Syria, Libya and the US Presidential Election

Submitted by admin on Fri, 10/28/2016 - 04:52
US Presidential Election
Photo Lesley Clark


Dear Friends,

The US presidential season is almost over - it is like the end of a mini-series, a television show that has run out of steam. November 8 is the final episode. What comes next is anyone's guess? Wikileaks' surprises from John Podesta's emails about Hillary Clinton come at a furious pace, but so too do erratic things from Donald Trump. It is a mess. My most recent Frontline report is out this week, and it is on the death knell of this campaign. The report ends, like all such bluster, with a whimper, saying that Hillary Clinton 'is a reliable candidate. There is no need for Trump’s populism. The system will be in safe hands with Hillary Clinton'. That is the view of the elites. Clinton is not going to move the needle too far for their comfort. You can read the report here.

The picture above is from art work in a window in Austin, Texas. It plays, as you might remember, with The Shining.

For the past few weeks, I've been looking back at Libya and at the NATO war there in 2011. This is, of course, related to the Clinton years at the US State Department (my previous Alternet report is on events in Libya over the past two weeks). The US government is not going to conduct a review of any seriousness about its role in the destruction of Libya (which I document in The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution). This is unlike the UK Parliament, whose new report on Libya - which I follow in my current Alternet report - is quite startling. There is contrition in this report that is worth paying attention to. It shows why the West is unlikely to go for full-blown regime change in Syria, for example. I write, 'The disaster of Libya has meant that the West is now deeply reticent to act in Syria against the government of Bashar al-Assad. Those who call for a “No Fly Zone” in Syria are deluded if they assume that the West is going to provide such an instrument. There will be neither UN backing for such a policy nor will the Western governments themselves risk such an adventure'. You can read that report here.

Finally, at our LeftWord Books blog, there is an interview with the historian Suchetana Chattopadyay about her work on early communism - but in particular on her essay in Communist Histories, volume 1. You can read the interview here.

Warmly, Vijay.