One More War and Another Collective Silence

I assume that to some, I daresay to the majority of Western citizens, it must be a relief to see that ‘our’ force for good has not lost its momentum – that humanitarian benevolence which characterizes the self-portrait we paint of our societies as we ponder on our own exceptionalism, our magnanimity.

What would the world do without ‘our’ greatness, without ‘our’ kindness, without ‘our’ Altruism? It is in asking ourselves these kinds of moronic questions, that we carry forth the full force of our dogma – our collective delusion, the lie, which once again has facilitated the dropping of ‘our’ bombs on the citizens of another part of the planet. This time it is happening in Libya, and just as with all other wars of aggression initiated through the barrel of Western guns, the submarines, aircraft carriers, fighter jets, and missiles of all kinds, are only engaged in a ‘humanitarian’ mission.

The late Howard Zinn would often remind his audiences around the world of the definition of modern warfare – “war is the indiscriminate killing of civilians” he would say. Perhaps it would serve us well to ponder on this thought as we embark as citizens on some kind of collective response to this new and illegitimate war, this crime against humanity, which once again is being perpetrated in our name.

We can choose to be distracted by the narrow-mindedly articulated debate on the illegitimate repression inflicted by Gaddafi on his people, on his despotic ways, his criminal behaviour, and flamboyant mannerisms. This is the sure way to guarantee a sleeping mass of ignorant and manipulated Western citizens, supportive of the criminal acts Western governments are in the midst of carrying out. Alternatively, we can say enough is enough, and we can begin to arm ourselves with the powerful nonviolent weapons of non-cooperation and civil disobedience, in order to mount a joint, citizen-led, coordinated and extensive campaign for peace and against war.

Yes, it is true Kaddafi is a criminal who oppresses the people of Libya and steals the country’s wealth. I sure hope he is brought down, but this toppling of corrupt leaders must spread across the region and throughout the globe in the form on non-violent popular uprisings – revolutions. Through Israel, Syria, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, Spain, the UK, and US. Through these countries and others, hopefully, ‘we’ the people, will learn to say stop to the perpetual militarization of our societies and to the stealing of our collective wealth.

If we do not say stop, then we can continue listening to the propaganda, minding our own business as we wait for a new war, a new financial collapse, or another nuclear disaster, as those who can afford to, continue to eat away at the planet’s natural resources. But lest not forget that as Western bombs pound on Tripoli and Libya’s civil war becomes another US-led Western imperial invasion, the people of Libya are no safer, and are certainly not gaining the kind of democracy they had in mind when their uprising began.

So with Afghanistan flattened, with Iraq completely destroyed, with Pakistan being hit by drones, and with the people of Gaza forced to live in their open-air prison as millions of refugees from these war torn countries suffer the consequences of previous Western humanitarian missions, it would serve the western critical thinker well to oppose any kind of military intervention, and to show serious skepticism towards the humanitarian and caring words stemming from the mouth of current Western government representatives.  Listening to the benevolent messages from people like Obama and Sarkozy would seem ironically comical if it were not for the dangerous quagmire in which we find ourselves. Yet, since while they continue to blurt out mighty words, which often invoke God, innocents die.

This is no time for comedy. The time has come to break our silence and judge them and their allies for crimes against humanity. Only when we have wiped clean the blood spilled in the name of our false morality by confronting the crimes committed in our name might we find ourselves in a position from which to ethically judge the crimes of the foreign petty dictators our leaders often called friends.

Pablo Ouziel is an activist and a freelance writer based in Spain. His work has appeared in many progressive media including ZNet, Palestine Chronicle, Thomas Paine’s Corner, and Atlantic Free Press. Read other articles by Pablo.

10 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. mary said on March 22nd, 2011 at 8:45am #

    George Galloway trounces a BBC radio presenter here. (He refers to the BBC as the Bush and Blair corporation!)


  2. MichaelKenny said on March 22nd, 2011 at 8:50am #

    What’s striking is that the whole tone and approach of this article is American, not European, which suggests that Mr Ouziel may well be “based in Spain”, but isn’t actually Spanish. He certainly has no understanding of Europe. We Europeans, for example, don’t talk about “our own exceptionalism”. Exceptionalism is a specifically American concept and modern Europeans don’t consider themselves, or Europe, “exceptional”. Thus, he may well be right as to what “Western” citizens may think about “their” “force for good”, but European citizens entertain no such thoughts! Literally nobody in Europe, not even in the media, is cheering the intervention in Libya. Nobody imagines it could possibly succeed and everybody seems to be just hoping that it will end before things start to go badly wrong. The German news channel N24 has even referred darkly to Sarko’s “domestic political reasons” (which seem to have blown up in his face)! In other words, it’s a win-win situation. However it turns out, it will further damage and weaken the American Empire. So let’s not look the gift horse in the mouth.

