Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Arab Spring was not allowed to get very far before the Arab Counter-Revolution pounced, first on Libya, now on Syria, to reconfigure the region by military means and, thus, make it safe for the various members of the imperial club. The Americans and their European and Arab allies are seeking Syrian territory to place under their “humanitarian” shield – a “liberated” city like Libya’s Benghazi for them to “defend.”


Lesson of the Arab Counter-Revolution: Syrian Must Allow No Benghazis

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Counter-revolution, or, in the case of the Arab Spring, the crackdown on the very idea of a revolution, is always bloody.”

A year ago this month, the Arab Spring began in Tunisia, sending the United States, the old colonial powers of Europe, and the royal rulers of the Persian Gulf into sheer panic. The imperialists and hereditary potentates were visibly shaken at the prospect that mass movements in Tunisia and Egypt might spread throughout the Arab world, where the United States is deservedly despised by most of the public. After the old and moldy President Mubarak was removed from office by the Egyptian army, it became common to hear the Arab Spring upgraded to the Arab “Revolution.” But of course, that was very much premature, the kind of declaration that comes out of the mouths of people who are either delirious or have no idea what revolutions are all about. The imperialists and their allies, however, understand very well that the nature of revolution is to remove their fingers from the levers of power, to strip them of their wealth, and to punish them for the crimes they have committed. Revolution is more than a feeling. As Malcolm X said, “You haven’t got a revolution that doesn’t involve bloodshed.” And the primary reason for that is, the people who have wealth and power and know that they are guilty of unspeakable crimes will shed oceans of blood to avoid being overthrown. They will also throw a lackey or two of theirs to the mob, so as to give the people a feeling of victory. But, as I said, revolution is more than a feeling.

Counter-revolution, or, in the case of the Arab Spring, the crackdown on the very idea of a revolution, is always bloody. Often, it is a great display of blood, to remind the people of the real nature of power. By late January of this year, the United States and its European allies and the filthy rich royal parasites of the Persian Gulf had a game plan to make sure the Arab Spring was a very short season. NATO, with President Obama “leading from behind,” launched a counter-revolution with industrial-strength Shock and Awe, attacking a developing desert country of six million people with enough firepower to bring down a mid-size industrial nation. But the conquest took almost nine months, because Libya was defended by the most courageous little army in the world, heroes who braved death from the skies with no cover to hide them, and no hope of inflicting casualties on the Euro-Americans.

Syria faces the same cast of murderous characters that destroyed Libya.”

It is easy for American and European governments to justify to their people any atrocity, any war crime, any theft of sovereignty committed against Arabs and Africans and Asians. The official western narrative for the Libyan aggression was that NATO was obligated to save the city of Benghazi from Muammar Gaddafi. Now Syria faces the same cast of murderous characters that destroyed Libya. It is Act Two in the counter-revolution to short-circuit the Arab Spring. The Syrian regime is denounced, even by formerly friendly nations, for refusing to withdraw its forces from those cities that have seen the worst bloodshed. But, if Libya provides any lesson, it is that the Americans, the French and their Arab allies will kill many tens of thousands and destroy the country entirely if they are allowed even the smallest excuse to declare some part of Syria a “liberated area” deserving of support from NATO warplanes and missiles. Therefore, the Syrians must resolve that they give up not one inch of territory, that there be no cities – not even a small one – in the hands of the opposition. In short, no Benghazis.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Direct download: 20111214_gf_ArabSpring.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:43am EDT