The Amnesia of the Western Media on Libya

No one disputes now that Libya is a total mess. The country is riven by a struggle for power between the UN recognized government in Tripoli and the forces of General Haftar in the East. All over the country multiple independent militias vie for power. The country has been used as a transit route for hundreds of thousands of migrants from Africa on their way to Europe. All this was predicted by Muammar al-Gaddafi before being butchered on the battlefield by a militia supported by NATO 2011. (Google disarmingly calls his torture and cold-blooded execution on the battlefield an “assassination” in their pop-out info. sheet on Gaddafi which comes up in a search). Another tragic consequence of the collapse of Gaddafi’s government has been the transfer of large amounts of weaponry from his stocks to various militias in Mali – which has led to instability and deaths in that country.

This mess was precipitated by the 2011 NATO operation against the armed forces of Gaddafi. The legal cover for this regime change operation was a sophist interpretation of UN Resolution 1973 which allowed force to protect civilians in Libya. The West simply argued that Gaddafi was a threat to civilians so toppling his regime was within the scope of the resolution. It is strange that the West suddenly decided that Gaddafi was such a threat. Right up until the moment of the uprising in Benghazi the EU was selling arms to Gaddafi. [1]

The idea was that this NATO intervention would lead to prosperity, democracy and freedom – the usual corporate lies. Here is then UK Prime Minister David Cameron praising the people of Benghazi for “throwing off a dictator” and “choosing freedom”.  Again; don’t forget that David Cameron’s Ambassador to Libya had been trying to sell British arms to the dictator right up until the ‘revolution’ [2]). Cameron went on to tell the Libyan people that “Your friends in Britain and France will stand by you as you build your democracy”. This means of course business deals. (Freedom = business deals).

Obviously that ‘democracy’ hasn’t been built. And the chaos and insecurity which currently prevails can hardly be called ‘freedom’.

So this presents a problem for the Western media. They still have to report on Libya, at least a little. They can’t simply pretend a whole country doesn’t exist. But how to rewrite recent history to sanitise NATO and Western aggression? The solution is simple. Just airbrush out the whole 2011 NATO campaign – which toppled Gaddafi. Here is Francesca Mannocchi in the Guardian in a piece on migrants in Libya:

Libya has known nothing but chaos since the 2011 revolution that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi.

NATO’s role in this  – without which there would have been no ‘revolution’ – is blanked out, as in a redacted official document; though without even the honesty that the blanking tape indicates. Francesca Mannocchi just hopes you will forget that it ever happened.

We commented on this same process of truth vacuuming in another 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.

“The revolution which overthrew Gaddafi”, “the death of Muammar Gaddafi”. NATO’s bombing campaign which facilitated this has been wiped out of history by these people. It is 1984 and doublespeak right in front of our eyes.






Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer