Reporters Lead Drum Beat For Armed Libya Intervention

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[Global: Libya]

As we look at the coming internal showdown in Libya, we see that within the Obama administration, the executive office and the military don't see eye to eye.

"Reporters" also are leading the drum beat for military intervention. We may be witnessing the Obama administration considering the “No-Fly Zone” option as an outright military preference against the Muammar Gaddafi government.

This Tuesday, NATO will be examining it military options. “I have not taken any options off the table” Obama has said. US-backed Arab governments like Egypt's and Saudi Arabia's support the move. Obama has been faulted for his seeming reluctance to
take action to overthrow the Muammar Gaddafi government.

Reporters have abandoned their pretense at objectivity. One reporter last week asked president Obama, of the No-Fly Zone: “Are you prepared to use any means necessary in the United States government to make sure that happens? And if not, why not?”

"What’s the red line here?” the reporter added.

While another reporter said: “You say you’re concerned, but is Gaddafi staying—is that an acceptable option for you, ever?”

Referring to possible mass killings by Gaddafi's armed forces, another reporter declared: “Can the United States simply stand by and do nothing? And I say that in light of the fact that in the past you have said there are times when a brutal government is massacring its own citizens that the United States has a moral obligation to intervene militarily.”

Many of the reporters have forgotten how we got into Iraq. U.S. forces were supposed to be welcomed with flowers.

The president said: “I continue to believe that not only the United States but the international community has an obligation to do what it can to prevent a repeat of something like what occurred in the Balkans in the 90’s, what occurred in Rwanda.”

On the other hand, President Obama said there was no evidence of large scale carnage in the Libyan war. “Obviously we’re going to have to look at what develops on the ground on a case-by-case basis. I don’t want to generalize right now and say that’s what’s happening and we’re prepared to step in.”

The president spoke of mobilizing support for the Libyan rebel leaders, many of them former Gaddafi loyalist who changed sides after the popular revolt in Benghazi and other eastern cities. He said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be meeting with rebel representatives. Yet unlike the French, the U.S has not formally recognized the rebel administration in Benghazi.

President Obama also pointed to efforts to influence elements within the Gaddafi government, and in particular the Libyan army, by stating that regime supporters would be held accountable. It suggests the U.S. is merging aid to the rebels with efforts to bring about a military coup or assassination attempt against Gaddafi from within his own ruling circle.

The U.S. also has to deal with the reality that the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declared, while testifying before a Senate committee, that Gaddafi had superior and larger military resources than the Libyan rebels and would prevail. His words were borne out when Gaddafi's army took control of Zawiyah and Ras Lanuf.

President Obama also cautioned about “some of the rhetoric” from Gaddafi, including a statement “that they’d be going door-to-door hunting for people who are participating in protest—that implied a sort of lack of restraint and ruthlessness that I think raises our antenna.”

Here the irony is that the U.S. actually does conduct such operations on a daily basis in Afghanistan. In recent weeks, American military commanders have boasted of greatly intensifying their own “door-to-door hunting" of suspects.

And the double standard is clear. It must be noted that President Obama was more than silent on the mass repression of opposition demonstrators in a half dozen other countries in North Africa and the Middle East, where US-backed sheiks and kings and military dictators have ordered mass arrests, beating and outright killings.

This subject came up at the end of the press conference when a reporter from a US-financed Arabic-language television network asked Obama about his stance and position to the protest movements. Obama said: “I’m in constant contact with leaders through out the Middle East, and I’ve had a fairly consisted message to all of them: Number one, the United States believes in the right of peaceful protest and the ability of ordinary people to express their grievances to their government. And we oppose the use of violence in response to peaceful protestors. So that’s one clear message that we’ve tried to send.”

It remains to be seen how this policy will be applied as the pro-Yemen dictatorship cracks down on uprising.

How can the U.S.-backed governments get away with shooting their citizens with their American-made weapons? Case in point. In the Persian Gulf sheikdom of Bahrain, home to the headquarters of the US Fifth Fleet, the masses of people have come close to the threshold and verge of overthrowing King Hamad. Yet U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates quickly flew into the capital of Manama last Friday in an unannounced visit to hold talks with the king and the crown prince.

The U.S. expressed concern that with turmoil in Bahrain "Iran could take advantage.” This is an indication of the ugly hypocrisy and double standard of the American Administration in relation to the lives of the people of North Africa and the Middle East, no matter who’s the president.

For the masses of people involved in the region, history is on their side, but, not time.

"Speaking Truth To Power."

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