For the Love of Gaddafi!
An examination of the role of the United States in revolutions of the recent past may shed light on the origin and intent of the current upheaval in Libya.
by Peter Duveen
PETER'S NEW YORK, Saturday, March 5, 2011--It always amazes me the way people take what comes out of the mainstream news outlets at face value. It has been proven time and time again what a terrible source of information these outlets are, and how they are used as conduits of propaganda for the United States government. Some prominent examples include the manner in which it was reported by the U.S. Army that Pat Tillman, a famous sports player turned solider, heroically gave his life in combat in 2004. It was later revealed that Tillman was taken out by "friendly fire," under circumstances that have apparently never been cleared up. He may have in fact died a hero, but for far different reasons than the government would like to admit.
Then there was the case of the beautiful Jessica Lynch, a young female soldier who was allegedly mishandled by Iraqis during the initial U.S. invasion of that country in 2003, but rescued heroically by U.S. forces. She later denied the story put out by the government, and said she was treated well by the Iraqi doctors and nurses who basically saved her life. We all know the real story now, but it should have been immediately evident that the first reports were bogus. The mainstream media apparently does not believe it is its job to inform the American public. It thus uncritically prints as news whatever it is handed by the government.
Now we have news coming out of Libya that the country is in total rebellion and Muammar Gaddafi [also spelled Khadafi, Qaddafi, etc.) must go, that he is murdering thousands of his countrymen to maintain his power in a cruel and ruthless manner.
A recent report out of National Public Radio, from a correspondent that had permission to fly into the country by the family of the ruling principal, was that Tripoli seemed relatively calm, and that Gaddafi had supporters as well as opponents among the population. In the meantime, Hillary Clinton is saying, by what authority I cannot even imagine, that Gaddafi must step down, and that the United States is getting together with the Europeans, who also think they have the right to say who leads an oil-rich country in North Africa and who does not, to force Gaddafi out. A further update tells us that the Libyan strongman no longer controls the oil in his country. The story changes, of course, by the minute.
Ninety-nine point nine percent of Americans know literally nothing about Libya. They have never been there, they probably do not know any Libyans, and they have absolutely no concept, not even the slightest idea of what is going on on the ground in that country, or how to interpret it. It is of great interest that, among all the countries that have fallen to a spate of supposedly popular revolutions in North Africa, Libya is the first major oil producer among them, and it is also the first of these countries about which commentators at our beloved National Public Radio have asked whether U.S. intervention is appropriate. I cannot view this as a coincidence.
Are Americans aware that most public policy is hatched, not by congressmen, senators, or the president and his cohort, but within the wolf-pack of nonprofits known as "think tanks." Legislation is generated by special interests or teams of social engineers sported by these think tanks, And one of these think tanks, once described by a well-placed journalist as "the citadel of the foreign policy elite," namely, the Council on Foreign Relations, has been espousing "regime change" as the policy flavor for a number of years now. How convenient that this spate of revolutions is resulting in just that.
Many of you are convinced that the North African revolutions are indigenous products. But to me they smack of the many other revolutions that were eventually demonstrated to have been underwritten by the United States. We need not go back further than the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Replacing him was Cory Aquino, who was installed by "people power," a political process that still remains a mystery to me. Years later, I spoke to some of those who participated in this revolution of sorts, not really as revolutionaries so much as undercover instigators. I was told that the U.S. supplied walkie-talkies and other communications equipment through funds delivered by way of the Vatican so that the revolution could proceed more smoothly. There must have been a lot of other help provided that I have no way of knowing about, or desire to check out. (When the eyes roll up in the back of the head, and the body is cold, no need to check the pulse.)
Later, in 2001, a democratically elected president, Joseph Estrada, lost his job in what was generally billed by the Philippine press as a second Philippine revolution. Accusations of corruption surfaced, there was an uprising on the streets, and Estrada was forced out in what was effectively another coup. My working assumption is that the United States was heavily involved in Estrada's overthrow.
In 1998, long-time President Suharto of Indonesia was deposed. But some months beforehand, then President Bill Clinton sent heavy-hitter Walter Mondale as his economic hit man to read Suharto the riot act after the long-time Indonesian president had the temerity to propose a currency board to help stabilize the country''s finances. Whatever was agreed to in meetings with Mondale, it was not enough to save the Suharto presidency. He was booted out in the face of what was reported as widespread unrest, and somebody else stepped in as president (BJ Habibe). At the time, I remember reading an article about some of the events, which quoted an individual from an organization called the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (currently headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, sometimes better known as the "Bomber of Belgrade"). I thought it strange that such an organization, with an American spokesperson, should be functioning in Jakarta. I researched what this organization did, and found out that it promoted grass-roots formation of pro-democratic movements. It was apparent to me that this organization could have been used to foment unrest within the country.
