Recently I heard President Obama say that Gadhafi of Libya “Is on the wrong side of history”. The truth is that Obama is on the wrong side of history. Gunboat diplomacy is a thing of the past. The world has become much more complicated than it once was. A slight miscalculation, a slight error in foreign policy could bring blowback that nobody could foresee and nobody will know how to deal with. This is the case in Libya today. I’ll get to that later, but for now I’d like to talk about two other nations that the U.S. has set up as having “evil” regimes that prey on their own people.
The first regime is the one in Cuba implemented by Fidel Castro. The truth is that before Castro, Cuba was controlled lock, stock and barrel by the US Mafia. Battista was a ruthless dictator that drained the treasury of Cuba dry. People were starving to death in Cuba and those that could, prostituted themselves for the American tourists. The countryside was controlled by large landowners that treated the average Cuban like a serf. Castro himself was from a landowning plantation family, but disavowed the status quo and instead, started a revolution aimed at bringing a share of Cuba’s wealth to the people. For example:
Before 1959 the official literacy rate for Cuba was between 60-76 %, with educational access in rural areas and a lack of instructors the main determining factor. As a result, the Cuban government of Fidel Castro at Che Guevara’s behest dubbed 1961 the “year of education”, and sent “literacy brigades” out into the countryside to construct schools, train new educators, and teach the predominately illiterate Guajiros (peasants) to read and write. The campaign was “a remarkable success”, and by the completion of the campaign, 707,212 adults were taught to read and write, raising the national literacy rate to 96 %.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Literacy_Campaign).
When Castro nationalized the sugar plantations and made agrarian reforms by giving land to the peasants, the American government soured on Castro. Even though he made life better for the majority of Cuban people, to this day Cuba has an economic blockade on it by the United States. One example of the way Cuba works is the humanitarian aid it furnished to Haiti after their disaster:
In fact, left unmentioned was the reality that Cuba already had nearly 400 doctors, EMTs and other medical personnel posted to Haiti to help with the day-to-day health needs of this poorest nation in the Americas, and that those professionals were the first to respond to the disaster, setting up a hospital right next to the main hospital in Port-au-Prince which collapsed in the earthquake, as well as a second tent-hospital elsewhere in the stricken city. (http://www.counterpunch.org/lindorff01192010.html)
So why do we still detest Cuba and Castro? Probably for the same reason that we vilify Hugo Chavez, more than likely it was because Chavez didn’t play Washington’s games. One thing that enraged the capitalists in America was the nationalization of the nation’s oil:
The decree allows Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, (PDVSA) to take a 60 per cent stake on May 1 in four projects which process crude oil into 600,000 barrels of synthetic oil a day in the country’s eastern Orinoco River basin. The companies affected by the decree are Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips from the US, Total SA from France, British Petroleum and Norway’s Statoil ASA. (http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/americas/news/article_1269801.php/Chavez_signs_decree_to_nationalize_foreign_oil_companies)
One thing you DON’T do is nationalize your own countries oil. This was the reason that Great Britain asked us to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran:
In 1951, Iran’s Parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry, and legislators backing the law elected its leading advocate, Dr. Mosaddeq, as prime minister. Britain responded with threats and sanctions. Dr. Mosaddeq, a European-educated lawyer then in his early 70’s, prone to tears and outbursts, refused to back down. In meetings in November and December 1952, the secret history says, British intelligence officials startled their American counterparts with a plan for a joint operation to oust the nettlesome prime minister.
And with the help of CIA operative Kermit Roosevelt, out him they did. Putting in his place the Shah of Iran a blunder that we are still paying for today. (http://www.iranchamber.com/history/coup53/coup53p1.php)
Let’s look at what Chavez in Venezuela has managed to achieve.
REDUCTION OF POVERTY: During the administration of the Bolivarian government led by Hugo Chavez, the extreme poverty rate fell from 42% to 9.5% General poverty was reduced from 50.5% in 1998 to 33.4% in 2008.
