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> But now I see -- with amazement! -- that Richard Seymour is wed to his
> previous position on Libya, and trying very very hard to find differences
> between the two situations that justifies taking OPPOSITE positions in the
> two cases!
I did not take the "opposite position" in the two cases; I supported the Libyan
revolution. You cold have discovered this if you had only carried out a quick
search. What I did not support was its hijacking by US imperialism; nor did I
find myself persuaded by those (to my mind, polyannaish) arguments which
claimed that the revolution was still going strong and that it was not NATO
bombs but grassroots forces which defeated Qadhafi. That was wishful thinking.
> Of course there are specific differences between the two, but if you had
> asked me I could not imagine how they mean that you'd support rebel guns in
> Syria but Gaddafi's guns in Libya.
I find it astonishing that you would attribute such a position to me. I
supported "Gaddafi's guns"? Where did you read that? Are you sure you haven't
got me confused with someone else?
> repeat lies concerning the Libyan revolution that are no different than the
> ones he rightly rejects in the case of Syria.
So what "lies" have you discovered in my discussion of the Libyan revolution?
That the NTC leadership was dominated by bourgeois and ex-regime elements?
That they forged a pact with imperialism? That the US led a military
intervention? None of this was exactly a secret.
> The idea that Libya has (or had, during the revolution) a "hegemonic"
> leadership is so at odds with the reality that I hardly need comment.
Strange that you find yourself so conveniently without any need to back up your
position. I didn't actually describe Libya as having a hegemonic leadership in
the Gramscian sense;I described the bourgeois forces as having been able to
'hegemonise' the revolt, in the more mundane sense of achieving political
dominance: a reality signalled by the fact that the NTC was the *only* national
political organisation to represent the revolutionary forces, and that status
has never been seriously challenged.
> And the US was able to "hijack" the Libyan revolution and put its "allies" in
> power? I wish all of their "allies" were as uncooperative with them as is the
> Libyan government (not to mention the multitude of militias).
The NTC forged an alliance with NATO under pain of excruciating defeat; the NTC
were brought to power by virtue of NATO bombing and training; therefore, the US
"hijacked" the revolution and brought its "allies" to power. QED.
> I read through the differences Richard has cited between the Libyan and
> Syrian situations, and I really find that the supposed evidence is contrived.
> I honestly think that if Richard with his current thinking time-travelled
> back to March 2011, he'd come to different conclusions. And it's amusing for
> him to talk about the Syrian regime: "The regime has reportedly paid agents
> provocateurs to shout sectarian slogans at opposition rallies. It has never
> respected the rights of minorities...." as if that differentiates Assad from
All of this is being argued on the preposterous presupposition that I supported
Qadhafi, denied his war crimes, denied his role in encouraging sectarianism and
I'll tell you one thing: There are two conditions that could make me change my
mind about the Syrian revolution. The first is if it's leadership were to
succeed in calling in imperialist bombers with no resistance from the rank and
file. The second is if the Free Syrian Army started waging a supremacist war
on Alawis and others. Those two outcomes would tell me very conclusively that
the revolution was no more. And rather than cling on to the absurd hope that
the masses were still running the show and popular democratic forces winning
all the time, I would change my stance in light of the evidence. That,
apparently, is not your practice.
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