last update November 22
Dedicated as it is to exploring the unreported underbelly of the Libyan civil war of 2011, this blog/site comes on the scene fairly late in the war. We're perhaps nearer its end than its beginning in mid-February. It will however continue to focus on the war's legacy on whatever shape Libya takes once the dust is settled, beyond covering the awkward conflict, however long it continues.
The Libyan Civil War: Critical Views makes no claim to present the full picture of what's going on - just some of the more important parts your governments and media might not be telling you about as they seek to justify a war they longed for well before the "protests" of 2011.
The sources and viewpoints called on here - like all human works - have their biases, mostly unusual and fairly overt. This stands out to the general public, steeped as they are in the pervasive, effectively invisible, and near-total bias of the Western mainstream media. We've been asked by narrowly-owned news sources to proceed on the simplified good-rebels-vs.-evil-dictatorship construct without any of these complicating considerations. This slant makes news into propaganda, and that's the opposite of a free society we claim to be fighting for over there.
The types of questions I raise here: "Who are the rebels and how did their rebellion start?" "How evil has the government response really been?""Why is regime change the only solution the West proposes to end the crisis?" "What are the ulterior motives of those who insist it is?" "How on Earth could it all be turned back now, after so many have invested so much, so brazenly, in such lean times?"
The site will feature some original and re-posted articles and essays, plus many valuable topical posts compiling snippets from and links to informative articles elsewhere. It's hoped the site will eventually become a well-organized hub of resources for a deeper understanding of what's happened or is still happening.
The site was created April 23 by researcher and commentator Adam J. Larson (aka Caustic Logic) of the United States (about the author coming soon). Other authors' work will appear here, in re-posted form if not by original contribution. For re-posts, I thank my behind-the-scenes e-mail tips from various other researchers, especially one Brian Souter. Articles shown as posted by Caustic Logic and not otherwise attributed at the top, were written by Mr. Larson. (like this one, with the third person creepiness). Otherwise, the author will be given at the top of a post, along with an original URL where appropriate.
The date and time fields are not to be taken literally - I use these often to bump updated posts back to the top, or down the list to make room at the top. The date posted and of the last edits are given in the post text, and usually kept current.
Also, comments of all kind (preferably civil and on-topic) are encouraged. Especially from Libyans if they feel the world's not hearing them well. In fact, if anyone would like to express their views in a moderately-viewed blog you don't have to create, you can contact me however and send something. Even if it disagrees with my views, I could find a place for almost anything that advances our understanding of a murky situation or starts a more useful dialog.
Note Nov.22: A few valuable readers/commentators, especially Felix, have been for while now crossing over into what I'm calling contributor status, scaring up links and views I wouldn't have myself, and enriching the site. Peet73 and Petri Krohn also warrant massive props for numerous contributions, and a few others deserve credit for the things they bring to the table. I'm past the point of being able to write on, respond to, or even to acknowledge, most of the great additional thoughts entering by comment.So be sure to check the comments beneath any post you find interesting- some of the best gems of information are sometimes under the article.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (as with comments, no guarantee of a response these days)
Update June 26: reflections on two months and beyond
The title of this blog is now officially not really correct. It never became the organized hub for a wide range of critical views and revealing facts.
My time and energy constraints haven't let up enough to let this be as amazing a site as I hoped, but it would seem I've had some success gathering useful information. As I've done before, it's been from selective obsessiveness over narrow to middling slices of the big picture. The post "rape allegations ganging up on Gaddafi" is a recurring must-read for a few new viewers each time Ms. al-Obeidi or other allegations comes up.
My re-posting of and comments on the video Libya Crisis: Events, causes, and Facts has been among the most viewed, thanks to recent crush of new viewers from Germany, where the rebel TNC was recently semi-recognized. A lot of Germans want to see the video of how these folks first came into control of much of Libya, and it's not too pretty.
Several other posts have helped shed light on murky episodes, and others have just let me vent some thoughts. Some just sit there, others get re-posted and cited widely. As far as the attention and validation aspect of this project (and hey, who isn't motivated by that in part?), I'm happy enough.
