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Jul-03-2011 18:41printcommentsVideo

Reporters Can Disagree Over Libya, but Solidarity is Key

My questions to those criticizing Franklin Lamb and Cynthia McKinney's positions on Libya...

Police state
We must remember what it is all about...
Image: ojaipost.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - I don't want to be unique in remaining open minded as a news editor with regard to our writer's content on Libya. Recent articles suggest NATO's attacks on Libya are a poor and dangerous use of western military resources that once again, contrary to much popular belief, may only lead to disaster and needless collateral damage.

Many stick to their guns on this, believing that any path leading to the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi is one to stay on. They bring up his support for Israel, his detachment from the rest of the Arab world, murder of his own people, etc. Much of it is very similar to other world leaders. It's a mixed message; in spite of his favorable regard toward Israel, critics admit that Gaddafi at least regards himself as an advocate of Palestine.

I have to say on this one, that I was fully raised to be assimilated with anti-Gaddafi sentiments. I was a Marine in the early 80's and vividly recall one particular staff sergeant at Camp Pendleton who loved to sing about the Libyan political leader, or dictator.

Most of it I can't recall, but I know it was based on the song 'Tiny Bubbles' and substituted 'Colonel Gaddafi' with some of the regular lines, and led to... make be want to puke! It was crude and profane, typical for the environment. Politics of war were stuffed into our shaven heads, but then as young peacetime Marines we were little more than unsharpened blades in the tool box of future conflict, there to be molded and shaped.

I have to wonder if part of what is taking place, is an extension of that same time period's pro-Reagan thinking. The biggest question, is when does a political leader kill enough people that we, the west, should start killing more in the name of our type of justice?

When do two wrongs make a right?

Also, bearing in mind that Freedom Flotilla II is presently trapped by the Greek Navy, acting on behalf of Israel, unable to reach Gaza... you have to wonder how much of this is a sideline distraction to take our eyes off the ball, really.

Existing Models of U.S. Military Aggression

I have to wonder if people backing the NATO invasion have been to Iraq or Afghanistan to see the results of these endeavors. I have never been to Palestine and I regret that, but I have been to the U.S. wars and I have talked to the people in these countries and I have seen the physical results of massive bombing and military attack. It is not a good scenario. The United States, in spite of anything ever stated, by any party, only acted in its own interest and that of Israel's in launching the present conflicts.

Whether any of it was actually in the better interests of the United State is highly debatable, I say it was not at all beneficial in any respect.

So here we are at the crossroads again, and some people are standing up and speaking out on both sides of the aisle, people who are longtime friends and advocates.

Our staff writer Dr. Franklin Lamb wrote: Libya's Neighborhoods Prepare for NATO's Boots - Countdown to Invasion - Dr. Franklin Lamb Salem-News.com

Sami Jadallah, who is a Palestinian native, wrote: Libya and hypocrisy of the 'Left' - Sami Jadallah Special to Salem-News.com

Other players in this are former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney who sides with the point of view Franklin and others are bringing forth: Cynthia McKinney Denounces Libya Bombing - GlobalResearch.ca

And also Stephen Lendman, who wrote: Pack Journalism Anti-Gaddafi Propaganda - by Stephen Lendman - indybay.org

We modern day resistance-minded writers with Salem-News.com, Veterans Today, CounterCurrents and so many more groups, must remember the one word that binds us, and that is solidarity. I am troubled by what I see as a mark of division in the movement and I have to ask, don't we have enough of a common bond to allow room for other points of view?

This is touchy territory fellow journalists of truth, justice and peace; any time U.S. or British or French planes start flying with the goal of dropping hideous, often illegal bombs, we're putting problems into play that should never see the light of day. Do we forget about depleted uranium (DU) and the host of other illegal materials that the U.S. and Israel like to drop on people's heads as they eat dinner?

No, nor should we forget that backing leaders with flawed ideologies is equally risky business. Much of it comes down to the witnesses on the ground, which is why I never hesitated to publish Dr. Lamb's article, nor would I tomorrow, and at the same time I won't hesitate to carry a piece like Sami's which is full of good and logical points. But Franklin's view is first-hand, up close and valuable. I know about Franklin and his tireless work at the Shabra Shatilla Refugee camp in Lebanon. It is awe inspiring and wickedly tragic.

Nobody who does what he does should be too quickly judged because the mission of this former Oregonian is selfless. I appreciate Sami's approach and his clear message, "...my colleague Franklin Lamb, a man who I much admire and respect for his many years of advocacy of Palestinian rights in Lebanon".

One piece of this that has stuck around from the beginning; Ken O'Keefe's thoughts about what a negative thing any NATO activity would probably lead to. He said months ago that the aerial missions would lead to a ground mission, they always do.

We have been given apparent choices that are the wrong options. The most important thing is that those who oppose cruelty and Genocide and apartheid and fascism can't expect to agree on everything, and we are not always right, is that not true?

Restiamo umani - Stay Human - Stay Together

And while we're at it, here is another amazing memory from Pete Seeger...

_________________________________________________________

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 93 Salem-News.com writers in more that 20 countries. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com. Another way to reach Tim is by leaving a comment on any Salem-News.com story, specify 'message to Tim'




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Gaza Supporter July 4, 2011 4:42 am (Pacific time)

Absolutely, keep the infighting to a minimum, use discipline and restraint. Remember the contributions of those you disagree with, stay focused on the mission ahead, we're counting on you guys, all of you.

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