection had morphed into war there's little evidence that the regime's troops were in a position to overrun an armed and hostile city of 700,000 people.

I think that there was little evidence that they were about to assault Benghazi. The Libyan troops has paused outside the city. Of course you could argue that this was in preparation for an assault, However, it seemed at the time that Gaddafi's tactic was to attempt to split the rebels using bribes and fostering tribal division.

At the time that the Western Powers intervened, this appeared to be working.

I think the idea that there was an imminent assault using chemical weapons about to happen was propagated by those who were looking to justify their intervention.

Devrim

Well the inhabitants of Benghazi appear to have believed that the attack was imminent. Also Ghaddaffi's broadcast of threats of "we're coming to get you tonight" doesn't really match up with your proposed theory of a more measured "divide and rule" tactic. But if you have any links or references to material suggesting otherwise, then please share. I'm afraid I find the attitude of western leftists that "they weren't in any real danger" to be less convincing than the locals apparent belief in the opposite. Particularly as in the former case, it appears suspiciously like a case of apriorism, i.e. an assessment based on ideological convenience rather than the available facts.

edit: not sure where the chemical weapons reference came from, as it doesn't appear in either the Anarkismo or Guardian piece, or this thread?

Devrim

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on September 1, 2011

ocelot

Well the inhabitants of Benghazi appear to have believed that the attack was imminent.

But bear in mind that you are talking about the people who had most interest in persuading the Western powers to intervene. I am sure that many people did believe it, but that doesn't mean it was coming.

ocelot

Also Ghaddaffi's broadcast of threats of "we're coming to get you tonight" doesn't really match up with your proposed theory of a more measured "divide and rule" tactic.

Gaddafi said a lot of things. It wasn't what he seemed to be doing.

ocelot

But if you have any links or references to material suggesting otherwise, then please share.

Mostly in Arabic, sorry.

I'm afraid I find the attitude of western leftists that "they weren't in any real danger" to be less convincing than the locals apparent belief in the opposite. Particularly as in the former case, it appears suspiciously like a case of apriorism, i.e. an assessment based on ideological convenience rather than the available facts.

I don't think that "they weren't in any real danger". They were. The Libyan Army was outside the city, and would have used planes and artillery against the city. Many would have died. However, that doesn't mean that there was about to be an assault of the city followed by a general massacre.

ocelot

edit: not sure where the chemical weapons reference came from, as it doesn't appear in either the Anarkismo or Guardian piece, or this thread?

It featured in a lot of the stuff coming out of Benghazi at the time.

Devrim

Sir Arthur Str…

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Sir Arthur Str… on September 1, 2011

Devrim, I don't quite get what your saying. That many would have died in Benghazi, but not enough to call it a massacre? How do you quantify a massacre anyway...
Considering what Gaddafi has done to other rebels throughout the country, considering what Assad is currently doing all over Syria, then I would have thought that it would be of paramount importance to prevent thousands dying. And no it's not an emotional exaggeration to say that, because massacres are what happens in this situation. Name countless examples of superior armies approaching a rebel stronghold and they pretty much always end up in a massacre.
This is where the left gets itself into a terrible tangle, it's hatred of liberal democracy clouds the issue; that Gaddafi and other dictators are a thousand times worse.

I'm glad a tyrannical despot who imprisoned and tortured political desenters, kept the countries wealth largely for himself, had a pimpish attitude to women, sponsored terrorism and stockpiled chemical weapons is no longer in power. And by the way their is no third option here, you either have Gaddafi in power, or you remove him by force. It's all very well to maintain an academic, abstracted position, but all arguments against imperialism, liberal democracy and the inevitable theft of the countries resources are irrelevant here. It's a big fat dichotomy, sorry.

Hopefully the Syrian people can get a helping hand because at the moment, they are getting massacred.

ocelot

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on September 1, 2011

Devrim

ocelot

But if you have any links or references to material suggesting otherwise, then please share.

Mostly in Arabic, sorry.

OK, my views are based on the paucity of information that filtered through Reuters, AP, AFP and the english and french language media (both of whose governments were highly engaged in painting a particular picture). I accept that access to more information as available in arabic, could change the picture. But Seamus Milne and his SWP buddies are not basing their interpretations on access to that additional reservoir of information - indeed the apriori form of their arguments make that explicit. The logic seems to be based on that peculiar leftist kneejerk reaction to mechanically take the opposite point of view from the powers that be (as Fabbri mentioned in another context in Bourgeois Influences...).

Thus, if the powers that be say that UN 1973 and air intervention is 1) motivated not by imperialist interests, but humanitarian ones; and 2) that the immediate crisis for the passage of 1973 was the imminent attack on Benghazi and the massacre of those involved in the uprising and many civilians besides; Then the knee-jerk leftist reaction is to say 1) the intervention is motivated by imperialist interests and not by humanitarian ones (true) AND 2) Benghazi was never under any serious threat (non sequiteur).

Quite why this false conjuction is held to be essential to the main point (i.e. that this is an imperialist intervention) is beyond me. Certainly, to replace the debate over 1) by a debate over 2) as if it were a proxy for 1) is only, ultimately, in the interest of the powers that be, as it is a much easier argument for them to either win, or at least successfully portray the arguments of the opposition as conspiraloon nonsense. But, anyway...

What is clear, is that there is no possible reading of UN 1973 that does not mandate intervention to prevent the coming assault on Sirte. Clearly, by the wording of the mandate, the French air force should be declaring to the NTC forces currently encircling Sirte, that they will "take all necessary measures [...] to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack" (section 4) and that any attack on Sirte will result in air strikes against the (non-civilian) TNC forces. In fact even the R4 Today programme interviewers more or less put that point to William Hague this morning, which he airily waved away.

Now to be fair, the intervention's violations of the resolution (arms supplies, special forces on the ground, etc, etc) have been many and the evidence that the principle aim of the intervention is regime change should be clear to any moderately attentive observer. But most people are not particularly attentive observers of events happening in far-away lands of which they know little (and often, care less). So the attack on Sirte represents, imo, an event-opportunity to (further) deconstruct the "humanitarian intervention" line.

Mark.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on September 1, 2011

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling

Devrim, I don't quite get what your saying. That many would have died in Benghazi, but not enough to call it a massacre? How do you quantify a massacre anyway...

I don't think I'm with Devrim on his general argument here but I'm assuming there's an implied reference to the Hama massacre in Syria in 1982. Without going back to look at what was written a few months ago I seem to remember suggestions that Benghazi was facing something like a repeat of the Hama massacre, which I think was on a different scale to what we've seen in Libya (and Syria) this time round.

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on September 1, 2011

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling

Hopefully the Syrian people can get a helping hand because at the moment, they are getting massacred.

I agree that folk are getting themselves all twisted up on the Libyan question, and it's largely down to the thoroughly leftist impulse to take a 'position' on all sorts of international news events over which we have no real influence. Were the WRP, FRFI et al willing to blockade British military bases sending planes to Libya, etc? If not, they should shut the fuck up IMO. Likewise, although Ocelot's posts are informative and balanced, I'm not quite sure what the purpose of them are beyond hypothetical discussion.

Probably the best thing that we can do right now is unravel the 'humanitarian intervention' logic of NATO leaders, with reference to Syria, whose working class - as a HRW spokesman emphasised on BBC WS yesterday - have a consideraby higher death toll than their Libyan counterparts.

EDIT that and institute a leftist Libya bingo as for ridiculous bent double attempts to maintain a fucking anti-imperialist line. We've seen Roxwell's idiocies on here. Yesterday I picked up a self-styled "African internationalist" newspaper at a demo which banged on about WHITE POWER's intervention in Libya, only to then acknowledge "the attack was ordered by Barack Obama", lol. The highlight was an article allegedly penned by GADAFI HIMSELF in which he calls Obama "my little African son".

ocelot

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on September 1, 2011

Looks like the pressure is on around the Sirte situation

Reuters: Libya NTC says extends Sirte surrender deadline

Thu Sep 1, 2011 12:49pm GMT

By Robert Birsel

BENGHAZI, Libya, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Libya's ruling National Transitional Council has extended by one week its deadline for the surrender of Sirte, Muammar Gaddafi's last bastion of support on the Mediterranean coast, an NTC spokesman said on Thursday.

"They have extended the deadline by a week," spokesman Mohammad Zawawi said of the ultimatum for Gaddafi's forces to give up, originally set for Saturday, Sept. 3. "That means there's progress in the negotiations."

The NTC has warned of an all-out military assault if Gaddafi loyalists do not yield the town, one of the last holdouts after fighters streamed into the capital Tripoli last week and ended Gaddafi's 42-year rule.

Gaddafi's son Saadi said on Wednesday he had been in contact with the NTC to help negotiate and end to "bloodshed" and that he had his father's blessing to do so. But in a sign of tumult within Gaddafi's inner circle, his better-known son Saif al-Islam called for a "war of attrition."

NTC officials have said they are attempting to convince Gaddafi loyalists in Sirte that the old regime is finished, and that they will be treated fairly if they surrender. The talks come alongside a blockade of supplies to the town, they said.

"We're not in a rush to get in to Sirte. It has no economic importance and we're not going to lose casualties for it," Zawawi said. "We can cut supplies and wait, even more than a week," he said.

ocelot

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on September 1, 2011

And completely out of line with the current thread flow, but I've been meaning to link this for ages and keep forgetting.

Reuters: Libyan conflict brings French-Qatari ties to the fore

PARIS/DOHA, April 13 (Reuters) - When Nicolas Sarkozy took office in 2007 he could have invited any number of Arab leaders to France for a first contact to define his stance towards the Middle East. He picked the emir of the Gulf Arab state Qatar.

The economic rationale for boosting ties was clear: Qatar is the world's top exporter of liquefied natural gas, has one of the highest per capita income levels globally and is a major client of the French aerospace and arms industry.

Yet it was arguably Doha's political role as home to the influential pan-Arab television news channel al-Jazeera, and its aspiration to act as an honest broker in the region that tweaked Sarkozy's interest and has cemented the closeness between the two countries in the Libya crisis.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, the dominant Arab power in the Gulf region, Qatar is not in thrall to the United States.

The relationship offers mutual benefits, allowing France to profit from Qatar's considerable economic prowess and Qatar to expand its diplomatic clout, using France as a conduit.
[...]
The diplomatic partnership with Sarkozy has helped boost the business relationship.

On his first visit to France, the emir bought 80 Airbus (EAD.PA) aircraft for Qatar's state airline and French exports to the emirate now regularly exceed 1 billion euros a year.

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund -- believed to be worth about $70 billion -- has snapped up key French assets, with stakes in Airbus parent EADS, energy group EDF (EDF.PA) and construction firm Vinci (SGEF.PA).

"Qatar and France do have exceedingly good relations," said David Roberts, deputy director of the Royal United Services Institute office in Doha.

"In addition to signing a defence pact in 1994, France has supplied something like 80 percent of Qatar's weaponry and are dealmakers par excellence, expertly inserting themselves into any available crevice of Qatari interest," he said.
[...]

Sir Arthur Str…

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Sir Arthur Str… on September 1, 2011

Caiman del Barrio

EDIT that and institute a leftist Libya bingo as for ridiculous bent double attempts to maintain a fucking anti-imperialist line. We've seen Roxwell's idiocies on here. Yesterday I picked up a self-styled "African internationalist" newspaper at a demo which banged on about WHITE POWER's intervention in Libya, only to then acknowledge "the attack was ordered by Barack Obama", lol. The highlight was an article allegedly penned by GADAFI HIMSELF in which he calls Obama "my little African son".

Yeh had the Workers revolutionary Party in the pub hawking News line the other day. Front page was all about the revolutionary counter assault by the anti-imperialist Gaddafi heroes.

I guess the anti-imperial line works on the assumption that post-revolutionary libya with a pro-western liberal democracy will be as bad as, if not worse, than Gaddafi.
An easy assumption to make when your living in a liberal democracy and just can't imagine anything more terrible...
I hate the argument which goes "well why don't you go live in Libya/Iran/Syria, see what it's really like", but I reckon it's on the same intellectual level as these nuts...

Devrim

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on September 1, 2011

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling

Devrim, I don't quite get what your saying. That many would have died in Benghazi, but not enough to call it a massacre? How do you quantify a massacre anyway...

People would have died. That is very clear. The idea of a massacre though was one presented by the interventionists to justify their action.

considering what Assad is currently doing all over Syria,

What has what Assad is doing in Syria got to do in any way with what is going on in Libya. I don't quite see that unless we are going down the line of saying something like "well they are both mad Arab dictators". That the Syrians would put down the protests there whilst wading through pools of blood was very clear. We were saying this back in February.

then I would have thought that it would be of paramount importance to prevent thousands dying.

Thousands have died in Libya, over a thousand of them due to Western air-strikes.

