Friday, April 1, 2011

Another Visit to Libya -- 2 Weeks Later

There are three battles raging in the matter of the liberation of Libya.  Only one of them has much to do directly with is happeening in the desert.

To remain true to MeanMesa's promise of directness, we must assign to "top spot" to the gunfire we hear in the background of the ITN news reporting on our televisions.

  Battle Number One - In the Libyan Desert

This would be the direct and immediate combat unfolding between the liberation forces and the "security forces" of the dictator of Libya.  Although, at the present moment, this is going about as well as anyone expected, it isn't going well.  The disparity of forces which precipitated the UN Resolution concerning the safety of Libyan cities is the "elephant in the living room" when we think of what's going on along the long road from Benghazi to Tripoli.

There is essentially one road from Benghazi to Tripoli.  It passes through the series of smaller cities along the way, some hosting Libya's oil production facilities and at least one representing Gadaffi's tribal "home town" of Sirte.

The Road From Benghazi to Tripoli, March 31 (map source)
On the eve of imposing the "no fly" zone over the country, Gaddafi's armor column was moving North from Adjabiya toward Benghazi, the current location of the insurgent "government council."  Consistent with the specific intention of the UN Resolution to protect civilians, that advance was stopped by air attacks.

Here we see the first vestiges of the Second Battle we mentioned.  In the United States, the domestic anti-democracy media poses a predictably fraudulent comparison of what Gaddafi had planned for Benghazi with what was happening in the streets of, for example, Ivory Coast and Yemen.  In those unfortunate Middle Eastern states, the repressive government has begun to shoot protesters in the streets, and here, MeanMesa means "shoot." 

These were live fire incidents where local security forces opened up on unarmed protesters, killing or injuring dozens of them.

In a sickeningly familiar move, the domestic media began a relentless repetition of the question "If Libya, why not Yemen."  Of course, the names  of places varied a little, but the "bait" remained the same.  These were not a few fleeting comments here and there, either.  Literal hours of pundit "face time" on the networks hammered this false comparison until there was no "skin left on the bones."

We would have expected this from networks such as FOX, and even from thinly disguised anti-democracy corporations such as ABC (Remember the two hour long, commercial free movie during the autocracy about why Clinton was responsible for 9/11?), NBC, CBS.  This brazen broadcast propaganda phenomenon reached a new, discouraging peak when even the PBS NewsHour began to parrot the point daily.

An over-exaggerated threat 
to validate the Coalition response?

Let's get this straight.  When protesters are being shot in the street, they can  stop protesting and go home with at least some hope of not being rousted out of their houses and "disappeared."  That basic idea is, unhappily, the intention of shooting them on the street.

Although Gaddafi's forces no doubt planned for a similar, "house to house" terror run of some sort after Benghazi had fallen, it was, instead, the prelude to that final, violent misery which triggered the Coalition Response.

The Libyan Army's armored column was moving to ring the city of Benghazi with field Howitzers and tanks.  The unarmed city of 1 million would have then been subjected to sustained artillery fire for as long as it took to extract an unconditional surrender.  The prospect of this development triggered the Coalition response.

When viewed from the framework of tribal politics, Benghazi was always the assumed location for the insurrection's  leadership council to meet.  Gaddafi's tribe had a long history of distrusting the residents of the city based on tribal differences already in place long before the drive to liberation began.

Battle Number 2 -  On US Domestic "News"

It should be no surprise that domestic "news" broadcasts have descended on every possible "loose end" of the intervention.  These "fair and balanced" news desks no doubt received direct orders from their corporate masters -- who no doubt received them from their corporate masters -- concerning just exactly how the news story was to be manipulated.

The overall effort was to focus on three specious issues.

a. As mentioned before, countries with street violence were to be falsely compared to the situation in Libya.  The hope was that the carefully manufactured "glaring contradiction" would serve to further degrade the President's rather formidable ability to steer the nation through the course.  We can add this to the "wet dream stack" of similar, puny public opinion attacks designed to undercut voter confidence in Barack Obama.

b. The cost of the intervention, now estimated at between $500 Mn and $1 Bn was to be falsely represented as evidence of "out of control" government spending on the part of the Obama Administration.  Americans were supposed to have completely forgotten the $125 Bn these same Republicans had sucked out of the economy as the hostage payment they extracted to allow unemployment benefits to be extended for a year -- after the same people thoroughly wrecked the economy, making unemployment benefits an immediate necessity to Americans who had already paid for them.

military hardware and expenses
($1 Bn) for the Libyan intervention
$125, 000,000,000 
2 year extension on W's top 2% tax cut
($125 Bn) ransom paid GOPCons' masters for hostage
  unemployment benefits extension during the lame duck session

c. The third "news vector" issued forth in hopes of discrediting the President in the eyes of low-information voters centered on what was characterized as a failure to consult with the Congress before committing US military assets to the intervention.  The hope was that, should this "talking point" be held before the faces of Americans long enough -- and often enough -- Obama's decision would be reframed as a quick, reckless after thought in between 3 point shots on the White House basketball court.

To hear Gwen Iffel on the NewsHour trot this tired line out, night after night, was especially disheartening.  She had been instructed to "take the bait."  She did.

The laborious preparatory work for the Resolution had been "powered" through the normally time consuming process in record speed -- probably under some serious pressure from the same President who was later criticized as going too slow.  The tanks and Howitzers were hours away from being position to begin the bombardment of Benghazi.

