Libyan Blowback 229

It is a terrible thing if any US diplomats have been killed in Libya, as now appears likely. My condolences to the families of all affected. They add to the thousands of deaths in Libya, and one can only hope that finally some of the proponents of “liberal intervention” will realise that bombing people into democracy is not a viable policy.

But part of the responsibility for these deaths lies with the US and Israeli far right activists who made a film insulting Islam, with precisely the intention of provoking a spiral of violence. There are many interest groups longing to promote a perpetual climate of war and fear; some of them, like these filmmakers, are easier to identify than others.

Be it attacks on US diplomats in Libya or drone strikes on villagers in Yemen, it is all part of the same hateful cycle of violence – from which fortunes have been made in the arms, mercenary and security industries, and which climate of hatred has given cover and unflinching western support for resource grabs by Israeli illegal settlers.

So many people have poisoned what should be a beautiful world. The deaths of US diplomats in Libya get noticed. The evryday deaths of so many others in this manufactured conflict do not.

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229 thoughts on “Libyan Blowback

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  • CE

    As I’ve said in other threads John G, I also think AA is lying and that Wee Willy was idiotic is his talk of entering the embassy to arrest JA.

    The tweet has now been edited but remains absurd:

    By the US accepting the UK threat to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London it helped to normalize attacks on embassies.

    There is no part of this that makes the least sense. First, there was no threat to ‘storm’ the Embassy. However, let’s for the sake of argument assume there had been.

    (1) How exactly did the US “approve” of the alleged threat?

    (2) What was the US supposed to do? Invade the UK? Withdraw their Ambassador at the sight of a single British policeman posted outside premises in London?

    (3) How did this process of normalisation work?

    On his planet, we find a Libyan citizen at home contemplating the news: “My word, this film I haven’t seen sounds offensive. I find myself moved to a giddy rage. I would otherwise feel minded to trot down to the US Embassy with an RPG and kill some people who have nothing to do with it, but embassies are inviolable so all I can do is sit and fume and calm myself with a Sudoku and a cup of tea.

    Hang on a minute though … isn’t there a policeman stood outside the Ecuadorian Embassy because they’re sheltering a bail-skipping, alleged sex offender? Wasn’t there some talk of a raid? What am I waiting for? Pass the rockets and grenades.”

    As usual Assange obviously feels the world revolves entirely around him and he continues to drag wikileaks down with him.

  • Mary

    For the attention of CE and some others.

    ‘The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze’ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha’aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the “best” that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq: “The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi’ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part” (Ha’aretz 6/2/1982). Actually, this aspect of the plan is very old.’

    A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties
    by Oded Yinon (with a foreword by, and translated by Israel Shahak)

  • Al Masuri

    as a Muslim, i condemn those who attacked another country’s embassy. Messengers (ambassadors) are more respected in true islamic nations, which none is there at the momemnt thanks to dictator support and al-qaeda myth in muslim countries. I also condemn those who deliberately make films insulting other peoples’ religious feelings and thus inciting violence. Now, who can tell me of an incidence where a muslim or muslims would ridicule or insult feelings of followers of other religions. Muslims are very sensitive aboout their religion and the prophet and playing on this must be considered equal to inciting terrorism.

  • Mary

    John Christopher Stevens, US ambassador to Libya, shakes hands with Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil (R) after presenting his credentials during a meeting in Tripoli, June 7, 2012.

    Nice group. Stevens has that dead expression familiar of a CIA spook and was it not Jabril who was incubated in the US of A for over 20 years?

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq Association

    You missed my post Jammy Dodgers. You said, ‘Netanyahu offered Putin his choice of future Syrian leader while trying to cut a deal to get Russia to support a no-fly zone.’ Have you a link for that buddy?

    This horrific death of a good American IS A SIGNAL that Netanyahu has once again warned the US it must stay the course – that is the division of Syria and the destruction of Iran. Predictably Israeli stooge Mitt Romney cashed in on the atrocity by accusing the Obama administration of “sending mixed signals to the world” or in other less encrypted words ‘to hold out’ or persevere with the diabolical plan of terror, war, financial collapse catalysed in 2001 to achieve a grip on energy resources and so world dominance.

