Discussion:
NATO over Libya vs. IDF over Gaza
(too old to reply)
Clay Claiborne
2014-07-25 17:04:43 UTC
Permalink
In the wake of Israel's bombing of the UN Relief Agency in Gaza, I would
like to point out that if much of the Left weren't so bent on
misrepresenting what actually happened in and over Libya, NATO's
performance there could be used to expose the true level or criminality of
Israel's assault on Gaza.

NATO's performance over Libya shows what a modern air force using smart
weapons can achieve when it is actually attempting to minimize civilian
causalities. Over a 7 month period, NATO carried out thousands of strike
sorties over Libya, killed thousands of Qaddafi's soldiers, hundreds of
tanks and other vehicles, took out his air power and pretty much took away
his military advantage. In the process they did very little damage to
infrastructure and accidentally killed 72 civilians. IMHO they set a new
standard by which all future air campaigns carried out by the advanced
nations should be judged even when such campaigns are deemed necessary.

Contrast this with what Israel is doing with air power over Gaza and it
puts the lie to Israel's claim that all these Palestinian civilian
causalities, already in a few weeks many times NATO's total for their
entire campaign, are the result of Hamas military hiding among civilians.
Nobody did this better than Qaddafi, but NATO engineered ways to take out
tanks parked next to hospitals without damaging the hospital, etc, and
passed on targets if they thought the likely hood of civilian causalities
great.

Contrasting the rules of engagement used by NATO over Libya would expose
the fact that Israel is really engage in the same generally strategy as
Assad, namely going after civilians and civilian infrastructure, while
using the "human shield" defense, which, by the way, is what NATO has also
done in its campaigns over Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Left could make use of NATO's Libya performance to expose Israel and to
demand a new standard when it comes to protecting civilians in an air
campaign if they weren't so busy pretending that NATO's Libya performance
was no different from its performance over Afghanistan and Iraq.



Clay Claiborne, Director
Vietnam: American Holocaust <http://VietnamAmericanHolocaust.com>
Linux Beach Productions
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 581-1536

Read my blogs at the Linux Beach <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/>
<http://wlcentral.org/user/2965/track>
Louis Proyect
2014-07-25 17:12:46 UTC
Permalink
On 7/25/14 1:04 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism wrote:
> The Left could make use of NATO's Libya performance to expose Israel and to
> demand a new standard when it comes to protecting civilians in an air
> campaign if they weren't so busy pretending that NATO's Libya performance
> was no different from its performance over Afghanistan and Iraq.

That was true up to a point. However, when NATO attacked Sirte, there
were Gaza-like casualties. Gilbert Achcar backed a no-fly zone but
opposed actions such as that one. In my own view, it is best to oppose
imperialist intervention across the board because even in the best of
cases they help to legitimize the worst of cases.
Andrew Pollack
2014-07-25 17:31:30 UTC
Permalink
There are two different questions here, and you're both right. Clay is
right about the technical capabilities (even if Louis is right about him
mischaracterizing their use in one particular battle). And Louis is right
about opposing politically intervention.

On the technical question, IMO it's important to use, over and over again,
the example of how Israel assassinated Abu Ali Mustafa, then-head of the
PFLP. They had a fucking helicopter hovering outside his window, waiting
calmly for just the right moment to shoot missiles into his apartment.
Contrast that to the wholesale slaughter of any occupants of any building
anywhere in the Strip, most of the time with NO evidence of any combatant
or weapons in it, then or in the past.

Then of course there's the shared Israeli/US refusal to use ground troops
who, if ordered to do so (a big if, I know), could focus only on combatants
and their materiel. Instead, in order to appease domestic opinion, and to
terrorize the "enemy" population, wholesale slaughter by missiles is
carried out.
PS: See the contrasting coverage of yesterday's massacre at the UN
compound: the Daily News reports without question that it was Israel's
doing; the NY Times has a front-page article giving Israel's lies equal
weight.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/israeli-fire-hits-compound-housing-u-n-school-gaza-strip-killing-15-article-1.1878607


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/25/world/middleeast/despite-talk-of-a-cease-fire-no-lull-in-gaza-fighting.html?ref=middleeast

Also, see the graphic here disputing Israel's lies on that incident (scroll
halfway down):


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/25/palestinian-protests-continue-israel-considers-ground-operation-ceasefire




On Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 1:04 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
>
>
> In the wake of Israel's bombing of the UN Relief Agency in Gaza, I would
> like to point out that if much of the Left weren't so bent on
> misrepresenting what actually happened in and over Libya, NATO's
> performance there could be used to expose the true level or criminality of
> Israel's assault on Gaza.
>
> NATO's performance over Libya shows what a modern air force using smart
> weapons can achieve when it is actually attempting to minimize civilian
> causalities. Over a 7 month period, NATO carried out thousands of strike
> sorties over Libya, killed thousands of Qaddafi's soldiers, hundreds of
> tanks and other vehicles, took out his air power and pretty much took away
> his military advantage. In the process they did very little damage to
> infrastructure and accidentally killed 72 civilians. IMHO they set a new
> standard by which all future air campaigns carried out by the advanced
> nations should be judged even when such campaigns are deemed necessary.
>
> Contrast this with what Israel is doing with air power over Gaza and it
> puts the lie to Israel's claim that all these Palestinian civilian
> causalities, already in a few weeks many times NATO's total for their
> entire campaign, are the result of Hamas military hiding among civilians.
> Nobody did this better than Qaddafi, but NATO engineered ways to take out
> tanks parked next to hospitals without damaging the hospital, etc, and
> passed on targets if they thought the likely hood of civilian causalities
> great.
>
> Contrasting the rules of engagement used by NATO over Libya would expose
> the fact that Israel is really engage in the same generally strategy as
> Assad, namely going after civilians and civilian infrastructure, while
> using the "human shield" defense, which, by the way, is what NATO has also
> done in its campaigns over Afghanistan and Iraq.
>
> The Left could make use of NATO's Libya performance to expose Israel and to
> demand a new standard when it comes to protecting civilians in an air
> campaign if they weren't so busy pretending that NATO's Libya performance
> was no different from its performance over Afghanistan and Iraq.
>
>
>
> Clay Claiborne, Director
> Vietnam: American Holocaust <http://VietnamAmericanHolocaust.com>
> Linux Beach Productions
> Venice, CA 90291
> (310) 581-1536
>
> Read my blogs at the Linux Beach <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/>
> <http://wlcentral.org/user/2965/track>
> ________________________________________________
> Send list submissions to: Marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu
> Set your options at:
> http://lists.csbs.utah.edu/options/marxism/acpollack2%40gmail.com
>
Lenin's Tomb
2014-07-25 18:00:53 UTC
Permalink
> NATO's performance over Libya shows what a modern air force using smart
> weapons can achieve when it is actually attempting to minimize civilian
> causalities. Over a 7 month period, NATO carried out thousands of strike
> sorties over Libya, killed thousands of Qaddafi's soldiers, hundreds of
> tanks and other vehicles, took out his air power and pretty much took away
> his military advantage. In the process they did very little damage to
> infrastructure and accidentally killed 72 civilians. IMHO they set a new
> standard by which all future air campaigns carried out by the advanced
> nations should be judged even when such campaigns are deemed necessary


There is a great deal that is wrong with this position.

First of all, the figure you cite is from HRW. HRW did not attempt to count every civilian death resulting from the bombing, but only those ascribable to eight specific incidents which it investigated. There were considerably more than eight bombing raids by NATO during the campaign, so this figure can?t encompass the totality of civilian casualties resulting from bombing. The only other study that, to my knowledge, arrives at a similar figure, is that of the UN?s International Commission of Inquiry, which finds sixty deaths from bombing. Again, however, this is not a comprehensive figure, but one based on an examination of twenty NATO air strikes (out of 17,939 sorties) from which five were shown to have led to civilian casualties. Clearly, the twenty strikes surveyed cannot be representative, or the total number of deaths would be many times higher than even the highest estimates. However, they are unlikely to be so unrepresentative as to comprise the only deaths arising from bombing that happened.

There has not, to my knowledge, been a comprehensive epidemiological survey of the mortalities arising from the bombing campaign, so what we have are low-sensitivity surveys of small samples of the total bombing campaign. Thus, anyone bruiting such figures as are available should be extremely careful that they are not whitewashing NATO?s actions.

Second, when you say the deaths were ?accidental?, the implied standard of an accident is obscene. If you bomb targets where civilians are known to congregate, you can of course say that killing civilians was not your priority - that you had intelligence which suggested there was some military purpose to which the target was being put - but you can?t claim that it?s an accident when your bombing that target has the predictable of killing a large number of civilians. The claim that it is accidental is in substance no different from Mark Regev?s claim that Israel?s killing of civilians is accidental when it bombs civilian locations which it claims are military sites for Hamas.

Third, this position places you in incipient Hitchens territory. In this analogy, Libya would be your Bosnia, the scene that proves to you that imperialism can be enlightened and justified. We know how that story ends.
DW
2014-07-25 18:24:59 UTC
Permalink
This is an interesting discussion. In various anti-drone lists, I have
noted the fact that drones ARE more accurate than piloted jets and that
it's likely that many of the civilian massacres caused by drones are in
fact intentional "apologies to the gov't of Afghan./Pakistan, terror from
they know full well whom to the civilians that would allow the Taliban in
their mix". (this goes to support Clay's thesis).

I still think this is true. In fact drones are way more accurate short of
having some one with a laser designator on the ground doing the actual
targeting for a jet bomber..

I also agree with Andy on Libya. 95% of all engagements by the Imperialist
intervention there against gov't troops were highway engagements or areas
of relatively lower density than we have in Gaza. And...that non-sparsely
populated 5% according to Libyans back then were not all that accurate and
civilians died. If the US had sent its fighter-bombers and drones against
ISIS as they *advanced* few civilian casualties would of resulted, IMHO,
because the would of gone after mobile units -- captured military vehicles
and pick up trucks. They could be picked off by Hellfire missiles or
Griffin missiles (a lighter cheaper weight combo glide bomb that can be
dropped/launched out of transport planes relative to an expensive Hellfire).

Israel, not NATO, actually developed pin point targeting using heavy
ordinance. They did this extensively in their attack on the denser Shia
districts of South Beirut doing their last invasion of Lebanon and used the
example of the "rocket launcher next to the school house" on video evidence
of their "humanitarian good will." They also plastered the neighborhood as
well not for video evidence.

There are 4 "pin point" ways to attack a target that Israel has used.

1. They can shoot US made Hellfire missiles (the French used their own
version in Libya) and the Israelis too have their own from Rafael Military
Industries, that the US made famous in Iraq in two wars. But their 20lbs
warhead is not big enough to flatten a hospital or apt. building usually.
This requires them to be within about 8km of the target and...have the
target designated somehow by a person on the ground or by another craft
like a drone doing the targeting.

2. They've used the cheaper Griffen missiles too with half the punch of a
Hellfire but can go almost twice as far range-wise. Israel was actually one
of the countries that developed these of "humanitarian" purposes.Griffin
missiles are like a 3rd the price of a Hellfire.

3 J-DAMs. Joint Direct Attack Munition. The American version can fit on any
"dumb" unguided bomb...800lbs is the smallest I'm aware of. These ARE very
accurate but if you talking about a blast radius of a 100 yards in all
directions then everything near this is destroyed and dead. I believe that
these JDAMs, which are "simply" kits that fit over the bomb and are guided
in by video or laser range finder, are what takes down most of the
buildings. And of course the largest ones range up to 4,000lbs. In fact the
idea as Israel stated is to bring down buildings then this is what they use.

4. Excalibur Precision Guide Munitions. A 155mm artillery shell that has
GPS tracking build in or other guidance system that can be fired from any
howitzer cannon of which every gov't in the world has. They are 50 thousand
dollars a pop so they can't use them willy-nilly but they work. They are
not totally 'precision' as it's plus or minus 10 years or so. In Gaza, this
is not precision.

All this techno military babble above is to show that if wanted to, they
likely *could* as Clay suggests, cause less casualties. However, like the
anti-drone movement, they can get lost in this easily as to fight *any* war
in any densely populated urban areas, civilians will *always* bear the
brunt of the victims.

All the techno-babble stuff can be found in great detail on wiki, but use
the links they provide to read the actual sources.

David
Clay Claiborne
2014-07-25 21:21:57 UTC
Permalink
"when NATO attacked Sirte, there were Gaza-like casualties" I know that was
widely claimed by the pro-Qaddafi crowd at the time but where's the proof?
I've never seen a specific number attached to the charge that NATO killed
civilians in Sirte or even specific names so I would very much like to see
the facts behind this statement.

"it is best to oppose imperialist intervention across the board" works for
all those without someone they cared about in Benghazi when Qaddafi's
artillery was about to open fire. Its a policy that doesn't work well for
revolutionaries in the real world that find they must exploit every
advantage, even inter-imperialist rivalries, to win. When the American
revolutionaries accepted French support, the Viet Minh accepted US OSS
weapons, or the Libyans accepted NATO air cover, giving the imperialists
good deeds to point to wasn't their biggest problem.

Andrew is right that ground troops pose the least danger to civilians. We
all know how PD swat teams take down bad guys in an apartment building full
of civilians. Nobody in LA would accept the LAPD slamming a missile into a
building and excusing it by saying the drug dealers or whoever were using
civilians as human shields.

