Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

June 18, 2011

Was Libya attacked because of its attitude toward AFRICOM?

Filed under: Libya — louisproyect @ 10:07 pm

As the latest attempt to provide an ex post facto explanation for the imperialist attack on Libya, Ismael Hossein-Zadeh’s Counterpunch article “Why Regime Change in Libya?” breaks no new ground. Trawling Global Research and other pro-Qaddafi websites, the author strings together tendentious arguments made elsewhere.

Among them is an attempt to portray Qaddafi as a great anti-imperialist leader resisting AFRICOM, the American bid to build military bases in Africa. Hossein-Zadeh writes:

To the chagrin of US imperialism, Libya’s Gaddafi also refused to join the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), designed to control valuable resources in Africa, safeguard trade and investment markets in the region, and contain or evict China from North Africa. “When the US formed AFRICOM in 2007, some 49 countries signed on to the US military charter for Africa but one country refused: Libya. Such a treacherous act by Libya’s leader Moummar Qaddafi would only sow the seeds for a future conflict down the road in 2011” [5].

When you go to footnote 5, make sure you don’t click the URL because it takes you to the article cited in footnote 4. You should also be aware that all of the footnotes that follow 5 are bewilderingly numbered 3. Frankly, it is difficult to figure out whom to blame for this mess. Either Professor Hossein-Zadeh is too lazy to review his submission or Cockburn and St. Clair are editors in name only. I still think that Counterpunch is worth supporting despite its infuriatingly slipshod character.

Thankfully, Hossein-Zadeh did supply the URL for the article cited above. Just paste http://21stcenturywire.com/2011/04/12/2577/ into your browser and you will be able to read an article by Patrick Henningsen titled “West vs China: A New Cold War Begins on Libyan Soil”. Unfortunately, Henningsen does not give the reader any more information than the words quoted by Hossein-Zadeh. Someone with an inquiring mind might ask which 47 countries? And so on.

Well, using my trusty weapon Lexis-Nexis, courtesy of my gig at Columbia University, I went back and searched for information on “Libya” and “Africom” in major newspapers between 2007 and 2008. (There were no results for this search combination in 2009 and 2010.) This is what turned up.

A Guardian article dated June 26, 2007 and titled “Africa united in rejecting US request for military HQ” would belie the notion that Libya stood alone even if you read no further than the headline. It states:

A US delegation led by Ryan Henry, principal deputy under-secretary of defence for policy, returned to Washington last week with little to show for consultations with defence and foreign ministry officials in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Djibouti and with the African Union (AU). An earlier round of consultations with sub-Saharan countries on providing secure facilities and local back-up for the new command, to be known as Africom and due to be operational by September next year, was similarly inconclusive.

Well, now, how about that. It seems that Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Djibouti and the African Union were as cool to the idea of AFRICOM as Libya. If one’s attitude toward AFRICOM is a litmus test on anti-imperialism, then Mubarak should have ended up on the White House shit-list as well.

In 2008 AFRICOM got off the ground but barely so. There were only a token number of American troops in Africa and the only tangible result was a training program for Liberian soldiers. The resistance to a Western military presence was as strong as it was the year before.

An April 11, 2008 Christian Science Monitor article titled “U.S. military expands role in West Africa” recognized the forces at work on the ground that made further expansion problematic:

Regional powers such as South Africa, Libya, and Nigeria have rejected outright the idea of more US troops on African soil (there are already 1,500 at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti) and the question of which country might play host to a headquarters with at least 1,000 staff has dominated the AFRICOM debate.

Only Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has lobbied to host AFRICOM in the hope that it would bring security and economic benefits to her poor and battered country. She welcomed the US military enthusiastically last month even braving the lurching waves to become the only head of state to go onboard the Fort McHenry during its deployment.

So apparently Thabo Mbeki, the neoliberal ex-President of South Africa, and Nigeria’s Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, a perfectly decent soul but without any “anti-imperialist” credentials who died in office 2 years later, stood shoulder to shoulder with Qaddafi on the need to block US troops on African soil. If the imperialists felt the need to “get back” at South Africa and Nigeria because of their opposition to AFRICOM, it somehow escaped my attention.

But let’s go straight to the horse’s mouth to get an idea of how AFRICOM saw Libya. On September 28, 2009, the AFRICOM Public Affairs Office issued a press release titled “Libyan Delegation Makes Historic Visit to Africa Command”. Here are a few excerpts from this most revealing item.

STUTTGART, Germany,

Sep 28, 2009 — A delegation of three senior Libyan military officers visited U.S. Africa Command headquarters as part of an orientation program to explain the command’s mission, Sept. 21-24, 2009, as the two countries continue to build their military relationship.

The officers held meetings with senior staff members to discuss the command’s programs and activities, met General William E. ward and his two deputies, and traveled to Ramstein Air Base to meet Major General Ron Ladnier, the U.S. Air Force Africa commander, and his staff.

The command hosts African military delegations frequently, but “certainly with regard to Libya, it is quite historic,” said Kenneth Fidler, Africa Command Public Affairs Office, which hosted the Libyan team.

Two of the officers in the delegation write for the official magazine of the Libyan armed forces, called Al-Musallh. Colonel Mohamed Algale is the chief editor, and Colonel Abdelgane Mohamed is the space and aviation editor. The third member of the party, Colonel Mustafa Washahi, represented the Libyan Ministry of Defense.

The officers also toured AFN-Europe studios in Mannheim, Germany, and met with editors of the European Stars and Stripes in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

“They (Africa Command officials) clarified everything,” Abdelgane said in an interview with AFN-Europe. “And they are making our mission easier … to rise up the level of understanding between the militaries … and to move for further cooperation to the benefit of both countries.”

In January 2009, Libya and the United States signed a defense cooperation memorandum of understanding, which provides the framework for a military-to-military relationship and cooperation on programs of mutual interest.

After the signing of the MOU, a forum called the Council of Colonels met for the fourth time since 2007. These meetings set the tone for Libya-U.S. military relations and is the primary venue for discussing potential security cooperation opportunities, such as ship visits and information exchange programs.

Now of course none of this will matter to those who have their minds made up that Qaddafi is some kind of anti-imperialist leader. It is much more useful for them to either make things up or ignore the mountain of evidence that imperialism saw Libya as a useful ally from around 2002 to February 2011 when Benghazi erupted. The friendship and close political and economic ties between Italy’s rightwing sleazeball Berlusconi and Qaddafi is well documented, just as was Blair’s intercession on behalf of Libya early on. These relationships are swept under the rug as people like Ismael Hossein-Zadeh go pouring through the garbage looking for rotting fish-heads to submit to Counterpunch.

