9/11, ten years on: how the arab spring is rebirthing a genuine left

Old Yobbo said:

‘Come to think of it, yes, the situation isn’t that different from Saddam’s Iraq, just on a more compressed time-frame. Which, if anything, makes me a bit more disposed towards the US invasion of Iraq (Christ, I never thought I would ever think that) …..’

September 11th 2011 ought to focus left-wing minds on what has become of the internationalist left, that ten years ago stood gob-smacked with everyone else, as humanity watched the unimaginable horror of those attacks.

Naturally all the old categories of leftists are still around and plenty of the recognized leaders too, but via the twists and turns of the intervening years those that started as self declared leftists and internationalists have reached a destination that is, as is usual for all political journeys, places that none of us really set out for. The numbers have dramatically changed after all that experience and it’s worth looking at the how, the why and the what of it.

Early in 2011 a small number of leftists joined in the call for the U.S. and the rest to impose a No Fly Zone (NFZ) on the Libyan tyranny, with the clear understanding that this meant starting with bombing. Most of these leftists then went quiet when it was blindingly obvious that NATO was not imposing a NFZ on the basis of any doctrine of the responsibility to protect, (R2P) but rather acting as the artillery (that conquers) for the Libyan revolutionaries who would occupy. This is a huge leap forward from a decade ago. These leftists in their silence were advocating war. They were only hiding behind R2P, and the pseudo-left didn’t hesitate to point this out. Those that went silent as the war was fought and won wanted more than just the democratic revolutionaries protected against their heavily armed tyrannical opponent. They wanted results. They wanted victory for the rebels across the entire country.

The previous decade ending at 9/11 was one of obvious collapse for the left and that requires no discussion here. But IMV a significant genuine left is now capable of arising from the fresh shoots now emerging from this last decade.

Going back to late 2002 we said that the US had altered their policy by 180 degrees from supporting dictatorship in the Mjddle East to supporting democracy in the Middle East.

The following six sub-periods provide some structure as to how peoples thinking has changed over those past 10years:

2001-2003: 9/11 atrocity; US invades Afghanistan; Iraq invasion / liberation.
This represented a disaster for the realists who wanted to maintain stability in the Middle East. This was the end of business as usual. The invasion and liberation of Iraq from the fascist minority Sunni based Baathists was an indirect but strategically vital response to the 9/11 attack. This response surprised Al Quaeda.

2003- 2005: US policy has good and bad features but three elections demonstrate their policy of supporting democracy

2005- 2007: The going gets tough.

2007- 2009: Bush initiates The Surge. Iraq proceeds to a normal election cycle

2009- 2010: Elections result in a delayed formation of an Iraqi Proportional Representation government

2011: The glorious Arab Spring breaks out

Incidentally, I also think that nothing potent remains of the former completely dominant political thinking of the U.S. ruling establishment from 2001. Realist policies of maintaining the status quo of autocracies are effectively dead in 2011, and for those that carry on as the zombies of that defeated school of thinking there is essentially nowhere in the ME to deploy their policy prescriptions. Anyway only governments do things and oppositions of all descriptions are free to talk and offer opinions that like assholes are common to all but no future U.S. government can revert to the old policies.

Support for the ending of the Libyan tyranny was widespread across the spectrum of what is known as the left but opposition to any ‘imperialist’ intervention was also almost exclusively to be found in this milieu as well, so a great debate was had this year and the pseudo-left was one issue that received great ventilation. Those who are stuck in the old ‘hard left’ paradigm that imperialism is the main enemy actually stand for all things conservative when it comes to ridding the ME of tyranny. They have been wonderfully exposed as useless dogmatists throughout this year of the Arab Spring and once more on the wrong side of a fire fight with the tyrants. Who is the main enemy then? All those who oppose the democratic revolution in the autocratic regimes.

