Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 29, 2011

Juan Cole's Warmongering

Urging the killing of Libyans Juan Cole published Top Ten Ways that Libya 2011 is Not Iraq 2003.

I'll not bother to refute all his points. For anyone halfway awake it is self evident that all the ten points he mentions are rather pointing to similarities than to differences in the arguments for both of those wars.

For example he says "The United States did not take the lead role .." on Libya while the NYT reported on the 18th of March that the relevant UN resolution was drafted by the U.S. and the U.S. obviously led the military action. He says "None of the United Nations allies envisages landing troops on the ground" while there are many reports public that British SAS special forces have been caught on the ground even before the UN resolution.

So Cole's pamphlet is just pro-war propaganda. On all ten points the War on Libya is indeed like the War on Iraq.

But there is an additional point Cole doesn't mention where the War on Libya is the same idiocity as the War on Iraq has been.

Juan Cole supported both of these wars. On March 19 2003 he wrote:

I remain convinced that, for all the concerns one might have about the aftermath, the removal of Saddam Hussein and the murderous Baath regime from power will be worth the sacrifices that are about to be made on all sides.

Since mid March 2011 Cole is obviously propagandizing for War on Libya.

His latest pamphlet An Open Letter to the Left on Libya (notice where the title puts himself) is just a stupid  attack on sane thinking. Did the Koch brothers pay for that?

Posted by b on March 29, 2011 at 19:21 UTC | Permalink


Idiocy? I will have to disagree with that. The West has planted a base on top of the one of the largest proven oil reserves and is largely sitting on it for that rainy day, just as Japanese businessmen are over-fishing tuna, freezing it and waiting for the price to go up when there is no more. Extinction Level's the next wave in economic theory. Plus, a lot of people have made gobs of money off of the Iraq Invasion/Occupation and the goal has been accomplished, moving Iraq from a #3 on my chart to between a #2 and #1.

The Koch Bros. thing is being worn out by the so-called "Liberals." It's quite hypocritical, actually, to narrowly focus on the Kochs, not that they don't deserve scorn and ridicule, but the larger issue is legal status of Corporations. That should be the focus of energy and criticism.....not focusing on merely one player in the entire cabal of amoral organizations.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 29 2011 19:39 utc | 1

Juan has to play the else could he get the PBS Nightly News and CNN gigs..........

Posted by: georgeg | Mar 29 2011 19:47 utc | 2

"Despite the close and elegant moral reasoning tempered by a steady pragmatism, the speech was full of genuine feeling, including empathy and outrage. It strikes me as among the better speeches President Obama has given since taking office."
Juan's response to the "President's" Libya address.......
Please help me......

Posted by: georgeg | Mar 29 2011 19:50 utc | 3

Here's a Libyan woman telling her story about being gang raped by 15 pro-Qaddafi soldiers:

This story is very reminiscent of the story about Saddam Hussein's soldiers taking Kuwaiti babies out of their incubators and letting them die on the cold floor:

So it wouldn't surprise me in the least to learn that this story of a gang rape by Qaddafi soldiers was cooked up by the war propagandists working deep within the bowels of the Pentagon. There is no better way to build up public support for a war than to report a story about how the enemy is engaging in the rape of women or the killing of babies. And even if this story of rape ends up being true, I have no doubt that if a news reporter searches long and hard enough, he'll find a story about how anti-Qaddafi rebels have gang raped a pro-Qaddafi woman somewhere within the borders of Libya.

Our war hawks on both sides of the aisle, including our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president, Barack Obama, are lousy at devising strategies that can put us on the winning side of wars, but they are brilliant at cooking up lies to get us into wars that have no end in sight. I suppose what is motivating them to do this is their goal to maintain job security in the military-industrial complex and keep their war profiteers rolling the dough. Regardless of their motives, it saddens me to no end to see that our country has been hijacked by a gang of warmongering sociopaths, chief among them, Barack Obama.

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 29 2011 19:52 utc | 4

but they are brilliant at cooking up lies

This is the part they suck at, actually, but it doesn't matter, really. The populace has had the capacity for critical thought educated out of them, so you can pretty much tell them anything and they would believe it.

The lies are easily refuted and quite transparent, but they're not intended for an audience who can critically think.

Take the Yellow Cake lie, for example. Here's a recap of that whole mess.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 29 2011 20:12 utc | 5

Speaking of warmongering sociopaths, Susan Rice and Samantha Powers are making their bones by proving that they’re not ‘squeamish’.

It seems that in the testosterone-laced world of the US foreign policy establishment, a woman’s best career strategy is to be the most belligerent person in the room.

Posted by: Watson | Mar 29 2011 20:21 utc | 6

A word came into fashion after America's Civil War, to describe Southerners who ended the war with the very same beliefs and prejudices, they had held before the war: unreconstructed. As in "unreconstructed Southerners."

Juan Cole is unreformed in this sense. He is an unreconstructed Liberal Interventionist. He proves conclusively that he has drawn no lesson from the Iraq debacle. How a supposedly intelligent man can believe that this thoroughly militarized nation of ours, which has sunk into a hellish abyss of aggressive war, and normalization of torture of captives, and runs blanket surveillance of its own people, can get clean, by supposedly washing its hands in more blood. This is pure insanity. Cole has lost his mind.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 29 2011 20:46 utc | 7

The main way that Libya 2011 is just like Iraq 2003, is that it is built on a soft foundation of deception and secrecy.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 29 2011 20:57 utc | 8

the u s imperialism that made a carnage of my youth with indonesia, vietnam, all of southeast asia, greece & chile now massacres its way from one border of the middle east to another

remembering nguyen van troi & giap i feel in this, the end of my life, that u s imperialism remains the principal threat to all humanity

they cried for night, it falls, now cry in darkness

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 29 2011 21:22 utc | 9

The legitimization of this whole intervention is completely insane. Let's assume the "pro democracy/anti Ghaddafi" fighters actually manage to get rid of Ghaddafi. They will then have to win elections, i.e. Libyans are supposed to elect a group that had caused their country to be bombed and embargoed by foreign armies in a repeat of the second world war. Who had caused the destruction of cities by insisting on fighting backwards and forwards on the way to Tripolis, aided by bombardment killing their conscript sons. Who are led by emigrants. I do not see that. The average successful democratic politician has to remain within reach of his constituency for life and has to pretend to be patriotic. People do not turn against their own when they are attacked. I can not see how after this there can be a democratically elected Libyan government that is pro-west. The deals that are done now, however, only work if the people signing the deals will be in the government. So I assume there will be no democratically elected Libyan government, but a stalemate that allows to embargo and exploit the country.
The idea you can bomb to protect civilians is madness. The US can not protect civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan even with boots on the ground.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 29 2011 21:35 utc | 10

It became clear to me by June 2009, the Iranian presidential election, that someone had gotten to him. Koch Brothers is a good guess.

