Moor: it’s not a war of western imperialism

on 12 Comments

Ahmed Moor supports the western intervention in Libya, at Al Jazeera:

However, large numbers of people around the world appear to support the objectives of the anti-regime forces. Also, the indigenous resistance movement – which requested help – would have been annihilated in the absence of those air strikes…

George Bush and the neoconservatives hijacked the legitimate language of consensus-based intervention for their own ill use.

So activists are not wrong to react cynically when they hear that language today; I don’t believe that bombing Gaddafi is a humanitarian gesture.

But George Bush should not be allowed to legitimise the mechanisms – which are distinct from the language – of global intervention in situations that offend human rights and dignity.

Today, many people agree that the situation in Libya is horrifying. Furthermore, the Libyan rebels requested aid from the outside world.

Those two conditions alone do not justify intervention but they are crucial components of a legitimate international decision to employ force. ..

The potential benefit of successfully backing the rebels will be an increase in goodwill across the Arab world directed at the West. It is not clear if that is a realistic expectation, but it is one appears to motivate Western leaders.

12 Responses

  1. Taxi
    March 28, 2011, 11:45 am

    The problem with Ahmed’s view is that he forgets that the countries who drop expensive bombs will own the ‘liberated’ Libya at the end of the day.

    All wars are the creations of corporations. There isn’t a single exception to this in our modern times.

    The truth is that the global war-corps hesitated the first two weeks of the Libyan uprising on purpose. They left it till the 11th hour when only an armed interference would work so they could just slip right in without too much questioning of their motive etc.

    They could have helped in a thousand different ways inside the hours of 1 to 11 that could have saved the country from the added trauma of being blitzed. Not to mention the blatant way the ‘allies’ have used yet another Arab population to give their western air forces and navies a good opportunity to practice their new military maneuvers as well as experimenting with their munitions loaded with the newest batch of depleted uranium.

    Call me a cynic but by now I’m suspicious of EVERYTHING the west does in the mideast. I’m convinced now that the west will ALWAYS want to rip off the Arab people so long as they got oil.

    We in the west care more about fueling our cars and factories with cheap oil than saving Arab lives. We should just be honest and talk about the morality of this instead of patting ourselves on the back talking about what a kind and conscientious buncha whities we are.

  2. kapok
    March 28, 2011, 12:34 pm

    “large numbers…appear” Rather vague, no? What about the Africans, they have the most to say. I’m not hearing from them.

    IMHO we’re witnessing the neo-liberal kick at the can. The tactics have changed but the objectives remain: enough jobs and votes to keep the Corporados in their panelled suites.

    • Leigh
      March 28, 2011, 1:24 pm

      As an African, I’ll say that I strongly support the anti-regime forces, there have been few more destructive influences on the continent than Qaddafi. But due to the numerous potential awful consequences of the military intervention, I would have prefered that other available options were pushed with as much enthusiasm by all the people who are now backing the military thing. At the beginning of March Hugo Chavez offered to mediate, but because Westerners think he’s a lunatic, the offer was rejected by the west and the revolutionaries. In the same week the Bolivarian Alliance suggested that someone like Jimmy Carter should mediate, an suggestion that I think everyone ignored. Turkey proposed some power-sharing agreements. Even now the African Union is begging to be allowed into Libya, NATO wouldn’t let them fly in, but it’s probably too late already since no side under attack is likely to give in. Responsibility to protect means less destructive options before destructive options, and options that will stop violence instead of prolonging violence, otherwise one has failed in that responsibility. Of course refusing to sell Qaddafi weapons would have helped, so would refraining from carrying out coups on governments we don’t like; Britain tried to throw out Qaddafi less than one year after he came to power. Who knows how he would have developped if he could have developed without being under constant attack.

      As an African, I’ll also say that the media coverage has been awful. This weekend demonstrated it well. I felt deeply for the Libyan woman that was filmed by the journalists in the hotel room after having been raped by Qaddafi forces; the one that was later dragged away by those same forces. Everybody tweeted it, all media organisations covered it. When the Africans from Ghana, Somalia and Chad arrived home with horrifying stories of revolutionaries gang raping their women, burning down their homes, killing them and keeping them under house arrest without food, Western media couldn’t give a damn because they’d started cheer leading. This doesn’t lessen my support for the revolutionaries, but I feel for my people and my continent that typically end up at the bottom of whichever pile the rest of the world constructs. Rape and killing shouldn’t be politicised, and shouldn’t be selectively harnessed for supporting ones prefered narrative. The anti-Qaddafi pro-revolutionaries narrative would have remained more or less in tact without de-humanising the Africans who suffered.

