Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

March 2, 2011

Email just sent to Michael Chossudovsky

Filed under: Libya — louisproyect @ 9:42 pm

Michael Chossudovsky


So where does this sudden uprising come from? The answer is that the same groups the US has been funding for decades are now taking their chance to gain control over the nation. A group recently arrested in Libya consisted of dozens of foreign nationals that were involved in numerous acts of looting and sabotage. The Libyan government could not rule out links to Israel.

Great Britain funded an Al Qaeda cell in Libya, in an attempt to assassinate Gadaffi. The main opposition group in Libya now is the National Front for the Salvation of Libya. This opposition group is being funded by Saudi Arabia, the CIA, and French Intelligence. This group unified itself with other opposition groups, to become the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition. It was this organization that called for the “Day of Rage” that plunged Libya into chaos on February 17 of this year.

It did this in Benghazi, a conservative city that has always been opposed to Gadaffi’s rule. It should be noted that the National Front for the Salvation of Libya is well armed. In 1996 the group tried to unleash a revolution in the eastern part of Libya before. It used the Libyan National Army, the armed division of the NFSL to begin this failed uprising.

Why is the United States so opposed to Gadaffi? He is the main threat to US hegemony in Africa, because he attempts to unite the continent against the United States. This concept is called the United States of Africa. In fact, Gadaffi holds all sorts of ideas that are contrary to US interests. The man blames the United States government for the creation of HIV. He claims that Israel is behind the assasination of Martin Luther King and president John. F. Kennedy. He says that the 9/11 hijackers were trained in the US. He also urged Libyans to donate blood to Americans after 9/11. Khadaffi is also the last of a generation of moderate socialist pan-Arab revolutionaries that is still in power, after Nasser and Hussein have been eliminated, and Syria has aligned itself with Iran.

* * * *


When you post this kind of material, do you remember to put on your curly yellow wig, grease paint, and red rubber nose first?


  1. There’s this from black agenda report also:

    Comment by Jenny — March 2, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

  2. Just curious Jenny, how did Gadhafi’s mustard-gassing black Africans from Chad in 86/87 fit into his ‘revolutionary Pan-Africanist Perspective’?

    Comment by dave x — March 2, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

  3. Curiously, Chussodovsky shares the same dismissive attitude towards the ability of people in North Africa and the Middle East to collectively organize to take political action, and govern themselves, as Zionists and neoconservatives. The possibility that they, as other peoples do, possess a historical agency, an ability to influence their future and shape it to their benefit, doesn’t occur to him. Instead, they are something like, in the pejorative sense of the term, a lumpen group easily manipulated by US intelligence, US funded NGOs and the Mossad, because they lack any capability of independent thought and action. Of course, this is familiar, it was the same response to the Green Movement in Iran in 2009. Another instance of conspiracy theory substituting for social analysis. As with most conspiracy theories, it has just enough factual support to be superficially plausible.

    Comment by Richard Estes — March 2, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

  4. Hugo Chavez, now theres a guy who knew how to possess a historical agency, an ability to influence their future and shape it to their benefit. Evo Morales, Correa, Putin, Nasser, Castro. We’ll see, but I’m not holding my breath. Trading one set of US dictators for another set, that’s a revolution somebody can believe in – I’m sure.

    Comment by jesusreyes321@yahoo.com — March 3, 2011 @ 3:00 am

  5. Dave: I’m not defending him, just pointing out that the authors of the blog entries have a skewered, lionizing view of Qaddafi as well.

    Comment by Jenny — March 3, 2011 @ 3:33 am

  6. To fantasize about Ghaddafi as a socialist is incorrect. But i’m starting to come around to the notion that maybe this is not a popular uprising as much as it is a coup.

    but outside of Libya, arguing around that is really not that important and should not divide us.

    The Left should be able to organize and unite around Hands off Libya pretty solidly and let the Libyans solve their own issues.


    Comment by BS — March 3, 2011 @ 4:51 am

  7. yes, how could it possibly benefit Libya to have the US and the EU intervene, the same US and EU that thought Gaddafi was so wonderful in recent years?

