Thursday, July 7, 2011
Rattling your cages! Will anybody react?
After trying more elegant methods, today I have decided to rattle "you'all's cages" as they say in Florida. This goes against my best judgment, and I am probably going to alienate some of you. Which is too bad, because it is from precisely those of you would might be most displeased by this post which I would like to hear a reaction.
Considering all this, I am going to introduce the following with a lot of caveats and disclaimers. Here we go,
First - I don't like Webster Tarpley one bit. He irritates me even when he is right, which is about 50% of the time.
Second, the reason why I am posting this interview is not because it is a triumph of careful analysis, measured speech and objective reporting. Quite to the contrary, I am posting it precisely because it is wholly one-sided, absolutely partisan, full of hyperbole and all sorts of typical "Tarpleyisms". Guys - I am rather desperately trying to get as many of you as possible to finally react to this issue and I am trying to rattle you'all's cages to get a growl or even a bark. And for that, Tarpley is actually pretty good, I think.
Third, and this is were some of you are likely to get really mad at me, while here and there Tarpley goes overboard, or over-simplifies, or overlooks some aspects, I have to honestly say that I have seen no evidence so far of him being basically wrong. Let me repeat this. I don't like the guy, but I have yet to see any evidence at all indicating that he is factually incorrect.
Ok. Now the interview. Please click on the following link to listen to it:
Now, as most of you probably know, I consider myself anti-Gaddafi and I initially supported the demonstrations against this regime (some have called me an idiot for that, and I accept that criticism). I also refuse to fall into the primitive logical trap of considering that the enemy of my enemy is necessarily a good guy. This is why, unlike so many other anti-imperialists, I did not support Milosevic, Saddam Hussein or Eltsin (in Chechnia). Thus, it would be wrong to assume that I am now "supporting Gaddafi" or that I "switched sides". My "side" is always one of values and ideas and never one personalities or movements and that gets me a lot of flak from those who function otherwise (does anybody remember my "infamous" post about why Hamas should free Gilad Shalit?). I still consider myself an opponent of the Gaddafi regime and the model, the ideology, it stands for. And yet, being opposed to this regime does not somehow close my eyes to what I see is yet another imperialistic rape of a previously independent country.
Moreover, let me throw in a number of observations I would like to share with you:
a) I have deep suspicions that when Gaddafi and his supporters speak of "al-Qaeda" being a central part of the insurrection against Gaddafi they are actually factually correct. Yes, on Western TV we are shown "good Arabs" who speak fluent English and have Western college degrees, but on the actually footage from Libya I can clearly see folks who would be right at home in Waziristan, Chechnia, Kandahar or Algeria. Yes, I know, this is hardly a proof of anything, and I might be wrong, but my gut feeling tells me that the guys I see in the footage, in particular on YouTube, are the exact same kind of crazed Wahabis who like cut-off throats while screaming "Allahu Akbar!"
b) While the "Gaddafi hands out Viagra to his soldiers to rape more women" canard has quietly vanished, I have yet to see any, any kind of credible evidence of mass atrocities from the regime's side. Yes, they kill people, both sides do, that is why its called a civil war and yes, I am sure that Gaddafi's Mukhabarat (or whatever his internal security agency is called) would torture people with the same enthusiastic zeal as would be the case in any other country of the Maghreb or the Middle-East. Look, this is Libya, not Lichtenstein! But is there any evidence that the regime is going overboard with atrocities against the rebels? I have seen none. In contrast, I have seen quite shocking footage of rebels lynching black soldiers. Forgive my crude language, but sometimes things need to be stated bluntly - all this talk about regime atrocities in Libya sounds to me like a big load of bull.
You disagree? Great!
Then please show me the evidence. Outline your reasoning. Give me a reason to change my mind!
Remember, I am already anti-Gaddafi, so I would *gladly* change my mind and find out that, on balance, the insurgency is more worthy of support that the regime.
I have to say that I am rather baffled at the very few reactions I got from all of you on this topic. This new war - which we owe to the latest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Barak "no we can't" Obama - seems to elicit only very flaccid reactions from everybody besides 2 of my correspondents (to whom I am grateful for their deluge of articles!).
Guys, does anybody care? And if not, why not?
Even more baffling is the silence of my Muslim readers (of which there are quite a few). Guys, were are you?! How is it that non-Muslims are far more outspoken about this conflict than you are?!
Why is it that a non-Arab and non-Muslim like myself appears to be more outraged and more passionate about what is taking place in Libya than you?
I really hope that the Tarpley interview (you will listen to it, right?!) will rattle your collective "cage" and that we can have an informed discussion about the nature of what is going on in Libya.
Ok, I am done. Your turn, and please, do rattle my cage now!