Feb 24, 2011
People are reacting with horror to reports that the Libyan government is killing its own people. On-the-ground eyewitnesses are describing the government violence as massacres. Many people believe the international community should get involved to help resolve the crisis in Libya, and reduce the bloodletting. Shadi Hamid writes in Slate:
This is not just about Libya. The broader region is both coming alive and coming apart. Across the Arab world, governments are using disturbing levels of violence against peaceful protesters, and as long as their survival is at stake, they will continue to do so. Before the region descends into protracted civil conflict or worse, the international community has the opportunity, in Libya, to set an important precedent and save thousands of lives in the process.Aggressive international action is risky. But taking comfort in toothless denunciations of Qaddafi is riskier still. It is also a recipe for prolonged conflict. In the absence of alternatives, a responsibility to protect sometimes necessitates a responsibility to intervene. And, with the Libyan regime declaring, with unmistakable clarity, its intent to kill, the time for intervention is now.
On Wednesday, February 23, President Barack Obama condemned the violent crackdown by the Libyan government on anti-government protesters. “The suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable. So are threats and orders to shoot peaceful protesters,” said Obama, and added, “It is imperative that the nations and peoples of the world speak with one voice.” After days of silence, calls for peace coming from the President of the United States seems long overdue, but what does Obama mean when he says that nations must “speak with one voice.”
The same type of rhetoric is being used against the Iranian regime. If international sanctions don’t work against Iran, and if other tricks like inducing the Green movement to pick up where it left off in the summer of 2009 don’t have the desired effect, then will President Obama “speak with one voice” as he moves down the list of options and calls for a war against Iran?
President Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, threatened Iran in 2008 that if it attacked Israel in any manner the response from the United States would include the use of nuclear weapons. Was she speaking with “one voice” when she recklessly spread fear and paranoia on television about the intentions of the Iranian regime towards Israel? Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who silently protested Clinton at George Washington University recently, says that Clinton is able to voice violent threats and promote full-scale wars in front of American audiences because she doesn’t know the brutal reality of modern warfare. She doesn’t have first-hand contact with war. She might as well be a robot. McGovern writes:
Hillary Clinton — both as a U.S. senator and as Secretary of State — has demonstrated a nonchalant readiness to unleash the vast destructiveness of American military power. The charitable explanation, I suppose, is that she knows nothing of war from direct personal experience.
Who is Clinton speaking for when she threatens Iran with war? She is obviously not speaking for “the nations and peoples of the world,” because the nations and peoples of the world do not want another world war.
It is dangerous when leaders of states speak metaphorically and religiously about “one voice” and “one world”, especially when they support criminal wars, the use of nuclear weapons, and torture like President Obama. I see no problem with humanitarian intervention in conflicts, but who has the right to intervene? Who has the right to speak for human rights? The United Nations? The United States? The European Union? They all have blood on their hands because of their support for and/or silence over the slaughters that are taking place daily in Afghanistan, and Iraq. The U.S., UN, and EU have very little credibility, so for them to intervene in Libya or any other place for humanitarian reasons is unacceptable.
The United States is not a moral agent in the world. And neither is the United Nations or the European Union. They may not be as barbaric and ruthless as Libya’s Gadhafi and other dictators in the region, but they have no right to place themselves on a higher plane and tell other governments how to treat their citizens. Sadly, we have zero institutions in the world that has both the moral integrity and the force needed to intervene in conflicts around the world. The crisis in Libya has to be resolved by the people inside Libya.
Let’s not forget the fact that the hijacked United States government kills its own people, too, and in broad daylight. For those that need to be convinced of this fact, look no further than Waco, and 9/11. It is not an exaggeration to say that the USG is worse than the dictatorial and vicious regimes in Iran and Libya. As Martin Luther King Jr. noted, the United States government is the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet.
Professor and Korean War veteran John Kozy writes that America’s “political economy, not the mythical America, is really what defines America and is what the War on Terror is meant to protect.” Kozy says that making real political change in America is much harder than electing a candidate who repeats the word “change” as a campaign slogan. True change must take place in the political economy of the United States, and the world. Kozy says:
If the American people ever hope to really be free, they need to understand America’s political economy so the parts of it that are morally offensive and economically ineffective can be identified. Only then will Americans be able to make the changes that are needed to make their country truly theirs and make Lincoln’s dream of a nation of the people, by the people , and for the people a reality.
Changing America’s political economy for the better is the most difficult task that the American people have ever faced in their 200-plus year history.
Facing the facts boldly is the first obstacle towards reforming and renewing America. The truth is that Washington D.C. has long been taken over by a ruling elite that is willing to murder innocent Americans to implement their agenda of war and domination, and increase their blood-made profits. George Bush’s grandfather Prescott Bush failed to overthrow FDR and put Wall Street in charge, but he and his father succeeded. The Bush family’s crimes against the American people and America are too long to mention here. In a just and informed America, George W. Bush and his father would be hanged alongside other war criminals.
The fact that America is ruled by power-crazed tricksters and thugs disqualifies the American government from making moral and democratic declarations about the political turmoil in the Middle East. An unjust America can’t claim moral superiority over Libya, Iran, Saddam, or the Taliban. Very few governments can lay claim to moral authority in the world today, least of all the United States government. And the United Nations is not much different. We learned last month that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon does not support a new 9/11 investigation, which means he is not really interested in stopping the needless bloodshed in the war on terror. The United Nations is siding with the guys who have the biggest guns in the room, not the guys with moral authority like Richard Falk, David Ray Griffin, Richard Gage, and millions of others around the world who support a new 9/11 investigation.
Unless there is a new 9/11 investigation that identifies the real murderers behind the 9/11 attacks, followed by new Nuremberg trials, governments in Iran and Libya can say to their captured populations “Look at those murderous hypocrites in the West, do you want to side with them and fight against leaders of your own land, and against your own people?” Of course, this is a half-truth because these governments do not care for the people, but it rings true in the minds of many who rightly see the United States government for what it is: the Great Satan. That is why this half-truth is told often by the dictatorial leaders of Iran and other countries that have risen up against US-Western imperialism. Western governments have zero moral authority.
Until we get our own houses in order, until we stop our Western governments from killing and torturing people in the war on terror, until justice is honored and truth is told in our lands, we have no right to speak on the violence and brutality that is being committed by anti-Western regimes and dictators.
This article was posted: Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 4:50 am