The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in late March held a summit inNewDelhi, which can be considered the beginning of a new global financial and political order. In five years this world will be unrecognizable. The Anglo-Saxon model of governance of the world that flourished in the 1990s is losing its way and is being replaced by the Sino-Russian one. Yuan came close to international recognition, and with the adoption of Brazil and India into the UN Security Councilthe West will lose its political hegemony.
In 2008, the Wall Street’s practice of inflating financial bubbles in alliance with the U.S. Congress led to the collapse of neoliberalism. As Western politicians have not been able to build a coherent model of its resuscitation, the financial crisis is smoothly transforming into the political one. If President Obama advocates for the return of the industry to the country, what kind of subsequent prosperity of the United States are we talking about? The globalized economy has gradually shifted production to China, India and Brazil, where labor is cheaper, and tax and other legislation is much softer. So far there are no obvious reasons as to why Obama will return it to the United States.
This year, the BRICS countries provided 56 percent of world GDP growth, while the share of the richest of seven (G7) is only 9.5. In 2035 the BRICS countries will outrun G7 in terms of the economic potential. The volume of trade within the block grew from $27 billion in 2002 to $250 billion in2011.
The main interests of the groups include the need to change the present world order, which is based on the global leadership of the U.S. dollar and its leading position as a major world currency. This order was approved by the agreements in Bretton Woods in 1944, at the end of World War II. The U.S. allies in Europe panicked before the inevitable spread of Soviet socialism and were happy to have hidden under the wing of the economically powerful neighbor in the Atlantic.
The economic rationale for cooperation among the BRICS is cleartoday, but more serious political points of contact are found. Here Russia rules, because it was President Medvedev who most emphatically called for political unity. The unity for the first time was obvious on the Libyan issue.
The countries agreed to abstain on the vote of resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council, and after the military operation were critical of the coalition of NATO. This unity can be described today as “friendship against NATO.” Russia, despite a smaller contribution to the global economy (two to three percent of 18), is considered promising for investments due to the large potential of the consumer market and sustainable autonomous growth.
South Africa (39 per cent of the GDP of all sub-Saharan Africa) joined the block on the invitation to make the alliance global and build a “bridge” to Brazil. In addition, the partners of South Africa in the BRICS gained access to the promising African market, which is particularly important for Brazil and China.
At a recent summit in New Delhi two important statements were made. The first one is geo-financial (about creating a joint DevelopmentBankin future) and the second – geopolitical (condemning the war rhetoric and sanctions of the West against Iran and Syria). It should be noted that the leading U.S. media angrily commented on these statements.
The FinancialTimes, for example, published an article stating that the BRICS countries are asking for more power in the IMF. The paper concludes that if the BRICS are unable to overthrow the American director and replace him with a single candidate, the block will cease to fund the IMF and will focus on the Development Bank mentioned in New Delhi. The American press has stressed that the Development Bank is not to rival the IMF. This is a strange statement, considering that the China Development Bank has a capital of two times greater than the entire capital of the IMF.
The Washington Post noted the BRICS’s opposition to Iran and Syria. The newspaper wrote that the block has made a significant geopolitical move, namely, condemned the military threats against Iran and Syria. In fact, the collective claims were filed against the sanctions of the West that are detrimental to trade with these countries. This means that in case of the negative development of events this position may become more serious.
This was stated by the President of Brazil Dilma Russef, who promised that at the next summit of G20 in July the BRICS will make a joint political statement. Perhaps, the criticism will be heavier at the end of the campaign in the U.S. The BRICS are unwilling to press Obama, who is more acceptable for them than any of the Republican “hawks.”
The Washington Post pointed out that the countries of the block will never find a common platform for a political union. The newspaper quoted a former Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Lalit Mansinha, who assured that all the countries of the Union have issues with China, and said that before challenging the United States they should think hard. He thinks that Beijing and New Delhi have strong border disputes and Russia is increasing its military spending to counter China. There is also rivalry between Brazil and China in Africa and the expansion of the Chinese goods causes discontent of the Brazilians.
