[Marxism] How the NYT really viewed Gadaffi

Matthew Russo russo.matthew9 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 18 11:58:24 MDT 2011

For all the Gadaffi-hopers out there, whom no doubt will see this as another
dose of deliberate imperialist misinformation to lead the naive such as
myself astray.  Actually, it accurately reflects the fact that the Obama
Admin faces the same dilemma in the Middle East as it faces in the domestic
economy: the contradictions of policy probelms created by its very own
benefactors: transnational US capital and the Wall Street banks in the
former, Saudi Arabia and Israel in the latter  -Matt:

Tumult of Arab Spring Prompts Worries in Washington By STEVEN LEE MYERS [not
familiar with this guy]

WASHINGTON — While the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring created new
opportunities for American diplomacy, the tumult has also presented the
United States with challenges — and worst-case scenarios — that would have
once been almost unimaginable.

What if the Palestinians’ quest for recognition of a state at the United
Nations, despite American pleas otherwise, lands Israel in the International
Criminal Court, fuels deeper resentment of the United States, or touches off
a new convulsion of violence in the West Bank and Gaza?

Or if Egypt, emerging from decades of autocratic rule under President Hosni
Mubarak, responds to anti-Israeli sentiments on the street and abrogates the
Camp David peace treaty, a bulwark of Arab-Israeli stability for three

“We’re facing an Arab awakening that nobody could have imagined and few
predicted just a few years ago,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
said in a recent interview with reporters and editors of The New York Times.
“And it’s sweeping aside a lot of the old preconceptions.”

It may also sweep aside, or at least diminish, American influence in the
region. The bold vow on Friday by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas,
to seek full membership at the United Nations amounted to a public rebuff of
weeks of feverish American diplomacy. His vow came on top of a rapid and
worrisome deterioration of relations between Egypt and Israel and between
Israel and Turkey, the three countries that have been the strongest American
allies in the region.

Diplomacy has never been easy in the Middle East, but the recent events have
so roiled the region that the United States fears being forced to take sides
in diplomatic or, worse, military disputes among its friends. Hypothetical
outcomes seem chillingly present. What would happen if Turkey, a NATO ally
that the United States is bound by treaty to defend, sent warships to escort
ships to Gaza in defiance of Israel’s blockade, as Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to do?

Crises like the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador in Turkey, the storming of
the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and protests outside the one in Amman, Jordan,
have compounded a sense of urgency and forced the Obama administration to
reassess some of this country’s fundamental assumptions, and to do so on the

“The region has come unglued,” said Robert Malley, a senior analyst in
Washington for the International Crisis Group. “And all the tools the United
States has marshaled in the past are no longer as effective.”

The United States, as a global power and permanent member of the United
Nations Security Council, still has significant ability to shape events in
the region. This was underscored by the flurry of telephone calls that
President Obama, Mrs. Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta made to
their Egyptian and Israeli counterparts to diffuse tensions after the siege
of Israeli Embassy in Cairo this month.

At the same time, the toppling of leaders*** who preserved a stable, if
strained, status quo for decades*** — Mr. Mubarak, ***Col. Muammar
el-Qaddafi of Libya*** and Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia — has
unleashed powerful and still unpredictable forces that the United States has
only begun to grapple with and is likely to be doing so for years.

In the process, diplomats worry, the actions of the United States could even
nudge the Arab Spring toward radicalism by angering newly enfranchised
citizens of democratic nations.

In the case of Egypt, the administration has promised millions of dollars in
aid to support a democratic transition, only to see the military council
ruling the country object to how and where it is spent, according to two
administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss
diplomatic matters. The objection echoed similar ones that came from Mr.
Mubarak’s government. The government and the political parties vying for
support before new elections there have also intensified anti-American talk.
The officials privately warned of the emergence of an outwardly hostile
government, dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and remnants of Mr.
Mubarak’s party.

The upheaval in Egypt has even raised the prospect that it might break its
Camp David peace treaty with Israel, with Egypt’s prime minister, Essam
Sharaf, telling a Turkish television channel last week that the deal was
“not a sacred thing and is always open to discussion.”

The administration, especially Mrs. Clinton, also spent months trying to
mediate between Turkey and Israel over the response to the Israeli military
operation last year that killed nine passengers aboard a ship trying to
deliver aid to Gaza despite an Israeli embargo — only to see both sides
harden their views after a United Nations report on the episode became

Unflinching support for Israel has, of course, been a constant of American
foreign policy for years, often at the cost of political and diplomatic
support elsewhere in the region, but the Obama administration has also
sought to improve ties with Turkey after the chill that followed the
invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Turkey, which aspires to broaden its own influence in the region, has been a
crucial if imperfect partner, from the administration’s point of view, in
the international response to the fighting in Libya and the diplomatic
efforts to isolate Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

The administration deferred to Turkey’s request last month to delay new
sanctions on Mr. Assad’s government to give diplomacy another chance.

This month, only days before expelling Israel’s ambassador, Turkey agreed to
install an American radar system that is part of a new NATO missile defense
system, underscoring its importance to a policy goal of the last two

Mrs. Clinton, in the interview, expressed hope that the United States would
be able to support the democratic aspirations of the Arab uprisings. She
also acknowledged the constraints that the administration faced at home,
given the country’s budget crisis and Republican calls in Congress to cut
foreign aid, especially to the Palestinians and others seen as hostile to

“It’s a great opportunity for the United States, but we are constrained by
budget and to some extent constrained by political obstacles,” she said.
“I’m determined that we’re going to do as much as we can within those
constraints to deal with the opportunities that I see from Tunisia to Libya
and Egypt and beyond.”

The administration has faced criticism from all quarters — that it has not
done enough to support Israel or has done too much, that it has supported
some Arab uprisings, while remaining silent on the repression in Bahrain.
That in itself illustrates how tumultuous the region has become and how the
United States has had to scramble to keep up with events that are still

“Things are so fluid,” said Robert Danin, a senior fellow at the Council on
Foreign Relations. “They’re not driving the train. They’re reacting to the
train, and no one knows where the train is going.”

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