The PJ Tatler

Gaddafi and Ortega: Brotherhood of Blood

You may have missed it earlier this week, but not everyone on the planet is condemning Muammar Gaddafi for his massive slaughter of unarmed demonstrators. In a piece of mine published today at, I take a look at various Latin American leftist allies of the Libyan dictator who are either silent in the face of the bloody crackdown or actually stand by their friend Gaddafi as he murders his own people:

Ortega says that Qadaffi, ‘”is again waging a great battle’ to defend the unity of his nation” and that ‘”it’s at difficult times that loyalty and resolve are put to the test.”‘ Ortega shouldn’t really worry about Qaddafi’s “resolve.” The despot’s thugs and mercenaries are demonstrating that quality every day when they break into homes armed with swords and hammers, hacking and bludgeoning people to death. And how much of a “battle” can it be if Qaddafi’s air force is bombing civilians in the streets? Ortega is unconcerned; he blames the Libyan people getting shot down in cold blood for their own predicament, saying “There is looting of businesses now, there is destruction. That is terrible.”

One can only marvel at Ortega’s train of logic that shows concern for looted businesses and destruction — caused at least partly by Libya’s own air force — but not for women and children jumping off of bridges to avoid African mercenaries who are massacring everyone in sight.

Ortega is not the only leftist Latin leader who has expressed, if not solidarity, then at least understanding of Qaddafi’s actions. The mummified Fidel Castro is taking a “wait and see” attitude toward events in Libya. In a column published Tuesday, Castro wrote, “You can agree or not with Gadhafi. The world has been invaded by all sorts of news … We have to wait the necessary time to know with rigor how much is fact or lie.”

Good advice from the master of propaganda and deceit. It appears that Castro is perfectly willing to wait and see if reports of mercenaries from Chad and Nigeria roaming the streets of Benghazi shooting unarmed people in the head are true or not. Evidently, video evidence is just not good enough.

And what of Hugo Chavez? The voluble Venezuelan has maintained a stony silence in the face of Gaddafi’s outrageous violations of human rights.

What of Hugo Chavez? The man who can’t seem to keep his mouth shut about anything has been stone cold silent about the Libyan upheaval. As late as Monday there were rumors that Qaddafi was either planning to flee to Venezuela or was actually on the way. The Venezuelan government has denied these rumors, but Fausta Wertz, who follows the Latin American Spanish language newspapers very closely, told me that news reports had Qaddafi actually calling Hugo Chavez last week seeking asylum, but his Venezuelan friend turned him down – for the moment. Don’t be surprised to see Qaddafi change his mind about fighting to the last drop of blood and end up in Caracas.

If Chavez has muzzled himself, the state run media outlet Telesur is playing the role of Qaddafi apologist. Their reports about the massacres have been non-existent while giving “glowingly positive coverage” of Qaddafi. Perhaps Chavez is realistic enough to see that standing up for his Libyan revolutionary brother would isolate Venezuela at a time when he needs international investment to keep the economy afloat, but wishes to signal his support for his Libyan friend through his state-owned media.

What is it about these radical leftists that prevents them from condemning the bloodiest crackdown on civilians since Tiananmen? I believe that there is no moral framework by which these Latin American thugs can judge the actions of Gaddafi. To them, there is no right or wrong — only what works or what doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if 20,000 Libyans are mowed down. That would be regrettable but beside the point. As long as the “greater good” was served by Gaddafi staying in power, so be it.