Sunday, June 12, 2011

Our Deadly Addiction

To clarify what I believe was already clear: the point here is not that the U.S. invaded Libya in order to steal its oil. That's not the West's modus operandi. The point is that what distinguishes Gaddafi and made him a war target is not the claimed humanitarian rationale (he brutalized his own people) any more than "Saddam's gassing his own people" (25 years ago when he was a close American ally) was the reason the U.S. invaded Iraq. Instead, what distinguished Gaddafi and made him a war target was that he had become insufficiently compliant -- an unreliable and unstable servant to the West.

The U.S. does not object in the slightest when a leader oppresses or even attacks his own people. The U.S. adores leaders who do things like that. Its best friends in the region have long done and continue to do exactly that -- from Mubarak to the Saudis to Yemen's Saleh to the Bahranis, not to mention the Shah of Iran and even our one-time good friend Saddam.

The very idea that the U.S. Government woke up one day and suddenly decided that it can no longer abide a leader who mistreats his own people -- and that's why we went to Libya -- is so ludicrous that it's actually painful to hear that people believe that.

It so obviously confuses pretext with cause. If Gaddafi had continued to be as compliant as he had been in the past, does anyone really believe we would have invaded his country and spent months trying to kill him and replace him with another regime?

~ from In a Pure Coincidence, Gaddafi Impeded U.S. Oil Interests Before the War by Glenn Greenwald ~
Can you imagine how Democrats and progressives would have reacted if, before leaving office, Dubya had instigated our mass bombing of Libya? There would be protests and outrage. Democrats in Congress would have utilized it for political fodder. It would have been a major campaign issue during the 2008 election cycle.

But since a Democratic president dragged us into yet another foreign boondoggle, the usual cast of characters on the left predominantly has been silent or, even worse, cheerleaders. Many who would have excoriated Bush II for such high-jinx instead have excoriated their own colleagues for questioning ANY aspect of this less-than-humanitarian endeavor.

I don't know about you, but I oppose imperialistic war REGARDLESS of which party or parties are responsible. If sometime in the not-so-distant future, a Green or Socialist candidate claimed the highest office in the land AND set off to bomb a nation at the behest of US corporations, I would be just as outraged as if it were done by an evangelical Republican!

I say shame on all those people that opposed Bush's wars that now wholeheartedly embrace Obama's wars. Imperialistic war is imperialistic war; it doesn't matter who gives the marching orders!

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