Sunday, April 03, 2011
-- Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan, "My response to Juan Cole's ANSWER to Glenn Greenwald" (Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox).
-- Patrick Martin, "American media silent on CIA ties to Libya rebel commander" (WSWS).
We thank all who participated this week which includes Dallas and the following:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.
And what did we come up with?
-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.
The number of Iraqi orphans increased in the last few years due to the war. According to official Iraqi government statistics released in December 2007, the number of Iraqi orphans had reached at least five million over the last three years. Many due to the Sunni-Shia conflict. There are several social organizations caring for a small number of these Iraqi orphans, such as Child Aid International. There are approximately 26 orphanages that Alive in Baghdad has been able to locate around Iraq. Eight orphanages are in Baghdad and another 18 are distributed all over Iraq and generally they accept kids between the age of 6 and 18 years old.
One of the biggest scandals that happened in the history of the Iraq conflict is the one that happened in Al-Hanan orphanage. There were many pictures distributed online and by television of Iraqi orphans lying on the floor naked, with no food for weeks, sick and nearly dying. After this the Iraqi government began to show more attention for the orphans, there were many stories being reported regarding Al-Hanan Orphanage, like sexual abuses and bad treatment of the kids living there.The orphanage story, June 2007 (here for report by Lara Logan for CBS News) found children with "emaciated little bodies tied to cribs". Which points to the other problem, it's not just the US, it's also the puppet government the US installed. That orphanage? Reuters reported, "The orphanage is part of a network belonging to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs." Iraqi brings in billions in oil each year. Their population is between 28 and 30 million. That the puppet government hasn't addressed the problem, hasn't ensured that all Iraqis are taken care of, goes to the goals it shares with the US government and, no, humanitarian goals don't make their to-do list.
The children of Iraq live in squalor (photo above via The Great Iraqi Revolution). In 2007, Bill Van Auken (WSWS) observed, "Indeed, the number of orphans in Iraq has skyrocketed since the war began. While no one has provided a reliable estimate of the numbers, they are so great as to far outstrip the capacity of Iraq's 23 orphanages -- eight of them in the capital -- to provide aid. As a result, the streets of Baghdad and other major cities have become the only home for thousands of children who beg or attempt to sell small items at traffic lights. They are prey to violence, exploitation and sexual assault. All of this is a phenomenon that was unknown before the US invasion."
With all the billions pouring into the country, how does that happen? The same way that none of the basic services have been provided to the Iraqi people -- puppets get rich and the people do without.
Which is among the reasons many Iraqis have taken to the streets in protest. Among those protesting have been some of Iraq's 4.5 million orphans. (Click here for Reuters video.)
The orphans, the protests, have received little attention from the US press. Friday, for example, was the tenth Friday in a row where Diane Rehm (on her self-titled radio program) couldn't find Iraq during the "international hour." The war didn't end. The US media's interest in it did.
And when some media critics start blaming the American people and stating they don't care, they better realize they're hollow attacks reveal their timid spirit. The American people can only be informed of that which the news outlets cover. The people haven't failed, the media has. Repeatedly. And they've failed the children of Iraq.
Barack Obama kicked things off on Monday with a speech, ten days after he started the Libyan War, attempting to explain his actions. The big takeaway was that the ridicule over "Let me be clear . . ." led it to be stricken from his usual bag of tricks.
"Let me be clear" is a phrase that's almost become one of Barry's tics. He generally cannot get through a speech without saying it at least once. But the March 18th speech led to laughter in DC as he employed "let me be clear" yet again but the Beltway dinner circuit pointed out it should have been "let me be redudandt." Clarity is not repeating the same thing, clarity is expanding and explaining. As various rats swam back to the White House to explain, with horror, that the myth of "genius" Barack was developing cracks, a decision was made to strike his overly used (and overly misused) phrase.
Which is why, on Monday, we instead got Barack stating "to be blunt." We'll be blunt, even flanked by eight US flags on stage, he didn't look presidential. That was in part because of the bad rinse they'd put on his hair. When will they ever learn how much gray to leave? It also had to do with him wearing more face powder than a clown at a children's birthday party.
Mainly it had to do with his poor delivery. "On the outskirts of the city" wouldn't seem like a difficult phrase for the tongue but he lost his volume, steadyness and breath control on "outskirts." Then came his major stumble, "We knew [long pause] that if we wanted -- if we waited one more day . . ." He was reading from teleprompters. It shouldn't have been that difficult.
