Commonalities and Differences With Arab Revolutionaries Over Foreign Intervention

by The North Star on July 12, 2012

By Ken Hiebert (originally posted to the Marxmail email list under the title, “Thoughts on Libya, intervention, etc.”)

This is also a response to the “North Star Shows the Way to Imperialist Intervention” thread on Marxmail.

I am not overly concerned with what label people wish to put on Pham Binh. He is quite capable of speaking in
his own defense.

But there may be a bigger question behind this.

If we label Binh “counter-revolutionary” because of his stance on Libya, what do we say about the large number of Libyans who welcomed the imperialist intervention? I know how some people have answered this question. Just Google “NATO Rats” and you’ll see what I am talking about.

It is easy to write off whole populations because of disagreements with them. Let me start a list:

  • Tibetans.
  • Kurds.
  • Eastern Europeans.
  • Citizens of Leningrad who voted to return to the name St. Petersburg.
  • People in China who erected the Goddess of Democracy. (To me, it looks suspiciously like the Statue of Liberty.)

Each time we write off another population, we are more alone in the world. (I am using “we” to mean the left in general and not necessarily anyone on the Marxmail list.) We still have the task of trying to connect with them. I don’t think we are self-important if we believe we might have some political insights that may help them.

This does not require us to hide our disagreements with them, but it means we have to look for some common ground from which to start a discussion.

For example, Iraq, 2003. It quickly became apparent that many Iraqis were not opposed to the imperialist intervention. This was not because they had illusions as to what the imperialists wanted. Many of them were simply happy to see Saddam Hussein gone. Sections of the left who were “soft” on Hussein had little basis to connect with Iraqis. Those sections of the left that made clear their opposition to Hussein had a starting point to connect with Iraqis. This was not unrealistic. In Vancouver, we were in touch with Iraqis and so at one remove we were in touch with people in Iraq.

As I say, we do not have to agree with them. In fact, based on the experience since 2003, we can argue that we were right to oppose imperialist intervention. Iraq is so damaged by the imperialist intervention that the Arab Spring has bypassed Iraq.

We can be reminded that we small. (And mocked because of that as well.) But we are not entirely on the sidelines. Because he was careful in how he addressed the Libyan opposition, Gilbert Achcar has had some possibility of connecting with the Syrian opposition. Last fall, he was able to address a meeting of oppositionists in Sweden and made a case against calling for imperialist intervention. Of course, that was last October and the situation is very fluid.

By comparison, there is no indication of any connection between insurgent Syrians and the Cuban Communist Party or the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (or PSUV) led by Hugo Chavez. Based on their public pronouncements, it is hard to believe that they care at all about connecting with Libyans or with Syrians beyond the ruling circles. The closing of the Venezuelan embassy in Libya was just the icing on the cake. There is lots happening in Libya and the influence of Venezuela has been reduced by the absence of any diplomats.

People in Libya and Syria are autonomous. They don’t have to agree with us and we don’t have to agree with them. But we should look for every opportunity to reach out to them.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony July 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

‘But there may be a bigger question behind this. If we label Binh “counter-revolutionary” because of his stance on Libya, what do we say about the large number of Libyans who welcomed the imperialist intervention? I know how some people have answered this question. Just Google “NATO Rats” and you’ll see what I am talking about. It is easy to write off whole populations because of disagreements with them.’

My answer to Ken’s ridiculous question for any socialist to actually pose to anybody…. Ken, we say the same thing as we do to the majority of Americans who also welcome imperialist intervention. You are wrong to do so. What did you say to all those Russian people who welcomed imperialist intervention post break up of the fSU? ‘Solidarity’ with you brothers and sisters? Perhaps you might have better told them that capitalism would destroy their standard of living, which it actually did. Perhaps you might have told them that capitalism is not YOUR liberation, especially when brought to you by imperialist capitalists who spent trillions of dollars to destroy the planned economy you have had.

Now I am not saying that Gaddafi run Libya was like the fSU economically at all. But it did maintain national independence free of imperialist military command, something that now will be gone gone gone, without you and the other humanitarian imperialist US Lefties giving even the smallest apparent consideration of that. How blind you are!

