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The Book Review Thread.

Ire-land

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I figured I'd start it.

No doubt there are plenty of good eggs on here with thoughts on good books they've read. I don't think the reviews need to be extensive, not everyone is up for that sort of thing, but any thoughts on good books read would welcome from my perspective.
 

Tadhg Gaelach

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Well, to get things rolling.


One of the most remarkable books I've read is "The Total Art of Stalinism," by Boris Groys. Its a very well written book, which looks at the Avant Garde and Socialist Realism of the 20th century. Groys' thesis is that traditional art considered the world as a perfect creation of God. Its task was to, as Shakespeare put it, to hold the mirror up to nature. The closer an artist got to a perfect representation of nature, the closer his or her (usually his) work was to the divine. In effect, the artist tried to capture something of the divine eternal in his work.

The avant garde, all over Europe, took an entirely different view. This movement sprung up in the late 19th century, when, as Nietzsche put it, God was dead for the intellectual elite. And if God was dead, then what was creating the world? The answer was simple - we humans are. The task of art was now not to simply paint pretty pictures of the world as the artist already found it, but to actively create a new world.

In the West, the avant garde was quickly stopped in its tracks by the philistinism of the "market." All it could do was powerlessly complain about the power that it did not have. But, things were very different in the USSR. In 1917, the traditional Russian artists had supported the Tsarist cause. The avant garde rallied to the Communist cause. Thus, avant garde artists found themselves as government ministers and officials, with massive power to really change the world - not just paint pictures of it.

Groys points out that it was Stalin himself who was the greatest of all avant garde artists. All of the USSR, and everybody in it, became his canvas. The USSR really became a single work of art, where every act was an artistic act. The Proletariat was, at all times, on stage. And this is why everything they did and said was of such vital importance - to the point of being shot for saying the wrong thing. Groys doesn't say this, but I was left with the distinct feeling that democracy can only exist if what you say can cost you your life. Today, in the West, anyone can say anything they like, simply because nothing they say can ever be of any importance. This is the opposite of democracy. This is absolute totalitarianism.

Groys wrote this book in 1987, in the USSR, where he was a professor of art. His attitude to Communism in general, and Stalin in particular, is far from uniformly positive. But, he does point out that, with the death of Stalin, the idea that art, and thus humanity, could make any difference, also began to die. Art went back to holding up the mirror to nature - a miserable pass time - or singing songs about love and peace - an even more miserable pass time.
 
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Ire-land

Ire-land

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The Proletariat was, at all times, on stage. And this is why everything they did and said was of such vital importance - to the point of being shot for saying the wrong thing. Groys doesn't say this, but I was left with the distinct feeling that democracy can only exist if what you say can cost you your life. Today, in the West, anyone can say anything they like, simply because nothing they say can ever be of any importance. This is the opposite of democracy. This is absolute totalitarianism.
I wonder if this is a bit of a convoluted oxymoron?

We we can say anything we want, in theory, but the punishment for saying the wrong thing in the West today, is akin to death, though not a physical death. The ultimate totalitarianism?
 

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How weird is this - Hours after I PM a Poster that I would do a Book Review here Ire-land posts about doing Book Reviews & then starts a Thread.

The Narcissist in me wants "me me me" to prevail lol- we
can do Reviews here for the General Thread for people to read like reading a Reciept & also do OP's for each Book & link to here! In Love

 

Tadhg Gaelach

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I wonder if this is a bit of a convoluted oxymoron?

We we can say anything we want, in theory, but the punishment for saying the wrong thing in the West today, is akin to death, though not a physical death. The ultimate totalitarianism?

Certainly in the West many people have had their careers destroyed because they said the "wrong thing." And let's remember that most EU countries - particularly Germany - are jailing people for saying the "wrong thing."
 
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Obviously the best book to read is my avatar.


Until a person has a decent understanding of money, and most don't, then there is no point in trying to follow politics at all.

So get this from your library if possible.
 