Nor should his hand gestures have been so effete. But they were. Throughout the speech, his hands motions took place below the chest -- how dainty -- and usually involved closing off the hands, not pointing. For example, when he should have pointed (from the chest and above), he would touch his fingers to his thumb and gesture with what now appeared to be a claw and not a hand. He frequently placed his left hand on top of his right as though attending a tea party. It was eight minutes in before he became comfortable raising the hand to pec level but he was still pressing his index finger into his thumb.
"I want to be clear," he declared over ten minutes into his speech, leaving many to wonder why he hadn't wanted to be clear from the start? A little clarity would have gone a long way.
Instead, the president provided the country with the following summary:
Then we took a series of swift steps in a matter of days to answer Qaddafi's aggression. We froze more than $33 billion of Qaddafi’s regime's assets. Joining with other nations at the United Nations Security Council, we broadened our sanctions, imposed an arms embargo, and enabled Qaddafi and those around him to be held accountable for their crimes. I made it clear that Qaddafi had lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead, and I said that he needed to step down from power.
In the face of the world's condemnation, Qaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off. Water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misurata was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled, mosques were destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assaults from the air.
So, according to Barack, the US began taking steps against the Libyan leader and Barack "said that he needed to step down from power" and, in response to that, surprise, surprise, Ghadaffi dug in, responded to what Barack was doing? That's the way Barack's narrative portrays it. And while we don't support the Libyan War, it bears noting that Barack's narrative reveals that war supporters should be asking why the US left so many holes in their original plan that Ghaddafi was able to push through?
In addition, since when does any government have the right to take action because a leader has allegedly "lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead"? That's based on what? A PEW poll? A Gallup? Goodness, consider Barack's polling numbers last week, we sure hope not, otherwise France may soon be flying war jets over America.
Having failed to convincingly make a case in his prime time speech, the next day Barack went flying to New York to tape interviews with all three of the Big Three evening newscasts. The big revelation there? Don't make a drinking game out of how many times Barack says "uh" -- unless you want to die from alcohol poisioning. For example, speaking to Diane Sawyer on ABC's World News Tonight, four "uh"s in 38 seconds around the discussion of munitions being supplied to 'rebels.' That's a lot of shots to slam.
It was even more difficult to watch Diane trivialize the interview by turning it to the topic of college basketball. Is that a transition? The Libyan War to basketball? Well this is Diane, who attempted to publicly shame Natalie Maines for her comment that she was ashamed George W. Bush was from Texas. Where there are wars to be sold, you will always find the whores.
Asked about the vetting of the so-called 'rebels' by Erica Hill, on the CBS Evening News, Barack insisted that the 'rebels' had been vetted. He made that false claim on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller (Washington Post) were reporting, "The Obama administration has sent teams of CIA operatives into Libya in a rush to gather intelligence on the identities and capabilities of rebel forces opposed to Libyan Leader Moammar Gaddafi, according to U.S. officials."
Insisting the day before that the 'rebels' had been vetted, Barack continued on the CBS Evening News, "Most of them are professionals: lawyers, doctors, uh-uh, people who appear to be credible." These are his fighters? To us, it sounded like he was talking about the self-described 'creative class' who were ignorant enough to support and whore for him in 2008. Those wimpy little boys and self-hating little girls? If only we were lucky enough to pack them all off to Libya. Does Barack truly think those arm-chair warriors have it in them to lead a revolution because, as demonstrated with their whoring for ObamaCare and their refusal to demand universal, single-payer health care, that group was defanged, declawed and deboned (specifically, the spine).
Hill did a straight-forward news interview with no attempts at cutesy as did Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News (see Wednesday's "Iraq snapshot" for more on the big three broadcasts) but what might be most interesting is how unpopular all three interviews were. This was most true at MSNBC where the forty most popular videos from Nightly News do not include the interview with Barack. He's beat out not only by dogs (one rescued in Japan, the other "on a hot tin roof") but, how fitting, even by a story on Richard Nixon.
And if Barack was ineffectual in all three interviews (and he was), at least he demonstrated Michelle Obama was correct about his stinky feet by wearing a pair of dirty socks on national TV -- as camera work on all three networks noted.
