FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Libya

Some disconcerting facts, or at least disconcerting questions, are beginning to emerge regarding Obama’s Libyan intervention.

First of all, the Asia Times reported on April 2 (“Exposed: The U.S.-Saudi Libya Deal”) that Saudi Arabia engineered an Arab League voting bloc to approve the American intervention in Libya, in return for Obama giving the Saudis a free hand to intervene in Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement — so troubling to the conservative monarchies of the Gulf — in that country.

Contrary to the myth that the Arab League endorsed Obama’s intervention, half of its members abstained. The members that did vote for it were disproportionately in Saudi Arabia’s sphere of influence. Obama got the vote he wanted because the Saudis called their chits in.

So while CNN shows all those smiling people flashing their V-for-Victory signs in Benghazi, the king of Bahrain is using a state of martial law to suppress the pro-democracy protests, with the help of 2,000 Saudi troops. No tear-jerking CNN reports there, and no highly visible State Department denunciations. Know why? Because Bahrain is a “friendly” government, and the anti-government movement is largely Shia in an area where Iran is viewed as the major “threat” to be contained.

In Noam Chomsky’s terminology, the Bahraini demonstrators aren’t “worthy victims.” They aren’t being crushed by a radical pariah state that’s run afoul of the U.S. foreign policy establishment. Rather, they’re an inconvenience to a government that knows how to play ball with Washington. So they’re expendable.

Maybe this is the kind of thing White House flack Robert Gibbs was talking about when he said Wikileaks undermined U.S. efforts at “promoting democracy and open government.”

Second, Thomas Mountain at CounterPunch (“Bombing Libya,” March 23) raises some unpleasant questions about the Benghazi rebels. Benghazi, the city in Libya closest to Italy, has for years been a center of human trafficking from sub-Saharan Africa. An average of a thousand black African refugees a day pass through Benghazi in hopes of escaping to Europe. So Benghazi was the seat of an enormous complex of gangs controlling the human trafficking trade, many of them exploiting their human cargo as ruthlessly as the “coyotes” on the U.S.-Mexican border. The Quaddafi government, according to Mountain, had been unsuccessfully trying to suppress this trade for years. As a result, the criminal underworld of Benghazi has been a prime supporter of the rebellion.

Benghazi is also home to a large number of black African guest workers who do work that Libyans regard as “dirty.” Native youth, who refuse to take these jobs, are frequently unemployed and idle. So they wind up joining youth gangs that engage in racist harrassment of black African guest workers. These discontented youth were at the heart of the protest movement.

This raises some interesting questions about the reported massacre of black Africans by Benghazi militia — supposedly because black Africans were recruited as mercenaries by Quaddafi — doesn’t it? I don’t know if Thomas Mountain’s account is correct. But at least it should make us think twice when we hear the talking heads like Ed Schultz on MSNBC referring to Libyan “freedom fighters.”

So once again, the lesson is: Always look for the man behind the curtain.

KEVIN CARSON is a research associate at the Center for a Stateless Society. his written work includes Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Organization Theory: An Individualist Anarchist Perspective, and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto, all of which are freely available online. Carson has also written for such print publications as The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty and a variety of internet-based journals and blogs, including Just Things, The Art of the Possible, the P2P Foundation and his own Mutualist Blog.

 

 

More articles by:

Kevin Carson is a senior fellow of the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org) and holds the Center’s Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory. He is a mutualist and individualist anarchist whose written work includes Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective, and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto, all of which are freely available online. 

December 17, 2018
Susan Abulhawa
Marc Lamont Hill’s Detractors are the True Anti-Semites
Jake Palmer
Viktor Orban, Trump and the Populist Battle Over Public Space
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare
David Rosen
December 17th: International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers
Binoy Kampmark
The Case that Dare Not Speak Its Name: the Conviction of Cardinal Pell
Dave Lindorff
Making Trump and Other Climate Criminals Pay
Bill Martin
Seeing Yellow
Julian Vigo
The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism
ANIS SHIVANI
What is Neoliberalism?
James Haught
Evangelicals Vote, “Nones” Falter
Vacy Vlanza
The Australian Prime Minister’s Rapture for Jerusalem
Martin Billheimer
Late Year’s Hits for the Hanging Sock
Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail