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October 16 , 2010

The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack


When the popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia overthrew thepublic faces of the imperial-backed regimes in the region, itinspired supporters of popular democracy worldwide. However,as the Arab revolt spread from North Africa to the Gulf anddeepened its demands, the Empire struck back. The rulingmilitary junta in Egypt cracked down on the prodemocracymovement as its autocratic partners in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula drowned the civil societymovements in blood.While standing by the crumbling dictatorships elsewhere in theregion, the United States, France and the United Kingdomseized the opportunity to intervene in Libya under cover of anew responsibility to protect doctrine authorizinghumanitarian intervention. But instead, NATO took sides in theLibyan civil war, unleashing a savage bombing campaign againstthe very people it purported to protect, reducing the Libyan capital and surrounding cities torubble, and opening itself to charges of war crimes.These essays chronicle the growing militarization of US policy inNorth Africa and the Gulf and the historic confrontation betweenthe Arab democratic revolts and the imperial backed satraps. Bearing witness to the ragtagrebel victory enabled by NATO in Libya and ongoing chaosthroughout the region, Petras disassembles Americas collapsing Middle East policy.
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