Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Controversy of Zion: Occupation... Colonization... Killing is Good!


Face of Demented Zionism yet Again Revealed: Will Americans Keep Funding It? 
By Franklin Lamb
Almanar News
July 23, 2014
Images and captions added by Color Revolutions and Geopolitics

Franklin Lamb
The “up and coming” well-known and much admired Israeli politician and parliament member Ayelet Shaked of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home [political party] has again branded Palestinians as terrorists, declaring as the 4th Zionist invasion of Gaza in the past ten years was being unleashed: “Mothers of all Palestinians should also be killed” she told the Daily Sabah, as she called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to "little snakes."

In a call for Genocide, she added, “They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists," Shaked said, adding, "They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of every dead terrorist we eliminate."

On 7/7/14 Shaked wrote on her Facebook page:
Israeli MP Ayelet Shaked
"Behind every terrorist stands dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there."
The development comes as many officials from various countries have slammed Israel's air strikes on the Gaza Strip.  Many have condemned the offensive diatribe, accusing Israel of massacring the Palestinians and have lashed out at Israel, saying it is committing state terrorism against the Palestinians in the region.  Reacting to Shaked's remarks, the Turkish premier said Israel's policy in Gaza is no different than Hitler's mentality. "An Israeli woman said Palestinian mothers should be killed, too. And she's a member of the Israeli parliament. What is the difference between this morality and Hitler’s," he said speaking in parliament, as he also questioned the world's silence toward Tel Aviv's ongoing atrocities.


As the Zionist regime busies itself "Mowing the lawn," the obscene phrase used in Israeli military circles to describe how, every couple of years or so, Gaza is subjected to massive international crimes against humanity is a massive display of firepower to “trim back Hamas’s military capabilities and ambitions” in the words of its allies in the US Congress.  Its US funded armed forces are yet again attacking and invading Gaza in violation of international and U.S. law. As former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich reminds us, its construction of settlements violates the Oslo agreement. Its Central Bank dries up the Gaza economy and blocks payments to Gazan civil servants. Its total control brings the Palestinians to utter subjection and total despair. Israel can kill, injure, and humiliate Palestinians at will, with impunity, which is exactly what gave rise to Hamas and strengthens Hamas’ hold in Gaza.

As journalist Rami Khoury reminds us, military assaults against Gaza cause Israel to lose ground in three vital respects inasmuch as they enhance Palestinian military resistance, intensify global condemnation and pressure due to Israel’s disproportionate military savagery, and “deepen the nationalist identity and will to struggle for justice among all Palestinians, especially those children in Gaza who will grow up with a single aim in life: to vanquish colonial Zionism”.

Meanwhile, on 7/22/14 one of Americas largest airlines, Delta, has announced it is canceling all flights to Israel citing reports that a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's airport. This against the backdrop of a growing BDS [Boycott Divestment Sanctions] campaign increasingly similar to the one that destroyed the pro-Zionist Apartheid regime in South Africa. The developments come as the UN agency for Palestinian refugees has recently said women and children make up a sizable number of Palestinian fatalities caused by Israeli attacks on the besieged region.

Undeterred, the US Senate, while claiming to be overworked, did find time to pass (100-0) an AIPAC-drafted resolution supporting the Gaza invasion. There is not one word of compassion for Palestinians killed or injured, not a word calling for peace, not a word indicating that the Senate would perhaps prefer to see the invasion end. On the other hand, it calls for dissolution of the Palestinian unity government which has been Netanyahu's goal since it was established.

Celebrating Palestinian unity (Gaza City, April 23, 2014): (from left) Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian Fatah delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmed, Hamas prime minister in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas deputy leader Musa Abu Marzuk, and secretary-general of the Palestinian Arab Front Jameel Shehadeh
For example, the Senate Resolution declared that it was:
 “Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding United States support for the State of Israel as it defends itself against unprovoked rocket attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization. Whereas Hamas is a United States-designated terrorist organization whose charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel; Whereas Hamas continues to reject the core principles of the Middle East Quartet (the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia)--recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce violence, and accept previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements; whereas Hamas has killed hundreds of Israelis and dozens of Americans in rocket attacks and suicide bombings.”
The same kind of Resolution that AIPAC sends more than 80 to Congress each year to make sure Congress does the right thing by the Zionist regime still occupying Palestine.

U.S. Senate vote supporting the killing of Palestinians by Israel passes unanimously, 100-0. Wow!  What does that even mean?
On 7/22/14, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. to the media [said] that Israeli soldiers should be given the Nobel Peace Prize for the "unimaginable restraint" they are showing in fighting Hamas, backing his country's right to self-defense.  Ambassador Ron Dermer made the comments at an event hosted by the Christians United for Israel group late Monday, according to a text of the speech posted on his Facebook page.  Comparing Hamas rocket fire on Israel to Germany's bombardment of London during World War II, Dermer slammed those "shamelessly accusing Israel of genocide and (who) would put us in the dock for war crimes.  The truth is that the Israeli Defense Forces should be given the Nobel Peace Prize... a Nobel Peace Prize for fighting with unimaginable restraint."

As for the truly pathetic Ms. Shaked, whose psychotic words and deeds not only trumpet savagery against Palestinians and praise those who would undertake a genocidal mission such as today being witnessed and documented in Gaza, but have also become a clarion call corrupting further  the minds of Israeli youth and colonial squatters. May the sick woman live to see the dismantling of the last of the 19th Century colonial enterprises which she calls to slaughter those whose land it still criminally occupies.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Counterattack in Benghazi: Exposing the NATO Murderers and the War Criminal Obama


Editors' Introduction
 
Christopher Stevens arrived in Benghazi, Libya as the US Special Representative to the National Transitional Council, in April, 2011, wielding a program of death and destruction.  

At that time the main goal of Christopher Stevens and the United States government was to subjugate the sovereign nation of Libya.  More than anything else, this meant the removal of Colonel Gaddafi from power, by any and all means.  