    • Bandolero
      March 28, 2011, 1:51 pm

      “What about the Africans, they have the most to say.”

      That is a very good question. Ahmed Moor looks to Libya from an Arab perspective, but Libya is much more an African country. So let’s have a look what Africa says.

      First, the rulers of Africa: “African Union Opposes Obama’s War on Libya

      Governemnts of countries in the southern neighborhood of Libya are all against the NATO war against Libya, most of them openly solidaric with Muamar Gaddafi, like Chad, Mali and Mauritania.

      If you want to have a more balanced position from an African leader a bit more far away from Libya, I’ld recommend an article on Muamar Gaddafi and NATOs intervention in Libya from Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni in Ugandas Daily Monitor. Key quotes:

      I am totally allergic to foreign, political and military involvement in sovereign countries, especially the African countries. If foreign intervention is good, then, African countries should be the most prosperous countries in the world because we have had the greatest dosages of that: slave trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, etc. All those foreign imposed phenomena have, however, been disastrous. … Regarding the Libyan opposition, I would feel embarrassed to be backed by Western war planes because quislings of foreign interests have never helped Africa. … Therefore, if the Libyan opposition groups are patriots, they should fight their war by themselves and conduct their affairs by themselves. After all, they easily captured so much equipment from the Libyan Army, why do they need foreign military support? I only had 27 rifles. To be puppets is not good.

      So, that where the rulers. Now let’s look what the African street says on topic. Have a look to Bamaka, the capital of Libyas south western neighbor just across the Sahara desert.

      Reuters 25.03.2011: Pro-Gaddafi rally draws thousands in Mali capital

      And have a look what Americas favorite zionist paper, New York Times, reported from Bamako on 15.03.2011. Here are some quotes:

      “We’re all ready to die for him,” Mr. Maiga said. “He’s done so much for us, after all. ” … “Some people see the colonel as the devil, but he’s not,” said Seydou Sissouma, spokesman for Mali’s president. “He’s a great African. ” Mr. Sissouma bristled at the idea that Libya was buying friends. “That’s not the case,” he said. “Libya has accepted to share its resources with others. Other African oil producers, like Nigeria, don’t do this.” … But several people here, including Mr. Ansar, the cultural festival organizer who is also a well-connected Touareg, had their doubts. “It’d be very difficult in just two or three weeks to organize a system to pay and recruit mercenaries,” he said. eyond that, he said: “Even if Qaddafi didn’t ask them, they’d go. He’s their chief, their leader, everything to them. If he’s out, they lose their protector.” … Indeed, all across this city, young men have formed into pro-Qaddafi organizations, and many said they, too, were eager to join the fight and were just waiting on “the means.”

      In other Sahel countries at the southern Libya border the situation is very much the same.

      So, now you may want to have a look upon what the exiled black communities say about the American interference in Libya.

      Here’s Cynthia McKinney, longstanding US-activist both for backs and for Palestine: Cynthia McKinney: Ghaddafi a Hero for African Rights and Liberation

      See here in SF Bay View – National Black Newspaper professor Molefi Kete Asante, author of “Histroy of Africa”. Core quotes: “We must be clear that the attack on Libya is an attack on Africa. … When Africa needed Gaddafi, he was always present. Now that Libya needs Africa, let it be said that Africa will be present on the side of the legitimate government of the people of Libya.”

      To have it a bit more blunt, see Kola Afolabi in New Yorks “Black Star News”: Libyan War: Imperialism Pure And Simple

      “I’m not hearing from them.”
      Maybe it’s just that you didn’t listen. If you want to hear the voices, you should not rely on zionist, arab, Iranian or Russian news, which all are united for various reasons in strong support for NATO’s war against the African movements of independence. I’ld recommend to listen to LJBC and news from black commuities around the world, if you want to get know the other side of this war.

      • Leigh
        March 28, 2011, 2:49 pm

        Thanks for the collection that I was too lazy to compile, Bandolero. I think that many Africans are conflicted. They admire Qaddafi’s anti-imperialism, and that’s why some African countries and especially the exiles are romanticising him. But he also spread a lot of weapons around the continent, a lot of which ended up being used in awful causes. That’s why some countries around are nervous about the extent to which he has now armed his citizens. South Africa probably played it roundabout decently; very grateful for the anti-apartheid help, but still maintaining some distance because of the authoritarianism and brutality. (The South African UN security Council ambassador tried to skip the vote by temporarily disappearing.)

