Archive for September 4th, 2014

If They Gunned Me Down

by lizard

In the wee hours of Labor Day morning a man from Louisiana was shot and killed outside the Fox Club after an altercation. If you click this link to the Missoulian article please take a few extra seconds to examine the photo of the victim shirtless posing with a pitbull.

That picture worked on me. I don’t know this dude, he’s from some other state, he was beating the shit out of the guy, he got shot and he’s dead and oh well.

Well, then I talked to someone who knew him (the pitbull is a sweetheart, she says) and that image of a thug evaporated. There’s more to the story, but that’s for the authorities to ferret out.

When Michael Brown was killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, the choice of images used by the media spawned the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. Please go to the link and see the juxtaposition of images, they’re quite striking.

I guess Ferguson is down the memory hole now. School is back in session. Football. Fall.

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by lizard

Steven Sotloff is the second American journalist to face the device he once aimed—a camera—before having his head severed from his body. As our media pick a part his narrative like vultures before they move on to the next carcass, something caught my attention. Sotloff was one of the first reporters, after the attack in Benghazi, to bring actual first-hand accounts of what happened. This from Mother Jones:

For this TIME article, Sotloff—who covered Libya extensively for the magazine—interviewed Libyan security guards present when the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked. The result is a vivid, meticulous timeline of the events of September 11, 2012.

The well-coordinated assault on the American consulate in Benghazi (or maybe, more accurately, the CIA-run weapons trafficking hub) stills fuels the fever dreams of some conservatives on Capitol Hill. I think Benghazi is worthy of continued attention because I suspect it shows a rift between the CIA and the Obama administration. Susan Rice, at the time, was sent out on the Sunday circuit with false information she was subsequently skewered over.

But who wants to talk about Benghazi and the situation in Libya? Certainly not the formerly yapping R2P interventionists who made absurd claims about how “humanitarian” airstrikes were needed to stop an impending genocide. Now, in the failed state NATO created, even Tripoli has been taken over:

A particular feature of the occupation of Tripoli by Libya Dawn, the newest of the Middle East’s self-proclaimed revolutionary movements, is the focus on residents from the wrong tribe.

The city was captured after a five week battle, involving heavy and indiscriminate artillery bombardments between Libya Dawn and tribal fighters from Zintan, Warshafan and Warfallah. Now residents whose family names indicate membership of those tribes are being rounded-up, whatever their politics, however tenuous their connection with those tribes.

“It happened to a neighbour in another street a few nights ago,” says the student. “They stopped him at a stop light and saw his name. He was beaten and they took him in his own car to his house and broke [destroyed] it.”

He is not the only one. Libya’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, its highest spiritual authority, broadcasting messages of support from a location in the UK, urged Libya Dawn to take a “firm hand” in their newly acquired city, and militias appear to have taken the message to heart.

By day, columns of smoke rise from houses of government supporters set alight, with the Libya Herald newspaper reporting 280 arson attacks, including on the villa of the caretaker prime minister, Abdullah Al-Thinni who has fled. By night, residents from pro-government tribes barricade themselves in their homes.

Attacks and looting have broken out across the city with the interior and electricity ministries and the prime minister’s office ransacked. One woman tweeted returning home to the plush seafront district of Regatta to find it smashed and her property gone.

On Sunday , the US embassy residential compound, evacuated a month ago, also fell foul of the militias. A commander announced it had been “secured”.

The silence from interventionists is despicable. They should admit they were wrong and acknowledge they were duped. That acknowledgement is important because continuing to delude oneself that there is anything humanitarian about US foreign policy enables further destructive imperial projects that absolutely have the potential of sparking a global military conflagration.

Steven Sotloff was killed by a group that spawned from the attempt to overthrow Assad in Syria, another attempted interventionist project. How Sotloff came to be captured by the Islamic State is not known. I wouldn’t put it past the CIA to have been involved, considering Sotloff’s reporting in Benghazi certainly wouldn’t have endeared him to our homegrown terrorist agency.

But don’t listen to me, I’m just some crazed conspiracist spewing black bile.

And the NFL season starts tonight.

Go Seahawks!




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