Wednesday the horror was The Ed Show which is, of course, redundant. Squeezed into a suit so tight it looked like a sausage casing, Big Ed demonstrated that all the fat wasn't in his head. "Look, I am a liberal, I am a progressive," the allegedly 'former' Republican, still anti-choice Ed Shultz insisted on his MSNBC show. "That means we need to stand behind people who want freedom. This isn't Bush talk."
Ed went off on a rant about how "the president" has spoken: "That's all as an American I need to hear! Let's get it done! [. . .] Hell no! This is about freedom!" He shouted so loudly, you'd think the Grandy's server had just told him there was only a salad buffet today.
"I believe those people that I have seen on these reports from our network, NBC, they deserve a fighting chance," Sgt. Schultz insisted -- apparently unaware that the clip he'd shown of Libyan 'rebels' was from ITN (Independent Television Network), not NBC.
Reaching back to his Reagan roots, Sgt. Schultz began insisting these were not "rebels," they were "freedom fighters." For those not in the know, Ronald Reagan's administration was forever tarred as a result of his (criminal) funding of 'freedom fighters' -- the contras -- illegally funding them, against an established government in Nicaragua. Crazy Ed painted the "rebels" as "that young kid." You sort of got an image of sweaty Ed moaning as he rubbed one out for the 'rebels.'
Sgt. Schultz brought out Jeremy Scahill and the comedy never stopped. Some will make the mistake of defending Jeremy thinking, 'He's on our side.' Forget Horror Makeover, Jeremy's part of the Whore Makeover. No one whored for Barack more than Jeremy. He was taken in completely by Samantha Power -- so much so that a friend at the top of the Obama 2008 campaign laughed last week that Power didn't have him eating out of the palm of her hand, "she had him eating out of the crotch of her panties." (Don't like the word choice? Take it up with Barack, these are the men he surrounded himself with.)
Jerry Scahill whored big time. He whored to knock Hillary out of the race. We covered this throughout 2008 and we're not going to spoonfeed. If you're late to the damn party, it's your own damn fault. We'll provide one and only one example: Jeremy writes a piece at The Nation demanding that candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama swear that, if elected president, they will not use contractors in Iraq. Hillary makes the promise. Barack refuses to. Jerry does a follow up. Anyone with integrity would of course have favorable words for the Clinton campaign. Instead, Scahill, at The Nation, made it a point to question her decision -- "Why now?" -- while refusing to call out Barack's. Not only did he scribble, he went around promoting his (bad) article. Our favorite televised appearance? When he talked about how it took "days" for him to get someone from the Obama campaign willing to go on the record thereby demonstrating he doesn't know the first thing about journalism. When someone goes on the record, you print their name.
Jerry never did. We outed her at The Common Ills and here: Samantha Power. That was Jerry's big 'in' in the Obama campaign. She was bragging to the campaign about how she was "neutralizing" Jerry and Amy Goodman was gushing on air at WBAI (during a pledge drive) about how she and Jerry had just, on that day's show, interviewed the future Secretary of State -- oops, Amy corrected herself, the possible future Secretary of State. Whores corrupt so easily.
If you wonder where War Hawk Power got her temporary credentials from the left, it was from Jerry and Goody.
So it was hilarious to watch Jerry -- who'd vouched for Barack against Hillary at Winter Soldier repeatedly to the Real News Network (which only aired a small portion of his actual remarks -- we were present, we saw the crap flow from his mouth) -- and Sgt. Schultz do battle.
Jerry noted that the US was taking sides in a civil war (true) and Big Ed insisted that America needed "to do justice on a man" (Ghaddafi, false -- unless we're sending Big Ed over there -- we'll support that).
Then came the best moment, the most enjoyable, as the two began fighting loudly after Big Ed demonstrated on air that he needs a hearing aid.
Jerry Scahill: [. . .] you don't know that, you don't know that. I take President Obama's word for it.
Ed Shultz: My president?
Jeremy Scahill: -- you know what President Obama, who's word you've taken --
Ed Shultz: My president? My president Obama?
Jeremy Scahill: -- he didn't --
Ed Shultz: My president Obama?
Jeremy Scahill: -- who's word you've taken --
Ed Shultz: Is he your President Obama, too?
Jeremy Scahill: -- you've taken, I said --
Ed Shultz: Jeremy, is he your President Obama too? Wait a minute now! You're not going to be at the water's edge! Is he your president too?
