Western Media Lies in Libya

The destruction of Libya: the cake
The destruction of Libya: the cake

With yet another lie today (the presumed death of colonel Mouammar Kadhafi… buried in the desert), I thought about recapitulating all the lies we’ve been served by western media since the attack of NATO on Libya:

21/02/2011 : The British minister of foreign affairs, William Hague, announced that Mouammar Kadhafi with his wife and daughter, had left the Libyan territory, and were in Venezuela (Lie!!!)

21/02/2011 : Saif Al Islam Kadhafi had been wounded in a fight with rebels (Lie!!!)

23/02/2011 : Aïcha Kadhafi had ran away to Malta (Lie!!!)

20/03/2011 : Khamis Kadhafi died in Brega in a plane crash (Lie!!!)

10/08/2011 or 05/08/2011? : Khamis Kadhafi died in Zliten, after a NATO raid (Lie!!!).

22/08/2011 : Saif Al Islam was captured by rebels, and his brother Mohamed had surrendered. Obama even came out of vacation to confirm in a speech… the next day, guess who was free? Saif!!! Never captured, etc…

27/08/2011 : Mouammar Kadhafi had ran to Algeria (Lie!!!)

29/08/2011 : Khamis Kadhafi had died in Tarhuna after intense combats, and was burried in Zliten… officially listed on the Wikipedia page. (Lie!)

29/09/2011: Mouammar Kadhafi was hiding near Algeria (Lie ?)

Libyan flag
Libyan flag

Last week: Moutassim Kadhafi had died (another Lie!!!)

Kadhafi is in Niger (Lie!!!) – Kadhafi is sick and will be transported to Saudi Arabia (Lie!!!) – Kadhafi is in the south of Libya (Lie!!!) – Kadhafi has been cornered in his campground (Lie!!!) – and the biggest of all, the start of it all, Kadhafi has killed 6000 of his own people (or was it 10,000?) (Lie!!!)

The list is so long… How many times has Khamis died again? 8 times! and how many times was Saif captured? at least twice! How many times did Kadhafi run away? Did we ever see OBL’s body after his supposed death in May? No wait… it was disposed off at sea! Now Kadhafi’s body has been disposed of in the desert! I guess one lie couldn’t fly twice. Well… my friends, the message is simple: stop being gullible… open your eyes and learn. Read Mathaba!

Africans and the Trap of Democracy

Libya, the Prey of the West
Libya, the Prey of the West

With the bombing of the presidential residence in Cote d’Ivoire by French forces for over a week, followed by the arrest of president Laurent Gbagbo, with the current intense bombing of Libya by NATO for the past 6 months, I cannot help but try to answer some of the same justifications used by Africans to approve the bombings by foreign troops on their neighbors’s countries, and ultimately on African soil. Any African who claimed and accepted that Cote d’Ivoire should be bombed by the French, shame on you! Any African who thought that the bombing of Libya was correct… shame on you! Any African who uses the same stupid phrase used by the West to abuse us: “… well Gbagbo had his day, he was in power for 10 years!… or Kadhafi was there 42 years!” Well my friend… Shame on you! Should democracy be imposed using bombs? Should democracy be imposed using warplanes, and Apache helicopters? Is it democracy to bomb the people you plan to help? Is it democracy to deliberately bomb civilian targets, hospitals, state televisions, homes, etc… to, like NATO said “protect civilians”? Was there not a peaceful solution? Was it so hard to re-count the votes in Cote d’Ivoire? Was it so hard to organize elections as Kadhafi asked? Why bomb? Why bomb? Why bomb?…

Libyan flag
Libyan flag

Now tell me, you, African who live in the west, are you in a democracy? When government increases taxes… do they ask you? When airline companies increase the price of air ticket, do they ask you? When school tuition goes up by 15%, have you been asked? Continue reading “Africans and the Trap of Democracy”

NATO’s debacle in Libya

Libyan flag
Libyan flag

This article by Alexander Cockburn is on the Pambazuka website.

