Cairo 2

on 78 Comments

President Obama’s most critical statement tonight was that letting Qaddafi win would have imperilled the nascent democracies in Tunisia and Egypt. “The democratic impulses that are dawning across the region would be eclipsed by the darkest form of dictatorship, as repressive leaders concluded that violence is the best strategy to cling to power.”

I can’t share the left’s cynicism about Obama’s motives; I believe that he believes what he said. He believed in democracy in Cairo ’09 and he does now. His faith in the movement sweeping the Middle East was paramount in his thinking: he referred to it over and over again tonight.

It is pointed out often that Obama is doing nothing about Bahrain and Yemen, because of the Saudi Arabia interest, and who can dispute that. Even a president has limited powers. “In this particular country -– Libya  — at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale.  We had a unique ability to stop that violence.”

Is his policy hypocritical? Of course. But what about the hypocrisy of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which pressed the landmark Goldstone investigation even as it was ignoring Sri Lanka, where tens of thousands of civilians died? International law is in its early stages of application; of course it is politicized; still, those who support human rights have to support int’l bodies when humanitarian law is fairly applied, as it was to both sides of the Gaza conflict. And the same law was repeatedly cited as a cause for action in Libya, and tonight Obama embraced “universal” rights, such as the freedom of speech.

I’ve been divided about this intervention because I so despise violence, and in the end I’ve been supportive; but it seems to me that the error of those on the left who find it so easy to oppose the intervention is that they regard the action as a continuation of colonial and imperialist history. So they chalk it up to the traditional superpowers’ pursuit of national interest and treasure. But I think history has changed with the Arab revolutions; that the objects of history became agents of history, and when Obama spoke about the inspiration of Arab youth, he was speaking for all the educated world.

Egypt wasn’t just a Time Magazine cover, it was a hinge. The western communications tools that the youth used, from facebook to twitter to CNN, caused western elites to be fully invested in their revolution. The internet has transformed civilization and the traditional power structure as the printing press once did; and Obama’s abandonment of Mubarak is the proof. The revolutions are a landmark in the growing influence of international law and communications.

Now the Libyan rebellion also has a face: Iman al-Obeidi, the incredibly brave rape victim in Tripoli who sought out the western cameras out of faith that the world would do the right thing. When Obama spoke of atrocities tonight, he was resonating with the international outrage at her treatment.

And the doctrine he laid out at the end of his speech, a summons to the world to intervene when human dignity is at stake, reflected his own values; he married a woman whose dissertation at Princeton was about the alienation of “blackness” in a liberal white world.

I’m stirred by the speech because I think its ultimate impact will be on Palestine. In fact, I think Obama is conscious of its Palestinian application. Again and again he made statements tonight– massacre, atrocities, freedom of speech, universal rights, “the writ” of the U.N. Security Council, 40+ years of tyranny, the rights of refugees, the support of the Arab League, America’s “unique ability” to have an effect– that apply to the Palestinian experience.

These words will have great consequences. You cannot build a coalition that includes Turkey without taking on Turkey’s human-rights agenda: Gaza. You cannot act on behalf of the Arab League without addressing the statelessness of Palestinians. You can’t prevent a massacre in Benghazi without establishing a red line against wanton Israeli violence. As Gilbert Achcar writes:

One can safely bet that the present intervention in Libya will prove most embarrassing for imperialist powers in the future. As those members of the US establishment who opposed their country’s intervention rightly warned, the next time Israel’s air force bombs one of its neighbours, whether Gaza or Lebanon, people will demand a no-fly zone. I, for one, definitely will. Pickets should be organized at the UN in New York demanding it. We should all be prepared to do so, with now a powerful argument.

I think religious forces can be more powerful than imperialist forces, and Israel/Palestine is one such example. Obama is muzzled and hogtied by the Israel lobby in American political life (Moshe Shoked savagely likens it to the Elders of Zion in Haaretz) and Obama is doing what he can to subvert its power– by building an international coalition around the principle of human rights in the Middle East. He too is on facebook, appealing for international help.

78 Responses

  1. yourstruly
    March 28, 2011, 10:18 pm

    if you’re right on this, it’s an opening for the freedom and justice seeking people of the world

    “Hey, Mr. President, what about applying your human rights doctrine to, say, the settler-entity’s occupation of Palestine?”

  2. Chaos4700
    March 28, 2011, 10:39 pm

    It is pointed out often that Obama is doing nothing about Bahrain and Yemen, because of the Saudi Arabia interest, and who can dispute that.

    I feel compelled to correct this:

    A) We aren’t doing nothing about Yemen. In fact, Obama ordered air strikes on Yemen, and the government there took credit to provide cover for our intervention. So really, I dare say we have picked a side there. link to

    B) We have a massive naval base in Bahrain that’s getting larger as we field more operations in the Middle East. Needless to say, Obama has a vested interest in a governmental status quo with the King. link to

  3. ish
    March 28, 2011, 11:30 pm

    Obama’s gifts as an orator is to get people to want to see in his words what they themselves believe. It’s the blank spaces we fill in with our own hopes. Unfortunately, I think we’re all learning the hard way that that is a big mistake.

    I don’t see how you can pull out of this hat the rabbit of more support for Palestine when every last one of his government’s ACTIONS suggest the opposite.

    There were a LOT of blank spaces in that speech. Oh yeah, PS, who is NATO…oh right…75% the USA!

    • Citizen
      March 29, 2011, 3:59 am

      I heard very recently that the US funds 25% of NATO’s resources. Obama justified the intervention as motivated by America’s “interests and values.” He thus separates the two, but says they are combined in this case. This suggests to me, as it seems it did to Phil, that Obama believes Libya represents about the most pure form available, given the PTB, of at least a temporary marriage between realists and idealists. If that’s not Obama’s chosen domain, I don’t know what is. Last night Sarah Palin criticised him for not declaring and implementing a direct attempt to change the regime by force, especially when Obama himself declared at an earlier stage that Gaddifi must go for the sake of the world. She asked, what if he don’ go without more direct force, or what if the replacement is worse for the USA? Will Obama’s declared limited involvement for the USA be worse than doing nothing?

    • Kathleen
      March 29, 2011, 10:24 am

      My 83 year old mother was in a seperate room watching the speech. When we all converged four of us to discuss the speech. She of course really liked when he fed the myth that Americans are so generous, so concerned about “massacres” We then went on to blow that myth that Obama was fueling

  4. Donald
    March 28, 2011, 11:35 pm

    “I can’t share the left’s cynicism about Obama’s motives; I believe that he believes what he said. He believed in democracy in Cairo ’09 and he does now.”

