Friday, April 1, 2011

Libya Turmoil 73

A collection of 4 good articles.
Thanks Levantine.

Libya: What Revolution? Whose Revolution?

31 March 2011
If David Cameron had been known for modeling his speeches on old Monty Python films, then he might be praised for his witty and clever genius in devising such a politically and morally fraudulent speech such as the one above. He opens with gushing sentiment about a "new beginning for Libya," hailing freedom from violence even as his jets pound Libyan targets. As always before, the British love to set an example on how politics are to be done, and it was usually with a good whipping followed by tutorials on how to best mimic the master, with powdered wigs, robes, and a broken sense of self. The Libyan people cannot reach that future on their own--they are dependents and apprentices, they must be aided, gathered together, and schooled. Remember that this is a struggle cast as one between all of the Libyan people versus one man, Muammar Gaddafi, Cameron can thus seek refuge in a single token Libyan voice that praises the master for the air strikes--bombs give hope, and the master is generous: he will not take those bombs away. We--and the we here is us, not a Libyan collective "we"--must begin to start planning for what comes after for Libya, and we must do so in the absence of Libyans, not even our closest hangers-on, who were not invited to the conference (except for one defunct ambassador).

Libya and the Passive Repeaters: Deploying Depleted Information Warheads

27 March 2011
A video that in many ways corresponds with what I argued in "America's Iranian Twitter Revolution," the video below in part shows how the use of social media to make falsified versions of Libyan reality can go viral--radioactive--producing an intellectually toxic swarm of passive repeaters. Critical questions are like static, they interrupt the clarity of the message: dictator vs. revolutionaries, support the people, implement a no-fly zone right now. But this is so patronizing, it denies "agency"--just like the agency of the consumer who must decide and then boldly act on which colour iPod™ to buy. Have a look at The Guardian's "Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media: Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda."...Also check "‘Post-Qaddafi Libya’: on the Globalist Road," "Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?" "US-trained [and U.S.-based] economist, Libyan rebels’ new finance minister," and "New Libyan rebel leader spent much of past 20 years in suburban Virginia."....

The Humanitarian-Militarist Project and the Production of Empire in Libya

26 March 2011
Not the usual media roundup, this report focuses on some of the questions raised in “The Libyan Revolution is Dead,” as part of a broader critique on the foreign military intervention in Libya, one week after it began. In particular, we examine: the political implications of the war in Western nations; the nature of the media spectacle, and how it resembles/differs from wars of the last 20 years; assessing the “successes” of the no-flight zone (NFZ) and what it allegedly prevented; the human rights frame, and the problem of evidence for “crimes;” the strategy behind the foreign military intervention, and the increasingly rapid slippage from one goal to the next; the slow but growing media analysis of “the rebels” in Libya, getting underneath some of the insurgents’ claims, followed by an examination of some of the promotional propaganda designed to sell them to Western audiences; growing critiques of the war, with perspectives from those outside of Western Europe and North America—one might say, from experts on imperialism for having been at its receiving end for many generations; and, finally, the folly of the late humanitarian project, that refuses to recognize its own complicity in creating the object of its destructive desires.

The Libyan Revolution is Dead: Notes for an Autopsy

18 March 2011
The "Arab Spring" was a short one; what follows, another NATO Summer, will last much longer. If you do not think about it, there is a lot to cheer about the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, against what this time has been a mountain of advice, questions, and critiques from all imaginable political quarters, and not as the warmongering extremists would have it, from "Gaddafi lovers" (George Will? Pat Buchanan? Richard Haas? Gaddafi lovers?). In previous articles, I have criticized the flip-side enough, meaning the positions taken by Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Daniel Ortega, without sparing Gaddafi in the least--I do not need to repeat any of it here, because it is entirely irrelevant to the discussion now. Instead, this is an autopsy, identifying the weapons used, and the criminals responsible for killing the Libyan revolution. This is no longer a Libyan story--that chapter is now closed. My autopsy is divided into several broad categories of actors: the humanitarians, the rebels, the international organizations, the mass media, and the Americans. Finally, what we should be watching in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.

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