However, first, the NATO countries do not always come to a consensus on all issues, and, second, every country has its own internal benefit. The foreign factor that unites the BRICS countries is the desire to push the US dollar from the leading positions, to oust the U.S. from the Middle East, not to decolonize Africa and to deprive it of the economic and hence political influence in developing countries. This is what the Development Bank will engage in. It assumes the creation of lines of credit in national currency and financing of the developing economies.
The work in this direction has been already started, and both China and Russia in recent years reduced their national reserves in US dollars, preferring to invest in other assets. Everything leads to the fact that in five years the Yuan will be a major world currency, and China – the main engine of the global economy.
The mutual trade turnover of the BRICS over the years will reach $500 billion with growth of 28 percent per year. The BRICS will become a major global player in the political arena, all the leaders of the block are convinced. Dmitry Medvedev said after a meeting in New Delhi that “Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa must transform their alliance into a full-fledged mechanism for international influence and move from discussion of purely economic issues to developing positions on political issues.”
Medvedev said that the BRICS countries are not satisfied with the fact that the UN is used to cover the actions to offset unwanted modes, and will advocate for the inclusion of its partners as a permanent member of UN Security Council. He was echoed by Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, who noted that “the prosperity of the BRICS is associated with the geopolitical situation.” While China is the economic leader, Russia is the political leader of the BRICS. This “axis” is a serious concern for the West, and later through the media it will in every way try to minimize the successes of the BRICS, as it feels threatened.
The political benefits of Brazil and India are also obvious. Traditionally on the sidelines of the world politics, these countries finally got the opportunity to realize their ambitions through the BRICS. For the first time they are talked about as a giant, and not only on the regional scale. With regard to South Africa, after its entry into the union for the first time sub-Saharan Africa ceased to be referred to as “miserable and poor.”
Among the many comments we have read and received on the alleged death of Gaddafi, the one most often repeated goes something like this:
‘Gaddafi was a brutal dictator who deserved what he got‘.
The widely-held belief (at least in Western nations) that Gaddafi was a ‘brutal dictator‘ is the result of over 30 years of (primarily) US, British and French propaganda against the former Libyan leader.
The reasons for this long-running propaganda campaign are many, but chief among them is the fact that Gaddafi was not only fiercely independent as regards his native land, but he persistently sought to bring financial independence to other African nations.
It’s The Media Stupid!
The average person in the street seems to find it difficult to grasp the idea that the ‘national interests’ of democratic governments often run counter to democratic ideals and that, in pursuing such interests, governments will attempt to maintain the appearance of remaining faithful to democratic ideals.
Another way to say this is that governments will lie about their undemocratic activities in order to maintain a facade of democracy and thereby avoid disturbing the population. (For those who may have, understandably, forgotten the core democratic principles, check this link for a short refresher course.)
The maintenance of a democratic façade while pursuing undemocratic ‘interests’ is today only possible with the committed and almost unanimous connivance of the mainstream media, which unfailingly disseminates government propaganda to the people, and which the people in turn accept as gospel truth in the belief that the press is free and independent of government control.
The truth of this can easily be verified by anyone with a computer and a little time to do some research of their own.
The extent of the actual freedom of the ‘free press’ can also be ascertained by revisiting the way in which the Western media blindly accepted and reported as truth government lies prior to and after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
It is reasonable then to conclude that the Western media, by and large, acts as a ‘Ministry of Propaganda‘ for Western governments, especially in situations where government(s) are pursuing policies that are at variance with democratic ideals.
So, in light of all that, let’s consider the question:
“was Gaddafi really a ‘brutal dictator’?”
Gaddafi’s Real “Crimes”
Gaddafi with Mandela
Throughout his reign, Gaddafi insisted on a much larger (and fairer) share of his country’s oil profits than multinational oil companies were used to accepting.
What is beyond dispute is that Gaddafi used his nation’s oil wealth to turn Libya into the most progressive and modern of all African nations.
