[Marxism] Obama's NATO war for oil in Libya

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 23 10:27:58 MDT 2011

On 8/23/2011 12:18 PM, Fred Feldman wrote:
> (As is, by the way, the argument that it can't be about oil because the big
> oil companies were not campaigning for it. This assumes that the imperialist
> state asserts no independent role in defending the interests of imperialism
> but simply takes marching orders at different times from particular blocks
> of capital. Leaving aside the fact that blocks of capital cannot issue
> orders, since capital is a relation between people but not a human being.

Of course oil is of primary consideration but as I have said 
repeatedly there was not the slightest sign of friction between 
the West and Libya before Feb. 17th 2011. Once a civil war 
started, the imperialists took advantage of the situation. This by 
the way is an exchange I had on PEN-L a little while ago:

On 8/23/2011 11:01 AM, Max Sawicky wrote:
 > The oil thing for Libya looks like a huge red herring.
 > The oil companies had no difficulty doing business
 > with Colonel Q.  Neither did the U.S.  Support for
 > the rebellion looks like something that began
 > half-heartedly and became an opportunity for
 > a trophy, one that happened to turn out well
 > for NATO/U.S., for a change.
 > Of what strategic importance is Libya, other than
 > as a source of oil, which it was already?

I think that we should avoid the temptation to reduce our analysis 
to one of economic determinism. The US occupied Haiti, Somalia and 
Afghanistan where the economic stakes were minimal. Of course, 
those of a dogmatic bent will always find a way to spin such 
interventions (to prevent Haiti from becoming another Cuba; 
Somalia was close to shipping routes, pipelines in Afghanistan, etc.)

When the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Stimson told Truman 
that it "would teach the Russians a lesson". These occupations of 
marginal countries are intended to keep the rabble in line by 
showing the power of the American military. It is of particular 
importance in the Middle East where democracy challenges US 
interests. But to assign some kind of economic role to every 
intervention in and of itself is unwise.

Doug Henwood chimed in afterwards with this quote:

Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some 
small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to 
show the world we mean business.

- Michael Ledeen, holder of the Freedom Chair at the American 
Enterprise Institute

> The best we can do for their struggle is not to cheerlead for anybody, but
> to deepen and hopefully greatly broaden the ongoing opposition to the NATO
> war in our own countries.

It may be easier to work with ANSWER once their pal is deposed. 
Who would want to organize a protest meeting featuring a bunch of 
speakers toasting Qaddafi?

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