no blood for oil

Follow clayclai on Twitter
When Russia and the NATO countries sold tanks, artillery, land mines, cluster bombs and helicopter gunships to Mummar Qaddafi they did so knowing that he would very likely use those weapons to suppress any opposition within his own country. While those weapons made his regime more stable, they also assured that any attempt to overthrow it would result in the spilling of much more Libyan blood.

They in effect traded blood for oil, in that most imperial of ways, they traded Libyan blood for Libyan oil.

Providing those heavy weapons to the Qaddafi regime was a most important form of imperialist intervention which AFAIK, no one on the left objected to.

NATO put no troops on the ground in Libya nor did they provide the opposition, which we now know, represented the overwhelming majority of all Libyans, with heavy weapons. But the NATO air campaign cost Qaddafi his helicopters and war planes, and limited his rocket and artillery attacks to places he could hit from batteries he could hide in population centers. [Note this trick won't work against a Qaddafi or an Assad.] Thus he was able to maintain the siege of Misrata from Tawergha for so many months. And although NATO only destroyed a small percentage of his armor, the air cover forced him to abandon the use of his heavy tanks. The Qaddafi forces had to use the same sort of technical vehicles the NTC forces relied on and engage their enemy close up where air support couldn't easily get at them but now the thuwar could. The NATO intervention leveled the battlefield.

[BTW - I strongly objected to the use of the phrase "pro-Qaddafi forces" then or "pro-Assad forces" now by people on the left in the face of ample testimony to the fact that these "leaders" kill soldiers who refuse to fight for them, kill them and their family. Would you describe a man who opens a safe with a gun to his back as "pro-bank robber?"]

The main effect of the UN mandated NATO intervention over Libya was to somewhat neutralize the tremendous advantage in aircraft and heavy weapons given to him by the major arms exporting countries who also happen to be the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. This is what many on the left rose up to object to.

Once the "great powers" have supplied a dictator with cluster bombs and the systems with which to deliver them, he should be free to use them on a rebellious population without any outside interference. Is that the stand of the left? I fear there is much more suffering in the future of humanity than need be.

We can see the terrible results of what the anti-interventionist left wanted for Benghazi and Misrata in Homs, Hama, Idlib, Duoma, Houla, Dara, and now Damascus and Aleppo.

The "Battle of Damascus" has been raging for six days now in the oldest living city in the world. Heavy weapons and bombs are being used indiscriminately by a government against its rebellious communities on a scale never seen before AFAIK in one of the world's great cities.

This may be the first such wildly uneven urban battle but I'm afraid it won't be the last. I fear for the precedent being set and the world's acceptance of it.

If I say "What a tragic loss of life yesterday." and you think Denver, then the wool has already been pulled over your eyes.

Are helicopter gunships dropping cluster bombs over neighborhoods and all the rest okay now?

I fear that what is happening first in Damascus may eventually happen in Los Angeles, New York or London. Will those centers of power yield with any less violence once so few have objected to the precedent being set in Damascus and Aleppo today?

And finally, I am shamed by a left that seems bent on making its main legacy on this point a few pro-Assad rallies, much propagation of Assad lies and a lot of talk about non-intervention.

