24 March 2016

A story of brotherhood and manhood

The United States of America is not bombing Libya right now.  Bombs are falling nevertheless.  But exactly five years ago, the USA was bombing Libya, as I was writing the article that follows (first published in the Daily News, March 24, 2011).  

The United States of America is bombing Libya as I write, supposedly for the benefit of Libyans. The USA bombed Iraq and killed or caused the death of over a million Iraqis, supposedly for the benefit of the victims. The USA has maimed, displaced and killed tens of thousands of Afghans (and the killers have been caught salivating over their victims) and hundreds of Pakistanis (supposedly for the benefit of Pakistanis and Afghans). Yes, they say it’s not the USA but a ‘coalition’. Yes, a ‘coalition’ that goes along with the USA, making up numbers, adding colour and legitimacy. Fools few.

This particular offensive purchased legitimacy from the Arab League which sanctioned a no-fly zone over Libya in view of Muammar Gaddafi launching air strikes against armed groups challenging him. The Arab League has since expressed misgivings after the USA and its non-Arab allies (only Qatar and the UAE have expressed support for the military action, the latter a big importer of weapons from the USA) bombed Libya and killed dozens of people. Yes, in order to save people, ie like having sex to ensure virginity.

Very soon Barack Obama will say ‘it is not enough to ensure that nothing but white flies in the no-fly zone’ and press for more. The lexicons pertaining to Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan will be dusted and perused by Hillary Clinton and others for terminology and phrase. And the Arab League will contemplate their collective navel once again.

What’s with the Arab League? Surely, these people can’t be ignorant about what Uncle Sam really wants? The answer, ironically, came from Gaddafi himself. At the annual Arab Leaders’ Summit in March 2008, Gaddafi asked, ‘Where is the Arabs’ dignity, their future, their very existence?’ and observed, ‘Everything has disappeared’.

‘Our blood and our language may be one, but there is nothing that can unite us,’ he added and is reported to have mocked a plan by the Arab League to start Arab cooperation on a joint nuclear program thus: ‘How can we do that? We hate each other, we wish ill of each other and our intelligence services conspire against each other. We are our own enemy.’

A friend of mine elaborated in an email: ‘Arab politics is all about hypocrisy. In public they kiss each other and sneer behind closed doors. As you can see, it’s not a well-kept secret. The Arabs could have united to form one great pan Arab Force but one-upmanship saw umpteen attempts and efforts being scuttled. Ghaddafi routinely castigated this hypocrisy at every Arab League meeting telling them what a farce they all are when in actuality one was spying on the other.

He challenged one Arab country to name another with whom they’re friendly - and there were no takers. He said, “in fact we are more friendly with Russia and/or America than with each other”. He also reminded them that when the US raided Iraq, on a pretense and then hanged Hussein, a leader of one of the Arab league countries, none ventured to protest but instead, thanked God it was not one of them. He finally asked them “Who will be next” not even dreaming that he’d be the one!’

The fault is not with the Arabs, though. It is with their ‘leaders’. Qatar is an absolute monarchy. The United Arab Emirates is, well, made up of regions headed by Emirs. These are not democracies. These are the countries that have supported the military action. Then there’s Saudi Arabia, Obama’s key ally in the Middle East and a despotic regime if ever there was one and one which has sent troops to Bahrain to prop a tyrannical monarchy against a people’s uprising.

These leaders are not democratically elected. They are despotic to the core. Barack Obama does not utter the word ‘democracy’ with respect to such regimes. No no-fly-zones in these countries. No sanctions. No arm-twisting. Full support instead.

Gaddafi has promised a long war. The long and short of it, though, is the fact that a revolution needs to happen in the region and not one led by Barack Obama and his pals. There’s a question that should be put to the Arab people: ‘Who do you wish to design your future, Muammar Gaddafi or Barack Obama?’ I am sure that Gaddafi will not get 100 percent backing.

I am pretty sure that Obama will get close to zero. A second question: How do we find out the true sentiments of the Arab people? Here’s the rub: we can’t, because most of the countries we are talking about are not democracies!

Gaddafi’s observations in March 2008 indicated that the Arab League was impotent. Well, someone else from another part of the world has just displayed his manhood.

He’s in fact waving his manhood at the leaders of the Arab League. Have they noticed? I doubt it. I am pretty sure they’ve reverted to their favourite pastime of navel gazing.
Gaddafi is no saint. He’s a man though. That much can be said.

Malinda Seneviratne is a freelance writer who contributes a weekly column titled 'Subterranean Transcripts' to the Daily Mirror.  He can be reached at malindasenevi@gmail.com



Anonymous said...

