"Anarchist" idiots that supported NATO bombing Libya

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David.Graeber
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Apr 21 2015 11:38

doubling down on lying doesn't actually work

if you had files of me saying "I support the NATO no fly zone" you would have long since shown them. In fact there are plenty of files of me saying the exact opposite. You know it.

So I repeat again: you are consciously undermining the cause of anti-imperialism just to be an asshole.

Good job!

Fleur
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Apr 21 2015 11:39

David Graeber

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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.)

You know what David? If you spent less time name-searching, you would find far fewer things to get your panties in a bunch about. Perhaps you might have not have the reputation as a narcissistic know-it-all that you do right now. And trawling through twitter looking for people to block, seemingly on the grounds that they don't agree with you, just makes you look petulant. Obviously I would tell you this on twitter but you've blocked me, despite the fact that I didn't follow you, never @ you and hardly ever mentioned me and I only used the name Anarchy Dad after I was blocked. I guess I was part of the great purge as a form of guilt by association. You've accuse people who disagree with you of being trolls, being racists and being stupid. If you're happy backing yourself into a little corner full of sycophants, unwilling to listen to anyone else's opinion, that's your call but grow the fuck up and stop throwing your tantrums.

Regards, an anarchy mum.

David.Graeber
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Apr 21 2015 11:41

"calm down"?
I thought that actual radicals had become too embarrassed to deploy that particular rhetorical trick since it was so systematically used in the '70s and '80s against feminists

David.Graeber
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Apr 21 2015 11:51

That's another fascinating rhetorical ploy, "don't agree" for "levels personal insults against." No, not agreeing is "I think your position on Rojava is unfounded." Saying "hey, I think it will personally annoy him to call him this name he might take to be insulting, so let's just do that over and over with no political content" is not actually "disagreeing." It's just some weird form of cult of personality in reverse. I'm reacting to people like any normal person - i.e., not some self-aggrandising narcissistic celebrity - would react, based on egalitarian principles. If someone is an asshole I say so and don't deal with them. This is what most people who are not in the self-publicising business do you know.

What you and all those condemning me for not acting like a celebrity might want to reflect on is why you are projecting "narcissism" onto someone who's just acting like an ordinary person, while somehow not noticing that you are the ones so obsessed with celebrity status and cults of personality that you are sitting around making up fake twitter accounts about people you don't know, and vying to see who can get themselves blocked by him. I mean how pathetic is that? "Look, look, look at me, I got some well-known person to notice I exist, even if for just a second to brush my existence aside and never have to think about me again!!!"

It's really quite sad. As I say, it seems to reflect a complete nihilistic pessimism about the very idea of any kind of real, effective politics.

Fleur
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Apr 21 2015 11:55

"Look, look, look at me, I got some well-known person to notice I exist, even if for just a second to brush my existence aside and never have to think about me again!!!"

Seriously, get over yourself.

David.Graeber
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Apr 21 2015 11:56

Okay, that's all I have to say on this forum. Just wanted to set the record straight for anyone who cares what I actually said. (I thought at the time I might spark an interesting debate about the very question of what it means to 'take a position' and why individual anarchists should be expected to do so, on every single issue anyone was debating anywhere in the world, but I guess in retrospect that was naive. That was never going to happen.)

There's no arguing with people who are just motivated by malice and this seems to be the case with the majority of those active in this forum, unfortunately, so I will knock it off after that.

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Mr. Jolly
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Apr 21 2015 12:14

Whats the point of this thread? Other than a petulant attack on various people who did or didn't have an opinion on Benghazi years ago?

S. Artesian
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Apr 21 2015 12:15

Simple question(s) for David Graeber:

Did you oppose the NATO bombings in Libya?

Were you "neutral" regarding the NATO bombings in Libya?

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Soapy
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Apr 21 2015 12:48

Ocelot. I never said that the americans were primarily responsible. In the article I wrote on libcom on the subject I clearly repeatedly state it was France who was most interested in intervention. I also argue that this had to do with a number of geopolitical reasons. Im not sure who you are strawmanning with the "anit-americanism is for fools" business.

Additionally Gaddafi had pissed off the gulf monarchies a lot. Yes I know SaudiArabia and Qatar were big players in this. Seems like u wrote a whole post attacking a strawman

wojtek
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Apr 21 2015 13:06
Quote:
Whats the point of this thread? Other than a petulant attack on various people who did or didn't have an opinion on Benghazi years ago?

