Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

April 29, 2011

Libya, the left, and journalistic integrity

Filed under: Libya — louisproyect @ 5:56 pm

On February 25th, the BBC News website published an article by Farai Sevenzo, a Zimbabwean documentary film-maker and journalist, titled “African viewpoint: Colonel’s continent?” that contained the following passage:

One Turkish construction worker told the BBC: “We had 70-80 people from Chad working for our company. They were cut dead with pruning shears and axes, attackers saying: ‘You are providing troops for Gaddafi.’ The Sudanese were also massacred. We saw it for ourselves.”

Now there are several problems with this account. To start with, a global search of Lexis-Nexis for “Libya”, “Chad” and “pruning shears” reveals absolutely no original source, especially problematic since this authoritative database does include BBC.

If a good reporter would be expected to include answers to the questions “who”, “what”, “why”, “when” and “where”, then this hair-raising story would appear to fall beneath the threshold of responsible journalism.

This did not prevent this quote from being spread all across the left wing of the Internet, at least that fraction of the left that subscribes to the idea that the CP might have been on the right track in the 1930s when it bent the truth to “defend” the USSR. As farce follows tragedy, we find the same methodology being deployed today for Qaddafi’s Libya, a country that calls itself socialist but developed close ties with Bush’s White House in the “war on terror” and that expelled all of its Palestinian residents in 1995 in a manner that would have left Avigdor Lieberman green with envy.

A google search on “We had 70-80 people from Chad working for our company” will return 4420 results. Not quite viral but certainly enough to suggest that many people would be willing to suspend disbelief in order to demonize the Libyan opposition to Qaddafi. It was not enough to point to the very real racism that infects Libya, even to the very top rungs of government. It became necessary to spread an unsubstantiated account from the BBC, the very fucking imperialist mouthpiece whose propaganda stoked the fire for wars in Yugoslavia and Iraq. One supposes that it is okay to drink from the BBC’s latrine as long as it fits in with whatever ideological crusade suits your fancy.

Despite their long-term hostility to bias in the bourgeois media, the following outlets found it convenient to cite Sevenzo’s hearsay:

It has now come to my attention that another such account is making its rounds on the pro-Qaddafi wing of the Internet.

Yesterday, a subscriber to the Marxism mailing list recommended that we take a look at this ostensibly devastating Youtube video on the movement against Qaddafi titled “What you dont know about the libyan crisis” [sic].

4:12 into the video, there is the following statement:

Rebels publicly execute 50 black workers in Darna

After having been exposed to the unnamed Turk’s report on the slaughter of Chadians in an unnamed location and on an unspecified date, my bullshit detector went on immediately.

A google search of “Darna”, “black workers”, and “execute” turns up absolutely nothing, nor does a search in Lexis-Nexis. Some moron somewhere, with funding possibly from the Libyan government, decides to make a movie attacking his benefactor’s enemies. To make sure that everyone is lined up against them, he simply concocts a tale about a racist pogrom in Darna that did not take place.

There are 2,230 results for a google search on “What you dont know about the libyan crisis” and so far they seem limited to the more degenerate websites, such as www.axisoflogic.com. Given the state of the “anti-imperialist” left, however, it is not precluded that it will eventually be embraced by MRZine, Edward S. Herman and the usual gang.

Speaking only for myself, I really developed a strong reaction against media bias during the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. When a “massacre” in Racak was used as a pretext for a war over Kosovo, it was correct for people like Edward S. Herman to expose the lies. Therefore, it is particularly distressing to see them throw their journalistic scruples out the window when it comes to covering for Qaddafi. They say that the truth is the first casualty of war. I am coming around to thinking that it is also the first casualty in crypto-Stalinist apologetics such as the sort that get deployed on a depressingly formulaic basis for Libya, Iran, Zimbabwe and other mafia states that find themselves turning up as the Orwellian object of hate cranked up by American imperialism. If you have read Orwell, of course, you will understand that the goal is to tell the truth and not to adopt the same shoddy, propagandistic techniques of our enemies.

26 Comments »

  1. I appreciate your article, but couldn´t disagree more with the characterization of the BBC…

    “from the BBC, the very fucking imperialist mouthpiece whose
    propaganda stoked the fire for wars in Yugoslavia and Iraq. ”

    This is not the same BBC I remember watching in 2003 before the
    invasion of Iraq. In fact, before, during and after, I remember
    watching critical accounts of the US invasion on the Beeb.

    In fact,
    MAY 30, 2003
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2003/may/30/Iraqandthemedia.bbc

    “The government is likely to face fresh embarrassment over the war in
    Iraq when the BBC screens a major documentary series about the
    conflict next month.

    The series, which begins on June 15, shows defence secretary Geoff
    Hoon repeatedly insisting Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass
    destruction would be found.”

    The documentary’s timing will fuel the debate over the legitimacy of
    the conflict as the hunt continues for any evidence that Saddam had
    weapons of mass destruction.”

    So how this becomes “the BBC, the very fucking imperialist mouthpiece
    whose propaganda stoked the fire for wars in Yugoslavia and Iraq” is
    beyond me.

    FC

    Comment by Fernando Cassia — April 29, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

  2. The BBC And Iraq: Myth and Reality

    by John Pilger

    Greg Dyke, the BBC’s director general, has attacked American television reporting of Iraq. “For any news organisation to act as a cheerleader for government is to undermine your credibility,” he said. “They should be… balancing their coverage, not banging the drum for one side or the other.” He said research showed that, of 840 experts interviewed on American news programmes during the invasion of Iraq, only four opposed the war. “If that were true in Britain, the BBC would have failed in its duty.”

    Did Dyke say all this with a straight face? Let’s look at what research shows about the BBC’s reporting of Iraq. Media Tenor, the non-partisan, Bonn-based media research organisation, has examined the Iraq war reporting of some of the world’s leading broadcasters, including the US networks and the BBC. It concentrated on the coverage of opposition to the war.

    The second-worst case of denying access to anti-war voices was ABC in the United States, which allowed them a mere 7 per cent of its overall coverage. The worst case was the BBC, which gave just 2 per cent of its coverage to opposition views – views that represented those of the majority of the British people. A separate study by Cardiff University came to the same conclusion. The BBC, it said, had “displayed the most pro-war agenda of any [British] broadcaster.”

    Consider the first Newsnight broadcast after the greatest political demonstration in British history on 15 February. The studio discussion was confined to interviews with a Tory member of the House of Lords, a Tory MP, an Oxford don, an LSE professor, a commentator from the Times and the views of the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. Not one marcher was invited to participate, not one representative of the two million who had filled London in protest. Instead, a political reporter, David Grossman, asked perversely: “What about the millions who didn’t march? Was going to the DIY store or watching the football on Saturday a demonstration of support for the government?”

    A constant theme of the BBC’s Iraq coverage is that Anglo-American policy, although capable of “blunders,” is essentially benign, even noble. Thus, amazingly, Matt Frei, the BBC’s Washington correspondent, declared on 13 April: “There’s no doubt that the desire to bring good, to bring American values to the rest of the world, and especially now to the Middle East… is now increasingly tied up with military power.” The same “good” military power had just slaughtered at least 15,000 people in an illegal, unprovoked attack on a largely defenceless country.

    No doubt touched by this goodness, Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark asked General Sir Mike Jackson, Chief of the General Staff, if “coalition” troops “are really powerless to help civilians targeted by Iraqi forces in Basra.” Clearly, she felt no need to check the veracity of the British claim that Iraqi forces had been targeting civilians in Basra, a claim that proved to be baseless propaganda.

    During the bombing of Serbia in 1999, Wark interviewed another general, Wesley Clark, the Nato commander. The Serbian city of Nis – had just been sprayed with American cluster bombs, killing women, old people and children caught in the open: the horrific handiwork of one of Nato’s “precision-guided” missiles, of which only 2 per cent hit military targets. Wark asked not a single question about this, or about any civilian deaths.

    These are not isolated examples, but the BBC “style.” What matters is that the received wisdom dominates and is protected. When a US missile killed 62 people at a market in Baghdad, BBC News affected a fake “who can tell who’s responsible?” neutrality, a standard technique when the atrocity is “ours.” On Newsnight, a BBC commentator dismissed the carnage with these words: “It’s a war after all… But the coalition aim is to unseat Saddam Hussein by winning hearts and minds.” His voice trailed over images of grieving relatives.

    Regardless of the spat over Andrew Gilligan’s attempt to tell the truth about the Blair government’s lying, the BBC’s amplifying of government lies about a “threat” from Iraq was routine. Typically on 7 January, BBC1’s 6pm news bulletin reported that British army reservists were being called up “to deal with the continuing threat posed by Iraq.” What threat?

