Flashpoints, for August 23, 2011 - 5:00pm
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Jody McIntyre, distinguished former writer for the Independent, elaborates:
Libya: the manufacture of consent
Posted on August 22, 2011 by jodymcintyre| Leave a comment
Almost 1300 people have been killed in Libya in the past 24 hours; almost equal to the death toll of the brutal, three-week Israeli Operation Cast Lead massacre in Gaza. In the case of Gaza, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in cities across the world to demonstrate, but now, we celebrate for Tripoli.
What is it that we are celebrating? Are we celebrating the NATO bombs that carved out a path for the rebels we have trained? Are we celebrating the blood-soaked routes that they took into the capital? Are we wishing for further blood to be spilt in Tripoli, as armed anti-Gaddafi forces clash with an armed and civilian population?
This is not a revolution; it is a western-backed, NATO-sanctioned, colonialist regime change in a sovereign African nation. As political analyst and eyewitness Mahdi Nazemroaya, whilst being interviewed on Russia Today, so aptly surmised:
“This is a NATO war. They bombed this entire city and landed insurgents on the coast. NATO has bombed mercilessly in this country and massacred innocent civilians.”
A massacre, with our consent. Did we really believe that the governments of the UK and the US, the butchers of Baghdad, the burka-banning Sarkozy in France and the Afghanistan-bombing NATO Apaches, had suddenly chosen the side of the people? Or did we believe that later, after their entire country had been decimated and the rebels had taken over, then they could kick NATO out?
To suggest that the NATO members have sunk their teeth deep into oil-rich Libya, and will not simply leave when told, is not to demean or look down at Libyan people, it is a reflection of historical fact. Palestinian people did not ask for the “Palestinian Authority” to be installed in their name, and the Iraqi population did not democratically elect for their country to be occupied and their oil to be looted by foreign powers. Furthermore, the rebel leadership invited NATO into their country and have admitted that they would be nowhere without them. What evidence is there to suggest that that same rebel leadership would now turn their backs on their helpful allies?
“This war has nothing to do with Colonel Gaddafi,” Nazemroaya continued, “Gaddafi is a pretext for this war. This war is about stealing money from the Libyan people.”
As NATO waged war in Libya, another, simultaneous war has been fought. A psychological war, a media conflict… a battle to manufacture our consent. Even last night, from the BBC to Al-Jazeera, the flow of misinformation was as rampant as it has been for weeks on end. Only Russia Today provided a drop of balance in a sea of propaganda. But something does not add up; I remember three days ago, seeing a BBC reporter claiming that “as we could see”, the rebels had taken full control of az-Zawiyah. Behind him, five men held guns in the air. I wonder if the takeover of Tripoli has a similar reality? On Sunday evening, Al Jazeera English broadcast fake images of rebels celebrating in Green Square… only, it wasn’t Green Square.
But if the rebels do take “control” of Tripoli, what will follow? Already, there are fears of the ethnic cleansing of people of Gaddafi’s tribe, or with suspected “pro-Gaddafi” tendencies. Images of the bloody “de-Baathification” of post-invasion Iraq come to mind. “But this is different!” I hear you cry, “NATO didn’t invade Libya!” Indeed, a war by proxy agents. How very humane of us.
So, who is next in the sights of the hungry imperialist powers? Earlier this week, the US, UK, France, Germany and the EU all demanded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad immediately resigned. There is no question that people in Syria are taking to the streets with genuine demands, and many have lost their lives in the process, but the idea that our governments have any position of moral supremacy is arrogant and delusional. The real question is, will we allow the manufacture of our consent for yet another war of aggression in the Arab world, or will we fall for the pretense of “humanitarian intervention” once again?
Each to her/his own beliefs. I am the same age as Gadahfi which means to paraphrase Maudi N. that I too am a very elderly person no longer in charge of anything or anyone, not even myself often as my body proves to me in its decline. I had high hopes long ago for the US. Dictators/Rulers come and go. Nearly all probably do some good at some point. What does not change is human nature unfortunately.
In response to both Lloyd and Jeff:
Yes, I agree the analysis should be given to the points you make. Below are each of your points and an all too short analysis of each.
(1) Your point: Gadhafi's son touring US military bases in February:
Joan's response: One should also understand that he would be a fool not to take advantage of this opportunity AND THEN try to learn if there was any complicity attached to his actions.
(2) Your Point: Gadhafi cooperation with the IMF:
Joan's response: Gadhafi and the Libyans in general have expressed regret doing this. The fact that needs to be analyzed is the US/NATO bombing of Iraq was a message to Gadhafi (as well as many other countries) to cooperate or else. Gadhafi did not sell out the whole system as so many other leaders of countries in "good standing" with the US/IMF have done. Look how GREECE sold out the country and the people to the IMF.
(3) Your Point: Gaddafi's son being welcomed by HIllary Clinton to the State Department in 2009, where she offered him an official toast:
Joan's response: Yes, we also have Rumsfeld on tape with Saddam Hussein. We have tapes of all kinds of leaders--good, bad, capitalist, socialist etc.--shaking hands with our "leaders" and the "leader's crew." We have tapes even of the Palestinian leader, Abbas (a very deceptive man) cozening up to US leadership. What are those who don't want to be a puppet to the US/NATO/IMF/UN (really all one in the same) supposed to do? Are they supposed to give the finger to our leaders, while knowing doing this will cause immediate bombing--and even worse than the bombing, the use of depleted uranium????
(4) Your point: Gaddafi's promises to Europe's governments to keep Africa's masses from using Libya as a place from which to migrate to Europe?
Joan's response: And, what if Gaddafi said he would NOT do this. Then what??? Gadhafi allowed hundreds (if not thousands) of workers to migrate to Libya, as these workers could not find jobs in their own African countries and they could in Libya (or could at least before the US/NATO bombing). Gadhafi did not recruit these Africans as mercenaries, as the right-left- and much of the "progressive" media had claimed.
(5) Your point: Or his attacks on the movements which overthrew dictators in Tunisia and Egypt:
Joan's response: Please give verifiable evidence of this. I think you will find it VERY hard if not impossible to find evidence of this claim.
Jeff ended with: But yes, let's go on pretending that the only way to oppose US imperialism is to support corrupt, repressive dictators like Gaddafi.
Joan's comment: None of those acknowledging Gadhafi's great accomplishments (listed in my prior message) is using that as the only way to oppose US imperialism. I certainly am not. You have not given one shred of evidence that Gadhafi is a corrupt, repressive dictator. On the contrary, the FACTS show that he put his people first, and is respected throughout Africa for helping all Africans, esp. though the communication system he sent up to provide low-cost calls for all African countries. (See Collon's articles). I for one would have liked to have enjoyed the benefits that the US government has not and will not give to all Americans--such as free and good health care, free education through college, everyone owning own home (house or apartment), billions spent on clean water supply etc. Of course, now that the neocons and neoliberals and many of the "progressives" has chosen to ignore for the most part the sanctioning and bombing and use of depleted uranium, the Libyans are losing all of the benefits that Gadhafi worked so hard to achieve.
AGAIN: WHY NOT have Cynthia McKinney and Michel Chossudovsky on the show???!!!!
I agree with Jeff, especially his concluding sentence. Even Maudi N. said he opposed Gadhafi who was in his opinion a very elderly man probably not in charge of anything due to his age.
Well, why has Kevin Pina, and Flashpoints in general, not covered the fact that Gaddafi's son was touring US military bases when the uprisings began in February, and was allowed to rush back to his top army officer position? Or Gaddafi's cooperation with the IMF which earned him praise from the agency? Or Gaddafi's son being welcomed by HIllary Clinton to the State Department in 2009, where she offered him an official toast (on video)? Or all the top Gaddafi regime officials who are now top "rebels"? Or Gaddafi's promises to Europe's governments to keep Africa's masses from using Libya as a place from which to migrate to Europe? Or his attacks on the movements which overthrew dictators in Tunisia and Egypt? But yes, let's go on pretending that the only way to oppose US imperialism is to support corrupt, repressive dictators like Gaddafi.
Why does Flashpoints (except for Kevin Pina) focus on and SELECT the Libyans who no longer live in Libya or Arabs with an agenda who no longer live in an Arab country when talking about the NATO directed war against Libya?? These are self-imposed exiles. They are very similar to the Cuban-America Mafia element (which does NOT mean all Cuban Americans) who rant and rave about how awful Fidel is and the people want him out--while the obvious truth is the the overwhelming majority of Cubans love and respect Fidel. Same with Moammar El-Gadhaf and the Libyans.
