I haven’t blogged for a while.
In part, it’s because I felt unqualified to comment on the dramatic events in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya .
I’ve visited only one of those countries on a couple of occasions and that was a long while ago. I don’t speak Arabic. I’m disinclined to pitch into complex debates about which I know little. On past experience, it’s a good way of making a fool of myself.
Prison Incarceration Rates - international comparison data. Source: Wikipedia March 2011
Anyhow, few indeed could have noticed my absence from the fray. After all, there have been plenty of bloggers sharing their opinions about the remarkable developments in North Africa.
Most, but not quite all, of the English-language bloggers I’ve followed – along with the majority of their remunerated equivalents within the western mainstream media – have been enthusiastic supporters of the ‘revolutions’ that have brought ‘change’ to the region.
They loved the popular revolt in Tunisia. They were spellbound by the subsequent drama of Eygpt’s largely non-violent ‘revolution’.
Now they’re going for the hat-trick – extolling the rebellion in Libya and calling for/supporting western military intervention to save protestor/victims of the Libyan Government of Muammar Gaddafi.
It reminds me of an old joke which I heard many years ago – appropriately enough in London.
I’ll adapt it slightly for the occasion…
The Pifalls of Leaping for Peace: A Cautionary Tale
A salesman with a Cockney accent stands on a man-hole cover. He’s wearing a T-shirt that says ‘Peace, Freedom and Democracy’. Occasionally, for no apparent reason, he leaps up and down shouting”Three!”
A passer-by stops and asks what’s going on. The salesman explains he’s there to “sell the benefits of Peace, Democracy and Freedom” to anyone what wants them.
“How much?” asks the suspicious onlooker.
“Why, nothing at all!” replies the salesman. “In fact, I’ll pay you if you follow my instructions carefully! All you need do is stand where I am now, jump up and down – and shout ‘One!’ nice and loud. There are rewards if you jump high enough!”
Lured by the possibility of winning a prize the passer-bye overcomes his initial misgivings and does what the persuasive salesman suggests. After he’s leapt up and down shouting ‘One’ a few times, the salesman smiles and hands him a five pound note with the word ‘Freedom’ inscribed prominently on it’s surface, in bronze lettering.
“Wow! This IS cool” the punter says to the salesman. What next?
Soon he’s leaping up and down shouting “Two!” – and before he knows it, he’s the delighted new owner of a crisp ten pound note, with ‘Democracy” written in silver ink on both faces.
“I just love this game!” he shouts. “Now what?”
“OK. If you like, go for the hat-trick. Take off your boots and let me hold your bags and wallet so they don’t drag you down” the salesman helpfully suggests. “Now, leap even higher this time – as high as you possibly can – and shout ‘THREE!’ very loud indeed!”
He winks at the enthusiastic punter and adds “By the way, the time you might win the REALLY BIG prize!”
So the mark does what he’s told, leaping higher than ever and bellowing “Three” at the top of his voice – when quick as a flash the salesman whips away the manhole cover and the hapless sucker disappears deep into the bowels of London’s sewers.
The salesman solemnly replaces the cover, wanders off to his favourite pub to enjoy a hearty snack, then returns and jumps up and down once again on the same spot.
This time he’s shouting “Four!”
References on the Libya Crisis that I’ve found educational
Below are some web references about recent events in Libya, the broader international context and the historical background to the crisis. The links I consider ‘must-visit’ are in bold.
Rather than following the customary practice of listing title, author and date along with a hyperlink, I’ve saved myself a little time by doing a ‘cut and paste’ from some of my recent Twitter comments.
I’ve listed these tweets (sometimes slightly edited), in date order – newest first. They go back around a week, to shortly before the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter if you’d like to stay in touch that way.
- The long history of villifying Arab leaders who get in the way of western imperial & Zionist interests http://bit.ly/fyP6TX
- Brand new crazy war for sale! Who wants to own it? USA? (No) NATO? (No) Anyone at all..? http://bit.ly/gOjvPR
- Germany pulls out of NATO operations http://bit.ly/gPIc0i BRAVO GERMANY!
- ‘Democracy’ v ‘Dictatorship': US rate of incarcerating prisoners more than three times Libya’s http://bit.ly/hUsKzx
- From ‘neocons’ to ‘liberal interventionists’. Stephen Walt on why America’s ‘Change’ is more of the same http://bit.ly/gSCUN9
- Week 1: Only 1 in 3 Britons agree with military action in Libya http://bit.ly/fNzdX4
- There are still American conservatives who want #peace & constitutional government http://bit.ly/h5N6lX
- Keith Harmon Snow’s insightful March 1st essay about Libya http://bit.ly/fdL8Sx
- Bravo Caroline Lucas for voting AGAINST Britain’s ‘intervention’ in #Libya!!! http://bit.ly/igvICd
- In 2010 UNDP’s Human Development Index ranked Libya No 1 in Africa. http://bit.ly/dVvTfd
- Tam Dalyell: the truths about Lockerbie London & Washington don’t want to hear http://bit.ly/2FS7N
- Victor Ostrovsky (courageous Mossad defector) on how Libya was set up in 1980s http://ariwatch.com/OurAlly/Libya.htm
- The ABC’s Lateline interviewed Hugh Miles but never bothered to ask him about Lockerbie. http://bit.ly/eR4dtW How careless!
