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Total number of comments: 26 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:42)

Paul Tavan

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  • Libyan Rebels Aspire to Democracy
    • Thank you for this translation: "It should also ensure the freedom and rights of women in the law and constitution and the equal chances in all legal, political, economic, and cultural fields."

      Remember Gaddafis claim ("Al-Queda, all Al-Queda ...") and the question of the "anti-imperialistic" anti-interventionists ("Who are these people?")?

      Thus, now we know: Islamists most recently transformed into womens rights activists -

      or could it be that "these people" are just ordinary people who dare to be unknown and nevertheless dare to fight for their human dignity?

  • Questions for Glenn Greenwald on Libya and the end of NATO
    • Karlofi: Really funny this historical comparison of Gaddafi with Lenin and of the "white" counterrevolution with the Libyan revolutionaries! What a deep and thoughtful analysis of world history! LOL

    • If Russia or China would have wanted to veto this resolution they would have done that. But even the Chinese and the Russians were human enough to see that a criminal gangster and bloddy dictator like Gaddafi could not be allowed to shell a 2 million peple city with tanks and heavy artillery. There was no arm wrestling. The objective "third party" was the "common sense" of the UNSC members.

      Unfortunately our german secretary of state Westerwelle and our chancellor Merkel did abstain in the vote on UNSCR 1973, because they feared a local election. German voters were not amused, their parties lost these important elections.

    • Eli: No, ENI is not there because of humanitarian reasons but because of returing to business as usual. ENI just wants to have the same oil contracts with the revolutionaries, which they had all the years with the multiple billionaires Gaddafi & family.

    • Mark: You write "I quickly became skeptical of Professor Cole’s arguments when he called the UNSC vote the “Gold Standard” for military action."

      Yes, this is the point. Americans are so used to their unilateral (imperialistic) thinking that they despise international law. This is of course a key reason why the US never signed for the ICC (international criminal court) fearing that also americans could be prosecuted (I'd still would like to see Rumsfeld & Bush held accountable at the ICC for the Iraq war, ... ). Therefore an argument concerning international law, which was rightfully raised by colleague Cole, does not count in the eyes of US "imperialists".

      But be sure: For the rest of the world this issue is decisive and, therefore, you are dead wrong with your claim:
      "five countries abstaining, and much of the world against it". No, much of the world "for it".

      But this is only a view from europe.

    • Dear Manfred,
      "Gaddafi was always ok for us as for anyone outside this country" you write - and forgot the bomb in the disco "La belle", the Lockerbie bomb, etc. It is a shame that Guido&Angela abstained in the UNSC. Look at Misrata today and the hundreds of wounded citizens on the ferry to turkey and then stop talking about "imperial wars" when you are looking at a popular and democratic uprise (a socalled revolution). I know "revolutions" have come out of fashion. Also from Germany.

    • What's wrong with neutralizing Gaddafi? What was wrong with defeating the Nazis?

    • Ever heard of the Sunni-Shia conflict? Ever thought why the Iraq war was a mistake from the very outset?

    • Its a shame that Germany abstained and that the Lufwaffe is not involved. Angry regards from Germany.

    • Nobody here in Europe is eager to drop bombs on Libya, but rather cannot avoid to support the democratic uprising at the mediterranean coast.

    • DAN: Why dont you start being a little more critical to the old and illegal US unilateralism that has led you into Iraq (stupid mistake from the very outset), Afghanistan (too long stay for nation building). Now US acts (too weakly) in a legal and multilateral way and you confuse that with the earlier mistakes. Too bad that americans do know so little about other countries and histories.

    • Donna: The current legal world order is cearly formulated in the UN charter (revised 2005). Accordingly the action according to UNSCR 1973 (protect civilians & civilians are threatened by Gaddafi => remove Gaddafi) is legal and imperative to every member of the UN (including Libya). Things can be resolved by delivering G & family to the World Court in the Hague in Holland and stopping to violate civil rights (e.g. gang raping women with opposing views).

      Its a police action in Libya serving to guarantee the rule of law. Meanwhile I am pretty shocked that the rule of law apparently is not a basic value in the US!

  • An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
    • Adrian: How about the 400 wounded people from misrata on the turkish ferry, how about the killing of Mohammed Nabbous (, how about the rape of Eman al Obeidy, ...: "It never happened"??

      Oh yes, and the earth is a plate ...

    • Manuel Garcia: Nice analysis. Greetings from another physicist a few thousand miles to the east.