    During the 1991 Gulf war, BBC audiences were told incessantly about “surgical strikes” so precise that war had become almost a bloodless science. David Dimbleby asked the US ambassador: “Isn’t it in fact true that America, by dint of the very accuracy of the weapons we’ve seen, is the only potential world policeman?”

    Dimbleby, like his news colleagues, had been conned; most of the weapons had missed their military targets and killed civilians.

    In 1991, according to the Guardian, the BBC told its broadcasters to be “circumspect” about pictures of civilian death and injury. This may explain why the BBC offered us only glimpses of the horrific truth – that the Americans were systematically targeting civilian infrastructure and conducting a one-sided slaughter. Shortly before Christmas 1991, the Medical Education Trust in London estimated that more than 200,000 Iraqi men, women and children had died in the “surgical” assault and its immediate aftermath.

    An archive search has failed to turn up a single BBC item reporting this. Similarly, a search of the BBC’s coverage of the causes and effects of the 13-year embargo on Iraq has failed to produce a single report spelling out that which Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, put so succinctly when asked if the deaths of half a million children were a price worth paying for sanctions. “We think the price is worth it,” she replied.

    There was plenty of vilifying of the “Beast of Baghdad,” but nothing on the fact that, up to July 2002, the United States was deliberately blocking more than $5bn worth of humanitarian and reconstruction aid reaching Iraq – aid approved by the UN Security Council and paid for by Iraq. I recently asked a well-known BBC correspondent about this, and he replied: “I’ve tried, but they’re not interested.”

    There are honourable exceptions to all this, of course; but just as BBC production values have few equals, so do its self-serving myths about objectivity, impartiality and balance have few equals – myths that have demonstrated their stamina since the 1920s, when John Reith, the BBC’s first director general, secretly wrote propaganda for the Tory Baldwin government during the General Strike and noted in his diaries that impartiality was a principle to be suspended whenever the established order and its consensus were threatened.

    Thus, The War Game, Peter Watkins’s brilliant film for the BBC about the effects of a nuclear attack on Britain, was suppressed for 20 years. In 1965, the chairman of the BBC’s board of governors, Lord Normanbrook, secretly warned the Wilson government that “the showing of the film on television might have a significant effect on public attitudes towards the policy of the nuclear deterrent.”

    Generally speaking, outright bans are unnecessary, because “going too far,” which Watkins did, is discouraged by background and training. That the BBC, like most of the Anglo-American media, reports the fate of whole societies according to their usefulness to “us,” the euphemism for western power, and works diligently to minimise the culpability of British governments in great crimes, is self-evident and certainly unconspiratorial. It is simply part of a rich tradition.

    December 5, 2003

    Comment by louisproyect — April 29, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  3. Based on the title of your piece, I was hoping to see an analysis/critique of left journalism with regard to Libya. Maybe that’s coming. Somebody really ought to draw a balance sheet because of the various positions leftists of various stripes have been taking. Those go from supporting the Libyan rebels as “revolutionaries” without any attempt to analyze their various components (monarchist, pro-imperialist, and others…) to opposing them and supporting Qaddafi on grounds that any third world government under attack from imperialism should be backed (the Marcyite position as I understand it, essentially Manichaeanism in a “Marxist” hue), to outright support for NATO and imperialism’s attacks on Libya (44% of the French New Anticapitalist Party supported Sarkozy’s bombing, for instance, while a majority called for military support to the rebels–even if no leftists anywhere have any ability to do anything to support the rebels, and there is no revolutionary left in Libya, apparently). The Spartacists take the position (reasonable, in my view) that it is a civil war and imperialism should stay out, hence leftists should be demanding Hands Off Libya!, as they did in, say, the similar case of the U.S. attacks on Iraq. Both countries were run by odious dictators, so the “humanitarian” imperialist view that bad guys justify “intervention” to overthrow them. Frankly, I think your single-minded attacks on other leftists who don’t share your take on Libya, repeated here, smack of sectarianism. Mostly, this is all a tempest in a teapot, since the left is too weak and lacking in influence anywhere to have any impact–except, possibly, here at home, where it would seem that the main objective of a revolutionary left ought to be to mobilize Americans against the American and NATO attacks on Libya. But, alas, the left is so weak these days that it can’t even mount an antiwar response to the crimes of its own government.
    David

    Comment by David Thorstad — April 29, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

  4. Now there are several problems with this account. To start with, a global search of Lexis-Nexis for “Libya”, “Chad” and “pruning shears” reveals absolutely no original source, especially problematic since this authoritative database does include BBC.

