March 23, 2011

Libyan Liberation leads to ethnic cleansing

One of the first things the Kosovo Liberation Army did after Bill Clinton bombed Serbia back to the industrial stone age for them in 1999 was ethnically cleanse Serbian-speaking Gypsies, on the grounds that A) They spoke Serbo-Croatian and thus probably sympathized with the Serbs, and B) Hey, they're Gypsies. This Wikipedia account says 90,000 Roma were expelled from Kosovo by the KLA.

David Zucchino reports from the rebel capital of Benghazi for the LA Times that something similar is, unsurprisingly, happening in Libya:
For a month, gangs of young gunmen have roamed the city, rousting Libyan blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa from their homes and holding them for interrogation as suspected mercenaries or government spies.

Over the last several days, the opposition has begun rounding up men accused of fighting as mercenaries for Kadafi's militias as government forces pushed toward Benghazi. ...

One young man from Ghana bolted from the prisoners queue. He shouted in English at an American reporter: "I'm not a soldier! I work for a construction company in Benghazi! They took me from my house … "

A guard shoved the prisoner back toward the cells.

"Go back inside!" he ordered.

The guard turned to the reporter and said: "He lies. He's a mercenary." ...

The opposition has acknowledged detaining an unspecified number of sub-Saharan Africans on suspicion of serving as Kadafi mercenaries. Human Rights Watch has described a concerted campaign in which thousands of men have been driven from their homes in eastern Libya and beaten or arrested. ...

One of the accused shown to journalists was Alfusainey Kambi, 53, a disheveled Gambian wearing a bloodstained sport shirt and military fatigue trousers. He said he had been dragged from his home and beaten by three armed men who he said also raped his wife. A dirty bandage covered a wound on his forehead.

Khaled Ben Ali, a volunteer with the opposition council, berated Kambi and accused him of lying. Ali said Kambi hit his head on a wall while trying to escape.

You know, that while-trying-to-escape thing happens a lot.
He commanded the prisoner to comment on his treatment in the detention center. Kambi paused and considered his answer. Finally, he glanced warily up at Ali and spoke. "Nobody beat me here," he said in a faint, weary tone. "I have no problems here."

And don't you forget it.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

OT.

Sarkozy looks like Caesar in CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.

Anonymous said...

Happens all the time. Liberation of South Africa from apartheid unleashed non-stop violence against whites(who really should prepare to get out of there). When China was liberated from Japan in WWII, there was considerable violence against Japanese settlers. Eastern European liberation from Nazi tyranny led to massive vengeful violence against the entire Ost-German population; up to 2 million might have perished. And the dual creation of India and Pakistan was not pretty. And Kurds, a long-suffering people deserving of liberation, committed acts of violence against Sunni Arabs. It would be nice if such violence could be avoided but they usually aren't. It comes with the territory.

Anonymous said...

Multiculturalism never works.
- Even in the context of a nation as controlled as Libya, under Islamic universalism.

Bud said...

All I can say is LOL.

Hail said...

I question "Wikipedia's" account of anything remotely political.

"Persecuting gypsies" is such an easy, easy accusation to make, just unverifiable and murky enough to be effective atrocity-propaganda on naive Western audiences. E.g., some people still claim to believe, with no evidence at all, that the Nazis killed a million or more gypsies.

TGGP said...

I'd heard of the Kurdistan Worker's Party committing violence against Turks, but I thought they mostly stayed out of the inter-Arab fray going on south of them in Iraq. Although I suppose the Arabs are all south of them since they've been kicked out of Iraqi-Kurdistan.

Re South Africa: founder of all-Boer community passes away.

Rain And said...

The War Nerd has been blogging Libya:

http://exiledonline.com/cat/war-nerd/

Höllenhund said...

"A) They spoke Serbo-Croatian and thus probably sympathized with the Serbs, and B) Hey, they're Gypsies."

C) They looted the houses of Albanians from which the residents had been evicted by the Serbs. I've read reports about this.

Dutch Boy said...

The difference here is that the cleansed are not natives of the area but "guest workers" and mercenaries brought in by Gaddafi to shore up his rule (i.e, they need to go home in any case).

Thrasymachus said...