Posted by: 99 | Mar 29 2011 22:18 utc | 11

Oh, oh, sorry, and YES, calling himself a lefty is like Obama calling himself a progressive.

Unfortunately, what you call yourself or the world is the mental trap. It very unfortunately spreads.

Posted by: 99 | Mar 29 2011 22:22 utc | 12

As the days pass it becomes more clear that the Libyan armed rebellion is not sustainable. The Libyan rebels are a paper tiger that can only march on the Roads of Death built by the US/NATO bombs. How is our idiot western 'democratic' leaders going to justify burning down Sirte, that it's what it will likely take to get it under the anti-Gaddafi faction control, on principles of protecting the Libyan 'people'? A internal or popular rebellion in Tripoli or Sirte seems more likely wishful thinking that based on facts on the ground. Same with buying up Gaddafi's family and power structure to leave to a golden (and not very secure because none believes western always-broken promises anymore) exile and be replaced by a new 'democratic' government paid by British and French money.

It's madness.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 29 2011 22:29 utc | 13

My vile government has been wrong more than right since the end of WW II, but if it takes out this terrorist Tyrant more power to it.

Posted by: par4 | Mar 29 2011 22:33 utc | 14

you can pretty much tell them anything and they would believe it.

A great deal of money is spent keeping Americans’ attention occupied with shopping, sports, reality TV, imaginary grievances, and narcissism.

I really believe that given a week of TV propaganda, the American public could be persuaded of the need for immediate ‘retaliatory’ war against virtually any ‘foreign’ entity - the UK, the Vatican, whomever.

Posted by: Watson | Mar 29 2011 23:20 utc | 15

"Speaking to members of Congress today, Adm. James Stavridis admitted that, while allied forces were not yet considering the deployment of troops on the ground in Libya, it was a possibility.

This could run counter to President Barack Obama's pledge that no U.S. soldiers would set foot on the ground in the embattled country, where the decades-long leadership of Col. Muammar Gaddafi has come under an intense challenge from civilian protesters."

[...] "But appearing today in Washington, D.C., Adm. Stavridis suggested that as NATO acted in the Balkans, sending in an international peacekeeping force, it may decide similarly for Libya."

No worries about paper tiger rebels; if NATO wants to put boots on the ground

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 29 2011 23:24 utc | 16

Oh, no doubt about it, Watson. I think this

could happen, and they could be manipulated to believe all is normal with enough their skin melts into their hands and their hair and teeth fall out.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 29 2011 23:30 utc | 17

a fitting response to Juan Cole:

Response to Juan Cole on Libyan Intervention
by Rich Rubenstein on March 28, 2011 · 0 comments

Check out Juan Cole’s essay in
An Open Letter to the Left on Libya | Informed Comment.
I respond as follows:
Despite my long-term admiration for Prof. Juan Cole, I find his defense of the US/NATO intervention in Libya vastly disappointing. At least he spares us the usual cant about “no fly zones.” Clearly, the US/NATO attackers are now providing close air support for rebel troops, assaulting retreating Libyan soldiers from the air, and preparing to bombard cities in which Col. Gaddafi commands substantial mass support. But Cole swallows the imperialist line on Gaddafi’s isolation whole. “If the Left opposed intervention,” he avers, “it de facto acquiesced in Qaddafi’s destruction of a movement embodying the aspirations of most of Libya’s workers and poor, along with large numbers of white collar middle class people.
”What?? Has Cole taken a poll of “Libya’s workers and poor” to determine this result? Does he believe that the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, which has been backed by Britain and the U.S. since 2005, is the authentic representative of the Libyan working class? Or that the rebel groups armed by Saudi Arabia have the masses’ best interests at heart? The rhetorical game he is playing here is that invented by those great leftists, Sarkozy and Cameron: in order to characterize Gaddafi as an isolated figure opposed by the entire population, one implicitly denies that Libya is experiencing a civil war in which BOTH sides command significant mass support.
But the image of the isolated dictator is nothing more than US/NATO propaganda. The case-by-case pragmatism Juan Cole espouses still requires some minimal respect for facts. And calling Gaddafi a “mad dog” does not negate the fact that a great many Libyans consider him their legitimate leader. Nor does it justify equating a possible defeat of the rebel army with a “massacre of civilians.” In a civil war, there are armed forces and civilians on both sides. And there is no evidence in this civil war that either side has committed or wants to commit massacres of civilians.
Above all, what I find most disappointing about the Cole piece is the leftist author’s assumption, again mirroring that of his current Western heroes, that there is nothing to do in this civil conflict but take sides militarily. What about diplomacy? What about conflict resolution? What about Gaddafi’s repeated offers to negotiate with the rebels, which they scornfully rejected when they thought they had him on the run? Does Cole forget that Libya sent diplomats to every European capital and Washington before the UN Security Council vote, and that no Western regime would agree to talk with them?
One would not expect an anti-militarist commentator to adopt the militarists’ favorite excuse for violence — that, having refused to investigate any of the non-violent alternatives, there is no alternative to war. But Cole’s implicit adoption of the “duty to protect” framework apparently blinds him to the realities that there are people to protect on both sides, and, on both sides, people willing to talk peace.
Juan Cole is a persuasive man. Too bad that he persuaded himself to choose sides in somebody else’s civil war. The results are likely to be ghastly for all concerned.

Posted by: brian | Mar 29 2011 23:44 utc | 18

Well, what is the threshold of violence justifying international intervention?

It's pretty safe to say, that for b, the threshold doesn't exist at all if the US brokers the international response, or if the US is even remotely involved in such a response.

In which case, Germany would still be murdering Jews. If there were any Jews left. (I assume that, as inveterate rusophile, b would accept Stalin's interventions--but that of course introduces a crippling contradiction into b's non-adjustable belief system).

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 29 2011 23:48 utc | 19

Well, what is the threshold of violence justifying international intervention?

It's pretty safe to say, that for b, the threshold doesn't exist at all if the US brokers the international response, or if the US is even remotely involved in such a response.

In which case, Germany would still be murdering Jews. If there were any Jews left. (I assume that, as inveterate rusophile, b would accept Stalin's interventions--but that of course introduces a crippling contradiction into b's non-adjustable belief system).

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 29 2011 23:48 utc | 20

Oh brother. What war isn't a civil war?

