Monday, March 21, 2011

Arabs Angsty Over Infidel Actions in Libya Revive a Familiar Charge

Independent columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is deeply conflicted, as are many British Arab, she says, over what's unfolding in Libya. On the one hand, this is not Iraq, which
was the wrong war, launched by disreputable, ideological politicians, and illegal too. It was the wrong war pushed by self-serving exiles and the Kurds, though they had good reason to hate Saddam and were also making a bid for self-determination. Our fears then were for the poor Iraqis who would pay the price for the vanity neo-con project. They did and do, everyday still, from the unborn to the old and helpless.
On the other hand, the "vain" neo-cons are long gone, a guy with an Arabic first and middle name is in the White House, and
we cannot ignore the pleas of the rebels and most Libyans (not all) who know Gaddafi will obliterate them and their hopes for democracy.
There was no problemo, mind, ignoring the pleas of Kurds and Iraqis who ran afoul of brute Uday (or was it Qusay?), or who had the misfortune of being inserted feet-first into plastic shredders (a popular Saddam punishment). And yet, even though no neo-cons are involved, Yasmim and other Arabs can't bring themselves to
wholly back the Libyan mission, not even on a wing and a prayer. Why? It is to do with trust. As Abdel al-Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper and a friend, wrote last week: "The first reaction was relief ... who would not want to stop a bully intent on 'wiping out' those who oppose him? But any relief should be tempered with serious misgivings. First what motives lie behind this intervention?"
You'll never guess what they think motive #1 is. I'll give you a hint. It isn't the desire to prevent a madman from slaughtering his own people. In fact, altruism isn't invovled at all:
Arab bloggers are totally sceptical and some furious that the UN and Arab League has validated what is an oil grab by interested, over-armed nations.
Right, because it is only--it is always--about the oil. Black gold. Benghazi tea.

Talk about the soft bigotry of low imaginations.

Update: Here's an example of Arab "reasoning" re Western actions:
It is easy to detect sinister motives for Western military intervention. If you see a Zionist senator like John Kerry, who has embraced every Israeli war crime, shows support for an action, you can bet that the action is badly intentioned.
John who?

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