Sub-Saharan blacks have been used as a tool against native Libyans by Qadafi. It would be nice if they all got bus tickets home, even the ones who actually were mercenaries and government spies, but that won't happen in an atmosphere of chaos. Rounding them up is a fairly reasonable act of self-defense.

Chicago said...

This "black mercenary" story is probably just the spin story the government and media have floated to make excuses for our chosen faction of rebels. It doesn't look good for them to be terrorizing and killing helpless black Africans so they have to besmirched them as being "mercenaries". Where's all the evidence for this "black mercenary" claim? There's been footage of camouflage clad blacks numbering in the ones and twos and we can't tell if they're Libyan citizens or not. Videos of a couple dead bodies and that's about it. Where's the line-up of captured mercenaries, the piles of captured weapons? The majority of the blacks look more like scrawny, scared individuals, not military men. To provide cover for those we are supporting we are explaining away their nastiness by attacking their victims, in effect claiming they had it coming.

Anonymous said...

If those guys ever get away from their captors, there's a plum fireman job waiting for them in Ohio!

Anonymous said...

It's another case of American exceptionalism. We Americans live in nation than includes people of the greatest variety and we generally have domestic tranquility and behave as one.

This is not normal. Even Britain still has Ireland, Scotland and Wales as geographical and quasi ethnic domains. And Britain is one of the pioneers of nationhood.

Italy wasn't a nation until Garibaldi and Germany until Bismarck. It took centuries for France to achieve its present national status.

So why do we act as if Libya and similar tribal clusters are somehow odd because they are not yet nations in the modern sense?

Libya is on the way towards nationhood. Based on European experience they should be a true nation in about one or two hundred years. Our current troubles will only be one of dozens of conflicts on that path. People narcissistically like to imagine that current day conflicts are important. Rather they are rather the "background noise" of history. War is the natural state of proto-nations and this one in Libya isn't likely to be a particularly important one.

The way to grasp this notion is to imagine that you want live in a world that has a stable and peaceful nation of Libya. You can live there only in the future. So you must travel there cryogenically.

I will go to the freezing center and contract for a period as a corpsicle. Do you think my contract should be fifty years, a hundred years, or two hundred years? How long should I sleep so that there was peace in the Middle East when I awoke?

This kind of thought experiment makes it clear that we live today in the brutal, barbaric past. No sense in getting too upset over current events.

Albertosaurus

Marlowe said...

You don't have to go back to 1999. During the last decade, in Iraq, post the 2003 U.S.A. led invasion, the Kurdish militias controlling the North of the country drove out non-Kurdish Arabs and Turkmen from Mosul, the oil capital.

Svigor said...

So why do we act as if Libya and similar tribal clusters are somehow odd because they are not yet nations in the modern sense?

Libya is on the way towards nationhood. Based on European experience they should be a true nation in about one or two hundred years.


Maybe it doesn't matter how long you are cryonically* preserved, because even if Libya is a nice, stable first world democracy by then, today's first world will be that many years along their post-first-world-democracy trajectory, and routinely bombing and sanctioning "backward first world democracies."

Ignore me, that's just my relentless pessimist/pragmatist talking. :)

*cryonicsunderstanding, anyway.

Svigor said...

Whoops, the thing got all mashed during editing. That should be:

*cryonics, not cryogenics.

Kiwiguy said...

OT. Steve,

Some interesting research.

Criminals Look Different From Noncriminals

Whiskey said...

The worst possible outcome is now at hand. Obama is handing over the operation (Kinetic Military Activities, Time limited scope delimited military action?) to NATO and specifically Turkey. So Khadaffi is preserved, the rebels preserved, a running sore insurgency is created, mass refugees appear, the oil (most important for Americans) never gets to market.

The other day the Anti-Gnostic joked about war for $1 oil. Assume on average that people buy 20 gals of gas a week, at either $1 ($20) or $4 ($80). That's a price difference of $60 a week, or $3.120 per year. Per year, assuming 196 million drivers (2003 figures) that's $614 billion a year, landing in consumer pockets. Given thin margins for world oil, this is not a trivial concern.

Whiskey said...