Not only were tens of thousands of Libyans murdered in the civil war that Stevens help to orchestrate.  But in October, 2011, Colonel Gaddafi himself was ruthlessly gunned down in the desert: no trial, no civilized justice for the fallen leader of the once-defiant nation.  "We came, we saw, he died."  That is how Hillary Clinton put it.  That about sums it up. 

With Colonel Gaddafi removed, the mission that Christopher Stevens led was immediately deemed a glowing success.  He was rewarded by being appointed the ambassador of this recently conquered country, "post-revolutionary" Libya, having arrived in Tripoli in the spring of the following year to take up his post.  


Christopher Stevens... expert at creating completely fake revolutions and making them seem real ...show biz must be in his nature...

On September 10th, 2012, Ambassador Stevens arrived quietly in Benghazi for a scheduled four-day trip to the city.  There was no grand ceremony waiting for Stevens on this trip; no pomp and circumstance for the U.S. ambassador that, it is said, had "liberated" the country from tyranny.  He came to Benghazi under the cover of darkness, accompanied only by a two-man security detail, having provided no "official" notification that he was even in the city, and without stating publicly why he had come (details which we still haven't learned even today). 

On the following evening, around half past nine o'clock, after Ambassador Stevens reportedly spent the entire day receiving visitors in his walled-off fifteen acre mini-fortress, that's when the attackers arrived.  Within the hour, Christopher Stevens lay unconscious in a smoked-out bathroom, pronounced dead a short time later; murdered in the same city that he occupied during the bloody civil war; a victim of the self-same methods he employed.

The typical Western media narrative on the death of Christopher Stevens omits many of the details and value judgments which we have included above.  In most instances this is because the Western "news" effort surrounding Ambassador Stevens' death also doubled as a deafening propaganda campaign; a campaign which, still to this day, demands that, even if individual opinions about the incident adopt a posture of U.S. government criticism (as they frequently do), this "criticism" must always be limited, never with full license to probe or challenge the central myths and ideological falsehoods that shield aggressive U.S. behavior as it operates around the world.

How can any of us know the substance and motive of U.S. behavior if its most painful details remain excluded from public consideration?  Further still, how can any of us know the substance and motive behind attacks against the United States, the justice of the attacks, or the character of the attackers, if all we know is a glorified rendering of what the U.S. government is and does?

Benghazi has evolved into a war zone--this we now know--a city of over one million left to suffer the results of the glorious revolution sponsored by Western powers.  This has been the norm for several months, since well before the ambassador's hyped death.  Why did we hear nothing of it months ago?  Why do we learn about this only now?

And what of the other cities in "post-revolutionary" Libya, like Tawargha?



Tawargha, just south of Misrata, was once a city of around thirty thousand residents.  In early August, 2011, the whole city fell victim to a sustained terror campaign led by racist armed gangs and backed by NATO bombs.  Many observers have claimed that, if ever a legitimate case of "genocide" existed in Libya, this would be it.  Today the town is empty, barely identifiable on a map.

Perhaps our readers can tell us, how many press releases had been published documenting this tragedy?  How much space did this calamity occupy in the central narrative of the revolution?  Any at all?


Even after the lid on Libya had been lifted, revealing the chaos of Benghazi in recent months; even after so much interest had been generated about the "deteriorating" security situation in Libya, who yet has spoken of Tawargha?  Who has spoken of Bani Walid

Which is to say, who among us has yet learned of the "real" Libya that Christopher Stevens "saved" from tyranny? 


Of course much truth about Libya has been deliberately obscured from Western audiences since before the days of the "humanitarian" intervention, much like in every other war.

It's only due to the fact that Christopher Stevens was in a high-profile position when he was murdered, serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, that Western public opinion leaders brought any attention--any at all--to the deadly violence that now reigns there.

Christopher Stevens was the first sitting U.S. Ambassador to have been killed in the line of duty in over thirty years.   

Within a strictly image-oriented public relations framework, the death of an ambassador meant that Christopher Stevens was already more than an unknown diplomatic soldier falling quietly in the line of duty; already more than a mere footnote in the failures of modern American diplomacy.  This much is obvious.  His death was destined to bring immediate attention and public scrutiny to Obama's foreign policy agenda.  The operative question would be (and still is), what will the public learn?

Will the public ever learn the identity of the Benghazi "compound" attackers?  Will they read sworn testimony from eye witnesses or participants?  Will they watch live video feed, that which supposedly exists documenting the incident?  Will they analyze relevant photos?  Or read signed statements from any "guilty parties" clarifying what motives may have been behind the attacks?

Will the public ever learn that the "Arab Spring" was not a "spontaneous" "wave" of "revolutions" but a well-planned, precisely-timed geopolitically-motivated Pentagon fake?  Will they learn the lessons of the so-called "color revolutions," about how foreign leaders are routinely ousted by U.S. government operatives through false media narratives and clever psychological tricks?

Will the public learn of the numerous massacres and humanitarian crises that enveloped Libya, not because of Colonel Gaddafi, but because of the military invasion--the jet sorties, the heavy artillery--which NATO brought in from the outside?     

And what of the United States' point man in Libya, Christopher Stevens?  Senator Joseph Lieberman said that "[Christopher Stevens] became in fact the bright symbol of America, a heroic and inspiring figure for many Libyans."  Is that what the public is destined to learn?

Maybe the public will learn that our "heroic and inspiring figure" personally blessed the arrival of thousands of machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, professional sadists and torture devices into this region.  Perhaps they'll also learn that, after Libya was ripped apart by the civil war, Stevens then started shipping those same weapons illegally to Syria, a move designed to destroy that country and remove that government, yet another government that now stands in their way. 

Stevens' sudden death at the wrong end of these weapons--and, perhaps, at the hands of the very people he delivered them to--single-handedly multiplied any risk of bringing his vicious mission--his real mission--into sharp public focus.

