"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Mar 30, 2011


In Greece, an anti-capitalist uprising. In England, France, Italy - student and labor protest movements.

In Tunisia, a popular bourgeois anti-dictatorship mass movement and revolution.

In Egypt, a protest movement, verging on a militarily co-opted revolution.

In Yemen, Syria, Albania, Bahrain, Algeria, the Emirates, Iraq and reportedly several cities in Saudi Arabia, civil disobedience and growing protest movements.

All met with varying degrees of state violence, austerity measures and with the US government refusing direct involvement.

In Libya, a civil war.

As was similar in Korea, Vietnam, briefly in Lebanon, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Afghanistan.*

Followed by direct involvement by the US, under the auspices of the UN and/or NATO.

Something there? Something to it? Something about civil wars which make intervention more likely? Does war debilitate or divide populations in a way which is not present in regions experiencing mass or popular movements?

What does this say about the coming troubles in Pakistan? Or are the factors already divergent, since the US has played so significant a part in instigating a likely civil war?

Or is that it? Is that the window of opportunism?

Is it that the US military tends to be used in regions successfully destabilized into tragically Greek stasis?

* - in recent history, Iraq is the anomaly...perhaps because the No Fly Zone did not precipitate a civil war. The Kurds were crushed. The Baluchis exported to muck with Iran. The Shiites ground under...


C-Nihilist said...

maybe unrest, divisions and instability are just unrest, divisions and instability until "we," as they say, decide "we" want in. then "we" apply the appropriate label for the pitch.

Jack Crow said...

I think that's the case, often enough.

But, putting US soldiers on the ground?

Look at Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia and Afghanistan. The US government was integral to the process of destabilization and to the prevention of accord. The US made it impossible for the local hierarchies to reach agreement, and in the case of the Milosevic, bombed Belgrade in order to force him back into conflict as he was readying conciliatory moves with Russian encouragement.

It sent in troops, advisers, weapons and training cadres as a prelude, or in the immediate stages of stasis.

It exerted pressure on the UN and NATO to give it cover, when it finally decided to put its own military property in the air and on the ground.

Opportunism, certainly. But, I think there's a pattern here.

davidly said...

With a civil war there is an increased likelihood that the imperial power who benefits from the status quo will lose influence, whereas they don't have to worry about an uprising so much. And in the case that influence seems threatened by a regime grown weary of said imperial power, turning an uprising into a civil war does seem as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Also interesting is that the Democrats who were pretending not to support the Iraq excursion tried to use "civil war" as an insult.

senecal said...

I dont think it's right to call Libya a civil war, even though France recognized the rebel government in Benghazi. It only became a civil war when we began to aid the rebels and saved them from annihilation.

Same with former Yugoslavia, and Vietnam for that matter. They became civil wars when we pushed them that way. The Kosovar Albanians who were supposedly the targets of Milo's ethnic cleansing were actually trained and sent in as agitators by us.

I dont know why we picked on Libya this time -- probably had something to do with oil, or maybe it was just an ad hoc decision that democeracy had got out of hand in the ME.

Jack Crow said...

Parties do not need to have martial or territorial parity for a conflict to be a civil war.

juan said...

so, over the post 1958 period there has been fairly dramatic change in the dominant mode of organization within capitalism - from inter-national to multi-national to trans-national.

The largest trans-national firms became/are effectively stateless, have transcended the old nation state and world system of such and are actually global other than to extent they consciously foment provision of local, national and subregional subsidies; to the extent they transform tribes, states, govts into labor contractors for example.

This has been the case since the late 1970s and should be (is) an evident Contradiction between the economic and political, a Contradiction which has very much helped bring about tensions and conflicts at multiple levels including the subnational.

U.S. policies via, e.g., GATT, IMF, WB, WTO as well as domestic corporate have pushed us into a newer neocolonialism but a form which has been arriving at ultimate limits, retrogressing to increased militarism.

Which will be diminished within the current depression.

PS - state capitalisms have been/are subject to greater pressures.

Jack Crow said...


I don't use that outmoded cliche Trotspeak.

Especially when Contradiction is capped.

It's just silly.

juan said...


Did not realize I was using 'Trotspeak'* and can shorten to: economic fusion has been generating political and social fission.

*but will admit to having read a number of his writings such as those to do with facism in Germany.

Jack Crow said...


My characterization, not yours. A leftover from my youth. Would have these heady debates with self-conscious Trotskyites, but they would never be able to speak in ordinary terms to ordinary people.

The guy making a sandwich or changing car oil is not stupid. But, he probably hasn't consciously adopted clumsy idiom, either.