A victory for the people of Libya? Ten myths of the war against Libya
2. Gaddafi is “bombing his own people”
3. Benghazi Save
4. African mercenaries
5. in May. fueled by Viagra mass rape
6. Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
7. Gaddafi – the Devil
8. Freedom Fighters – Angels [or rebels Santos]
9. victory for the Libyan people
10. defeat for “the left”
Since Colonel Gaddafi has lost his military control in the war against NATO and the insurgents or rebels or new regime, numerous talking heads have taken to celebrating this war as a “success”.
They believe that this is a “victory of the Libyan people” and we should all be celebrating. Others proclaim victory for the “responsibility to protect“,” humanitarian interventionism, “and condemn the” anti-imperialist left. “
Some who claim to be “revolutionaries,” or believe they support the “Arab revolution,” somehow find it possible to sideline NATO’s role in the war, instead extolling the democratic virtues of the insurgents, glorifying his martyrdom, and expanding their role until everything else is pushed from view. I wish to dissent from this circle of acclamation, and remind readers of the role of fabrications ideologically motivated “truth” that were used to justify, enable, enhance, and motivate the war against Libya-and to emphasize how damaging the practical effects of those myths have been to the Libyans, and all those who favored peaceful, non-militarist solutions.
These ten myths are some of the most repeated claims by the insurgents, and / or by NATO, European leaders, the Obama administration, the mainstream media, and even the so-called “International Criminal Court”, the main actors speaking in war against Libya. In turn, we look at some of the reasons why these claims are better seen as imperial folklore, as the myths of the broader support of all myths-that this war is a “humanitarian intervention,” designed for ” protect civilians. “
Again, the importance of these myths lies in their wide propagation, with little doubt, and the lethal effect. Moreover, can severely distort the ideals of human rights and their invocation of the future, thus helping the continued militarization of Western culture and society.
Just a few days after street protests began on February 21 very quick to defect Libyan deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, said :
“We are expecting a real genocide in Tripoli planes still bringing mercenaries to the airports..” This is excellent: a myth that is composed of myths. With that statement was linked three key myths together – the role of airports (of Hence the need for that gateway drug of military intervention: the no-fly zone), the role of ” mercenaries ” (meaning, simply, black people), and the threat of ” genocide“ (geared toward language of the UN doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect). As goofy and totally unfounded assertion that era, he was intelligent, improvising three horrible myths, one of them grounded in racist discourse and practice that endures to the present, with new atrocities reported against black immigrants in Libya and Africa on a daily basis. He was not alone in making these claims.
Among others like him, Soliman Bouchuiguir, president of the Libyan League for Human Rights , told Reuters on March 14 that if Gaddafi’s forces reached Benghazi, “there will be a suite of royal blood, a slaughter as we saw in Rwanda. “ That’s not the only time he remembered about Rwanda. Here was Lt. General Roméo Dallaire, the much worshiped Canadian force commander of the UN peacekeeping mission for Rwanda in 1994, currently an appointed senator in the Canadian Parliament and co-director of the project will intervene in Concordia University. Dallaire, in a race to judgment dizzying speed, not only made repeated references to Rwanda when trying to explain Libya, he spoke of Gaddafi as “employing genocidal threats to ‘cleanse Libya house by house. ‘”This is a If it was taken selective attention to Gaddafi’s rhetorical excesses too seriously, when on other occasions, the powers that be rather quick to dismiss it: U.S. State Department spokesman, Mark Toner scared Gaddafi alleged threats Europe, saying that Gaddafi is “someone who has given to overblown rhetoric”.
How very calm, by contrast, as very convenient, because on February 23, President Obama said he had instructed his administration to reach a “choice” to take against Gaddafi.
But “genocide” has a well established international legal definition, as seen repeatedly in the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, where genocide involves the persecution of a “one national, ethnical, racial or religious group “.
Not all violence is “genocidal.” domestic violence is not genocide. Genocide is not just “lots of violence” nor violence against undifferentiated civilians. How much Dabbashi, Dallaire, and others do not was to identify the group of national, ethnic, racial or religious persecution, and how they differ in terms of the alleged perpetrators of genocide. They really should know better (and do), one as UN ambassador and the other as a more exalted and lecturer on genocide expert. This suggests that myth-making was either deliberate, or founded on prejudice.
What foreign military intervention did, however, was to enable the actual genocidal violence that has been routinely sidelined until very recently: the horrific violence against African migrants and black Libyans , identified solely on the basis of their skin color .That has carried out unhindered, without apology , and until recently, without much notice . Indeed, the media even collaborates , rapid to assert without evidence that any captured or dead black man must be a “mercenary”. This is the genocide that the white, Western world, and those who dominate the “conversation” about Libya, have missed (and not by accident).