I'm glad a tyrannical despot who imprisoned and tortured political desenters, kept the countries wealth largely for himself, had a pimpish attitude to women, sponsored terrorism and stockpiled chemical weapons is no longer in power. And by the way their is no third option here, you either have Gaddafi in power, or you remove him by force. It's all very well to maintain an academic, abstracted position, but all arguments against imperialism, liberal democracy and the inevitable theft of the countries resources are irrelevant here. It's a big fat dichotomy, sorry.

There are lots of options here. Possibly the worst, and by no means improbable is Libya descending into a period of long civil war and chaos.

Devrim

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on September 1, 2011

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling

Caiman del Barrio

EDIT that and institute a leftist Libya bingo as for ridiculous bent double attempts to maintain a fucking anti-imperialist line. We've seen Roxwell's idiocies on here. Yesterday I picked up a self-styled "African internationalist" newspaper at a demo which banged on about WHITE POWER's intervention in Libya, only to then acknowledge "the attack was ordered by Barack Obama", lol. The highlight was an article allegedly penned by GADAFI HIMSELF in which he calls Obama "my little African son".

Yeh had the Workers revolutionary Party in the pub hawking News line the other day. Front page was all about the revolutionary counter assault by the anti-imperialist Gaddafi heroes.

It's insulting and disingenous of him, cos i bet he doesn't mention his party's financial ties to the Gadafi regime!

Sir Arthur Str…

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Sir Arthur Str… on September 1, 2011

Devrim

People would have died. That is very clear. The idea of a massacre though was one presented by the interventionists to justify their action.

The idea of massacre? As far as I remember Gadaffi had crushed the rebellion using his army in all other areas of Libya. This had involved murder and mass arrests (50,000 from a BBC bulletin but admittedly not sure). I've no doubt that considering his track record most of these arrests would have ended in torture and executions. His army was outside Benghazi and there was no way for the rebels to repulse Gaddafi. I'm not sure how many deaths and arrests you need before you start using the term massacre, 1000?, 10,000? 50k, 100k??
It's very easy for you to claim that an insignificant number would have died now that there was an intervention. and as Ocelot said previously the fact that a massacre was the interventionists argument doesn't make itfalse

What has what Assad is doing in Syria got to do in any way with what is going on in Libya. I don't quite see that unless we are going down the line of saying something like "well they are both mad Arab dictators". That the Syrians would put down the protests there whilst wading through pools of blood was very clear. We were saying this back in February.

Well he's currently murdering the Syrian people all over the country. He is imprisoning and torturing many more. I am going down the line of "they're both mad dictators", because the situation of political opposition/revolt being crushed by overwhelming force is the same in both countries.

Thousands have died in Libya, over a thousand of them due to Western air-strikes.

A number you have pulled out of thin air. Nevertheless I am sure many have died from western air-strikes. However at least the end result is the removal of Gaddafi, rather than murders committed merely for the sake of revenge and spreading terror.

There are lots of options here. Possibly the worst, and by no means improbable is Libya descending into a period of long civil war and chaos.

I was talking about the option of letting Gaddafi stay in power, or removing him. If he was allowed to stay then you would have seen a great number of deaths in Benghazi and the return of a police state. Don't forget that in his early reign Gadaffi had around 13% of the population snitching to his committees. Long civil war is a possibility, but it is just one of many outcomes of intervention, compared to the one certain result of letting Gaddafi stay in power.

The left has a history of being incredibly soft on brutal dictatorships, especially when there isn't a left wing opposition (e.g. Chile), compared with the venom directed towards Western democracies (USA).

Sir Arthur Str…

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Sir Arthur Str… on September 1, 2011

Double Post

Devrim

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on September 1, 2011

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling

The idea of massacre? As far as I remember Gadaffi had crushed the rebellion using his army in all other areas of Libya. This had involved murder and mass arrests (50,000 from a BBC bulletin but admittedly not sure). I've no doubt that considering his track record most of these arrests would have ended in torture and executions. His army was outside Benghazi and there was no way for the rebels to repulse Gaddafi. I'm not sure how many deaths and arrests you need before you start using the term massacre, 1000?, 10,000? 50k, 100k??
It's very easy for you to claim that an insignificant number would have died now that there was an intervention. and as Ocelot said previously the fact that a massacre was the interventionists argument doesn't make itfalse

Yes, the idea of massacre. The Western powers propagated the idea that there was about to be a massacre of unforeseen proportions in Benghazi. It was certainly clear that the Libyan state under Gaddafi had a nasty track record on human rights. The worst case by far would be the Abu Salim prison massacre this didn't stop relations improving with the major powers at the time, particularly the UK.. What caused this sudden interest in preventing massacres?

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling

Well he's currently murdering the Syrian people all over the country. He is imprisoning and torturing many more. I am going down the line of "they're both mad dictators", because the situation of political opposition/revolt being crushed by overwhelming force is the same in both countries.

Yes, they are. What does this have to do with Libya though. The natures of the Libyan state and the Syrian state are very different? Really what do they have in common apart from the fact that they are Arabs?

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling

A number you have pulled out of thin air.

No, I didn't pull it out of the air. The Libyan Health Office claims that 1,108 civilians had been killed and 4,500 wounded by July 13. Presumably the number would now be much higher.

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling

Nevertheless I am sure many have died from western air-strikes. However at least the end result is the removal of Gaddafi, rather than murders committed merely for the sake of revenge and spreading terror.

The end result could well be the opening of a period of chaos and civil war in Libya that lasts for years. It could be precisely the start of a series of unending murders 'committed merely for the sake of revenge and spreading terror'.

I was talking about the option of letting Gaddafi stay in power, or removing him.

It was never an option I had any choice in deciding. For all it would have mattered I could have called for the smurfs to come to power.

What I would say though is looking at the looking term effects of Western Intervention in the region, there is reason to be doubtful about whether the result will be any better for the people who live in Libya.

Looking at the three main countries that have suffered from prolonged US and Western intervention, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia, doesn't really fill me with hope that things will be better now that Gaddafi has fallen. I don't think that the Western powers have a benign influence in the region.

Long civil war is a possibility, but it is just one of many outcomes of intervention, compared to the one certain result of letting Gaddafi stay in power.

Yes, others include the setting up of a state of the sort the Western powers support in other oil states such as Saudi Arabia, or the emergence of an Islamic republic, neither of which are well known for their defence of human rights.

Things could be better after the fall of Gaddafi, or as evidence from past US interventions shows, they could conceivably get much worse.

The left has a history of being incredibly soft on brutal dictatorships, especially when there isn't a left wing opposition (e.g. Chile), compared with the venom directed towards Western democracies (USA).

I don't think that I am 'soft' on brutal dictatorships. In no way would I offer any support for Gaddafi. Nor am I 'soft' on the intervening powers, including countries like Turkey, where I live, which has a record human rights abuse and murder, imprisonment and torture of its citizens which can compare with any in the world.

I don't think that there should be any support on any level for the Libyan state. That doesn't mean I think that we should be becoming apologists for the interventionists though.

Devrim

baboon

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on September 2, 2011

I agree with the above. The US, France and Britain, after some haggling and arguments, took the decision to "intervene" in Libya under the guise of humanitarianism in order to prevent a massacre. The same powers used the same ideology for their intervention in the Balkans throughout the 90s and not only did they not prevent massacres, they were complicit in them. The Balkans today are simmering fiefdoms, aborted states, where out and out gangsterism works with nationalism, backed by the major powers. Explosive tensions between various bourgeois factions exist within and throughout the entire region. Some of the bridges and infrastructure destroyed during that war (in Europe!) have still not been repaired. Like the Middle East and the Caucasus, the Balkans remains an imperialist faultline. While Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be devastated.

"Mad dictator", from Hitler onward, is one of the lines of the bourgeoisie. Gadaffi's torturers and elite units were trained by the SAS. The links with the regime were strengthened with Blair's embrace in 97, one year after the Abu Salim atrocity. Nearly every major power supplied arms to Libya but the backing of the regime from the democracies went way beyond that - just like Hitler (in different circumstances) he was their killer, their policeman.

Elements of the same regime are now in "opposition", which also includes CIA and, most likely, MI6 operatives. Even if there's some cosmetic surgery, the new regime will get back to the business of exploitation, possibly even more militarised. I don't think that we know the numbers of civilians killed by Nato bombings (nor the extent of Gadaffi's killings).

One thing for certain is that the Mediterranean is now a more overt theatre of imperialist tensions and war and this will have wider repercussions than Libya.

baboon

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on September 2, 2011

I agree with the above. The US, France and Britain, after some haggling and arguments, took the decision to "intervene" in Libya under the guise of humanitarianism in order to prevent a massacre. The same powers used the same ideology for their intervention in the Balkans throughout the 90s and not only did they not prevent massacres, they were complicit in them. The Balkans today are simmering fiefdoms, aborted states, where out and out gangsterism works with nationalism, backed by the major powers. Explosive tensions between various bourgeois factions exist within and throughout the entire region. Some of the bridges and infrastructure destroyed during that war (in Europe!) have still not been repaired. Like the Middle East and the Caucasus, the Balkans remains an imperialist faultline. While Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be devastated.

"Mad dictator", from Hitler onward, is one of the lines of the bourgeoisie. Gadaffi's torturers and elite units were trained by the SAS. The links with the regime were strengthened with Blair's embrace in 97, one year after the Abu Salim atrocity. Nearly every major power supplied arms to Libya but the backing of the regime from the democracies went way beyond that - just like Hitler (in different circumstances) he was their killer, their policeman.

Elements of the same regime are now in "opposition", which also includes CIA and, most likely, MI6 operatives. Even if there's some cosmetic surgery, the new regime will get back to the business of exploitation, possibly even more militarised. I don't think that we know the numbers of civilians killed by Nato bombings (nor the extent of Gadaffi's killings).

One thing for certain is that the Mediterranean is now a more overt theatre of imperialist tensions and war and this will have wider repercussions than Libya.

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on September 3, 2011

Messages have been found in the office of Moussa Koussa, Col Gaddafi's right hand man and regime security chief who defected in February, that show how MI6 gave details of dissident exiles to Gaddafi and how the CIA used regime for rendition.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/moussa-koussas-secret-letters-betray-britains-libyan-connection-2348394.html

Devrim wrote:
Presumably the number would now be much higher.

The death toll was 50,000 a couple of days ago according to the rebels. I'm not sure of its reliability, but it's the only figure I've seen.

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on September 3, 2011

Was logging on to repeat the news that Subprole and Wojtek have imparted in the last 2 posts, which makes Roxwell's implied assertion that Gadafi counters 'imperialist' (read: American) interests in Libya perfectly. It seems to me that France has been quickest to react to the situation - calling the meeting in Paris with the NTC a couple of days back - and have successfully instigated a resources grab for Total et al.

Mark.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on September 5, 2011

A senior Libyan rebel commander Monday demanded an apology from Britain and the US after seized documents suggested both countries were complicit in a plan that led to his detention and torture.

Files unearthed from Moamer Kadhafi's intelligence archives and seen by AFP documented the capture by the CIA of Abdel-Hakim Belhaj in Bangkok in 2004 and his forcible repatriation to Libya, where he had fought the old regime.

He was then jailed in Tripoli's notorious Abu Selim prison for seven years and maintains he was questioned by British intelligence officers during his captivity.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/tortured-libyan-rebel-calls-britain-apology-064914228.html

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on September 6, 2011

Doctor Fears 30,000 Libyans Are Missing

Caiman del Barrio asked on the 'Tripoli?' thread:
...this hints at the power of Islamist elements within the NTC/Bengazi uprising. Some commentators claim that Al'Qa'eda-linked Islamists were the only tangible, organised anti-Gadafi movement in the country at the turn of the year, can anyone (Khawaga?) comment on that?

The historian Mark Curtis has extensively documented Britain's collusion with radical islam in his books. His most recent blog post provides some history of the Western intelligence agencies' relationship with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group:

Britain, Qadafi and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group

subprole

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by subprole on September 10, 2011

http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2011-09-10/the-truth-behind-nato%E2%80%99s-victory-in-libya

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on September 12, 2011

lol I can't this seriously anymore. Yet more collaboration between the Labour government and Alex Roxwell's bit on the side with the former using control orders to put Libyan dissidents in Britain under house arrest – at the behest of the latter.

How Labour secretly put Libyan dissidents under house arrest at Gaddafi's behest following Blair's 'deal in the desert'

So if I'm not mistaken it roughly goes like this...

MI6 fund and use the LIFG to overthrow Go-Dafty in a coup in the nineties. It fails, so members of the LIFG seek asylum in Britain. Then bam 9/11 happens, Bliar cosies up to Go-Dafty, who in turn makes a phone call and the LIFG members are affectively in the slammer. Gutted!

Mark.

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on September 12, 2011

wojtek

Yet more collaboration between the Labour government and Alex Roxwell's bit on the side with the former using control orders to put Libyan dissidents in Britain under house arrest – at the behest of the latter.

