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View Diary: Why is Chris Hedges calling for "boots on the ground" in Libya? (72 comments)

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  •  Nicely done. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, Clay Claiborne

    Chris Hedges: isn't he someone who wrote an admiring work eulogizing and glorifying US armed invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan with the "War is the force that gives us Meaning" and how America is cheered up, buoyed and made a perfect place by applying constant warfare to anybody small  of interest all over the world?

    Bullying as the new American virtue?

    Harvard has a long history of supplying cheerleaders for imperialism of the late 20th century sort, like Samuel Huntington, George Bundy, Robert MacNamara and a bunch of others aspiring to be the Great Men of American history.  Hedges is up against it trying to be the expert on all things going on regardless of if he participates in them  or not, finds out about them third hand or not, or relies on the current Beltway narrative or not.

    •  Bullshit.. Sounds more like Hitchens than Hedges (4+ / 0-)

      In fact, it does not sound like Hitchens either, but he has surprised me before.  Chris Hedges does have a well reasoned and depressing view of our possible future... and he may be right, judging by what I see.... and the large numbers of complacent sheep in this world.

      John

       

      •  But his is a self-fullfilling prophecy (0+ / 0-)

        If get can convince enough people to sit on their hands, everything he predicts will come true.

        Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

        by Clay Claiborne on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:23:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's one narrow way of looking at it (3+ / 0-)

          Chris Hedges is warning against the spread of Fascism, Permanent War, and other atrocities while many of the people claiming Liberalism sit idly by as the country goes over a right wing tipping point.

          His is a valuable voice that should be heard.

          John

          •  As far as his warning goes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BeeDeeS
            "he's filling our heads full of figures and angles,
                 and telling us stuff that we already know"

            Most intelligent people already know about "the spread of Fascism, Permanent War, and other atrocities." Chris Hedges is telling them point blank that they can't do anything about it. His message on Libya is that they didn't do anything about it and he is willing to twist the facts to "prove" his point.

            Ultimately, he is one of the voices encouraging "the people claiming Liberalism [to] sit idly by as the country goes over a right wing tipping point."

            Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

            by Clay Claiborne on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:27:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  War is -the-a force that gives us meaning (0+ / 0-)

        Corrected.  The point is the Chris Hedges stands on his own soapbox, there is no solution exception the individual mastery of politics and a paradigm to win.  meaning if you do not have such a belief, your skepticism or pessimism will rule, and that is where he is.

        he cannot find a praiseworthy struggle, a clean perfect one that inspires confidence.  the facts are we all imperfect, we do what we can and none of us or our efforts will be or can be 100% clean and perfect.

        We make choices, not excuses for disengaging or avoiding.    If we can recognize a heroic act, we can recognize heroic causes. those go on regardless of the number and quality of the participants. With great effort they can get better and be successful.

            To dismiss Middle easterners, be they Palestinians in hovels being pushed out by wealthy white settlers with bank accounts back in New York and forced to live in tin or plastic shacks....or Libyans ridding themselves of a tyranny lasting 42 years is simply wrong.

        Even from a certified leftist journalist who knows better like Hedges.

        •  Hedges is fully engaged, you just don't like what (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David Futurama

          he is saying.  He is pessimistic for good reason.   He is right about the imperial war juggernaut. He is right about the corporate media.  He is not some feckless politician, propagandist, or whore for big money interests who misleads the public for a living, but an honest actor in the debate.

          John

    •  It is obvious you are not familiar with Hedges (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      John Kelly, BigAlinWashSt, Knarfc

      works.

      http://www.amazon.ca/...

      This review is from: War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning (Paperback)

      This book is provacative and disturbing in that it strips away the veneer of war by relating the author's eye witness accounts of the brutatily, fear, humiliation, destruction, physchological addiction and damage (and occasional acts of humanity) that war brings to those who participate in it or are simply caught up in it and unable to escape. The book is at its strongest in this regard.
      ...
      Perhaps some of the virulent criticism he has received emanates from his daring to lump America's own often-virulent nationalism and its own war promoters and war managers into the same basket as the more unsavory types inhabiting Central America or the Balkans. In so doing he insinuates that we Americans too are part and parcel of the horrors of war and not immune to its appeal. Poor fellow, in this post 9-11 world to question anything about 'us' is to invite rabid criticism.

      Bullying as the new American virtue?

      Harvard has a long history of supplying cheerleaders for imperialism of the late 20th century sort,

      Where do you get these ideas in reference to Hedges? Hedges is closer to John Pilger and Noam Chomsky.

      You need to watch this:


      •  In the case of Libya he has now become a (0+ / 0-)

        "cheerleader for imperialism."

        That is the main point of this diary. Now that Qaddafi is [mostly] defeated, and without the predicted NATO "boots on the ground", he is joining the chorus of all the imperialist powers for some sort of "UN" [read imperialist] armed presence on the ground.