Without leaving anything to chance, a damage control effort quickly ran into high gear.  The United States propaganda apparatus was forced to respond and to reinforce the "humanitarian" myths which continue to support its mission worldwide, and so it did respond.  The United States must be good, must be benevolent, must be loving, must be paternal, must be caring, must be vulnerable, must be selfless, must be just.  And as the now-dead Christopher Stevens was destined to be the caretaker of these attributes, it was decided that, if the public was to learn anything of Chris Stevens, the public must learn unequivocally that Chris Stevens carried all of these saintly attributes in abundance.



This is how the Chris Stevens we know was born: a man lifted from complete obscurity, then projected to angelic heights; suspended there long enough only for us to marvel, only for us to gasp before we watched him tragically fall, victim to an "act of barbarism" on the colonial frontier.

What really happened? 

We do not claim to know all the answers here.  So many questions remain unanswered; so many have yet to be asked.

Doubtless that, whatever numerous lessons still hide beneath this cartoonish myth, we can only discover them by focusing upon material facts unearthed by a competent, impartial investigation.  

In his excellent essay (below the video), author Maximilian Forte dissected the first of the U.S. government's many unclassified "investigative" reports into the attack.

Are the Republicans really trying to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi?  Or are they protecting a bipartisan agenda through a limited attack
                    
"Manifold are the ways in which the devil has sought to undermine the truth. 
He is now trying to crush it, by pretending to defend it." 
(Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullian of Carthage)


The State Department's "Report" on the Attack in Benghazi, Libya: The Effects of Diplomacy as Subversion

Click here to order book online.
By Maximilian Forte
Originally published in Counterpunch
December 20, 2012
Images and captions added by Color Revolutions and Geopolitics

Almost immediately after the armed attack in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, which resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, along with Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty, added to the destruction and looting of the U.S. facility in Benghazi, various columnists immediately took to issuing pronouncements on what had happened in Libya and what it meant. They all sounded so certain. Yet, the only certainty has been the deliberate production of uncertainty, with multiple layers of obfuscation, questions asked and never answered, and some questions not even asked yet. This is largely the case even now, four months after the attack and with the December 18 release of the findings of a State Department investigation into the attack. The report was produced by the “Accountability Review Board” convened by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself, and is thus lacking the impartiality of an independent body without ties to the Obama administration or the vested interests of those in charge of the State Department. The investigation was led by Thomas R. Pickering (a former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador during the height of its dirty war against opposition movements and guerrillas tied to the FMLN), and Admiral Michael Mullen.

Michael Mullen (L) and Thomas Pickering (R).  Interestingly Michael Mullen served as Obama's top military adviser during the entire NATO Libyan campaign.  Sadly this is what the State Department really meant when it demanded an  "independent investigation" into the Benghazi fiasco:  State investigates itself.   What you the citizen want to know; what is of value to you; this you will never learn.

As someone with a background in ethnohistory and archival research of colonial documents, plus seeing that this report is “unclassified” and is thus being circulated to various media, it struck me that the intent of this release was to produce not answers to a problem, but rather the State Department’s preferred version of events as the party to a conflict in Libya that the U.S. internationalized, widened and escalated since February 2011. There is actually little that is new in the report that has not already been presented and debated and left unsettled in the public sphere. Indeed, the report itself ultimately reduces everything to a need for more security measures and better training. This report is a very stark contrast to what some journalists were promising us would be a “State Department bombshell.” Well it’s a dud.

The Untold Story

Imagine this: a government that regularly executes alleged enemies abroad, using drone strikes based on supposed “intelligence,” that routinely claims to kill “terrorist” leaders and prevent “impending” attacks, is still not able—not even four months later—to identify the group responsible for the attack in Benghazi. Not able, or perhaps not willing. Instead, this report refers us to the FBI, which still has an investigation underway. This is the same FBI that was too frightened to send agents to Benghazi to investigate the attack, even weeks after the attack, and well after the “crime scene” had been extensively looted and “degraded.” Instead, this is the state of U.S. intelligence on Benghazi: “the key questions surrounding the identity, actions and motivations of the perpetrators remain to be determined by the ongoing criminal investigation” (p. 2). Even if we take the report at face value, this missing element—who are the attackers—should give anyone reason enough for lengthy pause. The U.S. government is claiming to not know which group attacked its staff in Benghazi, let alone the identities of the individual attackers. This says something about the state of U.S. “knowledge” of Libya. If we do not take the report at face value, then it reads like a deliberate attempt to cover up what the U.S. does not want the public to know.

In this regard, there are many possibilities, and no certainties. The report itself offers passing acknowledgment of the “continued presence of pro-Qaddafi supporters” (p. 15)—but does not even for a moment consider who might have a motive to attack the U.S. facility in Benghazi. The report does not even once mention the presence of CIA agents in its so-called “Special Mission Compound” in Benghazi, even though multiple reports surfaced that the attack had targeted a CIA base, exposing the presence of CIA personnel in significant numbers, and delivered a huge blow to CIA efforts in Libya—and to efforts to illicitly send arms to Syrian rebels via Turkey. And what was the CIA doing there? Reportedly their work focused on “securing” weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals during the NATO war, such as surface-to-air missiles, the SA-7’s. It was also reported that Ambassador Chris Stevens’ work in Benghazi involved the transshipment of heavy weapons from Libya and into the hands of jihadists fighting to overthrow the government of Syria. Is it just a coincidence then that Syrian rebels have started using SA-7’s that they never had before? A CIA operation such as this would thus not only be violating international law, it would also reveal the lie that is Obama’s claim that the U.S. is not supplying Syrian rebels with weapons. This again widens the options concerning the motives of possible attackers, including those who might want to put a stop to such covert operations against Syria.