When I returned to New York in 1979 after 11 years in the Trotskyist movement, I had made up my mind to devote myself to writing novels. I would pick up the Village Voice each week (this was long before the paper turned into an unreadable freebie) to see what movies would be worth seeing. Despite my intention to put politics behind me, I found myself galvanized by Alexander Cockburn’s “Press Clips” column. This was when he was in his prime and when he was able to couple superlative investigative reporting with a scintillating prose style. The target of his investigation obviously was the bourgeois press itself that was beginning its slander campaign against the unfolding Central American revolution. This led me to join CISPES eventually and then to work with Tecnica in Nicaragua.

Reading “Press Clips” sensitized me to the need to uphold journalistic scruples. The enemy class was guilty of propaganda and lies, not us. Our job on the left was to stick to the truth and let the chips fall where they may. It is really regrettable that in the interests of defending an indefensible proposition—namely, that Qaddafi was an “anti-imperialist”—that some of our sharper minds have lost their way.

51 Comments »

  1. Cockburn’s gotten so lazy he doesn’t even use a spell checker before he posts his articles.

    Just look at how many glaring errors appear in his latest screed:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn06172011.html

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 18, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

  2. I would say it’s not just AFRICOM, but there seemed to be a “let’s not re-enact Rawanda” vibe to the beginning of the assult on Gazzafi, coupled with opportunism by the NATO states to show their (dwindling) might. At this point I don’t know if it would’ve been better to let Gazzafi win and let the issue be dealt with by Libya’s neighbors, because the air bombardment has been spastic and similar to the “Baedeker Raids” the Luftwaffe carried out against Britain in 1943-44. In any case the bloodshed and destruction both Gazzafi, NATO* and the rebels have accomplished will leave deep scars on Libyan society for years.

    @Karl Friedrich
    Cockburn is a classic case of burn-out and the typos (which are very common on the CounterPunch website) are the smallest portion of the problem. Last I heard (so correct me if I’m wrong) he has become a climate-change denialist, and he seems to be aiming towards supporting guys like Ron Paul (he has Paul Craig Roberts, a Lew Rockwell associate, writing/being republished for the online version of CP.) I think US politics have driven AC around the bend, and he needs some time off to figure out what his positions are now.

    ___________________________
    * I include the “Yes, we’re in – No, we’re out!….Hi! We’re back!” US as well; America has the stamina to stay with the fight but not the political will.

    Comment by Strelnikov — June 18, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

  3. Strelinikov: I could kinda understand the argument for invading Libya at first considering how much Qaddafi was barelling down on protesters, but now I think sanctions for Qaddafi would have been best since it wouldn’t lead to the violent monopolization of the revolt by the transnational council who have been pretty brutal themselves:
    http://www.economist.com/node/18652159?story_id=18652159
    http://angryarab.blogspot.com/search?q=Libyan+Transitional+Council+

    Comment by Jenny — June 19, 2011 @ 12:29 am

  4. The Qaddafi regime took IMET funding from the US in 2008,2009 and 2010 and has other special training programs.

    Also the US General in charge of AFRICOM met with the so called “Great Leader” twice.

    http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=3080

    U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell Arrives in Tubruq, Libya
    Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U..S. Naval Forces Africa

    To read more about the Libyan delegation’s visit to U.S. Africa Command, visit http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=3486&lang=0.

    U.S. Africa Command waited to publish the transcript until the article appeared in Al Musellh magazine.

    The Arabic version of the transcript is posted at: http://www.africom.mil/file.asp?pdfID=20091215182659.

    The complete English transcript of the interview is available below:

    COL. MOHAMED: First thing I would like to ask you about: During your last visit to Libya, you have met with our leader al-Qaddafi. We would like to ask about, what’s your impression of the leader Muammar al-Qaddafi? How was your meeting with him? And what are the results of that visit?

    GEN. WILLIAM E. WARD: Okay, well, during my last visit to Tripoli I had a very good meeting with the Leader. He and I were able to talk about my command; we were able to give him some thoughts on the United States Africa Command and what the command is about. And I think because of that, we gave him additional information that enabled him to have a better understanding of the command.

    It was explained to him that we were there not to threaten the sovereignty of any nation; that we were there to work in close cooperation but only among those things that the nations wanted us to do. And to all of those purposes, it was about trying to enhance the stability and the security of the nations that we work with — North Africa, as well as the entire continent of Africa.

    I think the Leader was happy to hear that; I think he had a greater understanding following our conversation and he appreciated the information that I gave him about the command. And I think we also discussed issues that concern security matters in Africa and how we look forward to working together in ways that help us achieve those common objectives for peace and stability. And I think the leader was appreciate of that as well, and I told him that I was committing myself to working as closely as we could where our foreign policy permitted those relationships; working with the nations, working with the regions, working with the African Union. And the leader was appreciative of that, as well.

    So we had a very good meeting. It was a cordial meeting, it was a friendly meeting and it was one that I certainly appreciated very well to have the opportunity to spend time with him to talk about those things that were important to both of us in the cause of peace.

    COL. MOHAMED: Okay, because we see a deep understanding. Do you expect another visit to be done in the near future or something like that?

    GEN. WARD: Well, I don’t know. In the last six months I’ve already had two visits to Libya, and you are here, and so I think that as we continue to move forward we will have the opportunity for more visits to be sure.

    Source: AFRICOM Public Affairs
    ——————————
    IMET Program 2008 US Africa Command- Libya in article
    http://www.africom.mil/fetchBinary.asp?pdfID=20091019124205

    Comment by Cort Greene — June 19, 2011 @ 12:55 am

  5. Strelinikov:

    (By the way, I love that name, “Strelinikov” as it just sounds very Bolshevik, like some general in the Red Army) — You’re absolutely right. I just spent an hour reviewing articles of interest on the CP site (as I haven’t had the time to go there in a while) and there were gobs of typos, which I’m certainly very guilty of on my own blog comments (where I’m too tired to spell check after getting filthy working on trucks all day) but are very distracting in featured articles.