Reply

Ken Hiebert July 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm

My question was “…what do we say about the large number of Libyans who welcomed the imperialist intervention?” You are reluctant to refer to them as “counter-revolutionary.” On this you and I are in agreement.
You refer to “…all those Russian people who welcomed imperialist intervention…” No doubt the imperialists were very busy in the Soviet Union whenever they had the opportunity. Could you be more specific about which imperialist intervention you are referring to?
You say to me “How blind you are!” To the the best of my knowledge a large number of Libyans were happy to see Gaddafi gone. If you had the opportunity to address these Libyans, what would you say to them?

Reply

Diana Barahona July 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

The empire loves it when we on the left get trapped in its narrative. This is ridiculously simplistic and obscures the real objectives of the overthrow–to violently incorporate a nationalist state (which is strategically located and rich in oil) into the empire’s political, economic and military system. From our position, nothing else matters.

Ken writes, “To the the best of my knowledge a large number of Libyans were happy to see Gaddafi gone.” What does this even mean? A large number of Libyans (and sub-Saharan Africans, even though black immigrant workers apparently don’t count to the humanitarians) also had their lives destroyed by the overthrow. What do you say to them? What do you say to the Libyan people now that their oil is being handed over to transnationals with 20-year production-sharing agreements?

Reply

Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street, Class War Camp July 16, 2012 at 9:54 am

What did you say to the Native Americans after the American revolution of 1776 triumphed? They were exterminated. I guess British colonialism should have been supported then?

Reply

Tony July 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm

What a weird and totally disconnected from anything comment, Pham. What does the extermination of Native Americans have to do with the Virginia slave owners revolt against King George? After all, the British were exterminators as well as their colonial subjects. And what does any of this have to do with Libya? Thus from Ken’s bizarre original silliness, we get down to this sort of even sillier question by Pham???? Jesus! (Uh, I meant MARX!)

Reply

Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street, Class War Camp July 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Both revolutions were democratic revolution, both had huge problems with race and racism, and both sought and received aid from reactionary/counter-revolutionary sources.

Reply

Tony July 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm

What is this about the Libyan anti Gaddafi pro US imperialists being part of any ‘democratic revolution”? I don’t buy that at all, and am sorry to see a Marxist labeling an imperialist led COUNTER REvOLUTION against somebody who was nominally at least a Libyan nationalist, some sort of ‘democratic revolution’. That’s just a bs picture of what happened.

Just because you subjectively want an “Arab Spring’ to be genuine does not automatically make it so, Pham. The net result, is that while the imperialists in the past had some trouble controlling all the actions of nationalist Gaddafi, there is absolutely no sign that they will have any opposition at all to their neo-colonial rule over Libya now except from the Islamic Far Right perhaps. That means that the overthrow of Gaddafi was not a ‘revolution’ but rather was a counter revolution, and it came at the destruction of much of the economic infrastructure the Libyan people depended on to have a some what decent standard of living and a murderous war promoted form outside the nation that has set the nation back decades at minimum. Just like iraq is not easy to rebuild, neither is your what you actually are deluded enough to call ‘revolutionary Libya’.

Reply

Aaron Aarons July 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Actually, Tony, one of the motivation for the settler-colonists’ rebellion against Britain, aside from the threat of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, was that the latter was, at least to a greater extent than the colonists liked, honoring treaties with Native Americans.

Reply

Todd July 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm

“But it did maintain national independence free of imperialist military command”

Yet another lie: Gaddafi was working for the imperialists hand-in-glove when it came to policing against immigrants trying to get into Italy and southern France, moving Libya into the orbit of global capital, and torturing prisoners for imperialists.

Reply

Aaron Aarons July 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Todd’s response doesn’t deal with the assertion he is presumably refuting. It can be true at the same time his points in response are true.

For Todd, BTW, merely calling something a lie when it isn’t is rather polite, restrained behavior. I’d hate to see the invective he would use on Proyect’s list, where his abusive personal attacks against people he and Proyect disagree with are, apparently, welcomed. (At least they were in the recent past. I haven’t noticed them lately when I’ve visited there.)

Reply

Todd July 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm

“Todd’s response doesn’t deal with the assertion he is presumably refuting.”

So let’s see your critique.

Reply

Aaron Aarons July 15, 2012 at 4:23 am

Why can’t I (politely, BTW) point out a fallacy in your argument, Todd, without making a broader ‘critique’ of something or other?

