Blog post

"Another case of selective vigilantism": Tariq Ali weighs in on support for strikes against Gaddafi

Morgan Buck29 March 2011

"'Look at us,' say Obama/Clinton and the EU satraps, 'we're doing good. We're on the side of the people.' The sheer cynicism is breathtaking."

Writing for the Guardian today, Tariq Ali delivered a damming interpretation of the motivation compelling the air strikes that continue to garner support from the international community and mainstream media:

We're expected to believe that the leaders with bloody hands in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are defending the people in Libya. The debased British and French media are capable of swallowing anything, but the fact that decent liberals still fall for this rubbish is depressing. Civil society is easily moved by some images and Gaddafi's brutality in sending his air force to bomb his people was the pretext that Washington utilised to bomb another Arab capital. Meanwhile, Obama's allies in the Arab world were hard at work promoting democracy.

The Saudis entered Bahrain where the population is being tyrannised and large-scale arrests are taking place. Not much of this is being reported on al-Jazeera. I wonder why? The station seems to have been curbed somewhat and brought into line with the politics of its funders.

All this with active US support. The despot in Yemen, loathed by a majority of his people continues to kill them every day. Not even an arms embargo, let alone a "no-fly zone" has been imposed on him. Libya is yet another case of selective vigilantism by the US and its attack dogs in the west.


Obama talks of a merciless Gaddafi, but the west's own mercy never drops like gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It only blesses the power that dispenses, the mightiest of the mightiest.

Visit the Guardian to read the article in full. Tariq Ali will be speaking in New York City on May 17th at Galapagos Art Space: "From Cairo to Madison," a discussion on the global implications of the revolts shaking North Africa and the Middle East.