Faculty Viewpoint: Putting Libya into focus (first published in The Montclarion, Thursday April 24, 1986, p. 11) What we think about the bombing of Libya win depend upon how we view America itself. Newspapers, radio and television portray our government as peace loving, seeking justice, opposed to the kind of terrorism Khadafy is certainly guilty of. The only "debate," as framed by the media, is over whether the bombing was the "best way" to "oppose terrorism." The mass media never question this benevolent portrait of American intentions. But there is another responsible viewpoint which paints an uglier picture of our government's actions. The evidence that supports this viewpoint has been compiled by human rights groups, researchers, and journalists both here and abroad. But few Americans are aware of it because our media distort. underplay. or simply ignore this horrifying information. As in any debate. we cannot discover the truth when we are kept from knowing all sides and the evidence in favor of, and against, each one. Instead of a balanced presentation. we are given propaganda for one side only. Supporters of this position point out that the "death squads" which torture end murder thousands each year in Latin America and elsewhere were trained and equipped by the U.S. They remind us that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has carried out hundreds of armed terrorist raids against Cuba and eight attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. They reveal that. in the only confirmed example of germ warfare in hi story, the CIA introduced into Cuba the virus to create the i 970 swine flu epidemic . Our government also supports massive terrorism by others. U.S. backed "contras" torture and kill Nicaraguan civilians. Israeli bombing raids on Palestinian towns have slaughtered many times the number of civilians as have PLO raids into israel. But only PLO raids are caned "terrorist i st" in the American media; the far more murderous israeli actions are termed "retaliation." These sources challenge us to remember that recent U.S. military actions make Khadafy's terrorism look like small potatoes. During the Vietnam War the CIA's "Phoenix campaign" resulted in the murder of 30,00080,000 civilians suspected of being unsympathetic to the U.S.- supported dictatorship in the South. Many innocent Lebanese civilians were slaughtered by shells from the battleship New Jersey in December 1983. In short, there is much evidence that the U.S. commits brutality, murder and terrorism on a scale that dwarfs anything Khadafy could ever achieve. In this interpretation of American foreign policy, Libya was bombed as a part of the global power struggle between American and Soviet elites. Pious talk of "combatting terrorism." "support for civilized values." etc. is thus a fraud. a smoke screen to justify these shameful crimes to the American people. It is also aimed to get us to accept U.S. war making as "normal", in preparation for an invasion of Nicaragua or other more military adventures in the near future. It will be a painful experience for any American to seriously consider this account of our country's role in world affairs. Yet what has been outlined above is only the beginning. Further research will suggest that the United States follows an imperialist policy of seeking cheap labor and raw materials,, and win support.any inhuman fascist which serves these aims. That the interests of the business elite that dominates our country are diametrically opposed to those of the American working and middle classes. That the U.S. government's claim to be supporting "freedom" is as false as is the Soviets' claim to be supporting the working class of the world. It is painful. too. to reconsider the anti-communism we are all taught to believe. Many argue that the U.S. brands as "communist" all those who work for a better life for the majority of people; that in fact most rank-and file communists-- although not necessarily their leaders-- around the world are sincere idealists struggling against injustice. And if we understand "communism" as`Marx and- Lenin did. as referring to a classless society where no.one has more than anyone else. it follows that the Soviet, Chinese. Cuban. etc. regimes are no more "communist" than Ronald Reagan. What can we do? A great deal. We should not "accept" or "reject" the viewpoint presented above. Rather, we should start by questioning the preconceived ideas that we have been indoctrinated with. We can look into the evidence that has been withheld from us. We can distrust the mass media. The mere fact that they omit important viewpoints that clash with the government's propaganda should make us very suspicious. And we can remember the cardinal rule: Never trust the U.S. (or any other) government, or believe what it says. This article may make.you angry. Resist the temptation to dismiss it. Instead, contact The Montclarion office