The BBC just shamed itself with its coverage of the Libya floods

A BBC News report on Libya floods
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The harrowing floods in Libya have already killed thousands, with over 10,000 people still missing as of Friday 15 September. While the focus has rightly been on immediate support for the people affected, the BBC has also given its analysis of why the floods caused so much devastation. Typically, the British state broadcaster managed to shoehorn in UK colonialist propaganda – by completely downplaying Britain’s role in destroying the country in the previous decade.

Libya floods: up to 20,000 people may be dead

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on 15 September that, so far, flash flooding in east Libya caused by Storm Daniel has left nearly 4,000 people dead, 10,000 missing, and entire neighbourhoods in ruins.

The storm tore through the coastal city of Derna, which has a population of around 100,000 people. Derna lies in a river valley 560 miles east of the capital, Tripoli. Storm Daniel caused two dams around Derna to burst, unleashing torrents of water that destroyed bridges and swept away entire neighbourhoods before spilling into the Mediterranean.

Officials in the east of the divided country give different toll estimates, with one speaking of at least 3,840 dead. However, many fear the figure will be far higher – nearer to 20,000. Meanwhile, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) stated that an estimated 884,000 people directly impacted by the storm and flash floods need assistance.

Storm Daniel appears to be a result of the climate crisis. It grew in the Mediterranean because of the heatwave – where sea temperatures broke records. Climate science professor at the University of Bristol Lizzie Kendon told AFP that Storm Daniel was:

illustrative of the type of devastating flooding event we may expect increasingly in the future

However, the devastating impact of the storm on Libya can’t just be viewed through the lens of the climate crisis. That said, the lens the BBC viewed it through was completely biased towards the British state.

Read on...

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The BBC: why is Libya such a mess?

BBC News Africa tweeted on 13 September:

The article started out with a generic description of Libya:

Once one of Africa’s most prosperous countries, years of lawlessness have left it a fragile, divided state – ill-prepared to cope with the forces unleashed by a natural disaster.

Then, it specifically stated that:

The vast majority of deaths from the flooding have occurred in Derna – a city emblematic of Libya’s breakdown. It has received little investment for decades and a government minister in the area admitted that one of the dams that burst had not been maintained “for a while”.

The BBC also pointed to the fact that Libya has two rival governments that have been in conflict for years. However, when it came to the ‘whys’ of Libya being a mess, the BBC couldn’t bring itself to say the reality out loud. It wrote that:

Libya has been beset by chaos since forces backed by the West’s Nato military alliance overthrew long-serving ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.

Of course, this framing is not quite the way the West’s invasion of Libya played out – as people on X pointed out:

As the Canary reported in 2016:

Libya is a mess following the western military intervention that started in 2011. We were told it was necessary because there was an evil dictator who had to be taken out as he was massacring his own people…

Muammar Gaddafi did have much blood on his hands – from the so-called Toyota War (or Chadian-Libyan conflict) to taking responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing. Not to mention his handy role in George W. Bush’s extraordinary rendition program

When anti-Gaddafi protesters took to the streets of Libya in the midst of the ‘Arab Spring’, the UK, US, and France declared Gaddafi’s rule illegitimate. The soon-to-follow NATO military intervention on behalf of Libyan rebel militants ended with the brutal execution of Gaddafi on the road out of Sirte – ironically, the very city which Libyan Daesh (Isis/Isil) fighters have now made their de facto headquarters.

Propping up Western colonialist interests

Of course, the reasons for the West getting involved weren’t ‘humanitarian’. It also knew the invasion would fuel groups like al-Qaida. As the Canary wrote, secret government communications that were leaked revealed:

  • “France wanted control over Gaddafi’s billions in gold and silver bullion”.
  • “The US and UK knew al-Qaida members were embedded in rebel groups, yet armed them anyway”.
  • “[Hillary] Clinton was informed there was no real humanitarian basis for NATO’s bombing, but NATO would continue its devastating bombing of Libya for another seven months anyway”.

Back on X, someone noted the BBC‘s role in 2011:

As a research paper into the BBC and Al Jazeera‘s coverage, specifically their framing, of the West’s invasion of Libya noted:

the coverage of both these networks was aligned with the national and foreign policy interests of their home countries, making their political contexts the main influence on their news agendas. News frames across the sample reflected coverage that was largely supportive of the aims of opposition and the intervention.

In other words, the BBC was not impartial in the situation. It was merely parroting what the British state, and other Western governments, were saying. None of this is new for the broadcaster. With its current reporting on Libya’s floods, the BBC is still maintaining that pro-Western colonialist stance to this day.

Featured image via BBC News – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. Oh, it’s actually MUCH worse even that than. This was a planned regime change from the beginning.

      Those terrorist explosions that killed many civilians – Brit intel agents were on the ground (Just like the ones in Basra captured by Iraqi forces attempting to plant bombs in a marketplace).

      The UK regime is intimately interwoven with “Political Islam”, and if there is a murderous extremist group, you can be sure the UK deep state is helping them somewhere down the line.

      KKKillery KKKlinton’s AIM was the total destruction of Libya and her personal benefit. As everything she stuck her talons into.

      Libya WAS a developed country, with a higher standard of living than some of Europe.

      The BBC lies very step of the way, with no shame about it whatsoever.

      “State-Affiliated Media” indeed!

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