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Total number of comments: 3 (since 2013-11-28 16:54:18)

J Kessler

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  • Answer to Glenn Greenwald
    • Unfortunately, entering the war in Libya on the side of the rebels is unlikely to be successful. Based on a study of Libyan history, Professor Johan Galtung has predicted the Libyan Civil War could continue for 20 years. (see David Swanson's report here: link to bit.ly ) Libya has a number of differences from Tunisia or Egypt, Bahrain or Saudi Arabia for that matter.

      Rather than arming dictators and followed a few years later by demonization and military interventions, the US and UN should be supporting mediation, conflict resolution, and democratic elections -- and an end to the arms trade.

      We know the outcomes of long civil wars are not beneficial to civilian populations.

  • An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
    • Prof. Nouriel Roubini of NYU is considered one of the most respected economists globally:

      link to roubini.com

      Mazlum you need to follow your argument another step - once the money flows out of the consuming economies at too fast a rate (at too high prices of energy), the result is a contraction of those economies.

      No, the Sheiks do not mind, but even they do not want to encourage the consumers kicking the oil habit, which will happen with oil at $140/barrel. However, the Sheiks are only a small part of the global elite. Most prefer lower stable oil prices, and continued growing economies.

    • I hear your concern for civilian protesters, who could face dire consequences should Qaddafi's forces take over cities such as Benghazi.

      Still, I am not convinced the way the intervention is being conducted is the best in the long term, both for Libyan's and also, here in the US, as another precedent of US military action without congressional approval prior. Granted, it is a good thing the UN gave approval first.

      There have been a number of opportunities for negotiation, which have been apparently rejected by the Libyan opposition: at one point, the Venezualan president had convinced Qaddafi to negotiate. More recently, after the no-fly zone had been imposed, I believe there have been further opportunities. These should be encouraged.

      But look how this situation came about: Qaddafi was armed by the West for the most part. It would be better for the population of countries around the world if the sale of weapons was not so little regulated. Arms should not be sold much and to dictators not at all! Meanwhile, the number one exporter of terrorism, according to internal US state department comments, Saudi Arabia, is sold billions in weapons?

      There does appear to be quite a troubling double standard. In Bahrain, protesters are viciously suppressed by a Saudi intervention, and we hear little complaint. Similarly in Iraq, protesters are viciously suppressed by the US backed government, and there is little response internationally. Thus, it appears the same actors who say they are on the side of the protesters in Libya, perhaps are more there because they are against Qaddafi. The fact is the well being of the Libyan people has nothing to do with the intervention: the intervention is due to dislike of Qaddafi and the fact that Libya has significant oil reserves. A quick glance to the south and to an estimated 2-3 millions who have died in equatorial Africa over the past couple decades should be sufficient to convince anyone that well being of citizens is not high on the list of elite concerns.

      Your discussion above of oil motivations misses the point that as oil prices rise, consumption drops and the global economy slows. This costs the elites. The health of the global economy demands oil prices be stable, thus they are willing to act for economic reasons to maintain that stability. At this time of limited oil supply, any sources of oil taken off the market threaten the global economy in this way.

      So yes, let's support intervention now, not militarily, but preemptively, in banning weapons sales, and perhaps use other non-violent economic methods, against dictatorships who are today being supplied by Western countries armaments and technology of suppression around the world, before those weapons are exercised against the people of those regimes, or in the case of Saudi Arabia, the people of neighboring countries.

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