Skip to main content

Follow clayclai on Twitter
If it is understood by 'now' I mean 'soon', which is to say when Qaddafi is finally defeated, because as I write this he is down but not yet out. And by 'out' I mean 'in', in prison or dead, that is. There is now no doubt that he soon will be. Even this morning Mummar Qaddafi's Foreign Minister said that his government has fallen.

So looking forward to that happy hour:

What should those that have been opposing the no-fly zone and other aspects of NATO intervention in the Libyan crisis be demanding now?

IMHO they should be demanding that NATO get out! They should demand that NATO take it's planes and go home, and if there are any spooks on the ground, like we all know there are, then bring them back too. This time I will be 100% with you.

The US/NATO/UN bull-shit story is that they stand for the fight against tyranny, as if they don't have their eye on the money twenty-four seven.

Their Libyan Story was that the tyrant Qaddafi was about to massacre thousands of people unless military power was used against him, and much more than the opposition could muster and 'not today but yesterday', meaning his tanks were already entering Benghazi.

And it must be admitted that there was some truth to that. He's done that sort of thing before. What was it? 1200 murdered in 2 hours with artillery in '96, and he had already killed many times that in trying to put down the current uprising.

So the French swooped in and saved Benghazi. Obama pounded Qaddafi's air defenses with the usual US heavy hand, then NATO took up the slack for 4 months with a coalition of European countries doing the heavy lifting in the air war and the US bringing up the rear with less than 17% of the strike missions. This really was a 'coalition of the willing.'

When all the deaths tolls are added up the number killed by NATO will probably be in the low hundreds whereas the number killed by Qaddafi was already in the high thousands and would have been much, much higher had his air power and armor not been put down.

So, for once, NATO did a good thing. Fine. Don't blow it now by sticking around and making mischief. Thank You. Good Bye.

Once Qaddafi isn't killing anymore, they can actually hang up the banner "Mission Accomplished" with some sense of pride. Good. Now go home.

Unless, of course. that wasn't really their mission.

So now comes the maneuvering to stick around after having seen the date safely to the door. This is a dangerous time for the Libyan people and their revolution. However, they have many factors working in their favor not the least of which is how they have organized themselves over the last six months. Plus they got a lot of important things right in their revolution. One of those was not allowing NATO ground troops. Nada, None. Zip.

The good thing about that is now that there are no more dragons to slay, there is really nothing for NATO to do but fly off into the sunset.

Anything else would be a whole new mission under a new mandate and that must be forcefully opposed by anti-imperialists and revolutionaries alike.

Without "boots on the ground", NATO is seriously limited in its ability to shape Libya's future, which is to say, screw with the Libyan revolution.

NATO wanted ground troops in. They wanted it bad. You can only control so much from the air, and frankly, that's not a lot. So they did a lot to persuade the NTC to let ground troops "help out." But they said No and UN resolution 1973 also said no to ground troops.

I remain suspicious of three NATO "friendly fire" incidents largely because they were surrounded by NATO claims that such accidents were much less likely to happen if only they could have their own forward air controllers on the ground. Somehow they must have worked it out because the "friendly fire" incidents dropped off.

And there were other things. But the revolution maintained its strong stand. Thanks, but no thanks. Smart move.

And make no mistake about it, while NATO help was important, this was a victory of the Libyan people's army. They did the heavy lifting and the dying. They showed incredible courage from the very beginning and developed very creditable military skills in the end.

As the US found out in Vietnam, you can't win a war from the air, no matter how brutally you apply it, if the soldiers on the ground don't win it for you. So while NATO intervention was important and did save many lives. I don't think it was decisive.

If Qaddafi was ever going to beat the revolution militarily, he would have already done so in the first month of armed conflict, before the UN passed the resolution. If the truth be told, the UN/NATO crowd gave him a clear month, between February 17th and March 17th, to use his military power however he wanted against first unarmed, and then lightly armed, civilians. Tanks, artillery, helicopters, jet air craft, naval bombardment, whatever. He probably killed about 700-800 in one night in Tripoli. NATO only cried "oh the humanity" when they saw it wasn't working. Then they switched sides.

During that first month, what was to become a very effective fighting force, was just getting started. Clerks and mechanics were picking up weapons for the first time. Small groups were banding together and learning how to fight an armed struggle for the first time. They had no experience. They had no leadership. They had no heavy weapons. And yet they persevered! This was when Qaddafi's forces were at their peak.