  • John Goss

    Al Masuri, while I agree that most Muslims and most Islamic countries would not be critical of some other religions, there have been some terrible persecutions of non Muslims.

    I wrote to the Iranian Embassy in London condemning these hangings. I mentioned how Muslims and other faiths could practice their religions freely in this country, whereas in Iran they could not. The reply I got back tried to defend this abominable act. Having written that I do think the way forward is through dialogue, the way all conflicts end in fact, eventually.

  • Mochyn69

    @ Leighton Brook-Alders 13 Sep, 2012 – 10:05 am

    “Seems it has spread to Yemen – hope this wasn’t an Archduke Ferdinand moment…”

    I was actually thinking the same about the al-Hilli murders for some reason, a kind of defining moment in the current geopolitical situation, especially if you accept some of the possible narratives out there could well have a ring of truth about them.

    The present zeitgeist does seem to have rather alarming tones of 1914 about it.


    I don’t think the wikileaks tweet – even in its original form – was absurd. But I don’t agree with its substance.

    I think it’s fair to say that – had the UK followed through and somehow violated the Embassy’s diplomatic status to seize Assange it would have increased the vulnerability of attacks on other embassies.

    But the threat alone did not do this. Any threat has been denied – which is as much of a retraction as we are ever going to get.

    You can view the sudden increas in police at the embassy as preparations for an attack of some kind – or equally as a “don’t you dare let him slip away in the dead of night if for some reason they don’t grant him asylum”. Until someone spills the beans we’ll never know. I think it was the latter. But I equally think Hague was trying to strongarm Ecuador – such a silly Willy.

  • CE

    Now, who can tell me of an incidence where a Muslim or Muslims would ridicule or insult feelings of followers of other religions.

    Please tell me you’re not being serious?

    Muslims are very sensitive about their religion and the prophet and playing on this must be considered equal to inciting terrorism.

    No playing on someone’s sensitivities(no matter what they are), is definitely not equal to inciting terrorism. If anyone is so sensitive to perceived offence and thin skinned about their religious brand and beliefs that they feel any form of violence is an acceptable response to any criticism or satire of said religion, then they need their heads and their morals examined. Attitudes like this should be confined to the Dark Ages.

  • CE


    I agree with every word you wrote. The threat alone on an Ecuadorian Embassy in London will not have increased the vulnerability of US Embassies around the world.

    If you follow your own logic then surely you find the tweet absurd, or at least nonsensical.

  • angrysoba

    Frazer: Yup…here it comes WWIII…Christians v Muslims !

    Well, at least that keeps me out of the game.

  • angrysoba

    Brendan: Embassy now stormed in Yemen. I’m no fan of storming embassies – Ecuador’s or anyone elses – but the US really needs a strong wake-up call.
    Except when it is the US’s embassies, or something like that. Indeed, I expect to see Craig Murray galloping in on a white horse to give a rousing speech whilst brandishing an unfurled copy of the Vienna Conventions Article 22 shortly.
    Actually, as you will know from reading your history, US embassies and consulates have been stormed on numerous occasions. In Pakistan, back in 1979 the embassy was stormed and burned down; Muhammed Zia-ul-Haq shrugged his shoulders from his helicopter. The US embassy in Libya was also burned the same year. And then there was the one in Iran earlier that same year.
    However, Julian Assange apparently seems to think this is all about him…
    That’s really megalomaniacal, that is!

  • DoNNyDarKo

    Sorry , don’t agree ! Assange didn’t tweet it.It was a wee lassie.
    And although the british Police were held back,they had prepared to storm the embassy, and it was reported at the time that it was because of US pressure.There was a moment when International law was going to be ignored or twisted by the UK.
    What happened yesterday was a horrible act. Ambassadors are only the messengers are not culpable for the crimes of their country.The situation in Libya has come about because NATO changed a regime. Law and order has broken down.It’s ironic that their monster has turned on them.

