War and Media Disinformation: The “Rambling Three Page Letter” by Felicity Arbuthnot

by Felicity Arbuthnot
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
12 April, 2011

“Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.” – George Orwell.

Reflecting on George W. Bush’s speech to the nation, forty eight hours before the (19th March 2003) invasion of Iraq, Professor J. Gregory Payne, of the Department of Communication Studies, Emerson College, Boston, Mass., reflected that his stance: ” … furthers the perception that the United States has appointed itself the sheriff of the world, who decide, on our own, what is needed, and precisely when to keep what the sheriff determines, to be ‘order.’ ” (i)

Bush also directed the Iraqi troops : “not to die for a dying regime” and: “continued his repetition of ‘regime, ‘tyrant’, ‘murderer,’ and other devil terms to enhance the reception of his claims …” The Professor concluded: “Summed up: ‘Might makes right.’ ”

He also reminds that Bush’s first warning to the Iraqis was: “not to set the oil wells on fire.” Admonishing not to detonate “weapons of mass destruction” – the stated “reason” for the war – was an afterthought. How modern history repeats.

President “humbled to be awarded the Nobel” Obama, has learned fast. Quaddaffi, he said in his speech on 29th., March was: “a tyrant”, engaged on a “campaign of killing”, “brutal repression”, and we were bombing the country in to possible oblivion: “to avoid a massacre.”

Iraq is further repeated in the Libya embargo.

As Iraq, assets are frozen: “$33 Billion of the regime’s assets”, trumpeted the President (who gets the interest? Will Libya ever see it again? Or as Iraq, will it simply vanish?) A travel ban is imposed on the regime, an arms embargo (and also, as Iraq in 1990, on a country those now bombing it, had awarded it virtually “favoured nation” status in their arms sales) and trade is crippled. The “no fly zone”, where the usual suspects can fly and bomb from a safe height, is another Alice in Wonderland mirror image (pun intended.)

“This indicates that the (UN.,) Security Council has double standards, and raises suspicion that it is an attempt to seize Libya’s resources, its funds deposited abroad and its oil revenues, in order to pay off the debts, accumulated by certain states, as a result of the global economic crisis”, said the then Foreign Minister, Musa Kousa, at the UN., on 21st March.(ii)

Kousa also argued, in a letter to the Security Council on 17th., March (eighth anniversary of Bush’s Iraq speech) that Libya had simply taken: “legitimate action against terrorism, seeking to defend itself … and prevent al Qaeda from infiltrating Europe, in accordance with the counter terrorism instruments to which it is a party.” He further stated that: “an external conspiracy was targeting Libya and its territorial integrity.” Iraq’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity”, was, of course, also guaranteed by the UN. Kousa requested an emergency meeting of the Security Council. (See ii.) Like Iraq, the request was dismissed. That Pentagon hand book on: “How to Manipulate International Law and Market a New Enemy”, must be well dog-eared and worn.

On 5th April, Colonel Quaddaffi himself wrote to President Obama. In the circumstances it was a remarkably conciliatory letter. In yet another Iraq re-run, Washington dismissed it out of hand. At a joint Press Conference on 7th April, with the Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton stated: “I don’t think there is any mystery about what is expected from Mr. Gaddafi at this time, that is an international assessment.”

Once the infantile reducing of a head of state to “Mr” starts, there is trouble ahead. Remember: “Mr Hussein”?

Also as Iraq, the main stream media – with honourable exceptions – are always on hand to assist the propaganda. Here are some random examples, from April 6th., and 7th.:

The BBC on Radio 5 Live’s “Breakfast” programme (7th., April) stated that Colonel Quaddaffi’s  letter was “three pages”, and gave the impression, seemingly from a US government source, that it was rambling and incoherent. Their statement was repeated, word for word, on BBC websites. I checked a number – worldwide.

A random sample of other news outlets, of differing political hues, make an interesting read:

* The (UK) Daily Mirror: “In a rambling, three-page letter littered with errors, Gaddafi implored Obama to stop the Nato-led air campaign ‘against a small people of a developing country.’ ” (iii)

* Sky News: “He reportedly appealed to Mr Obama for a ceasefire in a rambling, three-page letter.”(iv)

* Oil Leader News : “Obama received a rambling, three-page letter from Gaddafi asking for a halt to a Western air campaign against his forces, but US., officials bluntly dismissed the plea.” Hilary Clinton, says the publication, responded by demanding the Libyan leader go into exile. So much for “sovereignty and territorial integrity.” (v)

* EU Journal: “In a rambling three-page letter obtained by The Associated Press, Gaddafi implored Obama to stop the Nato-led air campaign, which he called an ‘unjust war against a small people of a developing country ..’ ” (vi)

* For the UK’s Daily Telegraph, Alex Spillus, in Washington reported : ” US., officials said, that in a rambling, three page letter, the Libyan leader referred to the US., President as “our son”  … ” (vii)

* Real Clear World, was indeed a little clearer: “Libya accused Britain of damaging an oil pipeline in an air strike, hours after rebels said government attacks had halted production of oil they hope to sell to finance their uprising. British warplanes have attacked, and carried out an air strike against the Sarir oilfield which killed three oilfield guards and other employees at the field were also injured … Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told reporters. There was no immediate comment from Britain’s Ministry of Defense or from NATO …”

But:  “Gaddafi himself appealed for a halt to the air campaign in a rambling three page letter to the US., President Barack Obama …”(viii)

* CBS News: who actually link the letter, still says: “A U.S. official confirms that the U.S. considers the rambling three-page letter to be authentic”, they quoted some of the content: ‘ “You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action”, Qaddafi wrote in the letter, that was sent to the State Department and forwarded immediately to the White House, according to a U.S. official who had seen the letter. “I am sure that you are able to shoulder the responsibility for that.” ‘

* For Google News it was: “In a rambling three-page letter obtained by the Associated Press, Gaddafi implored Obama to stop the NATO-led led air campaign, which the Libyan called an ‘unjust war against a small people of a developing country.’ “(x)

* The Jerusalem Post opined: “Obama received a rambling, three-page letter from Gaddafi asking for a halt to a Western air campaign against his forces, but US officials bluntly dismissed the plea.”(xi)

* The Guardian also did a near word for word cut and paste job, as the others : “In a rambling three-page letter obtained by the Associated Press …” (xii)

Across the world, from the Jordan Times to the Detroit Free Press was: “a rambling three page letter.” The (UK) Daily Mail conjured up: “a three page missive littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.”(xiii)

Given his country and compound was being bombed, decades of development destroyed, his son Khamis had been, reportedly, mortally injured on the first day of the bombing, dying two days later, and it was ten days before the anniversary of his baby daughter, Hanna’s death, killed in Reagan’s 1986 bombing, a few errors when writing in an entirely unrelated language, might be forgiven. It has to be wondered how good the Mail correspondent’s arabic is.

Worth noting is that in the 1986 bombing, the White House stated that the US., “was excercising its right to self defense”, and as one commentator put it:  “Allied air power has been deployed in Libya ostensibly to protect Libyans from a leader the world has belated discovered as a deadly psychopath.”(xiv)

So, with, again, the media demonisation propaganda swinging seamless in to action, here is the text of Colonel Quaddaffi’s letter. All six short paragraphs of it.

Here, from The Associated Press, is the complete text of the Libyan leader’s latest letter (with unusual English spellings and grammar as in the original):

Our son, Excellency,

President Obama


We have been hurt more morally that physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you. Despite all this you will always remain our son whatever happened. We still pray that you continue to be president of the U.S.A. We Endeavour and hope that you will gain victory in the new election campaigne. You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action. I am sure that you are able to shoulder the responsibility for that. Enough evidence is available, Bearing in mind that you are the president of the strongest power in the world nowadays, and since Nato is waging an unjust war against a small people of a developing country. This country had already been subjected to embargo and sanctions, furthermore it also suffered a direct military armed aggression during Reagan’s time. This country is Libya. Hence, to serving world peace … Friendship between our peoples … and for the sake of economic, and security cooperation against terror, you are in a position to keep Nato off the Libyan affair for good.

As you know too well democracy and building of civil society cannot be achieved by means of missiles and aircraft, or by backing armed member of AlQuaeda in Benghazi.

You — yourself — said on many occasions, one of them in the UN General Assembly, I was witness to that personally, that America is not responsible for the security of other peoples. That America helps only. This is the right logic.

Our dear son, Excellency, Baraka Hussein Abu oumama, your intervention is the name of the U.S.A. is a must, so that Nato would withdraw finally from the Libyan affair. Libya should be left to Libyans within the African union frame. The problem now stands as follows:-

1. There is Nato intervention politically as well as military.

2. Terror conducted by AlQaueda gangs that have been armed in some cities, and by force refused to allow people to go back to their normal life, and carry on with exercising their social people’s power as usual.

