Although a number of unsubstantiated war crime allegations targeting the Libyan government turned out to be completely made-up, they were nonetheless reported upon without much scrutiny and taken serious for several months by the Western and Gulf mass media. Mounting evidence of very real war crimes by the NATO-backed insurgents, on the other hand, did not receive saturation coverage and were downplayed and covered-up to the extent possible, only to receive proper investigation after the regime change mission was concluded. This ultra-biased reporting influenced both public opinion and international policy makers in favour of NATO’s “humanitarian” intervention, not only in the days surrounding the implementation of the no-fly zone but also during the subsequent crucial months of bombardments. Reminiscent of the mainstream coverage in the critical months leading up to the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003, in addition to the blatant propaganda against the Syrian government today, this again shows how the mass media have become mouthpieces for the continuous cycle of war.

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