HRW did not attempt to count every civilian death resulting from the
bombing, but only those ascribable to eight specific incidents which it
investigated.

That is wrong. Lenin's Tomb is implying that HRW was doing some sort of
sampling, whereas HRW says "This report documents civilian casualties in
the air campaign by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Libya
in 2011." They reported on eight incidents including all reported to them
by the Qaddafi regime. Those that claim this report is too limited in scope
and leaves others uncounted, shouldn't be making nonsense arguments like:

this is not a comprehensive figure, but one based on an examination of
twenty NATO air strikes (out of 17,939 sorties) from which five were shown
to have led to civilian casualties. Clearly, the twenty strikes surveyed
cannot be representative, or the total number of deaths would be many times
higher than even the highest estimates.

All they have to do, and they've now had several years and a relatively
free [from the investigative standpoint] Libya to do it in, is document one
or more civilian deaths not named in the HRW or even more limited UN
report. This also applies to the claims of civilian deaths caused by NATO
in Sirte. All those who want to overthrow the NYTimes, UN & HRW studies
that put unintended NATO civilian deaths at ~72 just need to document a
significant number of such civilian deaths not counted by them. Babbling on
about how there must be more deaths because they believe there must be
doesn't cut it, whereas names and numbers will blow them out of the water.

Ditto the question what deaths were 'accidental.' Since there were
civilians NATO considered legitimate targets we are talking about the
number of civilians they killed that they did not target. Two questions
arise from this 1) What makes a person a legit civilian target in their
eyes? 2) Are they killing large numbers of civilians by using a very loose
definition of 1? Since we are talking about battles already fought, again
this simply requires the submission of names and numbers not already on the
list. General speculation won't do.

As to the Hitchens analogy. The one who made that comment apparently is
ignorant of my analysis of why NATO was willing to extend a helping hand to
the Libyan revolutionaries. It has everything to do with the need for
Libya's light sweet crude and European economic crisis and nothing to do
with "imperialist enlightenment." I simply disagree they those that think
the revolutionaries should have turned down that help [ and let their
people be slaughtered Assad style ] because it was offered for
self-interested or even nefarious reasons, or especially because it would
"help to legitimize the worst of cases."

As bad as Libya's current problems are, they are all of the general types
that must be faced after any revolution, and it is hard to associate them
with NATO's intervention beyond implying that NATO allowed the revolution
to win and Libya would be better off today with a Qaddafi victory. Contrary
to all the warnings that NATO support could only result in a NATO puppet
government and NATO boots on the ground, there never were boots on the
ground and Libya's current problem is much more no government than puppet
government.

Clay Claiborne, Director
Vietnam: American Holocaust <http://VietnamAmericanHolocaust.com>
Linux Beach Productions
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 581-1536

Read my blogs at the Linux Beach <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/>
<http://wlcentral.org/user/2965/track>
Louis Proyect
2014-07-25 21:56:01 UTC
Permalink
On 7/25/14 5:21 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism wrote:
> "when NATO attacked Sirte, there were Gaza-like casualties" I know that was
> widely claimed by the pro-Qaddafi crowd at the time but where's the proof?
> I've never seen a specific number attached to the charge that NATO killed
> civilians in Sirte or even specific names so I would very much like to see
> the facts behind this statement.

I regard C.J. Chivers as a reliable reporter.

NY Times December 17, 2011
In Strikes on Libya by NATO, an Unspoken Civilian Toll
By C. J. CHIVERS and ERIC SCHMITT

TRIPOLI, Libya ? NATO?s seven-month air campaign in Libya, hailed by the
alliance and many Libyans for blunting a lethal crackdown by Col.
Muammar el-Qaddafi and helping to push him from power, came with an
unrecognized toll: scores of civilian casualties the alliance has long
refused to acknowledge or investigate.

By NATO?s telling during the war, and in statements since sorties ended
on Oct. 31, the alliance-led operation was nearly flawless ? a model air
war that used high technology, meticulous planning and restraint to
protect civilians from Colonel Qaddafi?s troops, which was the
alliance?s mandate.

?We have carried out this operation very carefully, without confirmed
civilian casualties,? the secretary general of NATO, Anders Fogh
Rasmussen, said in November.

But an on-the-ground examination by The New York Times of airstrike
sites across Libya ? including interviews with survivors, doctors and
witnesses, and the collection of munitions remnants, medical reports,
death certificates and photographs ? found credible accounts of dozens
of civilians killed by NATO in many distinct attacks. The victims,
including at least 29 women or children, often had been asleep in homes
when the ordnance hit.

In all, at least 40 civilians, and perhaps more than 70, were killed by
NATO at these sites, available evidence suggests. While that total is
not high compared with other conflicts in which Western powers have
relied heavily on air power, and less than the exaggerated accounts
circulated by the Qaddafi government, it is also not a complete
accounting. Survivors and doctors working for the anti-Qaddafi interim
authorities point to dozens more civilians wounded in these and other
strikes, and they referred reporters to other sites where civilian
casualties were suspected.

Two weeks after being provided a 27-page memorandum from The Times
containing extensive details of nine separate attacks in which evidence
indicated that allied planes had killed or wounded unintended victims,
NATO modified its stance.

?From what you have gathered on the ground, it appears that innocent
civilians may have been killed or injured, despite all the care and
precision,? said Oana Lungescu, a spokeswoman for NATO headquarters in
Brussels. ?We deeply regret any loss of life.?

She added that NATO was in regular contact with the new Libyan
government and that ?we stand ready to work with the Libyan authorities
to do what they feel is right.?

NATO, however, deferred the responsibility of initiating any inquiry to
Libya?s interim authorities, whose survival and climb to power were made
possible largely by the airstrike campaign. So far, Libyan leaders have
expressed no interest in examining NATO?s mistakes.

The failure to thoroughly assess the civilian toll reduces the chances
that allied forces, which are relying ever more heavily on air power
rather than risking ground troops in overseas conflicts, will examine
their Libyan experience to minimize collateral deaths elsewhere. Allied
commanders have been ordered to submit a lessons-learned report to NATO
headquarters in February. NATO?s incuriosity about the many lethal
accidents raises questions about how thorough that review will be.

NATO?s experience in Libya also reveals an attitude that initially
prevailed in Afghanistan. There, NATO forces, led by the United States,
tightened the rules of engagement for airstrikes and insisted on better
targeting to reduce civilian deaths only after repeatedly ignoring or
disputing accounts of airstrikes that left many civilians dead.

In Libya, NATO?s inattention to its unintended victims has also left
many wounded civilians with little aid in the aftermath of the country?s
still-chaotic change in leadership.

These victims include a boy blasted by debris in his face and right eye,
a woman whose left leg was amputated, another whose foot and leg wounds
left her disabled, a North Korean doctor whose left foot was crushed and
his wife, who suffered a fractured skull.

The Times?s investigation included visits to more than 25 sites,
including in Tripoli, Surman, Mizdah, Zlitan, Ga?a, Majer, Ajdabiya,
Misurata, Surt, Brega and Sabratha and near Benghazi. More than 150
targets ? bunkers, buildings or vehicles ? were hit at these places.

NATO warplanes flew thousands of sorties that dropped 7,700 bombs or
missiles; because The Times did not examine sites in several cities and
towns where the air campaign was active, the casualty estimate could be low.

There are indications that the alliance took many steps to avoid harming
civilians, and often did not damage civilian infrastructure useful to
Colonel Qaddafi?s military. Elements of two American-led air campaigns
in Iraq, in 1991 and 2003, appear to have been avoided, including
attacks on electrical grids.

Such steps spared civilians certain hardships and risks that accompanied
previous Western air-to-ground operations. NATO also said that allied
forces did not use cluster munitions or ordnance containing depleted
uranium, both of which pose health and environmental risks, in Libya at
any time.

The alliance?s fixed-wing aircraft dropped only laser- or
satellite-guided weapons, said Col. Gregory Julian, a NATO spokesman; no
so-called dumb bombs were used.

While the overwhelming preponderance of strikes seemed to have hit their
targets without killing noncombatants, many factors contributed to a run
of fatal mistakes. These included a technically faulty bomb, poor or
dated intelligence and the near absence of experienced military
personnel on the ground who could help direct airstrikes.

The alliance?s apparent presumption that residences thought to harbor
pro-Qaddafi forces were not occupied by civilians repeatedly proved
mistaken, the evidence suggests, posing a reminder to advocates of air
power that no war is cost- or error-free.

The investigation also found significant damage to civilian
infrastructure from certain attacks for which a rationale was not
evident or risks to civilians were clear. These included strikes on
warehouses that current anti-Qaddafi guards said contained only food, or
near businesses or homes that were destroyed, including an attack on a
munitions bunker beside a neighborhood that caused a large secondary
explosion, scattering warheads and toxic rocket fuel.

NATO has also not yet provided data to Libyans on the locations or types
of unexploded ordnance from its strikes. At least two large weapons were
present at sites visited by The Times. ?This information is urgently
needed,? said Dr. Ali Yahwya, chief surgeon at the Zlitan hospital.

Moreover, the scouring of one strike site found remnants of NATO
munitions in a ruined building that an alliance spokesman explicitly
said NATO did not attack.

That mistake ? a pair of strikes ? killed 12 anti-Qaddafi fighters and
nearly killed a civilian ambulance crew aiding wounded men. It
underscored NATO?s sometimes tenuous grasp of battle lines and raised
questions about the forthrightness and accuracy of the alliance?s
public-relations campaign.

The second strike pointed to a tactic that survivors at several sites
recounted: warplanes restriking targets minutes after a first attack, a
practice that imperiled, and sometimes killed, civilians rushing to the
wounded.

Pressed about the dangers posed to noncombatants by such attacks, NATO
said it would reconsider the tactic?s rationale in its internal campaign
review. ?That?s a valid point to take into consideration in future
operations,? Colonel Julian said.

That statement is a shift in the alliance?s stance. NATO?s response to
allegations of mistaken attacks had long been carefully worded denials
and insistence that its operations were devised and supervised with
exceptional care. Faced with credible allegations that it killed
civilians, the alliance said it had neither the capacity for nor
intention of investigating and often repeated that disputed strikes were
sound.

The alliance maintained this position even after two independent Western
organizations ? Human Rights Watch and the Campaign for Innocent Victims
in Conflict, or Civic ? met privately with NATO officials and shared
field research about mistakes, including, in some cases, victims? names
and the dates and locations where they died.

Organizations researching civilian deaths in Libya said that the
alliance?s resistance to making itself accountable and acknowledging
mistakes amounted to poor public policy. ?It?s crystal clear that
civilians died in NATO strikes,? said Fred Abrahams, a researcher for
Human Rights Watch. ?But this whole campaign is shrouded by an
atmosphere of impunity? and by NATO?s and the Libyan authorities?
mutually congratulatory statements.

Mr. Abrahams added that the matter went beyond the need to assist
civilians harmed by airstrikes, though he said that was important. At
issue, he said, was ?who is going to lose their lives in the next
campaign because these errors and mistakes went unexamined, and no one
learned from them??

Human Rights Watch and Civic also noted that the alliance?s stance on
civilian casualties it caused in Libya was at odds with its practices
for so-called collateral damage in Afghanistan. There, public anger and
political tension over fatal mistakes led NATO to adopt policies for
investigating actions that caused civilian harm, including guidelines
for expressing condolences and making small payments to victims or their
families.

?You would think, and I did think, that all of the lessons learned from
Afghanistan would have been transferred to Libya,? said Sarah
Holewinski, the executive director of Civic, which helped NATO devise
its practices for Afghanistan. ?But many of them didn?t.?

Choosing Targets

When foreign militaries began attacking Libya?s loyalists on March 19,
the United States military, more experienced than NATO at directing
large operations, coordinated the campaign. On March 31, the Americans
transferred command to NATO.

Seven months later, the alliance had destroyed more than 5,900 military
targets by means of roughly 9,700 strike sorties, according to its data,
helping to dismantle the pro-Qaddafi military and militias. Warplanes
from France, Britain, the United States, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Belgium
and Canada dropped ordnance. Two non-NATO nations, Qatar and the United
Arab Emirates, participated on a small scale.

France carried out about a third of all strike sorties, Britain 21
percent and the United States 19 percent, according to data from each
nation.

The attacks fell under two broad categories. So-called deliberate
strikes were directed against fixed targets, like buildings or
air-defense systems. These targets were selected and assigned to pilots
before aircraft took off.

Deliberate strikes were planned to minimize risks to civilians, NATO
said. In Naples, Italy, intelligence analysts and targeting specialists
vetted proposed targets and compiled lists, which were sent to an
operations center near Bologna, where targets were matched to specific
aircraft and weapons.

For some targets, like command bunkers, NATO said, it conducted long
periods of surveillance first. Drones or other aircraft chronicled the
daily routines at the sites, known as ?patterns of life,? until
commanders felt confident that each target was valid.

Other considerations then came into play. Targeting specialists chose,
for example, the angle of attack and time of day thought to pose the
least risk to civilians. They would also consider questions of ordnance.
These included the size and type of bomb, and its fuze.

Some fuzes briefly delay detonation of a bomb?s high-explosive charge.
This can allow ordnance to penetrate concrete and explode in an
underground tunnel or bunker, or, alternately, to burrow into sand
before exploding ? reducing the blast wave, shrapnel and risk to people
and property nearby.

