Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The imperialist scramble for Libya

The U.S. blitz on Libya is aimed at imposing the imperialist order, not saving lives.

A U.S. F-16 fighter jet (Paul Hocksenar)

THE CRUISE missile liberals are back. The same people who criticized George W. Bush for unleashing the U.S. war machine on Iraq are now cheering Barack Obama's order to pound Libya with missiles and bombs.

How do they explain the difference? The Republican Bush's venture was aimed at furthering the interest of U.S. imperial power, we're told, while the Democrat Obama's firepower will save civilian lives and promote democracy. "Assuming that a no-flight zone can be imposed by an international coalition that includes Arab states, we have an opportunity to establish a new narrative of Western support for Arab democrats," wrote Anne-Marie Slaughter, a Princeton professor and a former official in the Obama State Department.

Tell that to the families of the uncounted civilians who died not at the hands of Libyan government forces, but as a result of U.S. air strikes. While the media highlighted the destruction of tanks and weapons of forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, bombs dropped from the sky and missiles fired from ships offshore inevitably killed civilians--some of whom may have been supporters of the anti-Qaddafi rebellion.