Apparently Hillary Clinton was ecstatic when she heard that Gaddafi was killed. Same like the fictitious WMD's in Iraq the US made up the story of Gaddafi going to anihillate his opponents. Gaddafi would be laughing in his grave now as he very correctly predicted that if the West destabilizes the Middle East, millions of refugees would be at the shores of Europe. Yes. At the moment there are innocent helpless refugees. But after one or two generations? The US and the West don't tolerate leaders whether it is Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi or even Mahinda Rajapaksa. They want _ss lickers like Ranil Wickremasinghe. (BTW I read about the book - The Clash of Civilizations by Prof. Susantha G in your column and bought the book. I couldn't complete reading the book as I flew into a rage when I was reading about the atrocities the Portuguese committed on my grandmothers and grandfathers. But I managed to read the preface where SG says Ranil W would go down in history as the only prime minister of a former colony who invited the colonial master to celebrate the invasion which resulted massacre, looting and rape)
MR and GR are in trouble today because they committed the mortal sin of saying NO to the White Sahib.
He said no to the White jokers Krouchner and Miliband for the first time after 1505. He did it because of the people of Sri Lanka. People of Sri Lanka can sleep at night today (with power or without power) because we had one leader MR (or two including GR) who was not scared of the white sahib. If he gave in and said yes as Ranil did with the Portuguese PM, Prabhakaran the thug would still be terrorizing our people. As you correctly say HIPOCRICY is the word here.
I too had great hopes on Obama. No difference. It was the best we could get. As you said taste of the pudding is not in the colour. The West including US (with Hillary or Trump or even Cruz) is doomed. They killed Saddam. The allegation was that he killed 5000 Kurds and fictitious WMD'S. They killed Gaddafi. The allegation he WOULD kill his own people. They ousted Mahinda. Allegation is killing some civilians UNINTENTIONALLY. When they do it, it is Collateral Damage. When it happens anywhere else it is a war crime. Now what is the death count in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen combined. 2 million? No problem. Because all of us are The Children of Lesser God. It is all HIPOCRICY. But there is another word we know. It is called RETRIBUTION.

Lakshan said...

//Gaddafi is no saint. He’s a man though. That much can be said.//

Gaddafi is a man alright - he's a man who supported a lot of terrorist organizations guilty of murdering innocents - he's a man who's responsible for the lives of innocents in the skies over Lockerbie -
yeah - a man alright - Malinda Seneviratne kind of man , I might add

Malinda Seneviratne said...

good morning.....and while you are at it, talk of other men and women too....those amazing men who are/were presidents and prime ministers of 'great' western 'democracies'! give me a break, dude!

Anonymous said...

Malinda, didn't you get your "education" from the GREATEST of all Western democracies, the good of USA????

Wasn't it a full scholarship?

You get educated at Harvard & Cornell, at the expense of Americans, but you now HATE them, right???

Classic "bayi" mentality.

Are you best of friends with Nalin de Silva???

Malinda Seneviratne said...

'Greatest' Western 'democracy'? Oh dear! I guess you know nothing about how the USA works!

I don't hate America...America, FYI is not co-terminous with USA. 'America' includes South America, North America and Central America. I have nothing against any of these Americas or their citizens. I don't have major issues with the foreign policies of almost all the constituent countries. I do have serious issues with the foreign policy of the US of America.

Since you ask so many questions, can you come out from behind the 'Anon' cover and say something about yourself? :)

Lahiru Athuruliya said...

I think you got it bit wrong here Maninda.

America MEANS the US of A.

America = USA.

North America = USA + Canada

Central America = Mexico + the rest of the failed central American States.

South America = Brazil, Argentina etc.

AmmericaS (notice the S :) ) = North and South America both.

Well well Malinda, so you DID in fact study in the US on full scholarships,which is by the way paid by the US government (through US taxpayers of course).

But the USA is the sole superpower. So naturally their foreign policy is bent towards "control" and keeping the peace.

The USA invaded Iraq in 1991. You were most probably at Harvard and Cornell at that time studying at the expense of the US taxpayer.

The foreign policy of USA is decided by the American public. Because they vote every 4 years to elect a new government. So, a citizen of the USA has no say only for 4 years. After that they vote their guy as the president. American votes take foreign policy into serious consideration, unlike here where it's about rice and bread.

America started withdrawing from Vietnam in 1971 due to the huge pressure from the US public.

So, American foreign policy = American public sentiment.

So, now you clearly seem to hate the very Americans who educated you.

You were most probably still there studying during the time the US led sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi babies and children due to lack of medicine and money etc (i.e. 1992-1999).

