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Against the Western attack on Libya

A statement from Emperor's Clothes

[Posted March 20, 2011]

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Numerous people have asked us where we stand on Libya.  Let us say, briefly: we oppose Gaddafi and we oppose Western military intervention against his regime.

Obama's justification for attacking Libya -- an act of aggression regardless of whether the UN rubber stamped it -- is preposterous.  The Department of Defense press service quotes Obama as follows:

" 'But we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy, and his forces step up their assaults on cities like Benghazi and Misurata, where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government,' he said."
[My emphasis -- J.I.]
-- "Obama: Broad Coalition Seeks to Help Libyans," by John D. Banusiewicz, American Forces Press Service, Washington, March 19, 2011
http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63228

If that were true, why did Obama limit himself to vague expressions of sympathy for the democracy protesters murdered in Iran in 2009, and then, after a few such statements during the last two weeks in June, go silent throughout the rest of 2009 and 2010, while Iran mass murdered its citizens -- probably thousands; nobody knows for sure?  And this, while Ayatollah Khamenei made not one but two statements (the first on June 13, 2009 and the second on June 19, 2009) declaring that peaceful protesters were rebelling against God, a crime punished by death in Iran, thus authorizing lethal force against them -- i.e., telling them "there will be no mercy."

Forget military intervention: in the case of Iran, Obama did not even resort to strong condemnation.  But with Libya, where rebels are equipped with arms and even at least one war ship (in Iran they were unarmed!), the U.S., U.K. and France are compelled to launch massive military attacks.

While in 2009 most Iranian protesters opposed Islamist rule, in Libya fierce Islamists apparently dominate the rebels.  Thus in a March 7 New York Times article that supports the rebels, even as the Times denies that Islamists dominate the rebel side, the Times reports that, in the rebel bastion of Darnah:

[Excerpt from The New York Times starts here]

only the Muslim Brotherhood and more militant strands thought to number in the hundreds show signs of organization, many having forged bonds in prison or fighting the government in the 1990s. One of those men is Abdul-Hakim al-Hasidi, who fought for five years in Afghanistan, ended up in Colonel Qaddafi's jails for four years and now, with hundreds of armed men, runs the defenses of Darnah and its hinterland.

He helps run much of the city's rump bureaucracy as well, drawing on a formidable talent for logistics recognized by many in the town.

-- "Diverse Character in City Qaddafi Calls Islamist," by Anthony Shadid, The New York Times, March 7, 2011
http://www.nytimes.co...st/08darnah.html

[Excerpt from The New York Times ends here]

So in Darnah -- in which according to the Times secular and Islamist influences mingle in a fashion the Times says is typical of the rebellion -- it is an 'Afghan Arab,' one of the foreign Islamist fanatics who went to Afghanistan as part of the Western sponsored war against the Soviets in the 1980s and/or fought on the side of the Taliban in the 1990s, who leads both the military and political structures.  Can one get more Islamist?

And, the Times tells us, it is the Muslim Brotherhood "and more militant strands" who are the only forces that presently "show signs of organizing."  Nevertheless, the times poo-poohs the idea that Mr. al-Hasidi and his associates would rule Libya if they were to win, because:

"He promised to lay down his arms once victory is won and return, he said, to teaching."

What does the Times take us for, children?  He promised not to rule?  Did he say "Cross my heart and hope to die"?

Consistent with the leading role Islamists in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular are -- according to the pro-rebellion Times -- playing in the anti-Gaddafi revolt, the Brotherhood fiercely supports the rebellion; witness the fact that, on February 21, Yusuf Qaradawi, who played a leading role in the recent turmoil in Egypt and is the Mufti of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is headquartered in Egypt, issued this fatwa:

" 'Whoever in the Libyan army is able to shoot a bullet at Mr Kadhafi should do so,' Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric who is usually based in Qatar, told Al-Jazeera television."
-- Agence France Presse, February 21, 2011 http://news.yahoo.co...a_20110221212046


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The human suffering argument

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Yes, civil wars kill people, but so does firing over 100 missiles at one side, as the U.S. reportedly did on Saturday, while the U.S., the U.K. and France flew multiple bombing raids.  An immense assault on a government that had not attacked the U.S., the U.K. or France.

Moreover, by shoring up the losing side, the West may very well prolong the fighting, which could mean more deaths and possibly more bitterness -- and therefore even more deaths -- in the aftermath.

Yes, if Gaddafi wins, he may kill a lot of people.  But does anyone seriously think that if the other side, led by people like Mr. al-Hasidi, who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan, during which war Mr. al-Hasidi's mujahedeen associates executed school teachers because they knew that to be a secular teacher was to be a communist and therefore an agent of the devil -- does anyone believe that Mr. al-Hasidi's people will not conduct a reign of terror?

Yes, Gaddafi is the furthest thing from a progressive, but so, from everything we know, are the people he is fighting.  Indeed, considering Mr. al-Hasidi's credentials -- the anti-Soviet war -- they are probably worse.

And when all is said, the point remains: who gave the U.S., the U.K. and France the right to decide when it is OK to intervene in fighting (Yugoslavia, Kuwait/Iraq, Libya); when it is not OK to intervene in fighting (the Congo, Iran, Sudan); and when it is OK to intervene even though there is no fighting (the U.S. invasion of and mayhem in Panama).  However one parses this, it is flagrant aggression, made possible by military might, and if the attack on Libya continues the gainers will, we predict, be the Islamists who are strong in Eastern Libya, and who, if they win in Libya, will be closer to dominating the Middle East and Central Asia, since, with immense assistance from the West, they have made huge gains in the key Arab state, Egypt.

To understand what is happening in Libya (and Yemen, and Bahrain, etc.) we need to discuss what has recently taken place in Egypt, the elephant in the living room of Western policy.   We think Western citizens have been told lies about the Egyptian political earthquake, and to understand regional Western policy we must see past those lies.

So, on to Egypt.  Shortly we will begin sending material on Egypt to our Newsletter subscribers.

In the meantime, we leave you with the map below.  Notice that if Libya is taken over by Mr. al-Hasidi's Islamist associates, it will put pressure on Egypt, where a member of the Muslim Brotherhood has helped rewrite a constitution that used to exclude religious parties from political power, and on Tunisia, Algeria and Sudan as well, adding considerable force to the already considerable pressure, which Iran and its allies (Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Sudan and Syria) presently exert on Africa, Asia and Europe.

Food for thought.

-- Emperor's Clothes
http://www.tenc.net

 

http://tenc.net/Images/map na.jpg


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You may send this article or the link to any person or Internet list.  You may post any TENC article on the Internet as long as you cite Emperor's Clothes as the source, credit the author(s), and state the URL, which in this case is http://emperors-clothes.com/libya.htm

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The Emperor's New Clothes (TENC) * www.tenc.net