This thread is just embarassing. I'm not hating too much because I've been guilty of this myself, but I don't see the the point in haringuing people who happen to have had the 'wrong' position on some topic. If you don't like certain people, just ignore them and block them out of your life.

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Soapy
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Apr 21 2015 13:21

While I agree that this thhread is ridic, it seems unfair to criticize people on it. People can do whatever they want.

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Pennoid
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Apr 21 2015 13:30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c44lB1nYjI&feature=iv&src_vid=FrZRIW87eWI&annotation_id=annotation_713782931

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ocelot
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Apr 21 2015 13:30
Soapy wrote:
Ocelot. I never said that the americans were primarily responsible. In the article I wrote on libcom on the subject I clearly repeatedly state it was France who was most interested in intervention. I also argue that this had to do with a number of geopolitical reasons. Im not sure who you are strawmanning with the "anit-americanism is for fools" business.

Additionally Gaddafi had pissed off the gulf monarchies a lot. Yes I know SaudiArabia and Qatar were big players in this. Seems like u wrote a whole post attacking a strawman

Not everything is about you. Yes I referenced your shite Hugh Roberts quote. But I have wider targets, which was what I was referencing with the "Russia Today" moniker. There's a certain breed of leftist (and that includes people on this site, cf. having to argue against some plonker denying the Rwandan genocide based on being a fan of that twat who wrote a book with Chomsky and therefore cannot possibly be wrong in his anti-US conspiraloon bollocks - Ed Herman) that takes US imperialism as the global "main contradiction" and thus everything, from Gezi to Maidan, via Benghazi and Gaza, is really part of some State Department conspiracy. I'm not saying that most of these RT types are quite as bad as the Sparts with their "critical support" for ISIS (my how we laughed), but trust me, they are definitely round and about and all over FB and Twitter for one.

(No strawmen were injured in the writing of this post)

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Soapy
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Apr 21 2015 13:47

ocelot, cmon. Thats some below the belt shite right there

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ocelot
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Apr 21 2015 14:29

You read subprole's "contribution" to the KRAS interview thread? Is he a strawman?

Unless you're suggesting that such a pro-Russian chauvinist (dressed up as leftist) constituency does not exist and/or does not read and post on these forums, I really don't see what you're getting upset about.

I generally write posts aimed more at lurkers rather than most of the actual posters (many of whom are clearly beyond help tongue)

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Soapy
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Apr 21 2015 14:33
ocelot wrote:
(and that includes people on this site, cf. having to argue against some plonker denying the Rwandan genocide based on being a fan of that twat who wrote a book with Chomsky and therefore cannot possibly be wrong in his anti-US conspiraloon bollocks - Ed Herman)

We both know who u r talking about

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ocelot
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Apr 21 2015 18:16
Soapy wrote:
ocelot wrote:
(and that includes people on this site, cf. having to argue against some plonker denying the Rwandan genocide based on being a fan of that twat who wrote a book with Chomsky and therefore cannot possibly be wrong in his anti-US conspiraloon bollocks - Ed Herman)

We both know who u r talking about

Oops. I just went back and found that thread to check. My apologies. Had I known that was yourself, I would have picked another example. Sorry for that.

But believe me, if anything, my thought was more on the people I have to deal with in Dublin AFA and people here around the Workers Party and Look Left magazine who continually swallow the Putin line on Ukraine and think that Ghadaffi was done down because the US found him a troublesome "anti-imperialist", North Korean gets bad press, etc, etc.

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libcom
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Apr 21 2015 18:41

admin: abusive/piss taking comments about David Graeber removed. This is a no flaming forum. Please desist from any rudeness and personal abuse, and address arguments, not individuals.

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Steven.
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Apr 21 2015 18:44
Mr. Jolly wrote:
Whats the point of this thread? Other than a petulant attack on various people who did or didn't have an opinion on Benghazi years ago?

basically the point was that I was wondering if the people who had such an idiotic position on Libya had reconsidered, in the wake of the actual facts of what happened.

My hope was that seeing the results, they would rethink their previous support and realise that anarchist/working class internationalist positions on things like supporting capitalist wars is not just dogma but is a principled position based on real observation and analysis of what actually happens in the real world. Namely that supporting capitalist wars is never in the interests of the working class.

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Steven.
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Apr 21 2015 18:58
David.Graeber wrote:

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.

On this point, I totally agree. I think it is generally pretty useless to adopt a "position" on something which you have no hope of actually affecting. And in many cases worse than useless because people adopt positions which are counter-productive (see this thread).