Gareth Peirce on control orders and the Libyans

baboon

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on September 13, 2011

Ex-agent David Shayler and his girlfriend exposed MI6's plot to overthrow Gadaffi and foment a coup in Libya involving the LIFG. The latter was one of a number of fundamentalist organisations sheltered and looked after in London ("Londonistan" as the French secret service referred to it) during the 1990s and the LIFG was only deemed unwelcome after 9.11.
The double-dealing stretches the imagination.

baboon

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on September 13, 2011

Correction: In fact, according to Mark Curtis above, it was only after 7.7., October 2005, that the LIFG was designated a "terrorist group".

wojtek

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on September 16, 2011

Pepe Escobar's latest:

Libya: to King Sarkozy, the spoils

...NATO in Libya conquered essentially a strip of highway peppered with a few cities by the Mediterranean. Nobody knows what's really going on in the desert. NATO's real agenda is to wait and see while Gaddafi and his forces regroup and rearm in Niger and southern Algeria, and start a real guerrilla. That will be the perfect excuse for NATO to stay - like in Afghanistan.

There's also the not small matter of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of sub-Saharan Africans either harassed or massacred by the "NATO rebels" - something that guarantees large swathes of Africa actively backing Gaddafi.

With NATO expecting to extend the fun, no wonder the Anglo-French lovers couldn't care less about their host Jalil's promise to throw Libya's secular state to the dustbin (as in sharia becoming the "main source of law"). One more reason for the West to be "vigilant". Expect major catfights ahead. The man to watch is Ali as-Salabi - a hardcore Islamist aligned with Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. He's already launched a war against TNC's Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril - so far the global media face of the NATO rebels. As-Salabi defines Jibril and his cohorts as "extreme secularists" who are leading Libya to "a new era of tyranny and dictatorship". Al-Qaeda asset Belhaj - who commands thousands of rebels armed to their teeth - happens to be a very close ally of as-Salabi.

There's no evidence the TNC has the strength to disarm the current, already Iraqi-style, militia hell in Tripoli and beyond. If the TNC won't do it, NATO will happily oblige. In this case, bets are on Libya turning not into Afghanistan 2.0 or Iraq 2.0, but Somalia 2.0. Endgame? Send in the Marines and turn Tripoli into Fallujah. Barack Obama may even win the 2012 United States election on this one...

Entdinglichung

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on September 21, 2011

wojtek

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on September 29, 2011

US, European corporations rush to secure cut from Libyan war

and

(Reuters) - Thousands of civilians are streaming out of Muammar Gaddafi's besieged home town of Sirte, where a humanitarian disaster looms amid rising casualties and shrinking supplies of water, electricity and food, major aid agencies said on Wednesday...

Libyans flee dire conditions in Sirte: agencies

and

Mass killing and humanitarian disaster in NATO siege of Sirte

wojtek

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on October 4, 2011

Gaddafi loyalists stranded as battle for Sirte rages

and

Red Cross sends medical aid to Sirte

and Pepe Escobar's latest touching on Libya:

The age of the Reaper

The Reaper was not formally invited to the United Nations General Assembly annual bash in New York.

In ancient times, he used to be known as the Grim Reaper. Grim the wily fellow still is - always under many guises. Reinventing the concept of death from above, he may call himself MQ-9 Reaper and strut his stuff equipped with Hellfire missiles.

Or he may wear a business suit and incorporate the persona of the president of the United States.

Barack Obama, from his UN podium, told the world, "Let there be no doubt: the tide of war is receding."

Neo-Orwellian spin doctors could hardly top him on this one. Referring to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's operation of bombing Libya into democracy, Obama stressed, "This is how the international community is supposed to work."

Virtually on cue, that usual suspect, a "NATO official", leaked that the alliance had just extended its mission to bomb Libya for another 90 days before the green card expired next Tuesday. Of course, the smart NATO bombs only recognize bad guys, and don’t commit collateral damage

...

Naturally, no MQ-9 Reapers will be bombing the al-Qaeda-linked Libyans formerly known as rebels who are now exercising total military control of Tripoli.

This will only happen after Libyan hardcore Islamists start getting into their Talibanization groove - be it as part of a Transitional National Council government or as a guerrilla force fighting NATO. The Pentagon always respects the motto of taking better care of its future enemies than its current friends.

In this newspeak-drenched "improved circles of surveillance" universe, there's hardly a thought about collateral damage. Even an establishment think-tank such as the Brookings Institution has stressed that for every "terrorist" killed, "10 or so civilians also died". More realistic estimates point to a ratio of 15 civilians to every "terrorist" biting the dust.

wojtek

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on October 6, 2011

A list of ceasefires that NATO apparently rejected:

http://www.medialens.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=11380#11380

ocelot

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on October 20, 2011

early (unreliable) reports coming in that Gaddafi may have run out of rope.

Guardian live blog

1.26pm: An NTC spokesman is telling Sky News that Gaddafi is dead and the body is arriving in Misrata "any minute now". We cannot confirm this

ocelot

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on October 20, 2011

Reuters: Gaddafi killed as Libya's revolt claims hometown

(Reuters) - Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an eight-month-old uprising against his rule overran his hometown Sirte, Libya's interim rulers said.

His killing, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte, is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen.

"He (Gaddafi) was also hit in his head," National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters. "There was a lot of firing against his group and he died."

Mlegta told Reuters earlier that Gaddafi, who was in his late 60s, was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked. He said he had been taken away by an ambulance.

There was no independent confirmation of his remarks.

An anti-Gaddafi fighter said Gaddafi had been found hiding in a hole in the ground and had said "Don't shoot, don't shoot" to the men who grabbed him.

His capture followed within minutes of the fall of Sirte, a development that extinguished the last significant resistance by forces loyal to the deposed leader.

The capture of Sirte and the death of Gaddafi means Libya's ruling NTC should now begin the task of forging a new democratic system which it had said it would get under way after the city, built as a showpiece for Gaddafi's rule, had fallen.
[...]

from an email to the BBC live blog:

Ali in Tripoli - Gaddafi was discredited in Libyan hearts on February 17th. His capture marks the end of his reign over Libya and the start of a new chapter in our country's history.

Or, for the more cynical, the signal for the start of the civil war over who will control a post-Gaddafi Libya...

wojtek

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on October 20, 2011

Pepe Escobar in fine form again in his latest on Libya (and the rest of Africa):

The US power grab in Africa

An anti-Gaddafi fighter said Gaddafi had been found hiding in a hole in the ground and had said "Don't shoot, don't shoot" to the men who grabbed him.

I wonder if this is true, it certainly makes for great propaganda.

Shouldn't Ghadaffi have faced trial before being executed? I mean I don't know if it's because I'm not a Libyan under his regime, but I felt queezy after this article, not to mention that it's likely to be a crime under international law.

ocelot

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on October 20, 2011

wojtek

Shouldn't Ghadaffi have faced trial before being executed? I mean I don't know if it's because I'm not a Libyan under his regime, but I felt queezy after this article, not to mention that it's likely to be a crime under international law.

Sure, and by the same token this wasn't the legally proper end for Mussolini and Clara Petacci either. But war is a chaotic mix of organised and disorganised mass violence. But at the same time, just saying "shit happens" is too glib. In the last moments of their lives, even the most evil dictators are stripped of their layers of symbolic power and all that is left is the frail physical bodies of pathetic old men (or occasionally women). To not feel some revulsion at witnessing the brutality and pathos of murder, is to have lost your basic human empathy. But all violence is to some degree like this. It's not the stylised, guilt-free adrenaline buzz they show on the TV or in movies. All violence is ugly, and the suffering of the losers is always evocative of pity. Doesn't make it either unnecessary or wrong though.

On a slightly different angle, "should" is also a loaded term, in the sense that it tends to suggest an underlying (apologies) deontological ethics. Which is a ridiculously obscure name for a not uncommon way of thinking about right or wrong - i.e. that right or wrong is determined in relation to conformance with rules or principles - for e.g. veganism. I don't want to get too deep into that one, but I would point out that some of the most horrific crimes against humanity have been committed by people who constructed themselves a very rigid deontological structure which perrmitted them to convince themselves that the horrors they were committing were justified by a "higher good'. So as a firm believer in the old Chinese maxim that "it is not principles that make people great, but people that make principles great", (as well as being an anarchist on not only a political, but also an ethical and epistemological level) I have a strong suspicion of deontological ethics. And on a practical level, any appeal to international law is about as effective as Gaddafi's plea of "don't shoot, don't shoot".

ocelot

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on October 20, 2011

dp

gypsy

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by gypsy on October 20, 2011

wojtek

Shouldn't Ghadaffi have faced trial before being executed? I mean I don't know if it's because I'm not a Libyan under his regime, but I felt queezy.

For me its pretty harrowing to see that stuff no matter who it is.He was an old guy as well which made it even more shocking the manner in which he died. Still he had it coming.

EGADS

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by EGADS on November 15, 2011

Reminds me of how Saddam Hussein was found...

..which is fitting, considering how NATO has brought the country down to the same level as Iraq - rubble.

proletarian.

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by proletarian. on October 20, 2011

wojtek

Shouldn't Ghadaffi have faced trial before being executed?

According to the bourgeoisie's own laws yes, but when was the last time they gave a fuck about them? Besides, the whole reasoning and information about Libya given out by the state and dominant media has been a pile of shit anyway.

Entdinglichung

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on October 21, 2011

http://wrp.org.uk/news/6880

Gadaffi died a hero, defending Libya against the NATO oil thieves.

His heroism will inspire millions of Libyans, Arabs, workers and youth throughout the world to take up the struggle to smash imperialism.

:(

CRUD

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CRUD on October 21, 2011

I don't see anything going on but the US using (once again) Islamic fundamentalists to oust anti US regimes. Not saying Saddam or Gadaffi were great guys it just seems to me the interests of capital are behind this. The middle east in general is the last place in the region not converted to westernized capitalist markets and I think it's happening right before our eyes.

I'm not sure if the new leadership will embrace capitalism though- that's the goal in Iraq and Afghanistan and it isn't quite happening, it's a slow process I guess. The goal (in case some of us aren't aware) is to keep capitalism fluid- to keep the market expanding. I'm not so sure we should celebrate the ousting of Gadaffi but I wouldn't celebrate his track record either.

Wellclose Square

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Wellclose Square on October 21, 2011

CRUD

I don't see anything going on but the US using (once again) Islamic fundamentalists to oust anti US regimes. Not saying Saddam or Gadaffi were great guys it just seems to me the interests of capital are behind this. The middle east in general is the last place in the region not converted to westernized capitalist markets and I think it's happening right before our eyes.

I'm not sure if the new leadership will embrace capitalism though- that's the goal in Iraq and Afghanistan and it isn't quite happening, it's a slow process I guess. The goal (in case some of us aren't aware) is to keep capitalism fluid- to keep the market expanding. I'm not so sure we should celebrate the ousting of Gadaffi but I wouldn't celebrate his track record either.

Not quoting this to show approval of or wholesale agreement with this analysis (which appears to deny any popular impetus, in favour of Machiavellian dealings from above) but it reminds me of another thread in which difficult - but necessary - questions were raised:

http://libcom.org/forums/news/what-exactly-are-you-supporting-02022011?page=4

The changing of the guard?

proletarian.

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by proletarian. on October 22, 2011

CRUD

The middle east in general is the last place in the region not converted to westernized capitalist markets and I think it's happening right before our eyes.

What exactly does this mean CRUD? All the countries are capitalist already, with all the features you would expect wage-labour, banks, foreign companies etc - We have seen already what gets converted...a people and country into rubble. Do you think the bourgeoisie are capable of turning these countries into over developed capitalist countries?

CRUD

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CRUD on October 23, 2011

proletarian.

CRUD

The middle east in general is the last place in the region not converted to westernized capitalist markets and I think it's happening right before our eyes.

What exactly does this mean CRUD? All the countries are capitalist already, with all the features you would expect wage-labour, banks, foreign companies etc - We have seen already what gets converted...a people and country into rubble. Do you think the bourgeoisie are capable of turning these countries into over developed capitalist countries?

Even though 9/11 conspiracy theorists love to quote this guy I'll go ahead and do it:

"How America 'manages' Eurasia is critical. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources."

-Zbigniew Brzezinski-
(From the book entitled 'The Grand Chessboard')

proletarian.

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by proletarian. on October 22, 2011

I don't see how any of that quote is relevant unless you replaced converted to subordinated in your text, but I'm not sure that makes any sense either.

Unless of course there is something huge I am missing, not unlikely.

Harrison

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on October 22, 2011

so it was very strange accidentally catching this news on BBC 24Hr News in a local wetherspoons, where the coverage was immediately followed by a some guy in a suit talking about the potential opportunities for British businesses in Libya now that they have to 'rebuild and restore order'.

CRUD

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CRUD on October 22, 2011

proletarian.

I don't see how any of that quote is relevant unless you replaced converted to subordinated in your text, but I'm not sure that makes any sense either.

Unless of course there is something huge I am missing, not unlikely.

OK ya sure whatever. The western large capitalist has no interest in expanding into the middle eastern markets. It's an old story.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat

CRUD

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CRUD on October 22, 2011

Harrison

so it was very strange accidentally catching this news on BBC 24Hr News in a local wetherspoons, where the coverage was immediately followed by a some guy in a suit talking about the potential opportunities for British businesses in Libya now that they have to 'rebuild and restore order'.

Exactly.

proletarian.

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by proletarian. on October 22, 2011

CRUD, I thought you were saying these countries weren't capitalist, I am saying they are but can't be enhanced or developed by capitalism any longer. I am aware of that coup. I actually thought Harrison might be sarcastic, funny but I remember ideologues and outright bullshitters saying the same thing about Iraq and Afghanistan. Where are they now - the countries I mean? Fucked.

This is getting off topic now though I think, so sorry for the derail. As you were.

wojtek

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on October 23, 2011

CRUD, you should check out Pepe Escobar's articles in the Asian Times which have been posted in the last couple of pages. I think you'd appreciate his journalism.

Harrison wrote:
so it was very strange accidentally catching this news on BBC 24Hr News in a local wetherspoons, where the coverage was immediately followed by a some guy in a suit talking about the potential opportunities for British businesses in Libya now that they have to 'rebuild and restore order'.

British companies to rush for £200bn in Libya contracts

CRUD

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CRUD on October 23, 2011

proletarian.

I don't see how any of that quote is relevant unless you replaced converted to subordinated in your text, but I'm not sure that makes any sense either.

Unless of course there is something huge I am missing, not unlikely.

Iran is capitalist but not letting western capitalism expand into Iran and take it over. The capitalists are trying to get western capitalism as the only form of capitalism with truly globally intertwined markets. The now semi global western capitalist system is running out of places to spread- like a "flesh" eating disease on an orange once it spreads around the whole orange it will have no choice but to eat itself. This is what the capitalist system is currently doing. It's in decay. It has been since the 1970's and the current crisis is a side effect of the panicked attempts to boost the system. Not just a part of the regular boom bust cycle or a normal crisis of overproduction.

Various western governments have been looking at the Middle East and Africa as ways to save capitalism. Not only spread western markets into the region but to westernize the population. That's more than 75% of earths population in Africa and the Middle East. That's a lot of money to be made from war in the process of westernizing markets/regions and after it's done selling people who survive all manner of widgets and gadgets while extracting as much wealth as possible. I don't think it's ecologically viable so I predict the end of capitalism before 2050. It simply can't perpetually spread but it has to in order to survive- like a great white shark must constantly swim to breath. This doesn't mean we just sit by and wait for capitalism to end though....the goal is to replace it before it destroys the world and eats itself.

This is the exact thing capitalists did with Japan pre WW2- the US sent it's entire NAVY to Japan and told them to open up their markets (basically westernize) or be destroyed. Back then the capitalist state was a tad more honest with it's motivations.

Iran will be next- they already tried it in 2009 with the fake ass "Green Revolution". Chavez and the oil in Venezuela are on the list as well. South America in general has been pretty much opened up to western markets for some time but as we know some pockets of resistance exist. I'd say by 2020 (if capitalism is to survive) Iran will have western troops on the ground.

Look at the timing- Bush OK's a "secret program" to destabilize Iran's government:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2007/05/bush_authorizes/

From John Bolton:

"a US military attack on Iran would is a ‘last option’ after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed.”

Then this happens:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution

and it failed

It's the same with Libya but Libya isn't as advanced as Iran so in lieu of tricking people online they used their same old Islamic Fundamentalist trick like in Afghanistan:

[youtube]OJTv2nFjMBk[/youtube]

It's all a sham. What just happened in Libya wasn't a revolution it was a proxy war and the war just started. The goal is to spread western capitalist markets around the globe in order to save the system. It's not just for profit....western markets must spread in order for the system itself to survive.

Obama just sent 100 troops and or 'advisers' to Africa-

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/sending-us-troops-africa-may-help-south-sudan

(CNSNews.com) – President Obama’s decision to send 100 combat-ready troops to central Africa aims to help rid Uganda of a 20 year-old rebel scourge but could also benefit South Sudan by eliminating at least one of the most troubling security challenges facing the fledgling republic.

Last year alone, attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) displaced some 25,000 southern Sudanese, according to the United Nations.

The group’s activities in that area, where it has been killing, raping and abducting civilians for the past six years, has especially affected the southwestern corner of the world’s newest country, its most fertile and potentially productive region.

Saudi Arabia is mostly Sunni and they've already opened up a trade relationship with the west (although they've fended of the westernization of their culture). Seeing Iran is mostly Shia and the Sauds are in a money making relationship with the west Iran is pretty much on its own (besides Russia/China which is why the US has to play the cloak and dagger game).

The wars in the middle east are more than just for profit- the capitalist state is trying to westernize (economically and culturally) the entire region and once Iran goes Saudi Arabia is next. It's a sort of new version of "white mans Burden" but with the entire capitalist system at stake. Some Marxian economists go as far as to say this is a good thing- that bringing western capitalism and "enlightenment values" to the world will set the stage for a global communist revolution. Lenin thought that was happening in his time with the spread of imperialism. This is a different sort of neo imperialism though seeing the entire system is at stake not just profits. Keynes and Lenin both read Marx and both understood this would happen. They also both read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism_%28Hobson%29

The difference is Keynes set up the financial institutions that would save capitalism (help spread western markets around the globe- IMF/World Bank) whilst Lenin (or later Stalin) tried to stop the spread of capitalism. It wasn't until the cold war ended that western capitalism could once more spread around the globe unchallenged. Anyone who now challenges the spread of western global capitalism will end up like Gaddafi. The only "revolution" in Libya was one for western capitalism. Now they have the job of installing a western friendly government as they are trying to do in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will be interesting to watch this play out- bloody and tragic but interesting as well.

Fucking capitalism. This is one reason I find the "No War" liberals who support capitalism so absurd. Same with "free market" capitalists who are supposedly anti war. The market system can't survive without forcibly spreading (war).

EDIT- It looks like Syria is next up not Iran- Saudi Arabia and NATO are now backing Turkey to invade largely because (from wiki)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria#Foreign_trade

[quote]Foreign trade

Given the policies adopted from the 1960s through the late 1980s, which included nationalization of companies and private assets, Syria failed to join an increasingly interconnected global economy

Destabilize and invade countries that don't open up their markets to western capitalism. That's the MO.

CRUD

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CRUD on October 23, 2011

wojtek

CRUD, you should check out Pepe Escobar's articles in the Asian Times which have been posted in the last couple of pages. I think you'd appreciate his journalism.

Harrison wrote:
so it was very strange accidentally catching this news on BBC 24Hr News in a local wetherspoons, where the coverage was immediately followed by a some guy in a suit talking about the potential opportunities for British businesses in Libya now that they have to 'rebuild and restore order'.

British companies to rush for £200bn in Libya contracts

Pablo Escobar? :) I'll check them out.....*sniff sniff*

proletarian.

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by proletarian. on October 23, 2011

To cut a long story short...so you don't think there was and still is anything genuine in movements and struggles in Iran. You think it's all CIA plots and bourgeois Machiavellianism? It also seemingly puts you in a position where you end up 'supporting' the 'oppressed nations' - you haven't said this but I think it's the logical outcome, either that and/or reformism.

CRUD

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CRUD on October 23, 2011

proletarian.

To cut a long story short...so you don't think there was and still is anything genuine in movements and struggles in Iran. You think it's all CIA plots and bourgeois Machiavellianism? It also seemingly puts you in a position where you end up 'supporting' the 'oppressed nations' - you haven't said this but I think it's the logical outcome, either that and/or reformism.

No, many Iranians want to live a more western lifestyle and that can't be done so long as it remains a Theocracy but that doesn't mean the western intelligence agencies didn't chime in on that fact and push it to it's extreme conclusion with the goal of putting in a western friendly regime. Of course there are plenty of people in various countries with real true grievances....the west will use whoever it thinks can destabilize whichever government it's targeting.

CRUD

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CRUD on October 24, 2011

John McCain announces ( at the world economic forum) SYRIA is next on the list.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2011/10/us-syria-john-mccain-military-action.html

Does this sound familiar? Evil Syrian overloads about to massacre their own population? In comes America or NATO on a humanitarian mission (that will no doubt end up killing scores of thousands). Pfft.

wojtek

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on October 24, 2011

Human Rights Watch - Libya: Apparent Execution of 53 Gaddafi Supporters

Peter Bouckaert concludes:

“This latest massacre seems part of a trend of killings, looting, and other abuses committed by armed anti-Gaddafi fighters who consider themselves above the law. It is imperative that the transitional authorities take action to rein in these groups.”

Just like their suited masters then!

baboon

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on October 24, 2011

I don't think that there's been a revolution in Libya but an imperialist war that has strategic/economic interests for the major powers involved. There's by no means a totality of "westernised capitalist" involved but rather diverging imperialist interests; the USA, France and Britain on one side (with tensions between those); and Germany, Poland, Russia and, to some extent, Italy on the other.

In fact, I don't understand this point of Crud that "The Middle East in general is the last place in the region not converted to westernised capitalist markets" and further, "The western large capitalist has no interest in expanding into the Middle Eastern markets".

Crud goes further in including Eurasia and Africa into this equasion/position.

For me every major country in the Middle East is a market for "western" capitalism. The same for Eurasia and Africa. Many of these countries were actually created by western capitalism, or more accurately, imperialism; Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Sudan, Syria, all the others and manipulated and fought over by them ever since. Of course many of these entities trade between themselves and have a certain cultural stamp. But that's insignificant compared to the role that the major imperialist powers have played in this region. We have only to look at arm sales and oil.

If we go to Africa and Eurasia then things are even clearer about the global nature of imperialism, which most definitely includes "western capitalism" as it developed over the last 150 years to the First World War and ever since.

I agree with Crud that these are not strictly economic developments, ie, they are no "solution" to the problems of capitalism but expressions of its problems. But I see nothing useful in divorcing the role of the major imperialisms from events both historical and present in the Middle East and elsewhere.

ocelot

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on October 24, 2011

baboon

I don't think that there's been a revolution in Libya but an imperialist war that has strategic/economic interests for the major powers involved. There's by no means a totality of "westernised capitalist" involved but rather diverging imperialist interests; the USA, France and Britain on one side (with tensions between those); and Germany, Poland, Russia and, to some extent, Italy on the other.

To play devil's advocate somewhat, I disagree. Certainly there has been no social revolution (i.e. dispossession of the capitalist class by the seizure of the land and means of production by the direct producers), but there has been a military revolution. That is, the armed forces of the ancien regime have been completely overthrown or organisationally liquidated. (As distinct from what has happened in Tunisia or Egypt, where initial political revolutions have failed to make any headway on the military question).

The question then is whether the forces that overthrew the previous regime's military apparatus are unified and disciplined under the centralised command of a new regime - in which case the military revolution is simply the transition from one state regime to the next - or is actual military force in the terrain held by a plurality of bands and groups, answering to different leaderships? If the latter, some form of civil conflict may be the outcome.

Our grasp of the actual situation in Libya is limited by what little information and misinformation filters through the media and other occasional sources. Certainly there have been stories of the military commanders in Tripoli and Misrata making comments along the lines that Benghazi cannot command them by decree. Certainly outside forces, both from the "West" (France, UK, USA) and more local (Qatar, who according to reports, armed the rebels in the Western mountains who caught the West by surprise with their blitz attack on Tripoli) have been involved in arming and training units in the various different factions (as well as the air support, presumably with forward recon by special forces). But that was also the case in most other war theatres in the last half century. It doesn't mean that those powers have direct military control over Libya, any more than over Afghanistan.

And no, I can't make head nor tail out of what CRUD's on about either. I'm not sure whether "westernised" is supposed to be a materialist category or some kind of sub-Maoist anti-western nationalism or what quite. Not to mention the failure to distinguish between the development of capitalism as a world system (growing) and the struggles for the retention of global hegemony by western political and capitalist classes (declining).

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on October 24, 2011

CRUD

Iran will be next- they already tried it in 2009 with the fake ass "Green Revolution". Chavez and the oil in Venezuela are on the list as well. South America in general has been pretty much opened up to western markets for some time but as we know some pockets of resistance exist. I'd say by 2020 (if capitalism is to survive) Iran will have western troops on the ground.

I think you're falling back on tired leftist cliches here - I mean, what exactly is the west? I live about a mile from Greenwich Meridian and I think you'll find that the entire of Venezuela is west of it, while Germany and China are to its east. ;) Whenever I hear people talking about "the West", it sounds like they're trying not to say First/Third World, which are horrifically loaded and outdated terms.

And onto the point of Venezuela, I'm too tired to engage in this debate again (which I have to repeat periodically every few weeks on Libcom), but you'd struggle to find a market that's more open to international investors in the region than Venezuela. A book's just come out on this very subject:

baboon

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on October 24, 2011

If there's to be war with Iran undertaken by the US - and I think that this is a likely perspective - it won't be for economic reasons but in order to shore up the declining authority of American imperialism. It will be totally irrational and totally counter-productive just like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I don't understand Crud's point about South America either. The latter has been the USA's back-yard and under its sphere of influence - again - for over a hundred years. Only very recently has Chinese imperialism made some inroads in this region. In the meantime, Venezuela, for example, is one of the largest trading partners of the USA. Exports increased nearly 28% the first quarter of this year over last and represents 49% of the total exports of this particular brand of state capitalism.

wojtek

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on October 25, 2011

Pepe Escobar: How the West won Libya

and

New York Times: Revolution Won, Top Libyan Official Vows a New and More Pious State

...When Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, the chairman of the Transitional National Council, pronounced the end of the uprising, the crowd reacted with shouts of “God is great.” This was not long after people sang the bouncy national anthem of pre-Qaddafi days, which was revived to help celebrate the downfall of the dictator, who was killed on Thursday after he tried to flee Surt...

“We are an Islamic country,” he said as the sun descended. “We take the Islamic religion as the core of our new government. The constitution will be based on our Islamic religion.”

Among other things, he promised that Islamic banks would be established in the new Libya. He also talked of lifting restrictions on the number of women Libyan men can marry, The Associated Press reported.

The comments reflected not only the chairman’s personal religious conservatism and the country’s, but also the rising influence of Islamists among the former rebels. The Islamists, who include some influential militia commanders, have warned that they will not permit their secular counterparts in a new government to sideline them...

This follows the passing of a Constitutional Declaration by the NTC on 3 August. The complete declaration is here.

What exactly are 'islamic banks'? Are they ones that issue interest free money?

Mike Harman

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on October 25, 2011

What exactly are 'islamic banks'? Are they ones that issue interest free money?

Yeah there's some in the UK. afaik they have a fixed charge for loans or similar so you don't pay interest. And they don't pay interest on current accounts (although nor do normal banks at the moment either so there may not even be an alternative system that way).

ocelot

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on October 25, 2011

Mike Harman

What exactly are 'islamic banks'? Are they ones that issue interest free money?

Yeah there's some in the UK. afaik they have a fixed charge for loans or similar so you don't pay interest. And they don't pay interest on current accounts (although nor do normal banks at the moment either so there may not even be an alternative system that way).

In theory, according to Sharia, all transactions should be C-M-C - i.e. money should merely be the intermediary for the exchange of real goods and services. M-C-M' is explicitly banned as Riba (usury), as used to also be the case in Judaism and Christianity. In practice, Islamic banking is just the organised system of hypocrisy needed to carry on normal capitalist credit, investment and accumulation functions, while providing tortuous justifications for why the particular form of the transactions defy the ban on Riba.

The concept of islamic banking is fairly recent, from the 1950s & 60s. It really only got going in the 1970s as a way of fighting for market share in rich Gulf State potentate investments. Most islamic banking services are still provided by non-Islamic western financial services companies, although each of the Gulf States also have their own pet banks. In the Libyan context, it'll be interesting to see who exactly provides the new islamic banking - a New York based finance corp, or a Qatari one.

There is a passing link between Islamic banking and western financial practices, found in the repurchase agreement. In the middle ages, pawn shops (or Lombards) got around the Christian prohibition on usury on loans by the practice of buying, at a discounted price, a saleable asset from the borrower and then selling the same asset back to them later at full price. The difference between the buy and sell price being the "I can't believe it's not interest" profit of the pawnshop owner, who also had the security of the asset itself as collateral. Such a successful model that it still exists today in poor communities around the globe.

In the 1970s as the western governments struggled to maintain control of interest rates during the death throes of the Bretton Woods system, the US put a legal limit on the rates of interest that banks were allowed to charge each other (and anybody else) for loans. This lead to the evolution of the repo market where banks would sell non-liquid but highly monetiseable assets like treasury bills to a repo lender for cash, with an agreement to repurchase at a later date (sometimes just overnight, sometimes weeks or months) at a higher price. The repo market is now such an integral part of the global money market, that most central banks carry out their short-term interest rate setting operations through "open market" operations in the repo market.

The moral of the story is that capital flows around laws meant to bind its interest rates like the tide flowed around Canute's feet.

ocelot

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on October 25, 2011

Just on Islamic banking, Qatar and Libya.

Bloomberg: (May 26) Qatar Decision to Limit Islamic Banking May Cut Bank Profits by 22 Percent

[...]
The central bank in February told all conventional lenders to wind down their Islamic banking divisions and to stop taking Islamic deposits immediately on concern they may be using funds from the conventional bank for Islamic loans.
[...]
Islamic loans accounts for 20 percent of Qatar National Bank’s lending, 11 percent of Doha Bank’s and 8 percent of Commercial Bank of Qatar’s, according to an Alembic HC report. Alembic said it expects Qatar National Bank to wind down its Islamic banking and Commercial Bank to sell it loans. Qatar Islamic Bank (QIBK) SAQ, the country’s biggest Islamic bank, is likely to benefit because it may be able to increase its 29 percent share of the market for Islamic loans in Qatar, Alembic said.
[...]

Daily Herald: (Aug 28) Gadhafi’s exit to spur Libya’s Shariah banking

By Bloomberg News

Islamic banking in Libya, where rebels stormed the capital Tripoli this week, may benefit from the departure of Moammar Gadhafi, who stifled the industry’s growth, a former central bank chief said.

Gadhafi, who ruled Libya for more than 40 years, rejected proposals to develop the banking industry “without giving reasons,” said Farhat Bengdara, 45, who was central bank governor until he fled the country in February. The regulator awarded Doha-based Qatar Islamic Bank the only license to operate a Shariah-compliant bank a month before the start of the fighting. The country’s secular banks provide Islamic services.
[...]
“There is a huge opportunity for Islamic banking,” Bengdara said. “The Libyans are conservative and many of them don’t like dealing with interest so having full-fledged Islamic banks will be very attractive to them.”

Qatar Islamic Bank declined to respond to calls through its public relations agency yesterday about the full-fledged Islamic banking license in Libya. The Persian Gulf nation’s biggest Islamic lender was to own a 49 percent stake in the bank, while 51 percent was to be sold on the Libyan Stock Exchange, Bengdara said.

The challenge is “getting a stable government in place, and working on the regulations for Shariah-compliant banking, which will take time,” Unicorn’s Raza said.

I guess we'll see if Qatar Islamic Bank (QIBK:QD) gets to keep it's licence and whether conventional banks are allowed to continue providing Islamic banking services or get shut out of the market in Libya as well.

ocelot

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on October 26, 2011

From that same AFP story (Libya interim ruler urges NATO to stay till year-end) linked above

[...]
Qatar also revealed for the first time on Wednesday that hundreds of its military had been involved alongside Libyans in their battle to topple the longtime despot.

Previously the gas-rich country said it had only lent the support of its air force to the operations.

Qatari chief of staff Major General Hamad bin Ali Al-Atiya said the Qataris had been "running the training and communication operations."

"Qatar had supervised the rebels' plans because they are civilians and did not have enough military experience. We acted as the link between the rebels and NATO forces," he said.

Jalil told the meeting that Qataris had "planned" the battles which paved the way for NTC fighters to gradually take over Kadhafi-held towns and cities.
[...]

from the BBC, quoting same AFP source:

[...]Speaking on the sidelines of the Qatar meeting, Qatari chief of staff Maj Gen Hamad bin Ali al-Atiya told Agence France-Presse that his country had deployed ground troops in Libya.

"The numbers of Qataris on ground were hundreds in every region," he was quoted as saying.[...]

wojtek

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 2, 2011

Human Rights Watch: The Murder Brigades of Misrata

Gadhafi's demise was just a part of a vast revenge killing spree

(Misrata, Libya) - If anyone is surprised by the apparent killing of Moammar Gadhafi while in the custody of militia members from the town of Misrata, they shouldn’t be.

More than 100 militia brigades from Misrata have been operating outside of any official military and civilian command since Tripoli fell in August. Members of these militias have engaged in torture, pursued suspected enemies far and wide, detained them and shot them in detention, Human Rights Watch has found. Members of these brigades have stated that the entire displaced population of one town, Tawergha, which they believe largely supported Gadhafi avidly, cannot return home.

As the war in Libya comes to an end, the pressing need for accountability and reconciliation is clear. The actions of the Misrata brigades are a gauge of how difficult that will be, and Misrata is not alone in its call for vengeance. In the far west, anti-Gadhafi militias from the Nafusa Mountains have looted and burned homes and schools of tribes that supported the deposed dictator. Anti-Gadhafi militias from Zuwara have looted property as they demanded compensation for damage they suffered during the war.

The apparent execution of 53 pro-Gadhafi supporters in a hotel in Sirte apparently under control of Misrata fighters is a bad omen. It is up to the National Transitional Council to rein in all the militias and quickly establish a functioning justice system. The NTC should take control of the many makeshift detention facilities, expedite the return of displaced Libyans, and ensure the investigation, trial and punishment of wrongdoers acting in the name of vengeance. That includes Gadhafi’s killers if the evidence showed crimes were committed. The NTC, and its foreign backers, have comprehensively failed to start setting up a justice system — even in Benghazi, where they have been in charge since the spring.

Clearly the NTC is up against the passions of a nasty war. Misrata withstood a two-month siege at the hands of Gadhafi’s forces with near-daily indiscriminate attacks that killed about 1,000 of its citizens. The town’s main boulevard, Tripoli Street, is in ruins. Facades of public buildings and private homes collapsed from tank fire and are charred inside and out. The pockmarks of bullet holes disfigure construction everywhere...

Ian Bone's gone very quiet on Libya...

wojtek

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 2, 2011

New York Times: In Libya, Fighting May Outlast the Revolution

Many of the local militia leaders who helped topple Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi are abandoning a pledge to give up their weapons and now say they intend to preserve their autonomy and influence political decisions as “guardians of the revolution.”

...Many members of military councils insist that they need to stay armed until a new constitution is ratified because they do not trust the weak provisional government to steer Libya to democracy on its own.

“We are the ones who are holding the power there — the people with the force on the ground — and we are not going to give that up until we have a legitimate government that will emerge from free and fair elections,” said Anwar Fekini, a French-Libyan lawyer who is a leader of the armed groups in the western mountains and is also close to top leaders of the transitional council.

“We will make sure we are going to bring the country to a civil constitution and democratic system,” he added, “and we will use all available means — first of all our might on the ground.”

and

On the new Libyan acting prime minister...

Medialens: Compare The Independent on new Libyan acting prime minister...

From CNN:

'Libya's National Transitional Council elected Monday an engineer who lived in the United States for more than three decades to serve as acting prime minister of the transitional government.

Abdurrahim El-Keib won the job with a bare majority, gaining 26 votes from the 51 NTC members present'.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/31/world/meast/libya-government/

The Wall Street Journal report that El-Keib only 'returned to Libya from exile after the fall of Tripoli in late August', and that prior to this he 'taught electrical and computer engineering at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa'. His profile on the Petroleum Institute website states that his academic research activities were funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, among others. http://www.pi.ac.ae/PI_ACA/ee/faculty_staff/aelkeib.php

I don't know, but would this guy, a dual Libyan-U.S. citizen and a technocrat who most Libyans have apparently never even heard of, have got anywhere near such an important and influential position if the Libyan masses themselves had been given any say in the matter? Seems doubtful to me.

Still, i've a feeling the U.S. will be happy with him.

http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1320107277.html

Launched in 2000 under an Emiri decree and in collaboration with the Colorado School of Mines, the Petroleum Institute (PI) ... It is funded by ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) and its international partners, namely: BP, Japan Oil Company, Shell and Total. http://www.adnoc.ae/Content.aspx?mid=118&newid=118

http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1320129479.html

posi

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by posi on November 3, 2011

Just to clarify something which may not be obvious from the posts in this thread... the main reason the Misrata brigades are giving for not acceding to NTC control is that the NTC is being too soft on incorporating ex-Gaddafi henchmen. Sometimes they also criticise Islamists and people who they perceive to be US puppets. I'm pointing this out because the HRW text posted above calls for the Misrata brigades to be brought under NTC control.

proletarian.

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by proletarian. on November 3, 2011

wojtek

Ian Bone's gone very quiet on Libya...

Someone brought it up again recently and I chimed in along with some others but no response from Bony. If I can find the post I'll add a link.

wojtek

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 4, 2011

NYTimes eXaminer - New York Times claims Libya’s “goal” is “development”?

and

UN Secretary-General and Qatari President off to Tripoli to congratulate Libyans on their 'liberation'

and

A really good article by Peter Symonds of the WSWS below. Say what you like about the organisation's Trotskyism, but their coverage and commentary thus far has been excellent:

WSWS - New Libyan prime minister installed by NATO-backed regime

proletarian wrote:

wojtek wrote:
Ian Bone's gone very quiet on Libya...