In a 2007 African executive magazine it was noted that Libya,
“unlike other oil producing countries such as Nigeria [where major Western oil companies have a stranglehold on the government], utilized the revenue from its oil to develop its country.”
Throughout most of Gaddafi’s rule, Libyan citizens enjoyed free health care, free education and free electricity and water.
“Car purchases for every citizen were 50% subsidized by the government. Gas in Gaddafi’s Libya was $0.14 per liter. Under this ‘brutal dictator‘, the mother of every newborn child received $5,000. All these, and many other social benefits under Gaddafi, make the supposedly socialist systems of France and other European nations look like predatory capitalist regimes.
Today, with Gaddafi ‘gone’, Libya’s generous social benefits and the formerly high standard of living of its citizens are under serious threat from the new pro-Western puppet regime.
Gaddafi was also instrumental in establishing the African Union. He invested heavily and generously, to the tune of $6 billion, in many other African nations. Throughout Africa, hospitals, schools, hotels and roads bear Gaddafi’s name as a sign of gratitude to the ‘brutal dictator’. Libyan investments have helped to connect most of Africa by telephone, television, radio broadcasting, etc.
Many major African companies, in which Gaddafi had invested via the ‘Libya Arab Africa Investment Portfolio’, now face financial ruin as Libyan oil money is diverted to the West under Libya’s new rulers.
But undoubtedly the greatest threat posed by Gaddafi to NATO warmongers was his efforts to fast-track the creation of an African Monetary Fund and an African Central Bank and to establish the gold dinar as a pan-African currency (Libya has 144 tons of gold with a population of jut 6 million, no external debt and $150 billion in cash reserves).
Gaddafi’s idea was that African and Muslim nations would join together to create this new currency and use it to purchase oil and other resources to the exclusion of the dollar and other currencies.
“an idea that would shift the economic balance of the world“,
…Gaddafi’s plans for a radical financial overhaul of African economies would undoubtedly have sounded the death knell for IMF looting of African economies, not to mention the ‘CFA Franc‘, a colonial currency tied to the Euro and the French central bank and used in twelve formerly French-ruled African countries (hence the unbridled enthusiasm with which the French government joined the fray).
Writing in April 2011 for the London Evening Post, writer Jean-Paul Pougala had this to say about Gaddafi:
“For most Africans, Gaddafi is a generous man, a humanist, known for his unselfish support for the struggle against the racist regime in South Africa. If he had been an egotist, he wouldn’t have risked the wrath of the West to help the ANC both militarily and financially in the fight against apartheid. This was why Mandela, soon after his release from 27 years in jail, decided to break the UN embargo and travel to Libya on 23 October 1997. Mandela didn’t mince his words when the former US president Bill Clinton said the visit was an ‘unwelcome’ one:
“No country can claim to be the policeman of the world and no state can dictate to another what it should do.”
“Those that yesterday were friends of our enemies have the gall today to tell me not to visit my brother Gaddafi, they are advising us to be ungrateful and forget our friends of the past.”
A “generous humanist“? Dare we say a genuine socialist?
The late African freedom fighter, Kwame Ture, further characterized Gaddafi as ‘a diamond in a cesspool of African misleaders’. “African misleaders” installed and financed by Western governments.
Writing in September this year in the Guardian, Julian Borger and Terry Macalister pointed outthat Western oil companies had planned to carve up Libyan oil before the so-called ‘revolution’.
The Egyptian uprising was more or less legitimate based on the psychopathic policies of a real ‘brutal dictator’ – Hosni Mubarak - who had brought millions of Egyptians to the brink of starvation. And take note how Mubarak was dealt with in comparison to Gaddafi. But no such conditions existed in socialist Libya.
Perhaps all of this helps us to understand why, in July this year, huge crowds of Libyans thronged the streets of Tripoli in support of Gaddafi and why recent polls suggested that 90% of the Libyan population supported their ‘brutal dictator’.