So you did not have any problems I suppose then. Roll Eyes..

Malinda Seneviratne said...

"America MEANS the US of A." Wrong Lahiru. That's a common but incorrect perception. It is demonstrative of the arrogance of certain Americans of the US (e.g. 'The World Series', 'The American Heritage Dictionary').

So what if my education was paid for by US taxpayers (who by the way benefitted from the pillage done in their name by their governments, surplus extraction partly from Sri Lanka)? Nowhere in that 'exchange' was it stated that I had to be a slave to the USA or its foreign policy.

"Keeping the peace!" Yeah, right!

You have a rose-tinted view of how things work in the USA (ref your comment on how foreign policy is decided!).

"America started withdrawing from Vietnam in 1971 due to the huge pressure from the US public." They didn't withdraw -- they were kicked out!! Come on, I can't give you lessons on history.

"So, American foreign policy = American public sentiment." Tyis is rubbish logic. Truly, I am wasting my time responding to idiocy.

For the record I protested the invasion of Iraq...as I did the sanctions. :)

Anonymous said...

[b]Excuse me[/b], but when Sri Lankans, Indians or any non-USA person say,
(1.) [i]I am going to America[/i], do they mean that they are going to Canada or Brazil? No. They mean the USA.
(2.) When SL parents proudly say that [i]"My son is studying in America"[/i], do they mean that the son is in Nicaragua?? No, right? It means he is in USA.
(3.) When your own Wikipedia page says [i]"Malinda is known for his anti American political views"[/i], does it mean Argentina or Mexico?

People call USA America because it is the only country in the Amrericas that have the name AMERICA in their name. No other country has the name "America" as part of their name.

[b]PS:[/b] Are you still in to Nalin's Jathika Chinthanaya?? :)

Anonymous said...

From my understanding the Americans withdrew from Vietnam. NVA were not in Washington, and therefore they could not have been victorious, because the only way to win a war is to invade the invading country. Like how America won the revolution when they burned and sacked London. Also, you must sign an unconditional surrender or it is not loosing. Like when the Nationalist Chinese signed the unconditional surrender in Beijing, 1949, to the Communists.

Also, The only reason America withdrew was because of the homefront, didn't want war. If the people of America wanted war, America would have won. The NVA and VC also had way more casualites then the Americans. The truth is, the Americans slaughtered the North Vietnamese and Vietcong, with huge kill to death ratios. This means that America couldn't loose, because war is always won by those who have the least casualties.

[b][i]"During their dozen years in Vietnam, U.S. forces didn't lose a single battle -- not even the Tet Offensive in 1968 -- despite the media and antiwar misrepresentation."[/i][/b] See more at: http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=8385

To loose a war you must.

A) Sign an unconditional surrender.
2) Have more casualties than the enemy.
3) Withdrawing from a conflict is not loosing, it is just fighting in a different continent against no enemy.
4) Be defeated in tactical battle, because tactics are what wins wars, and its not more complicated than that.

Nothing like the above happened in Vietnam.

[b]The only looser in the Vietnam war was SOUTH VIETNAM.[/b] :)

Some links to backup my claim:
(1.) Barack Obama says U.S. never lost a major battle in Vietnam: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/sep/05/barack-obama/barack-obama-says-us-never-lost-major-battle-vietn/
(2.) THE UNITED STATES DID NOT LOSE THE WAR IN VIETNAM, THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE DID after the U.S. Congress cut off funding: http://www.vhfcn.org/stat.html

Malinda Seneviratne said...

they had to run with their tails between their legs bro/sis. you want to call it 'strategic'? you want to insist that they did it because of domestic pressure. dream on!

as for the use of the terms 'america' and 'american' i guess you are totally naive about the politics of language. that's fine with me. remain like that. :)

Anonymous said...

Well well well!!!! Check THIS out. Editor in Chief of THE NATION newspaper happens to be this very same Malinda Seneviratne, correct? Just discovered this. :)

Check out his very own newspaper calling USA "America":

(1.) http://www.nation.lk/epaper/sunday/2014/06/15/files/assets/basic-html/page7.html

(Press Control + F to search in a web-page)

So, when The Nation newspaper, whose editor in Chief is YOU, says "Sri Lanka was given an equal prominent place with America and France.", what do you expect the readers of your paper to make out of the "America"??

Because, if you say Malinda, that America does not mean the USA, it means any country in the Americas (i.e north and south America). Then the readers have to interpret the above sentence as "Sri Lanka was given an equal prominent place with all countries of North and South America and France"?

