I was just writing a lengthy post about the uprisings in the Bahrain
archipelago, going into the history of Anglo-American imperialism and the oil frontier, with some comments on the relationship to the Saudi kleptocracy. The regime has been struggling to keep it together for some time, and has been facing protests and working class rebellions at least since the invasion of Iraq, which gave birth to a germinal new left in the region and is itself a tributary to the current revolutionary wave. This latest convulsion may well finish off the Sunni monarchy. But it seems that Libya is the surer bet for an overthrow in very near future. All of the ingredients are there. The state is cracking down with extreme brutality. In Benghazi, mercenaries shipped in by Gaddafi are carrying out random killings, with dozens reportedly dead so far. The regime is intent on terrorising
the population into submission and has even, predictably, shut down the internet. The electricity has been shut off in insurgent areas. Yet it says a lot that Gaddafi is so lacking in authority over his own state structure that he's having to hire mercenaries to come in and put down the revolt. This is happening in part because, so I understand, sections of the army and police have gone over to the protests. This is in contrast to Bahrain, where the regime instructed the army to shoot at peaceful protesters and paramedics, and the soldiers obeyed. The protesters have successfully taken over airports and shut down cities. Eastern parts of the country appear to be effectively liberated from the state's control. Benina airport has apparently had its runways sabotaged to stop the landing of mercenaries from overseas, and "clashes" between protesters and the authorities are reportedly taking place there at this very moment. Al Jazeera reports that in Benghazi, army tanks have been taken over by protesters. If a fraction of what is being reported, tweeted and youtubed is accurate, then it seems implausible that the regime will hang on. It would seem that the US and UK made their peace with the dictatorship in its dying hours.
Labels: capitalism, democracy, dictatorship, libya, middle east, revolution, US imperialism