Meanwhile, the tea bags in the US House were settling in for a nice six week "Obama bashing session" while they "debated" the intervention.  Afterwards, they hoped, the President could have been ruthlessly skewered on photos of 50,000 dead Benghazi residents and 500 more, per day, being hanged and shot by Gaddafi's execution squads.

Not unlike the rampages of the late autocrat's bloody "Church of Death" approach to military affairs, Congressional tea bags and GOPCons have no problem at all exchanging piles of corpses for artificially manipulated ratings advantages.  House GOPCons are so cynical that no amount of human suffering can trump political advantage.  House tea bags are so uneducated that they are still probably trying to figure out where Libya is on a map.

Although MeanMesa was impressed with the President's speech on the matter, it's clear that the "gloves haven't come off yet."  The administration's bumbling inability to inject passion and fire into voters, regardless of the topic, remained front and center.

What is being done in Libya is decent and remarkable.  If the American voters have become so risk averse and codependent that they are unable to feel good about the good our country is striving to accomplish -- no matter what -- we are in for a long, painful trip down.  We will be celebrating this carefully groomed mistrust all the way to the dust bin of history.

Battle Three - Protecting the "Project"
from the Domestic Media

Of course, this "project" has enough opponents in the Libyan desert already, but the clear ambition of the domestic media is to use the entire affair to further discredit the President.  As mentioned before, the commands coming from the media bosses match the obsession with the GOPCons to regain political control of the country -- at any price.

The US still contains enough remaining wealth -- even after the eight year looting festival of the autocracy -- to make the senseless sacrifice of Libyans amount to nothing in the mind of the ultra-greedy who are calling the shots.

However, to date, all these attacks have been on what has been accomplished to date.  The immediate future holds the promise of a "rich hunting ground" for these same forces, no matter how the intervention in Libya develops.  We can expect to see them formulating the next nest of false comparisons and false decisions as the Coalition's activities proceed.  Coalition partners should not expect to be neglected in this "march to the sea" attack process, either.

Oceans cannot protect them from the greedy subversions of out-of-control American oligarchs.

Why exactly has the domestic media fallen into the trap of relentlessly attacking the President?  It would be nice to think that this is simply an unthinking, automatic, "knee jerk" sort of thing designed to chase ratings, however, the darker side of this seems to keep jumping out with every evening's "news" broadcast.

The media's corporate keepers smell another opportunity to service the oligarchs' interests in discrediting the President.  Worse, they are having just enough success to keep going, again, regardless of the cost -- in this case, the cost to their already almost non-existent credibility.

What to Expect Next

The "false comparisons" have only just begun.  MeanMesa can suggest a few more which are likely to follow in fairly short order, each case exploiting the advantage of mis-communicating military reporting to civilians with little actual experience with combat.  We will see these "talking points" being injected into the discussion in the upcoming punditry "mouth junk."

The Coalition response has caused civilian casualties itself.

What could anyone expect?  More than a hundred long range, stand off  Tomahawk missiles and days of jet fighter attacks cannot be made, no matter how carefully planned and executed, without collateral damage.  Remember, the Howitzer bombardment of Benghazi had an estimated casualty count of 50,000.  The Libyan freedom fighters understand this.  Unlike the fickle US media consumers, they are adults, and they are determined.

Just arm the insurgents and come home.

This possibility, although looking pretty attractive at the moment, has its own complications.  For one thing, done improperly, the arms would wind up in someone's garage waiting for an upcoming yard sale.  The suitability of this approach is probably not really in question, but the execution of it is.

Just train the insurgents and establish a command and control structure.
Then come home.

The US has been attempting this in both Afghanistan and Iraq for years.  The time such an effort would require sits squarely on the side of both Gaddafi and the domestic "news" media.  Training the insurgents to use the weapons they might receive from Coalition sources would take far less time and possibly yield results almost as productive.

The President was lying about "troops on the ground."  The CIA is there.

Of course the CIA is there.  It's their job.  However, if the media were actually courageous enough to go look for them amid the locals, they would find nothing.  The basic idea about using the CIA does not include a network broadcast of their names and locations while they are doing their work.

The insurgents cannot be trusted to turn out to be "True Americans."

That's right.  They're Libyans -- all sorts of Libyans with all sorts of ideas about what Libya should be like when this is over.  To his credit, the President is prepared to accept the situation for what it appears to be.  Not to their credit, the media is breathlessly fear mongering that this whole thing is an Al Quaeda trap.  The utterly codependent US public wants suffocating control over the situation.  The US oligarchs want a guarantee that they will wind up with the oil.

So, as we watch the "news" from Libya for the next few days, don't let any of these "disposable" talking points throw you off track.  They will be trotted out, tried for traction and then hammered home if they seem to be working.

At the time of this posting, there has been a lag in the Coalition's flights.  The insurgents have tried a couple of times to break out of their Eastern Libya stronghold, only to be turned back by Gaddafi's armor clustered around the road to Tripoli.  The Coalition may be hesitating to attack this armor for two reasons:

1. Such action might be developed into a violation of the Resolution's terms, a possibility inspiring hope in the media's plan to crush hope.

2. This armor may be fairly well embedded in urban cover, introducing the likelihood that an aerial attack against it would include more civilian casualties, another "easily sold" departure from the mandate in the Resolution.

MeanMesa doesn't think that either of these two conditions will prevail for much longer.  Further, the media gambit may start to dwindle on it's own.  America watched the President have to devote half of his speech not to comments about the Libya intervention, but instead to addressing the media attacks against him.  This will probably not go on much longer, either.

MeanMesa's compliments to the President.  Go ahead.  Make us proud to be Americans.

No comments:

Post a Comment