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After three and a half months of bombing and arms supply to various rebel factions, NATO’s (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) failure in its efforts to promote ‘regime change’ in Libya is now glaring. Obviously NATO’s commanders are still hoping that a lucky bomb may kill Gaddafi, but to date the staying power has been with the Libyan leader, whereas it is the relevant NATO powers who are fighting among themselves.

The reports from Istanbul of the deliberations of NATO’s contact group have a surreal quality as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Minister William Hague gravely re-emphasise their commitment to regime change and the strengthening of ties to the Transitional Council in Benghazi, while the humiliation of the entire NATO expedition is entering the history books as an advertisement of the dangers of political fantasy in the service of ‘humanitarian interventionism’, appalling intelligence work, illusions about bombing and air power and some of the worst press coverage in living memory.

[….] Cameron, like Sarkozy, Clinton and Barack Obama presumably had intelligence assessments of the situation in Libya. Did any of them say that Gaddafi might be a tougher nut to crack than the presidents of Tunisia or Egypt, might even command some popular support in Tripoli and western Libya, historically at odds with Benghazi and the eastern region? If they did, did they pay any attention?

The Western press, along with al-Jazeera, was no help. The early charges of Gaddafi committing ‘genocide’ against his own people or ordering mass rapes were based on unverified rumour or propaganda bulletins from Benghazi and have now been decisively discredited by reputable organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Any pretensions the International Criminal Court (ICC) might have had to judicial impartiality have been undermined by the ICC’s role as NATO’s creature, rushing out indictments of Gaddafi and his closest associates whenever NATO’s propaganda agenda has demanded it. […]

All history shows that the dropping of thousands of bombs and missiles, with whatever supposed standards of ‘pin point accuracy’, never elicits the enthusiastic support of civilians on the receiving end, even if a certificate of humanitarian assistance and merciful intent is stamped on every projectile. Recent pro-government rallies in Tripoli have been vast. Libya has a population of about 6 million, with 4 million in Tripoli. Gaddafi barrels around the city in an open jeep. Large amounts of AK-47s have been distributed to civilian defence committees. Were they all compelled to demonstrate by Gaddafi’s enforcers? It seems unlikely. […]

In early March, Sarkozy, languishing in the polls, believed the counsel of ‘new philosopher’ Bernard-Henri Lévy, after the latter’s 6 March excursion to Benghazi, that Libya and its oil were up for grabs. On 11 March Sarkozy took the precipitate step of recognising the Benghazi gang as the legitimate government of Libya and awaited Gaddafi’s collapse with a confident heart. In a hilarious inside account of the NATO debacle, Vincent Jauvert of Le Nouvel Observateur has recently disclosed that French intelligence services assured Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Alain Juppé ‘from the first [air] strike, thousands of soldiers would defect from Gaddafi’. They also predicted that the rebels would move quickly to Sirte, the hometown of Gaddafi and force him to flee the country. This was triumphantly and erroneously trumpeted by the NATO powers, which even proclaimed that he had flown to Venezuela. By all means opt for the ‘big lie’ as a propaganda ploy, but not if it is inevitably going to be discredited 24 hours later.

We underestimated al-Gaddafi,’ one French officer told Jauvert. ‘He was preparing for forty-one years for an invasion. We did not imagine he would adapt as quickly. No one expects, for example, to transport its troops and missile batteries, Gaddafi will go out and buy hundreds of Toyota pick-up in Niger and Mali. It is a stroke of genius: the trucks are identical to those used by the rebels. NATO is paralysed. It delays its strikes. Before bombing the vehicles, drivers need to be sure they are whose forces are Gaddafi’s. “We asked the rebels to a particular signal on the roof of their pick-up truck,” said a soldier, “but we were never sure. They are so disorganised…?”’

Read the rest here → Pambazuka: Nato’s debacle in Libya