Now on YouTube: Libya–Race, Empire, and the Invention of Humanitarian Emergency

While the audio is somewhat clearer, and the video motion is “smoother” for those using older computers, the disadvantage is that the video had to be cut into two parts given restrictions placed on my account by YouTube. Overall, however, the file sizes are smaller than they were originally, so the video should also be faster to download.

I want to especially say thanks for the many positive comments received thus far in other venues, and I hope this will aid in further circulating critical perspectives that were deliberately marginalized during the course of NATO’s war on Libya–not least by NATO itself, an organization which acted as if it was entirely unaware of the racist violence on the ground, the destruction of cities, ethnic cleansing, and eradication of populations by the rebels whose way was paved by NATO’s bombs, all the while speaking incessantly about “protecting civilians.” Of course, NATO had special training for all of this, having been through much of the same in Kosovo and in its war against Serbia. The more that NATO ignored responsibility, and continues its non-response to these criticisms, the more enmity it richly deserves from the world.

See the complete playlist here.

7 thoughts on “Now on YouTube: Libya–Race, Empire, and the Invention of Humanitarian Emergency

  1. John Allison

    Powerful. Not only the words. Not only the videos and stills, but the integration of high tech and fact check with that sense of poetic time-and-space representation of Truth. The technical and the intangible are both necessary to this. and well done in this..

  2. lissnup

    Thank you so much for this important work. With hindsight, I came to see Iran after the 2009 election as a kind of “test-run” for social media disinfo and manipulation. The similarities in online actions and events between Iran and what took place in Tunisia, Egypt, and then Libya, and now Syria were recognisable. And I fear a similar approach now being directed towards Mali. I don’t monitor every region; this could be a repeating pattern elsewhere. I wish I knew how we could stop this.

    1. Maximilian Forte

      Many thanks for both your message here and for reblogging/recommending. That is a very good point, that there were techniques adapted from the 2009 #iranelection episode, and reapplied in the cases especially of Libya and Syria is fairly clear, with much better skill in the latter cases when it came to getting individuals in the mainstream media to lend some credence and legitimacy to otherwise fabricated or exaggerated claims. I also wrote about the Iranian case in “America’s Iranian Twitter Revolution”, which was translated into Arabic, Farsi, and Spanish, and led to media interviews on the subject. Critical analysis, however, always comes after the fact, after what is being criticized has already transpired, or has begun to transpire. When working against a tidal wave of belief, it is very difficult, unless one is some sort of well respected celebrity, to get any decent amount of traction for one’s questions and critiques. Putting contrary views across can even be dismissed as “trolling”. What struck me the most about the Libyan case was the acute degree of correspondence and the nature of near simultaneous timing in the messages spread by defecting Libyan diplomats, political leaderships in the U.S. and Europe, the emphases of presentations at the UN, and the work of various NGOs and human rights organizations. I am not sure that I personally have ever before witnessed such a phenomenon, as if I were hearing from a single person who had the ability to instantaneously shape-shift and move from one location to the next almost invisibly. One of the still untold stories therefore is the one about just how “spontaneous” February 17 really was as a phenomenon. The U.S. Embassy cables do not help here, because what we have is only from 2010 at the latest, and the cables sent by diplomats are always only a fraction of what is being discussed and planned, with other agencies, attached to the military and intelligence apparati, forming other key actors whose documents we do not have.

  3. lissnup

    Your post on Iran was already in my bookmarks ;)
    I recall taking comfort from one of your comments, where you spoke of someone busily accusing anyone trying to fly out of formation of being a regime agent, as I was one of a small group that had happened to at the time. Amazingly enough, they still do it even now!

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