Reply

Brian S. July 13, 2012 at 9:14 am

I think it would help the quality of the discussion if people refrained from using abusive language like “lie”. I am certainly going to stop engaging with people who engage in uncomradely conduct.
The fact is reality is contradictory. There certainly was a period where we might have been able to describe Gaddafi as “objectively anti-imperialist” and will confess to having had a soft spot for him in those days. But his regime was from an early stage authoritarian and repressive. That raises questions about whether the human cost of this “anti-imperialism” was worth the price, and why the Libyan people should have been required to bear it. But in any event, regimes like this always degnerate – internal repression is followed corruption and kleptocracy; and in turn international politics is subordinated to these goals. The hollowness of Gaddafi’s “anti-imperialism” has been well documented, including by people strongly opposed to the intervention, lie Vijay Prashad.
Supporting dictators in the name of “anti-imperialism” is a bargain that just doesn’t pay off for anyone but the dictators.

Reply

Todd July 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Tony’s demonstrated in other threads his prediliction for lying (either that or a gross inability to read); I don’t see anything wrong with calling him on it.

Reply

Brian S. July 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm

That’s your prerogative Todd, you won’t be hearing anything more from me then. (Unless I forget who you are.)

Reply

Tony July 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm

The truth of the matter about Gaddafi is actually rather simple. He was a NATIONALIST dictator and a populist who was not always that popular with many sectors of the Libyan population, since the nation of Libya itself is so stratified by region and ethnicities that enemies would be made by anybody in the ruler’s throne there,no matter what politics they might be representing.

He, Gaddafi, believed in helping out his nation more than he did in making his regime another junior partner commanded by the imperialist gang though, even though he often timed tried to take their pressure off of himself by political maneuvering of one sort or the other with the imperialist leaders of European countries and the US.

Obviously, not being much part of any international movement like with international socialism, he would have been, he was rather easy pickings when all those with hostilities against him came together. Most of the Libyan people who hated him though were not anywhere close to being revolutionaries at all, despite the repeated comments by the humanitarian imperialist Lefties that insinuate that that was where ALL the Libyan people basically were at in their thinking. That is based on their own wishful thinking more than any reality though. Many just wanted Gaddafi out and others in, including those whose main love is Right Wing Islam and love for Capitalism as seen on Hollywood TV.

However, why should any of us be looking at Gaddafi as if he was merely a betta fish in a tiny bowl instead of what he actually was, which is just one medium size fish in the much larger African sea? Why?

Here today is a picture published of that African sea with the giant shark now in focus for us, minus our now dead betta fish. We should be able to focus better on this much bigger reality, even if many Libyans are living in a world they that think that simply revolves basically around themselves, and themselves alone. And that some in the US socialist community want only to look in that tiny fish bowl manner also.

And the name of that shark let loose in the sea of Africa is the US government’s PENTAGON… See the Counterpunch article about what that nasty big shark is doing… now that he has killed the little betta/ not so betta dictator of Libya-

Go to ‘Secret Wars, Secret Bases, and the Pentagon’s “New Spice Route”— Obama’s Scramble for Africa by NICK TURSE’@ http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/12/obamas-scramble-for-africa/

After reading a non- fish bowl look at Libya centered on the character of Gaddafi, but a look at the actual sea that Gaddafi swam in, we feel liberated to be away form the humanitarian imperialist mind set, which is entirely JUST LIKE the ‘Save Darfur’ humanitarian imperialists mind set that came before them, also. There, just like with Libya, we had a group of liberal Lefties all hysterical and crying about Darfur, an area none of them had the least actual knowledge about, same as with our Marxist crowd who shoot off fire works Fourth of July style now that Gaddafi is gone from the betta bowl they are peering into.

This Africa sea with the Pentagon shark swimming unchallenged is where us US based Left Wingers should be focussing our attention. Instead many of our comrades are in Fantasy Land cheering for what they see as a Revolution in a betta bowl in the making. It is very sad to see this level of delusion inside the marxist movement once again. We’ve seen it here many times before though, but not usually from those claiming to be so inspired by Trotsky Thought.

