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Action to block broadcasts of Gaddafi’s Al Jamahiriya 2 TV station
I would like to support the good intentions of the Prime Minister in the meeting of the emergency EU Council on March 11th, noting with approval that there is consensus that Gaddafi is no longer the legitimate ruler of Libya, and also the decision to extend the sanctions to include several more entities and individuals.
I share the Prime Minister’s frustration at the EU Council’s failure to recognise the TNC as the legitimate representative body for the Libyan people, and the Council’s inability to agree on a No-Fly Zone over Libya. It is to be hoped that the meeting today of the League of Arab States will endorse the NFZ, and it is also to be hoped that they will be prepared to implement this themselves, since this would avoid the perception that the Arab Spring Uprising is contaminated by being allied to Western interests.
I would be grateful if HMG will now consider the option of jamming the broadcast frequencies used by Gaddafi’s Al Jamahira 2 State TV, and also his state radio broadcasting frequencies. You will know that Gaddafi has been jamming the TV signal of Al-Jazzeera, together with their website. and also the TV signal of Al Arabiya. The reason to take reciprocal action is clear, and should not be contentious.
Gaddafi is mentally unstable, showing symptoms of denial, delusion, paranoia, and irrational aggression. It is likely that these arise not from psychosis, but in context of an borderline unstable extraverted personality exacerbated by 41 years of unopposed power. It is clearly inappropriate for a deluded individual to be permitted to spread his delusions through a TV station, especially when they result in extending the severe suffering of Libyans on both sides.
Given the difficulty in getting the international community to agree to action under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, even though it is mandated by the UN’s Responsibility to Protect, greater reliance must be placed on the melting away of support for Gaddafi from those people in Tripoli who still support him, together with defections from the Army and other official supporters. To some extent he is maintaining that support by his TV broadcasts. Al Jamahiriya provides an alternative view of what is happening in Libya that accords with Gaddafi’s delusions. It is reasonable to suppose that deletion of this source of misinformation will undermine such support for Gaddafi as still exists among Libyans, who will then be able to reflect more rationally on their situation.
I hope therefore that the FCO will give this matter energetic and supportive consideration. In view of the (understandable) anxieties of some about military action, it should be possible to get EU ministers to agree this easily implemented, non-violent intervention into the situation relatively easily, by a series of telephone conversations. As with the NFZ, it would be better for the action to be carried out by the Arab League, but if this would take too much time, the EU or even UK + France could reasonably carry it out.
Many thanks for passing this message on to the Foreign Secretary.