The Truth about “Civilized Transitions”

“What about giving Gaddafi an exit strategy?” ((Channel 4 News presenter to somebody or other, 16 May, 2011.))

This is what it comes down to: A TV ‘news’ presenter reveals in all its starkness, how the Empire corrupts totally. Here we have an apparently intelligent and educated person dismissing the leader of a country as if he’s just another expendable piece of the Empire’s junk. ‘Yeah, why you don’t just get rid of him, make him go away’. It’s absolutely outrageous that we accept this kind of rubbish and it’s echoed right across the MSM (see below).

By what right does the media pass judgement in this way? Worse still, we accept it as legitimate news making, where ‘received opinion’ is folded faultlessly into the mix. It’s assumed that we have every right to pronounce on the fate of others, made especially easy when the self-same ‘news’ presenter has helped in demonizing Gaddafi and turning him into the other.

Perhaps if she’d also asked, ‘What about giving NATO an exit strategy?”, I would have more sympathy but it would in no way alter the fundamental assumption that the presenter is fully immersed in the idea that we can behave as we please, commit even worse crimes in the name of preventing crimes! The arrogance of Empire knows no limit.

Elsewhere some British military buffoon calls to demolish what’s left of Libya and blow Gaddafi away by bending the ‘rules’ even more than they’ve already have been. So here we have a military man acting and behaving as if he were an elected politician and the BBC has no problem with this:

“General Sir David Richards told the Sunday Telegraph direct attacks should be launched against the infrastructure propping up Colonel Gaddafi’s regime.” ((‘Libya: Fox supports call for intensified campaign‘, BBC News Website, 15 May, 2011.))

Echoing the call by Tory ‘Defence’ minister Liam Fox who says that he agrees with Richards that Nato needs to ‘upscale’ its assault on Libya. The BBC’s sub says it all:

‘Within rules’

Col Gaddafi’s removal is not a specified military objective of the action.

But in the interview with the Telegraph, Gen Richards said it would be “within the rules” should he be killed in a strike on a command and control centre.” ((‘Libya: Fox supports call for intensified campaign‘, BBC News Website, 15 May, 2011.))

And on another, equally misleadingly titled piece, ‘Why UN acted over Libya and Ivory Coast – but not Syria’, the BBC tells it like it is, the Empire’s point of view that is:

Claire Bolderson looks at how the UN came up with the resolutions and asks whether it is likely to do the same elsewhere.

A month into the rebellion, town after town had fallen back under the Libyan leader’s control and Col Gaddafi was threatening to wipe out the opposition.

At the UN there were fears of a massacre. ((‘Why UN acted over Libya and Ivory Coast – but not Syria‘, BBC News Website, 16 May 2011 (my. emph. WB).))

Note how the BBC inserts the assumption–now made fact–that a massacre was about to occur, an assumption based on nothing more than rumour.

What’s interesting is that aside from mentioning French intervention in the Ivory Coast (also done under the cover of the UN), none of the other countries in the Middle East, aside from Syria (of course) are unpacked at all. Instead, we read, “While Egypt and Tunisia had been through what the French ambassador at the United Nations, Gerard Araud, calls “civilised transitions”, in the case of Libya he says “at our borders, across the street from Europe, we could have had an incredible bloodbath’.”

‘Civilized transitions’? What transitions? And so close to home? There have been no transitions anywhere. Instead we have launched a civilizing bloodbath as a diversion. The point is, as with the Channel 4 News quote, massive assumptions are made about our God-given right to intervene wherever we choose, however we choose.

The question the piece poses ‘Why UN acted over Libya and Ivory Coast – but not Syria’, is not answered except in a roundabout kind of way. Instead it quotes Carne Ross, ‘head of the consultancy Independent Diplomat’ ((‘Independent? Check out its board of directors amongst whom are:

Avis Bohlen, former Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control; former US Ambassador to Bulgaria; former Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Paris; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs; chair of the board of directors for International Research & Exchange Board (IREX) and member of the board of the American Academy of Diplomacy

A. Whitney Ellsworth (Chair)

Publishing consultant; former publisher of The New York Review of Books; former board member and chairman of Amnesty International USA; former member and vice-chairman of AI International Executive Committee; board member and secretary of Human Rights First and board member The Andrei Sakharov Foundation (USA).)) and ends with the predictable assumption,

“”If Libya turns into a quagmire — a protracted civil war — then there’ll be a lot more hesitation about these kind of interventions in future””

So no discussion of the legality, let alone the morality of such actions. Instead the piece worries that unless Gaddafi is taken out now, it will make it more difficult to do the same elsewhere in the future! There you have it; the media in total lockstep with the Empire.

William Bowles has been a practitioner in the fields of the arts, media and communications (with revolutionary politics somehow tying it all together) for over forty years, on three continents. Read other articles by William, or visit William's website.