05 December 2017

The loudest yelps for liberty

The fact that the slave trade is alive again in Libya is now rightfully turning heads, with government figures and international celebrities issuing calls for action. But at the same time, with most of the mainstream media ignoring the elephant in the room, it took a rapper – T.I. – to point it out:
So… I'm wondering if Khadafi was such a horrible dictator why wasn't this happening when HE WAS in power? One has no choice but to conclude his absence made this possible.
T.I. is absolutely right, of course. Let’s be honest: it was the intervention in Libya – the removal and brutal killing of Gadhafi – that destroyed the country and all state apparatus, leaving the power vacuum in which these slavers are free to operate. But even further than that, NATO as a whole was responsible for dæmonising and dehumanising black Libyans based on their race. The insidious canard that black Libyans were ‘foreign mercenaries’ operating on Gadhafi’s behalf was invented specifically as a pretext for ousting Gadhafi, and was spread assiduously by NATO organs and spokesmen, and their respective governments, both for domestic manufacture of consent and for propaganda purposes within Libya itself.

It is only in the context of the removal of Gadhafi, and of the ‘black mercenary’ myth that accompanied his removal, that the modern slave trade in Libya can be rightly understood. Black people in Libya are seen as chattel because Western media, NGOs and the NATO alliance all did their level best to dehumanise them, and then to remove from them the most secure legal protection they had. What threat Gadhafi ever posed to trans-Atlantic security eludes me – and this led me to ask some questions about NATO’s mission creep and its remarkably-quick transformation away from being a defensive alliance into an offensive instrument of American imperium in, in this case, Africa. Which, in this case, perpetuates itself at the expense of black lives and black freedom.

Ironically, merely for pointing all of this out on Facebook, I was immediately attacked as a ‘Russophile’ and a ‘geopolitical fundamentalist’ by certain of NATO’s defenders. The greater cause of keeping Russia down and answering the ‘yelps for liberty’ from places like the Ukraine, apparently, has to take precedence over actual black lives and black freedom. Samuel Johnson is still right, in this case both about NATO itself and about the lawless, brutal beneficiaries of its Libyan largesse.

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