Jeremy Scahill: Of course he is. I'm an American!
That last line? We want to make it our ring tone. How hilarious. Big Ed and Jerry both embarrassing themselves. Jerry being forced to waive the flag -- Dan Rather-style -- while under attack from Big Ed. What a little loser. Moments like that are the reason we almost believe the rumors of whiny little messages Jerry left for Samantha after she stopped returning his calls.
Jeremy wanted Barack in the White House. Jeremy got what he wanted. He (and others) had to act unethically to install the Christ-child but they pulled it off. Now they're unhappy.
Thursday Jerry wanted to suckle on Mommy's breast (Barack's cock no longer so tasty?) so he went running to Democracy Now! where he was paired up with Joshua Foust and discussed Libya and Yemen with Foust and hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. The pull quote? "If Gaddafi emerges from this still in power, what does that say about Obama's -- President Obama's credibility, having gone so far as to say that he has to fall? I think there's a lot of reactionary policy making going on here that in the end could prove dangerous for Libyans and for the United States."
That's Jeremy speaking, but for all four that was the big concern.
Libyans who might die? They were never mentioned. The Libyans who have died in the US air strikes? They were also invisible. But what, oh heavens, might happen to "President Obama's credibility"? The so-called "war and peace report" by Amy Goodman who always laments that the MSM never focuses on where and on whom the bombs land had all the time in the world for everything but those who are dying as a result of the US-led air war.
That's quite an ugly makeover.
One of the most bizarre makeovers took place on Friday and involved the weak-minded Ari Berman. Berman wrote a piece for The Nation which attempts to take the heat off Barack by painting Jim Messina as the bad guy. (Barack knew what he was getting and that's why Messina was brought in. But Cinderella wanna-bes like Berman can never blame their frog princes.) In the two-page (online) article, Berman waits until the third to last paragraph to include this: "Even as Messina jet-sets around the country, huddling with big donors, will the campaign cultivate the small donors and grassroots activists who powered and shaped the ‘08 Obama campaign?"
They did no such thing. That was a lie populated by the campaign and one disproven quickly by The New York Times.
The Nation may getting a little more honest. (Also see Tom Hayden's piece on War Hawk Samantha Power from last week.) Or it just might be that they realize the Real Media has repeatedly debunked the claim that small donors fueled Barack's campaign. On Democracy Now!, the lies live on. And that's why you had Ari insisting, "Well, if you look at the Obama campaign in 2008, what made it interesting was the fact that they raised all this money from small donors. Now, obviously they raised a lot of money from large donors, but they also raised a very significant amount from small donors."
Will the lying ever stop?
November 24, 2008, the issue should have been settled. That's when the Campaign Finance Institute issued there "REALITY CHECK: Obama Received About the Same Precentage from Small Donors in 2008 as Bush in 2004." There was one-percent difference between the two. In 2004, small donors made up 25% of Bush's contributors while in 2008 26% of Barack's contributors were small donors. It was a lie. It was all a lie.
Even now, the lies never end with this crowd. Take Alexander Cockburn. In his latest garbage ("Battling the Beast" -- no link to trash) at CounterPunch, he writes, "Everything is out of proportion. Qaddafi is scarcely the acme of monstrosity conjured up by Obama or Mrs. Clinton or Sarkozy." It's his way of demonstrating that although he has one foot in the grave, he can still be a little bitch.
"Mrs. Clinton" is his snide way of dismissing Hillary. You can search in vain for any reference by him at CounterPunch to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell as "Mr. Powell." As with Condi Rice, Cockburn might have been billed with "Secretary of State" before his name but Cockburn never wrote a piece billing him as "Mr. Powell" or Condi as "Ms. Rice" or "Miss Rice." Nor in the latest column are Obama or Sarkozy ever "Mr. Obama" or "Mr. Sarkozy."
Lexie, you may remember, bloviated about the lack of standards online in a piece attacking Truth Out for publishing Jason Leopold and Lexi Cock Burn only hopped off his high horse when it was pointed out that CounterPunch had also been publishing Leopold. Yes, he's always good for an (uninentional) laugh.