  • Ben Franklin

    “The slaughter of Gadaffi was the greater crime over the killing of this US gangster killed yesterday or any other US gangster, however they describe themselves,”

    By what metric do you equate the two deaths? Never mind. You’ve revealed yourself quite handily.

  • Frazer

    @Angrysoba…me too mate…I am searching for a deserted island atoll where I can sit out the madness to come !

  • Arbed

    CE 12.12pm

    The corporate press has conveniently ‘forgotten’ that 30,000 people
    watched a livefeed from outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London on the
    night of 15 August. We saw 50 to 60 police officers around and going into the building. We saw 4 police custody vans grouped around the
    building. We saw a special marked “diplomatic custody” vehicle. Later,
    an AP photographer caught police instructions about arresting Assange
    that warned of “risk to life” and made it clear that UK counter-terrorism police units and also Special Forces were involved in the operation. And we heard Assange describe how that night he could hear “police swarming up the internal fire escape of the building”. Now the UK government – and the press – is trying to deny any of this ever
    happened. But we SAW it. For all those criticising Assange’s subjective
    response to the Libya raid, have you ever been through an embassy raid
    yourself? No, thought not. Where’s YOUR sense of empathy?

    I also don’t see where in these tweets Assange is claiming any direct causal link between the Libyan raid and what happened to him, as certain sections of the press are saying. The tweets don’t say any such thing or speak about the direct cause – that crass anti-Muslim film – of the attack on poor Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues. That’s how people are interpreting the tweets, but it’s not what they are actually saying.

    I agree the fact that people were killed in Libya has made people react very strongly to the point Assange was trying to make, but we don’t know how fearful for his life he was on 15 August, do we? Someone should ask him. Even the police instructions which were accidentally revealed in that AP photo think there was a possiblity of “risk to life”…

    The tweets do, however, point out how the British FCO’s planned action to violate the sanctity of an embassy has left themselves open to other people thinking ‘well, we can do that too’. And the US government’s hypocrisy in turning a blind eye when what (nearly) happened suits their agenda, but are (rightly – I want to stress that) outraged when their diplomats are under threat or killed.

    As far as I am concerned I did see a raid on the Ecuadorian embassy that night, which was aborted at the last moment – maybe because there were so many of us watching via the livefeed. Are people aware of the DDoS attacks – very unusual, according to Bambuser – trying to take the livefeed down that night? I think Anti-leaks claimed responsibility for it. And here’s Darkernet’s very good analysis of what actually happened at the embassy, and further details about the counter-terrorism/military involvement in it all.

    But perhaps what some journalist really ought to do is to ask Julian
    Assange what it was like to be inside that embassy on 15 August. I think
    that would give quite a lot more context to his remarks on Twitter last
    night. He did refer to it during his balcony speech a few days later –
    “but I knew there would be witnesses” – remember that? That sentence
    really leapt out to me, because I had stayed up all night to watch the
    livefeed, so I knew that it was a truthful and revealing statement but
    didn’t see it picked up or reported hardly anywhere in the press.

    The mainstream press are really following the government line that ‘oh no, there was never any threat, nothing happened at all.’ Instead, it’s all being rewritten with the usual switch-and-bait to ‘this is typical of the ravings of a deeply unpleasant… narcissistic… blah blah… self-absorbed twat.. etc’. Can’t anyone else see how see-through all this is and what’s really going on here?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “Muslims are very sensitive about their religion and the prophet and playing on this must be considered equal to inciting terrorism.” Al Masuri, 12:30pm, 13th Sept 2012.

    I think there is more going on here, stuff to do with the old regime in Egypt and internecine Libyan tussles, attempts to discredit/destabilise the new (populist) regimes in Egypt and (secular govt in) Libya and so on. Post-revolutionary ferment, in other words.

