U.S. "Recognition" Can't Rehabilitate Benghazi's Terrorism
If "White" citizens of Misurata had been cleansed by Black pro-government Libyans would The New York Times, remain silent?
Would President Barack Obama remain quiet?
[Black Star News Editorial]
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's announcement that the U.S. recognized Benghazi as the "legitimate governing authority" can't change the fact that Benghazi isn't ready for primetime and it could actually embolden Muammar al-Quathafi's regime supporters in Libya.
To begin with, it's unpleasant for the U.S. to endorse a clearly unpopular "rebel" movement as the "governing authority" in any country. The insurrectionists control Benghazi, which isn't surprising since it was historically and traditionally the base of King Idris, the monarch deposed in 1969. Benghazi and Tripoli had hostile relations. Last week more than a million Libyans showed up in Tripoli to back the government there.
Was that evidence of a popular rebellion?
So, it's not for the United States, NATO, or Nicolas Sarkozy, to determine the "legitimate governing authority" in Libya; that methodology used to be called colonialism. Even today there is no better term or characterization.
What's more the "recognition" doesn't make the Benghazi "rebels" less of a terrorist organization than what has already been reported in the newspapers and it does not make them any more popular beyond Benghazi, their natural habitat.
In fact, just as with the NATO merciless bombardment campaign --which hijacked and corrupted the prospects for an authentic popular Libyan uprising-- the "recognition" probably fortifies the al-Quathafi government's support from the majority of Libyans, as he portrays himself as standing up to outside aggression against Libya. It makes a stronger case for al-Quathafi than he could ever make for himself.
The "recognition" also ensures that the NATO war on Libya will extend well into the U.S. presidential election period. It has no downside for Republicans, who will rightly disown the war as President Obama's as the campaign season deepens; it has only negatives for the Democrats.
What's more the American people, by more than 60% have made it clear that they don't support an American role in the Sarkozy war on Libya where no U.S. security interests are at stake. In New York City, what's billed as a "Harlem Millions March For Africans at Home and Abroad," to protest the Libya war, is planned for Saturday, August 13, starting at 10 AM on 110th Street and Malcolm X Blvd.
One reason given by Obama administration officials for the "recognition" is that it makes it possible for the U.S. to release the $30 billion in frozen Libyan assets to Benghazi. Not so, according to an article in today's Wall Street Journal, under the headline "U.S. Recognizes Libyan Rebel Group," which says such a move "could fall afoul of provisions in two United Nations Security Council resolutions on Libya.." It's clear that this is a matter that will reach the International Court of Justice. It remains to be seen whether the United States will show similar contempt for the U.N. Resolutions, as France did when it illegally dropped weapons in Western parts of Libya.
We propose more credible explanations for the timing of the "recognition."
The announcement was meant to divert attention away from recent stories about gross human rights abuses by the rebels and the theft of shoulder-held anti-aircraft missiles which the rebels have reportedly been selling to Al-Qaeda. Some former U.S. captives who were in Guantanamo Bay have been training the "rebels" according to an April 2 article in The Wall Street Journal under the headline "Ex-Mujahedeen Help Lead Libyan Rebels."
How unsavory are these "rebels"? More recently, The Wall Street Journal reported on the ethnic cleansing of Black Libyans in Misurata in a June 21 article by the Benghazi "rebels" who said they had adopted the name "Brigade for the purging of slaves, Black skin."
The same rebels warned Black Libyans in the nearby town of Tawergha to "pack" and leave before the "Brigade for the purging of slaves, Black skin," arrives to avoid the cleansing, The Wall Street Journal article, "Libya City Torn by Tribal Feud," reported.
The Journal, even though a conservative newspaper with reactionary editorial and Op-Ed pages, is far much more balanced in its news reporting on Libya than The New York Times, CNN, or the BBC, which all have positions--editorial and news pages-- which are congruent with the positions of their respective country's government. The Times, CNN, and the BBC all ignored the story about the ethnic cleansing of Black Libyans, clearly realizing that it would shatter the myth propagated by these media outlets that the "rebels" offer a new dawn for Libya.
It's also a testament to the debasement of the lives of Black people globally that a whole city can be ethnically cleansed of Black people--with those responsible for the crimes even openly boasting about it to a major newspaper like The Wall Street Journal-- and nothing happens.
One could fairly pose the question: if the victims had been reversed, and if the "White" citizens of Misurata had been cleansed by Black pro-government Libyans would The New York Times, CNN, and the BBC censor this story or would they be up in arms calling for the International Criminal Court to nab al-Quathafi? Would Secretary of State Clinton remain silent? Would President Barack Obama remain quiet?
So debased and devalued are the lives of Black people that even a Black President of the United States is compelled to turn a blind eye to ethnic cleansing of Blacks in Libya.
The U.S. "recognition" of Benghazi was also timed to divert continued focus on two major developments which were covered in Pravda --The New York Times-- this week. The first, under the headline “Libyan Rebels Accused of Pillage and Beatings,” described the ransacking and pillaging of the Libyan city of Qawalish, reported on July 12, after it was captured by the "rebels." It's unlikely that Pravda would have covered these abuses had it not been the fact that Human Rights Watch released statements exposing the abuses. Pravda also reported that the bodies of executed soldiers--presumably government soldiers-- were visible in the city.
On the very same week, July 14, under the headline “New Leaks of Antiaircraft Missiles From Rebel –Held Bunkers in Libya,” Pravda reported in another article that weapons --including shoulder-held anti-aircraft missiles-- had been looted after the armory came under "rebel" control. There have been several reports that the "rebels" have been selling such weapons to Al-Qaeda; this would be of no surprise given the Al-Qaeda affiliations reported in The Wall Street Journal.
One would hope that it’s precisely at moments like these that a responsible U.S. administration would reassess its ties to such shady “rebels.” Instead, in a march of folly, Clinton announces the “recognition” card the very next day just when the entire world was beginning to see through the lie.
It’s an attempt by Secretary Clinton to divert the news lead from the realization that the NATO-backed and French-created insurrectionists are not democratic revolutionists, but Al-Qaeda linked “fighters” who by their actions have demonstrated that the apples don’t fall far from the tree. The Clinton spin worked: the story made the front pages of Pravda --The New York Times—and The Wall Street Journal had a front-page picture that jumped to the story on the inside pages. Let's see if these newspapers come back to stories about human rights abuses by the "rebels" and the Misurata ethnic cleansing.
The U.S. "recognition" was also timed to derail the African Union plan, which was gathering support, especially after South African President Jacob Zuma's visit to Russia, following the recent AU meeting in Equatorial Guinea.
United States' recognition can't rehabilitate stark ugliness. Only the people of Libya can decide their own destiny. That begins with a ceasefire. This could easily be put into place if The White House would endorse the African Union proposal. In addition to a ceasefire, the AU plan calls for negotiations for a constitution and for democratic national elections.
So who is it that's really afraid of open elections in Libya monitored by the international community? The answer is clear judging by the continued Western NATO-led war-mongering on Africa.
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