Saturday, March 5, 2011

America's "Howling Hypocrisy" Regarding Libya

In the articles below, Eric Margolis, Suemas Milne and Chris Floyd help people understand why they might feel jolts of cognitive dissonance and paralyzing ambivalence when listening to the "Peace" President and his Secretary of State speak about the Libyan civil war.

I think I understand my own feelings in any event. As Chris Floyd put it: "The howling hypocrisy of the American response to the uprising in Libya has been so jaw-dropping and nauseating that I've hardly been able to address it." Yep.

The response of the American administration, Obama and Hillary Clinton in particular, has been so incredibly dishonest and hypocritical, that anyone with even a poorly developed sense of intellectual and ethical integrity would find their displays of audacious cynicism inconceivable, that is if such deception hadn't become a central feature of American foreign policy in recent decades. Even then, one fights the thought that our leaders are in fact following Hitler's example of telling their people the big lie. At least their actions and words do not yet reach the olympic heights of deception established by George W. Bush and the Neocons in pushing the US into to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even if Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, is vying to become yet another American war criminal sitting in the oval office. Having lived through the Viet Nam era and so many frightfully immoral wars, criminal military assaults, and interventions since, one would think that I and others would know better than to think we Americans could ever produce great and peaceful leaders in a "democratic" system that is actually controlled by elites and corporate forces who know nothing better than how to control others in the pursuit of power and their own enrichment. "Hope springs eternal."

Included here is an interview from Antiwar Radio between Scott Horton and Eric Margolis, where Margolis explains that Gaddafi overthrew Libyan King Idris after a gentle nudge from the CIA in 1969. (Eric Margolis is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. See his website for details)

Hillary Clinton Statement on Libya

February 27, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Let me start by saying as strongly as I can that the United States and the American people support the aspirations and rights of the Libyan people. They are clearly sending as strong a message as they are capable of doing that it is time for Qadhafi to go. We think he must go as soon as possible without further bloodshed and violence.
We are also very conscious of the actions that have been taken against the Libyan people by the Qadhafi regime. And the Security Council resolution passed unanimously yesterday makes clear there will be accountability for crimes against humanity and war crimes and other atrocities that are being perpetrated against the Libyan people, including a referral to the International Criminal Court. And I want to underscore this unanimous message from the Security Council to those who are around Qadhafi that you will be held accountable for the actions that are being taken and have been taken against your own people.


March 04, 2011

War fever over Libya has gripped the United States and Canada. After a hiatus of nine years, in which he was a useful ally to western interests, Col. Muammar Gadaffi is once again the man we love to hate.

“On to Libya! Down with the Tyrant of Tripoli!” That’s the latest hue and cry from North America’s right wingers, media, and neoconservative lynch mob. Once again there’s talk of war against a small, almost defenseless nation that can’t seriously fight back.
The right thinks it sees  a golden opportunity in Libya’s current civil war to get rid of the unloved Muammar Gadaffi, “liberate” Libya’s high-grade oil, and to halt the wave uprisings now flaring across the Arab world.  
. . . .
There is enough hypocrisy over former ally Libya to float the US 6th Fleet.    
A US-British-French-Canadian invasion of Libya would be sugar-coated as a humanitarian mission to rescue Libyan civilians from supposedly murderous air strikes by Gadaffi’s totally inept air force.  
But no mention is made of the 65 Afghan civilians recently killed by a US air strike, or the nine Afghan boys collecting wood on a hillside massacred by US helicopter gunships last week Nor about repeated US air strikes on Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen that have killed large numbers of  civilians.  When we do it, it’s `collateral damage.’ . . . .

See Also:
February 25, 2011

Intervention in Libya would poison the Arab revolution
Western military action against Gaddafi risks spreading the conflict and undermining the democratic movement

Suemas Milne
Wednesday 2 March 2011 22.00 GMT

It's as if the bloodbaths of Iraq and Afghanistan had been a bad dream. The liberal interventionists are back. As insurrection and repression has split Libya in two and the death toll has mounted, the old Bush-and-Blair battle-cries have returned to haunt us.

The same western leaders who happily armed and did business with the Gaddafi regime until a fortnight ago have now slapped sanctions on the discarded autocrat and blithely referred him to the international criminal court the United States won't recognise.
. . . .

With Colonel Gaddafi and his loyalists showing every sign of digging in, the likelihood must be of intensified conflict – with all the heightened pretexts that would offer for outside interference, from humanitarian crises to threats to oil supplies.

But any such intervention would risk disaster and be a knife at the heart of the revolutionary process now sweeping the Arab world. Military action is needed, US and British politicians claim, because Gaddafi is "killing his own people". Hundreds have certainly died, but that's hard to take seriously as the principal motivation.

When more than 300 people were killed by Hosni Mubarak's security forces in a couple of weeks, Washington initially called for "restraint on both sides". In Iraq, 50,000 US occupation troops protect a government which last Friday killed 29 peaceful demonstrators demanding reform. In Bahrain, home of the US fifth fleet, the regime has been shooting and gassing protesters with British-supplied equipment for weeks.

The "responsibility to protect" invoked by those demanding intervention in Libya is applied so selectively that the word hypocrisy doesn't do it justice. And the idea that states which are themselves responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands in illegal wars, occupations and interventions in the last decade, along with mass imprisonment without trial, torture and kidnapping, should be authorised by international institutions to prevent killings in other countries is simply preposterous. . . . .


Taking the Cake: The Creeping Militarization of the Libyan Crisis
By Chris Floyd
March 04, 2011

The howling hypocrisy of the American response to the uprising in Libya has been so jaw-dropping and nauseating that I've hardly been able to address it. Fortunately, Seamus Milne is on the case, [See article above--Chris] and voices much of my thinking about the matter:

"The same western leaders who happily armed and did business with the Gaddafi regime until a fortnight ago have now slapped sanctions on the discarded autocrat and blithely referred him to the international criminal court the United States won't recognise."

Yes, does this not, as they say, take the cake ... and the plate and the forks and the napkins too? The United States pushing through a measure to refer Libyan leaders to an international court which the United States resolutely refuses to recognize -- lest its own leaders and their underlings find themselves in the dock for the most monstrous war crimes of this century? Yet even today, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was sternly wagging his finger at Gaddafi and his underlings, telling them they "will be held accountable" for their actions before the august institutions of international justice, which weigh the whole world in the balance ... except for the Peace prize-winning drone assassin and Continuer-in-Chief of a worldwide campaign of state terror, that is. . . . .

Chris Floyd--Empire Burlesque: High Crimes and Low Comedy in the American Imperium

1 comment:

Fred & Linda Palmer said...

For starters: 1. We are sympathetic to your views on Libya. 2. We opposed the Vietnam war and the Iraq & Afghanistan wars.
But: The US supports many of the autocrats of the world and if we don't support the more liberal efforts of the suppressed we are in fact continuing and adding to our support of the autocrats. It is a fantasy to think that the US will stop taking actions to defend perceived strategic interests, however neocolonial. Yes, US hypocrisy is staggering, but in our view the moral consequence is that we must give at least some aid to those who are fighting for self-determination even when the outcome is uncertain.