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Libya and the Return of Humanitarian Imperialism

Article by Jean Bricmont.

The whole gang is back: The parties of the European Left (grouping the  “moderate” European communist parties), the “Green” José Bové, now allied with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who has never seen a US-NATO war he didn’t like, various Trotkyist groups and of course Bernard-Henry Lévy and Bernard Kouchner, all calling for some sort of “humanitarian intervention” in Libya or accusing the Latin American left, whose positions  are far more sensible, of acting as “useful idiots” for the “Libyan tyrant.”

Twelve years later, it is Kosovo all over again. Hundred of thousands of Iraqis dead, NATO stranded in an impossible position in Afghanistan, and they have learned nothing! The Kosovo war was made to stop a nonexistent genocide, the Afghan war to protect women (go and check their situation now), and the Iraq war to protect the Kurds. When will they understand that all wars claim to have humanitarian justifications? Even Hitler was “protecting minorities” in Czechoslovakia and Poland.

On the other hand, Robert Gates warns that any future secretary of state who advises a US president to send troops into Asia or Africa “must have his head examined”. Admiral Mullen similarly advises caution. The great paradox of our time is that the headquarters of the peace movement are to be found in the Pentagon and the State Department, while the pro-war party is a coalition of neo-conservatives and liberal interventionists of various stripes, including leftist humanitarian warriors, as well as some Greens, feminists or repentant communists.

So, now, everybody has to cut down his or her consumption because of global warming, but NATO wars are recyclable and imperialism has become part of sustainable development.

Of course the US will go or not go to war for reasons that are quite independent of the advice offered by the pro-war left. Oil is not likely to be a major factor in their decision, because any future Libyan government will have to sell oil and Libya is not big enough to significantly weigh on the price of oil. Of course, turmoil in Libya leads to speculation that itself affects prices, but that is a different matter. Zionists are probably of two minds about Libya: they hate Qaddafi, and would like to see him ousted, like Saddam, in the most humiliating manner, but they are not sure they will like his opposition (and, from the little we know about it, they won’t).

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