    I tend to agree with you on the Libyan intervention (though ask me again every 15 minutes and watch me change my mind), but you and a few million other Obama liberals are just the most pathetic bunch of saps when it comes to Obama. He wants your vote and your enthusiastic support and if you want to think about how he’s secretly on your side if only he had real power, well, there’s nothing anyone can say or do that can stop you. Sure, he’s surrounded himself with all the old Democratic party hacks with their ties to Wall Street and traditional liberal hawkish tendencies overseas, but really, it’s all just a clever ruse. I bet he reads Mondoweiss every night. Maybe Mooser is his pseudonym. Has anyone seen Mooser and Obama in the same room at the same time? Heh. Think about it.

    • ToivoS
      March 29, 2011, 1:17 am

      Donald you are so on. I have never seen Mooser and Obama in the same room. I must run back to my lefty conspiracy theory laboratory and digest this new information.

      • Citizen
        March 29, 2011, 4:12 am

        What’s their commonality, alienated but enduring romanticic idealism combined with its other side, an ultimately most cynical ” a pox on both your houses” as determined by their personal respective life? Is that Carter coming down the road?

      • Mooser
        March 29, 2011, 11:49 am

        There’s a very obvious difference between Obama and me. I’m the one with the natural rhythm.

      • ToivoS
        March 29, 2011, 10:10 pm

        OK Mooser you sucked me in. Are you in the black or the white dress.

    • Kathleen
      March 29, 2011, 10:29 am

      His bullshit lost me last night. Now I was not a huge fan before he won the nomination. I had watched and listened to him closely when he was in the Senate. A fence sitter. Played it too safe. Although would never ever vote for Hillary after she voted for that 2002 war resolution. And according to former weapons inspector Scott Ritter both the Clintons were well aware that all WMD capability had been dealt with in the 90’s during the Clinton administration and when Ritter was in Iraq. Also when Senator Durbin on the intelligence committee voted no on the Iraq war resolution I thought Clinton and Kerry would follow his lead.

      After Obama won the nomination I put in over a thousand hours for his campaign in Colorado and Ohio. That is not going to happen in 2012. Too much bullshitting and myth fueling for me

      • Chu
        March 29, 2011, 12:38 pm

        There needs to be a new effort to imbue life into the third parties and it can be accomplished by grass roots.
        2-party is much easier for the system to be easily controlled. There’s going to be a lot of disenfranchised voters that see obama for a fraud. And there are a lot of tea party members that offer legitimate grievances of the system as well. With hope, there can be an allied party that is not under the thumb of the corrupt Washington’s 2 party system. I don’t know if it’s possible to change this fat greasy pig, but it seems we need to at least try to chop it into smaller sections.

      • ToivoS
        March 30, 2011, 12:36 am

        Kathleen I cannot say I put 1000 hours into his campaign but I did put in about 20 hours as well as one $500 contribution. That will not happen again. But I am sure that his handlers do not give one sh*t what I contributed. They are more interested in the big bucks that come from Wall Street and the Zionists.

        I wish it were not so, but it is. We are the little people and Obama’s reelection campaign is not interested in us.

      • Kathleen
        March 30, 2011, 10:19 am

        We can do plenty of damage to the 2012 campaign. Push his back to the wall. Look I don’t expect to witness all of the “changes” that progressives profess. But a few. We have a start with the health care reform.

        But on so many other issues Obama responded the way I had seen him react when he was in the Senate…safe. The Wall Street Bankers, come on Geithner, Summers, Bernanke. Dennis Ross in his administration. Rahm Emmanuel. Look at that line up. And we expected change? He had a great campaign team and they are lining up now. They are not going to have as easy a job this time around.

        Will I more than likely donate my normal 20 hours that I have always put in for every Democrat running for President. Yes. But the hundreds of hours I gave to McGovern, Carter, Clinton, Gore, Obama (over a thousand). Not going to happen

        I think Romney and I believe the VP choice will be Micheal Steele. Yes you heard it hear first. Would put money on this. I think they will give the Obama team a run for the money.

  5. Pixel
    March 28, 2011, 11:37 pm

    Yes, the Libyan people matter – ALL people matter. But, the real issue getting lost in all of this is the US Constitution and American freedoms, most of which exist only in theory, these days. Some would say that, “they’re not worth the paper they’re written on.”

    Does that matter as much as the Libyan people? It should matter just as much to the American people. Losing our liberties one-by-one, we sit like boiling frogs, on the slow, yet still slippery, slope to becoming our own Gaddafi’s Libya.

    Shortly after being inaugurated, Obama firmly stated to the American public on national TV that he had just taken an oath to protect the country. In fact, the oath, as it actually reads is to protect the Constitution.

    The President is not legally allowed to engage in military action without the express approval of Congress. Libya reveals yet one more of the many false promises “Obama” made during his campaign – that he would never engage in military action without the express approval of Congress. Well, that’s exactly what he did. And, like Bush the Lesser, he never even tried to.

    Our Emperial Presidency is Gaddafi in a tailored suit, just less visibly insane. Like magicians, these tricks work because audiences are led to and do focus somewhere else. We would be well-served to remember that nothing is ever as it seems. And THOSE THINGS are never as THEY seem. One handkerchief, pulled out of the top of the pocket, is followed in a string by another and another and another and another that are stuffed one below the next. We wonder if, when, and where the string will ever end.

    • Citizen
      March 29, 2011, 4:20 am

      Pixel, your association of what’s happening in the Middle East and what’s happening in the USA is accurate, and it’s not gone unnoticed in the intellectual Arab world, although only currently reported on Al Jazeera English (not Arabic). The American frog is in the pan and the electric grid is on, the heat dial being moved up notch by notch by the invisible hand of events. The young Tunisian street vendor frog jumped out of the pan first, over there. The slowest dial knob is in the ironically most flaming holy land, the stove USisrael, and the frog is Palestinian.

    • Hostage
      March 29, 2011, 6:47 am

      The President is not legally allowed to engage in military action without the express approval of Congress.

      In several cases, the Supreme Court has labeled that situation a “political question”. Essentially that means it is the task of the Congress to impeach the Commander-in-Chief, and they can’t pass the buck to the Article III Courts.

      In any event the Supreme Court has declined to hear cases in which members of the Armed Forces have refused to participate in UN peacekeeping missions on Constitutional grounds, e.g. U.S., ex rel. New v. Rumsfeld, 06-691.

      The Senate ratified the Kellogg-Briand pact and the UN Charter. Those treaties only permit the Congress to “declare war” in very limited circumstances. In fact, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the Congress and the President had acted illegally when they authorized the invasion of Iraq. The UN Charter authorizes the Security Council to decide those matters on behalf of the US government. According to the “supremacy clause” of the US Constitution, those treaties are part of “laws of the land”. They are both listed in the latest electronic edition of the US State Department Treaties in Force (TIF)

      Article 24 & 25 of the Charter stipulate that “Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf. …The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.”

      Articles 42 & 43 say the Security Council “may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations. …All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance, and facilities”

      Article 104 says “The Organization shall enjoy in the territory of each of its Members such legal capacity as may be necessary for the exercise of its functions and the fulfilment of its purposes.”

