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Our coverage of Libya

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Jon Williams Jon Williams | 12:10 UK time, Monday, 22 August 2011

At the Imperial War Museum's northern outpost in Salford, a special exhibition celebrates the ranks of Britain's war correspondents - among them Winston Churchill. Before becoming a celebrated war leader, he found fame as a war reporter for the Morning Post during the Boer War. More than a century on, those same skills of courage and drive displayed on the battlefields of South Africa have been seen in Libya.

A Libyan rebel tank drives through Maya, 21 August

It takes real bravery to head towards the sound of gunfire and explosions when any right thinking person is running away - a courage shared not just by the correspondents but the often, unsung heroes, the producers, crews and engineers who get them on the air.

For much of the past week, the BBC has been the only UK broadcaster reporting from Tripoli - a five-strong team led by correspondent Matthew Price has holed up in the capital's Rixos Hotel, unable to go out unless "escorted" by Gaddafi government minders.

As parts of Tripoli fell, Matthew described his routine in a piece for the BBC News website - dinner in body armour and helmets, fear stalking the corridors as government officials abandoned the international media to their fate.

When Nato bombs started raining down on Libya, our Tripoli Correspondent Rana Jawad went into hiding. Being the BBC's correspondent in Gaddafi country was never easy at the best of times. But Rana refused the chance to leave: her life and her family was in Tripoli - and for five months, she filed a series of reports, billed only as a Tripoli Witness describing life in the capital.

At the BBC, everyone who works in a war zone is a volunteer. Like Rana, they make the decision to stay or go. Last night in a highly volatile situation, the BBC team in Zawiya, along with other major broadcasters judged it was not safe to continue with the rebels on the road into Tripoli.

Alex Crawford of Sky News took a different view and has rightly been praised for some compelling coverage. I congratulate her on her tenacity - it made for extraordinary television. But to illustrate the dangers facing those in Libya, this morning that same BBC team, led by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes came under fire as they entered Tripoli. The team is safe - but the footage which you can see here is terrifying.

Against this background we have succeeded in delivering comprehensive coverage of events in Libya since the uprising started in February. We have reported from Benghazi, Misrata and the advancing front line. Dozens of colleagues from many news organisations have risked their lives over the past five months to tell a hugely important story.

As I write, the fight for Tripoli is not over yet and some are still risking everything to ensure we can give our audiences - including those in Libya - first hand, "eyewitness" reporting. I could not be more proud of them.

Jon Williams is the BBC World News editor.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    One question, why did the BBC NC seemingly ignore what was going on last night (Sun 21st) until 2300 BST? To run 'scheduled weekend fillers' and other stories, whilst events unfolded was bizarre. Even if you hadn't people mobile on the ground, repetitive talking heads from London, European and Arab capitals and Washington would have been desirable and imv appropriate.

  • Comment number 3.

    Fair points, Jon, but it doesn't explain why the BBC News channel showed the Libyan spokesman's statement with a 'LIVE' strap on the screen when it had in fact been shown five minutes earlier on Sky News.

  • Comment number 4.

    Huge respect to Matthew, Rana, Rupert and all others reporting from Libya. Journalism is a competitive industry but it's not a game. It's not who is bravest or even fastest that matters, but who can bring the truth from dark places in the most comprehensible way to the audience that needs to hear it.

  • Comment number 5.

    That you didn't have someone on the ground was unfortunate, but as the previous commenter says, this shouldn't excuse the fact that the rest of your coverage was so far behind your rivals.
    Whilst Sky and Al Jazeera stuck with their live feed, you ran cricket reports, extended weather forecasts and clips that were 3 or 4 hours old.

    Watching the BBC News last night was like reading a discarded copy of yesterdays newspaper on a bus to pass the time. Sky and Al J were way ahead of you.

  • Comment number 6.

    Back to the Hotel then...

  • Comment number 7.

    It is certainly appropriate that, as you say, ‘at the BBC, everyone who works in a war zone is a volunteer’ (athough I can’t imagine that this is unique to the BBC?). It does appear though, from Alex Crawford’s reporting that the BBC reporters on the ground made the wrong call in deciding it was not safe to continue with the rebels on the road into Tripoli. It is difficult to be too critical about that though, they did what they thought was appropriate at the time.

    As other commenters have stated though, that wasn’t the only problem with the BBC’s coverage. I find it very difficult to see how you can describe the BBC as having: ‘succeeded in delivering comprehensive coverage of events in Libya since the uprising started in February.’ The coverage offered by the BBC has been limited and brief and has often been behind developments or missed the main developments on the ground. It was, for example, difficult to understand the editorial decision making over the weekend which had the Red Arrow crash as the headline story and Libya relegated to second or third in the running order. The crash was obviously a sad story for the family concerned but was it really more important and interesting than the rapidly developing situation / revolution impacting a whole country? Other networks certainly didn’t think so.

    The BBC coverage has also relied far too much on reporters in the Rixos hotel. At times it has seemed that the only place in Libya you have had reporters has been in the Rixos. This resulted in interesting developments in places like Benghazi, Brega, Misrata, and the Nafusa mountains not receiving the coverage they deserved. As you admit, the reporters at the Rixos hotel were only really able to report what the Gadaffi regime allowed them to see, so I’m not really sure why it was decided to concentrate your reporters and resources there. Did we really learn much from another speech by Moussa Ibrahim that was completely out of touch with reality?

    All I would say is thank goodness for the internet, especially twitter, and the other networks, in particular Sky, Al Jazeera and even CNN whose coverage throughout the last six months has been streets ahead of the BBC’s.

  • Comment number 8.

    As I watch your coverage on TV here in South Africa. I noticed the scrolling banner at the bottom “No word of Gaddafi whereabouts…” Why don’t you ask Presient Zuma of South Africa where Gaddafi is. Did he not last week send plane(s) to Libya so Gaddafi could exit Libya to a country of his choosing?

  • Comment number 9.

    if this was ten years ago, John Simpson would have been the first through the gates. Sigh how things change....

  • Comment number 10.

    I switched on at 5am this morning and channel hopped. Your coverage was an embarrassment. Sky were on the spot with up to date coverage from Alex Crawford and others. All you could do was parade a bunch of second rate experts through the safety of the London studio and ply them with pathetic questions mostly designed to suggest that the rebels still faced huge problems instead of celebrating an historic advance and capture of the centre of Tripoli.

    You really need to get away from your biased view of the world and get back to reporting facts as News instead of a stream of left wing political drivel thinly disguised as expert opinion.

  • Comment number 11.

    The reporters would have been safer if Gaddafi had not given up his WMD´s

  • Comment number 12.

    Fair enough on those who are there to judge how dangerous a situation is, I wouldn't even be there in the first place so wouldn't knock the BBC for that.

    However...this is twice now (the looting in London before) that the BBC news coverage has badly lost out to Sky News. Soon as it gets late the BBC goes to recorded footage which is quickly out of date in this world of instant news. Sky have been on the street with live coverage and even when they do not have this they have live analysis in the studio. It all gives a feeling that Sky is breaking the news and analyzing it in real time whilst the BBC shows out of date tapes.

    Very sad to see as I hold BBC in high regard. The website is still far better than anything else out there so I hope this doesn't fall like the news channel has.

  • Comment number 13.

    The BBC can spin it as much as it likes, the facts are whilst Matthew Price and his team were in a hotel room, Sky news were out on the streets embarrassing the BBC corporation and showing how a news channel should cover momentous events.

  • Comment number 14.

    What you have under-reported is the intense involvement of NATO, literally blasting through Libyan lines to provide easy access for the rebels. What you have under-reported is the intense NATO bombing from the sea against Tripoli.
    This will not be a rebel victory; this will be a NATO VICTORY and therefore indirectly an American victory...to be followed by what, another Iraq?
    By what right (UN or otherwise) did the NATO FORCES have to destroy Libya, kill loyalists, as well as women and children, bomb hospitals, etc. NATO HAS DISGRACED ITSELF. This was a Libyan affair, just as Syria is a Syrian affair, but NATO and the west have made it into a charade to get rid of Gaddafi, steal oil, and leave death in the form of depleted uranium.
    BBC has Libya defeated; BBC has Gaddafi defeated.
    I hope you are right because if not, it would be an embarrassment would it not?
    This Libyan affair was a horrible piece of western/NATO destruction, supported by biased media coverage.

  • Comment number 15.

    I can not help but whole heartedly agree with John Fletcher #10, MeM101 #13 and many other comments appearing above. In general terms the BBC have been behind the curve on Libya whilst SKY have been out in front, on the streets and in the thick of it.
    Apart from the left wing drift the BBC now suffers from, it is also losing its battle on up to date news gathering to other organisations and with SKY in particular. So sad.

  • Comment number 16.

    If Gaddafi surrenders would this be to the unmandated, unelected, self-appointed transition council? Or to the a gang of thugs chasing around the country with guns and tanks? Or, more truthfully, to NATO and the foreign bombers who are already responsible for thousands of deaths on both sides? Gadaffi may have much to answer for. History will demand yet more of the killers who have laid waste the country. Ian Flintoff, Oxford

  • Comment number 17.

    Jon makes fair points, but the fact that they need to be made shows that BBC News coverage has been to a far lower standard than should be expected. judgements need to be made of course, but reports from thhe Rixos are bound to be one sided and that is sometimes not made clear enough. Jeremy Bowen's earlier coverage from Rios was so unbalanced as to be arguably giving tremendous comfort to the Gadaffi regime, boardering on the treacherous. Matt Price's coverage is brave and difficult but any coverage from the Rixos surely needs a major caveat every time it is bradcast. Quite what has been achieved by giving the old regime hostages in the form of BBC reporters for so long must seriously call into question the judgement of BBC managers. Sky and Aljazzerra's coverage has been better balanced, more varied and in the case of Alex Crawford, taking the John Simpson and Kate Aidie batton and sprinting to journalistic triumph!!

  • Comment number 18.

