[Marxism] After The Big Gaddafi - Welcome to Libya's 'democracy' by Pepe Escobar

Ralph Johansen mdriscollrj at charter.net
Thu Aug 25 14:39:12 MDT 2011

Louis Proyect wrote

Does Ralph Johansen really believe this tripe? '.... Sounds like Escobar 
has been reading his Samuel Huntington.


I'd like to hear you take what Pepe says here and deal with it, point by 
point. I dunno, Lou, I neither believe nor disbelieve. I have learned a 
lot from reading Phillip Bobbitt  (The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, 
and the Course of History) and the writings of Brzezinski, Samuel 
Huntington and others who plot about realpolitik, and also certainly the 
late Peter Gowan. So, I'm sure, has Pepe Escobar.

We know very little - with the "embedded" international press holed up 
in a Tripoli hotel under loyalist guard - telling as is to be expected 
only select bits of the story, aside from oblique suggestions of the 
skullduggery that comes out in the Guardian, WnPost and NYTimes or less 
so on Qatar's AlJazeera. - barely showing in real time, even on Russian 
RT, or mentioning the obvious massive advance obliteration of key 
installations and everything else apparently in Tripoli and other key 
towns and installations.

I post this only for what it's worth.

We don't have what is always needed a Lenin or a Trotsky who can with 
probity and in close contact with correct theory interpret unfolding 
events for us in a consistently positive light. And whether there are 
radical forces who are likely to be effective who could employ that kind 
of advice, in the whole liberatory sense in which "radical" is used 
here, certainly doesn't show so far, Yes, there seems clearly to have 
been an uprising in the West of Libya, whether ethnic, regional, 
religious or as is unlikely socialist is unclear to me, and some 
stirrings in Tripoli reported early on, in February and March, but they 
did not seem to be well-organized or coordinated and lacked visible 
leadership, and all this in a country which did not have the economic 
problems, from what I have read, (Libya has, with a small population one 
of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa and in Gaddafi a quirky and 
megalomaniacal but in terms of Libya's locally perceived national 
interests, credible leader) that Egypt, Yemen and Tunisia have. And they 
were quickly submerged.

Pepe may be smoking the stuff, he may be cynical, but he's got some kind 
of track record, as a reality check. And his references to what happened 
in Kosovo and 1980s Afghanistan as analogy - "It's hard not to be 
reminded of the UCK drug gang in Kosovo - the war NATO "won" in the 
Balkans. Or of the Pakistanis and Saudis, with US backing, arming the 
"freedom fighters" of Afghanistan in the 1980s" -. could be quite accurate.

The quid pro quos being extracted right now are rarely retracted, and 
with consequences that create international pariahs, and the NTC as 
puppet force, with the prospect of other forces, religious and secular, 
in opposition, sounds credible to me.

I would like to hold to a distinction between being cynical and being 
aware of reality. I have read articles by Pepe which reflect that.

Also, air power is a blunt, inexact instrument as Patrick Cockburn 
points out, but when used massively with properly trained special ops 
coordinating disparate, loosely organized indigenous forces, it no doubt 
can do the job, as part of a larger scheme. The "imperialist boots on 
the ground" phrase may have limited purchase for the time being, and 
become reality in the mopping up. We'll see.

But I'd like your response.

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