COLONEL MUAMMAR GADDAFI: Sodomy and murder as spectacle

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By rahnuma ahmed

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's elated response when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death in-between several TV interviews. Kabul, October 20, 2011.

On hearing news of the Libyan leader colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s death, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton gleefully proclaimed — while paraphrasing the words of the Roman emperor Julius Caesar, Vini, vidi, vici, `I came, I saw, I conquered’ — `We came, we saw, he died.’
These words, uttered in-between formal television interviews which were being recorded in Kabul, has been likened by some to the shouts of `Allahu Akbar’ which accompanied the actions of a large group of rebels, armed and directed by NATO, thousands of miles away in Sirte. The rebels beat, shoved, pushed and dragged a disoriented and bloodied Gaddafi, allegedly sodomised him, before shooting him to death.
I do not know whether drawing parallels between the US secretary of state’s response `We came, we saw, he died’ to the shouts of `God is great’ by NATO’s rebel forces, is appropriate, is justified.
What I do know however, is that secretary of state Clinton had called for the killing of Gaddafi while addressing Libyan students and others in a town-hall style gathering in Tripoli, “We hope he can be captured or killed soon” (Hillary Clinton details new aid package to Libya, The Guardian, October 18). But not even a whisper of outrage, not in The Guardian or in other western news outlets, unlike that which had followed the Iranian leader Khomeini’s call for the death of novelist Salman Rushdie, author, The Satanic Verses, in 1989.
What I also know, as I’m sure you do too, is that Gaddafi’s `death’ (read, murder) has been hailed by world leaders. Britain was “proud” of the role she had played in helping anti-Gaddafi forces in liberating the country, said prime minister David Cameron. The day marked “an historic transition for Libya,” said Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general. The American president Barack Obama termed it a “momentous day” in the history of Libya as the “dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted.” While the European Union president Herman Van Rompuy and Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said in a joint statement, Gaddafi’s death “marks the end of an era of despotism” (Sky News, October 20).
What some may not recall however, is that Washington’s arch enemy, the jihadists are working together with NATO in Libya, that “former” al-Qaeda affiliated brigades constitute the backbone of the “pro-democracy” rebellion. (NATO bombings, al-Qaeda and the Arab spring, New Age, October 3, 2011).
A fact that exposes the US-led war on terror against “jihadist Islam” for being what it is, an utter fabrication. One that is repeatedly manufactured by the mainstream western media; demonstrated yet again in the manner in which it reported the Libyan transitional leader’s recent declaration that Sharia law will become the “main source” of legislation in Libya, that Qaddafi-era legal restrictions on polygamous marriage will be done away with. How to explain this “sizable step backward” since polygamy in Gaddafi’s Libya was “limited and rare for decades”? The New York Times, while noting that the news is “unsettling” for Libyan women and its “allies abroad,” resolved its predicament by informing readers that Libya’s new leader Abdel-Jalil is known for his “piety.” (Hinting at an end to a curb on polygamy, interim Libyan leader stirs anger, October 29).
What occurred in Libya is patterned on a model, says Adrian Salbuchi, Argentinian author, financial analyst and founder of the Argentine Second Republic Movement. “First they target a country by calling it a rogue state; then they support local terrorists and call them freedom fighters; then they bring death and destruction upon civilians and they call it UN sanctions. Then they spread lies and call it the International Community?s opinion expressed by the Western media. Then they invade and control the country and call it liberation and finally they steal appetizing oil and call it foreign investment and reconstruction.” (Russia Today, October 21).
Hillary Clinton’s `We came, we saw, he died’ is a message to the world, says Salbuchi, about how the new world order actually works. Continue reading “COLONEL MUAMMAR GADDAFI: Sodomy and murder as spectacle”

But what about US war crimes, Mr Ambassador-at-large?

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By Rahnuma Ahmed

Because of its power and global interests U.S. leaders have committed crimes as a matter of course and structural necessity. A strict application of international law would … have given every U.S. president of the past 50 years Nuremberg treatment.
Edward S Herman, American professor of economics
The crimes of the U.S. throughout the world have been systematic, constant, clinical, remorseless, and fully documented but nobody talks about them.
Harold Pinter, English dramatist

WHEN I read of the US ambassador at-large for war crimes Stephen Rapp?s impending visit to Bangladesh, to offer advice to the government on how to try Bangladeshi war criminals of 1971, I was reminded of a personal experience more than a decade ago.
Jahangirnagar University, where I was teaching, was in turmoil. A thousand-plus students, mostly women, spilled out of classrooms to protest against campus rape. Demonstrations. Rallies. Sit-ins. ?We want an independent enquiry. Punish the rapist!? they chanted, as they pointed fingers at Jasimuddin Manik, general secretary of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, JU unit.
Two, maybe three days later, the Chhatra League, too, was out in full force. Led by Manik, I watched the procession wind its way along the corridors, march down brick-laden pathways. ?We want justice. Punish the rapist!?
It?s known as deceit.
One must admit, it was cleverly done. At the very outset of his press conference on January 13, Rapp spoke of his personal ?disappointment? in his ?own government?, in the ?highest [American] leadership during that period? when ?enormous crimes? had been committed, then quickly shifted, in the same breath, to expressing ?pride in the leadership? exercised by late Senator Edward Kennedy, and the role of Archer Blood, US Consul General in Dhaka, in providing ?accurate reports of the atrocities.? Implying, thereby, that one absolved the other.
No mention of Henry Kissinger, the then national security adviser, who is, in the words of investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, the ?most prominent unindicted war criminal roaming around today.? Kissinger had, in late April 1971, at the very height of mass murder?at least ten thousand civilians had been slaughtered in the first 3 days, the following 9 months had been marked by mass rape, genocide and dismemberment, the eventual civilian death toll put as high as 3 million?sent a message to Pakistan?s ruler General Yahya Khan, thanking him for his ?delicacy and tact? (Christopher Hitchens, The Trial of Henry Kissinger, 2002).
No mention of Archer Blood?s immediate recall from his post either, for having been the senior signatory to the April 6, 1971 cable from Dhaka. Nor, heaven forbid, of the fact that Blood reported not so much the genocide, as the US government?s ?complicity? in the genocide. ?Our government has failed to denounce the suppression of democracy. Our government has failed to denounce atrocities…[instead it has bent] over backwards to placate the West Pak[istan] dominated government…Our government has evidenced what many will consider moral bankrupt, ironically at a time when the USSR sent President Yahya Khan a message defending democracy… We, as professional civil servants, express our dissent with current policy and fervently hope that our true and lasting interests here can be defined and our policies redirected.?

The US ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, Stephen J Rapp: the US will help Bangladesh stage ?open and transparent? trials for crimes against humanity committed during 1971, press conference, Dhaka, January 13. ? Sanaul Haque/New Age

Nor any mention of the punishment meted out to the cable?s other signatories. The cable, ?the most public and the most strongly worded demarche from State Department servants to the State Department that has ever been recorded? was signed by 20 members of the US diplomatic team here and, by a further 9 senior officers in the South Asia division in Washington. Being a vengeful man, Kissinger ?downgraded? them after becoming the secretary of state in 1973.
Continue reading “But what about US war crimes, Mr Ambassador-at-large?”