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An Open Letter to the Left on Libya

Neocolonalism in Libya

A wakeup call for all those who are claiming to be on the side of the people:

Seeing the Libyan council in the meeting with Cameron, Clinton and a few others equally well-equipped with the arrogance of being Western leaders, with the deceit of running political business as usual and the opportunism of Napoleon the pig from Animal Farm, who were assessing the situation and plotting ways to totally control the rebels and draw a favoured future for Libya on their terms and conditions, made me recollect similar scenes that have occurred again and again in history. A weak, sneaky and desperate third world prospective leader flattering the strong, pleasing their expectations and bowing to their order made me deeply angry, feeling revulsion from the lack of honesty in both parties, lack of transparency and the huge deficit of thinking of and being devoted to the people in that faraway land whose hopes for better changes to come may now never be realized.

The Libyan rebels’ vision statement is a copy of the Western template designed for all their subordinates and cronies around the world. You could hardly see anything Libyan in it; the words and style of writing were such that you wondered whether they had even tried to amend anything in the template. All the clichés about human rights were there, and of course, going back to business, the most important part (the CIA never misses this), “The interests and rights of foreign nationals and companies will be protected”—giving assurance that nothing happens to the oil contracts. All Western companies will, together with their beneficiaries in the new Libyan government, enjoy prosperous business. There was no mention of a share for the people and their control over their resources. This is called the neocolonist agenda, working through agents and friends as usual.

Ahmed Chalabi, Hamid Karazi, Ali Zardari, Mahmoud Abbas and many others who have tried what is called diplomacy or negotiation, on behalf of silent and distant people, to gain a few points from their master in order to serve their own political positions and economic benefit. You may wonder how many times leaders of that type have sold off people’s resources and rights and kept themselves as beneficiary partner. How many times have similar journeys to Europe or the United States led to a total betrayal of the people’s cause, creating ground for even more hunger and political repression?

More than half of Libya is still under the control of Qaddafi, and the Western leaders were planning far ahead, assuming their united efforts will remove him and crush his supporters. They were thinking how cheap this adventure can be for them: the rebels are fighting for them and they do not need to lose even one single force, putting behind all the nightmare of the thousands of their forces who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Clinton was hinting at mobilizing the rebels with weapons and giving them plenty of money, none of which is part of the UN agreement. Taking sides in a civil war definitely shows the intentions of these leaders. For them the result of the Libyan uprising is clear. A friend is going to be in power (“who never forgets the help they got from them”) and the oil resources are secured for the West’s benefit. The next step after all these killings are finished? BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil will make an effort to make the most from the “development opportunities”—as the leaders always call them.

What happens to the people, those who died and those who are alive mourning their dead and waiting for the result of their struggle to come to their door? They and their rights are amongst the first things that are forgotten, as usual and for always. How disgusting it is, how empty the outcome of yet another uprising.

The story in Libya yet again gives a wakeup call for all those who are claiming to be on the side of the people, to forget the West and their government’s power. They need to believe again in the people’s power and to mobilize the people—instead of begging for help from the enemies of all revolutions and friends of the dictators and suppressive governments.

David Curtis

London, England, UK

Apr 2 2011 - 1:27am

Missing issue regarding Libya military intervention

Hidden agenda

Letter sent to both professors regarding their Democracy Now! debate about whether US intervention was right or wrong:

Professor Cole, while your debate this morning on Democracy Now! with Professor Vijay Prashad was cogent and empathetic, there was one piece of very significant but hidden information that bears strongly on such debate about the prudence of US military intervention in Libya.

This un-debated hidden factor is whether the ruling-elite global corporate/financial/militarist Empire that now has captured and almost fully controls our former government, by hiding behind the facade of its bought and owned Two-Party “Vichy” sham of faux-democratic government and equally “Vichy” corporatist media, is actually planning and executing its military intervention in Libya as a ‘kick-off’ element of the global war planning strategy contained in Thomas Barnett’s 2004 Naval War College (and “hot read” national security state) book, The Pentagon’s New Map—which outlines the use of “Leviathan” military influence to cut a 5,000-mile swath across the entire North African, Middle Eastern and Southwestern Asian countries of the “Crescent of Unrest” from Mauritania to the Afpak’s boarder with India.

This nasty possibilty seems to comport very significantly with the ‘hint’ of intelligence information that no less than CIA-connected “journalist” Bob Woodward mentioned just this weekend on Meet the Press when he said:

“I’m not sure whether it’s unrest, an upheaval, whether these are revolutions. But in a 5,000-mile area from Mauritania to Afghanistan, you have to kind of put all this together. The president has a mammoth management problem. There is deep unhappiness, as there should be, about, Do we know what’s going on in these countries? And the intelligence agencies are scrambling because they cover the leaders and not the people who are the revolutionaries or the rebels or the people involved in this upheaval.”

Juan, I strongly believe that both your position and that of Professor Vijay Prashad would be more complete and balanced if the sleeping issue of Barnett’s strategy for the “Gap” being subsumed into the “Old Core” (his more polite term for the US-centered Western global Empire) were to be seriously considered in any debate about the progressive or reactionary intervention in Libya.

Alan MacDonald

Sanford, ME

Mar 29 2011 - 2:52pm

An Open Letter to the Left on Libya

The right decision

I am in sympathy with many of the arguments in this article, but going up against a nuclear-armed Soviet Union over tanks in Prague is a bit different than dealing with a Qaddafi using tanks, aircraft and artillery against his people. A war between the Soviet Union and the United States would have been a case of mutually assured destruction. We can be fairly confident that Libya, in some form, the US and the NATO countries will survive this conflict.

Certainly, the emerging governments in Egypt and Tunisia would not be comfortable with a Qaddafi government on their borders. Since his government has a history of state-sponsored terrorism, many countries could feel uncomfortable.

So far, the mandate of the UN to protect civilians has been followed. Air strikes against the Libyan Air Force, tanks and artillery were mounted because they were being used against civilian targets. While air strikes have allowed rebel forces to move against the government, there are no air to ground contacts between NATO and the rebels. This is not a combined operation. NATO announced today that this type of operation was restricted to Libya. Any similar type of operations should be cleared with the UN and any regional political organizations.

While I sometimes differ with the Obama administration, I do believe he had to move very fast to minimize civilian deaths. This was a temporary solution backed by the Arab League and the UN. NATO is now in charge of this conflict. While the United States has no vital interest in Libya, European countries do have vital interests and concerns in North Africa. They also have operational bases close to Libya.

The use of force should always be the last resort, but sometimes you have no choice!

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Mar 28 2011 - 4:04pm