I don't support the intervention. But, Cole is completely correct in calling bullshit on the incommensurable dimensions of Iraq and Libya wars.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 29 2011 23:54 utc | 21

But the U.S. did not enter WWII to save the Jews. They held out as long as possible until the Soviets turned back the Nazis at Moscow's doorstep and started beating the murderous bastards back to Germany. It was then that the U.S. realized they could lose the spoils of Europe if they didn't jump in. The Soviets would have defeated Germany, albeit a longer time span, without the U.S. entering the war. The U.S. knew it, and they couldn't let that happen. The Soviets did the hard work and heavy lifting in that war, and the U.S. rode the Soviet created momentous wave to victory. The Soviets paid a much heavier price compared to France, England and the U.S.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 29 2011 23:59 utc | 22

I meant to say: what war in this arab spring isn't a Civil War? These are revolutions against tyrants. For this reason, whatever intervention can be justified, ever, is surely justified by supporting these revolutions?

I don't expect cole to weather the storm if this conflict is protracted. He doesn't have those kinds of balls. But at least he is willing to ask the questions. Christ, even Chomsky would've bombed Berlin. You can't fault cole for committing himself to support an intervention, based on pretty good justifications. As to whether those justifications are true, is another matter.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 30 2011 0:04 utc | 23

I think I covered the Russian thing

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 30 2011 0:05 utc | 24

Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII) leader Paul van Son assured Libyans that the project that plans to generate electricity from the Sahara will be a win-win situation for all parties. In an interview with the Tripoli Post, van Son said in response to a question about benefiting locals that, “I think it should be both ways, it's a two way street.”

His overall goal was to educate Libyans, and possibly set up an agreement that gets the North African country onboard. He said that the DII and the Libyan government had a verbal agreement to set up a workshop, organized by the Renewable Energy Authority, to “identify the needs and wishes of Libya.” The CEO said the countries in the MENA region were the owners of the energy. However, many are concerned that the project only aims to benefit the energy needs in Europe. van Son said: “We also explain to them that it's a sort of combination of European companies with knowledge and expertise and manufacturing facilities to exploit this energy for the local consumption. And then, if they like, for export.”

Similar to Desertec is France’s Transgreen project, which will set up electricity lines under the Mediterranean by building a network of undersea electricity lines to bring solar power from Africa to Europe. The first phase will entail feasibility studies to be carried out until 2012. van Son said that the project was very complementary to Desertec, and there could even be a possibility of both consortiums working together. He said, “We need the grid extensions, so if France wants to do this then we can work together. Personally, I know the executives very well; I have worked with them in Paris.”

However, van Son said that at first, Transgreen sought to imitate Desertec’s structure. He said, “But we said we’d work together; there’s so much work to do.”

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 30 2011 0:08 utc | 25

Hitler killing Jews would be ok by current standards. The big cry today is always about a "tyrant" killing "his own people" - Hitler himself might have agreed.

Dispossessing and killing "others", that's a different matter altogether. Jews? Muslims? Vietnamese? Iraqi? Palestinians? is it a crime? does a threshold exist for defining it? Six millions, not one less?

Posted by: claudio | Mar 30 2011 0:12 utc | 26

I only mention the Russian thing because it explains the U.S.'s motivations for intervention in WWII, and that's what the debate is about.....motivations and intentions. How could it be otherwise?

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 30 2011 0:13 utc | 27

"It's pretty safe to say, that for b, the threshold doesn't exist at all if the US brokers the international response, or if the US is even remotely involved in such a response.
In which case, Germany would still be murdering Jews. If there were any Jews left. (I assume that, as inveterate rusophile, b would accept Stalin's interventions--but that of course introduces a crippling contradiction into b's non-adjustable belief system)."

This is very juvenile bullshit.
Germany declared war on the United States in 1941. Anyone who chooses to believe that the US entered the war to save Jews needs to lay down the pen and pick up a book.

Not that that has anything to do with the current intervention in Libya which, (and the UN Security Council keeps minutes, so we can always check), was ostensibly intended to prevent the Libyan Air Force from leading an attack on Benghazi and those areas which the Libyan rebels had seized (liberated, if you please.) That was the No Fly Zone, since deposited in the Memory Hole.

Now clearly, having tricked the Security Council into backing this illegal and deceitful aggression the US, and those countries which disgrace themselves by allying with it, are bent on replacing the government with one of Mrs Clinton's choosing. In the meantime the Libyans are dropping like flies, or Iraqis or Afghans or Somalis or Pakistanis.

This aggression is backed by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, NATO, the Gulf Emirates, pretty choice company for humanitarians.

It should be noted that in these countries the Arab Spring does not take the form of Civil wars but of massacres as the US backed dictatorships, employing their US supplied weaponry, often in the hands of foreign mercenaries, mow down the unarmed, peaceful democrats, who are then pursued into hospitals where doctors and nurses are beaten. Such are the hallmarks of US influence in the region, together with the sound of auditioning propagandists, such as Cole, denouncing Iran for...being Iranian.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 30 2011 0:25 utc | 28

& the fact is that they didn't intervene as mb says until it was well & truly over. the second front was a fantasm in broken down british general's minds & the the new american autocrats wanted to grab the pickings. when the reality arrived - it was a sideshow, a sorry spectacle as the battle of ardennes proved. humanitarian intervention then came in the form of the marshall plan which well & truly demolished any colonial enterprises old europe wanted to make, the british were reduced to massacring unarmed greeks, the french slaughtered indochinese & algerian to keep a happy smile on their faces

russia defeated fascism spectacularly & it was obliged to for its own survival - the east was a war of extermination - that does give the word genocide meaning

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 30 2011 0:38 utc | 29

I already covered the Russian thing.

Also, the war is not "illegal"

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 30 2011 1:23 utc | 30

the libyan rebels give indapendance fighters a bad name, every time they loose they demand the empire to help them out - it has all the character of an old woody allen film about latin american revolutions. if it were not so dark it would have a farcical character. i'm personally surprised gaddafi is still standing & that presumes that he feels he has a home amongst his people, if that wasn't the case he would have taken the exit in the first weeks

it has the character of the old work of the cia in africa & latin america from the early sixties when their puppets had no local support & as i have made clear again & again - though i do not feel any empathy for gaddafi - - i still do not see the revolt as being - a mass revolt

you don't like russian, you feel no empathy for the people of middle east & i wonder if you really like americans

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 30 2011 1:35 utc | 31

More than likely, the better specific analogy would be the no fly zone imposed on Iraq following the 90-91 gulf war. Similarly, with Saddam's international defenses destroyed the and the regime deflated, the Shiite majority took Bush41 at his word and SCIRI's 4 to 6 thousand trained fighters joined in in an attempted overthrow of the Iraqi government. In spite of tacit and active U.S. and Iranian support, the well wishes of a majority tribal demographic, and a disciplined and trained militia - the effort failed and remained incognito until the US invaded in 03 when SCIRI was allowed to enter Iraq to form the nucleus of the Iraqi (puppet) government.

I'd say that Libyan opposition - by comparison to the Shiite opposition in Iraq - lacks the numbers, training, and external support by a long shot. In doing what took the much more powerful Shiite opposition in Iraq more than 10 years, a full scale ground invasion, and redundant Iranian support to do.