Two. Gaddafi is “bombing his own people”.
We must remember that one of the reasons why early in rushing to impose no-fly zone was to prevent Gaddafi using his air force to bomb “his own people”, a distinct phrasing that echoes what proven in the demonization of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
On February 21, when the first alarmist “warnings” about “genocide“were made by the Libyan opposition, both Al Jazeera and the BBC claimed that Gaddafi had deployed his air force against protesters, as the BBC “reported “: “Witnesses say warplanes have fired on protesters in the city.” However, on March 1, in a press conference at the Pentagon , when asked: ” Did you see any evidence that he [Gaddafi] actually has fired on his own people from the air? There were reports of him, but do you have independent confirmation? If so, to what extent? “answered U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, ” We have seen the press reports, but we have no confirmation of that. ” Backing him up was Admiral Mullen: “That is correct. we ‘ve seen no confirmation whatsoever. “
In fact, claims that Gaddafi also used helicopters against unarmed protesters are totally unfounded, a pure invention based on false claims. This is important since it was Gaddafi’s domination of Libyan air space that foreign interventionists wanted to nullify, and therefore myths of atrocities perpetrated in the air took on added value of providing a starting point for foreign military intervention that went far beyond any mandate to “protect civilians”.
David Kirkpatrick of The New York Times , as early as March 21 confirmed that, “the rebels feel no loyalty to the truth in shaping their propaganda, claiming that there are no battlefield victories, asserting they were still fighting in a key city days after it fell to Qaddafi forces, and making highly exaggerated claims of his barbaric behavior “. The “so inflated claims” are what became part of the folklore of the imperial environment events in Libya, that suited Western intervention. Rarely did the Benghazi-based question journalistic crowd or contradict their hosts.
Three. Save Benghazi.
This article is being written as the Libyan opposition forces march on Sirte and Sabha, the two last remaining strongholds of the Gaddafi government, with ominous warnings to the population to be delivered, or otherwise. Apparently, Benghazi became somewhat of a “holy city” in international discourse dominated by leaders of the European Union and NATO.
Benghazi was the only city on earth that could not touch. It was like a sacred place. Tripoli? Sirte? Sabha? These can be sacrificed, as we all look on, without a hint of protest from any of the existing powers-that, even as the first reports of how the opposition has slaughtered people in Tripoli. So back to the Benghazi myth.
“If we wait another day, “said Barack Obama in his March 28 address , “Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a slaughter that have affected the region and stained the conscience of the world. “
In a joint letter, Obama with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, said:. “By responding immediately, our countries advancing Gaddafi forces stopped the bloodbath he had promised to inflict on the citizens of the besieged city of Benghazi has been prevented. Tens of thousands of lives have been protected. ” Not only French aircraft bombed retreating column, what we saw was a very short column that included trucks and ambulances, and that clearly could have neither destroyed nor occupied Benghazi.
Apart from the “exaggerated rhetoric” Gaddafi, the U.S. were quick to dismiss when it suited its purposes, it is not up to date yet you provided no evidence that programs of Benghazi would have witnessed the loss of “tens of thousands” of lives as proclaimed by Obama.Cameron and Sarkozy This by Professor Alan J. is best explained Kuperman in ” False pretense for war in Libya? “
“The best proof that Gaddafi did not plan genocide in Benghazi is that do not occur in the other cities that were fully or partially recovered, including Zawiya, Misurata, and Ajdabiya, which together have a population greater than Benghazi …. Gaddafi acts were far from Rwanda, Darfur, Congo, Bosnia, and other killing fields …. Despite ubiquitous mobile phones equipped with cameras and video, there is no graphic evidence of deliberate slaughter …. Nor Gaddafi increasingly threatens slaughter of civilians in Benghazi, as Obama says .’s warning ‘mercilessly’, March 17, targeted rebels only, as reported by The New York Times, which noted that Libya’s leader promised a amnesty for those “who throw their weapons away.” Qaddafi even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight “to the bitter end.”
In a bitter irony, what evidence there is of massacres, committed by both sides, is now found in Tripoli in recent days, months after NATO imposed its “life-saving” military measures .
Revenge killings daily reported most frequently, including the slaughter of black Libyans and African migrants by rebel forces. Another sad irony: in Benghazi, which the insurgents have held for months, well after Gaddafi forces were repulsed, not even that has prevented violence: revenge killings have been reported there too, the lowest number 6 below.
April. African mercenaries.