      Article 2(5) says “All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.”

      The US tends to ignore that last bit with respect to Israel, e.g. the Basic law Jerusalem, the Golan Heights Law, etc.

    • Kathleen
      March 30, 2011, 10:24 am

      I thought Obama made some valid, reasonable arguments for why Libya, why now. The wave of change, Tunisia, Egypt on either side, refugee problem, the international coalition. When you read the War Powers act it does sound like he has 90 days.

      But when he went on and one about how the US is so “different” and we do not turn a “blind eye” to humanitarian crisis. He was just flat out lying. He really does not have to go there. Just fluffing myths. Made me sick.

      • Hostage
        March 30, 2011, 10:37 pm

        Kathleen I was only trying to stress the underlying role of the UN Charter in the foreign relations law of the United States. It should come into consideration any time that the Congress is engaged in deliberations regarding the use of the armed forces beyond our borders. Members of Congress were deliberately included in the US delegation that participated in drafting the UN Charter during the San Francisco Conference. So, President Wilson’s blunders with Article 10 of the League of Nations Covenant regarding mutual defense were avoided. The US Congress had a hand in defining, limiting, and ratifying the war powers that were conferred on the UN Security Council.

        The Congress can annul that treaty and remove the President from office at any time for failing to faithfully execute its laws. In historical perspective, attempts to get the Article III Courts involved in curtailing the executive powers vested by law and the Constitution in the President or the Security Council have been viewed as a violation of the separation of powers doctrine. The Courts do not have a role in settling political disputes between the other branches of the government.

        Portions of the War Powers Resolution have been considered unconstitutional since the day it was adopted. Attempts to amend the implementing public law to remove the offending portions have been unsuccessful (so far). In many instance neither the President, the Congress, nor the Courts have been willing to trigger its mechanism. In 1999 the President employed military forces in Yugoslavia without obtaining congressional authorization. Representative Tom Campbell unsuccessfully attempted to get the Courts to intervene and order the President to comply with the terms of the resolution. The Constitution gives the Congress the power of the purse; to organize and discipline the military; to annul statutes and treaties; and to convene military courts or courts of impeachment. That is why AIPAC concentrates it efforts on controlling the Chief Executive and the Congress instead of the Courts.

        The Supreme Court has ruled on several occasions that treaties and statutes have the same force and effect under the Supremacy clause of the Constitution. FYI, the methods of amending the Constitution do not include either a statute or treaty, so neither can authorize something that the Constitution forbids. The Congress can adopt a statute to annul the UN Charter, but so far, it has not done that.

        The Constitutional powers of the Congress “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water” have been either been rendered moot by customary international law or deliberately surrendered via the adoption of international treaties that govern or outlaw such practices.

        Many of us fail to recall that it is the Congress, not the DoD, that has the constitutional responsibility for laying down the laws used in raising, arming, organizing, and disciplining the armed forces. Congress has an active role in areas well beyond the budget. For example it codifies the rules contained in The Uniform Code of Military Justice. So, the armed forces are not simply a “Praetorian Guard”. In many cases the Courts have ruled that members of the armed forces who obey unlawful orders – even from the President – do so at their own peril. See for example, Little v. Barreme, 6 U.S. 2 Cranch 170 170 (1804). You probably recall that the same principle was applied to the orders given by Central Intelligence Agency Director William Casey, National Security Advisers Robert C. McFarlane and Admiral John M. Poindexter to Lt. Col. Oliver North.

  6. James
    March 28, 2011, 11:39 pm

    “Obama embraced “universal” rights, such as the freedom of speech.”

    …………..and he went on to say how it doesn’t apply to whistle blowers………..

    obama is good with the talk but he doesn’t walk the walk.. the one exception to this is when it comes to military expansion in whatever form.. different leader, same bullshit…

    • Citizen
      March 29, 2011, 4:27 am

      James, can it ever be different? Truman said the buck stopped with him, and we know it did, and now we also know he consciously passed the buck too. We can compare the shades of gray hats on the hat rack. Only Glen Beck and friends thinks the hats are either black or white.

      • Mooser
        March 29, 2011, 11:56 am

        “Only Glen Beck and friends thinks the hats are either black or white.”

        Citizen, think about that brick. You might cut yourself, and there will be a lot of glass to sweep up, but I guarantee you will feel tons better.

  7. Leigh
    March 29, 2011, 12:05 am

    Without being sarcastic here, seriously, I sometimes wish I was capable of this kind of naivity. If people were going to learn the right lessons about humanitarian intervention, such as that Israel shouldn’t be allowed to massacre Palestinians, they would have learned it after Kosovo, Somalia or Britain’s Siera Leone. That’s the point, humanitarian intervention isn’t humanitarian, otherwise they would have done something about the American government and the Ivory Coast and the DRC which, unlike even Bahrain and Yemin, are problems on a Ruanda-type scale. But they cannot intervene in the DRC, because Western corporates make too much money from that slavery and those killings in the mineral mines. And, well you know, the Ivory Coast hasn’t quite been on CNN enough to work people up, and we don’t really have interests there, so it doesn’t qualify. And the US government that allows the world economy to be brought down and allows wall street speculating on food that increases food prices that ends up starving millions elsewhere, o well, we’re making money out of that and it’s not been on CNN either, so we’ll certainly not allow anyone to intervene there.

    That’s the issue with humanitarian intervention: they always give these high-principled justifications, “O, but we cannot allow another Ruanda”. And if we show them cases that really are Ruandas, they start moving their principles down the list of reasons on which to act, “O but we don’t have interests there, it will be to difficult, we cannot get world consensus.” It’s more than just the inconsistency argument. The problem with humanitarian intervention isn’t that it’s inconsistent, it’s that it moves the “humanitarianism” down the list of motivations in cases where it’s not desired. Your theory simply isn’t coherent if the foundation of it drops out depending on whether or not it pleases you to have it in there.

    So don’t wait for lessons to be learned about the Palestinian case. Humanitarianism precisely teaches the lesson that we intervene where it suits us, and the Palestinian case doesn’t suit us. The lesson for governments is this: oppression will be tollerated if you’re close to either China, russia, the EU or the US.

    • Citizen
      March 29, 2011, 4:35 am

      Leigh, Don Quixote was just one individual, not the elected leader of a country, especially, a powerful one, let alone the sole superpower. His sidekick was nothng more than that. It’s not as simple as Adams saying we shouldn’t go looking for monsters abroad. The human world has shrunk.

  8. ToivoS
    March 29, 2011, 12:38 am

    Well Phil I hope you are right. Obama certainly sacrificed much political support when he came out for freezing the settlements. But his abject retreat from that position causes me to question his support for a just resolution to the issue of Palestinian oppression inside the WB and Gaza. We will see what happens. But please, do not blame us lefty critics of his policy for the outcome.

    • Citizen
      March 29, 2011, 4:41 am

      It seems clear to me, ToivoS, that Obama learned the limits of his power as POTUS soon after he made his Cairo speech. Nothing else explains his horrible reversal and silence since Cairo, ending with Rice’s lonely UN veto.

  9. RoHa
    March 29, 2011, 1:25 am

    “The democratic impulses that are dawning across the region would be eclipsed by the darkest form of dictatorship, as repressive leaders concluded that violence is the best strategy to cling to power.”

    Regardless of Obama’s motives or beliefs, this is a strong point.

    • Citizen
      March 29, 2011, 4:46 am

      Yes, RoHa it is a strong point. Obama’s limited action in behalf universal human rights is nothing to sneeze at in terms of long-term impact in the Middle East. The baby seems as clean as it can get without tossing out all the bathwater. The supply of bathwater is limited, the baby is never spanking clean.

  10. Avi
    March 29, 2011, 2:49 am

    I have a couple of points to which I’d like to draw Phil’s and others’ attention:


    ignoring Sri Lanka, where tens of thousands of civilians died?

    Those civilians did not simply die. They were slaughtered wholesale.


    I’ve been divided about this intervention because I so despise violence, and in the end I’ve been supportive; but it seems to me that the error of those on the left who find it so easy to oppose the intervention is that they regard the action as a continuation of colonial and imperialist history. So they chalk it up to the traditional superpowers’ pursuit of national interest and treasure.

    I had predicted that the Libyan intervention will set a precedent, however it remains to be seen how that precedent will be used by the US government or by NATO.

    But, a couple of days ago, as if on cue Joe Lieberman — whom I jokingly call Israel’s 100th Senator — stated that NATO/US intervention in Libya sets a precedent for similar intervention in Syria.

    Thus, cynicism in geopolitical affairs is usually a healthy trait to possess. So, I will remain cautiously cynical concerning Libya — at least for the time being.

    • Citizen
      March 29, 2011, 4:52 am

      Avi, well yes, certainly hack politicians with their own selfish agendas will always now use Libya as pretext for their carefully selected campaigns for further interventions. But Gaddifi’s especially Mafia-like rule with only the absolutely thinnest veneer of institutional structure makes him the purest target in an impure Middle East, a vital area recognized as such by all countries.

  11. Thomson Rutherford
    March 29, 2011, 3:38 am

    After some initial hesitation, Philip, you are now right in your assessment about Libya. Stay the course.

    America needs to do its part to ensure that the Libyan revolution succeeds, and Obama must be further encouraged to understand that. He clearly articulated the reasons tonight, but without visible support from the left at home, he will back down.

    • Mooser
      March 29, 2011, 12:09 pm

      “America needs to do its part to ensure that the Libyan revolution succeeds”

      Yes sir, if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s the US military helping out democratic revolutions. Look at all the sucess they have had in this, and constantly making friends for us all along the way.
      Obama isn’t going to do the US intervention, the US military is.
      And, oh yeah, I forgot about Phil, now that he’s calling himself “we”

  12. Taxi
    March 29, 2011, 7:08 am

    I’m shocked at the depth of your mindless romanticism.

    • Citizen
      March 29, 2011, 8:31 am

      Well, it was just claimed on Washington Journal by some foreign expert that Ghadaffi has murdered over 500,000 people in his reign, including 600 Americans, and all the world’s leaders know Ghaddifi is a threat to any world order.

      • Citizen
        March 29, 2011, 8:58 am

        A quick google check shows it’s also claimed that Ghaddifi has killed about 10,000 people; it seems he executed a lot dissenters on local TV. Wiki points specifically to about 350 murders. The Wiki profile also indicates Ghaddifi as the only non-royal Arab leader, and it indicates many things to show there’s an issue of timing regarding Obama’s intervention since there have been many times Ghaddifi could have been
        put to rest with equal or more justification, including an earlier uprising by his own people in protest of his regime. Clearly Bush Jr appreciated his support of the war on terror. He also helped the USA regarding Pakistand and volunteered to give up his WMD. He was taken off the US state-sponsor-of-terror s***list. Yet Iran has helped the USA too, but you couldn’t get it off that list with a giant crane. It seems Ghaddifi’s formative experience viz a viz the West was Israel’s defeat of the Arabs.

      • Taxi
        March 29, 2011, 10:34 am

        “Non-Royal” Arab leader? Like as if there’s a single Arab Royal leader who’s NOT a dictator! And like who the heck appointed these ‘Royal’ Arab leaders except for the nefarious imperialist west decades back?!

        Whatever the spin, citizen, it’s a set up by the west, and Qaddafi because of his criminality, is an easy scapegoat/distraction from the west’s real intent and aim: keeping the status quo after disposing of the expired-on-the-USA-shelve Arab dictator.

      • Kathleen
        March 29, 2011, 12:49 pm

        this morning on CSpans Washington Journal a caller said that Gaddafi had killed “500,ooo) in Libya. Of course the host did not dispute this. The only time the host on Washington Journal ever challenge a caller is when the caller questions Washington Journals impartiality, or questions US commitment to Israel or presents facts on the ground in the I/P conflict.

        The other day a caller said the Israel had killed US military on the USS liberty and the host said this is not true and where did you get your facts? The host knew little to nothing about the facts.
        Go check it out for yourselves at Washington Jounral call in to the program and ask them to do some factual shows on the illegal settlements or what ever you would like about the I/P conflict. You will watch and hear the host challenge the facts or opinions about this issue. They must have marching orders. Or a new producer. Something has changed at Washington Journal

  13. Kathleen
    March 29, 2011, 10:09 am

    “President Obama’s most critical statement tonight was that letting Qaddafi win would have imperilled the nascent democracies in Tunisia and Egypt. “The democratic impulses that are dawning across the region would be eclipsed by the darkest form of dictatorship, as repressive leaders concluded that violence is the best strategy to cling to power.”

    Totally agree. The rest of the speech was hooey. Myth fueling. The US is so good we are so compassionate, so generous. Hooey

    Obama:”Joining with other nations at the United Nations Security Council, we broadened our sanctions, imposed an arms embargo, and enabled Gadhafi and those around him to be held accountable for their crimes. ”
    Galt: Where was the UN security council when the Bush administration went into Iraq based on a “pack of lies” (El Baradei came out in early 2003 and said the Niger Documents were forgeries,and many other experts had come out and seriously questioned the validity of the Office of Special Plans cherry picked intelligence)

    When it comes to holding Gaddafi accountable for war crimes. He will have to get in line with Wolfowitz, Cheney, Bush, Feith and the rest of the Iraq war thugs.

    “Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off. Water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misurata was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled, mosques were destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assaults from the air.”

    Galt: Sounds as if Obama was describing the Bush administrations illegal actions in Iraq. Also Israel’s actions in the Gaza.

