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Osama Axed from Celebrity Apprentice

9:07 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

What, the headline’s wrong?! Never mind.

Anyway, it’s not for us but for history to decide which will matter most, the death of Osama Bin Laden or LaToya Jackson’s return to the show. It’s the first time ever a ‘fired’ contestant has been allowed back on Celebrity Apprentice! And, this time, LaToya’s on the guys’ team, and she’s out for revenge against Star Parker who manipulated her axing just a week ago. Fireworks next Sunday night!

Yup, that’s our little family’s gruesome sub-middle-class TV entertainment life. And Obama interrupting it at 9:50, not letting us find out who Donald Trump would fire (we all guessed it would be Hope and were right, no joke (get it?)), was huge, earthshaking! Well, not really, but the 45 minutes of speculation between network interruption and Obama announcement/speech were some of the least entertaining minutes of my life.

And, fact, Osama Bin Laden is one of the least important terrorists of 2011. Three more important ones, Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy, over the weekend bombed a villa in Tripoli, leaving it rubble and numerous civilians dead. Yeah, those civilians were Qaddafi’s grandchildren and his son, so never mind again.

NPR Bull%#t Hides OUR Responsibility for Libya Refugee Crisis

2:10 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

To judge the propaganda from the pro-imperial media, look at this from yesterday’s NPR, April 28:

When Gadhafi was in charge of the [Dhiba] border post, Libyans weren’t allowed to cross into Tunisia. . . .

That contrasts a LOT with this:

Libya: Tunisia Closes Dhiba Border Post
21 April , 17:45

(ANSAmed) – TUNIS, APRIL 21 – The Tunisian authorities have closed the border crossing at Dhiba. The decision was taken after Libyan rebels attacked the post this morning, forcing Gaddafi loyalists to flee towards the border with Tunisia, where some of them crossed over into the country and were promptly arrested. (ANSAmed).

And with this, a report Microsoft Translator-ated from (at last!) a reasonably even-handed source, the French language La Presse de Tunisie:

Massive influx of Libyan refugees
April 19, 2011

… Refugees continue to arrive en masse from the Libyan cities located in the Jabal Al-Gharbi, fleeing from the intensive bombing which destroyed many houses.

Over the last two days, their number has reached 3,000, including women and children.

A total of 11,000 Libyans crossed the border post of Dhiba last week.

Here’s three more NPR pro-imperial propaganda test sentences:

Refugees crossing the border say Gadhafi’s forces are terrorizing people any way they can. They are gunning down flocks of sheep just to wreck livelihoods, the refugees say. But they say Arabs and Berbers are now united in their opposition to Gadhafi.

Funny how even pro-rebel Al Jazeera doesn’t have that “gunning down flocks of sheep” stuff or the classic pro-imperial “Arabs and Berbers are now united” hacksterism. Could it have a lower tolerance than NPR for what sounds like complete cheerleading and/or demonizing bull%#t? Jazeera’s source, the UNHCR, says the refugees are escaping from our war (that the imperial powers have massively escalated and refuse to let the Libyans stop), not from one side or another:

4:33pm [April 29] The fighting at the Dehiba-Wazin border crossing has stopped the flow of refugees from Libya’s Western Mountains, seeking refuge in neighbouring Tunisia, according to the UNHCR.

The UN’s human rights agency warned in a statement on Friday:

UNHCR is very concerned that people fleeing Libya could be caught in the cross-fire as government and opposition forces battle for control in the border area. …

Another Le Presse report, this from April 26, confirms the very probably real reason the refugees cross into Tunisia (one that makes a lot of common sense), “fear of the renewal of military operations between the two parties in conflict on the Libyan side of the border.”:

An eyewitness in the locality of Dhehiba [Dhiba] has indicated, in a telephone communication with the correspondent of the TAP agency, that the last days were marked by the escape of more than 3000 Libyan citizens, originating in Wazen, only 3 km from the Dhehiba border crossing point, who entered into Tunisian territory with large herds of sheep and cattle. …

These persons, including women and children, suffer from a very difficult situation. A sense of anxiety prevails in the locality, with the fear of the renewal of military operations between the two parties in conflict on the Libyan side of the border area.