But in a case where the government of the country where you live is planning on military action somewhere, and there is a chance you could influence it, "positions" do matter. Did you have a position on the Iraq war, for example?

Now in terms of your views on this conflict, you said you wouldn't be out in the streets protesting against it. Now this could be fair enough if you were opposed to it, but in terms of your personal priorities you just didn't have the time/energy to demonstrate, or you had better things to do. But if it's because you actually weren't opposed to it, then I think there is a problem with your politics.

Similarly, if someone didn't attend a demonstration against Israel's bombing of Gaza I wouldn't have a problem with that, but if it was because they didn't oppose it, then there is a problem.

So what was your actual view?

And in light of what has occurred since, what is your opinion with hindsight?

plasmatelly wrote:
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.

Er, no my view at the time, as Devrim suggests, was opposition to Western military intervention.

I don't really get what sort of "armchair strategies" you think people should come up with if the UK government is planning on bombing somewhere. My view is that we should oppose it when they do. I don't think this is any sort of "unique insight", nor do I think it makes me a "paragon of wisdom", as like I said above it's a basic principle of working class internationalism. Or don't you agree? I'm having difficulty working out where you're coming from here

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plasmatelly
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Apr 21 2015 19:49

Steven - with respect, this thread is a fucking disgrace. Up to my first post on here, the tone was that of naming and shaming and this seriously is lowering the usual high standard. It may be not what you intended it to be, but you have played a part in it - idiots, cretin, etc.
I don't want to know anymore.

Jason Cortez
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Apr 21 2015 22:03

Completely unsurprising shit storm given the title and OP. Steven I will give you the benefit of believing you didn't intend ifor it turn out this way. But if you think this is how to get people to reconsider previous/current views, you are seriously mistaken.

Spikymike
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Apr 23 2015 15:14

Like Steven I also thought the original points made by David Graeber in the much earlier post No24 made a lot of sense expecially given the kind of political banter that abounds on the likes of 'twitter' and which is often little different to verbals in the local pub, but it struck me that Graeber has hardly been consistent in his approach when it comes to his interventions over the current conflicts in Syria and Turkey in relation to the PKK influenced movement in Rojava where 'the enthusiasts' regularly quote him in arguments with anarchist and communist critics.

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Pennoid
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Apr 23 2015 15:46

I too think that Graeber was eminently practically minded in his non-stance stance on non-interventionist interventionism!

kurekmurek
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Apr 24 2015 08:08

I am really getting lost on what this forum thread is all about. Is this discussion is about one inparticular intervention? Is this thread is related to Graeber's view on intervention?

First of all there is a lot of lies going on in discussions where people say Graeber did/supported what he actually did not.

Secondly, I do not understand Steven's question at all.

Quote:
Similarly, if someone didn't attend a demonstration against Israel's bombing of Gaza I wouldn't have a problem with that, but if it was because they didn't oppose it, then there is a problem.
So what was your actual view?

As Graeber himself said:

Quote:
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.

Why Stephen really wonders whether Graeber is really against NATO and all statist-imperialist alliances? I mean is there really such a possibility he does not? (Well but this is not really surprising as people blamed him to bend reality of Rojava just to support it and misinformed public about what he saw there [This is argued apart from the fact that YPG possibly showed him the best parts of Revolution and hid the possible problms etc.] and nobody really argued against that or said "why would he do that?")

Thirdly Spikymike wonderfully invalidates everyones anarchism/communism except him apparently:

Quote:
Graeber has hardly been consistent in his approach when it comes to his interventions over the current conflicts in Syria and Turkey in relation to the PKK influenced movement in Rojava where 'the enthusiasts' regularly quote him in arguments with anarchist and communist critics.

I am an anarchist. DAF is anarchist. There is at least thousands of socialist/communist militants guerrillas fighting in Rojava. But only "critics" are anarchists, what sort of anarchism is that? What excludes me from anarchism? What makes me less anarchist then you, spiky? What makes Lucien van Der Walt less anarchist, communist then critics?