ACCESS TO HEALTH: Venezuela invests 4.2% of its GDP in health. It guarantees free access to health. There are currently 6,531 popular health centers established, 479 integral Diagnostic Centers, 543 Integral Rehabilitation Centers, 26 High Technology Centers, 13 popular clinics, 459 popular opticians, and 3019 locations offering medical and dental care since Chavez took office.
ACCESS to EDUCATION: 99.6% of the population over the age of 15 is now literate. http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org/?q=node/294
Can the U.S. say the same?
So much for the boogie-men the U.S. Government loves to vilify. Now we come to Libya. This is the country that Obama vilifies as a man who would kill his own citizens. Let’s not believe for a minute that the average Libyan would revolt under Gaddafi. This is also no the type of revolution that surfaced in Tunisia or Egypt. Theirs were non-violent revolutions.. The revolution in Libya is an armed insurrection. The rebels have weapons that they have used against the government. I believe that this revolution was fomented by powers outside of Libya. Here are my reasons:
1. Literacy rates have risen from 10% of the nation to around 90% of the population. (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_literacy_rate_in_Libya)
2. Women have the right to go to school and hold down a job.
3. The life expectancy of Libyans has risen by twenty years and the infant mortality rate has dropped dramatically.
4. Libya had the highest Human Development Index ranking in Africa. This is a U.N. measurement of life expectancy, educational attainment and adjusted real income. (http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/)
5. Most basic necessities: food, housing, fuel, healthcare and education were either heavily subsidized or became entirely free. Subsidies were considered the most effective way to redistribute the national wealth.
6. Libya had a lower incarceration rate than the Czech Republic (or the United States). Libya ranked 61st in the world while the US has been number one for years. (http://www.kcl.ac.uk/depsta/law/research/icps/worldbrief/wpb_stats.php?area=all&category=wb_poprate)
7. Libya has the third highest GDP on the African continent, South Africa has the highest, Algeria is second. (http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/)
“Also, few other countries live in such a social comfort, as Libyans do. They have free health care system and treatment. Their hospitals are provided with the best medical equipment in the world. The education in Libya is free of charge. Talented youth have an opportunity to study abroad at the expense of Libya. After getting married, a couple can get more than 60 thousands dinar (50 thousand dollars) of financial help. State credits are non-interest-bearing, and often the principal is written off as well. Automobile’s prices are considerably lower, than in Europe and affordable for everyone. Petrol costs 18 cent, and bread 4 cent. Libyans have been provided a very good environment as regards social and job-security, and their general educational level (both males and females can be seen pursuing all branches of university education) is better than that in so-called very affluent Arab countries like Saudi Arabia.”
So where is the justification in starting a no-fly zone over Libya? Hasn’t the U.S. learned its lesson in interfering in other nation’s internal affairs? Just who made Obama the king of the world? Why doesn’t he try to emulate some of the achievements that these three countries I just wrote about have managed to achieve? Instead of spending 53% of the entire budget on the military, don’t you believe we would be better off fixing our infrastructure, raising our literacy rate and improving our health care?
We are permanently stuck in a military state. How long will it be before we have no civil liberties and end up as serfs working for the “Security State” that we are evolving into? Our government is run by the corporations and the richest families in the country. We have no way to keep money out of our political campaigns so that politicians are bought not unlike puppies at a puppy farm. Then we tell the world we are a “Democracy”!
The largest transfer of wealth was taken from the American taxpayer and given to the oligarchs on Wall Street that still managed to pay their executives billions of dollars in bonuses. The stock market is straight out of a scene of Alice in Wonderland. Everyone is making money save the Middle Class. The disparity between the rich and the poor has never been as great as it is now. In 2007 the top 1% had 36.7% of the wealth while the other 99% had 64.7%. Altogether the bottom 80% had only 7% of the wealth of this nation. Chew on that for a while.
I’m afraid it is YOU Mr. Obama that is on the wrong side of history. Sooner or later there will be blowback, and it will come in the guise of another American Revolution. A revolution you won’t even see coming.
- Western Journalists Fail to Report the Facts about Libya Objectively By Timothy V. Gatto (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Another Corporate-Inspired War? By Timothy V. Gatto (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Is This the Beginning of The Second American Revolution? By Timothy V. Gatto (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)