Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

January 30, 2012

Vietnam: An American Holocaust

Filed under: Film,Vietnam — louisproyect @ 6:53 pm

Among the handful of blogs I have bookmarked and visit each day is Clay Claiborne’s at Daily Kos. I first got wind of Claiborne’s penetrating analysis when he began taking exception to an “anti-imperialism”  that sided with Qaddafi’s troops against the revolutionary people. I was staggered by the force of his arguments and his willingness to swim against the stream. You can get a flavor of his take on things by reading his latest post on Libya titled “The Current Situation in Libya“, dated January 13th:

Another thing that is becoming clear now is just how little real support Qaddafi had. While there was that one sneak attack against an oil terminal while Qaddafi was still alive, there has been nothing since. The guerilla war by Qaddafi supporters against the revolution has simply failed to materialize, and while wavers of the green flag still have had some freedom to demonstrate openly, as this video illustrates, there just haven’t been very many of them.

For a few days, those nostalgic for Qaddafi took heart at news that a revolt against the government-backed militia in Bani Walid took place under the toppled regime’s green flag but eventually it turned out that there was no support for Qaddafi, even in his erstwhile stronghold. Apparently, the real base of support is among Western leftists who resent those Libyans who had the impudence to rise up and defeat the dictator who worked with the CIA and killed 2000 prisoners at Abu Salim in one fell swoop.

I had always noticed Clay’s description of himself as a filmmaker on his blog profile but had not given it any thought until a comrade urged me to look at his documentary titled “Vietnam: An American Holocaust” that is for sale on his website. I had a chance to view it recently and want to second my comrade’s recommendation. This is a very powerful retelling of the genuinely anti-imperialist narrative of the war in Vietnam and very much worth purchasing for those of a certain age like me who became radicalized in the 1960s by this horrible war as well as by young activists today.

Narrated by Martin Sheen, a long-time progressive activist who played a deranged special forces combatant in “Apocalypse Now”, the film is a shocking reminder of what a criminal enterprise the war on Vietnam was. Using archival footage of madmen like Curtis LeMay, rank-and-file soldiers who turned against the war, and the Vietnamese themselves, it explains why so many young people became enemies of a socio-economic system that could spawn such cruelty. Among the archival footage is Dwight Eisenhower explaining why we were in Vietnam:

If Indochina goes, several things happen right away. The Malayan peninsula, the last little bit of the end hanging on down there, would be scarcely defensible–and tin and tungsten that we so greatly value from that area would cease coming. But all India would be outflanked. Burma would certainly, in its weakened condition, be no defense. Now, India is surrounded on that side by the Communist empire. Iran on its left is in a weakened condition. I believe I read in the paper this morning that Mossadegh’s move toward getting rid of his parliament has been supported and of course he was in that move supported by the Tudeh, which is the Communist Party of Iran.

Apparently, the West has still not gotten used to Iran breaking free from the rule of its oil companies as the threats over its right to develop nuclear power continue to mount day by day.

The film would be ideal for high school and college classes as an introduction to a war that still exercises a kind of restraint on American power referred to as the “Vietnam syndrome”. Indeed, it was the war in Iraq that inspired Clay to make the film since it was obvious at the time that the war would take a terrible toll on all its victims, the GI’s falling victim to IED’s as well as the Iraqis facing a new holocaust.

In exercising my usual due diligence in finding out about a film’s director, I discovered a fascinating interview with Clay Claiborne, who is an African-American and three years younger than me. You can both listen to it and read the transcript at the American Lives web pages at the U. of Washington in St. Louis, a school that Clay attended in the 1960s.  Like so many of us whose lives were torn apart by the war in Vietnam, Clay was very much a man of his times.