(NATO could also choose inert bombs, made of concrete, that can collapse
buildings or shatter tanks with kinetic energy rather than an explosion.
NATO said such weapons were used fewer than 10 times in the war.)

Many early strikes were planned missions. But about two-thirds of all
strikes, and most of the attacks late in the war, were another sort:
dynamic strikes.

Dynamic strikes were against targets of opportunity. Crews on aerial
patrols would spot or be told of a potential target, like suspected
military vehicles. Then, if cleared by controllers in Awacs aircraft,
they would attack.

NATO said dynamic missions, too, were guided by practices meant to limit
risks. On Oct. 24, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard of Canada, the operation?s
commander, described a philosophy beyond careful target vetting or using
only guided weapons: restraint. ?Only when we had a clear shot would we
take it,? he said.

Colonel Julian, the spokesman, said there were hundreds of instances
when pilots could have released ordnance but because of concerns for
civilians they held fire. Col. Alain Pelletier, commander of seven
Canadian CF-18 fighters that flew 946 strike sorties, said Canada
installed a special computer software modification in its planes that
allowed pilots to assess the likely blast radius around an intended
target and to call off strikes if the technology warned they posed too
great a risk to civilians.

Colonel Julian also said that NATO broadcast radio messages and that it
dropped millions of leaflets to warn Libyans to stay away from likely
military targets, a practice Libyan citizens across much of the country
confirmed.

A Blow to the Rebels

Civilians were killed by NATO within days of the alliance?s
intervention, the available evidence shows, beginning with one of the
uglier mistakes of the air war: the pummeling of a secret rebel armored
convoy that was advancing through the desert toward the Qaddafi forces?
eastern front lines.

Having survived the first wave of air-to-ground attacks, the loyalists
were taking steps to avoid attracting NATO bombs. They moved in smaller
formations and sometimes set aside armored vehicles in favor of pickup
trucks resembling those that rebels drove. Pilots suddenly had fewer
targets.

On April 7, as the rebel armor lined up on a hill about 20 miles from
Brega, NATO aircraft struck. In a series of attacks, laser-guided bombs
stopped the formation, destroyed the rebels? armor and scattered the
anti-Qaddafi fighters, killing several of them, survivors said.

The attack continued as civilians, including ambulance crews, tried to
converge on the craters and flames to aid the wounded. Three shepherds
were among them.

As the shepherds approached over the sand, a bomb slammed in again, said
one of them, Abdul Rahman Ali Suleiman Sudani. The blast knocked them
over, he said. His two cousins were hit.

One, he said, was cut in half; the other had a gaping chest wound. Both
died. Mr. Sudani and other relatives returned to the wreckage later and
retrieved the remains for burial in Kufra. The men had died, he said,
trying to help.

?We called their families in Sudan and told them, ?Your sons, they have
passed away,? ? he said.

Colonel Julian declined to discuss this episode but said that each time
NATO aircraft returned to strike again was a distinct event and a
distinct decision, and that it was not a general practice for NATO to
?double tap? its targets.

This practice was reported several times by survivors at separate
attacks and cited to explain why some civilians opted not to help at
strike sites or bolted in fear soon after they did.

Colonel Julian said the tactic was likely to be included in NATO?s
internal review of the air campaign.

An Errant Strike

NATO?s planning or restraint did not protect the family of Ali Mukhar
al-Gharari when his home was shattered in June by a phenomenon as old as
air-to-ground war: errant ordnance.

A retiree in Tripoli, Mr. Gharari owned a three-story house he shared
with his adult children and their families. Late on June 19 a bomb
struck it squarely, collapsing the front side. The rubble buried a
courtyard apartment, the family said, where Karima, Mr. Gharari?s adult
daughter, lived with her husband and two children, Jomana, 2, and
Khaled, 7 months.

All four were killed, as was another of Mr. Gharari?s adult children,
Faruj, who was blasted from his second-floor bed to the rubble below,
two of his brothers said. Eight other family members were wounded, one
seriously.

The Qaddafi government, given to exaggeration, claimed that nine
civilians died in the airstrike, including a rescue worker electrocuted
while clearing rubble. These deaths have not been independently
corroborated. There has been no dispute about the Gharari deaths.

Initially, NATO almost acknowledged its mistake. ?A military missile
site was the intended target,? an alliance statement said soon after.
?There may have been a weapons system failure which may have caused a
number of civilian casualties.?

Then it backtracked. Kristele Younes, director of field operations for
Civic, the victims? group, examined the site and delivered her findings
to NATO. She met a cold response. ?They said, ?We have no confirmed
reports of civilian casualties,? ? Ms. Younes said.

The reason, she said, was that the alliance had created its own
definition for ?confirmed?: only a death that NATO itself investigated
and corroborated could be called confirmed. But because the alliance
declined to investigate allegations, its casualty tally by definition
could not budge ? from zero.

?The position was absurd,? Ms. Younes said. ?But they made it very
clear: there was no appetite within NATO to look at these incidents.?

The position left the Gharari family disoriented, and in social
jeopardy. Another of Mr. Gharari?s sons, Mohammed, said the family
supported the revolution. But since NATO?s attack, other Libyans have
labeled the family pro-Qaddafi. If NATO attacked the Ghararis? home, the
street logic went, the alliance must have had a reason.

Mohammed al-Gharari said he would accept an apology from NATO. He said
he could even accept the mistake. ?If this was an error from their
control room, I will not say anything harsh, because that was our
destiny,? he said.

But he asked that NATO lift the dishonor from the family and set the
record straight. ?NATO should tell the truth,? he said. ?They should
tell what happened, so everyone knows our family is innocent.?

A ?Horrible Mistake?

In the hours before his wife and two of their sons were killed, on Aug.
4, Mustafa Naji al-Morabit thought he had taken adequate precautions.

When Colonel Qaddafi?s officers began meeting at a home next door in
Zlitan, he moved his family. That was in July. The adjacent property,
Mr. Morabit and his neighbors said, was owned by a loyalist doctor who
hosted commanders who organized the local front.

About a month later, as rebels pressed near, the officers fled, Mr.
Morabit said. He and his family returned home on Aug. 2, assuming that
the danger had passed.

Calamity struck two days later. A bomb roared down in the early morning
quiet and slammed into their concrete home, causing its front to buckle.

Mr. Morabit?s wife, Eptisam Ali al-Barbar, died of a crushed skull. Two
of their three sons ? Mohammed, 6, and Moataz, 3 ? were killed, too.
Three toes on the left foot of Fatima Umar Mansour, Mr. Morabit?s
mother, were severed. Her lower left leg was snapped.

?We were just in our homes at night,? she said, showing the swollen leg.

The destruction of their home showed that even with careful standards
for target selection, mistakes occurred. Not only did NATO hit the wrong
building, survivors and neighbors said, but it also hit it more than two
days late.

Mr. Morabit added a sorrowful detail. He suspected that the bomb was
made of concrete; there seemed to be no fire or explosion when it
struck, he said. NATO may have tried to minimize damage, he added, but
the would-be benefits of its caution were lost. ?I want to know why,? he
said. ?NATO said they are so organized, that they are specialists. So
why? Why this horrible mistake??

It is not clear whether the mistake was made by the pilot or those who
selected the target. NATO declined to answer questions about the strike.

On Aug. 8, four days after destroying the Morabit home, NATO hit
buildings occupied by civilians again, this time in Majer, according to
survivors, doctors and independent investigators. The strikes were
NATO?s bloodiest known accidents in the war.

The attack began with a series of 500-pound laser-guided bombs, called
GBU-12s, ordnance remnants suggest. The first house, owned by Ali Hamid
Gafez, 61, was crowded with Mr. Gafez?s relatives, who had been
dislocated by the war, he and his neighbors said.

The bomb destroyed the second floor and much of the first. Five women
and seven children were killed; several more people were wounded,
including Mr. Gafez?s wife, whose her lower left leg had to be
amputated, the doctor who performed the procedure said.

Minutes later, NATO aircraft attacked two buildings in a second
compound, owned by brothers in the Jarud family. Four people were
killed, the family said.

Several minutes after the first strikes, as neighbors rushed to dig for
victims, another bomb struck. The blast killed 18 civilians, both
families said.

The death toll has been a source of confusion. The Qaddafi government
said 85 civilians died. That claim does not seem to be credible. With
the Qaddafi propaganda machine now gone, an official list of dead,
issued by the new government, includes 35 victims, among them the
late-term fetus of a fatally wounded woman the Gafez family said went
into labor as she died.

The Zlitan hospital confirmed 34 deaths. Five doctors there also told of
treating dozens of wounded people, including many women and children.

All 16 beds in the intensive-care unit were filled with severely wounded
civilians, doctors said. Dr. Ahmad Thoboot, the hospital?s co-director,
said none of the victims, alive or dead, were in uniform. ?There is no
doubt,? he said. ?This is not fabricated. Civilians were killed.?

Descriptions of the wounds underscored the difference between mistakes
with typical ground-to-ground arms and the unforgiving nature of
mistakes with 500-pound bombs, which create blast waves of an entirely
different order.

Dr. Mustafa Ekhial, a surgeon, said the wounds caused by NATO?s bombs
were far worse than those the staff had treated for months. ?We have to
tell the truth,? he said. ?What we saw that night was completely different.?

In previous statements, NATO said it watched the homes carefully before
attacking and saw ?military staging areas.? It also said that it
reviewed the strikes and that claims of civilian casualties were not
corroborated by ?available factual information.? When asked what this
information was, the alliance did not provide it.

Mr. Gafez issued a challenge. An independent review of all prestrike
surveillance video, he said, would prove NATO wrong. Only civilians were
there, he said, and he demanded that the alliance release the video.

Ms. Younes said the dispute missed an essential point. Under NATO?s
targeting guidelines and in keeping with practices the alliance has
repeatedly insisted that it followed, she said, if civilians were
present, aircraft should not have attacked.

The initial findings on the Majer strikes, part of the United Nations?
investigation into actions by all sides in Libya that harmed civilians,
have raised questions about the legality of the attack under
international humanitarian law, according to an official familiar with
the investigation.

Homes as Targets

NATO?s strikes in Majer, one of five known attacks on apparently
occupied residences, suggested a pattern. When residential targets were
presumed to be used by loyalist forces, civilians were sometimes present
? suggesting holes in NATO?s ?pattern of life? reviews and other forms
of vetting.

Airstrikes on June 20 in Surman leveled homes owned by Maj. Gen.
El-Khweldi el-Hamedi, a longtime confidant of Colonel Qaddafi and a
member of his Revolutionary Council. NATO has said the family compound
was used as command center.

The family?s account, partly confirmed by rebels, claimed that the
strikes killed 13 civilians and wounded six more. Local anti-Qaddafi
fighters corroborated the deaths of four of those killed ? one of the
general?s daughters-in-law and three of her children.

General Hamedi was wounded and has taken refuge in Morocco, said his son
Khaled. Khaled has filed a lawsuit against NATO, claiming that the
attack was a crime. He said that he and his family were victims of rebel
?fabrications,? which attracted NATO bombs.

On Sept. 25, a smaller but similar attack destroyed the residence of
Brig. Gen. Musbah Diyab in Surt, neighbors and his family members said.

General Diyab, a distant cousin of Colonel Qaddafi, was killed. So were
seven women and children who crowded into his home as rebels besieged
the defenses of some of the Qaddafi loyalists? last holdouts, witnesses
said.

By this time, tables in Libya had turned. The remaining loyalists held
almost no territory. They were a dwindling, disorganized lot. It was the
anti-Qaddafi forces who endangered civilians they suspected of having
sympathies for the dying government, residents of Surt said.

On a recent afternoon, Mahmoud Zarog Massoud, his hand swollen with an
infection from a wound, wandered the broken shell of a seven-story
apartment building in Surt, which was struck in mid-September. His
apartment furniture had been blown about by the blast.

He approached the kitchen, where, he said, he and his wife had just
broken their Ramadan fast when ordnance hit. ?We were not thinking NATO
would attack our home,? he said.

Judging by the damage and munitions? remains, a bomb with a delayed fuze
struck another wing of the building, burrowed into another apartment and
exploded, blasting walls outward. Debris flew across the courtyard and
through his kitchen?s balcony door.

His wife, Aisha Abdujodil, was killed, both her arms severed, he said.
Bloodstains still marked the floor and walls.

Provided written questions, NATO declined to comment on the three
strikes on homes in Surman and Surt.

C. J. Chivers reported from Libya, and Eric Schmitt from Washington,
Brussels and Naples, Italy.
Clay Claiborne
2014-07-25 23:44:19 UTC
Permalink
I also consider C. J. Chivers very creditable [ we follow each other on
twitter ] His NY Times study is one of three I have generally cited to
back my view that NATO caused relatively few civilian causalities in
Libya. The UN put the number at 60, HRW said 72, this NYTimes report
reviewed 150 incidents at 25 locations and put the number at 40-70. None
have claimed they were just sampling and none claimed they had counted
all possible civilian causalities, just all they knew about. I have
generally said less than a hundred feeling that I was still allowing a
wide margin for new deaths to be incorporated in the count.

In Sirte, they document 7 women and children killed on 25 Sept when the
home of a Brig General was bombed. They also document another woman,
Aisha Abdujodil, killed when her apartment building was bombed. That
makes 9 of the 40-72, and while, as their narrative makes clear, every
death is an individual tragedy, I still have seen no facts that back up
a claim that NATO caused massive civilian deaths in Sirte.