No, if he was going to be able to put down the uprising militarily, he would have done so in that first month. After that the military tide was already turning against him. The resistance army was already taking shape and showing stick'em. I'm sure the NATO military analysts saw that.

That is not to say Qaddafi couldn't have slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians in Benghazi, Misrata, Tripoli and other places. Killing unarmed civilians in cities with tanks, rockets and aircraft and beating a dug-in army in the field are two different things entirely. Had NATO not intervened, he would have killed a lot more Libyans, but that wasn't going to make people give up, that was just going to make them mad.

Then it would just drag on and get very bloody and turn into a really protracted war. Six months is nothing. The Vietnamese liberation war took 30 years with various NATO allies taking turns at bat. I think that is what NATO was really afraid of, a protracted war in Libya.

The NATO intervention was about oil, but not in the way many people think. They already had the oil. They had settled that question with Qaddafi many years ago. And it wasn't because they were afraid of losing it to China or Russia as some think. Companies compete for oil all the time on the international market. British, US, EU and now Chinese, Indian, Russia and Brazilian companies all compete for oil all over the world without getting their governments to go to war for them. We're talking international capitalism here. I'm sure Walmart wants to see Chinese companies get all the oil they need to keep cranking out the cheap plastic stuff they import.

But given the current world capitalist crisis, and the part energy prices play in that, they simply can't afford to have Libyan oil off the market any longer than necessary. If Qaddafi could have settled things quickly, even with thousands of anonymous deaths, they would have been happy and kept buying "his" oil. But they couldn't afford a protracted war that would take Libyan oil off the market for years, and even if a bloodbath in Benghazi was successful in putting down the uprising, it would have been witnessed by the world. Then they would have been forced to impose sanctions and that would have taken Libyan oil off the market for years anyway.

So as it turns out, the best option for NATO was to stop the bloodbath and go ahead and help Qaddafi's opposition win this thing. That's why they came in on the side of the revolution.

I heard a statement from an ENI executive yesterday. He said they hoped the NTC would still honor the 5 year agreement they signed with Qaddafi in 2008. That is the main reason NATO got into this fight, to get back what they already had ASAP. Of course they would like more. They wouldn't be imperialists if they didn't.

So while NATO probably has what they call "hush puppies on the ground", they don't have any boots on the ground. This is a real problem for them because they can't control the post war situation like they know how. Not that Iraq or Afghanistan are outstanding examples of imperial sophistication. Without an occupation, they'll have to find something else to do. They still have 'soft power' but it has limits.

So now we see a move to introduce boots on the ground. Already as the war is ending, we hear talk in certain circles of the possible or probable need to send in some kind of "peace keeping force" to help with "stabilization." As if!

As if a nation that rose up against a dictator, forged an army and a government from scratch and eventually beat the tyrant and his mercenary, but well trained and well equipped, army in the field couldn't deal with the peace. Who says? European experts and talking head speculating:.

"Chaos on the ground." "Shari law" "The need, possibly, for an international stabilization force." "A faction riddled movement" "The sort of Chaos we saw in Iraq" "Many different factions, many different tribes." "all the factions, all the groups" "They'll split along tribal lines." "They all have so many guns." "The Islamics will take over."

"They don't know how to govern themselves."

That one's my personal favorite. As if we do. My mom had this saying about the pot calling the kettle black.
"It might turn into a 'fail state!'"

Now that one should really shame them. It's an admission that in the eyes of these so called champions of democracy, a dictator that rapes his country for 42 years is not a failed state.

They seem to almost have this hope that things won't work out smoothly. If only there is enough disruption and enough conflict that they can come to the rescue with some sort of ground force.

Their problem now is that with a relatively small footprint on the ground, it will prove deuce difficult to even "encourage" infighting and disruptions that they can use to justify an occupation.

We should all unite to strictly oppose any such schemes and the chauvinist presumptions that give it a platform even when there are no supporting facts.

No boots on the ground! Not Now! No Way!

Talk preparatory to this came up around the discussion of transferring Siaf al-Islam Qaddafi to the ICC during those hours when the NTC, the ICC and the media all thought he had been captured.

I remember that all Jacky Rowland on Al Jazeera/English could talk about was how important it was that he be transferred to the ICC immediately for a fair trial rather than receive some "rough justice" in Libya based on "vengeance." As if!

As if it has already been determined that he can't receive a fair trial in Libya. Based on what? Have any of the Qaddafis captured so far been summarily executed? Isn't he a Libyan? Weren't his crimes committed principally in Libya? So what happened to national sovereignty?