Today's SELECTED guest, Ali Ahmida, the academic now teaching at the University of New England, was as biased and misdirected and agenda ridden as was the Monday guest, Khalil Bendib of Voices of the Middle East.
WHY is it that the Flashpoints host (be it Dennis or Miguel) never bother to point out to their anti-Gadhaf guests that:
(1) There were two marches in support of Gadhafi and/or at the very least against NATO in which at least one million people marched/rallied. One march was estimated to be 1.75 Libyans. This is out a population of 2 million in Tripoli and 6 million in all of Libya. We have NEVER seen anything close to this in the US. A hated dictator would not allow these masses to march.
(2) Gadhfi armed his people so they could protect themselves. Would a hated dictator do this?
(3) There is NO proof Gadhafi killed masses of Libyans. After the charge that Gadhafi government killed thousands, the government asked for proof, for names, for pictures. The "rebels" (really counter-revolutionaries) could not provide this evidence--because it did NOT happen. The guests on Flashpoints have NO proof.
(4) Gadhafi fought for and obtained the highest living standards for the Libyans compared to ALL of the other African countries. And, actually, the standards are higher than most Americans have. Libyans have free health care, own their homes, have free education , have jobs --these are freedoms that the masses of the US are denied. Of course, now that the NATO supported "rebels" have warred against the overwhelming majority of Libyans, the Libyans are losing much, including their lives. Depleted Uranium was used and will cause severe health problems. The civilian infrastructure is being demolished. The great pure water system Gadhafi built is being destroyed and contaminated. TALK ABOUT ALL THIS TO YOUR GUESTS!!!
(5) The "rebels" in Libya are NOT representative of the Libyans and there is NO CONNECTION between the Egyptian nor the Tunisian uprising and what is happening in Libya. See Prof. Michel Chossudovsky's articles on Libya at www.globalresearch.ca, as well as other noted political analysts. Why isn't the esteemed Prof. Chossudovsky invited onto Flashpoints??
WHY is it that Flashpoints CHOOSES totally to ignore Cynthia McKinney re Libya (not talking about other issues with McKinney, only Libya). Here is a person who does not have an agenda against Gadhafi; who visited Libya right before the bombing and returned after the bombing with a fact-finding delegation. Her only agenda is finding and telling the truth and representing the people.
I am running out of space, so I shall stop here; but there are many other "whys" that Dennis and Miguel have CHOSEN to avoid. It is sickening, as it amounts to deception; and deception leads to warmongering.
I take it all of this is true because you are a Libyan actually in Libya? As is Cynthia McKinney?
Of course neither I nor Cynthia McKinney are Libyan and the fact that we are not has nothing to do with honest observation--in McKinney's case on the ground observation--re what Gadhafi has done for Libya. Also, she has honest indisputable observation of the bombing of the Libyan university during the day and continued NATO bombing while she was on her second trip with fact-finding delegation. And, your reply does NOT address the questions I asked and don't need to repeat as they are there for all to see. I especially wonder why Prof. Michel Chossudovsky is not asked to be on the show,as he is an excellent and respected political analyst and appears to be in good standing with Dennis. This should NOT be just the young, intelligent, passionate, compassionate honest Mahdi Nazemroaya VS the Arab (or non-Arab) anti-Gadhafi academics and/or Libyan self-imposed exiles. Another good source that all should read is Michel Collon's 3 part series on Libya. Collon is no Gadhai lover, but he sticks to reporting facts and not lowering himself to unsubstantiated ranting and raving. One can access these articles at http://www.michelcollon.info/-English-.html?lang=fr
Last, just a thought: Would you say that Bush the Shrub or any of "our" presidents had the truth and spoke the truth or even gave anywhere accurate picture of life here in the US just because they were born here and lived here most of their lives??? Being an "American" does not make one undeniably accurate. There are always emotions and points of view that interfere on all sides. That is why it is very important to point out the undeniable and observable facts, such as the many accomplishments of the Gadhafi government.
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