Perhaps we can also understand why images such as the one below are being touted by the Western media as ‘crowds of Libyans queuing to ‘gawp’ at the ‘brutal dictator’s dead body’:
Not very convincing ‘crowd’ queues to see the ‘brutal dictator’s body.
It should come as no surprise then to realize that allegations of ‘war crimes’ leveled at pro-Gaddafi forces and that Gaddafi “bombed his own people” during the NATO bombing campaign were simply a continuation of the decades-long demonization of the Libyan Leader, and were designed to cover up the fact that, just as we saw during the prelude to the ‘humanitarian war to save Kosovars’ in 1999 (when “tremendous efforts were undertaken to discover evidence of war crimes“), it was NATO bombs which took the lives of thousands of Libyan civilians.
During a bombing raid on 30 April, Gaddafi’s son, Saif el-Arab, 29, as well as three of his grandchildren, were killed. The four-month-old daughter of Gaddafi’s daughter Aisha was among those murdered.
Down The Rat Hole
Was it really Colonel Muammar Gaddafi who was dragged out of that ‘rat hole’?
The story of Gaddafi’s ‘death’ strikes me as a little too similar to that ofSaddam Hussein (pulled from a ‘spider hole’, ‘hiding like a rat’, etc.) and the images and videos that are doing the rounds on the mainstream media sites are far too grainy to be proof of anything.
At least one of them (below) is clearly a doctored version of an image purportedly taken at the site of Osama Bin Laden’s death, which in itself could be taken as evidence that the same people were involved in both staged events.
Look at ‘Gaddafi’s’ left shoulder.
The pictures of the dead men at ‘Bin Laden’s compound‘ contained one of a man with a toy ‘water gun’ beneath him. The gun was bright green, the blood was dark red, and the man wore a white shirt and had dark black hair. He also had one hand across his chest.
Here’s the original:
Look familiar? The CIA photoshopper simply flipped the image and put Gaddafi’s face on it. The water gun was moved slightly so that the orange on the gun is no longer visible. (Hat-tip to Pundit Press for pointing this out.)
The real Muammar al-Gaddafi has some rather distinctive facial features:
Also called ‘drooping eyelid‘, ptosis is caused by weakness of the muscle responsible for raising the eyelid, damage to the nerves that control those muscles, or looseness of the skin of the upper eyelids.
Whether a genetic trait or a result of aging or plastic surgery, Gaddafi had it. The other distinctive feature is some marked ‘wrinkles’ extending diagonally from the corner of his eyes across his cheek-bones. Check any images of the ‘brutal dictator’ from the past few years and you’ll see these prominent lines in every image.
Now, check out the ‘dead Gaddafi’:
What happened to the ‘drooping eyelids’ and the wrinkle lines?Same man?
In public appearances over the past few years, Gaddafi appeared with a respectable head of hair for a man his age.
Here he is with Berlusconi in 2009:
And another image taken during the same year:
While we were unable to find any images of the back of Gaddafi’s head, we think the above two provide a decent enough view to conclude that he had a significant amount of hair covering his whole head (marked receding on the front sides notwithstanding).
Compare the above images with a still from the ‘capture video’ showing the top of the head of the man who was dragged out of the ‘rat hole’:
Thinning on top – ‘rat-hole Gaddafi’
Granted, in the first images of Gaddafi above, he could well be wearing a wig or hair-piece.
Curiously enough, the Washington Post went out of its way to explain that DNA tests conducted by Libyan doctors on the man they pulled out of the ‘rat-hole’ confirmed that the hair onhis head was not Moammar Gaddafi’sbecause the unlucky stooge was wearing a wig.
What are we supposed to believe here? That they ran identity-verification tests on a wig?! Are they that stupid? Hardly.
It’s more likely that they ran tests on real hair because clearly ‘rat hole Gaddafi‘ DID have some hair. But when there was no match, the wig was set upto take the blame.
