M D Nalapat
Although society in Europe and in the US has evolved significantly since the period when that continent enslaved much of the world, so that today Europeans are among the most liberal and enlightened of global citizens, yet because of the grip of elites over the media, several times they fail to appreciate ground reality. An example was the widespread belief in the US that Saddam Hussein was the chief of Al-Qaeda, when in fact that terror outfit spent many years trying to assassinate him. The demonization of the secular Saddam by US and EU media helped George W Bush and Tony Blair finish off the Iraq strongman. These days, a similar smear campaign has been launched against Colonel Kahafi, which is so extreme in its characterization that many in Europe and the US probably believe that the Libyan strongman - for whom NATO has prepared the same fate as befell Saddam - has horns and hooves. In reality, Libya is a country where women and religious minorities are given equal treatment, and whose life expectancy matches that of many parts of Europe.
The monopoly of the popular narrative by the economic elite has led to the uncontrolled explosion of greed that caused the 2008 collapse and which is leading to a fresh disaster by 20 12. Already, the same small group of speculators who cheated international investors of more than$6 trillion are once again up to their old tricks, sending up the price of commodities and spreading hunger and misery across the globe. The use of force in Libya is a warning by the NATO elites to the Arab elites not to go the Kadhafi way and seek to diversify their investments into non-NATO countries. Fear of NATO action will, it is expected, ensure that fresh trillions of dollars will be entrusted by the Arab elites to the same banks and financial institutions that cheated Arabs of more than $1.3 trillion in 2008. This fusion of criminal greed (of course, legalised and encouraged in the US and in much of the EU during and since the Thatcher-Reagan era) and a 19th century propensity to use military force to keep the natives cowed has meant that several countries face the danger of subversion of their own interests at the altar of seeking to rescue the NATO economies from the pit dug by its own elite.