Viewing posts tagged libya

Murder is Murder

The terrible killings of Americans in Libya have provoked an entirely foreesable reaction.  Loads of smug conservatives and equally smug liberals have found common cause in singling out Islam as violent and intolerant. 

That cartoon in The Onion is a good example.  'Nobody Murdered Because of This Image' reads the headline, above a cartoon of several non-Muslim religious figures engaged in an explicit gang bang.  Because only Muslims kill people for bigoted reasons, you see.

It's interesting to witness the implicit hierarchy of human value.  The (entirely deplorable) murder of Americans by Libyans elicits howls of outrages.  The (equally deplorable and far more common) murder of Arabs and Muslims in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine etc by the American and British militaries - and/or NATO, and/or the Israelis - doesn't provoke any such widespread and sustained spluttering horror.  It's for 'them' to die at our hands.  That's just routine.  And 'they' mustn't draw any conclusions from this (i.e. the West despises them and values their culture at nothing) because if they do then that's the medieval intolerance of Islam talking.

Of course, nobody who ...

Bombs for Peace (Again)

So, Western imperialist powers (especially the US and UK) spend years trying to undermine, attack and destabilise Gaddafi... presumably because his regime engaged in some nationalisation and brought some economic independence, not to mention his support for various "anti-imperialist" groups. The West indulges in occasional homicidal bombing raids that achieve nothing but the slaughter of innocents (including Gaddafi's own baby daughter). 

(Don't get me wrong, by the way - I'm no fan of the evil old bastard... though, if we're doing body counts, he's probably less blood stained than most leaders of the "free world".) 

Then Gaddafi starts making grovelling offers to deactivate his own WMD programme... which the Western powers repeatedly ignore until they can paint it as a victory for the Bush/Blair moral crusade... 

As part of his new chumminess with Blair & Co., Gaddafi opens Libya up to foreign banks, foreign corporations and the IMF. As per the usual script, along comes structural adjustment, i.e. privatisation, austerity, etc. Gaddafi is announced as a reformed character now that his regime is becoming integrated into neoliberal globalisation. 

Then the Middle East ignites. The people of Tunisia and Egypt rise ...

Send More Beams That Kill

Hey guys... you know how, in my last post, I was connecting 'Mindwarp' (in which the slimey Mentors of Thoros Beta are selling hideous weapons to Thordon) to the matter of British weapons sales to savage dictatorships like Suharto's Indonesia, etc?

Well, have a look at this delightful report from Al Jazeera about what riot police have been up to in Bahrain (I warn you: the report linked to features images of wounded people and others in great distress).

Bahrain was memorably described by David Mellor on the Today Programme (shouldn't it be anagrammatically renamed the Toady Programme when he's on it?) as a "quasi-democracy".

It would appear that five people have been killed in this last attack.  (Before we get too locally self-righteous, we should remember what Alfie Meadows went through at the hands of the British police recently.)  The attack on the protestors in Bahrain was launched using weapons of exactly the types sold to the Bahraini authorities by British, i.e. guns, rubber bullets, teargas and grenades.  Apparently we also sell Bahrain machine guns and ammunition.  Everything, in other words, that a "quasi-democracy" needs for quasi-violent quasi-suppression of protestors exercising ...

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