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Prediction: 20 Years of War in Libya [View All]

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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 05:48 AM
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Prediction: 20 Years of War in Libya
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Johan Galtung, sometimes called the father of peace studies, predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union and the refusal of Egyptian soldiers to attack civilians. His prediction of the collapse of the US empire in 2020 appears to be on schedule. So, it was noteworthy when he predicted on Tuesday at the University of Virginia that the war in Libya would last 20 years. If, however, NATO and the opposition were to kill Gadaffi, he said, the fighting could go on for more than 20 years.

This prediction came the day after Obama gave one of those speeches, like his speeches on Gitmo or Iraq, where he persuades you that something is already over without actually making that claim. How can the war (excuse me, humanitarian intervention) in Libya be over and have 20 years left to go?

Galtung argues that predictions of quick success in Libya depend on an ignorance of history and a reduction of broad social forces to the caricature of a single person. There are five forces at work in the Arab Revolution, Galtung argues: opposition to dictatorship (demand for civil rights), opposition to inequality and poverty (demand for economic rights), opposition to the U.S. and Israeli empires, the revolt of the youth, and the revolt of women. When a government is on the wrong side of all five forces, Galtung claims, it is doomed.

Egypt scores a negative 5; its government imposed/imposes dictatorship and inequality, supports the rule of the two empires, and suppresses youth and women. Tunisia, because of advances in women's rights, scores a negative 4. To explain why Libya only scores a negative 3, Galtung goes back to 1915 when Arabs revolted against the Ottoman Empire with the aid of France, the UK, and Russia. France took over Lebanon and Syria. The UK took over Iraq and Palestine. The next revolt came in the 1950s and 1960s against the French and the British. This revolt was led by Gamal Abdel Nasser and then by Gadaffi. The United States became Israel's patron and developed the current empire. Gadaffi gained the reputation of an opponent of the U.S. and Israeli, as well as French and British and Italian empires. In Galtung's analysis, such a reputation lasts forever.

So, Gadaffi's government gains points for holding an aura of anti-imperialism and for relatively little inequality. Similarly, Galtung gives the governments of Yemen, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia negative fives but suggests that Syria and Iran score better on the basis of past resistance to empire.

The opposition in Libya, according to Galtung, stands for the West. France, Italy, the UK, and the US are likely to invest huge sums in that opposition. On Monday Obama promised to transfer $33 billion in seized Libyan assets to "the people" of Libya; that means the opposition. What's underway, Galtung says, is a civil war, not a no-fly zone protecting civilians. And killing Gadaffi would make him a martyr.

This analysis fits with some facts that aren't paid enough attention to, I believe. Nonviolent campaigns against tyranny succeed more often than violent ones. Nonviolent campaigns succeed more often when violence is used against them. Too much violence can destroy them, but it takes more than is commonly imagined. Gadaffi's military is not primarily foreign mercenaries. Prior to U.S. involvement, military forces were defecting to the rebel side; now one doesn't hear of that happening. The leader of the rebels is a CIA creation. Going back to the U.S. liberation of Cuba and the Philippines, the U.S. military has stepped in to "help" dozens of countries and overstayed its welcome every single time without exception.

