Journalism as a Weapon of War in Libya
The truth has been turned on its head in Libya. NATO and the Libyan government are saying contradictory things. NATO says that the Libyan regime will fall in a matter of days, while the Libyan government says that the fighting in Misrata will end in about two weeks.
During the night the sound of NATO jets flying over Tripoli can be heard in the Mediterranean coastal city. Tripoli has not been bombed for a few days, but the sound of the flyovers have been numerous. The Atlantic Alliance deliberately picks the night as a means to disturb the sleep of residence in an attempt to spread fear. Small children in Libya have lost a lot of sleep during this war. This is part of the psychological war being waged. It is meant to break the spirit of Libya. This is all additional to the severing wound imposed on Libya through trickery and sedition.
In the same context, the media war against Libya has continued too. The Rixos Hotel in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, where the majority of the international press is located, is a nest of lies and warped narratives where foreign reporters are twisting realities, spinning events, and misreporting to justify the NATO war against Libya. Every report and news wire being sent out of Libya by international reporters has to carefully be cross-checked and analyzed. Foreign journalists have put words in the mouth of Libyans and are willfully blind. They have ignored the civilian deaths in Libya, the clear war crimes being perpetrated against the Libyan people, and the damage to civilian infrastructure, from hotels to docks and hospitals.
One group of Libyan youth explained in a private conversation that when speaking to reporters they would interview by them in twos. One reporter would ask a question followed immediately by another one from the other journalist. In the process the answer to the first question would be used as the answer for the second question. In the Libyan hospitals the foreign reporters try not to take pictures of the wounded and dying. They just go into the hospitals to paint the image of impartiality, but virtually report about nothing and ignore almost everything newsworthy. They refuse to tell the other side of the story. Shamelessly in front of seriously injured civilians, the type of questions many foreign reporters ask doctors, nurses, and hospital staff is if they have been treating military and security personnel in the hospitals.
CNN has even released a report from Misrata by Sara Sidner showing the sodomization of a woman with a broomstick which it claims was conducted by Libyan soldiers. It refers to Libyan soldiers as Qaddafi troops, which is really a means of demonization. In reality the video was a domestic affair and created prior to the conflict in Libya. It originally took place in Tripoli and the man even has an accent from Tripoli. This is the type of fabrications that the mainstream media is pushing forward to push for war and military intervention.
There are now investigations underway to show that depleted uranium has been used against Libyans. The use of depleted uranium is an absolute war crime. It is not only an attack on the present, but it also leaves a radioactive trace that attacks the unborn children of tomorrow. Future generations will be hurt by these weapons too. These generations of the future are innocent. The use of depleted uranium is the equivalent of the U.S. planting nuclear weapons in Germany or Japan during the Second World War and leaving timers for them to detonate in 2011. This is an important and newsworthy issue in Libya and all the foreign journalists have heard about it, but how many have actually covered it?
Nothing is being said about the refugees coming to Tripoli from Benghazi either. The Ionis, a ship from Benghazi that docked in Tripoli on June 26, 2011, was carrying over 100 people who wanted to leave Benghazi to be unified with their families in Tripoli. Foreign reports were there en masse from all over the world. CNN, RT, and Reuters were amongst them. Amongst the foreign reports there were many who had no clue about the situation in Libya and were working on the basis of misinformation carried forward from their respective stations and countries. In informal discussion when these reporters were challenged about the basis of their assessments they failed to answer and sounded ridiculous. One reporter from Western Europe said that the defections at the governmental level in Tripoli where snowballing, but when challenged by a colleague she could only cite the so-called defection of a Libyan athlete.
The arrival of the passenger ship was significant, because it is a symptom that the political partition of Libya is underway. When families and individuals are being shuttled to different sides of Libya, it is an indicator that some sort of dividing line will be drawn either temporarily or permanently.
The Roman Catholic Church in Libya has also been disrupted and hurt. The position of Father Giovanni Martinelli, the Bishop of Tripoli, is in contradiction to that of the U.S. and NATO. Contact has been lost with the Roman Catholic churches and communities in Benghazi and its environs. Bishop Martinelli has also lost dear friends in the war who have nothing to do whatsoever with any combat or hostility. What have foreign journalists and news agencies said about this?
Journalists have a responsibility to tell the truth and report all newsworthy issues. Some do, but their stories either get edited or never get published or aired. Others say nothing and instead concoct stories. It is now the responsibility of the public to look at the reports coming out of Libya from all sides with a grain of salt. Diversity of news is just one starter.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Research Associate for the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is currently in Libya as an international observer and member of an international group of journalists and writers from Europe, North America and the Middle East.