Unverified Misreporting on Libya

America’s media, Britain’s state-controlled BBC, other Western sources, and Al Jazeera are spreading unverified or false reports on Libya’s uprising.

On February 25, writer Madhi Darius Nazemroaya, a Middle East/Central Asian specialist, based on reliable in-country contacts, headlined an important article, “Libya: Is Washington Pushing for Civil War to Justify a US-NATO Military Intervention?”

For greater readership, this article covers key information in it. Its entirety explains much about what’s ongoing – what major media accounts misreport or suppress, especially television reaching large audiences, presenting distorted managed news. It shouldn’t surprise. Representing powerful interests, carefully filtered sanitized reporting substitutes for the real kind.

Gaddafi indisputably is despotic, governing by “fear and cronyism,” treating Libya as his “private estate,” and spawning “an entire hierarchy of corrupt officials,” disdainful of popular interests.

Nonetheless, something is “(r)otten in the so-called ‘Jamahiriya’ (state of the masses) of Libya.” Popular anger is justified and real. At issue is whether it’s spontaneous or externally generated, and, if so, by whom and for what reasons.

Western powers, especially America, gladly support despots. They only fall into disfavor by forgetting who’s boss. Mubarak forgot. So did Gaddafi, long targeted for removal despite rapprochement with America and Western nations. As a result, in-country reports lack credibility without verifiable proof. Much of it is lacking.

At issue is removing an outlier while keeping his regime intact, one friendly to Washington and Western interests. Acquiescence assures support for the world’s most ruthless tyrants. Straying gets them in trouble. Gaddafi strayed, leaving him vulnerable for removal.

Comparing Yugoslavia to Libya

In the 1990s, “pack (or) advocacy journalism” substituted for the real kind, including by promoting the 1999 US-led NATO war of aggression to complete Yugoslavia’s long-planned balkanization, characterized as “humanitarian intervention,” the same theme repeated now.

From March 24 – June 10, 1999, daily attacks were relentless. Around 600 aircraft flew about 3,000 sorties, dropping thousands of tons of ordinance as well as hundreds of ground-launched cruise missiles. Its ferocity to that time was unprecedented. Large numbers were killed, injured or displaced. Vast destruction was inflicted. Two million people lost their livelihoods, many their homes and communities, and for most their futures under military occupation.

Diana Johnstone’s “Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions” remains the definitive Balkan wars history, explaining what Western media reports suppressed. For America and European powers, it was about deterring Slobodan Milosevic’s “Greater Serbia” ambitions, a gross mischaracterization about 1990s events, culminating in naked aggression.

Libyan turmoil appears headed for a similar resolution, driven by unverified misreporting of events on the ground. In Yugoslavia, it was about removing Milosevic for a more accommodative replacement. In Libya, Gaddafi appears headed for the same fate, again by raw force, Washington’s alternate “diplomacy,” the same kind used to “liberate” Iraq and Afghanistan, destroying both countries, causing millions of deaths as well as vast devastation and despair.

Libyan Analysis in Bullet Points

– Unlike Tunisia, Egypt, and other regional allies, “upsetting (Libya’s) established order is a US and EU objective,” by replacing one despot with another.

– the West “seek(‘s) to capitalize on the revolt” for new leadership it controls.

– Heavy weapons are coming in.

– Destabilizing Libya affects its vast energy reserves and neighboring states, perhaps the entire region.

– Tensions among Libyan factions complicate matters further, including between Gaddafi’s son, Saif Al-Islam, “and his father’s circle of older ministers. Libyan ministers are generally divided amongst those (close to Said) and” member’s of the “old guard.”

– Other tensions exist between Gaddafi and his sons, perhaps one generation against another, each with its own ideas incompatible with the other.

– Gaddafi spent years purging opposition. Even so, “little loyalty is felt for (him) and his family.” Fear alone gives them power. Now it’s gone, denunciation of his regime openly stated. “Aref Sharif, the head of Libyan Air Force,” renounced him. Ministers and ambassadors resigned, some going abroad. “Defections are snowballing amongst the military and government.” Yet what’s ongoing may differ significantly from unverified or willful major media misreporting, including by Al Jazeera.

– Authentic opposition is real, but not organized. It’s “been encouraged and prompted from outside Libya through social media networks, international news stations, and events in the rest of the Arab World.” As a result, major media reports are suspect. Accept nothing from them at face value.

– Internal opposition leadership comes “from within the regime itself.” However, corrupt officials aren’t populists. They oppose Gaddafi but not tyranny, corruption, and other trappings of power and privilege. Some of them, in fact, wish “to save themselves, while others” want to “strengthen their positions.” It’s also possible or likely that they’ve allied with Western powers for their own self-interest.

– Major media reports, including by Al Jazeera, “about Libyan jets firing on protesters in Tripoli and the major cities are unverified and questionable….No visual evidence of the jet attacks has been shown.” Gaddafi, in fact, controls cities reported to be occupied by  opponents. Moreover, some accounts of violence are spurious. Stories are invented to “justify no-fly zones,” perhaps heading for war led by America and NATO.

– Corporate and Western interests in Libya, not despotism, explain what’s ongoing. They’re fueling civil war to replace one despot with another, one they control. “Chaos in the Arab World has been viewed as beneficial (to) Washington, Tel Aviv,” and other Western powers. Balkanization may be planned, similar to Yugoslavia, culminating as explained above – “liberation” for control, not democracy America won’t tolerate, including at home. If it happens, regional destabilization may follow, leaders everywhere wondering who’s next.

– Henry Kissinger once said: “to be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.” If balkanization is planned, friends and foes alike may be targeted if thought unreliable. Libya’s chaos also affects Europe and global energy issues, including price, for oil heading over $100 a barrel and maybe much higher, threatening fragile economies with deeper crisis.