  3. Deadbeat said on March 22nd, 2011 at 9:44am #

    The late Howard Zinn would often remind his audiences around the world of the definition of modern warfare – “war is the indiscriminate killing of civilians” he would say

    And this is why Howard Zinn supported War MONGER John Kerry in 2004 via “Anybody But Bush” because he was “against” war. RIGHT!

  4. Deadbeat said on March 22nd, 2011 at 9:46am #

    Yes, it is true Kaddafi is a criminal who oppresses the people of Libya and steals the country’s wealth.

    Another Zionist pseudo-Left puff piece. I doubt the author really knows anything about the history of Libya and that Libya has the highest standard of living in Africa due to Qaddafi. His duplicity and lack of analysis is obvious.

  5. mary said on March 22nd, 2011 at 12:49pm #

    From Ralph Schoenman ‘The Hidden History of Zionism’ on line


    “Divide and Rule

    Yinon revives the idea of former Labor Foreign Minister Abba Eban that the Arab East is a “mosaic” of ethnic divergence. The form of rule, therefore, appropriate to the region is the Millet system of the Ottoman Empire, wherein administrative rule was based upon local functionaries presiding over discrete ethnic communities.

    “This world with its ethnic minorities, its factions and internal crises, which is astonishingly self-destructive, as we can see in Lebanon, in non-Arab Iran and now also in Syria, is unable to deal successfully with its fundamental problems.”[157]

    Yinon contends that the Arab nation is a fragile shell waiting to be shattered into multiple fragments. Israel must follow through with the policies it has pursued since the inception of Zionism, seeking to purchase local agents among factions and communal groups who will assert themselves against other such communities at Israel’s behest.

    This will always be feasible, argues Yinon, because:

    The Moslem Arab world is built like a temporary house of cards, put together by foreigners (France and Britain in the 1920’s), without the wishes and desires of the inhabitants having been taken into account. It was arbitrarily divided into nineteen states, all made of combinations of minorities and ethnic groups which are hostile to one another, so that every Arab Moslem state nowadays faces ethnic social destruction from within, and in some a civil war is already raging. [158]”

  6. mary said on March 22nd, 2011 at 8:43pm #



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  7. hayate said on March 22nd, 2011 at 9:02pm #

    Thanks Mary for posting that. That disgusting bbc plug would make a good urinal, if that’s not his hobby in his spare time already. Nice to Galloway put the steaming little pile in his place.

  8. hayate said on March 23rd, 2011 at 12:06am #

    A pretty good summary:

    Keeping up appearances By William Bowles

    21 March 2011

    “Meanwhile, the Western left, such as it is, and just as depressingly predictable, is now in a real predicament. One ‘left’ journalist, Gilbert Achcar writing for ZCommunications wrote the following:

    “So, to sum up, I believe that from an anti-imperialist perspective one cannot and should not oppose the no-fly zone, given that there is no plausible alternative for protecting the endangered population. The Egyptians are reported to be providing weapons to the Libyan opposition — and that’s fine — but on its own it couldn’t have made a difference that would have saved Benghazi in time. But again, one must maintain a very critical attitude toward what the Western powers might do.” — ‘Libyan Developments’, March 19, 2011

    This is the ‘left’ speaking on a very well known ‘left’ platform? What on earth makes Achcar think that Egypt, still a military dictatorship is interested in Libyan human rights? Achcar justifies it by using the same argument as the Empire, that it’s being done to prevent Gaddafi committing atrocities. So why didn’t Achcar advocate a ‘no-fly zone’ ages ago if he believes that it would have prevented Gaddafi’s committing atrocities? For that matter, why didn’t the Empire?”


    Thanks to zionists, most of the western left is not left at all, but friendly fascism instead, promoting a ziofascist agenda with an “obama smile”.

  9. mary said on March 23rd, 2011 at 3:49am #

    Here is an extraordinary admission from Hague and the Condems. It is actuallygoing to be an occupation.


  10. Vic Anderson said on March 23rd, 2011 at 6:44am #


    Obama: World WAR Si (se puede)!

    Gates: Ah Does See Dawn, but I can’t see the light!

    As they’re both nuking the northern hemisphere with their recurrent Crudubility GULF!