Tadhg Gaelach

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Book Review: Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa by Maximilian Forte



2011 was the year that language was finally murdered, and its remains disappeared. Of course, it had been under attack for some time. But, even during the Invasion of Iraq, a lie was still a lie, i.e. the principle of verification still existed. Donald Rumsfeld mused on the known knowns, the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns. Such musings are predicated on the belief that there is some relationship between true statements and physical reality. This belief led to considerable effort on the part of the US occupation forces to verify the statement that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. There was even considerable anxiety in the Bush administration when the facts falsified the statement, i.e. when no WMD was found in Iraq. But all changed, changed utterly, when Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton took the reigns of power. From that point on, total war was waged on the link between language and reality.

In his book, anthropologist Professor Maximilian Forte examines in great detail the grossly obscene lies that Obama and his cohorts heaped on the Libyan state, and on the majority of the Libyan people, who were simply dismissed as “Gaddafi loyalists.” But, being a “Gaddafi loyalist” was not the worst of all worlds. The worst of all world was saved for the one third of Libya’s population who happen to have dark skin, along with the over two million migrant workers in Libya from countries like Nigeria and Chad. The brand that Obama, the Little Son of Africa, gave to these people was “Gaddafi mercenary.” And open hunting season was declared on all who now bore that brand on their black skin. The lynch mobs’ noose trotted merrily behind NATO’s bombing runs.

Tawergha was a city of some 40,000 black people. They were the descendants of slaves who had won their freedom over the centuries. They were not weak or cowardly people. When the Brigades for the Purging of Black Skins - the grand title the Misrata militias gave themselves - laid siege to their city, they did not kneel down and beg for mercy. Far from it, they defended their city as true Libyan patriots. The Brigades for the Purging of Black Skins would have stayed camped in the desert until hell froze over if it hadn’t been for their allies in the skies – Obama’s bombers. For three days and three nights, NATO pounded the defenses of the city until they finally broke. The gates were open and the Brigades for the Purging of Black Skins were free to do their work. Yes, Obama brought freedom to Tawergha – the freedom of the racist lynch mob, the ethnic cleanser, the torturer and the murderer. As Professor Forte points out, here was the Responsibility to Protect – but to protect whom? Today Tawergha is home only to hungry dogs and crows. It’s population scattered into the desert, or into refugee camps, or buried in shallow graves. The desert wind whistles through the shell holes in its burned out and looted, what were, homes.

Obama and his crew were kept very busy making up atrocities to lay at the feet of the “Gaddafi forces” – otherwise known as the legally constituted defense forces of the Libyan state. They were kept busy, as the rebels were not at all embarrassed by their racist outrages. Far from it. They videoed their lynching of black people in the market squares of Benghazi and Misrata, and put the videos up on You Tube for a laugh. Some of the better Western newspapers were also allowing reports of rape, torture and murder, on the part of the rebels, to slip in among the column yards of condemnation of Al Gaddafi and all who believed that Libya was an independent country. Keeping ahead of very real rapes is best done by fabricating rapes of such imaginative excess that the very concept of reality becomes redundant. Al Gaddafi was now handing out Viagra to his “Gaddafi loyalists” to rape the heavily bearded Jihadi peaceful protestors. Years old Libyan porn movies became evidence of Misrata virgins being gang raped by “Gaddafi mercenaries.” To add to the farce, the clownish International Criminal Court (ICC) piped in to issue an arrest warrant for Muammar al-Gaddafi, on the basis of the porn movies – which, as Professor Forte points out, have yet to be seen by the ICC.


And here we see the deep psychology of the Obama administration. It is never enough to murder an enemy. His name must also be murdered. Not a trace of him can be allowed to survive – not even his bones. Obama already had form when it came to assassination and disappearing of bodies. Osama Bin Laden, we are told, was gunned down in his home, and his body dumped in the sea – Chigago style. Gangsters like to keep their victims in fridges – at least in the movies – and Obama seems to be a great lover of gangster movies. If he had been a man of the theatre, he would know of a play by Sophocles. A play in which the Greek marks out the dividing line between civilised people and those who have not achieved the status of civilisation. Civilised people allow their enemies to bury their dead. Antigone knew this.

