So Saif Gaddafi wants to go on trial in the international court at the Hague while the new rulers of Libya say that violates their sovereignity. I don’t blame Saif if the justice he gets is like his father’s. Rough justice indeed which made areal life spectacle enjoyed by the world. At least Hillary Clinton laughed her socks off. The thin veneer of civilisation indeed!
Presumably then the US will support the new Libyan administration which can hardly claim not to have blood on its hands. I believe it’s important to hear what Saif has to say. NATO cannot claim that it stuck to the UN mandate as is claimed. It was clearly about safeguarding civilians. To the NATO allies it was about safeguarding the oil supplies they want so badly want and will use any pretext to get it. Probably a lot more suffered as a result. I would think that NATO will not welcome Saif Gaddafi telling all he knows about what has been going on in Libya. As usual the media have followed a narrow one-sided path so as usual we remain ignorant of the full story. Curiously Al Jazeera seems more pro-western while Russia Today has provided a broader outlook.
Who has gained from the endless “War on Terror”, as it is called, 10 years on? Not the people of Iraq or Afghanistan, or now those in Libya, with threats to take “shock and awe” to other theatres. As one writer points out the threat to security of western countries is economic rather than military, so spending on dropping ever increasingly sophisticated and horrifying weaponry has no point. That is unless you work in the arms industry or have shares in it, as many proponents of the endless war tend to do.
Modern warfare is made endless because of the use of weapons which are supposedly illegal. So cluster bombs continue to kill and maim years after they are used, often deliberately sown towards the end of a conflict to reap a grim harvest of life and limb of the young and innocent for years to come. The US and Israel did this in Vietnam and the Lebanon. An increasingly widely used menace is the drone. Just sit back in your arm chair thousands of miles away and find your target. Kids do it in their living rooms, except they are playing games. Actually they are being programmed to become the next murderers as fantasy becomes a reality. What is the difference?
Yet David Cameron is still able to spout about how everyone has benefited from unleashing terror upon terror. How the wretched in Iraq and Libya have been helped to democracy, their overthrown leaders replaced by unknown, untested, shadowy figures who will bow to western governments demands for the worlds limited resources. The cost? Enough in monetary terms to settle the economic crisis many times over I would guess, but this doesn’t begin to look at the human misery in terms of lost and damaged lives. It doesn’t consider the environmental damage, which has been enormous but hardly registers as a concern in media coverage.
Obama told the world he can change things. He can stop the war. He can close Gitmo. Apparently he can’t, and egged on by the likes of Cameron continues with yet more. A once settled Libya is now open for the taking. Yes there may have been serious concerns about life and liberty there, but this overlooks the concerns that exist in these hypocrites’ own back yard.
Ten years ago Tony Blair bared his chest and placed an image of Britain on it saying “shoot here”. They heard him and obliged!
Across the United States and Europe the battle over the assault on the public is taking off, with a firm response to Britain’s attack on public services, jobs and pensions planned for 30th November, Around 30,000 assembled in Manchester to register their displeasure with the Con bit of this appalling government.
When we take to the streets however can we expect more heavy handed policing to crack down on us for having the temerity to protest against loss of pay and poorer, less safe working conditions? Which of the weapons will you choose to use against us: water canon, rubber coated bullets, cs gas?
What is happening to us as a result of the austerity measures imposed on us by a rich, well-fed elite? More are growing hungry as food bills rise with food supplies controlled by profit-hungry corporations. More will be feeling the chill as energy prices spiral upwards so many will have to choose between going hungry or enduring the cold – probably both. Public services are no longer able to pick up the pieces as councils dispense with experienced staff who ran our “essential services”. No longer essential the most vulnerable are suffering the consequences. Yes Mr Cameron we will fight back you are assured.
Even before the the dust has settled and the guns have fallen silent the “black gold” rush has begun. International oil countries are busy trying to secure lucrative deals – better than they were able to while Gaddafi was around – and governments are staking their claims against the strength of their relative involvement in bringing down the Libyan regime.
The demonisation of Gaddafi is a reversal of views formally held. Blair courted him and so did Sarkozy. Now Cameron spews venom and Sarkozy has turned himself inside out. Nothing is said about the way wealth was distributed internally to provide health, education and housing to the people. It was a key member of the African Union. Now black Africans are in acute danger as the victorious rebels turn on anyone it identifies as supporter of the toppled power. Racism it seems is rife, not that that will bother European powers.
The duplicity of the western powers that turned on Libya is well described in the comment from an Italian commentator on Russia Today. “No Italian media would ask me for an interview” declares the speaker as she describes the motives for the bombing. She denies that the oil wealth was withheld pointing to the considerable benefits in housing, education and health available.
Make changes? “Yes we can” declared the new President Obama after the weary years of George W. Bush who embroiled the US in unending combat. Now he has been censured by the House of Representatives for embarking in one war too far. Libya.
Bush stated: “we will attack you if we believe you will attack us”, and Obama has endorsed such a sentiment. In UK Blair gave his full support and now Cameron appears even more gung-ho with “I’ll do the talking, you do the fighting” when defence chiefs wanted to know where the money was coming from in our supposedly straitened economy.
Where are the pressures to keep the bonfire alight. Here’s a suggestion. War is big business and governments have been in the habit of increasing the role of civilians in conducting their conflicts. Of course our elected representatives will fight for us won’t they? Not if the revolving door continues its merry way offering lucrative contracts to ex-politicians, government officials and army chiefs! How well the arms industry fared under Bush is not a secret.
Whereas there is clear opposition to Obama over Libya, where is such a restraint on Cameron and co? We understood the UN mandate for NATO action to be limited and certainly did not include “regime change”. To make their mark it seems that successive prime ministers since Thatcher have felt it necessary to be blooded using the Churchillian comparison. Blair outdid Thatcher in many ways like privatisation of public services. Her Falklands adventure pales into insignificance alongside Blair’s. Cameron still has a long way to go. God help us all.
In The Independent Robert Fisk summarises where we are in the Middle East, in his view, after the Netanahyu visit to Washington and Obama’s response (virtually caving in – although his mild rebukes cost him an estimated $10,000,000 in donations from this source).
Not quite sure about Fisk’s response to Libya. Yes it can be lumped together with other regimes for deaths of its own citizens but Libya is in another camp when it comes to ownership of oil reserves. So western intervention takes a different slant when dealing with Libya than it does Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. We hear that Britain is among those training the oppressors of those fighting for “democracy and freedom”, which Cameron, Obama and western leaders say they want. We know what they’re after, which, as in Iraq, is oil. Bugger democracy.
The blind eyes of what is going on in Israel/Palestine continues apace from both politicians and the media. With the internet there are daily reports of atrocities as Israeli forces continue to bully unarmed and courageous Palestinian villagers with state of the art weaponry, much of it supplied by US and other “democratic” states.
Two big questions addressed in articles in today’s Independent. Not new questions and pretty obvious to many of us, but I put them here as markers.
The continuing battles for oil and the hacking down of rain forests are both suicidal projects, long recognised as such. Turning round an oil tanker has long been a description of a difficult task. Given the drivers of today’s controllers of wealth there isn’t even a will to stop the beast. It is being driven forward at an increasing rate of knots taking us towards oblivion. The US is on board, and so in the European Economic Union. Will any individual countries be able to jump ship? Looks as if Greece is about to be pushed with Spain also visibly suffering.
Who is control? Added to this is the power of the corporations with once again Money at the centre.
It is sad and ironic that the present President of the United States lends himself so easily to ideas that are loaded in meaning in the history of that nation, but everyone thought and supposed he would challenge. The idea that things would change was deliberately nurtured in the run for the presidency, but there is nothing here that the hugely discredited George W. Bush and his right coterie would not have delighted in.
Mondoweiss explains the deep significance in the code “Geronimo” used for Bin Laden and the abbreviation EKIA (Enemy Killed In Action). Are the wars against the American Indians still held as a glorious part of U.S. history? Is this an explanation of what is continuing they ask as the US goes along with Israel in dealing with the Palestinian territories? It’s not Bin-Laden that is the root cause of terrorism but the continuing oppression of people nowhere more apparent than in the US dominated Zionist state, something many, if not most, Jewish people in the world abhor. You can even get the tee-shirt JerUSAlem!
Writing in Granma Fidel Castro also reminds the US of some home truths apparently forgotten in the triumphalism of the moment. Of course Obama has his eye on the prize and is claiming a just reward for what George W. singularly failed to do.
Bin Laden? Well the video clips give an image rather different to that the media have promoted, a rather sad elderly figure who even now the U.S. continues to claim is a source of immense power. Is this correct? If so who has been the source of this? Didn’t the United States and allies do his work for him in building the idea of the need for a war on terror? A fall guy was badly needed after the fall of Communism and this ramshackle being was the unlikely answer to the politicians’ need.
Every debacle the US and NATO enters soon becomes a quagmire where it becomes impossible for them to free themselves. The much proclaimed “we are there to protect civilians” has become as sick a comment as can be imagined. We don’t have to go back to Korea or Vietnam, but the still active forays into Iraq and Afghanistan show what we can expect in the next victims. So far Iran and Syria have not had the full treatment, although we can imagine there is much activity on the ground as there was undoubtedly in Egypt as it emerges the new regime is a much in hoc to US imperialism as the old.
So now we have daily reports of extensive civilian casualties that NATO et al are meant to protect, a Channel 4 report is particularly horrifying. Today one of Gaddafi’s sons is dead and three of his grandchildren. The claim is that a “military target” was bombed. It so happened that Gaddafi himself was there. Presumably the three children are civilians, so what was the real purpose of this attack?
Russia Today believes that Gaddafi’s intention to introduce a gold currency us a likely reason for the west to round on him. This was in conjunction with the African Union and other Arab states with the prospect that payment for oil would be demanded in gold. This is not a prospect that the credit-ridden world of Capitalism could countenance.
There will be no peace. Not so long as big business calls the shots. The UK was among those flogging their specialities in killing to Libya and Bahrain up to the wire.
Meanwhile it is revealed sales of death from the US to Israel are revealed.
The revolving door system where retiring politicians, government officials or army staff take up lucrative appointments advising the arms et al industries is well oiled. In the UK there are numerous appointments listed since 1999.