When presidential elections were held in 1999, Abdurrahman Wahid, an Islamic cleric, was chosen by the people. But such a man, who might abide by the principles of honesty upheld by the Islamic faith, could never be a suitable clone for the United States, and an oil-rich and strategically placed country like Indonesia could not be allowed to settle its own fate. Charges of corruption suddenly surfaced against Wahid, and he eventually was forced to step down in the hullabaloo.
I might add in passing that there was a quite deliberate attempt to destabilize Malaysia around the same time (1998). Vice President Al Gore gave a speech that basically proposed a "popular" revolution to overthrow the very popular prime minister of that country, Mahathir Mohammed, who successfully insulated Malaysia from the destructive currents of the then-raging "Asian economic flu" that severely impacted many of the Southeast Asian economies and threatened to spread to Europe. Gore's unkind words never bore fruit, fortunately for all of us.
Then there were all the so-called "colored revolutions" of the Balkans and former states of the Soviet Union, but I'll only mention the one in Ukraine (Orange), because Congressman and former Republican candidate for president Ron Paul was insightful enough to call it a U.S. job and cite the U.S.-run agencies responsible for the trouble--the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and other quasi-governmental organizations that are supposed to provide pro-democracy guidance and support to populations in other countries, as if our own country did not need such guidance. Paul understood that such support could easily be filtered to particular factions in a country, those factions, for example, that were in opposition to a sitting head of state who did not particularly harmonize with U.S. policy for the region. And, according to Paul, that would be illegal, so Paul called an investigation into the matter. This was reported in the New York Times , and if you question it, you can probably easily fish it out on the internet.
It amazes me that people cannot recognize American intervention at its outset, but just take at face value what the media puts out about a given situation. Most people seem to be climbing on board the premise that the North African revolutions of late are authentic indigenous movements. I am a bit less sanguine about what is happening. As a result, I have not paid too much attention to these revolutions. Hearing about lies, and the foolish people who are hoodwinked by them, bores me, especially when such misinformation is perpetrated by manipulative governments against their own people. To me, the new spate of revolutions look like a simple replay of previous events around the world. Do I know? No, of course I don't "know." I do not have the resources to check out every single detail. But my working assumption is, ahem, here we go again. It is truly wearisome to hear the propagandistic reports coming out of the media, and to see everybody line up lock stock and barrel with the premise that what is being reported should be taken at face value. I have already seen the Philippine revolutions taken at face value, the deposing of Suharto go unchallenged in the press, and the Ukrainian change of leadership highlighted in Congress by Ron Paul. There are lots of other examples that weary me too much to detail.
The news from conventional sources, my friends, appears to be tailored to generate a particular reaction from the general public to support whatever policy the current administration is trying to implement. These distorted reports give the policymakers momentary and long-term cover, so that, by the time it is established that the reports are false, the policies have already been put into place that were said to have been based on those reports. The most famous examples of recent times are, of course, the U.S.invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2001, immediately after "9-11," the U.S. charged Afghanistan with harboring Osama Bin Laden, the poster boy of international terrorism that the U.S insisted was responsible for 9-11. The Afghans only asked for some kind of tangible evidence in order to hand Bin Laden over, but none being forthcoming, the United States invaded the country anyway. The device used, of course, is to make impossible demands, and when these are resisted, to use the resistance as a pretext for an invasion. It is such an old device, and was used to invade Yugoslavia during that country's conflict with its semi-autonomous region, Kosovo. In the meantime, no formal process has ever been set up to charge Bin Laden with any crime in connection with "9-11," probably because no such evidence exists that would survive public scrutiny. The second example, the invasion of Iraq, was conducted under the cover of charges that Saddam Hussein was harboring "weapons of mass destruction"--poison gas, nuclear weapons, and that sort of thing (box cutters, anyone?) We all know how that went.
Back to Gaddafi. He was the one leader who consistently opposed the United States for many years. President Reagan ordered the bombing of several targets in Libya in the mid-1980s after Gaddafi was assigned the blame for supporting various "terrorist" causes. Gaddafi claimed his adopted daughter was killed in the attacks. Later, a Libyan national was convicted in a court in Scotland for his alleged role in engineering the bombing of an airliner that fell to pieces over that country. An alternative theory involving the destruction of the airliner was that several passengers were on their way to the States to blow the whistle on some errant U.S. government program, and were blown out of the sky in retaliation (see Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone's radio broadcast, Libya and Lockerbie, the Untold Story). Interestingly, the gentleman originally convicted of the crime has been let out of jail and repatriated to Libya, in what could be interpreted as a tacit admission by the authorities of his innocence.