        Same with Uganda’s president Museveni, who has always been close to but somewhat annoyed with Qaddafi. That’s why people like him thought that the better way would be for friendly countries to negotiate with the regime, rather than have unfriendly countries bomb it. The current action will enrage many Africans, and the racism of the revolutionaries hasn’t helped. So I hope with all my heart that Africa doesn’t get dragged into some anti-Western battle that has sort-of died down for some decades.

      • Bandolero
        March 28, 2011, 5:38 pm

        Thanks for your comments Leigh.

        It feels good to know, that in times of total deception and enormous amounts of propaganda lies there are some people out there with a more realistic view o what’s really happening.

        As that uprising began, I was rather optimistic and with the rebels, too. That was though I understood from the beginning, that the US and UK had a hand in instigating a peaceful uprising in Libya. Whenever I see the bloody hands of the US meddling anywhere for regime change I start becoming deeply suspicious. But as the US had their hand in uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt as well and Iran and Hisbollah supported these uprisings, too, and it looks like it made things there really a bit better, I was optimistic for Libya as well.

        I saw lot’s of valid points of critics against the rule of Muamar Gaddafi, from lack of democracy over autocracy, facilitating violence in third countries and recently collaboration with UK, France, Italy and the US up to gross violations of human rights, and hoped, it might come out in the same direction. But then I understood that the rebels use the flag of the monarchy and – as stated in their call on Facebook to start the uprising – their goal “prosperity” was totally different from what I think, what an improvement would look like. Prosperity and monarchy looks pretty much not like an improvement of democracy and human rights, but like a capitalist counter revolution to eliminate the last remains of socialist achievements like education, health care and social welfare, which will usually serve western corporations but not the people. However, I still saw Hisbollah and Iran supporting the uprising, I saw lot’s of musllims praying in Benghazi and so my hope was, Hisbollah may manage it to turn the capitalist revolution into something good for the people.

        I found it strange when I saw the videos of Gaddafi forces killing own handcuffed forces in mass, many of them black, for refusing to shoot unarmed protesters. That was presented as the proof for Gaddafis gross crimes. Are they really such monsters? Then there came the credible reports of rebels hunting and massacre black people. Particularly disturbing was for me, that a Telegraph reporter told about a video showing a black man hanged at a meat hook in Darna.

        It took a while until I understood: these monsters slaying masses of handcuffed and helpless people were not Gaddafis forces, but the rebels and then the propaganda tried to make it appear as Gaddafis crimes.

        I saw Saif Al-Islam making an offer to the rebels, that he was willing to talk about all political demands of the rebels up to the construction of an autonomous “Islamic Emirate of Derna”. Rebels and leaders of NATO countries leaders declined, saying Gaddafi must go. Then came Chavez offer for a cease fire. Rebels declined, vowed total djihad to “liberate” Libya. I saw the imam in Benghazis friday prayer instigating hate and aggression and shouting thousands of muslims there to total holy war. On the other hand I saw supporters of Gaddafi demonstrating peacefuly in Tripoli, chanting, laughing.

        So, I didn’t wonder that rebels running west to conquer lost the battle. I heardly could imagine that the people of Libya was with the aggressive notion of holy war preached in Benghazi. And, I was not surprised, as I read, rebels complained, that treachery of the people of Bin Jawad were among the reasons they lost the battle. Rebels complained, they were suddenly shot from the houses there.

        Now it took me another while until I understood, what I believe now is the broader game. British speciall forces were alreay operating in Libya weeks before rebels lost any battle. British papers say, it was to mark targets for NATOs bombers. So, what I think now, is that this is a NATO war of aggression, plain and simple, and it was planned and prepared as this long before the uprising began.

        The rebels part in the plot was nothing more than to give a pretext for this war of aggression against Libya. They were not told what their role was. To that angle of view fits well that western propaganda is engaged in full war mode, completely one sided with no much regard for truth. Gaddafi is presented as new Hitler, as Saddam was before, but he is not – he has undeniable positive points on his side as well. It reminds me of the propaganda before the wars against Yugoslavia and Iraq.

        The conduct of the NATO operation makes it crystal clear, that ceasefire and protecting civilians is not their goal. They operate as airforce for a war of aggression of rebels mixed with SAS and CIA special forces. As the covert NATO forces cannot win the war, they intend to invade with ground troops soon.

        The propaganda is already prepared: Gaddafis solldiers have condomns and viagra with them and are therefore guilty of the crime against humanity of mass rape. The proof: one doctor said it was so, he sai he had treated two women, who said they had been raped by Gaddafis forces. In times of total propaganda, that is enough proof to wage a full scale war with thousands or millions of predictable deaths.

        As for the reasons, why NATO waged this war, it’s not difficult to guess: oil resrves worth 6.000 bln dollars and taking over Gaddafis position with the intent to get more power over Africa and it’s resources.