Patrick Cockburn summarized the functional utility of the myth of the “African mercenary” and the context in which it arose: ” Since February, the insurgents, often supported by foreign powers, said the battle was between Gaddafi and his family on the one hand, and the Libyan people, on the other. Their explanation of t that large pro-Gaddafi forces was that they were all mercenaries, mostly from black Africa, whose only motive was money. “
As he notes, black prisoners were put on display for the media (which is a violation of the Geneva Convention), but Amnesty International later found that all the prisoners had supposedly been released since none of them were fighters, but rather were undocumented workers from Mali, Chad and West Africa.
The myth was useful for the opposition to insist that this was a war between “Gaddafi and the Libyan people,” as if he had no domestic support at all an absolute and colossal lie so that one might think that only children small could believe such a fantastic story. Myth is also useful for cementing the intended rupture between “the new Libya” and Pan-Africanism, realigning Libya with Europe and the “modern world”, which the opposition so explicitly crave.
The “African mercenary” myth, as was deadly, racist practice, is a fact that paradoxically has been both documented and ignored it. Months ago he offered me a comprehensive review of the role of the media, led by Al Jazeera, as well as planting media, in creating the African mercenary myth.
Deviations from the norm of vilifying Sub-Saharan Africans and black Libyans that instead documented the abuse of these civilians, were the Los Angeles Times, Human Rights Watch which found no evidence of mercenaries at all in eastern Libya (in contradiction to the claims presented as truth by Al Arabiya and The Telegraph, among others such as TIME and The Guardian).
In a rare departure from the propaganda about the black mercenary threat which Al Jazeera and its journalists helped to actively disseminate, Al Jazeera produced a single report focusing on theft, murder, and abduction of black residents in the eastern Libya (now that CBS , Channel 4 , and others are noting the racism, Al Jazeera is trying to ambiguously show some interest ). Finally, there is a growing recognition of these facts of media collaboration in the racist media defamation of civilian deaths insurgents see FAIR: ” NYT Points Out of the racist overtones of misinformation in Libya, which helped spread “.
The racist attacks and murders of African Saharan black Libyans and continues to the present.
Patrick Cockburn and Kim Sengupta speak of the recently discovered mass of “rotting bodies of 30 men, almost all black and many handcuffed, slaughtered as they lay on stretchers and even in an ambulance in central Tripoli“.
Even while showing us video of hundreds of bodies in the Abu Salim hospital, the BBC dares not highlight the fact that most of those who are clearly black people, and even wonders about who might have killed. This does not is a question for the anti-Gaddafi forces interviewed by Sengupta: “Come and verify. These are blacks, Africans, hired by Gaddafi, mercenaries,” shouted Ahmed Bin Sabri, lifting the tent door to show the body of a dead patient, his gray dark red blood-stained shirt, the saline pipe running into his arm black with flies. Why had an injured man receiving treatment been executed? “
Recent reports reveal the insurgents involved in ethnic cleansing against black Libyans in Tawergha, the insurgents calling themselves “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin,” vowing that in the “new” Libya to Tawergha blacks would be excluded from health care and schooling in nearby Misrata, from which black Libyans had already been expelled by the insurgents.
Today, Human Rights Watch has reported: “Dark Skin Libyans and sub-Saharan Africans face particular risks because rebel forces and other armed groups have often considered them Gadhafi mercenaries from other African countries have seen. Violent attacks and killings of these people in areas where the National Transitional Council took control “.
Amnesty International has also just reported on the disproportionate detention of black Africans in rebel-controlled Al-Zawiya of and the targeting of unarmed, migrant farm workers.
Reports continue to rise as it is being written, with other human rights groups finding evidence of the insurgents targeting Sub-Saharan African migrant workers. As president of the African Union, Jean Ping, recently stated. “NTC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries. All blacks are mercenaries If you do that, it means (that) one third of the population of Libya, which is black , is also mercenaries. they are killing people, normal workers, mistreating them. ” (For more information, see the list of the last reports I have collected.)
The “African mercenary” myth continues to be one of the most vicious of all the myths, and the most racist. Even in recent days, newspapers such as the Boston Globe uncritically and unconditionally show photographs of black victims or black detainees with the immediate assertion that they must be mercenaries, despite the lack of evidence.
Instead, it is usually provided with casual assertions that Gaddafi is ” known to have “recruited Africans from other nations in the past, without even bothering to find out if those shown in the photos are black Libyans. The lynching of two black Libyans and sub-Saharan African migrant workers has been continuous and has not received any expression of concern, even nominal U.S. and NATO members , nor has aroused the interest of the so-called “International Criminal Court”.