In his latest free association ramble, Cock Burn blathers on, "There was plenty of evidence available in 2008, much of it amassed by CounterPunch, allowing conscientious enquirers to conclude that Obama was very bad news, in the pockets of the banks and big corporations. How about the words 'dumb' and 'credulous', right next to 'idealism and passion'? " The biggest liars are always the two-bit whores. Alexander and CounterPunch did nothing but trash Hillary Clinton in every way imaginable. One of the people he brought in to trash Hillary went so far that the person can no longer find work -- and, prior to 2008, this person was publishable. But the loony tunes conspiracy crackpot s**t that the person published at CounterPunch ensured that no one wanted to touch that person's writing.
Having cleared the Democratic field for Barack, Alexander Cockburn needs to take accountability and quit pretending as though he's the voice of truth. Put him on the same list Glen Ford's keeping with Amiri Baraka and Bill Fletcher.
We've never argued that a President Hillary Clinton would have done this or done that because we don't know what she would have done. Those who savaged her and savaged count-every-vote (and other concepts that Democrats are supposed to believe in) ensured that we would never know.
One thing many of us did know and do know, if Hillary had gone to the White House, the left wouldn't have bent over backwards trying to justify a backstabbing White House. (See Adolph Reed Jr.'s piece on the two Dem candidates from The Progressive.) As evidenced by the fact that a Cockburn is still more comfortable calling out Secretary of State Clinton for a war that President Obama started, we know for damn sure that, had she made it to the White House, Hillary would have been held accountable.
Barack will never be. That was the message from last week. Jerry Scahill's heart-on-hand testifying that he was an American and Barack was his president shows you just how weak the so-called 'left' is, how easily intimidated, how easily shut up. Ed Shultz shows you another makeover: War Opponent into War Hawk. (Ed was always a War Hawk, he just pretended otherwise when Bush was in office.) Alexander Cockburn and the others who cleared the field for Barack Obama now want to make themselves over into wise sages that were never taken in. And Obama?
Barack tried repeatedly last week to make himself over from a president who didn't think things through to one of convictions; however, the moment last week that truly captured him was on ABC World News Tonight, when Diane brought up Kentucky and he closed his eyes and threw his head back in his best wanna-be-Charlie's Angel, starlet style.
No one ever expected great intelligence from Katrina vanden Heuvel (pictured above in "Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Grim Peace Resister") but pedistrian, run of the mill observations weren't too much to hope for.
Or maybe they were.
Obviously, it was too much to hope for.
August 29, 2008, Katrina vanden Heuvel took to Bill Moyers Journal to proclaim the end of the GOP, the end of everything, "But that's been shattered. I think the events of - so, an old order has died, in my view. You've written, Bill, in our pages about conservatism, intellectually, morally bankrupt. The fight is now on for what the new order will be." New order?
While others search for answers, Katrina attempts to locate a friendly cult that will embrace her.
With Oprah going off the air next month (May 25th), we thought we'd help ease the pain by providing a list of Oprah's Favorite Things for Summer 2011.
1) Man boobs!!!! Jesse Metcalfe and Barack Obama, get ready to go topless again! Oprah says you're in!
2) Wars!!!! Having done her part and then some to get the US into the Iraq War and having supported War Hawk Barack with the lie that he was 'anti-war,' Oprah hopes to introduce more wars before the year is over. Join her in planning July celebrations with the theme Tehran Takedown.
3) Fake diets!!!! Lose dollars but not pounds by following Oprah's latest diet craze that will not let you or her keep the pounds off.
4) Cellulite!!!! See above.
5) Idaho Spud candy bar!!!!! The big O intends to use some of the last bits of her waning popularity to turn one of the worst candies in US history into a hit!!!!
6) Kumis!!!! The hot drink for summer that sounds like "kiss"!!! Oprah says Tolstoy once drank it and that's good enough for her!!! It's fun to make!!!! And tasty!!!!! Who knew mare's milk could be so good!!!!!
7) Kicky Matt Bonner's New Balance shoes! See, they start out sneakers and end up sandles!!!!
8) Mumus!!!! They hide big hips and big bellies while also honoring the home state of the president!!! Can you say "cover up"?
9) Beards!!!!! Need to cover something up? Get a beard!!!!!!
10) Privacy!!!! No more pesky fans to deal with at tapings!!!! Or even tapings!!!! Just Oprah & Gayle!!! Oprah & Gayle!!! Oprah and Gayle!!!! And Kumis!!!!! And mumus!!!! And summer!!!!!