Someone brought it up again recently and I chimed in along with some others but no response from Bony. If I can find the post I'll add a link.

I left the following comment on the blog post where Ian apologises for dismissing Occupy London:

Hi Ian, I was just wondering if you were going to admit you were wrong for backing NATO in Libya? Kudos on the humility shown already with regards Occupy London, but surely the whole ‘humanitarian intervention’ is more of a priority from a moral stand point? x

I then politely replied to Keith's comment, but my message was censored for whatever reason. Anywho...

proletarian.

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by proletarian. on November 4, 2011

Small world wojtek, as you might have guessed by now my comment was under the alias 'proletarian'. This is what really winds me up about his blog, that he moves from one thing to another seemingly without reflection, discussion or debate. How worthwhile are our comments? I still find Keith's attitude bizarre.

wojtek

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 6, 2011

proletarian wrote:
This is what really winds me up about his blog, that he moves from one thing to another seemingly without reflection, discussion or debate. How worthwhile are our comments?

Yeah, it seems that way to me. I'll have to get a feel of his blog though and perhaps comment there more often. If Keith reads/watches the alternative media, which I would think he does, then his attitude is very surprising.

"Can you believe this? We have hundreds of little Gaddafis now."

and

War Crimes in Libya – The Smoking Guns

I'm almost certainly derailing the thread, but what are people's views on the UN and international law? I'm not one to fetishise the former as an institution and a means of resisting imperialism, but I certainly think we must adhere to the latter even if the ruling class don't.*

*Since with the absence of privilege, anarchism is at least theoretically the best environment for the law and justice to flourish.

baboon

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on November 7, 2011

I think that it's relevant Wojtek.

As long as capitalism exists, then international law, in my opinion, will be the law of the jungle.

The United Nations is a den of murderous thieves and again will remain so as long as capitalism exists. From its involvement in the Korean War in 1953, from its very beginning even, the UN has been a cesspit of imperialist rivalries and the representative of imperialist interests. It was a weapon of both the United States and Russia during the Cold War and, since the "new world order" of peace and prosperity it has continued to be the arena where the imperialist powers stage part of their conflicts.

It has been involved in the Iraq wars, the war in Kosovo and the wars in the rest of ex-Yugoslavia and the continuing war in the Congo where over five million have been killed in the last years according to official figures.

Reflecting its masters, it's a completely corrupt organisation whose make up is based on nepotism, placemen and women, political appointees, diplomats and spies.

There's no doubt that on the ground it has many people that have the will to help and do some good work. But this is undermined by the warlike activities of the UN itself that reflect the national interests or the cliques of national interests of its imperialist membership (all of them). And "on the ground", aid is increasingly a weapon of imperialism and the ground staff are more and more infiltrated with mercenaries, special forces and spies.

There is nothing to be hoped for from the UN and its ideological "humanitarian" front is completely bogus.

CRUD

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CRUD on November 8, 2011

CRUD

proletarian.

I don't see how any of that quote is relevant unless you replaced converted to subordinated in your text, but I'm not sure that makes any sense either.

Unless of course there is something huge I am missing, not unlikely.

Iran is capitalist but not letting western capitalism expand into Iran and take it over. The capitalists are trying to get western capitalism as the only form of capitalism with truly globally intertwined markets. The now semi global western capitalist system is running out of places to spread- like a "flesh" eating disease on an orange once it spreads around the whole orange it will have no choice but to eat itself. This is what the capitalist system is currently doing. It's in decay. It has been since the 1970's and the current crisis is a side effect of the panicked attempts to boost the system. Not just a part of the regular boom bust cycle or a normal crisis of overproduction.

Various western governments have been looking at the Middle East and Africa as ways to save capitalism. Not only spread western markets into the region but to westernize the population. That's more than 75% of earths population in Africa and the Middle East. That's a lot of money to be made from war in the process of westernizing markets/regions and after it's done selling people who survive all manner of widgets and gadgets while extracting as much wealth as possible. I don't think it's ecologically viable so I predict the end of capitalism before 2050. It simply can't perpetually spread but it has to in order to survive- like a great white shark must constantly swim to breath. This doesn't mean we just sit by and wait for capitalism to end though....the goal is to replace it before it destroys the world and eats itself.

This is the exact thing capitalists did with Japan pre WW2- the US sent it's entire NAVY to Japan and told them to open up their markets (basically westernize) or be destroyed. Back then the capitalist state was a tad more honest with it's motivations.

Iran will be next- they already tried it in 2009 with the fake ass "Green Revolution". Chavez and the oil in Venezuela are on the list as well. South America in general has been pretty much opened up to western markets for some time but as we know some pockets of resistance exist. I'd say by 2020 (if capitalism is to survive) Iran will have western troops on the ground.

Look at the timing- Bush OK's a "secret program" to destabilize Iran's government:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2007/05/bush_authorizes/

From John Bolton:

"a US military attack on Iran would is a ‘last option’ after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed.”

Then this happens:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution

and it failed

It's the same with Libya but Libya isn't as advanced as Iran so in lieu of tricking people online they used their same old Islamic Fundamentalist trick like in Afghanistan:

[youtube]OJTv2nFjMBk[/youtube]

It's all a sham. What just happened in Libya wasn't a revolution it was a proxy war and the war just started. The goal is to spread western capitalist markets around the globe in order to save the system. It's not just for profit....western markets must spread in order for the system itself to survive.

Obama just sent 100 troops and or 'advisers' to Africa-

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/sending-us-troops-africa-may-help-south-sudan

(CNSNews.com) – President Obama’s decision to send 100 combat-ready troops to central Africa aims to help rid Uganda of a 20 year-old rebel scourge but could also benefit South Sudan by eliminating at least one of the most troubling security challenges facing the fledgling republic.

Last year alone, attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) displaced some 25,000 southern Sudanese, according to the United Nations.

The group’s activities in that area, where it has been killing, raping and abducting civilians for the past six years, has especially affected the southwestern corner of the world’s newest country, its most fertile and potentially productive region.

Saudi Arabia is mostly Sunni and they've already opened up a trade relationship with the west (although they've fended of the westernization of their culture). Seeing Iran is mostly Shia and the Sauds are in a money making relationship with the west Iran is pretty much on its own (besides Russia/China which is why the US has to play the cloak and dagger game).

The wars in the middle east are more than just for profit- the capitalist state is trying to westernize (economically and culturally) the entire region and once Iran goes Saudi Arabia is next. It's a sort of new version of "white mans Burden" but with the entire capitalist system at stake. Some Marxian economists go as far as to say this is a good thing- that bringing western capitalism and "enlightenment values" to the world will set the stage for a global communist revolution. Lenin thought that was happening in his time with the spread of imperialism. This is a different sort of neo imperialism though seeing the entire system is at stake not just profits. Keynes and Lenin both read Marx and both understood this would happen. They also both read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism_%28Hobson%29

The difference is Keynes set up the financial institutions that would save capitalism (help spread western markets around the globe- IMF/World Bank) whilst Lenin (or later Stalin) tried to stop the spread of capitalism. It wasn't until the cold war ended that western capitalism could once more spread around the globe unchallenged. Anyone who now challenges the spread of western global capitalism will end up like Gaddafi. The only "revolution" in Libya was one for western capitalism. Now they have the job of installing a western friendly government as they are trying to do in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will be interesting to watch this play out- bloody and tragic but interesting as well.

Fucking capitalism. This is one reason I find the "No War" liberals who support capitalism so absurd. Same with "free market" capitalists who are supposedly anti war. The market system can't survive without forcibly spreading (war).

EDIT- It looks like Syria is next up not Iran- Saudi Arabia and NATO are now backing Turkey to invade largely because (from wiki)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria#Foreign_trade

Foreign trade

Given the policies adopted from the 1960s through the late 1980s, which included nationalization of companies and private assets, Syria failed to join an increasingly interconnected global economy

Destabilize and invade countries that don't open up their markets to western capitalism. That's the MO.

(random news reports not posted because I endorse the sites)

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/07/2491427/israelis-anxious-over-expected.html

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/nov2011/pers-n04.shtml

http://www.news.com.au/world/report-may-see-hit-on-iran/story-e6frfkyi-1226187201291

wojtek

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 11, 2011

Travellers rob €200k that spook gave Libyan freedom fighter living in Ireland

A GANG of Irish traveller thieves are in the middle of a holy war - after liberating €200,000 cash destined for Libyan rebels. In a tale worthy of the John le Carre thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the scam artists from Rathkeale in Co Limerick hit the jackpot when they robbed a home in Dublin's Firhouse.

As well as a haul of family jewels, they stumbled upon €200,000 in €500 bills hidden in the hot press. But the homeowner was well-known Irish Libyan freedom fighter Mahdi al-Harati, who was one of the leaders of the bloody revolt against Gaddafi...

LOLZ!11!1

Hague facing questions over Libya deal

Mr Hague had a private meeting with a representative of Heritage Oil in March and has exchanged letters with an aide over the past few months, it has emerged.

In October, the company was awarded a $19.5 million [£12.23 million] oil deal in Libya which it believes will provide it with a foothold in the region.

Tony Buckingham, the chief executive of Heritage Oil and a former mercenary, has given the Conservative party almost £60,000. He was embroiled in controversy earlier this year when the Telegraph disclosed that Mr Hague had personally intervened in a £175 million tax dispute between Heritage Oil, its partner Tullow Oil and the Ugandan government.

Industry sources have disclosed that as the war in Libya was raging, Mr Hague met Christian Sweeting, a representative of Heritage Oil, at the Carlton Club in London. At the time, the company was seeking inroads into Libya after the breakdown of the Gaddafi regime...

wojtek

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 12, 2011

[youtube]c93Er2CRLww[/youtube]

There's a transcript of the news piece here:

Make money, make war: UK profits from Libya mess

and

Putin attacks Britain and US for 'violating Libya resolution'

The Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, launched a broadside against the Western intervention in Libya yesterday, describing British, French and US action as "a complete scandal and a complete affront to the international community". In "taking the side of one of the warring parties," he said, "they had committed a crude violation of the UN resolution".

Mr Putin was answering a question about Syria during a dinner with members of the Valdai group of international Russia specialists at a restaurant outside Moscow.

The sharpness of Mr Putin's response – he had said that any action against Syria that caused destruction of the kind that had happened in Libya, would be "quite unacceptable" – suggested that he would be just as combative a president internationally, if he wins a third presidential term next March, as he was in his previous two terms.

wojtek

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 13, 2011

Thanks for the reply baboon and I agree with what you said, I was just unaware of its history.

Here's one for the 'stupid things the SWP have done' thread:

Alex Callinicos asks us to celebrate NATO’s war on Libya

It's a decent critique until about halfway through where it describes Libya as being an 'oppressed nation' (which was in no way imperialist you understand!) and starts to go all cuckoo and Leninist on your ass (it's by someone from the Revolutionary Communist Group whoever they are). I'm right to disagree with with this bit aren't I?

It was for the Libyan people and them alone to deal with their government, not NATO and the British ruling class.

Besides the fact that Leninists don't want to eradicate national boundaries, by this logic the international brigades would have been illegitimate.

And if you thought Alex Callinicos' article was bad, just read this other one from the Socialist Worker:

After the death of Gaddafi: Where next for Libya?

Methinks they'd rather NATO 'hijack' demos rather than anarchists, sorry 'autonomists' lol

Noa Rodman

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on November 13, 2011

If even anarchists in Spain accepted help from imperialist countries like the USSR (admitted in 1934 to league of nations), it seems only normal for Libyan fractions of the ruling class to do the same.

Probably what Callinicos keeps in mind is that a seemingly orthodox anti-imperialist stance doesn't imply internationalism (Le Pen opposing Sarkozy) and even if anti-intervention stance was motivated by genuine internationalist solidarity or whatever, it raises the question, what to do? Call for a general strike like the socialist Mussolini did against the Italian 1911 invasion?

wojtek

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 13, 2011

Noa Rodman wrote:
If even anarchists in Spain accepted help from imperialist countries like the USSR (admitted in 1934 to league of nations)

Did they really? Wow. Were they naive or really desperate?

Noa Rodman wrote:
Probably what Callinicos keeps in mind is that a seemingly orthodox anti-imperialist stance doesn't imply internationalism (Le Pen opposing Sarkozy)

And he's entitled to do so, but he shouldn't (I can only assume dishonestly) whitewash NATO's and the 'rebels'' record as well as the situation on the ground to fit his politics.

Noa Rodman wrote:
...even if anti-intervention stance was motivated by genuine internationalist solidarity or whatever, it raises the question, what to do? Call for a general strike like the socialist Mussolini did against the Italian 1911 invasion?

I'm afraid I don't know anything about this event. What happened?

Noa Rodman

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on November 13, 2011

Did they really? Wow. Were they naive or really desperate?

