Lies, more lies, and war

2011-04-02 14:33

In the classic account of the Spanish invasion of South America and the Caribbean, A Short Account of the ­Destruction of the Indies, ­Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 15th-century Dominican priest and historian, described how indigenous people were thrown to the dogs and, in Hispaniola, burnt alive in honour of Christ and the apostles.

This account is not a far cry from what’s happening in Libya today.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), the United States, Britain and France have unleashed a deadly ­invasion of the North African country under the pretext of saving the Libyan rebel fighters who are being threatened by the forces of ­Muammar Gaddafi’s government.

The ostensible reason for the bombing of Libya given by these Western powers is to save Libyan lives.

If one follows the logic of these regimes, which are symbolic of the supremacy of Western civilisation, the Libyan people are being bombed to save them.

This is akin to the Spanish ­baptising infants so that they could be carried to heaven before being torn to shreds by wild dogs.

This is certainly not the first time that Western powers, cloaked under the dubious mantle of the United Nations Security Council, have ­invaded and occupied a country to save its people from death and destruction by a pathological dictator.

The “no-fly zone” (note that this is imposed only in countries where people of colour live) was endorsed by the dubious Arab League that, in essence, consists of regimes that were imposed on the Arab people by European colonialism.

In Baghdad, it was Saddam Hussein who was charged by former US president George H Bush in 1991 with possessing “weapons of mass destruction” and “gassing his own people”, even though the US supplied Hussein’s government with massive amounts of armaments.

The Security Council then ­approved a “no-fly zone” on northern Iraq after pummelling the country, in which more than 100?000 bombing runs destroyed the country’s infrastructure, killed 100?000 people, and resulted in harsh
economic and trade sanctions and the death of 500?000 children. Classic genocide of the 20th century. Fuelling his father’s fabrications, son-turned-president George W Bush urged the invasion of Iraq in 2003 on the fabricated grounds that weapons of mass destruction were evident.

The result was a bloody military occupation that has seen torture, rape and the deaths of more than a million people in an already ­devastated country.

In the early 1960s, following the defeat and expulsion of the French from Vietnam, the US sent ­hundreds of thousands of troops to “save” South Vietnam so that it didn’t fall to the communists.

This resulted in the death of two?million Vietnamese and 54?000 US personnel.

In Bosnia, when 8?000 Serbs were killed in 1995, the US and Nato intervened, bombing the country relentlessly for two weeks. More than a million Serbs were displaced and Yugoslavia was ­destroyed.

Killing people to save them seems to be the “Judeo-Christian” ethical principle that these governments of the West live by.

It’s no coincidence that Libya is a predominantly Muslim country, and ­Africa’s third-largest oil producer.

Is the bombing of Libya on the part of the US and Nato really about saving the lives of “Libyan rebels” or “revolutionaries”?

The almost-daily killings of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan by US drones, and the supplying of weapons to the repressive regimes in Bahrain and Yemen, where scores were killed by government forces over the past two weeks, belies this “concern for human lives”.

The deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis over the past eight years since the US invasion and ­occupation underscores the ­specious claims on the part of the US government that it cares for the lives of Arab or African civilians.

Note that there was no call for a “no-fly zone” in countries such as Bahrain, which houses the US ­Naval Fifth Fleet, Yemen or Egypt.

It certainly signifies a double standard. What is the key difference between Libya and the revolts in neighbouring African countries?

Libya is a leading oil producer and the US desires a partitioning of the country so that the eastern half, where the major oil-producing fields are located, would become easily accessible to US and British oil corporations.

It was no accident that British military personnel were already in Cyrenaica shortly after the “rebels” began their attack on the Libyan regime in February last year.

One wonders, too, about the aspirations and political outlook of the rebels given their call for a “no-fly zone”, which implies a partition of the country.

These rebels promised Western countries the continued supply of oil even while they were engaged in an offensive against the Libyan forces, playing very smoothly into the hands of US, British and French governmental designs that are determined to secure Libya’s oil resources “by any means ­necessary”.

It is ironic that the European ­Union, an ostensible coalition of democratic Western and Eastern European countries, has threatened to cut off the Libyan government’s ­access to its own oil fields.

Apparently, they feel that the oil of Libya belongs to them by right and that indigenous Libyans are obstacles in their path.

Finally, it is palpable that the oil greed of the Western powers obscures all pretensions of concerns for “human rights” and the actions of “mad” dictators like Gaddafi.

The West has traditionally been the cornerstone of creating, maintaining and funding, and then – when appropriate – dispensing with dictators whom they used for their own political and economic ends even while the people of the ­countries ruled by these dictators are brutally repressed.

The West has never lost its greedy appetite for oil and profits. It bombed Libya in the same week of the earthquake in Japan.

It is incredible in an age where the West claims that savagery and barbarism are now safely behind us that countries and people can be obliterated for the sake of material resources.

Western arrogance that destroys Earth and her children, and uses lies to wage war, will only hasten the collapse of the West.

» ?Kunnie is the author of the forthcoming book, Globalisation and Its Victims: Wars Against the Earth and the Impoverished of the World


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