Lastly, This discussion is really not good. For example Spiky has a more critical theoretical point concerning possible problems of Rojava revolution (that point is another discussion and it is not announced here). However here what he only expresses is problems with Graeber's "inconsistencies" and this is under a discussion of "Morons" who support intervention in Libya. More generally, I mean is not this obvious that current support for Rojava revolution is related to sometihng totally different? Is not it clear now what is supported by "enthusiasts" is arming of YPG with necessary heavy weapons to repel ISIS's tanks etc? And don't we all know that international campaigns for arming of revolutionary forces by anarchists (if there is need) is nothing new? Most prominent example calls for arms republicans from France and Britain (and possible other states I do not remember)? So what is discussed here? Let's stick this discussion to real morons ( if they exist) who blindly supported American Intervention for full in Libya in the sense that they think Imperialism can develop a democratic society etc... Otherwise this thread is just turning into (an extended) piss taking between some western anarchist on grounds that appear to be very subjective and incomplete that I think does not help no real discussion. (Also if this is OK, then I think nobody should wonder why Libcom is really not cared much in Turkey/Kurdistan etc...)

Dannny
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Apr 24 2015 09:13
kurremkarmerruk wrote:
Thirdly Spikymike wonderfully invalidates everyones anarchism/communism except him apparently:
Quote:
Graeber has hardly been consistent in his approach when it comes to his interventions over the current conflicts in Syria and Turkey in relation to the PKK influenced movement in Rojava where 'the enthusiasts' regularly quote him in arguments with anarchist and communist critics.

I am an anarchist. DAF is anarchist. There is at least thousands of socialist/communist militants guerrillas fighting in Rojava. But only "critics" are anarchists, what sort of anarchism is that? What excludes me from anarchism? What makes me less anarchist then you, spiky? What makes Lucien van Der Walt less anarchist, communist then critics?

Lastly, This discussion is really not good. For example Spiky has a more critical theoretical point concerning possible problems of Rojava revolution (that point is another discussion and it is not announced here). However here what he only expresses is problems with Graeber's "inconsistencies" and this is under a discussion of "Morons" who support intervention in Libya. More generally, I mean is not this obvious that current support for Rojava revolution is related to sometihng totally different? Is not it clear now what is supported by "enthusiasts" is arming of YPG with necessary heavy weapons to repel ISIS's tanks etc? And don't we all know that international campaigns for arming of revolutionary forces by anarchists (if there is need) is nothing new? Most prominent example calls for arms republicans from France and Britain (and possible other states I do not remember)? So what is discussed here? Let's stick this discussion to real morons ( if they exist) who blindly supported American Intervention for full in Libya in the sense that they think Imperialism can develop a democratic society etc... Otherwise this thread is just turning into (an extended) piss taking between some western anarchist on grounds that appear to be very subjective and incomplete that I think does not help no real discussion. (Also if this is OK, then I think nobody should wonder why Libcom is really not cared much in Turkey/Kurdistan etc...)

Hi Kurrem. 'Anarchist and communist critics' just means that the critics in this instance were anarchists and communists, it doesn't mean that supporters cannot be anarchists and communists.
Is your reference about arms from France and Britain for republicans in regard to the Spanish Civil War? I think we can be fairly certain that these campaigns were not waged on the basis of getting arms to revolutionaries. If we look at the limited sale of arms from the Soviet Union to Spain we can see that this 'aid' was intended right from the first as being one plank in a strategy of marginalising and defeating the revolution while using revolutionaries as cannon fodder. The same would have been the case if France and Britain had aided the Republic (the clue is in the name - they would have aided the Republican state). It seems strange to me that Rojava supporters continually invoke a conflict like Spain as if this was not an example replete with cautionary tales of the kind only the 'critics' seem to be willing to draw from.

kurekmurek
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Apr 24 2015 09:50

Hi, Dannny

Yeah well you might be right about spikymike. However I found his opposition of "ethusiasts" to anarchist or communist critics very bad. As it is used to imply that anyone supporting Rojava (as a social change, revolution, progressive movement, Kurdish ethnic rights, imperial intervention, arming of YPG etc..) is somehow stepping the eternal law of anarchist non-interventionism etc.. Well just like labels morons and cheerleaders "enthusiasts" seem to imply "the other side" is less anarchist/communist. I do not think this helps any discussion at all. And Spikymike as I wrote has a better critical argument than just questioning Graeber, or reporting that some "enthusiasts" quote him to argue for imperialist intervention? (I don't know where this happens).

On arms issue: No I mean I remember reading that republicans (in general) wished to get arms from Britain and France, (but could not and need to fight against fascists in very unfavorable circumstances). Also major leftist organisations in their homelands supported this demand as a part of international solidarity and/or anti-fascism.

So, I do not get what you mean here:

Quote:
I think we can be fairly certain that these campaigns were not waged on the basis of getting arms to revolutionaries.