In addition, the increase in the number of Libyan citizens residing in several localities of Tataouine governorate, and their membership of the two parties to the conflict in Libya, animate other fears, in particular the possibility of clashes between them.

Today, Le Presse reports on a large group of Libyan refugees who prefer to take refuge in the Tunisian desert rather than near “Libyan insurgents and their families.” You’ll never get this perspective from NPR:

Des familles libyennes se réfugient dans le désert tunisien
Libyan Families Take Refuge in the Tunisian Desert
April 29, 2011

A thousand Libyans originating from Wezen (Libya), village located about 3 km from the Dhehiba border crossing point, have preferred to take refuge in the Tunisian desert camps and urban areas. They left their homes after the takeover by the insurgents from their village and the point of border crossing on the Libyan side.

Security sources and eyewitnesses reported to the correspondent of agency TAP that the Libyans have preferred to settle near the localities of Tunisian Martba, Om Zougar and El Ouni, to stay away from Libyan insurgents and their families in the towns and villages in the region of Tataouine and the camps of refugees.

Moreover, citizens of Tataouine told the correspondent of agency TAP that the Libyans continued to flow to the region to escape the war. They have expressed their fear that this situation generates conflicts, either between the insurgents and the troops of the Gaddafi regime or at the level of the refugees in the camps, emphasizing the imperative to establish a distance from each other.

Aid is provided by the population, the host committees and civil society to all Libyan refugees without distinction.

Donate to the UNHCR fund for the refugees from our war.

HRW: Khadafy ‘narrowly targeting the armed rebels’

3:46 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

To those who support the war on Libya because you believe it is a humanitarian effort, will you now withdraw your support?

False pretense for war in Libya?
By Alan J. Kuperman
April 14, 2011
Boston Globe 

Evidence is now in that President Barack Obama grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya. The president claimed that intervention was necessary to prevent a “bloodbath’’ in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and last rebel stronghold.

But Human Rights Watch has released data on Misurata, the next-biggest city in Libya and scene of protracted fighting, revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government.

Misurata, Kuperman writes, has a population of about 400,000, and in two months of fighting “only 257 people — including combatants — have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 — less than 3 percent — are women. If Khadafy were indiscriminately targeting civilians, women would comprise about half the casualties.”

But it doesn’t matter. Obama, Sarkozy, David Cameron and the media’s Big Lie, that ‘we must do something, NOW, about the immediate humanitarian crisis,’ has had its effect. “A humanitarian crisis that now turns out to be largely a myth other than the fact that a violent civil war is a humanitarian crisis all by itself.”

I told you so, but so what, many have died.

And this latest evidence is another reason why the following comment made sense back on March 20:

Whatever you assume it is, Libya is not asking you to trust it. [Since March 18 it has been] begging for UN monitors to come in and assure that the ceasefire is real and that civilians are being well-treated. Pretending this a matter of ‘trusting Gaddafi’ is running from the real issue.

Deal with the real issue. Libya has declared its desire for an immediate ceasefire, and has begged UN inspectors to come in and make sure it is a real ceasefire and that civilians are secure and well-treated. Do you support a verifiable ceasefire and then a negotiated settlement by/for all sides, now, or do you reject that?

In addition, the facts as collected by Human Rights Watch put the lie to statements such as the following, of which there have been too many at this progressive site: 

Fact is Gaddafi knows he cannot stop using violence. If he does, the peaceful protests will resume and he will be ousted in the same manner of Tunisia and Egypt. That is why he is massacring his people, and I personally believe it is a good thing to stop a massacre.

Will we ever learn? This is a familiar story for most of us, isn’t it? The humanitarian or other acceptable pretenses for an unprovoked war turn out to be BULL SH!T.

The trick with imperial interventions is understanding them as that at their beginnings.