Which I suppose makes the likelihood of eventual occupation of Libya all the more of a necessity, should Obama not want to end up like GBush41.

Posted by: anna missed | Mar 30 2011 1:48 utc | 32

And as an aside, the invasion of Libya can't possibly be based on the a concern for "civilian" causalities, because if the mission were that, the West would have allowed Gaddifi to rout the rebels and the bloodshed would have quickly ended. Now that Gaddifi has been weakened somewhat closer to an equitable fight, the insurrection will closer identify as a civil war that will drag on and on, chewing up way more civilians in the process.

Posted by: anna missed | Mar 30 2011 2:07 utc | 33


think you are right based on the instinct that it would be the maddest thing to do therefore they'll do it

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 30 2011 2:09 utc | 34

it's easy to be cynical. The intervention is as much Debordian">http://"">Debordian spectacle, as "d2p."

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 30 2011 2:40 utc | 35

it's easy to be cynical. The intervention is as much Debordian spectacle, as "d2p."

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 30 2011 2:42 utc | 36

I'll not bother to refute all his points his latest pamphlet is just a stupid
idiocy? I will have to disagree
u s imperialism remains the principal threat to all humanity
a woman’s best career strategy is to be the most belligerent person in the room.
a paper tiger that can only march on
shopping, sports, reality TV, imaginary grievances, and narcissism
in which case, Germany would still be murdering Jews
Christ, even Chomsky would've bombed Berlin
this is very juvenile bullshit
lacks the numbers, training, and external support
intervention is Debordian spectaclem

Posted by: mrmustard | Mar 30 2011 3:52 utc | 37

Since mid March 2011 Cole is obviously propagandizing for War on Libya.

Nonsense... that link says no such thing. He's advocating nothing, rather giving a damn accurate account of things.

Cole never advocated for. Nor has he advocated invading Iran, as you've also said.

You linked "account" I quote above... everything @ beginning of article, is of Qaddafi's military actions against his own people. It is also an account that (I'm sorry to say) you (b) never mentioned, that I'm aware, in your characterization of this event, your chronicling of this thing.

The US *didn't* take the lead, none of this NATO group did... they all were way late, long after many (beyond Libyan borders) were asking for western "help". Long after: this happened at the last minute: another day or 2, and Q would have levelled 'em, completely, as was his stated goal.

Please tell me which nations bordering or associated w/SH's Iraq were asking for US "help"? A few exiled, US funded groups, yes... but what nations? Or groups of them?

How many million person marches has this Libyan affair generated? They were everywhere, on every continent, in protest of Iraq.

Collin Powell gave "clear and convincing" evidence, while Bush beat Security Council over the head (and lied: said there would be "no force" w/out their consent): all of Powell's presentation... all of it, was lies.

What are the US lies behind rebel forces actions, ideas, or desires? Show me where any influence, whatsoever, was involved in this, much less worldwide propaganda on even miniscule scale, compared to Iraq.

I whole heartedly disaggree w/your assertion: this is and was nothing like Iraq.

Your not acknowledging what Q was doing to his own does not make it go away: it was part of the puzzle, and the decisive part tipping scales for this effort (however poorly executed).

You headlined when Arab league was waffling, did not say when they recommitted. On a whole host of things, I find you picking facts that suit this whole MoA meme... something I find most unlike you.

On world scale, Libian oil is small potatoes... signficant wealth for their state, but very small % of production. The most dependent western country for this goo is Italy, a willing participant. And I stress... *willing*.

World production could adjust to worst case of diminished Libyan production if needed. Libya is not a strategically significant oil producer: they could force reorganization of distribution.

Iraq has, by some estimates, largest reserves on the planet.


I posted my comments why Libya was not Iraq a day before Cole did: there are similarities, but I listed many more.

Bottom line: you are seeing what you want to see, not what's there. You may be angry over Iraq, or US' many transgressions these recent years, and I sure can't argue against that.

But this whole thing here has taken on a cult like tone... US/mega international corp. spooks are behind it all, ya'll just waiting for the evidence... but it's so!!!

How many here have said ElBaradei is a US' tool? Really, has anyone listened to him over these recent years, much less during Egypt's event?

And France, well, they see wind/solar generators all over N. Africa, so that explains that, right?


I won't bother you all anymore, unless some sanity returns here.

You're a very smart guy Bernard, and like I said prior, I have high respect for you: the work/time it takes, and particularly the poignant, character defining stuff you've dug up, over and over, on very important events. I'd ad also, almost all of what I'm thinking in this regard was stuff I didn't see anywhere else:

* Rove's visit to Georgia just before their "event" a couple years ago, and Israeli munitions identified on the ground... conclusively.
* All the mothballed shipping containers early on in "financial crisis"... a damn telling pre-cursor to what happened.
* Same w/BushCo alledged Iranian IED's in early Iraq "liberation": I don't know where you dug up those photos, but they were conclusive.

(many, many more)

So again, I'm not trying to ream you. I'm just telling you, this has come off the rails here. You're feeding an MofA mob right now, and there's as much misinformation here as I've seen.

I know, I know, I just *must* be an agent of Empire, duped into submission, yada yada yada... whatever.

Like I said before, I hope you all can blow out the tubes... you really need a break. It's getting ridiculous.

Posted by: jdmckay | Mar 30 2011 4:10 utc | 38


Links have been provided here showing collusion, prior planning, and deception just like in Iraq. And you chew up a lot of column inches saying nothing much. Also it can be inferred that oil is the frosting on the cake, and the imperial PTB wants to get their grubby hands on the whole of Libya, it's markets and the sum of its economic potential. But you ignore facts placed in front of you. There is also the question of basing, AFRICOM, which the US can get no other way other than conquest, or conquest by proxy. Cole is a smart man and should understand this. But he doesn't get it.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 30 2011 5:17 utc | 39

Three-card Monte, anyone? When faced with false choices the best thing to do is walk away from the orange crate. It's not like your attendance is required. There's a crowd of others looking for a quick killing.

Posted by: Biklett | Mar 30 2011 5:41 utc | 40

the policy of this is demented also. If even Germany abstains - politicians here now actually try to punish Westerwelle for it, but in the long term it probably saved his career, and Westerwelle's party does represent the German industrial complex - then the policy of it must be clearly dead end.

1) with his speech Obama made the whole enterprise dependent on the "international community", which is competing for Libyan resources and influence generally in the Middle East and Africa. This should make Ghaddafi feel very safe.

2) turns out Ghaddafi has got friends in Africa and Latin America. Places the US is competing in with - you guessed it - China - for natural resources. The US cannot risk a serious conflict with China economically or militarily - Japan will be out of the equation for a long time. Places with lots of internal conflicts that might justify a call for humanitarian intervention any time. I am sure their reading of Obama's speech is not favorable, when he basically claims the right to choose the humanitarian conflicts to intervene in.