What else are we to conclude from the comment in the Washington Post that “the hair was not Moammar Gaddafi’s” other than the man pulled from the rat hole was not Muammar Gaddafi?
Decades of Lies
We’re still eagerly awaiting the scenes of mass jubilation among Libyan citizens at the alleged demise of their ‘brutal dictator’.
We suppose it might take a while to convince the 90% of the Libyan population which supports Gaddafi that a Western puppet government and economic occupation by Western corporations is actually a good thing.
The statements made by Western leaders about Gaddafi’s ‘crimes’ as they gloated over the brutal televised murder of some poor unfortunate in Libya were revolting, to me anyway.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that October 20th was:
“a day to remember all of Gaddafi’s victims, from those who died in connection with the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, to Yvonne Fletcher in a London Street, and obviously all of the victims of IRA terrorism who died through their use of Libyan Semtex. We should also remember the many many Libyans who died at the hands of this brutal dictator and his regime.”
Omitted from the end of Cameron’s statement was ‘and we should also remember that I’m lying through my teeth.’
Of course, British tabloids like The Sun, are only too happy to parrot Cameron’s nonsense in typically jingoistic fashion:
But let’s have a quick review of ‘Gaddafi’s crimes‘ as reported by Cameron.
The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland. This was clearly a false-flag operation designed to demonize Libya. See the website of the father of one of the victims, Dr. Jim Swire, for the evidence. Libya has never accepted responsibility for the bombing of Flight 103, but instead paid compensation to the families to “buy peace” i.e. attempted reintegration into the Western elite. Mathaba: the witnesses that testified against Libya later admitted they were each paid $4 million to lie for the US and later recanted their evidence.
The murder of Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher in St. James’ Square, London, in April 1984. Blamed on Libya, there is in fact a wealth of evidence to support the theory that Fletcher was shot by a CIA/MI6 operative in an effort to, again, demonize Libya. Despite the fact that a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary spelled it out in scientific detail, Cameron is happy to propagate the lie.
The ‘victims of IRA terrorism’ through the use of Libyan Semtex. There is little doubt that, on a few occasions, the IRA leadership successfully bought Libyan weapons. There is also little doubt, however, that all alleged major IRA attacks which involved the death of civilians were the work of British intelligence.The British media’s mendacity and complicity in this lie was further exposed in September this year when it was revealed that a major British media network had taken CGI video footage from a violent computer game and passed it off as real video footage in an effort to portray Gaddafi as a supporter of terrorists:
The British network claimed it was “human error” that led to a scene from a computer game having “IRA film 1988” pasted on it as the narrator worked through a list of the past (non-existent) sins of Gaddafi for the British audience in September this year.
Also consider the following interesting link between alleged IRA attacks and the Lockerbie bombing.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, one Dr. Thomas Hayes progressed to become Head of Department at the British Royal Armaments Research Establishment (RARDE). His testimony was central to the bogus Lockerbie verdict. A Parliamentary inquiry into the 1974 alleged IRA ‘Maguire Seven‘ bombing and mistrial discovered that key forensic evidence indicated the innocence of the accused.
This evidence, which was known to Dr. Hayes and two RARDE colleagues, was not disclosed at the Maguire Seven trial. The Maguire Seven were eventually freed on appeal after spending fifteen years in jail.
That just gives you some small insight into the lengths to which Western governments and ‘intelligence agencies’ have gone (and are prepared to go) to ‘protect their interests’.
With the mainstream media bought and paid for, global, corporate, fascist domination is a done deal unless we all wake up to the reality of the situation and start calling it for what it is – bullshit, through and through.
Cameron et al gloating and lying to the cameras
Hilary Clinton just happening to be in Libya a few days ago and demanding Gaddafi ‘dead or alive‘ one day before someone looking a bit like him is produced from a ‘rat-hole’ and then quicklyexecuted and (soon to be) buried in a ‘secret location’ far from prying eyes
Gaddafi being feted (and armed) by British, French, American, Italian Prime Ministers and Presidents just a couple of years ago and then suddenly demonized as a ‘brutal dictator’ and his country and citizens bombed back to the stone age – all of that pisses us off
But what really concerns us here is not our own rising blood pressure, but the future of Libya. Already the vultures are circling, eying their prize in the form of Libya’s natural resources.