    In the middle of all this, there’s a presidential election and it is conceivable that the Far Right in the USA is trying to make waves, as they tend to do during Democrat Administrations. I think the film may be a convenient pretext, a sort of speck of dirt around which the tornado can gather.

    Nonetheless, I think that as a heterogeneous cohort, we Muslims simply need to develop thicker skins and to begin thinking about Pavlov’s experiments. People have been insulting religious figures for centuries. What’s new? The sadly predictable, reflexive reactions to every Tom, Dick or Harry drawing a cartoon or making a two-bit ‘film’ or burning a Koran suggest inner weakness, not inner strength. Now, where was that teddy-bear…?

    I think these demonstrations are about much more than that, though. The same socio-economic frustrations which boiled over into the eruptions we saw during 2011 onwards are continuing in what is very much a state of flux and doubtless, monetarist economic ‘restructurings’.

    Meanwhile, in between beheadings and amputations and invasions of other people’s countries and hospitals, and torture and oppression and the big business transnational cartels known as, Jihadist Inc. and Al Yamamah, in the so-called ‘Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’ (a title that’s a bit like Scotland being called ‘The Kingdom of Salmond’!), the regime – not Israel, not the USA, not Terry Jones – gaily demolishes the houses of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers and many other key historical sites relating to early Islam and no-one gives a toss.

  • Frazer

    There is no justification for this attack…radical Muslim elements took over a demonstration and murdered 4 US Embassy officials…I say murdered because that was what they did, end of story.
    Why are we pandering and making excuses for these people just because of thier religeon and we are frightened to call them for what they are…murdering bastards that kill a friend of thier country simply because he was American…
    Radical nutcases in Iran announcing that the West is “stealing the rain”..nutters threatining to avenge everyone with an American passport because they hate what America stands for ? seems to me that most of these idiots are the finest minds of the 12th century.

  • Cryptonym

    Arbed: I think you are right that there was an immediacy, imminence about the presence at the Embassy. Craig’s speech there sensed and touched on that, pointing out that what was contemplated would not be in accordance with accepted international law – it was as much addressed to police officers present as to the wider world – that they would be entering Ecuadorian territory, subject to their laws, and could be sought for extradition.

    Frazer: with respect, something rings untrue in your outburst. 4 lives is so very few; as the US/UK/NATO/ISRAEL to name a few, have been on killing sprees that span several generations and where the MURDERED are measured in millions –I don’t see quite what makes these lives/deaths such a great deal, honestly. If there were a few good eggs in a barrel of rotten ones, they’re inseparable from the rest.

    I think many across the pond have had enough, Paul Craig Roberts concludes a recent article “Only informed people can restrain Washington and avert the crazed hegemonic US government from destroying the world in war.” Strong stuff from establishment sources.

    Hats off to Christopher Bollyn too, newly re-discovered.

  • Fedup

    Some of those commenting on this thread have displayed their singular failure in understanding a simple fact. The fact these individuals are incapable of discerning/understanding the differences between the organised violence as practised by the West, and the spontaneous actions of the angered Muslim populations.

    The mind sets on display here are a clear indication of the human battery farmed automatons devoid of any imagination and empathy, responding as per the instruction set of their primitive programming.

  • Dr Che Guevara

    If we, in a small point of the world map, are able to fulfill our duty and place at the disposal of this struggle whatever little of ourselves we are permitted to give: our lives, our sacrifice, and if some day we have to breathe our last breath on any land, already ours, sprinkled with our blood let it be known that we have measured the scope of our actions and that we only consider ourselves elements in the great army of the proletariat but that we are proud of having learned from the Cuban Revolution, and from its maximum leader, the great lesson emanating from his attitude in this part of the world: “What do the dangers or the sacrifices of a man or of a nation matter, when the destiny of humanity is at stake.”

    Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism, and a battle hymn for the people’s unity against the great enemy of mankind: the United States of America. Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome, provided that this, our battle cry, may have reached some receptive ear and another hand may be extended to wield our weapons and other men be ready to intone the funeral dirge with the staccato singing of the machine-guns and new battle cries of war and victory.

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