Monday Morning Enlightenment
Over 130 people have been killed as militants battle for control of Benghazi:
Heavy fighting flared on Sunday between Libya’s army and Islamist militias apparently trying retake one of their largest camps in the eastern city of Benghazi, military officials said.
At least 130 people have been killed in the past 10 days during street fighting in Libya’s second-largest city — part of a wider picture of chaos gripping the major oil producer three years after the downfall and death of Muammar Gaddafi.
Don Pogreba did make a little appearance in last week’s post about Libya as another example of Imperialism run amok, but it wasn’t to admit he was wrong. Instead it was to counter another commenter calling him out for his subsequent silence now that Libya is the failed state critics like me warned about:
Wow, I’m responsible for ISIS? I didn’t realize how much my blog mattered. Thanks, guys, for the affirmation of my importance.
JC certainly isn’t blocked at my blog, by the way, despite his repeated untrue claims that he is. You’ll find ample evidence of me being censored when I question his posts here, though. Does that mean he’s responsible for ISIS, too? Ebola? The disappointing final season of How I Married Your Mother?
I’ll admit I lack your sophistication to understand the nuances of blame. I look forward to being enlightened.
Well Don, let me try to enlighten you.
50 years ago America became involved in a little war in Vietnam. By late winter, 1968, it was becoming increasingly clear that America wasn’t doing so great. One quote from a US official after a village was decimated encapsulated the insanity engulfing the cheerleaders of that disastrous conflagration:
On February 7, 1968, American bombs, rockets and napalm obliterated much of the South Vietnamese town of Ben Tre — killing hundreds of civilians who lived there.
Later that day, an unidentified American officer gave Associated Press reporter Peter Arnett a memorable explanation for the destruction.
Arnett used it in the opening of the story he wrote:
“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,” a U.S. major said Wednesday.
He was talking about the grim decision that allied commanders made when Viet Cong attackers overran most of this Mekong Delta city 45 miles southwest of Saigon. They decided that regardless of civilian casualties they must bomb and shell the once placid river city of 35,000 to rout the Viet Cong forces.
Sadly, not much has changed in 50 years. After half a century America remains a nation of brainwashed exceptionalists deferring to deranged political leaders still fighting a cold war with Russia.
Here is another quote from an article today by Norman Pollack, titled One-Sided Cold War. It’s the opening paragraph of the article, and does a good job of describing our current predicament with regard to reigniting a global showdown with Russia:
America’s shrill, expanding demonization of Putin, Obama now equating Russia and Ebola as paired dangers in the modern world, follows from its ideological-structural matrix of decline as the unilateral military-economic leader of the international order. Decaying societies don’t fare well in global history, especially when the inner rot of the political culture erodes the foundations of reason, moral principles, and humaneness, precisely where America now finds itself. The inner rot is not merely capitalism per se, although that gets it off to a good start because in practice characterized by petrifaction in the face of challenge and dissenting opinion, but capitalism as it presently exists in America, where the fear of social transformation (i.e., anything which jeopardizes the power of ruling groups, questions Authority, or otherwise destabilizes class relations) has yielded systemic militarization to keep capitalism on pace and secure. And even the militarization of capitalism, generally adequate to normalizing conditions of fascism, emergent or full-blown, in America has a particularity distinguishing the society from all others: its fusion of Exceptionalism and counterrevolution (each needed to sustain the other) dressed up in the language of liberal or humanitarian intervention in world affairs.
For those looking for a little Monday morning enlightenment, there you go.