Under Gaddafi Libya had the highest standard of living in Africa.
What is not clear is why “Islamists” in Libya would want to attack the Benghazi “mission.” After all, these would be some of the same people who benefitted from NATO’s air cover, for which they pleaded, and from Western weapons shipments during the war to overthrow the Libyan government, and who are reportedly benefitting again by being supported by the U.S. and its NATO partner, Turkey, in sending weapons to Syria, with some Libyans already active in that war. How would they gain anything, and would they not lose a great deal in launching such an inexplicable attack against their own partners?

Unmentionable Friends

Indeed this is a major conceptual shortcoming of the report: how it abruptly converts “militias” into “terrorists” (see p. 4). For all of the report writers’ insistence that their job is not to identify the attackers, the report speaks of the activities and nature of Al Qaeda and its affiliates (p. 2). But then a question arises: if “Islamists” and “jihadists” are a problem, why does the U.S. work with them in Libya? Likewise, if they are as “anti-American” as is commonly assumed, why do some actively collaborate with the U.S.? How among what the report acknowledges is a dizzying array of militias, do U.S. officials determine which are the good “Islamists” and which are the bad ones? The report itself provides some interesting answers.

The authors of the report comment on how the U.S. backed war against the USSR in Afghanistan, and the U.S.’ subsequent invasion and occupation of Iraq, provided the networks, training, and experience that empowered the “jihadis” that Gaddafi fought, and that continue to destabilize Libya under U.S. auspices. Here there is not even a pause in the report when the former monarchy based in Benghazi, U.S. interests, and jihadists all cohabit the same paragraph, as if they were natural partners (p. 13). Indeed, the report casually notes that the “Special Mission’s Libyan security contingent was composed of four armed members of the February 17 Martyrs’ Brigade (February 17)—a local umbrella organization of militias dominant in Benghazi (some of which were Islamist)” (p. 19). Some of which were Islamist?

U.S. Diplomatic Security agent Mario Montoya trains local Libyan guards within the State Department's "Special Mission Compound" in Benghazi, 2011.

Then there is the assertion of the Libyans’ supposed love affair with Ambassador Stevens. If Stevens, and other foreign officials, had truly “earned the admiration of countless numbers of Libyans” (p. 14) as presented in the State Department’s hagiography, there should not have been a river of attacks (a list of 20 attacks is provided, pp. 15-16, for Benghazi alone) against U.S. and related Western targets, and Stevens should still be alive today. In this inability to get over themselves, the obsessive self-praise of U.S. officialdom, amounting to what often seems like an institutionalized narcissism and hubris, there is no discussion of why the reality of Libya is one where U.S. officials get killed. The report only offers a remarkably simplified picture of two kinds of potential Libyan opponents: protesters and terrorists.

The report, however, does note that a kind of tunnel vision developed among U.S. officials in Libya—perhaps blaming them for their own demise—a vision in which violence against the U.S. and other international targets was normalized and effectively pushed aside. The report comments on the possibility—at least this possibility earns their commentary—that with so many attacks against U.S. and international targets, it all came to be seen as normal: “the longer a post is exposed to continuing high levels of violence the more it comes to consider security incidents which might otherwise provoke a reaction as normal, thus raising the threshold for an incident to cause a reassessment of risk and mission continuation” (p. 16). On the other hand, the concept of “resistance” appears to be forbidden, precluded from discussion. Moreover, as I will discuss below, this line of argument holds no water and is part of a subtle subtext of the report that places the blame for Stevens’ death partly on Stevens himself.

Questionable Friends

It is odd, but not surprising, that the report offers the public no considerations of the risk that results as a blowback effect of U.S. destabilization, just as it erases any notion of resistance. Instead all the U.S. has is friends in Libya. So how did four Americans get killed? They were, we are told, guarded by a local militia, the February 17 militia. Unfortunately, “February 17 militia members had stopped accompanying Special Mission vehicle movements in protest over salary and working hours” (p. 5). Moreover, the investigators “found little evidence that the armed February 17 guards offered any meaningful defense” of the “special mission” (p. 6). As for the Libyan government, the investigators found “the Libyan government’s response to be profoundly lacking on the night of the attacks, reflecting both weak capacity and near absence of central government influence and control in Benghazi” (pp. 6-7). That sounds like the Libyan “government,” such as it is, had no capacity to help—which is quite likely true. However, that does not explain why “an unknown individual in a Libyan Supreme Security Council (SSC) police uniform” was spotted on the day of the attack “apparently taking photos of the compound villas with a cell phone from the second floor of a building under construction across the street to the north” of the “special mission” (p. 19).

Rewriting History

The authors of this report seem compelled to provide the preferred rendition of Libyan history, consistently making remarks that are noteworthy for lacking almost any relevance at all to the nature and purpose of their report. At the same time, the report adds to recent official comments that go strikingly against the Obama narrative at the start of the war in 2011, as if these officials suffered from amnesia and forgot what was in the last set of talking points on the approved and authorized view of Libya.

For example, while Obama repeatedly insisted he was against regime change back in March of 2011, and that international intervention was needed to protect civilians, his sole concern, there is no attempt to maintain this illusion any longer. Thus the report, like Secretary Clinton earlier, points out that Christopher Stevens was the U.S. “Special Envoy” to “the rebel-led government that eventually toppled Muammar Qaddafi in fall 2011,” and that was even before the U.S. publicly recognized that “government” as the “sole, legitimate representative of the Libyan people.” Stevens and his “special mission,” worked to bolster “U.S. support for Libya’s democratic transition through engagement with eastern Libya, the birthplace of the revolt against Qaddafi and a regional power center” (p. 2). Put simply, this was a diplomat actively working to overthrow a foreign government. This was a “diplomat” whose work consisted of regime change—despite early official pronouncements to the contrary—and in addition one whose commitment to Libya was restricted to the eastern portion. Subverting a government was accompanied by pandering to regionalist sentiments that have worked to divide and destabilize Libya since the bloody coup against Gaddafi.

