One More War and Another Collective Silence
I assume that to some, I dare say, 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 Kaddafi 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 nonviolent popular uprisings – revolutions. Through Israel, Syria, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, Spain, the UK, and US. Through these countries and others, hopefully, we 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 scepticism 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.