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Michael:

Two things.

1.  You badly distort in your email below what Sam Anderson wrote.  Sam
wrote:

"But what is coming is going to be far worse for the masses of Libyans
because these folks are going to put the entire nation up for sale in a
period where the Western Capitalist are in desperate need of supercheap
human and natural resources. The Libyan progressive forces are NOT going to
be part of the mix because of the collapse of any form of a global organized
Left Force to act as a deterrent or counterforce to Western Capital."

You change that to:

"Sam shows his contempt for the Libyan people by declaring that they are now
sure to sell out to Western interests;"

This is not what Sam wrote but a manipulation of it.  Sam's "these folks" is
about the leadership of the opposition in Libya selling out the Libyan
people.  I have no idea if Sam is right.  I hope not actually, but who
knows.  You certainly do not know the future either.

2.  I am waiting for you to: "Reproduce my earlier email that insisted that
no one on the list takes the position of supporting Qaddafi.  If you do that
I will admit I am wrong.  If you cannot do that, then stop mentioning me
with anything that I have not written about and stop instructing me on what
not to say."
 
Larry

From:  Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:  Science for the People Discussion List
<[log in to unmask]>
Date:  Mon, 22 Aug 2011 06:02:29 +0200
To:  <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:  The Great Tripoli Uprising

A few people here are so fixated on the role of NATO that they have failed
to appreciate that Libya has been subject to a popular uprising all these
months, and that this popular uprising--which began in Tripoli--is now
coming to full fruition as that city rises up once again. So, sadly, Sam
shows his contempt for the Libyan people by declaring that they are now sure
to sell out to Western interests; and George claims that support for the
Libyan rebels reflects a "New York Times" mentality. I am happy to predict
that most leftists and socialists will welcome the Libyan revolution as a
necessary step towards the liberation of that nation's people from a
decades-long dictatorship, just as the overthrow of regimes in Tunisia and
Egypt were necessary first steps. Perhaps the peoples of those countries
will have to go through a long phase of "bourgeois democracy" before they
create the workers' states that some here think are the only legitimate
alternatives to despotism, or perhaps Islamic fundamentalists will gain in
influence for a period of time; but that is for them to decide, not us.

(Since Juan Cole wrote the text below, things have moved on considerably, of
course.)

MB


http://www.juancole.com/2011/08/the-great-tripoli-uprising.html

The Great Tripoli Uprising
<http://www.juancole.com/2011/08/the-great-tripoli-uprising.html>
Posted on 08/21/2011 by Juan

As dawn broke Sunday in Libya, revolutionaries were telling Aljazeera Arabic
that much of the capital was being taken over by supporters of the February
17 Youth revolt. Some areas, such as the suburb of Tajoura to the east and
districts in the eastrn part of the city such as Suq al-Juma, Arada, the
Mitiga airport, Ben Ashour, Fashloum, and Dahra, were in whole or in part
under the control of the revolutionaries.

Those who were expecting a long, hard slog of fighters from the Western
Mountain region and from Misrata toward the capital over-estimated dictator
Muammar Qaddafi¹s popularity in his own capital, and did not reckon with the
severe shortages of ammunition and fuel afflicting his demoralized security
forces, whether the regular army or mercenaries. Nor did they take into
account the steady NATO attrition of his armor and other heavy weapons.

This development, with the capital creating its own nationalist mythos of
revolutionary participation, is the very best thing that could have
happened. Instead of being liberated (and somewhat subjected) from the
outside by Berber or Cyrenaican revolutionaries, Tripoli enters the Second
Republic with its own uprising to its name, as a full equal able to gain
seats on the Transitional National Council once the Qaddafis and their
henchmen are out of the way. There will be no East/West divide. My hopes for
a government of national unity as the last phase of the revolution before
parliamentary elections now seem more plausible than ever. Tellingly,
Tunisia and Egypt both recognized the TNC as Libya¹s legitimate government
through the night, as the Tripoli uprising unfolded. Regional powers can see
the new Libya being born.

