[Marxism] For the defeat or unconditional end of the NATO war on Libya

Manuel Barrera mtomas3 at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 19 17:17:34 MDT 2011

Fred observes: "Gadhafi’s  initial victory over the people actually served as the basis for the imperialist’s decision to present itself as the ultimate and most powerful enemy of the Gadhafi regime, through the no-fly zone and the general war against the regime that naturally, inevitably and intentionally followed. From the standpoint of the real masses, the defeat of the first wave of the struggle and the diversion of the struggle by the calls for imperialist intervention, with the full support of the rebel leadership, threw everything into reverse. . . Manuel claims to  oppose Gadhafi and the imperialists exactly equally (unlike just about all the rebels, as far as I can tell, who have made a strategic choice in favor of imperialism, not corruptly in every case I am sure).  Manuel, by contrast, refuses to make any choice. I gather that he is open to any outcome that does not involve defeat for the rebels.  (Am I wrong? He should inform me and I will accept his correction.) Manuel leaves no doubt that the worst outcome for him is a rebel defeat, no matter what the circumstances and alternatives, While he is opposed to the imperialist victory, he nonetheless seems to me to insist that no outcome except a rebel victory can be a "lesser evil" even if it takes place under imperialist auspices."

Well, beyond reading into what I said, I believe Fred makes important points with which I have a strategic, but most likely not a principled difference (something that I further believe I am not alone in having with him). I don't "claim" to oppose Gadhafi and the imperialists "exactly equally", I do oppose them exactly equally--they are both murderers and plunderers of the people and, though the Arab Spring may have gone "into reverse" earlier in Fred's mind, there was a social-political reason why this now civil war occurred in the first place; something that many who make a fetish of siding with Gadhafi "against imperialism" always seem either to ignore or simply dismiss as if it no longer matters. As if the tide of rebellion taking place in North Africa (and, for that matter, in Europe) somehow disappeared when the imperialists tried to insert themselves into this particular fray. 

Fred need not look too far for any extra knowledge that I may have. He just needs to read his own words "Gadhafi’s  initial victory over the people actually served as the basis for the imperialist’s decision to present itself as the ultimate and most powerful enemy of the Gadhafi regime. . ." Aside from their murderous intent on Gadhafi, doesn't that mean that a Gadhafi "victory" served the imperialist's intentions by weakening the true nature of the rebellion, which then said imperialists were able to use as their foothold in "winning over" anti-Gadhafi rebels onto an imperialist venture? Doesn't that show how the imperialist intentions, regardless of their own designs for a better imperialist representative (one they believe could better stave off the Arab spring more effectively), at least coincided with Gadhafi's? 

Fred, please don't put words in my mouth. I NEVER speak of "lesser evils"--those are the words and political perspective that you use. For me, there is only one kind of evil; the kind that results in the defeat of the people at the hands of imperialists, their watch dogs, or aspirants (the latter being Gadhafi). And, there is only one kind of victory; the kind that advances the struggles of the world proletariat in every battle that is undertaken with our class enemy. I know you don't crow over "Gadhafi's initial victory over the people" when the initial stages of the rebellion were beaten back, mostly likely in much blood that is probably inaccurately portrayed by the bourgeois press. I am sure we share our dismay at that defeat and the subsequent descent into collaboration with imperialism by the rebels who are more than likely quite disparate in their reasons for doing so. But there is no need to take a side on whether the rebels are now bad or that Gadhafi is now "good" because imperialism wants him out. We Are Not Libyans! It Is Not Our Place and To Make It "Our Place" is the Height of Condescension or Outright Chauvinism. Our only place is to stand against the imperialist intervention--to a person--so that the Libyan masses may be able to find their own way to struggle against their own twin "evils"; Gadhafi and any pro-imperialist forces that crop up. If indeed the rebellion is defeated, though I still hold out that may not be (maybe on this point I can accept a tendency to being overly optimistic), the best way that democracy (and the prospects for a workers' victory) can be achieved is if we can remove imperialism from the picture. That is why, for me, U.S./NATO Out Now has no qualification. I do care that Gadhafi remains in power because the defeat of the rebellion means his position is strengthened, which means the working masses of Libya are pressed back, which means that it will make it more difficult to have Libya enter the struggle for democracy in North Africa, etc, etc. 

In short, I Do Not Need To Support Gadhafi To Oppose Imperialism. I can do that just fine without ceding anything to a murderer and plunderer of the people. To be sure, even if there is a temporary defeat of the Libyan masses and even if the pro-imperialist forces succeed in removing Gadhafi, it will not matter in the end because the Libyan people will be victorious in any case albeit differently than any of us may wish; that is, I am sure no one on this list will relish the repression of the masses that will surely come with either a U.S./NATO victory or by Gadhafi thereby prolonging Libya's march to real democracy. I remain supremely confident in the Libyan people, have no confidence or "truck" with Gadhafi, and just as less for his imperialist masters. Why is this so difficult to understand? Why is remaining true to revolutionary principles considered non "reality" and "lesser-evilism" considered "realistic"--you know, for revolutionaries? 		 	   		  

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