Who will paint the faces of the dead?

On facebook I saw that one of my friends had posted a photo of his fraudulency George Busy with a couple of his recent paintings of dogs. I asked why there were no pictures of dead soldiers. A woman responded that she thought my comment was in poor taste, Bush had done the best that he could and the soldiers were volunteers. I told her that apparently she had slept during the exposes of the Iraq war that showed Bush had ignored evidence that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq even before launching the invasion. Furthermore, Bush had blundered his way into two wars without adequate preparation and in the process turned the Clinton era budget surplus into a deficit. A couple of days ago there was a report by the Inspector General about the waste of money on the reconstruction of Iraq.Money down the drain lost through waste, fraud and abuse.

One person commenting on Bush said that his worst mistake was putting Donald Rumsfeld in charge as secretary of Defense. There were plenty of memorable moments in which Rumsfeld dodged questions about his ineptitude, changed his responses about what the phantom weapons would be found and failed to apologize for not providing the troops with the right gear to carry out their misguided mission. Almost as horrible as Rumsfeld was Condi Rice of the “mushroom cloud” comment implying that Iraq was rapidly pursuing a nuclear weapon, which she knew to be false. And I have never forgiven Colin Powell for his lies of mass distraction at the United Nations laying out the case for war. Nor have I forgotten the Fawning Commercial Media for going along with this farce, embedding their so-called journalists with the troops and not pursuing the truth.

And so we ask, in 2013, who will paint the faces of the dead? It will be a huge canvas stretching across many nations and having no end in sight. President Obama risks being one of the co-artists the longer we continue to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan. This is not about the bad paintings of a faux president. It’s about saving lives from the next war.


Is there an alternative?

Years ago there was what was called a socialist bloc of countries in eastern Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Most of those countries have now embraced capitalism. And of course, the Soviet Union disappeared altogether. It’s depressing to hear Cuban leaders talk of their economy being a basket case. I think of this because of a brief exchange I had on Facebook this week regarding the Libyan revolution. I support the right of the Libyan people to change their leaders and to overthrow  the government of Muammar Ghadaffi. Over 40 years in power is far too long for anyone.

Tonight I heard one of the leaders of the revolutionary council talking about Libyan needs including technology. At the same time the country will have access to over $100 billion in assets that will be unfrozen from accounts around the world to assist in this effort. Libya has already established markets for its oil. Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany, China and other countries have contracts to buy their oil. The US buys a tiny amount of its oil from Libya. This situation is expected to continue. At this point we have an imperialist dominated world and even the few nominally socialist countries are allowing more and more capitalist enterprises.

The question is whether the capitalists will absorb Libya. But the model of faux Pan Africanism that Ghadaffi used as his justification for clinging to power does not work. It is time for a new generation of Libyans to direct their country’s fate. Let us hope that the use the resources of their nation wisely.

A year later, things still remain in flux. Revolutions take time to transition to a functioning government. Will the trains run on time under the new government?


Zimbabwe (Photo credit: AFSC Photos)
The leader de facto of Libya, Muammar al-Gadda...
The leader de facto of Libya, Muammar al-Gaddafi. Português: O líder de facto da Líbia, Muammar al-Gaddafi. Deutsch: Libyens de facto Staatsoberhaupt Muammar al-Gaddafi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Muammar Gaddafi is at the end of his chess match. He as no more moves left. His sons have been captured or surrendered. The  revolutionaries have taken over most of the capital of Tripoli with little resistance. From monitoring twitter, Al Jazeera and other media it is clear that his government no longer exists. Elements of former military may still be hiding out. Rumors abound that NATO has its designs on Libyan oil. What is clear is that Muammar Gaddafi does not control the oil. The revolutionary council that defeated him will need to set up a new government and the people who have participated in making the revolution need to return to routine jobs. There are warrants for Muammar Gaddafi to appear before an international criminal court to answer charges relating to his efforts to defeat the revolutionaries. He can surrender to the new authorities and attempt to arrange to be transported to a country like Zimbabwe that does not recognize the courts or end up in South Africa whose leaders met with him several times while he stubbornly clung to power. A less dignified approach would be to end up in a rabbit hole captured like Saddam Hussein. The tribes did not respond to his call to come and sacrifice themselves to help maintain his regime. It is time to accept the new realities and call for an end to the remaining resistance in order to prevent further loss of life. Libya has won.