Everything’s Cool in Libya Though, Right Steve?

My opinion, that NPR is a particularly insidious source of propaganda, is not new. As psychologists continue to demonstrate (behind paywalls, for the most part, the bastards), smarter people don’t hold a world view more in line with reality, rather they are better able to rationalize whatever worldview they happen to hold. Arguments with religious scholars about the tenets of their respective faiths demonstrate this amply.

Given the time pressures and competing political agendas, most smart people want to believe that things are going, at least passably well in some part of our sprawling empire. An ongoing series, “The Revolutionary Roadtrip,” by Steve Inskeep gives a 5 minute daily balm to any concerns the NPR audience might have.

I should interject, now that you’re three paragraphs in, that this isn’t some outstanding specimen of NPR state-narrative reinforcement. It’s pretty pedestrian actually. I just happened to hear it right before I read this counter-punch article which covered similar topics. I thought the comparison was fairly striking. To wit, Steve Inskeep:

Orwell came to mind for me as we traveled through Libya, because it was Orwell who said, “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.”

For forty-two years, Moammar Gadhafi controlled the present, rewrote the past to suit his ends, and seemed likely to hold on into the interminable future.

Now Gadhafi is gone, killed by rebels in his home city last October, and Libyans are still finding fresh and original ways to display the bloody images of his final moments on Facebook.

His death finally released Gadhafi’s grip on Libya’s recent history, and his people are just beginning to revise the record.

He goes on to talk about visiting the national museum, where all of the Gadhafi related installations have been removed.

And now, Counterpunch’s treatment of narrative-control in Libya:

It was decided long ago that no supporters of Gaddafi would be allowed to stand in the upcoming elections, but recent changes have gone even further. Law 37, passed by the new NATO-imposed government last month, has created a new crime of ‘glorifying’ the former government or its leader – subject to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment . . . Even more indicative of the contempt for the rule of law amongst the new government . . . whose only power base remains the colonial armed forces – is Law 38. This law has now guaranteed immunity from prosecution for anyone who committed crimes aimed at “promoting or protecting the revolution”. Those responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha – such as Misrata’s self-proclaimed “brigade for the purging of black skins” – can continue their hunting down of that cities’ refugees in the full knowledge that they have the new ‘law’ on their side.

Counterpunch also highlights the 50,000 killed by NATO forces, the necessity of removing Gadhafi before the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) could operate freely on the continent–until now AFRICOM was headquartered in Germany; and the US combat troops now engaged in South Sudan, Congo and Central African Republic. Counterpunch addresses the topic of Libya repeatedly and in depth, the archives are a phenomenal resource.

The rest of “the Revolutionary Roadtrip,” thus far, has highlighted North Africa’s favorite hot-sauce, camel meat as food, and a scare story about the danger of radical Islam derailing NATO’s “democratic reforms.”

It’s indicative that the very tippy-tip of the left-leaning mass media can’t even so much as hint at the return of brutal colonialism on an already tortured continent. It’s disinformation at it’s worst to highlight the brutality of the previous regime without mentioning that the current one has retroactively and in perpituity legalized death squads It’s the height of dark irony to allege Orwellian control by a very weak dictator from the gobal platform of the state radio of the most powerful and narrative dominating empire the world has ever seen.

It’s an illustration of the power of the human intellect. Such a flimsy and transparent touchstone will suffice to shield the public conscious from the blatant, deep evil of our rulers.

    • k.f. ochstradt
    • June 14th, 2012

    Nice work, Jad. Especially this:

    “…smarter people don’t hold a world view more in line with reality, rather they are better able to rationalize whatever worldview they happen to hold.”

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