Morally Indignant Sharks Circle Libya While Osama Smiles
by Eric Margolis
The US media, perfectly described by Israeli thinker Uri Avnery as “a mixture of propaganda, news and entertainment,” is steaming with righteous indignation over the awfulness of Libya’s wicked Colonel Muammar Gadaffi, and is once again baying for his blood.
“On to Libya! Down with the Tyrant of Tripoli!” That’s the latest hue and cry from North America’s lynch mob of right wingers, jingoistic media, and neoconservative jackals. Once again there’s talk of war against a small, almost defenseless nation that can’t seriously fight back. What Imperial Britain used to call, “a jolly little war.”
War fever over Libya is gripping the United States. After a hiatus of nine years, in which he was a useful ally to western interests, Col. Muammar Gadaffi is once again the monster we love to hate. It’s damned hard trying to keep track of when we love him and when we hate him. Not so long ago he was our bosom buddy in the “war on terror.” Now, he’s a devil all over again.
The right thinks it sees a golden opportunity in Libya’s current civil war to get rid of the unloved Gadaffi, “liberate” Libya’s high-grade oil, and halt the wave uprisings now flaring across the Arab world.
We heard this same siren song about Iraq: an evil dictator oppressing his people, seas of oil, arsenals of dangerous weapon, an enemy of Israel.
President Barack Obama may be nearing a decision to attack Libya and implement no-fly zones over it. US Marine amphibious units are off Libya’s coast. Hillary Clinton has donned her breastplate and horned helmet.
Leaders of the US, Britain, France, and Germany who were happy to hold hands with Gadaffi, take his money, and buy his premium oil now suddenly brand him a monster. There is enough hypocrisy over former ally Libya to float the US 6th Fleet.
A US-British-French-Canadian invasion of Libya would be sugarcoated as a humanitarian mission to rescue Libyan civilians from supposedly murderous air strikes by Gadaffi’s comically inept air force, which has trouble just getting airborne.
But hardly any mention is made in the US of the 65 Afghan civilians recently killed by a US air strike, or the nine Afghan boys collecting wood on a hillside massacred by US helicopter gunships last week
Nor about repeated US air strikes on Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen that have killed large numbers of civilians. When we do it, it’s “collateral damage” and “stuff happens.”