    Obama: ” Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies — nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey — all of whom have fought by our sides for decades. And it includes Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who have chosen to meet their responsibilities to defend the Libyan people”

    Galt: How many of these nations have done some serious dirty business with Gadafi for 40 years?

    Obama: “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

    Galt: Now this was the biggest bullshit line of the speech. How many “massacres” have we sat back and watched? Rwanda, Palestinians in the Gaza. Hell the U.S. has “massacred” in Iraq. Obama with drones. Ever see any images of dead Iraqi people in our MSM? Very little if at all. Bullshit total and absolute bullshit. And Obama knows it

    Obama: “And then there will be places, like Iran, where change is fiercely suppressed. The dark forces of civil conflict and sectarian war will have to be averted, and difficult political and economic concerns will have to be addressed.”

    Galt: Wondered when this was coming. The Iraq warmongers are being recylced in our MSM. The very same people who lied this nation into Iraq are still pounding the military intervention in Iran drums. This past Sunday Robert Kagan, Bob Woodward, Rumsfeld all ended up turning the Libya discussions towards Iran.

  14. Kathleen
    March 29, 2011, 10:20 am

    Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria all mentioned when it comes to the wave of change moving. No one No one in the MSM brings up the Palestinians hunger for justices. No one is willing to say that the “wave of change” started with the Palestinians.

    MSM turns the spotlight on the “wave of change” towards Iran and skips right over the Palestinians.

    It is interesting to watch the maps that the MSM pops up when they are discussing the ” wave of change” They never ever have Iraq on the map. Our leaders, MSM do not want folks to think about the piles of dead bodies in that country that were the result of our invasion. The map has Israel on it but no West Bank , no Gaza. This is the case on CNN, MSNBC, C-spans Washington Journal, and Fox.

  15. Kathleen
    March 29, 2011, 10:31 am

    Phil do you know that Chris Matthews is on a special assignment in Israel

    • Philip Weiss
      March 29, 2011, 10:32 am

      yes i heard that last night

      • Kathleen
        March 29, 2011, 10:47 am

        going to be interesting

    • Kathleen
      March 29, 2011, 10:47 am

      Put this up at Hardblogger
      Great to hear that Chris Matthews is on special assignment in Israel. Now if he just has the balls to turn the spotlight on the amount of UN resolutions that Israel is in violation of, that the wall has been partially built on internationally recognized Palestinian lands. Go spend some time in the West Bank. Some time in Palestinian refugee camps. Some time travelling on the special roads (apartheid) for illegal settlers vs the Palestinians roads.

      Go on Chris be the first in the MSM to actually focus on the facts

  16. Potsherd2
    March 29, 2011, 10:32 am

    Phil, you’re a hopeless optimist.

    • Mooser
      March 29, 2011, 12:01 pm

      “a hopeless optimist.”

      Well put, but I’d rather be a hopeful pessimist.

  17. Chu
    March 29, 2011, 10:49 am

    faith in the movement sweeping the middle east is one thing, but there must be a long line of int’l corporate support for this military action backed by a consortium of military powers.
    Libya is the No 1 exporter of crude in Africa and produces very low cost oil. Is the future plan to wait for another Shah-type figure to fill crazy Gaddafi’s seat? A western styled ruler that is friendly to western interests, (Israel included). I see parallels to the last shah of Iran.

    • Kathleen
      March 29, 2011, 11:38 am

      Am always amazed by how seldom it is mentioned that the US/CIA overthrew a democratically elected leader in Iran in the 50’s. Well not really amazed. Just confirms how the MSM is complicit in manipulating the facts ..or just flat out eliminating them.

      This past Sunday on all of news programs I watched almost all of the talking heads ended the conversations about Libya with the spotlight on Iran. Many of the guest were recycled WMD’s in Iraq liars. Gloria Borger who was sitting in for Fareed Zakaria just led them right where they wanted to go. She said something about Iran being the 300 pound gorilla in the room. The guest all went into Iran bashing. Just where the I lobby and Israel want them to go. Not a whisper not a whisper on CNN’s GPS, Meet The Press, Christiane Amanpour’s (guest host) Face the Nation about the I/P conflict, the Palestinians protest for freedom and justice. Silence about one of the most critical issues that has caused a great deal of the anger towards the U.S., undermined US National security …that the 9/11 commission, former CIA Bin Laden unit head Micheal Scheuer, former CIA analust Ray McGovern, Kathleen and Bill Christison, Former President Jimmy Carter, former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, Seymour Hersh and many more keep repeating is one of the biggest problems in the middle east

      • Chu
        March 29, 2011, 2:28 pm

        The only heavy lifting they do is gossip about Washington when the execs tell them it’s time to shill for their pay.
        Their precious BMW’s, Hamptons weekend homes, and quasi celebrity status outweigh the cost of personal integrity. It’s why the internet is beating them every second of the year. It may not pay as well, but allows for reality and dialogue.

        gloria borger article (covering for neocons in 2003):
        link to

        Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who considers himself a dove, supports this war. Wiesel argues that appeasing dictators does not lead to peace. “Had Europe’s great powers intervened against Adolf Hitler’s aggressive ambitions in 1938 instead of appeasing him in Munich, humanity would have been spared the unprecedented horrors of World War II,” he writes in the Los Angeles Times. “Does this apply to the present situation in Iraq? It does.” Obviously, the cabal has gotten to him, too.
        :D Ok Gloria!

        She wouldn’t have the idiocy to write this 8 years later.

      • Kathleen
        March 30, 2011, 10:25 am

        “Their precious BMW’s, Hamptons weekend homes, and quasi celebrity status outweigh the cost of personal integrity. It’s why the internet is beating them every second of the year. It may not pay as well, but allows for reality and dialogue. ”


  18. Dr Gonzo
    March 29, 2011, 11:59 am


    I think you are making a terrible misjudgement with this. Seems that most Americans fall back to this default position of trusting the US Military that they have noble intentions. Writers that I would normally agree with on all issues have recently come out in support of this intervention, which leaves me a bit dismayed since I respect their opinions so much and usually turn to them for news.

    Writers like Paul Woodward @ WarInContext and Juan Cole @ Informed Comment now yourself and a few other contributors at Mondoweiss. Having people I respect and usually turn to for analysis all apparently switching sides and supporting a US military attack on a muslim nation is pretty shocking to me and leaves me very conflicted. I mean we all support the revolutionaries and desperately want it to succeed but trusting the US to help revolutionaries is like trusting Saudi Arabia to deliver democracy to Bahrain.

    The US is essentially a counter revolutionary force. It is the nature of an Empire to have compliant states and the US is no different in its need for compliant states. The only reason I see the US getting involved in the Arab revolutions is in order to hijack it for its own ends. I fear that by allowing the US military into Libya the revolutionaries will simply replace a current Anti-American dictator with a Pro-American dictator.