    • This answer is simple: Gadafi (and his family) is the underlying cause why lifes of Libyan "civilians" are threatened. If these causes cease to physically exist, the civilians are "protected". In this sense UNSCR 1973 legitimizes the assasination of the dictator.

    • This comment is once again a typical US Empire standpoint: UNSC is not even mentioned neither is the associated international legitimation of the police action against the Gadafi damily gang. In view of this US centered thinking there is obviously a lot of work left to anchor multilateralism and the rule of (international) law in the minds of US citizens.

    • Here spoke another friend of the US empire and enemy of the UN - this way of thinking seems to have an overwhelming majority in the US

    • "In my mind the three most likely outcomes are ..." and I ask you:

      What knowledge about the young libyan (tunesian, egyptian) population nourishes your judgement?

      Let me remind you: Everyone in the western (and eastern) world was surprised about this uprising and you are sure about the outcome in this particular case.

      Suggest you better visit the following pages:
      link to
      link to

    • Phoenix Woman - your comments save me a lot of writing myself!

    • Another fan of the US Empire (US constitution more important than UN charta) - it is frightening to see how this unilateral and imperialistic way of thinkung is deeply rooted in the minds even of "progressive" US citizens.

    • Reading the debate gets increasingly entertaining

    • Very funny, quite true

    • Excellent remark!

      Moreover Charles D as a typical representative of the Empire considers NATO as a puppet of the US. No, Charles, we are independent allies with independent hearts and minds (EU is maybe not a centralized entity like the US but by no means a puppet).

    • Also these arguments fail to acknowledge the fundamental difference between the war against Iraq (which I, together with Fischer&Schroeder who happened to run the german administration at that time fiercly opposed) and the support of the Libyan uprise:

      In Iraq it was a GB/US intervention based on a lie (WMD) and without any idea about the longstanding sunni/shia and arab/kurd conflicts.

      In Libya it is a UNSCR 1973 legitimized international police action and definitely not a US intervention.

      Unfortunately UNSCR was not backed by the conservative Merkel/Westerwelle government (who, fortunately, received a smashing defeat by the voters yesterday in an important regional election also for that reason).

      After all your comment is a typical US-centered and, therefore, in my view arrogantly imperialistic statement (US congress must be asked - what the rest of the world wants is irrelevant), which does not envisage multilateralism as a goal. No difference to the US neocons detectable in this respect!

    • "we’d just have a classic police state, no doubt with *some* violence, but nothing like a civil war and its inevitable horrors. It’s the civil war that is causing the death of civilians, and the rebels bear 50 % of the responsibility for the civil war."

      What an uninformed digusting and horrible standpoint! Gaddafi came to power and 1200 people were hanged in the stadium at Benghazi - this is your "classic police state" which should be indefinitely endured instead of being removed by a polpular uprising!

      On Feb17 a peaceful demonstration in Benghazi was dissolved with bullets, soldiers refusing to shoot at the demonstrators were executed in dozens, other soldiers defected, ... that's how the uprising began. And you suggest that people should rather let themselves be killed than getting rid of this crimnal dictator and his family gang (though necessarily through an armed uprising).

      As I remember a few years ago the "Left" was quite clear concerning one issue: Self-defence of a people ("revolution") against bloody dictators (the Hitlers, Stalins, etc.) is justified, even if it is armed.

    • Dear Professor Cole,

      I read your diligent and nicely put analysis with some delight also because I am somewhat nauseated by the german branch of the Left (der Partei die "Linke"), who combine an alleged radical pacifism with a principal "antiimperialism").
      Moreover, I do consider it as a shame for germany that Westerwelle/Merkel abstained in the UNSC - a decision that was vigorously applauded by the "Linke" in german parliament and by Gaddafi on TV.

      When searching for the reasons of Merkels descision there are in fact two:

      (1) Best businesses with the Gaddafi-Family through decades. Therefore the official justification for abstaining in the UNSC on 1973 was that "one does not know what will be the outcome of an intervention". In this respect you wrote correctly: "Indeed, a new government may be more difficult to deal with and may not honor Qaddafi’s commitments." implying the danger of bad businesses for german im- and exporters.
      (2) Imminent local elections and remembering that Schroeder once won an election by refusing to take part in Iraq: Markel/Westerwelle now thought that they could also benefit in this way.

      However it may be that they underestimated the moral and political judgements of the voters - seeing a dictator shelling with artillery indicriminantly towns in his own country is a crime unprecedented in history. It is fruthermore a progress that the USA acts upon a UNSC resolution following a clear call for help by ordinary Libyan citicens.

      To sum it up: I wholeheartedly sign your open letter.

Showing comments 26 - 1