Libya represents a new low in Western government war crimes – which is something of a disturbing record given the decades of war criminality by these governments.
In Libya, not only is there the criminal military assault on a sovereign country, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, the murder of women and children, and all the violation of international law that that entails – we now have the complete lobotomisation of language and normal meaning of words.
And in these crimes against law, humanity and morality, the Western mainstream media have played a disgraceful, vital role.
Over the past five months, as US, British, French and other NATO warplanes pounded Libya with 8,000 strike sorties involving extensive bombing raids, the world has in truth witnessed a concerted campaign of outright war crimes to bring down the government of Muammar Gaddafi. Thousands of civilians have been murdered in this blitzkrieg, which, it will be recalled, was orchestrated through the United Nations as an intervention to “protect civilians”.
Whatever the grievances against Gaddafi may have been they cannot be compared with the destruction and slaughter that the NATO powers have inflicted.
How could such deformation of international law be achieved and made to appear normal, acceptable? It is in large part because the Western powers have deformed the normal meaning of language to go along with their criminal actions. This is propaganda taken to a new level where reasonable criticism is rendered nearly impossible because the framework of words has become unintelligible and therefore hardly answerable.
In previous imperialist interventions, for example Afghanistan and Iraq, Western powers at least used the word “war” to go along with their self-serving actions. In former Yugoslavia and Somalia, we at least heard the term “humanitarian war”. Before that, we were told of Cold War, “war on communists, “war on drugs”. Notwithstanding that these “wars” were but deceptive covers for imperialist control of resources.
However, in the case of Libya, the word “war” has been dropped altogether from all discourse about Western intervention. It’s called a “responsibility to protect civilians lives”. This disarticulated language and meaning is repeated even though the factual truth of what is happening is an exact conformation to the word “war”. And not only “war” but “criminal war”. The murder of civilians by NATO warplanes is a war crime in the normal framework of fact, truth, reality, law and morality. But in the abnormal, hideous framework of Western imperialist propaganda it is called “protecting civilians” and “supporting democracy”.
“This is war in all but name,” notes Michel Chossudovsky. “These are war crimes in all but name. And the Western mainstream media are complicit in these war crimes. The Western media have made absurdities acceptable through their non-reporting and distortion of crimes by NATO powers. If people can be made to believe absurdities, then they can be made to accept atrocities.”
Libya can be seen as the pinnacle of Orwellian function – meaning the nadir in normal reasoning. In its relentless one-eyed coverage of Libya, the Western media has served as the ministry of disinformation for NATO.
For five months, the bombardment of Libya has been presented in the mainstream media as “responsibility to protect civilians”. The fact that NATO has gone well beyond even the fake terms of its UN mandate to act as an air force to pave the way for a minor insurrection is not reported; the fact of civilian deaths caused by NATO warplanes is not reported; the fact that NATO special forces have led insurgents on the ground has not been reported; the fact that the Western governments have collaborated with the despotic Arab regimes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to dismantle a sovereign government and gain control of its huge oil reserves has not been reported
All the while, the Western mainstream media have collaborated with NATO powers to lobotomise truth, reality and normal language to conceal war crimes – the latest episode now being the “triumph in Tripoli”.
By contrast, Global Research correspondent Mahdi Nazemroaya and Voltaire network Thierry Meyssan have endeavoured to report the facts and the truth of NATO’s war on Libya. They have backed up their reportage with video footage of the aftermath of bombing raids in which civilians have been targeted and killed. As Nazemroaya said recently: “This has been a campaign of terror by NATO.”
Yet, ludicrously, the Western media describe the latest [NATO-led] marauding of Tripoli by anti-Gaddafi insurgents as “a triumph” – as opposed to the simple fact that is a consequence of five months of NATO-imposed terror.
Unlike the Western mainstream media, including CNN and BBC, Global Research has told the truth about NATO actions in Libya. Now the personal safety of independent journalists is at serious risk. Their lives have been threatened. We fear that this is just the beginning of a wider descent into bloody chaos that will befall Libya now that NATO has pushed its agenda of regime change to another notch.
Disturbingly, NATO’s illusion of “responsibility to protect” will be stretched to even further distortion in the coming months and years. As Libya’s state of Western-imposed anarchy looks set to transmogrify into yet another quagmire of Afghanistan and Iraqi proportions, the NATO powers are already preparing to invoke their criminal mandate to “protect” with more boots on the ground, the use of death squads and relentless manipulation of political proxies.
If Western publics seem confused and perplexed by their governments’ “wars without end” – the never-ending mayhem, body bags, dysfunctional administrations in far-off lands, terror blowback and budget-busting military costs – then one of the first things they should do is switch off the “ministry of disinformation”. The Western media has shown itself now in Libya – more than ever – to be systematically complicit in an ongoing criminal war on the world by Western capitalist powers.
Finian Cunningham is a Global Research Correspondent based in Belfast, Ireland. He can be reached at [email protected]