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