Having not really impressed since the Time Out of Mind album in 1997, Barack Obama felt that Bob Dylan's good days were behind him and that he'd never recaptured his great days from the early sixties.
As a result, President Obama ordered air strikes to begin the Libyan War and send a poet packing.
And that 'reason' makes more sense than anything Barack babbled on TV last Monday night.
U.S. steps up drive to conquer LibyaOil profiteers call the shots
By Fred Goldstein
President Barack Obama’s speech of March 28 was largely devoted to justifying U.S. military intervention in Libya on humanitarian grounds, as being necessary to prevent a “massacre.” It was meant to obscure the fundamental fact that Washington is leading an effort, joined by the British and French imperialists, to destroy a sovereign government and recolonize Libya.
This war is about oil, money and a drive to unleash the Pentagon’s arsenal on Libya in order to bring it back under the total domination of imperialism. The rest is all lies and staged propaganda.
The speech concealed the real role that the U.S. military is playing and will continue to play in this naval and air campaign, which is costing $100 million a day to U.S. taxpayers alone. The weekend before Obama spoke about pulling back and leaving the job to NATO, six tank-killing A-10 Warthogs that fire laser-guided missiles and 30-millimeter cannons arrived on the scene. The U.S. also deployed two B-1B bombers as well as AC-130 gunships, which orbit over targets at 15,000 feet and use 40-millimeter and 105-millimeter cannons. These gunships are precise and are meant for cities. (New York Times, March 29)
The military role of the U.S. is utterly predominant. Of 200 devastatingly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles fired so far, 193 have been fired by U.S. forces. The Pentagon has dropped 455 precision-guided munitions, compared to 147 by the other imperialist powers.
Most importantly, the U.S. orchestrates the entire air war. Its eavesdropping aircraft locate positions. These locations are passed on to Global Hawk drones, then relayed to AWACS planes that send target information to F-16 and Harrier jets. This is a Pentagon-run war.
A war for spoils
Obama’s speech also concealed the struggle over spoils that is at the bottom of this war. The “rebels” rose up in the oil-rich east of the country. They already have their own oil company, set up in Benghazi early in the struggle. Claiming to represent 40 percent of the country’s 1.6 million barrels of oil a day output, it operates a refinery and terminal out of Tobruk. The company is being sold to the Qataris. The plan is to place the money in escrow for Italian, French, Spanish and U.S. oil companies like ENI, Repsol, Total and Occidental Petroleum. (New York Times, March 29)
Libya has a $70 billion state sovereign fund that U.S. private equity firms and hedge funds like the Blackstone Group, Colony Capital, Lightyear Capital and other Wall Street sharks have been trying to get into. With Washington’s freezing of Libya’s assets, these deals have been frozen. But, according to Don Steinbrugge, managing partner of Agecroft Partners, a Virginia consultant to hedge funds and investors, “Once there is a transition to a more stable government, their asset base should be a positive in helping them build business.” (Business Week, March 24)
Wall Street’s ‘rebel’ minister
A key person who can help these corporate predators is the newly appointed finance minister of the National Transition Council, Ali Tarhouni. Tarhouni left Libya in 1973 for the U.S. He taught economics at the University of Washington Graduate School of Business, specializing in stock analysis. He consults widely and sits on a number of corporate advisory boards. (tibra.org/awards/2002/judges/tarhouni.htm)
Tarhouni was a key participant in a 1994 conference on “post-Gadhafi Libya” hosted by the Washington Center for Strategic and International Studies. He promoted privatization and regional economic integration at the conference, which was also attended by various groups with ties to the National Endowment for Democracy — a conduit for the CIA.
Tarhouni was the political coordinator for a National Conference of the Libyan Opposition in Seattle. The NCLO was founded in London in 2005 and is centered on the National Salvation Front, with a history of CIA connections. (“Post-Qaddafi Libya on the Globalist Road,” Foreign Policy Journal, Feb. 26) Tarhouni is Wall Street’s point man in the pro-imperialist would-be government.
Washington’s ‘boots on the ground’
The White House and the Pentagon say there will be no “boots on the ground” and that they are just supporting the “rebels.” In fact, the rebels have become the Pentagon’s de facto “boots on the ground” for the moment, inadequate though they may be, while U.S. Tomahawk missiles attempt to blast a path for them to Tripoli.
