Libya (2)

  • MondoWeissThere’s no such thing as a situational war (two leftwingers argue over Libya): Phil Weiss “Well I hated the Iraq war and was in the streets. I endorsed the Afghan war and was wrong. I’m very mixed on this one. I just put up a post echoing your point, from an anonymous friend. I cant say I’m persuaded by his argument; I just spontaneously feel good about it on Arab Spring grounds– and as Uri Avnery says, Think of stopping Franco. Though we will soon know who is right.” Michael Ratner — “There’s no way one should be mixed. It’s a typical imperial war run by U.K, France, and USA, they get the oil, a neo liberal economy, and Israel gets a new friend when it’s going to need it. When they ignore Ivory Coast, Bahrain, Yemen, Palestine, you need to ask what they are up to. And we know nothing about the opposition. It ain’t Egypt. This is apart from violation of the Security Council Resolution already, no constitutional consent by the Senate, and no way to see an outcome. Such gross intervention if it happens at all, should happen in response to genocide. This is just awful.”
  • EUobserver / George IrvinLibya: peace through war?: … however crackpot and dangerous Gaddafi may be, there are some compelling reasons for opposing this war—or at least for treating the ‘coalition’s’ stated aims with the utmost scepticism. First, there is the sheer hypocrisy of the US, Britain and France (plus a few hangers-on) speaking of ‘protecting civilians’… Next are the practical arguments, already amply covered in the press. What exactly is the aim of this operation? Clearly it cannot be merely to ‘protect civilians’ since, as long as Gaddafi remains in power, opposition civilians will remain at risk. So either the country must be permanently divided—which nobody either in Libya or the West wants—or else Gaddafi must be taken out… Let’s assume for convenience that Gaddafi is killed quickly (which would be advantageous for all concerned)… what then? In the absence of a politically coherent opposition with a wide popular base—which in a largely tribal country is difficult to form even under the most favourable conditions—-the coalition will end up occupying Libya to ‘maintain stability’, just as has been the case in Iraq and Afghanistan… To paraphrase Cockburn, Yasmin Alibhia-Brown, Robert Fisk and other journalists who know the region, it will not take long for the coalition’s Libyan operation to be seen across the Middle East as hypocritical and self-serving, and resisted as such.
  • Ria NovostiU.S.-led attack on Libya may force rebels to join forces with Gaddafi: “The American and French military who have attacked Libyan sites are treading on a very dangerous line beyond which irreversible consequences may start and cause large-scale combat operations…”
  • Angry Arab News ServiceThe John Kerry Litmus Test: It is easy to detect sinister motives for Western military intervention. If you see a Zionist senator like John Kerry, who has embraced every Israeli war crime, shows support for an action, you can bet that the action is badly intentioned. – Western military successes: Just after the launch of Western military operations in Libya, the Libyan dictator’s forces continued to kill and injure civilians in Libya. He even used helicopter gunships, according to Aljazeera.
  • MondoWeissLeftist arguments for the int’l intervention, from Yassin-Kassab and Woodward: It’s the stupid fringes of the left who have the most to answer for at the moment, as they not only express logical concerns about the extent of Western intervention but actively support Qaddafi. They say the UN ‘aggression’ is designed to ease Western access to Libyan oil, as if Western companies did not already exploit Libyan oil under Qaddafi’s regime. They talk about Qaddafi’s ‘pan-Africanism’ as if his funneling of the Libyan people’s money to African dictators and militias were somehow beneficial to the African masses. They talk about Qaddafi’s ‘socialist’ credentials and completely ignore the expensive decadence of his sons and his own penchant for calling himself ‘King of Kings.’ They talk about Qaddafi’s great ‘victories’ against imperialism – here I can only guess they mean his squalid sponsorship of terrorist attacks against civilians, which serve to distract attention from the sufferings of occupied and oppressed peoples. Or perhaps they mean his murder of Lebanese revolutionary Musa Sadr. Or maybe his willingness to torture rendered suspects on behalf of the United States. Talking to the Western media recently, Qaddafi excused his cold-blooded murder of thousands thus – “Even the Israelis in Gaza, when they moved into the Gaza strip, they moved in with tanks to fight such extremists.” So he compares himself to Israel and the Libyan people to Palestinians, who are ‘extremists.’ Please explain that, O leftist followers of the Brother Leader.
  • / Jusin RaimondoLibya’s Slippery Slope; We’re going down it fast: I see that the US and its allies are now backing off the “regime change” rhetoric, but that won’t be so easy. Having taken that first step into the Libyan quagmire, we’re fated to slide down the increasingly slippery slope of Libya’s complicated internal politics, until we land smack dab in the middle of a godawful mess. Our too-smart-for-their-own-good policy wonks in the State Department are convinced they’re getting ahead of the Arab Awakening and that the US will be greeted as a liberator by pro-democracy forces everywhere. Except, of course, in Yemen, where we’re backing another President-for-life who just murdered peaceful protesters: oh yes, and also except for Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, where peaceful protesters are being killed and jailed by pro-US monarchs. But that is really the least of our worries: after all, a global hegemon doesn’t have to answer to anybody, and so calling out our inconsistencies has little impact in Washington. No, our real problem is going to be the Libyan opposition. Having adopted them, we are stuck with them – and subject to their further demands. And first and foremost among those demands is going to be regime change.
  • MondoWeiss / AnonymousFlying blind, with Wolfowitz, Power and Avnery: … on “This Week” to discuss it Christiane Amanpour had four guests: Jane Harman, Paul Wolfowitz, Robin Wright, and George Will. Only Will opposed the intervention, saying correctly that we don’t know who the rebels are and that there is an incommensurate adaptation of means to end: we say that we’re just enforcing a no-fly zone but plainly we won’t accept a Gaddifi victory, we are intervening militarily in a civil war (indeed we’ve already bombed his tanks), the actual not avowed end is regime change, yet we have no real idea who the “rebels” are whom we say we support and whom we miscall “the people of Libya.” Paul Wolfowitz answered that we should support them but of course try to find more about who they are!
  • Huffington PostAnti-American Extremists Among Libyan Rebels U.S. Has Vowed To Protect: … on a per capita basis, no country sent more young fighters into Iraq to kill Americans than Libya — and almost all of them came from eastern Libya, the center of the anti-Gaddafi rebellion that the United States and others now have vowed to protect, according to internal al Qaeda documents uncovered by U.S. intelligence. The informal alliance with violent Islamist extremist elements is a coming-home of sorts for the United States, which initially fought on the same side as the Libyan fighters in Afghanistan in the 1980s, battling the Soviet Union.
  • The American Conservative / Jack HunterObama’s Libyan War: On March 19, 2011, the eighth anniversary of the Iraq War, Barack Obama started the Libyan War. Those who might claim that it was not the President, but Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi who started this war, ignore that it only became our fight the moment Obama decided to intervene. Those who support our bombing of Libya to enforce a no-fly zone claim that these actions will not lead to a larger or more entrenched conflict. This claim not only contradicts most of America’s foreign policy history, but proves that our political establishment has learned virtually nothing from the lessons of Iraq…
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