Saturday, April 02, 2011

Libyan War Recalls Afghan Pitfalls

By Robert Parry
April 2, 2011

The historical parallel most unnerving the Obama administration about the Libyan conflict is not Vietnam or Iraq, but Afghanistan in the 1980s, when the Reagan administration eagerly armed Islamic fundamentalists as a proxy force against Soviet troops only to see these “freedom fighters” morph into the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Read on.


rosemerry said...

As your previous posts have shown, Gates has mostly been on the wrong side and made wrong decisions. Now he seems to be right, but not listened to. It seems certain that Eastern Libya has many anti-american extremists; some have admitted it proudly. They are triggerhappy and want to fight Gaddafi, who by the way has long armed his citizens to protect themselves (like the Mercans with 350 million guns at home now). Not a pretty sight.

Peter Loeb said...


It is always pertinent to be reminded of where we have just been.These more recent lessons are all too often forgotten most
probably by design.

The roles of the development of
these policies and attitudes in
twentieth century Democratic
Administrations are conveniently
removed from this narrative.

The developments of the Wilson
Administration are "forgotten"
and covered up.

The further refinements of the
Truman Administration are not
mentioned such as the "loyalty
oaths", the Attorney General's
List and "NSC 68" (= "National
Security Council"), signed by Truman in 1950 and kept classified
for 25 years.

This April marks the 61rst anniver-
sary of this signing and the further development of "military Keynsianism", the lessening of
domestic spending, the expansion
of military spending. All this
was firmly based on anti-communism
for which we have today substi-
tuted terrorism and islamophobia.

(The best description I have found
of the contents of NSC 68 is in Noam Chomsky's DETERRING DEMOCRACY although it appears in bits and pieces elsewhere as well.)

The further expansion during the
Carter years (eg "The Carter
Doctrine", plans made under Carter
but implemented by Reagan).

We must always take special care
not only to comdemn those we
remember best but to include as well all relevant information we can find. This will result in
a more thorough, more balanced

WarrenMetzler said...

How is it that a man like Bill Gates, who previously was shown to be in error almost all the time now supposedly have insight and perception???? I suggest we should assess people by their record, not by how much their current views are sympatico with ours.

Also. I am having great trouble understanding how you can see a relationship in the US deliberately creating an armed opposition to the Soviets in Afghanistan, by arming and emboldening a local force who any rational person would be seen as very bad for freedom, and Libya where the US is responding to a very large segment of the Libyan population who asked for the very item we gave them? I see no rational connection at all.

It is obvious to me that both the left and the right, but currently more the left than the right, is getting very freaked out by a US foreign interaction that, from my perspective, has every element of all the situations that in the past has produced huge left support for intervention: Congo, Rwanda, Darfur, Southern Sudan, Bosnia, East Timor, Cambodia, etc.: a vicious, tyrannical, quite violent massacre prone ruling class that is slaughtering its own population.

So I do not perceive the current left's objection to be based on their announced concerns, such as the current articles attempt to tell us we are getting into another Afghanistan. I perceive the left's objection to be a result of an inner fear that the actions in Libya have an identical base to those in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria; a country wide desire to the human rights / freedoms that we in most of the West, certainly all of us in the US have taken for granted for some time.

If this is the basis for the conflict, then most of the philosophical underpinnings from which most of the left's positions arise are fundamentally in error; and as the future advances, it is going to be more and more difficult to see most of the left's positions as rational, reasonable, and capable of working.