Clay Claiborne, Director
Vietnam: American Holocaust <http://VietnamAmericanHolocaust.com>
Linux Beach Productions
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 581-1536

Read my blogs at theLinux Beach <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/>
Michael Karadjis
2014-07-27 00:36:08 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
From: Clay Claiborne via Marxism

> and while, as their narrative makes clear, every
death is an individual tragedy, I still have seen no facts that back up
a claim that NATO caused massive civilian deaths in Sirte.

The problem with this discussion when it comes to Sirte is that, even if
you convinced yourself that not many civilians were killed there (an
unlikely proposition) and that these deaths were "accidental", surely
the issue is whether NATO had any right whatsoever (I don't mean "legal"
right but ethical or any way you look at it) to be bombing the hell out
of this city.

Obviously, most in this discussion, other than Clay, have said that it's
not a great idea to call on NATO to intervene even in exceptional
circumstances.

But even if we were to concede, for argument's sake, that there was a
case to support NATO defending Benghazi from an immanent massacre by
Gaddafi (I'd prefer to say, "difficult in practice to oppose, and that
was Gaddafi's fault, and who can blame the Libyans in Benghazi for
calling for it") then surely such "support" or toleration should only be
for the most minimum time necessary. In fact even Gilbert Achcar, who
was essentially misquoted as "supporting" (rather than not opposing) the
initial intervention to protect Benghazi, said within a couple of weeks
of that event, that once that was done, if NATO settles in for a more
prolonged involvement, we should vigorously demand NATO out. Whatever
Gaddafi was, I don' think socialists should have supported a 6-month
NATO intervention fighting on the side of the NTC to help bring it to
power in Libya.

But again for argument's sake, even if one really did think that was a
good idea, how can one possibly justify a continued NATO intervention
*after Gaddafi had been ousted from power*? Gaddafi fell in August, yet
the bloody sieges of Sirte and Bani Walid continued for another two full
months. As NATO bombed these cities from the sky (allegedly trying to
avoid "accidents"), the ex-rebels besieged them on the ground. Thus
whatever one's view on the previous engagement, surely the roles by now
were completely reversed: NATO was by then launching an air war against
two population centres on behalf of a new regime; the populations of
these two cities were now the "rebels" because they didn't support the
new regime; however, they were not launching a rebellion to take power,
merely to keep the new NTC/Misrata militia goons out.

Why was it necessary for NATO and the NTC to bomb these cities into
submission for two months? Obviously not to "protect civilians" a la
Benghazi 8 months earlier. I suggest to consolidate the process of
turning what had begun as a liberation movement into its opposite,
turning former rebel militias into repressive bodies of the new state.
In the process, demolishing Sirte, making it look like the cities and
towns all over Syria that have been demolished by Assad, as abundant
photographic evidence will show. An epic war crime.
Andrew Pollack
2014-07-27 00:40:29 UTC
Permalink
I just read Michael K.'s contribution and am really glad I did.
On the other hand I skipped about 20 messages in this thread once it
degenerated into a flame war.


On Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 8:36 PM, Michael Karadjis via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
>
>
> -----Original Message----- From: Clay Claiborne via Marxism
>
>
> and while, as their narrative makes clear, every
>>
> death is an individual tragedy, I still have seen no facts that back up
> a claim that NATO caused massive civilian deaths in Sirte.
>
> The problem with this discussion when it comes to Sirte is that, even if
> you convinced yourself that not many civilians were killed there (an
> unlikely proposition) and that these deaths were "accidental", surely the
> issue is whether NATO had any right whatsoever (I don't mean "legal" right
> but ethical or any way you look at it) to be bombing the hell out of this
> city.
>
> Obviously, most in this discussion, other than Clay, have said that it's
> not a great idea to call on NATO to intervene even in exceptional
> circumstances.
>
> But even if we were to concede, for argument's sake, that there was a case
> to support NATO defending Benghazi from an immanent massacre by Gaddafi
> (I'd prefer to say, "difficult in practice to oppose, and that was
> Gaddafi's fault, and who can blame the Libyans in Benghazi for calling for
> it") then surely such "support" or toleration should only be for the most
> minimum time necessary. In fact even Gilbert Achcar, who was essentially
> misquoted as "supporting" (rather than not opposing) the initial
> intervention to protect Benghazi, said within a couple of weeks of that
> event, that once that was done, if NATO settles in for a more prolonged
> involvement, we should vigorously demand NATO out. Whatever Gaddafi was, I
> don' think socialists should have supported a 6-month NATO intervention
> fighting on the side of the NTC to help bring it to power in Libya.
>
> But again for argument's sake, even if one really did think that was a
> good idea, how can one possibly justify a continued NATO intervention
> *after Gaddafi had been ousted from power*? Gaddafi fell in August, yet the
> bloody sieges of Sirte and Bani Walid continued for another two full
> months. As NATO bombed these cities from the sky (allegedly trying to avoid
> "accidents"), the ex-rebels besieged them on the ground. Thus whatever
> one's view on the previous engagement, surely the roles by now were
> completely reversed: NATO was by then launching an air war against two
> population centres on behalf of a new regime; the populations of these two
> cities were now the "rebels" because they didn't support the new regime;
> however, they were not launching a rebellion to take power, merely to keep
> the new NTC/Misrata militia goons out.
>
> Why was it necessary for NATO and the NTC to bomb these cities into
> submission for two months? Obviously not to "protect civilians" a la
> Benghazi 8 months earlier. I suggest to consolidate the process of turning
> what had begun as a liberation movement into its opposite, turning former
> rebel militias into repressive bodies of the new state. In the process,
> demolishing Sirte, making it look like the cities and towns all over Syria
> that have been demolished by Assad, as abundant photographic evidence will
> show. An epic war crime.
> ________________________________________________
> Send list submissions to: Marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu
> Set your options at: http://lists.csbs.utah.edu/
> options/marxism/acpollack2%40gmail.com
>
Clay Claiborne
2014-07-27 02:42:59 UTC
Permalink
On 07/26/2014 05:36 PM, Michael Karadjis wrote:
>
> The problem with this discussion when it comes to Sirte is that, even
> if you convinced yourself that not many civilians were killed there
I didn't say and I don't think that few civilians were killed in the
battle of Sirte. Many were, but not by NATO. The battle of Sirte was
brutal and it was under siege for a long time and heavily damaged by
opposition artillery. Later the pro-Qaddafi forces circulated these
pictures of artillery damage in Sirte but labeled it NATO bomb damage
and began the myth of massive civilian casualties caused by NATO in
Sirte. During the Battle of Sirte, 15 Sept - 20 Oct, NATO carried out 45
strikes on buildings in Sirte, all designated as military
ammunition/storage facilities, command and control nodes, military
vehicle storage facilities, military barracks facility, etc and 117
strikes on vehicles, tanks, missile launchers and radar facilities.

> bombing the hell out of this city.
That is certainly a Qaddafi friendly way to describe the above air activity.
>
> then surely such "support" or toleration should only be for the most
> minimum time necessary.
Would that be for as long as Qaddafi persisted in killing civilians or
only until he brought his targeting of civilians below a certain
threshold? Did NATO's responsibility encompass the siege of Misrata too
or only Benghazi? At what point was NATO relieved of its responsibility
to protect civilians? At what point did Qaddafi stop attacking civilians?
> In fact even Gilbert Achcar, who was essentially misquoted as
> "supporting" (rather than not opposing) the initial intervention to
> protect Benghazi, said within a couple of weeks of that event, that
> once that was done, if NATO settles in for a more prolonged
> involvement, we should vigorously demand NATO out.
That answers my question. Misrata was SOL as far as the "socialists"
were concerned.
> Whatever Gaddafi was,
meaning even if he was a fascist, racist, mad dog killer.
> I don' think socialists should have supported a 6-month NATO
> intervention fighting on the side of the NTC to help bring it to power
> in Libya.
>
"socialists" shouldn't support his overthrow once NATO offered to help.
> Gaddafi fell in August, yet the bloody sieges of Sirte and Bani Walid
> continued for another two full months.
Micheal may have known he fell in August but that fact wasn't clear to
either the Qaddafi forces or the rest of the world until Sirte and Bani
Walid fell.

> surely the roles by now were completely reversed:
In both Sirte and Bani Walid, the Qaddafi regime refused to let
civilians leave the areas under siege. Truly they were using them as
human shields. That is why those sieges were so drawn out. The NTC was
trying to win them with a minimum further lost of life. The true
banality of the Qaddafi regime showed nowhere as in these last two
battles because after the fall of Tripoli it had to be clear to all
involved just how things were doing to turn out. Still the Qaddafi
forces barricaded themselves in these two strongholds, refused to let
the people leave [ and most did want to flee the scene of a battle ] ,
used summary executions to keep them there and forced a series of very
bloody, if hopeless battles at the end. This was not a reversal of
roles, this was a continuation of Qaddafi's same policies even when they
had become irrational. Under these circumstances I don't think NATO's
responsibility to protect would have been served by washing their hands
of these final battles, as Michael wishes, so much as using their air
power and smart weaponry to much more quickly reduce Qaddafi's military
power with considerably less danger to civilians than the NTC's artillery.
Shane Mage
2014-07-26 00:27:47 UTC
Permalink
On Jul 25, 2014, at 5:21 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism wrote:

> Nobody in LA would accept the LAPD slamming a missile into a
> building and excusing it by saying the drug dealers or whoever were
> using
> civilians as human shields.

In Philadelphia black women and children were murdered when their
homes were bombed by the State. Mumia is still in jail after being
framed for murder. "Nobody" (that denotes Odysseus, myself, and
anybody decent--obviously not Mr. Claiborne) objected.



Shane Mage

"Thunderbolt steers all things." Herakleitos of Ephesos, fr. 64
Shane Mage
2014-07-26 00:34:56 UTC
Permalink
On Jul 25, 2014, at 5:21 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism wrote:

> Nobody in LA would accept the LAPD slamming a missile into a
> building and excusing it by saying the drug dealers or whoever were
> using
> civilians as human shields.

In Philadelphia black women and children were murdered when their
homes were bombed by the State. Mumia is still in jail after being
framed for murder. "Nobody" (that denotes Odysseus, myself, and
anybody decent--obviously not Mr. Claiborne) objected.



Shane Mage

"Thunderbolt steers all things." Herakleitos of Ephesos, fr. 64
Lenin's Tomb
2014-07-26 11:20:00 UTC
Permalink
> ... Lenin's Tomb is implying that HRW was doing some sort of
> sampling, whereas HRW says "This report documents civilian casualties in
> the air campaign by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Libya
> in 2011." They reported on eight incidents including all reported to them
> by the Qaddafi regime. ?
>
> All they have to do, and they've now had several years and a relatively
> free [from the investigative standpoint] Libya to do it in, is document one
> or more civilian deaths not named in the HRW or even more limited UN
> report.

> This also applies to the claims of civilian deaths caused by NATO
> in Sirte. All those who want to overthrow the NYTimes, UN & HRW studies
> that put unintended NATO civilian deaths at ~72 just need to document a
> significant number of such civilian deaths not counted by them. Babbling on
> about how there must be more deaths because they believe there must be
> doesn't cut it, whereas names and numbers will blow them out of the water.


So, to be clear:

I point out that the ?studies? you are citing neither attempt nor claim to be comprehensive estimates of civilian deaths arising from NATO?s bombing campaign.

And your response is to demand of me that I supplement their data by providing documented instances of civilian casualties not counted by them.

I?m afraid you?re simply not thinking.

You claim that I imply that ?HRW was doing some sort of sampling?. Supposing I did claim that, the sentence you quote from the HRW report would be a non-sequitur. No one denies that the "report documents civilian casualties?. What is contested is your claim, which is not made in any of the reports, that they document *all* civilian casualties (or even *most* civilian casualties). However, in fact I do not claim that HRW engaged in sampling; I claim precisely the opposite. I claim that HRW does not attempt a representative sample either of air strikes, or of the civilian population of Libya.

Sampling is a statistical survey technique. It involves defining a population to be studied, selecting a representative subset and pro-actively measuring characteristics of that subset. The point of sampling is to enable one to estimate characteristics within the whole population. It is what Roberts et al did for Iraq (and also for the DRC); or what Benini & Moulton, using figures collected by the Mine Clearance Planning Agency, did for Afghanistan.

No such study has been carried out for Libya. The Commission of Inquiry, HRW and the New York Times all investigate specific allegations of human rights abuses: that is all. (Indeed, it is stretching a definition to refer to the NYT report as a ?study?. It is a work of investigative journalism, and makes no attempt to have the rigour of a study. It does, however, have the honesty to point out that it is ?not a complete accounting?.)

There is thus no need to ?overthrow? the existing ?studies? since, as I have stated, there are no ?studies? of total civilian casualties arising from the bombing campaign.

In claiming that such exist, you are mis-citing the figures in support of a pro-imperialist position.


> Ditto the question what deaths were 'accidental.' Since there were
> civilians NATO considered legitimate targets we are talking about the
> number of civilians they killed that they did not target. Two questions
> arise from this 1) What makes a person a legit civilian target in their
> eyes? 2) Are they killing large numbers of civilians by using a very loose
> definition of 1? Since we are talking about battles already fought, again
> this simply requires the submission of names and numbers not already on the
> list. General speculation won't do.


There is no need to speculate. Simply read the reports which you mis-cite. Looking at all three of the reports, they each provide details of specific incidents where civilians were killed at civilian sites.

NATO of course claimed that they were also being used for military purposes by Qadhafi supporters. This may or may not be true. The reports cited find no evidence for it, but let?s suppose it is.

Since NATO targeted these known civilian sites and since the deaths of civilians at them was predictable, it is an obscene and Regevian standard of apologia to characterise such deaths as ?accidental?.


> As to the Hitchens analogy. The one who made that comment apparently is
> ignorant of my analysis of why NATO was willing to extend a helping hand to
> the Libyan revolutionaries. It has everything to do with the need for
> Libya's light sweet crude and European economic crisis and nothing to do
> with "imperialist enlightenment." I simply disagree they those that think
> the revolutionaries should have turned down that help [ and let their
> people be slaughtered Assad style ] because it was offered for
> self-interested or even nefarious reasons, or especially because it would
> "help to legitimize the worst of cases."



As to your specific analysis, I think this is unpersuasive economism in the Achcar mode. The US is not remotely dependent on Libyan oil, yet it led the intervention in the end. And while the EU imports 8% of its oil from Libya, safeguarding that access could have been achieved by a number of means including simply bolstering Qadhafi and enabling him to suppress the uprising, or cynically dealing with both sides. The crucial axis here is that of politics, or geopolitics.

To understand why Obama intervened, you have to understand the politics of US imperialism in relation to the Middle East revolutionary process. Specifically, I think, it is necessary to look at the analysis of the State Department viz. the changing socio-demographics of the Middle East and the need for the US to co-opt this movement or risk another huge strategic loss, as in Egypt. It was when Hillary Clinton was persuaded of this by her subordinates that she tilted in favour of intervention, and thus persuaded Obama.

If you want to understand France?s motives for intervention, you have to look at the humiliation of the French state over Tunisia and its determination to find political allies in the Libyan uprising - in this case by using BHL to negotiate with the more conservative, bourgeois elements of the uprising.

It is, I suppose, understandable that those making leftist excuses for imperialist intervention would find it difficult to acknowledge the politics of co-optation, much less seriously and rigorously account for it in their analysis. But the intervention can?t be understood without such an analysis.
Clay Claiborne
2014-07-26 21:38:28 UTC
Permalink
On 07/26/2014 04:20 AM, Lenin's Tomb wrote:
> So, to be clear:
>
> I point out that the ?studies? you are citing /neither attempt nor
> claim/ to be comprehensive estimates of civilian deaths arising from
> NATO?s bombing campaign.
>
> And your response is to demand of me that I supplement their data by
> providing documented instances of civilian casualties not counted by
> them.
>
> I?m afraid you?re simply not thinking.

Lenin's Tomb examples the Left's main error on Libya, which is its
failure to learn from its mistakes. Lenin's Tomb has now demonstratively
been wrong on Libya but rather than examining its past analysis for
errors, it ignores them and doubles down on its generally negative
assessment of the Libyan Revolution. Let's examine the record:

In March 2011
<http://www.leninology.co.uk/2011/03/un-votes-for-libya-air-strikes.html> this
was its best-case scenario for the Libyan revolution, which it thought
unlikely:

The best-case scenario is that people are killed to little avail,
and the former regime elements in the transitional leadership have
just diverted energies and initiative down a blind alley. I suppose
you might object that the best-case scenario is that the air strikes
exclusively kill the bad guys, turning the initiative in favour of
the revolutionaries, allowing them to sieze power, build a liberal
democratic state, and the cavalry heads home. And the band played,
'Believe it if you like'.

My assessment of what did happen is that the air strikes killed 90-95%
"bad guys," did turn the initiative in favor of the revolutionaries
allowing them to seize power and then the cavalry flew home. Process of
rebuilding the state virtually from scratch, and not in the way Lenin's
Tomb envisioned, is on going and continues to be the center of political
struggle.

In April 2011
<http://www.leninology.co.uk/2011/04/springtime-for-nato-in-libya.html>,
Lenin's Tomb offered the opinion that after NATO intervention only a
puppet government could emerge:

Can I just risk a modest proposition? NATO, the CIA and the special
forces belonging to the world's imperialist states are not forces of
progress in this world. Does anyone disagree with that? If not, then
it follows as surely as night follows day that the successful
cooptation of the Libyan revolution by NATO, the CIA and special
forces is a victory for reaction. It's no good hoping that the
small, poorly armed, poorly trained militias of the east of Libya,
who are now utterly dependent on external support, will somehow
shake themselves free of such constraints once - if - they take power.

LT thought the most likely outcome would be a deal brokered by NATO that
left the Qaddafi state machinery in place:

they [NATO] offer a prolonged civil war at best culminating in a
settlement with Saif and his sibling.

Given events in Syria, I wouldn't call Libya's civil war "prolonged" and
Saif's relation to state power is detention awaking trial. LT elaborates:

Yes, I know. A negotiated settlement would be a step back from
outright victory for the rebels. But that is an increasingly
improbable outcome anyway, and I thought we were trying to save
lives here? And as it happens, a diplomatic solution seems to be
exactly what is on the cards now.

LT came to the conclusion early that the Libyan Revolution had been
converted into the US War on Libya:

The opposition leaders are now adjuncts to a NATO strategy which may
not even have been disclosed to them. Let's at least give credit
where it's due. This is NATO's war. And that means, this is
Washington's war.

As things developed, the US never flew more than about 17% of the strike
missions in what LT had called "Washington's war," so LT changed its
position accordingly, in April
<http://www.leninology.co.uk/2011/04/where-is-bombing-of-libya-going.html>
predicting a Qaddafi victory unless NATO put in troops:

The US is pulling out of the air war, amid divisions and
recriminations, and is saying that it will not engage in the
training or arming of the rebels. In short, it is retreating from
any explicit military involvement in the Libyan revolt. This may
amount to an admission of failure.

Qadhafi's recent recovery in some parts of the country may be
reversed, but he is unlikely to lose the core western territories
that he now commands. Is this the kind of stability that is sought?
A constant war of attrition between two slightly better matched
forces? What's the alternative, apart from a land invasion?

LT thought <http://www.leninology.co.uk/2011/08/libya-downfall.html>
"Washington's war" would ultimately result in a re-constituted Qaddafi
regime. This was said in August before the uprising in Tripoli
vanquished the Qaddafi forces even as the revolutionary armies were
converging on the city from four sides:

Their weakest point had been the failure of the revolt to spread to
Tripoli, which seemed unlikely to fall to the sorts of relatively
light bombing sorties that NATO was deploying. Aerial bombing was no
substitute for the spread of the revolution, which was actually
receding as the initiative passed into the hands of Africom planners
and others. Leading politicians in the UK and France were admitting
that Qadhafi would not be driven out by military force, and calling
for a negotiated settlement.

I think we would see a recomposition of the old regime, without
Qadhafi but with the basic state structures intact. The former
regime elements would become regime elements, within a pro-US,
neoliberal state with some limited political democracy.

Its not that LT misjudged the situation, we all do that from time to
time, but that he so badly misjudged the situation on the side of
reaction, on the side of counter-revolution. At a time when the Libyan
forces rallied against the fascist dictatorship needed all the support
it could get, practical as well as moral, he , we now know wrongly,
predicted failure on all fronts.

Of course, as revolutionary Marxists, it is incumbent on us to always
tell the truth to the people and never take the ultra-left road of
advocating a struggle that can't be won. So we should be cautious in
setting doable goals so the people can go from victory to victory, but I
think the far greater "danger," if you can call it that, is the outright
avocation of the failure of the revolutionary forces when that is not
called for by the facts. I put "danger" in quotes because it isn't a
danger for the forces of counter-revolution generally, it is what we
expect them to do, but it is an embarrassment to Lenin that someone
taking his name should also take that stand.

With its predictions of a negotiated settlement leaving the Qaddafi
regime largely intact, NATO boots on the ground and a puppet government
controlled by Washington, all proven wrong by history, one might hope
that a historical materialist would get busy examining the basic
assumptions that led to these counter-revolutionary conclusions.

To have at precisely the moment when the revolutionary forces are
engaged in desperate battle and need all to rally to their cause and
have heart, have faith in their eventual victory, to at that moment
incorrectly predict failure and defeat, to so publicly underestimate the
strength of the revolutionary forces and the revolutionary possibilities
of the situation has to be ranked as a first rate failure for a
Leninist. Such a failure should be the subject of serious examination.
Not so with LT, instead it calls for
<http://www.leninology.co.uk/2011/08/libya-is-free-it-must-be-occupied.html>
an outcome congruent with its initial vision, it calls for a US
occupation of Libya:

Now Nato has to deal with its own success. International assistance,
probably including an international force, is likely to be needed
for some time to help restore and maintain order. The size and
composition of the force will depend on what is requested and
welcomed by the Libyan National Transitional Council and what is
required by the situation on the ground. President Barack Obama may
need to reconsider his assertion that there would not be any
American boots on the ground; leadership is hard to assert without a
presence.
Charles Faulkner
2014-07-26 22:58:39 UTC
Permalink
thanks clay.

as has been usual in the short time i have been on this listserv you are very thorough and present a compelling case in this instance. i look forward to the reply, which i hope is as substantive.

as the contributors here are the usual suspects i think it is important for you to know that there are people like me who have more questions than analysis. i lurk more than write and try to weigh what i read against what i hear and against, of course, my experience and understanding. my silence here doesn't mean i do not pass on what i find useful to those outside this list. the dialogue is extremely beneficial and i can attest that the true word does get out. it helps clarify in this era of wild and uninhibited propaganda when i find it has never been more difficult for the average person to understand the world.

so thank you (and louis and andrew) who have helped me more to understand contemporary events than anyone since andrew cockburn.

p.s. as an aside i found your blog on benghazi to be the best single source of information on the events leading up to that unfortunate event. i shared it broadly.

----- Original Message -----

From: "Serve, Marxism" <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
To: "Faulkner, Charles" <lacenaire at comcast.net>
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2014 2:38:28 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] NATO over Libya vs. IDF over Gaza

======================================================================
Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
======================================================================


On 07/26/2014 04:20 AM, Lenin's Tomb wrote:
> So, to be clear:
>
> I point out that the ?studies? you are citing /neither attempt nor
> claim/ to be comprehensive estimates of civilian deaths arising from
> NATO?s bombing campaign.
>
> And your response is to demand of me that I supplement their data by
> providing documented instances of civilian casualties not counted by
> them.
>
> I?m afraid you?re simply not thinking.

Lenin's Tomb examples the Left's main error on Libya, which is its
failure to learn from its mistakes. Lenin's Tomb has now demonstratively
been wrong on Libya but rather than examining its past analysis for
errors, it ignores them and doubles down on its generally negative
assessment of the Libyan Revolution. Let's examine the record:

In March 2011
<http://www.leninology.co.uk/2011/03/un-votes-for-libya-air-strikes.html> this
was its best-case scenario for the Libyan revolution, which it thought
unlikely:

The best-case scenario is that people are killed to little avail,
and the former regime elements in the transitional leadership have
just diverted energies and initiative down a blind alley. I suppose
you might object that the best-case scenario is that the air strikes
exclusively kill the bad guys, turning the initiative in favour of
the revolutionaries, allowing them to sieze power, build a liberal
democratic state, and the cavalry heads home. And the band played,
'Believe it if you like'.

My assessment of what did happen is that the air strikes killed 90-95%
"bad guys," did turn the initiative in favor of the revolutionaries
allowing them to seize power and then the cavalry flew home. Process of
rebuilding the state virtually from scratch, and not in the way Lenin's
Tomb envisioned, is on going and continues to be the center of political
struggle.

In April 2011
<http://www.leninology.co.uk/2011/04/springtime-for-nato-in-libya.html>,
Lenin's Tomb offered the opinion that after NATO intervention only a
puppet government could emerge:

Can I just risk a modest proposition? NATO, the CIA and the special
forces belonging to the world's imperialist states are not forces of
progress in this world. Does anyone disagree with that? If not, then
it follows as surely as night follows day that the successful
cooptation of the Libyan revolution by NATO, the CIA and special
forces is a victory for reaction. It's no good hoping that the
small, poorly armed, poorly trained militias of the east of Libya,
who are now utterly dependent on external support, will somehow
shake themselves free of such constraints once - if - they take power.

LT thought the most likely outcome would be a deal brokered by NATO that
left the Qaddafi state machinery in place:

they [NATO] offer a prolonged civil war at best culminating in a
settlement with Saif and his sibling.

Given events in Syria, I wouldn't call Libya's civil war "prolonged" and
Saif's relation to state power is detention awaking trial. LT elaborates:

Yes, I know. A negotiated settlement would be a step back from
outright victory for the rebels. But that is an increasingly
improbable outcome anyway, and I thought we were trying to save
lives here? And as it happens, a diplomatic solution seems to be
exactly what is on the cards now.

LT came to the conclusion early that the Libyan Revolution had been
converted into the US War on Libya:

The opposition leaders are now adjuncts to a NATO strategy which may
not even have been disclosed to them. Let's at least give credit
where it's due. This is NATO's war. And that means, this is
Washington's war.