    There was a cliche expression that I’m sure we have all heard regarding the Iraq war. “Imposing democracy at the barrell of a gun”. It was a centre piece of the Neo-Con stategy in the Middle East. Now it is being done in Libya.

    Also I would ask Mondoweiss to look at the people speaking out in support of the current Libya intervention. Stephen Walt discussed the “Neo con – liberal alliance” in a recent piece. The Project for a New American Century even sent a letter to Obama signed by 40 Neo-Cons calling for the intervention as Jim Lobe (whose reporting closely monitors the Neo Cons). Paul Wolfowitz has come out in support as has Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman.

    When such figures as the US neo-cons and right wing Israeli officals come out supporting the bombing raids in Libya should we not ask ourselves if we should really be supporting it? ? ?

  19. Mooser
    March 29, 2011, 12:04 pm

    Oh, stop worrying! I’m sure US intelligence and military forces and associated contracters (otherwise known as “boss”) will do what they feel is in their best interests. I expect the same wonderful performance (if they are given the chance) as I saw in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf War.

  20. Mooser
    March 29, 2011, 12:13 pm

    “I can’t share the left’s cynicism about Obama’s motives”

    No, that’s pretty hard when you won’t say who “the left” is. And now that you and the US military has become “we”.

  21. rachelgolem
    March 29, 2011, 12:16 pm

    At the risk of being redundant, how come Zionists don’t have to kill each other to get a new government every few years?

    Zionists have secret meetings where we tell our children not to blow up each other’s synagogues?

    • RoHa
      March 29, 2011, 9:34 pm

      “how come Zionists don’t have to kill each other to get a new government every few years?”

      All their governments are pretty much the same, so only a few killings are required.

      Hardly more than we need in Australia.

  22. Todd
    March 29, 2011, 12:20 pm

    I don’t know why anyone would be surprised that Obama has turned out to be a war monger. He didn’t exactly run as a peace candidate.

    My guess is that those of you who hate violence, but support the war, do so because you know that you will never have to participate in the violence. It does strike me that in all of the talk about violence and the horrors of war, there is never one single word of sympathy or caution for the young Americans who will actually have to do the fighting. It looks like we need a revolution in this country.

  23. irishmoses
    March 29, 2011, 12:42 pm


    “Words, words, words”. What in God’s name, other than his words gives you cause for optimism? The man is an empty suit. George Bush had more moral fiber than this guy.

    I am with Kathleen on this one. I was a strong Obama supporter, worked the polls in Las Vegas on election day, was entranced by his acceptance speech that night (and I’m a freakin life-long moderate Republican!). I truly thought this guy could make a huge difference, particularly with the I-P issue. Cracks in his armour showed up early (nothing on Gaza, no support for Freeman, etc.) but his Cairo speech and initial strong words on settlements gave me hope.

    He has been a huge disappointment since, both on domestic and foreign policy. I now see him for what he is: someone with no executive experience and no executive ability; a compromisor with no moral compass or fiber; an opportunist who whose highest moral value is reelection; and, a tool of corporate/political interests.

    My dissappointment and disallusionment is so profound that I cannot even listen to his speeches without wanting to scream at the TV or retch. I literally can’t watch him speak anymore and did not see last night’s.

    I will not lift a finger for him or even vote as there is no Republican choice anymore, God knows. If a suitable, principled moderate was available to challenge him, I would work day and night to make that happen.

    Would that we were Egyptians and could take our country back.

    Gil Maguire

  24. Todd
    March 29, 2011, 1:09 pm

    There seems to be quite a bit of concern about what Zionism and the accompanying violence and corruption violence does to Jews, but it never seems to be an issue what the violence associated with intervention does to Americans who have to participate, or the affect that the corruption that makes it possible has on the American system or populace.

  25. Theo
    March 29, 2011, 1:16 pm


    I am impressed that you still believe in our president, I certainly lost any respect for him during the Gaza seige.
    He is a great orator and makes great speeches, however I would not bet a quarter if he really believes what he says or just mouths words to please.
    You could see the real Obama during the Tunis/Egypt revolt, changing his views by the minute. A statesman, what he never will be, will consider his views first and then makes a comment. Why Libya and not Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan and most important Palestina?
    He has the 2012 elections in view and will do anything for a second term. An attack in Libya is popular, it makes him look strong, an attack on the despots in the other places is against the US interests, so he just lets those demonstrators die. He is what he is, a weak turncoat, who will bend with any wind as long it guarantees him a place in the WH.

  26. Justice Please
    March 29, 2011, 5:42 pm

    Phil, news flash: Your president is lying. He promised to close Guantanamo and end the Iraq war, neither of which has happened. He said “you can take that to the bank”.

    If he really was motivated by good values, like you still believe, he should resign immediately and tell the American people that a good guy like him can’t win against all the nefarious power brokers and l0bbies.

    This failure to resign in the face of broken promises alone shows you that he is not motivated by noble values, but by the addiction to power.

    • Justice Please
      March 31, 2011, 4:16 pm

      One more thing. Wasn’t Obama talking this crap about holy schmoly America just one day after pictures and stories from this American Kill Team came out, showing American “peacebringers” murdering Afghans for shits and giggles?

      link to

  27. Keith
    March 29, 2011, 5:58 pm

    “I can’t share the left’s cynicism about Obama’s motives; I believe that he believes what he said. He believed in democracy in Cairo ’09 and he does now. His faith in the movement sweeping the Middle East was paramount in his thinking: he referred to it over and over again tonight.”

    Propaganda 101: “Tell the people what they want to hear and they will believe what you want them to believe.”

  28. lareineblanche
    March 29, 2011, 7:31 pm

    link to

    We’ll be fighting in the streets
    With our children at our feet
    And the morals that they worship will be gone
    And the men who spurred us on
    Sit in judgment of all wrong
    They decide and the shotgun sings the song

    I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around me
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    And I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again
    Don’t get fooled again

    Change it had to come
    We knew it all along
    We were liberated from the fall that’s all
    But the world looks just the same
    And history ain’t changed
    ‘Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

    I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around me
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    And I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again
    Don’t get fooled again
    No, no!

    I’ll move myself and my family aside
    If we happen to be left half alive
    I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
    For I know that the hypnotized never lie

    Do ya?

    There’s nothing in the street
    Looks any different to me
    And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
    And the parting on the left
    Is now the parting on the right
    And the beards have all grown longer overnight

    I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around me
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again
    Don’t get fooled again
    No, no!


    Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss

    That being said, I support any rebels who can get rid of Gadhafi. I hope it works out best for them, despite whatever Obama, Clinton, Sarkozy, or anyone else wants.

    • RoHa
      March 29, 2011, 9:37 pm

      “That being said, I support any rebels who can get rid of Gadhafi. I hope it works out best for them, despite whatever Obama, Clinton, Sarkozy, or anyone else wants.”

