Re: Oh, good.


Am I right that there really were not any rebels per se before the popular demonstrations? Or was there some pre-existing underground organization that came out in the open?

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-11 1:32 PM
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1:Long simmering tribal divisions and economic discontent, especially toward the East. Qadafi put down, brutally, something or other in 2007, I think.

Wiki Background 2007 mentioned

Despite one of the highest unemployment rates in the region at 21 percent (latest census), there was a consistent labor shortage with over a million migrant workers present on the market.[36] These migrant workers formed the bulk of the refugees leaving Libya after the beginning of hostilities.

Libya's purchasing power parity (PPP) GDP per capita in 2010 was US $14,878; its human development index in 2010 was 0.755; and its literacy rate in 2009 was 87 percent. These numbers were lower in Egypt and Tunisia.[37] Indeed, Libyan citizens are considered to be well educated and to have a high standard of living.[38] This specific situation creates a wider contrast between good education, high demand for democracy, and the government's practices (perceived corruption, political system, supply of democracy


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-26-11 1:49 PM
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I am hoping that after MENA learns that "democracy" or liberalism will give the chance to vote any oligarch of their choice into office but unemployment remains at 21% and lifetime opportunities are still shit they will see that a parliamentary process is useless until the wealth is socialized.

Or they could become fans of Cameron-like tools and get their thrills symbolically. That is the neo-liberal plan.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-26-11 1:54 PM
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Third post in a row in which I dig up applicable text!

This is kind of a mess. UNSC resolution 1970, paragraph 9, set up an explicit arms embargo covering all Libyan nationals, and allowing the UNSC to make exceptions. But resolution 1973, the one authorizing intervention, said:

4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya... [emphasis added]

So the strictness of the arms embargo could, I think, be relaxed with the fig leaf of it being in the interests of protecting civilians. Aw, the AUMF had a baby.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-26-11 2:27 PM
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Richard Seymour ...on racism within the rebel forces. He gets pushback in comments, from Louis Proyect even.

But another crucial factor is that those assuming leadership could not articulate a set of sufficiently popular demands to win over the majority of the revolutionary forces let alone the society at large, due probably to their situation in Libya's class structure. So, lacking the ability to concentrate the wider social forces in Libya within its ranks, and without the defection of further elite forces, particularly military elites, the council began arguing for intervention from day one - an argument which they would have known meant cutting a deal with imperialist states, who would otherwise tell them where to go and certainly not vote through a UN resolution on their behalf. It would seem that without a genuinely representative national organisation pushing a clear popular agenda, and under the weight of Qadhafi's assault, and with a fairly conservative rump of elites bolstered by imperialism, the emancipatory content of the revolt has been diminished, leaving the more rotten elements to come to the fore. That would be my explanation.
whatever, Richard

Basically, my understanding is the Colonels way behind the front lines, plus the usual doctors and lawyers, have already made the deals with the MNC's, investment banks, and Obama/Sarkozy to keep the wages down and the profits flowing. They probably will split Qadafi's cut 60/30, with ten percent going to Obama's account in Bahrain.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-26-11 3:07 PM
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my understanding

It is to laugh.

Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-26-11 3:10 PM
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Cute: Libya bought eight military transport aircraft 30 years ago, and they've been sitting undelivered near Atlanta all this time, now just scrap. (Via Rachel Maddow on Twitter.)

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-26-11 8:21 PM
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A heads-up for Jimmy Pongo and any others who may be interested: I just posted a mix over in the Green Acres thread.

Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03-27-11 7:09 AM
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I'm inclined to favor something like this too -- maybe giving them antitank rockets. Though they're doing a pretty good job so far, and I think they'll be able to win without any new kinds of help.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 03-28-11 3:52 AM
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It would be nice to see if the rebels can win without the West pouring more small arms into a poorly understood conflict.

Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-28-11 8:59 AM
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The US is unlikely to hand out antitank rockets in that region.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-28-11 9:06 AM
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maybe giving them antitank rockets.

Why not? It's never backfired on anyone in the history of the world until now, right?

Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 03-28-11 9:15 AM
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Something that's been bugging me about Libyan coverage: news says Surt / Sirt / Sirte is a key military chokepoint and probably a bellwether of the whole war, which I supppose is true (NYRB confirms it). But NYT coverage always mentions that fact in conjunction with "and Surt was just hit by airstrikes" near the top. But that fact isn't a sign of rebel progress at all - according to the NYT time-series map, Surt's was first targeted on the very first day of airstrikes, over a week ago.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-28-11 10:15 AM
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4: "It is our interpretation that [resolution] 1973 amended or overrode the absolute prohibition of arms to anyone in Libya so that there could be legitimate transfer of arms if a country were to choose to do that. We have not made that decision at this time."

Posted by: Hilary Clinton | Link to this comment | 03-29-11 1:52 PM
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Killing Our Way to a Better America

There is a pretense that humanitarian interventionists care more about different nations' shared humanity, but in practice they seem to have less awareness of shared humanity when it comes to urging military action against foreign governments and their supporters. Once the "bad guys" have been identified, humanitarians suddenly turn into hard-liners for the other side of the conflict and start mimicking the collective punishment arguments that other hawks routinely employ. It was officials in the last humanitarian interventionist administration that enthused about "crushing Serb skulls," but the attitude today seems to be much the same. What began as a mission to save Benghazi is turning into an occasion for Americans to start rooting for major assaults on Sirte and Tripoli. What seems to concern them most is that the rebel forces aren't capable of launching those assaults. Sirte may be a Gaddafi stronghold, and people there may be remaining supportive out of tribal loyalties, vested interests, fear, or some combination of the three, but if the U.S., allied and rebel forces end up doing to Sirte what U.S. forces did to Fallujah it will be inexcusable. [...]

Right now, if you're a Libyan and you're not on the side of the rebels, you have some good reasons to fear American planes overhead. Even anti-Gaddafi civilians in cities controlled by Gaddafi's forces are going to have reason to be afraid of the gunships and tank-killers buzzing overhead. Restrictive rules of engagement, precision weapons, and training notwithstanding, all of the people living in Sirte and Tripoli have good reasons to be afraid. The ease with which humanitarian interventionists seem to forget that they are cheering on the deliberate killing of people who have done nothing to them and theirs is bad enough, but the notion that America is making great moral progress if it uses force to kill the right sorts of people for the right reasons, and especially when the conflict has nothing to do with us, is simply evil.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-29-11 2:01 PM
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As I type this a CNN reporter is dispelling the scurrilous rumor that NATO allows filthy foreigners to command our brave men and women in uniform.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-29-11 2:22 PM
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