    Apparently other media group Voltaire Network has had death threats against Thierry Meyssan and Mahdi Darius Nazmroaya, who are currently stranded in the media centre of the Rixos hotel in Tripoli. Apparently the safety of Mahdi, Thierry are only 2 among other independent journalists trapped in the Rixos Hotel.
    The mainstream media, including CNN & BBC have direct links to NATO, the Transitional Council and Rebel Forces. They are serving NATO interests directly through media distortion. At the same time, those within the Rixos Media Centre who are committed to unbiased journalism are the the object of veiled threats, as in "Follow the line!" or else; in other words, those who want to engage in objective reporting are under constant threat.
    Those who stretch the truth & accept the NATO consensus, their lives will be protected. NATO special forces operating within rebel ranks will ensure their safety.
    The independent media journalists, as well as those from non-NATO countries including China, Iran, Latin America are considered "persona non grata" by the mainstream media groups within the hotel.
    Russia Today seems to be providing a balanced TV coverage of unfolding events in Libya.

  • Comment number 19.

    Friends of a Canadian freelance journalist stuck in Libya say they have grave concerns for his safety after frequent communications from him stopped Monday morning. Mahdi Nazemroaya, a 29-year-old from Ottawa, has been in Tripoli for two months covering the situation in the region for a number of international news agencies, including Russia Today.
    He is a Canadian. He's in a hostile environment and there's no exit strategy for an independent journalist. Friends of the journalist, said they had been in frequent daily communication with Nazemroaya by telephone and online video chats, but said that all lines of communication went dead at about 10:30 a.m. ET on Monday.
    Nazemroaya has been critical of rebel forces, the transitional council and NATO in many of his reports. He said that at one point, the freelance journalist came under fire when he went on the hotel's rooftop to hang a sign making potential attackers aware that the facility included media occupants.
    The whole atmosphere in that media centre is one of tremendous fear and intimidation by everybody, but much more by those who don't have a satellite phone or a backing from a news agency and also the fact that he's not an experienced war correspondent. He's in a very fragile situation and we would like our government to protect him in any way it can.
    In a report with Russia Today posted early Monday, Nazemroaya, who is of Iranian descent and came to Canada at the age of four, appeared shaken at the current situation in the region and expressed a strong desire to get out of the country with other journalists. The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of the situation. The department was not able to provide information on Nazemroaya on Monday. Foreign Affairs officials have instructed Nazemroaya to contact the other national embassies, including Tunisia and Hungary, to seek possible assistance in leaving the country. Canada closed its embassy and withdrew its consular staff from Libya in February.

  • Comment number 20.

    Agree 100% that the BBC has been found wanting over several huge media stories over the last few weeks. I switched to Sky during the hacking scandal, simply to see how a perceived conflict of interest - BSKYB - would play out in their handling of the story, and throughout the riots and now Libya, I've stayed.

    Sky are hitting it out of the park BBC! Alex Crawford, falling over in the back of a hurtling pick up was classic and riveting! Alex Crawford reporting from the 'only working hospital in Tripoli' with bullets and RPGs going off around her, was brave! Alex Crawford charging through Gadafi's compound gates behind the rebels, was courageous and funny - the guy in Gadafi's hat - and where are the BBC?

    Come on!

  • Comment number 21.

    The looting in the UK and now the big changes in Libya are the only news stories reported when they are happening. Although there were momentous things happening, there were quieter periods and times when nothing new happened. Tripoli mostly fell yesterday with rebels reaching Green Square, this morning Saif was not captured, this evening Gaddafi's compound fell. That is what has happened - everything else is speculation or repeated. The constant repeating of the same footage and reports, giving no time to other news is dull and makes we want to switch off. 95%+ of time on any story is too much, unless the action is happening now and there is some point in reporting it. Please try and maintain some balance and variety in the reporting.

  • Comment number 22.

    Can't we exchange Mattew Price for Jon Williams or whichever BBC manager was responsible for using the unbalanced reports that have come from the Rixos, over the last few weeks?

  • Comment number 23.

    Last days news gathering on Lybia was poor to say the least.
    I fear it is lethally dangerous for your guys out there but don't relapse into two days of running by of old clips, CNN style. No news is just that: no news.
    The compound has been taken now. We know.
    Gadaffi is sitting with his hands over his head in another wing of the Raxis hotel and your guys are the human shield, we knew that for the past three days.
    You could have commented on it. But that might have endangered them, true.
    Perhaps some soldiers back from the front could be interviewed, that would help.

  • Comment number 24.

    Part 1.
    It's not just BBC coverage; As the Battle in Tripoli continues, nothing being reported in the corporate media seems reliable. It now appears that it may very well be that the Libyan military allowed the mercenaries to come into Tripoli as a trap. Journalists have reported that the Libyan government has restored air conditioning, food & water supplies (demonstrates their control of the center of Tripoli).
    AJ reported that the mercenaries "have overrun the fortified compound of Muammar Gaddafi in Bab al-Azizya ... following intense fighting with forces loyal to the Libyan leader."
    Strange?
    CNN and other corporate media all reported that the mercenaries "captured" the compound. However, after watching them fire heavy weapons into the compound throughout the morning, it was found that no one was inside defending it (according to CNN's video taped coverage).
    CNN speculates that Col. Qaddafi might be at a farm near the Tripoli International Airport where heavy fighting continues. They report that the mercenaries are dug in near the airport BUT government forces are in control of the airport and the road that leads to the airport.

  • Comment number 25.

    Part 2.
    NATO press conference in Naples - their military spokesperson said (quote):
    "We are only a party with a limited role, which is basically to enforce the no-fly zone. We do our missions which is basically to the no-fly zone and the embargo and protection of the civilian population." When asked why then were they were targeting Col. Qaddaffi's compound. He replied that it was a potential military target. A reporter asked him how, if it's under the control of the US/Mercenaries, can it be a potential military threat. He alluded to the possibility that it could become a potential military threat in the future. Really, emptied, no one there?
    TeleSur journalists in Tripoli are reporting today that US/NATO bombing is killing scores of people & tactical moves are being carried out by the Libyan army to isolate & attack the NTO gunmen who have entered the city. Mathaba reports on a position taken by the Russian Foreign minister, "Russia will not recognize the National Transitional Council as the sole legitimate representative. The Russian and Libyan peoples have traditions of friendship, years-long interaction, and we shall continue to act in this vein in the future as well."
    RT's interview with Lizzie Phelan wherein she reported to RT News that the Libyan military did indeed lure the NTC into Tripoli and now are attacking them with urban guerrilla tactics.
    Matthew Chance, a journalist calling into CNN - rebel's claim that they control 90% of Tripoli is NOW IN DOUBT. Saif Al-Islam who speaks fluent English reported that his father is in Tripoli with the rest of the Gaddafi family. CNN now questions whether in fact any of Col. Gaddafi's sons have been captured saying, "It looks like we are getting some bad information from the rebels." Matthew Chance also reports that the Rixos Hotel where the journalists are staying "is firmly in control" of the Libyan soldiers.

  • Comment number 26.

    Part 3.
    WATCH OUT: US Major General Marks STATES CLEARLY - need for US/NATO to send in troops. According to Libyan government representative Musa Ibrahim, there are 65,000 troops protecting the ruling regime. Earlier the rebels claimed that some of the troops had surrendered to them – a remarkable statement, in view of the numerous reports about rebels torturing, beheading and murdering prisoners of war.­
    Rebels now admit that from 15 to 20 per cent of Tripoli remains under the control of loyalist troops, contradicting earlier claims that the city was practically under their full control, with the exception of government buildings.
    I have a feeling that the government is luring the rebels in, allowing them to have fun on Green Square and then - THE counter-attack.

  • Comment number 27.

    Jon Williams performance on The Media Show was smug and complacent and too reliant on historic audience figures. As more and more people realise the BBC seem no longer capable of proper news reporting, or even balanced programmes, these statistics will fall. With the licence fee monopoly status the BBC should be doing better than their current efforts. Time for a serious review of the management structure which is starting to fail.

  • Comment number 28.

    Indeed they"re alqaida' the international community must know better about the root of the rebels; but more puzzling about the Lybian issue and the uprising is not a correct method of overrunning a Government of the Day.
    The Americans and British says it must not happen any where, WHY now in Lybia????.....
    Could we have a better understanding about Uprising, Rebellion and Revolution...dem crazy brain drain. Universally too BAD...

  • Comment number 29.

    In the past 72 hours Israeli cities (not military camps - Cities!) have
    been bombarded by over 84 rockets, killing six civilians and forcing one
    million Israelis into bomb shelters throughout southern Israel. This
    has not reached the news at all. No mention of this is on CNN, BBC or
    SKY. Why do you not cover this and why when you do mention Israel is it regarding their retaliation to these rocket attacks...Are you Biased?

  • Comment number 30.

    Things we know that the BBC should have told us, but didn't:
    Black migrant workers were persecuted, killed and expelled in coffin ships by the REBELS.
    The rebels are led by ex-Gaddafi henchmen - many recent defectors
    Saif was taught courses at the LSE which included theorems proving the superiority of dictatorship over democracy
    Finding Gaddafi preferable to the rebels is probably a majority view across Libya. (Thus for the rebels Gaddafi must be prevented from standing in elections)
    UK, Fr and Italy all have had troops on the ground. They recognised the rebels to evade the UN resolution restrictions. The SAS etc became invitees!

  • Comment number 31.

    Why oh Why has Jon Simmons appeared in Libya? I mean, a) you've got enough people there already, & b) within seconds he was disagreeing with the Libyan people saying that, like in Iraq with Hussein, not being able to find Gaddafi would be something that would not prey on the peoples minds - this he had to retract in a later somewhat garbled broadcast when interviews with the Libyans proved the felt quite the opposite - not too difficult to understand.

    Tripoli's safer now, let's get Simmon's in to take the credit & soak up the license fee?

    Look, he's done a great job in the past... but c'mon BBC. He's Theatrical.
    It's a real war with movement, can't you keep the journalism real & moving?

  • Comment number 32.

    Jon Simpson, yeah, I know... Jon Simpson.

  • Comment number 33.

    #30, hate to burst your bubble, but the BBC (along with other broadcasters) has covered issues such as Gadaffi's sone studying at LSE in some depth. This reporting mostly took place earlier in the Spring, when it was arguably more relevant. In addition, mention has been made on many occasions about defectors frmo Gadaffi to the rebels.

    Your other comments sound slightly more like heresay to be honest. The Beeb (again, along with other broadcasters) has acknowledged that there are indeed still areas of Libya where support for Gadaffi is strong. There were clips last night of Gadaffi loyalists continuing to fight in Tripoli. I don't thin any broadcaster has tried to definitively say what the majority view of the Libyan people is, because that is simply not the job of a broadcaster. Neither, arguably, is it the job of an individual posting on a blog.

  • Comment number 34.

    So what is future of Libya post-Qaddafi?
    One thing unites rebels = hatred towards the current leader.
    Once Gaddafi is delivered - live or dead - this hodgepodge group of "rebels" will turn on each other. ­As civil war in Libya rages, the country may go the way of Egypt & end up a disillusioned society impatient for reform, but I believe it will be much, MUCH worse. I see a country on the horizon, rising, and it looks like a new Afghanistan.
    The NATO-led regime change will have turned Libya into a failed state. Once Gaddafi - alive or dead - leaves power (It's impossible for him to fight the whole of the NATO, isn't it?), the National Transitional Council (NTC) will have inoperably wide divisions; Libya will quartered like a medieval warrior.
    I predict Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has power (YET); nobody knows either where he is or what will happen to him. He is a conniving desert fox, who may (YET) out-fox these rebel rats + NATO.
    Majority of people fighting Gaddafi are MUSLIM EXTREMISTS or people who believe they must create an ISLAMIC STATE in Libya.” Will not legitimizing this group, giving vast amounts of money to this group, create a western problem beyond our western comprehension? People in Libya have never seen democracy. What does it mean to them? You cannot drop democracy on Libya like a bomb...Talks about democracy are very sweet - like Libya's crude oil.
    UNDER THE BANNER OF DEMOCRACY, US + COLATION OF THE WILLING intervened in Afghanistan & Iraq – and look at these butchered and bloodied countries now! NATO is not a charitable organization. So look for that oil deal between the Libyan rebels & alliance. Look & you will find. NTC will pay the price to the western aggressors - exploitation contracts, military bases, sweet crude, sweet crude, sweet crude...
    As for the UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement that NATO is going to stay in Libya as long as needed, THIS IS UNADLUTERATED WESTERN IMPERALISM. How long will the real Libyan people tolerate this OCCUPATION?

  • Comment number 35.

    I think the BBC response to criticism of it's Libya reporting should be to repeat the BBC2 series Taking the Flak:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    (It's a BBC playlist of clips.)

  • Comment number 36.

    Well that's just silly! The BBC post the clips to YouTube but won't let me post a link to them here?

    {Search "Taking the Flack BBC" and the BBC's playlist is the top result.}

  • Comment number 37.

    I agree with Bluesberry 100% here.

    Yesterday while watching rebels taking over tripoli, a shiver went down my spine. Are these violent patriarchal looking men now going to control Libya? What has the West done this time? US, UK and France are responsible for NATO intervention. France has taken the lead in arming the rebels. (Germany Scandinavia etc. opposed this intervention).

    I suggest for the hiughly anticipated, obvious and predictable atrocities that are definitely going to take place in Libya particularly in Gaddafi erstwhile strongholds, WAR CRIME TRIALS SHOULD BE INITIATED AGAINST SARKOZY.

    They won't be because Imeprial corrupt court (ICC) and Undesirable Nepotist(UN) bodies are a farce.

    Further, I doubt Western media will report the atrocities by these (highly violent and uncouth looking) rebels in full light.

  • Comment number 38.

    For the media, it would seem there is no war in Libya, except that is - for the war on truth.
    In the case of Libya, the word "war" has been dropped altogether; it’s now called the "responsibility to protect civilian lives". This euphemism bespeaks the lie.
    War is the correct word, and "criminal war" at that. The murder of civilians by NATO is a war crime - no doubt in my mind. But in the abnormal, most often distorted lexicon of Western imperialist propaganda it is called "protecting civilians" & "supporting democracy".
    - NATO jets target Gaddafi bastion;
    - Gaddafi atrocities revealed; etc.
    This is "war": NATO vs Libya, namely Gaddafi, and it is for the sweet crude that the oil companies can hardly wait to get their hands on.
    Complicit in these war crimes is the western media that condemns Gaddafi, but hails NATO. The Western media have made "objectivity" a forgotten word as it accepts through non-reporting or distortion the horrid crimes by NATO powers.
    In its Cyclopean coverage of Libya, the Western media has served as The Ministry of Disinformation; sound familiar?
    The Truth: Western Mainstream Media Complicit in NATO War Crimes in Libya.
    In times like these, objective, hard-hitting reporting is mandatory. On the contrary, the mainstream media is linked to NATO, even assisted in arming the rebels, and NATO ACTIONS ARE NEVER QUESTIONED. Official statements from NATO countries are transmitted to the public without any substantial analysis of the reality on the ground.
    I'll accept Gaddafi in ICC dock (if he isn't assassinated first), if NATO POWERS sit next to him.

  • Comment number 39.

    Bluesberry, it is amazing reading your comment after mine (if BBC approves it - why exactly aren't they?) - you'll see I'm almost your alterego. Reading your comments on Libya is like I'm reading my thoughts. Pity we aren't allowed to exchange info on this site. But lest BBC is thinking the same too, we are different people - you can check the ip addresses.
    But amazing. Keep posting. BB -way to go.

  • Comment number 40.

    I do feel that the majority of reporting (BBC, Sky, ITV) seem to almost exclusively report from a `Rebels` perspective. NATO & UK in particular have ruined what was one of the most stable country`s in N. Africa. The people had cheap food, a solid infre-structure, free education and some of the best standards of living in the whole of Africa. Much of this has now been destroyed. The country is in anarchy with UK (NATO) bombing the legitimate government and the overwhelming majority of civilians, to arm a bunch of gangs from the east of the country. 1000`s have been killed just to provide business opportunities for UK-USA-French Billionaires. Under Gadaffi, at least most of the oil revenue went back to the state. In the future I would suspect that an almost certainly corrupt UK-USA puppet government will spread the wealth amongst themselves. I predict a lowering of education, increased drug abuse, increased gang violence and a culture focused towards shopping malls, junk food and garbage reality-TV. Much like the UK-USA is today. Very sad.

  • Comment number 41.

    @ the_Sluiceterer, excellent analysis. I agree.

    ok here is the lowdown on Libya:

    1. This overthrow was not a people's movement like it was in Egypt or is in Syria. There were no Tahrir square equivalent protests. This was an armed rebellion / mutiny to overthrow Gaddafi. The neo-Axis forces - France -UK - US supported the overthrow, bombarded Libya and armed the rebels. This intervention was, is and always shall remain illegal.

    2. Libya had made much progress under Gaddafi in terms of infrastructure development, education, moderate reforms and women's rights. But he did not implement orthodox laws and was heterodox. The rebels are Islamic militants much like Taliban. In fact when Osama Bin Laden was alive he actively supported them and urged Libyans to ovrthrow Gaddafi and support the rebels.

    3. Now the country is surely headed towards a civil war - it could be like Iraq, Afghanistan or Cote'd'ivoire. In the immediate period this violent bunch of rebels are going to committ serious abuse of human rights (which will be under reported). Libya's best is behind it. So this overthrow will not help Libyans. But who cares?

    4. Main point of all is this is not going to benefit the Imperialists who overthrew this regime. Read my lips - Libya is going to come back and haunt Europe for the next decade. Why does the West think Islamist rebels, overtly supported by al Qaeda are going to be beneficial for it over a heterodox leader who kept the nation under control and was largely harmless. Seeing the violent patriarchal looking rebels in the TV images yesterday - a shiver went down my spine. These are whom this country has been forcefully handed over to! I wondered - is this the beginning of WW III, though I certainly hope not. Libya is going to come back to the West. This ain't going anywhere.

    5. What is wrong with the West? With their bankrupt ailing economies, they no more have any reason to be so arrogant to not listen. Why can't they hire some intelligent advisors who can advise them on interventions - like how not to repeatedly do a self goal and how not to shoot themselves in the foot - yet again. Seriously! I mean ..

  • Comment number 42.

    The BBC has not reported Nato bombing in terms of their consequences, their frequency, and their role in the war. Indeed since Sunday BBC news have not even mentioned the fact that Tripoli has been bombed intensively, and has pretended that small groups of lightly-armed rebels somehow 'took' the city on their own.

    In addition, BBC reports have not commented on the glaring discrepancies between Resolution 1973 and Nato actions. e.g. AU mediation and ceasefire proposals, civilian casualties from Nato strikes, strikes on defensive positions in support of forces firing tank and artillery shells into populated areas.

    There has been no attempt to investigate popular support or otherwise for the Nato bombing.

    There has been no reporting of casualties from RAF or other Nato bombings. Video footage exists of what happened to the men, women and children living in farm accommodation when Tornadoes from RAF Marham in Norfolk bombed it on 7/8 August. There has been no reference to these casualties, which numbered in scores.

  • Comment number 43.

    I am Worried about the Problem in Libya, let the rebel leave Gaddai alone and stop allowing him to kill hundred of people daily.

    form osley wehyou Liberia

  • Comment number 44.

    Jon, 42 is powerful and authoritive enough to need a direct and detailed response from you.

    Best wishes

    Votingtheorist (of post 30)

  • Comment number 45.

    On Wednesday morning (24 August) BBC Breakfast TV went 'live to Tripoli' and showed what was said to be a large flag-waving crowd celebrating in Green Square.

    The flags and the people were clearly Indian - it was fake footage, captioned as "Live :Tripoli". The studio link man told viewers categorically that "this is Green Square, Tripoli". Can we now be told how exactly this, um, mix-up, came about? And has any of the other footage fake?

    One can be forgiven for thinking that the BBC had scripted a prior narrative, consisting of standard propaganda tropes, couldn't find large crowds in Green Square Tripoli, so found some video footage of people waving flags with green and red in them, and passed it off on the viewers.

  • Comment number 46.