- As a westerner, it’s shameful that the only guy at NATO HQ talking sense is the Russian envoy http://bit.ly/ehw2YC
- World Cheers as the CIA Plunges Libya Into Chaos http://bit.ly/hyNfAe
- Britain’s SAS gets new playground for “let’s pretend we’re James Bond” games http://bit.ly/g1wfAv
- Bombs for Peace? UN completely disgraced in Libya. Diane Johnstone speaks on Russia Today http://bit.ly/gMR8Kf
- When non-violent protests began, France offered Tunisian Gov the “world-renowned knowhow of France’s security forces” http://bit.ly/fmNaUy
- Ban Ki-Moon & UN Security Council snooze while TWO Bahrain hospitals under siege from gov thugs. http://tinyurl.com/4b8y6c2
- Amr Moussa: “What we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians.” http://bit.ly/gab9Pj
- This is why Louis Farrakhan rarely appears on western mainstream media http://bit.ly/fwQXLE
- Gadaffi Government was framed over Lockerbie! The view of an honest, now-retired Scottish politican http://bit.ly/flt7GU
- Murdoch’s pictorial explanation re Libya for benefit of British plebs http://www.twitpic.com/4bld1q
- Mr Obama! African Union demands IMMEDIATE halt to Libya attacks! http://yhoo.it/fn0OmV Please listen to Africa STOP BOMBING LIBYA NOW!
- Fidel Castro, Evo Morales, Daniel Ortega, Rafael Correa & Cristina Ferdinez join Hugo Chávez opposing attack on Libya http://bit.ly/hmav1O
- It seems Gadaffi’s Libya didn’t bother to keep one up-to-date English-language website together. Bad mistake! http://www.libyaonline.com
- In the unsavory tradition of Christabel Pankhurst. How Obama’s Women Advisers Pushed War Against #Libya http://bit.ly/dKv4u8
- Fascinating BBC article re Gadaffi speeches http://bbc.in/hsPSOe FWIW I think ~50% of Gadaffi’s UN speech is spot on
- US Dilemma in Libya: To Bomb, Invade, Partition, Or All of the Above http://bit.ly/hJzwFp
- When contemplating war, beware of babies in incubators http://bit.ly/tILxm (and dogmatic, conformist journalists)
- Insightful analysis re attack on Libya by Mary Lynn Cramer http://bit.ly/gRgUtr
- Russia ‘regrets’ Libya invasion http://bit.ly/fFzN1N A tad late, perhaps? I wonder how it was bullied into abstaining in the UNSC?
- Responding to new ‘Libyan activist’ Twitter accounts is a way to get messages directly to the CIA, MI6 & Mossad [No link with this tweet, but what the heck :-)]
- It’s not exactly secret that the criminals running western war machine spend OUR $ on social media psy-ops http://bit.ly/eMvjls
- The 46 Zionist warcons who signed the letter to Obama demanding ‘action’ on Libya. http://bit.ly/dQ8hTM
- ‘The Other Side of Deception’ discusses background to the last (1986) vicious western aerial assault on Libya http://bit.ly/eDBUs0
- Russell W. Howe (1925-2008), a real investigative journalist. http://bit.ly/fXn1mq His 1999 Lockerbie article: http://bit.ly/eMahkf
- 2005 Scotsman article: Police chief- Lockerbie evidence was faked http://bit.ly/hfCKPB
- Revealed: US Spy Operation That Manipulates Social Media | Common Dreams http://t.co/R86shrb
- Why’s France so desperate for a quick UNSC decision on Libya? Did Sarkosy take illegal campaign donations? http://bit.ly/hkDYeP
- Richard Falk: Will We Ever Learn? http://bit.ly/e4Gi4e Essential reading re UNSC deliberations on Libya
- Rumoured US position re Libya in UNSC: http://bit.ly/gfPMbq It amounts to treating UN Charter with contempt http://bit.ly/e4Gi4e
- Prof Michel Chossudovsky: The US-NATO Attempted Coup d’Etat in Libya? http://bit.ly/eObvsK
- 77% oppose U.S. bombing Libya. Is this Obama’s idea of change??? Bush went to war with public support, Obama without. http://ow.ly/4hZ6p (RT v @DailyGarriga)
- Maximilian Forte: “The Libyan Revolution is Dead: Notes for an Autopsy” http://bit.ly/fU5RXB (RT v 1D4TW)