(Hip tat to doberman at pffugeecamp.)

Obama, Rebels Reject Ceasefire

8:26 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

“Now there is inconvertible evidence that civilians are dying both due to the efforts of Gaddafi and the forces opposing him. … All we need to do now is get a ceasefire and a politically negotiated solution.”

Hardeep Singh Puri (India’s UN envoy)

“An immediate cease-fire must be declared, Gaddafi forces must lift the siege on some towns and they must withdraw. Safe zones must be created that would enable uninterrupted flow of humanitarian aid to Libyan people. A process must start immediately for transition to democratic change and transformation taking into consideration legitimate rights and interests of the people of Libya so that a constitutional democracy could be established.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan:

The Libyan government has agreed to listen to Erdogan’s proposal, which parallels a similar proposal by the African Union a few days ago. But the U.S. and its rebels have both already rejected the immediate ceasefire plan. Rebel spokesperson Colonel Ahmad Bani, rejecting the proposal and insulting Erdogan’s motives:

. . . said the rebels rejected talks with Gaddafi and demanded he quit power.

“We respect the … Turkish people’s position but Erdogan’s position does not express the opinion of the Turkish people,” he told Al Arabiya television.

“I think [Erdogan] is not speaking in the interests of the Libyan or Turkish people but only in his personal interest.”

Add President Obama to the list of rejectionists. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

“There needs to be a ceasefire, his forces need to withdraw from the cities that they have forcibly taken at great violence and human cost. There needs to be a decision made about his departure from power and . . . his departure from Libya.”

Clinton’s rejection was to the letter written by Muammar Gaddafi himself to President Obama, asking for the U.S. President to do the right thing. It’s mainstream-media important to note that the letter contained bad grammar and mispellings. Gaddafi:

. . . implored Mr Obama to stop the NATO-led air campaign, which he called an “unjust war against a small people of a developing country.”

“To serving world peace . . . Friendship between our peoples . . . and for the sake of economic, and security co-operation against terror, you are in a position to keep NATO off the Libyan affair for good. I am sure you are able to shoulder responsibility for that.”

Gaddafi said a democratic society could not be built through the use of missiles and aircraft. He repeated his claim that the rebels seeking his ouster are members of the al-Qa’ida terrorist network.

Addressing Mr Obama as “our son” and “excellency”, Gaddafi said his country had been hurt more “morally” than “physically” by the NATO campaign.

. . . “Our dear son, Excellency, Baraka Hussein Abu oumama, your intervention in the name of the USA is a must, so that NATO would withdraw finally from the Libyan affair. Libya should be left to Libyans within the African union frame.”

And then there was General Carter Ham, head of U.S. Africa Command, who

. . . said in Washington DC that it was unlikely rebel forces could push Gaddafi out themselves.

Asked at a Senate hearing about the chances that the opposition could “fight their way” to Tripoli and replace Gaddafi, Ham replied: “Sir, I would assess that as a low likelihood.”

His comments underscored growing concern in Washington and European capitals that the conflict is heading towards a stalemate, with Gaddafi firmly in control in Tripoli and badly organised rebels unable to turn the tide even under the cover of NATO-led air power.

Why “concern”? Why not optimism for peace instead? Doesn’t the current stalemate mean a peaceful, negotiated settlement could be possible, especially now? Isn’t that better than the prospect, say, of eventual bloody street-to-street fighting between, on one side,  mercenaries, CIA and MI6 ‘trainers’, and Libyan rebels, and on the other Libya’s military and lightly armed Tripoli citizen militias (recall our invasion of Iraq)? Yes, the U.S. and the Western powers and their Gulf dictatorship ‘allies’ are probably already in the process of hiring mercenary troops.

So, then why the heck is Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama against an immediate ceasefire? Well, we know why if we get to the real reason for the war, which is imperialism. Demba Moussa Dembélé (but read the whole thing, it’s excellent):

The statements from Obama, Sarkozy and others are nothing but a pack of lies, a cover for the real aims of this imperialist crusade, whose real objective is regime change and control of the country’s vast resources – above all its oil. Indeed, one can ask since when did Sarkozy and his like care about the fate of the African people, and especially those of Arab origin? Since when did the US president start caring about what happens to people? And if these gentlemen had the slightest ‘humanitarian’ fibre, what were they doing when the Palestinians were being decimated by Zionist cluster bombs? What did they do when Israel imposed its illegal and inhuman blockade against Gaza? In the face of these crimes against humanity, how can Obama, Sarkozy and the others pretend they are acting in defence of the Libyan people?

The truth is that their sole concern is maintaining the hegemony of their economic and political system – imperialism. This is a system that is the sworn enemy of freedom, of the independence and sovereignty of peoples and nations everywhere in the world. It is the main obstacle to the emancipation of people. How could the guarantors of such a system claim to ‘protect’ the Libyan population? The only rights that matter in the imperialist system are the rights of a minority of exploiters and criminals, lawless and without conscience. All the rhetoric on human rights is just that, a facade to conceal the true purpose – the conquest, rape and pillage of peoples.

Regarding the UN, Dembélé notes:

By endorsing such an imperialist adventure, the UN has once again shown that it is a puppet of the big powers.

Important to remember that. The UN is _not_ the neutral referee it may have seemed at times to be when it was headed by Boutros Boutros-Ghali or even to a limited extent by Kofi Annan.

The Libya Ceasefire We Rejected

3:20 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

When a nation in conflict with an imperial power declares a complete and unilateral ceasefire and states that it wants UN inspectors in country, now, to make sure the ceasefire is real and that civilians are protected, what is a military imperialist coalition to do? If the U.S. and its subordinates had been sincere about protecting civilians and so on, they would’ve at least expressed positive interest in the ‘offer’ (especially its UN monitors provision!), replied with a confidence-building measure, and asked ”its” rebels to stand down briefly. But that is not what happened early on March 19. What did happen is instructive.

Libya declares ceasefire after UN resolution
Updated Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:55am AEDT

Libya’s foreign minister has announced an immediate halt to all military operations in the country, following an earlier move by the United Nations which authorised military strikes to protect Libyan civilians.”Libya has decided an immediate ceasefire and an immediate halt to all military operations,” foreign minister Mussa Kussa told a press conference from the capital, Tripoli, on Friday (local time).”(Libya) takes great interest in protecting civilians,” he said, adding that the country would also protect all foreigners and foreign assets in Libya.Mr Kussa said because Libya is a member of the United Nations, it is “obliged to accept the UN Security Council’s resolutions.” 

But then, say those who trust reports from one side in a civil war, didn’t the rebels and Western news reports tell us that Libya had ignored its own ceasefire and kept on fighting?

Yes, they did, but that doesn’t mean those reports, by one side in an armed conflict, were true. We don’t in fact know whether Libya ceased firing. Libya said that it did, while those attacking Libya said that it did not.

We do know that neither the rebels nor the U.S. and its allies, in response to Libya’s declaration, either proposed or declared their own unilateral ceasefires.

How could we have been sure, how can we ever be sure that Libya had/has ceased fire? How could we have been sure, how can we ever be sure that Libyan civilians in combat zones (on both sides of the civil war) were and are safe and secure?

With UN experts on the ground monitoring the alleged ceasefire. And that is exactly what Libya has repeatedly asked for beginning late on March 18. Libya has received no response at all to that suggestion, other than cruise missiles.

What was the actual Western response to Libya’s ceasefire declaration: immediate disbelief and then, officially, the West added non-negotiable demands (see below) beyond a complete ceasefire. One of the non-negotiable demands was removal of Qaddafi as Libya’s ruler. No, that kind of response is not helpful for advancing the Libya conflict toward a peaceful resolution.

From the West’s actual response, of course, we saw exactly what the real intent of the air war was and is. Which we’ve known all along: the West intends to overthrow the Qaddafi regime and put in place a more or less puppet regime, much like the ones it has installed in most of the oil-rich Middle East nations. At the same time it is happy that the air war demonstrates once again the sometimes hellish consequences of choosing sovereignty and resisting Western corporate globalization.

As usual when the West is insincere and intent on war, when ’the bad guys’ meet its ostensible and not unreasonable demands, it quickly comes up with additional and non-negotiable ones that are impossible to meet. So, after Libya declared a unilateral ceasefire and asked for UN inspectors to come in and make sure the ceasefire was real and make sure civilians were safe and secure, we got the following:

Later, a joint statement by the UK, France and the US demanded that Gaddafi’s troops stop their advance on Benghazi and pull back from the towns on Ajdabiya, Misrata, and Zawiya.

It also said water, electricity and gas supplies must be re-established to all areas, and humanitarian aid allowed to reach the Libyan people.

These terms were non-negotiable, the statement added. …

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US wanted to see pro-Gaddafi forces withdraw a “significant distance away” from their current positions in the east of the country close to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi.

Clinton, just to make clear the U.S. wanted war and not a UN-monitored ceasefire, added the additional demand that the ruler of the other side must capitulate and surrender (and then, as other reports had indicated, stand trial in a Western imperial court for capital war crimes). In the strange present tense of a USA Today report:

Clinton calls on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to end the violence and pull his forces back from their campaign against rebels in eastern Libyan.

“The first and overwhelmingly urgent action is to end the violence,” she says. “We have to see a very clear set of decisions that are operationalized on the ground by the Gadhafi forces to move physically a significant distance away from the east, where they have been pursuing their campaign against the opposition.”

She emphasizes that Gadhafi must step down. She calls the United Nations resolution for a no-fly zone and “all necessary measures” to end the violence against rebels a “strong message that needs to be heeded.”

“We do believe that a final resolution of any negotiations would have to be the decision by Col. Gadhafi to leave,” she says. “But let’s take this one step at a time.”

President Obama two days later echoed Clinton’s comment on Libya’s ruler, that “he needs to go.” So here is what our Nobel Peace Prize President is advocating tonight: regime overthrow and militarized imperialism that advances corporate globalization and the naked self-interest of a few rich oil corporations. We learned that on the first night of the conflict, from the U.S. and its allies’ response to Libya’s unilateral ceasefire.

Libya: R U 4 or Against Imperialism?

10:09 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

The U.S. air war on Libya is a case of imperialism. Imperialism is why it is happening, and that is fundamentally why I oppose the war. Imperialism is when a weaker nation is forced to act in the interests of a stronger nation or multinational coalition. The intention of ‘our’ air war is to force Libya to give over sovereign control of its economy, including of its oil industry, to the forces of corporate globalization, in particular and especially to the corporate interests of those doing the bombing. Find a simpatico perspective in Diana Johnstone’s Why are They Making War on Libya? but also definitely don’t forget these two Pepe Escobar paragraphs from back on March 19:

History may register that the real tipping point was this past Tuesday when, in an interview to German TV, the African king of kings made sure that Western corporations – unless they are German (because the country was against a no-fly zone) – can kiss goodbye to Libya’s energy bonanza. Gaddafi explicitly said, “We do not trust their firms, they have conspired against us … Our oil contracts are going to Russian, Chinese and Indian firms.” In other words: BRICS member countries. …

When Gaddafi threatened Western oil majors, he meant the show would soon be over for France’s Total, Italy’s ENI, British Petroleum (BP), Spanish Repsol, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, Hess and Conoco Phillips – though not for the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC). China ranks Libya as essential for its energy security. China gets 11% of Libya’s oil exports. CNPC has quietly repatriated no less than 30,000 Chinese workers (compared to 40 working for BP).