    There’s a fascinating article/book review by Chris Lehman in the most recent (6/20/11) Nation magazine called “Little Churches Everywhere” about this creepy reactionary worldview dubbed “Californian ideology” which features a strange & terrible amalgam of anti-statist “hi-tech libertarianism: a bizzare mish-mash of hippie anarchism and economic liberalism beefed up with lots of technological determinism.”

    Of course California has always been a Mecca of new-age claptrap but this article goes beyond that to the political roots of the phenomena, and it reminded me of Proyect’s trenchant critiques of Cockburn’s slide into nuttiness insofar as it’s no accident that the paranoid Alex Jones website “PrisonPlanet.com” now features CP articles almost every week, alongside their climate change denialism & 911 conspiracy theories.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    Jenny: I thought you were asked repeatedly to refrain from posting on this site?

    You should hereby be banned with asanine comments steeped in the myopic academic miieu like: [I could kinda understand the argument for invading Libya at first considering how much Qaddafi was barelling down on protesters, but now I think sanctions for Qaddafi would have been best since it wouldn’t lead to the violent monopolization of the revolt by the transnational council who have been pretty brutal themselves…”]

    1st off how do you figure imperialist military regimes run by white people, that exist only through successful economic predation, with their Abu Ghirabs, Renditions, Guantanimos & rigged stock markets, have any moral authority to “invade” a historically oppressed nation full of brown people?

    Secondly, were you asleep or an infant during operation “Desert Storm” (the 1st Gulf War in the early 90’s) when parliamentary cretins like you derailed the unity of the anti-war movement with calls for “sanctions” against Iraq?

    FYI “sanctions” always prove to be more inhumane than actual bombings since they doom the most vulnerable brown people (old folks & children) to slow & miserable suffering rather than instantly being blown to bits. How excatly would cutting off food & medicine to Libya help working women raising babies there?

    With all the apparent reading and blogging you seem to do — how could you still be so fucking stupid?

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 19, 2011 @ 1:36 am

  6. Lou writes: “I still think that Counterpunch is worth supporting despite its infuriatingly slipshod character.”

    Question: Why?

    Comment by Gilles d'Aymery — June 19, 2011 @ 2:25 am

  7. “1st off how do you figure imperialist military regimes run by white people, that exist only through successful economic predation, with their Abu Ghirabs, Renditions, Guantanimos & rigged stock markets, have any moral authority to “invade” a historically oppressed nation full of brown people?

    Secondly, were you asleep or an infant during operation “Desert Storm” (the 1st Gulf War in the early 90′s) when parliamentary cretins like you derailed the unity of the anti-war movement with calls for “sanctions” against Iraq?

    FYI “sanctions” always prove to be more inhumane than actual bombings since they doom the most vulnerable brown people (old folks & children) to slow & miserable suffering rather than instantly being blown to bits. How excatly would cutting off food & medicine to Libya help working women raising babies there?”

    I meant sanctions strictly for Qaddafi(travel ban,etc.). Sorry.

    Comment by Jenny — June 19, 2011 @ 4:42 am

  8. Strelnikov:

    Cockburn has not “become” a climate change denialist, he is one of long standing, dating at least back to 2001. What has changed over the years is just who he thinks is behind this “hoax.” In 2001 it was mainline environmental groups who wanted to fundraise without offending corporate sponsors. By 2007 it had changed to some combination of NASA, the UN, climate modelers, the IPCC, and Al Gore to support nuclear power. I’m not sure who it is now.

    Comment by LarryE — June 19, 2011 @ 8:06 am

  9. Gilles, Counterpunch provides a platform for some really terrific people. I can mention any number of names but the fact that Arno J. Mayer writes occasionally means a lot to me. This retired Princeton professor is a truly great historian and someone who always has something interesting to say.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 19, 2011 @ 11:50 am

  10. Paul Craig Roberts has the best analysis of Libya despite his shaky credentials as a dissident.

    Africa is the only continent that will increase growth year on year and will be fiercely contested as Chinese labor get ‘too expensive’.

    Comment by purple — June 19, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

  11. I’d really appreciate it if Gilles d’Aymery could explain what is this racist shit doing on his website. From Swans:

    “…Nonetheless, the Jews have never offered their religion as an ethnicity. It is a cultural and religious identification – but it defines them no further than that (with the exception of the ultra-orthodox). Modern Jews, those living in Israel, call themselves Israelis. Others, living in America or in Germany, will respond that they are American, or German – an American or a German of the Jewish faith. Nowhere else on this planet will a man call himself Muslim and expect that to serve as ethnic and national identification. That is largely a Yugoslav trait, and the identity was forged by Tito and his regime and the “brotherhood and unity” doctrine. But scratch a Bosnian Muslim, and you will find an Orthodox icon secreted amongst the family treasures in the attic. Bosnian Muslims are ethnically Serbs or Croats who happen to be of the Islamic faith. The presence of the Islamic faith in the region is a historical accident, laid at the door of the Turkish imperial ambition. The “Bosniaks” are proudly claiming an identity rooted in slavery, cruelty and intimidation.”
    http://www.swans.com/library/art7/aah010.html

    “Yugoslavia developed three major religious groups within its population. Today, there are attempts to recognize these three religious groups as ethnic groups, under distinct ethnic titles. Under this classification all Catholics would be referred to as “Croats” (even when not living in Croatia), all Muslims as “Bosniaks” (even when residing outside Bosnia), all Orthodox Christians consequently remaining the only “Serbs.” This culturally and politically driven attempt does not conform to the historical heritage of the Serbo-Croat speaking geographical region, which rather indicates that many people rooted in this area are (or were) ethnic Serbs living in different states (or, earlier, kingdoms, princedoms, and duchies) – Serbs who may have converted to Islam during the Turkish occupation of Bosnia. If we applied the same principles to the German-speaking peoples, we would be trying to prove that Bavarians, Austrians and German-speaking Swiss have no common ethnic German identity whatsoever. A Germany re-created along this line of thinking would never countenance the joining together of the northern Protestant and southern Catholic German-inhabited regions into any kind of a common nation. It is intriguing, incidentally, that the official rhetoric of German immigration authorities is more accurate than the diplomatic rhetoric of UN representatives when it comes to treating the contemporary ethnic issue of former Yugoslavia. Germany’s immigration authorities still address the whole Serbo-Croat speaking gastarbeiter population in Germany as “Serbo-Croatisch.” Similarly, in 1941, Third Reich analysis of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina described its religious groups as “Catholische Serben, Islamische Serben and Orthodoxische Serben.”
    http://www.swans.com/library/art7/djovan01.html

    Comment by Mak Dizdar — June 19, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  12. @Lou: Point taken.

