BBC’s unimpartial report on its “impartiality” in regards to war on Libya

Some running commentary on the BBC’s report on their “impartiality and accuracy” regarding their coverage of events in Libya:

* BBC report on its coverage of events in Libya says: “The BBC did well in maintaining a presence on both sides throughout. It gave Gaddafi and his family and officials many opportunities to express their views, and did interrogate the rebel leaders (as well as British ministers) about their strategy and war aims. It was slow however (*my addition: about 9 months slow*) to shine a spotlight on human rights abuses committed by rebel forces, particularly against sub-Saharan Africans and dark skinned Libyans.”

So the BBC thinks that both sides equals a bunch of mercenaries on one side and Gaddafi’s family on the other, it had reporters present at the 1.7million march in Green Square on July 1st (of which there is photographic evidence)…why didn’t they broadcast any footage of that demonstration or one interview with any of those millions? Is that how they show “both sides”?

They put as a little convenient addition that they didn’t cover human rights abuses by the rebels. But they don’t mention the scale of those abuses and that in fact this omission meant that the BBC did not seek out the voices of thousands of pro-Gaddafi people who were being persecuted in rebel held areas.

Why didn’t the BBC reporters who were in the Rixos in August, interview any of the hundreds of people (including injured children) who came to the hotel to tell such reporters about the RAF attack on their town in Zlitan that martyred 85?

Entirely omitting the voices of millions of people who supported Gaddafi (and not just interviewing a few people from the government), while the rest of the time your flooding you network with mercenary voices, is hardly covering “both sides”.

* So the BBC are actually admitting that theirs and their NATO country media counterparts could have actually brought about TWO illegal aggressions both in Libya and Iraq. And no-one bats an eyelid.

The role of the media is to be the eyes and ears of the public, not a war tool. That the BBC are admitting that they have been the latter and not the former shows to me how the western capitalist elite know so very well that the populations in their home countries have absolutely no interest in resisting their criminality, a criminality which they are very very very open about. This further confirms my dreaded feeling that not only will we not see any real change brought about by peoples in the NATO countries (US and western Europe) but they will continue to be part of their elites efforts to sabotage genuine progressive and revolutionary change in the South.

BBC quote regarding its Libya coverage: “No doubt these reports, along with similar and in some cases more directly partisan ones in other media, helped stimulate empathy for the rebel cause among the British public, and thereby to facilitate, if not actually bring about, the NATO intervention – as similar reports had done in northern Iraq as long ago as 1991.”

* The BBC report on Libya makes an issue of Jeremy Bowen being allowed to film a bombed university cafeteria but not a bombed military base in Libya and says that this is because the Jamahiriyah government only wanted to show that civilians were being targeted.

The Libyan government never hid that military and civilian targets were being hit, and it is quite clear to any logical thinking or honest person that in a time of war when your country is being obliterated, you will not want to share with the world and your enemy’s intelligence, details of what parts of your military infrastructure have been destroyed and what parts have not (because then NATO will want to finish off the job).

* The report is also laced with racist language, and says that the choice of Saadi Gaddafi to be interviewed by BBC in front of a lion’s cage was “bizarre” betraying their complete ignorance about the symbolic importance of the lion in Libya.

* BBC report adds “Nor is it clear how easy it would have been for the BBC to find “ordinary” Libyans who would have expressed unfeigned and unscripted enthusiasm for [Gaddafi’s] cause”

How about the streets of Tripoli, or 1.7 million such Libyans in Green Square on July 1st (where BBC reporters were) or the Libyans who would protest outside the Rixos against coverage of networks like the BBC, or the numerous and frequent other demonstrations for Gaddafi in Tripoli’s neighbourhoods?

* And the BBC report that is meant to be dealing with the BBC’s crap produces an entirely new piece of crap: “Meanwhile, many civilian migrant workers from sub-Saharan countries, and some dark-skinned indigenous Libyans, were the object of serious human rights violations, probably on both sides of the line, but certainly in rebel held areas.”

Probably on both sides of the line? According to who? What sources? What evidence?

This is the first time I am aware of that it has been suggested that supporters of the Jamahiriyah or the Jamahiriyah government itself committed abuses against Black people. Of course there is absolutely zero evidence for this, and I have never heard it even alleged.

* There were thousands of refugees that had fled from rebel held areas on Tripoli, many of them black and I met a great number. That the BBC suggest it was impossible for them to investigate the persecution of Black people, implying that it could only be investigated in rebel held areas, is another total nonsense.

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toni solo from Nicaragua’s tortilla con sal replies to the comment that western populations are complicit in their government’s crimes in Africa, Latin America and Asia (original comment in full below):

toni solo:

The issue of the complicity of the general population of the imperialist countries in the crimes of their governments is in one sense very clear and beyond argument.
People in Europe and North America – at least since universal suffrage – have accepted the external transfer of the worst latent or potential domestic social costs of their countries’ prosperity onto the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Lenin only pointed out what was already well known when he noted the argument of Cecil Rhodes that aggressive colonial policies would minimize acute social conflict in Britain.
That also explains why, as the Christian philosopher Simone Weil wrote in one of her essays, Europeans were so shocked at the application of colonial savagery to themselves by Nazi Germany.
What Western apologists/moralists meant when, after the revelations of the death camps, they said “it must never happen again” was in fact “this must never happen again to us in Europe”.
That BBC report and the complacent response to it is in effect a footnote confirming the profound complicity of European populations in general in the crimes of their governments.
It seems to me totally improbable that any correction to the criminal policies of the NATO countries will occur until they suffer a strategic setback either militarily or economically.

Lizzie Phelan:

So the BBC are actually admitting that theirs and their NATO country media counterparts could have actually brought about TWO illegal aggressions both in Libya and Iraq. And no-one bats an eyelid. The role of the media is to be the eyes and ears of the public, not a war tool. That the BBC are admitting that they have been the latter and not the former shows to me how the western capitalist elite know so very well that the populations in their home countries have absolutely no interest in resisting their criminality, a criminality which they are very very very open about.

This further confirms my dreaded feeling that not only will we not see any real change brought about by peoples in the NATO countries (US and western Europe) but they will continue to be part of their elites efforts to sabotage genuine progressive and revolutionary change in the South.

BBC quote regarding its Libya coverage: “No doubt these reports, along with similar and in some cases more directly partisan ones in other media, helped stimulate empathy for the rebel cause among the British public, and thereby to facilitate, if not actually bring about, the NATO intervention – as similar reports had done in northern Iraq as long ago as 1991.”

SOURCE