As things developed, the US never flew more than about 17% of the strike
missions in what LT had called "Washington's war," so LT changed its
position accordingly, in April
<http://www.leninology.co.uk/2011/04/where-is-bombing-of-libya-going.html>
predicting a Qaddafi victory unless NATO put in troops:

The US is pulling out of the air war, amid divisions and
recriminations, and is saying that it will not engage in the
training or arming of the rebels. In short, it is retreating from
any explicit military involvement in the Libyan revolt. This may
amount to an admission of failure.

Qadhafi's recent recovery in some parts of the country may be
reversed, but he is unlikely to lose the core western territories
that he now commands. Is this the kind of stability that is sought?
A constant war of attrition between two slightly better matched
forces? What's the alternative, apart from a land invasion?

LT thought <http://www.leninology.co.uk/2011/08/libya-downfall.html>
"Washington's war" would ultimately result in a re-constituted Qaddafi
regime. This was said in August before the uprising in Tripoli
vanquished the Qaddafi forces even as the revolutionary armies were
converging on the city from four sides:

Their weakest point had been the failure of the revolt to spread to
Tripoli, which seemed unlikely to fall to the sorts of relatively
light bombing sorties that NATO was deploying. Aerial bombing was no
substitute for the spread of the revolution, which was actually
receding as the initiative passed into the hands of Africom planners
and others. Leading politicians in the UK and France were admitting
that Qadhafi would not be driven out by military force, and calling
for a negotiated settlement.

I think we would see a recomposition of the old regime, without
Qadhafi but with the basic state structures intact. The former
regime elements would become regime elements, within a pro-US,
neoliberal state with some limited political democracy.

Its not that LT misjudged the situation, we all do that from time to
time, but that he so badly misjudged the situation on the side of
reaction, on the side of counter-revolution. At a time when the Libyan
forces rallied against the fascist dictatorship needed all the support
it could get, practical as well as moral, he , we now know wrongly,
predicted failure on all fronts.

Of course, as revolutionary Marxists, it is incumbent on us to always
tell the truth to the people and never take the ultra-left road of
advocating a struggle that can't be won. So we should be cautious in
setting doable goals so the people can go from victory to victory, but I
think the far greater "danger," if you can call it that, is the outright
avocation of the failure of the revolutionary forces when that is not
called for by the facts. I put "danger" in quotes because it isn't a
danger for the forces of counter-revolution generally, it is what we
expect them to do, but it is an embarrassment to Lenin that someone
taking his name should also take that stand.

With its predictions of a negotiated settlement leaving the Qaddafi
regime largely intact, NATO boots on the ground and a puppet government
controlled by Washington, all proven wrong by history, one might hope
that a historical materialist would get busy examining the basic
assumptions that led to these counter-revolutionary conclusions.

To have at precisely the moment when the revolutionary forces are
engaged in desperate battle and need all to rally to their cause and
have heart, have faith in their eventual victory, to at that moment
incorrectly predict failure and defeat, to so publicly underestimate the
strength of the revolutionary forces and the revolutionary possibilities
of the situation has to be ranked as a first rate failure for a
Leninist. Such a failure should be the subject of serious examination.
Not so with LT, instead it calls for
<http://www.leninology.co.uk/2011/08/libya-is-free-it-must-be-occupied.html>
an outcome congruent with its initial vision, it calls for a US
occupation of Libya:

Now Nato has to deal with its own success. International assistance,
probably including an international force, is likely to be needed
for some time to help restore and maintain order. The size and
composition of the force will depend on what is requested and
welcomed by the Libyan National Transitional Council and what is
required by the situation on the ground. President Barack Obama may
need to reconsider his assertion that there would not be any
American boots on the ground; leadership is hard to assert without a
presence.

________________________________________________
Send list submissions to: Marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu
Set your options at: http://lists.csbs.utah.edu/options/marxism/lacenaire%40comcast.net
Lenin's Tomb
2014-07-26 23:40:09 UTC
Permalink
On 26 Jul 2014, at 23:58, Charles Faulkner via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
>
> thanks clay.
>
> as has been usual in the short time i have been on this listserv you are very thorough and present a compelling case in this instance. i look forward to the reply, which i hope is as substantive.
>

No, I?m afraid not. There are three reasons for this. First, Clay?s argument amounts to a huge and abrupt change of subject. If he isn?t going to deal with my substantive points, I don?t see why I should deal with his. Second, everything he has to say about my blog posts is either pointmissing or circular - but it?s pointmissing or circular in order to deflect attention from the original subject. Third, I have a chapter to rewrite. This is displacement activity. If anyone finds Clay's case ?compelling?, I?ll just have to live with it.
Louis Proyect
2014-07-27 00:23:39 UTC
Permalink
On 7/26/14 7:40 PM, Lenin's Tomb via Marxism wrote:

> Third, I have a chapter to rewrite. This is displacement activity.
> If anyone finds Clay's case ?compelling?, I?ll just have to live with
> it.

I should mention that I have been going through the mainstream press
from the month following the death of Qaddafi until the present moment.
I was up to Feb. 8, 2012 but had to put it on the back burner. I plan to
return to my research this week to deal with the question of "what
happened" in Libya against the backdrop of the problems of revolution in
general, either political or social. I may or may not get to evaluating
Horace Campbell and Maxmillian Forte's books on Libya as part of this
analysis. I had some contact with Horace a while back and can state that
he is a lot closer to me than Forte, who I regard as a big fat liar.
Clay Claiborne
2014-07-27 01:11:20 UTC
Permalink
LT,

I really had nothing to add to the original subject of how many civilians
NATO killed in Libya. The most anybody has counted is 72, we both agree
there may be more, you cling to the notion that there are a lot more but
feel no responsibility to say who they were and where they died.

I think you take this stand because you still need to believe in a set of
"facts" that support the conclusions you made about NATO's war over Libya
even before it began. My longer response was designed to explore the range
of wrong opinions about Libya that you are still trying to defend when you
should be trying to help the Libyan people succeed.

I hope that chapter you are re-writing is about Libya.

Clay


Clay Claiborne, Director
Vietnam: American Holocaust <http://VietnamAmericanHolocaust.com>
Linux Beach Productions
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 581-1536

Read my blogs at the Linux Beach <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/>
<http://wlcentral.org/user/2965/track>
Glenn Kissack
2014-07-25 21:46:52 UTC
Permalink
> On Jul 25, 2014, at 1:04 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
>
> NATO's performance over Libya shows what a modern air force using smart
> weapons can achieve when it is actually attempting to minimize civilian
> causalities.

As someone who was active in the struggle against U.S. Imperialist atrocities in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, I find these pro-U.S. postings on a Marxism listserv to be bizarre. I agree with Seymour that the reasoning is flimsy, but it's more than that. Inter-imperialist rivalries are sharpening, as we see in Ukraine with Russia and the U.S. "turn to Asia" to confront China. All imperialists are our enemy, but shouldn't we be focusing our fire on our "own" imperialism, rather than praising it?

Glenn
Shane Mage
2014-07-26 00:29:17 UTC
Permalink
On Jul 25, 2014, at 5:46 PM, Glenn Kissack via Marxism wrote:
> All imperialists are our enemy, but shouldn't we be focusing our
> fire on our "own" imperialism, rather than praising it?

Of course--but Claiborne is no part of "we."



Shane Mage

"Thunderbolt steers all things." Herakleitos of Ephesos, fr. 64
Clay Claiborne
2014-07-26 01:03:30 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 5:29 PM, Shane Mage via Marxism

> On Jul 25, 2014, at 5:46 PM, Glenn Kissack via Marxism wrote:
>
>> All imperialists are our enemy, but shouldn't we be focusing our fire on
>> our "own" imperialism, rather than praising it?
>>
>
> Of course--but Claiborne is no part of "we."
>

Shane makes a valid point here. I have never felt a particular ownership or
responsibility for the actions of "our" imperialists. I think that whole
concept of focusing our fire on our "own" imperialists, [ when it is not
propelled by the fact that US imperialism is still the main motor of
imperialism worldwide or the tactical advantages of being in the belly of
the beast - factors that can be over-ridden by particular historic
realities - such as the emergence of popular revolutions in Libya & Syria
which happen to be in another imperialist sphere. ] is born of a feeling of
relative privilege and the guilt arising from that. I don't imagine the
field nigger felt any particular responsibility for focusing his fire on
"his" master beyond the fact that it was his foot that was on the slave's
neck. That is to say, I don't think he felt any ownership with regards to
his master. With the house nigger, this was different, as we know.

And Shane, I protested the police bombing of the MOVE house in Philly in
1985. At the time I was a named plaintiff in the ACLU political spying case
against the LAPD and very involve in the struggle against police violence.
A decade before that I was an anti-war activist and labor organizer in
Southern NJ and had close ties to the activist community in Philly. So this
nobody certainly didn't accept those police methods.

And BTW, I will always praise imperialists, even "our own" on the rare
occasions when they do the right thing, which in the case of Libya involved
both their decision to intervene generally and their judicious use of fire
power generally. Personally, I think that makes my harsh criticism of them
in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and just about everywhere else all the more
compelling.
Marv Gandall
2014-07-26 13:02:30 UTC
Permalink
On Jul 25, 2014, at 9:03 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> I have never felt a particular ownership or
> responsibility for the actions of ?our? imperialists?.I will always praise imperialists, even "our own" on the rare
> occasions when they do the right thing.

Besides military assistance to its proxies, I assume doing the right thing in Clay?s view also includes economic sanctions, US imperialism?s weapon of choice for exercising control. I asked Clay about this a couple of days ago - no response as yet - and Louis, Andy, and others who broadly agree with Clay?s characterization of the civil war within Ukraine as ?Russian aggression? might also want to have a stab at it:

http://lists.csbs.utah.edu/pipermail/marxism/2014-July/254181.html
Louis Proyect
2014-07-26 13:16:35 UTC
Permalink
On 7/26/14 9:02 AM, Marv Gandall via Marxism wrote:
>
> On Jul 25, 2014, at 9:03 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
>
>> I have never felt a particular ownership or
>> responsibility for the actions of ?our? imperialists?.I will always praise imperialists, even "our own" on the rare
>> occasions when they do the right thing.
>
> Besides military assistance to its proxies, I assume doing the right thing in Clay?s view also includes economic sanctions, US imperialism?s weapon of choice for exercising control. I asked Clay about this a couple of days ago - no response as yet - and Louis, Andy, and others who broadly agree with Clay?s characterization of the civil war within Ukraine as ?Russian aggression? might also want to have a stab at it:
>
> http://lists.csbs.utah.edu/pipermail/marxism/2014-July/254181.html
>

What the hell is this, a trial of Clay and you as District Attorney?

Clay is a blogger who has made his positions clear in hundreds of
thousands of words. You, by contrast, do nothing except post newspaper
or magazine articles prefaced with a 2 or 3 sentence analysis.

Leaving aside the question of who is right or wrong about Ukraine, I
wish to god that more people would take their politics seriously and
defend their politics in a serious manner. It is impossible to have a
genuine debate when some seem addicted to Twitter's 140 character means
of communication.
Shane Mage
2014-07-26 14:33:36 UTC
Permalink
On Jul 26, 2014, at 9:16 AM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:
> ...a blogger who has made his positions clear in hundreds of
> thousands of words...
Louis Proyect
2014-07-26 15:05:40 UTC
Permalink
On 7/26/14 10:33 AM, Shane Mage via Marxism wrote:
> On Jul 26, 2014, at 9:16 AM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:
>> ...a blogger who has made his positions clear in hundreds of thousands
>> of words...
>

Shane, when is the last time you wrote anything longer than 500 words?
When you were a member of the Robertson-Wolforth faction in the SWP?
Your PhD thesis on the FROP? Don't you realize what a waste of time and
bandwidth your sniping is? What accounts for your attention deficit
disorder? Too many LSD trips?
Marv Gandall
2014-07-26 15:45:12 UTC
Permalink
On Jul 26, 2014, at 11:05 AM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> Shane, when is the last time you wrote anything longer than 500 words? When you were a member of the Robertson-Wolforth faction in the SWP? Your PhD thesis on the FROP? Don't you realize what a waste of time and bandwidth your sniping is? What accounts for your attention deficit disorder? Too many LSD trips?


Oh yeah, I?m trigger, trigger happy
Yes I'm trigger, trigger happy
Oh baby, I?m trigger, trigger happy
Yes I'm trigger, trigger happy
Oh I?m so trigger, trigger happy
Yes I'm trigger, trigger happy
Better watch out, punk, or I'm gonna have to blow you away

-Weird Al Yankovic
?Trigger Happy?
Vladimiro Giacche'
2014-07-26 16:01:31 UTC
Permalink
Unfortunately, this list for most users is useful only because of the occasionally linked articles with a few words of comment.

Hundred of thousands of words aren't so useful.

Particularly when they are mostly devoted, as unfortunately often occurs also in this list, not to theoretically relevant questions, but on geopolitical issues and - which is worst - are aimed to explain that Ghaddafi, Assad, now perhaps Putin are to overthrown.
Without caring of what really happened in Libya (where a state was simply destroyed by NATO), in Syria (where the same is happening thanks to the "insurgents" paid from US and the notoriously marxists in power in Saudi Arabia), and in Kiew (Nazis in power, massacre in odessa, bombing of civilians in the east, illegalisation of the communist party and so on, the treaty with the UE that split the country [the former president of the European Commission Prodi - not a marxist indeed - admitted and reproached it!], the NATO continuing expansion toward the East in a Wehrmacht-like strategy, etc etc). Only about Gaza I recently read more equilibrated views.