However the rebellion in the oil-rich Benghazi region may have begun, the U.S. government would never decide to spend $100 million a day and move its naval power into the region to support a genuine national liberation movement. The U.S. ruling class, which has a long and bloody history of intervention, is unlikely to make such a colossal miscalculation.
It is also doubtful that any genuine national liberation movement would call on the biggest imperialist aggressors in history to be its protectors. This rebellion may have fed on genuine popular discontent. But the power of imperialism in the post-Soviet era and its ability to manipulate and capture movements must be the paramount calculation in the minds of any leaders who genuinely want to liberate their countries from oppression.
During the era when the USSR and Eastern Europe existed as a material stronghold of the socialist camp, and at a time when China was pursuing an anti-imperialist policy, liberation movements around the world could acquire military, technical, political, medical and other types of support for their struggles for national liberation.
At present, only a movement with a firmly grounded, anti-imperialist orientation, which is highly organized and has prepared the groundwork to arm itself without falling prey to Washington or London, can hope to carry out a successful liberation struggle.
Whatever grievances a people may have, nothing is stronger, harsher or more reactionary than the oppression and superexploitation the imperialist powers will impose. Any groupings that open the door to an imperialist takeover of their country only serve these predatory interests.
Stop military adventure
The Libyan operation is a military adventure. The Pentagon generals and admirals, especially the Navy high command, want to use their killer arsenals on Libya. However, the high command is ambivalent about this operation. The most aggressive forces want to go in and kill Col. Gadhafi. In the first days of the attacks, the military launched a bunker-buster missile on the presidential compound. Its aim was to kill or terrorize.
Obama in his speech referred to a limited engagement and declared that the goal was not to kill Gadhafi by military force. After this speech, Sen. John McCain, who speaks for a section of the military, opposed this concept of limited war and said that Gadhafi should be killed by military force. He implied that were it not for the British, the French and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the attacks might not have taken place.
In fact, the attack was launched by the U.S. on an emergency basis when the Gadhafi government was on the verge of recapturing Benghazi. Obama had been vacillating between the cautious camp, led by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and the hawks, led by Clinton. Like McCain, Clinton represents the more adventurous forces in the military.
Just as in Afghanistan, the military forces that were for wider war prevailed in the political struggle in Washington, after periods of vacillation.
Military adventurism is and always has been a fundamental feature of U.S. imperialism. The anti-war movement must resist this aggression and the attempt to recolonize Libya with all its might. But, in the long run, the only way to end these military adventures is the destruction of U.S. imperialism.
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"I Hate The War" -- Most requested highlight by readers of this site.
Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Son of a Bush" and "Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "From His Previously Undisclosed Location" -- Isaiah served up not one but two comics last week.
"Dieting in the Kitchen" -- Trina offers some basics on dieting.
"Diane Rehm doesn't believe in Title IX," "6 guests, 5 were men -- it's Diane Rehm" and
"disgusting diane rehm"-- Betty, Ann and Rebecca call out Diane Rehm
"the libyan war," "CIA -- Libya division," "He is a War Criminal," "Libya," "The War Hawks,"
"Civilians," "Dumb Ass of the Week: Michael Albert," "some 1's sweating bullets," "Barry and the groupies," "Telling," "Half-assed Barack," "Libya," "Barack and his Libyan War," "the bush bomb," "Look Who You Let In The House!," "When you see the true colors," "Two peas in a pod," "THIS JUST IN! THE REAL B.O.!," "The new Curveball," "The liar," "Who I agree with,"
"war whore juan cole," "The embarrassing and the sad," "Ex-boyfriends, NPR, Barack -- they all think we're stupid," "Impeach him," "Monday thoughts," "Mondays," "A celebrity with a mission"and "THIS JUST IN! PROMOTING HIS NEW ADVENTURE!" -- some of the Libyan War commentary in the community.
"Geraldine Ferraro" -- Marcia remembers Ferraro.
"The Birdcage" and "Burlesque" -- Stan dips into a 90s classic, Ann covers a new release.
"The Event," "Chuck" and "No Ordinary Family" -- Marcia, Mike and Stan cover TV.
"The Runaway Bully" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.
"He's a private dancer" and "THIS JUST IN! BIG MONEY LOVES HIM!" -- Cedric and Wally explain Barry dances for them that pay him.