"Anarchist" idiots that supported NATO bombing Libya

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Apr 20 2015 09:56
"Anarchist" idiots that supported NATO bombing Libya

So watching Al Jazeera and seeing another news story about Libya (Ethiopian Christians being beheaded) reminded me about some anarchists, most notably Class War leader Ian Bone, supporting the NATO military action there.

And I was wondering if they stood by that, considering events since. Does anyone know?

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Apr 20 2015 10:09
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Class War leader Ian Bone, supporting the NATO military action there.

WTF? I didn't know that. What a fucking numpty.

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Apr 20 2015 11:43

Bone's Kropotkin moment.

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Apr 20 2015 13:35

Set to the intro of "juicy" by Biggie Smalls

This post is dedicated to all the "anarchists" who told me that the airstrikes benefited the Libyan people and to all of the liberals and progressives who called me a Gaddafi supporter when I was just trying to make some criticisms of NATO. And to all the anarchists on libcom. It's all good baby baby.

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Apr 20 2015 15:00
Mr. Jolly wrote:
Bone's Kropotkin moment.

There's a bit of a difference in that Kropotkin shat away decades of bang on anarchist credibility whereas Bone had fuck all credibility to start with. I suppose it's more of a "bloke from Class War says something daft again... nothing to see here..." moment grin

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Apr 20 2015 15:50

Donnacha DeLong was probably even worse than Bone. https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/hypocrisy-authoritarian-left/

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Apr 20 2015 15:56

David Graeber supported the no fly zone whilst claiming there was never any question this could amount to support for NATO. Anarchy Dad logic I guess.

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Apr 20 2015 16:11
Fall Back wrote:
Donnacha DeLong was probably even worse than Bone. https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/hypocrisy-authoritarian-left/

Jesus I knew he was a cretin but didn't realise his stupidity extended that far!

With Graeber, any links?

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Apr 20 2015 16:21

If you don't knooooww (about how great cruise-missile-communism is) now you know!

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Apr 20 2015 18:01

Wow... that Donnacha DeLong piece is breathtaking in its utter shite-nosity. Just when I thought anarcho-bellendery had reached an absolute pinnacle, someone like Donnacha comes along and sticks a fucking cherry on top of the poltical turd.

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Apr 20 2015 18:12
Steven. wrote:
Fall Back wrote:
Donnacha DeLong was probably even worse than Bone. https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/hypocrisy-authoritarian-left/

Jesus I knew he was a cretin but didn't realise his stupidity extended that far!

With Graeber, any links?

Comments here best I can find (can't find his tweets, buried under sub-Tankies yelling at him for not supporting Gaddafi) http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/popular_re...

Lots of weasel words 'I don't support NATO even when I support things they do'.

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Apr 20 2015 18:28
Ian Bone wrote:
We should at the very least provide weapons to the rebels

An anarchist who is a member of the ruling class.

Woah!!

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Apr 20 2015 19:29

I'm going to play devils advocate here because I think the tone of the posts here aren't very becoming.
Granted no one likes NATO, and no one liked Gaddafi; they are/were scum. And ordinarily I wouldn't want to interrupt posters viciously sticking in knives in the backs of people who don't share your views, but we now have hindsight (we can pretend we knew much more when events were actually in play) so maybe we can say what we would have done when Gadaffi has surrounded Benghazi and planning on killing every human inside?
Given that it doesn't make a difference what anyone here thinks - or what Donnacha, for that matter - has anyone got any insight to views of those in Libya?

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Apr 20 2015 19:35

@plasmatelly.

There is no evidence that Gaddafi was going to slaughter the residents of Benghazi. As Hugh Roberts of the International Crisis Group wrote in the London Review of Books these were pure scare tactics plain and simple. There were no reported massacres taking place in the cities that Gaddafi's forces had recaptured prior to this one. Additionally the widely reported mass rapes by Gaddafi's forces turned out to be completely false, again nothing but pure scare tactics.