The forces that had been involved in the anti-war movement in relation to the looming war in Iraq back in 2002 essentially divided in the lead-up to the war that is now concluding in Libya. My view is that at least 2 out of 3 and possibly 3 out of 4 supported action over Libya or went silent and took no stand or are now on reflection glad it happened. This group wanted western governments to do something to save the imperiled democratic revolution rather than allow Gaddafi to crush it with his superior firepower. I guess the figure for Iraq was more like 5%

But the action in the lead-up period was framed in a manner that sounded very different to just taking sides in a civil war. The reality was taking sides in a civil war. The reality was unity with western bourgeois governments who could supply the effective ‘artillery’.

Concerning the western imposition of a NFZ and other measures under the rubric of an international responsibility to protect civilians (R2P), before the actual war was launched, Guy Rundle said:

“All that matters is whether the request comes from legitimate leadership, is strategically viable, and can be limited in scope. Those conditions appear to have been met.”

What a joke. The rebels were being defeated by the tyranny until they united with various western governments and war was declared on the tyranny! There was never only a NFZ and R2P civilians ‘limited scope’ and the appearance of one was created as a deliberate lie to conceal the war fighting scope of the intervention.  Guy Rundle was happy to be lied to.

The Libyan tyranny has now been all but ended with the two last towns hopefully surrendering to the rebels this very weekend. The Rebel leadership is clearly going to hold the elections that it has sought and promised

Well, those same factors have been met in the case of ending the Iraq tyranny! The Coalition Of the Willing (COW) is going home and leaving behind a democratically elected government. Eight years is all it took to smash the reactionary heart of the ME and set the region wide revolution running.

38 Responses to “9/11, ten years on: how the arab spring is rebirthing a genuine left”

  1. 1 Bill Kerr

    Simply Evil

    A dose of Hitchens is always good. He has a way with words. Although a different message from pat’s who is more forward looking IMO.

  2. 2 Bill Kerr
  3. 3 Arthur

    I agree that the hard core pseudos are more isolated than ever and most of those who attempted to mobilize against liberating iraq went along with liberating libya.

    Maybe it’s just that I’m feeling down generally, but I don’t see much sign that its a rebirthing of the left. The larvatus prodeo discussion including Old Yobbo was interesting but seemed more like mainstream “centre-left” going along with what is after all government policy while rejecting the hare core pseudos as “left” and even “marxist-leninist” instead of seeing through them as anti-left.

    If we want a rebirthing of the left we’re going to have to do something about it!

  4. 4 Dalec

    Check out this guy:
    Abdelhakim Belhadj,is the commander of the Libyan rebel Tripoli Military Council,
    I would watch this re-birthing very carefully, perhaps you forgot to “drain the swamps” first?

  5. 5 patrickm


    1/ Do you think this guy and his group are correct in placing themselves under the command of the NTC? I do.

    2/ Do you think they will now want to contest elections, and do you think that Islamist parties will have a great deal of support in those elections? I do on both counts.

    3/ Do you think that a negotiated series of elections will be held? I do.

    4/ Do you think that the process as we have seen in Iraq will be the model so that elections will be a) reps for drawing up a constitution followed by b) ratification or rejection by the people; followed by c) re-run until full elections under the approved constitution and that will be conducted over the next 12-18 months? I do.

    5/ Do you think this guy’s mob will abide by the election and strive under PR democratic arrangements to be in any government that forms? I do.

    6/ Do you welcome the ‘artillery’ of the western powers that enabled after only these few months these prospects? I did.

    7/ Do you think that progressives in Libya had better cast aside illusions and prepare for struggle? I do.

    8/ Do you agree that the basic way to struggle is to be sure to unite the many to defeat the few; I do; and that the focus for Libyans will be on the current political demands that must be incorporated in the wording of a constitution that will no doubt see a struggle over the words ‘a’ and ‘the’ when it comes to Islam being a source of law and that this guy will and his ilk will most probably favor ‘the’ when others will want ‘a’? I do.