Take it away, French Minister of Defence, Gérard Longuet:
France will seek a leading role in post-war Libya, Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said on Friday, arguing that Libya’s new leaders “owe” Paris for leading the campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi.
Speaking in an interview to Le Monde on the day after Libya’s ousted strongman was captured and killed, Longuet said France is poised to take advantage of its leading role after a successful campaign.
“will strive to play the role of a principal partner in the country where the leaders know they owe us a lot“.
“Everyone will throw their hat into the ring. We will neither be the last nor the most blatant,” he said of Libya’s relations with various Western countries in the coalition. [...]
Libya, which produced 1.6 to 1.7 million barrels of oil daily before the conflict, is a coveted market for many countries that are also eyeing potentially massive contracts for rebuilding its infrastructure.
Ah yes, ‘reconstruction’, Libyans can kiss goodbye to the relatively decent standard of living they enjoyed under Gaddafi.
The idea that Gaddafi would have waited until he was dragged from a sewer by a gang of bloodthirsty hoodlums and then beaten and shot dead is stretching his reputation as a true ‘man of the people’ a little far.
Gaddafi’s decades of experience gleaned from dealing with and observing the treachery of ‘Western diplomacy’, both up close in person and from afar, would have left him in no doubt as to what lay in store for him if US-imposed regime change ever came to Libya.
He would also have been egotistical enough to realize that he would be of better service to his beloved Libya alive than dead.
We cannot then, at this stage, rule out the possibility that, like Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi left Libya long before he was forced to resort to martyrdom in a sewer with only his ‘golden gun‘ between him and a baying mob of paid CIA killers.
As with the case of Saddam, there is evidence that this is what happened. As Joe Quinn noted at the time, the death of Saddam Hussein was more than likely faked. See his article on the Capture, Trial and Conviction of Saddam Hussein for evidence that Saddam too was spirited out of the country long before someone that looked like him was pulled from a ‘rat-hole’.
Consider also the very convenient way in which the alleged body of Gaddafi has now been secretly buried in an unmarked grave in the desert. Much like the alleged dumping of the body of Osama bin Laden ‘at sea’, this little maneuver stinks of a cover-up.
In attempting to uncover and expose government and media lies, it is often helpful to consult media reports that were released early on in any major news event. In a 21 February report, the British Foreign Secretary,William Hague, was quoted as having said that Gaddafi had already left the country.
“A convoy of six armored vehicles has crossed the Libyan border to Algeria on Saturday night, the Egyptian news agency reported. While it is unclear who was riding in the cars, a rebel forces source estimated that the convoy transported senior Libyan officials – including the embattled leader, Muammar Gaddafi.”
The report quoted a Libyan military council source as saying that “troops loyal to Gaddafi’s regime accompanied the convoy to the border”.
“An official on Libya’s governing council says he believes Muammar Gaddafi is hiding in the south-western desert near the borders with Niger and Algeria.”
We submit that the publishing of grisly (and grainy) photos and video of the alleged death of Gaddafi is not for the benefit of the global public at all (even though many seem to have relished the lynching).
Rather, it is for the benefit of the leaders of any other nations who might be thinking about disobeying the dictates of the US Empire and the World bank.
British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg seemed to confirm Joe’s earlier thoughts about this when he declared on 22 October that:
“The death of Muammar Gaddafi sends a huge signal to others in the region that the sins of grotesque dictators eventually catch up with them.”
In making this statement, Clegg has departed from the British government’s original rationale for an attack on Libya – humanitarian intervention – and has made clear the real reason for the eight month-long bombing of Libya, its people, and their freedoms – naked, bloody imperialism, launched – quite coincidentally – on 19 March, the same date as the invasion of Iraq eight years ago.
