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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

John Burns, Propaganda Robot, Clunks Into Battle

June 8/9 2011

Tripoli Playing Up Civilian Deaths?
John F. Burns of the infamously propaganda-laden New York Times has a new op-ed piece: Libya Stokes Its Machine Generating Propaganda decrying a defensive war of words and ideas as the latest tools in an evil war against freedom and innocent people. As Burns sums up the effects of NATO's crimes, justified by rumors, against a sovereign nation:
With Colonel Qaddafi effectively a fugitive in his own capital; with Libyan rebels making important gains in recent days in the western mountains; with growing food shortages; and with an urban underground in Tripoli capable of mounting mass protests that the government can suppress only with deadly fire, the government now seems to be relying ever more heavily on its propaganda machine.
He may be right about two cases he cites, where a girl hit by a car was shown as a victim of a NATO bomb, and the church damaged only as a side-effect of a bombing of the military compound right next door. He might even be right about a general policy of exaggerating civilian death reports. I wouldn't be so flippant as to claim to know the answer to such complex questions with so many variables I couldn't pin down. And, as he says, what the hell else can they do, aside from undignified and abject surrender?
With no way of stopping the airstrikes, it seems as though the hidden power of the government’s intelligence and security agencies has been turned to persuading world opinion — above all, opinion in the NATO countries carrying out most of the airstrikes, the United States, Britain and France — that the strikes’ main victims, and often the intended targets, are civilians, and not military, as NATO has said.
That's some paranoid imagination (which I encourage, of course), suggesting basically, the Libyan CIA is engineering this to trick us. But brutal as they're supposed to be, they can't come up with enough dead civilians to be very convincing (see below).

Such silliness aside, the real targets of the bombs is the same as that of the sanctions and money seizures, which are designed to squeeze civilians. The common target of these, and of all other anti-Gaddafi efforts, is the government and the economic system it protects. They want at Libya's resources like Gaddafi wouldn't allow, and what we're seeing is the oyster shell being cracked open for the pearl.

They won't shy away from killing civilians and denying it, but neither will they wantonly seek that out, as the government there might seem to suggest at times.

Laughing at the "Bank Shot"
Another incident the other day saw a family host a missile in their yard following a nearby NATO strike in the mid-evening. This is explained in more detail here, and called "absurd." It was first passed off to the foreign media, apparently, as a NATO missile. Burns notes, starting with the obvious mix-up as the laughable and showing moment it isn't:
But a NATO missile with Cyrillic script on its components? With that discovery from the wreckage, the official briefing about 50 journalists paused in his fulminations against NATO, but only to recalibrate his account. Yes, he said, it was a Russian missile, part of Libya’s armory, but it had reached the backyard by what foreign reporters familiar with arcade games quickly dubbed the “bank shot” or “pinball” method.

In that sequence, a NATO bomb or missile first hits a Libyan arsenal somewhere out in the dark, igniting the Russian missile and sending it blasting off into the night. The effect, the handler said, was the same, regardless of the missile’s provenance. NATO had nearly killed innocent Libyan civilians.

“It is an aggression,” he said. “It is evil.”
Why would there not be dangers like secondary explosions and even fluke missile flight, when hitting ammunition stores? Earlier in the conflict, late March, a young baby boy was killed by a Libyan missile, allegedly ignited in a NATO strike at an ammunition depot around 6 am. The depot was some five miles (8km) away, but there was a hole in the wall and a baby who reportedly died less than instantly after a sheet of exploded metal cut into his little face and head.

The account was doubted somewhat at the time, partly from the great distance involved, but was mostly just left "unconfirmed," for lack of detail from NATO. Now Burns and others dismiss the same thing happening again, from a confirmed strike on an ammunition depot one kilometer distant. Thankfully, no one was killed this time.

Both denials carry a soft implication that the Libyans fired their own missiles around into civilian areas to create propaganda against NATO. Another turn of their intel agency propaganda machine! Certainly drawing attention to the fact of these incidents is taken as propaganda by the ilk of Mr. Burns.

This might sound a little "conspiracy theory," but to be fair, consider the odds - at least two Libyan missiles land in civilian areas, at the time of NATO strikes with US missiles that never target civilian areas. And out of about 3,000 strike sorties to date ... many hitting places full of other explosives ... really, what are the odds that only two or three rockets would enter homes?