Did Osama bin Laden receive "rough justice?" He wasn't a US citizen or found in the US, but if he had been captured, I doubt that Obama would have sent him off to the Hague.

Personally I don't see how it is even possible for Saif al-Islam to receive "rough justice" if by that you mean a punishment that is greatly disproportional to the crime. How can you deliver "rough justice" to someone who has killed thousands and robbed billions? He can only serve one life sentence and even with the death penalty, you can only kill him once.

All such talk just plants in the publics mind the idea that the Libyans can't be trusted to govern themselves. We should vigorously expose such talk for what it is, chauvinism in the service of imperialism.

There is also the question of giving back the Libyans their stolen loot. The frozen assets should be unfrozen immediately and turned over to the revolutionary Libyan government and where that requires a UN resolution, no country should be allowed to use its veto to coerce the Libyans into making oil deals or other deals under threat of losing billions that rightly belong with them, not in US and European banks.

And there are, no doubt, other things that the anti-imperialist movement in the US and around the world can do to support the Libyan revolution and block the NATO countries from completing their imperialist mission in Libya. Those are our tasks now in relation to the Libyan revolution.  

Good reads today on the 'net:

Guardian: Libya is no Iraq – this revolution is the real deal
Yansoon: Gaddafi the Closet Imperialist


For more background on the Libyan Revolution and links to lots of information see my other writings at the DailyKos and WikiLeaks Central:
BREAKING: Qaddafi's Tripoli Compound Falls!
Does PDA Support Qaddafi?
BREAKING: Operation Mermaid Dawn, the Battle to Liberate Tripoli is JoinedHelter Skelter: Qaddafi's African Adventure
Qaddafi's Long Arm
SCOOP: My Lai or Qaddafi Lie? More on the 85 Civilians presumed killed by NATO
Did NATO kill 85 Libyan Villagers As Qaddafi Regime Contends?
CCDS Statement on Libya - a Critique
The Assassination of General Abdul Fattah Younis
NATO over Tripoli - Air Strikes in the Age of Twitter
How Many Libyans has NATO Killed?
Qaddafi Terror Files Start to Trickle Out!
Have Libyan Rebels Committed Human Rights Abuses?
Tripoli Green Square Reality Check
Behind the Green Curtain: Libya Today
Gilbert Achcar on the Libyan situation and the Left
NATO slammed for Libya civilian deaths NOT!
2011-07-01 Qaddafi's Million Man March
NATO's Game Plan in Libya
February 21st - Tripoli's Long Night
Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?
Tripoli Burn Notice
Libyans, Palestinians & Israelis
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Arming Gaddfi
North African Revolution Continues
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation  

Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 2:19 PM PT: I would like to echo the call of Bashir Sewehli of the Libyan Youth Movement that their is another immediate humanitarian effort that NATO needs to help with namely the medivac and treatment of wounded Libyans.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Blue Wind, TarheelDem, super390
    Hidden by:
    punditician

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

    by Clay Claiborne on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 01:10:26 PM PDT

  •  NTC has already said NO BASES AT ALL. (4+ / 0-)

    And they're going to hold firm on that.

    Especially since this President doesn't want boots on the ground either.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 01:12:33 PM PDT

  •  HR'd conspiracy theory. (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    cryonaut
    Hidden by:
    Blue Wind
    Unless, of course. that wasn't really their mission.


    Kevin dropped his ice cream and blames Obama? He's gone hamsher!

    by punditician on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 01:17:10 PM PDT

    •  Conspiracy Theory? (0+ / 0-)

      Or basic understanding of Middle East dynamics.

      From: Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London

      In Libya there is no institution like the Egyptian army that can be employed in a relatively peaceful transfer of power, hence the Western decision to intervene militarily. In its early weeks the Libyan revolt raised the slogan ‘no to foreign intervention,’ and even now after turning to external support they still reject intervention on the ground. But the Western powers do not want Gaddafi’s regime to fall before knowing what will replace it. Everyone realizes that NATO's intervention is motivated mainly by oil. The Libyan rebels also know that. The West won’t arm them, it limits their military action, and it dictates terms to them. But once the regime, or what remains of it, falls, the West will not be able to control the course of events without a presence on the ground.

      linkee

      Or in other words...watch all the Western Countries try to establish their puppet who sing the song of Democracy while doing nothing but securing the oil facilities.