Mu’aumer Qaddaffi

Leader of the Revolution

Tripoli 5.4.2011

The reference to “Our dear son”, which has been much sneered at, is normal linguistic currency when referring to those of African heritage, by Africans and those of African descent. Indeed, in the Boston Globe, the day after Obama’s election, one columnist wrote: “As a symbol of a son of Africa, elected to lead a majority white nation, that once enslaved Africans and treated their descendants with great cruelty, Obama’s rise makes me proud of our country.”(xvii) Wonder how he feels now.

Indeed, on 13th July 2009, President Obama told a “riveted” Ghanaian Parliament: “I have the blood of Africa within me.” Ironic he now has it on his hands.

“What happens here”, he said, as he ended his visit, “has an impact everywhere.”

And why is not the BBC referenced? Below is a letter written to them on the 7th April, the day they talked of that “rambling three page letter.”

“To: breakfast@bbc.co.uk

Subject: Quaddaffi letter : long, rambling, three pages

Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 13:03:19 +0100


This morning you stated that the letter from Mu’aumer Quaddaffi was three pages and gave the impression that it was rambling and incoherent. Did any one look at it? It is six paragraphs and pretty succinct.

Interesting that this seemingly bit of corporate proganda has been repeated, seamlessly, worldwide. I have picked, randomly, the Canadian version (below.)

As the Balkans, has the BBC become a mouthpiece for NATO? I seem to remember your correspondent, Mark Laity, after that blitzkrieg ended, got a job with them.



There has been no reply, but the “rambling and incoherent” implication, seems to have vanished from every BBC website, including the above. The “three pages”, however, remains.

“The BBC. bringing you the news, as it is, all the time”, is one of their quoted slogans. Not quite, it seems.

“Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman summed media collusion, laziness and duplicity well: “The Press needs to be the Fourth Estate, not the Fourth State.”

i. http://www.presidentialrhetoric.com/speeches/03.17.03.responses.html

ii http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jTx2qLIAaj2mpZBmwBfAQf5uWowg?docId=c2b284d2590449f7bbd4bf505db4c5aa

iii. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/04/07/colonel-gaddafi-appeals-to-our-son-barack-obama-to-tell-nato-to-lay-off-115875-23043017/

iv. http://news.sky.com/skynews/Article/201009115967221

v. http://oilleader.com/2011/04/us-rebuffs-gaddafi-letter-to-obama/

vi. http://www.europe-current-events.com/2011/04/06/gaddafi-begs-obama-to-halt-unjust-war/

vii. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8433191/Libya-Gaddafi-writes-to-Barack-Obama-asking-him-to-halt-Nato-campaign.html

viii. http://www.realclearworld.com/news/reuters/international/2011/Apr/07/rebels_say_gaddafi_halts_oil__libya_blames_britain.html

ix. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20051336-503543.html

x. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jOdszjUAaO0Bkfrds7Wxg_F5iPsw?docId=5aba55552eea4dd387813063ace2377f

xi. http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/Video/Article.aspx?id=215465

xii. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/06/gaddafi-obama-nato-libya

xiii. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1374315/Gaddafis-letter-Barack-Obama-calls-end-unjust-war.html#ixzz1J3Yxobqv

xiv http://www.sunrise.ug/component/content/category/75.html?layout=blog

xvi http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24189

See also: Truth, Propaganda and Media Manipulation: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23868

xvii.  http://pierceschoolbrookline.org/History.shtml



Amy Goodman: Press Needs To Be 4th Estate Instead of 4 The State

“Collateral Repair” – Turning Despair to Hope by Felicity Arbuthnot

Qaddafi Unplugged and Uncensored – Recollections Of My Life – Mu’ummar Qaddafi

Libya: Arms, Duplicity and Front Line Foetuses by Felicity Arbuthnot

Libya: Oil, Banks, Water, the United Nations, and America’s Holy Crusade by Felicity Arbuthnot

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7 thoughts on “War and Media Disinformation: The “Rambling Three Page Letter” by Felicity Arbuthnot

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  6. I have said from the beginning, that this intervention is nothing more than a ruse in obtaining Libyan oil and having a port on the Mediterranean, what is so predictable is the way the intelligence agencies go into overdrive to discredit the countries they are about to invade. Who wins?? That is the only question, and upon knowing, who is the true enemy?

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