3) this was France and Britain, I guess the US invited them (and who else? Germany was not invited) to share the burden of the empire, and gave them rope. ominously operation Southern Mistral is named after a Balkan operation: When you lack absolute power, you destabilize for influence.

4) the playbook is known by now. Former and would be colonial powers will not be able to keep playing this game for ever.

5) the policy of abstention but no veto in the UN Security council presumably opens up many ways for pressure on this "coalition of the willing". What will the US have to pay to keep up this front of the "international community"?

6) the rebels as a fighting force are useless. The photographs, however, are good. Ghaddafi did not loose his army. The media organizations who were pushing this - Al Jazeera, The Guardian - begin to cut back on the coverage.

7) who wants to buy a high tech plane after this? what is needed are missiles.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 30 2011 7:48 utc | 41

A heap of shit is being talked about libyan oil firstly the lowball % of Libyan oil in regard to the rest of the world is far too low and could become much higher in the future, secondly little or no regard is paid the the type of oil Libya produces.

All oil is not equal. Most oil that is pumped out of the ground isn't even used for the potential energy within it, it is used for what it is; a huge quantity of naturally occuring hydrocarbons, essential for the plastic shit that keeps our consumerist culture afloat, as a starting substance, for detergents and pesticides, body scrub, shampoo, the list is as endless as marketing departments' imaginations and consumerists' desire to buy.

Most oil isn't used for it's potential energy so the the range of crudes from Latin America and many ME countries are used in manufacturing where they command a strong price but not a great one.

That is not true of Libya's oil however - Libyan crude is so 'sweet' and consistent some Libyans claim it can be pumped out of the ground and straight into a vehicle's gas tank.

Prolly not true but the refining process to make it into petroleum is inexpensive compared to most other crudes which is why Libyan crude has become the energy oil of choice for much of the european community. See economist table

Interestingly the amerikan 'energy information administration' said this about Libyan oil in 2007: (see">"> I'll save me two links up for something more useful)

Libya, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), holds the largest proven oil reserves in Africa, followed by Nigeria and Algeria (see graph below). According to Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ), Libya had total proven oil reserves of 41.5 billion barrels as of January 2007, up from 39.1 billion barrels in 2006. About 80 percent of Libya’s proven oil reserves are located in the Sirte basin, which is responsible for 90 percent of the country’s oil output. Libya remains "highly unexplored" according to reports by Wood Mackenzie, and only around 25 percent of Libya is covered by exploration agreements with oil companies. The under-exploration of Libya reflects the impact of former sanctions and also stringent fiscal terms imposed by Libya on foreign oil companies.

It has been the english dutch Shell consortium that has led the way with negotiating new contracts but Total and the Italian oil corporation ENI (see this caring attitude have been close behind.

This intervention probably didn't start off being about oil, but the involvement of France (however reluctant) and england point to the reality that it is now.

We know from the various leaks about Juan and the proprietor of the old Whiskey bar that Cole likes to moonlight as a demopublican functionary. Like so many others since 2003 Cole's stature in the machine has come to depend upon there being something 'shocking and in the Mid-East' at the top of the news every day. It was quiet for a while cause once obummer won he wanted everyone to forget the senseless murdering and raping amerika had been indulging in the ME all 21st century. The protests gave Juan a new lease but that was a bit double edged since more protests in more nations didn't help the empire whose leadership Cole seeks to advocate and whose flunkies Cole tries to entrance by playing 'The Expert' with his spurious bulldust.

'Getting behind the Libya thing' was always gonna be a Cole position. That flea has never seen an Arab nation he hasn't wanted to have bombed, blown up, or regime changed usually all three. His partisan whining about Iraq was mostly around strategy, he had no real problem with blowing Arabs up as long as it was done the way he thought it should be. ie by his friends in the demopublicans.

My guess is that Libya discontent and aping of egypt and tunisia by all arab nations was seen as an excellent out for both the amerikan empire and the gulf states (especially Qatar) when they were under pressure at home. It wasn't really until the news was forced out about the Bahraini soldiers machine gunning protesters in Pearl Square that the media went overboard on the police stations that rioters had burned down in Benghazi. Once the rioters began to see themselves on TV the whole thing became life imitating art. Where it would have stayed if english foreign secretary, silly Billy Hague hadn't blinked and got caught trying to talk to one of the Benghazi factions. After that england was in more shit than a a cesspool duck. I can imagine the explosions emanating from the top floor of Shell House the morning they discovered that their team (the tory government) had screwed the pooch on any further oil contracts, for as long as the current Libyan adminsitration stayed in power.

So the english would have pulled out all the stops pressuring oblamblam to back an 'assisted regime change'. Oblama had his own band of imperial interventionists who wanted a 'good little intervention' so he like the tool he is, got on board with barely a moment's hesitation. "Yessir boss I'll just step over and fetch that right away"

What began as an essential distraction for the empire and elements of the media (al jazeera in particular) morphed into something too big to manage. Lookit this piece of selfserving tripe from AJ's home of Qatar:

LONDON (AP) -- Britain's foreign secretary says Qatar has offered to facilitate the sale of Libyan oil and to use the proceeds to help meet Libyan humanitarian needs.

William Hague said Qatar would "facilitate" the oil sales where consistent with international law and use the returns to support the people of Libya.

Hague did not provide details about who would be supported, how the facilitation process would work, or how Qatar's offer has been received by diplomats.

He was speaking Tuesday at the end of an international conference on Libya in London.

Libyan rebels have recaptured some key oil ports and promised to resume exports, but experts say those exports will likely be halted at least for another several months.

Yeah Qatar let's take all the Libyan income and then decide who is 'worthy' of receiving any of it - after the usual handling fee has been deducted of course.

Not about oil don't make me larf of course it is about oil if it weren't for oil no one in europe and amerika could give a flying fuck about anything in the ME and North Africa. The only time they ever involve themselves is when something is going down in a ME/ Nth African country that has oil.

Oh right that is just a big coincidence eh? Hoohee some people are thicker than the two short planks I use to prop me door open with. Of course they aren't most are just like the fleas who hop around here advocating death for oil. Self serving hypocrites who claim to be doing 'the right thing' by calling for the bombing of unwhite people because it will 'help' those unwhites to get the bejesus blown out of em. Same same since at least the spanish who burned america's first people to save them for jesus.


Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 30 2011 9:58 utc | 42

This link, taken from a site linked to by slothrop, is essentially irrelevant to the heated but worthwhile debate here, or better, it is little more than waving a red flag in front of a herd of irascible bulls, but I like to think of it as a missed opportunity for two people potentially subject to indictment for war crimes to shut up and do penance. One side effect is to remind us why it's easy (indeed, much too easy) for many Americans to see Obama as a lesser evil.

I agree with what I take to be Debs point of view, namely that until we know what the "Bilderberg and above level" power brokers have agreed to in secret conclaves, the actions of their govermental minions is largely a coordinated (or confused) smoke screen. I would also add that given Sarkozy's very cozy links with Suez-GDF (another enterprise in the Rothschild orbit, like Royal Dutch Shell), one should broaden the optic from "petroleum" to "hydrocarbons".

Of course, this is only conjecture on my part, and will certainly draw fire as vile anti-semitism. It may be that all the rich and powerful are as pure as the driven snow in seeking liberation of the oppressed in Libya, and that the Rothschild interests are completely extraneous to what is in progress. If so, I would be delighted to be shown to be in error.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Mar 30 2011 11:56 utc | 43

DiD @ 42:

A heap of shit is being talked about libyan oil firstly the lowball % of Libyan oil in regard to the rest of the world is far too low


Libya is +/- 2% of world oil supply, prior to current event. OPEC has stated explicitly they have unused capacity capable of doubling Libya output, and could do so quickly. Factoring in Libya's domestic consumption, they're net exporter of around 1.3-1.5 mbd... about what's projected should ANWAR be developed.

Libya refines around 25% of it's production.

and could become much higher in the future,

Libyan producing fields represent +/- 60% of total reserves.

secondly little or no regard is paid the the type of oil Libya produces.


This information is chronicled, available readily, and often linked by energy/oil media/bloggers etc... there is not only attention paid, it is quantified... right down to which nations get what grade of Libyan oil. It's no secret, period.

See here (EIA), for example. Or, to out it bluntly: your not knowing, w/all due respect, is not evidence of what the rest of informed humanity knows.

Beyond that, just over 50% of their current production is "light & sweet" (eg: High API, low sulfur): remainder varies upward (less sweet... higher refining costs) in varying degrees.

Iraq reserves dwarf Libya's... minuscule, on a ratio at least 10/1... likely much more.

Not withstanding the large volume of smoke you generate, while saying nothing explicit much less accurate, one must do substantial misrepresentation... just as you have above, in order to conclude that on this issue (same as the others, but...) Libya is Iraq.

It is not.


Beyond the myopic presentation of contorted made up fact here lately, as I stated w/enough links to (at minimum) consider: US (we) have paid huge price... influence, credibility, trust, as a result of Iraq.

Abundant evidence in huge shift... reorganization, wrt to global economics... anyone who things otherwise is, for whatever reasons, misinformed.

China has, in last 5 yrs, openly and massively ursurped US influence, having penned more agreements for more resources (not just oil) globally. It is, indeed, a profound shift. And this shift is not just because of their emerging clout. Rather, it is many times magnified because global trading partners, although (IMO) much too "polite" about it, simply don't trust us anymore.

Even much evidence now that Taiwan is giving serious consideration to China as their preferred guardian angel.

While we're using drones to shoot up wedding parties in Afghanistan, China is building their own, home grown technology and manufactured clean coal there... something US is currently politically incapable of even discussing, much less implementing.

Evidence is vast... far and wide. Things have changed. The planet has reorganized while myopia entranced US'Asians and other "westerners" were transfixed on Iraq.

Not trying to pick a fight, but really... you're spouting nonsense, regularly.

I'll tell you something else (I know nothing of what you do, who you are, backround or whatever): you can eat veggies, do Pilates, Yoga and whatever else New Age stuff there is to make one feel better. But I promise you, whatever level of self justified reasoning humans use... you allow an all consuming anger to rule you (rather then you it), when you get old an gray that anger will obviate whatever health conscious efforts you made over a lifetime.

Everybody gets pissed. Only fools stay that way.

Posted by: jdmckay | Mar 30 2011 12:20 utc | 44

But I promise you, whatever level of self justified reasoning humans use... you allow an all consuming anger to rule you (rather then you it), when you get old an gray that anger will obviate whatever health conscious efforts you made over a lifetime.

Everybody gets pissed. Only fools stay that way.

It's so much nicer for everyone when The Masses are pliant, submissive and content, isn't it?

You're wrong about anger killing you, though. Hate keeps a man alive......just ask Judah Ben Hur and Quintus Arrius.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 30 2011 13:50 utc | 45

Given the historical record of the wealthy and powerful, which is it...hegemony or humanitarianism?

I choose hegemony.

Posted by: Ben | Mar 30 2011 14:21 utc | 46

what consumes us is frustration of our attempts at grasping what's really going on - in particular, we need an understanding of what kind of forces maintain the consensus of politicians and intellectuals over senseless, harmful and unpopular lines of actions, and on the other hand prevent an effective opposition to grow

blaming conspiracies, or the Empire, or globalization, makes little difference from this point of view; its the feeling of omnipotence of the powers at work, and of our symmetric impotence, that must be fought through analysis

Posted by: claudio | Mar 30 2011 14:40 utc | 47

Ben, such thinking is hazardous to your health. You'll live longer if you pretend it's Humanitarianism. Also, it's important for good health to know, and learn to love your place in, the hierarchy. It's unhealthy to poke your nose in places where it doesn't belong. This should be your theme song. No need to thank me or jdmckay for this bit of "humanitarian" advice. Good day to you, sir.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 30 2011 14:47 utc | 48

So claudio, I'll feel more potent if I relax and assume it's all happening by chance and there is no over-arching pattern to any of it? Is it not possible that it can be both complex and simple, concomitantly? On a general level the pattern is clear and defined, but like fractals, the deeper you dive the more complex the pattern becomes. Either way, it's still a fractal though, regardless of whether you're at 50,000 feet, or below sea level.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 30 2011 14:52 utc | 49

It's so much nicer for everyone when The Masses are pliant, submissive and content, isn't it?


You're wrong about anger killing you, though. Hate keeps a man alive......

Ok then...

just ask Judah Ben Hur and Quintus Arrius.

I don't need to.

What an utterly, erroneously presumptive on your part, entirely non-illuminating conversation.

Posted by: jdmckay | Mar 30 2011 15:04 utc | 50

The one heartening aspect of this attack on Libya is that it is an indication of deeply entrenched hubris, of the terminal sort.

The underlying idea is that, if the policy can be sold efficiently enough to quieten Congress and win any kind of approval in polls of the masses, nothing else matters. Nothing else including what public opinion, among those ineligible to vote in next year's elections, thinks. How foreign governments react and what the costs, in terms of blood, treasure and the re-marshalling of forces, will be- these are all technical matters, irrelevancies which it is the job of propagandists, budget managers and transportation officers to work out.