I don't know, also they weren't placed before the dilemma of accepting capitalist help (from Britain, France, US). Suppose they were offered help, would they have had to reject it on principle? That's not something Libyan rebels have to worry about, but anarchists I think do.

Many volunteers in the international brigades came from Stalinist and social-democrat parties (you know, real communists are always in short supply ;) ).

I'm afraid I don't know anything about this event. What happened?

[quote=wikipedia]By now, he was considered to be one of Italy's most prominent Socialists. In September 1911, Mussolini participated in a riot, led by Socialists, against the Italian war in Libya. He bitterly denounced Italy's "imperialist war" to capture the Libyan capital city of Tripoli, an action that earned him a five-month jail term.[18] After his release he helped expel from the ranks of the Socialist party two "revisionists" who had supported the war, Ivanoe Bonomi, and Leonida Bissolati. As a result, he was rewarded the editorship of the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti! Under his leadership, its circulation soon rose from 20,000 to 100,000[/quote]

Alexander Roxwell

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on November 14, 2011

There is nothing "unprincipled" in accepting money or arms from one enemy to fight another enemy - altho it is a very dangerous game. What one has to do is know when the line is crossed such that they are no longer giving you aid and comfort but you are giving them aid and comfort.

In the case of Libya it is the "rebels" who are giving aid and comfort to their imperialist puppeteers rather than the imperialists who are giving aid and comfort to the "rebels."

wojtek

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 14, 2011

Alexander, has there been any historical precedence that you know of? Cos the Libyan case would suggest it's impossible.

Noa Rodman

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on November 14, 2011

Maybe Mexico? [quote=wikipedia]Unlike the United States and major Latin American governments such as the ABC Powers and Peru, the Mexican government supported the Republicans.[131][132] Mexico refused to follow the French-British non-intervention proposals,[131] furnishing $2,000,000 in aid and material assistance, which included 20,000 rifles and 20 million cartridges.[131][/quote].
[quote=wiki]
Cárdenas sought to actively help the Republican government in the Spanish Civil War, but those efforts were largely thwarted by the Roosevelt administration. After the war ended with the defeat of the loyalist Republicans, Cárdenas gave specific instructions to his ambassador and envoys in Europe to give safe haven and protection to all exiles, including President Manuel Azaña, actively sought for deportation by the Spanish fascist government and by French collaborationist authorities. [/quote]

So as the Mexican Left at the time analyzed:

[quote=Grupo de Trabajadores Marxistas]Why is Cardenas giving support to Azana?

Is it to give the workers confidence in their own class instincts? The Cardenas government has a vital interest in preven­ting the workers of Mexico from understand­ing why the anti-fascist government in Spain allowed the fascists to prepare their coup. Because they understand that what happened in Spain is also about to happen in Mexico.

This is why Cardenas has given his support to the legally constituted Azana government and sent arms to it. He claims demagogic­ally that these arms are for the defence of the workers against fascism.

The most recent news from Spain has destroy­ed this lie once and for all: the legally constituted Azana government has used these arms to crush the heroic workers of Barcelona when on 4 May this year they dared to defend themselves against the government which was trying to disarm them.

Today, as yesterday, the Cardenas govern­ment is aiding the legally constituted Azana government not against the fascists but against the workers.

The bloody repression which has come in the wake of the Barcelona workers’ uprising has shown up the real situation in Spain like a flash of lightning lights up the night. The illusions of nine months have been shattered. In its ferocious struggle against the workers of Barcelona, the ‘anti-fascist’ government has cast off its disguise. Not only did it send its special police, its assault guards, its machine-guns and tanks against the workers -- it even released fascist prisoners and brought back ‘loyal’ regiments from the front, thus exposing this front to Franco’s attack!

These facts have proved that the real ene­mies of the Popular Front are not the fas­cists, but the workers! [/quote]

Alexander Roxwell

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on November 15, 2011

wojtek

Alexander, has there been any historical precedence that you know of? Cos the Libyan case would suggest it's impossible.

Is there a historical precedence for a popular uprising accepting "aid" from an imperialist without becoming subordinate to that imperialist power? There was the brouhaha about Lenin and Martov (?) accepting a train ride from the German Imperialists after the March revolution. I do not believe that this subordinated the Bolsheviks (or the Mensheviks) to German Imperialism. The example cited above isn't really "aid" but is sanctuary. I do not believe that it corrupted anyone. There was some talk on the part of the Left Communists in Russia of some kind of an arrangement with British Imperialism if Russia failed to sign the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. I believe that Trotsky also put out some feelers for this. Of course the latter did not happen but it would seem much more dangerous to me. There is also the de-facto alliance of Polish Solidarity with the Papacy in the revolt against Stalinist tyranny in Poland. There were accusations of such deals between Hungarian revolutionaries and reactionaries in 1956.

Pengwern

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Pengwern on November 15, 2011

I've taken this from someone on my Football Fans' site:

LESSER KNOWN FACTS ABOUT LIBYA & GADDAFI :

1. There is no electricity bill in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.

2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given
to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.

3. Home considered a human right in Libya – Gaddafi vowed that his parents
would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home. Gaddafi’s father has
died while him, his wife and his mother are still living in a tent.

4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.

5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25%
of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 83%.

6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming
land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and Livestock to kick- start their farms – all for free.

7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya,
the government funds them to go abroad for it – onnot only free but they get US
$2, 300/month accommodation and car allo$$$$e.

8. In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.

9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0. 14 per liter.

10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – now
frozen globally.

11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would
pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until
employment is found.

12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is, credited directly to the bank accounts of all
Libyan citizens.

13. A mother who gave birth to a child receive US $5 ,000

14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15

15. 25% of Libyans have a university degree

16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great
Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert
country.

wojtek

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 15, 2011

17. Under Gaddafi, people didn't have to bother with sources/ evidence to back up claims about how the working-class should be so lucky!

ocelot

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on November 19, 2011

Graun: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi captured

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the fugitive son of Libya's deceased former dictator, has been arrested in southern Libya, according to offcials from the country's new government.

Muammar Gaddafi's second and highest-profile son was captured along with several bodyguards by fighters near the town of Obari in Libya's southern desert , said the interim justice minister and other officials.

Saif was said to be in good health, said the justice minister Mohammed al-Alagy, although there were unconfirmed reports that he was wounded and is recovering in hospital.

"We have arrested Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in [the] Obari area," the minister told Reuters.

He was captured near the southern city of Sabha with two aides trying to smuggle him out to neighbouring Niger, militia commander Bashir al-Tayeleb said.[...]

Noa Rodman

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on November 19, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

The example cited above isn't really "aid" but is sanctuary. I do not believe that it corrupted anyone.

You mean Mexico's "$2,000,000 in aid and material assistance, which included 20,000 rifles and 20 million cartridges" or the Stalinists' "806 planes, 362 tanks, and 1,555 artillery pieces"? That "aid" pretty much came to the benefit of those crushing the Spanish workers' revolt, not to speak of the anti-fascist diversion of the workers' struggles in all other countries on to the path of defending democracy, that is, ideological preparation for the approaching world war.

There was some talk on the part of the Left Communists in Russia of some kind of an arrangement with British Imperialism if Russia failed to sign the Brest-Litovsk Treaty.

Left Communists opposed the peace treaty with Germany, true, but to conclude from this that they were willing to accept assistance from Britain is quite fanciful. The Soviets did accept humanitarian aid for the starvation, but even such aid came with strings attached.
Another case is the '21 Kronstadt revolt. Even if they stood on "leftist" principle and refused foreign military aid, the logical sequence of events would have given rise to voices within the rebels to accept foreign military aid and so turn in to imperialist tools (Martov's analysis).

wojtek

17. Under Gaddafi, people didn't have to bother with sources/ evidence to back up claims about how the working-class should be so lucky!

"25% of Libyans have a university degree" sounds credible. I don't agree with Pengwern' political conclusion, but the living standards were probably among the highest in the region. Among the young rebels you read stories of young college graduates, scientists or entrepreneurs.

rooieravotr

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on November 19, 2011

We seem to be missing this:

Nearly 80 workers at the Waha Oil company in Libya have been protesting for seven consecutive weeks as the oil and finance ministry overturned their deal with the national oil company to eliminate the venture’s management.

The workers were demonstrating outside the ministry’s office on Wednesday, blaming their managers of colluding with Qaddafi. The employees refused to return to the war-torn oil fields as long as the current management remains in office.

Lybian Oil Workers C0ntinue Strike

Marxist.com, a Trotskyist site, has more interesting info on workers' action in post-Kadhaffi Lybia here .
Yes, this was already in October. But I did not see reference to these events here yet.

wojtek

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 20, 2011

thanks for that rooieravotr, do you have any recent updates?

Noa wrote:

wojtek wrote:
17. Under Gaddafi, people didn't have to bother with sources/ evidence to back up claims about how the working-class should be so lucky!

"25% of Libyans have a university degree" sounds credible. I don't agree with Pengwern' political conclusion, but the living standards were probably among the highest in the region. Among the young rebels you read stories of young college graduates, scientists or entrepreneurs.

I'm not saying that Libyans didn't have a reasonable standard of living, I was asking for supporting evidence. This is especially important since it's often used to argue that Libyans had no reason/ought not to have actively opposed Gaddafi.

Alexander Roxwell

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alexander Roxwell on November 22, 2011

Alexander Roxwell

The example cited above isn't really "aid" but is sanctuary. I do not believe that it corrupted anyone.

Noa Rodman

You mean Mexico's "$2,000,000 in aid and material assistance, which included 20,000 rifles and 20 million cartridges" ... That "aid" pretty much came to the benefit of those crushing the Spanish workers' revolt, not to speak of the anti-fascist diversion of the workers' struggles in all other countries on to the path of defending democracy, that is, ideological preparation for the approaching world war.

Score another point for Noa Rodman. She was right and I was wrong on this one ! Somehow all I picked up was the offer of sanctuary which was not the whole of it.

Mark.

12 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on January 22, 2012

Protesters storm Libyan government HQ in Benghazi

Libyans lob grenades, storm NTC office in uprising cradle

Angry protesters threw home-made grenades and stormed Libya's ruling National Transitional Council offices in the city of Benghazi, setting its front ablaze on Saturday, witnesses said.

The attack, the first such violent act against the NTC -- the body which is ruling Libya since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi's regime -- came in the eastern city which was also the first to rise up against the dictator last year.

The attack occurred as up to 2,000 protesters, including injured former rebels who helped topple Kadhafi's 42-year-old regime, demonstrated outside the NTC offices, witnesses and an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.

Video

Edit: Deputy head of NTC resigns following student protests in Benghazi.

baboon

12 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on January 22, 2012

After hour by hour reporting in the British media there's been very little about Libya in the last weeks - except something about a football match in the Observer today.

I've spoken to my relatives there and they report that their savings have been wiped out during the war and many other families are the same.

There's been reports of at least one strike by workers in an oil depot and there have been many protests and demonstrations since the end of the war.

RT reported last night that a US senator from Georgia, had stated that 20,000 US troops were on standby to intervene in the country with 6,000 stationed on Malta. The news programme also reported that a recent occupation of an oil facility by "rebels" was fired on by a Nato helicopter

baboon

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on May 9, 2012

Once allied to Gaddifi, the Tuareg fighters are now causing devastation across the Sahel. The consequences and chaos of the "liberation" of Libya by the west are now being felt wider afield - and it's only the beginning. The area is now flooded witn weaponry from Gaddafi's arsenals including some ten thousand ground-to-air missiles that have gone missing. Who needs Al-Qaida in the Islamic Mahgreb?

communal_pie

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by communal_pie on June 5, 2012

They are doing things like locking up black people in cages, tribes are warring with each other, the whole place is a total mess. http://www.rt.com/news/libya-rebels-torture-africans-679/

And now America is going to intervene..fantastic, things can't get any better….

ocelot

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on June 6, 2012

Could be worse. They could send Tony Blair as a "Peace Envoy".

Soapy

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Soapy on June 22, 2012

Ya'll should read the new AK Press book about the situation in Libya, it's called "Arab Spring, Libyan Winter"

Khawaga

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on June 22, 2012

Oooh, hopefully it's be available at the Toronto anarchist bookfair this weekend.

jonthom

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jonthom on June 22, 2012

How new is new? AK Press have a stall at tomorrow's Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair, or is that too soon to hope for?

Edit: available in the UK apparently.

Mark.

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 9, 2012

A Libyan-American writing for AJE on the current situation in Libya:

from my vantage point here in Tripoli, the once embattled capital and former regime stronghold, an irritating shadow hung over my happiness amid the peaceful festivities. A news junkie, I had long been in the habit of combing through international coverage of Libya on a daily basis and had grown increasingly perplexed by much of the media's descriptions of the environment here as beset by militia violence and tribal warfare, with some commentators even going so far as to declare Libya a failing state along the lines of Iraq, Somalia or Afghanistan. 

