AFRICANGLOBE – President Barack Obama on Tuesday at The United Nations met with Mustafa Abdel Jalil, “chairman” of Libya’s National Transition Council (NTC). The NTC “rebels” recently conducted an ethnic cleansing campaign against Black Libyans in the city of Tawergha. Earlier in the summer, the “rebels” had ethnically cleansed Misurata of its Black Libyan population.
The cleansing –which is a war crime and a crime against humanity even if the ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo hasn’t yet mentioned it– was reported in two ground-breaking articles in The Wall Street Journal, on June 21 and on September 13.
The New York Times, the United States’ premier establishment newspaper and trend-setter for other U.S. media coverage, has yet to mention the ethnic cleansing of Black people in the city of Misurata and subsequently in Tawergha.
The Journal in its June 21 article quoted “rebel” officials saying that one neighborhood that was once 4/5 Black, had been cleansed of its Black inhabitants. The Journal article reported that Misurata had even announced a bounty for the head of Black people.
The Journal reported that the deeds were carried out by “The Brigade for Purging Slaves, black skin.”
The editors of The Times know about the ethnic cleansing of Black Libyans campaign since The New York Times has had several correspondents in Libya since the beginning of the civil war in February. What’s more, New York Times editors and reporters read The Wall Street Journal.
After recently capturing Tawergha, the “Brigade for Purging Slaves, black skin,” delivered on the promise reported in the June 21 Wall Street Journal. Tawergha, a city inhabited by Black Libyans, was pillaged and the city was razed; no one knows what’s happened to the 10,000-strong population. In it’s September 13 account, The Wall Street journal reported that its reporter witnessed “rebels” burning the homes. The “rebels,” chillingly, also made their motives and intentions clear: on the walls of the homes whose owners were now unaccounted for, the “rebels” had scrawled the words “slaves” and “negroes” The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Tawergha is no more,” a “rebel” commander declared, The Journal reported.
Clearly, the TNC leadership bear responsibility for the atrocities. The Journal reported that Jalil’s next in command, the TNC’s “prime minister” said of the atrocities: “Regarding Tawergha my own viewpoint is that nobody has the right to interfere in this matter except the people of Misurata.”
So why, you might ask yourself, has The New York Times not reported on this first major case of ethnic cleansing of the 21st Century?
Does anyone believe that if The New York Times editorial and news pages were controlled by people who cared about Black people or Africans that these atrocities, reported by The Journal and The U.K.’s Sunday Telegraph, would not have made the front page?
Ironically, The Times’ is supposedly the “liberal” news publication and the conservative Wall Street Journal is the publication that ends up exposing a campaign to ethnically cleanse Black people.
The Times never made a secret, in its news page coverage, and in its editorials, which side it was rooting for in the Libyan civil war; the NTC NATO-backed “rebels.”
Yet, to ignore the ethnic cleansing of a whole city of Black Libyans simply because it does not fit the narrative of the “rebels” as angelic and Muammar Al-Gaddafi as demonic is beyond racism and suggests depraved and barbaric indifference towards Black human life.
We can understand why the Obama Administration, and the Administrations of David Cameron in the U.K. and Nicolas Sarkozy in France, would want to whitewash the ethnic cleansing campaign conducted by the NTC.
The U.S., the U.K., and France were the primary sponsors of the NATO bombardment of Libya and NATO’s undisguised support of the NTC, fighting in unison as the air-forces of the “rebels.” This means that, in effect, the U.S., U.K., and France are also culpable in the NTC’s ethnic cleansing of Black Libyans campaign.
That’s why Sarkozy and Cameron rushed to Tripoli last week. It was a desperate attempt to spin news headlines away from Tawergha. They correctly predicted that pliant corporate media would deploy resources to coverage of ther stage-managed “triumphal” visit.
Sarkozy and Cameron, the most active supporters of NATO’s LIbyan intervention, are also the most culpable outside players.
In time, even if The New York Times never covers the Tawergha atrocities, the story will get out widely; it’s already gaining global residence, through other media outlets, online publications, as well as social networking media. In due course, there could also well be discoveries of mass graves.
What’s more a lone courageous U.S. politician, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., has also denounced the ethnic cleansing and called on the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague to investigate the “crimes against humanity.”
Other U.S. elected officials should make similar demands. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Appropriations committee, Rep. Jackson has also said he will ask that any U.S. tax-payer money for assisting recovery in Libya be conditional.
Meanwhile, Jalil can bask in the propaganda value of meeting with the President of the United States. Yet no amount of postering can shield him, his NTC colleagues, and his NATO backers, from responsibility for the war crimes committed against the Black citizens of Libya by the “Libyan Rebels.”