Letter by Martin S Gilbert

ImageI question your article “Coup against Gaddafi” (PN 2537). It shows how politicians could have betrayed the rebellion. But chaotically, it moved too quickly for that outcome. If it was a coup how could Western “spooks” have gained control? Consistently, the rebels refused any form of negotiation that kept Gaddafi in power. Their stance was against oil-interests which only wanted a return to oppressive “stability”.

I avoid the question of how many lives could have been spared if Gaddafi had been assassinated, to ask how could this popular revolution be turned into a coup? This was the Spanish civil war of our time, an event that could have stopped Hitler.
PN needs some dialogue between pacifists and anti-militarists. Such discussion occurs in groups in many places.

The Socialist Workers Party was also against the military interventions that toppled Gaddafi. They were following their usual set formula: “if it’s American and NATO, it must be bad”. In the chaos and confusion of a highly complex fast-moving situation our thinking needs to be flexible and not tied to formulas.


Editor response: Thank you for your letter. We don’t have space to answer properly here. We will try to explain our position more clearly next issue. – Eds
Topics: Libya