    Comment by Richard Estes — March 3, 2011 @ 5:14 am

  8. #4: Feeble attempt at aping Edward Said: in defense of imperialism, no less. Effective political organization doesn’t just take “agency”, whatever the fuck that nebulous term means, it also takes resources. Provided in this case by…the West. In order to receive these resources in the first place, a group’s goals must be at least roughly concordant with those of its benefactor. All the Western socialists who cheer-led the militant neoliberals in Iran’s “Green Revolution”, under the assumption that some irrelevant left flank would magically take power in the clutch, demonstrated just how crude and anemic their idea of the revolutionary process was. Ditto now for Libya. Stand on a few tanks, wave a few flags, and shout a few slogans, and you’re guaranteed to bamboozle at least a goodly portion of the modern First World left, for whatever that’s worth (not much).

    Comment by darknut — March 3, 2011 @ 5:39 am

  9. I mean, Christ, you people probably would have been all over the Color Revolutions if it hadn’t been obvious from the start that the participants were basically employees of the State Department.

    Comment by darknut — March 3, 2011 @ 5:43 am

  10. 9, 10: yet more instances in which the participants do not exist as subjects of independent evaluation, because they are incapable of accomplishing anything in the absence of the actions and resources of US/Zionist/EU imperialism

    hence, the people of the countries of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Iran lack any social, cultural, social and economic resources with which to organize themselves, they can only challenge their political leadership in the form of marionettes controlled by the West

    of course, pointing out the implicit racial and cultural bias associated with such a perspective does not require that we characterize the movements in these countries as socialist, indeed, none of them are, it merely suggests that we should attribute the same degree of social complexity to their societies that we recognize in our own, and dismiss linear forms of conspiratorial reasoning such as, the Green Movement and the uprising in Libya are CIA/Mossad/NED creations

    this reasoning is especially comical in relation to Gaddafi and Libya, after all, he was a staunch ally of the US and the UK in the “war on terror”, was implementing neoliberal measures and offshoring his oil profits into European investments with the help of his friends like Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi, hence, the other side of the reductionist conspiracy theory coin, that Gaddafi posed some sort of oppositional alternative has no basis, the US, Israel and Europe had no reason to want to be rid of him, especially, as some have noted, Gaddafi was also playing a prominent role in preventing North Africans from getting across the Mediterranean to Europe

    Comment by Richard Estes — March 3, 2011 @ 7:11 am

  11. Jenny: Apologies. I interpreted your posting those links as an endorsement of the views therein.

    Comment by dave x — March 3, 2011 @ 10:14 am

  12. Another recent allegation against Gaddafi: deporting political refugees back to Eritrea where the dictatorship will likely kill them. See my interview with an exiled Eritrean oppositionist.

    Comment by Ben Courtice — March 3, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  13. Calling someone a “clown” and dismissing them without addressing the evidence – everything from Library of Congress records, and the fact that the NFSL leader is giving interviews right in front of the White House – smacks of cognitive dissonance, or worse yet, intellectual dishonesty. Being an “unrepentant Marxist” I’m obliged to consider the ladder possibility, as enslaving yourself with a label, thus dogma literally derides your objectivity and legitimacy in one swoop. Hope this “Marxist” wakes up, as kidding yourself that these are “real” uprisings doesn’t make it so, nor will it circumvent the decades of oppression they face under Western rule. P.S., the US Stat Department on Movements.org is literally coordinating all of these “uprisings” with many of the youth movements from Egypt to Libya and even Iran having attended US State Dept. sponsored summits starting in 2008. That’s an irrefutable fact, and calling the messenger of such information a “clown” only belittles yourself in front of those who take the time to honestly resolve the facts around this crisis.

    Comment by james — March 3, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  14. There won’t be “decades of repression under U.S. rule”, because the U.S. is bankrupt, and must exert tremendous repression against its own population in order to maintain its hold on the world, and it is going to have to be fighting us here at home. Madison is just heat lightning. Reality hasn’t really taken hold of the U.S. public yet, and we’ll be set back in Madison. But reality is getting ready to teach in a big way. Anyone who listens to what these fuckers are saying can see that. It’s really on now, and there will be no turning it off. Patience.

    Comment by Michael Hureaux Perez — March 3, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  15. hence, the people of the countries of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Iran lack any social, cultural, social and economic resources with which to organize themselves, they can only challenge their political leadership in the form of marionettes controlled by the West

    Re: economic resources: Uh, of course they don’t. It’s called the legacy of colonialism. The rest of that statement is a straw man. Though, if you don’t have the economic resources, those other resources aren’t going to mean much. Anyway, the whole argument is irrelevant: even if the Iranian or Libyan rebels were acting in total independence from the West, that wouldn’t change the fact that they are advocating neoliberal and rightist policies that would very much be in the objective interest of the West, and to the detriment of the majority of the Iranian and Libyan people.

    Comment by darknut — March 3, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

  16. Did you see this from Angry Arab?

    “I just can’t stomach those leftists who stood with Saddam, and who are standing today with Qadhdhafi. There is nothing leftist about those two reprehensible tyrants. Those two tyrants are very similar, as I argue in my Al-Akhbar article for this coming Saturday. They both were unpopular and charismatic and suffering from an acute case of Nasser’s syndrome. They both wanted to be intellectuals and novelists. Tariq Aziz tells that Saddam was sending him his last novel manuscript a day before the US invaded his country. There are tyrants with talents and neither of the two were. At least Stalin was really well-tread and wrote very well (he wrote his own books too), while Mao was really smart and wrote good poetry. You can’t even compare the aphorisms of Mao to the drivel of the two lousy tyrants. Oh, and I never treated the clown, Chavez as a leftist. I view him more as a clown in the same league with Sa’ib `Urayqat but with different momentary politics.”


    Comment by ish — March 3, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

  17. “they are advocating neoliberal and rightist policies”

    No. This is just ridiculous. The opposition isn’t just one singular ‘they’ who are ‘advocating’ for a specific set of policies. Revolutionary situations are more complex than this. But then again, for you, this is a conspiracy with the US phoning up its allies who have the magical power to bring millions into the streets, and not a revolutionary process. My god, I can’t believe ‘leftists’ are actually defending the Qadhafi regime against a people who are quite clearly just demanding basic democratic rights. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saudi regime, ostensibly an enemy of Qadhafi, was even quietly backing the Libyan regime, praying to stem the revolutionary wave…

    Comment by dk — March 3, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

  18. @14 Your post is worse than clownish – it’s insane. As suspected some of our opponents (but not Fidel Castro, please note http://www.counterpunch.org/castro03032011.html ) actually do believe that the Tunisia, Egypt events involving hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people can all be led by the US State Dept and CIA, just because some middle-class Egyptian kids got training in some US State Dept front organization (the State Dept might want to think twice about this in the future). That is truly nuts.

    This conspiracy-theorizing a la the “9-11 Truthers” and the alignment with them of old Stalinoids such as that admirer of Julius Caesar, Michael Parenti – besides being a total waste of time – is symptomatic of a deep demoralization of a certain sector of the Left that, especially since 1991, deep down in their hearts no longer believe in the possibility of a democratic revolution as opening a door to working class power. In a sort of wierd, parallel universe form of an “ultra-Trotskyism”, they seem to want to believe that the proletarian revolution must come BEFORE the democratic revolution. Instead they replace thought with conspiratorial rubbish, and when something real happens they recoil and quake in (caps for emphasis) FEARFUL, CONSERVATIVE COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY TERROR OF REVOLUTION.

    And for the record, I,ve always considered the 1989-91 events in the ex-Soviet “bloc” to have been a counterrevolution essentially benefiting the already privileged sectors of those countries while further immiserating the working class there. It was the “regime players” themselves that “led” these counterrevolutions, and that is why they were relatively bloodless. The same goes for the “color coded” events in that part of the world as well as in Central Asia. No conspiracy theories required, one need only look as the social composition and political lines of the movements.