As if to confirm that the Obama administration has turned its back on civilisation, has regressed to the ancient chaos, Hilary Clinton’s hideous cackle “We Came, We Saw, He Died,” sent the United States of America back to the year 46 BC – the year when the most noble of heroes, Vercingetorix, was ritually slaughtered before a baying Roman mob, for the crime of defending his homeland. He too was denied a grave. Perhaps Clinton’s knowledge of the Classics did not extend to knowing that Julius Caesar was the first man to be indicted for war crimes - for the bestial nature of his Conquest of Gall.

We tend to think of anthropologists studying the sexual mores of primitive peoples, or trying to find evidence for the origins of our pathologies in their more simple ways. We forget that we Westerners too are “a people.” That we too are subject to the currents of history – and that we are capable of falling backwards into chaos. Slouching Towards Sirte evokes the Yeats poem, The Second Coming. As in the poem, it is not The Word that is coming, but the murder of the word – the time before language. The time before the separation of truth and falsity. A time of terrible anxiety, when the rough beast does not know its own name, or the name of any other thing. This is the time when even the Left, those who had once claimed some moral authority, fall into the all-consuming chaos and become a mockery of themselves. I quote Professor Forte at some length here:

“The majority of the North American and European left – reconditioned, accommodating, and fearful – played a supporting role by making substantial room for the dominant US narrative and its military policies. Even here self-described anti-imperialists and Marxists conceded ground to the State Department which would then be used to amass support for intervention: Gaddafi, in their view, was a dictator, even a collaborator of the West, he should not be defended, and he had to go. They thus agreed to make an issue out of Gaddafi, not empire. The left joined the choir, and the State Department pointed to the choir in justifying the idea that “the international community” was speaking with one voice against Gaddafi.


Other supposed anti-imperialists and “leftists” (including some Marxists, anarchists, and social democrats) even backed the military intervention to “save Benghazi.” In both approaches, the US and other NATO political and military leaderships would benefit from what was at the very least half-praise from supposed ideological opponents at home. These approaches were derided by Latin American socialists, Pan Africanists and African nationalists alike, who were the only real bastions of anti-imperialism in this entire story.

Turning a blind eye to Sirte, and a racist blind eye to the plight of black Libyans and other black Africans at the hands of the insurgents, the European and North American left did nothing to oppose imperialism. They have suffered an irreparable loss if international credibility while cementing a North-South dividing line among socialists. It seems that the left of the global North bought into the dominant US self-image of being a “force for dignity,” fearful that its status would be threatened by seeming to support “dictators” and being aligned with “Stalinists.” (They were quick to adopt the cherished epithets of the very same “neocons” that they claimed to loathe). Instead, they effectively opted for the imperialism and for the global dictatorship of the US, with far more blood on its hands than any number of such “dictators” combined.

One would think, from all this, that Professor Forte’s book is one long unrelieved catalogue of horror, but there are some moments of humour – if even of the gallows kind. There is always a monstrous clownishness about the tyrant, and the USA is no exception. Forte takes a wicked delight in recounting the contents of cables sent to Washington from the US embassy in Tripoli, and published by Wikileaks. Not all of the cables are funny in content – many of them show the murderous envy of the USA towards Libya’s growing influence and inspiring achievements in Africa – but many are quite hilarious in their peevish pettiness. I particularly liked the cables, marked secret, about the poor US and European conference delegates who were sent to sleep on foam mattresses in half-built apartment blocks – while the African delegates were feted in Libya’s most luxurious hotels. It seems Al Gaddafi too had a wicked sense of historical humour.

There are also obscene jokes in this book – like the one about the UN Human Rights Council – the council that brought all the NGOs together to sign on the dotted line for the lynching of Libya – and then banned Libya from speaking at the UN. Let me repeat that. The UN Human Rights Council banned the government of Libya from speaking about a crisis in Libya – but listened at length to NGOs, who had no legal status whatsoever at the UN, and, at the time, had no people on the ground in Libya. Indeed, according to themselves, these NGOs had no source of information from Libya at all – except the rebels. And yet, their bought word was enough to impose a “no fly zone” on the sovereign state of Libya. This farce was being played out in March 2011 - a time when both the US government and NATO were publicly claiming that regime change was not on their agenda. It seems that, by then, the UN Human Rights Council had decided that regime change had already happened, and that US State Department funded NGOs were the nearest thing Libya had to a government. However, the Libyan government had a cunning plan to have its views heard. If Libyans were banned from speaking, then maybe somebody else could speak for them. The Libyan authorities asked former Nicaraguan Foreign Minister, Catholic priest and Sandinista Revolutionary, Miguel D’Escoto Brockman, to speak on its behalf. He was entitled to do so. Things were looking bad for the UN Human Rights Council when D’Escoto was allocated speaking time on March 31st. Enter the US Cavalry to rout the Indians – in the form of Susan Rice. She let it be known that D’Escoto was in the USA on a tourist visa, and if he tried to speak at the UN it would be considered as work, which would violate his visa terms. Strangely enough, the UN Human Rights Council agreed, and D’Escoto was not allowed to speak. The truth was safely smothered – thanks to the fact that the UN buildings are on US territory. The boy who owns the ball gets to decide the rules of the game.

However, the grotesque antics of Ban Ki-Moon and his crew have had a disastrous outcome for their beloved Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine. Professor Forte notes that R2P has died a death in Libya. Far from being the vindication of R2P that many of its cheer leaders claimed it would be, the Destruction of Libya, by NATO bombardment and NATO backed rebel atrocities, has brought in an era where R2P is simply regarded as a crude and brutal imperialist weapon. Indeed, D’Escoto said as much when, following the visa farce, he said that the UN has become “a lethal weapon of the Empire.” As we have seen in Syria, permanent members of the UN Security Council, such as China and Russia, are now determined to ensure that the founding principle of the United Nations, enshrined in Articles 1 and 2 of the UN Charter, i.e. the principle of the sovereignty of nations, is not subverted and destroyed by an ill-defined and easily manipulated R2P doctrine, which has no legal basis in the UN Charter. Professor Forte quotes from the address of Robert Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, to the UN General Assembly on September 22, 2011:

“The newly-minted principle of the ‘responsibility to protect,’ should not be twisted to provide cover for its premeditated abuse in violating the sacred international principle of the Charter, which is the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of states, because to do so amounts to an act of aggression and causes destabilization of sovereign states. Moreover, to selectively and arbitrarily apply that [R2P] principle, merely serves to undermine the general acceptability of it. Indeed, more than any other states, all the five permanent members of the Security Council bear a huge responsibility in this regard for ensuring that their historical privilege is used more to protect the United Nations Charter than to breach it, as is happening currently in Libya through the blatant, illegal, brutal, callous, NATO’s murderous bombing.”

Muammar al-Gaddafi, like Kwame Nkrumah before him, dreamed of an Africa united and strong, able to protect its own borders and provide a decent living to all its people. To this end, Al Gaddafi had challenged the neo-liberal dogma of private property, by showing Africans that massive state enterprise could achieve far more, and in far less time, than private enterprise ever could. All over the African continent, the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya invested public funds in everything from roads to hospitals to schools to agriculture to hotels to communications. These brilliantly successful state enterprises exposed the neo-liberal dogma for the scam it is, and let it be known to the world that there is a better way to live. For that affront to the Masters of Men, Al Gaddafi was ritually martyred on our TV screens. A brutal warning to all who would dare follow his lead.
 
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Ire-land

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Thanks again for that, Tadhg, that really looks like a must read.

I was doing a bit of digging on Forte and came across this interview- it's a general overview of the Libya situation, as well as bits about the book. It's a good listen, but the more a dig into this topic, the more depressing and criminal it gets. I wasn't sure about the interviewer initially, but he does get good interview out of it.

