The Pitman’s Requiem, by Harry Barnes.
Congratulations to the people of Libya, who, supported by NATO forces, are taking their destiny into their own hands. I have been pessimistically and with many qualifications supportive of the intervention, so, although this may not be the time for gloating and I-told-you-so-ism, it’s hard not to feel a twinge of vindication. Jeff Weintraub writes up Sunday’s world-changing events, the latest chapter in the Arab 1848. He also passes on some of the analysis:
As Juan Cole pointed out in a Sunday morning post on "The Great Tripoli Uprising", it's also valuable that the uprising against Gadaffi's dictatorship wound up spanning the whole country, rather than taking the form of a regional civil war...Jeff wisely concludes:
Ever since the uprising against Gadaffi began in February, Cole has "unabashedly" sided with the "liberation movement" in Libya and argued that it deserved support and assistance from the outside world–a position that produced consternation and dismay among many of his usual fans, who expected him to share their knee-jerk opposition to any kind of western involvement or intervention. (In March Cole came out swinging against that perspective in his Open Letter to the Left on Libya, a cogent and persuasive piece which is worth reading wherever you fall on the political spectrum.) So I think he's entitled to feel some vindication, too.
At such moments, any temptations toward euphoria have to be restrained by a recognition that future developments are unpredictable and potentially unpleasant. Overthrowing oppressive and tyrannical regimes is often hard, but successfully reconstructing the societies that they've damaged, distorted, and poisoned by their rule is usually even harder. Still, a certain degree of satisfaction is appropriate. We seem to be witnessing the overthrow of an especially ugly and contemptible dictatorship, which over the decades piled up a lot of crimes at home and abroad, by a genuine popular uprising. That's something to be celebrated. The hangover will come later.Juan Cole also has a fine post here, on the ten myths of the Libyan intervention. My comrade Terry Glavin has been a strong voice in favour of the intervention. He writes:
You know what? I'm not going to say "I hate to say I told you so." I don't hate it at all this afternoon. I am raising a glass to the Libyan rebel front, to their bedraggled courage and persistence, to the crew of the HMCS Charlottetown, and to France. As for the frightwallah Robert Spencer, the red fascist anti-rebel George Galloway (Gaddafi "has the men, he has the money, he has the track record, by jingo if he decides to come out fighting. . ."), the interference-running reactionary isolationist Canadian Peace Alliance - which was "opposed to any military intevention in Libya", the NDP party brass that has opposed regime change all along, the delicate footdraggers, the hollow boasters, the "quagmire" cassandras of the right and of the demented-hippie left, even though it's nowhere near over yet (the revolution will never be "over"), you can all kiss Libyan rebel ass, and my rosy Irish ass while you're at it.Norm has also tracked some of the ways in which the Guardian's infoolectuals have been confounded, including the Stalinist Seamus Milne and fellow traveller Jonathan Steele.
While the liberals are confounded, the Stoppers are disgusting in their torturous, slimy, patronising bullshit. More sane, but therefore more pernicious, than the truly unbelievable Healyite WRP (h/t Phil and Andy. Phil takes a different position from me, but is well worth reading. I've stolen the pic above from him.)
The Arab 1848:
The Arab 1848:
As well as Libya, here's an interesting report from Syria. Another from Egypt, about women's freedom post-revolution, and Bahrain, on labour militancy.
A couple of addenda to my long riots round-up. Martin Robb (highly recommended). And Zizek via Norman Geras, who takes the opportunity for an interesting digression on Marxism. And Zygmunt Bauman. And here's the Hackney heroine.
The myth of Anwar al-Awlaki:
This post by J.M. Berger is a fantastic exercise in piercing the bloated idiocy of the liberal commentariat (exemplar: Glenn Greenwald) and their empty platitudes about Islamism. Although Berger doesn’t say this, one implicit point is that when liberal infoolectuals talk about the essential unknowability of someone like al-Awlaki, they are basically being racist, and repeating the age-old trope of the “inscrutable” orient. In fact, al-Awlaki, like bin Laden, is very easy to understand: All you have to do is press "play."
Malatesta once again dishes the dirt on the English Defence League. In this dispatch, we get the struggle between ex-EDL Roberta Moore, supporter of terrorism, and Hel Gower, certified Nazi and ex-Combat 18, who represent the two souls of the EDL, neither of them pretty. We also get some cover of the Infidels, who we might call the Continuity EDL, the ones who have no time for fake Zionist posturing and don’t mind if everyone knows it’s all Muslims they want to kill, not just the immoderate ones. The Infidels, worryingly, seem to be gaining ground, especially in the North.