    While Libyan rebels have not yet won the "war", Western countries are already debating the post-Gaddafi period - especially; how the interim government there needs to honor ALL its oil contracts!
    Western powers have said the international community will support the political transition to a FREE & democratic Libya: In what form will this "support" come? It will be, I suspect, a "Western" democracy imposed on Libyans?
    The west used the same euphemistic speak when they attacked Afghanistan 10 years ago and Iraq 8 years ago. The US still insists that its soldiers have immunity in these countries - as in do what you like, no prosecution.
    How will it be in Libya?
    Covert intelligence behind the rebels, extensive bombings of civilians infrastructure, including - residential areas, as well as schools, universities, hospitals.
    The night bombings must have been most affective - continuous bombings. I am talking 20,000 sorties, 8,000 strike sorties, In another words what has happened, particularly in the last few weeks, is the destruction of an entire country - infrastructure, institutions...but watch out for those oil fields. Be careful about those oil fields.
    Western "pro democracy" NATO carried the rebels; NATO has blood on its hands; it has have a lot of blood on its hands because NATO has killed a lot of civilians, including women & children.

  • Comment number 47.

    THIS LIBYAN AFFAIR IS NOT, NOT, NOT A PEOPLE'S REVOLUTION. It is an attack on Libya by
    - NATO trained gunman,
    - there are Al Qaeda related paramilitaries & mercenaries.
    Libyan civilian society, if one bothers to interview the common, ordinary citizen, has very little use or support for these extremists. Majority of the population are against the rebellion, and the only thing that sustains the rebellion, are the NATO bombings CRIMINAL BOMBINGS. (Have we lost our copies of the Nuremberg trial, its laws?)
    The US/NATO has never been concerned with the actions of dictators; in fact, it was the US which INSTALLED/BACKED MOST DICTATORS. NATO Special Forces are already operating covertly, on the ground. They are experienced; they are also mercenaries, paramilitaries & bullies. In other words, the boots on the ground are already there, the question is whether it is going to be publicly made official? The Apache helicopters are there, The Special Forces are there. We have massive deployment of Naval Marines in the Mediterranean (USS George Bush Sr. aircraft carrier, positioned in the Mediterranean).
    NATO Special Forces are going to remain, others will join, and eventually there will be some form of Iraq in 2003 - proxy Libyan government imposed by US mandate.
    The Libyan Oil Company was a very important state entity, which was there (under Gaddafi) to serve the Libyan people. It was used to finance economic development. Now, it is to be taken over & privatised, handed it over to Total, which is the French Oil company.
    They came for Afghanistan's oil pipeline, we did nothing.
    They came for Iraq's oil fields, we did nothing.
    They've come for Libya's oil, we do nothing.
    Who's next and will we still do nothing?

  • Comment number 48.

    The blood has not yet been removed from the streets or hospitals and those "concerned" are crying about getting oil production back. Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa and before the uprising began, the country produced about 1.8M barrels of oil a day, or about 2% percent of world’s production.
    How fortunate that the damage to infrastructure did not extend to the oil industry which appears unscathed.
    How fortunate that Libya can quickly return to pre-war production.
    Over the past several days, global oil prices have largely followed developments in Libya. As Moammar Gaddafi's grip on power began slipping, following the rebels' quick offensive into Tripoli, prices dropped. But then began rising as pockets of fighting persisted. Most of the Libya’s oil is exported to Europe, with Italy receiving the largest portion by far.
    Ahmed Jehani, chairman of the stabilization team of Libya’s National Transition Council, says oil agreements made before the Gaddafi government's downfall will be honored. "All contracts will be honored. All lawful contracts will be offered, whether they are in the oil and gas complex or in the contracting."
    Look for
    - a quick return to oil production,
    - a quick return of Moammar Gadhafi frozen assets overseas.
    Do not look for any criminal charges. May the dead rest in peace.

  • Comment number 49.

    BBC editor's comment "I'm proud to report" is so misplaced. Libya is a gross violation of a nation's sovereignty and a trigger for the ongoing (and further oncoming) abuse of human rights. All analysts had predicted this. So, this is not mansluaghter like Iraq could possibly be called. This time we knew Libya will be turned into a bloodbath but pigheaded assault of a nation continued with callous disregard for its common people. International (read Western) news channels ought to be ashamed of what their countries have done to Libya. There is nothing whatsoever to be "proud of" in this.

    Here is a preliminary report on the ethnic brutal cleansing being carried out in Tripoli by the rebels:
    http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/zimbabwe/8890-libyan-rebel-ethnic-cleansing-and-lynching-of-black-people.html

  • Comment number 50.

    reading these, think i'll try an online petition to scrap the license as the bbc reporting is a disgrace.

  • Comment number 51.

    Now we see another reason why Gaddafi must go: THE AU.
    The AU will not recognize the National Transitional Council.
    My own country, Canada recognized the NTC weeks ago, hurrying Muammar Gaddafi’s representatives to the airport while welcoming diplomats sent by the council. It was shameful.
    France was the first to accept the new regime - eager to begin bombing the old one. France will host a “Friends of Libya” summit in Paris in September, which my country's PM Stephen Harper will attend. The US - never reluctant to oust Gaddafi, hid as quietly as possible behind the mother-skirts of NATO. Obama is now looking for ways to funnel much-needed cash to the new regime. All together, the NTC has been recognized by more than 40 countries, but not the totally African AU (53 countries) The African Union is still pressing for some sort of joint administration which includes whatever remnants can be found of Gaddafi’s regime.
    Ramtane Lamamra, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security stated the council strongly reaffirms that the AU stands with the people of Libya and encourages all the parties in Libya to come together and negotiate a peaceful process that would lead to democracy. According to Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s leader, said the AU would not recognise the NTC as the legitimate government as long as fighting continued. He added: If there is fighting, there is fighting. So we can’t stand here and say this is the legitimate (government) before the fighting ends. The process is fluid. That’s part of what we inform countries - whether there is an authority to recognise, or just a rag-tag union of so-called rebels.
    Gaddafi has been the main driving forces behind the creation of the AU, the unification of Africa into the "United States of Africa" so that exploitation of individual African states might be stopped. When Gaddafi suggested this, he was laughed at, but Africa is exploited, vandalized, used as western dumping ground for western garbage.
    The AU peace and security council is weighted with countries who have backed Gaddafi in the past. They will not recognise the NTC.
    Imagine being one country among 53 on the African continent whose Government is not recognized. The picture confounds the mind.

  • Comment number 52.

    Why must Mu'ammar el-Qaddafi go?
    Why does the west continually reject overtures at mediation, even vetoing proposed UN-supervised free and fair elections so that the Libyans can cast their ballots?Why are the NATO war forces provided all-out assistance to the anti-Qaddafi forces, styled as "rebels" and "freedom fighters"?
    The Answer is embedded in the US drive for its Second Century of imperialist world domination, involving complete conquest of the Arabs & Africans. Other countries Have been plunged into deep misery by the designs of the US and its coalition of the willing. Palestine, Kashmir, Sri Lanka immediately come to mind.
    What has brought the CIA's celebrated "Subversion" manual, used as a handbook by the CIA-financed & supplied "Contras" to destabilize the popular Sandinista regime in Nicaragua in the 1980s to the forefront?
    The "rebels" are:
    Libyan emigres who have been trained and supported by the CIA in the environs of Virginia and the neighborhood of Washington, D.C. have joined with al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood Islamist reactionaries, some reportedly released from the U.S. prison base at Guantanamo to serve the "cause", +
    - certain individuals who backed the decadent old monarchy of Idris al-Senussi in Libya to form the substance of the front which is bringing pain and turmoil to Libya. They are operating under the flag of the old monarchy, who saw fit to let the Libyan masses go hungry, live in filth and without homes, uneducated and deprived of any semblance of medical care.
    The actual "crime" of which Qaddafi and the Libyan leadership has been most guilty of is providing for the health, welfare and education of the Libyan people. The reactionary clerics are boiling mad because their ill-gotten wealth in land and riches, sequestered and hoarded by them in the name of "Islam", was taken from them and used to serve people's needs instead of their insatiable corruption.
    The ensuing hue and cry against Qaddafi is raised by those are friendly to the CIA exiles who facilitate the backing of Western countries who seek to "open" Libya up to their severe, poverty-laden exploitation.
    The Qatari, Saudi and UAE kingdoms and principalities are still mad over the ouster of their fellow "King" in 1969 and would love to see a "King" or some equivalent restored in Libya.
    A hodgepodge variety of useful fools can serve the purposes of restoration in Libya.The moribund Muslim Brotherhood, which has brought so much ignorance and grief to Egypt over the decades, may also have found an opening in attaining a leading role in Libya if and when

  • Comment number 53.

    The moribund Muslim Brotherhood, which has brought so much ignorance and grief to Egypt over the decades, may also have found an opening in attaining a leading role in Libya if and when the restoration takes place.
    These rebels have been killing Black Libyans and other Black people in the streets of various Libyan towns, while the Western Media decries the presence of "African mercenaries" in the ranks of the troops loyal to Qaddafi. Wild stories are made up of mass rapes committed by Qaddafi supporters, while the actual facts reveal that rapes have accompanied the slaughter of Blacks and other citizens deemed to oppose the "rebels", who are themselves led and instigated by a bunch of certified hired mercenaries employed by the US-led alliance for the purpose of disrupting and subverting the Libyan socialist system in order to reverse the impressive gains and benefits which that system has brought to the people of Libya.
    A KEY FACTOR: Qaddafi HAD REFUSED TO SIGN ON TO THE AMERICAN AFRICOM: plan for military conquest and domination. The Libyan military is not led at the top by those who seek to please American overseers, and therefore must be
    eliminated and replaced by a more compliant outfit.
    Another major reason why the Libyans are being subverted, bombed and strafed by NATO is that Qaddafi has launched numerous initiatives to set up alternative banking and development institutions throughout the continent, a stumbling-block to IMF/World Bank "stabilization".
    A unique Libyan project, the "Great Man Made River" has brought water from under the Sahara Desert and made it available to various historically parched areas which can now be cultivated and developed into a breadbasket for the region. The US-led international banking consortium is of course poised to seize this most valuable asset now that it is coming to fruition. Wars will be fought over access to water throughout the Arab land in coming years. Control of water could become even more decisive than petroleum reserves in decades to come.
    Qaddafi is an anti-imperialist. This has earned the Libyans the implacable enmity of those who are increasingly owning and operating the world in their own profit-driven interests.
    Libya and Qaddafi stand resolute and defiant as an obstacle to their schemes of western conquest and exploitation.

  • Comment number 54.