        He is performing the critical function of arguing for this from a "left" prospective. Critical because it would not surprise me at all if they gin something up in the UNSC and try to ram it down the Libyans throats. Even Russia & China will vote for that because everybody wants a hand in controlling Libyans oil. Things were okay as long as that meant control by a compliant and corrupt dictator, but if there is even a slight chance that this revolution will result in that oil wealth falling onto the hands of the Libyan people, they all agree, they have to nip that in the bud.

        What is happening in Libya now is world historic. For one thing there is the whole question of Africa. Contrary to the tale spun by Qaddafi and his supporters, he has been no friend of Africa.

        Just like they didn't mind giving billions to the house of Saudi for the people's oil because he invested a big part of it in US treasuries, they didn't mind giving billions to the house of Qaddafi for the people's oil because he invested a big part of it in keeping Africa in turmoil and under control. See my Helter Skelter: Qaddafi's African Adventure for more on that.

        ">

        Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

        by Clay Claiborne on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:59:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)
          "cheerleader for imperialism."

          Have you even read Chris Hedges' column? He knows damn well that the western powers under NATO will manage to get the UN to allow them to control Libya if it doesn't go to their liking.

          Now that Libya has been forcibly raped by NATO, it will be pillaged by the neo-liberals.  

          The National Transitional Council, made up of former Gadhafi loyalists, Islamists and tribal leaders, many of whom detest each other, will be the West’s vehicle for the reconfiguration of Libya. Libya will return to being the colony it was before Gadhafi and the other young officers in 1969 ousted King Idris, who among other concessions had let Standard Oil write Libya’s petroleum laws. Gadhafi’s defiance of Western commercial interests, which saw the nationalization of foreign banks and foreign companies, along with the oil industry, as well as the closure of U.S. and British air bases, will be reversed.

          Gaddafi dubs WTO "terrorists", slams Africa-EU ties
          Monday, 29 November 2010
          ...
          "Africa and Europe need each other," the Libyan leader said.

          But he warned that in the event of failure Africa had alternatives in the Americas, China and India.

          Africa wanted to deal with "groups that respect our space, our sovereignty, our regimes and that don't interfere in our internal affairs," he said.
          "We call for the elimination of the WTO, because it does not serve our interests," Gaddafi added. "It wants us to open our borders to foreign goods to kill our industries."

          The International Monetary Fund and World Bank "have destroyed Africa" and the word "terrorism" could as well be applied to the World Bank and the WTO as to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, he said.

          Turning to calls for reform of the UN Security Council, Gaddafi said Africa wanted permanent seats for both the African Union and the EU.


          World Bank says to help with Libya rebuilding
          Tue Sep 13, 2011

          WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank on Tuesday said it officially recognized the ruling National Transitional Council as Libya's government and had been asked to help lead efforts to restore vital services and develop jobs programs as the country tries to return to normal after a six-month war.

          "As Libya begins its recovery from conflict, the World Bank has been asked to lead the effort in the areas of public expenditure and financial management, infrastructure repair, job creation for young people and service delivery," the poverty-fighting institution said in a statement.

          The Bank said it had been asked to repair services in the water, energy and transport sectors and, in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, to help prepare the country's budget and restore the banking sector.

          "We are ready to support the people in Libya," World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati said. "Our experts have started coordinating with their partners already and we are moving fast to begin work."

          The World Bank's sister organization, the IMF, on Saturday said it had endorsed the rebel transitional council and would send a team to Libya as soon as security permits.

          Here's why staunch neo-liberal Libyan Prime Minister Jibril defected: (BTW, there are other wikileaks cables that state that many of the privatization reforms would not be feasible until "Gaddafi is removed").

          HEAD OF LIBYAN "THINK TANK" OUTLINES HUMAN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
          5/11/2009

          3. (C) According to Jibril, there are 11,000 development projects in Libya spanning several sectors, with the bulk of projects focusing on infrastructure. The NEDB's role in these projects is to "pave the way" for private sector development, and to create a strategic partnership between private companies and the government.
          ...
          7. (C) Comment: With a PhD in strategic planning from the University of Pittsburgh, Jibril is a serious interlocutor who "gets" the U.S. perspective. He is also not shy about sharing his views of U.S. foreign policy, for example, opining that the U.S. spoiled a golden opportunity to capitalize on its "soft power" (McDonald's, etc.) after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 by putting "boots on the ground" in the Middle East. At the same time, his organization has a daunting task to tackle, in terms of rationalizing 11,000 development projects in the chaotic Libyan government bureaucracy and also, to train Libyans to work in new sectors outside of the hydrocarbons industry. Jibril has stated American companies and universities are welcome to join him in this endeavor and we should take him up on his offer.