Galtung doesn't predict that the United States will be at war in Libya for 20 years. He expects Western Europe to take over the poisonous role of empire from the current global power. China, he believes, even if it were powerful enough to step into that role, is not stupid enough to do so.
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  -Prediction: 20 Years of War in Libya davidswanson  Mar-30-11 05:48 AM   #0 
  - Rec'd but can see the unrec'rs are already busy.  dipsydoodle   Mar-30-11 05:58 AM   #1 
  - they think that by un recing a fact that we'll all keep our heads in the sand..not just them..nt  xiamiam   Mar-30-11 08:54 AM   #18 
     - they think that by RECING a fact that we'll all keep our heads  Dont_Bogart_the_Pretzel   Mar-30-11 10:26 AM   #20 
        - Actually, I have always believed that when posters squawk  tblue37   Mar-31-11 12:01 AM   #38 
           - Me think you might be onto something...  Dont_Bogart_the_Pretzel   Mar-31-11 09:12 AM   #45 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Mar-30-11 06:07 AM   #2 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Mar-30-11 08:50 AM   #16 
  - kr  Hannah Bell   Mar-30-11 06:09 AM   #3 
  - We'll see. In any case, I actually agree with you that the intervention  cali   Mar-30-11 06:09 AM   #4 
  - K&R  golddigger   Mar-30-11 06:12 AM   #5 
  - We're at war with Lybia  inademv   Mar-30-11 06:37 AM   #6 
  - Are you sure it's not Oceania?  Pacifist Patriot   Mar-30-11 07:53 AM   #7 
  - hee  davidswanson   Mar-30-11 08:18 AM   #11 
  - "War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength"  sad sally   Mar-30-11 04:09 PM   #26 
  - LIBYA  BOG PERSON   Mar-30-11 01:39 PM   #23 
     - I am impressed by your mastery of the HTML tags for this site.  liberation   Mar-30-11 03:45 PM   #24 
     - That's how I learned it in school.  Pacifist Patriot   Mar-30-11 05:16 PM   #29 
     - And, technically, it can be transliterated as Lybia, Lybya, Libia, or Libya...  LooseWilly   Mar-30-11 11:44 PM   #37 
     - dupe  liberation   Mar-30-11 03:45 PM   #25 
  - kick  Donnachaidh   Mar-30-11 07:55 AM   #8 
  - very interesting, thank you for posting this!  inna   Mar-30-11 07:56 AM   #9 
  - why such optimism?  spanone   Mar-30-11 07:56 AM   #10 
  - har  davidswanson   Mar-30-11 08:19 AM   #12 
  - Rec'd. n/t  Catherina   Mar-30-11 08:30 AM   #13 
  - "Nonviolent campaigns against tyranny succeed more often than violent ones."  bertman   Mar-30-11 08:35 AM   #14 
  - There never was a real non-violent movement in Libya.  tcaudilllg   Mar-30-11 08:54 AM   #17 
  - how long do peaceful demonstrations have to go on before they can  bertman   Mar-30-11 09:24 PM   #32 
  - Up until now, we were "dealing with" him by giving him arms and military aid n/t  eridani   Mar-31-11 06:28 AM   #42 
  - This is consistent with my reasoning as well.  tcaudilllg   Mar-30-11 08:40 AM   #15 
  - Don't agree. Tribes related to him will back him, and the non-relatives he has been--  eridani   Mar-31-11 06:29 AM   #43 
  - na, simpler than that....  Javaman   Mar-30-11 09:42 AM   #19 
  - Great News for the MIC  ctwayne   Mar-30-11 10:37 AM   #21 
  - You build a bomb  AKDavy   Mar-30-11 01:34 PM   #22 
  - k&r  Starry Messenger   Mar-30-11 04:14 PM   #27 
  - K&R  leftstreet   Mar-30-11 04:16 PM   #28 
  - Good job, btw, on the BookTV "Imperial Presidency" segment with Bruce Fein.  EFerrari   Mar-30-11 05:22 PM   #30 
  - Thanks for the link. Bravo, David! n/t  SusanaMontana41   Mar-31-11 10:22 PM   #46 
  - Please don't misrepresent what Obama said.  Vattel   Mar-30-11 05:40 PM   #31 
  - i see  davidswanson   Mar-30-11 10:00 PM   #33 
  - I should have been more precise.  Vattel   Mar-30-11 11:03 PM   #34 
  - "He said that the military component of our involvement would end soon."  Runework   Mar-30-11 11:33 PM   #36 
  - thanks for the summary of galtung and your additions  tiny elvis   Mar-30-11 11:31 PM   #35 
  - I doubt Gaddafi is going to be around in 20 years.  MilesColtrane   Mar-31-11 12:54 AM   #39 
  - so what? it'll be a tribal war---rebels seem as violent as gaddfi  Runework   Mar-31-11 04:43 AM   #41 
  - Do you have a permalink for this? n/t  eridani   Mar-31-11 04:39 AM   #40 
  - No more empires  Mosaic   Mar-31-11 08:58 AM   #44 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Apr-03-11 05:16 PM   #47 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Apr-05-11 02:58 AM   #48 
  - K&R....Even David Swanson is put in the "9/11 Forum." This could be a good place to hang out in the  KoKo   Apr-24-11 09:34 PM   #49 
  - Seems like more & more of the "good stuff" ends up here these days.  Desertrose   Oct-23-11 11:48 AM   #51 
  - Kick! nt  geek tragedy   Oct-21-11 01:18 AM   #50 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Oct-23-11 01:22 PM   #52 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Oct-24-11 05:56 PM   #53 

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