The underground network of revolutionaries in the capital, who had been
violently repressed by Qaddafi¹s security forces last March, appear to have
planned the uprising on hearing of the fall of Zawiya and Zlitan. It is
Ramadan, so people in Tripoli are fasting during the day, breaking their
fast at sunset. Immediately after they ate their meal, the callers to prayer
or muezzins mounted the minarets of the mosques and began calling out,
³Allahu Akbar,² (God is most Great), as a signal to begin the uprising.
<http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/EXERES/D33E6805-F53B-4DE7-834A-58AE8186F684.htm
#.TlCRoZzwXEs.twitter>  (Intrestingly, this tactic is similar to that used
by the Green movement for democracy in Iran in 2009).

Working class districts in the east were the first to rise up. Apparently
revolutionaries have been smuggling in weapons to the capital and finding a
way to practice with them. Tajoura, a few kilometers from Tripoli to the
east, mounted a successful attack on the Qaddafi forces in the working class
suburb, driving them off. At one point the government troops fired rockets
at the protesting crowds, killing 122 persons. But it was a futile piece of
barbarity, followed by complete defeat of Qaddafi forces. Eyewitness Asil
al-Tajuri told Aljazeera Arabic
<http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/EXERES/D33E6805-F53B-4DE7-834A-58AE8186F684.htm
#.TlCRoZzwXEs.twitter>  by telephone that the revolutionaries in Tajoura
captured 6 government troops, and that they freed 500 prisoners from the
Hamidiya penitentiary. The Tajoura popular forces also captured the Muitiqa
military base in the suburb and stormed the residence of Mansur Daw, the
head of security forces in Tripoli.

The revolt in the eastern working-class district
<http://www.thawralibya.com/imm-news/instnews/2404-2011-08-20-18-54-07.html?
utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed>  of Suq al-Juma appears to have
begun before the others, on Saturday. All through Saturday Qaddafi security
forces attempted to put it down, but they failed and in the end had to flee.

 <http://www.juancole.com/2011/08/the-great-tripoli-uprising.html/tripoli2>
Tripoli

Tripoli Districts controlled by Revolutionaries early Sunday morning Libya
Time

Qaddafi released an audio address in which he made his usual fantasy-land
observations, said real Libyans liked to kiss pictures of his head, and
called the revolutionaries rats and agents of imperial France. It was an
incoherent, rambling, disgraceful performance, and was likely among the last
such.

At one point an Aljazeera Arabic correspondent was able to get the frequency
of the security forces and we overheard them fretting that they were running
low on ammunition and fuel for their riposte to the revolutionaries¹
advance.

For a map of the fighting, see here
<http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=214301650463033871851.000
4aaf73e7ee9a96c942&vpsrc=0&ll=32.860114,13.217196&spn=0.076423,0.353879&sour
ce=embed> .

By 8 am Sunday morning Libya time, fighters from Nalut and elsewhere in the
Western Mountain region had begun coming into Tripoli to give aid to the
people who made the uprising. The revolutionaries¹ advance into the capital
is entitled ³Operation Mermaid Dawn.²

One way or another, it seems clear that the Libyan Revolution has entered
its last phase, and that this phase could well end abruptly in the next
days. If Qaddafi¹s own capital is so eager to be rid of him, his support is
much thinner than many observers had assumed. His troops in Zawiya and
elsewhere are increasingly refusing to engage in hand to hand combat,
running away when the revolutionaries show up, and at most sitting in a
truck and bombarding the revolutionaries from a distance (but thereby making
themselves targets of NATO war planes and helicopters). The esprit de corps
of the revolutionaries is, in contrast, high.

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-- 
******************************************
Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]
Web:    michaelbalter.com <http://michaelbalter.com>
NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/
<http://journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/>
******************************************

³Faced with the choice between changing one¹s mind and proving that there is
no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
                                                  --John Kenneth Galbraith