Libya: the latest offensive in the West's war on humanity
by Toni Solo,
March 24th 2011
Events in Libya have confirmed that the West is fated to inflict on humanity the demented moral hypocrisy of its peoples and the malevolent avarice of their ruling élites. North American and European corporate propaganda media have recited a relentless litany of false beliefs that have also been echoed by the great majority of what, in the Western Bloc, passes for progressive opinion. The opinions of the majority world have been disdained with what can only be interpreted as racist arrogance.
As in all effective political propaganda, the key message turns around one or two simple and endlessly mechanically reproduced motifs. In the case of Libya the first motif is that Muamar Gaddafi is an exceptionally brutal and corrupt dictator with no support among the Libyan people. A second motif has been that the rebellion in Libya was led by peaceful, noble, heroic rebels against the Gaddafi dictatorship. These two false beliefs have been sustained by a plethora of hypocritical comment, blatant moral blackmail and narcissistic pseudo-analysis.
Anyone pointing out the available facts tends to be summarily denounced as an apologist for the Libyan government, or, as the cant propaganda would have it, "Gaddafi". But if one considers the opinions of the majority world, China, Russia, India, the African Union, Brazil and most of South America, one finds a broad and deep consensus arguing for a peaceful solution to Libya's internal conflict. The Western Bloc countries - of North America, Europe and their Pacific allies - and in this instance the repressive Arab regimes they support, have, as usual, violated the fundamental United Nations principles of non-aggression, self-determination and territorial integrity. All this was rehearsed in microcosm in the aftermath of the Lockerbie bombing.
For years, that terrorist outrage went unattributed. Suddenly the Western powers accused Libya. Via sanctions and threats they strongarmed the Libyan government into handing over two suspects. After many more years of judicial theatre a Libyan was convicted of the atrocity. But authoritative legal opinion in England and Scotland never believed the conviction was just. Subsequently, the Western powers bullied the Libyan government into paying compensation in return for an easing of punitive sanctions they had unjustly imposed. Finally, the innocent man was returned to Libya on humanitarian grounds amidst much fake outrage from Western politicians. Lockerbie was the cruel, farcical prequel to the current Western imposed catastrophe in Libya.
The propaganda lie that Muamar Gaddafi is an exceptionally brutal dictator is false on various counts. In global terms, there is nothing exceptional about Libya's government. It has been run for decades by a political class composed of various political factions responding to tribal interests held in more or less constant but uneasy equilibrium by Muamar Gaddafi. Globally, there is nothing exceptional about the use of armed force to impose internal control against armed revolt. The colonial practice of Britain and France continues to set the standard for former colonies around the world.
Supposedly democratic countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Israel, Colombia and Mexico, have all used levels of force in recent years either much greater than or similar to Libya's against the minority armed rebellion there. Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda, all Western allies, are countries with records of murderous violence against both their own populations or those of neighbouring countries. Nor should it be necessary to point out the records of any of the world's great powers on that score.
The record of the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the governments of the United States, Spain, Italy, Britain and France is long and shameful. They continue to support repressive regimes, from major states like Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to smaller states like Equatorial Guinea, Israel, the Gulf States, Honduras, Morocco or Uzbekistan, for example. In the eyes of the majority world, they certainly have no moral authority to condemn the record of the Libyan government.
In terms of corruption, Libya is one of a few countries in the world whose governments can point to State owned reserves running into hundreds of billions of dollars. Libya's ruling classes are no more corrupt than dozens of governments throughout the world including those of all the governments' previously mentioned along with virtually all the rest of Africa and Asia. Right now, plenty of people across the political spectrum agree that the financial bail-outs in the United States and Europe amount to a blatantly corrupt transfer of wealth from taxpayers to those countries' oligarchies. By contrast, the Libyan government's sovereign wealth fund amounts to over US$200bn and, along with the coutnry's gold reserves, is certainly the target, in particular, of European oligarchs anxious to raid the wealth of the Libyan people so as to fund their countries' rotten-corrupt financial sectors.
Events in Libya
None of this information is controversial. But the Western Bloc propaganda media suppress it in order to make Libya's record look exceptionally bad. Clearly, in global terms, Libya is average in terms of corruption and repression. However, in terms of the benefits that the Libyan government has given its people, Libya is exceptional. It is a truism that Libya offers the great majority of its population a standard of living much better than that of other countries in the region. It is also true that Libya has enjoyed increasing prosperity in the last few years.
These facts explain why the Libyan government and Muamar Gaddafi do indeed enjoy the support of a majority of the Libyan population. Popular support for Gaddafi and the Libyan government has made the propaganda claims of Western Bloc corporate media look completely fake. Slowly, this reality is becoming accepted with articles appearing in media like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times paving the way for a quiet reset of the grotesque propaganda that has been used to justify the NATO aggression against Libya.
The Western propaganda machine has never confirmed the innumerable false reports of mass killings of peaceful anti-Gaddafi protestors, nor the false reports of aerial bombing of peaceful demonstrations, nor the false reports of mass graves. Now, the propaganda machine has to explain why the Western Bloc powers have abysmally failed to dislodge the supposedly isolated, cornered "dictator". It has also to explain why the mission to defend innocent civilians is killing and wounding many hundreds - and no doubt eventually thousands - of innocent civilians and provoking a human catastrophe unimaginably far beyond what the NATO intervention was falsely alleged to seek to prevent.
Conversely, the propagandists have covered up the lynchings and mass killings committed by the rebel forces, who used armed violence and brutality against those who opposed them right from the start. The propagandists suppress the obvious fact that the rebels have so little support that they need a NATO invasion force to help them defeat the majority of Libyans who clearly oppose them. The apologists for NATO's latest colonial war argue that the attacks were necessary to prevent a massacre in Benghazi.
But NATO's onslaught has been made right across Libya's national territory, not just in the Benghazi region. The facts are that the, Libyan government forces deliberately refrained form entering Benghazi before March 19th, specifically to give the rebels a chance to surrender. At the same time, the Libyan government invited UN and other observers to carry out a fact finding mission and had agreed to a ceasefire. That ceasefire was promptly broken by the rebels over March 18th and 19th just when France and Britain were pushing most fiercely in the UN to attack the Libyan majority who supported the Libyan government and its leader Muamar Gaddafi.
The likely casualties from any attack on Benghazi would have been similar to those in the other towns retaken by the Libyan government in which there was minimal loss of life, even going by reports by the Western propaganda media. The rebels turn out to be led by treacherous individuals who until February this year formed part of Libya's ruling political elite, individuals deeply implicated in the alleged crimes of the "dictatorship". Alongside them are Salafist fundamentalists and reactionary monarchists. The political agenda of these factions has nothing to do with anything approaching a "democratic" revolution.
Some propagandist reporters have noted the rebel areas remarkable capacity for self-government at local level. Almost no one has pointed out that such self-government has been a longstanding attempt at direct democracy deliberately promoted for decades by the Libyan government. Those reports implicitly contradict much of the "dictatorship" propaganda and suggest to the contrary that Libya's political system does in fact respond in large part to the needs of people at grass roots. But the opiate haze of propaganda false beliefs have sedated rational criticism of such self-evident propaganda contradictions.
NATO, the Western Bloc enforcer
In November 2010 Britain and France began planning a war game called Southern Mistral which envisaged air and naval forces attacking a country identical to Libya. The context of that war game was a conflict within the Libyan ruling classes about how best to redistibute Libya's oil wealth. Most of the country's national congress disagreed with Muamar Gaddafi's proposals to increase the levels of redistribution so as to benefit ordinary people in Libya more. Those proposals included plans to reverse and even nationalize concessions to foreign energy companies.
So very clearly, NATO's wanton mass murder in support of the reactionary Libyan rebels very clearly seeks to serve multiple geopolitical ends of the Western powers. Western ruling elites hope to secure their privileged access to energy resources, to consolidate their regional control of North Africa and to further destroy the integrity of the United Nations system based on sovereign nation states and the self determination of peoples. What this amounts to is just a continuation of the permanent global war against humanity of the Western Bloc elites.
Once the NATO powers have secured their goals in Africa they will turn their to West Asia – Syria and Iran – and to Latin America – the ALBA countries led by Cuba and Venezuela. The lesson from the aggression against Libya is that people in countries targeted by the murderous Western ruling elites are on their own. They can expect nothing effective by way of protective solidarity either from ordinary people in the West or from the governments of Western collaborators like Brazil, China, India or Russia.
The Western peoples' will never willingly reach an equitable settlement with the majority world in terms of sharing the world's resources. They will always go to war to get what they want. So George W. Bush was right. We are either with them or against them. There is no morally pure in-between.