It seemed for a while that Gaddafi was gradually being brought into the fold of Western powers after he chose to put an end to a program to develop nuclear weapons, and claimed culpability for the Lockerbie bombing, paying an enormous sum in reparations. This opened up the floodgates to new investment, and is said to have sparked an economic revival in Tripoli.
Through all the ups and downs over the years, Gaddafi held on to power, gradually assuming the status of an icon. Was he ruthless? I do not know. Was he more ruthless than the next guy, including the sitting U.S. president? I doubt it. The way to find out is to go to the country and ask the people, and I have not done that. So I have no idea what Libyans think of Gaddafi. Will I depend on the mainstream media to find out? Most certainly not. As I said, NPR admitted that some of the recent reports of government violence against citizens coming out of Libya may have been exaggerated. But already Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is formulating policy based on them, or on some reports, or on wishful thinking, or what-not. In fact, the latest reports say that Western military are supporting Gaddafi's opposition, which allegedly now control the country's oil industry. Do I smell some dead fish under the carpet here?
Try to understand something. As dysfunctional as many of the governments in the Middle East may be, they are thriving to some extent or there would be no people in those countries. Surely Libya, with its sought-after oil and rebuilding campaign in Tripoli, has to be one of the engines of growth for the region. Many, many Tunisians and Egyptians depend for their livelihood on the jobs they hold in Libya. It appears that tens of thousands of these workers have fled the country, so that what we have is an incredible economic dislocation, because some "rebels" decided to take over the country in the name of demanding expanded freedoms. Who benefits from the economic dislocation that these so-called "revolutions" have created? Who is it that would like to see to it that relative prosperity in these countries in North Africa comes quickly to an end? It all seems like quite a strategic hit. You all like your jobs. But do you find yourself cheering for a situation you know little about, and for which you will sacrifice little no matter how things turn out? So what are these "revolutions" about, then? They certainly must be, at least in part, about gaining a greater share of the revenue stream from Libya's oil. They also must be about considerably weakening the economic strength and independence of the region. One can just see the planners in Washington listing North Africa as a security threat to the United States because of its up-and-coming prosperity, and creating a plan to destabilize the region. One has to reflect a little bit on the fact that the two nations who lost heads of state as a result of the recent spate of "revolutions"--Egypt and Tunisia-- just happen to flank Libya on either side. If the goal of the West is to totally control the flow of the remaining oil on the planet (some of us collect stamps, others, coins, others, baseball cards; power- and money-hungry governments collect resources and revenue streams), Libya would indeed be a major target of its schemes.
Let's look for a moment at what the characteristics of a pseudo-revolution run by the CIA might be: 1) overproduced (flashy banners, T-shirts, etc. coming out of nowhere; 2) well funded; 3) marked by the use of fancy communications tools such as Twitter, Facebook and cell phones; tooted in the media as the best thing ever next to apple pie; 4) monikers quickly assigned to the festivities, such as "Orange" revolution in the case of the Ukraine; 5) excessive demonization of the ruling head of state by the American press; 6) the presence of very westernized "activists," often children of parents from the country in question, who may or may not be on the CIA payroll. You can make up your own list, which will probably be more comprehensive than mine.
We have heard that the United Nations Security Council has approved an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity by the Libyan leadership, linked to an international court that neither Libya nor the United States recognize. The U.N. will be no protection to Libya. U.N. head Ban Ki Moon is deep in the pocket of the U.S. Administration, unlike his predecessor, Kofi Annan, who showed a little guts now and then and issued sporadic but muted criticism of the world's self-proclaimed unipolar democracy.
Secretary of State Clinton, of all people, in unusually candid remarks issued a day or two ago, excoriated the American media for its failure to inform the American people. For accurate coverage of the events occurring in Libya, we cannot in any way depend on the American mass media, which is basically controlled by the government through the Central Intelligence Agency and by other covert means. This kind of control was spelled out in an article by Carl Bernstein as long ago as 1977, but it would be a mistake to consider the tactics used by the CIA as somehow no longer in effect, or even operating exclusively outside the confines of the United States itself, as the organization's mandate demands. It is quite apparent that the nation's "free press" has been disabled by a government bent on total control, a government that has acted extra-constitutionally and subverted the law of the land in the name of national security. The media as it stands in the United States is contending for the top spot as the greatest enemy of the American people. Americans should begin to address this situation. They should no longer sit on their duffs and take reports coming out of their radios, newspapers or televisions at face value, but should let their views become known to these media outlets. If Americans manage to win back control of the media by embarrassing its major players into reporting the news on a consistent basis, rather than participating in a conspiracy to rob the citizens of this country of their rights and powers, Americans may have a shot at tacking back their country!