And now I read that someone should write more...

I would on the contrary say: write better if you can. If you can't, write less.

>
> On 7/26/14 10:33 AM, Shane Mage via Marxism wrote:
>> On Jul 26, 2014, at 9:16 AM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:
>>> ...a blogger who has made his positions clear in hundreds of thousands
>>> of words...
>>
>
> Shane, when is the last time you wrote anything longer than 500 words?
Louis Proyect
2014-07-26 16:15:33 UTC
Permalink
On 7/26/14 12:01 PM, Vladimiro Giacche' wrote:
>
>
> Unfortunately, this list for most users is useful only because of the occasionally linked articles with a few words of comment.
>
> Hundred of thousands of words aren't so useful.
>
> Particularly when they are mostly devoted, as unfortunately often occurs also in this list, not to theoretically relevant questions, but on geopolitical issues and - which is worst - are aimed to explain that Ghaddafi, Assad, now perhaps Putin are to overthrown.
> Without caring of what really happened in Libya (where a state was simply destroyed by NATO), in Syria (where the same is happening thanks to the "insurgents" paid from US and the notoriously marxists in power in Saudi Arabia), and in Kiew (Nazis in power, massacre in odessa, bombing of civilians in the east, illegalisation of the communist party and so on, the treaty with the UE that split the country [the former president of the European Commission Prodi - not a marxist indeed - admitted and reproached it!], the NATO continuing expansion toward the East in a Wehrmacht-like strategy, etc etc). Only about Gaza I recently read more equilibrated views.
>
> And now I read that someone should write more...
>

Of course they should write more. You just attempted to analyze global
conflicts in 50 words. I would be embarrassed to make such an attempt.
But I imagine that it must be tough for you to be subbed here when your
sympathies are obviously with Stalinism. In a way, it is too bad that
the A-List disappeared (at least I think it did) when servers got
switched at the U. of Utah. It was a place where you could read 35
messages a day about how evil NATO was and how beneficent China was,
especially through its lifting up the Dark Continent. I imagine that it
must be tough for Stalinists to start something up on the Internet.
That's the price of 90 years of ideological conformity, I suppose. It is
much easier to rely on what party bosses told you was right
Joseph Green
2014-07-26 17:03:14 UTC
Permalink
>
> Unfortunately, this list for most users is useful only because of the occasionally linked articles with a few words of comment.
>
> Hundred of thousands of words aren't so useful.
>
Clay Claiborne, Louis Proyect, Sergii Kutnii and others have posted a lot of
material about the facts about what is going on in Ukraine, Syria, Libya,
etc., and refuting the incredible stream of lies from the revisionist world.
I don't agree with all of CC or LP's analysis, but I think the material they
have posted is extremely valuable, and I hope they continue to post more.
Not everyone has the time to go through all the ins and outs of every claim,
or the connections to find the statements from the more serious sources.

For myself, I don't find it especially useful when people repeat a "few
words" of condemnation of the masses who have risen against backward forces
which the revisionists embrace. One can find that anywhere, from RT to
Workers World to certain bourgeois liberals. Well, those words are useful
here, but only insofar as they inspire others to refute them.

Since the crisis in Ukraine began, I have looked for sources on what's going
on. I have read much material from various sources. The material from various
Ukrainian trends which are independent of the revisionists has been quite
valuable, although these trends have had a hard time developing an adequate
political stand. (For example, the material from the Autonomous Workers Union
is quite significant, and one sees the dedicated efforts of activists to move
Ukraine forward, but their anarchist stand blocks them from figuring out what
to do in a complicated situation since as that of Maidan and anti-Maidan.)

It is said by some that there are many divisions among Ukrainians, and even
among Ukrainian workers, coal miners, etc. It's true that there are
divisions. But the history since independence shows that a certain slow,
zigzag progress takes place. And without Russian interference, the present
complicated political situation would not have given rise to armed conflict.
Independence in 1991 did not bring utopia to Ukraine, and Ukraine has
suffered immensely from the economic miseries of modern capitalism. But there
has been slow political progress among the Ukrainian masses; the situation is
still freer in Ukraine than in Russia; and the political progress is
important for preparing the masses for something better. The overthrow of
Yanukovych was a typical Ukrainian political event, a bit of progress and a
lot of complication. (That's actually how things move forward everywhere,
insofar as they do sometimes move forward, in the present situation in which
the workers movement and the left are disorganized and in crisis everywhere.)
But it took Russian government interference to turn this into mass
bloodshed, and it takes revisionist blindness to fail to see the important of
the masses having risen up against Yanukovych, and having risen up despite
the lack of a mass political force that could represent their interests. And
it takes revisionist blindness to judge things solely from the standpoint of
the rivalry of the EU or Eurasian Union capitalists.

It's no secret that the Russian government and Russian chauvinists don't
accept the right to self-determination of Ukraine and other former regions of
the USSR. It's not secret that Putin acted punitively, even while Yanukovych
was still president, out of fear that Ukraine wouldn't take part in
Eurasianism. The Russian government and the revisionists are ready to fight
to the last Ukrainian (whether Russian ethnic Ukrainian or not) to force
Ukraine to do what they want. This is a crime against both the people of
Russia as well as those of Ukraine, and those who close their eyes to what's
going on are harming the interests of the Russian working class (in Russia)
as well as those of Ukrainian working people (including Russophones and
Russian ethnic Ukrainians).

-- Joseph Green
>
> ________________________________________________
> Send list submissions to: Marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu
> Set your options at: http://lists.csbs.utah.edu/options/marxism/jgreen%40communistvoice.org


-----------------------------------
Joseph Green
mail at communistvoice.org
------------------------------------
Shane Mage
2014-07-26 17:24:58 UTC
Permalink
On Jul 26, 2014, at 11:05 AM, Louis Proyect wrote:

> On 7/26/14 10:33 AM, Shane Mage via Marxism wrote:
>> On Jul 26, 2014, at 9:16 AM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:
>>> ...a blogger who has made his positions clear in hundreds of
>>> thousands
>>> of words...
>>
>
> Shane, when is the last time you wrote anything longer than 500 words?

Long ago I realized the truth of the popular expression "brevity is
the soul of wit." But the maxim can be taken to extremes, as typified
by the number of relevant words (zero!) that typically are to be found
in LP's snarking responses to coherently expressed arguments.

Of course, there are complex theoretical topics that demand extended
discussion. Last year on the MR website, and on this list, I published
a substantial "Defense of Marx's Law" in refutation of M. Heinrich.
LP, from his question, seems not to have noticed. It's true, my
length didn't quite reach the hundreds of thousands of words he needs
to make something clear to him.



Shane Mage

"scientific discovery is basically recognition of obvious realities
that self-interest or ideology have kept everybody from paying
attention to"
Jeff
2014-07-26 13:47:45 UTC
Permalink
At 21:48 24-07-14 -0400, Marv Gandall via Marxism wrote:
>
>The NATO countries, of course, do not presently have the power to bring
the Russian leaders to trial.
>
>Instead, the US and its allies are trying to bring pressure to bear
through their control of the global financial system. The EU today adopted
tougher sanctions in line with those adopted earlier by the Obama
administration as part of a staged program designed to progressively
squeeze the Russian financial system and cripple the economy.
>
>Do you support these efforts?

I think that is a really unfair question, because either answer is wrong.
When there is a dispute between capitalists, with no overriding principle
involved, then if you support one side you are supporting one group of
capitalists. Forcing someone to support one or the other is a trap and a
diversion from any valid issues which might be tangentially involved.
Because one country (or usually both countries) in a dispute deserves to be
punished, doesn't mean you need to endorse some particular sort of action.

And of course even our own boycott actions are just tactical, such the BDS
campaign against Israel. We don't have to answer every question about "Why
pick on Israel when this other country is doing something awful too?"
Likewise with economic sanctions which are just a tactic and don't have to
be either supported or opposed in every case. But what does become an issue
is when they go out of their way NOT to implement sanctions, such as when
Reagan came to the aid of South African apartheid by saying that sanctions
wouldn't help etc. It's clear why he was against sanctions, and that we
surely denounce.

But you can't demand from me a list of countries that do or don't deserve
sanctions. And although Russia's interference in Ukraine is contrary to the
interests and rights of Ukranians, no one has to decide whether sanctions
are "right" or "wrong," whatever those terms might mean. The main thing I
notice about sanctions against Russia, considering all that has transpired,
is that the EU countries in particular are rather reluctant to implement
very serious sanctions, because their economic interests (particularly
dependence on Russian gas/oil) are at odds with their geopolitical concerns
(losing influence in East Europe). That is a more pertinent discussion than
whether sanctions will do more harm than good, or which capitalist has the
right or moral authority to implement punishments against a different
capitalist country.

- Jeff

>
>Besides military assistance to its proxies, I assume doing the right thing
in Clay?s view also includes economic sanctions, US imperialism?s weapon of
choice for exercising control. I asked Clay about this a couple of days ago
- no response as yet - and Louis, Andy, and others who broadly agree with
Clay?s characterization of the civil war within Ukraine as ?Russian
aggression? might also want to have a stab at it:
Marv Gandall
2014-07-26 15:38:24 UTC
Permalink
On Jul 26, 2014, at 9:47 AM, Jeff via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> But you can't demand from me a list of countries that do or don't deserve
> sanctions. And although Russia's interference in Ukraine is contrary to the
> interests and rights of Ukranians, no one has to decide whether sanctions
> are ?right" or "wrong," whatever those terms might mean.

Your analysis is faulty, and frankly I think you?re being evasive on the issue of sanctions because you are uneasy about finding yourself in the same camp as the EU and the US.

Re: your analysis. Both Russia and the NATO powers - not Russia alone - are intervening in a civil war to respectively support the predominantly ethnic Russian and ethnic Ukrainian regions of the country respectively. This has been occuring within the more general context of Russian defensiveness about NATO expansion since the end of the Cold War, including into former Soviet republics like Ukraine. It is not, as has been simplistically portrayed here, a case of Russian aggression against ?all? Ukrainians. The country is sharply divided along ethnic, religious, political, and to some extent class lines, and the US and EU have arguably done more to provoke the crisis than has Russia. That Louis thinks Putin is a nasty fellow is quite beside the point.

Re: sanctions. If I believed, as you do, that the issue truly is Russian aggression against all Ukrainians, then I would support tougher US and EU sanctions against Russia and more military assistance to the Kiev regime. It would be inconsistent - some would say politically cowardly - not to openly join with Western politicians, political parties, and much mass opinion in advocating for such assistance. So why the hesitation?

> The main thing I
> notice about sanctions against Russia, considering all that has transpired,
> is that the EU countries in particular are rather reluctant to implement
> very serious sanctions, because their economic interests (particularly
> dependence on Russian gas/oil) are at odds with their geopolitical concerns
> (losing influence in East Europe). That is a more pertinent discussion than
> whether sanctions will do more harm than good, or which capitalist has the
> right or moral authority to implement punishments against a different
> capitalist country.

It?s true that the EU countries have more at stake because of their economic ties to Russia, but they are gradually being pushed into compliance with the tough sanctions regime being proposed by the US, primarily because their banks are dependent on the US dollar clearing system controlled by the Federal Reserve. That is why, whatever their own reservations and interests, the Europeans have also had to fall in line with the sanctions policy. It was much the same in relation to Iran. The next stage of ?tier three? sanctions, if implemented, are widely expected to plunge Russia into recession.

I very much agree with you that sanctions should not be considered as moral issues. They are political, designed to accomplish a political end. In this case, the sanctions are designed to force the Russian government to abandon its political and military support of the east Ukraine masses who are seeking more autonomy - in some cases, outright independence - from the Ukraine regime which is based on the right-wing parties in the regions to the west. Whether you think the effect of such sanctions ?will do more harm than good? depends, of course, on whether you think they will accomplish their objective, and that their objective is worth supporting.
Louis Proyect
2014-07-26 15:48:21 UTC
Permalink
On 7/26/14 11:38 AM, Marv Gandall via Marxism wrote:
> The country is sharply divided along ethnic, religious, political, and to some extent class lines, and the US and EU have arguably done more to provoke the crisis than has Russia.

No, Marvin. The crisis has existed ever Catherine the Great. It is a
crisis first and foremost over Ukraine's status as an oppressed nation.
It matters little that the Kyiv government is run by pro-EU oligarchs
who have appointed Svoboda or Right Sector members to one or another
post. The ordinary people who took to the streets in November 2013 were
opposing oligarchic rule. They were smart enough to know that Tymoshenko
et al did not represent them any more than Yanukovych did. Despite your
fancy footwork to prove that you were opposed to both the EU and Russia,
it is obvious to anybody who follows your interventions here that you
were on the side of Kagarlitsky et al.

Marvin Gandall: "Kagarlitsky's continuing analysis of the contending
forces has been superb."
(http://article.gmane.org/gmane.politics.marxism.marxmail/176678/)

What a disgrace.
Louis Proyect
2014-07-26 19:46:07 UTC
Permalink
On 7/26/14 1:52 PM, Marv Gandall wrote:
> For these reasons it is not deserving of the kind of uncritical and unconditional support you and others have extended to it.