    @Mak Dizdar: I see no racism in the two excerpts you cited, but pointed analysis of the bogus “ethnic” differences that were used like pawns to destroy Yugoslavia. Readers ought to read both articles (written in 2001) in full… Alma Hromic, born in Novi Sad, was the child of a mixed marriage. David Jovanovic, originally from Montenegro, offers a brilliant analysis of the use of religion to foster war. But I thank M. Dizdar for bringing attention to these two articles. As Alma Hromic concluded, “It is time for issues raised by David Jovanovic to have a wider readership. They will help further an understanding of a conflict where, so far, those who have had an understanding of the underlying facts have either deliberately slanted them for their own twisted ends or have been too afraid to speak out.”

    Gilles d’Aymery

    Comment by Gilles d'Aymery — June 19, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  13. [I meant sanctions strictly for Qaddafi(travel ban,etc.).]

    Travel ban? You really are nuts. Uncle Sam’s been trying to murder him since Reagan bombed his home and killed his daughter in 1986. The guy’s more wanted than Bin Laden & Saddam Hussein combined right now. All of NATO’s might is trying to hunt him down and kill him. He’s got about the same ability to travel as Carlos Escobar had at the end. He can barely travel from one basement to another. There’s no greater sanction on one’s mobility than that. The war won’t stop until he’s as dead as Dillinger, and even that’s no guarantee of peace as we’ve seen with the case of Hussein in Iraq.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 19, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

  14. “Either Professor Hossein-Zadeh is too lazy to review his submission or Cockburn and St. Clair are editors in name only. I still think that Counterpunch is worth supporting despite its infuriatingly slipshod character.”

    Yes, they apparently do not edit anything. I once read an article by Gary Leupp (whose articles I usually like) where instead of Hugo Chavez, he wrote Cesar Chavez, along with some other typos that actually made some of the sentences incomprehensible (or gave a meaning that was entirely opposite of what he was obviously trying to convey). I sent Leupp an e-mail pointing out the mistakes, to which he responded, but later I saw that the only correction that was made was the Chavez one, leaving all the confusing sentences unaltered. Leupp mentioned in his reply that CP only has one (overworked) staffer putting the stuff up. I guess one can’t be too surprised, however, since as someone noted above, Cockburn himself apparently makes little effort to proofread/edit his own articles. Maybe they should jump aboard the intern-slave ship of Corporate America…

    Comment by dermokrat — June 19, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  15. LarryE raises a good point in #8. Cockburn didn’t evolve into climate change denialism. He hatched from an egg that way. Puzzling that he strains to articulate how climate change is this vast conspiracy while brilliantly smashing to bits the JFK assasination conspiracies & 911 Truthers.

    I suspect he’ll soon be writing that the silver lining of the Japanese reactor meltdowns is that it potentially spells the death knell for new reactor construction.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 19, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  16. Karl Friedrich — It’s gratifying to see your spirited tirades against the NATO-U.S. campaign, though none of it (at least on this thread) seems to directed against Louis P.’s “anti-anti” position. You might be interested in knowing that Louis’s posts on this subject are continually reposted on the Science-for-the-People list as evidence that the attack on Qadaffi (and whoever else gets in the way) is a “Left” position.

    Comment by Stuart Newman — June 19, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  17. Thanks to LP for his thoughtful and critical approach to the LIbya situation. I think he is absolutely right about the error of the “anti-imperialist” cults for Qaddafi et al.

    A question that has been bothering me: I noticed in the Al-Jazeera news from Libya a few weeks back a report on a new Libyan “rebel” army–serried ranks of fresh-faced youths in neatly pressed uniforms, lusty chanting in unison, fists in the air, all that. Cutting to the alleged front-line reporting a few weeks later. I see the usual disorderly gang of men of all ages in street clothing, with helmets and bandoliers ad lib. Nary a neatly pressed uniform anywhere in sight. This links back to a segment aired a month or two back, in which it was asserted that the new “government” was cracking down on undisciplined fighters and expelling some. Yet when “fighters” are shown, it’s always the same “undisciplined” bunch.

    Is the “rebel government” preparing a reserve army? What for? Is it too far-fetched to think that we may be seeing the beginnings of a conflict here–one that might be reprocessed into a war against “terrorists” or “al Qaeda” if and when the Qaddafi family are eliminated? Are we seeing in the “new army” anything beyond a PR initiative–for example, a nucleus of a future half-assed Libyan Army that will be propped up by the C.I.A. eventually in a war against an undefined “terrorist” insurgency (including many of the current “rebel fighters for democracy”)? If, on the other hand, the “new government” initiatives are in fact merely window-dressing, does that suggest that the original revolution is stronger that some think and a CIA victory less likely? Etc. Etc.

    It may be that the attention of the Left now is too focused on the war against Qaddafi and the bombing (bad as that seems to be), with the assumption that this phase of the conflict itself will be the thing that grinds on in the news year after year.

    In Afghanistan initially the U.S. provided air support much as NATO is doing now in Libya. The endless farce of “boots on the ground” began only after the apparent political and military defeat–essentially by Afghans–of the Taliban.

    If a similar pattern occurs in Libya, what will this mean and what will the consequences be?

    BTW: is there any actual news source on Libya with a less bourgeois stance than Al Jazeera? One seems to get only glimpses.

    Comment by Rod Random — June 19, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

  18. I was taken slightly aback by the accusation made by some “Mak Dizdar” that I published “racist shit” on Swans (see comment #11 supra). Being occupied with the latest issue of Swans I did not have the time to do my due diligence and research about the poster. I also did not fathom why such an accusation would be posted on a thread about Libya. I did respond, however — even if very quickly. To be accused of racism in public is not a matter to be ignored…

    But who is Mak Dizdar?

    It turns out that he “was” a great Yugoslav poet (1917-1971). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mak_Dizdar

    This “Mak Dizdar,” whoever he is, ought to be shunned for his despicable attack on my integrity.

    For over 15 years, I have published pieces by authors with different skin pigmentation, nationality, religious (or non-religious) backgrounds, and differing political ideologies. I can be accused of not being “revolutionary” enough, or not being Marxist enough. I’ll take the accusations in stride. When I want a Marxist analysis, I ask Lou to provide it. He is much more knowledgeable than I am. Revolution, to me, means that what goes down comes back to the top. To me, the challenges humans and the natural world are facing go far beyond slogans and attacks on presumed “adversaries” (the diet of too many bloviators…). People and comrades can disagree with me. That is fine, and a part of the human discourse.

    But accusing me of racism, or of publishing racist rants is beyond the pale.

    I want this to be *crystal* clear. Question my intellect (150 IQ measured in the early 1960s but well diminished nowadays by the loss of brain cells and too much boozing). But do not ever question my integrity!

    Comment by Gilles d'Aymery — June 19, 2011 @ 11:52 pm

  19. More excellent work exposing the apologists for Gadaffi Louis. They have turned the Stalinist opposition to the theory of permanent revolution into a systematic ratlionalisation of treachery tieing the working class of the semi-colonial world to not just the stunted and treacherous national bourgeoisies but the most disgusting remnants of the feudal order. It fits with their Cold War thinking and uncritical attitude to the peaceful co-existers.

    Here is a comment made in the light of the death of the two families killed by NATO in Tripoli this weekend:

    It was absolutely right for the world to demand the UN step in to protect civilians from a murderous tyrant like Gadaffi though of course he is not the only one killing civilians at the moment. However NATO very quickly reintepreted the terms of the UN Resolution from protecting civilians to regime change. NATO being the armed wing of Western imperialism can only act in its own narrow interests and never in those of `humanity’. It is imposing its own self-serving interpretation and in pursuing regime change is already showing signs of swapping a potential humanitarian crisis of somebody else’s making for a real one of its own.

    Wreckless targeting designed to get the job done quicker demonstrates the true extent of NATO’s concern for Libyan civilians. Surely by now the rebels have consolidated their positions and Gadaffi’s offensive capacity is degraded enough to ensure they are safe. The task of ridding the rest of Libya of Gadaffi is neither NATO’s nor the rebels but mainly that of the people of Tripoli. Bombing Tripoli, killing civilians in the name of externally imposed regime change means that the people of Tripoli cannot concentrate on the immediate task of ridding themselves of Gaddafi but must start to think about defending their city from NATO itself.

    Comment by David Ellis — June 20, 2011 @ 11:16 am

  20. Louis, you have to admit that in spite of his collaborationism with the empire, Gazzafi was never an ideal US ally or satelite. I recall a speech he made to the Arab league I think around 2005, where he condemned the invasion of Iraq and removal of Saddam Hussein. As the rest of the Arab dictators literally laughed at him, including Bashar Assad, Gazzafi basically said wait, they’ll eventually come for the rest of us. Well, they have, Gazzafi and Assad are both targets now. This is not to defend him and Assad, far from it. The other side’s attempt to portray him as some great anti-imperialist is fiction, mind you you have to admire his guts to stick to his guns, excuse the pun. Maybe he knows something we don’t know but standing up to NATO is not trivial. Point is the likes of Gazzafi and Assad have always been on US and Isreal’s list and this is high time to get rid of them. It will also provide a excellent opportunity to establish a military base in North Africa, not to mention total control of Libya’s oil reoirces, which is stating the obvious but worth repeating. As well, this is to some extent perhaps exorcising the ghosts of Iraq which is tainted with lies and fabrications and what have you. This is the good war, the just war, perhaps a dress rehearsal for action against Iran. I wish I was as certain as you are about this but I’m not. I think the so-called world ask accountability from the likes of Gazzafi but not just him and Assad. What about occupation of Bahrain by the Saudi army or massacres in Yemen? Why is the UN setting up a commission to look into that? Why isn’t the world not demnding accountability from India in its genocidal behaviour against the indigenoius people whose land is being expropriated in the service of global capital? Why this focus on Libya? What are the facts and what are the fictions? Is Gazzafi really distributing Viagra amongst its soldiers to perpetuate mass rapes as the “media” reported a couple of weeks? Imagine soldiers going around with permanent hard-ons!!! Or is this like the fake “Gay girl in Damascus” story that turned out to be some dude in the mid-West?

    Comment by Mazdak — June 20, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

  21. Why this focus on Libya?

    I’d say that imperialism found it to be a most opportune target. Qaddafi had no allies in the Middle East, unlike Syria. Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez were hardly in a position to pressure the USA/NATO not to intervene. In any case, as long as people write bullshit, I will exercise my right to refute it. When you really get down to it, there is nobody on the left besides me who when reading that imperialism invaded because of Qaddafi’s opposition AFRICOM will bother to do some fact-checking. I intended to keep at this until people stop writing bullshit so everybody should get used to it.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 20, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  22. By all means, Louis, expose the bullshit; my own blood boils when nonsense is being written about Ahmadinejad, the great anti-imperialist. But I think we should always temper this with vigourse exposing of imeprialist designs (global capital then, if you’re not happy with the term imperialism) anywhere. That’s the only way to avoid becoming useful idiots.

    Comment by Mazdak — June 20, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

  23. It’s one thing to point out the shortcomings of false champions of the people like Qadaafi, and even of genuine but flawed ones, like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. It’s quite another thing to pile on when they are about to be dispatched by the imperilaists, and then [!] while it is actually taking place.

    Comment by Stuart Newman — June 20, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

  24. What do you mean by piling on? I am virtually the only person on the left who is bothering to answer the bullshit that people like Hossein-Zadeh are writing. There’s something about bullshit that really galls me.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 20, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

  25. Interesting tidbit whose editorial perspective I don’t vouch for:

    http://www.ww4report.com/node/10014

    Louis I love the articles you’re writing on all this: it’s important work. But it wouldn’t hurt you to say you’re against US and NATO bombing Libya.

    Comment by ish — June 21, 2011 @ 4:53 am

  26. to be against the NATO /US bombing, you’d have to oppose Obama.

    Comment by jp — June 21, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  27. “it wouldn’t hurt you to say you’re against US and NATO bombing Libya.”

    Looks like even Proyect’s fans and well-wishers are catching on…

    For all the copious sweatings over Qaddafi’s bogus ‘anti-imperialism’ the simple fact is, along with his embrace of the pro-NATO ‘rebels,’ Proyect gives support to his own imperialist ruling class and its assault on a neo-colonial country.

    Comment by Red Cloud — June 21, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

  28. Proyect gives support to his own imperialist ruling class and its assault on a neo-colonial country.

    They said the same thing about Trotsky in the 1930s when he wrote article after article debunking Stalin’s “communist” credentials. How far we have slipped when the same logic is deployed on behalf of a government that spends millions of dollars to have Beyonce entertain at a birthday party for Qaddafi’s son in St. Barts, the ritziest resort in the Caribbeans. Now I am certainly no Trotsky, but I can recognize bullshit when I hear it, especially from the trolling Red Cloud, a member of the Spartacist League who was expelled for stealing money from the group to pay his gambling debts.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 21, 2011 @ 11:40 pm

  29. Whether or not you are a Trotsky is less important than whether Qaddafi is a Stalin. Surely you are not claiming this (despite the Beyonce incident)? I also don’t believe you support the NATO campaign (just look through the archives of this site). You’re just digging in your heels to make a point about bad-faith solidarity with Qaddafi, right?

    Comment by Stuart Newman — June 22, 2011 @ 12:02 am

  30. Stuart: If somebody was actually supporting a NATO (meaning US) intervention/invasion of any country, particularly a historically oppressed one like Libya, I’d be spewing some vitriol like Pele erupting, rest assured.

    However some positions are actually far more nuanced (some argue confusing, some say Trotskyist) whereby they’re obviously for those popular movements that booted the imperialist stooges in Egypt & Tunisia doing the same in Libya but draw a line when it comes to the classic “white man’s burden” of having to destroy a village just to save it. Keenly cogent of the potential for these movements, as I predicted in the early stages of Egypt, to morph into the Aquinoesque “People’s Power” miasma of the Philippines after Marcos was overthrown they’re aware, as Trotsky always warned: capitalism will make all kind of concessions so long as it’s all kept straight by the accountants, that is, so long as not a hair on capitalism’s head is mussed up.

    Gadaffi may be a Stalin just as one might argue Castro is a Stalin but there’s one big difference. The latter came to power, like Stalin, from a revolution that flowed from the bottom up, not the top down. It’s that vacillating foreign policy of the latter, which can only be an extension of domestic policy, that differentiates regimes from historically progressive or reactionary.

    Of course this analogy is complicated by the fact that Stalin’s foreign policy was potentially as erratic as Gadaffi’s when one studies Spain before WWII or Greece at the end of it, just to name a few perfidious instances.

    If one argues support for NATO intervention in Hungary 1956, Czeckslovakia 1968, Poland in the 80’s and Yugoslavia in the 90’s then they’d be consistent in advocating NATO intervention everywhere there’s these seemingly popular uprisings today.

    Perhaps Proyect could clarify where he stood in regards to all the aforementioned incidents and then clarify how the compare to the incidents of today?

    In a world with no USSR it’s easy for leftists to get confused and inconsistent. The single individual whose ideology most impacted the global political outcomes of the last 100 years is still V.I. Lenin. Nobody disputes that. What is in dispute (although not by me) is the idea that Trotsky was the logical continuation of Lenin.

    What’s also not in dispute is NATO’s phony “rape” charges against Gadaffi which are right out of the CIA play book from as far back as the assassination of Allende in Chile:

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    LIBYA – Behind the phony ICC ‘rape’ charges: ARE NATO FORCES PREPARING A GROUND ATTACK?
    by Sara Flounders

    International Action Center

    Without presenting a shred of reliable evidence, NATO and International Criminal Court conspirators are charging the Libyan government with conspiracy to rape — not only rape as the “collateral damage” of war, but rape as a political weapon.

    This charge of an orchestrated future campaign of rapes was made at a major press conference called by the lead prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on June 8, 2011. The even wilder unsubstantiated ICC charge that Libya plans to mass distribute Viagra to its troops confirms this as the most tawdry and threadbare form of war propaganda.

    It is important to understand that NATO countries with the full complicity of the corporate media and the ICC are spreading this Big Lie in order to win support for and close down all opposition to a ground assault of Libya, something that would otherwise be unpopular both in Europe and the United States. This wild charge adds to the evidence of a massive escalation in bombing urban targets in Libya, the use of British and French helicopters that give close support to ground troops and the positioning in the Mediterranean off Libya of U.S. warships that can quickly land troops. The NATO alliance is desperate to put Libya beyond all discussion or defense and raise the NATO war to the level of a Holy Crusade to defend women.

    The charge of rape as a political weapon was spread — without evidence — against Serb forces to justify U.S. plans for the first NATO bombing campaign in the history of the military alliance in 1994 in Bosnia and was used again in 1999 in Serbia in the first NATO occupation. The rape charge was used to soften up the U.S. and European population for the criminal war against Yugoslavia. Now a similar plan is in the works for Libya.

    All too often widely fabricated lies are spread to justify imperialist wars. In 1991 the first war against Iraq was justified by outrageous charges that the Iraqi army had grabbed Kuwaiti babies from incubators and smashed the babies to the floor. This was presented as reliable “testimony” to in the U.S. Congress and in the UN. Months later it was confirmed as a total fabrication. But the lie had served its purpose. In 2001 the corporate media and U.S. politicians claimed that they had to bomb and then massively occupy Afghanistan to win rights for women that the Taliban taken away. The situation for women in Afghanistan and for the entire population has deteriorated further under U.S. / NATO occupation.

    Despite video and photo evidence that the entire world has seen through WikiLeaks, the International Criminal Court has never considered for a moment filing criminal charges against U.S. British, French or German troops.

    The pictures, videos and reports in major newspapers of sexual torture and humiliation at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq by U.S. soldiers, the testimony by the U.S. soldiers involved in rapes, tortures, mutilations and executions in Iraq and Afghanistan confirms the brutal reality of U.S. wars. These wars have never been to ‘save’ women.

    As an African country, Libya can hardly expect a fair hearing or any form of justice from the ICC. The International Criminal Court created with high hopes of international justice in 2002 has been used against 7 countries – all in Africa. Meanwhile, the ICC has never examined U.S. drone attacks on defenseless civilians in at least 8 African, Arab and South Asian countries. Nor has it even touched U.S. invasions and occupations. Israeli bombing of the Palestinian people is “off limits”.

    This is an essential time to remind all people concerned about the rights of women that U.S. intervention or any imperialist intervention has never protected women. Even women serving within the U.S. military machine are not “safe”. According to a study published by the Journal of Military Medicine, 71 per cent of women soldiers have been sexually assaulted or raped while serving in the U.S. military. Women who have been assaulted consistently report poor medical treatment, lack of counseling, incomplete criminal investigations and threats of punishment for reporting the assaults. In 2009 the Pentagon admitted that approximately 80 per cent of rapes are never reported – making it the most under-documented crime in the military. In addition U.S. military bases are all too often surrounded by an entire sex industry of abused women forced by hunger, dislocation and lost families into work in bars and clubs.

