Propaganda on Libya / Editing out Western interventions

In 2011 NATO attacked and destroyed Libya. The functioning state of Libya was turned into a disaster zone. Now the country is split between rival governments and militias. Aid agencies describe a desperate humanitarian situation. [1]

One of the main problems is that after the collapse of the Libyan state weapons from Libya flooded into Mali. The EU had sold weapons to Gaddafi right up until the start of the “revolution”. [2] This state of affairs poses a challenge for Western ‘liberal’ and ‘humanitarian’ journalists. In the main they cheered on the war on Libya (conducted on the basis of twisting a UN resolution about defending civilians to sanction a regime take-down). The war was described as the “Libyan Revolution” and talk was of “the dictator being toppled”. So – how are they to deal with the fact that that war (even more directly and obviously than in Iraq) led to chaos and vast human suffering? David Cameron who was Prime Minister at the time can simply opt out of the attending the inquiry by a Parliamentary Committee. [3] But journalists have to keep producing stories about Libya. It is interesting to note the euphemisms. This is from a recent Guardian article:

Weapons have flooded the region in recent years, many of which were brought from Libya into Mali after the death of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, enabling various groups to pursue different agendas.

“after the death of Gaddafi”. And so they sidle away from Western responsibility. This sentence should read:

Weapons have flooded the region in recent years, many of which were brought from Libya into Mali after NATO attacked Libya in 2011 and caused it to collapse. (A plan to set up a new government modeled on Western parliamentary democracies has not been successful).

There are countless examples of this – specifically glossing over actual facts. It is not an interpretation to refer to the NATO attack as instrumental in what is happening in Libya today. To skip over the attack with a single reference to “the death of Gaddafi”, as if he woke up one day and died of chicken-pox, is dishonest and a manipulation. One of the links to the Guardian below is to a page called “Facts are sacred”. They should add – until they are embarrassing to Western liberals.

Update – 27/10/19

Here is another example, this one in a Reuters report in the Guardian.  The report is about the current wave of protests in Iraq. These protests are described as being largely non-sectarian. The protestors are protesting against government corruption and lack of jobs. Reuters reminds us of the backdrop:

The unrest has broken nearly two years of relative stability in Iraq, which from 2003 to 2017 endured a foreign occupation, civil war and an Islamic State insurgency.

A “foreign occupation”????!!! Presumably the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq on a faked pretext by the US and UK? But we don’t, of course, want to remind ourselves/Western audiences of this fact so let’s just call it a “foreign occupation” and hope no one remembers who the foreign “occupier” was. A blatant piece of editing history – which cannot be simply explained by unconscious censorship. This is 1984 stuff.


1. See previous article with links about the state of Libya in 2015. The situation does not seem to have improved. Recently there has been a flare-up as the main rival government tried to take the UN backed government in Tripoli.



Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer