Immediately after a NATO missile hit a home a few days ago and killed several civilians, including children, Libya’s foreign minister, Abdulati al-Obeida, called “for all Muslims to initiate a global jihad against the oppressive criminal West,” according to the New York Times.
Military officials issued the standard statements of regret that are customarily issued when their bombs kill innocent people. “NATO regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives,” announced Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, who is in charge of the war on Libya.
Let me to tell you what’s going to happen if a few people in the Middle East heed Libya’s call for jihad and retaliate against the United States with a big terrorist attack here on American soil.
Immediately, U.S. officials are going to call on Americans to forget everything that happened prior to the terrorist attack. The only thing that matters, U.S. officials will exclaim, is that “today we were attacked by evil and vicious terrorists who hate us for our freedom and values.”
Here’s what else they will say: “This terrorist attack shows that we are still at war against the terrorists. We’ve got to enact a new Patriot Act and we call on America’s patriots to support it. The ongoing terrorist threat means that we must indefinitely continue increasing military spending for ‘defense.’ We must also continue our policies of indefinite detention, torture, denial of due process, and military tribunals. Our nation is at war against an endless supply of bad guys. We will prevail. God bless America.”
All of this, of course, would be sheer nonsense. It is the U.S. government that started the war against Libya, not the other way around. The Libya regime is the defending power in the war, and it is the U.S. government that is the aggressor regime. People who were angered over the killings resulting from the massive NATO bombing campaign in Libya, including the bombs that killed Libya’s military personnel, would be exacting revenge for President Obama’s undeclared and illegal war of aggression on Libya.
It’s actually the perfect scam. Start a war and kill people, making survivors so angry that they retaliate. Then, when victims or friends of the victims retaliate, use that as the justification for higher military spending, massive powers over the citizenry, and “temporary” suspensions of the rights and freedoms of the American people. And if anyone objects, call him a traitor or “weak on defense.”
All of this should be familiar ground for Americans. Isn’t that what U.S. officials said and did after the 9/11 attacks? Weren’t Americans told that history begins with 9/11 and that they shouldn’t ponder what the U.S. Empire had done to people in the Middle East prior to 9/11? Didn’t they use the 9/11 attacks to justify ever-soaring military spending? Didn’t they immediately implement the Patriot Act, the enemy-combatant doctrine, domestic spying, torture, indefinite detention, military tribunals, and Gitmo? Didn’t they exclaim that the terrorists just hate America for its freedom and values?
Americans were expected to impose a mental blockade on themselves, blocking out such pre-9/11 things as: the 11 years of brutal sanctions against Iraq that killed lots of innocent children — hundreds of thousands of them; US Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright’s infamous announcement that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it”; the U.S. military’s intentional destruction of Iraq’s water and sewage facilities with the knowledge that it would help spread infectious illnesses among the Iraqi people; the stationing of U.S. imperial troops near Islamic holy lands; the ardent support of Middle East dictatorships; and the unconditional aid provided to the Israeli government.
Americans weren’t supposed to think about the Empire’s pre-9/11 actions. All that they were expected to think was, “My government — always good, always right. The terrorists attacked us because of our freedom and values. We’re now at war and we must rally to our government and support its call for wartime unity.”
Unfortunately, all too many Americans who bought into the government’s 9/11 nonsense will buy into the same sort of nonsense if there is terrorist retaliation from Obama’s unconstitutional and illegal war on Libya.
The good news, however, is that 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, there are lots of Americans who have broken through to the truth and the reality of U.S. foreign policy. In the event of terrorist retaliation here in the United States for what Obama’s army has done in Libya, Americans who have achieved such a breakthrough will able to recognize official nonsense for what it is.