Otherwise, the course of events I've tried to follow along with has left me alternately dismayed, angry, and depressed. For this plus time and attention reasons, staying current with the whole field in any detail isn't working, and I have a hard time just re-posting things without adding something anyway ... so lately I'm just following the news loosely, and occasionally noting something as I learn of it.
Otherwise, I'm mostly sticking to my speciality - detailed consideration of what's already happened. And I mean really happened, as opposed to just reported. I'll continue to try and deliver sporadic brilliance, as time allows, and make this more of a tool to look back and understand, since all the truth exposed so far hasn't done a damn thing anyway to stop this sick war, and I can't work under that kind of immediate pressure anyway.
August 28: As mysterious massacres unfold across the holdout areas of Tripoli, I enjoy a viewing surge for indirectly related reasons: the other day, I had 3,052 new, unique viewers in a single day, and between 500 and 1,000 a day since. 11,277 people, or computers, or IP addresses, whatever, from 148 countries have visited the site. Many people aren't aware there are that many countries. There are several dozen more, and should be a few dozen more than that, in my opinion. It's a big world, after all.
As for one that's being removed and replaced (though not in that order), I am still recieving viewers from green-flag Libya, as I have steadily (if slowly - they're not Internet addicts there) for all but a few brief disruption, for this whole war. This despite persistent claims they've all been blocked to avoid dangerous ideas of freedom spreading. Bullshit! That's backwards! Anyway, the flag counter still has one more green flag, making 38 to date. Any day I expect it to change (a crash of Flag Counter the other day - just as embassies were changing their flags all over, might have been by clever hackers who tried to do it here - it was rebuffed, but some views went uncounted in the interim).
Anyway, I hope to see the green keep on rolling as long as flag counter keeps it, but I welcome future Libyan viewers of all stripes, even black and red. If civil society is to "finally" take hold there, this will require some serious reckoning and soul-searching by the people of Libya.
Also, I plan to re-name the site The Libyan Civil War: Looking Back in Shame, once I feel we are looking back. But I fear the civil war will continue for quite a while.
To add: I don't encourage continued fighting - I think if the Jamahiriya has mass appeal, it needs to sit tight until the new government's in place, then in a Libyan autumn of mass voice-raising - peaceful - demand at least a serious compromise in repayment for the immense trickery and suffering you were put through. It's worth a try, anyway, as opposed to just splashing all your blood against this war machine.
Here is the map of world viewers. I did a running one for the Lockerbie Divide, but never put one up here. Now as I await the changing of the flag on my counter, I'll show where it stands: 46 now from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and counting!
Sept. 22: Still green, and 92 now. Illusion though it is, it reflects a reality deeper than the main one, and perhaps stronger in the long run. One thing's for sure - this all-or-nothing, fight-or-die approach has been disastrous. Cartoons can win, if they've got good enough bombers and control of the world's legal levers. But tricks can only last so long ... My advice to the Greens: lay low yet stay visible, surrender and resist, compromise but unite, remain peaceful and fight like hell, and prevail. It's how you figure out what the hell that means the decides if it gets done or not.
Sept. 23: And that was it - within hours there was a 92 with the new flag next to it. That may seems slow to some, but Flag Counter still no flags for North Sudan and South Sudan. My new map locks the number of green flags at 92, and in roughly the space of my proposed East Libya will go the Libyan views past that. I do hope to get quite a few.
There are also notable increases since my last map from France and French-speaking countries (thanks Michel Collon), from Italy (thanks ... Italian person(s)), the USA (thanks ORXT1000) from across Africa (thanks, many, including Khadija Magardie), and worldwide (thanks Uruknet for many re-postings of my articles).
And for recent German readers, I thank some sharp comments at Spiegel's discussion forum. Here's the latest map, once the new Libyan flags (total minus 92) reached past 20 and the new level to go from deep green to olive. I have a Niger viewer now, and 181 nations total, and have added a new category for 1-3 viewers - it's the new zero.
At 190 countries, I had to check and decide Flag Counter uses a more liberal system. Generally, there 193-195 countries in the world, but I'm sure there are more than five flags I'm still missing at F.C. Finland and India have kicked ass lately, Russia's been making some moves up the ranked-views ladder, and new flag Libya has been allowing my site to be read, and it's getting read by 150 unique viewers now since the changing of the colors. The latest map I did a few days ago: