Libya War: It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over – by Stephen Lendman
Mark Twain once called reports of his death greatly exaggerated. The same hold for Libyans, not ready to submit to NATO colonization, occupation, plunder and exploitation. Not at least without a fight.
The stakes are high – stay free or die socially, economically, politically, emotionally, and/or perhaps physically.
Washington-led NATO is a rogue killing machine plunderer. It comes, sees, slaughters, ravages, and pillages all its surveys.
In March, it arrived in Libya on cruise missiles, bombs, shells, other munitions, fifth column infiltrators, media liars, and other rogue elements, not white horses, not as liberators nor humanitarian interveners.
It came for another imperial trophy at the expense of free Libyans. They know it and won’t submit without a fight, a long-term struggle perhaps that may ebb and flow, but won’t end until NATO’s scourge ends.
It’s the same spirit driving Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, and millions of others throughout North Africa/Middle East/Central Asia/and elsewhere. Live free or die.
On August 22, activist Don DeBar offered hope, saying:
Most of what major media scoundrels report is untrue. Despite daily bombing and deplorable conditions across Libya, “(t)he invaders have been largely turned back. They arrived under severe aerial attacks across (Tripoli), including (bombing and) strafing civilians intended to clear streets for the invasion.”
“They were supplemented (by) landing troops from NATO naval vessels” offshore. A “NATO expeditionary force” comprised “mainly of Qatari and other troops” accompanied insurgent hooligans, given license to shoot civilians on sight, as well as loot freely to create fear and chaos.
They’ve taken full advantage, but not without Libyans fighting back, a committed spirit across Tripoli and most other parts of Libya.
Against them is a typical NATO operation, exposing the evil it represents everywhere.
Nonetheless, as of Monday evening, temporary calm returned to most of Tripoli, except for ongoing bombing, ahead of street clashes resuming Tuesday.
In addition, loyalists showed up with two allegedly captured Gaddafi sons, after which Seif al-Islam, accompanied by huge throngs of supporters, spoke to reporters at the Rixos Hotel. Earlier, insurgents prematurely said he and his brother Mumammed were being transferred to the Hague’s hanging tribunal.
Seif said his father and family were safe in the capital, and that he wished to refute media reports of his capture and detention. He also said, “Tripoli is under our control. Everyone should rest assured. All is well in Tripoli.”
In fact, conditions remain in flux, but Libyans were buoyed by his message, rallying them to stand firm against NATO and thuggish insurgents.
Pro-NATO New York Times Reporting
Throughout the conflict, New York Times disinformation and gloating never quit, so unsurprisingly it headlined an August 22 editorial, “Qaddafi’s Final Hours,” saying:
“For more than 40 years, (Gaddafi) dominated and terrorized Libya – his image plastered on what seemed like every wall and his goons posted on every corner.”
Scandalous rhetoric like the above pollutes Times editorials and op-eds in place of accurate, clear analysis, an absent ingredient throughout America’s media.
Admitting possible “dark moments to come,” The Times expressed “awe of the courageous Libyans (read renegade insurgent hooligans) who pressed their fight. (They) overcame incredible odds, battlefield defeats and bitter internal divisions….(Nonetheless, they) showed extraordinary commitment and resilience.”
Without daily NATO terror bombing and low-level strafing, much of it targeting civilians and nonmilitary sites, cutthroat mercenaries would have been routed in days at most. Libya is NATO’s war, using them as disposable imperial tools.
No matter, The Times urged them “to build a democratic Libya.”
Washington-led NATO, of course, calls the shots, their imperial plan excluding democracy and humanitarian concerns.
Libya needs more support, said The Times. “The challenges of building a stable and representative new country cannot be overstated….When (Gaddafi) is found, he should be sent to the (Hague for) justice.”
Times opinion and analysis commentators are so addicted to imperial thinking, they don’t recognize or accept clear facts and analysis others provide lucidly, fully and honestly.
The editorial ended as disgracefully as it began, saying:
“It will be up to the Libyans to build their own future. The rebels’ victory – if followed by the democracy they promise – should inspire others to believe that the battle is worth fighting.”
