Dial ‘M’ for murder
The US corporate media and members of US Congress and Senate have brazenly advised Obama administration to assassinate Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and members of his extended family. Senator Lindsey Graham, member of the Senate Armed Services committee, said on CNN: “My recommendation to Nato and administration is to cut the head of the snake off. Go to Tripoli, start bombing Qaddafi’s inner circle, their compounds, their military headquarters.”
Had such dreadful advice not been given by US policymakers to Nato, without any qualms of conscience, a suitable euphemism in place of ‘murder’ in the title of this piece could have been used to make Qaddafi’s proposed murder look less gruesome. Had Senator Graham read George Orwell on how grisly acts of war were euphemised to make them palatable, he could have asked to ‘silence Qaddafi’ instead of demanding the cutting off of his head. But the Senator must have chosen his words carefully for his warning to sound as stark, spiteful, and ghastly as it did.
When the CNN host pointed out that attacks on civilian areas of Tripoli were not covered by the UN resolution 1973, the Senator retorted, “The goal is to get rid of Qaddafi. The people around Qaddafi need to wake up every day wondering ‘will this be my last?’. So I wouldn’t let the UN mandate stop what is the right thing to do.” Hubris apart, what did Qaddafi do to earn the wrath of the imperialist powers is what bewilders large populations of Muslim countries, save many of their governments. Arab leaders who are aiding and abetting Libya’s destruction will do well to remember that they might soon face the predicament Qaddafi now faces.
Desert sands are proverbially treacherous. When they shift, one feels them slipping under the feet while one wistfully looks towards the Muslim brethren for help. But the brethren in cloaks choose to remain mute; they’re grateful to live a few more years in opulence. Had atrocities of the magnitude perpetrated against Libya been committed against any tiny Christian country, the Christian world would have crowed to high heavens. The Muslim world is in a deep slumber.
Without doubt, the wars of the last 10 plus years are predatory by any definition and corporate media have played a leading role in promoting them. For instance, the editorial desks and columnists of the New York Times and the Washington Post have actually been guiding the US administration in what to do and how to proceed in Libya. The Times has advised using A-130 Hercules turbo prop armed with 105mm cannon that fires 10 high explosive shells a minute, and three 25mm cannons that fire 7500 rounds a minute on their targets. The aircraft has been described as the ‘Angel of Death’ because shrapnel from its cannon fire spread across about 1500 metres. Further, this aircraft has been used with devastating impact in Iraq and Afghanistan. Human beings caught in the orbit of fire are blown to smithereens.
Noticeably, the main media outlets leading the Libyan war on the media front are Fox News, The Sun, The Times of London, Sunday Times, the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, and of course, the New York Times and the Washington Post. It is no surprise that the first five belong to one of the largest media conglomerates – News Corporation owned by Rupert Murdoch, an Australian Jew and now, a naturalised US citizen. Some of us rejoicing to watch two shows for the price of one in reading the International Herald Tribune – a dwarfed version of the New York Times – along with the English daily that is locally published, may like to know the origin of the paper, its editorial policy, and what it stands for.
Wouldn’t most of us like to read balanced news and articles and not distorted facts, slanted news, and carefully crafted untruth in the guise of gospel truth?
Nevertheless, the rhetoric going around paints a great humanitarian effort to save the Libyans, Qaddafi’s own people. The world is told that his forces are mercilessly killing people, and that the three imperial powers, the UK, France, and the US are now planning to land their troops to save them. Even though the mission is humanitarian, these powers are committed to the idea of regime change. Luckily, both missions are blending beautifully in Libya.
The writer is a freelance contributor based in Lahore. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org