    Here are two reports on atrocities being committed by rebels gathered by non mainstream journalists:

    1. is a report about how young girls and women are gang raped and then their breasts cut off and the report says these aren't the most heinous or graphic (!!!!!) I wonder what else is.

    http://theintelhub.com/2011/06/23/the-ugly-truth-video-of-libyan-rebel-beheading-gadhaffi-soldier-and-other-nato-war-crimes/

    2. Here is a report that claims atrocities committed by rebels are being misrepresented by channels like CNN as committed by Gaddafi loyalist. But truth is not a CNN value so let us bear with them

    http://www.infowars.com/libyan-rebels-try-to-arrest-nato-critics/

    Many of these atrocities were being committed right through the Western axis forces funded war yet NATO bombing and support to rebels continued. France took the lead in further funding the rebels and arming them. WE THE PEOPLE CALL FOR WAR CRIMES TRIAL OF SARKOZY IN ICC AND CONDEMNATION OF AND IMPOSITION OF UNSC SANCTIONS ON THE UK AND THE US FOR THIS ENTIRELY SORDID AFFAIR.

  • Comment number 55.

    blah

  • Comment number 56.

    This is a complaint re the lies being told by BBC TV 24 Hrs News over the massacers in Libya.

    Tonight 28th August @ 1930 Ms Croxall announced that a massacre site had been discovered in southern Tripoli, the massacre "committed by Gadaffi troops."

    Where is the evidence for this statement - (that the massacre was committed by Gadaffi troops)? It is simply not there.

    There were pictures of decomposing burned bodies in a shed - also 3 bodies in Libyan military uniform, hands tied, (although the BBC did not say that they were in Libyan military uniform: this was only disclosed on Sky), lying partly outside the shed.

    Has it not occured to our BBC news mechanics, busy even now creating the Corporation's daily diet of disinformation, that it is at least possible that the largely incinerated victims had also been wearing Libyan military uniform? This looks most likely, as the so called witnesses of the massacre lacked all credibility.

    Also this massacre wasn't too far from Abu Salim Hospital, where Government troops, recovering from their injuries, (maybe 150, or 200, I don't know how many) were murdered in their beds.

    John Simpson in the same report described NTC treatment of prisoners as generally quite "mild"! Poor deluded Simpson! Is he the same Simpson who told us in May or June on Radio 4 (or it might even have been April) that the road to Tripoli was now wide open and the rebels wd be there in a week!! You shd not state that a massacre has been committed by a certain party to a civil war if there is no evidence.

    The BBC treats its viewers and listeners with contempt. No doubt Col Gadaffi also burns Libyan babies on spits.

    Further: not a single opponent of this continuing UK aggression is allowed onto the BBC. Occasionally, in the past, the BBC allowed dissent. No longer. Since the Gilligan/Greg Dyke sackings/constructive dismissals the BBC is afraid to admit there are any in the UK who oppose government policy on issues of war and peace. We are forced continually to listen to the same tired conformist voices, e.g. Lord Malloch Brown & David Owen, who talk up the foreign policy of our cloned Blair. canauk director.

  • Comment number 57.

    Well said Canauk, I agree BBC, CNN etc. are putting up seemingly trumped up reports. A set of corpses are found and immediately the farcical news channels blame it on Gaddaffi's loyalists. The fact is Tripoli has been Gaddafi stronghold and if he had to kill his opponents, he would have done it long back and must have. Most of his opponents must already have had fled to rebel areas. The fresh reprisals coinciding with rebels take over can best be speculated as killings by rebels, since most of BBC and other intnl. news channels' reporting is at best "speculative" thinking anyway.

    Further, Gaddafi's son had already accepted a political solution and agreed for democratic elections under international supervision and promised people's decision will be respected. Why did the imperial axis powers not accept it? Because they aren't after democracy - we all know that. This illegal intervention has been to secure Western oil interests and to institute a puppet regime in Libya.

    However here is the catch. The puppet regime in Libya is transitory. Power struggles in this headless but purely violent rebellion will throw up several results. The rebels in Libya are going to model after the Taliban in Afghanistan with a similar fate. This coveted Libyan oil is going to remain elusive. V likely, newer rebel leaderships (several are going to emerge) will sell it to China as well since China is seen as a friend by most of the Arab and Muslim world.

    I have no doubt in my mind that the West is going to be licking its wounds soon enough. I give this fiasco 6 months to blow back in everyone's face.

  • Comment number 58.

    re the charred bodies on the news, in laying blame at Gaddafi's door the BBC has overlooked other obvious forensic clues: namely, incineration is a Nato calling-card. All the RAF's charmingly-named missiles (Hellfire, Brimstone, etc) are specifically designed to maximally tear apart and/or incinerate human beings. Nato itself willingly boast of having done this en masse to very large numbers of young Libyan men. When women and children have been found in burnt bits, Nato has 'no means of verifying civilian casualties'.

    From the BBC's reporting, however, we may safely assume that none of the thousands of missiles fired into Libyan towns and cities ever hurt anyone. Indeed, it is not entirely clear that many Nato missiles have been fired - all the violence has been done by Libyans - whether the noble violence of the rebels or the dastardly violence of 'Gaddafi'.

    If these people were incinerated by Nato bombs, then as far as the BBC is concerned it can no longer be considered a crime and is not worth reporting.

  • Comment number 59.

    The BBC doesn't use the word "war". Libya "conflict", Afgahnistan... and so on.
    Have you read Tolstoy, "Conflict and Peace". Or learnt of World Conflict II, or WC2?

  • Comment number 60.

    US embassy cables - WikiLeaks (Wednesday & Thursday) expose close collaboration among
    - US government,
    - top American politicians and
    - Muammar Gaddafi. The same Muammar Gaddafi that Washington now insists "must go".
    Washington/NATO are determined to CRUSH Libyan regime, in the interests of “liberating” the Libyan people. But until this year, Gaddafi was viewed as a strategic, if somewhat erratically. These cables have been blacked out by the corporate media, but if I found them, the media should be able to find them too.
    It is hardly coincidental that WikiLeaks was followed the very next day by a combination of
    - massive denial of service attack and
    - US judge’s use of the Patriot Act to issue a sweeping “production order” or subpoena against the anti-secrecy organization’s California-based Domain Name Server, Dynadot.
    The most damning of these cables memorializes an August 2009 meeting between Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his son, and national security adviser, Muatassim, with US Republican Senators John McCain (Arizona), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Susan Collins (Maine) and Connecticut “independent” Joe Lieberman. McCain, has in recent speeches denounced Gaddafi as “one of the most bloodthirsty dictators on Earth” and criticized the Obama administration for failing “to employ the full weight of our airpower” in effecting regime change in Libya.
    In the meeting held just two years ago, however, McCain took the lead in currying favor with the Gaddafis. According to the embassy cable, he “assured” them that “the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its security”.
    With friends like these...

  • Comment number 61.

    Wikileaks continues to relate McCain’s remarks that he encouraged Muatassim to keep in mind the long-term perspective of bilateral security engagement and to remember that small obstacles will emerge from time to time that can be overcome. He described the bilateral military relationship as strong and pointed to Libyan officer training at U.S. Command, Staff & War colleges as some of the best programs for Libyan military participation.
    Then comes the Lieberman statement: We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi. It continues: the Connecticut senator went on to describe Libya as “an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends.”
    The “common enemies” referred to by Lieberman were precisely the Islamist forces concentrated in EASTERN Libya that the US THEN BACKED Gaddafi in repressing; but has THE us/NATO have organized, armed and led in the operation to overthrow Gaddafi.
    The US Embassy carries on saying that McCain’s meetings with Muammar and Muatassim al-Qadhafi were positive, highlighting the progress that has been made in the bilateral relationship. The meetings also reiterated Libya’s desire for enhanced security cooperation, increased assistance in the procurement of defense equipment, and resolution to the C130s issue” (a contract that went unfulfilled because of previous sanctions).
    Another cable issued on the same meeting deals with McCain’s advice to the Gaddafis about the upcoming release from a Scottish prison of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who had been convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. McCain, who now fulminates about Gaddafi having “American blood on his hands,” counseled the Libyan leader that the release was a “very sensitive issue” in the US and that HE SHOULD HANDLE IT DISCREETLY. Ultimately Gaddafi and other leading Libyan officials gave a hero’s welcome to Megrahi, who has proclaimed his innocence & had been set to have his appeal heard when the Scottish government released him.
    Something buried in that appeal???

  • Comment number 62.

    Another Wikileaks cable, February 2009, provides a “security environment profile” for Libya. It notes that US personnel were “scheduled to provide 5 training courses to host government law enforcement & security” the next month. In answer to whether the Libyan government had been able to “score any major anti-terrorism successes,” the embassy PRAISED Gaddafi regime for having “dismantled a network in EASTERN Libya that was sending volunteer fighters to Algeria and Iraq.
    THESE SAME "REBELS" now make up a strong component of “rebels” armed and led by NATO.
    Asked by the State Department if there existed any “indigenous anti-American terrorist groups” in the country, the embassy replied “yes”, pointing to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which it noted had recently announced its merger with Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
    NOW ELEMENTS OF THE LIFG ARE ACTIVE IN THE LEADERSHIP OF THE "REBELS".
    Many of the cables deal with concern, not about the Gaddafi regime’s repressive measures, but rather foreign policy & oil policy that could prejudice US interests. Thus, an October 2008 cable, cynically headlined “AL-QADHAFI: TO RUSSIA, WITH LOVE?” expresses US concern about the Gaddafi regime’s approach to Russia for lucrative arms purchases & a visit to Tripoli harbor by a flotilla of Russian warships. One month later, during a visit to Moscow, Gaddafi discussed with the Putin regime the prospect of the Russian navy establishing a Mediterranean port in the city of Benghazi. the Pentagon went apoplectic.
    The cables underscore the hypocrisy of DIPLOMACY between US and its allies.
    Those like Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron and Berlusconi who have branded Gaddafi a criminal to be hunted down and murdered were all his accomplices. All of them collaborated with, armed and supported the Gaddafi regime, as US and European corporations reaped vast profits from Libya’s oil wealth.

  • Comment number 63.

    We have come to a momentous moment in this terrible campaign by NATO.

    The realisation that the most valuable commodity in Libya isn't oil at all but fresh running water.

    Amazing how little they knew about how statist the country is and as we now see how little poverty there seems to be.

