Saturday, March 26, 2011

Eye On The Unfolding Revolution.

After a few days offline, February 17 appears to be back up and running at a different URL. For Libyan freedom, democracy and regime change, here. It is long past time for the democracies participating in the enforcement of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to follow the French lead and recognize the Libyan National Council as the provisional government of Libya. Just bloody well get on with it. The sham of regime-engagement must end. Now.

On to Damascus: To keep up with events in the rapidly escalating Syrian revolution, the Damascus Bureau is the place to go. It's the home of the constantly-updated Syrian Revolution Digest, run by the Syrian patriot and liberal democrat Ammar Abdulhamid, now living in exile in America.

There's no more time for yesbuttery, whataboutery or butwhatiffishness. Every police state is different, and each requires different responses from the world's democracies. But in each case, the principle is the same. Wherever there are democrats rising up against tyrants, whether in peaceful protests or armed struggle, we should side with them. They must be our first "interlocutors," not the regimes that oppress them.

We have to stop wasting time and energy asking ourselves stupid questions about the propriety of regime change, about whether a tyrant's cruelties meet the threshold for the "responsibility to protect" doctrine, and about whether the fictional "Muslim world" will be upset if "we" intervene in "their" affairs. Whether it is Iran, Libya, Syria, or Yemen, our first questions must be: Who are our comrades? What do they want from us? How can we get it to them? The rest is noise.

I no longer have any patience for the question: "What are we supposed to do?" The answer is not complicated, no matter what the overfed and disgraced western foreign-policy establishment says. The answer is simple: We do everything we can. That is all that is required of us. That is all anyone is asking of us. That is the only thing we have ever needed to do.

Just do it. Marg Bar Diktator.


Blogger James O'Hearn said...

I wonder how the parties are going to play this now that the House of Harper has fallen.

As far as I can see, the Canadian public seems to be in favor of Canadian involvement in removing Momo, so it should be interesting to see how Smilin' Jack is going to play this. What with France taking the lead, even the Pequistes might have to stop and reconsider their normal reflex position on a topic like this.

If the parties oppose the Conservatives on this issue, it may end up hurting them in the polls. However, if they seem to echo the Conservatives on this issue, it'll probably only bolster the Conservative position.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

The Liberals have been, if anything, out in front on this issue, with the Conservatives, if anything, lagging behind.

The Blocquistes are pretty well just nativists now, pandering to whichever "ethnic" constituency that seems to need mollifying at any given time, and justifying an parliamentary position they adopt in the context of triangulating for some "Quebec interest."

It will be interesting to watch the NDP indeed. Having staked out the Afghan far-right position as the NDP position on Afghanistan - and getting away with it - the NDP knows full well that it can get away with anything on Libya. I expect Layton's main task, campaign-wise, on the Libya issue, will involve leaving the majority "anti-war" element in the NDP's support base undisturbed in its idiocy. All Jack has to do is sound exactly like Michael Moore on the subject, without explictly opposing the Libyan intervention as Moore does. If the NDP base goes full-on anti-interventionist during the campaign for whatever reason, Layton will engage in all the usual historical-revisionist self-flattery to make it sound like he was against it from the beginning. And he'll get away with it because nobody takes the NDP seriously on these issues, so nobody subjects the NDP's positions on these things to any serious scrutiny. In this way, there is nothing easier than "being" a New Democrat in the foreign-policy context. You don't actually have to be in favour of "doing" anything.

Nice gig, eh?

2:17 PM  
Blogger James O'Hearn said...

I think the NDP has always been a nice gig for aspiring pols. You're not actually expected to win all that much, but you are still invited to all the best parties, the literati and intelligentsia are always knocking on your door, and the limited overhead needed by NDP campaigns has ensured that the NDP has long been able to maintain a nice set of digs to run things from.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Anton Deque said...

Brilliant post Terry.

4:36 AM  

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