If you want a good explanation of the Clinton boom years, it co-incided with a drop in world oil prices. To very low levels. Oil prices in 1995 were about $17 a barrel. You can get a lot of economic activity at that low cost. Oil was yesterday, around $117 for Louisiana Sweet Crude, I assume similar figures for Brent, Forties, Urals etc.

Libya matters because that 10% of the world production has no slack that can be picked up elsewhere. The long the war drags on, the tighter world oil markets become and the more constrained US economic activity becomes.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the animosity is neccessarily directed against all blacks. Rather it's directed towards non-Libyan blacks.

When I was watching interviews with the rebel gunmen, I noticed a few of them looked black. More of an Arab-black mix than straight black, but not much different in appearance from our AAs.

Interrmariage between black and Arab is widespread throughout north Africa. Plenty of Egyptians could pass as brothers.

Lucania said...

Albertosaurus' comments are so absurd, I'm beginning to think the author's intent is purely satirical.

Thripshaw said...

These folks are the perfect candidates for refugee status – their lives are definitely in danger. Now that the MSM is focusing on their plight, how much longer will it be before our esteemed president Shlomo Kenyatta resettles thousands of them in the US?

I personally hope he resettles these truly needy hardship cases in stagnant, lily-white small towns in the American heartland. They would provide a shot of much needed vibrancy to invigorate these non-diverse backwaters. It’s a win-win for everybody!

Interested participants can contact your local churches and tell them to do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

"The difference here is that the cleansed are not natives of the area but "guest workers" and mercenaries brought in by Gaddafi to shore up his rule (i.e, they need to go home in any case)"

Yeah, home is where they need to go. Let's see if that bus heads South...

Gilbert Pinfold.

Truth said...

"This "black mercenary" story is probably just the spin story the government and media have floated to make excuses for our chosen faction of rebels"

Yes, the CIA.

In reality, you are absolutely right; this is a very small, yet sensationalisable and diversionary aspect of a much larger story: The US is starting another war to play keep-away-from-China with its oil.

"This is not normal. Even Britain still has Ireland, Scotland and Wales as geographical and quasi ethnic domains..."

Good point there, Rip Van Winkle.

Anonymous said...

"Albertosaurus' comments are so absurd, I'm beginning to think the author's intent is purely satirical."

Really? Actually, I kind of understood it and agreed with it. Maybe I need to take my temp?

Wait....no, no...no, that's when I find myself--yes, it's rare--agreeing with Whiskey, not with Albertosaurus.

Seriously, I liked As's comment.

none of the above said...

This is the sort of thing that would be an issue, if we were intervening in Libya for humanitarian reasons. But, of course, we're not. The Libyans rebelling against Gadaffi are mascots, not people anyone with power in the US cares about. If we happen to make Libya better off (not at all likely), that's fine, too, but the objective here is entirely political, and has nothing to do with choosing good guys and bad guys in Libya.

Anonymous said...

the objective here is entirely political, and has nothing to do with choosing good guys and bad guys in Libya.

What is the political objective again?

Anonymous said...

"it's the same thing night on night
who's wrong, baby who's right
another night and I slam the door
another battle in our dirty little war"

-B.S.

none of the above said...

Anonymous:

I'm not sure, but this makes no sense from a military or foreign policy standpoint, as far as I can tell, so there must be some kind of political motivation. My guess is that the real driver was from Sarkozy or Cameron, who need a victory to strengthen their political positions at home, and that we couldn't say no to countries who were providing NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Of course, it's possible that there are really good reasons to be doing this, which we don't know because they're rightly kept secret. But the US government has utterly spent its credibility for that kind of argument, by repeatedly intervening in countries where it turns out badly for all involved, and becomes clear later that there was no sensible plan or reason for doing what we did.

When smart people running some organization make dumb or crazy decisions, it's often because their internal power struggles have taken precedence over their desire to run the organization well. It's quite possible that this is a power struggle between State and Defense in which State won (note who was in public saying good and bad stuff about the idea), and that winning the power struggle was the important part, not who we bombed or what we did.

Does anyone else see a sensible motive? This really hasn't been done in a way to maximize Obama's public image. (If it goes well, it will probably help Hillary's image, and she's surely thinking about whether there's not an Executive Branch job, one hop up the chain of command from her current one, waiting in her future.) And yet, we jumped in with great haste in something that doesn't look to make much sense. I'd like to know why.