What is forgotten is that, in real terms, there is no "War" waged by terrorists against the US. There could be. There might be. If there isn't it won't be America's fault: every effort that could be made to provoke terrorism has been made. No expense has been spared. The US government craves for such a war, it lusts after terror attacks, it longs not merely for bomb plots but for bombings. Of there is one aspect of war that the US does not understand it is that of actually being under attack. Putting aside the events of 9/11 and Pearl Harbour thousands of miles away in the Pacific, it has no experience of being attacked. Perhaps this is why there is such complete insouciance in the constant provocations offered to muslims, for example.
If there were a real war all those hundreds of bases, hundreds of golf and country clubs, hundreds of High Schools and hospitals, supermarkets and shopping malls abroad, for US personnel, would be understood to be sitting targets for bombers, so many points of extreme vulnerability. But they are not. The number of bases and their cost and the complexity of, for example, the Embassies in Baghdad and Islamabad, is growing rapidly. The US seems to have no conception of its enormous vulnerability. Or perhaps it does.
There is no War of Terrorists and no foreign power is either arming or assisting those wishing to attack the US. The Taliban have none of the military or financial aid that theor predecessors in Afghanistan got from the CIA. No anti-aircraft missiles; no bribes to 'turn' allies of the imperialists; the helicopters lumber, with impunity over the battlefields, the star wars style gun ships hover a hundred feet or so above the ground as they pour machine gun fire into the wedding parties. The Red Army was not so lucky.
As to the moral of this story: it is simply that aggression never comes without cost. As the US has gone wild with violence, at the drop of a hat, almost for the fun of it, in the past couple of decades, it has grown, not stronger as its enemies have been liquidated, but weaker. Every victory has come at a cost. And thus it is that the state, on the eve, one supposes, of the challenges that it has thrown out, being answered, with the war that it seems to desire so much clearly bound to come, wastes its strength and substance and discredits its integrity.
Nothing more clearly demonstrates the immense power of the US, than the fact that it allows that power to be exercised by, someone as emotionally unbalanced and intellectually immature, as Hillary Clinton. And not only her, but, one might add, persons in the position of Juan Cole, publicity hounds, the polite up-market versions of Limbaugh and Savage. Up=market but catering to the same ctaste for highly spiced, manichean guides to instantly gratifying evagelicalism.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 30 2011 15:34 utc | 51

MB @49

So claudio, I'll feel more potent if I relax and assume it's all happening by chance and there is no over-arching pattern to any of it?

Just because I don't believe in conspiracies, it doesn't mean I think things are happening by chance; things happen because certain "forces" are acting; what kind of forces? the idea of an omnipotent Conspiracy, or Empire, or metaphysical Globalization process, disempowers us; I think the forces in action are - despite appearances - of "ideological" nature; anyways, identifying the real forces is the necessary first step towards empowering us, and we haven't managed yet to accomplish it;

Posted by: claudio | Mar 30 2011 16:18 utc | 52

anyways, identifying the real forces is the necessary first step towards empowering us, and we haven't managed yet to accomplish it;

Agree w/both those statements.


Jim McKay
"Things should be kept as simple as possible, but not more so"
Albert Einstein

Posted by: jdmckay | Mar 30 2011 16:41 utc | 53

by "forces in action" I mean the forces that hold together the consensus of politicians and intellectuals and guide the governments' actions; even if it were true that everything happens because a hidden direction gives orders to politicians and intellectuals, I believe that orders wouldn't be obeyed so effortlessly without a real consensus; it is this consensus on senseless, harmful and unpopular actions that must be explained

(at least, this is what strikes me most as "unnatural" today, with respect to politics as was played out before the collapse of Ussr, when decisions in both foreign and internal politics were rooted in reality and in national and international points of view)

even propaganda is effective only because it builds on existing and entrenched paradigms; by now, with repetition, it has become easy enough to see through it

Posted by: claudio | Mar 30 2011 17:07 utc | 54

I agree with you in 52, claudio. I don't believe in Omnipotent anything. The Masses are educated to believe they are impotent, and that serves to strengthen the perceived power of those at the top of the pyramid. It's an illusion...the perception, and one that needs to be broken. That can only happen through education......meaning creating an environment of learning where children, in their formative years of development, can develop critical thought, which is a natural process stymied by traditional educational practices. As a result, they become soldiers, both metaphorically and quite literally, and thus complicit, albeit unwitting, co-conspirators in the destruction of the planet and all life, and quality of life, that inhabits it.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 30 2011 17:43 utc | 55

Is it a conspiracy that certain humans believe that no amount of power and influence is enough?

Posted by: Ben | Mar 30 2011 17:43 utc | 56

I guess I should have qualified my agreement with claudio. I don't eschew conspiracies for the same reason Michael Parenti doesn't eschew them.

For example, the War On Terror is a rather transparent conspiracy. This is straight from the horses' mouth.

Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

Brzezinski: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?

Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.
Interview of Zbigniew Brzezinski Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76

It's a conspiracy right out in the open.....and people gobble it up, hook, line and sinker. Life's a conspiracy. First, as children, we learn, of our own accord, how to feel good, then we're taught to feel bad. Some of us have the sense to try to undo the damage, but that's difficult in a world of mostly damaged people who won't, and most probably can't, join you in solidarity and help make the necessary changes to prevent it from perpetuating.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 30 2011 18:04 utc | 57

So the flea hops about generating much heat no light nothing to back up his whine that the information I linked to which showed Libya's true hydrocarbon potential has never been properly guaged, but it looks a good prospect, isn't being mentioned by the western media sources who burble about oil having nothing to do with it or that there is a difference between types of crude which makes some sweet crudes that are easily turned into petroleum highly desirable for especially for tertiary economies such as the european ones. Many european nations don't have much of a heavy manufacturing base any more so they prefer crude which is cheap to refine for transportation purposes, unlike the rest of the world which uses other crudes for their complex hydrocarbon properties.

The millions of voices spewing facile simplified goody baddy arguments all over the media have taken little or none of this into account when they spread their propaganda. That includes Juan Cole.
Nothing from the flea to contradict that contention apart from angry if somewhat impotent foot stomping and whining. Oh and the rather obvious statement that I'm angry.

Damn right I'm angry I have spent a good deal of my life trying to alleviate the worst of what the empire does right at the sharp end, and all through that time I've seen good positions sabotaged by fleas who claim we're on the same side, with their "why don't we all just get along" line in duplicity.

I spent a big chunk of my 'spare time' in the last quarter of the last century in the union movement of another country. During the day we worked with the most disadantaged of that 'rich' country at night I fought for the workers who were being fucked over in a different way. We needed to stay solid and tend to our coal face members but fleas were forever trying to 'do it differently' be less confrontational and all the rest of the crap they were getting from their politically ambitious mates who were working for the party which claimed to be aligned with the union movement.