    Everything that is known of Libya seems to have been based on rumour and speculation and as Gaddafi has had 42 years to prepare for this invasion for Libya's oil no-one can even imagine what may happen next.

  • Comment number 64.

    please can someone explain why we are fighting AL-Qaeda in Afghanistan and supporting the rebels in Libya who quite clearly say they are supported by them ?? we should lay down are arms and right are enemies are with love and burn are news papers and switch off the news world peace is right in front of are noses we just cant see it because we are just to greedy

  • Comment number 65.

    @virtualsilverlady, good point. Yes Libya had close to nil poverty and you can see several of last year's IMF and World Bank reports like "Libya has a debt to die for". Its debt was a mere 3% of the GDP - the lowest indebted nation in the world for many years. WB reports also highlight how this regime took the literacy up (especially among girls) from a mere 20 odd % to nearly 80%. Man made river, roads, infrastructure etc. were part of the modernization of economy that Gaddafi undertook. He also voluntarily disclosed and dismantled WMD program and reintegrated Libya with the world economy.

    I have no idea how the Western imperial media can tell such blatant lies as "the worst dictator", the "most brutal dictator" etc. What is the point in having democracy and free media when they are no different from the propagandist regimes?

    In 1979, US funded mujahideen militia in Afghanistan (thru its then key accomplice Pakistan) ..to overthrow the communists. Ok they did manage to overthrow them. But then what next? Taliban was a later offshot of these mujahideen rebels and see what they did to Afghanistan and then Sept 11 - plus one may argue that US surplus economy has turned into a hugely indebted one purely due to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So, it all comes back. This time of course the lead has been taken by Europe. France has armed and funded the rebels - so in all fairness they are responsible for reprisals and should take in fleeing refugees. UK and US have played equally pivotal role in this "brutal massacre and rape of Libya".

    Yet the Western so called "free media" reports highly distorted reports to cover up their respective nations' follies. So how are they any different from the Chinese media?

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    Any chance of balanced reporting coming back. Pictures of Libyan soldiers, in uniform, lying dead after having been executed. There seems to be no reporting of these isuues. The UK-USA media reporting is simply ridiculous. Stating everyday that he Libyan goevernment are the bad guys whereas the wild rampaging rebel gangs and UK/ NATO bombing is by the good guys is very sad. Are we really going to believe that running a country with good education, cheap food & housing, low crime & providing the highest living standards in Africa is bad. Whereas bombing cities, bombing civilians, putting out dead or alive posters and executing prisoners is Good. Some people still have brains and would prefer the truth or at least a more balanced reporting of the events.

  • Comment number 68.

    Don't believe for one second what the BBC claim as new is anything other than propaganda to exonerate the war crimes being committed by NATO and French and British forces. Why have the BBC not questioned the continued bombing of civilians long after the NATO commander admitted Libyan forces no longer had any credible way of attacking and long after the UN have said its time to start rebuilding.
    Still think the BBC are telling one truth go check out other countries reporting of Libya and you will find very very different stories to the ones claimed by the BBC. We constantly see reports that the Libyan forces did this and that but without any proof and while the BBC are claiming such and such without proof people like Amnesty international who do have people in the fighting continue to say what the BBC claim has not relationship to facts they are witnessing. Even American politicians are starting to claim NATO need to be tried for war crimes but the BBC ignore such real news in favor of their lies.
    When American politicians claim NATO are committing war crimes you can be sure they are, but we will never hear the truth from the Tory PR department.

  • Comment number 69.

    Has anyone else noticed how now its got to a point even the BBC cannot hide the ongoing war crimes being committed by NATO that they suddenly stop all reports.
    The BBC and Jon Williams should be ashamed of the way they never let truth interfere with their sudo journalistic lies.
    You are no longer a new station but a pr department for war criminals i hope you feel proud of how far you have fallen i am certain you would have done hitler proud had you been on his side in WW2

  • Comment number 70.

    I honestly believe that the BBC were doing their best in the most awful circumstances. Sadly they had decided to become 95% embedded with the so-called rebels & therefore were unable to investigate factual journalism. this is ongoing. Mat Price was doing a good job, including meeting some official Libyan sources, like Gadaafi`s brother.
    However now, within an atmosphere of total anarchy, the western reporters are deluding themselves that they are hearing honest reports from what are at best wild gangs of militia men. But, no-one is interested in propaganda. We can see what is going on. It is amusing & somewhat sad to see that although 95% of the so-called rebels drive around in old vans & cars, with machine guns fixed to the back & provided by the UK, the latest photos show them in brand new tanks? Is this a PR exercise now. Assume UK-France have provided these as well. I will stick to getting my news from less biased country`s like Switzerland, Germany and even Italy. The war on Libya by UK-USA-France is an international disgrace.

  • Comment number 71.

    You are proud? If you had any dignity and integrity left you would resign.
    All the edition, telling Libyan people what to say, filming half a dozen stunts and making believe people were celebrating and all the manipulations...
    You are proud?
    You have blood in your hand Mr. Williams and all the journalists who are using their career to invent a reality.
    You are all complicit of what is being done in Libya, Somalia, America and in your own country.
    I wander how can you sleep knowing that you are payed to cover crimes against humanity.
    I know you don't care and these words only work with people with a heart.
    Disgusting.
    I thank all the independent journalists, threatened to death by mainstream media for telling the truth.
    Have some dignity!

  • Comment number 72.

    All that UK-Nato, Rebels have done is dropped flowers on everyone. They have kissed and cuddled their enemies & all who may be different. They are beautiful. They are good. Gadaffi and his supporters have killed everybody that lived, all their pets and destroyed all their homes. They killed all the dinosaurs and are responsible for all the earthquakes,Tsunamis and volcanic eruptions in the world. They are bad. ..................OR SO WE ARE LED TO BELIEVE.

    The Rebels have refused to let in the UN. Most sane, rational people know that the western media are just feeding us garbage.

  • Comment number 73.

    It amazes me how the BBC are carrying on despite seeing here no one believes them anymore. Only the foolish think the BBC have any credibility left others look to other news sources and see the BBC lie lie lie. yet again today we see them claiming the lybian government cut water supplies but ignoring the fact that it was NATO with their thousands and copntinuing raids that were far more likely to have cut such facilities. when are you going to wake up and face the truth you are a bunch of liars, who no decent person believe anymore and all to protect your masters the rich and the tory

  • Comment number 74.

    I hate all the fuss and western coverage of my Dads up folds.Do they want to kill him?Can the NATO or U.N ASSURE US OF GADDAFI SAFE CUSTODY?I am ready and just email me at: [Personal details removed by Moderator] .We can use diplomatic means instead of fights.

  • Comment number 75.

    Why should UN or any foreign personnel be needed in Libya?
    According to mainstream media, there is no war in Libya...except for a war on truth. In reporting on Libya, the word "war" has been dropped altogether when talking about Western intervention. It’s called the "responsibility to protect civilian lives". Not only has the word "War" disappeared, but "criminal war". The murder of civilians by NATO warplanes is a war crime, except in the abnormal, hideous definition of Western imperialist propaganda where it's called "protecting civilians" & "supporting democracy".
    Because of this mutilation of the words "war" and "crime", all Western media that followed the euphemisms are complicit in these war crimes. The Western media have made atrocities acceptable through their non-reporting or distortion of crimes by NATO.
    Thes relentless Cyclopean coverage of Libya that the Western media has served up as good, honest reporting might as well have been published as from the Orwellian Ministry of Disinformation. In times like these, independent reporting is vital. Some few reporters have denounced the crimes, but those in control have done nothing, except maintain their no fly-zone.
    Why?
    The mainstream media has links to NATO and the armed rebels, whose actions are rarely, if ever, questioned. The mainstream reports clearly serve NATO’s agenda. Official statements from NATO countries are transmitted to the public without any substantial analysis of the reality on the ground; this is known as “face-value transmission”. i.e. One way to lie is to accept at face value what is known to be the official line - uncritically pass them on to the public without analysis or even thought.
    The minds of the Libyan people have been bombarded by this face-value bias, just as surely as their country has been bombarded and saturated with depleted uranium.

  • Comment number 76.

    Libya is rejecting the deployment of United Nations military personnel to help stabilize the country. UN Secretary General's special adviser on Libya had called for the deployment 200 unarmed UN military observers + 190 UN police to help stabilize the country. The document also outlines the plans for UN-assisted elections within the next year.
    Mustafa Abdel Jalil, Chairman of the Transitional Council, said he had met a day earlier with NATO officials in Qatar, where it was decided that NO foreign soldiers would be needed in Libya. In his UN report, Ian Martin says 40,000 election staff will need to be be recruited & trained before Libyans can call an election.
    Tension, of course, is building ahead of a Saturday deadline for pro-Gadhafi forces in Sirte. The Gadhafi loyalists say they will defy the deadline.

  • Comment number 77.

    So it begins: NATO countries fighting over the spoils of "humanitarian protection" in Libya. Now comes the stampede for Libya's vast oil wealth. Does anyone (but me) not see the potential slippery slide into corruption .
    Half a billion dollars from Italy; a whopping $1.5B from the UN in unfrozen Libyan assets – on top of $300M from Turkey. In the talk about Libya's future, money talks loudest; in fact, you can hear little else.
    The French have Total and have other companies like Alcatel, Ariva and even training facilities for personnel operating in Libya.
    The Italians have made clear they want to maintain the extremely close trade ties they enjoyed under the Gaddafi regime.
    But what will the NTC do? After all, western countries have been quick to proclaim NTC the Official Government. Does the Official Government not have a say? So now the west has concerns that unfreezing of Libyan assets without effective monitoring could open the floodgates to new corruption.
    France has spent €160 million on this war BUT has contracts with the CNT (Confédération Nationale du Travail) for $28B.
    Italy has only $1.5B.
    But, excuse me, I thought this action was about humanitarian liberation, democracy...I reckon it was about plain-old greed after all.

  • Comment number 78.

    I got the impression you didn’t stray far from the hotel.

    Sky had more people on the ground at the front. Your studio presenters couldn’t seem to understand why there was no electricity in Tripoli not seeming to notice battle was going on. Perhaps they were worried that chums had no ice machine.

  • Comment number 79.

    So, once again a snapshot of what Libya was like up until 2010.

