Libya: Will the whitewashing start with tomorrow’s editorials?

Posted on 5 November 2011

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By Peter, 20 October 2011, Source: members5.boardhost.com/medialens

I expect most ‘papers will feature at least one leader column about the life and death of Muammar Gadaffi, with an overview of the last seven months of conflict in Libya in general. Here are a few of the things you might expect them to mention:

  • The fact that U.N.S.C.R. 1973 demanded an immediate ceasefire, with even Establishment think tanks like the International Crisis Group saying (p.28) that it was NATO and the NTC, rather than the Gadaffi regime, who were rejecting all such ceasefire attempts out of hand.
  • The fact that there was no mandate for regime change, even though this is what the NATO action was clearly aimed at.
  • The looting, burning and emptying of the villages of al-Awaniya, Rayayinah, Zawiyat al-Bagul and Qawalish by vengeful rebels in July, as documented by Human Rights Watch.
  • The countless other civilians killed by NATO bombing raids, as reported by various new agencies and even corporate journalists themselves.
  • What can only be described as the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha, a primarily black town that was emptied of it’s population (circa 30’000) by vengeful rebels in mid-August, with NATO air support. The rebels then proceeded to loot and down burn homes, kill livestock, and spray racist graffiti everywhere while vowing to never let the Tawerghans return.
  • The reduction of Sirte, previously a town of 100’000 people, to a smoking ruin via a three to four week long siege. The siege encompassed daily indiscriminate bombing, the cutting off of water, food, medicine and electricity supplies, the shelling of a hospital, and widespread looting by rebels. Aid agencies described what was happening to the town as a humanitarian disaster.
  • The looting, burning and emptying of Abu Hadi by vengeful rebels in early October, as documented by the L.A. Times.
  • The general persecution of black Libyans and sub-Saharan Africans by rebel groups in Tripoli, with Human Rights Watch reporting that ‘widespread arbitrary arrests and frequent abuse have created a grave sense of fear among the city’s African population’, Amnesty International reporting that ‘black Libyans and sub-Saharan Africans are at high risk of abuse by anti-Gaddafi forces’.But how much of this is going to be airbrushed out of what you might describe as the Official History – and tomorrow’s leaders will be the first draft of it – in favour of the grand but clearly fraudulent narrative of benevolent NATO protecting civilians, promoting democracy and just trying to do what’s right?
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Posted in: Africa, All posts, Libya