Friday, April 01, 2011
Wallerstein: The Great Libyan Distraction
The entire Libyan conflict of the last month - the civil war in Libya, the U.S.-led military action against Gaddafi - is neither about humanitarian intervention nor about the immediate supply of world oil. It is in fact one big distraction - a deliberate distraction - from the principal political struggle in the Arab world. There is one thing on which Gaddafi and Western leaders of all political views are in total accord. They all want to slow down, channel, co-opt, limit the second Arab revolt and prevent it from changing the basic political realities of the Arab world and its role in the geopolitics of the world-system.
To appreciate this, one has to follow what has been happening in chronological sequence. Although political rumblings in the various Arab states and the attempts by various outside forces to support one or another element within various states have been a constant for a long time, the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi on Dec. 17, 2010 launched a very different process.