By Jacob G. Hornberger
President Obama's claim that his concern for Libyan
civilians motivated him to wage his undeclared war of
aggression on Libya has got to be one of the most
laughable lies to come out of a president's mouth
since President Bush's bogus WMD rationale that he
used to scare the American people into supporting his
undeclared war of aggression on Iraq.
Let's get one thing straight: Neither Obama nor
Bush nor any other statist U.S. official gives a hoot
for civilians in Libya or, for that matter, in most
other countries around the world.
What matters to the U.S. Empire — what has always
mattered — is who runs the regimes in those countries.
The goal of the Empire is to install U.S.-approved
rulers to run countries around the world and to follow
imperial orders when necessary — for example, to be
amenable to letting the Empire install military bases
within the country, to be willing to cast a favorable
vote in the United Nations, or be an enthusiastic
joiner in some "coalition of the willing."
The civilians in such countries? They don't matter.
They never have. They're the peons. Once a
U.S.-approved ruler takes charge in a particular
country, U.S. officials let him do whatever he wants
to his own people in order to retain power. It doesn't
matter. What matters is the "order and stability" that
comes with imperial rule across the globe.
Recall the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children
that were being killed, year after year, by the cruel
and brutal sanctions that the U.S. Empire was
enforcing against the Iraqi people for more than 10
years. Year after year, those children were dying.
They were civilians. It didn't matter. U.S. officials
didn't care one whit for what was happening to them.
What mattered was getting rid of Saddam Hussein and
replacing him with a U.S.-approved ruler. See
"America's Peacetime Crimes against Iraq" by Anthony
That's what the Iraq sanctions were for — regime
change. That's what Obama's Libyan intervention is all
The infamous and supremely callous statement by
Madeleine Albright perfectly expressed the mindset
that U.S. officials have toward civilians in the
Middle East. When asked by "Sixty Minutes" whether the
deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children (who were
civilians) from the sanctions were worth it, Albright
responded that such deaths were, in fact, worth it. By
worth it, she meant the attempt to oust Saddam Hussein
from power and replace him with a U.S.-supported
ruler. The Iraqi children were expendable in the
pursuit of that goal and no number of deaths to
achieve that goal was considered too high.
What was Albright's official position when she
issued that statement? She was the U.S. government's
official ambassador to the United Nations. She was the
Empire's spokesman to that worldwide body. She was
speaking on behalf of the U.S. government.
Think about all the dictators and dictatorships in
the Middle East and elsewhere that the U.S. Empire has
knowingly, intentionally, and deliberately supported.
The Shah of Iran. Saddam Hussein. Hosni Mubarak.
Tunisia. Yemen. Jordan. Saudi Arabia. Kuwait. Bahrain.
Pakistan. Pinochet. Guatemala. Argentina. Nicaragua.
The list goes on and on.
These have all been extremely brutal dictatorships,
and U.S. officials have known that they were brutal
dictatorships. That didn't matter. Indeed,
U.S.-supported dictators have long been considered
good allies in the "war on terrorism," especially with
the "order and stability" that comes with
What all too many Americans do not want to face is
that their very own government has been complicit in
the evil that these dictatorships were inflicting on
their own civilians in their respective counties.
Through it all, the dictators and their loyal goons
have been fully supported by U.S. officials. It was
the U.S. government that was paying for the tyranny,
torture, and oppression with hundreds of millions of
dollars in IRS-collected tax money that was paid to
the dictators in the form of foreign aid. It has been
our government — the U.S. government — that has been
funding the terror and torture centers and paying the
salaries of the torturers for decades.
Obama's supposed concern for Libyan civilians is a
lie, one intended to make the American people feel
good about another imperial regime-change operation.
After all, if Obama and his statist cohorts in the
federal government really cared about foreign
civilians, why would they still be funding and
cooperating with U.S. supported dictators in the
Middle East and elsewhere around the globe?
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The
Future of Freedom Foundation.