      Me too. I want to see the end of Qadhaafi, and I too hope it works out best for the people of Libya.

      (And I keep telling myself “depleted uranium is good for you.”)

  29. VR
    March 29, 2011, 11:14 pm

    Most of us can see why we would disagree with Mr. Weiss in regard to Obama, there is no question there. However, what does Mr. Weiss’ view written in plain English about Obama tell us about Mr. Weiss? I’ll leave that to your own conclusion(s).

  30. VR
    March 30, 2011, 1:02 am

    Here is an interesting article, if this does not make you stop and pause to wonder nothing will –

    [Israeli] Defense minister tells Sky News efficient action could see Gaddafi regime gone ‘within several weeks or months.’ In long run, he adds, revolutions in Arab world a good phenomena

    Its time for some real factual examination and self-examination, if you cannot see what is going on at least let me assure you that the Zionists are having a good belly laugh over this.

  31. Hu Bris
    March 30, 2011, 5:39 am

    that UN resolution morphed from

    ‘No Fly Zone’


    ‘No Fly(ing tanks) Zone’ – (see here: link to and link to


    probable/possible “‘US Marines with boots on the ground’ Zone” (see here:link to in a little more than 4 days – how the hell did that happen if it wasn’t the plan all along?

    Barack “I’d kill for a peace prize” Obama has started 2 wars all by himself – to add to the 2 that Bush gave him – So four wars on the go for Mr Changey-Hopey. – Who says men are no good at Multi-Tasking, eh?

    william Blum link to
    “if John McCain had won the 2008 election, and then done everything that Obama has done in exactly the same way, liberals would be raging about such awful policies.”

    • Hostage
      March 31, 2011, 12:03 am

      Hu Bris the provisions regarding the “No-Fly-Zone” were contained in operative paragraphs 6 & 7 of UN Security Council resolution 1973. The resolution mentioned two earlier ones – which follows the normal pattern. “Situations” usually do morph after the Security Council’s gets involved with them.

      Paragraph 4 of the resolution:

      Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council.

      The minute the armed forces of the member states undertake planning for combat operations their obligations under international humanitarian law, including distinction, proportionality, care for the wounded, & etc., are normally considered to be engaged.

      Military occupation only occurs when control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. Authorizing a foreign-controlled “No-Fly-Zone” over the territory of Libya would ipso jure be considered an occupation, unless the UN just signaled us that it has tacitly recognized the rebels as the legitimate government.

      I believe the US, UK, France, the GCC states, and the Arab League have already taken steps that are incompatible with non-recognition of the rebels or with neutrality. If that is the case, the NATO members are probably not considered a “hostile army”. The tactical use of forces on the ground to protect the civilian population and civilian areas under threat of attack was already authorized (e.g. all necessary measures), the resolution specifically ruled out any authorization for them to control territory, i.e. impose martial law. So long as the ground forces defer to and take direction from the local rebel authorities and are merely assisting the local civilians, the two-pronged test that triggers the Hague and Geneva rules of occupation do not go into effect.

      FYI, the fact that “control and authority over a territory” have not been authorized in advance, has never stopped the Security Council from issuing a mandate to that effect after-the-fact. That is exactly what happened in Iraq.

      • Hu Bris
        March 31, 2011, 6:07 am

        Hostage I’ve already read both resolutions concerned – 1973, 1970. 1973 refers frequently to 1970 – in an effort, I suppose, to hide it’s true intent.

        Reading it , it is obvious that though they explicitly did not authorise ‘boots on the ground’, or arming the rebels for that matter, it also did not explicitly rule them out. In fact it has explicitly banned arming Ghaddafi’s forces and said nothing about the rebels, so I presume that that is a future definite, in order to drag out the fighting and create more carnage, as it the usual M.O. of the western forces

        But irrespective of the misleading legalistic sophistry employed in both resolutions, I’m actually referring to how U.N resoultion 1973 has been sold to the public – at no point were the public ever told that Resolution 1973 authorised ‘boots on the ground’, which it doesn’t – it just doesn’t explicitly rule them out – and certainly were not told that the US/UK arming of the rebels would result from that resolution

        So when they have to hide their intentions in such a fashion it becomes obvious to any person still capable of thinking clearly that the intention all along was to either prolong this conflict way beyond it’s ‘sell-by-date’ through arming the rebels and acting as their air-force, or to put ‘boots-on-the-ground’, or both.

        Anyone still convinced that this has anything to do with Humanitarian impulses on behalf of those well known War Mongers, the US and UK, needs their head examined

      • Hu Bris
        March 31, 2011, 6:22 am

        P.S.: It also remains a fact that according to many British Press reports the British SAS were operating in Libya, in support of the Fighters in Benghazi, weeks prior to the UN resolution.

        So any notion that the UK and it’s Partners-in-crime were merley reacting to events after-the-fact is nonsense, since they were already on the ground in Libya and involved in the conflict there

        Also any notion that the rebels somehow represent the Libyan people is pure BS, given the lack of internal-support they have in Libya, outside of their stronghold in Benghazi

        link to

        The obvious finally comes to light in some U.S. media. The “rebels” in Libya are just a bunch of maybe 1,000 wild running rag tags with no structure or real population support. On top of these, but without any control, are a handful of freshly imported expatriates, usually the U.S. indoctrinated type, and a few old Gaddafi hands who have fallen out with him.

      • Hostage
        March 31, 2011, 8:15 am

        Hu Bris,

        I’m pretty confident that the CIA is probably “in country” by now, and that it is not “a foreign occupation force of any form”.

      • Avi
        March 31, 2011, 9:35 am


        Last Thursday, I promised you a list of sources about the topic of the Holocaust in Palestinian school books.

        Now, here’s the deal. Most of the sources that I have are in Hebrew. I tried locating English versions/translations of these same sources, but was unable to find many.

        So, here is what I have:

        Publication: Sedek Magazine
        Author: Dan Bar-On
        Title: On the Tense Triangle Between Germans, Israeli-Jews, and Palestinians

        Direct link to article: link to


        Title: Destroying the Other’s Collective Memory
        Authors: Gur-Ze’ev and Ilan Pappe
        Year: 2003

        Sources available in the Hebrew language only:

        Title: In the Name of Security
        Editors: Majid al-Haj and Uri Ben-Eliezer
        Publisher: University of Haifa
        link to


        Title: Holocaust Instruction [i.e. Education] for Arabs – A Path for Open Dialogue.
        Author: Avramski and Blye
        Publisher: Yad Vashem
        Publication Type: Magazine
        Publication Name: In Memoriam (Bishvil Ha-Zicharon) – Issue #44
        (Requires subscription. Unable to locate English version)

        אברמסקי- בליי (2002): “הוראת השואה לערבים- דרך לדיאלוג פתוח”, בשביל הזיכרון 44, עמ’ 33 -41. ירושלים: יד ושם.


