Summary: Since the beginning it’s been clear to those paying attention that we’ve been fed lies about the Libyan War, concerning both events there and American goals and actions. Most journalists ignored the facts, preferring to transcribe the stories fed them by government officials. We can whine about the our cruel leaders and their sycophants in the big bad news media. Or we can acknowledge that we enjoy the spurious but pleasing narratives sold to us more than a complex and ambiguous reality. That, among other things, makes us sheep. Here are links to posts that peak behind the veil of the news media. See the section at the end for additional information.
- Important: “A troubling lesson from Libya: Don’t give up nukes“, Reza Santi, op-ed in Christian Science Monitor, 30 August 2011
- “Why Gaddafi got a red card“, Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, 1 September 2011
- “How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli“, Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, 30 August 2011
- “Signs of Trouble Ahead – Islamists at the Heart of the Libyan Rebellion“, Patrick Cockburn, CounterPunch, 31 August 2011
- “A Victory for the Libyan People? – The Top Ten Myths in the War Against Libya“, Maximilian C. Forte, CounterPunch, 31 August 2011
- “Lockerbie and the Belgian Nurses – Gaddafi’s Libya as Demon“, Diana Johnstone, CounterPunch, 31 August 2011
- Another of the opinion-makers supporting our wars: “Meet Professor Juan Cole, Consultant to the CIA“, John Walsh, CounterPunch, 30 August 2011
Enjoy these eye-opening articles. Their links provide the meat of their content.
(1) “A troubling lesson from Libya: Don’t give up nukes“, Reza Santi, op-ed in Christian Science Monitor, 30 August 2011 — Excerpt:
Qaddafi stopped his nuclear program. Would NATO have bombed if he hadn’t? Now, Iran watches as nonnuclear states are invaded and nuclear ones win favors. … States under duress, such as Iran, are watching. Having witnessed attacks on Libya, Iraq, and Serbia while nuclear-armed countries remain secure, they can’t help but gravitate toward nuclear deterrence – though Iran’s aggressiveness aggravates regional tensions. This dynamic is even more profound considering that nuclear technology is accessible to many different countries and regions.
… The US and other countries that want to move forward with nonproliferation need to understand why states would want the bomb. If fear is driving them, and evidence strongly suggests it is, those fears must be addressed.
The threat or reality of military intervention against nonnuclear states (think also Syria), at times done to dissuade them from acquiring nuclear capability, can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Efforts at dialogue, security cooperation, and a renewed commitment to disarmament for all will go a long way toward reviving the nonproliferation argument. Otherwise, that narrative will become obsolete, perhaps dragging the world into a renewed arms race in a more profound and volatile way.
Santi is a graduate fellow in the Middle East Studies Center and a PhD candidate in the School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University.
(2) “Why Gaddafi got a red card“, Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, 1 September 2011 — Summary:
The Sunni monarchical dictator in Bahrain stays; the House of Saud club of dictators stays; even the Syrian dictator is getting a break – so far. So, what was the crucial difference with Muammar Gaddafi that got him a red card? There are enough red lines crossed by The Big G to turn this whole computer screen blood red, but let’s start with the French …
(2) “How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli“, Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, 30 August 2011 — Summary:
Abdelhakim Belhaj, the top rebel military commander in still war-torn Libya, is an al-Qaeda asset. It doesn’t require a crystal ball to picture that his group – being among the war “winners” – will not be interested in relinquishing control just to please the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Libya may now face the specter of Muammar Gaddafi forces against a weak transitional central government and NATO boots on the ground; and the Belhaj-led nebula in a jihad against NATO (if they are sidelined from power).
(3) “Signs of Trouble Ahead – Islamists at the Heart of the Libyan Rebellion“, Patrick Cockburn, CounterPunch, 31 August 2011 — Opening:
(Tripoli) Rebel militiamen, many of them former prisoners of Muammar Gaddafi, have an iron grip on Tripoli, but wonder who will hold long-term power in Libya.
(4) “A Victory for the Libyan People? – The Top Ten Myths in the War Against Libya“, Maximilian C. Forte, CounterPunch, 31 August 2011 — Summary:
- Gaddafi is “bombing his own people”.
- Save Benghazi.
- African Mercenaries.
- Viagra-fueled Mass Rape.
- Responsibility to Protect (R2P).
- Gaddafi — the Demon.
- Freedom Fighters — the Angels.
- Victory for the Libyan People.
- Defeat for “the Left”.
Maximilian Forte is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
(5) “Lockerbie and the Belgian Nurses – Gaddafi’s Libya as Demon“, Diana Johnstone, CounterPunch, 31 August 2011 — Opening:
Since Colonel Gaddafi has lost his military hold in the war against NATO and the insurgents/rebels/new regime, numerous talking heads have taken to celebrating this war as a “success”. They believe this is a “victory of the Libyan people” and that we should all be celebrating. Others proclaim victory for the “responsibility to protect,” for “humanitarian interventionism,” and condemn the “anti-imperialist left”. Some of those 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 their martyrdom, and magnifying 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 ideologically-motivated fabrications of “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 Libyans, and to all those who favoured peaceful, non-militarist solutions.
Diana Johnstone is author of Fools’ Crusade.
For additional information about the Lockerbie story, so important in forming American’s viewe of Gadddafi, see More hidden history, more unsettling truths: the Lockerbie bombing.
(6) Another of the opinion-makers supporting our wars: “Meet Professor Juan Cole, Consultant to the CIA“, John Walsh, CounterPunch, 30 August 2011
Other posts about Libya
- Libya’s people need uninvited infidel foreigners to save them!, 1 March 2011
- “You just have not seen enough people bleed to death”, 8 March 2011
- About attacking Libya – let’s give this more thought than we did Afghanistan and Iraq, 6 March 2009
- Our geopolitical experts see the world with the innocent eyes of children (that’s a bad thing), 14 March 2011
- We’re at war, again. Another shovel of dirt on the corpse of the Constitution., 21 March 2011
- A war monger review, looking at the articles advocating a US war with Libya, 22 March 2011
- What will the world’s tyrants learn from the Libyan War? Get nukes., 25 March 2011
- Who are we helping in Libya? Here are some answers., 27 March 2011
- In America, both Left and Right love the long war, 30 March 2011
- Can the UN give Obama the authority to send US forces in the Libyan War?, 1 April 2011
- Tearing the Constitution is a bipartisan sport!, 4 April 2011
- Why the Libyan War is important to us – and to our children, 9 April 2011
- A status report on our intervention in Libya. Historians will find this farce fascinating., 17 April 2011
- A child-like credulity is required to be a US geopolitical expert, 25 April 2011