I agree with you on USSR support and its real nature. Nobody wants that. however there is also a real problem for republicans that there were armed fascists wanting to kill you right? So what you do against them? How can you fight back? How to gain wider support so that you can fight back against fascists? Where do you get the guns? These are of course not just theoretical points but real issues that needs to be dealt with by revolutionaries (and apparently repeatedly in different situations.[not each and everytime of course]) I think this is what makes comparison normal. Did you check this article from firat news by the way? It is short and gives a realistic picture of some of the problems of revolution (and its limitations)

Edit: sorry you even commented under the article, my bad.

Dannny
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Apr 24 2015 10:02

Kurrem you seem to be conflating 'Republican' and revolutionary. Initially in Spain, arms were seized by revolutionaries, distributed from army barracks, stolen from warships etc. Many of the militia that set off to fight the Nationalists were carrying those same guns. The CNT then attempted to secure their own arms through back channels and smuggling etc. Famously, the Republican government starved the Aragon front of arms (and it was an error of anarchists there to trust their Republican allies. There is a really interesting article about this here that you may find relevant: http://www.christiebooks.com/ChristieBooksWP/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/...) and the socialist premier Largo Caballero infamously declared that he wouldn't spend 'a single cartridge' in the defence of Malaga.
Meanwhile, the left internationally supported the Aid Spain movement to give arms to the Republic. I think you need to separate that from the question of the Spanish revolution and the revolutionaries, however. Insofar as the war took on the characteristics of a conventional war in which access to heavy weaponry would decide the outcome, the possibility of the revolution surviving was extinguished. Many anarchists who fought and died in that conflict understood this, said this, and didn't want to lose that perspective. Many others considered an alliance with a democratic state preferable to the victory of fascism. In the event, this alliance didn't in fact prevent the victory of fascism.
I'm sorry if I dip out again now, I don't have time to get into this debate really, I just thought I'd draw attention to one of the contradictions in bringing Spain into the equation when trying to rally anarchist support for western military intervention in defence of Rojava today.

kurekmurek
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Apr 24 2015 10:38

Dannny

Yeah you definitely explained it in more detail. I meant republican as a general term (as in the end even CNT got into the government, you know.)

Quote:
The CNT then attempted to secure their own arms through back channels and smuggling etc.

Yeah this is definitely true. (It is even true for Kurds as Flint noted repeatedly YPG is the least liked organisation on the ground for USA, only to be seconded to ISIS and they get very few weapons so far from USA.) but the thing is this is not the discussion. The discussion is whether anarchists/socialists etc. can make pressure in their homelands to support revolutionary action in other places and if they can what can be the proper line to draw here.

Ok not discuss but I do not get it why you wanna picture Spanish revolution as an already lost cause. It is like a fault of CNT to even try it.(Just like kurds maybe) However I argue the opposite it could be basis for a different Europe or even world today if it could win the military side of it. They had the man power but lacked the weapons. The People Armed by Abel Paz has a lot of examples of lack of arms among anarchists. You might also want to check these
http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/spain/intro_afa.html (and what is with the cult of Durutti in the piece you shared by the way)

Quote:
I just thought I'd draw attention to one of the contradictions in bringing Spain into the equation when trying to rally anarchist support for western military intervention in defence of Rojava today.

Well who does this exactly? Who says anarchists should support Imperialist military interventions in Rojava (or moronically in general)? Can anybody quote such a statement by someone please? Do we have anything more than this: https://twitter.com/davidgraeber/status/521103418614894593
Well he apparently wanted to push USA government to give them the necessary guns. I do not think he is stupid and thinks it can be easily given by white house. However in times of need something that needed to be done. Is this just amounts to full support to intervention everywhere? Being a moron?

Dannny
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Apr 24 2015 11:37

Hi Kurrem.
Thanks for the replies but I think we're talking past each other. I wasn't trying to bring Graeber or anyone into it, just responding specifically to what you had written. I know that the CNT entered the Republican government and that the anarchists lacked arms, I referred to this in my previous post. I don't think the Spanish revolution was doomed from the start. Just to flesh out my point in case I've not been clear:
1. The Spanish revolution began as a movement that rendered the state practically inoperative, arming workers at the rear and the front
2 The Spanish republican state reconstituted itself (with the assistance of the CNT) and sought arms from abroad
3 When it received those arms (and it didn't receive many as we know) it used them against the revolution as well as against the fascists.
I thought these questions were relevant to what you were saying (you did bring Spain up after all).