– Washington wanted Gaddafi replaced for years. Former NATO commander General Wesley Clark once included Libya among future targeted countries besides Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. Divide, conquer and control, a game way pre-dating modern America.

– Libya conducted secret negotiations with Washington in 2001. Formal rapprochement followed, but doing business with imperial powers is dangerous, and in Gaddafi’s case perhaps fatal with no safe haven if civil war or NATO ousts him. Either “provides the best cover” for controlling Libya’s “energy sector and to appropriate (its) vast wealth.”

– Libyans should be wary. America and Western powers play hardball against popular interests throughout the region.

– “Actions of opposition to Gaddafi are strong, but there is no strong organized ‘opposition movement.’ The two are different.” Moreover, no opposition force wants democracy.

– Serious discussion suggests a Yugoslav-type “humanitarian intervention.” A “no-fly” zone is mentioned, an act of war if imposed, giving Western powers the right to intervene militarily the way Iraq was bombed in the 1990s. Invasion and occupation, in fact, could follow to replace the already weakened regime. Libya’s assets would be plundered, its people left with one despot replacing another.

A Final Comment

For decades, Gaddafi denied Libyans democratic freedoms. Imperial occupation, however, is worse, creating nightmarish conditions for Iraqis, Afghans, and others experiencing US-style rule, exceeding the worst of regional despots’ harshness, making some look benign by comparison.

Under more populist leaders than Gaddafi and internal opposition forces, mobilized resistance may prevent it, but not easily or quickly. Libyans must now liberate themselves, independent of Western powers wanting to exploit them for their own self-interest.

Stephen Lendman wrote How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Contact him at: lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM-1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening. Read other articles by Stephen.

7 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on March 1st, 2011 at 9:24am #

    Classic Israel Lobby propaganda. The Lobby has been busy trying to hype up a “NATO” intervention in Libya in the hope of fabricating a conflict between Europe and the Muslim world and thereby, they imagine, turning Europe into cannon fodder for Israel’s dirty wars. There is no serious discussion of such an intervention anywhere in Europe, for the very obvious reason that such an intervention would be counter-productive inasmuch as, like in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would simply rally the population against the foreign invader. Equally, what forces could be used for such an “invasion and occupation”? No European country has any such forces available and the US is totally bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. Does the Lobby really think anyone is stupid enough to fall for such an obvious scam?

  2. Ismail Zayid said on March 1st, 2011 at 9:44am #

    The concern, expressed by the US, UK, Canada and others, for the killing of innocent civilians by the Gaddafi regime, must be highly applauded. However, this selective concern, for human suffering amongst Libyans, is quite remarkable. Why, pray, did we not hear of such concern for the killing and murder of over 1400 Palestinians in Gaza, at the hands of Israeli bombing and use of prohibited weapons like phosphorus bombs? The US and Uk are talking about supplying weapons to Libyans resisting the Qaddafi regime. Yet, not only such offers were not made to the Gazans, subjected to that brutal Israeli onslaught, the Gazans were denied , by Israel, supported by the US and its allies, even food and basic medical needs.

    The hypocrisy of the West and selective concern for human rights must be condemned by all.

  3. Ron Horn said on March 1st, 2011 at 12:12pm #

    Also, see this which confirms that no air strikes against Libyans happened.

  4. Ron Horn said on March 1st, 2011 at 12:13pm #

    Also, see this (http://rt.com/news/airstrikes-libya-russian-military/) which confirms that no air strikes against Libyans happened.

  5. lizburbank said on March 1st, 2011 at 4:25pm #

    For well-documented true story see the following, and spread it widely!

    Collection of Digests 1/28/11 – 2/28/11 US New Soft-Hard Warfront in “No.Africa-MidEast / MENA” http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/340
    note errors: duplication of node #333, and #338 & 339 were posted out of chronological order

    1/28/11 US Behind Uprisings: Major Soft Power Front in Global World War http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/333

    1/29 Docs.Expose US behind ‘pro-democracy activists’ in New War Front http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/333

    2/4/11 Egypt: US Mission Accomplished? http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/334

    2/11 U.S. Declares Freedom: Egypt’s ‘New’ Military Dictatorship http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/335

    2/13 Egypt: Transparent Trappings:Creative Destruction for a ’Greater Middle East’& Beyond http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/336

    2/20 Removing Room for Doubt http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/337

    2/21/11 Behind the Offensive Across North Africa and Middle East http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/339

    2/28/11 Libya: US Soft War Preps for Military Moves: African & Arab Surrogates Assist http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/338

  6. mary said on March 2nd, 2011 at 12:34am #

    Cameron was gung ho in the House of Commons on Monday. Yesterday he was rowing back. The neocon soundalikes/lookalikes in his cabinet led by Gove and Osborne would obviously like an invasion in the style of Bush and Blair’s in Iraq.

    Meanwhile two US assault ships (Kearsage and Ponce) are making their way from the Suez Canal towards Libya. Marines are on board. God help us.

    {http://www.presstv.ir/detail/167786.html} dated early this morning.

  7. mary said on March 2nd, 2011 at 12:41am #

    Ron Horn said on March 1st, 2011 at 12:13pm ……

    I saw that Russia Today piece too Ron. It was posted on medialens.

    In 1990 Russia said they were monitoring by satellite and there were no Iraqi troops massing on the Saudi border, which US/UK were saying was the case and that Iraq was also going to invade Saudi Arabia. Russia even shared/showed the pics, dated, which showed absolutely not a soul on the border. However the neocons’ message was that Iraq was a threat to all its neighbours including Israel and we know what happened. Bet they are right again.