It is no coincidence, and some that is justice for the victims, and that is all stop these heinous crimes that clearly constitute a case of ethnic cleansing. The media, only now, is becoming increasingly aware of the need to cover these crimes, if any overlooked for months.
May. Viagra-fueled rapes mass.
The reported crimes and human rights violations of the Gaddafi regime are awful necessary, it is not that one has to wonder why someone would make up stories like that of Gaddafi’s troops, with erections powered by Viagra, going on a rape spree.
Maybe it was sold, because it is the kind of story that ” captures the imagination of the public traumatized “. This article was taken so seriously that some people started writing to Pfizer to get it to stop selling Viagra to Libya, since its product was allegedly used as a weapon of war. People who otherwise should know better, set out deliberately to mislead international public opinion.
The Viagra story was first disseminated by Al Jazeera, in collaboration with its rebel partners, favored by the Qatari regime that funds Al Jazeera. It was then redistributed by almost all other major Western media .
Luis Moreno Ocampo ***(THE RAPIST), chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, appeared before the world media to say that there was “evidence” that Gaddafi distributed Viagra to his troops in order to ” increase the possibility of rape “and that Gaddafi ordered the rape of hundreds of women. Moreno-Ocampo insisted: ” We are receiving information that Gaddafi decided to rape “and that” we have information that there was a policy to rape in Libya those who were against the government. ” Also exclaimed that Viagra is “like a machete,” and that ” Viagra is a tool of massive rape. “
In a surprise to the Security Council of the UN Declaration U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice also asserted that Gaddafi was supplying his troops it with Viagra to encourage mass rape.
She offered no evidence to support THIS claim. In fact, U.S. military and intelligence sources flatly contradicted Rice, telling NBC News that “there is no evidence that Libyan military forces are receiving Viagra and participation in systematic rape against women in rebel areas.” Rice is a liberal interventionist who was one of those to persuade Obama to intervene in Libya. She used this myth because it helped her make the case at the UN that there was no “moral equivalence” between Gaddafi abuses on the rights and insurgent .
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also stated that “Gaddafi’s forces on security and other groups in the region are trying to divide the people by using violence against women and rape as a weapon of war, and United States condemns this in the strongest possible terms. ” He added that it was “deeply concerned” by these reports of “large-scale violations.” (Ha, so far, said nothing at all about racist lynchings of the rebels .)
On June 10, Cherif Bassiouni, who is leading an inquiry into the rights of the United Nations on the situation in Libya, suggested that the reporting of Viagra and mass rape was part of a “ massive hysteria “.
In fact, both sides of the war have made the same accusations against each other. Bassiouni also told the press of a case of “a woman who claimed to have sent 70,000 questionnaires and received 60,000 responses, of which 259 reported sexual abuse “.
However, his teams asked for those questionnaires, they never will-“was, but she goes around the world telling everybody about it … so now I have that information to Ocampo and Ocampo is convinced that here we have potential 259 women who have responded to the fact that they have been sexually abused, “Bassiouni said.
He also noted that “there appears to be credible that the woman was able to send 70,000 questionnaires in March when the postal service was not working “.
In fact, Bassiouni’s team “uncovered only four alleged cases” of rape and sexual abuse: ” Can we come to a conclusion that there is a systematic policy of rape in my opinion, can not we? “. In addition to the UN, Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International said in an interview with French daily Libération , that Amnesty had “not found cases of rape ….
Not only we are not all victims, but we have not even met people who have met victims. Regarding boxes Viagra that Gaddafi is supposed to have had distributed, which were found intact near tanks that were burned completely. “
However, this did not stop some news manufacturers from trying to maintain the rape claims, in modified form.
The BBC came to add another layer of only a few days after Bassiouni humiliated the ICC and the media: the BBC now claimed that rape victims in Libya “honor killings” faced. This is news to the few Libyans I know, who ever heard talk about honor killings in their country.
The academic literature on Libya turns into little or nothing on this phenomenon in Libya. Myth of honor crimes serves a useful purpose for keeping the mass rape claim on life support: it suggests that women no show and witness, for shame. Also just a few days after Bassiouni spoke, Libyan insurgents, in collaboration with CNN, made a last effort to save the rape allegations: a cell phone with a video of the violation it was presented ., claiming that it belonged to a soldier of the government of men appearing in the video are in civilian clothes. No evidence of Viagra. It is no date on the video and we have no idea who recorded it or where. Those with mobile phone stated that many other videos existed, but they were conveniently being destroyed to preserve the “honor” of the victims.
