Tripoli under fire in media information war — RT

7 March 2011 — RT

Inflamed violence continues to tear through Libya, more than three weeks after protests erupted. However, some believe that mainstream media outlets are way too one-sided in portraying the events in the country.

There are unconfirmed reports that opposition leaders in Libya have rejected a proposal by Colonel Gaddafi, who is offering to resign if an interim council is formed, and he and his family are allowed to safely leave the country.

Muammar Gaddafi’s supporters are currently moving eastwards in order to reclaim towns which they lost during the popular uprising, Al Jazeera television has reported on Tuesday. According to the channel, pro-Gaddafi forces have retaken the town of Bin Jawad in central Libya and moved on to the oil port of Ras Lanuf.

The death toll is rising in the country with several people killed in Monday battles, the source said.

It is not completely clear now who is in control of which territories. Al Jazeera earlier reported bombings in the Libyan capital. However, people on the streets of Tripoli say that media coverage of events is far from objective.

‘I want to say to Al Jazeera: Wake up because you are in dreaming [land],’ said a pro-Gaddafi supporter in Tripoli. ‘No one can kill Muammar Gaddafi, all Libya is with Muammar Gaddafi.’

‘They told us that Tripoli is bombed by [the] air force and heavy guns or something like that. It completely is not the truth,’ said spokesman of Libyan Culture Ministry Abdul Lamushi.

CNN reports suggest that Tripoli is facing gunfire, explosions and fighting with war planes firing at protesters. However, RT correspondent Paula Slier, who is currently in Tripoli, reports a completely different picture.

According to Paula, the city looks more like it is going about its everyday business rather than being on the brink of war.

‘When we invited foreign media to come to Tripoli and to Libya, and to see and to watch and to send their reports to their channels, we noticed that the administration of their channels selected what they want from these reports and eliminate what does not serve their purposes,’ Abdul Lamushi explains.

Some people in Tripoli are angry with such state of affairs. Mohammed has taken a few days off from his work as an engineer to join the throngs of Gaddafi supporters in downtown Green Square.

‘They are hiding this, what is going on now,’ he said. ‘All the people are here, just to be supportive for our leader Muammar Gaddafi and they want to hide this.’

However, analysts say it is not just what is being hidden, it is also what is actually being said.

‘The language and the framing of the story and the type of headlines that are used and the things that are quoted – you would not see this kind of language or this kind of treatment in a story about Afghanistan, or a story about Iraq, where we are the aggressor,’ said war journalist Keith Harmon Snow. ‘It makes it look like Gaddafi is the problem.’

Paula Slier says the war is clearly not in Tripoli and, just as clearly, Western media has been a little too quick to write off Gaddafi. Both sides have their propaganda war and Tripoli is now under fire in this information battle.

­According to Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar, mainstream media hype is all about supporting the West’s urge to establish its control over the region.

‘They do not know what kind of opposition might emerge, if the Gaddafi regime disappears,’ he said. ‘So in the minds of decision-makers in Washington and in Brussels [is] if we go there and we prop up the next government, we will be in charge of Northern Africa, we will be close to Egypt and close to Tunisia and Algeria, we will be in control in the region. That is the real game we will not see spelled out in mainstream media.’


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