These "humanitarian" myth-makers helped create imagined realities in the service of empire: Christopher Stevens (L), filmmaker Gilles Hertzog (center), and Bernard-Henri Levy (R)

If anything, the report seems to suggest that “diplomacy as subversion” is the State Department’s favored model for international engagement, noting: “significantly increased demands on U.S. diplomats to be present in the world’s most dangerous places to advance American interests and connect with populations beyond capitals, and beyond host governments’ reach” (p. 2). “Beyond host governments’ reach” is a pleasant way of saying that U.S. diplomats advance U.S. interests by circumventing the same legally constituted national authorities that the U.S. officially recognizes because it requires their prior permission to even establish an embassy. However, this model does not necessarily rely on establishing formal embassies, a formality that can be dispensed with in the new American diplomacy. This is the case even with Libya today, after Gaddafi—the so-called “consulate” in Benghazi, as some media called it, “was never a consulate,” and the report states that its presence was “never formally notified to the Libyan government”—the current government (pp. 14-15). Elsewhere the report speaks of the “special mission” as having a “non-status” as a “temporary, residential facility” (p. 5). One wonders how the Libyan government was supposed to come to the rescue of an entity that remained a mystery.

With reference to at least unofficially legitimizing Libyan regionalism, which reaches the point of organized secessionism in eastern Libya, the report acknowledges that “Stevens’ presence in the city [Benghazi] was seen as a significant sign of U.S. support for the TNC and a recognition of the resurgence of eastern Libya’s political influence” (p. 13). The report then validates without any question the Benghazi narrative that, “throughout Qaddafi’s decades-long rule, eastern Libya consistently lagged behind Tripoli in terms of infrastructure and standard of living even as it was responsible for the vast majority of Libya’s oil production” (p. 13). (Perhaps the U.S. should consider moving its capital to Texas.) What the report does not consider is that under Gaddafi other historically much more neglected areas—those that were not the privileged seat of the old monarchy—finally began to receive attention, and this bothered some in Benghazi who then (as now) continue to demand nearly exclusive attention to their own interests.

"Air force" functionary: his photo taken after dropping bombs on people he's never met

There are many other examples of the rewriting of history to better accord with U.S. interests and designs, but none is more glaring than the complete absence of any mention of U.S. and NATO bombings over eight months and the presence of U.S. and British special forces on the ground, along with hundreds of Qatari troops. The war against Libya never happened. Instead we get a pretty portrait of valiant rebels single-handedly defeating Gaddafi, for example: “The TNC continued attacking the remaining Qaddafi strongholds, and Tripoli fell earlier than expected at the end of August” (p. 14). Indeed, Libya had been visited by “a popular uprising” (p. 13), one so popular that it required U.S. intervention because it had no chances of success otherwise. There is a reminder also that the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli shut down merely days after the first street protests began—a curiously rapid decision (p. 13).

“Oh for the love of Chris!”

The production of this report, and its intended public consumption, is part of what might be kindly called the U.S. government’s “public diplomacy” effort, or in more disquieting terms, strategic information operations. The report is largely an exercise in impression management. The result is hagiography. Ambassador Stevens, we are told, “personified the U.S. commitment to a free and democratic Libya” (p. 2). The Americans who were killed possessed “selfless courage” (p. 3), and their duties were also “performed with courage” (p. 7). Lest ye forget, the report writers recommend that government agencies take yet another opportunity “to recognize their exceptional valor and performance, which epitomized the highest ideals of government service” (p. 12). Christopher Stevens was loved, as reflected by “his ability to move in all sectors of the population” (p. 2)—all sectors. Indeed, then he must still be moving. Often the report reads like a self-aggrandizing lobbying effort, self-conscious of its role as a means of marketing State Department goals in a time of reduced budgets, and often seems as if it had been penned directly by Secretary Clinton herself.

What is odd is that at times the report seems to almost blame Stevens for his own death: “Embassy Tripoli did not demonstrate strong and sustained advocacy with Washington for increased security for Special Mission Benghazi” (p. 4). This is despite publicly available evidence to the contrary, with a number of emails from Stevens that have been published, showing that Stevens had issued “multiple warnings” of security threats. The report nevertheless seems to find fault with him—“but you did not persuade me” you can almost hear them say. And yet, elsewhere the report states that Washington gave “unusual deference to his judgments” (p. 6)—so there is a bit of a contradiction that remains unresolved.

Excitement over the "Arab Spring" in Tahrir Square: why are John McCain and Joseph Lieberman so enthusiastic??

As part of the fog of diplomacy, what remains occluded by this report is the real story of “Benghazi Gate.” That Obama may have been keen to cover up any role of Al Qaeda, which he had loudly proclaimed to be decimated and left adrift after the execution of Bin Laden, is possible. His limited symbolic capital going into the last elections, which he barely won, could not stand to be tarnished. What seems more compelling, occurring precisely at the time when Syria is being targeted by the U.S. and its allies, is the role of Libya as a proxy in a covert war against Syria. This is, after all, an administration that is almost neurotic when it comes to maintaining secrecy (except for when leaks serve the greater glory of the leader’s reputation). In a report that does not even conceive of a Libyan resistance, in the midst of so many dubious friends with agendas that may sometimes overlap with those of the U.S. (and others times, not), one cannot expect to find a sober and rational engagement with the realities of a Libya dismantled by U.S. intervention. That would be like accepting blame, and the report is driven by the need to (re)gain credit, at the expense of continuing to sow misinformation and confusion.


Additional Resources:

1.  Illuminating two-part audio interview with Maximilian Forte on "Unusual Sources" (December 2012):

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12060980
http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12060989

2.  Short video based on Maximilian Forte's book, Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO's War on Libya and Africa.