    9/ Do you think that ‘a’ will win out over ‘the’ (just as it did in Iraq)? I do.

    10/ Do you favor such political struggles after the people have dealt with the violence of the tyrant? I do.

    11/ Do you blame all the deaths and suffering of this short war essentially on the tyrant and his response to the just demands of the people? I do.

    12/ Do you agree that there are now new political demands to build numbers around in Libya, as the old demands for free and fair elections that provoked the tyranny to start the killing are essentially won? I do.

    You may not have noticed that there is a revolution going on across the entire ME and that this region is a real swamp. I have. Come on Dalec move on.

  6. 6 Steve Owens

    I think that Dalec is right to point out difficulties that lay ahead for the Libyan revolution because its better to be aware of difficulties than to have them take you by surprise.
    So far the revolutionary leadership seem to be doing a great job of leading
    I also agree with Patrick that the lessons of Iraq are important despite how we might argue as to what these lessons are.

  7. 7 Dalec

    Abdelhakim Belhadj
    Fought against the occupation of Irak alongside AlQueada.
    Doubt if he would take the occupation as a model.
    Point is that the many of revolutionaries in Libya have close links with Jihadists of all stripes.
    As Steve said we should not be surprised if it does not turn out quite the way we think it will.


  8. 8 Dalec

    I agree with your first 3 points.
    4.Process in Iraq is not unique to Iraq so I fail to see that Iraq is a model.
    5 It is not just this guys mob, there are a lot of very fundamentalist village fighters to be negotiated with.
    6. Yes – but they will extract a price for this assistance
    7. They had better do this.
    8. Dunno, seems the law will be based upon Sharia – not sure what that really means
    9. I honestly believe (despite Hitchens and the neocons pleading) that Iraq is irrelevant to Libya
    10 Of course
    11. Basically; but some of the previously “terrorist” jihadis on the side of the revolution clearly could not help themselves, the lynching of black mercenaries for example.
    12 Don’t understand paragraph.

    I have noticed that there is a revolution brewing across the entire world, as recent events in the UK attest. The underlying causes are the same; the massive disparity of wealth, the lack of opportunity for the young and the oppression by the state.
    Be interesting to see whose side you will be on when it breaks out in the US – as it inevitably must.

  9. 9 Arthur

    Abdelhakim Belhadj
    Fought against the occupation of Irak alongside AlQueada.
    Doubt if he would take the occupation as a model.

    The link provided by Dalek makes no such claim.

  10. 10 Steve Owens

    You are correct Arthur however Daleks general point about the danger to the democratic movement posed by those who are both anti Gaddafi and anti democratic must be a real concern for the revolution.
    This article I found interesting and towards the end gives an insight into Abdelhakim Belhadj’s current thinking ie a break with terrorism and an acceptance of the democratic process.

  11. 11 Dalec

    Arthur is not correct, I attched the wrong link.
    Your hero is an Islamic Terrorist Arthur,
    Don’t know if it is important or not but his presence (and a heap of others)certainly blows a hole in the “Iraq as an inspiration for revolution” theory.

    “After Afghanistan, Belhadj traveled to Pakistan and Iraq. In Iraq, where the Libyans are the second most numerous group of Islamist volunteers after the Saudis, he was said to be close to Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaeda’s chief in that country until his death in 2006. In Bangkok, in 2004, after having long been questioned and possibly tortured by the CIA, he was handed over to the Libyan secret services.”
    “Abdelhakim Belhaj, aka Abu Abdallah al-Sadek, is a Libyan jihadi. Born in May 1966, he honed his skills with the mujahideen in the 1980s anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan.

    He’s the founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and its de facto emir – with Khaled Chrif and Sami Saadi as his deputies. After the Taliban took power in Kabul in 1996, the LIFG kept two training camps in Afghanistan; one of them, 30 kilometers north of Kabul – run by Abu Yahya – was strictly for al-Qaeda-linked jihadis.

