[Marxism] Juan Cole fears Europe will poop out on Libya

Fred Feldman ffeldman at verizon.net
Mon Jul 11 09:33:37 MDT 2011

Introductory comments to excerpt from Juan Cole's article today
Basically, Juan Cole has been as happy with the Libya war as a child in 
their first days with a brand new toy. A US bombing campaign that he is 
thrilled about, Ousting the Evil Mad Dictator, and bringing in the 
clean-cut heroes to organize (under UN supervision) a "free Libya." And 
the UN Security Council supported it. Well, maybe. Well, not exactly. 
But why worry about details when Juan is having such a good time.

A couple of weeks ago, Juan showed signs of worrying that things were 
not going as well as they should for such a perfectly lovely war. He 
expressed concern about what he called the "shock and awe" bombing of 
Tripoli (indicating that the glorious war was beginning to remind him of 
another one, not so glorious in his view). He seems to have let this 
complaint lapse. After all, as far as the leaders of the "Free :Libya 
Forces" are concerned, NATO never seems to bomb Libya ENOUGH.

If they are to capture Tripoli, as they claim to be preparing to do, 
NATO might have to nuke the place to assure heir victory, which would 
surely arouse conflicted feelings, if not worse, in Cole.

Cole knows that pretty much the same European states that are wobbling 
on this war of aggression, also wobbled on the wars against Iraq. (Is 
Juan Cole getting ready to boycott French wine and eat only "Freedom 
Fries"?) and to some extent also on Afghanistan.

I want to assure Cole that the European powers are not likely to jump 
ship on Washington in this one, any more than they really did in the end 
on Iraq and Afghanistan. Escalation still seems more likely than a 
retreat to negotiations. And the bombing will not stop. (What a relief!)

Cole was encouraged by their waverings in Afghanistan and Iraq, but now 
he condemns them unconditionally (and even suggest that some of the 
"Free :Libya" leaders may not be hard-line enough for his taste). His 
portrayal is permeated with the Iraq-war idea of the Europeans (except 
the British) as craven cowards, unlike the United States, which is 
always Tough Enough to Stay the Course.

He claims that the spreading and still escalating war the US is waging 
in five other countries (with Sudan as a borderline case) is completely 
different. I think this one is about the very same things, and it is a 
single regional war.

He also neglects the fact that the European continent is caught up in 
what may be the biggest economic and social crisis on the continent. 
That kind of thing can divert one's attention even from the holy 
anti-Gadhafi crusade.
Fred Feldman

Juan Cole comment:: excerpt

In an embarrassing rift within NATO over Libya, French defence minister 
Gerard Longuet called for the Transitional National Council in Benghazi 
to open direct negotiations with the government of Muammar Qaddafi, 
while the US stuck to its position that Qaddafi must go. In the French 
system cabinet members seldom have much discretion to carve out their 
own positions, so Longuet’s remarks almost certainly simply conveyed the 
current sentiments of President Nicolas Sarkozy. French backpedaling 
comes as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a close friend of 
Qaddafi’s, complained about having been forced into a war he does not 
support by his own parliament.

Likewise, the head of the Transitional National Council, Mustafa Abdel 
Jalil, had signaled last week that Qaddafi might not have to leave the 
country, but then was forced to retract. The French and the British, 
along with the Saudis, dragged a reluctant Obama administration kicking 
and screaming into the Libya war, so right about now the White House and 
Pentagon must be having a fit about the French remarks. Turkey, which 
was pressured into abandoning its own earlier support for negotiations 
and into recognizing and funding the TNC, must also be bewildered. Wars

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