        Article: Arabs and the Holocaust
        Author: Azmi Bishara
        Publication type: Magazine
        Publication name: Zmanim (Times)

        בשארה, עזמי, הערבים והשואה: ניתוח בעייתיותה של אות חיבור
        link to

        (Available in Hebrew only. Requires subscription)


        Title: Agents of Zionist Education
        Author: Ruth Pirer
        Year: 1985
        Publisher: Po’alim Library

        (Available in Hebrew only)


        Title: The Representation of the Holocaust in the Arab World.
        Author: Meir Litvak and Ester Webman
        Year: 2006
        Publisher: Tami Shteinmertz Center for Research, Tel-Aviv University.

        – ליטבק, מאיר ואסתר ובמן (2006) ייצוג השואה בעולם הערבי, גורם מסייע מכשול בתהליך השלום, סדרת מחקרים 20 הוצאת שלום מרכז תמי שטינמרץ למחקר שלום אוניברסיטת תל-אביב


      • Hostage
        March 31, 2011, 10:30 am

        Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

      • Avi
        March 31, 2011, 10:38 am

        You’re welcome. I’m sorry I was unable to provide more ‘useful’ sources as the majority are in Hebrew.

      • Taxi
        March 31, 2011, 10:48 am

        I’ll second your appreciation of Avi. AAAAAAND you’re not so bad yourself either Mr. Hostage.

  32. Hu Bris
    March 30, 2011, 9:31 am

    Reports suggest French intelligence encouraged anti-Gaddafi protests

    Reports have emerged in European media alleging that efforts by French intelligence to destabilize or topple the Libyan government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi may have played a role in last month’s protests in Benghazi, which ultimately led to war in Libya. The National Council, a Libyan rebel group based in Benghazi and led by ex-Gaddafi regime officials, appealed to the Western powers for military support. The US, Britain, and the French government of Pres Sarkozy then launched a war against Libya on Mar 19. Allegations of French intelligence involvement center on a Mar 23 report by journalist Franco Bechis in the right-wing Italian daily Libero, headlined “‘Sarko’ manipulated the Libyan revolt.” He highlights the strange case of Nuri Mesmari, Gaddafi’s former chief of protocol, who fled to Paris in October, and claims that Mesmari put French officials in contact with military officers and activists in Benghazi plotting against Gaddafi. To a large extent, Bechis bases himself on dispatches from French business intelligence site Maghreb Confidential. On Oct 21 of last year, Maghreb Confidential reported:

    Muammer Kadhafi’s chief of protocol, Nouri Mesmari, is currently in Paris after stopping off in Tunisia. Normally, Mesmari sticks closely to his boss’s side, so there’s some talk that he may have broken his long-standing tie with the Libyan leader.

    A prominent pro-free-market reformer in the Libyan ruling elite, Mesmari played a critical role in the Gaddafi regime. He coordinated visits to Libya by foreign heads of state and their use of Libya’s fleet of private jets. He also oversaw the state’s payments to Gaddafi’s children, who have become major business leaders in Libya by taking state funds. Jeune Afrique, a French news magazine on African affairs, commented:

    Mesmari’s case is nourishing the most contradictory rumors. The ‘Guide’ allegedly slapped and insulted Mesmari during the Arab-African summit of Oct 9-10 in Syrte. This was the man’s last public appearance before the revelation on Oct 22 that he had fled for France.

    On Nov 18, Maghreb Confidential wrote:

    The comings and goings of Nouri Mesmari have been stirring a lot of curiosity in recent weeks. The protocol chief of Muammer Kadhafi, who seemed to be joined at the hip with Libya’s leader, travelled to France at the end of October, passing by way of Tunisia. Officially, Mesmari, who suffers from a chronic illness, came to Paris for an operation. His wife and daughter indeed visited him, staying for a while at the Concorde Lafayette hotel in Paris. He has since dropped out of sight. Mesmari, who reportedly wants to go into retirement, is one of Kadhafi’s closest confidantes and knows pretty well all of his secrets.

    On the same day, Maghreb Confidential reported talks between French and US wheat growing interests, including France Export Cereales, FranceAgrimer, Soufflet, Louis Dreyfus, Glencore, CAM Cereales, Cargill, and Conagra, and Libyan state-owned mills. These included National Flour Mill Co in Benghazi, and National Company for Flour Mills & Fodder in Tripoli. The French ruling class was intent on boosting its market share in Libya. Before a Dec 14-17 visit by French banks Crédit Agricole and Société Générale, engineering firms Alstom and Thales, and construction firm Lafarge, Maghreb Confidential wrote:

    French firms are determined to climb higher in the ranks of Libya’s trading partners. Italy is currently in number one position, with China second and France a distant sixth.

    According to Bechis, however, these visits provided cover for French military officials to sound out opposition in the Libyan military. Interestingly, the wheat-trading visit was originally scheduled for October, but French officials postponed it to November, citing the October oil strikes in France.

    This meant that the visit took place after final signature of the Nov 2 military alliance between Britain and France, the two main European powers bombing Libya. The Franco-British alliance included an agreement to carry out a Mar 21-25 long-range bombing exercise, code-named South Mistral, resembling the long-range bombing of Libya that began on March 19.

    The exercise was cancelled due to the outbreak of war. According to the French air force’s Southern Mistral web site:

    On Nov 2 2010, France and Great Britain signed an unprecedented agreement on defence and security. The Franco-British exercise Southern Mistral falls within the scope of this treaty. It is scheduled to take place from 21 to 25 March 2011 on several French air bases. On this occasion, the French and British forces will perform Composite Air Operations and a specific air raid (Southern Storm), delivering a very long range conventional strike.

  33. ish
    March 30, 2011, 3:14 pm

    I strongly recommend this column:

    link to

    • Chaos4700
      March 30, 2011, 3:31 pm

      Meh. I don’t think it’s fair to loop Juan Cole in with Bill Maher and Ed Schultz. I think Juan Cole makes an intelligent case and he makes a good point. You can disagree with him on his stance but purporting that his view steams from racism is silly, quite frankly. It’s hard not to perceive, though, how anti-war liberals (real actual anti-war liberals) are cut off from the debate.

      Myself, my feelings about Libya are mixed. Somebody needed to intervene… but I don’t trust my government or its military to intervene in a responsible or just manner.

      • Hu Bris
        March 31, 2011, 6:13 am

        ‘someone needed to intervene’- Why?

        what business is it of anyone else’s?

        The rebels obviously do not have the support of the Libyan people themselves, otherwise the rebellion would be more widespread. It’s is obvious that their numbers are small and it is by now obvious. or at least should be if you’ve been paying attention, that they are little more than a tool of the US/UK/France. So that being the case, what right do the US/UK/France have to interfere in an internal Lybian conflict?

Leave a Reply