6. Responsibility to Protect (R2P).
Having asserted, wrongly as we saw, that Libya before the impending “genocide” at the hands of Gaddafi’s forces, it became easier for Western powers to invoke 2005 UN doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect .
Meanwhile, it is not entirely clear at the time that the Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 that the violence in Libya had even reached the levels seen in Egypt, Syria and Yemen.
The most common refrain against critics of the selectivity of this supposed “humanitarian interventionism” is that the fact that the West can not intervene everywhere does not mean it should not intervene in Libya. Maybe … but that still does not explain why Libya was the chosen destination. This is a critical point because some of the first reviews of theR2P expressed in the UN raised the issue of selectivity, of who decides and why some crises where civilians are targeted ( eg Gaza) are essentially ignored, while others receive maximum concern, and whether R2P served as the new fig leaf for hegemonic geopolitics.
The myth at work here is that foreign military intervention was guided by humanitarian concerns. For the myth, one has to willfully ignore at least three key realities.
One you have to ignore the new scramble for Africa, where Chinese interests are seen as competing with the West for access to resources and political influence, something thatAFRICOM wants to challenge .
Gaddafi challenged AFRICOM’s intent to establish military bases in Africa. AFRICOM has become directly involved in the Libya intervention and specifically ” Operation Odyssey Dawn “.
Horace Campbell argued that ” U.S. involvement in the bombing of Libya is becoming a public relations ploy for AFRICOM “and an” opportunity to give AFRICOM credibility under the facade of the Libyan intervention “. In addition, Gaddafi’s power and influence on the continent had also been increasing, through aid, investment, and a series of projects designed to reduce Africa’s dependence on the West and to challenge Western institutions multilateral by building African unity it represented a rival U.S. interests.
Secondly, you have to just ignore the anxiety of Western oil interests on “Gaddafi resource nationalism “(threatening to take back what oil companies had gained), an anxiety now clearly manifest in the European corporate rush Libya to collect the spoils of victory, but one has to ignore the fear of what Gaddafi was doing with those oil revenues in supporting greater African economic independence, and for history to support national liberation movements that challenged Western hegemony.
Thirdly, one has to also ignore the fear in Washington that the U.S. was losing control over the course of the ” Arab revolution “. How can stack up these realities, and match them against ambiguous and partial “humanitarian concerns”, then the conclusion that, yes, human rights is what mattered most, seems entirely implausible and unconvincing- especially with the atrocious record of NATO and the U.S. violations of human rights in Afghanistan, Iraq, and before that Kosovo [Serbia]. The humanitarian perspective is simply neither credible nor even minimally logical.
If R2P is seen as founded on moral hypocrisy and contradiction -now definitively revealed-it will become much more difficult in the future to cry wolf again and expect to get a respectful hearing. This is especially the case since little in the way of diplomacy and peaceful negotiation preceded the military intervention-while Obama is accused by some of having been slow to react, this was if anything a rush to war, in a rate that far surpassed by Bush’s invasion of Iraq.
We not only know of the African Union about how its efforts to establish a peaceful transition were impeded, but Dennis Kucinich also reveals that received reports that a peaceful solution is at hand, only to be ” scuttled by officials of the Department. “These are absolutely critical violations of the R2P doctrine, showing how those ideals could instead be used for a practice that involved a hasty march to war, and war aimed at regime change ( which is itself a violation of international law ).
That R2P served as a justifying myth that often achieved the opposite of its stated objectives, it is no longer a surprise. I’m talking not even here the role of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in bombing Libya and aiding the insurgents, even as a copy of the Saudi military intervention to crush the pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, nor of cast ugly mantle in an intervention led by consumer tastes indisputable human rights who have committed war crimes with impunity in Kosovo [Serbia], Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am taking a narrower approach, such as the documented cases where NATO even not only willfully failed to protect civilians in Libya, but deliberately and consciously attacked in a manner that constitutes terrorism by most definitions officers used by Western governments.
NATO admitted to deliberately targeting Libya’s state television, killing three civilian reporters, in a move condemned by international journalist federations as a direct violation of resolution 2006 of the Security Council which prohibits attacks against journalists.
A U.S. Apache helicopter in a repeat of the infamous crimes listed in the Collateral Murder video – gunned down civilians in the central square of Zawiya, killing the brother of the information minister among others. Taking a fairly wide of what constitutes “command and control facilities” concept targeting NATO civilian residential space resulting in the death of some of the members of the Gaddafi family, including three grandchildren .
As if to protect the myth of “protecting civilians” and the unconscionable contradiction of a “war for human rights“, the mainstream media often kept silent about civilian deaths caused by NATO bombings.