Daran said...

Human Rights Watch, aren't they on the payroll of Saudi Arabia?

Not surprised at the reports of ethnic cleansing / settling scores. Business as usual.

Kylie said...

"I personally hope he resettles these truly needy hardship cases in stagnant, lily-white small towns in the American heartland. They would provide a shot of much needed vibrancy to invigorate these non-diverse backwaters. It’s a win-win for everybody!"

You need to make a major distinction here, Bright Eyes, between the lily-white small towns that are leftist b/c they're college towns and the rest of us, who oppose the leftist agenda but have few legal means of registering our opposition.

The demographics in my small town are indeed 90% white. But the illegal immigrants, though small in number (1.3%), have already made our area much more vibrant. We've had a double murder and rape just in the last year or so in an area that some years has no reported rapes or murders at all.

Don't tar us all with the same brush.

Thripshaw said...

Dear Kylie,
My post was an (apparently unsuccessful) attempt at irony. I thought that calling our joke of a president "Shlomo Kenyatta" would make that clear. I was wrong.

I have zero desire for any refugees to resettle in any part of America, "red" or "blue."

Anyway, I enjoy your comments, and hope to read many more.

Anonymous said...

There are much worse things happenin than brutal imprisonment and "a bus ticket home": http://www.afrol.com/articles/37465

Anonymous said...

Something about Libya that doesn't add up is how quickly the diplomats felt brave enough to desert Gaddafi. If he was really an evil tyrant, weren't they afraid for their families? Or were their families safe in the East?

Too Tall Jones said...

ASnon says:
Happens all the time. Liberation of South Africa from apartheid unleashed non-stop violence against whites(who really should prepare to get out of there)
Whites have always been the subject of violence in SOuth Africa going back to the 1600s, including mass imprisonment in concentration camps by, gasp, OTHER white people. And blacks have always been targets of white violence as well. What else is new?


Thrasymachus said:
Sub-Saharan blacks have been used as a tool against native Libyans by Qadafi. It would be nice if they all got bus tickets home, even the ones who actually were mercenaries and government spies, but that won't happen in an atmosphere of chaos. Rounding them up is a fairly reasonable act of self-defense.

Complete nonsense. It would be better to start rounding up European blowhards, mercs, along with Arab soldiers of the regime.


Chicago says:
This "black mercenary" story is probably just the spin story the government and media have floated to make excuses for our chosen faction of rebels. It doesn't look good for them to be terrorizing and killing helpless black Africans so they have to besmirched them as being "mercenaries". Where's all the evidence for this "black mercenary" claim?

Amen. ANd "blacks" have been in the place we know as Libya for over 5,000 years. One of the earliest examples of mummification on record for example, is that of a black child-found in Libya at the Uan Rock Shelter. Curiously, self-styled "experts" on "black mercenaries" have little to say about the white Soviets that Khadaffi employed over the years of his regime and who supplied him with so many weapons and training. MiG fighters, grad rockets, T-54 tanks and excellent 120mm artillery shelling rebels, for example were introduced by white Soviets. Nor do self-styled "experts" have anything to say about the ARAb mercenaries, revoutionaries and assorted thugs Khadaffi has cultivated both internally and over the years elsewhere. A strange omission from these self-appointed "cleansers" of Libya...


It's another case of American exceptionalism. We Americans live in nation than includes people of the greatest variety and we generally have domestic tranquility and behave as one.

Only in some periods. In others, over half a million Americans died in something called the Civil War. And there have been numerous other wars as well, as the graves near the Greasy Grass River attest.


The worst possible outcome is now at hand. Obama is handing over the operation (Kinetic Military Activities, Time limited scope delimited military action?) to NATO and specifically Turkey. So Khadaffi is preserved, the rebels preserved, a running sore insurgency is created, mass refugees appear, the oil (most important for Americans) never gets to market.

Actual this was always a moderately likely outcome from "multilateralism".. or "kinetic" activities. It's not really cluster munitions Raheem, its "kinetic" bomblets.. lol