The Monitor Group, Libya, And Positive Media Mentions


The Monitor Group/Libya controversy continues today with an article in the Boston Globe. The article quotes Libya scholar Dick Vandewalle explaining the real-world consequences of Monitor’s work, “The really nefarious aspect of this is that it reinforced in Khadafy’s mind that he truly was an international intellectual world figure, and that his ideas of democracy were to be taken seriously … It reinforced his reluctance to come to terms with the reality around him, which was that Libya is in many ways an inconsequential country and his ideas are half-baked.”

Monitor was actively engaged in deluding a delusional dictator for profit by promising to influence policy and public opinion, something for which they probably should have registered to do with the Department of Justice. One of those things, pointed out on this blog and covered more closely at Mother Jones, was the invitation of prominent scholars and writers to Libya to give lectures and then write articles for publication putting a positive take on the “new” Libya.

I’ve collected links to the articles that I was able to find so far. You can see them all below. Let me know if there are more I should add to this list:

Anthony Giddens, “My chat with the colonel,” The Guardian, March 9, 2007.

Joseph Nye, “Tripoli Diarist,” The New Republic, December 10, 2007.

Benjamin Barber, “Gaddafi’s Libya: An Ally for America?,” Washington Post, August 15, 2007.

“U.S. Should Enlist Libya’s Help,” NPR, December 11, 2006. (Interview with Benjamin Barber.)

Andrew Moravcsik, “A Rogue Reforms,” Newsweek, July 16, 2007.

Andrew Moravcsik, “Soft Power’s Libya Triumph,” Financial Times, July 29, 2007.

Stephen Walt, “The shores of Tripoli…,” Foreign Policy, January 19, 2010.