Assuming for a moment that that really was Gaddafi they murdered in broad daylight, then the unctuous words of British foreign secretary William Hague...
“We would have preferred him to be able to face justice at the International Criminal Court or in a Libyan court for his crimes. We don’t approve of extra-judicial killings,”
…are such fantastical bullshit that we reckon Hague deserves a prize.
If Gaddafi was in fact executed on October 20th, then Hague and his ilk in the US and France are undoubtedly delighted.
Gaddafi in the dock at The Hague was the very last thing any members of theUS, British or French criminal enterprises (aka governments) would have wanted to see, mainly because of the large quantities of beans he would have spilled.
They didn’t want a rerun of Slobodan Milosevic’s truth-lettingtainting their blood-spattered image as liberators, an embarrassing judicial episode which thankfully, for NATO governments, came to an abrupt end with the termination of the former Serb leader in his jail cell.
As we ponder the dark implications of living in a world where large numbers of people rejoice at gruesome stage shows of death and merrily embrace the murder of decent men, we’ll leave you with the final, disgusting words of the clearly psychopathic Hillary Clinton: “We Came, We Saw, He Died“.
When the U.S. invaded Iraq riding a pack of lies and monstrous manipulation, the entire U.S. elite, including major news services, academics, and politicians from both parties, lined up to cheerlead and off they went to war. It was one of the most shameful chapters in the long history of shameful acts of U.S. imperial foreign policy.
But it actually didn’t take too long for dissenting voices to come out of the woodwork.
The lies were exposed, the liars identified, the manipulation denounced. The war went ion but at least we knew the lies.
Watching the sorry media spectacle of the tragic farce unfolding in Libya, one has to wonder if anyone will ever expose the lies and hubris that have characterized the coverage of this faux Arab spring.
To be sure, as more journalists, aid workers and human rights representatives arrive in the country the more some of the obvious facts trickle out.
The “freedom fighters” — more like soccer hooligans with guns — have looted dozens of arms depots of the Libyan military.
According to Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch,
“Every time a city falls, they end up being looted. . Every facility we go to where there were surface-to-air missiles, they’re gone.”
Just what will these lovers of democracy do with these weapons? The U.S. and E.U. might just start to worry that no matter who buys them on the black market, they will eventually end up in the hands of al Qaeda or other militant groups.
As NATO knows full well, some of the so-called rebels have ties to al Qaeda. Or perhaps the missiles will end up in the hands of the Taliban where they will be used to shoot down U.S. helicopters. Talk about blowback. Too bad the Americans have never quite grasped the meaning of irony.
The photos of the revolutionaries give any thoughtful observer pause. Almost every photo of the victorious rebels show aggressive, undisciplined, young men armed to the teeth holding their guns high in the air (often firing randomly). Boys with their (lethal) toys.
And while the Western media repeatedly imply that the Nation Transitional Council is in control of these dangerous gangs the truth lies elsewhere.
Several rebel groups have denounced the NTC and said they don’t recognize its authority.
So not only does the council not represent anyone, it doesn’t even control its own “army.”
The NTC is little more than a group of greedy opportunists salivating at the thought of getting its hands on the billions in state funds that NATO is now handing over to them.
Only with the constant disciplinary efforts of its NATO handlers does the council manage to maintain a semblance of decorum and credibility.
In other situations where dictators were deposed the seizing of their assets was justified –because they were in personal bank accounts.
But the tens of billions illegally seized by Western countries was money belonging to the Libyan state and its national bank. That no one has commented on the casual elimination of sovereignty, someone should.
NATO has effectively destroyed the Libyan government — not just Gaddafi’s regime.
Tens of thousands of foreign workers have left Libya, many of whom were critical to the running of the country.
Rebels have been accused of randomly executing blacks, many of them students and workers.
Who will fill their critical roles now?