          •  I really didn't want to have to deal with every (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BeeDeeS

            paragraph piecemeal, but since you raised this one:

            The National Transitional Council, made up of former Gadhafi loyalists,

            Qaddafi has ruled for 42 years, that means the only people with any practical experience governing Libya might be what you and Hedges would term "Gaddafi loyalists" nevertheless, I think it's important to incorporate the best of them in building a new Libya state. People like Jibril that have a history of internal opposition and came over to the revolution early.
            Islamists

            Well it is an almost 100% Islamic country and the 5% that Jibril says are Islamists should have a say in the new government too. But the bogeyman "Islamists" (picture Osama Bin Laden) is raised as a racist caricature by the imperialist media and Qaddafi himself to warn people off of the Libyan struggle against dictatorship and the Arab Awakening in general. That makes Hedges' use of the same device very suspect in my eyes.
            and tribal leaders,

            Well, it has long been a tribal society so I would expect those leaders to play a role in any new government to begin with.
            many of whom detest each other,

            And what is his evidence for that? Was he one of those who predicted the outbreak of warfare between rival militias after the assassination of General Younes? Well it never happened. It was a united and coordinated army that took Tripoli from four sides and the center at once. Still Hedges talks about "factions" outside of Sirte. Well, he can spin the language all he wants, fortunately, those aren't the facts on the ground.
            will be the West’s vehicle for the reconfiguration of Libya.

            Certainly he is entitled to his own opinion. The question is: Who does publishing this one help?
            Libya will return to being the colony it was before Gadhafi and the other young officers in 1969 ousted King Idris, who among other concessions had let Standard Oil write Libya’s petroleum laws.

            Is Hedges living in some mystic Qaddafi past? Because those days are long gone, in the last few decades Qaddafi has become fully integrated into the world imperialist system. His role is more than just keeping Libyans under control, he provided an important function in keeping the entire continent of Africa under wraps.
             
            Gadhafi’s defiance of Western commercial interests, which saw the nationalization of foreign banks and foreign companies, along with the oil industry, as well as the closure of U.S. and British air bases, will be reversed.

            And IMF, military-to-military relation to pentagon, CIA & M16 rendition, financial support for white supremacists, exploitation of African immigrants, mass murder and the list goes on and on...

            Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

            by Clay Claiborne on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 01:31:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  nooo.. (0+ / 0-)
      Chris Hedges: isn't he someone who wrote an admiring work eulogizing and glorifying US armed invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan with the "War is the force that gives us Meaning"

      what chris hedges was describing was rightwing enthrallment with war. sheesh, hedges is anti war. he was describing people leading empty lives who suddenly found an issue that a community of like minded idiots can rally around. now, that pro war fervor has been supplanted by anti obama animus and the tea party's misleading agitation about the deficit.

      Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want rain without thunder and lightening...Power [including obama] concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. ~ Frederick Douglass

      by stolen water on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:05:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  he is is anti imperialistic (0+ / 0-)

        is probably more accurate.

        Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want rain without thunder and lightening...Power [including obama] concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. ~ Frederick Douglass

        by stolen water on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:21:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is not enough to be "anti imperialistic" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stolen water

          in general. then one ends up supporting Quaddafi, Chavez, Castro as beacons of progress in this world. They are slightly better than outright thugs starting out, but as Mugabe and other long running tyrants demonstrate, eventually retaining total control for one's own family or tribe trumps everything else if there is no law or governing principle in place that empowers and educates  the population.

          Russia, China, even Iran is "anti imperialist". Does that mean that they take the people's side, take the efforts of the progressives and revolutionaries to remake their nation? No, it means they form a strategic alliance with anyone, regardless of behavior  if it suits  their policy, their economy to confront and compete with their rivals such as the European Union or NATO or the United States.  

              Just as USA supports unflinchingly a Saudi Arabia or an Israel based on strategic interests regardless of what misery it may cause, so do China and Russia do the same. That is precisely why they backed a Quaddafi, a Mugabe, a Chavez or the South Sudan's war criminal leader because there is a selfish interest such as access to oilfields in seeking favors/partnerships there.  

          The knock on Hedges is he can't see a way out of the dilemma of supporting a default option,  such as neo liberals with masks on who come under various guises, NGO's and banks to penetrate commingle and haul the target country back into the US orbit as opposed to some other arrangement.

          China withdrawing nearly 50,000 civilian construction workers and technicians and not being allowed to return and finish the projects would be a "win" for the Western interests. Now the Western based  multinationals  can substitute their companies and people for those who started.

                By rights, all these elements and all sorts of people who work in a transparent manner should be allowed to do legitimate work that enhances the quality of life for Libyans.

                Those that would like to, and can return, should.

                As opposed to the shills for Quaddafi, apologists for NATO, and those carrying an anti imperialist line identical to RussianTV or Hsinhua, genuine progressives are careful to point out who benefits, and how many parts of the complex  picture are an asset to Libya, not skipping over  noting the mercenary and commercial outfits attempting to reassert their presence there.

          •  real progressives don't give (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BeeDeeS

            western liberal pundits who don't speak the language and aren't an expert on the culture a bigger voice than what libyan people themselves have to say.

            Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want rain without thunder and lightening...Power [including obama] concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. ~ Frederick Douglass

            by stolen water on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:32:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  the tnc reversed themselves. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BeeDeeS

            first, one member said they wouldn't consider russian or chinese contracts. but then they then came back and said everything would be on the table.

            smart negotiating tactics, if you ask me. narrowing the pool narrows your options.

            Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want rain without thunder and lightening...Power [including obama] concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. ~ Frederick Douglass

            by stolen water on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:35:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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