As to what could have been done. I wrote a little about this but basically the UN resolution that authorized NATO bombardments (which authorized them to a very limited extent which was blatantly violated) specifically stated that the bombardments should only take place if Gaddafi was unwilling to abide by a ceasefire with the rebels . After the passage of the resolution Gaddafi immediately announced his willingness to enter into a ceasefire and negotiate with the rebels. This was in addition to pleas by the African Union to allow them to use a ceasefire to open negotiations between both sides.

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What also bears mentioning is the repeated refusal of NATO and the NTC to engage with negotiations that should have been pursued. UN Resolution 1973 was the paper-thin legal justification used for the bombings. It clearly stated that a peaceful settlement to the civil war was the most desirable. As Hugh Roberts writes in his article, Who said Gaddafi had to Go?, “Resolution 1973 was passed in New York late in the evening of 17 March. The next day, Gaddafi, whose forces were camped on the southern edge of Benghazi, announced a ceasefire in conformity with Article 1 and proposed a political dialogue in line with Article 2. What the Security Council demanded and suggested, he provided in a matter of hours. His ceasefire was immediately rejected on behalf of the NTC by a senior rebel commander, Khalifa Haftar, and dismissed by Western governments.” Haftar, or spelled Hifter depending on the source, was in the two decades prior to the conflict living in Arlington, Virginia, home to, among other government offices, the Pentagon. “‘We will judge him by his actions not his words,’ David Cameron declared, implying that Gaddafi was expected to deliver a complete ceasefire by himself: that is, not only order his troops to cease fire but ensure this ceasefire was maintained indefinitely despite the fact that the NTC was refusing to reciprocate. Cameron’s comment also took no account of the fact that Article 1 of Resolution 1973 did not of course place the burden of a ceasefire exclusively on Gaddafi. No sooner had Cameron covered for the NTC’s unmistakable violation of Resolution 1973 than Obama weighed in, insisting that for Gaddafi’s ceasefire to count for anything he would (in addition to sustaining it indefinitely, single-handed, irrespective of the NTC) have to withdraw his forces not only from Benghazi but also from Misrata and from the most important towns his troops had retaken from the rebellion, Ajdabiya in the east and Zawiya in the west – in other words, he had to accept strategic defeat in advance. These conditions, which were impossible for Gaddafi to accept, were absent from Article 1.” Aside from Gaddafi’s own initial attempts at negotiation to avoid the subsequent bloodbath, the African Union (AU), with the vocal support of Nelson Mandela, made tireless attempts to get NTC and NATO leaders to sit down with Gaddafi. In response to attempts made in April by the AU, the NTC announced that Gaddafi would have to step down as a precondition for any negotiation. The message was clear, there was no desire by the NTC or NATO for negotiation.

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Apr 20 2015 19:54

Soapy - are we talking about Hugh Roberts the Benghazi resident who sat shitting himself in his shelled home expecting Gaddafi's troops to enter any minute, or are you talking about yet another voice from another country who wrote with the confidence of hindsight? I ask because anyone can be an armchair strategist after the event. But I ask again, has anyone got any insight to the views of those people on the ground?

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Apr 20 2015 19:55

As to the views of libyans at the time they were divided as they always have been since the monarchy with the regions of cyrenaica and fazzad supporting the rebellion for tthe most part and the region of tripolitania generally supporting gaddafi. Of course those are generalities and there were a sorts of tribal loyalties that were and still are at play. Towards the end NATO bombing attacks were simply ripping to shreds untrained mobs pf gaddafi supporters in Tripoli.

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Apr 20 2015 20:20
plasmatelly wrote:
I ask again, has anyone got any insight to the views of those people on the ground?

I'm mates with a lad from Misrata, who fought on the anti-Ghaddafi side in the civil war. He's ambivalent about the revolution now, sees corruption from politicians from all sides and acknowledges it's less safe than it was under "that bastard Ghaddafi". He also reckons a lot of the shit on the ground and the emergence of alledged Islamic State in Libya is nothing more than former Ghaddafiites being opportunistic and jumping on the Daesh bandwagon. Whether that's accurate or just him being partisan, I've no idea.