    1. Here is a report on economy watch and you can see all graphs are up (If you study country report on aggressor nation France, all the graphs are pointing south).

    http://www.economywatch.com/economic-statistics/country/Libya/

    Debt as % of GDP 3% (lowest in the world)
    Literacy rate 86% (above world average)
    Infalation 2.5% (on a par with the developed world)
    GDP percapita (PPP) - one of the highest growing over the last 2 decades - as indicated in the graph u see as you go to the above page.

    2. This is a US govt report on Education initiatives in Libya - how between 1970-86 32000 primary, secondary and vocational schools had been constructed. Today Libya has a great stock of teachers, engineers etc. as almost the entire education is free and further college students are incentivized thru stipends (can any developed country boast of that? France? UK? US?). Female literacy was especially focused on and you can see the jump from 30 to 80%

    http://countrystudies.us/libya/56.htm

    3. Great man made river - has been an exemplary project by Libya. As neighboring Sudan, Chad etc. continue to live impoverished and thirsty lives with crises like Darfur erupting time and again, Libya had plentiful water (prior to AXIS bombardment)
    http://www.water-technology.net/projects/gmr/
    http://warisacrime.org/content/libyas-great-man-made-river
    and here is the report on "NATO bombs Libya's Man made river"
    http://libya360.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/nato-bombs-the-great-man-made-river/

    So how much reparations are going to paid primarily by France to Libya for this destruction? (ofcourse partly also shared by the UK and the US)

    4. Human Development Index - a composite of GDP educationa and health parameters - Libya has steadily climbed that to reach 0.755 (0.8 is cut off for entering developed nations bracket and Libya was almost there)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index

    Now I see on TV images of violent rebels taking over a nation. This is not like Egypt where Muslim Brotherhood is already an organization. This sudden power vacuum is like Iraq and Afghanistan and NTC holds tremendous responsibility to avoid a similar fate. Although they have refused UN troops and assistance (why? to hide the reprisals?)

    Anyhow don't come back and say later than Arabs don't know how to run their countries. They know pretty well. Libya was a well run nation. Eyeing its oil wealth, you have gone and destroyed its peace, stability and prosperity.%

  • Comment number 80.

    Sadly the BBC is decending to a new low. All reports of mass killings are blamed on Gadaffi and when clear evidence is found of gadaffi soldiers, executed with hands tied behind their back, the killers are described as unknown. The latest claims are were that this was a revolution?. Not sure how Non-stop bombing raids by the west, particularly the UK, and invasion of cities by Nato backed armed gangs can be decribed as anything else than mindless violence and murder agianst what was once a peaceful society. I`m unable to look at these biased reports anymore. Maybe the standards of BBC may come back sometime. The past 6 months have seen the corporation used as a spokesman for the Murderous gangs and that of the UK-Nato invasion force, who are guilty of of war crimes & crimes against humanity.

  • Comment number 81.

    Part 1.
    I eagerly devoured Mark Urban's piece entitled: "Libya: A new form of intervention". I was delighted to find that I could be the first to comment, BUT found no comments were permitted. I would dearly love to listen to a show devoted to this so-called new intervention technique.
    Last week, Western leaders, NATO & so-called "mainstream" media - celebrated usurpation of Libya into the hands of the armed “rebels.”
    But how will history assess West’s imperial interference? What does this awful intervention bespeak for other African countries? Last week, the Benghazi “rebels” advanced into Tripoli, their path eased, paved by NATO’s bombardment - even of civilian facilities.
    Yet, Gaddafi Spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim has warned: We will turn Libya into a volcano of lava and fire under the feet of the invaders and their treacherous agents. His son Seif al-Islam has also broadcast a message saying loyalists will continue to fight.
    The so-called “Transitional National Council” (plenty of Muslim extremists to be found in this council) issued a warning to the people of Sirte: Surrender by Saturday, or, face military...NATO, you know the organization that entered this conflict to "save civilians".
    No doubt several African leaders—given Qaddafi’s largess in supporting Africa’s political progress—are willing to help him obtain safe passage. Qaddafi has supported liberation struggles throughout Africa including in: Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe & South Africa. It has been said that South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma would help the Libyan leader escape.
    Recall that when Western governments, including US/Reagan’s “constructive engagement” policy were doing business with South Africa’s apartheid government, Qaddafi supported the ANC &then supported imprisoned leaders like Nelson Mandela. Indeed, Mandela violated a UN flight embargo on Libya, traveling there after his release from 27 years in prison. Bill Clinton called visit “unwelcome.” Mandela retorted “No country can claim to be the policeman of the world & no state can dictate to another what it should do...Not to visit my brother Gaddafi is to be ungrateful & forget our friends of the past. (This particular incident seems to have missed mainstream reporting. Indeed, Qaddafi, for all his faults, has been a faithful friend of Africa. Moreover, has any Western country done more for Africa than Libya under Qaddafi? Think of it - What has the West done for Africa besides raping, pillaging the continent?

  • Comment number 82.

    Part 2.
    From beginning, Western leaders used deception to frame & distort the image of Qaddafi, the "maniacal madman" who was about to slaughter — en masse — Libyan civilians. This lie was calculated to gain approval, from Western citizens, for waging war of aggression against the Libyan Government. Where was NATO during the genocides in the Congo & Rwanda? We read that the “international community” is united against Qaddafi.
    True: if the “international community” comprises only the world’s White ruling elite.
    Question: how can the UN deem itself a “democratic” institution when only five countries have veto power? Why was the opposition to NATO's war, by many UN member states, including those in the African Union, treated as inconsequential if they really care about “international” consensus? Instead, the Imperialist Troika - US, UK, & France - play up what their Arab political lackeys, in the Arab League, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
    There are lessons Africans, and others in the "developing" world can learn from the imperial intervention in Libya. First and foremost, this criminal intervention illustrates that Africans cannot trust the west. Duplicity to further their greedy, geo-political “interests,” is the foundation of their foreign policy.
    The West endorsed armed insurrection by the terrorist Benghazi “rebels” from the beginning of their “protest.” Why didn't they admonish these “rebels” to be non-violent, as they insisted from the Egyptian masses? (It should be noted Qaddafi supported the Palestinian Liberation Organization in its struggle for an independent state.)
    The truth is: the West doesn't like non-conformist leaders they can’t control. Caught flat-footed by the “Arab Spring” protests, the West jumped at the chance to help the Al-Qaida-connected Benghazi “rebels.” Read the Sinjar Records Report, done at West Point Military Academy’s Joint Terrorism Unit on this connection The support escalated even after The Wall Street Journal reported on April 2 that one of the "rebel" leaders was a former Mujahedeen, Abdel Hakim al-Hasady, who had fought against the US in Afghanistan.
    The African Union, and all Africans, must stand up & object to the West’s diplomatic duplicity. A blueprint for the attack on African states was created in the Libyan War. What’s to stop them from repeating this murderous, selfish agenda elsewhere and everywhere in Africa?

  • Comment number 83.

    Part 1.
    I eagerly devoured Mark Urban's piece entitled: "Libya: A new form of intervention". I was delighted to find that I could be the first to comment, BUT found no comments were permitted. I would dearly love to listen to a show devoted to this so-called new intervention technique.
    Last week, Western leaders, NATO & so-called "mainstream" media - celebrated usurpation of Libya by armed “rebels.” But how will history assess West’s imperial interference? What does this awful intervention bespeak for other African countries? Last week, the Benghazi “rebels” advanced into Tripoli, their path eased, paved by NATO’s bombardment - even of civilian facilities.
    Yet, Gaddafi Spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim has warned: We will turn Libya into a volcano of lava and fire under the feet of the invaders and their treacherous agents. His son Seif al-Islam has also broadcast a message saying loyalists will continue to fight.
    The so-called “Transitional National Council” (plenty of Muslim extremists to be found in this council) issued a warning to the people of Sirte: Surrender by Saturday, or, face military...NATO, you know the organization that entered this conflict to "save civilians". No doubt several African leaders—given Qaddafi’s largess in supporting Africa’s political progress—are willing to help him obtain safe passage. Qaddafi has supported liberation struggles throughout Africa. It has been said that South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma would help the Libyan leader escape.
    Recall that when Western governments, including US/Reagan’s “constructive engagement” policy were doing business with South Africa’s apartheid government, Qaddafi supported the ANC & then supported imprisoned leaders like Nelson Mandela. Indeed, Mandela violated a UN flight embargo on Libya; after his release from 27 years in prison, he visited Gaddafi. Bill Clinton called visit “unwelcome.” Mandela retorted “No country can claim to be the policeman of the world & no state can dictate to another what it should do...Not to visit my brother Gaddafi is to be ungrateful & forget our friends of the past. (This particular incident seems to have missed mainstream reporting. Indeed, Qaddafi, for all his faults, has been a faithful friend of Africa. Moreover, has any Western country done more for Africa than Libya under Qaddafi? Think of it - What has the West done for Africa besides raping, pillaging the continent?

  • Comment number 84.

    I have much admiration for the brave BBC and other journalists who keep us so well informed. Please though would you all stop referring to him as COLONEL Ghadafi. He is self styled as such and his behaviour is not conducive to someone of that rank in the real world. Mr Ghadafi or simply Ghadafi will suffice and perhaps but not likely bring him out of this fantasy land he lives in when he realises only those too frightened to address him otherwise use the title. He lost all credibility a long time ago and dropping the title will reinforce his demise.

  • Comment number 85.

    I do not doubt the courage and objectivity of the BBC's (and other media) reporters in Tripoli and other parts of Libya. One aspect of the coverage which I find troubling is the frequent reference to Gaddafi's bad taste and opulence compared to the lives of the 'ordinary citizens' of Libya. Without wishing to sound revolutionary, I suspect that only a short time with a camcorder in the palaces of Balmoral, Sandringham and Buckingham Palace, compared to the estates of Peckham or Brixton, would enable the same point to be made without much difficulty. But let it also be noted how much I value being able publicly to make such a comment without being locked up (or worse) - we are truly fortunate in this Country. Long may it last.

  • Comment number 86.

    There are some comments on here that have made me rethink the populist view of Gaddafi, wondering if the beeb will comment or continue to trot out the party line.

  • Comment number 87.