    Rape in every society has little connection to sexuality and desire. It has always been about imposing power and domination.

    The “political rape” charge in this case makes no sense and has no basis beyond the U.S.-NATO desire to justify expanding the war against Libya.

    Stop U.S.-NATO intervention in Libya.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 22, 2011 @ 1:34 am

  31. There’s nothing complicated about the basic duty of Marxists “in the belly of the beast” to stand for the militarily defense of neo-colonies under attack by U.S. imperialism (regardless of the character of their governments).

    To maintain their tacit support for NATO’s criminal bombiing of Libya, Proyect and his co-thinkers of today’s ‘decent left’ need to obscure this simple truth – hence their waves upon waves of empty verbiage.

    Comment by Red Cloud — June 22, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

  32. Red Cloud: you seem to have allowed the opportunist intervention of a few imperialists to turn you against the Libyan uprising and perhaps even the Arab Spring altogether. The people of Benghazi and other free areas had every right to consolidate their position and take advantage of the intervention and we had no reason to opposed a mission that was ostensibly to protect civilians. It was our duty however to point out that NATO is incapable of acting out of humanitarian concerns and that it would attempt to alter the terms of the UN resolution as soon as if felt able and would seek either negotiations with Gadaffi, partition or regime change all of which we should oppose. We have seen how the West liberates people before from Dresden to Nagasaki to Pyongyang and Ho Chi Minh City to Fallujah and Baghdad and a thousand other examples. But let us get it straight, the man doing most of the attacking of Libya is Gadaffi. He is not fighting imperialism. He is trying to re-impose order so that he can once agains take his place in the club of Western approved dictators.

    Comment by David Ellis — June 22, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  33. Has LP hit his “Hitchens Threshold”? (Definition: The point in the political trajectory of a former Trotskyist when the imperialists seem to be the better alternative for fostering foreign political liberation than leftists, some of which show themselves to be ill-informed). Christopher Hitchens reached the HT with the 1982 Falklands campaign. Some (as Karl pointed out) reached it with Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, Poland in the 80′s and Yugoslavia in the 90′s. The unfortunate universal law associated with this is that it is essentially irreversible: all subsequent imperialist campaigns are bathed in the glory of the one that took one over the HT.

    Comment by Stuart Newman — June 22, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

  34. Newman, what the fuck are you? A tenured professor at NYU?

    I faced down the KKK in Houston that picketed our headquarters with M-16’s a year after it blew it up with a pipe bomb. I was the president of the board of Tecnica that sent hundreds of volunteers to Nicaragua, including the guy who kept the electrical grids functioning after bombing attacks. I have an FBI file that is probably twice as thick as your fucking dissertation.

    I might come down to NYU and look you up so you can tell me this shit to my face.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 22, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

  35. It doesn’t matter if Red Cloud is a Spart or a degenerate gambler, the fact reamins there’s no disputing his notion (an axiom really) that: “There’s nothing complicated about the basic duty of Marxists “in the belly of the beast” to stand for the militarily defense of neo-colonies under attack by U.S. imperialism (regardless of the character of their governments).” This basic principle was Lenin’s stance from the outset of his earliest political conscousness until his last breath, so what exactly has changed in the last 100 years to change that truism?

    The answer is — nothing.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 23, 2011 @ 3:59 am

  36. Yes, Karl, but I am being charged by Red Cloud and Dr. Numbnuts with the crime of “objectively” aiding imperialism because I insist on answering crapola wherever it appears (Counterpunch, MRZine, Global Research, etc.) along the lines that Qaddafi was a revolutionary nationalist, etc. I reserve my right to answer lies in the left press because I don’t think it helps our cause to turn Qaddafi into something he wasn’t. With respect to my attitude toward NATO intervention, I answered Gilbert Achcar and Juan Cole on this blog and don’t feel the need to repeat my arguments.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 23, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

  37. I don’t see any objective difference between, say, Saddam Hussein’s Baathist state capitalism and Gadaffi’s, so if people want to make him out to be something more than that then they’re definitely delusional. I just don’t think the people arguing that are very plentiful nor very important. In a military conflict with such a historically oppressed nation, however, the defeat of the reactionary predators running the Petagon abroad is a victory for working people and progressive forces at home just as the victory of the Vietnamese opened up all kinds of progressive opportunities & legislation against the reach of COINTELPRO, etc in the USA (albeit most of those social gains have been wiped out in the War on Terror, including the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus, established around 1235 AD with the Magna Carta.)

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 23, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  38. Karl: You are a terribly formal thinker. Did the imperialist intervention in Libya alter your support for the uprising against Gadaffi? For the Stalinists it was the chance they were looking for to take the side of counter-revolution a position previously denied them by the popularity of the Arab Spring itself which they are now opponents of nearly all down the line including in Syria and amongst Palestinian youth trying to loosen the deathly feudal grip of Hamas and Fatah. Why would socialists oppose a mission ostensibly undertaken to save civilians from somebody who has promised a bloodbath? What we needed to do was warn against the inevitable mission creep that would result from a NATO reinterpretation of the resolution whilst still supporting the rebels and urging uprising in Tripoli. Now that NATO has clearly altered the terms of the mission it is politically and morally right to oppose it because we want the people of Libya to string up Gadaffi and specifically now the people of Tripoli and nobody else.

    Comment by David Ellis — June 24, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  39. [Did the imperialist intervention in Libya alter your support for the uprising against Gadaffi?]

    Would imperialist intervention in the USSR during the 30’s alter Trotsky’s support for an uprising against Stalin?

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 25, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  40. “Would imperialist intervention in the USSR during the 30′s alter Trotsky’s support for an uprising against Stalin?”

    I doubt Trotsky would have supported any uprising against Stalin that allied with an imperialist intervention.

    Comment by Aaron Aarons — July 2, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  41. @39 David Ellis: “Why would socialists oppose a mission ostensibly undertaken to save civilians from somebody who has promised a bloodbath?”

    Our job from the start was to expose and denounce the lies and “humanitarian” hypocricy of the imperialists, including how they were and are responsible for the ongoing massive bloodbath and rape-fest in the Congo — a bloodbath they could greatly slow down, if not totally stop, without spending a fraction of what they are spending on their “humanitarian” slaughter in Libya. We could, as I have done, point out over and over again that they could actually save a lot more lives — if that were their purpose — than they were pretending to save in Benghazi, and at a lot less expense, by using their resources to provide clean water and other basic sanitary facilities to some of the major population concentrations in the neo-colonial world that don’t have it.

    Ellis again: “Now that NATO has clearly altered the terms of the mission it is politically and morally right to oppose it because we want the people of Libya to string up Gadaffi and specifically now the people of Tripoli and nobody else.”

    If there’s a leftist, anti-imperialist force among the Tripolitanos that can string up Gaddafi AND keep NATO out, I’m all for it. Otherwise, it would be a bad thing, especially if done by supporters of the CIA’s Transitional National Council. At this point, lacking such a leftist, anti-imperialist force that can replace Gaddafi’s regime, socialists and other anti-imperialists should be for the victory of that regime over NATO’s client rebels.

    Comment by Aaron Aarons — July 2, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

  42. However grave the flaws — from the standpoint of a socialist — the Gaddafi regime may have had, you, Louis Proyect have — in your basic support for US-NATO aggression against Libya — relinquished any right whatsoever to calling yourself a “Marxist.” No, you are a petty-bourgeois “radical” who has made his peace with the capitalist-imperialist ruling elite in the US and Western Europe by effectively backing said elite’s imperialist aggression against Libya.

    You used to always criticize wsws.org for their “sectarianism.” They have emphatically opposed the US-NATO attack on Libya from day one and, while by no means whatsoever supporters of Gaddafi, have written plenty which exposes the “rebels” as a reactionary tool of US / Western European imperialism. I guess the “sectarianism” of wsws.org from your standpoint was their irreconcilable opposition to imperialist war which you apparently analyze on a “case-by-case” basis, in this case (the one of Libya) you’ve opted to back imperialism and its local stooges, the Libyan “rebels.”

    You should never live this down and should be read out of the Marxist movement; unfortunately, because so many of the people who call themselves “socialists” or “Communists or “Marxists” these days are actually petty-bourgeois “radicals” who serve, in one way or the other, to prop up “their own” capitalist ruling elites, this probably won’t happen. In any case, you’ve “won” yourself eternal opprobrium from this politically conscious (i.e. socialist, genuinely Marxist) member of the working class.

    Shame on you.

    Comment by permrev — July 25, 2011 @ 12:03 am

  43. Louis Proyect have — in your basic support for US-NATO aggression against Libya

    Another drooling imbecile who equates writing articles that debunk the claim that NATO’s aggression was caused by Qaddafi’s “opposition” to American bases in Africa with support for NATO’s aggression. I guess if I had repeated the idiocy that was found in the Counterpunch article I wrote about, I would no longer be “petty bourgeois”. If having a “proletarian orientation” involves making things up a la Judith Miller, I will stick with “petty bourgeois”.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 25, 2011 @ 12:10 am

  44. @ Louis Proyect —

    Well, that was an unsurprisingly vicious and none-too-enlightening response which didn’t have anything to do with the substance of my comments. It is obvious that you don’t like your de facto support for naked imperialist aggression against the virtually defenseless developing country of Libya being exposed and, with that, your threadbare pretensions to being an “unrepentant Marxist.”

    War is the great test of all political tendencies. One of the most basic “ABCs” of any Marxist is irreconcilable opposition to the wars waged by “one’s own” imperialist bourgeoisie. Whatever you may claim, your supposed “opposition” to the US-NATO assault is exceedingly difficult if not impossible to definitively determine from your (rather few) articles about the respective matter. The reason for this is simple — because you don’t oppose this war. You and that self-labeled “socialist imperialist” Christopher Hitchens should go drinking / bowling, whatever. I’m sure profitable employment awaits you in Washington and “mainstream-media” circles (or perhaps at Al Jazeera) now.

    I don’t know exactly why the US government decided, after 8 years or so of alliance with Gaddafi, to decide to try to violently overturn his regime. Maybe the people at Counterpunch are right and perhaps they aren’t about the motives involved in the respective situation; your focusing on this (matter of a secondary or tertiary importance) is a weak and pathetic attempt to divert attention from your definitive crossing into the other camp — that of the imperialist bourgeoisie.

    Your paeans to the Libyan “rebels” — that motley grouping of tribal chiefs, monarchists, Islamic fundamentalists, long-time Gaddafi regime members and Western intelligence service assets — would be hysterical if the political consequences of you and others of your ilk spreading such transparently reactionary vomit wouldn’t be so potentially grave. Supporting them, I don’t see why you don’t go back and retroactively declare your support for the anti-Milosevic KLA, for the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, the anti-Saddam Hussein Ahmed Chalabi, etc.

    Comment by permrev — July 25, 2011 @ 2:34 am

  45. Your paeans to the Libyan “rebels”

    Stupid mother-fucking liar. I haven’t written a word of support for them since February. What is particularly galling is your invocation of Trotsky’s writings when you have the Stalinist habit of lying like a rug.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 25, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

  46. […] a June 18th post titled “Was Libya attacked because of its attitude toward AFRICOM?” (https://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/was-libya-attacked-because-of-its-attitude-toward-afric…), I found no evidence for this. I alluded to an article from the AFRICOM website that […]

    Pingback by Comments on a Samir Amin interview « Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — August 12, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  47. […] Even after tipping Blum off that the business about AFRICOM was nonsense, he continues to stand by it. My article detailing AFRICOM’s chummy relationship with the Libyan military brass is here. […]

    Pingback by William Blum’s follies « Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — September 2, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

  48. […] the United States African Command (AFRICOM) motive aren’t mutually exclusive; the Libyan ruler, along with other African leaders, resisted the growth of AFRICOM. Intervention in Libya enabled US military […]

    Pingback by A War for Power | Counter Information — October 9, 2014 @ 5:44 pm

  49. […] dos Estados Unidos para África (AFRICOM) não são mutuamente exclusivos; o governante Líbio, junto com outros líderes, resistiu ao crescimento do AFRICOM. A intervenção na Líbia permitiu uma […]

    Pingback by Uma Guerra pelo Poder | Colunas Tortas — October 20, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

  50. Reblogged this on realblackpower's Blog.

    Comment by realblackpower — November 24, 2014 @ 7:25 am


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