R2P has been invisible when it comes to civilians targeted by NATO.
As for the failure to protect civilians, so that’s actually a international crime, have numerous reports of NATO ships ignoring the distress calls of refugee boats in the Mediterranean fleeing Libya.
In May, 61 African refugees died on a single vessel, despite making contact with vessels belonging to NATO member states. In a repeat of the situation, dozens died in early August on another vessel.
In fact, NATO Watch, at least 1,500 refugees fleeing Libya have died at sea since the war began. Were mostly sub-Saharan Africans , and they died in multiples of the death toll suffered by Benghazi during the protests. R2P was utterly absent for these people.
NATO has developed a peculiar terminological twist for Libya, designed to absolve the rebels of any role in the commission of crimes against civilians, and abdicating its responsibility to protect call.
Throughout the war, spokespersons for NATO and the governments of the U.S. and Europe always portrayed all actions of the Gaddafi forces as “threatening civilians,” even when in either defensive actions, or combat against armed opponents.
For example, this week the NATO spokesperson, Roland Lavoie , “appeared to struggle to explain how NATO strikes were protecting civilians at this stage in the conflict. Asked about NATO’s assertion that hit 22 armed vehicles near Sirte on Monday, was unable to say how the vehicles were threatening civilians, or whether they were in motion or parked. “
By protecting the rebels, to the same extent that spoke of protecting civilians, it is clear that NATO intended to see Gaddafi’s armed opponents as mere civilians.
Interestingly, in Afghanistan, where NATO and the U.S. fund, train and armed that Karzai regime in attacking “his own people” (as they do in Pakistan), the armed opponents are labeled “terrorists” or “insurgents”-even if most of them are civilians who have never served in an army of official recognition. They are insurgents in Afghanistan, and their deaths at the hands of NATO are listed separately counts of civilian casualties. By magic, in Libya, they are all “civilians”. In response to the announcement of the UN Security Council voting for military intervention, a volunteer translator for Western reporters in Tripoli made this key observation : “? Civilians holding guns, and want to protect it is a joke . We are civilians. What about us? “
NATO has been a shield for the insurgents in Libya to victimize unarmed civilians in areas they came to occupy. There was no hint of any “responsibility to protect” in these cases. NATO helped the rebels in the famine of Tripoli of supplies, subjecting its civilian population to a site that deprived those of water, food, medicine and fuel.
When Gaddafi was accused of doing this to Misrata, the international media were quick to cite this as a war crime.
Save Misrata, kill Tripoli -whatever you want to label as “logic” humanitarian is not an acceptable option. Leaving aside the documented crimes by the insurgents against black Libyans and African migrant workers, the insurgents were also found by Human Rights Watch to have engaged in “looting, arson, and abuse of civilians in [four] people recently captured in western Libya. “
In Benghazi, which the insurgents have held for months now, revenge killings have been reported by The New York Times as late as May this year, and by Amnesty International in late June and the judgment of the Board of the National Transitional insurgents. Responsibility to Protect? was now sounds like something deserving wild mockery.
7. Gaddafi, the Devil.
Depending on your perspective, either Gaddafi is a heroic revolutionary, and thus the demonization by the West is extreme, or Gaddafi is a very bad man, in which case the demonization is unnecessary and absurd.
The myth is that the history of power Gaddafi was marked by atrocity, only that he is completely evil, without any redeeming qualities, and anyone accused of being a “follower of Gaddafi” must somehow feel more ashamed than those who openly support NATO.
This is binary absolutism at its worst, virtually any permission made regarding the possibility that some may not support Gaddafi, the insurgents, nor NATO. Everyone was to be forced into one of these fields, no exceptions allowed. The result was a phony debate, dominated by fanatics of either side. lost in the discussion, recognition of the obvious: however much Gaddafi had been “in bed” with the West in the last decade, his forces were now fighting NATO-driven take over of his country.
The other result was the impoverishment of historical consciousness, and the degradation of more complex appreciations of the full breadth of the Gaddafi record. This would help explain why some do not rush to condemn and disown the man (without having to resort to crude caricature children and their motivations).
While even Glenn Greenwald feels the need to properly insert, “No decent human being possibly harboring any sympathy for Gaddafi,” I have known decent human beings in Nicaragua, Trinidad, Dominica, and among the Mohawks in Montreal, I very much appreciate Gaddafi’s support -not to mention his support for various national liberation movements, including the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
Gaddafi regime has many faces: some are seen by his domestic opponents, others are seen by recipients of his aid, and others smiled at the likes of Silvio Berlusconi, Nicolas Sarkozy, Condoleeza Rice, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama .
There are many faces, and they are both true. Some refuse to “disown” Gaddafi, to “apologize” for his friendship towards them, no matter how distasteful, indecent, and embarrassing other “progressives” may find him. That has to be respected, instead of this now fashionable bullying bumps and the gang that reduces a range of positions on a lesser charge: “you support a dictator” . Ironically, we support many dictators, with our own tax money, and they usually offer no apologies for this fact.
Speaking of the breadth of Gaddafi registration, which must resist the simplistic reduction revisionist, some might care to note that even now , the U.S. State Department website in Libya points to a Library of Congress Country Study on Libya that features some of the Gaddafi government many social welfare achievements in recent years in the areas of health care, public housing and the education. In addition, Libyans have the highest literacy rate in Africa (see UNDP, p 171.) And Libya is the only African country to “high” in the Human Development Index of UNDP. Even the BBC recognized these achievements:
” Women in Libya are free to work and to dress as they like, subject to family obligations. Life expectancy is in the seventies. And per capita income-while not as high as could be expected given Libya ‘s oil wealth and relatively small p -offering of 6.5 m is estimated at $ 12,000 (£ 9,000), according to the World Bank. Illiteracy has been almost wiped out because homelessness is a chronic problem in the pre-Gaddafi era where corrugated iron shacks dotted many urban centers around the country. “
So if one supports health care, makes a medium compatible with dictatorship? And if “the dictator” funds public housing and subsidizes incomes, which simply erasing facts from our memory?
8. Freedom Fighters of Angels.
The complement to the demonization of Gaddafi was the angelization of the “rebels” .My goal here is not to counter the myth through investment, and demonizing all of Gaddafi’s opponents, who have many serious and legitimate grievances, and in large numbers have clearly had more than they can bear. I am interested in place as “we” in the North Atlantic part of the equation, the construction of the ways that suit our intervention.
A standard way, repeated in different ways through a range of media and government spokesmen U.S. , can be seen in this New York Times ‘ depiction of the rebels as “secular-minded professionals- lawyers , academics, businesspeople-who talk about democracy, transparency, human rights and the rule of law. “
The list of professions familiar to the American middle class which respects them, is meant to inspire a shared sense of identification between readers and the Libyan opposition, especially when you consider that it is in the hand of Gaddafi, where the forces of darkness dwell: the main “professions” we find are torturer, terrorist, and African mercenary.
For many weeks it was almost impossible to get reporters embedded with the rebel National Transitional Council in Benghazi to begin to provide a description of what constitutes anti-Gaddafi movement, if it was one organization or many groups, what their agendas They were, and so on.
The subtle thread in the reports was that cast the rebellion as entirely spontaneous and indigenous – that may be true in part, and may also be an oversimplification.
Among the reports that significantly complicated the picture were those that discussed the CIA ties to the insurgents (for more information, see this , this , this , and that ), while others highlighted the role of the National Foundation for Democracy, the International Republican Institute , the National Democratic Institute and USAID , which have been active in Libya since 2005 , which detailed the role of various expatriate groups , and reports of the active role of “radical Islamist” militias embedded within the overall insurgency, with some pointing to Al Qaeda connections .
Some feel a definite need to be on the side of “good, “especially as neither Iraq nor Afghanistan offer a sense as fair claim. Americans want the world to see them as doing good, it is, not only indispensable, but also irreproachable. You can wish for anything better than being seen as the forgiveness of their sins in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a special moment, where the bad guy can safely be the other once again. A world that is safe for America is a world that is unsafe for evil. Marching Band, cane handles, Anderson Cooper , confetti, we got it.
9. The victory for the Libyan people.
To say that the current turn in Libya represents a victory by the Libyan people in charting their own destiny, at best, an oversimplification that masks the range of interests involved from the beginning in the development and determining the course of events on the ground, and that ignores the fact that much of the war Gaddafi was able to rely on a solid base of popular support.
As early as February 25, just one week after the start of the first street protests, Nicolas Sarkozy had already determined that Gaddafi “must go”. On 28 February, David Cameron, began working on a proposal for a no-fly exclusion of these statements and decisions were made without any attempt at dialogue and diplomacy.
At March 30, The New York Times reported that for “several weeks” CIA operatives had been working inside Libya, which would mean they were there from mid-February, ie, when the protests began-they were joined then inside Libya “dozens of British special forces officers and intelligence MI6. “
The New York Times also reported in the same article that “several weeks” before (again, in mid-February), President Obama Several “signed a secret finding authorizing the CIA to provide arms and other support to the rebels Libyans “with the support of” other “has a number of possible” covert actions “.
USAID had already sent a team to Libya in early March. late March, Obama publicly stated that the goal was to overthrow Gaddafi. In terms awfully suspicious, ” said a senior U.S. administration had hoped that the Libyan uprising would evolve ‘organically, ‘like those in Tunisia and Egypt, without foreign intervention “sounding as t exactly what kind of statesmen ta makes when something begins in a way that is not “organic” and when comparing events in Libya, marked by a potential legitimacy deficit when compared to those in Tunisia and Egypt.
However, on March 14 the NTC Abdel Hafiz Goga said: “We are able to control all of Libya, but only after the no-fly zone is imposed we”-that is not yet the case even six months later.
In recent days it has also revealed that what the rebel leadership swore, “boots foreign field” oppose is actually a reality confirmed by NATO ” troops of special forces from Britain, France Jordan and Qatar on the ground in Libya have stepped up operations in Tripoli and other cities in recent days to help rebel forces as they conducted their final advance on the Gaddafi regime. “
This, and other summaries only scratching the surface of the range of external support provided to the rebels. Myth is that nationalist, self-sufficient rebel, fueled entirely by popular support.
At the moment, war supporters are proclaiming the intervention a “success”. It should be noted that there was another case in which an air campaign, deployed to support local armed militia on the ground, with the help of U.S. covert military operations, also succeeded in deposing another regime, and even much faster. That case was Afghanistan. Success.
10. Defeat of “the left.”
As if reenacting the pattern of articles condemning “the left” that came in the wake of the Iran election protests in 2009 (see as examples Hamid Dabashi and Slavoj Žižek ), the war in Libya once again seemed to have submitted a chance to go to the left, as if this were top on the agenda, as if “the left” was the problem to be addressed.
Here we see articles, in various states of intellectual and political deterioration, by Juan Cole (see some of the rebuttals: ” The case of Professor Juan Cole, “” An open letter to Professor Juan Cole: The answer to a libel “,” WSWS ‘answers’ Professor Cole on Libya: An admission of intellectual and political bankruptcy“), Gilbert Achcar (and this especially), Immanuel Wallerstein, and Helena Sheehan who apparently some of its most important conclusions reached in the airport at the end of his first visit to Tripoli.
There seems to be some confusion over roles and identities. There is no homogeneous left, nor me ideological agreement among anti-imperialists (which includes conservatives and liberals, between anarchists and Marxists).
Nor was the “anti-imperialist left” in any position to make a real or damage on the ground, as in the case of the actual protagonists.
There was little chance that the anti-interventionists in influencing foreign policy, which took shape in Washington, before the serious critiques against intervention were published.
These points indicate that at least some of the reviews are moved by concerns that go beyond Libya, and they even have little to do with Libya ultimately. The most common accusation is that the anti-imperialist left is somehow coddling a dictator.
The argument is that this is based on a flawed analysis-in criticizing the position of Hugo Chávez, Wallerstein says Chávez’s analysis is deeply flawed, and offers this among the criticisms: “The second point missed by Hugo Chavez’s analysis is that there is not going any significant military involvement of the western world in Libya “(yes, read it again). In fact, many of the counterarguments deployed against the anti-interventionist eco left or all the top myths that were dismantled above, that get their breed almost entirely wrong geopolitical analysis, and that pursue politics focused on part on personality and events of the day. This also shows us the deep poverty of the policy assumptions primarily on simplistic and one-sided ideas of “human rights” and “protection”(see Richard Falk’s critique), and the success of the new military humanism in diverting the energies left.
And a question persists: if those opposed to intervention were faulted for providing a moral shield for “dictatorship” (as if imperialism was not itself one global dictatorship), what about those humanitarians who have supported increasing xenophobia and racism militants so many accounts engage in ethnic cleansing?
Does this mean that the pro-interventionist people racist? Even object racism? So far, I have heard only silence from those quarters.
The agenda on the forehead, beating masks anti-imperialist straw man an effort to curb dissent against an unnecessary war that has lasted and expanded human suffering; advanced the cause of war corporatists, transnational companies and neoliberals, destroyed the legitimacy of multilateral institutions that were once openly committed to peace in international relations; violated international law and human rights, witnessed the emergence of racist violence, to the imperial state to justify its continued expansion, violated national laws, and reduces the discourse of humanitarianism to a mere handful of slogans, reactionary impulses, and policy formulas that privilege war as a first option.
Actually, the left is the problem here?
Maximilian Forte is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada Professor. Their website can be found at http://openanthropology.org/ ~ ~ V like his previous articles on Libya and other facets of imperialism.