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Nato backs ethnic cleansing again

27 October 2011

Back in February this year, when Colonel Gaddafi used the military to crush peaceful protesters in Libya, some people, including some fellow-bloggers in South Africa who ought to have known better, were urging us all to support petitions to “the West” to enforce a “no-fly zone” in Libya to “prevent civilian deaths.”

I wonder if they realise their folly when they read stories like these: Lynching Black Africans in Libya | Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

The lynching of Africans in Libya has been so bad that African leaders across the continent have been forced to raise their voices in protest. When the President of Nigeria, the USA’s unofficial enforcer in West Africa leads an African wide outcry against the lynching of his citizens in Libya one would assume that it was heard in the Obama White House.

With the murder or expulsion of most of Libya’s African migrant population well on its way came the massacre and ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of Black Libyans.

It’s not as though it hasn’t happened before. The book I reviewed in the previous post notes that

The actions of politicians are crucial in a moral and ethical sense. It may well be that the “Ghandhian” [sic] approach of the Kosovo Albanian leader Ibraham Rugova was instrumental in maintaining an uneasy peace in Kosovo before 1998 and the violent actions of the KLA and subsequently NATO as well as the response of the Milosevic regime to the KLA and NATO campaigns effectively militarized and radicalized a situation that might have been solved slowly and peacefully if there had been any concerted will on the part of the international community before 1998.

The “international community” (ie “the West”) however, did not want a peaceful solution. And so Nato, the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization, acted as the air force of the most violent party in Kosovo — the KLA (UCK).

With that kind of record, why should anyone expect Nato to do anything better in Libya?

And while the rhetoric of the American Democratic Party may sound less crazy to non-Americans than that of the Republican Party, their actions are no less crazy and warlike. Madeleine Albright (Democrat) was just as determined to have a war in Kosovo as George W. Bush (Republican) was to have one in Iraq, and concerning Iraq,  she said that she thought that the death of half a million Iraqi kids (caused by Western sanctions) was “worth it” to maintain American hegemony. And Obama/Clinton in 2011 is no better than Clinton/Albright in 1999, or George W. Bush in between.

So why should we expect anything different from Nato in Libya?

As a result, the people now running Libya are very different from the peaceful protesters of last February. As Anglican Bishop Nick Baines of Bradford says Gaddafi’s corpse and the rule of law | Nick Baines’s Blog

Muammar Gaddafi was an execrable tyrant who caused misery to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. But, using that fact to justify summary execution, physical torture, desecration of a body bodes ill for when we want to argue that bodies are to be honoured, torture to be rejected, murder to be abhorred. We can’t pick and choose when the rule of law is to apply.

The behavior of those now ruling Libya shows that they are in fact no better than Gaddafi, and Libya has gone out of the frying pan and into the fire.

It bears out what the Brazilian educator Paolo Freire once said:

During the initial stage of the struggle the oppressed, instead of striving for liberation, tend themselves to become oppressors, or ‘sub-oppressors.’ The very structure of their thought has been conditioned by the contradictions of the concrete, existential situation by which they were shaped. Their ideal is to be men, but for them, to be men is to be oppressors. This is their model of humanity…

The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom misacquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man, nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion (Freire Pedagogy of the oppressed 1998:27,29).

And this is precisely what Nato “support” has achieved wherever it has been given. It has tried to give “freedom” as conquest, and thereby simply replaced one set of oppressors by another.

Freire also says (1998:26):

Because it is a distortion of being more fully human, sooner or later being less human leads the oppressed to struggle against those who made them so. In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity (which is to create it) become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the humanity of both. This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs fromm the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both.

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