According to Forte, "this film places the 2011 US/NATO war in Libya in a more meaningful context than that of a war to 'protect civilians' driven by the urgent need to 'save Benghazi'. Instead it counters such notions with the actual destruction of Sirte, and the consistent and determined persecution of black Libyans and African migrant workers by the armed opposition, supported by NATO, as it sought to violently overthrow Muammar Gaddafi and the Jamahariyah. This film takes us through some of the stock justifications for the war, focusing on protecting civilians, the responsibility to protect (R2P), and 'genocide prevention,' and examines the racial biases and political prejudice that underpinned them. The role of Western human rights organizations, as well as misinformation spread through 'social media' with the intent of fostering fear of rampaging black people, are especially scrutinized."



3.  The first two parts of a 4-part video series about the fraudulent legal (and public relations) case which justified the NATO intervention in Libya called The Humanitarian War, directed by Julien Tiel (2011): 



4.  Civil war and social chaos has been turned into a fashion statement!  Bizarre truck advertisements we discovered in a foreign language version of Esquire magazine in December, 2011:







Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/09/13/168415/no-protest-before-benghazi-attack.html#storylink=cpy


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ambassador Chris Stevens: Servant to Evil: How Propaganda Works for Empire


Ambassador Chris Stevens: Servant to Evil: How Propaganda Works for Empire
By Eric Pottenger and Jeff Friesen
Special Report for Color Revolutions and Geopolitics
September 26, 2012


It is compassion and love that guides United States foreign policy in North Africa and the Middle East and there can be no doubt about it.

At least that has been the strange and wonderful idea sold to the English-speaking world these past weeks after the death of U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens.  Just like Jesus, Christopher Stevens offered the people of Libya his selfless love and received death in return.  Why couldn't Libyans see this miracle of love?  Why couldn't Libyans see this miracle of self-sacrifice?  Maybe it's because there was no miracle.  Maybe it's because Christopher Stevens was a vicious scumbag and at least one group of Libyans showed him the door.

It is precisely for this reason--to resurrect that faux miracle--that Washington's propaganda machinery joined with the corporate media to lay waste to any notion of material "truth," clubbing fact-seekers with cartoonish depictions of a saintly ambassador, working tirelessly for a saintly cause on behalf of a saintly government.  

The purpose of this essay is to show--at least in this one instance--how this propaganda machinery performed its craft and why.  Because the event in question was largely unanticipated, and because, by its very nature, it had to be addressed immediately, we have found that Ambassador Stevens' death has provided us with a rare opportunity to see propaganda formation at its most raw and revealing. 


Selling Ambassador Christopher Stevens

In the days since Ambassador Stevens was killed, much has been spoken and published about this previously-obscure American diplomat, the overall effect being that angry, confused, ignorant Arabs killed one of the greatest human beings that has ever existed.

Below is the short list of descriptions we plucked from a mere handful of articles (published in the immediate aftermath of his death).

According to the sources cited, Ambassador "Chris" Stevens was:

"...one of the smartest men I ever knew."
"...the model American diplomat, committed, idealistic, willing to take risks." 
"...funny and charming with a broad smile and wide curiosity."
"...always smiling, unruffled..."
"...candid..."
"...friendly, casual, and rarely rattled." 
"...the best of the best."
"...very inclusive of everyone."
"...one of the least judgmental."
"...the best person I have ever worked for."
 "...the coolest guy in the room."
"...cool and calm."
"...so intelligent, but never lost that human touch."
"...a brilliant young diplomat."
"...beautifully even-tempered."
"...calm and easy and people loved him."
"...a courageous man of action."


Chris Stevens had "humility, integrity and a willingness to listen"; "an unflappable character and unrelenting empathy."  He was a "tennis player and a Laker fan."  And "when you got him one-on-one, he was just funny."

Concerning his relation to Libya, North Africa and the Middle East, we read that he:

"...had a yearning to mingle with Arabs."
"...[was a] friend to all Libyans."
"...[was] in love with the Middle East."
"...loved that part of the world, he loved the people, he spoke the languages and he really loved his job."
"...risked his life to stop a tyrant."
"...[was] one of Libya's best friends."
"...[was] on the rebels side while the revolution was at its most vulnerable."
"...[was] among those who were pushing for a stronger commitment by the United States, both in the air and, through the special forces on the ground."
"...was murdered by the people he loved...the people he was trying to help."

And especially that "he has probably done more than anybody on the planet to help the Libyan people." 


As we digest these selected encomiums, let us also remind ourselves of the obvious: that Ambassador Stevens was in fact a senior-level "diplomat"--a paid liar, an artificial person.  This public relations aspect had been especially crucial to the work Christopher Stevens was performing in the past year, first representing the United States as their top liaison to the NATO-backed "rebels" (as that international coalition of aggressors waged their proxy "regime change" war against Libya), then later after the country was removed as a threat to totalitarian global rule, he was rewarded as the first ambassador to the now-destroyed sovereign state.  First the aggressor, then the viceroy of a new colony he created.

To many observers both within Libya and elsewhere, it was the United States that pushed Libya into civil war.  The challenge then became to convince Libyans--and to leave no doubts whatsoever about this--that U.S. policy had been guided by purely "humanitarian" motives.

Exactly what the United States was hoping to project about itself (through its ambassador) is revealed in this short video below, produced by the State Department, intended to be shown to a Libyan audience.  A word of caution: do not show this video to young children or gullible adults...permanent brain damage and possible falling in love with Christopher Stevens may occur (we're not kidding).





Now that we've read the eulogies; now that we've seen the sunshine, the budding flowers and the smiling faces, do we think that we have been brought any closer to the truth?  Most of us want really badly to believe there's truth in these words and images (most of us are victimized by this imagery and so we cannot do otherwise but to believe).  And yet what is the material source of this belief?  Eulogies given by those from his own culture, from his own social circles, from his own government offices; those sharing many of the same prejudices and political aims as he did?  Photos taken by people that are paid to massage a delicate political climate with shallow finesse?  Words from the mouth of a man that is paid to monitor and control his own image projection?  Can it be said that we are now any closer to knowing the "real" Christopher Stevens?

Perhaps there are people out there that could offer a different, less appreciative story of the man and his work; or at least a truly balanced account of his life and work?  Where would we find these people?  And why haven't they been asked to speak?   