    I am betting that we are on the cusp of a new revolutionary era whose forms differs from that of the now past Russian Revolutionary era (1917-1991). It will be one of the tasks of the new era to scrape away any remaining political residue held over from the preceding era, get it out of our way and flush it down the tubes forever.

    Comment by Matt Russo — March 3, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

  19. “No. This is just ridiculous. The opposition isn’t just one singular ‘they’ who are ‘advocating’ for a specific set of policies. Revolutionary situations are more complex than this. But then again, for you, this is a conspiracy with the US phoning up its allies who have the magical power to bring millions into the streets, and not a revolutionary process.”

    Uh, yes. In the case of Iran, this is a basic fact not even up for dispute. The main plank of Mousavi and his followers consisted of open and obvious criticism of Ahmadenijad from the right on economic policy. Civil liberties and democracy were ancillary, as any look at the Green “Revolution”‘s leadership on that score will plainly show. In the case of Libya, it is a matter of tribal leaders and other elites in Libya’s “civil society”, such as it is, who want to either eliminate state control of oil wealth or redirect it to their own coffers. Again, the fact that there are/were a few groups in both insurrections with leftish-sounding demands doesn’t matter a whit – Chamorro’s UNO Coalition in Nicaragua had left parties in it as well. The question is, who actually holds, or can feasibly take, power.

    And I hate to break this to you, but a neoliberal program and bringing “millions” to the streets are by no means mutually exclusive. The potential neoliberal ruling class can consist of relatively quite broad strata; Hayekian/Friedmanite/whatever ideology can be capable, depending on the conjuncture, of mobilizing and inspiring as many people as socialism. That’s one of the myriad of reasons why we lost in the 20th century.

    Comment by darknut — March 4, 2011 @ 12:55 am

  20. So where does this sudden uprising come from?

    The same place the “sudden uprisings” in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and everywhere else came from: the contradictions building up in their societies dominated by neoliberal capitalism and imperialism. Duh.

    Funny how this clown “forgot” to mention the dictator’s backing of the “war on terror,” giving up WMD at Bush’s behest, etc.

    Comment by ProletarianRenegade — March 4, 2011 @ 3:34 am

  21. This is truly pathetic. In times like these, it’s amazing that the left is still unable to unite on very elementary issues such as national liberations, revolutions and uprisings. While I have not read much of Chossudovsky’s piece (who has time for that crap?), I have been aware of the lionising of Gaddafi, as if he was some revolutionary socialist who was the leader of the proletariatian society. It’s quite a stretch for anti-imperialists to keep digging for “clues” that ties such a meaning uprising into nothing but a color-coded “revolution” orchestrated by USAID and the CIA. I think Louis stressed the point in an earlier post where the US Empire has its fingerprints on everything; the US can be tied to Mubarak AND the Muslim Brotherhood, to Hamas as well as Fatah, to Chavez (he does sell and let US oil corps run wild on its reserves for his reasons) and his opponents.; well, guess what, you’re going to find a lot of US money in Libya too. To imagine that all of this rebelling is happening for the desired status of a US-client state is not just overarching but on the scale of delusional. It doesn’t seem plausible to excoriate such an uprising and paint it with a giant brush that it is a coup d’etat against an anti-imperialist leader (Gaddafi’s been in power 41 years! I think his track record should speak for itself whether he is a leftist or not.) as it is just common Libyans (and even immigrants) risking their lives, putting them on the line in the face of major state violence. The leaders and defectors are not what should be taking major headlines (although they are important; for every potential Trotskys there are Kerenskys) as it is the people who organise and are in this battle full force.

    Comment by Joshua — March 5, 2011 @ 3:20 am

  22. Far less plausible to paint these “revolutionaries” as socialists than Gaddafi as one, imo. And I am well aware of the “OMG GADAFFI SUPPORTED THE WAR ON TERROR/IMF PROGRAMS/ETC.” line. I’m just not particularly into supporting what is not even the lesser of two evils, and may even be the greater.

    Comment by darknut — March 5, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

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