      • Leigh
        March 29, 2011, 12:29 am

        You sound more forgiving of Qaddafi’s crimes and more critical of the rebels than me, though. Qaddafi’s forces have been incredibly brutal, for years, not just now. And I genuinely believe that the majority of the revolutionaries want a better Libya, at least one where people’s views matter. My issue is with pretending now that the military intervention is the only option, while numerous others were ignored before this. Imagine if the initiatives at the beginning of March were taken up by Western commentators and governments, and a political solution was absolutely forced. The deaths of all the civilians and rebels killed by Qaddafi forces, everyone killed by the rebels and the Qaddafi forces now pulverised by huge bombs would all have been prevented. So what Westerners are doing, re-Benghazi especially, is to pat themselves on the back for preventing a humanitarian catastrophe that probably would not have existed if they’d followed up the erlier initiatives.

      • Bandolero
        March 29, 2011, 9:13 am

        “You sound more forgiving of Qaddafi’s crimes and more critical of the rebels than me, though.”
        Yes, probably. And it may well be that my anti-imperialistic view – havng results of foreign millitary “intervention” in countries like Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq and 50 more countries before in mind – plays a role in this. Let’s say it this way: in my view it looks like that the rebels may be even worse than Gaddafi and his loyalists. Of course, I don’t know for sure and I don’t think anyone can be really sure in this time when we are flooded with “unconfirmed” war propaganda stories and pictures.

        But I don’t think that makes a big difference whether you tend to be more smpathetic for or against Gaddafi.

        “My issue is with pretending now that the military intervention is the only option, while numerous others were ignored before this.”
        From my point of view, that makes the difference. Here we agree 100%. I’m still of the opinion that political talks is the solution promising results for a better life, not war.

        And that’s a major point I have against the rebels: when talks about a political solution were offered, they always vowed for violence, war and NATO bombing of Libya.

  3. joer
    March 28, 2011, 1:07 pm

    Maybe it’s not about imperialism and it’s all about liberating Libya, but as an American I have the feeling like we are sinking deeper into quicksand in the Mideast…and it can’t end well. We’re fighting two wars, I lost track of the countries we’re occupying and regimes we are propping up…plus all the covert activity. Two faux states we support are occupying Mecca and Jerusalem. Sarkozy has very graciously offered tko liberate Libya. I think we should start thinking about having ceremonies at airports marking the end of our intrusion in some countries so we will avoid scenes of Americans scrambling onto helicopters on the roofs of embassies in the future. Let the French have those scenes. I guess they forgot Diem Ben Phu.

    • Bandolero
      March 28, 2011, 2:19 pm

      “I lost track of the countries we’re occupying and regimes we are propping up…”
      That reminds me to what William Blum has just written in his fresh Anti Empire Report 92:

      Barack “I’d kill for a peace prize” Obama

      Is anyone keeping count?

      I am. Libya makes six.

      Six countries that Barack H. Obama has waged war against in his 26 months in office. (To anyone who disputes that dropping bombs on a populated land is act of war, I would ask what they think of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.)

  4. VR
    March 28, 2011, 9:04 pm

    “George Bush and the neoconservatives hijacked the legitimate language of consensus-based intervention for their own ill use.”

    Please excuse me, I was born yesterday, and I need a serious history lesson which covers the last couple of hundred years. That is what a statement like this (above quote) cries out, or is this just an attempt to move the ignorant? I am conflicted…when are you people going to wake up? Maybe you like the dream world, but unfortunately sometimes reality catches up to you. Coming to this conclusion is not rocket science, it is not the province of ancient wisdom, I can testify to this fact.

  5. johd
    March 28, 2011, 11:30 pm

    “as an African” BS.

    The truth is that we have arbitrarily decided to support one faction of people against another from the same country on the basis of atrocity propaganda.

    This propaganda was disseminated from the United States Mainland in a continuous stream since the beginning of the Arab peoples intifadas. Almost always by Libyans with clear and strong American accents. No interpreters needed here.

    I don’t trust it one little and am sorry to say that Gadaffis propaganda, albeit coming from the “savage” that he is, is way more credible than the propaganda against him.

    It is quite clear that the “anti-Regime” rebels are infested with an Arab supremacist worldview, and quite clearly anti-Black.

    So, ‘as an African’, I say; “f*ck them”, clearly and loudly.

    Ahmed should remember that Libya, Tunisia, Egypt are in Africa, not the Middle East. Africa stands with the Libyan people and against racist Arab Supremacist Islamist and Libya nRoyalist Tribes with strong American accents.

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