Decolonial Translation Group

Western massacres are produced with or without UN support

Western Massacre in Libya

 By Rosa L. Blanc


Massacres by the West occur with impunity. There is no international institutional mechanism to prevent it. In just a few days we have already begun to see a number of civilians killed by the bombs of Western empires.

The hegemonic western imperial discourse is always the same. The formula is repeated. First you accuse your opponent of being on the verge of committing "genocide "(no matter if it has taken place or not) by denouncing the alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction or the indiscriminate killing of their own population. Then the charge is accompanied by a comparison with Hitler.  And finally, western media take on the charge of doing the dirty work of public relations for war with or without the UN vote. The variable that is repeated over and over again (and no longer a matter of chance) is the immense oil wealth that the country in question possesses and how far the regime in power is from western control.

Gaddafi and Libya is the sequel of a horror film that we already saw with Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Neither one are innocent saints. Both are ruthless dictators that fluctuated during their long authoritarian trajectory between conflict with and support for the West. Despite their hollow anti-imperialist rhetoric, both at some point in their career did dirty work for the West. Hussein did so by implementing, with financial and military support from the West, the CIA's dirty war of 8 years against Iran. Gaddafi did it by reconciling with the West and doing the CIA's dirty work of torture in the "war on terror" or the dirty work for Europe of repressing African migrants in the "war against immigrants." Both dictators are examples of how the West does not forget or forgive easily. No matter how hard they reconcile with the West, no matter how much dirty work they have already done for the West, sooner or later the West will pass the bill.

The question is: why is it that in countries where acts of genocide are really are committed or minimally where indiscriminate killings are carried out against civilians, the West never intervenes and, conversely, protects them while in others they unabashedly intervene?  The West dragged its feet in the recent Arab revolutions against Ben Ali and Mubarak. Both were neocolonial puppets of the West for decades. Similarly, the West does not move a finger against the recent killings of their respective populations committed by the King of Bahrain and President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen. The latter have fired indiscriminately on demonstrators, killing civilians without any serious objection from the West and now with the military aid of the fundamentalist pro-Western monarchy in Saudi Arabia. In these cases, the West makes hollow declarations, turns their face away ignoring the killings and ends up supporting the repression of these regimes against their peoples.

The logic of the accusation against Gaddafi can well be used against Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen and against the King of Bahrain.  So what determines intervention by the West? Why were there no bombing or military actions by the West or United Nations votes against the killings by Ben Ali, Mubarak or the recent killings by Ali Abdullah Saleh and the King of Bahrain? Two variables come to determine the action of Western empires: how much oil wealth the country has and whether the massacres are carried out by an unconditional pro-Western dictator or a dictator in conflict with the West. This hypocrisy of ignoring the killings in some countries where the regimes are servants of the West and denouncing them in others where the regimes are critical of the West (though they have done dirty work for the West), responds to the mafia logic of Western empires.  Much like the head of a mafia gang the logic of Western empires is: you're with me unconditionally one hundred percent or you're against me. Being 95 percent in favor of the West is not enough. Five percent against the West is sufficient for the imperial mafia logic to liquidate the dictator in question. There are the examples of General Noriega in Panama, Leonidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Saddam Hussein in Iraq and now Gaddafi in Libya.

But where western hypocrisy is most noted is with the genocide carried out by Israel against the Palestinians. The same arguments used against Gaddafi, apply in a much stronger and forceful way against Israel. The blatant violation of UN resolutions and international law by Israel, their interventionist invasions with neighboring countries, do not prevent the West from giving its unconditional support, economic and military funding and veto power at the United Nations in favor of Zionist colonialism. The seriousness of the crimes of Zionism is on a scale unmatched by Gaddafi's crimes, and yet, the West does not move a finger against Israel.

Western intervention led by the United States, France, and England against Libya demonstrates how western hypocrisy has no limits.  The trivialization of the word "genocide" has reached unbelievable cynical extremes.  Dictators that are not unconditionally with the West are accused of being genocidal, and killings and crimes against humanity when carried out by a dictator or regime that is unconditionally pro-western are blatantly ignored.

Hence the lack credibility of the West in the world today no matter how much interventionism is disguised with the hollow rhetoric of "humanitarian intervention" in pursuit of  "democracy". "Humanitarian interventions" not only reek of the spilled blood of innocent civilians but also of oil.  Of all the recent popular uprisings against dictators in the Middle East, the only one that has received unconditional support from western empires, and in which they have intervened in favor of militarily, is against the dictatorship the West does not support: the dictatorship of Gaddafi.  With all the other dictators, the West has tried to rescue them in the face of popular-democratic movements.

With this I am not saying that the popular democratic movement against the Gaddafi dictatorship will not be supported in Libya.  It is a matter of supporting them without western imperialist interventions.  But the popular democratic movement in Libya, in selling its soul to the West, would end up losing everything.  The only thing that this intervention has accomplished is to mortgage the Libyan popular democratic movement for the future ceding of control over the oil to western companies and for the creation of a new unconditional regime for the west.

Western interventionism has given reason to Gaddafi.  At the beginning of the popular uprisings against his dictatorship, Gaddafi falsely denounced them as a movement of pro-Al-Qeada Islamic terrorists in the hope that the West would support his dictatorship in the face of the popular uprising.  When it did not produce results, he then falsely denounced them as a pro-Western movement seeking to turn over the oil to western companies.  The combination between the stubbornness and inflexibility of Gaddafi's dictatorship against any democratic reform, and the stubbornness of the West seeking to capitalize oil-wise from the crisis in Libya, has ended in tragically giving reason to Gaddafi.  The popular movement in Libya is mortgaged for life to the West.  Nothing good in the struggle for liberation and decolonization of the people will emerge from this conflict, no matter who wins.


Translated from French by Roberto Hernández.