But the actual proof of Western intentions is in the history. Ten or so days ago the UN Security Council passed its ‘no fly zone’ resolution. Libya then offered an unconditional ceasefire and begged UN inspectors to come to Libya and make sure the ceasefire was real and that civilians were well-treated. Now, at that point, the intimidation of the ‘no fly zone’ obviously had worked. If the West had simply said ‘yes’ and put its efforts into making sure the ceasefire worked, then its intervention, the passage of the Security Council resolution and subsequent military preparations, could plausibly have been called ‘humanitarian intervention’ rather than imperialism.

However, as we know the Western powers rejected Libya’s peace offer. Why? Well, because of their imperialist intentions. That is the _only_ explanation. I’ve written two diaries here and haven’t heard another. (Note that many who defend the war, such as John Judis, predictably pretend the preceding offer did not occur; if it didn’t happen then they can pretend those opposed to the war don’t care about Libya’s civilians; since Libya’s ceasefire offer did take place it is war proponents who seem to disregard civilian lives.)

Instead of proposing some other reason for this war than imperialism, all I’ve heard from proponents is that _this_ one act of imperialism is good, because (as these off-topic ‘defenses’ usually go) the ruler of the target country is a very bad man and we must snuff him out. But the ceasefire offer makes that argument nonsense. Seriously, WAR would be better than a ceasefire and then a national compromise in which the West could force elections and also what really needs to happen, an even split of national wealth and power among the three or four regions that make up Libya? That’s what ‘we the people’ should want, not another hollow victory for a different Libyan minority, which in fact will be a victory for the military forces of the major Western imperialist powers. Whoever ‘rules’ Libya will know who has the most powerful guns, and will know from direct experience what those powers do when a weak nation strays from the imperial powers’ interests.

You know, I’d almost prefer debating the business elite press. They’d say I’m just being old fashioned with ‘this national sovereignty stuff’, that it’s a good thing to let the “international investor class” — they sometimes lie and call it ‘the market’ — take over and tell Libya to do all those sensible things it always recommends: cut back on safety net and other transfers to citizens, privatize at bargain basement prices, cut taxes for businesses and the rich, make labor costs lower and ‘more flexible’ and so on.

Not living off my investments and dependent someday on transfer payments from my government (and hopefully on an ‘inflexible labor market’ union), I would disagree, and say economic sovereignty, in the people’s interest if we fight for it, is a better way to go. But, at least the business elite knows what’s going on and doesn’t pretend this is ‘about Qaddafi’ or ‘civilians’. We’ve known that’s not the case since the Western imperialists rejected Libya’s ceasefire offer.

P.S. “The only important intellectual difference between neoconservatives and liberal interventionists is that the former have disdain for international institutions (which they see as constraints on U.S. power), and the latter see them as a useful way to legitimate American dominance.” – Stephen M. Walt, March 21, 2011

UPDATE: A glitch in myfdl doesn’t allow me to respond (at least right now) to the various responses that “Libya didn’t really ceasefire” when it said it was declaring a unilateral ceasefire. Why it did not do so is uncertain, though the West universally says the fact that Libya did not shows that it is untrustworthy. First of all, there may have been good reasons, such as being under military attack by the rebels, why the Libyans did not completely ceasefire. We don’t in fact know the battlefield circumstances. I’m not blaming the U.S. and its allies for not telling the rebels to stop fighting, but I’m also not accusing the Libyan of bad faith for continuing to fight the Libyan rebels they were already engaged in battle with, if that was in fact the case. Second and more important, common sense could have interpreted the Libyan declaration as an opening for reciprocation. Why not respond with a confidence-raising measure of some sort, which would’ve indicated the U.S. and its allies in fact also wanted an immediate ceasefire? Instead of ridicule, accusations of bad faith, and then cruise missiles. I think I know why. The U.S., Britain, France, and Italy want a war in which they will reclaim firm control over Libya’s oil resources, through the rebel government that will know who the real bosses are.

Our War on Libya (Wikileaks version)

2:08 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

The official explanation for our air war on Libya is that we are establishing a ‘no fly zone’ and ‘protecting Libyan civilians’. And that’s the precise refrain coming from the BBC, CNN and other Western media: NOT “The West says it is establishing a ‘no fly zone’ and ‘protecting Libyan civilians’…” No, “The West IS establishing … and protecting…”

Even though what is happening on the ground and nearly all punditry speculation indicate the real purpose is the far more imperial and bloody task of regime change. Reuters reports numerous bombed out vehicles, two dozen dead Libyan soldiers lying around them, killed by the West’s air attacks. Tanks, command and control and air defenses destroyed: all of this also points to regime change. So, it ain’t about civilians imho, but at least the Western media should be unbiased enough to add “Western governments say” at the beginning of the West’s rulers’ justifications for this war. Certainly if Wikileaks teaches us anything … ah hell, that’s too obvious to go into.

Back to Libya. Taking the moral high ground, it declared its submission to the Security Council resolution and therefore imposed on itself a unilateral ceasefire. It also asked the UN to send in official observers to allay any doubts about whether Libyan forces had in fact ceased fire, and to make sure that civilians were being well treated.

The response of the West: cover its ears, hypocritical words, and “let’s have a war!” Aided by the media, Western rulers are now pretending both that Libya did not declare an immediate ceasefire, and that it has not asked that international observers immediately be dispatched in order to confirm or deny what Libya has declared. I’m sympathetic, of course: in response to those Libyan declarations, what other option do Obama, Sarkozy, and the rest have? Not honesty, obviously, that protecting civilians was irrelevant and that the decision had already been made to reassert Western control over a province that had strayed 40 years earlier from corporate globalist colonialism.

But still the pretense in the ‘news’ that this war is for civilians. Not even any notice that civilians in Tripoli are apparently less civilian than those in Benghazi.

And who are the rebels? The West knows only that it knows little about them, except that some of their leaders were formerly Libyan military, and that the rebellion was much stronger in Libya’s east than in Tripoli. Do the rebels represent a minority or majority of Libya’s citizens? We don’t know. How significant to the conflict is inter-ethnic or inter-clan anger? We don’t know (we do know, however, that letting one clan ‘win’ and another ‘lose’ is something ‘the civilized world’ should try to avoid). And, most importantly, would most Libyans benefit if the West (through the rebels) takes over and Qaddafi is ousted? We don’t know (but I admit I agree with the common sense that sovereignty is a good and beneficial thing).

We do know that Libya has declared a ceasefire. The world should hope, pray and demand that the West does the same, rather than keeping to the moral low ground.

Libya & ‘The War You Don’t See’ documentary

12:28 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

It bears repeating that the mainstream news we’re being fed on Libya is almost certainly inaccurate and skewed toward U.S. economic interests. In sum, it’s propaganda; the probable intent of the propaganda, whether reporters know it or not, is U.S. military intervention. Just like in Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on and yada yada stretching back more than a century. (Afghanistan propaganda headlines, for example, are a constant part of the ‘news’; here are two from today: Gates observes US progress in southern Afghanistan (AP), Obama thanks PM for Afghanistan role (The Age (Australia)).)

We know U.S. reporting on international wars is propaganda because of a history stretching back to the dawn of our mass media. John Pilger‘s recently released documentary, ‘The War You Don’t See’, begins with the Wikileaks-released video of a U.S. helicopter gunship murdering civilians in 2007 (btw, that video is why Bradley Manning is a hero and in solitary confinement (seven months so far)), and then tells the sleazy history back to World War II. A Guardian (UK) reviewer describes Pilger’s film as his J’accuse, in which he indicts “UK and US media for allowing itself to be manipulated by governments into misreporting or ignoring every global conflict since the second world war.”

It’s free to view, and well worth 96 minutes of your time: Watch ‘The War You Don’t See’

I hate making the following disclaimer, because it reminds me how lame the discourse is that requires it, but here goes: pointing out the probably propagandistic nature of Western coverage of the Libyan revolution is not an endorsement, defense, or rejection of Libya’s Gaddafi or of the rebels attempting to oust him.