    After 9/11, Belhaj moved to Pakistan and also to Iraq, where he befriended none other than ultra-nasty Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – all this before al-Qaeda in Iraq pledged its allegiance to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri and turbo-charged its gruesome practices.

    In Iraq, Libyans happened to be the largest foreign Sunni jihadi contingent, only losing to the Saudis. Moreover, Libyan jihadis have always been superstars in the top echelons of “historic” al-Qaeda – from Abu Faraj al-Libi (military commander until his arrest in 2005, now lingering as one of 16 high-value detainees in the US detention center at Guantanamo) to Abu al-Laith al-Libi (another military commander, killed in Pakistan in early 2008).

    Time for an extraordinary rendition
    The LIFG had been on the US Central Intelligence Agency’s radars since 9/11. In 2003, Belhaj was finally arrested in Malaysia – and then transferred, extraordinary rendition-style, to a secret Bangkok prison, and duly tortured.

    In 2004, the Americans decided to send him as a gift to Libyan intelligence – until he was freed by the Gaddafi regime in March 2010, along with other 211 “terrorists”, in a public relations coup advertised with great fanfare. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/m“iddle_east/mh30ak01.html

  12. 12 Dalec

    Oops stuffed up a link again



  13. 13 Arthur

    There’s no doubt that Belhaj is an islamist who fought in Afghanistan. Dalek’s claim was about Iraq.

    I said the link provided no support and Dalek now says that *I* was incorrect because *HE* attached the wrong link!

    The link (now) provided offers no reference. The claim is not mentioned in either Wikipedia or Global Jihad:


    (Though the latter appends a link to Pepe Escobar at Asia Times who does repeat the claim).

    There is no doubt that Islamist parties came to power democratically in Iraq as a result of the overthrow of the tyranny there and the same can be expected in most, if not all, the other Arab countries. That expectation was the typical rationale for the old US foreign policy establishment supporting the tyrannies. Naturally it is repeated endlessly by Gaddafi and people like Escobar (who initially denounced the West for failing to support the rebellion and instantaneously switched to denouncing the West for supporting it).

    Equally naturally it is taken up by people like Dalek.

    Dalek did not make a “general point” about the obvious fact that there will be anti-democratic elements among the people overthrowing the current tyrants. He made a very specific about the relevance of Iraq.

  14. 14 Dalec

    Arthur perhaps you should have looked a little harder.
    Let me make my position crystal clear, I support all the uprisings in the Middle East, just as I will support the uprisings in the US and the UK as I did the Paris uprising in ’68.
    I am well aware that all sorts of unsavoury elements wil attach themselves or even attempt to control revolutionary movements.
    I make up my own mind about these things; for example I always opposed the Pol Pot regime.

  15. 15 Steve Owens

    Arthur again correct, Dalec did not make a general point, I was trying to read between the lines. Now Dalec has linked to his specific point about Iraq. You say that it is obvious that anti democratic elements will be part of the struggle but that is not the point. The point is that an anti democratic element is in a leading military position. A bit different than just being part of the mix.

  16. 16 Arthur


    Dalek’s latest link has no reference to Belhaj (or Al-Sadak). It confirms that there are islamists who fought against democracy in Iraq involved in overthrowing Gaddafi. It does not confirm that any such are in a leading position.

  17. 17 Dalec

    Arthur, this is the link that has no reference to Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi: ” Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, A Libyan rebel leader, has said, on Wednesday 04/20/2011, jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.

    In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, al-Hasidi admitted he had recruited “around 25” men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya.”

    Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of Al Qaeda are fighting against the invader.”” http://www.globaljihad.net/view_news.asp?id=1940
    Of course you may be right , Iraq was a real inspiration for the revolutionaries. A totally negative one.

  18. 18 barry

    I like the cartoon showing those regional dictators and oppressors who are feeling the heat, or have even been overthrown, since the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s regime. It’s worth looking at each of them more closely. Sure, there are differences and contradictions, conflicts, among and between some of them, and these are worthy of continued analysis and debate if the situation is to be understood. But there’s also a bottom line, and it is two-fold.

