Western propaganda and Libya revolution
In memory of Col. Muammar Qaddafi was that of a Libyan revolutionary and socialist politician who does not beat around the bush, telling it straight to your face and of course such attitude can be perceived by some as dictatorial.
If we look around Africa Continent, the closest to Col. Qaddafi is late Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana who identified that African Continent is partially free politically and most definitely not economically and that Africans need to “emancipate itself from mental slavery and that none but ourselves can free our mind” (Pan-African).
Some of my readers may wonder why the comparison of Gaddafi and Nkrumah? It was what they stood for and not who they are and by that I mean they stood for the unity of Africa as a continent through economic empowerment such as increased trades between countries in the continent as well as political and technological cooperation.
Qaddafi focused on key areas that can help prolong average life span of Libyans such as good road network; good healthcare facilities, better housing so that Libyans will not sleep rough, and he eliminated poverty focusing on those Libyans who are unable to work due to disability or ill health.
Qaddafi’s effort to stabilize Libya by bringing all different tribes together and also working with poverty-stricken West African nations did not gain popularity in the West (news blackout) because it was distorting their (West) plan for Africa and Middle East, hence incitement of tribal unrest and counter coup in Libya in the past.
They (West) use their propaganda machine (Western Media) to turn Gaddafi into Mr. Jekyll and Hyde (man with two faces) in the eyes of his neighbors as well as around the world portraying him (Gaddafi) as a tyrant/dictator/terrorist hated by his own people and the world over.
In their “War against Terrorism,” they finally succeeded to get behind Qaddafi’s skin particularly after 9/11 because he started working with them behind the scenes hence made him more enemies than friends within the Arab community because he allowed them (West) access to Libya and its facilities (marking the beginning of his downfall).
However, the financial and technical cooperation enjoyed by many West African countries under the government of Qaddafi must be acknowledged, – countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea-Conakry, Chad, Niger, Mali, Senegal, and Burkina Faso – because it shows the other side of Qaddafi that the world did not see.
The West also enjoyed financial support from him and his family and without a doubt it was a subject on the lips of many European and West African leaders, either they like it or not, and there were individuals who had benefited from different educational funds he supported around the world.
I was fortunate to know Libyans from Benghazi and Tripoli who acknowledged that the government of Qaddafi gave them the chance to be true Libyans because they had peace and were able to move freely as a citizen without fear – unlike now after his demise.
The awakening that gripped Tunisia and Egypt was to the West’s detriment but perfect timing to incite regime change in Libya, because they already had their agents on the ground in Libya, making it easy for them to hijack the awakening and turning it into regime change in Libya.
The people of Benghazi under the supervision of the West seemed to be ideal to start the revolution for regime change; after all they had an old score to settle with Qaddafi even though majority from that part of the nation could vouch for political, economic and social peace enjoyed under Qaddafi and even Qaddafi had a home in Benghazi.
Some Western countries feared that allowing Qaddafi to continue as Libyan leader meant they had a lot to lose and one of such fears was over their financial indebtedness to Qaddafi, his family and people of Libya because repaying this money could deal a bigger blow to their own economy.
Also, deposing him would leave a power vacuum considering the volatile tribal division in Libya and an opportunity for them to have a say in Libya’s oil distribution network, which would in turn help sustain their businesses and economy through the period of Western economic crunch.
Like the situation with Mali, France took the lead and of course there was more than just political undertone for former French president’s involvement in Libya, some of which came out in French press while others did not make it to the print (News blackout?).
It was obvious that Qaddafi had made many enemies in the Middle East, hence not much support came from that direction to help bring political solution, and of course Qaddafi had himself to blame because becoming Mr. Jekyll and Hyde for the West always end in regret.
In the heat of it all, even Libya’s strong ally, Russia, could not do much to resuscitate his government because by this time there had been promises and counter promises made to Qaddafi’s aides who were breaking ranks more than he anticipated and Western media were splashing news of defection daily, hence his government was doomed.
Qaddafi losing grip on power was a combination of many factors, amongst which was his close ties forged with West during Iraq war when he allowed Libya to be used strategically against al-Qaeda, and by conniving with the West he carved enemies for himself within the Arab community, hence West collaborating to oust him seemed imminent because he lacked popular support. It doesn’t matter if he did it to get out of the embargo done to Libya for over 10 years.
The Western media news blackout on turn of events during the Libya revolution and news propaganda about atrocities purported to have been committed by Qaddafi’s supporters did not favour him, hence common conversation in public places around the world was that he must go.
Africa may not have a voice, but comparing news heard from mainstream Western media and online news, it was obvious that the continent is well aware of the Western double standard.
Africa and the Middle East have been creating awareness in the mind of their younger generations that there is double standard in news reporting by the Western media, and one of the ways to identify existence of such double standard is for this younger audience to compare online reporting with mainstream Western media before forming opinion.
The Western leaders censor Western media to only report news they want the world to hear and Western media knows how to put it across nations of the earth fancifully and convincingly with no regards for psychological damage to listeners, and those networks that did not join the bandwagon suffered a witch hunt.
Qaddafi was a victim of such Western news propaganda and spreading lies is a continuous process of reporting by Western media and most recent is the reporting by a Western media showing a picture of mass killings to have been carried out by Syrian soldiers, but it was later proved to be untrue because picture from previous reporting were used.
People from Africa and the Middle East are more aware now that accusation made by the West against activities of leaders or nations may be untrue, hence they now use news comparison for verification before forming opinion.
The Western media have lost its popularity amongst many individuals from Africa and the Middle East, because it has become apparent that Western media through its satellite channels has been feeding them with propaganda and lies, hence they are switching from mainstream satellite stations onto the Internet for latest news and update.
It is ironic to see that Qaddafi, who was a dictator/tyrant hated by his people, could lend money to Western nations and yet they did not refuse to accept the money neither did they decline to use Libya as a base to torture individuals accused of terrorism.
Muammar Qaddafi is dead. Saif al-Islam Qaddafi is incarcerated, hence another news blackout on the real truth behind why the West sped up regime change in Libya using military force and under the disguise of the United Nation Security Council.
The West claimed that Libya is now a free nation with peace and stability after Qaddafi’s death, but there is no stable unity government that includes all tribes in Libya and moreover the United State suffers its first casualty in Libya in 2012.
Libya has been politically volatile since the awakening and while Western media only touch on it after the death of the US diplomat.