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Apr 20 2015 21:11

I think that people who live in the Middle East, in general, tend to hold the view that America should stop bombing the Middle East.

Devrim

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Apr 20 2015 21:55
plasmatelly wrote:
I'm going to play devils advocate here because I think the tone of the posts here aren't very becoming.
Granted no one likes NATO, and no one liked Gaddafi; they are/were scum. And ordinarily I wouldn't want to interrupt posters viciously sticking in knives in the backs of people who don't share your views, but we now have hindsight (we can pretend we knew much more when events were actually in play) so maybe we can say what we would have done when Gadaffi has surrounded Benghazi and planning on killing every human inside?

Are you kidding? Did you need hindsight to think that the aftermath of a NATO bombing campaign might not be that great?

Should we be generous to those lefties like Johann Hari who supported the invasion of Iraq, because after all we wouldn't want to viciously stick knives in the backs of people who don't share our views, or be smarter with hindsight.

As the saying what "we" would have done, firstly like Soapy says, where is the evidence that was going to happen? And even if it was, what about the killings of demonstrators in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia? Why only support military action against dictators who aren't allies of the West?

Even for people like these idiots who claim to be "pragmatic" and say sometimes you need to support Western military action to save lives, if you really want to save lives you would be better off supporting much cheaper intervention to give people clean water, or cheap drugs for easily curable diseases like diarrhoea which kill millions

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Apr 20 2015 23:10

Well no need to get too angry over it, but good point steven about how to save lives

Just a quick addon to what i said earlier. The pro Gaddafi demonstrations in Tripoli were not just PR stunts. Like it or not Gaddafi was genuinely supported by a large portion of the Libyan population.

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Apr 21 2015 06:45

Steven - I didn't say I supported the NATO attacks, I just don't like your smart arse approach of sticking the knife in peoples backs as though they are scum after the dust settles, like you have some unique insight. I don't remember you coming up with armchair strategies at the time, but here you are now the paragon of wisdom. As far as I can see, only Soapy has given any practical proposal - and fuck me, that's supporting NATO providing it toes the UN line.

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Apr 21 2015 07:33

I think that people criticised this stance at the time.

Also I don't think that it is up to revolutionaries in the west to come up with strategies for intervention. Their starting point should be against intervention.

Devrim

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Apr 21 2015 07:51

Devrim - this is my position too. Along with expecting people to have the good grace to not spring into life after the event like they have special insight.

David.Graeber
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Apr 21 2015 09:35

None exist because it isn't true. I explicitly said I couldn't support NATO because I was against the existence of NATO, but that I wasn't going to be out in the streets protesting that particular time either.

In fact, the incessant false claims that I "supported" NATO are particularly ironic in this particular instance because at the time I made a great point of explaining that, since I'm not a political party, I'm under no obligation to "support" or "oppose" every action by every state or party or international political body - in fact, it doesn't make any sense to for me to weigh in on the particular actions of bodies whose very existence I oppose. I can just sit back and watch.

It's only Marxist political parties that imagine themselves someday taking power and becoming a government who generally feel they have to weigh in with a "position" on every international conflict. I didn't and don't. I just weigh in one ones where there's some force in the field that I actually identify with to some extent.

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Apr 21 2015 09:53

You made a point of saying you wouldn't oppose it, in reply to a pro-intervention article you described as wonderful. As I said, weasel words from anarchy dad.

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Apr 21 2015 11:07
Devrim wrote:
I think that people who live in the Middle East, in general, tend to hold the view that America should stop bombing the Middle East.

Devrim

I upped this because it's a good wry crack.

However we need to be wary of the "Russia Today" style of lazy rewriting history that has the 2011 intervention down as another US project of NATO imperialism. There was certainly imperialism involved, but for a number of different players, including, lest we forget, Turkey Qatar and the GCC. Even "neutral" Sweden sent aircraft.

Given the Hugh Roberts nonsense quoted above, let's go through the timeline again.

Quote:
23 February 2011: French President Nicolas Sarkozy pushed for the European Union (EU) to pass sanctions against Gaddafi (freezing Gaddafi family funds abroad) and demand he stop attacks against civilians.
.
25 February 2011: Sarkozy said Gaddafi "must go".[52]
[...]
9 March 2011: The head of the Libyan National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, "pleaded for the international community to move quickly to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, declaring that any delay would result in more casualties".[38] Three days later, he stated that if pro-Gaddafi forces reached Benghazi, then they would kill "half a million" people. He stated, "If there is no no-fly zone imposed on Gaddafi's regime, and his ships are not checked, we will have a catastrophe in Libya."[39]
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10 March 2011: France recognized the Libyan NTC as the legitimate government of Libya soon after Sarkozy met with them in Paris. This meeting was arranged by Bernard-Henri Lévy.[56]
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11 March 2011: Cameron joined forces with Sarkozy after Sarkozy demanded immediate action from international community for a no-fly zone against air attacks by Gaddafi.[57]
[...]
14 March 2011: In Paris at the Élysée Palace, before the summit with the G8 Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sarkozy, who is also the president of the G8, along with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and impressed her upon to push for intervention in Libya.[59]
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15 March 2011: A resolution for a no-fly zone was proposed by Nawaf Salam, Lebanon's Ambassador to the UN. The resolution was immediately backed by France and the United Kingdom.[60]
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17 March 2011: The UN Security Council, acting under the authority of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, approved a no-fly zone by a vote of ten in favour, zero against, and five abstentions, via United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. The five abstentions were: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Germany.[49][50][51][61][62] Less than twenty-four hours later, Libya announced that it would halt all military operations in response to the UN Security Council resolution.[63][64]
.
18 March 2011: The Libyan foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, said that he had declared a ceasefire, attributing the UN resolution.[65] However, artillery shelling on Misrata and Ajdabiya continued, and government soldiers continued approaching Benghazi.[19][66] Government troops and tanks entered the city on 19 March.[67] Artillery and mortars were also fired into the city.[68] [...]
.
19 March 2011: French[70] forces began the military intervention in Libya, later joined by coalition forces with strikes against armoured units south of Benghazi and attacks on Libyan air-defence systems, as UN Security Council Resolution 1973 called for using "all necessary means" to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas from attack, imposed a no-fly zone, and called for an immediate and with-standing cease-fire, while also strengthening travel bans on members of the regime, arms embargoes, and asset freezes.[18]
[...]
24 March 2011: In telephone negotiations, French foreign minister Alain Juppé agreed to let NATO take over all military operations on 29 March at the latest, allowing Turkey to veto strikes on Gaddafi ground forces from that point forward.[72] Later reports stated that NATO would take over enforcement of the no-fly zone and the arms embargo, but discussions were still under way about whether NATO would take over the protection of civilians mission. Turkey reportedly wanted the power to veto airstrikes, while France wanted to prevent Turkey from having such a veto.[73][74]
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25 March 2011: NATO Allied Joint Force Command in Naples took command of the no-fly zone over Libya and combined it with the ongoing arms embargo operation under the name Operation Unified Protector.[75]

Anti-Americanism is the anti-imperialism of fools. We need to be cognizant of Marx's insistence of counterposing the necessity for many-side analysis to the inevitably ideological readings that result from a one-sided view. When it comes to the international interests involved in the Libya intervention, there were many players each coming with their own attempt to regain (or gain) the initiative in the changed circumstances created by the recent "loss" of Tunisian and Egyptian US client regimes. We are dealing here not with a simple turd but a finely woven, multithreaded tapestry of shit. One, if anything, prompted by a relative loss of US initiative in its regional foreign policy.

A loss they have since tried to rectify, particularly after the humiliation of the embassy attack, by backing Hiftar's faction in the current civil war - again without a lot of success.

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Apr 21 2015 11:10

Also, re discussion of the current civil war in Libya (which is a different topic to the OP of this thread), there's this thread Libya: Operation Dignity and current civil war

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Apr 21 2015 11:21

why aren't you clever, trying to come up with names you think will annoy me (actually the joke is it doesn't, it's just an incredibly handy troll detector, it's almost as if you could trick the idiots into wearing a T-shirt saying 'warning I'm a nasty little shit and future troll, block me.' Very considerate of them if you think about it that way.)

but this kind of personal nastiness lays bare the real motives behind all this posturing, which is a rejection of the very idea of politics in favour of a kind of phoney simulation of radicalism which consists pretty much exclusively of personal malice, levelled by people who couldn't imagine having any real effect on the world one way or another, and who therefore pass their time indirectly trying to tell the world, "no, what's important are not Libyans or Kurds or struggles in the Global South, but the MORAL QUALITIES OF WHITE DUDES LIKE MYSELF" - "except I'm the best of the white dudes, I'm the least imperialistic, see, look, all those other guys are much much worse. Watch me ritually revile them to show how morally pure I am in comparison." This, combined with a bitterness at general failure as a revolutionary or anti-imperialist or person whose tiny grouplets have had even the most microscopic influence on anything at all.

Look at this guy's approach. First he says that I "supported the no fly zone." Then when I point out that no, I didn't, in fact t explicitly said I didn't, he immediately says, well, yeah, that's true, but you didn't actively oppose it and you retweeted a piece once that was favourable... What does this reveal? Well, since his response appeared instantly, it's not like the guy went back and did elaborate research and learned that his first statement was wrong and just readjusted his claims. He knew from the start what really happened. He knew that I explicitly said I didn't and could never support NATO, but decided to tell the world that I supported NATO anyway.

There's a word for such behaviour. It's called "lying."

He could have said "DG might not have supported NATO but he said he wouldn't protest and to me that's just as bad." But he chose not to. He chose to explicitly attribute to me a position he knew perfectly well I didn't hold, and then combine it with what he thought (mistakenly) would be personally hurtful insults.

So that's lying and abuse.

But the really interesting question here is: what is actually achieved by such lies? What is the political effect? I ask people this question all the time when I read false claims that I support this or that US intervention. I say, first of all, why does it matter what my personal feelings are about what happens in Benghazi anyway? (As it happened I had a personal friend, a Libyan anarchist, who was fighting with some rebel faction there so I naturally remarked that, much though I opposed NATO, I was also happy government forces hadn't seize the city and killed him.) I'm not a political party. I'm just some guy and I was explicitly saying these are my personal feelings and not political positions. The inevitable reply is: "well, a lot of people take you seriously, you have a moral authority, it would be disastrous if people could say, 'even DG backs NATO on this one...'" My response, in turn, is "well if so, what would be the point of claiming that I'm putting my moral authority behind NATO when I'm going to such great lengths to say I'm not?" To twist things around to make it seem like I actually am throwing moral authority behind imperialist interventions when I'm not would directly contradict the very political purposes these people claim to have.

The logic seems to come down to "it would be so disastrous for people to think you backed NATO that I'm going to go around everywhere I can telling people you backed NATO even when you insist you don't."

This is so totally incoherent and weird that the only real conclusion is that the actual motives are something else. What could they be then? Well, the gratuitous attempts at personal insult kind of give it away, don't they? The people writing such screeds actually don't care if they are undermining the anti-imperialist cause they claim to support by falsely claiming well-known anarchists are pro-imperialist. Being able to score a point against some Prominent White Dude, thus to establish they are a More Morally Pure White Dude, is way, way, more important to their narcissistic little egos than even the actual cause of anti-imperialism, let alone anything else.

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Apr 21 2015 11:22

Calm down, David.

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Apr 21 2015 11:24
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a finely woven, multithreaded tapestry of shit.

Ah the images this brings to mind.

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Apr 21 2015 11:32
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There's a word for such behaviour. It's called "lying."

It's called "files", Anarchy Dad.