But none of this bothers the Canadian political elite and its intellectual hired guns. One of the most shameful examples is Lloyd Axworthy, the “highly respected” former foreign affairs minister under Jean Chretien. He penned an op-ed for the Globe and Mail in which he waxed on romantically about how the NATO bombing of Libya is a huge advance for the principle of Responsibility to Protect – a UN principle promoted by Axworthy in in 1999-2000.
According to Axworthy,
“We are seriously engaged in a resetting of the international order toward a more humane, just world.” I predict that instead NATO’s grotesque manipulation of the UN mandate to impose a “no fly” zone to protect “civilians” (a violation Axworthy doesn’t even mention) will in fact do more damage to the responsibility to protect principle than any similar action to date.
It will tarnish the UN, too, which has allowed its mandate to be used for imperial gain. The rush by France, Britain and Italy in particular, to get their hands on Libyan oil will soon be too obvious to cover up. The revolutionaries are no doubt busy signing deals handing over that previously nationalized resource to the neo-colonialists who put them in power — robbing the real civilians of their birthright.
We should ask who will take the “responsibility to protect” Libyans from this new gang?
Who will protect the people of Libya so that they continue to enjoy a literacy rate above 90 per cent, the lowest infant mortality rate and highest life expectancy of all of Africa, free medical care and education and the highest Human Development Index of any country on the continent?
Do the boys firing their guns in the air even have a clue that their living standards — subsidized by nationalized oil — were among the highest in Africa?
Who will they blame when medical care disappears and their kids have to pay to go to school?
Western, free-market democracy will come to Libya at a very high price when designed and delivered by the neo-colonial powers.
Why does virtually no one in the mainstream Canadian media even mention the fact that Libya was the biggest obstacle to the continued super-exploitation of Africa and its vast resources.
This is, after all, the principle reason for NATO’s determination to turn a ‘no fly zone” into regime change.
On a whole number of fronts, Libya was using its oil wealth to gradually close the doors to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the hegemony of the U.S. dollar in the economic domination of Africa.
Africa’s role as a giant pool of cheap resources was being threatened just as the U.S. and E.U. faced economic catastrophe because of the failure of their own neo-liberal policies.
Gaddafi’s determination to eliminate Africa’s dependence on Western financial institutions was one of the most serious threats faced by global capitalism.
Gaddafi was not only in the process of creating the African Investment Bank (providing interest-free loans to African nations) and the African Monetary Fund (to be centred in Cameroon) and eliminating the role of the IMF.
It was also in the planning stages of creating a new, gold-backed African currency that would seriously weaken the U.S. by undermining the dollar.
It is almost certain that in return for putting the new bunch in power, and freeing up the billions in state funds, NATO will demand these new institutions be smothered in their cribs.
Gaddafi was also instrumental in killing AFRICOM, a new U.S. military command and control base intended to add military intimidation to American economic domination. Look for that initiative to be revived.
It’s easy to be gratified getting rid of a brutal dictator.
But when will we learn that waging war has enormous, long-lasting consequences?
Already, the head of the new “government” is calling for legislation based on Sharia law – reversing 42 years of secularism in Libya.
Western-style democracy is an unlikely outcome in a country consisting of many different and hostile tribes – unified only by Gaddafi’s iron fist and socialist policies which distributed wealth equally amongst them.
So if we are going to feel triumphant –
Prime Minister Stephen Harper boasted about Canada “punching above our weight” – let’s be clear what we have accomplished. We got rid of one moderately nasty dictator.
But we have eliminated a government which distributed its oil wealth more equally than any other Arab state,
will impose on Libya a new market imperative, likely eliminating most social programs and making Libya less equal,
may well end up with a government based on Islamic law(if it doesn’t fly apart in tribal warfare) and have destroyed Africa’s best hope for independent development.
How shall we celebrate?
MURRAY DOBBIN, now living in Powell River, BC has been a journalist, broadcaster, author and social activist for over forty years. He now writes a bi-weekly column for the on-line journals the Tyee and rabble.ca. He can be reached at email@example.com.