A victory for the people of Libya? Ten myths of the war against Libya


A victory for the people of Libya? Ten myths of the war against Libya

By:  Maximilian C. FORTE

1.  Genocide
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.

1. Genocide.

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 “genocidewere 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  AfghanistanIraq, 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.

5 comments on “A victory for the people of Libya? Ten myths of the war against Libya

      • Of course, it is not your article. It is in fact written by a Jew and they love to join one side or another and slip their holohoax lies in. Your website is the number one Libyan site by the way.

        • I am glad to hear it. Gives me strength to continue, although I have to tell you that from next week till the 22/2 I will not be writing as I will be going home (Libya) to see for my own eyes what is really going on.

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