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General News    H2'ed 3/28/11

Hark The Angel Speaks: Obama Explains War To Nation Tonight

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Message Danny Schechter

HARK, THE ANGEL SPEAKS ON YOUR TV: Barack Obama To Explain The Libryan Intervention Tonight

By Danny Schechter, Author of the Crime Of Our Time

President Obama is slated to give a big speech to the Nation tonight celebrating the great Libyan offensive.

As you may recall, the President already has cast the mission solely in humanitarian terms on his Saturday radio show, as the LA Times reported:

"President Obama said Saturday that he sent U.S. warplanes into Libya a week ago to avert a 'humanitarian catastrophe' and a 'blood bath', and he denied that the U.S. is being drawn into a wider war there.

"The United States should not -- and cannot -- intervene every time there's a crisis somewhere in the world," the president said in his Saturday radio address. "But I firmly believe that when innocent people are being brutalized, when someone like [Moammar] Gaddafi threatens a blood bath that could destabilize an entire region, and when the international community is prepared to come together to save many thousands of lives, then it's in our national interest to act. And it's our responsibility. This is one of those times."

As his advisors huddled to turn these comments into TV special, they realized they have to try to pacify Republicans who accuse him of bypassing Congress   and liberal Dems who are upset with the two wars he is commanding and chiefing   and don't want a third. Its hard for them to put in the context of the "DUTY TO PROTECT" when so many people in protest around the world are going unprotected."

Recall that the this war came along at an opportune time for Washington, just after the Egyptian people kicked Mubarak out and a wave of pro-democracy sentiment challenged leaders we have long supported, in Yemen, In Bahrain,

 The American people were beginning to develop a glow of solidarity with people who we have been long taught to hate, fear, and ignore. Thanks to the media attention--on TV and in social media--we admired their courage and felt a connection.

Suddenly, Washington was on the defensive for less than stellar and timely support for Egyptian aspirations and, before that, Tunisia, Our policicy gobbledygook about stability uber alles was being seen as a not so thinly veiled form of support for an oppressive status quo.

How to bounce back, seize the initiative, show how concerned we truly are for the people of the Middle East?   

That's been hard to do also because of our back pedaling on justice for the Palestinians and actually voting against A UN resolution denouncing settlements, a policy we ourselves had espoused, as just about put the final kaboosh on the peace process. (Prensa Latina reports: At least 17 Palestinians, including   children, were injured in five Israeli air strikes on Gaza, considered   the fiercest of recent weeks, medical and resistance sources reported   Tuesday.)

What a great time for Gadaffi to surface at the top of the news agenda, as the Arab leader everyone can all love to hate, as the person we can demonize and wage war upon,  all in the name of  "our values," of saving civilians even if many of these civilians are an armed force that no doubt have been covertly supported by intelligence agencies. His brutality, well reported by many media outlets, lends credibility to the NATO operation. No doubt, he is his own worst enemy, hardly a sympathetic victim. We still don't have a figure on civililian casualties. Do you really believe there have been none?

Since the UN resolution is drenched in humanitarianism as the rationale for the no-fly zone, we can't openly set out to topple the colonel or bump him off as the excreable John Bolton suggests, so we speak from all sides of our mouths.

We are letting the mysterious no-name "Rebels" do our work for us. The New York Time reports this morning; "There were unconfirmed reports early Monday that rebel forces had routed pro-government defenders in Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's tribal homeland of Surt."

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at See
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