23 March 2016

When a war-like people got a war they liked

This was first published in the Daily News exactly 5 years ago (March 23, 2011).  It was 'Libya' back then.  Now it is 'Syria'.  Tomorrow? Who can tell.  It's an oft-performed drama and as such it is useful to know the script. 

'We like war; we are a war-like people.’ - George Carlin on trigger-happy America (of the United States)

Barack Obama and his gang of international thugs got UN clearance (Surprise! Surprise!) to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. The purpose was to prevent Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi from launching air strikes against forces opposed to him. They didn’t want civilians harmed. Well, it seems that Obama’s thugs feel that some civilians constitute ‘fair target’.
That’s not surprising, for the United States of America has for more than a century operated as though people who are not white and people who are not Christians are disposable. In the Bush years, they invented a sanitized term for these victims. ‘Collateral’ they called it. Yes, someone can ask, ‘how about Hitler’s Germans?’ Well, someone else can argue, ‘They were an exception yes, but then again, that’s only because the Germans were cutting in on the action’. That’s Uncle Sam’s ‘action’.

The Arab Coalition was taken for a ride. They didn’t mind the no-fly zone but didn’t expect Obama to destroy Gaddafi’s strike capabilities or kill civilians. Sorry, ‘generate collateral’. Only the United Arab Emirates has pledged to support this war and guess who has beefed up the UAE’s arsenal? Why, Uncle Sam of course!

Barack ObamaHillary Clinton
Nicholas SarkozyMuammar Gaddafi
The Arab League is now having second thoughts, we are told. They did not expect (talk about naivete!) this kind of intense military action and certainly not the kind that would endanger civilians. War is what the USA is about. The USA needs war like you and I need to breathe. For all Nicholas Sarkozy’s grandstanding and Hillary Clinton’s assertions that the US would ‘support’ an international coalition ‘to enforce the terms of Resolution 1973’, it’s been Uncle Sam’s adventure (yet again). The US is not in the lead but conducting all military operations.

It is not about Gaddafi being a dictator. The United States supports all kinds of tyrants in all parts of the world. Obama would never rush to ‘help the people’ in Bahrain, for example. Ninety percent of Bahrain Petroleum Company’s employees went on strike last week in response to a Police crackdown on anti-government demonstrations. 

On March 15, the Bahrain Government declared a three month state of emergency to counter increasing discontent among the population, especially the Shiite Muslim majority, which is calling for democracy and civil rights in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. No, Obama will not send in the Marines, not unless he has a deal with the would-be ousters so that the US can continue to use Bahrain as a military base. Neither would he sanction military action against Yemen, which declared a state of emergency on March 18.

Ideally for Obama, ‘Libya’ would exacerbate political stability in the region to the point that his dictator pals would have to spend billions of dollars to buy US weapons. Obama, like all his predecessors who went to war, needs a distraction. If killing ‘other folks’ and getting a handful of Marines killed makes for a surge in patriotism and if this can extend his political life, he would do it. Well, he has. That’s two birds, ladies and gentlemen: threats to Obama’s political future and a sagging economy. Libya and the UN will pay for all expenses eventually. That’s the bottom line. The ‘bonus’ is what this would do to US arms sales. Some thugs are going to make bucks.

The United States of America needs something really bad. It’s called ‘civilization’. I am not betting they’ll get it any time soon.

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