The problem with the ISO was that they refused to report facts about the NATO rebels that didn’t fit their initial analysis of the events in Libya. From the beginning, they claimed that the NATO rebels were a popular uprising by a broad swath of the producing classes of Libya. Under the circumstances, this is an understandable misconception, because Al Jazeera and other media networks were pumping out tons of misinformation (more on al jazeera’s propaganda here: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/chandan260311.html). However, after a few weeks it was crystal clear that this was not a popular uprising, but an uprising by a coalition of bin ladenites, monarchists, and neoliberals rife with ethnic cleansing.
The problem with the ISO isn’t that they criticized the Libyan government, it is that they refused to report facts that didn’t fit their analysis, leading them to be far less critical of the rebels than mainstream outlets like ABC, Fox news, and NBC.
If someone only got their information on Libya from the ISO newspaper, here’s some of the facts they would be completely unaware of:
- 1 million people (~1/6 of the country) came out in support of the Libyan government
- Amnesty International showed that there weren’t any cases of mass rape, anti-aircraft guns being used against protesters, African mercenaries were not used, aircraft machine guns were not used against protesters, and there was no evidence of genocide by the Libyan government.
- Tawergha, a town that used to be populated by mostly black Libyans, was completely depopulated and ethnically cleansed by the NATO rebels.
- NATO rebels are torturing anyone they suspect of supporting Gaddafi (these people are mostly black)
- Black Libyans were being mass arrested by NATO rebels.
- NATO rebels were creating fake mass grave sites
The Amnesty International report debunked several of the false claims that the ISO made, yet there was no retraction or notification. Instead, they refused to report it. This is what separates criticism from assisting the propaganda war.
I believe the cause of this “selective” media reporting is a result of the ISO’s polemical stance early in the anti-Libya campaign, where they attacked organizations that questioned the rebels. To admit that the rebels are a racist, extremist group wiping entire towns of black Libyans off the map would mean that their initial analysis was wrong.
As I’ve said before, this is not the first time that the ISO has uncritically supported neoliberal movements in countries targeted by western imperialism.
While the capitalist media skews their reporting based on dollars, the ISO skewed their reporting based on the Party line. Self-criticism is needed to prevent another Yugoslavia and another Libya.
For those interested in the real reasons behind the US intervention, read this: