Friday, April 01, 2011

Surreal Rhetoric on Libya

By Lawrence Davidson
April 1, 2011

Spokespersons for NATO, European politicians, members of the Obama administration, and the President himself have been out and about seeking to articulate justifications for the ongoing intervention in Libya. For better or worse, their public statements do not always make sense.

Read on.


Big Em said...

Prof Davidson makes an excellent point when he says "...Our military interventions have never reflected any sincere sense of 'responsibilities to our fellow human beings.'..." They have virtually always been about US domestic concerns (oil supply, supporting capitalism cronies, appearing 'tough' to the US electorate, etc) at the core, with altruistic decoration (supporting democracy/civilians, stopping aggression, etc) used as the ostensible rationale. One thing that is always telling to me is the politicians in the US who are always crying the loudest about repression and mistreatment (real, imagined, or contrived) in an 'enemy' leader's country... who supposedly care SO much about the citizens gaining the right to vote or protest in one of these countries - - - are the same US politicians which will repeatedly actively vote AGAINST social-welfare legislation in THIS country, will harass legitimate Latino voters here, and will ALWAYS be in favor of having police bash heads (at least!) of protestors (unless they're Tea Party types). Besides being the stunning hypocrisy we're accustomed to with the right-wing/Neo-cons, it certainly can leave little doubt as to what their true (very negative) agenda is...

rosemerry said...

Thanks Professor Davidson for a clear summary of the situation. The only good result I can think of would be if the NATO all-expanding,all-encompassing (except for the bad guys)gang were to break up. It has completely outlived any usefulness it ever had, and has instead decided to become an instrument for the USA to take over the world, pretending its "partners for peace" have a say.
Read the site STOP NATO any time to see what is going on.

Peter Loeb said...

"and neither of them ever

said what they meant

and i guess nobody ever does"

(last lines of the poem LEGACIES
by Nikki Giovanni)

Peter Loeb said...


With care to avoid histories that
dissolve into lists of categories,
dynasties and old so-called
"facts", one often discovers new
meanings even for today's issues.

The following excerpts are from
American Expansion from the
Revolution to the Civil War"
by William Earl Weeks (IVAN R.
DEE,INC., 1996, pp.63-64):

"..The nationalist dream of a
Manifest Destiny did not include
nonwhite peoples...The universal
appeals of the Revolutionary era---
liberty, justice, and equality
for all peoples of the world ---
had receded, to be replaced by
by an increasing sense of the
special, superior charactertics
of white Anglo-Saxon Americans...
American nationalism became
became defined in racial terms...

In short...the American people
had placed themselves at the
center of their own creation.

They perceived themselves as
agents of God's will, destined
to redeem the world and not
inclined to compromise with those
who disagreed."

The devlopment of Islam and Muslim
empires precedes the concept of

For a complete study of communication I strongly recommend:

1.Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky,

2.Noam Chomsky, "NECESSARY ILLUSIONS: Thought Control in
Democratic Societies"

Warren Metzler said...

I object strongly to the reasonableness of this assessment. The fact that the US rarely dealt with their favorite dictators; Mubarak, Pinochet, etc.; has no bearing at all on the possibility that Kadhafi is a murderous dictator, currently bent on mayhem with the residents of his country. If it is a darn shame that in the past the US administrations have been immoral in their support for dictators, that is an eminently viable reason for the US to finally get it right, and deal rightly with a current dictator.

What in the world is the basis for assuming that Fox can have videos of Kadhafi's violence, when that country has been keeping reporters from having real access for decades? You have to have reporters on the ground to create videos for a network to play.

We now know that the vast majority of the male residents at Sebrenica were massacred by Bosnian Serb forces. There were no videos of that slaughter on American television while it was happening, or for many months after it had occurred.

Gadhafi's slaughters are not unique. The international community should have intervened in all previous versions. That they didn't before is no basis for claiming it is incorrect to do so now.

If Kadhafi is allowed to succeed, it would dampen revolution efforts in other Arab countries. Plus, maybe a few dozen of people were killed in Bahrain. Reputable sources put the dead in the past couple of weeks, by Kadhafi's forces at exceeding 8,000.

When has a rebel force in the past defeated its dictator without similar heavy weapons???? The NVA and Vietnam certainly had heavy weapons. Once the opposition organizes itself, and has heavy weapons, it will be an entirely different story, and the West can withdraw any overt close combat bombing support.

"If the coalition creates a well-armed rebel army and assists it with close air-support, it will almost certainly kill and maim as many, if not more, civilians as they move west, than Gaddafi was allegedly doing as his forces moved east." This is a fundamentally irrational statement. Most of the people Kadhafi's forces have killed have been a result of a deliberate firing on housing and residential buildings. There is not one report out of Libya that I have seen that has shown a similar action by any of the opposition's military actions.

"The rebel coalition is tribal in nature and potentially fractious in character. What holds them together is not their alleged desire for democracy, but rather their dislike of Gaddafi. In a post-Gaddafi Libya there is a chance that the rebels will start fighting among themselves over control of the country’s resources?" More specious nonsense, arising out of a prejudiced racism. This current Arab Spring is primarily a demonstration of most of the residents of those countries finally wanting personal freedoms; which obviously includes a desire to leave their former tribal identities behind; which must occur to gain the freedoms for which they fight. There is no evidence an opposition victory will lead to any civil war / inter tribal fighting.

Until you have hard evidence that a single non-Libyan military combat force has landed in Libya to discuss is to be engaged in sophistry.