The battle is far from over. Declaring victory is premature and arrogant. Moreover, the vast majority of Libyans, Gaddafi loyalists, are totally excluded from NATO (not “rebel”) plans.
A Times rethink won’t be forthcoming to explain. Nor on its news pages. On August 22 and 23, they reeked of the usual combination of self-assured/I-told-you-so bravado and arrogance, as well as this time some well-deserved crow.
David Kirkpatrick, Kareem Fahim and Alan Cowell headlined the lead August 23 story titled, “Tripoli Uneasy as Rebel Euphoria Fades,” saying:
Renewed fighting spread across Tripoli. Gaddafi’s whereabouts aren’t known, and “his son Seif al-Islam made a ‘surprise’ appearance,” showing perhaps he wasn’t taken captive after all, despite media reports claiming it along with his brother also free.
Since February, in fact, Times and other major media reports proliferated lies about the war, misreported and distorted other information, and omitted key facts, including:
— alleged insurgent victories;
— claiming NATO doesn’t target civilians and nonmilitary sites when, in fact, it’s done willfully;
— ignoring Gaddafi’s overwhelming popularity;
–numerous times alleging his regime’s near collapse;
— leaving unexplained that no humanitarian crisis existed until NATO showed up well before it began bombing in mid-March;
— that under Gaddafi, Libyans had Africa and the Arab world’s highest standard of living and human development index, lowest infant mortality, and highest life expectancy;
— that Libya’s oil wealth was used to provide generous social services, including free high-quality education and healthcare, as well as housing assistance and more;
— that Libya’s Tripoli-based state-owned central bank (replaced by the Benghazi-based HSBC Bank-run private one), financed low or no interest productive economic growth, free from IMF/World Bank/and/or other predatory lending agencies;
— that most Libyan tribes, including its largest, support Gaffafi; and
— most important leaving the war’s illegality unexplained, and why fought – never for humanitarian reasons or liberation.
Instead, numerous propaganda pieces left readers misinformed, in the dark, and unaware why America ever goes to war, let alone so often.
Kirkpatrick, Fahim, and Cowell headlined the lead August 22 story titled, “Qaddafi Son Taunts Rebels in Tripoli,” saying:
“The (short-lived) euphoria that followed the rebels’ triumphant march in Tripoli gave way to confusion, wariness and renewed fighting on Tuesday (as) loyalist units ‘stubbornly resisted rebel efforts to take control of the capital.”
In fact, without State TV and independent journalists able to report freely, what little information slipping out suggests no lost government control over areas earlier Times accounts said were in rebel hands.
Saying it, of course, doesn’t mean it’s so. In fact, Times writers repeatedly falsified events on the ground, shredding their credibility in the process.
This time, they had to admit that “the immediate aftermath of the lightning invasion was a vacuum of power (meaning no insurgent victory), with no cohesive rebel government in place and remnants of (Gaddafi’s) government still in evidence (read Libyans, not NATO in charge).
Other Times articles headlined:
“After Uprising, Rebels Face A Struggle for Unity,” reluctantly admitting destructive internal wrangling and rivalries.
“Rebels’ Assault on Tripoli Began With Careful Work,” providing a falsified account of what didn’t happen. It was a typical Times propaganda piece, so poorly done, in fact, writers Kirkpatrick and Myers should tell readers they’ll try to do better next time.
“Qaddafi’s Whereabouts Still a Mystery as Rumors Swirl,” bemoaning the fact that he’s very much alive, well, and supported by the vast majority of Libyans, many willing to fight to save him. Hardly a profile of a hated tyrant.
“For Obama, a Moment to Savor, if Briefly,” calling him for his involvement for months of planning and orchestrating naked aggression “a reluctant warrior.”
“Parallels Between Qaddafi and Hussein Raise Anxiety for Western Leaders,” stopping short of admitting Washington plans exploiting Libya like Iraq, Afghanistan and other imperial targets.
“The Scramble for Access to Libya’s Oil Wealth Begins,” omitting mention that Western powers want it privatized for themselves, excluding China and other non-NATO participants.