      Arab uprising solved! Western Liberals had their monster removed. Oil companies still get their oil. Everyone wins (except the Libyan people).

      •  If you think that what is likely (0+ / 0-)

        to replace the Qaddafi regime is likely to be worst, then you are obviously deluded as to life in Libya the past 40 years. Listen to the people, now that they are free to speak.

        Do you know the kind of things that Qaddafi regularly did? How many people disappeared in the middle of the night. The Bergers could not speak their language. I mentioned the 1200 murdered in '96, did you know the families didn't find out until 2003? Learn the history! Read some stuff!

        You think he was the West's monster? You think so many young Libyans put their lives on the line because they thought he was a monster to the West?

        Your ignorance and chauvinism are tragic. Of course the oil companies will still get their oil, and at market prices, according to contracts already negotiated under Qaddafi as soon as production can be brought back up. The Libyan people need the money. At least now they won't have Qaddafi skimming billions off the top.

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

        by Clay Claiborne on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 10:48:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Spooks on the ground (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amk for obama, virginislandsguy

    they were there before the conflict started I am going to guess some will still be there after it finally ends. Every embassy has is share of spooks as part of their contingent. Some have more some have less.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 01:19:25 PM PDT

  •  Imperialist mission? (2+ / 0-)

    I would really like to hear your rational for this statement.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 01:25:19 PM PDT

    •  Didn't the rebels complain at first that NATO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justanothernyer

      wasn't acting fast enough?

      I've read that the rebels have asked NATO to help them draft a constitution and sought advice on how to keep some form of civil government running during this initial period  (hopefully) of chaos.

      There was a report yesterday (take it for what it's worth) that the rebel leaders have already indicated that they want the US to help reestablish their oil industry.

      Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 03:02:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why not get US experts to help them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auapplemac

        re-establish their oil industry? Who should they ask? It would be someone with experience and probably someone that is was already in the oil business in Libya, which the US companies were under Qaddafi.

        As for the draft constitution. What do you think of it? It's on-line so everybody can give advice on it, even NATO.

        Don't make too much of unimportant things like that as long as it remains their constitution and their oil industry.

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

        by Clay Claiborne on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 04:06:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here is my opinion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice, mickT

    and it is just an opinion.  No facts, just an opinion.

    NATO intervened in Libya (and it seems that will also intervene in Syria) for few reasons:

    1.  Oil.   There will be better, cheaper, deals by supporting/installing a government that will listen to NATO powers. This reason does not apply to Syria of course.

    2.  Stimulating the global economy in a financial crisis.    Capitalism has major problems world-wide.   Wars are used to stimulate economies and avoid recessions.   Totally pathetic concept of course, but has happened over and over thru history.

    3.  Continuation of the neoconservative ideas that started with the Bush war in Iraq.   Except that they are now "neoliberal wars" instead.  There are now 3 wars going on.   Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya.   It is likely that Syria will be next (in fact I think John McCain said something like that already).  It is almost becoming like a generalized war in the middle east, removing regimes that are not "trustworthy", while other dictators as bad Ghadafi and Assad, are supported and stabilized as our "allies".  What I find amazing is that not only we continue to support the bloody dictators of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and others, but some of them (UAE) are even part of the coalition that attacked Ghadafis regime in Libya.

    Although Ghadafi is terrible, the intentions of NATO are anything from humanitarian and they will not necessarily stabilize the region.   Do people forget the massive celebrations in Iraq when the terrible dictator (Hussein) collapsed?  What was the ultimate outcome?  Success?

    •  Better and cheaper deals? (4+ / 0-)

      How do you figure this. I mean seriously the oil thing just doesn't work here. Why would the NTC want to change existing contracts  unless they change them for their benefit and not the oil companies. And the oil is still flowing out of Libya with some minor disruption.

      2) Wars and economies. There is some historical evidence of this WW II being the the clearest. However right now with limited capital resources wars have become a economic drain and not a boon.

      3) I've got good money that says you will not see NATO going into Syria.

      In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

      by jsfox on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 01:48:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My opinion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auapplemac, Clay Claiborne

      NATO intervened in Libya because the Libyans asked for a no-fly zone.

      And a refugee crisis in Italy and France could stoke the fires of the right-wing, already using the muslims in their countries as scapegoats.  Sarkozy's major opposition is Marine Le Pen, of the National Party.

      Oil was not the reason.  Gaddafi had already negotiated oil contracts in exchange for the release of the Lockebie bomber.