Reply

Brian S. July 13, 2012 at 9:51 am

Ken raises very important issues here. Those of us who adopted what I would call a “flexible” stance towards Libya and the NATO intervention (ie we did not write off the Libyan rebels because they had felt the need to make a pact with the devil) all recongised that there were dangers in this situation – in particular that it would create a degree of dependency of the revolution on western governments, and leave it vulnerable to imperialist demands once the regime was overthrown. Those issues still exist – for example, oil contracts will be up for renegotiation shortly, and the oil companies are shaping up to press for a retreat from the terms Gaddafi had laid down. .Couldn’t this be an ocassion for the international left to show some genuine “anti-imperialist” solidarity with the Libyan people and help protect their access to resources that they need for reconstruction and reconciliaton?
Ken also raises the very important question of the left trying to open some dialogue with people in Libya- if you’ve tried to so this you’ll know that its difficult because politically aware Libyans tend to associate the left with support for Gaddafi. But opportunities for this will certainly develop, and we should start to think about it now.
We have an example to learn from here: the Australian left’s handling of the cause of East Timor (thanks to Tony for pointing me in this direction): most of the left supported UN intervention to stop the mass killings in East Timor , but when, after independence, Australia used their role in this to impose various “sweeheart” agreements on Timor, they mounted a sustained campaign against Australian imperialism. I don’t want to interrupt the flow of this discussion, but if people are interested I might do a specific post on this in a week or so.

Reply

Diana Barahona July 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Brian wrote, “Those of us who adopted what I would call a “flexible” stance towards Libya and the NATO intervention (ie we did not write off the Libyan rebels because they had felt the need to make a pact with the devil) all recongised that there were dangers in this situation – in particular that it would create a degree of dependency of the revolution on western governments, and leave it vulnerable to imperialist demands once the regime was overthrown.”
Brian, apparently you haven’t read any of my posts on the class character of the regime installed under NATO/US bombing. This is a NEOLIBERAL regime which represents not the Libyan people, but ONLY the interests of the transnational capitalist class. It is not an independent government subject to “pressures,” but one run by a Libyan fraction of the transnational capitalist class. As soon as people start looking at RECENT research and theory in the field of globalization, and especially global capitalism theory, their viewpoints are going to continue to be decades out of date.

Reply

Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street, Class War Camp July 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Why does this allegedly neoliberal regime allow workers to strike and organize?

Reply

Diana Barahona July 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Are you disputing the fact that the regime is all talk about privatization, competitiveness and is handing the oil over to the transnationals with 20-year production-sharing agreements? Neoliberal refers to economic policies imposed on a state without popular consultation. If it is true that Libyan workers are striking (in which industry?) it may be because the government is unable to stop them. I never said that the Libyan people didn’t have revolutionary aspirations, merely that the LEADERSHIP of the ORGANIZATIONS you keep calling revolutionary (political and military) represented an aspiring Libyan fraction of the transnational capitalist class. And these leaders have proven me right by announcing their intention to impose neoliberal economic policies.

Reply

Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street, Class War Camp July 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

And why is it that the Libyan people are now free to express those revolutionary aspirations now, openly, in above-ground organizing whereas under Ghadafi they were not? Isn’t that a step forward?

Reply

Diana Barahona July 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Forward toward what? People all over the world are free to stand on corners and express themselves, but it has zero effect on domestic economic policies or imperialist wars. As Gramsci (and Dinucci) have pointed out, the ruling class can dominate by force or by consent, or a combination of force and consent. But the ruling class is still dominating. So, Mr. Binh, what do you have to say to those Libyans and immigrant workers (hundreds of thousands of them) whose lives were devastated by the overthrow of the government? That Libyans now have freedom of expression? Does this extend to the 7,000 people languishing in jails without charges, many of whom have been tortured? Was the ability of some (not all) to express themselves worth all of the death and destruction, as well as the giveaway of Libya’s oil?

Reply

Brian S. July 14, 2012 at 6:55 am

Diana – Its not “all talk” about privatization. If you actually read your sources you will see that privatization is something that is talked about but put on the back-burner: until after the new government has taken office; until after reconstruction has been carried out. You cherry-pick speculation from the media and turn it into a done deal. A lot can happen in the interval.
There have been NO new deals signed over oil – on the contrary the oil ministry keeps saying that there will be no revisions to contracts (despite lobbying from the international oil firms) this year.
You also don’t seem to understand the oil industry – in Libya or elsewhere. The “contracts” being talked about are mostly about new exploration, not existing production. And what’s wrong with “production sharing”?

Reply

Brian S. July 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm

PS: Libyan strikes: Oil workers in Octoberlast year to protest continuing presence of Gaddafii era managers;
Airline pilots (and possible ground staff) last month over organisation of airlines.

