The cruise missiles are flying, the American and British and French bombers are bombing, the American and satellite politicians are lying — there is nothing new there. It seems probable that the dictator of Libya will be overthrown in a few days. It might take a little longer; perhaps there will be an upsurge of patriotism on the part of those who did not hate him so much; perhaps there will be a small upsurge of shame on the part of those who wish to profit by his collapse. No matter. He will be gone, and the Western imperialists will control Libya as they did before Colonel Kaddhaffi launched his coup.
Now, none of this is particularly surprising. The Western imperialists — the Americans and their lackeys, if one can be so polite as to call people like Sarkozy and Cameron lackeys, which actually attributes to them merits which they do not possess since lackeys are customarily more or less useful people and Sarkozy and Cameron have no use-value — anyway, they have all been trying to find pretexts for attacking Libya almost since the campaign to destabilise the Arab states began. Libya, actually a less calamitously badly-run Arab state than most (of course that is the faint praise that damns) has been represented as the next domino ever since Tunisia caved in.
Does this mean that the Western imperialists engineered the whole shebang, perhaps bribing the Eastern Libyan tribal leaders and Kaddhaffi’s political allies to turn on him? Impossible to say and not really worth discussing in consequence. Besides, like most political operators, the Western imperialists are far more opportunists than they are technicians of disaster. That disaster follows in their wake goes without question; their selfish greed can provide no other consequence. But opportunities to generate disaster are there for the taking.
However, before we turn away from the whole affair in disgust (it is hard to see Kaddhaffi as someone deserving to be actively protected) it’s worth noting that there are serious consequences even if these may not be taken too seriously in practice. This is the first time in recent history — the first time since the end of the Cold War, certainly — that unprovoked Western imperialist aggression has been legitimated by the United Nations. The war against Serbia was fought without U.N. support; so was the invasion of Iraq. Granted, the U.N. did not oppose these horrible episodes, but it did not endorse it, and on many recent occasions, largely with South African support, the Security Council has held out against endorsing Western aggression. Admittedly, the U.N. allowed Western aggression in Afghanistan, but 9/11 was a fairly serious provocation. Admittedly, the U.N. has consistently rewarded Western aggression by offering ex post facto imprimaturs (in Iraq and Somalia and Haiti to name but three). However, you might argue that in these cases the U.N. couldn’t do anything to stop the consequences of Western aggression and might well have been endeavouring to ameliorate the horrid effects of bombardment, invasion and political destabilisation.
But you cannot say that with regard to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. That resolution permitted Western invasion of Libya in support of the rebels in the civil war, something desired by the Western powers in various civil wars (for instance, those in southern Sudan and Darfur) for decades or more. It was a blank cheque for aggression to be drawn on the planetary moral bank, a bankrupt institution if ever there was one (but America has plenty of experience of fraudulent bankruptcy, moral or financial). What bloody idiot would vote for such a thing, given the stinking record of the United States and Western Europe in the Arab world and in Africa?
Well, it was called for by the Arab League — but the Arab League is an American catspaw. It was, however, drafted by, among other Security Council members, Lebanon of all countries. Yes, Lebanon — one of the major beneficiaries of the Arab revolts so long as Western powers were kept out of those revolts, for it was in Lebanon where Hizbollah was able to take power in consequence of a crazed squabble in the Lebanese Parliament and the desperate unpopularity of the pro-American, pro-Israeli right wing in that Parliament. So, by deliberately calling for Western imperialist aggression in a Mediterranean Arab state, Hizbollah, defined as a terrorist organisation by the United States on orders from Tel-Aviv, was painstakingly loading a double-barrelled shotgun, cocking it, aiming it at its own foot and pressing the trigger. If the U.S. Marines come ashore yet again in Beirut in the next five years, nobody will be able to say that Hizbollah has any right to be surprised.
But when that happened, many in the U.S. said that this was a fruitless exercise. Granted the U.S. wanted to have the right to destroy Kaddhaffi. Granted, the French had recognised the rag-tag rebels of Benghazi. Granted, the British Defense Minister had put a stick of special forces ashore on Libya only to have them ignominiously rounded up again. The line-up was complete. But it would still be hard to sell to the average citizen in the streets of the U.S., for it usually takes weeks to get all those zombies marching to the beat of the media drum — especially with the media drum having long since instructed the zombies to hate and distrust the Commander-in-Chief who would be calling for any such aggression. The only way would be to hide behind the United Nations, and it was widely suspected that neither Russia nor China would endorse Western aggression.