    First, each and every one of those depicted in the cartoon is an oppressor of some kind, not elected to power by any legitimate process based on a vote of the people.

    Secondly, each and every one of those dictators/oppressors opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq. It goes without saying that they also opposed the subsequent development of constiutional/parliamentary democracy based on competitive elections in Iraq after Hussein’s overthrow.

    And, may I venture to suggest that the uprisings in their respective countries will not be satisfied until they have what Iraqis now enjoy: the right to elect a parliament and therefore to have the final say, through elections, about who will govern them.

    This is revolutionary stuff, in the context, and it is hardly surprising that dalec still doesn’t get it.

  19. 19 Dalec

    Oh Dalec gets it.
    There is no way the people of the ME want a repeat of Iraq visited upon them. Hundreds of thousands dead, storm troopers violating their homes, Abu Grhaib, occupation by a foreign power, 8 years of stagnant economy.
    No power no water, sick children every-where.

    Iraq was a stick Barry, not a carrot.

  20. 20 Arthur

    To a Dalek “Abdelhakim Belhaj, aka the father of Abdallah al-Sadek” is the same as Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi. After all they are both Arabs and have similar first names and the two different photos show they both have beards (and they have probably both made pilgrimmages to Mecca). So why should a Dalek notice the difference?

    Nevertheless the former is military commander of Tripoli which is obviously a “leading military position” as Steve said, while the latter is not. So it would indeed be of some greater concern if the former had fought against democracy in Iraq.

    PS I’m quite sure nobody anywhere wants a repeat of Iraq visited on them. The mass murder of Iraqis by islamo-fascists cheered on by the pseudos was quite sickening. Nevertheless it failed so although there may well be all kinds of bad stuff in the current revolutions (eg the murder of thousands in Libya and Syria so far) I think it is highly unlikely that any of the others will be as costly as Iraq.

    Certainly the pseudos can no longer even pretend to themselves that they could mobilize a mass movement to protect any of the regimes. They were completely dependent for mobilization over Iraq on support from the old US foreign policy establishment, which has basically given up hope since its all out efforts did not succeed in preventing the destabalization of the whole region.

  21. 21 Dalec

    WEll Arthur I found your cheering on of the mass murder of the people of Falluja by the US forces equally sickening.
    I would sugest to every-one that the outcome of events in Libya is not yet settled. There is rather high probability that the NATO activity may facilitate the installation of yet another non democratic regime in the ME. Of course no effort will be spared to dress this in the cloth of liberal democracy. Another real probability is that radical Islam in one form or another will manage to snatch victory. BTW the attempts to link recent events in the ME to Iraq are rather sad and basically illogical.
    It is all too early for crowing Arthur. You may have to eat that crow.

  22. 22 Arthur

    The conflation of islamofascists with “radical islam in one form or another” is utterly typical of both the traditional US foreign policy establishment support for the autocracies and its pseudoleft echo.

    Though in fairness the establishment did not overtly support the islamofascist “resistance” in Iraq while the same utter pseudos who did support them to defend the Baathists are now denouncing much less poisonous islamists to defend Gaddafi.

    Obviously democratic revolution in islamic countries will see radical islam “snatch” victory just as the radical Puritans did in England.

    Equally obviously Dalek is incapable of acknowledging a simple error regarding Belahaj and Iraq.

  23. 23 Dalec

    Oh Arthur,
    Good old “Islamofascism” rears its ugly head again http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamofascism
    How convenient so now radical Islamic fundamentalism is OK so long as its not “Islamofascist”?
    I think you would agree that “Islamofascism” is a neologism
    “Neologism” according to Merriam Webster is
    1: a new word, usage, or expression
    2: a meaningless word coined by a psychotic
    Think I would go with definition 2: in this case.
    I have never defended Gaddafi,my experience of the regimes in the ME is that he was about an average thug a bit smarter than most but a nasty thug nevertheless.
    You can go about labelling people and movements Fascist but I doubt if it helps much. More to the point is a detailed critique of their motives and aspirations.
    The establishment of Sharia law, for example, will not assist modernity in any country.


