Obama's "Medieval" Crusade In Libya

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The new Libyan dawn cannot be created by hundreds of Tomahawk missiles and thousands of tons of bombardment as is currently advocated by President Obama and the Western coalition with it's "medieval crusade" to borrow from Russia's Putin.

[Black Star News Editorial]

Whatever President Obama says, at the end of the day the Libyan conflict is a war for oil and big corporate interests.

The president spoke many beautiful words Monday. There were no outright lies. There were many half-truths and there were many deliberate misrepresentations.

When a smart man speaks people have to listen very carefully.

There would be no Western coalition forces fighting in Libya to "liberate" anyone if the country did not have 44 billion barrels of known oil deposits. France was eager to join because Nicholas Sarkozy hoped to reverse his declining political fortune. Instead, disastrous election results Sunday show that the political career of the war's biggest advocate is all but over. He has no mandate in France; yet he is still ordering attacks on Libya.

With respect to President Obama, Monday he made a forceful defense of the U.S. military role in Libya. He went as far as saying the U.S. is working with the Libyan opposition on a post-Muammar al-Quathafi government. He seems to discount that the millions of Libyans in Tripoli and elsewhere, who may not see eye to eye with Benghazi and may not all be al-Quathafi supporters, should also have a role in any new dispensation.

The way it sounded: We intend to impose the new Libyan sherrifs in town. The Tomahawk missiles revolution.

The president claimed the current military campaign did not intend to depose al-Quathafi.  When in fact the coalition's planes have already become the air forces of the Benghazi rebels.

The Western coalition is not enforcing a no-fly zone or protecting civilians. It is actively fighting side by side with Benghazi in Libya's civil war. It has rejected all efforts for mediation, including by five African presidents who wanted to travel to Libya and meet with al-Quathafi and Benghazi leaders. It demanded for a ceasefire where there are two combatants but called for only one side to stop hostilities.

The coalition boasts of support by "Arab partners" to justify the bombadment. In fact only tiny Qatar and U.A.E are actively involved. The Arab League members who voted to support no-fly zone are themselves suppressing uprisings in their own countries--including Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. What's more, Amr Moussa, the League's secretary general was horrified by "attacks on civilians." He was quickly silenced.

Meanwhile potential bigger conflicts are escalating in Yemen, Syria and Bahrain while the U.S. is fixated on al-Quathafi because of Sarkzoy and the U.K.'s David Cameron. By the time the U.S. turns its attention on these countries, it would have squandered valuable diplomatic, political and military capital on Libya.

President Obama had high praises for the U.S. conduct. He spoke of an imminent massacre providing the imperative for coalition intervention. He said "Benghazi a city nearly the size of Charlotte  could have suffered a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the rest of the world."

This will never be known and is not worthy of debate. What's known is that in towns recaptured by al-Quathafi's forces from rebels, no such systemic massacres were reported. The president also ignored atrocities committed by rebels, including executions and lynchings of Black Africans, reported in various media including Al Jazeera. Posted videos of mobs photographing corpses are available.

Does the president condone violence by some combatants and deplore the other's? The crimes have not been one-sided. It does not help anyone by portraying only one side as brutish while providing a false angelic impression of the other.

One might also wonder: If Obama actually believed that massacres were imminent in Benghazi was it responsible leadership to still travel to Brazil and Chile?

At one point it was widely reported that al-Quathafi's air force had bombed civilians from jet planes--this claim was pushed by rebels to invite outside intervention. Other sources, including the Russians reported that the incident did not occur.

President Obama knew that this claim has now been discredited. He said: "Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means of  defending themselves against  assaults form the air." While the president spoke the truth it was clear that he wanted to leave the impression that al-Quathafi's air force had indeed bombed unarmed civilians.

The U.S. economic recovery is not yet secure. Nearly 14 million Americans are unemployed. The federal government and state governments run huge deficits. Even teachers, fire fighters and police officers are being layed off. The U.S. military role in Libya is estimated to cost $300 million a week. The president did not make a convincing argument to justify this.

There was the typical arrogance to show that he is in command as when Obama, like an emperor declared: "I made it clear that Quathafi had lost the confidence of his people and the legtimacy to lead and he needed to step down from power."

And on the seventh day; the Lord rested.

Why not make the same comment to maybe another 100 dictators around the world--many of whom are U.S. allies and U.S.-financed?

The president is being disingenuous by giving the impression that Libya's armed insurrection is comparable to the Blackberry-Facebook revolutionists in Tunisia and Egypt. One could argue that absent mass uprising throughout Libya might suggest that al-Quathafi, although widely detested by Obama and the coalition partners, may still have currency in broad areas of the country.

Some of the rebels are former soldiers in al-Quathafi's army and are under the commanded of some of his former colonels and generals. The political leader of the insurrection is Mustafa Jalil, who until a month ago was justice minister in al-Quathafi's government. He famously told The Financial Times that after they deposed al-Quathafi they would share Libya's oil in proportion to the outside help they secure for his removal.

Change we can believe in?

Is there any additional evidence needed to confirm that this is a war of greed and oil interests? Who knows what oil deals have already been struck with the government-to-be-imposed-by-the-West? Just today, The New York Times reports that Benghazi is already negotiating through Qatar deals to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Libyan oil in territory it seized with Western coalition help, to the international market and use the money to buy more arms. If this isn't conflict money then we don't know what blood money and banditry is.

When President Obama talks about "Quathafi began attacking his people" he is technically correct. However he fails to mention that the country is in a civil war and that television viewers all over the world see this and know this. It would be tantamount to saying Union soldiers were "attacking their own people" during the U.S. civil war.

President Obama said: "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 ...." Yet these same words apply to the Ivory Coast which has known turmoil since the disputed elections of November. There the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo's security forces reportedly have unleashed violence, including the shootings of women protestors in the streets.

Is the president suggesting that the blood of civilians in the Ivory Coast is less valuable? Is it, as is more convincing, because the Ivory Coast, unlike Libya, does not hold 44 billion barrels of proven oil reserves?

Why can't the same humanitarian concern be extended to protect the Congolese who continue to die--adding to the 5 million-plus who have already perished after an invasion to plunder Congo's resources by U.S. allies Uganda and Rwanda?

Al-Quathafi has been in power for too long. Libya deserves a new dispensation. The youth of Libya, Libyan exiles, Libyans incarcerated, Libyans in Benghazi, Libyans in Tripoli--they should all be allowed to come together to create the new Libya.

The new Libyan dawn cannot be created by hundreds of Tomahawk missiles and thousands of tons of bombardment as is currently advocated by President Obama and the Western coalition with it's "medieval crusade" to borrow from Russia's Putin.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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