 
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Book Review: Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa by Maximilian Forte



2011 was the year that language was finally murdered, and its remains disappeared. Of course, it had been under attack for some time. But, even during the Invasion of Iraq, a lie was still a lie, i.e. the principle of verification still existed. Donald Rumsfeld mused on the known knowns, the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns. Such musings are predicated on the belief that there is some relationship between true statements and physical reality. This belief led to considerable effort on the part of the US occupation forces to verify the statement that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. There was even considerable anxiety in the Bush administration when the facts falsified the statement, i.e. when no WMD was found in Iraq. But all changed, changed utterly, when Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton took the reigns of power. From that point on, total war was waged on the link between language and reality.

In his book, anthropologist Professor Maximilian Forte examines in great detail the grossly obscene lies that Obama and his cohorts heaped on the Libyan state, and on the majority of the Libyan people, who were simply dismissed as “Gaddafi loyalists.” But, being a “Gaddafi loyalist” was not the worst of all worlds. The worst of all world was saved for the one third of Libya’s population who happen to have dark skin, along with the over two million migrant workers in Libya from countries like Nigeria and Chad. The brand that Obama, the Little Son of Africa, gave to these people was “Gaddafi mercenary.” And open hunting season was declared on all who now bore that brand on their black skin. The lynch mobs’ noose trotted merrily behind NATO’s bombing runs.

Tawergha was a city of some 40,000 black people. They were the descendants of slaves who had won their freedom over the centuries. They were not weak or cowardly people. When the Brigades for the Purging of Black Skins - the grand title the Misrata militias gave themselves - laid siege to their city, they did not kneel down and beg for mercy. Far from it, they defended their city as true Libyan patriots. The Brigades for the Purging of Black Skins would have stayed camped in the desert until hell froze over if it hadn’t been for their allies in the skies – Obama’s bombers. For three days and three nights, NATO pounded the defenses of the city until they finally broke. The gates were open and the Brigades for the Purging of Black Skins were free to do their work. Yes, Obama brought freedom to Tawergha – the freedom of the racist lynch mob, the ethnic cleanser, the torturer and the murderer. As Professor Forte points out, here was the Responsibility to Protect – but to protect whom? Today Tawergha is home only to hungry dogs and crows. It’s population scattered into the desert, or into refugee camps, or buried in shallow graves. The desert wind whistles through the shell holes in its burned out and looted, what were, homes.

Obama and his crew were kept very busy making up atrocities to lay at the feet of the “Gaddafi forces” – otherwise known as the legally constituted defense forces of the Libyan state. They were kept busy, as the rebels were not at all embarrassed by their racist outrages. Far from it. They videoed their lynching of black people in the market squares of Benghazi and Misrata, and put the videos up on You Tube for a laugh. Some of the better Western newspapers were also allowing reports of rape, torture and murder, on the part of the rebels, to slip in among the column yards of condemnation of Al Gaddafi and all who believed that Libya was an independent country. Keeping ahead of very real rapes is best done by fabricating rapes of such imaginative excess that the very concept of reality becomes redundant. Al Gaddafi was now handing out Viagra to his “Gaddafi loyalists” to rape the heavily bearded Jihadi peaceful protestors. Years old Libyan porn movies became evidence of Misrata virgins being gang raped by “Gaddafi mercenaries.” To add to the farce, the clownish International Criminal Court (ICC) piped in to issue an arrest warrant for Muammar al-Gaddafi, on the basis of the porn movies – which, as Professor Forte points out, have yet to be seen by the ICC.


And here we see the deep psychology of the Obama administration. It is never enough to murder an enemy. His name must also be murdered. Not a trace of him can be allowed to survive – not even his bones. Obama already had form when it came to assassination and disappearing of bodies. Osama Bin Laden, we are told, was gunned down in his home, and his body dumped in the sea – Chigago style. Gangsters like to keep their victims in fridges – at least in the movies – and Obama seems to be a great lover of gangster movies. If he had been a man of the theatre, he would know of a play by Sophocles. A play in which the Greek marks out the dividing line between civilised people and those who have not achieved the status of civilisation. Civilised people allow their enemies to bury their dead. Antigone knew this.

As if to confirm that the Obama administration has turned its back on civilisation, has regressed to the ancient chaos, Hilary Clinton’s hideous cackle “We Came, We Saw, He Died,” sent the United States of America back to the year 46 BC – the year when the most noble of heroes, Vercingetorix, was ritually slaughtered before a baying Roman mob, for the crime of defending his homeland. He too was denied a grave. Perhaps Clinton’s knowledge of the Classics did not extend to knowing that Julius Caesar was the first man to be indicted for war crimes - for the bestial nature of his Conquest of Gall.

We tend to think of anthropologists studying the sexual mores of primitive peoples, or trying to find evidence for the origins of our pathologies in their more simple ways. We forget that we Westerners too are “a people.” That we too are subject to the currents of history – and that we are capable of falling backwards into chaos. Slouching Towards Sirte evokes the Yeats poem, The Second Coming. As in the poem, it is not The Word that is coming, but the murder of the word – the time before language. The time before the separation of truth and falsity. A time of terrible anxiety, when the rough beast does not know its own name, or the name of any other thing. This is the time when even the Left, those who had once claimed some moral authority, fall into the all-consuming chaos and become a mockery of themselves. I quote Professor Forte at some length here:

“The majority of the North American and European left – reconditioned, accommodating, and fearful – played a supporting role by making substantial room for the dominant US narrative and its military policies. Even here self-described anti-imperialists and Marxists conceded ground to the State Department which would then be used to amass support for intervention: Gaddafi, in their view, was a dictator, even a collaborator of the West, he should not be defended, and he had to go. They thus agreed to make an issue out of Gaddafi, not empire. The left joined the choir, and the State Department pointed to the choir in justifying the idea that “the international community” was speaking with one voice against Gaddafi.


Other supposed anti-imperialists and “leftists” (including some Marxists, anarchists, and social democrats) even backed the military intervention to “save Benghazi.” In both approaches, the US and other NATO political and military leaderships would benefit from what was at the very least half-praise from supposed ideological opponents at home. These approaches were derided by Latin American socialists, Pan Africanists and African nationalists alike, who were the only real bastions of anti-imperialism in this entire story.

Turning a blind eye to Sirte, and a racist blind eye to the plight of black Libyans and other black Africans at the hands of the insurgents, the European and North American left did nothing to oppose imperialism. They have suffered an irreparable loss if international credibility while cementing a North-South dividing line among socialists. It seems that the left of the global North bought into the dominant US self-image of being a “force for dignity,” fearful that its status would be threatened by seeming to support “dictators” and being aligned with “Stalinists.” (They were quick to adopt the cherished epithets of the very same “neocons” that they claimed to loathe). Instead, they effectively opted for the imperialism and for the global dictatorship of the US, with far more blood on its hands than any number of such “dictators” combined.

One would think, from all this, that Professor Forte’s book is one long unrelieved catalogue of horror, but there are some moments of humour – if even of the gallows kind. There is always a monstrous clownishness about the tyrant, and the USA is no exception. Forte takes a wicked delight in recounting the contents of cables sent to Washington from the US embassy in Tripoli, and published by Wikileaks. Not all of the cables are funny in content – many of them show the murderous envy of the USA towards Libya’s growing influence and inspiring achievements in Africa – but many are quite hilarious in their peevish pettiness. I particularly liked the cables, marked secret, about the poor US and European conference delegates who were sent to sleep on foam mattresses in half-built apartment blocks – while the African delegates were feted in Libya’s most luxurious hotels. It seems Al Gaddafi too had a wicked sense of historical humour.