  24. 24 GuruJane

    Over here in London the Gaddafi story is the big news, but buried away in the Times was a story about the first Tunisian democratic elections which will be held next Sunday. It goes like this:

    3000 volunteers have been trained to man the polling stations.
    10,000 candidates.
    100 different political parties.
    Voting by proportional representation.
    Voters will dip their fingers into purple dye.

    Remember Iraq, January 2005? I vividly recall watching the Beeb in the run-up predicting death, disaster and chaos from the Baath/salafi insurgency cheered on by the Dalecs of the pseudo left. Even more vividly the sight of those purple fingers and the glum faces of the Beeb anchors.Well now it seems, only six years later, the purple fingers being raised in another arab country.

    Like the first Iraq election, the new Tunisian legislature will draw up the country’s first democratic constitution. When this has been voted on sometime in the future Tunisia will be the second Arab democracy in the Middle East. Significantly next door to Tunisia is Libya – so the Tunisian example, following Iraq before it, will stand as a model for the Libyans.

    I was skeptical about the outcomes of the Arab Spring, but there is no doubt now the ME is being remade on democratic lines in the light of Bush and Blair and the Iraqis themselves bringing down the fascists in Iraq post 2003.

    Meanwhile unsung and apparently unsupported the Syrian people have been showing the most extraordinary bravery and steadfastness facing up to Assad and his goons over the last few months. Maybe President Barack Bush and PM David Blair will now start providing them with CIA and SAS assistance, at least. Surely the Arab League too would like to see the end of Assad?

  25. 25 tom

    An optimistic and uplifting post from the UK GJ
    I was in Melbourne’s outer suburbs yesterday visiting an Iraqi family and using an Arabic interpreter from Egypt. They were all jubilant about developments in Libya (the victory and the fate of Gaddafi) expressed solidarity with the Syrian people and very hopeful about democratic developments in the region.
    I too remember fondly the images of the Iraqi people with purple stained fingers and look forward to seeing Tunisians similarly ‘decked out’ next week. These images (as with the Iraqis in 2005) will not only be affirmations of the people’s democratic aspirations but also an ‘up yours’ to the naysayers.

  26. 26 alan

    another point of view:

    In Libya, Lies and Imperialism on the Verge of Victory
    August 22, 2011

    Libya: Imperialism and the Left
    August 28, 2011

    GaddafiÆs Oppressions
    October 21, 2011



    There is evidence from Gaddafi defectors (especially Nouri Mesmari), under France protection that France started preparing a Benghazi based rebellion against Gaddafi from November 2010, in order to stop his plans to switch from the dollar to a new gold currency. US politician, Rep. Dennis Kucinich confirms this. (See: “French plans to topple Gaddafi on track since last November” by Franco Bechis.)
    [end quote]

  27. 27 alan

    Last gowans link (“gaddafi’s oppressions”) seems not to work.
    Try this one:

    “The oppression began with Gaddafi liberating Libya from the tyranny of the puppet ruler King Idris I, whose flag has become the banner of the rebels. It continued with Gaddafi’s expulsion of foreign military bases and his nationalization of the country’s oil. Further oppression was heaped upon Libyans when under Gaddafi’s rule living standards rose to surpass those of every other country in Africa.
    Certainly, Gaddafi’s fight to suppress the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group—whose members fought the Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq and struggled alongside Osama bin Laden against the Soviets in Afghanistan—added to the oppression.
    The leader of the LIFG, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, once jailed by the Americans for terrorism, is now the military ruler of Tripoli.
    Gaddafi’s insistence over the objections of US oil company executives and State Department officials that the Libyan economy be “Libyanized” (that foreign investment be turned to the advantage of Libyans) cranked up the oppression a notch or two further.
    And Gaddafi’s generous aid to national liberation movements and to sub-Saharan African countries expanded his oppressions worldwide.”

