Friday, March 25, 2011

Are the Libyan Rebels for Us or against Us?

Here's a comic footnote to the Libya war: Neither side of the Libyan conflict was actually looking for any real solidarity with leftists (least of all Marxists), but somehow one side (the regime) got a lot of gratuitous, undeserved Latin American leftist support and the other side (the rebels) got a lot of gratuitous, undeserved Western leftist as well as (both secular and religious) Arab and Iranian support.

As a matter of fact, both the regime and the rebels were looking for Western imperialist support, and they didn't hide it either. The Western imperialists -- unlike the world Left, the Arabs, and the Iranians, who all jumped into the Libyan fray without examining what they were jumping into -- first took a good, hard look at both sides and then decided to back the rebels.

The rebels got what they wanted, and that's that.

In recent days, though, I have noticed that the propaganda machine of the Islamic Republic of Iran began to change tack. Maybe the IRI establishment finally realized that the Libyan rebels aren't pro-Iranian -- in fact, the rebels are as likely to be against Shia Muslims as against Africans, Marxists, and so on. Hezbollah and Trotskyists, perhaps more selflessly idealistic than IRI officials, apparently have yet to ask a crucial question of international solidarity, which unlike charity is a two-way street: Are the rebels for us or against us?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I did what I could for my family and other people in Japan.

I managed to contact my brother on the 11th and persuaded my sister-in-law and nephew to leave for Kyushu (my brother, a Japanese Red Cross worker, refused to leave because he got "work to do"). I got through to my parents on the 12th and talked them into heading south, either to stay with my favorite aunt (my mother's sister) in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi, or to head further south. Those were the last phone calls, and since then I have not been able to get in touch with them. I hope by now they got where they needed to go, far away from Chiba (where they normally live, only about 150 miles from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants).

The clock is ticking, and there is little time left to do more.