Racist To The Core: NY Times Editorial Still Downplays Libya Ethnic Cleansing of Blacks

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[Black Star News Editorial]

Yesterday, The New York Times, still smarting from the fact that it ignored the massacre of Black Libyans in Misurata and migrants workers from elsewhere in Africa, published an editorial "A New Start in Libya," where in again the newspaper diminished the scale of the crimes committed by the NATO-backed "rebels."

In the eight-paragraph editorial, the Times mentioned Libya's oil in the second paragraph --"Technicians are assessing damage to the oil wells and pipelines that account for 98 percent of the country's annual revenues, though full production may not be restored for months or even longer"-- before it finally made mention of the crimes committed by the "rebels."

"Considering the situation six months ago, there is reason to be encouraged," the editorial opined, and then, in a callous understatement, continued: "Nonetheless, the new regime faces many challenges. Among the most troubling developments is the brutal treatment of dark-skinned Africans rounded up by vigilantes and the regime's security forces."

Talk about "burying" the lead.

Troubling development? How disingenuous. What a shameful spin by The New York Times.

Throughout the Libyan civil war, the Times acted as the "rebels" P.R.-firm, ignoring their atrocities, including lynchings, beheadings, and the ethnic cleansing of Black Libyans in Misurata, which was reported by The Wall Street Journal  on June 21, 2011. Meanwhile, the Times editorial page was calling for the escalation of NATO's bombings in Libya.

In a shameful newspeak that would have alarmed even George Owell, the Times in the editorial yesterday, characterized NATO's six-months massive bombings that caused untold destruction and killed an estimated 1,600 to 2,000 civilians by Libyan and other media accounts, as "NATO's protective airstrikes against Colonel Qaddafi's forces."

What's more, it's not accidental that the Times keeps referring to "dark-skinned" Africans; the editorial writers know full well that many Black people also don't have empathy for "dark-skinned" Africans, to borrow the Times' wording.

Notwithstanding what the Times refers to as "troubling developments," atrocities targeting Black Libyans and migrant workers from elsewhere in were actually consistent and featured warfare policy and strategy by the Benghazi "rebels" from as early as February when the conflict started.

Even the Times, in its editorial yesterday belatedly, though in a devious manner intended to justify or rationalize the killings, acknowledges: "Some Africans accused of being mercenaries were lynched after the rebels captured Benghazi in February."

How about "some Africans who may have been WRONGFULLY accused of being mercenaries" were lynched after the "rebels" captured Benghazi, and throughout the war, and even after Tripoli fell?

It's sad to see a newspaper which is read throughout the world, and which has a level of credibility and reputation often above and beyond the quality of the journalism it practises, try to absolve itself of culpability for the crimes committed by the NATO-backed "rebels" in Libya.

Would The New York Times promote the "rebels" who committed atrocities during the civil wars in Sierra Leone and in Liberia where also innocent people were massacred, beheaded, and mutiliated? In the Sierra Leone war, The New York Times promoted the intervention of an international force, including the British military, to defeat the "rebels" and capture the leadership that condoned war crimes. In fact, many were prosecuted by a special court and punished.

In Libya, because the victims of the atrocities were Black and the Times was politically opposed to Maummar al-Quathafi, the newspaper ignored or downplayed the atrocities by the NATO-backed "rebels."

Most African countries have so far refused to recognize the "rebels" as legitimate rulers of Libya due to outrage over the massacres. The African Union (AU) should also not have stood by and watched the extermination of Black people in Libya.

In yesterday's editorial, the Times belatedly laments over the mistreatment of "dark-skinned Africans" --to borrow the exact words from the editorial. Yet it still makes no mention about the ethnic cleansing of Black Libyans in the city of Misurata by what was referred to in The Wall Street Journal article as "The Brigade for the Purging of Slaves, Black Skin." The statements attributed to "rebel" commanders by the Journal makes it clear the killings were targeted and deliberate.

Even after discussing the targeted killings of "dark skinned" Africans yesterday, does The New York Times call for an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and for punishment of the perpetrators?

Hardly. This is the best the "newspaper of record" can muster on behalf of its beloved "dark-skinned" Africans: "To maintain its international credibility, the transitional government must release innocent Africans and make sure that those who fought for Colonel Qaddafi are treated fairly."

The Libya war proved to the world that the lives of Black people have no value for NATO, Western leaders, and editorial writers.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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