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No holds barred in this no fly zone

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Originally published on The Pryer: 02/08/2011


Nato in Brussels announced on Saturday 30 July that it had carried out precision strikes on three Libyan television transmitters to silence “terror broadcasts” by Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. Nato conducted a precision air strike that disabled three ground-based Libyan state TV satellite transmission dishes in Tripoli. Despite this, state television continues to broadcast.

The strikes, it said, were intended to stop “inflammatory broadcasts” by Col Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. Three journalists were reported to have been killed in the operation.

The Nato spokesman said: “Our intervention was necessary as TV was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus designed to systematically oppress and threaten civilians and to incite attacks against them.”

Western countries were quick to denounce Gaddafi as a criminal when, in March, many eyewitnesses said that Gaddafi targeted non-combatant journalists, breaching the Geneva Conventions. Yet attacking journalists and the media in Tripoli are ‘fair game’.

I believe certain British newspapers (I won’t name them) ‘incite hatred’ towards immigrants and asylum seekers but I would not call for those journalists to be killed…though I must warn you that without caffeine I will incite hatred against even my own front lawn.

Destroying state television will not remove Gaddafi from power, now will it stop the fighting. TV or no TV, Gaddafi still yields a lot of support-let us not forget he took power and maintained that power long before mass media. Our own media is somewhat to blame – anything reported by Libyan TV is propaganda and lies while rebel sources are taken at their word without the need for verification.

Meanwhile in Syria, government troops fired on protestors, killing at least 40, though the figure has yet to be verified. Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “I am appalled by the reports that the Syrian security forces have stormed Hama with tanks and other heavy weapons this morning killing dozens of people. Such action against civilians who have been protesting peacefully in large numbers in the city for a number of weeks has no justification.”

On the one hand, we are told we’re preventing massacre in Libya while Britain and the rest of the world continue to watch as the Syrian people are violently suppressed by its own government. But not to worry Syrian people, Hague is appalled, so that should be of some comfort…right?

What started off as a mandate to ‘protect civilians’ has now turned into an operation to overthrow Gaddafi. If that is not a move for a regime change then I don’t know what is.



Written by Iram Ramzan

August 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Posted in middle east

Tagged with , , ,

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