How the Times downplays the Libyan reality

Yesterday’s New York Times article which I posted, “Islamists’ Growing Sway Raises Questions for Libya,” miniminized those questions even as it raised them. Thus it said, “The most powerful military leader is now Abdel Hakim Belhaj, the former leader of a hard-line group once believed to be aligned with Al Qaeda.” [Italics added.]

To which Diana West replies at her blog:

“Once believed”? What a deceptively fuzzy term to use, given that the U.S. State Department, in its 2008 rundown of terrorist organizations, describes a 2007 “merger” between Belhaj’s “hard-line group” (the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) and al Qaeda!

This same “merger,” not incidentally, was announced by Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri. Indeed, as this 2005 Jamestown Foundation paper argues, it was Qaddafi’s opposition to the jihadist LIFG that changed his whole international footing. Jamestown writes: The internal challenge the LIFG posed to Qaddafi’s rule led him to “abandon his quixotic defiance of the United States and join the Bush administration’s war on terror, while the prospect of a LIFG takeover in Libya has facilitated American and European forgiveness of past transgressions.”

Let’s just take that in. Kaddafi opposed the al Qaeda-aligned LIFG, and he aligned himself with the U.S. war against al Qaeda. The U.S., by contrast, has helped LIFG come to power in Libya. We have become our own enemy. We are the ones now aligned with and facilitating our enemy.

And there have been no forceful denunciations of our insane and criminal Libyan intervention anywhere in mainstream American politics or media. For all our famous energy as a people, we are dead.

Diana also brings out that the cleric Ali Sallabi, described by the Times as one of the two most influential men in Libya along with Belhaj, is a serious Muslim (a.k.a. “Islamist”). So what is that business at the end of the article about Sallabi expressing his admiration for George Washington as the man who voluntarily gave up power? Here is the end of her blog post, where she quotes and comments on the Times article:

Most Libyans are quick to bristle at suggestions that their own Islamists might one day go the way of Iran, where after the fall of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini stomped out a short-lived liberal government by denouncing democracy as un-Islamic.

Mr. Sallabi said he hoped Libyans could find a leader on the model of George Washington, whom he had been reading about lately. “After his struggle he went back to his farm even though the American people wanted him to be president,” Mr. Sallabi said. “He is a great man.”

They do lay it on thick, don’t they?

Referring to Mr. Sallabi, Mr. Ben Issa, who said he has received death threats since breaking with the Islamists, retorted: “He is just hiding his intentions. He says one thing to the BBC and another to Al Jazeera. If you believe him, then you don’t know the Muslim Brothers.”
What was that again?

“He says one thing to the BBC and another to Al Jazeera. If you believe him, then you don’t know the Muslim Brothers.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 16, 2011 07:59 AM | Send

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