      The thing that must be remembered about US and NATO policy in Libya is that ever attempt of the neo-cons and the US military to bigfoot US presence was restrained.

      The diarist is correct.  Once the heavy equipment is pried from the hands of Gaddafi's troops, NATO's job is done.  And the strategy of the US and EU should be to strengthen the ability of the Arab League to handle crises in the region.

      Whether for good motives or bad, the US cannot afford to police the world anymore.  The policy should be the development of a global security system that can, without creating a new hegemon like China.

      50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

      by TarheelDem on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 02:00:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  EXCELLENT DIARY... BUT (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clay Claiborne, mickT

    Every stupid, maladroit, greedy, heavy-handed, tone-deaf thing you predict the USA will do will come to pass.  Bet on it.

  •  You present some very good points (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac, Clay Claiborne

    I think the analysis of knowing better than our "little brown brothers" (a symptom of imperialist policy in the 19th & 20th centuries) is correct.

    I'm not sold on this being another war for oil; perhaps I have too much faith in NATO and the world leaders to have acted for humanitarian reasons.

    But you're right. No "peacekeeping" missions, no "stabilization force"... I'm hesitant to say the Brits and French can stay. Maybe if the NTC asks us, and the Gulf states are supportive too, purely support roles are OK.

    Thank you for your analysis.

    "Look at this; I'm a coward too; You don't need to hide, my friend; For I'm just like you" - Monster/Sprite (Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites - Skrillex)

    by AZ Independent on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 02:05:14 PM PDT

  •  I agree with you more than with anyone else (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clay Claiborne

    I think you're right about the circumstances of the people's rebellion and the intervention.

    The anti-war movement is now so divided over this conflict that no one will come together to state the truth: economic sanctions are now part of the problem, and there is no solution.  The anti-war purists refuse to accept that sanctions on Gadafy would have driven up the price of oil and caused another global crash.  The fear of that was what determined the West's intervention, not a gigantic, long-running conspiracy against Gadafy.  

    Thus the best alternative to intervention would have been to let Gadafy get away with it sanction-free and massacre all his opponents.  This is so horrifying a conclusion that the anti-war purists had to justify a lack of sanctions by claiming that the rebels didn't even exist, or had so little support that the massacre wouldn't have been as bad as our bombing.  They were joined by unsavory new friends who claimed that all Moslems who take up arms for anything are al-Qaeda terrrorists, or covered Gadafy in Kim Jong Il-esque paens, viewing him as a hero of socialism, or nationalism, or just plain anti-Americanism for its own sake.

    This is a disaster for the peace movement.  We have to take the lead in calling for some alternative to the absurd sactions/invasion dichotomy, but when half of us are spinning crazy conspiracy theories about every damn government and institution that would need to support such an alternative, we can't get anywhere.  Everyone we see is either a CIA agent or a Wahhabi infiltrator or a Mossad plant or a Wall Street stooge, in each case part of an all-powerful conspiracy with such supernatural abilities that the truth of everything must be exactly the opposite of what we think it is.

    That is not a peace movement, that is a despair movement looking to become a copout movement.  No wonder it seems to be turning to hatred against the Arab Spring protestors for daring to prove that:
    a) ordinary people don't give a damn about our lists of "good" guys (Gadafy) and "bad" guys (Mubarak); they see them as all the same.
    b) and all it takes to beat them is the willingness to sacrifice everything.

    Put it this way: if the antiwar movement were still part of the historic Left, what would its response to the Libyan rebellion be?  Great!  Let's study it, figure out how to apply parts of it to other countries, and get to work.  That's what Emma Goldman would have said.  Instead, all the "radical" voices I find now say that you're a sucker for believing that any of it happened at all.

    •  Thank you for that. (0+ / 0-)

      You said a lot I didn't say that needs to be said. My hope is that out of this disaster will come a renewal. I have been saying for 6 months that the left should be studying the Arab Spring the way Marx studied the Paris Commune. We have so much to learn about organization, mobilization. use of the Internet, etc.

      I started paying attention in mid-January. I put my filmmaking on hold and started writing about it almost every day. I couldn't believe so few in progressive circles were paying attention. Other than throwing out a few cheers for Tunisia and Egypt after the fact, I don't think most tuned in until it became a UN/NATO issue, and then they jumped to some hasty conclusions based on the enemy of my enemy logic.

      Plus a chauvinist idea that Arabs could never create such a movement on their own and US imperialism must be the main contradiction for everyone.