    Actually, Louis, an “original source” is the person who spoke to the BBC and claimed to have seen this massacre himself. You would be correct in saying there is no corroboration for that claim, but to claim there is no “original source” is simply false.

    This story actually has MORE credibility (since it does have an alleged eyewitness) than the reports now appearing in the press (e.g., http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/death-toll-in-libya-could-be-30-000-1.1061755 ) claiming a death toll in Libya as high as 30,000, a claim which is essentially pulled out of someone’s rear end (even the source of the dutifully repeated number says “We just have no sense of the scale of this thing until it’s over.” )

    Comment by Eli Stephens — April 29, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

  5. Actually, Louis, an “original source” is the person who spoke to the BBC and claimed to have seen this massacre himself. You would be correct in saying there is no corroboration for that claim, but to claim there is no “original source” is simply false.

    You missed my point. There is no support in Lexis-Nexis for the Turk speaking to the BBC. The article stated “One Turkish construction worker told the BBC”. There is no evidence that any Turk ever spoke to the BBC. In fact, the whole story is at odds with the eyewitness reports about brutality directed toward migrant workers, which was very real. But it wasn’t sufficient apparently for the pro-Qaddafi left to state that migrant workers were being beaten up. Instead it was necessary to circulate an unsubstantiated report about 70 to 80 people being massacred with pruning forks and axes to achieve the desired result. Too bad it was bullshit.

    Comment by louisproyect — April 29, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

  6. Since its very origin, Pabloism (politically tailing non-proletarian class forces) has been a conveyor belt that’s always moving to the right.

    Poor Proyect’s arguments get more peurile the more he realizes how nakedly pro-imperialist his line in support of this phoney ‘Libyan Revolution’ has become.

    The simple duty of every would-be revolutionary Marxist – to defend Libya against military attack of ‘our own’ imperialist bourgeoisie – implies not one iota of political support for Qaddafi or his regime. In this context, all Proyect’s verbaceous sweatings about how baaaaad the current Libyan government is can all be perfectly true… but are totally irrelevant.

    Think of the absurdity… The worst thing that Proyect can think of to throw at Qaddafi is his (former) cooperation with – U.S. Imperialism! But who’s carrying the imperialists’ water now Mr. Proyect?

    Hint – look at the man in the mirror.

    Comment by Red Cloud — April 29, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

  7. Louis, I have to say I’m really disappointed with you. Really. We have the mighty wurlitzer of the West pumping out lies about Gaddafi’s Rwandesque genocidal plans, about the use of cluster munitions in Misrata, and what gets under your skin is a petty youtube video? Are you going to back now every Western intervention in favour of some provoked provincial insurgency? Are you really the guy who did such good stuff on Central America in the 80s? Its really weird for me, and not just for me to see that you are now making music for imperialism. I feel as I did when Christopher Hitchens turned c. 2001 from the scourge of Clinton’s foreign policy to booster of Bush’s wars. Invasion of the mind snatchers.

    Comment by Amicus — April 29, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

  8. Are you going to back now every Western intervention in favour of some provoked provincial insurgency?

    No, but I do intend to refute bullshit lies from the pro-Qaddafi left. I have rather an inexhaustible appetite for that since people like Edward S. Herman and Michel Chossudovsky rather turn my stomach. If someone at the Pentagon decides to escalate the war in Libya because I point out that it harms the left to make up lies about 50 migrant workers being killed in Darna, then that’s fine. I will not be silenced by crypto-Stalinists.

    Comment by louisproyect — April 29, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

  9. “I do intend to refute bullshit lies from the pro-Qaddafi left. I have rather an inexhaustible appetite for that”

    Yeah – problem is Proyect doesn’t have an ‘inexhaustible appetite’ (i.e. a Marxist appetite) to oppose your own imperialist bourgeoisie, which he clearly sees in this case as the ‘lesser evil’.

    Comment by Red Cloud — April 29, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

  10. Back in the day Proyect’s beloved Sandinistas used to sing about ‘Yankee Imperialism – Enemy of Humanity’…

    But LP’s ‘main enemy’ is now Qadaffi and his tiny band of left political cheerleaders… truly a farce to be reckoned with!

