[Marxism] Franklin Lamb : "Waiting for the endgame in Libya"

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Sat Aug 20 09:50:16 MDT 2011

At 02:05 20/08/11 -0400, Fred Feldman wrote:
>Introductory comments to article from Tripoli
>The US, France, and Britain have committed their prestige and honor, such as
>they are, to removing Gadhafi, dead or alive, from power. For them to appear
>to abandon this goal would be a  blow to NATO, which is already under
>pressure from the European economic crisis. I find it hard to believe that
>they can drop this objective without something worse than embarrassment

Here Fred has accidentally spoken a word of profound truth. Namely that the
reason for the continued NATO intervention in Libya on the side of the
revolution has to do with maintaining PRESTIGE. And avoiding "something
worse than" EMBARRASMENT. In other words, all of the made-up explanations
for the imperialist intervention, being designed to steal Libya's oil
wealth, to curb any supposed "militant" tendencies of Gaddafi, etc. -- all
of these explanations that have been cited (but conveniently only after the
NATO intervention began) are NOT the reason they continue, BY FRED'S OWN

Having heard this now from a vocal left opponent of the Libyan revolution,
confirming what I have believed to be the case, now gives me all the more
reason to reject the idea that there is any underlying principle involved
in concentrating on ending the intervention that should overshadow our
support of the Arab revolution of 2011. Nowhere is there a suggestion that
ending their intervention would be a blow against the substance of
imperialism. It would, again by Fred's admission, have the effect of
embarrassing them, of reducing their prestige. And while it always brings
me joy when they are embarrassed or humiliated, I'll be damned if I'm going
to abandon supporting a revolution just in order to feed that petty desire.

Even the imperialist partners themselves have made it clear in their own
circles that their intervention in Libya was a MISTAKE in essence, based on
an incorrect assessment (one which many of us shared), namely that the
eventual fall of Gaddafi was certain, and they didn't want to be on the
losing side (still recognizing the legitimacy of Gaddafi as his regime
fell). As a result of their mistake, they got in over their heads and now
can't be seen as backing down. And they have made it clear that they are
not going to repeat that mistake in Syria, where the situation is similar
in every important respect. (One caveat: once it becomes absolutely clear
that Assad really is going to be overthrown by revolution, which might be
the stage we're entering right now, then swooping in to "save" the people
of Syria would no longer be a mistake on their part. But they're nervous
about reaching that conclusion after their unsettling experience in Libya.).

And one telling truth from the article itself. Franklin Lamb: 

>Assassinating Gaddafi  is widely believed here to be the only reason NATO
>continues to re-bomb, some as many as five times,   the so-called "command
>and  control  center" sites that these days could be just about anywhere in

Exactly. They are trying to KILL him, which is absolutely NOT what the
rebels had expected when they accepted (requested?) NATO air strikes in
defense of their territorial gains. They surely want to put him on trial!
And the imperialists surely don't want him telling all he knows in court,
so they are out to kill the witness more than some evil leader they fear.
Just as they did with Saddam. I hope they fail and that the revolution
succeeds, and that Gaddafi's wish of "dying in Libya" comes true, but not
too soon! 

- Jeff

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