The Humanitarian-Militarist Project and the Production of Empire in Libya

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.

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