There are also obscene jokes in this book – like the one about the UN Human Rights Council – the council that brought all the NGOs together to sign on the dotted line for the lynching of Libya – and then banned Libya from speaking at the UN. Let me repeat that. The UN Human Rights Council banned the government of Libya from speaking about a crisis in Libya – but listened at length to NGOs, who had no legal status whatsoever at the UN, and, at the time, had no people on the ground in Libya. Indeed, according to themselves, these NGOs had no source of information from Libya at all – except the rebels. And yet, their bought word was enough to impose a “no fly zone” on the sovereign state of Libya. This farce was being played out in March 2011 - a time when both the US government and NATO were publicly claiming that regime change was not on their agenda. It seems that, by then, the UN Human Rights Council had decided that regime change had already happened, and that US State Department funded NGOs were the nearest thing Libya had to a government. However, the Libyan government had a cunning plan to have its views heard. If Libyans were banned from speaking, then maybe somebody else could speak for them. The Libyan authorities asked former Nicaraguan Foreign Minister, Catholic priest and Sandinista Revolutionary, Miguel D’Escoto Brockman, to speak on its behalf. He was entitled to do so. Things were looking bad for the UN Human Rights Council when D’Escoto was allocated speaking time on March 31st. Enter the US Cavalry to rout the Indians – in the form of Susan Rice. She let it be known that D’Escoto was in the USA on a tourist visa, and if he tried to speak at the UN it would be considered as work, which would violate his visa terms. Strangely enough, the UN Human Rights Council agreed, and D’Escoto was not allowed to speak. The truth was safely smothered – thanks to the fact that the UN buildings are on US territory. The boy who owns the ball gets to decide the rules of the game.

However, the grotesque antics of Ban Ki-Moon and his crew have had a disastrous outcome for their beloved Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine. Professor Forte notes that R2P has died a death in Libya. Far from being the vindication of R2P that many of its cheer leaders claimed it would be, the Destruction of Libya, by NATO bombardment and NATO backed rebel atrocities, has brought in an era where R2P is simply regarded as a crude and brutal imperialist weapon. Indeed, D’Escoto said as much when, following the visa farce, he said that the UN has become “a lethal weapon of the Empire.” As we have seen in Syria, permanent members of the UN Security Council, such as China and Russia, are now determined to ensure that the founding principle of the United Nations, enshrined in Articles 1 and 2 of the UN Charter, i.e. the principle of the sovereignty of nations, is not subverted and destroyed by an ill-defined and easily manipulated R2P doctrine, which has no legal basis in the UN Charter. Professor Forte quotes from the address of Robert Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, to the UN General Assembly on September 22, 2011:

“The newly-minted principle of the ‘responsibility to protect,’ should not be twisted to provide cover for its premeditated abuse in violating the sacred international principle of the Charter, which is the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of states, because to do so amounts to an act of aggression and causes destabilization of sovereign states. Moreover, to selectively and arbitrarily apply that [R2P] principle, merely serves to undermine the general acceptability of it. Indeed, more than any other states, all the five permanent members of the Security Council bear a huge responsibility in this regard for ensuring that their historical privilege is used more to protect the United Nations Charter than to breach it, as is happening currently in Libya through the blatant, illegal, brutal, callous, NATO’s murderous bombing.”

Muammar al-Gaddafi, like Kwame Nkrumah before him, dreamed of an Africa united and strong, able to protect its own borders and provide a decent living to all its people. To this end, Al Gaddafi had challenged the neo-liberal dogma of private property, by showing Africans that massive state enterprise could achieve far more, and in far less time, than private enterprise ever could. All over the African continent, the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya invested public funds in everything from roads to hospitals to schools to agriculture to hotels to communications. These brilliantly successful state enterprises exposed the neo-liberal dogma for the scam it is, and let it be known to the world that there is a better way to live. For that affront to the Masters of Men, Al Gaddafi was ritually martyred on our TV screens. A brutal warning to all who would dare follow his lead.
I have not read this as I have a great backlog already but I have seen others also recommend this book.
 
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Ire-land

Ire-land

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Book Review: Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa by Maximilian Forte
I'm surprised to see this book available on iTunes/books, I don't normally like e books, but I think I'll get this one for the sake of ease.

I wonder if you could check, there are two available, one is 18.99 and the other is 20.99... I'm not sure if there's a difference, or if there were two editions?
 
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