Here are my related diaries on Syria:
BREAKING: Activists report toxic gas attack in Deir ez-Zor, SyriaGlenn Greenwald sees Islamist Terrorism as main issue in Syria
Will Syria's Assad make a chemical attack in Damascus on Saturday?
BREAKING: I know where Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is!
BREAKING: Massive Fire near #Assad's Presidential Palace in #Damascus, #Syria
BREAKING: Is Syria's Bashar al-Assad dead or dying?
BREAKING: Damascus explosion kills Defense Minister, other key figures
The battle for Damascus is coming
BREAKING: General Strike in Damascus
BREAKING: Intense fighting reported in Damascus now!
BREAKING: Syrian defector spills beans as important new defection reported.
Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?
Tremseh Massacre in Syria: What we know
BREAKING: ~227 reported massacred by Assad's forces in Tremseh, Syria today!
Syria: Is Assad regime on the verge of collapse?
BREAKING: Russian Warships reported in Syria
BREAKING: #Russia changing on #Assad but not as fast as conditions in #Syria
UN Observers say violence in Syria is ‘Unprecedented’
BREAKING: Defection of major Assad insider reported in Syria
BREAKING: WikiLeaks releases 2.4 million #Syria emails
When did "Never Again" become "Whenever?" | #Douma
BREAKING: Incredible mass rally in Aleppo, Syria today!
BREAKING: HRW releases torture report on Syria
BREAKING: Syrian General defects with 293 to Turkey
BREAKING: Items not in the MSM on Syria
My response to Phyllis Bennis: Where is the non-violent opposition in Syria?
BREAKING: Syrian Air Force attacks Douma, 10m from Damascus, thousands flee
BREAKING: As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke
BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad!
BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared
BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army
BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet
NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria
BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria
BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect
UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout

And these are my articles on the Libyan Revolution:
The Elections and Libya's Violent Militias
#Libya at the crossroads: The ballot or the bullet
Is Libya better off than it was?
Libyan Elections to be held July 7th
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Libyan High Court strikes down anti-free speech law
Where should Libya's Saif Qaddafi be tried?
MSM plays Hankey Panky with Libya
Qaddafi lies live on after him
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Libya's Qaddafi helped US & Israel against Iran in Olympic Games
Why is Russia demanding NATO boots on the ground in Libya?
#LyElect Libyans register to vote 1st time in 60 years
Libya's Revolution: How We Won - The Internationale in the 21st Century
Good News from Libya
On Libya & Glenn Greenwald: Are the anti-interventionists becoming counter-revolutionaries?
UN: NATO killed 60 civilians in Libya
Libya in the news today
Amnesty International on Libya again
The Current Situation in Libya
Democracy Now & Amy Goodman gets it wrong again.
Why is Chris Hedges calling for "boots on the ground" in Libya?
The Worm Has Turned: Good Film on Libyan Revolution from PressTV
Why NATO's mission in Libya isn't over yet
Libya's Freedom Fighters: How They Won
Racism in Libya
Abdul Rahman Gave his Eyes to See the End of Qaddafi
BREAKING: Secret files reveal Dennis Kucinich talks with Qaddafi Regime
BREAKING: Libyan TNC won't extradite Lockerbie bomber
Who really beat Qaddafi?
#Feb17: @NATO Please help MEDEVAC wounded from #Libya
What should those that opposed NATO's intervention in Libya demand now?
BREAKING: Qaddafi's Tripoli Compound Falls!
Does PDA Support Qaddafi?
BREAKING: Operation Mermaid Dawn, the Battle to Liberate Tripoli is Joined
Helter Skelter: Qaddafi's African Adventure
Qaddafi's Long Arm
SCOOP: My Lai or Qaddafi Lie? More on the 85 Civilians presumed killed by NATO
Did NATO kill 85 Libyan Villagers As Qaddafi Regime Contends?
CCDS Statement on Libya - a Critique
The Assassination of General Abdul Fattah Younis
NATO over Tripoli - Air Strikes in the Age of Twitter
How Many Libyans has NATO Killed?
Qaddafi Terror Files Start to Trickle Out!
Have Libyan Rebels Committed Human Rights Abuses?
Tripoli Green Square Reality Check
Behind the Green Curtain: Libya Today
Gilbert Achcar on the Libyan situation and the Left
NATO slammed for Libya civilian deaths NOT!
2011-07-01 Qaddafi's Million Man March
NATO's Game Plan in Libya
February 21st - Tripoli's Long Night
Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?
Tripoli Burn Notice
Libyans, Palestinians & Israelis
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Arming Gaddfi
North African Revolution Continues
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation