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The Tyranny Merry-Go-Round. The Libyan Nuclear Nightmare

The gutlessness has spread. Turning on the despicable 'Wright Stuff' (an embarrassing attempt by channel 5 to be a TV station) I found that the B-list panel and most the callers were parroting the Mohatama McKenzie/Stop the War/Dave Spart line, and were willing to watch the slaughter of the Libyan people, and the death of the Jasmine Revolution in its tracks.
One of the favourite chants goes:
'Why Libya? Wot about Zimbabwe? Sudan! Saudi! Nigeria! China!!! We gonna bomb them too?! Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy! the CIA are behind it all'
 Round and round and up and down they fly on their Merry-Go-Round of Tyranny, pacifist ribbons braided in their locks, having a lovely time, wallowing in the horror of those names. Their reactions are not rational, but pornographic and exhibitionist. Or at best, the sad pedantry of the winner of the Atrocity Pub Quiz.
They also thought that Gadaffi had refused to sell us any oil for forty years, and that World War 2 started because Hitler attacked Britain. The Ignorati are out in force and are determined to prevent the freedom virus spreading any further than Egypt, which can then be corralled and managed. This was always to be expected from the Xenophobic Tendency, who object to Foreign aid on principle and think that Britain can exist in a vacuum, and is in some ways to be welcomed. The more Kelvin McKenzies the better. In his current incarnation, he is socialism's best recruiting sergeant. Sad then that some who call themselves socialists seem determined to fall in behind him, rather than figure out why he is wrong. Unless they do so soon, they will become another lost tribe of progress, like the Quakers. The People Who Technology Forgot, or rather, the people who forgot about the technology, which is partly what they have done, and which obscures their vision.
People who should know much better are spouting the Glenn Beck nightmare of a covert Jihadi plot, and other incredibly clever theories. All of which denies the facts of the last 3 months, and directly undermines the hope they embodied. And in some people, it seems that years of hating imperialism, while not understanding what it is for, is getting in the way of their humanity. They would rather pursue old vendettas than see the Relief of Bengazi and Misratah. This is a natural result of the money-poisoned intellectual atmosphere of the last 60 years, and a serious software problem for those concerned, but shouldn't distract from the need for urgent action now to allow the Libyan people to liberate themselves.
The scale of the missile attacks has been surprising, but they do not seem to have hit many civilian targets. The Libyan information is naturally discredited. They have cried wolf far too often for anything they say to be taken seriously. And there will undoubtedly be mistakes, in which innocent Libyans will die. But as most testimony finding its way out of Libya confirms, the people are prepared to pay the price of freedom, and know the risks. If they were not, none of this would be happening and RAF pilots would have been in the NAAFI last night drinking tea and watching Machester City Vs Chelsea on Match of the Day. This military action is probably unprecedented in history in being led by the people. Soon, they will be playing a vital military role in co-ordinating attacks. When Gadaffi has gone, they will decide the kind of society they want. And it may be a consumerist paradise, for a while, or it may not. That is for them to decide.
If Libya does fall back into Gadaffi's hands, as would happen if the pacifists have their way, Egypt and Tunisia can kiss their new democracies goodbye. They will be too busy dealing with the madman on their border, who will then believe he is immortal and omnipotent, and will do everything he can to get as many nuclear weapons as possible. Wot about Israel?! Why don't we attack them?! Because they have nukes, that's why. And now the pacifists want Gadaffi to have them too. For those who want to know the 'obective', the 'Endgame', it is to stop Gadaffi becoming a nuclear warlord. Happy now?
About progress they were not wrong, the old Chartists, how it boiled down to a few words:
'By moral force if we may. By physical force if we must.' And while we're about it, Self-defence is no Offence. Those calling themselves socialists should dust off those trusty old slogans until they can re-orientate themselves and join the real world.
Pacifists, however, are almost beyond help. But here goes. Ghandi would not have saved either the lives of one Libyan,  or the future of freedom. His tactics ran out of steam in Bengazi when peaceful unarmed demonstrators were killed with machine guns anti-aircraft guns and mortar bombs. In the face of such brutality, and with the world watching every second online, and discussing every twist and turn, UN 1973 and Operation Odyssey Dawn were inevitable, and inasmuch as they will save lives, and put the Jasmine Revolution back on track, desirable.
It is interesting that during the period when the west dithered and Gadaffi was counter-attacking with force, other tyrannies took heart and followed his example, leading Saudi Arabia to invade Barhain to suppress protest and demolish Pearl Square. Across the region hundreds have been killed in the last three weeks to preserve dictatorships which only have months to go.
But since the passing of UN 1973, the people of Syria are rising. and the Syrian regime is almost as brutal and monolithic as Libya. But the people are now less afraid of it than they were three days ago. And therefore, the regime is more afraid of the people. Human nature is easy to trust, but some find it impossible to trust anything. The sad aspect of this story is the fact that the list of the pathologically cynical includes both the mad and the well-meaning. Which only reveals the range of victims and war-damage of decades of Consumerist wars.


  1. flashdance1:59 pm

    Ah yes. But none of it matters because the Libyans will not take no for an answer and will not stop until they have won. (Incidentally if you ever try and criticise the Wright Program via Twitter or FB with a Gaddefiesque touch they block you then and forever.) And just one point before Ghandi is dismissed completely - he did manage to defeat the then largest Empire in the world. Gene Sharp has some good reason why peaceful protests have worked and are working. The Libyan opposition set out unarmed to confront the Libyan Maggot and that is what galvanised support for them. It is what has led the Yemeni army to defect in support of the unarmed protesters today. If the Libyans had enacted outright armed civil war it would not have been as easy for the UN to intervene and give the Libyans UN support.

  2. I don't know if none of it matters. But I agree completely with your general line. And there is certainly confusion about the sequence of events, starting with the massacre of a completely peaceful protest in Bengazi. It 'had' to start that way, in a way. Just as the lateness of UN 1973 was almost inevitable. And you're right to draw attention to the fact that domestic armies are reluctant to kill their own people, especially conscript armies (Dear Ahmed, Don't Shoot Your Cousin' This factor has been crucial to the progress made so far. Gadaffi knew this rule of human nature, hence the use of mercenaries. But this is living on borrowed time. Or hired loyalty. It is a castle built on sand with bricks without straw and a squeaky wheel.
    I don't have anything against Ghandi, honestly. And if anything his general strategy has been vindicated in Egypt, which showed that simply not doing something (working), but doing it all in one place (Tahrir Square) can bring down a dictatorship. The strike is a pacifist tactic, and if the Libyan people - or any other people, were to simply leave their place of work, the dictatorships would fade away like mist.
    But what also has to be remembered about Ghandi is that he was not confronted by Moamar Gadaffi, whatever the sins of the British empire, it did not find it possible to commit the same kind of atrocities in 1946 that it could in 1870. I'm sure Nelson Mandela must be on record somewhere as a fan of Ghandi. But he realised that force was sometimes the only resort. So I see your Indian Independence and raise you the defeat of Apartheid. The point is that it's not Ghandi I dismiss, but the wooly, sentimental Buddifarian middle class sugar-coated Ghadi perpetuated by some overgrown hippies roaming the Progressive Prairie. Endlessly ruminating.
    I'm glad someone else has felt the blade of Wright Stuff censorship. I was banned from their Facebook page for (get this) requesting, fairly politely, that Wright might like to find another term for sex other than the infantile 'Hide The Sausage', as the joke had worn very thin a long time ago. Within ten minutes, I was out on my ear. Pass the word.
    Thanks for your constructive comment. Hopefully we can soon be discussing the blossoming of the New Free Libya, and exchanging contacts with Libyans creating a new world for them, and possibly providing a new model of society for many, many more.
    Bengazi in September sounds like the destination of a lifetime. They can have my foreign exchange any time they want. And then a huge welcome for the team at the 2012 London Olympics.

  3. War and Terror
    30 Mar, 7:30pm
    The Lucas Arms, 245a Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross, London

    The Western military intervention in Libya poses complex questions for socialists. Should we really oppose limited military action to aid the rebellion against Qaddafi (if that's what this is)? Or is such opposition the only way to remain principled opponents of US, UK etc militarism and imperialism? If the US, UK, NATO have not changed their spots - and of course they haven't - is "No intervention" the only thing we can say?

    Beyond that, is 'humanitarian intervention' just old-style colonial imperialism under a new guise? What do 'imperialism' and 'anti-imperialism' mean in today's world?

    A discussion led by Workers' Liberty's Clive Bradley. All welcome.

  4. Anonymous2:50 pm


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