  28. 28 steve owens

    alan, Gadaffi ruled for decades. When the winds of democracy spread accross Nth Africa he became a target of his own people. He responded with violence. The Imperialists had armed him well and their intervention only negated their previous support for Gadaffi.
    In the large cities the issue was decided by who had popular support and Gadaffi came up short, very short. In Tripoli where were the masses rising up to defend him? Why if he ruled so well did he have to try and crush Benghazi and Misrata? NATO saved the revolution but it did not make the revolution.

  29. 29 patrickm

    Local Libyan progressives and all the others who had issues with the tyranny ruling Libya took to the streets and demonstrated for change. It is essential to remember that they did no more than make political demands to be free to form their own political parties, and contest free and fair elections for a proportionally representative government. At least a minimal bourgeois democractic process to this point.

    Now the tyranny could have said fine that’s a good thing let’s organize those elections and move on. But instead it killed some of those people and forced those remaining to arm themselves and unite with ANYONE they could and fight back.

    The subsequent suffering and deaths is ultimately the direct result of the tyranny attempting to hold those masses in bondage and the pseudo-left (as we have seen) must hide from this very basic fact.

    The U.S. and other imperialist countries following realist policies were formerly the greatest obstacle to the peoples’ of the ME region achieving these basic rights. They merely talked democracy but sought stability and supported tyranny. That much is agreed by all leftists.

    Recently we saw a blatant example on the BOLT report where an Israeli professor sprouted Zionist heart-ache over the out-break of bourgeois democracy. Even the impending fall of the Syrian regime was lamented. One need not wonder what affect this democracy will have on ending the war for greater Israel, as U.S. President Obama has already informed the world that a Palestinian state is coming.

    Iraq / Libya / Bahrain / Egypt / Tunisia / Jordan / Syria / Yemen / Iran / Palestine are all part of this basic democratic struggle and after 9/11 U.S. interests were correctly identified by the Bush administration as requiring this revolution. The sub-stage of free and fair elections and the struggle for a constitution is long past in Iraq and still to come in Libya. In a year or so the Libyan people will have caught up with the people of Iraq. The western sea, air and ground forces will have long ago returned home from both countries, and the struggle in both countries will continue with the human materials, like it or not, that both countries have to work with.

    A pro war left is now broadly thinking about the next cab off the rank. 3,000 dead so far in Syria! Hopefully Assad will think hard on the way this last tyrant has ended. But we can’t hold our breath.

  30. 30 steve owens

    The US and the EU are trying to apply UN trade sanctions to Syria.
    Someone should tell this to those guys that are running Iraq.


  31. 31 patrickm

    Steve I wonder what was talked about that was descrided as ‘in addition to overcoming the obstacles hindering the Arab and foreign investors from carrying out economic activities that would contribute to increasing the volume of trade exchange between Syria and Iraq.’ that was mentioned in your link. Could it be Assad’s regime currently killing the masses on the streets, and not getting out of the way of the required democratic changes to Syria? Do you think that the Iraqi government supports the Syrian regime or want’s to see the Tunisian/Egyptian/Libyan changes got on with?

  32. 32 steve owens

    Pat well picked up that phrase does seem to be about sanction busting.The Iraqi and Syrian governments can overcome obsticles faced by Arab and foreign investors ie sanctions are the obsticles and Iraq can bust them. Well spotted.
    As to what Iraq wants, well I guess there are several answers some people would like to see a libyan solution, some would like to see reforms and some would like to have the stability of …well what were Maliki’s exact words something about Al Qaeda being behind the uprising.

  33. 33 alan

    Steve: “Why if he ruled so well did he have to try and crush Benghazi and Misrata?”

