By FELECITY ARBUTHNOT
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
— George Orwell.
THE bombing of Libya will begin on or nearly to the day of the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the destruction of Iraq, 19th March, in Europe. Libya too will be destroyed – its schools, education system, water, infrastructure, hospitals, municipal buildings. There will be numerous “tragic mistakes”, “collateral damage”, mothers, fathers, children, babies, grandparents, blind and deaf schools and on and on. And the wonders of the Roman remains and earlier, largely enduring and revered in all history’s turmoils as Iraq, the nation’s history – and humanity’s, again as Iraq and Afghanistan, will be gone forever.
The infrastructure will be destroyed. The embargo will remain in place; thus rebuilding will be impossible. Britain, France and the US., will decide the country needs “stabilising”, “help with reconstruction.” They will move in, secure the oil installations and oil fields, the Libyan people will be an incidental inconvenience and quickly become “the enemy”, “insurgents”, be shot, imprisoned, tortured, abused – and a US friendly puppet “government” will be installed.
The invaders will award their companies rebuilding contracts, the money – likely taken from Libya’s frozen assets without accounting – will vanish and the country will remain largely in ruins.
And the loudest cheerleaders for this, as Iraq, will be running round television and radio stations in London, Europe and the US, then returning to their safe apartments and their UK/US/Europe paid tenures, in the knowledge that no bombs will be dropping on them. Their children will not be shaking uncontrollably and soiling themselves with terror at the sound of approaching planes.
And this Libyan “Shock and Awe”? Shame on France, shame on Britain and the US and a UN avowed: “… to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” Every shattered body, every child maimed or blown to bits, every widow, widower, orphan, will have the name of those countries, and the UN written in their blood in their place of death.
And the public of these murderous, marauding Western ram raiders, will be told that we were bringing democracy, liberating Libya from a tyrant, from the “new Hitler”, the “Butcher of Bengazi.”
The countries who have ganged together these last days to overthrow a sovereign government have, again, arguably, conspired in Nuremberg’s: ” … supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”, and yet again, plotted to overthrow a sovereign government, with a fig leaf of “legality” from an arm twisted UN. We have seen it all before.
In time, it will emerge who was stirring, bribing, de-stabilizing, and likely few will be surprised at the findings. But by then, Libya will be long broken and its people, fleeing, displaced, distraught.
When it comes to dealing with the usual “liberators”, be careful what you wish for. In six months or so, most Libyans, whatever the failings of the last forty years rule, will be ruing the day.
Felicity Arbuthnot is a journalist with special knowledge of Iraq. Author, with Nikki van der Gaag, of Baghdad in the Great City series for World Almanac books, she has also been Senior Researcher for two Award winning documentaries on Iraq, John Pilger's Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq and Denis Halliday Returns for RTE (Ireland.)