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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.

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