Actually most of what I write has little to do with "support" of any
kind. As has been the case since the Arab Spring began, I am much more
interested in cutting through the bullshit I keep seeing over and over
again, much of it inspired by Russian and Iranian TV that the left in
Britain and the USA sucks up to.

When a thousand articles were written to praise Qaddafi's resistance to
AFRICOM, I took the trouble to go to the AFRICOM website and find
documentation on the Libyan military's bromance with AFRICOM.

When the left jumped on board the Baathist express, I made a point of
tracking down all the articles that showed the mutual interests the
White House and Syria had, starting with the CIA rendition program that
landed men (sometimes innocent) in Syrian dungeons to be tortured for
months on end.

After going through 4 years of wading through the latrines on Libya and
Syria, I was all set to be on the lookout for the same sorts of things
going on with Ukraine. It staggers the mind to see the pure crap that
gets written by Kagarlitsky, Stephen F. Cohen, and Robert Parry. I feel
like the guy in coveralls with a broom following the elephants in the
parade.
Clay Claiborne
2014-07-26 22:02:12 UTC
Permalink
On 07/26/2014 08:38 AM, Marv Gandall via Marxism wrote:
> the US and EU have arguably done more to provoke the crisis than has Russia.
Russia side of ledger:

Thousands of "unmarked" Russia troops occupying Crimea.
The annexation of Crimea by Russia
The infiltration of thousands of Russian agents in east Ukraine to build
a "separatist" movement.
Providing armor and advanced anti-aircraft weapons to its military
forces fighting in Ukraine.
Filling its media with lies and fabrications about Ukraine
http://www.stopfake.org/en/russia-s-top-lies-about-ukraine-part-1/
http://www.stopfake.org/en/russia-s-top-lies-about-ukraine-part-2/
Using the Russian air force against Ukraine
Firing artillery into Ukraine.

And on the US & EU side of the ledger we have what exactly?

And why are we even having this conversation? Is it your job, Marv, to
distract us from discussing the real world?

Clay
Marv Gandall
2014-07-28 14:35:42 UTC
Permalink
On Jul 26, 2014, at 6:02 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
>
>
> On 07/26/2014 08:38 AM, Marv Gandall via Marxism wrote:
>> the US and EU have arguably done more to provoke the crisis than has Russia.
> Russia side of ledger:
>
> Thousands of "unmarked" Russia troops occupying Crimea.
> The annexation of Crimea by Russia
> The infiltration of thousands of Russian agents in east Ukraine to build
> a "separatist" movement.
> Providing armor and advanced anti-aircraft weapons to its military
> forces fighting in Ukraine.
> Filling its media with lies and fabrications about Ukraine
> http://www.stopfake.org/en/russia-s-top-lies-about-ukraine-part-1/
> http://www.stopfake.org/en/russia-s-top-lies-about-ukraine-part-2/
> Using the Russian air force against Ukraine
> Firing artillery into Ukraine.
>
> And on the US & EU side of the ledger we have what exactly?

Just a disinterested effort to bring to the Ukrainian people an open and democratic political system such as in the US and a standard of living comparable to that in Germany. If there is anything positive to be gleaned from the present crisis it is that it has awakened the West to the the danger posed by Putinite Russia?s imperial ambitions and led to related calls to strengthen NATO, a defensive alliance originally founded to counter similar Soviet aggression in Europe.


> And why are we even having this conversation? Is it your job, Marv, to
> distract us from discussing the real world?
>
> Clay
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________
> Send list submissions to: Marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu
> Set your options at: http://lists.csbs.utah.edu/options/marxism/marvgand2%40gmail.com
Louis Proyect
2014-07-26 01:35:06 UTC
Permalink
On 7/25/14 8:29 PM, Shane Mage via Marxism wrote:
>
> Of course--but Claiborne is no part of "we."
>

Cut the crap, Shane. You were okay with the French military liberating
people in Mali, weren't you?

http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.politics.marxism.marxmail/166143

The article condemns the French for liberating the townspeople of
Tombuctou and the other cities of Azawad from the regime of fascist
terror and anti-Islamic vandalism that had been imposed on them by the
Algerian-connected and Libyan-armed Islamist gangs, and supports
demands that the region be immediately given back to the fascist
gangsters (which is how the raped women of Tombuctou--correctly--view
the possibility of early French withdrawal).

---

This ain't the Trotskyist movement, Shane. It is Marxmail. If you want
to expose traitors to the rrrrevolutionary movement, do it somewhere else.
Joseph Catron
2014-07-26 11:40:15 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 8:04 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

Over a 7 month period, NATO carried out thousands of strike
> sorties over Libya, killed thousands of Qaddafi's soldiers, hundreds of
> tanks and other vehicles, took out his air power and pretty much took away
> his military advantage.


This is a dumb comparison, for some pretty obvious reasons.

One is that Gaza doesn't have any of that stuff to target. The occupation
is fighting sophisticated guerrilla forces here, not a national army a few
decades behind the times and best suited for military parades.

Another is that its population density is literally less than
one-thousandth Libya's.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0934666.html

--
"Hige sceal ?e heardra, heorte ?e cenre, mod sceal ?e mare, ?e ure m?gen
lytla?."
Joseph Catron
2014-07-26 11:41:00 UTC
Permalink
Sorry, that should of course be "literally *more *than one-thousandth
Libya's."


On Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 2:40 PM, Joseph Catron <jncatron at gmail.com> wrote:

>
> On Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 8:04 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism <
> marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
>
> Over a 7 month period, NATO carried out thousands of strike
>> sorties over Libya, killed thousands of Qaddafi's soldiers, hundreds of
>> tanks and other vehicles, took out his air power and pretty much took away
>> his military advantage.
>
>
> This is a dumb comparison, for some pretty obvious reasons.
>
> One is that Gaza doesn't have any of that stuff to target. The occupation
> is fighting sophisticated guerrilla forces here, not a national army a few
> decades behind the times and best suited for military parades.
>
> Another is that its population density is literally less than
> one-thousandth Libya's.
>
> http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0934666.html
>
> --
> "Hige sceal ?e heardra, heorte ?e cenre, mod sceal ?e mare, ?e ure m?gen
> lytla?."
>



--
"Hige sceal ?e heardra, heorte ?e cenre, mod sceal ?e mare, ?e ure m?gen
lytla?."
Joseph Catron
2014-07-26 11:59:14 UTC
Permalink
Oh, FFS. It's more than one thousand times Libya's. Sorry, guys. I promise
you don't want to know how little sleep I've been getting lately. :-D


On Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 2:41 PM, Joseph Catron <jncatron at gmail.com> wrote:

> Sorry, that should of course be "literally *more *than one-thousandth
> Libya's."
>
>
> On Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 2:40 PM, Joseph Catron <jncatron at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>
>> On Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 8:04 PM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism <
>> marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
>>
>> Over a 7 month period, NATO carried out thousands of strike
>>> sorties over Libya, killed thousands of Qaddafi's soldiers, hundreds of
>>> tanks and other vehicles, took out his air power and pretty much took
>>> away
>>> his military advantage.
>>
>>
>> This is a dumb comparison, for some pretty obvious reasons.
>>
>> One is that Gaza doesn't have any of that stuff to target. The occupation
>> is fighting sophisticated guerrilla forces here, not a national army a few
>> decades behind the times and best suited for military parades.
>>
>> Another is that its population density is literally less than
>> one-thousandth Libya's.
>>
>> http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0934666.html
>>
>> --
>> "Hige sceal ?e heardra, heorte ?e cenre, mod sceal ?e mare, ?e ure m?gen
>> lytla?."
>>
>
>
>
> --
> "Hige sceal ?e heardra, heorte ?e cenre, mod sceal ?e mare, ?e ure m?gen
> lytla?."
>



--
"Hige sceal ?e heardra, heorte ?e cenre, mod sceal ?e mare, ?e ure m?gen
lytla?."
Marv Gandall
2014-07-26 21:56:39 UTC
Permalink
On Jul 26, 2014, at 7:59 AM, Joseph Catron via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> Oh, FFS. It's more than one thousand times Libya's. Sorry, guys. I promise
> you don?t want to know how little sleep I've been getting lately. :-D

We can guess. Glad to hear you?re all right, especially after the hospital shelling. Kudos for your exemplary first-hand reporting to EI and other news outlets.
michael yates
2014-07-27 00:35:01 UTC
Permalink
Louis Proyect writes:

"I should mention that I have been going through the mainstream press from the month following the death of Qaddafi until the present moment. I was up to Feb. 8, 2012 but had to put it on the back burner. I plan to return to my research this week to deal with the question of "what happened" in Libya against the backdrop of the problems of revolution in general, either political or social. I may or may not get to evaluating Horace Campbell and Maxmillian Forte's books on Libya as part of this analysis. I had some contact with Horace a while back and can state that he is a lot closer to me than Forte, who I regard as a big fat liar."

Funny, I edited Horace's book at the end of 2012. So much work it completely ruined my holidays. As I was reading it, I thought to myself that Louis Proyect would not agree with any of it. So it will be interesting to see what he says about it.?
Louis Proyect
2014-07-27 00:47:28 UTC
Permalink
On 7/26/14 8:35 PM, michael yates via Marxism wrote:
> As I was reading it, I thought to myself that Louis Proyect would not agree with any of it.

In our email exchanges, Horace emphasized that he was no fan of Gaddafi,
an impression that might have been gleaned from his condemnation of
NATO. This is what he wrote in 2010:

Muammar al-Gaddafi has established himself as an enemy of the
unification of the peoples of Africa for over 40 years. Last week,
Gaddafi exceeded his conservative instincts when he stated before a
group of young students that Nigeria should be split in two. Instead of
motivating the students to work for the transformation and unification
of the peoples of Nigeria as one prerequisite for the unification of
Africa, Gaddafi called for the country to be divided on religious
grounds. He exposed his ignorance of African religious and spiritual
traditions because there was no room for followers of African religious
beliefs in his call for the division of this society. This call for the
division of Nigeria is one more effort to break up Nigerian society so
that this society is weakened and its people subjected to more
exploitation and manipulation. For 40 years Gaddafi had supported the
butchers and dictators in Africa. Starting with his military support for
Idi Amin of Uganda and other murderers such as Foday Sankoh and Charles
Taylor, this militarist in Libya was an obstacle to African liberation.
For a short while after Nelson Mandela rescued him from obscurity,
Gaddafi had sought to use his wealth to buy the leadership of the
African Union (AU). He was made to understand that the unity of Africa
was more profound than the meeting of leaders of states. The statements
of Gadafi on Nigeria must be condemned in the strongest terms and it is
time to strip away the fallacy that Gaddafi stood in the ranks of
African revolutionary leadership.

full: http://pambazuka.org/en/category/panafrican/63299
Clay Claiborne
2014-07-27 01:49:08 UTC
Permalink
On 07/26/2014 05:47 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:
> In our email exchanges, Horace emphasized that he was no fan of
> Gaddafi, an impression that might have been gleaned from his
> condemnation of NATO. This is what he wrote in 2010:
>
> Muammar al-Gaddafi has established himself as an enemy of the
> unification of the peoples of Africa for over 40 years. Last week,
> Gaddafi exceeded his conservative instincts when he stated before a
> group of young students that Nigeria should be split in two. Instead
> of motivating the students to work for the transformation and
> unification of the peoples of Nigeria as one prerequisite for the
> unification of Africa, Gaddafi called for the country to be divided on
> religious grounds.
It should also be added that Qaddafi put Libya's considerable money
where his mouth was and Nigeria and many other places in Africa are
feeling the effects today. I surveyed
<http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2011/08/helter-skelter-qaddafi-african-adventure_504.html>
Qaddafi's racist history of dealings in Africa, a history many on the
"Left" were willing to overlook, but when it came to the revolutionary
forces, they were quick to use charges of racism to attack the
revolution. For example, here's some Lenin Tomb quotes I couldn't use
earlier:
>
> the unfounded rumours that "African" mercenaries acted as Qadhafi's
> fifth column.
>
Do tell the people of Mali, Chad and Niger that Qaddafi had no African
mercenaries, and they are just wrong to think those mercenaries returned
home with Qaddafi's weapons after he was defeated. Of course it was said
that the revolutionaries were making this "false" claim for racist reasons.
>
> A painted slogan of the rebels in Misrata read, "the brigade for
> purging slaves, black skin".
>
And this was the universal "anti-imperialist" proof of the racism of the
revolution. But if Qaddafi agents painted it and photographed it what
does it prove?
>
> If racism was never the dominant motive in the rebellion, it was
> nonetheless a motive of those dominant in the rebellion. The prisons
> of Benghazi and elsewhere would not have filled with black and
> immigrant workers without the approval of the rebel leadership. The
> coming days will tell whether this barbarism is to last.
>
Black and immigrant workers weren't the only ones in rebel prisons. nor
was it mentioned that blacks participated in the revolution at every
stage and every level. This was just an attempt to hang the "racist"
label on the Libyan revolution by those that opposed it. They used
racism to oppose the revolution and they never addressed the question of
how to oppose racism within the revolution, as I did
<http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2011/09/racism-in-libya_2003.html>. This
is the central task of Marxists on the question of racism and
revolution, and it is a task in all revolutions in countries were racism
has played a historic role.

Clay
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