    Comment by Red Cloud — April 29, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  11. Louis you can hear the original BBC broadcast with the Turkish worker speaking replayed on NPR at
    http://www.npr.org/2011/02/25/134065767/-African-Migrants-Say-They-Face-Hostility-From-Libyans

    Comment by paul cockshott — April 29, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

  12. Thanks for tracking this down, Paul, but there is no other news item anywhere that corroborates this. 70 to 80 people being massacred by “pruning shears and axes” is something that would have attracted the attention of the international media which was not averse to reporting about racist brutality directed toward migrant workers. The LA Times and the Guardian have been quite forthright about this, as has HRW. But in the meantime all we have to go on is this 10 second soundbite from a Turkish worker.

    Comment by louisproyect — April 29, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

  13. I agree that is not much, but it was a real broadcast interview. The guy may have been making it up, he may have left Libya and be untraceable. The fact that the story has not been followed up by other media may be due to the pre-occupations of the media with what is happening today rather than weeks ago, along with the difficulty of tracing the guy.

    Comment by paul cockshott — April 29, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

  14. Redcloud said:

    “Proyect doesn’t have an ‘inexhaustible appetite’ (i.e. a Marxist appetite) to oppose your own imperialist bourgeoisie”

    What have you done lately? Aside from (I’m guessing here) lying on behalf of a bourgeois dictator, that is.

    Comment by Todd — April 29, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

  15. What tired slanders being flung at Louis that because he doesn’t support Qaddafi he supports imperialism. Perhaps you should consider taking… I don’t know, the side of the Libyan working class?

    Read the NYT interview with Qaddafi’s daughter. What are her concerns?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/world/africa/27aisha.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=aisha%20qaddafi&st=cse

    “Without Colonel Qaddafi, she predicted, illegal immigrants from Africa would pour into Europe, Islamic radicals would establish a base on the Mediterranean’s shores, and Libyan tribes would turn their guns on one another.

    Citing unconfirmed Libyan intelligence reports, she asserted that the weapons-starved rebels had actually sold arms to the Islamist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. “When my father was there, see how safe Europe was and how safe Libya was?” she asked.

    Comment by ish — April 29, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

  16. Is Todd @14 the same Todd who began a response to me with “You dumb fuck.” when I had the temerity to point out that the so-called “American Revolution” was largely a rebellion of slaveholders fearful of nascent British abolitionism, especially in light of the 1772 court decision that outlawed slavery in Britain proper. I also pointed out that, at least in the eyes of the colonists, there was a difference between the British Parliament and the Monarchy, and it was the former that the colonists most feared, and I’m not sure which of my sentences prompted his oh-so-reasonable response.

    You can read it all at http://leninology.blogspot.com/2011/04/creep.html. Just search the page for ‘dumb fuck’.

    Comment by Aaron Aarons — April 29, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

  17. I have rather an inexhaustible appetite for that since people like Edward S. Herman and Michel Chossudovsky rather turn my stomach.

    Unless I missed something, Herman’s article was concerned with refuting the case for “humanitarian intervention” and his characterization of the rebels (revolutionaries if you like) incidental and tentative, represented exclusively by the following, relatively short paragraph:

    Achcar describes the rebel forces fighting Gadaffi as representing a “popular movement” and “mass insurrection.” This is dubious—as Stratfor points out, the base of the insurrection has “consisted of a cluster of tribes and personalities,” the heart of which was in the East, and whose members and leaders “do not all advocate Western-style democracy. Rather, they saw an opportunity to take greater power, and they tried to seize it.”[5] Achcar fails to mention that this eastern Libya base area was a principal recruiting ground for Al Qaeda, and that the killings of civilians and prisoners by these rebels has reportedly been large.[6] He does not suggest the possibility of a bloodbath if they were to take over Tripoli and western Libya.

    Comment by Peter Ward — April 30, 2011 @ 1:46 am

  18. Aarons, I already replied to your first (and identical) whine in “Is Qaddafi an anti-racist?” below.

    Spamming someone else’s blog just to attack one commenter who wounded your ego on a completely different blog isn’t kosher.

    Comment by Todd — April 30, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

  19. I thought I’d never live to see the day when a so-called Marxist would be advocating for the destruction of a Socialistic Arab nation. This is the information that has really been suppressed by the Left. Libya has practiced a form of governance that should have been studied but it has been suppressed by so-called Marxists/Socialists for decades. Apparently it is the pseudo-Left where the real scrutiny in needed.

