The Nato bombing of the cities of Sirte and Bani Walid teared the mask off Nato’s claim that it intervened in the Libyan conflict in order to “protect civilians.” It goes against reason that Moammar Gadhafi’s die-hard defenders would be killing the very people loyal to them and, apparently, fighting to the death in support of the former Libyan leader.
It is a Western-propagated racist myth that non-Western peoples like Africans, Asians, Arabs and Indians value human lives less than Westerners do. Western media often claim that non-Western peoples would use “human shields” to protect themselves, or would “kill their own people” to resolve civil or political conflicts.
During the Korean war, American media were saying that the North Korean troops were using “human shields.” But the same accusation was not made against the South Koreans, the allies of the United States. In the Vietnam war, the US media reported that the North Vietnamese were staging “human wave” attacks against the American military bases because they had “less respect” for human lives, even their own. This presumably justified the carpet bombing of North Vietnam by US B-29s, including the use of napalm and chemicals that converted large swaths of North Vietnam into a wasteland and a graveyard.
In 1901, during the Philippine-American war, US General Jakes Smith ordered his soldiers to convert Samar into a “howling wilderness.” He said, “I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn; the more you kill and burn, the more it will please me.” Those to be killed included “ anyone over 10 years of age … (who) could carry a rifle and swing a bolo.” To justify the savagery, the Americans had to be taught to look at the Asiatic Filipinos as less than human.
Thus in an American newspaper, one Col. “Marse” Watterson described Filipinos as “the riff-raff; injun, nigger, beggar-man, thief—both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound, and cur of low degree.” (From “Little Brown Brother,” by Leon Wolff, quoting from the Louisville Courtier-Journal.)
To justify the bombing and invasion of Iraq, then US President George W. Bush painted then Iraq President Saddam Hussein as a madman who was killing his own people with chemical weapons and who was keeping “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) presumably for use in a planned attack on the United States. After the invasion, which killed thousands of Iraqi civilians, no WMD was found.
In the Arab Spring, government forces have killed hundreds of protesting civilians in Yemen and Bahrain, but since their governments were pro-American, the West did not intervene. In Syria, Nato has not yet intervened but has made moves to do so. It is clear that Nato bombed Libya not to protect civilians because civilians have been killed by Nato bombs, but in order to grab its oil and for this, it was necessary to change the Gadhafi regime which had nationalized its oil resources.
—MANUEL F. ALMARIO
spokesman, Movement for Truth,
In History, [email protected]