[Marxism] Interesting comment on my "Notes on Libya"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Aug 22 12:44:37 MDT 2011

The bit from Franklin Lamb is pretty funny.  Lamb was in Tripoli 
for months, and his reporting on Qaddafi was utterly uncritical -- 
large chunks of it consisted of government propaganda, edited 
lightly or not at all. He managed to live there all through the 
war without ever, as far as I can tell, doing any actual 
investigative reporting or talking to anyone who wasn't on the 
government's payroll.  Now it's suddenly all come crashing down! 
I don't think it's the hotel staff who are "crestfallen".

Counterpunch can produce interesting stuff, but on Libya it's been 
pretty worthless.  Cockburn and the rest kept recycling a few 
obvious points (NATO really wanted regime change YES WE KNOW) 
without ever trying to engage with the underlying issues. 
Inconvenient facts like the growing strength and competence of the 
rebels, or the steady flow of recruits out of Tripoli, or the 
underlying social and economic incentives for rebellion, were 
simply ignored.  I don't mind advocacy, but this was badly 
written, badly reasoned advocacy that was obviously ignoring the 
realities on the ground.

Anyway.  Your point about Abdel Fatah Younis is extremely 
interesting.  At the time, his assassination -- and the NTC's 
seemingly feeble and clumsy attempts to explain it -- seemed like 
a major disaster.  Under your interpretation, the feeble 
explanations and clumsy excuses would have been a feature, not a 
bug: we're strong enough to take him out, and confident enough not 
to bother with a good cover story.  Maybe!

Putting the tribal issue aside, the east-west divide in Libya goes 
back a long time.  It'll be interesting to see how this evolves.

Doug M.

More information about the Marxism mailing list