Or, did you and your newspaper mean that Sri Lanka was given an equal prominent place with Nicaragua and Honduras which are also countries of America?? :)

Basically the readers are free to choose their country of liking. They can pick any county from "America", right?? :)

Because this article has nowhere mentioned the "United States of America". It just says America ONCE.

Anonymous said...

(2.) http://www.nation.lk/epaper/sunday/2014/01/12/files/assets/basic-html/page19.html

The article by Ravi Nagahawatte talks about an "American Buddhist Monk". He also has not used the word "Unites States" in his article.

So, like, Malinda, when the readers read this article by Ravi, can we interpret American as, say, Brazilian, Argentinian, Mexican or perhaps Canadian etc??

He can be a Buddhist monk from ANY country of the American continents?

If you say that America and hence also American does NOT mean USA, why is he using it in his Article?? Why didn't you correct it Malinda??

Or are you guys at THE NATION totally confused?? :)

In the bottom article written by YOU, yes YOU Malinda, you write: "Eric was a panhandler. That's 'American' for beggar".

So, here also when you say 'American' do you mean Brazilian, Canadian or Ecuadorian???

Anonymous said...


(3.) http://www.nation.lk/epaper/sunday/2014/01/26/files/assets/basic-html/page23.html

So Malinda, when Kusumanjalee Thilakarathna who worked UNDER YOU, writes "Asanga was inspired by the work of American Israeli Political cartoonist Ranan R. Lurie.", what does Kusumanjalee and THE NATION newspaper whose editor-in-chief is YOU, Malind, mean when she says "American"?? She also has no mention of "United States" in her article.

So, when she says that RANAN Lurie was an "American Israeli", she can mean anything right? It can mean that Ranan was from Brazil, Canada or even from Guyana right?? Because these are ALL, according to YOU Malinda, "American countries", right?

Anonymous said...

(4.) http://srilankaoneislandtwonations.tumblr.com/post/48887365953/a-walk-in-american-shoes

You say at the top of your article: "There’s a proverb sourced to the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans, given life by Harper Lee’s celebrated novel ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’"

A native American is defined as "a member of any of the indigenous peoples of North and South America and the Caribbean Islands."

So, when you mean Native American, what do you mean here?? Does it mean Native Brazilians, Native Canadians, Native Hondurans??

How does a reader know that the Cherokee tribe are natives of the USA ONLY?
Or, is it the case that "Native American" means the indigenous people of the UNITES STATES OF AMERICA?? Isn't THIS what you mean, when you say "Native American"?? Be honest Malinda.

So, instead of saying "Native United States of Americans", you said "Native Americans", right? Mind you, all "indigenous peoples" of the Americas, now belong to a country in the Americas.

Also, what do you mean when you say "American Shoes"?? Does it mean Brazilian shoes, Canadian shoes or Mexican shoes??

If you say that American and American does not mean the USA, how does a reader link the "United States of America" with "American shoes"???

If Brazil was set ablaze and you were writing about Brazil will you say, "Last week Brazil was set ablaze. ...blah blah blah........... Does the world understand the sorrow, horror and perhaps anger of Brazil? Has the world walked the required distance in ‘American Shoes’ to fully empathize?"

Or would you say "Brazilian shoes"??

So, what do you say NOW Malinda??

Ready to accept defeat like a true "gentlemen", or are you going to follow Mahinda Rajapaksha and never accept defeat. :)

Or, are YOU, in your own words, a HYPOCRITE Malinda?? :)

No offense intended though. :)

PS: I might make a good investigative journalist no??? Maybe a possible Pulitzer Prize winning one even?? :)

Malinda Seneviratne said...

my fault re kusum's mis-use. :)

Malinda Seneviratne said...

check the qualifier. Cherokee. As for what readers should or should not know, come on, i cannot (and no one can) preface each and every word with an encyclopedia extract! :)

Anonymous said...

MS: "The USA bombed Iraq and killed or caused the death of over a million Iraqis, supposedly for the benefit of the victims."

Where did the US kill MILLIONS of Iraqis??

The GULF WAR in 1991: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War
20,000–35,000 killed (soldiers)
Iraqi civilian losses: About 3,664 killed
But how do you know who killed these Iraqi civilians?? How can you that Americans killed these civilians??

The 2003 invasion of Iraq: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_invasion_of_Iraq
Estimated Iraqi combatant fatalities: 30,000
Estimated Iraqi civilian fatalities:7,269 (Iraq Body Count)[19]

The 8,000 to 751,000 excess Iraqi deaths by June 2011 (University Collaborative Iraq Mortality Study), is the number killed by the CIVIL war that is going on. That is Iraqis killing other Iraqis.

How can you say that Americans killed millions of Iraqis meaning civilians?