    Who said that he “ruled well”? The point was that it is clearly NOT a simple matter of evil dictator gaddafi — bad bad BAD, and that’s that — as the State Dept, CIA, etc., would have you believe. There’s clearly much more going on than that. It seems that you’ve swallowed the kool-aid version being dished out by the MSM/CIA/etc.


    The Real Reason Why Gadaffi Was Killed & Why We’re In Libya

    Libyan gold was globalist game all along


    Sorry, Steve, but I smell a rat.

    I could be wrong, but probably I’m not.

  34. 34 patrickm

    As I said back in March


    ‘We should all note that there are as many progressive Libyans caught up on the currently pro Gaddafi side of the civil war as there are on the revolutionary side. However as soon as the issue is reduced to what demands can bring the fighting to an end one can see that the Gaddafi forces are the problem.

    Despite all the lies that our media and western governments are spewing out the fight is about the right to hold elections that mean something. Gaddafi must go to enable those free and fair elections.’

    The struggle now opens up and 1 divides into 2. The current leadership has lost its head. In Iraq ‘the’ source of law, lost out to ‘a’ source of law when it came to the faith issue. This struggle is now right up front in Libya (first cab off the rank followed by polygamy FFS) and though there are very good early indications that this struggle will in the short term be lost, one ought not be too sure. This prospect has the pseudo-left already scoffing that the pro war left has ‘once again’ got it wrong and that tyranny ought to have been left undisturbed as it ought to have been in Iraq while the human capital of the country developed to something like a current western standard. It is only then that the revolution can be launched goes the refrain. But when the silent masses go to the secret ballot don’t be so sure that issues of humanity’s shared modernity do not win out.

    ‘Dare to struggle dare to win’ is the old saying.

    IMV the current leader will not disarm this population and bring on a new Iran. As Lawrence of Arabia said (in the movie) nothing is written!

  35. 35 steve owens

    Ok alan you got me, no one said that Gadaffi “ruled well” That was just the inference that I drew from your link which said that Gadaffi overthrew the king, nationalised the oil, raised living standards, helped liberation struggles. I infered that the writer was indicating “ruled well” but you are right those words were not used.
    alan do you support the American revolution? You know George Washington and all that.
    Well Washington probably would have lost if it wernt for the help of imperialist France. Should Washington have refused the help from the king of France.
    Maybe you support the Russian revolution? Lenin would never have made it back to Russia if he hadnt been helped by German imperialism. Honestly if he hadnt returned and argued against the line of Kamanev and Stalin October would not have happened.
    The Irish rebels of the Easter uprising Pearce and Connolly got their weapons from imperial Germany.
    Theres no law that says that revolutionaries cant get help from anybody at any time. Of course the imperialists will do this for their own dirty interests but that is just an accident of history.

  36. 36 steve owens

    alan I watched those u tube clips about the war being all about gold.
    Gold really does have a strange effect on the human mind.
    People start talking crazy as soon as this almost useless metal becomes part of the equation and I know that if you are a gold bug theres nothing I can say that will make any sense to you.
    I particularly liked the reporter who stated that theres not enough gold to go around. Its true for a commodity that is generally turned into bricks and stacked we just never have enough.

  37. 37 alan

    Hi, Steve.
    Thanks for your reply about revolutions and etc. It was interesting. However, it had almost nothing to do with what I wrote, so I am uncertain as to why you responded as you did.

    You’re right that gold is a completely useless metal. But, it so happens, billions of people are flocking to it, as other asset classes threaten collapse. They seem to be unaware (unlike us, the enlightened ones) of its uselessness. As for “not enough to go around”: There seems to be enough for 100s of millions of dirt-poor Indian peasants (and others) to hoard. The common people of the world are the main gold holders, in fact. I guess they did not get the memo alerting them to the undeniable fact that there is “not enough to go around”. Poor suckers. Pray for them.

  38. 38 steve owens

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