Particularly frustrating were the headlines and commentaries heralding the country’s "descent" or "spiral" into "chaos". Most intriguing, however, was the occasional citing of the supposed disaster that is post-revolutionary Libya as a cautionary tale for not intervening in Syria (note: this is not a statement for or against intervention in Syria, neither is it meant to endorse or condemn the controversial NATO campaign in Libya; it is simply an objection to this curious line of reasoning, given the largely peaceful state of affairs in Libya at present - as well as the vast geopolitical differences between the two states). […]

To put it in starker terms, I was struck by the odd feeling that Libya was being picked on by certain observers, among them staunch anti-interventionists with an axe to grind - that reality was being twisted to fit a desired narrative because things hadn't turned out quite as badly as they'd predicted (or hoped?). Yet one wonders if such commentators have bothered to pay any real attention to the climate in post-revolutionary Libya.

Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan and longtime scholar of the Middle East, commented after a recent visit to Libya: 

There is a kind of black legend about Libya, that it has become a failed state and is a mess, that there are armed militiamen everywhere, that everybody is a secessionist, that the transitional government is not doing anything, that people of sub-saharan African heritage are bothered in the streets… The black legend is promoted in part by remnants of the Gaddafi regime and his admirers in the West, in part by overly anxious middle class Libyans navigating an admittedly difficult transition, in part by media editors looking for a dramatic story… So imagine my surprise on visits to Benghazi, Misrata and Tripoli, to find that there were no militiamen to be seen, that most things were functioning normally, that there were police at traffic intersections, that there were children's carnivals open till late, families out, that jewellery shops were open till 8pm, that Arabs and Africans were working side by side, and that people were proud in Benghazi of having demonstrated against calls for decentralising the country. 

In contrast to Professor Cole's observations, much of the commentary out there suffers from a highly selective narration of Libya's post-revolutionary experience, one that takes pockets of very real problems and amplifies these to give the skewed perception that they represent the whole - or even most of - the picture throughout the country. The reality is that most of Libya, which lacks an effective state military or police presence, is remarkably calm and stable given its present circumstances. […]

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/07/2012731132420473906.html

wojtek

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on August 12, 2012

One can give Juan Cole all the fancy pants titles in the world, but I still wouldn't trust him. He did and continues to defend the NATO invasion and the rebels despite who they were, their atrocities and their motives. In October 2011, he wrote this piece declaring that 'the Libyan Revolution is a moment of celebration' when it was anything but (see comment #466 onwards on this very thread).

In the comments section of Cole's article which Najla Abdurrahman quotes, Cole writes:

Did not visit Sirte. I asked about it and people said it is quiet now. A lot of very nice homes and a lot of civic infrastructure.

This would be after NATO, whom he supported, indiscriminately bombed and more Sirte and its population:

Daily Mail: Last stand in Sirte: Extraordinary pictures show Libyan city shelled to smithereens

Independent: Bloody chaos at hospital gives glimpse of Sirte's agony

WSWS: Mass killing and humanitarian disaster in NATO siege of Sirte

When Cole paraphrases the African guy in his article, he leaves out the massacres of African migrants or their torture carried out just two months prior to his trip by his beloved rebels.

Peter Obourne and Richard Cookson were also in Libya at the same time as Cole and they describe a somewhat different picture:

Libya still ruled by the gun

As did Amnesty:

Libyan Elections – Burying The Amnesty Report

Similarly, the Libyan Observatory for Human Rights:

Human Rights Worse After Gaddafi

Moreover:

AFP: Libyan PM predicts 'bright future' for foreign investors, especially in the oil sector

Meanwhile, Juan Cole celebrates the 'freedom' of this new 'republic', which is inseparable from the intervention of NATO, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Mark.

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 12, 2012

Soapy

Ya'll should read the new AK Press book about the situation in Libya, it's called "Arab Spring, Libyan Winter"

Review here

[youtube]AmDFE-9YV74[/youtube]

Part two of the interview here

So has anyone read the book yet?

ocelot

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on August 14, 2012

RTÉ: Libyan-Irish fighter Hussam Najjar training Syrian rebels

Hussam Najjar, from Dublin, has a Libyan father and an Irish mother, and goes by the name of Sam.

A trained sniper, he was part of the rebel unit that stormed Col Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli a year ago, led by Mahdi al-Harati, a powerful militia chief from Libya's western mountains.

Mr Harati now leads a unit in Syria that is made up mainly of Syrians, but also includes some foreign fighters, including 20 senior members of his own Libyan rebel unit.

He asked Mr Najjar to join him from Dublin a few months ago, Mr Najjar said.

The Libyans aiding the Syrian rebels include specialists in communications, logistics, humanitarian issues and heavy weapons, he added.

They operate training bases, teaching fitness and battlefield tactics.

Mr Najjar said he was surprised to find how poorly armed and disorganised the Syrian rebels were, describing Syria's Sunni Muslim majority as far more repressed and downtrodden under Mr Assad than Libyans were under Col Gaddafi.

He said: "I was shocked. There is nothing you are told that can prepare you for what you see.
"The state of the Sunni Muslims there - their state of mind, their fate - all of those things have been slowly corroded over time by the regime.

"I nearly cried for them when I saw the weapons. The guns are absolutely useless. We are being sold leftovers from the Iraqi war, leftovers from this and that.
[...]
Although many rebel units fight under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, their commands are localised and poorly coordinated, Mr Najjar said.
"One of the biggest factors delaying the revolution is the lack of unity among the rebels," he said.

Mark.

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 19, 2012

A long article (and discussion) concentrating on Libya and criticising the critics of western intervention. Read and make your own mind up.

Clay Claiborne: The American left and the Arab Spring

Mark.

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on September 13, 2012

The US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, has died from smoke inhalation in an attack on the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, security sources have told Al Jazeera.

An armed mob attacked and set fire to the building in a protest against an amateur film deemed offensive to Islam's Prophet Muhammad, after similar protests in Egypt's capital.

The ambassador was paying a short visit to Benghazi when the consulate came under attack on Tuesday night, Al Jazeera's Suleiman Idrissi reported from the eastern Libyan city.

He died of suffocation during the attack, along with two US security personnel who were accompanying him, security sources told Al Jazeera. Another consulate employee, whose nationality could not immediately be confirmed, was also killed...

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/09/20129112108737726.html

Edit:
[quote=Arabist]

It appears very likely that the Benghazi attack that killed US diplomats was a pre-planned attack by a group probably trying to avenge the death of Sheikh al-Libi, an al-Qaeda leader. And it seems that the initial Egyptian protests were in good part due to a call by a small Salafi group led by Mohammed Zawahri (Ayman's brother) and a few fellow travellers, and timed for the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. That these protests expanded and got out of hand speaks volumes of the complicated, chaotic situation in Egypt. (I'll pass on the government's reaction, or lack thereof, for now.) I think it is important to see who involved in getting the ball rolling — and particularly the international network of Islamist activists who amplify and spread this manufactured outrage (I say manufactured because why now and not, say, at the time of the scandal over the desecration of Quran by US soldiers in Afghanistan or other incidents?)[/quote]

Mark.

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on September 22, 2012

[youtube]AjrOUgbKkek[/youtube]

AJE: Libyans storm militia compounds in Benghazi

Up to four people have died and dozens of others injured after demonstrators in Benghazi stormed the compounds of militias based in the eastern Libyan city.

Protesters seized the headquarters of the Ansar al-Sharia militia and evicted its fighters from its military bases in the city on Friday night.

The confrontation appeared to be part of a co-ordinated sweep of militia headquarters buildings by police, government troops and activists following a mass public demonstration against armed groups earlier in the day.

At least four people were killed and 34 wounded in Friday's violence, Reuters news agency reported quoting hospital sources.
[…]
Chanting "Libya, Libya," hundreds of demonstrators entered the compound, pulling down militia flags and torching a vehicle inside Ansar al-Sharia's headquarters - once an internal security base under former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

People in the crowd waved swords and even a meat cleaver, shouting "No more al-Qaeda!" and "The blood we shed for freedom shall not go in vain!"

They tore down the banner of group while chanting “no no to the brigades”.

Groups like Ansar al-Sharia, which are said to have played a role in helping to topple the Gaddafi regime, have of late been accused of kidnappings and killings.

As the protesters left Ansar al-Sharia's headquarters, the crowd swelled, reaching thousands as it headed towards the group's military base, which was shared with another militia group.

Protesters said the militia members opened fire as they arrived and several people were wounded.

After the crowd entered that compound, Libyan army lorries sped away from the base carrying government troops cheering in victory and crying out: "God is greatest."

Vigilantes armed with machetes and clubs blocked the highway leading away from the compound, stopping cars to prevent looters from driving off with heavy weapons.

"We went there to hear their slogans and basically what they are saying is that they reject insults to the prophet but they also refuse terrorism in their city," Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid reported from Benghazi.

"They have also called for the disbanding of the militias, chanting: 'What are you waiting for?' They're asking the government how long it will take before they do that."

The demonstrators also took over a compound belonging to the Abu Slim brigade and another Ansar al-Sharia compound

After storming the Ansar al-Sharia compound, protesters made their way to the headquarters of Rafallah Sehati, an official brigade of the Libyan defence ministry.

It was not immediately clear who had started the shooting.

Ismail Salabi, leader of the Rafallah Sehati brigade, which is credited with securing the nation for parliamentary elections, told , that his vehicle was shot at about 4km from the base.

Salabi described the attack as an "assassination attempt".

Mohamed al-Megaryef, the National Assembly chief, urged the demonstrators to withdraw from the bases of loyal brigades, citing the Rafallah Sehati and February 17 Brigades and Shield Libya.

The Libyan military chief of staff and defence minister both alluded to "Gaddafi loyalists" as being responsible for the raid.

The wounded, however, dismissed such allegations, saying instead that the government and the loyal brigades responded in a violent manner reminiscent of the days of Gaddafi.

The apparent defeat of Ansar al-Sharia across Benghazi marks an extraordinary transformation in a country where the authorities had seemed largely powerless to curb the influence of militia groups armed with heavy weapons...

Caiman del Barrio

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on September 22, 2012

Something rather fishy about this. The World Service got an "IT worker" on who'd been at last night's demo/'action'. He spoke for a while about how it'd gone & what'd happened, saying that their ultimate aim was to disarm/drive out all of the militias in Benghazi. The presenter twice asked him how the militias had worsened their lives in the city and he was suddenly stuck.

Er well...actually...they hadn't really done that much. In fact, they did a good job guarding the hospital. It was supposed to be guarded by the police but there were lots of thefts and assaults so the militia stepped in and kept it safe

(Obvs not a direct quote heh.)

So I'm unsure what to make of this, not that I wanna defend Islamist militias or anythign...

Mark.

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on September 22, 2012

I'm not sure exactly what was going on really. The above report is from AJE which, obviously, is ultimately controlled by Qatar, one of the backers of Islamist groups in Libya and elsewhere.This report paints a different picture of the Rafallah Sehati militia, for example.

After finishing with Ansar al-Sharia, some protesters moved further out of town and took on a base said to belong to the Rafallah al-Sehati Battalion, a Salafist group that is notionally allied to the government and in particular to the February 17 Brigade, a less militant outfit whose leaders are very powerful in the new Libya.

They fought back, firing into the crowd, which was largely unarmed. At one stage, soldiers were reported to have intervened. At least three of the dead were killed in this battle, which ended with the Islamist group leaving before dawn.

Edit: More reports at http://www.libyaherald.com/
Does anyone know of any other worthwhile blogs/sites on Libya?

teh

10 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by teh on March 12, 2014

A harbinger for Ukraine?

Libya on the brink

The partitioning of Libya is no longer the concern of pessimists alone but a tangible reality. Islamists are imposing their rule by force and the government and parliament are paralyzed. Some talk blatantly about their intention to strip the non-Arab inhabitants of the south of the country of their citizenship. Add to this mess direct Western intervention in Libya’s internal affairs and one can only conclude the partitioning of the country is on the horizon.

Soapy

10 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Soapy on March 12, 2014

It's a good thing that Obama courageously stood up for democracy in Libya by ordering robots to murder thousands of people amirite?

I don't know much about the Ukraine, but it was pretty obvious to anybody familiar with Libyan history that at the very least after the revolution the militias would come to loggerheads over regional or tribal disputes. Gaddafi was a man of Tripolitania, and the king before him was a man of Cyrenaica. It's all really boring to talk about, but basically the militias didn't decide before they won how the long standing feud between Tripolitania and Cyrenaica would be resolved after Gaddafi was removed. Add that problem to the problem of having to decide what to do with the violent religious zealots of the LIFG which were called back into action and armed by NATO during the uprising, well basically it's a shit storm.

Mainly what the west is concerned about I think is making sure the very wealthy Libyan Investment Company, which under Gaddafi had managed to make some serious moves in the Bahraini financial sector, is kept intact and at some point in the future its funds can be used to be invested back into the stock market to avoid any sort of petrodollar glut. Also the oil and natural gas (and fresh water).