"Linked in Some Way..."
Burns seems quite confident that basically no civilian deaths have occurred from NATO's "humanitarian bombardment" of Libya, and certainly none on purpose.
Civilian damage, where there has been any, has been mainly in the form of blast and shockwave impact on nearby buildings. Where civilian buildings have been hit, they appear to have been empty, and linked in some way to the military targets.

Sightings of civilian casualties have been rare, though not for want of official endeavor. But 11 weeks into the airstrikes, the government minders’ credibility, at least among foreign reporters, has worn perilously thin.
He doesn't mention the Gaddafi family residence in the Ghargour neighborhood, where a NATO bomb fell, at about 8:30 pm on April 30, while the Libyan leader was present. He was spared, but three toddlers, the Leader's son Seif, a family friend, and some of the animals in the peting zoo out back were killed.

It had been deemed a command and control bunker linked to "attacks on civilians," and NATO claimed no idea why - or if - the Gaddafi family was there.

Burns also glosses over the NATO bombing of a group of religious leaders in Brega, at dawn on May 13. These clear civilians, on a mission of peace into rebel territory, were hit right during their brief stay in a government building, deemed just then a command and control bunker needing to be taken out. Nine were killed, their bodies shown on state TV, verifiable on Youtube (see above link).

Funeral Fakery
Mr. Burns first came to my attention covering the funeral for these nine killed at Brega, which he suggested was fake. (again, see above link) Never mind the strike was acknowledged by NATO for time and locale, that the Imams' presence there was known, that nine bodies were shown, and nine coffins were laid in the ground in Tripoli within 24 hours.

He slyly countered it all with silence, appeal to bias, and rumors he picked up from whispers on the side, with or without cash enticements. The men in the coffins were other people, he learned - the long-dead, a driver, someone's uncle, possibly Gaddafi victims dug up for this show, but not the Imams claimed to have been killed.

Now in his current work, he says:
Visits to bombing sites, hospitals and funerals have produced a succession of blunders, including patients identified as bombing victims who turned out not to be, empty coffins at funerals and burials where some of those interred turned out not to be airstrike victims at all.
Chances are he's referring in part to that little "fact-finding mission." The other points, well ... take them with a grain of salt, until verified somehow.


  1. A couple of points:

    a)Because we have never felt a bomb or other war weopons, expecially the new high tech ones you may not be aware that many of these weapons completely disintegrate all body parts. Empty coffins does not mean people did not die. Some coffins had bits and pieces as remains.

    c)It is not the case that NATO will kill civilians as a means to an end - by accident but not purposely as there is no reason too.

    There is a 'reason' for this. If you kill as many regime supporters now, you won't get problems later. Libya had a small population as it is - Lots of deaths now for those on the other side of the conflict and also the decrease via mass expulsions, relocation of migrant workers etc would mean less people to share the pie.

    1. To quote you, "There is a 'reason' for this. If you kill as many regime supporters now, you won't get problems later. Libya had a small population as it is - Lots of deaths now for those on the other side of the conflict and also the decrease via mass expulsions, relocation of migrant workers etc would mean less people to share the pie"

      You are giving reasons for precisely the same actions attributed to Gadaffi we have been indoctrinated to believe in for decades?

      Of course kill opposition=simplistic solution for some cultures. Perhaps Gadaffi took such an action but it was his decision and not understood by the West.
      Yet, in the West we merely lockemup (600k now in USA in prison?) NDAA is coming, if not here already?

      "No reason to?" Well look NATO targeted this family and denied doing it. Now Khaled is suing NATO.

      We are now getting numerous viral vids from NTC & supporters to justify an action that wasn't necessary. (IMHO)

      This one has (apparently??) resurfaced from a long time ago and is about to go viral!

      Perusing, it 'seems' to be a current 'mock-up.' The bloke in pyjamas (?) seems to be not the one extricated from within the building that went in? Maybe a dead body? There's lotsa blurring and one cannot say for certain? Don't speak Arabic so unknown what is said.

      Thanks, Felix, your holiday in Malta cleared a lot of questions within my memetic understanding.


    2. Thanks, Caustic, without you and your other contributors I often feel I am in the minority in this whole sad debacle that IMHO should never have happened.


    3. I watched that video and I must say, any government that can act like that does indeed have problems. In my opinion, from my values system, which I'm pretty comfortable with. IF it's as (I presume) it's advertised. Sorry, didn't watch it closely though. The building? He's bleeding but not moving, so I think alive but quite unconscious and probably dying from the repeated head stomping.

      It'll rile people up. It might get quite a few people killed.

      Should never have happened, of course not. These are bad things and, I fear, harbingers of more. This is getting blatant, and apparently accelerating, and it could lead to a major confrontation once it gets right to Iran. WWIV anyone?

    4. The video, labeled The murder of Abdul Salam Akhchibh [by] Gaddafi is shocking. It seems to show murder, lynching, barbarity – except it shows none these.

      There is a page here that gives more detail in English:
      Torture and public execution of the martyr Abdel Salam Akhchiba in 20 december 2005 inside bab al aziziya coumpound in Tripoli by units of Gaddafi' s militia called "Brigade Megarief

      This is not a lynching, it is an execution. It is not a public execution, but happens in a closed military base. The executed man is not a civilian, but a soldier, a lieutenant in the Libyan Army. His crime, most likely some form of treason.

      Military justice is different from civilian justice. it is swifter and more brutal. Unless you die, it may also be more forgiving. Brutality is part of the punishment. In lesser crimes, it counts as time off.

      Capital punishment is still practiced in the US, and universally used in the Arab world. The fact that it is "medicalized" and sanitized in the US makes it no less cruel. The public executions in Saudi Arabia are far more vulgar.

      In principal I oppose capital punishment. In the most serious crimes against peace – as in the case of Libya – I would still like to see the perpetrators hanged. On my list there are about four people, two of them heads of government.

    5. Here is a more detailed explanation of the execution video. (Google translation)
      You will see a bar here (YouTube), a document is very important picture shows where the terrifying footage of how horrific brutality - unrivaled - in which it was the execution of the hero martyr "Abdul Salam Khchibh Gaddafi" - an officer of the tribe and walked Alqmazfah! - This incident took place at Camp Azizia door between 1995 and 2005, the date is not specified precisely so far! - When he tried this officer Libyan assassination of the tyrant as was filmed moments of the execution of Mr. "Khchibh" inside the camp gate Azizia orders of Gaddafi was then view these clips brutality by closed-circuit for all officers in the camps in Libya, as a matter of spreading terror in their hearts and scare them and warn them of the consequences of attempt to rebel For this reason, the tyrant of the crime scenes filmed for use in broadcast his message of terrorism and the promotion of terror among the Libyan people, especially in the ranks of the Libyan army!!! ..... He thought the tyrant it has been restored to him and his children forever, but came to him of God, where is calculated and oppression by any oppression!? .. [The wrath of thy Lord, too] ... where killed by the rebels evil killers after he captured him and Ozloh, kicked and Tmoh and spat on his face ugly! .. Tyrant died in a shameful and humiliated unrivaled race of cruel punishments, which was exercised throughout the years of his reign against his opponents!! .. Matt, a tyrant Alzenam taste the bitterness of defeat, humiliation and shame ...! Glory to God the mighty avenger! ..! ... God is great and thank God with glory in heaven and earth!.

      Come to think of it, Gaddafi came to power as a young officer through a military coup. What a role model he would make for future wannabe usurpers.

      The first decades of independence or revolution is difficult for any nation. Just how many times did the British conquer Washington DC before the death of George Washington? Being a father of a nation is even more difficult. You need to be a tyrant.

    6. Tried to assassinate Gaddafi even. Thanks, all that makes total sense and helps explain it. I still don't like it, but all in all, I'd say it's proportionally at least no worse than the different type of torture the West uses for lesser crimes. They do it different - in Libya, think Akhchiba. In Oceania, think Bradley Manning, or Winston Smith.

  2. ".....but the mainstream media have refused to join the dots back to the coup attempt in 1996. (comment here)

    1. http://www.nlpwessex.org/docs/shaylergatehtm.htm
      The Shaylergate Files

      How MI6 Sponsored Al Qaeda In Libya


      The document was reportedly written by Islamic activist Mohammed Busidra [network is formidable: it includes the long-banned Muslim Brotherhood; the February 17 Martyrs’ Brigade], organizing Libya’s mosques into a political machine

      that Britain has not designated LIFG a terrorist organization is significant
      several prominent leaders of LIFG live in London & Manchester
      Noman Benotman&fellow militants benefited from British training programmes:

      Noman Benotman :Al-Haraka Al-Islamiya Al Libiya Lit-Tahghir
      moved to Sudan where he forged close links with Bin Laden

      Islamists blamed for killing General Abdel Fattah Younes

      Q and A with Noman Benotman



      ‘Building a Libyan coalition for overthrow khadafi

  3. George Washington was a concentration camp commandant.


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