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

Fred Feldman ffeldman at verizon.net
Sun Aug 21 03:28:26 MDT 2011

Jeff wrote:
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

Jeff wrote: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

Fred comments:
Well, I must admit that I must admit that I am completely blown away by 
Jeff's devastating expose.  However,  he has skipped a small step. He 
has forgotten to demonstrate where I have ever said that the war was 
about "stealing Libya's oil, to curb any supposed 'militant' tendencies 
of Gadhafi, etc..  That has never been my position. It is true that I 
think the war, once begun for whatever conjunctural reasons, tends to 
become part of the pattern of US wars in the Middle East and North 
Africa,  which have broad pol;itical-, military-, and economic-strategic 
goals, which include oil as one among a wide range of sub-issues.My 
opposition to the imperialist war stems from the fact that it is an 
imperialist war and not on any speculations about the intentions of the 
imperialists. Their state of mind is not decisive in the decision to 
oppose an imperialist war.

Jeff wrote:
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!

Fred comments:
All Jeff's statements are wrong here. The oppodition leaders demanded 
that the imperialists assassinate Gadhafi before the bombing began.  And 
they did not "accept" or "request"  but demanded the bombing and, last I 
heard, were still claiming that it was insufficient.

Jeff turns "prestige" and "embarrassment" into a purely psychological 
and personal question for individual imperialists.. No, this is the 
psychological background to the fact that they cannot afford to lose 
this war, from the standpoint of imperialist viability and morale, any 
more than they can afford to lose in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Somalia.

Jeff's political conclusion:
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.

Fred comments
First of all, imperialist prestige is, again, not a mere psychological 
need of individual imperialists, but a necessity of the system in the 
struggle for world domination.  Failure to topple Gadhafi with the 
resources they have put into it an irrelevancy, nor is the threat that a 
genuine democratic revolution would take place in Libya. Jeff cheerleads 
for opposition and the  "Libyan revolution," but sees no need to 
demonstrate that one exists today.

In fact the imperialist intervention, and the rebels' demands for this 
intervention have and are put a continuing damper on any tendencies in a 
revolutionary direction. And the imperialists don't plan to halt this 
once Gadhafi is gone.The plans are in the works for something like a 
European-African-Arab peacekeeping occupation which the opposition 
leadership shows every sign of being willing to accept.

I certainly hope that a Libyan democratic revolution takes place soon, 
picking up from the possibilities of the first days of the uprising that 
were substantially dissipated by imperialist intervention and the 
orientation toward and dependence on  imperialism by the opposition 

But Jeff ends up portraying the imperialists as giving indispensable and 
decisive aid to a popular revolution (something they have never done, 
even in dealings with Ho, Mao and Tito during World War II) and 
implicitly dismisses calls to end the imperialist war now as 
counter-revolutionary.. Certainly, there is no hint in his comments  of  
support for immediate end of the bombing -- after all, the opposition as 
a fighting force would have been done for without this the rebels would 
probably have been suppressed or driven out of Libya months ago,.

And after all aren't revolutionaries supposed to call on the 
imperialists to give the "revolutionaries" whatever they want (including 
assassinating Gadhafi).

I want to conclude by repeating what I wrote earlier. In doing so, I am 
cleaning up my clumsy sentence structure a bit::

I continue to regard the defeat of the imperialist war against Libya as the
preferable outcome, no matter what that means for the political and 
other prospects
of Gadhafi or the opposition, The imperialist
war, not varying estimates of the opposition or its components, is the
pivotal issue concerning  Libya today.
Fred Feldman

More information about the Marxism mailing list