They invested the dues in real estate instead of keeping a strike fund, spent a fortune on recruiting research assistants straight outta Uni. When we wanted to take action they had a legion of paid officials who could only lose by that (no strike fund, no money to pay all the 'organisers' they had taken on.)they stopped industrial action everytime with their swathe of articulate over educated sell-outs stacking meetings, giving in to the other side until the union was too weak to endure. Three generations of struggle had built that up. That union which was the biggest in that nation terms of sheer membership is no more. Eaten up by a better organised bunch of sociopaths. Union membership is at an all time low and I still get emails from old members recounting the awful conditions they now endure. The old organisers, the lets get along fleas? They are all working as private industrial relations negotiators where peeps have to go one by one to pay for a representative to negotiate their employment contract. Or offsiding to pseudo lefty politicians spruiking for the assholes just as some came in here spruiking for oblamblam - sell out shits. They have lost their right to be heard on anything.

Damn right I get angry when I hafta read the spurious crap uttered by this flea. Not many here noticed but just down the road from me there was a major earthquake on Feb 22nd. A few hundred died, a city was destroyed. I am meant to be doing other shit, but that has gone on hold. Much of my life is spent assisting the refugees who have left the town because the 'aftershocks' continue there and their houses are nothing -stacks of timber and iron. Meanwhile rip off landlords are tossing out long term tenants to take high paying new renters, and the insurance companies are sticking it to everyone thanks to their friends in government.

This country once had a fairly robust insurance system made up of one large state owned corporation and mobs of smaller co-ops owned by the policy holders. Then in the 1980's the fleas, the pseudo leftists riding the pigs back as it carried them into bourgoise comfort, participated in a three card monte which over the next couple a decades moved insurance outta the country into a couple or three major european and amerikan conglomerates. They aren't paying out until they get sued, is pretty much their stance not in so many words of course but the delays and denials go on and on while good working people eat shit.

Fleas who want everyone to go with the flow instead of refusing to believe the lies and resisting injustice were just as responsible for that mess as the greedy pricks who actually wrecked insurance here. They spin obvious injustice as being something good in the long term. Good for them maybe not for everyone else. I spend a big chunk of the day empathising with the people getting trampled, trying to help them deal with unreasonable banks, landlords, employers, and government agencies. I can't be angry there or good peeps may come off badly for it, so when I come in here and see a flea happily spruiking the murder of people on the other side of the world so his narrow needs (ego, material comfort) can be met I will give the clapped out self deceiving pseudo leftie a burst - and feel better for it.

Wonder what the flea has to say now his libyan 'democrats' want fukUS to bomb the cities they ran away from? The mob formerly known as the Bliar Bush Corporation are gingerly planting the seed of selling arms to the 'rebels'. Presenting deliberately weakened arguments against it while opening what any fool should be able to see must be a 'no no' up for 'debate and an eventual 'yes yes'.

As the fortunes of the Libyan opposition forces rise and fall, there is a growing concern within the coalition that its air power may not be enough to prevent the rebels' defeat, raising the spectre of atrocities threatened by Col Gaddafi.

Given the clear disparity of military power between the two sides, there is already talk by some coalition countries of effectively setting aside the apparent restrictions of the UN arms embargo on Libya, to arm and train the rebel fighters.

This war is proceeding exactly asmost of us said it would and there is no sign that anything the flea assured was the case, actually eventuating.

Ohh what a surprise. I would never have guessed that!

Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 30 2011 20:50 utc | 58

This war is proceeding exactly asmost of us said it would

Except for the part when the "most of us" including b insisted that the publics of Libya, Syria, Iran, have "too much dignity" to rebel against their tyrants, because at least their tyrants stand up to the "empire."

also, except for that part when "most of us" grudgingly acknowledged that the protests seem to be widespread, but were guided by color revolutionists working for the CIA.

Yeah, you really called it, debs.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 30 2011 21:04 utc | 59

MB I doubt it's just a problem with education. The Tunisian and Egyptian broke a barrier and education was just a small part of the issue. The education system on both countries is as much trying to reinforce the inevitability of their existing systems as our 'democratic' western education systems. The thing that needs to change is how people, or at least a large enough part of the people, look at their problems and their reality and how to change it. The base knowledge is already there, the mindset change is what is missing. Humans run on routines and those are hard to change.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 30 2011 21:07 utc | 60

debs, am in complete agreement about the treachery or just plain stupidity you speak of but you must not miss out their allies in the academy who, rather than think, act in the service of the elites, especially those who would hide their venality under a social democratic cloak

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 30 2011 21:15 utc | 61

The ragtag rebels trying to ride the western war machine west to Tripoli may be a joke and relatively fake. But the grievances of the east Libyan people are still valid and there is true support there against Gaddafi. Perhaps also truth in some of the cities that rebelled in the west. It's too difficult to tell from a far with limited knowledge on the region. Just that I don't see western intervention, given our track record, as helping in any way. And obviously not the current kind of intervention.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 30 2011 21:15 utc | 62

MB @57

the example of Brzezinski isn't very instructive;

1) it is taken from another era, when the USSR still existed, and governments were actually devising strategies to cope with global competition

2) it was limited in scope and could have ended disastrously (actually, 20 years later, it did): nothing that resembles the "New World Order" myths;

if that's what you mean by "conspiracy", I concede that conspiracies exist in abundance around us (with probably not more than 10% success rate)

Posted by: claudio | Mar 30 2011 21:58 utc | 63

iraq resists

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 30 2011 21:59 utc | 64

follow the oil

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 30 2011 22:03 utc | 65

DiD @ 58

The flea here...

Glad you did some union work somewhere, sometime, whatever. Sorry fleas have ruined your life.

Waste of time here anymore. Too bad.

bye bye.

Posted by: jdmckay | Mar 30 2011 22:12 utc | 66

slothrop @59

when b listed the countries where it "wouldn't happen", Lybia wasn't on the list;

but maybe b was wrong after all in not listing it, because in practice it "didn't happen" there - no more than what happened, say, in Morocco

then other things happened in Lybia; but Stratfor's analysis I posted a few threads back criticizes precisely this cramming of different phenomena in the same category of the "arab spring"

Posted by: claudio | Mar 30 2011 23:30 utc | 67

I politely took Mr. Cole to task on Sunday. Mentioned points about oil and how bombing for humanitarian purposes by US in my mere 50 years on this planet has never been either our honest intent nor had "humanitarian" results. My comment was banned, never published. So I think anyone who read that post and thread should seriously reconsider the overwhelming percentage of supportive comments as fair representation of what many probably tried to say in disagreement.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Mar 31 2011 2:44 utc | 68

Something has caused these comments to break the right margin.
Makes it difficult to read. Any fix for this?

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 2 2011 15:15 utc | 69

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