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(Never forget 9/11.) This was no accident or coincidence.The hijacking narrative did not arise from a factual foundation but from a simplistic, reflexive ideology, albeit an anti-imperialist one.Instead of substantiating this claim with that NATO successfully pushed the Libyans aside and seized control of their war against Ghadafi, the Western left instead 1) focused on the alleged misdeeds of the National Transitional Council (NTC) and 2) hid behind phrases such as “Libyan Winter” and “civil war,” implying that the Arab Spring in Libya froze the instant NATO jumped in and that neither the rebels nor Ghadafi deserved anyone’s support.Both evasions of the central issue – that NATO’s air campaign had mass support among revolutionary Libyans which was faithfully reflected by the NTC’s stand against foreign invasion and for foreign airstrikes – were very serious methodological mistakes that only a handful of commentators managed to avoid, Clay Claiborne of Occupy LA being the most prominent.4) The proponents of the hijacking theory failed to address the most obvious and urgent question that flowed from their own analysis: what could the Libyans to take their revolution back from NATO’s hijacking?A hijacking is a struggle for control between legitimate and illegitimate actors where the rogue elements get the upper hand.And NATO certainly did not pick August 20, the day Muhammad entered Mecca, as the day to launch a risky grassroots insurrection in Tripoli.
The Western left disregarded the thoughts and feelings of their Libyan comrades and called for an end to NATO airstrikes against Ghadafi’s forces.A top rebel commander publicly accused the British government of handing him over to Ghadai’s regime to be tortured right before he filed a lawsuit against Jack Straw, Britain’s former Foreign Minister for authorizing the rendition.The new Libyan government refused to hand over Ghadafi’s son Saif to the International Criminal Court (now it has even arrested their lawyers), the body responsible for dispensing NATO’s “justice” to Slobodan Milosevic. S or NATO bases have been established in Libya unlike in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo.Reflexive opposition to Uncle Sam’s machinations abroad is generally a good thing. military to execute “humanitarian” missions in Somalia, Haiti, and the Balkans and progressively increased in the 2000s, as Bush Jr.It is a progressive instinct that progressively declined in the 1990s, as presidents Bush Sr. lurched from quagmire to disaster in transparent empire-building exercises in Afghanistan and Iraq. government does abroad became anything but progressive once the Arab Spring sprang up in Libya and Syria, countries ruled by dictatorships on Uncle Sam’s hit list.
However, what is generally good is not good in every case. When American imperialism’s hostility to the Arab Spring took a back seat to its hostility to the Ghadafi and Assad regimes (their collaboration with Bush Jr.’s international torture ring notwithstanding), the Western left’s support for the Arab Spring took a back seat to its hostility to American imperialism.