Reply

Tony July 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Antiwar.com has just republished a Guardian article that takes a good hard and DETAILED look at the Syrians aligning themselves with the Pentagon in opposition to Assad. It is very illuminating about some of the issues that Ken Hiebert has raised in this commentary of his we are discussing here. Below is a small excerpt from the Guardian article at antiwar.com…

‘It’s important to stress: to investigate the background of a Syrian spokesperson is not to doubt the sincerity of his or her opposition to Assad. But a passionate hatred of the Assad regime is no guarantee of independence. Indeed, a number of key figures in the Syrian opposition movement are long-term exiles who were receiving US government funding to undermine the Assad government long before the Arab spring broke out.

Though it is not yet stated US government policy to oust Assad by force, these spokespeople are vocal advocates of foreign military intervention in Syria and thus natural allies of well-known US neoconservatives who supported Bush’s invasion of Iraq and are now pressuring the Obama administration to intervene. As we will see, several of these spokespeople have found support, and in some cases developed long and lucrative relationships with advocates of military intervention on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The sand is running out of the hour glass,” said Hillary Clinton on Sunday. So, as the fighting in Syria intensifies, and Russian warships set sail for Tartus, it’s high time to take a closer look at those who are speaking out on behalf of the Syrian people.’

Indeed that is the case. The article then goes into a detailed look at various members of ‘the Syrian opposition’ @ ‘The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?’—- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/syrian-opposition-doing-the-talking

The real picture about this so-called ‘Syrian opposition’ to Assad’ is actually completely different than one the humanitarian imperialist Marxist Lefties have been painting for us to be suckered by on this North Star blog.

Reply

Brian S. July 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm

This is the exile opposition. Our concern is for the grass roots opposition inside the country. largely represented by the Local coordination committees. And why in this age of telecommunications does owning a clothes shop in Coventry mean that you can’t have valid information about what is happening in your home country?

Reply

Diana Barahona July 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Because, Brian, the Local Coordinating Councils will not govern Syria after the war is over, if it actually ends and does not drag on for years. It will be the aspiring transnational capitalist elites backed by Washington who will end up ruling, not on behalf of the Syrian people, but on behalf of transnational corporations. These elites will also allow the country to be used as a stage for attacking Iran.

Reply

Brian S. July 13, 2012 at 6:47 pm

You do have a total lack of confidence in ordinary people, don’t you. And why does the United States need afurther “stage” to attack Iran?

Reply

Tony July 14, 2012 at 7:41 am

‘And why does the United States need afurther “stage” to attack Iran?’

Short answer to that myopic question about Iran, is because smashing the current Iranian government which is what the Pentagon and Israel want ultimately to accomplish, INCLUDES smashing up their Iraqi, Syrian, Palestinian, and Lebanese based allies, too, Brian. Because the D.C. generals see all this as being the necessary destruction of the glue that has helped hold together ALL OPPOSITION to the US government sponsored, expanding Israeli Apartheid State as being strong fortress in the center of the Middle East oil generating region.

This should be like the A, B, Cs of current marxist theories for you, Brian. What happened?

Reply

Brian S. July 14, 2012 at 9:36 am

That’s a big task Tony. And after the debacles of Iraq and Afghanistan do you really think the US foreign policy and military machines want to bite off all that. I don’t know what shape you think an attack on Iran would take, but I don’t see a scenario in which Syria constitutes much of an obstacle.

Reply

Tony July 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm

You don’t know what shape an attack on Iran will take, Brian? That is just so unreal, Comrade! It will take the shape it already has taken is the short answer for you. The war you find doubtful that will ever take place is already unfolding in front of your very eyes, yet you do not seem to see it! It’s almost like you have been hypnotized even.

Honestly, an inability to recognize the US war against Iran even when it has been moving in front of you for years now in slow motion form and now in weeks in front of you in more rapid fire manner is astounding. Is it your ‘marxism’ that makes the real world unfolding so hard for you to see? This discussion we have had on North Star shows what happens when marxists simply give up participating in the real life task of building an antiwar movement in the US. Those who want to put microscopes up for US comrades to study Gaddafi and Assad seemingly can’t comprehend the most basic and gargantuan geopolitical battles underway??? They don’t even see them when these tectonic battles are already underway!

Reply

Brian S. July 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I accept that there’s a real risk of an attack on Iran: my question was, why would the US need Syria as “a stage”. (Suggest you consult a map before answering)

Reply

Tony July 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I already did answer your question, Brian. I said that an attack on Iran includes an attack on all its allies in the ME region and not just on Iran itself, and that this attack is already underway. Why does it seem so hard for you to comprehend this answer to you? And don’t tell me to consult a map again because that has absolutely nothing to do with the answer you received.

