LIBYA IS NO BETTER OFF, MAYBE WORSE
All of the major news outlets, and therefore most US citizens, were downright giddy over the uprising - and NATO intervention – in Libya. Thinking it was some sort of feel good story, an extension of the Arab Spring, they reveled in the toppling of Gaddafi and threw unyielding support behind the rebel forces.
If CNN, Fox News, and the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) had done their jobs appropriately, rather than parroting the spin that came from Washington and agenda-driven foreign news agencies, they would have realized that what they were seeing was nothing more than a silver lining. Within Libya they would have found a dark cloud, a stormy uprising orchestrated by degenerates who are no better than Gaddafi was and, truthfully, may be a whole lot worse.
For starters, because of that seemingly willful omission of the facts, very few Americans knew that a good number of the rebels were al-Qaeda. Earlier this year NATO commander James Stavridis stated that many of the Libyan rebels are members of – or align themselves with – the terrorist organization. His admission is consistent with West Point studies that discovered one-fifth of all foreigners who aided Iraqi insurgents in their attacks on US troops were Libyans. One of the key Libyan rebel leaders, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi recruited and led such raids against US forces.
Another rebel leader was Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu, who had been held in Guantanamo for 6 years before being released in an amnesty program. American intelligence reports indicated that he was a “medium-to-high risk”, a “dangerous man with no qualms about committing terrorist acts” who was “likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies.”
Despite the knowledge of their presence and the ill will that these two men reek of, they and their equally-repugnant peers were counted as allies and heroes in the Libyan movement. The US press barely touched on the al-Qaeda issue and never questioned their allegiance or the reason for their revolution (it’s obvious it wasn’t for democratic ends).
Likewise, the press ignored something far worse: The genocidal tendencies of the so-called “freedom fighters”. It’s guaranteed that less then 1 percent of all Americans knew that Gaddafi’s enemies, during the course of the turnover, singled out the black population – men, women and children – and robbed them of their freedoms and more. They purged them from their communities. They raped the women and young girls. They imprisoned and or killed the men.
Black men especially - no matter which regime they supported (the new or the old) - were targeted throughout Libya by the rebels. Thousands were murdered by the same inhuman methods practiced by the drug cartels in Mexico. They were bound and shot in the head at point blank range. They had their throats slit. They were decapitated. They were set on fire.
One city, Tawergha, was once home to 10,000 blacks. All were forced out of it (hundreds of them killed) while their homes and businesses were destroyed. Those who were brave enough to remain were rounded up and put into camps and jails. Chillingly, neither hide nor hair of the camps can be found. Par for the course, the rebels spray-painted “negroes” and “abeed” (Arabic slang for “slave”) on the ruins of the city, like some sick trophy. All of this in the name of ethnic cleansing.
Somehow, Big Media overlooked this unsettling brand of evil that comprised the rebel forces. How could they be so oblivious to it? Were they so ecstatic over the ongoing transformation of the Middle East and Africa that reporting on the change in power was Story One and anything else was inconsequential? Were they provided unrealistic reports (propaganda) by NATO leaders that glossed over the brutality of their newfound allies? Did they willingly aid the propagandists in meeting their desired ends, no matter the consequences?
The press – the supposed seekers of truth and protectors of the innocent- failed us. They prevented us from holding our government accountable to a set of moral (and legal) standards when choosing winners and losers abroad. Because of that, we’re looking at an unsettling future. With al-Qaeda and other butchers rising to and holding power, it’s obvious that Libya is no better off. And, neither is the rest of the world.
Bob Confer is a Gasport resident and vice president of Confer Plastics Inc. in North Tonawanda. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column originally ran in the 14 Nov 2011 Greater Niagara Newspapers
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