Sunday, March 20, 2011

Libya: The Narrow View

With the cruise missile attacks and subsequent airstrikes in Libya, the US is now in it's third active war in a Muslim country (and second in a oil rich nation), and I listened to all of NPR's programming from Saturday's All Things Considered - which was packaged as "special coverage of the military situation in Libya" - and then Sunday morning's Weekend Edition.

It's truly astounding that we live in a country where the engagement in war is strictly prescribed by our Constitution to our House of Representatives. Glenn Greenwald has an excellent summary of how the US participation in the war on Libya defies any adherence to the Constitutional constraints on war-making powers of the President. It seems that some liberal Democratic Representatives are also angered at the dismissal of Constitutional concerns by our Constitutional Professor in Chief, but not NPR. You can listen to all the stories in these crucial NPR news shows from the first day of US participation in the war in Libya and never hear one word about the Constitutional issues raised by US military action in Libya. This is especially striking since on All Things Considered, Tom Bowman made a point of noting that War Secretary Gates made it very clear that this action in Libya "meant going to war."

The Constitutional issues are one point that any thinking US citizen should wonder about regarding the war in Libya. Another obvious question would be the rather gross hypocrisy of launching military action to "protect civilians" when the US is massively arming Saudi Arabia, one of the most radically repressive fundamentalist Islamic states in the region - a state that has helped murder unarmed protesters in its occupation of Bahrain.

To find any alternative views on the supposed "humanitarian" view of US warmaking in Libya, you'll have to go to The Independent, Chris Floyd, Common Dreams, or Al Jazeera - but if you want the Pentagon/White House presentation of this latest US military action then stick with won't be disappointed.


gDog said...

The feel-good faux redemption of sorry-assed Obama supporters who are saying, "Look, see? When one of ours is in power they pick righteous wars like Bosnia and Lybia" is stomach churning. These are the same NPR-tards who are easily manipulated into resenting teacher's unions and who've already forgotten about the Big Heist of 2008.

H, for the hope that was cruelly dashed.
O, for the Obama who was so dashing
P, for the predators O jokes will get Malia's suitors
E, for the eerie silence of NPR re constitutionality
L, for love, which there's just too little of
E, for endless war
$, for the money that bought Obama
$, for the money that bought Obama

gDog said...

Libya, too. Apparently an old name. Homer writes of it in the Odyssey:

Libya, where the horns grow quickly on the foreheads of lambs.

The idea, I guess, that a hot climate is conducive to growth of this sort. It has sprouted a plethora of colonial incursions from Romans and Turks and Arabs and Persians and Phoenicians and Ethiopians. I hope we won't be soon referring to any of these who rebel against The Empire as "insurgents."

ellen said...

Hey you're back!
So glad.
I just posted a link to this blog at Democratic Underground.

great post today too.


Anonymous said...

NPR is desperate to retain its funding. End of story!


miranda said...

That would make a great poster, gDog. It's unfortunate that opposing billion-dollar Obama, which he richly deserves, places one in the same camp as crackpots, racists, birthers, gun nuts and other odious types. These imperialist warmongers and their obedient mouthpieces, like Stands-4-0 radio, are hated for all the wrong reasons.

Patrick Lynch said...

I couldn't stand listening to all the coverage. Aside from the usual issues of distortion and bias, these NPR "journalists" clearly enjoy reporting on the attacks to the point where their pleasure seemed almost sexual.

The questions from Auntie Liane yesterday morning and particularly the truly stupid crap that came from Inskreep's mouth about what the attackers saw was truly too much. My fiancee' who is still listening to NPR overall sighed heavily and said "here we go again". She knows like the rest of us that we are not there for any reasons that resemble humanitarian.

Mytwords said...

Have to agree with Lynch's comment about the "thrill" of the NPR reporters on this war - especially Bowman and Gjelten - what a surprise! Gjelten was just oozing waroticism this morning as he described the "smoking, bloody scene" of destruction of Gadhafi's troops on the road from Benghazi. Funny, though, that that bit bloodlust was scrubbed from the web-archived broadcast though it is still referenced on "The Two Way."

Anonymous said...


Funny you should mention this because I sort of heard Rainy Monfeign seem to get caught up when she was talking about this. I didn't say anything because, well, you know it could just be ME.


Anonymous said...

Agreed -- The NPR coverage is particularly stomach-churning. Their "journalists" seem to have no grasp of the horror of war. Well, perhaps some do. I recently heard the very odious, sinister Tom Gjelten gleefully recall the slaughter on the Basra Road in 1991 when Iraq troops were gunned down mercilessly by the US, suggesting that something similar might happen to Libyan troops on their way back to Tripoli.

Absolutely disgusting. Gjelten aside, the other NPR "journalist" airheads would perhaps do well to read what war really means for the hapless protagonists (rather than complacent, bloodthirsty US Presidents, Arab royal families, and self-serving "journalists" in comfy hotels) -- e.g artist Otto Dix on World War One: "Lice, rats, barbed wire, fleas, shells, bombs,
underground caves, corpses, blood, liquor, mice,
cats, gas, artillery, filth, bullets, mortars, fire, steel:
that is what war is! It is all the work of the Devil!"

informedveteran said...

I guess the Eighth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq has been forgotten by NPR in all this glee over a new war. Have they dusted off the armchair generals yet? CNN and MSNBC sure have. The "message force multipliers" are back with a vengeance.


Miranda said...

TOTN's "Special Report" was particularly nauseating in its jingoistic trumpeting of the latest unconstitutional "humanitarian invention" (paging Mr. Orwell!) One nugget before I slammed off the radio in favor of Vaughan Williams symphonies: reports of civilians/children being slaughtered by the bombardment are typical Gaddafi propaganda.

Whose propaganda is the more lethal?

Patrick Lynch said...

I listened through the first Gulf War, then through all of the Afghanistan crap, then the Iraq invasion. The coverage of Libya to my mind actually seems the worst. There is little pretence at professionalism, just blood soaked glee at another chance to wax rhapsodic over burned cars, rubble, and charred body parts. The human cost of war in this day and age could not be more clear on a global basis but the war lovers at NPR act like a bunch of kids playing fort in their parents' back yard.

I cannot think of invective sufficient enough to match my contempt for the whole scurvy crew.

Archtype said...

Listening to Melissa Block excitedly say words like "facshunnns!" in her little talk with whoever in Libya, I was struck by the pure joy in her voice.

Mytwords said...

Oops...the link in my previous comment was from Bowman on Saturday's ATC not Gjelten. The "smoking, bloody" slop from Gjelten is here...which of course General Warlove...well, loved!

larry, dfh said...

There's a 'Pentagon Correspondent a 'National Security Correspondent' and an 'Intelligence Correspondent'...All these high-paid card readers. Not to mention the always under deep-cover juan forero. Quite alot of spook-related real estate at npr. Wonder who pays all those salaries and benefits, who keeps the lights on in the studios?

Anonymous said...

I have a number of things to talk to some of us about but . . . they are NOT specific to NPR and rather than stroll too far "off topic" here anybody can e-mail me at