      I am also sick of hearing nonsense like "am I alone in wanting to have more information on who the rebels are?" Frankly, I supported the NLF in Vietnam 40 years ago on little more than the gut instincts of a 20 year old. In Libya, thanks to digital technology and the Internet, we have a virtual cornucopia of information about who the "rebels" are. There is far more information in YouTube videos, Facebook pages, Tweets, blogs posts, white boards etc, etc, than anyone could ever hope to consume. There is the excellence coverage of AJE available on-line 24/7. Thanks to the excellent work by Google Translates, you can even read Arabic websites in English with little trouble. Who would have thought that 10 years ago? The Libyan activists have made all of this publicly available, and still we hear "we don't even know who these rebels are" as if the Left's collective ignorance is an indictment of the Libyan people's movement. I think this comes from a combination of arrogance and laziness because I don't get the feeling most of these complainers have spent even an hour browsing http://feb17.info.

      Another problem for NATO came to mind in reading your comments about the problem with just letting them fight it out in Libya. They would have to consider the effects of a protracted struggle on the relatively settled uprisings in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt. Those are relatively well contained from their pov but a prolonged armed struggle in Libya could not help but have a radicalizing effect on them. Not to mention Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, in fact the whole region and the world.

      You are also right that some people in the movement need a reality check. I can't believe some of the things people believe or won't believed. It's like they want a fact-free position that reflects their psych requirements. The idea that what these heroes did in Libya or the Arab Spring is because they are dupes or sinister agents of some Illuminati plot is crazy.

      Someone told me to sent them a letter because they don't trust anything received over the Internet because corporations control the Internet. I said, why should I waste $.44, you probably don't trust anything delivered by the government either.

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 11:19:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Video dedicated to the women of the Revolution (0+ / 0-)

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

    by Clay Claiborne on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 11:26:14 PM PDT

  •  Boots already there (0+ / 0-)

    There's boots already there, Clay. I'm sure you've read about the (supposedly Brit) commando and spy teams. The question is how many more will follow, and from where.

    They're already considering sending the Turks, since they're both NATO and Muslim--but the Europeans don't trust the Turks that much. But does it matter that much?  If you can't win without air power, and your air force is NATO, well, there's a price to be paid. I'd expect teams of 'peacekeepers' and 'advisers' under one flag or another.

    We'll see soon enough how high it is, and how much blood on all sides has to be spilled to stop a bloodletting that was 'likely' to happen.

    Maybe it will all turn out fine in end. I hope so. And my demands remain the same: Stop the bombing, NATO, hands off Libya! Self-determination! Let Libyans decide their own future!

    But it's going to be a bumpy and uncertain ride, and it's not clear at all who will be predominant in the new leadership.

    Now Obama is demanding regime change in Syria. We'll see in NATO is up to being an air force for the opposition there, too, now that they're on a roll.

    •  The bumpy part is almost over. (0+ / 0-)

      It's amazing how easily you fall into the "Lawrence of Arabia" tale that is being spun now. Do you have any proof of SAS on the gnd other than 'leaks" from people than normally keep that sort of thing secret? I've said in a recent diary why NATO is trying to take ownership of this victory. Why is the left rushing to give them credit for it?

      I know you predicted "boots on the gnd" along time ago, just as you predicted a negotiated settlement. I think you are wrong on both counts but now you want to twist the meaning of words and phrases to prove you're still right.

      If by "boots on the gnd" you include spies, then they were there all along, years before the Arab Spring started. Whatever NATO forces on the gnd now don't fit that description. If spies are boots on the gnd, what do you call it when the Marines land? More of the same?

      Since you obviously think the NTC is working with these boots on the gnd and the NTC denies this, you must think they are lying. Do you have anything to back up your position beyond reports from the NATO spy establishment?

      Qaddafi's African mercenaries (and evidence is now overwhelming) represent an outside force that has killed far more people than NATO bombs, Algeria has also sent troops. Your "hands off Libya" applied only to anti-Qaddafi forces. That is another reason why I say your position is pro-Qaddafi.

      And if you really want to stop a president from making war without congress, you need to campaign against his ability to launch a nuclear war on his signature. That is the true source of those undemocratic powers and goes back to the Manhattan project.

      Now Assad is killing big time in Syria, not that that is something you would complain about. You prefer to leap over that to speculation about what other might want to do about it or how they might want to take advantage of it.

      In any case, the Syrian people can expect no help from you, just like the Libyan's

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 11:06:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site