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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....
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 "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.