[Marxism] Oppose NATO bombing of Libya

johnedmundson at paradise.net.nz johnedmundson at paradise.net.nz
Fri Jul 1 05:08:04 MDT 2011

Suresh wrote:

> Plenty of Iraqi Arabs and Kurds took pro-Western and third-camp type positions
> on the first Gulf War and the Iraq invasion as well. As did people in Serbia 
> and Bosnia. So what? John seems to think that leftists are obligated to 
> pander to people in the semi-colonial world who minimize the significance of 
> resisting imperialist aggression.

Here's a thought Suresh - respond to what was actually written rather that
making stuff up that fits with what you'd rather be arguing against. An entire
Forum of primarily Arab leftists in Egypt opposes the NATO bombing and supports
the right of the Arab peoples to revolution and freedom and you just decide that
it's third-campism. Like Gaddafi's as significant as the USSR or something.

And no, I don't "think that leftists are obligated to pander to people in the
semi-colonial world", I just think that when when the left in the Arab world
seem to be saying that the Libyans have a right to continue their revolution,
while simultaneously opposing the NATO bombing, we should take note of that.

To put the record straight, I don't believe everything I read in the Western
press about Gaddafi. I think some of the claims are bullshit. I think the
International Court at the Hague are making stuff up. I think they have no right
to try the Gaddafis. I think NATO has no right to bomb Libya and that the
intervention should stop. I think the Libyans have a right to throw Gaddafi out.
And I think that just because the leadership of the Libyan revolution largely
stinks does not mean the people's right to their revolution should be taken from
them. And I think that just because the West sees an opportunity to subvert the
Arab Revolution is no reason for the Libyans to have to sacrifice that revolution.

The US (eventually) declared in favour of the revolution in Egypt. If they'd
been smarter they would have done it sooner. Would that have meant we should
have stopped supporting the Egyptian people's right to overthrow Mubarak, or
suddenly go quiet about his regime?

In the Arab world, by and large, people are not finding the dilemma of
supporting the Libyan people and opposing NATO impossible to reconcile.

> It's his right to believe this, but more resolute anti-imperialists will
> continue to join folks like Fred, Eli, and ANSWER in putting opposition to
> the West's neverending series of predatory wars first.

Yep, so resolute anti-imperialists like Fred, Eli, and ANSWER have got this
right and irresolute revolutionaries in Egypt, who've just overthrown a brutal
dictator and are working to push the revolution on are just a bunch of
third-campists. I wish the ANSWER people well with their demo. I have no
objection to their demands. What I object to is the snide assertion that anyone
who happens to agree with a whole bunch of Arab leftists who "condemned the NATO
intervention in Libya" actually secretly want to, as Eli so succinctly put it,
"KEEP BOMBING LIBYA". It may come as a surprise to you, and perhaps to Eli as
well, but I don't want NATO to "KEEP BOMBING LIBYA".

> Nevermind from a Marxist or anti-imperialist perspective, even from a simple
> utilitarian standpoint, the U.S. and it's allies wars have caused hundreds of
> thousands of more deaths and brought more poverty and misery than third rate
> dictators like Qaddafi.

That must be of immense comfort to the people of Libya. Look Suresh, I'd put
money (if I had any) on the statement that there isn't a single person on this
list who doesn't already know that the West has caused far more death and misery
than Gaddafi.

> But, hey according to people like John, we're supposed to (at best!) place
> overthrowing the Libyan government on an equal level with ending the NATO war
> against the country... while in reality putting more time and energy on the
> former and constantly criticizing and nitpicking those seeking to prioritize >
the latter.

It's not about "putting more time and energy on the former and constantly
criticizing and nitpicking those seeking to prioritize the latter." I spend far
more time opposing NATO bombing than I do arguing with people who think I'm
secretly in league with Obama and co. On this list, no one needs to convince
anyone that the NATO intervention should be opposed. Everyone here opposes it.
Some people on this list however believe that some of us want NATO to (quote)
"KEEP BOMBING LIBYA". That claim is bullshit and unfortunately gets made with
monotonous regularity. It's that claim, slanderous really, that I opposed, not
people "seeking to prioritize" opposing the bombing.

When the Gulf wars were on, and when the war in Serbia was on too, and around
the war in Afghanistan, where troops from the country where I live are involved,
I found it far better, and less confusing, to argue against Western intervention
while also making it clear that I was aware that, for example, Saddam Hussein
was a murdering bastard who assassinated his way to power. I pointed out too
that he was a Western puppet. And I also argued that "No Western Intervention"
was the best way for the people of Iraq to make their own future. I could have
just called for an end to the bombing but fortunately for me, telling the whole
truth as I saw it was actually more effective. I take the same view here. It's
not third-campist and it's not a coded call to "KEEP BOMBING LIBYA". It's just
honesty and also, in my opinion, more effective campaigning.

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