Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 5 (7 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   4 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

The Libyan Tragedy: lessons for the western left

By       Message Tim Anderson     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 5 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 3   Supported 3   Must Read 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 1/1/12

- Advertisement -

The Libyan Tragedy: lessons for the western left

By Tim Anderson


One might have thought that with the "humanitarian' pretexts for the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan fairly fresh in the mind, the western "left' might have hesitated before backing (or refusing to oppose) a similar stunt in Libya.

 

- Advertisement -

Apparently not. Perhaps caught off guard by the rapid development of events, many of those who consider themselves "left' or progressive, in the western-imperial cultures, happily joined in the big-power-orchestrated chorus against "dictator' Gaddafi. In doing so they helped legitimise the overthrow of one of the more independent regimes in the middle east, and helped extend big power control of the region.

 

Never mind some quibbles over the carpet bombing and eventual public torture and murder of Gaddafi himself. Never mind the complaint that a "no fly zone' should not have meant missile attacks. The damage was done. By joining in the chorus against this western-designated "dictator', they effectively backed his very public torture and murder, along with the destruction of an independent political will in that small country.

- Advertisement -

 

The consequences of the "humanitarian intervention' in Libya were pretty well understood by most of the left in developing countries (i.e. in most of the world). Fidel Castro, notably, expressed scepticism about Gaddafi's political philosophy and some of his practice, but strongly opposed any NATO intervention (1). The western "left', by contrast, was fragmented and confused on matters of basic principle.

 

I suggest here some lessons for a western "left' that seems to have found itself deeply embedded in imperial culture:

 

 

- Advertisement -

1. Beware the "humanitarian' pretexts for war and imperial intervention against "dictators'

The "civilian massacres' by Gaddafi were invented. The insurrection, armed by NATO from day one (2), was being put down by the Libyan army, and the "rebels' cried "we are civilians' as they were being beaten. Others claimed attacks, such as the alleged air strikes on civilians of 22 February, were simply fabricated (3). After a while, the armed insurrection could be "justified' by reference to the Libyan government's earlier attacks on "civilians'. Later on the cluster bombing of the town of Misrata, by NATO, was falsely blamed on Gaddafi (4). The western "left' should have recalled that most imperial wars and interventions were started on similar false pretexts. If Gaddafi and a relatively independent state could be wiped out so easily on such a pretext, the same could apply to many dozens of other independent states.

 

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 3   Supported 3   Must Read 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

Tim Anderson is an academic and social activist based in Sydney, Australia

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Syria: how the violence began, in Daraa

In Defence of the Syrian Arab Army

The Libyan Tragedy: lessons for the western left

Al Jazeera's attacks on Syria: some background

Syria's "false flag' terrorism, Houla and the United Nations

Hugo Chávez, Venezuela and the Corporate Media