    Comment by Deadbeat — May 1, 2011 @ 10:38 am

  20. If pointing out that a video going semi-viral makes up atrocity tales in the fashion of the tales of dastardly Huns impaling Belgian babies on their bayonets in 1914, then I am willing to accept the consequences.

    Comment by louisproyect — May 1, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

  21. If Todd (#18) thinks he “wounded [my] ego” on any blog, he’s delusional. See:
    https://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/is-qaddafi-an-anti-racist/#comment-54187

    I don’t think its ‘spamming’ to expose his classless ‘democracy’ fetish and other reactionary ideas wherever they drop from his anal orifice onto a web page.

    Comment by Aaron Aarons — May 2, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

  22. “If pointing out that a video going semi-viral makes up atrocity tales in the fashion of the tales of dastardly Huns impaling Belgian babies on their bayonets in 1914, then I am willing to accept the consequences.”
    Do not dismiss so lightly the German atrocities in Belgium.

    Comment by paul cockshott — May 3, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  23. This is you Louis a few comments up from getting the audio evidence of the Turkish worker:

    There is no support in Lexis-Nexis for the Turk speaking to the BBC. The article stated “One Turkish construction worker told the BBC”. There is no evidence that any Turk ever spoke to the BBC.

    And this is you after getting it:

    Thanks for tracking this down, Paul, but there is no other news item anywhere that corroborates this.

    I simply don’t get your issue with the Turkish worker, who, in essence, was quoted by the BBC writer you so freely libeled. Because the world’s media did not follow up his claim, does not mean that claim should not be quoted. When the dust has settled in Libya’s current firestorm, maybe you should track the story down yourself instead of relying on your readers. You could start with the BBC World Service’s Turkish Language service and stop flip-flopping to suit your views.

    Sal

    Comment by Sal Faber-Greene — May 4, 2011 @ 7:50 am

  24. “The prosecutor made no mention of NATO, which has also killed civilians since it began its
    bombing campaign on March 19. But he cited violence by angry mobs in Benghazi and other
    rebel-held cities against sub-Saharan Africans seen as pro-Qaddafi mercenaries, who had
    been “unlawfully arrested, mistreated and killed.” Some of the Africans, he said, were said to
    have been arrested by “the new authorities in Benghazi,” and their fate was not clear.”
    NYTs, 5/4/2011

    Comment by Bill Riordan — May 4, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  25. My first visit to this blog and it had to be what I hope is its worst ever post: the sloppy analysis, illogic, poor research, and lack of a credible political perspective to carry through the author’s points (as blunt and dumb as they are) are just some of the problems, with more pointed out above from other readers. So the author finds eyewitness testimony that has been under-reported in the English-language mainstream media. Big deal. Surprised? Really? And since when is Lexis-Nexis the undisputed arbiter of the truth and all that is to be known. The best tool is useless if one is going to be so naive and trusting.

    If this blog’s authors wants to discard that eyewitness testimony, will he discard all other eyewitness accounts too? Or is his requisite standard of truth that a possible lie is no longer a lie once more people repeat it? This actually reads like an extreme right-wing imperialist blog that has misappropriated a Marxist title to deceive readers. And it is Marxist, in name alone.

    Nice touch with slandering a whole slew of writers that clearly did far more research than yourself, and nit picking one single quote in a mass of other evidence, including from Human Rights Watch. That Libyan rebels have committed atrocities against black Africans, systematically and with extreme brutality, has now been amply documented. Your choosing to ignore those facts either makes you the dumbest Marxist tool of imperialists, or is an indication that you yourself possess some very pernicious racist tendencies.

    I am sorry to have spent time here, I will most certainly not be back. Thanks for the useful links though, I missed a couple of those articles and I am certain to derive greater benefit from them.

    Comment by Matt Callahan — May 14, 2011 @ 8:43 am

  26. And since when is Lexis-Nexis the undisputed arbiter of the truth and all that is to be known.

    Well, if you have evidence that 70 to 80 Chadians were killed in a pogrom, let’s hear it. Maybe the crypto-Stalinist left has better sources than Lexis-Nexis. My tendency is to reject bullshit, whatever the sources. I learned my lesson studying Soviet history from the 1930s.

    Comment by louisproyect — May 14, 2011 @ 12:32 pm


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