You simply do not want to have us think of Syria outside the little box you have put it in, thanks to Pentagon loving propagandists one might also well add. Marxism is not normally so obtuse in its thinking as your thinking seems to be, Brian.

Reply

Aaron Aarons July 15, 2012 at 4:39 am

I think they need to control or neutralize Syria in order to isolate Hezbollah, which is a military ally of Iran and a real threat to Israeli domination of the region. OTOH, I don’t know what the ZIonist strategists think about Syria, and whether or not they prefer a Salafist Syria to a secular one, even if it would weaken their most effective enemy, Hezbollah.

Reply

Brian S. July 15, 2012 at 10:47 am

Makes a bit more sense. Although I don’t see why the US would deliberately spark off multiple conflicts when it clearly has a big enough strategic task on its hand dealing with Iran.

Reply

Brian S. July 15, 2012 at 10:49 am

PS. And of course we’re not talking about a ground war here – current thinking seems to be that an attack would not directly involve Israel, but be US aerial assault from carriers and distant bases.

Reply

Tony July 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Huh? To the contrary of what you just said, Brian, I have heard over and over again that Israel would in fact start the whole direct military assault on Iran off. And how the Hell do you know that a ground war is not being considered? Are you one of the US generals?

Reply

Tony July 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm

And if the chatter was merely about how an attack on Syria will be unfolded, that too cannot really be seen on how it will be continued through using a ‘marxist’ crystal ball. Who knows what plans the US and Israelis actually have drawn up for continuing their war on Syria under Assad? Shouldn’t you all be doing some sort of mobilization to oppose this war instead of discussing strategy as if you were playing a game of ‘Risk’ among yourselves?

Reply

Brian S. July 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm
Tony July 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Paul Rogers is certainly an interesting commentator, and he is honest. For example, he says this earlier in one of his previous commentaries… ‘Because of this, close relations developed with the Gaddafi regime, with many of them centred on military cooperation, much of it being between Libya and those very western governments that subsequently used force to end his regime.’ So he is no pretender that the rebellion against Gaddafi was indigenous Libyan.

I do believe that the military attack on Syria using terrorists operatives is first stage of an ultimate DIRECT imperialist attack on Iran, and evidently this is also how the Russian and Chinese governments also see it as well. That is why the US-NATO group and their ME allies do not want Iran in the negotiations about Syria. They’re planning to take Iran out, too and are not wanting ‘negotiations’ about any part of that.

Ken Hiebert July 15, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I see that I have failed to answer questions directed to me by Tony and by Diana Barahona (July 12 & 13). I’ll try to get to them this week. But first I want to submit an article to newsoclist.org

Reply

Tony July 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm
Ken Hiebert July 22, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I made this comment on notmytribe , responding to Tony.
You say: “These Syrian terrorists created by the US and its allies actually are directly calling for a military attack on their own country!”
The link you provide does not support this claim.

See also – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9404452/US-refuses-to-help-Syrian-rebels-until-after-election.html

Reply

Ken Hiebert July 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I am responding to Tony July 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm.
Tony says of Gaddafi “…he was a NATIONALIST dictator and a populist who was not always that popular with many sectors of the Libyan population, since the nation of Libya itself is so stratified by region and ethnicities that enemies would be made by anybody in the ruler’s throne…”
Many countries are “…stratified by region and ethnicities…” Revolutionary leaders cannot be effective unless they overcome this difficulty. For example, in Russia, the Bolsheviks had to strive for unity among many national groups. Based on this experience, both Lenin and Trotsky wrote on the “national question.”

Tony says: “Most of the Libyan people who hated him though were not anywhere close to being revolutionaries at all,……… Many just wanted Gaddafi out and others in, including those whose main love is Right Wing Islam and love for Capitalism as seen on Hollywood TV.”
I am sure that Tony is right in saying that Libyans had a wide range of political views. And in a country where the safest thing was to keep your mouth shut, people had little possibility of improving their understanding of the world through debate and discussion.

Tony says: “…even if many Libyans are living in a world they that think that simply revolves basically around themselves, and themselves alone.”
If Libyans did not want to live under a government that many of them feared and hated, they were no different than people anywhere else in the world. it is perfectly normal to feel that way. Why would we want to change that?

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: