By J L Samboma
The Horn of Africa is today within the stranglehold of drought and famine. Libya, a significant player in the so-called African Union under any reckoning, is currently under sustained imperialist assault by the Western powers, a mass-murdering adventure led by the first black president of the United States of America.
In the Middle East, we see the imperialists engaged in their usual double standards, frustrating the legitimate struggle of the Palestinians against Zionist occupation and aggression. At he same time, these self-same forces of imperialism arm and finance racist, cut-throat thugs and CIA agent provocateurs who routinely lynch black African Libyans in their bid to destabilise a sovereign state.
All are agreed that it is time Africans and people of African descent woke up to the challenges presented by the debilitating and egregious state of affairs obtaining on the continent at the present time. These are legitimate sentiments no-one in their right mind would disagree with.
I will attempt to argue in this essay that it is indeed time that Africans addressed head-on these and other multifarious issues facing the continent. I will also argue that the imperialist assault on Libya presents a once-in-lifetime opportunity for Africans and people of African descent to step up to the plate and challenge the international status quo which has relegated us to a state of victimhood under which we have become almost-willing prey to the rapists from the West.
I will therefore begin with Libya. We were told, courtesy of corporate media like the BBC, America’s ABC network and various news rags that the assault was a humanitarian mission by the Western powers to protect “innocent civilians” in Libya against the forces of the “mad dog” Gadaffi. Libyan forces, so the story went, were presumably bent on putting down a popular revolt by the Libyan masses to rid themselves of Gadaffi the dictator. We were also told that the so-called uprising was an integral part of the Arab Spring, which commenced late last year in Tunisia, when the masses rose to protest against increasing economic hardship.
I will beg to differ on this point. I don’t have any special knowledge on which to base my arguments. My sources are the same as are available to my peers – the corporate media and Google. The major difference is that I have chosen to go beyond the spoon-fed propaganda of the corporate media.
In February the world awoke to news that the Libyan people had risen up against their “mad dictator” and were following in the footsteps of their brethren in Tunisia and Egypt. What these reports omitted to mention was that the so-called “Arab Spring” – a nomenclature coined by the corporate media – was that the socio-economic conditions which gave rise to this “Arab Spring” did not exist in Libya.
I am not going to go through the trouble of listing all the sources which back up this essay for the simple reason that this piece will be read on the web, and Google’s at hand for any reader who wants to find corroboration for the assertions I make here. Furthermore, I’m writing this to a deadline.
The socio-economic conditions existing in Libya pre-invasion were unique in Africa – and indeed, the Arab world. Thanks to the Libyan Revolution of 1969 – which swept away the Western-backed monarchy – the country could boast of the highest standard of living in the whole of Africa and large sections of the Arab world. The people of Libya’s Jamahiriya enjoyed free and healthcare, available housing and a negligible crime rate compared to countries in both the so-called first and third worlds.
CIA and British Special Forces
The Arab Spring, as defined and spun by the Western propaganda machine, was sparked-off in, first Tunisia, and then Egypt, by conditions particular to those countries. My position, which I maintain is objective, is that agents in the pay of the Western powers, in particular the CIA and British Special Forces, who were in the country during the early stages of the “uprising,” used the camouflage of the Arab Spring to mount a coup to remove a leader who had a thorn in the side of the West for decades.
As to the claim that the international community – otherwise known as the Western powers – launched the assault to protect “innocent civilians,” events since the passing of UN Resolution 1973 have amply demonstrated that it was but a fig-leaf for violent regime change.
As I write, the Zionist apologist known as Hillary Clinton has delivered the verdict that the Syrian government is “without legitimacy.” This is not said in defence of Assad and his violent repression of popular protests. Like Tunisia and Egypt, the concrete conditions operating in Syria are as different to those obtaining in Libya as night is to day.
“Killing his own people”
What actually happened in Libya, as stated above, was that disparate elements – including Islamists, disaffected former Gadaffi loyalists and CIA assets – were amalgamated by Western spy agencies to mount an offensive to remove a so-called “trouble-maker.”
We were told that Gadaffi was “killing his own people.” This, presumably, was justification for the wanton mass-murder by Western state terrorists in high-tech aircraft several thousand feet in the air. This is a repeat of what happened in 2003 over Iraq’s airspace, when more than a million innocent people were butchered by the “brave and patriotic forces” of the West.
But I ask you this, dear reader, what would the US or Britain do if a bunch of armed insurgents decided to launch attacks which threatened the very foundations of the state? Remember the atrocities the British army committed against the Irish during the “troubles” with the IRA? Or the US against the Branch Davidians and rightwing militia?
Humans breathe, states quell insurgencies
My equation of Gadaffi’s reaction to the armed insurgency to those of the US and UK governments against rightwing militia and the IRA, should not be read as justification for the Libyan government’s actions. It is not a value judgement by any stretch of the imagination. I am simply stating that it is what sovereign states do. Humans breathe; nation states suppress armed insurgents who threaten the survival of the state. That is what Gadaffi’s forces were doing - and they would have succeeded in putting down the fifth columnists had not the Western powers used the fig-leaf of a UN Resolution to sanction an illegal assault to rescue armed thugs and murderers they have used poetic licence to call “revolutionaries” and “rebels.”
Libyan forces were putting down an armed insurrection. If that counts as “killing his own people” – a phrase which, thanks to incessant repetition by the media, has become as recognisable as the Lord’s Prayer or Al-fathia is to the religious – then all governments which have put down armed insurgents, including the British and the Americans, are equally guilty of, as the refrain goes, "killing their own people."
In tandem with this blatant aggression against a sovereign African state, there has been a concerted, offensive by corporate media in the West to justify it. For instance, they have amplified the lie that the “intervention” was to protect “innocent civilians,” in other words Western appendages who sparked this so-called uprising. It is a thinly-veiled attempt to reverse the gains of the Libyan Revolution, which had delivered advances that were the envy of countries not only in Africa and the Middle East, but also in so-called first world countries. It is also a blatant attempt to grab Libyan resources by oil-dependent Western nations on a downward trajectory to economic decline.
The West in crisis
The West is in the throes of one of their periodic crises: There have been revolts in recent months in Britain, Greece, Spain; joblessness is on an ever-increasing spiral in Europe and the USA, not to mention Africa and the Middle East – thanks to the neoliberal economic policies and IMF and World Bank diktat. The attack on Libya, incidentally, is aimed at stifling the bad example of a country which has used its vast oil wealth to improve the living circumstances of its people. Libya has zero-foreign debt and has resolved to develop outside the orbit of the Western-dominated economic orbit.
Less than a decade after the Western media apologised for their biased coverage of the events leading up to the Iraq Slaughter of 2003, they are back to their old dirty tricks, functioning as the advance guard of imperialist aaggression. Just before Apache fighter-copters were deployed against civilians defending the gains of the Libyan Revolution, the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen informed us drones would be used, adding, “We all know how accurate drones are.” He conveniently forgot to add that these “surgical-striking” drones had killed thousands of civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen. Such propaganda is meant to soften public opinion in advance of the atrocities which the “coalition for the killing” have planned in their desperate attempt to sedate popular opposition to their illegal actions.
Western media are the advance guard of imperialism
The Western media, as they did in Iraq, have taken the place the missionaries occupied during the era of colonialism, as the advance guard. They tell us that forces loyal to Gadaffi have raped women using Viagra-induced erectiles, while failing palpably to come up with the women upon whom such unspeakable violence has been inflicted. Gadaffi’s forces have allegedly killed thousands while putting down this “popular revolt,” but we don’t get to see the tell-tale mass graves. Dear reader, remember Saddam and his WMD’s and shake your head in wonderment.
See John Simpson, the grand “world affairs” editor and propagandist of the BBC, praise-singing for the so-called “rebels” – people who have made a pastime of lynching Libya’s black Africans without a pipsqueak from Amnesty International and the so-called International Criminal Court which, incidentally, has taken it upon itself to indict Gadaffi for so-called war crimes. This is the same ICC which has turned a blind eye to the mass murder of over a million Iraqis by the Abominable Bush-man and Tone the Smiling-Mass-Murderer and their “brave and patriotic” forces.
Saddam’s non-existent WMDs
Despite numerous and presumably heart-felt mea culpas in the aftermath of the the Gulf Slaughter, when the international media owned up to their biased reporting of Saddaam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction, they have reverted to type during this Libyan adventure.
One of the most poignant quotes I remember from that time was the words of the playwright and activist Harold Pinter:“As every single person here knows, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation.
“We were assured that was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with al-Qaida and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11 2001. We were assured that this was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true. It was not true.”
This poignant Pinteresque critique of the Gulf Slaughter and how it was sold to us by the corrupt media establishment is as relevant today as when he said it almost a decade ago. The harbinger of those lies were none other than these self-same news organisations which are now selling the carnage in Libya, pretending to be unbiased reporters of raw data on a “humanitarian intervention” which is anything but.
A vast tapestry of lies
I do not pretend to be a disinterested observer. I have not attempted to disguise where my sympathies lie. The reason you are not reading this in one of the organs of the corporate media is because they have no use for the perspective from which I write. The “raw data” on which this essay is grounded are available to anyone who cares to sifter the truth from the cacophonous lies being bandied about with such generous abandon by the BBC and their co-travellers.
The corporate media are not interested in the truth. They are interested in promoting an agenda, in selling a war of aggression to a public which, from the evidence we have, do not seem to be interested in the truth. If this public were interested in truth they would go to the same sources I have used, which is the very unglamorous Google search engine, available to each and every one of us. If I can report the truth, why can't the BBC, ABC, and others, with all the resources at their disposal?
“What surrounds us therefore,” as Pinter said, “is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.”
This Pinteresque tapestry of lies has become all the more turgid with the unfolding catastrophe of famine and drought in the Horn of Africa. Forget the distasteful sight of Mrs Obomber jetting off to Southern Africa to smooch with the natives as her husband presides over the bombing of a member of the African Union into the stone-age, mass-murdering innocent civilians in the process.
The so-called humanitarian drive to assist in the relief effort in the Horn has presented the West with a massive public relations opportunity to posture as saviours of Africa, even as the atrocities against Libyans is gathering apace. It has also served to push the Libya Slaughter from the top of the news bulletins and front pages, thus giving the Masters of the Universe some leeway to up the ante to conclude their inhumane adventure in quick-time.
- To be continued