“Rebels’ Sudden Success Sends European Backers Scrambling,” leaving unexplained that Libya is NATO’s war. So-called “rebels” are merely hired hands, disposable, easily replaceable imperial tools.
“US Seeking Ways to Finance New Libyan Leaders,” again with no explanation that Washington stole Libya’s wealth, dispensing billions for its imperial ambitions.
“Journalists Kept in Hotel as Battle Rages Outside,” omitting who’s endangered and who isn’t.
True enough – bombing, strafing, and street fighting might claim anyone indiscriminately inside or outside the Rixos Hotel where most Western journalists stay, as well as fifth column fake ones, pretending to be what they’re not because they’re allied with NATO, supplying bombing coordinates and other intelligence.
In contrast, however, independent journalists are endangered because they’re targeted. Notably they include Mahdi Nazemroaya, Lizzie Phelan and Franklin Lamb, friends of this writer, doing responsible heroic work.
Others from Cuba, Telesur, and elsewhere are also at risk for reporting truthfully, unlike Times and other corporate media propagandists, disgracing themselves shamelessly.
On the ground, events remain fast-moving, chaotic, violent, unresolved, and far from NATO able to claim victory it hoped to achieve by early spring in a walkover.
Millions of Libyans have other ideas, old-fashinged ones like their sovereign right over their own country, unwilling to let imperial predators deny them.
Everyone should support that spirit proudly, denouncing Obama’s led NATO war, an imperial enterprise for conquest and plunder.
They should also avoid media liars, disgraceful guardians of power for their own self-interest.
A Final Comment
Growing numbers know what dominant media sources provide. They expect better from others they trust, notably Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now.
On August 22, it fell far short, hardly for the first time. Reporting on fast-moving Tripoli events, Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr was featured, reporting lies about anti-Gaddafi celebrations, saying:
“There’s a feeling of euphoria here. People are shouting, ‘We are free! Muammar Gaddafi has gone!’ The city is now in the hands of the opposition.”
In fact, it was fake footage produced in a Doha Qatar studio – made-for-media propaganda about a nation overwhelmingly pro-Gaddafi, many determined to resist to avoid NATO occupation. You’d never know it though from Democracy Now (DN), leaving an opposite impression.
DN also misreported the alleged capture of three Gaddafi sons, aired illegitimate Transitional National Council (TNC) head Mahmoud Jibril’s bogus victory message, then followed with International Red Cross spokesperson Robin Waudo and pro-NATO Professor Khaled Mattawa.
Conspicuously absent was one or more independent journalists, heroically reporting accurate facts and analysis of events and conditions on the ground. In fact, since conflict began last winter, what DN viewers and listeners most need to know isn’t reported.
It was true on March 29, 10 days after bombing began. DN featured Professor Juan Cole, a shameless NATO supporter, backing its illegal intervention, leaving unexplained reasons why.
Instead he said he “unabashedly cheer(ed) the ‘liberation’ movement on (and was) glad that the (Security Council) authorized intervention” to save Libyans “from being crushed.”
Omitting facts and real analysis, he expressed hateful anti-Gaddafi propaganda, calling NATO imperialism “a popular uprising.” Nor did he explain that SC Resolution 1973 authorizing a no-fly zone assured war, what a Pentagon commander openly admitted before it passed. Yet he shamelessly wrote on March 30, “If NATO needs me, I’m there.”
On August 22, he again appeared on DN, supporting NATO’s imperial lawlessness, displaying a profound ignorance and disdain for international law and right of sovereign people to govern their own affairs, free from imperial interlopers.
Instead he said “Libya, in a way, has reignited the flame of liberty in the Arab world. It’s given new hope, a new charge to people in Cairo, in Tunis, and certainly in Syria.” In fact, what’s ongoing is mirror opposite, an affront to people everywhere yearning to be free.
Shamelessly, Cole is like many other disreputable academics. However, being an alleged liberal intellectual makes it worse. It’s exacerbated by DN giving him air time in place of honest analysts viewers and listeners deserve.
So do consumers of all media, corporate or otherwise. Deserving and getting, however, diverge greatly at all times. Thankfully growing numbers understand and choose wisely. Maybe some day everyone will, or at least a majority large enough to matter.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.