[Marxism] The nature of the anti-Qaddafi fighters

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 12 18:35:50 MDT 2011

Those who have spent time among Libya’s rebels will recognize these 
scenes and the type of young men in them. These men were not 
professional soldiers when their war began. Rather, they became almost 
accidental gunmen. They were civilians who, after public demonstrations 
against Colonel Qaddafi slipped into war, found themselves fighting 
against their nation’s own army for control of their home city. 
Sometimes — as here — that fight was carried out house by house.

Not all of these men have proved to be brave; in eastern Libya, 
journalists watched as many of them fled under fire, again and again. 
But Misurata was different than eastern Libya; in the main, the men in 
this city took to their fight. Mr. Liohn’s footage captured both their 
courage and their inexperience, and also showed, in subtle ways, that in 
a matter of weeks many of them had learned old lessons of urban war. 
After this particular fight, we walked the ground, and saw telltale 
signs that weeks of exposure to modern street-by-street combat had 
impressed upon the rebels ways to fight, and to survive.


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