Asked about some of his “extra-curricular” activities, Clay answered:

I was around, now, I was in St. Louis from the fall of ’66 when I came to school here as a freshman until August of 1970. I was, I did four months in St. Louis County Jail for a demonstration against ROTC, and they paroled me to New Jersey. So, in fact, there was gonna to be a party for me at Left Bank Bookstore when I got out, but when I got out, they took me straight to the airport and put me on a plane, like I was Public Enemy Number One. I couldn’t be trusted loose in Missouri, you know, even for an afternoon. And the attitude in New Jersey was quite different. In New Jersey, my parole officer looked at my record and he said, “You’re a political prisoner. This would have never happened in New Jersey”, you know and he completely left me alone. The only thing I had to see him for was permission to come back to St. Louis, which I did a couple of times under the eyes of the Red Squad. And then a couple years later, I think ’73, ’74, I came back to St. Louis in, no, that was actually 1972, I came back to St. Louis, but by that time, my political work had almost entirely gravitated off campus. Still with a lot of the same people that are here, we formed the Worker Unity Organization and put out a newspaper called On the Line. I worked in ACF, the American Car and Foundry, a boxcar factory. I don’t know if it’s still here or not, was active in the union organization.

I read this and smile. When I reflect on the deeply evil deeds of the men running the American government during the Vietnam War, anybody being described as “public enemy number one” deserves a badge of honor. Like the young people in Germany who formed the White Rose resistance to Hitler during WWII, those who resisted the war in Vietnam constituted the country’s real democratic values. Given the continued willingness of American imperialism to wage war across the planet without even any pretenses of maintaining a “guns and butter” regime, a film like “Vietnam: An American Holocaust” is a very useful reminder of what our fight is all about.

24 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the great review.

    Yes, AJE and other sources were reporting uprisings by “pro-Qaddafi” forces in several areas of Libya last week. But upon closer inspection the question emerged: Just who was making these claims. As it turned out there weren’t self-described “pro-Qaddafi” forces at all, i.e., nobody was waving the green flag, even in Bani Walid. In fact Qaddafi is so widely detested that “pro-Qaddafi” is now a favored charge to throw against any opposition and this is the source of these stories.

    Reuthers had a reporter in Bani Walid that clear things up quick. I remember when I first did a piece on the Libyan protests that started a month before Feb17, Reuthers was the only MSM that had a clue that something was up in Libya.

    Comment by Clay Claiborne (@clayclai) — January 30, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

  2. Imagine that! A parole officer telling a revolutionary Marxist, “you’re a political prisoner” and going easy on him. I suspect that officer Rorey in Atlanta would feel much the same way today.

    Clay’s film is the single best video documentary of the war that I have seen, and I have seen a lot of them. The best part: he’s working on a sequel along the lines of “People’s Victory,” that will document how movements from below in Viet Nam, the U.S., the U.S. military, and internationally ended the slaughter. Anyone who wants to see that project finish ought to buy the first installment.

    Comment by Binh — January 30, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

  3. As well as buying the first part you can help to finish the sequel:

    http://peoplesvictory.linuxbeach.net/

    http://commerce03.i2net.com/able55new/stores/46/Vietnam-Peoples-Victory-P18559C1578.aspx

    Comment by meltr — January 30, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

  4. The collapse of a society in rival warlords is nothing to cheer about. Libya is now much worse off. The revolutionaries were an entirely sordid group and have plunged headlong into torture and murder in a way that would make Gaddafi blush.

    Comment by purple — January 30, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

  5. The collapse of a society in rival warlords is nothing to cheer about.

    Purple, does this sound like warlords?

    NY TImes January 22, 2012
    Libya Protests Spur Shake-Up in Interim Government
    By LIAM STACK

    Libya’s post-Qaddafi transitional government faced a political crisis
    Sunday after protesters ransacked its offices in Benghazi, highlighting
    growing nationwide unease with its leadership and triggering a shake-up
    in which the governing council’s No. 2 official resigned and several
    members were suspended.

    For months, youth groups with a range of complaints have been protesting
    against the Transitional National Council in Benghazi, the eastern city
    whose protests sparked the nine-month revolt and which once served as
    the rebel capital. Protests have cropped up elsewhere, too, including in
    Tripoli, the capital, where activists have erected a small tent city
    across from the prime minister’s office.

    Protesters are demanding more transparency from the transitional
    council, which holds executive power and is tasked with overseeing the
    election of a constituent assembly to draft a new Constitution. It is
    dominated by figures from the eastern rebel movement, much to the
    suspicion of other regional factions, and there are accusations, too,
    that many of its members are tainted by past ties, real or suspected,
    with the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

    On Saturday night, those frustrations boiled over when a crowd of mostly
    young men attacked the council’s offices in Benghazi, tossing a grenade,
    smashing windows and forcing their way into the building while the
    council’s chairman, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, was inside.

    The spark appeared to be the online release of a draft election law to
    govern the selection of the 200-member constituent assembly. Activists
    said it was prepared without consultation or public oversight and that
    its winner-take-all rules would encourage Libyans to vote along tribal
    lines or for rich or prominent citizens in their region, and undercut
    those seeking to form new parties.

    Seeking to contain the fallout from the attack, Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga, the
    transitional council’s deputy chief, resigned Sunday, telling the Arabic
    satellite channel Al Jazeera, “My resignation is for the benefit of the
    nation and is required at this stage.”

    Speaking to reporters in Benghazi on Sunday, Mr. Abdel-Jalil warned that
    continued protests could lead the country down a perilous path and
    pleaded with protesters to give the government more time.

    “We are going through a political movement that can take the country to
    a bottomless pit,” Reuters quoted Mr. Abdel-Jalil as saying. “There is
    something behind these protests that is not for the good of the country.

    “The people have not given the government enough time, and the
    government does not have enough money,” Mr. Abdel-Jalil said. “Maybe
    there are delays, but the government has only been working for two
    months. Give them a chance, at least two months.”

    The interim government suspended several members from Benghazi and
    announced that it would form a council of religious figures to
    investigate government officials and council members accused of
    corruption or ties to the Qaddafi government. It also delayed the
    official release of the election law.

    Both the incident itself and the leadership’s response were met with
    widespread anger in Benghazi, according to Salwa Bugaighis, a lawyer and
    political activist who was a leading figure in the uprising against
    Colonel Qaddafi.

    “We are worried,” she said. “We are afraid that maybe it becomes worse.”

    Ms. Bugaighis said that the protesters in Benghazi were particularly
    angry about allegations that millions of dollars — and possibly billions
    — in government money was unaccounted for.

    “They want transparency. They want people from the Qaddafi regime to
    go,” she said. “If there’s no transparency, everything will collapse.”

    A transitional council member from Benghazi, Fathi Baaja, denied that he
    or anyone else had been suspended, despite widespread reports to the
    contrary. He said an Islamist faction — “religious groups and mosque
    preachers” — on the Benghazi local council had pushed for the
    suspensions but said that “they have no right to suspend us.”

    Saying he was among those who had set up the council, Mr. Baaja accused
    the Islamist rivals of being Qaddafi sympathizers.

    “They used to convince people they had no right to revolt against
    Qaddafi, the father of the country. They said we had no right to go
    against the head of state, the caliph,” Mr. Baaja said. “I never heard
    their voices say no to Qaddafi, and I never put myself in the same place
    as them.”

    Protests have taken place in the city of Misurata as well, which is run
    by a rival leadership faction and where officials said they were
    planning to hold elections for a new local council in February, without
    the blessing of the national council.

    “Everywhere there have been sit-ins and demonstrations” against the
    council, said Mohamed Benrasali, a spokesman for the Misurata council.
    People are “accusing it of no transparency and dragging its feet and not
    taking any actions for transitional justice and many, many issues,” he
    said, adding, “We feel that the head of the regime has changed, but the
    rest of the regime is in place.”

    Both Saturday’s protest and its political fallout demonstrated the
    challenges Libya faces, said Fred Abrahams, a special adviser on Libya
    for Human Rights Watch.

    “Ousting Qaddafi will prove more straight-forward than getting a
    representative and transparent government to replace him,” he said.

    Critics of the interim government also complain that its performance has
    faltered on even the nuts-and-bolts level.

    Basic services have yet to be restored in some areas, while towns seen
    as sympathetic to Colonel Qaddafi, like Surt and Bani Walid, remain in
    ruins after months of fighting.

    The interim government has struggled to exert authority even in Tripoli,
    where the streets are largely controlled by a patchwork of regional
    militias whose members defer to their own commanders, not government
    security forces.

    Mr. Abdel-Jalil also accepted the resignation of the head of the
    Benghazi Local Council, Saleh el-Ghazal, an appointed figure whose
    replacement he pledged would be elected.

    But on Sunday, authorities postponed the planned unveiling of the
    country’s election law, which has been mired in controversy. A draft of
    the law released on Jan. 2 was criticized for barring dual-nationals
    from running for office, in a country where scores of political
    activists were forced into exile.

    It also set a 10 percent quota for women in Parliament, which feminist
    activists called “insulting.” Rather than raise the quota, a revised
    draft released last week announced that the quota would be abolished
    entirely.

    David D. Kirkpatrick contributed reporting from Cairo, Kareem Fahim from
    Damascus, Syria, and Yusef Sawie from Tripoli, Libya.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 30, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

  6. Thanks for this informational piece and it definitely changed my view about the revolutionaries in Libya that I was formerly supportive of. Things aren’t always as they seem. As for Vietnam and America’s involvement, I sum it up as a colossal crime against humanity perpetrated by our imperialist government that killed many on both sides and solved nothing.

    Comment by Deborah Jeffries — January 31, 2012 @ 3:11 am

  7. Gaddafi was fighting a losing battle against an armed rebellion and the tide of revolution and protests sweeping the region. And anyone on the left championing his regime as anti-imperialist or socialist was of course mistaken but, there was certainly no great tide of this sentiment on the left that only a few brave souls were ‘swimming against’. And for most on the left, opposing the “humanitarian” US/NATO military intervention had nothing to do with a defense of the regime. Claiborne (in the linked article) taking the word of NATO that their relentless bombing campaign resulted in no more than 40 or so civilian deaths begs belief as does anyone taking the final word on these issues from articles in the NYT. It was a good day for the Libya when Gaddafi was defeated but as Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and the UN have noted recently, it hasn’t been so good for others especially immigrants or Libyans of Black African origin.

    Comment by Rick — January 31, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  8. Socialism or Barbarism, that was and remains the main issue facing the world. Proyect the pogromist cheerleader along with a section of the “left” discovered ” …the tide of revolution sweeping the region…” and decided to ride it, not by building organizations steeped in Marxist principles, fighting to become “the conscious head” of an unconscious process, as Marxists used to believe, but to cheer every bullshit artist that they decided, quite arbitrarily, was progressive. How many times did Propo (shorthand for Proyect the pogromist cheerleader) swear on a stack of Marxists classics that the rebels were democrats. In comment #5 above he is still trying to convince himself that it is so. It is now revealed that Libya is a place where Doctors refuse to work there because their patients are sent to them by the “liberators” of that nation to be patched up for future torture sessions. Propo and his friends should be proud.

    Comment by Lextheimpaler — January 31, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

  9. Of course Proyect you would be on the side of the imperialists attacking Iran and you would be slandering the majority of the left for supporting it.

    Comment by Steve — January 31, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

  10. One of the things I have noticed from the pro-Qaddafi left, including Lextheimprobable, is how all of a sudden they are so worked up about human rights. These are people who never would have been heard from when Qaddafi drowned 2000 prisoners in blood at Abu Salim. Now they are citing Médecins Sans Frontières, the group run by Bernard Kouchner.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/24/libya-morality-intervention-united-europe
    Libya: the morality of intervention

    The Libyan crisis has shown how a united Europe can be used as a force for common good
    by Bernard Kouchner

    Could we leave Colonel Gaddafi’s victims to die in full view of our TV cameras? I think not. It is quite understandable that the UN’s courageous decision to resort to force in Libya should upset our pacifist conscience. Instigated by the UK and France, and backed by the US and other countries, this decision, though necessary, raises major moral and political questions about European integration.

    The moral issues relate to the use of violence by states. The question of a just war, which has bothered us since antiquity, may well be addressed with theoretical discourse and historical references, but it remains a source of hesitation and uncertainty that we cannot simply dismiss. These moral uncertainties obviously have a political impact. This is perhaps because European integration is far from complete. The Libyan crisis highlights the need for the EU to grow stronger and gain greater coherence, in keeping with the promise of the Lisbon treaty.

    (clip)

    Comment by louisproyect — January 31, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  11. Of course Proyect you would be on the side of the imperialists attacking Iran and you would be slandering the majority of the left for supporting it.

    I think you meant to say: “Of course Proyect you would be on the side of the imperialists attacking Iran and you would be slandering the majority of the left for opposing it.” Glad to be of help in editing your comment. Answering it, however, would be pointless.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 31, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

  12. This for or against is typical Trotskyist trap, not too disimilar to the same trap laid for Obama’s reelection. You don’t have to like a regime to believe that non-intervention in every case is preferable and that a full-throated support for a bunch of militants with ties to Al-Qaeda may not be the best option for Libya. NATO destroyed Sirte, subsaharan Africans are being treated worse than dogs, and torture is everywhere. Gaddafi may have been a dictator, but by going far beyond the UN resolution to actively support and intervene in Libya was not just another interventionist illegality, but dangerous as well. A negotiated settlement would have been far less bloody, but the rebels nor NATO were not interested. Why was that?

    Comment by ceti — January 31, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

  13. That article you cite doesn’t “sound like warlords” – it sounds like the New York Times. If you need reminding who’s interests they serve, you need to change the title of this blog.

    The Libyan “revolution” was an imperialist takeover at the end of the day, and imperialism is imperialism. No matter what local factions it uses to conquer. The Pentagon learned their lessons from Iraq (and Vietnam). However, it seems you and Claiborne have forgotten quite a few. With inevitable civil chaos and plunder – and covert operations likely to sustain it – will you rebrand that as “permanent revolution”?

    Comment by David W. Kasper — February 1, 2012 @ 12:02 am

  14. Lextheimprobable here, No Propo I’m not worked up over human rights now that Gaddafi and his regime have been liquidated by your heroes. I always thought that the Castro-Chavez negotiated settlement would have been best for all concerned. You and your friends were the bloodthirsty ones who wanted to see heads roll. When I think of you this proverb comes to mind: “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly”. So when are you going to start waxing indignant about the pro-Assad left, the pro-Mugabe left, etc.

    Comment by Lextheimpaler — February 1, 2012 @ 12:28 am

  15. What a shame. I tried to buy this video using the PayPal option on the checkout page but couldn’t. No matter how many times I tried I got the following message:

    ________________________________________________________________________
    undefined:
    RECTANGULAR is an invalid container type for a REGULAR package and ALL service.

    There were problems getting a shipping quote. Please verify the delivery and product information and try again. If this does not resolve the issue, please call in to complete your order.
    _________________________________________________________________________

    Although I have a POS operating system/browser VISTA (thanks you bastard Bill Gates!) I’m no computer dunce, having over 13,000 eBay feedbacks at 100%, I know how to send and receive money for goods, and was never offered a shipping option.

    Unfortunately this checkout system has a glitch when using PayPal so I’ll apparently have to call in tomorrow.

    While I’ve never heard of this brother activist Claiborne and greatly admire his bio and his work based on this trailer I must say I’m a bit preturbed he’s blogging on the Daily Kos which is dominated largely by Obama apologists and Democratic Party officials, that is, the historic party of slavery that voted for, if not prosecuted, every Imperialist War in US history.

    I suspect after browsing his blog that brother Claiborne may have even voted for Obama (if so I’d like to know why) and have no doubt that Martin Sheen stumped for Obama. What also concerns me is a chapter in the DVD called: “Kennedy Wanted Out” which is pure mythology that left liberals have shamefully clung to for my entire life and was debunked by activists, thinkers & scholars as diverse as Noam Chomsky, Peter Camejo, Sam Marcy, Don Smith, Fred Halstead, Ramsey Clark & William Kunstler, the latter commenting that the world was a better place without the Kennedy brothers.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — February 1, 2012 @ 12:31 am

  16. Louis,

    Facts don’t matter. Political belief is an extension of personal self-image; people treat what they say they believe as extensions of themselves. This is why stated beliefs cannot be changed. Psychologically, to question such publicly stated belief is to attack a personality.

    In the case of Libya, this is compounded by Orientalism, the implicit assumption by “anti-imperialists” in rich countries (especially the U.S.) that their concerns override those of “the natives,” even as regards foreign people’s affairs in their own lands. It doesn’t matter what the people of Libya want; it doesn’t matter that they are universally happy to be rid of Gaddafi; it doesn’t matter that that all those Libyan men, women and children are not “jihadists who now rule Libya and torture to extreme” (as I’m told told in a e-mail by a venerable American progressive); it doesn’t matter that Gaddafi employed at least 10,000 Saharan and Sahelian (“black African”) mercenaries, who in the early days of the Revolution would shoot into unarmed crowds to kill a half dozen of so and thus disperse them (consult the “laws of war” regarding the disposition of captured mercenaries); all that matters is belief preservation among those who feel a natural entitlement to that privilege. For, if the belief was wrong, then by the belief-personality equivalence, the person would have to see themselves as “wrong,” and this is psychologically forbidden (just as seeing ourselves killed in a dream never happens).

    Bad ideas are identified by an honest comparison with object reality. You don’t have to be right all the time, or even most of the time, to be a source of useful thought and worthy action. Joe DiMaggio only hit 32.5% of the time, and he was baseball’s greatest player.

    To transcend the belief-personality equivalency trap, one has to learn to separate one’s current synthesis of observations about the world (your personal hypothesis of what it all means) from one’s self-image. This is supposed to be essential for scientists, but plenty of them fall into the trap as well. Classic examples of the trap, from recent years, are the 9-11 conspiracists (“the conspiranoids”), there is no fact they cannot eliminate to safeguard their self-defining belief.

    The good part of scientific training is learning that you can be “wrong” as regards some hypothesis, and remain a “good” person throughout. Linus Pauling (1901-1994), winner of two Nobel Prizes, said: “The way to have good ideas is to have lots of ideas and throw away the bad ones.” Sadly, many people are too emotionally invested in old ideas, which are objectively wrong, to let them go. I think it is tragic that so much of humanity imprisons itself this way.

    “When confronted with new information, I reassess and modify my position. What, sir, do you do when confronted with new information?” — John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)

    Comment by manuelgarciajr — February 1, 2012 @ 8:53 am

  17. Manuel:

    Good textbook example of a strawman fallacy. Using “anti-imperialists” as the strawman, throw in some cherry picked quotes; and a nice added touch of ponderous armchair psychoanalysis. It’s like positing “Communist” and then using Stalinism as an analogy.

    Comment by Rick — February 1, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  18. First the website is fixed and accepting orders for Vietnam: American Holocaust. http://linuxbeach.net/Vietnam-DVD
    It is also available through Amazon.

    Thank you for your very preceptive comments Manuel. They connect the resistance I’ve gotten to my diaries on the USMC to the stubbornness I see here to correcting wrong Ideas in the Libya Revolution. I just wrote this reply to an email this morning. It sums up my current position:

    Do I have this right? According to the BBC article Inside story of the UK’s secret mission to beat Gaddafi this Global Research piece was based on:

    half a dozen British officers arrived at a seaside hotel in Benghazi at the beginning of April, they were unarmed and their role was strictly limited.

    and

    Sources say the number of men sent from D Squadron of 22 SAS Regiment was capped at 24. They were performing their mission by late August.
    While France and Qatar were ready to provide weapons directly, the UK was not.

    So the claimed foreign “boots on the ground” turned out to be 30, and while both the imperialist and anti-interventions may all agree that this tiny force was much more important than their numbers might indicate because the were white James Bonds who “Supervised and Spearheaded Libya Rebels to Victory,” there is little evidence that this was the case. Assuming this info is true, most did not even arrive until the final push for Tripoli was underway. If such a tiny foreign force was involved, it only establishes the fact that this revolutionary victory was won by the Libya Thuwar who took up arms in the hundreds of thousands and died in the thousands to achieve it.

    This is kind a like waving around the NY Times report that says 40-70 Libyans civilians were killed by NATO bombs to charge NATO with “massive bombing” of Libyan civilians.

    These dogs won’t hunt.

    Clay

    Comment by Clay Claiborne — February 1, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

  19. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/01/us-libya-tripoli-battle-idUSTRE81029420120201
    Via As’ad AbuKhalil (whom I’m actually willing to belief on these matters, I might add).

    Comment by Deimos616 — February 3, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

  20. In a roundabout way the Reuters article makes my point about the increditable level of stability in Libra after Qaddafi. This is just the most recent fire-fight between rival bridages. No one was hurt. There have been others, some with fatal consequents and I have heard of 3 such incidents with a total of 13 people being killed after Qaddafi.

    I find the drop in violence to these very low levels (compare very favorably to the # kill in gang warfare in LA in the same period) after a very bloody revolution a mark of how united the Libyan people are now.

    When it is remembered that this people’s army was necessarily cobbled together from the people, various tribes, ethnic and religious groups, and without the advantage of a vanguard party to unite everyone ideologically, it is absolute amazing that so few people have been killed in the post combat phrase. Also the almost complete lack of sabotage or counter-revolution speaks volumes about Qaddafi’s real support among the Libyan people.

    Comment by Clay Claiborne (@clayclai) — February 3, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  21. Hmm, the article doesn’t mention anything about casualties so maybe people did get hurt, maybe even die, who knows? I’ve also heard of such shootouts between rival militias before but it was more than 3 instances and with various amounts of dead and wounded (more than 13 in any case). And I don’t know if I would claim that low-level violence in a post-revolution Libya is necessarily a testament to the unity of its people now.

    No disputing the lack of bonafide support for Khaddafi amongst the Libyan people, though. The guy had used up all of his credit with them a long, long time ago. Too bad they sodomized, tortured and summarily executed him; should have at least given him a (fake) trial, like Ceausescu and Saddam Hussayn.

    Comment by Deimos616 — February 4, 2012 @ 12:04 am

  22. […] Louis Proyect writes, “I read this and smile. When I reflect on the deeply evil deeds of the men running the American government during the Vietnam War, anybody being described as “public enemy number one” deserves a badge of honor. Like the young people in Germany who formed the White Rose resistance to Hitler during WWII, those who resisted the war in Vietnam constituted the country’s real democratic values. Given the continued willingness of American imperialism to wage war across the planet without even any pretenses of maintaining a ‘guns and butter’ regime, a film like Vietnam: An American Holocaust is a very useful reminder of what our fight is all about.” […]

    Pingback by Vietnam: American Holocaust [Saturday #Culture] | People Of Color Organize! — April 21, 2012 @ 8:31 am

  23. […] Louis Proyect writes, “I read this and smile. When I reflect on the deeply evil deeds of the men running the American government during the Vietnam War, anybody being described as “public enemy number one” deserves a badge of honor. Like the young people in Germany who formed the White Rose resistance to Hitler during WWII, those who resisted the war in Vietnam constituted the country’s real democratic values. Given the continued willingness of American imperialism to wage war across the planet without even any pretenses of maintaining a ‘guns and butter’ regime, a film like Vietnam: An American Holocaust is a very useful reminder of what our fight is all about.” Share this:TwitterTumblrPinterestEmailPrintMoreStumbleUponRedditLinkedInDiggFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in amerika, capitalism, general, genocide, history, liberation, oppressed, poor and tagged amerika, history, holicaust, vietnam. Bookmark the permalink. ← Fred Hampton: The Canadian Connection […]

    Pingback by Vietnam: American Holocaust | Moorbey's Blog — April 23, 2012 @ 12:36 am


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