Didn't anyone get angry when NATO war planes pounded civilian population centers in Libya last summer?  Didn't anyone get angry when patriotic Libyans and innocent civilians were rounded up, traumatized, some beaten, some tortured and then murdered for speaking on behalf of (and defending) their country from a foreign-backed invasion?  Didn't anyone get angry when Muammar Gaddafi--the main architect of Libya's transition into the modern world--the leader of this sovereign nation--was ruthlessly gunned down without so much as a trial, without so much as a cry of injustice from media in "civilized" nations?


Of course many were angry.

And Christopher Stevens lived and worked at the center of all this violence, murder and mayhem.  His job was to demand a widening of this violence; his job was to exploit indigenous social divisions; to promote civil war; and to subjugate the country (and the people) he is said to love.

Chris Stevens was the bag man for the United States.

Any reasonable "journalism" would have highlighted these controversial aspects of his history and legacy; any reasonable "journalism" would have presented balance, if only because this balance might offer readers important clues to understand what secrets lurked behind his death.

But this was not to be.  Our "journalism" ignored balance and unbiased perspective.  Our "journalism" told us fairy tales instead.


Compassionate "Loving Heart" of U.S. Policy: Here is the Conceptual Territory that the Propagandist Creates and Defends to Advance the Goals of Empire

There is a slick methodology at work here, one which we call "Creating and Protecting the Compassionate Loving Heart of United States foreign policy."

Think of this "loving heart" as a location in some larger amorphous conceptual space in your mind--call it an "ideological" space--call it the mental battlefield where war is waged against your common sense and good judgment about the very world you live in--call it the place where 'matter' turns into concept and meaning--or the lens through which you see and judge manifestations in the political world.

The United States government, through its propaganda apparatus, has a motive--always--to be tinkering in this larger conceptual space.  The propagandist really wants to own this territory; wants to select, limit and define what "facts" and impressions should be included in this territory; wants to dictate which parts of these "facts" and impressions should be considered "good" and which parts should be considered "evil"; which parts are "sane" and which should be considered "crazy"; which parts can be reasonably debated and which cannot.

Make sure to get that flag in the picture...
It is within this space that a "loving heart" (or brand image for the United States) has been created and nurtured, it functions as the lens through which we look directly at (and judge) U.S. policy.  If the United States government does anything--build; destroy; kill; save; help; hurt; enable; penalize--the function of the "loving heart" is to convince public opinion that the U.S. government does so, not out of greed or ignorance or malevolence--not out of self-interest or group interest--but out of self-sacrifice, compassion and love.

More pointedly, if the United States bombed Libya and killed its leader last year, it did so out of self-sacrifice, compassion and love.


Since his death, Christopher Stevens has become the centerpiece of this "loving heart" propaganda scheme.  He has been transformed into an idea, irrespective of any actual behavioral traits, both Christopher Stevens and the United States will continue to be shown to the world as the embodiment of a loving "humanitarian" mission.  When Christopher Stevens smiles, it is the United States that smiles.  It is the United States that speaks the language and pays respect to the culture; it is the United States foreign policy apparatus that lays claim to friendship; the United States government is "in love with the Middle East"; the United States government "risked [its] life to stop a tyrant"; the United States government has "probably done more than anybody on the planet to help the Libyan people"; and the United States government has been martyred at the hands of those it sacrificed itself to "save."


No One Ever Dislikes the United States

When we read about a country that we've never visited, that we know little about; a place where the nuance of its language or culture is completely unknown to us; and against which a decades-long ideological and cultural war has been waged...is it any wonder that our public opinion leaders can ignore "reality" and replace it with a fictitious narrative of their choosing?

According to senior U.S. officials and the corporate media apparatus, there are two generic versions of what happened in Benghazi, Libya on the evening of September 11 of this month, each of them slightly different.  But perhaps what's more important than their differences is what they both have in common.  Both reinforce the two-pronged myth that the United States is in Libya to "help" the "Libyan people," and that the "Libyan people" love the United States.

The White House's generic version was crystallized last Friday, September 14, by Press Secretary Jay Carney:

video
   
The underlying idea here is "spontaneity" and a focus on "protesters" and "victims."

Common sense dictates that the whole "Libyan people" cannot be said to love the United States and their self-sacrificing "democracy" mission if there are calculated, military-style acts of political violence directed against it.  Calculation presupposes careful logic and sophistication.  The successful assault against an American consulate and the killing of an American ambassador presupposes planning and organization.  It might even be indicative of deep-seated hatred and resentment on the part of "the people" the United States claimed to "save."

The 'spontaneity' narrative has been designed to deny Libyans a deep-seated hatred or a legitimate expression of political violence.  The focus here is, instead, on emotion and reaction; and on "protesting," a legitimate form of "democratic" expression.  These "spontaneous wave of protests" were brought about, not because of anything real, not because of anything with genuine political value, but because of that crudely-made Youtube video, the one that nobody has seen and nobody can reasonably vouch for, the one that is said to insult the Prophet Mohammad.  Which is to say, the "Arab people" are victims here, not culprits, not killers (never mind that this reading implies an insult to the Arab: intellectual dunces, emotional weaklings, incapable of even basic political discernment; dragged into the streets by their own violent rage, victims of past insults and residual misunderstandings, unable to exercise control over their physical bodies...zombies fixated on the "Great Satan"...always with a lot of signs in English and always with a serious flag collection at their disposal).

"Extremism" is the culprit of both the protests and the armed attacks: either right-wing racist bigots (the supposed filmmakers) or "terrorists" "linked to al Qaeda."

These "extremists" are not representative of the true Libya or of true Western sentiment, it is said.  True Libyans love the United States and cling to their "democratic" expression.  True Americans and true Westerners love Libyans and want to help them succeed in their "democracy."  Like so many other places, "al Qaeda" (a foreign terrorist element) "hijacked" a completely legitimate "spontaneous protest" and tried to make it their own.

There is another "official story" circulating, however.  This one has been sponsored by both the Libyan government and the United States Department of Defense.  This one claims that the assault on the American consulate in Benghazi was well-coordinated, well-organized, not connected to the protests at all.  This one says the violence was planned and carried out by "Muslim extremists."

United States Senator John McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, had this to say:

video


The underlying idea behind this alternative narrative is to focus on the culprits; to define them and judge them.  This narrative is also designed, we imagine, to answer questions about how the (guarded) United States compound could be penetrated; how the ambassador of the most powerful country in the world could be reached, and could be killed.

"Al Qaeda" is implicitly the central character of this narrative and what is ridiculously implied is that only they could logistically pull off such a planned assault, not any faction from within Libya itself.  And, anyway, why would "Libyans" want to attack the U.S. consulate?  What reason would they have?  The United States loved and saved this country from an evil "dictator."  The United States gave this country "democracy."  No, the "Libyan people" had neither the means nor the motivation to carry out an attack of this kind.

It is indeed curious how two competing narratives are able to be sold simultaneously to the public by members of the same administration, the same power apparatus.  Will there ever be one definitive version that will survive?  And if so, which one will it be?

While we cannot be certain of this answer, we do know that for a whole year since the killing of Gaddafi, all "news" about Libya disappeared completely from Western public consciousness.  Libya was "liberated" and then strangely Libya did not exist.  All that was really happening in Libya--the murders, the chaos, the real power struggle, the real social and political challenges--all this was conveniently damned to darkness and obscurity.  Nobody was "selling" Libya anymore and so nobody was asked to care.  It was only because of an ambassador's death--no more, no less--that the bloody mess that has become modern Libya has reemerged for public consideration.  And what a Libya we discover!

And so we ask again, will there ever be one definitive version of the event that will survive?

When Libya gets damned back to obscurity again, will anybody even care?


Imagined Reality Versus Physical Reality


A performance artist?  Is this street theater?
"Libyans,""the Libyan people" and "Muslim extremist" are actually brands: the "Libyan people" live within the "loving heart" concept, which means that whoever gets defined as the "Libyan people" are always "good" and an object of United States' paternal love and compassion.  The "Muslim extremist" lives outside the "loving heart," which means that whoever gets dubbed "terrorists" are always "bad" and deserve the wrath of the powerful United States military apparatus.

Welcome to the simple mathematics of imperialism in the modern world.  Obviously imperialism would not work as well if its caretakers were telling us the truth: if they told the world, for example, that the reason why they have killed Colonel Gaddafi and bombed Libya is because they want oil and gold, support for military bases in Africa, monopolization of the Mediterranean, or greater diplomatic and economic leverage on the African continent.  For most of us--and especially for those in Libya--this kind of salesmanship just will not do.



And so there has been created a salesman's reality, a liar's reality, one that successfully packages unpopular behavior in a language that we simply cannot resist.


We Don't Know

So who really killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and why?
        
Here is the question that almost everyone is orbiting around--every political analyst, every essayist, every blogger, every talking head--those in the alternative and mainstream media alike--and almost everyone has put forth an elaborate answer or speculation.

Mark Robertson and Finian Cunningham recently published a short list of the most visible of these "claims, counter-claims and disinformation."  They wrote:

The Obama regime says “protesters” irate over an anti-Islam video did it.
The NATO-installed bureaucrats in Libya say that “foreign extremists” did it.
US Congressmen say “Al Qaeda did it”. So does CNN, as well as the alternative media web site Prison Planet, which denounces any reference to the Green Resistance as “absurd”.
Media outlets, such as the UK Guardian, say “an organized terror network did it”.
Turkey’s government says “Syria’s Assad did it”.
Israel says “Hezbollah did it”.
The Sunni monarchs of the Gulf Cooperation Council oil sheikdoms say “Iran did it”.
Even reputable alternative media writers and progressive bloggers have attributed the attack to “the Benghazi Islamists”, and that this is “blowback from imperialism”.
Wikileaks says the attack happened because the US had backed Britain’s threat to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London and remove Julian Assange. (2)
Some media outlets claim that “Al Qaeda” carried out the attack in revenge for the supposed death in Pakistan (by US drone strike on 4 June 2012) of Libyan-born Abu Yahya Al Libi (aka Hassan Mohammed Qaid) who was supposedly a key aide to Osama bin Laden, and was supposedly the “number two man” in Al Qaeda.

But what can we really know if our speculations are not grounded by material details?

And considering the sorry state of the corporate-controlled media environment today, what details can we reliably trust?

Tonight we sit, the two authors of this essay, thousands of miles away from Libya, neither of us able to speak or read Arabic, neither of us ever having visited Libya... limited by time... limited by resources... limited by our own intelligence...

...and yet, still, both of us pawing through news reports...

...news reports provided by our information handlers...

...looking for a single solitary detail...

...looking for a story to tell...a story with real insight and value...

And here's what we find: "thousands of Libyans enraged by the lawlessness of armed militias and the killing of the popular US ambassador, have stormed the compounds of Islamist groups in Benghazi, driving them out of the Eastern city."  "We demand justice for Stevens," one protest sign is claimed to have said.  "Libya lost a friend," said another. [emphasis ours]

Can we really vouch for the truth of this event?  Or the perspective from which it came?

How about we, instead, pause and take a step back?

Because last year we did not discover one mainstream "news" article that offered journalistic balance to Colonel Gaddafi's legacy in Libya... not one article that offered journalistic balance to the means and purpose of NATO's role... nothing even remotely critical of the "responsibility to protect" doctrine... not one challenge to the myth of the "humanitarian war."  

Gaddafi as post-colonial liberator: an idea that has been excised from memory

And there's certainly nothing we have discovered about our media to suggest that anything has changed.

Is this observation not true enough?  Certainly there is value in acknowledging that.