But they did. They supported the resolution, and so did South Africa. No doubt the Russian and Chinese governments felt that it did not matter, since they would have no prospect of gaining control of Libyan oil in any event. The Zuma administration’s foreign policy is a catspaw of the West, like so many of its policies, so the South African vote was inevitably going to be whatever Washington wanted. Still, the Russians and Chinese may yet come to rue their decision to give the West a free hand to invade whatever countries they want to attack; the Russians and Chinese will certainly not find that the same benison will be granted to them. On the contrary, they will probably find their own erstwhile satellites, like North Korea and the Central Asian dictatorships, falling increasingly under Western imperialist control with the enthusiastic applause of the “international community” cheer-led and conducted from behind the scenes by the blood-drenched U.S. State Department. Effectively, with three of its core members submitting to Western power, this could be the end of BRIC before it even begins.
Yes, but what is this all about?
The U.S. hates Kaddhaffi, who has been their enemy of last resort since the late 1970s. When Palestinian dissidents blew up an American pub in West Germany in 1985, the U.S. bombed Tripoli and tried to kill Kaddhaffi; when Palestinians under orders from Iranians blew up an American airliner (in revenge for the Americans blowing up an Iranian airliner) in 1988, Kaddhaffi was blamed and sanctions were imposed on the basis of all this absurdity. It was with difficulty that the African Union (led by South Africa) was able to get Libya back into the international community again; the Americans wanted them a pariah forever.
It has very little to do with oil. Libyan oil can only be transported via the Mediterranean, which the U.S. controls. If the U.S. wants Libya to divert its oil from Western Europe to the United States it has only to send an e-mail to get this assured. Therefore, it is all about publicity and propaganda. Having manufactured Kaddhaffi as an enemy, what we are now seeing is the last act of the tragedy; the destruction of the enemy. It worked in Serbia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Haiti and in Somalia — all countries where, to some extent however minor, a nation’s government had defied the United States and therefore the nation had to be punished. Libya is about to be punished through the installation of a new government dependent on the U.S. for its survival. This will be defined as democracy, though no doubt for Western Libyans this will not be perceived as such.
It is, of course, possible that the consequences may not be very pleasant for the West. While it is unlikely that very many will mourn Kaddhaffi’s fall, it is still true that he has stood up against the West and therefore has some claim to patriotism which the tribal rebels of Benghazi and environs have forfeited. Hence the overthrow of Kaddhaffi may be seen as an entirely Western move, in which case there may be uprisings against the easterners which will necessitate a permanent Western military commitment in Libya to safeguard the oil and the Westernised government. It is even possible that Islamic fundamentalists may find a fertile soil in the ensuing squabbling. This is all speculative, but it is very probably what Hizbollah had in the back of their minds when they called for the West to oust Kaddhaffi. It would be mildly amusing (from a safe distance) if the Western attack on Libya, which is intended to secure a docile petro-puppet, generated instead an unstable anti-Western regime, such as happened (to some extent, at least) in Iraq, and to a far greater extent in Afghanistan.
However, let us suppose that this does not happen, that the installation of the new government goes as planned, the oil flow continues as desired, and everything is hunky dory in Washington, D C. What difference will this have made? Neither Obama, nor Sarkozy, nor Cameron, stand to gain much from their famous victory. In a few months, unless there is some calamity, it will have been forgotten about and the medal ribbons won will be unmemorable. Nobody will make much more money out of the oil revenues than they would have made otherwise.
But meanwhile, in all three countries, the governments are pursuing policies which will lead almost inevitably to their doom. Britain, of course, is deliberately dismantling its welfare state (on the pretext of resolving the economic crisis) in order to hand the money saved to the ruling classes. France had begun doing this even before the economic crisis. In the United States, Obama is leaving the dismantling of the welfare state to local politicians, who are enthusiastically using the gigantic state budget deficits to attack the rights of civil servants — while the plans for dismantling U.S. Social Security, once opposed by Democrats but now clapped on by those tedious buffoons who back Obama are well advanced.
These plans are all going to exaggerate the problems of the current depression, since the current depression is caused by a lack of purchasing power; these plans are all aimed at reducing the spending power of the working and middle classes. In other words, the countries who are flinging their military weight about are, behind the scenes, endeavouring to wreck their own economies as effectively as they are wrecking Libya’s. Hence, there is no long-term plan visible; what Obama and his little scatterbrained friends are doing is simply what Clinton and Bush and their friends did before them, but then under more favourable conditions. As the radioactive clouds drift across Japan and the turbulence of global weather grows ever more menacing, it is business as usual in the command bunkers.
Let us hope that they soon disappear under a plutonium-laced tsunami . . .