by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
When the U.S. and Europeans needed a way to get on the “right” side of the Arab Awakening – and thereby crush it – they chose to re-demonize Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi as the evil from which the Euro-Americans would rescue North Africa. “Gaddafi was perfect, having long existed in cartoon form for western consumption.” Killing Gaddafi’s son and three grandchildren was no crime, since “in American eyes they are no more different than satanic versions of Daffy Duck’s cartoon nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.”
Killing Gaddafi's Grandbabies
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“These modern Crusaders require ritual bloodletting before expropriating the lands and goods of their victims.”
The ceremonial slaughter of Moammar Gaddafi and his family lurches forward like some savage white cult ritual. Death to the demon and his seed! shout the priests, banshees and ice-smile oracles of the U.S. corporate media. The American (or “western”) manifest mission must be sanctified in the blood of caricatures. Like the Christ-crazed hordes that surged out of Europe’s far western dankness to annihilate whole cities of strangers – including tens of thousands of fellow Christians that did not speak, eat or smell as the French and English did – these modern Crusaders require ritual bloodletting before expropriating the lands and goods of their victims.
When the Arab world awoke at the beginning of the year, the highly paid presenters and rapid-vapid quippers of CNN and competing reality-creation companies were caught pitifully mission-less. Absent direction from the official scenario-producers at the White House and the State Department, there could be no coherent newsreader script, no simple theme for quipping. But direction would not be forthcoming from the Obama administration until a way could be found to put the U.S. on the “right” side of the Arab Awakening.
“Where was the consummate Arab evil?”
In the first days of the Egyptian rebellion, CNN and its ilk were largely on their own and visibly confused – reflecting the confusion and desperation in Washington. Then, after the White House, having no other choice, pretended to empathize with the young demonstrators at Tahrir Square, the corporate media commenced its love affair with the “new” Arab. But where was the consummate Arab evil, in the battle against which the corporate media could fulfill its role as chronicler of America’s glorious, civilizing saga in the world? Who is the caricature, to be ritually tormented and slain?
Moammar Gaddafi became the foil for the Euro-American military response to the Arab Awakening. Instantaneously, CNN got its mission back. Gaddafi was perfect, having long existed in cartoon form for western consumption. With Gaddafi’s gradual accommodation with the West, in the early 2000s, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein became the Great Cartoon Satan, even appearing as the Devil in Comedy Central’s South Park cartoon show. Gaddafi, the vintage cartoon, inevitably became conflated with Saddam (all Arab strongman cartoons look alike).
A general on CNN’s retainer repeatedly named the long dead Saddam as the ghoul to be obliterated by righteous American firepower. More than once, the general apologized to the audience, but he needn’t have since, to the mass of CNN’s viewers, Gaddafi has no more claim to his own life, history and death than did Saddam Hussein. The are both little voodoo dolls to be stuck with needles and burned and torn to pieces, along with their children.
“Vaunted American “compassion” does not extend to the grandbabies of evil Arab cartoon-men.”
Americans, who consume packaged lies like hot dogs, and then revere these items of consumption as sacred culture (as “American” as hot dogs), have been ready to kill Gaddafi’s sons ever since Saddam’s sons Uday and Qusay were gunned down in 2003. In American eyes they are no more different, these Arab strongmen’s sons, than satanic versions of Daffy Duck’s cartoon nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. In Gaddafi’s case, two of his sons were named Saif. If Col. Gaddafi didn’t distinguish sufficiently between them, why should NATO bombers? As it turned out, the Saif that died along with three of Gaddafi’s grandchildren, Saif al-Arab, the youngest of the brothers, was also the least political. The grandkids, ages 6 months to two years, were, of course, totally apolitical and, presumably, quite cute. But vaunted American “compassion” does not extend to the grandbabies of evil Arab cartoon-men. CNN and other U.S. corporate outlets, all of which have reporters in Tripoli, chose to quote rebel leaders in Benghazi who cast doubt on whether the children of Gaddifi sons Mohammed and Hannibal and daughter Aisha were really dead. The rebels advised that it was likely a trick, and U.S. corporate media treated the vile slander as simply another competing factoid.
The killer couple in the White House offered no condolences or apologies, presumably on the assumption that the elder Gaddafi had invited his family to his residence to act as human shields, and was therefore responsible for their deaths.
It would not occur to most Americans that Gaddafi and his family were entitled to feel safe under international law and American law, which bar assassinations of heads of state, and that United Nations resolution 1973 does not authorize NATO to hunt down the Libyan leader or kill those around him. But he’s only a cartoon, and cartoons have no rights. Neither do the countries these cartoon come from, as every American knows.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].