    Our involvement in this 'crisis' began with gadaffi loyalist's surrounding Benghazi threatening a massacre and ends with the rebels surrounding Sirte threatening a massacre. Where do NATO go now?

  • Comment number 88.

    I should have prefaced my comment above (still awaiting moderation) with what Dave, the leader of NATO, should do next.

  • Comment number 89.

    @ 83.At 14:36 1st Sep 2011, BluesBerry
    ====================================

    A very impressive summary.

  • Comment number 90.

    Participation of British Apache helicopters & SAS soldiers in seeking Gaddafi on Libyan ground testifies to a ground operation & is therefore a direct violation of the UN resolution. Apparently, Britain doesn't recognize the authority of the UN...
    David Cameron told Sir Simon Bryant in no uncertain terms the military must wage wars & he must assume the command. Given that the British prime minister is an ardent supporter of the Libyan campaign, the British special forces are free to launch a hunt for Gaddafi, confident that official London will provide them with an appropriate cover.
    Britain’s Ministry of Defense refused to confirm the report, adding that it was government policy not to comment on special forces operations.
    Such glaring proof that British special forces have launched searches for the fugitive strongman - particularly after reports that neighboring Algeria denied him entry. Judging by the activity of British special forces in Libya, Britain, a key member of the NATO-led campaign in Libya, is determined to take Libya’s long-serving ruler, dead or alive.
    What British SAS officers are doing in Libya is impossible to justify given UN Resolution 1973 allows for a no-fly zone over Libya for the protection of civilians but FORBIDS ground operation. However, the participation of British Apache helicopters and SAS soldiers in searches for Gaddafi on the territory of Libya testifies to a ground operation All this is happening despite that fact that the Libyan operation is costing Britain millions. (Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said recently that Britain’s expenditures for military operations in Libya would cost millions of pounds.) According to British military experts, the funds spent on Libya may amount to 1B pounds. Given the current financial difficulties, the British economy may very well break under the burden.
    Top military officers are worried that the Libyan operation may undermine the country’s Armed Forces. Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant said recently that participation of British air forces in NATO’s mission in Libya could wear out equipment & personnel to such a point that future operations by the Royal Air Force would have to be cancelled. Sir Simon is echoed by First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff Sir Mark Stanhope, who says that the Royal Air Force will face a severe trial should the Libya operation drag on. This is not the sort of trial that I believe is warranted! Mine has more to do with Courts, Nuremberg and international justice.

  • Comment number 91.

    Jihadists in the ranks of NATO’s Libyan rebels.
    In March, as NATO was ramping up its aerial campaign against Gaddafi’s government, there were warnings – both from Gaddafi & from independent terrorism experts – about this infiltration.
    Gaddafi was a staunch enemy of radical Islamists.
    Similarly, Bashar al-Assad has been another bulwark against Islamic extremism; Islamic fundamentalists despise Assad’s Alawite religion, considering it a form of apostasy.
    The so-called Sinjar Records disclosed that while Saudis comprised the largest number of foreign fighters in Iraq, Libyans represented the largest per-capita contingent by far. Those Libyans came overwhelmingly from towns and cities in the east of Libya. The vast majority resided in the country’s Northeast, particularly the coastal cities of Darnah 60.2% & Benghazi 23.9%. Both Darnah and Benghazi have long been associated with Islamic militancy in Libya. One group (Libyan Fighting Group) claimed to have Afghan veterans in its ranks i.e. mujahedeen.
    Abu Layth al‐Libi, Emir of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) reinforced Benghazi and Darnah’s importance to Libyan jihadis when he announced that LIFG had joined al‐Qaeda. He called Gaddafi an apostate.
    So, it appears our Libyan rebels have tight associations with jihadisn, extremism and al-Qaeda. Some important al-Qaeda leaders operating in Pakistan’s tribal regions also are believed to have come from Libya. For instance, “Atiyah,” who was guiding the anti-U.S. war strategy in Iraq (and was recently reported killed by a US drone strike), was identified as a Libyan named Atiyah Abd al-Rahman.
    It was Atiyah who urged a strategy of creating a quagmire for US forces in Iraq, buying time for al-Qaeda headquarters to rebuild its strength in Pakistan.
    After months of US-guided NATO airstrikes, Gaddafi has been driven from power by the rebels. His remaining loyalists have fled to Surte (?). If these loyalists don’t surrender to the rebels, Belhadj and other jihadists will spearhead the final assaults – again backed by NATO airstrikes.
    What on earth is the west doing in bed with all these Muslim extremists? Is it all for oil?

  • Comment number 92.

    Putting aside the legality, the morality and the motives of the european governments and the U.S. government's intervention in the overthrow of Gaddafi and is despotic regime, there is a wider issue to remember.
    I have not forgotten the hundreds of lives lost in other countries and the thousands of lives lost inside Lybia as well as the money and support to terrorist groups around the world by Gaddafi and his so called government. Even after he was so called reigned in by the west and agreed to the terms given to him to end his terrorist actions and support for them, he was still detaining and killing anyone who disagreed with him.
    We should also remember the images of the people detained, shot and then blown up by hand granades inside a building. Is this something, for whatever the reason, we can morally stand aside from and allow to continue.
    Ok, Lybia produces 2% of the worlds oil and part of the motive for western governments intervening and helping the rebels in their cause to rid themselves of this despot.
    One thing remains very clear to me. While western media as well as media from arabic countries continuing to air his insane rantings and the rantings of his sons as well only serve one purpose and that is to keep him in the limelight when morally we shouldn't give him voice at all. We all know that he is a madman who will do anything to try to climb back to power but by continuing to report his rantings of gorilla attacks and burning sands and other such comments being constantly aired are only fueling his insanity and profile. We should be completely ignoring this persons broadcasts and messages of mass and targeted retaliation against his own people and instead focus our energies on the shortages of water, power and medial shortfalls and doing everything in our power to help these people recover from his 40 odd years of holding Lybia and it's people at randsom. We don't need to hear anymore from this man and his followers except to hear that he has been captured or killed and the fast wealth he has at his disposal has been recovered and returned to it's rightful owners - the Lybian people.
    As for the reporters inside and outside Lybia should stop giving him words to use in his insane broadcasts. Before news reporters and commentators mentioned words like retaliation and gorilla style attacks against his own people, all gaddafi was ranting about was not giving up and willingness to die in his attempts to hold onto power. Why are we putting words in his mouth.
    Of course we should be questioning the motives behind the western goverments support of

  • Comment number 93.

    Reading the comments on BBC coverage of Libya, including my own, I feel very sad. There was a time, many years ago, when we were all very proud of the BBC. But with the Libyan coverage, (not only news, but also comment and interviews etc, "debate") one really gives up. Seeing the crushing weight of adverse opinion re this coverage haven't your Editors ever considered the possibility that the BBC may in this case have got it entirely wrong? canauk

  • Comment number 94.

    '93. At 00:38 3rd Sep 2011, canauk - haven't your Editors ever considered the possibility that the BBC may in this case have got it entirely wrong?'

    Tx for the best laugh I've had today.

    If there is any response, it will be another early closing stout 'we're great because we think we are' Helen Boaden defence here, and some dozy market rate talent on Newswatch telling Uncle Ray 'they got it all about right'.

    Thanks to a new mod regime on the Newsnight blog where anything that doesn't suit the narrative gets purged and anything that does gets protected, I am in process of cancelling my licence DD.

    I may have to keep funding hypocrisy in government, but I do get a say every few years. But with the BBC, enough is enough.

  • Comment number 95.

    Most dissapointed with BBC TV Libya coverage - For current information I have to keep switching to Sky. Indeed if you do not have sky news you are now out of touch with the action. Hopefully with a little more effort this can be resolved and normal excellent service will be resumed..

  • Comment number 96.

    Who cares about Sky? The point is that the BBC and all the other western media outlets have been distorting the truth to make the mass public believe that it is a just war, when (as so many comments here refer to), it is an absolute disaster, destroying a country and empowering a bunch of thugs with guns to take over a bunch of ruins. Why does the BBC host chat shows where everyone is of the same opinion? I just was watching one where they were singing the praises of the rebels for having successfully taken power, when it is so clear that the war was won by NATO. It's logical. If the rebels are too few to be winning against Gadaffi's forces, then they simply cannot represent the majority of the people. Luckily for them, they had NATO and the BBC on their side. That helps a lot. Bad luck for the Libyans who are now going to be massacred. All this is understandable from the Western governments, but we wonder why the BBC is fighting the war the too ? Do they have limited freedoms of expression ?

  • Comment number 97.

    Thank you for #67, right to the point. Can the BBC answer that one? Maybe there is something that we sane human beings just don't know and their reporters on the ground do know? Or maybe we are all crazy and the reportage is perfectactly accurate...

  • Comment number 98.

    "Dozens of colleagues from many news organisations have risked their lives over the past five months to tell a hugely important story"

    It is great when you are entrusted with such a powerful voice to be self-congratulating yourselves. Perhaps you should now have an awards ceremony and earn medals for your part in the war. You didn't tell a story, you fabricated it. You are fiction writers and you are an important part of the problem rather than the solution. Thousands will lose their lives because of your "bravery".

  • Comment number 99.

    Sorry but this may not be appropriate for this page but I would like to find an easy way to make a genral comment on the web page. Why do we have on the video part a repeat of the aircrash at heathrow and now a repeat of the storm in New York. Has the BBC run out of money. It is very confusing ...has there been another aircrash ...another storm...

  • Comment number 100.

    This may, of course, be my last entry, my epitaph to Muammar Qaddafi.
    During his long reign, Libya was brought out of deep poverty & illiteracy. Using Libya's petroleum wealth, his government provided Libyans with free health care, free education, Free housing, free water & sovereignty.
    Among Qaddafi's many accomplishments was Libya's water system said to be the 8th Wonder of the World, turning desert sand into fertile agricultural land. He led other African nations toward sovereign pride, independence from of western governments, going a far as trying to unite all African Nations as the United States of Africa.
    This is the leader, the thinker, the pro-African individualist that the west came to hate, charged him with crimes against humanity (some of which may have been true, but this could also be said for the United States of America as well as the United Kingdom). Now the west, through its TNC, aims toi kill him.
    What if, WHAT IF, the west falls flat on its face - preferably in Libyan oil.

 

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