The lies that the IDF and the Israeli propaganda machinery try desperately to force-feed to major media outlets can only be countered by the accounts of their victims.
Tag Archives: media lies
One of my poems with a very long title that’s a dig and a stab after the initial tickle (or so I hope), has been published on the The Philippines Free Press website. I posted the news on my book blog for Alien to Any Skin.
I did a quick search on the event the poem tackles and found this:
Toppling the statue of Saddam Hussein was a staged event, by U.S. soldiers, for the media. A Reuters long-shot of Firdos Square where the statue was located (see below) shows that the Square was nearly empty when Saddam was torn down. The Square was sealed off by the U.S. military. The 200 people milling about were U.S. Marines, international press and Iraqis. However, the media portrayed it as an event of the Iraqi people.
An American military vehicle actually pulled down the statue. Marine Corporal Ed Chin, who temporarily placed a U.S. flag over Saddam’s face, became an instant media celebrity. His sister, Connie, appeared on the “Today” show and spoke with her brother via a video hook-up.
On Point, a US army report on lessons learned from the war, notes that it was a Marine colonel, not Iraqi civilians, who decided to topple the statue. “We moved our [tactical PSYOP team] TPT vehicle forward and started to run around seeing what they needed us to do to facilitate their mission,” states a U.S. military officer involved in the operation. “There was a large media circus at this location (I guess the Palestine Hotel was a media center at the time), almost as many reporters as there were Iraqis, as the hotel was right adjacent to the Al-Firdos Square. The Marine Corps colonel in the area saw the Saddam statue as a target of opportunity and decided that the statue must come down.” The pyschological team used loudspeakers to encourage Iraqi civilians to assist, packed the scene with Iraqi children, and stepped in to readjust the props when one of the soldiers draped an American flag over the statue. “God bless them, but we were thinking from PSYOP school that this was just bad news,” the officer reported. “We didn’t want to look like an occupation force, and some of the Iraqis were saying, ‘No, we want an Iraqi flag!’ So I said ‘No problem, somebody get me an Iraqi flag.’ “
“Going Retro: The Victorious Army of Gobbledygooks Penetrates the City” was written in December 2008.
This is from William Blum’s December 2011 post:
USrael and Iran
There’s no letup, is there? The preparation of the American mind, the world mind, for the next gala performance of D&D — Death and Destruction. The Bunker Buster bombs are now 30,000 pounds each one, six times as heavy as the previous delightful model..
But the Masters of War still want to be loved; they need for you to believe them when they say they have no choice, that Iran is the latest threat to life as we know it, no time to waste.
The preparation of minds was just as fervent before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. And when it turned out that Iraq did not have any kind of arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) … well, our power elite found other justifications for the invasion, and didn’t look back. Some berated Iraq: “Why didn’t they tell us that? Did they want us to bomb them?”
In actuality, before the US invasion high Iraqi officials had stated clearly on repeated occasions that they had no such weapons. In August 2002, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told American newscaster Dan Rather on CBS: “We do not possess any nuclear or biological or chemical weapons.”1
In December, Aziz stated to Ted Koppel on ABC: “The fact is that we don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have chemical, biological, or nuclear weaponry.”2
Hussein himself told Rather in February 2003: “These missiles have been destroyed. There are no missiles that are contrary to the prescription of the United Nations [as to range] in Iraq. They are no longer there.”3
Moreover, Gen. Hussein Kamel, former head of Iraq’s secret weapons program, and a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, told the UN in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed its banned missiles and chemical and biological weapons soon after the Persian Gulf War of 1991.4
There are yet other examples of Iraqi officials telling the world that the WMD were non-existent.
And if there were still any uncertainty remaining, last year Hans Blix, former chief United Nations weapons inspector, who led a doomed hunt for WMD in Iraq, told a British inquiry into the 2003 invasion that those who were “100 percent certain there were weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq turned out to have “less than zero percent knowledge” of where the purported hidden caches might be. He testified that he had warned British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a February 2003 meeting — as well as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in separate talks — that Hussein might have no weapons of mass destruction.5
Those of who you don’t already have serious doubts about the American mainstream media’s knowledge and understanding of US foreign policy, should consider this: Despite the two revelations on Dan Rather’s CBS programs, and the other revelations noted above, in January 2008 we find CBS reporter Scott Pelley interviewing FBI agent George Piro, who had interviewed Saddam Hussein before he was executed:
PELLEY: And what did he tell you about how his weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed?
PIRO: He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the ’90s, and those that hadn’t been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.
PELLEY: He had ordered them destroyed?
PELLEY: So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk? Why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade?6
The United States and Israel are preparing to attack Iran because of their alleged development of nuclear weapons, which Iran has denied on many occasions. Of the Iraqis who warned the United States that it was mistaken about the WMD — Saddam Hussein was executed, Tariq Aziz is awaiting execution. Which Iranian officials is USrael going to hang after their country is laid to waste?
Would it have mattered if the Bush administration had fully believed Iraq when it said it had no WMD? Probably not. There is ample evidence that Bush knew this to be the case, or at a minimum should have seriously suspected it; the same applies to Tony Blair. Saddam Hussein did not sufficiently appreciate just how psychopathic his two adversaries were. Bush was determined to vanquish Iraq, for the sake of Israel, for control of oil, and for expanding the empire with new bases, though in the end most of this didn’t work out as the empire expected; for some odd reason, it seems that the Iraqi people resented being bombed, invaded, occupied, demolished, and tortured.
But if Iran is in fact building nuclear weapons, we have to ask: Is there some international law that says that the US, the UK, Russia, China, Israel, France, Pakistan, and India are entitled to nuclear weapons, but Iran is not? If the United States had known that the Japanese had deliverable atomic bombs, would Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been destroyed? Israeli military historian, Martin van Creveld, has written: “The world has witnessed how the United States attacked Iraq for, as it turned out, no reason at all. Had the Iranians not tried to build nuclear weapons, they would be crazy.”7
It can not be repeated too often: The secret to understanding US foreign policy is that there is no secret. Principally, one must come to the realization that the United States strives to dominate the world. Once one understands that, much of the apparent confusion, contradiction, and ambiguity surrounding Washington’s policies fades away. Examine a map: Iran sits directly between two of the United States’ great obsessions — Iraq and Afghanistan … directly between two of the world’s greatest oil regions — the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea areas … it’s part of the encirclement of the two leading potential threats to American world domination — Russia and China … Tehran will never be a client state or obedient poodle to Washington. How could any good, self-respecting Washington imperialist resist such a target? Bombs Away!
Philippine President Benigno (Noynoy) Aquino III made a mockery of the nation’s constitution by not just allowing a nuclear-powered ship into our territorial waters. He even boarded it and had smiling photos taken!
The ship is no ordinary nuclear weapons carrier. The USS Carl Vinson is apparently the one that took Osama Bin Laden’s body (or what was declared by Washington, following the murder in utter violation of international law, among other atrocities that are being ignored by the media) and dropped it somewhere in the North Arabian Sea.
Mr. President, please review your actions. It took the eruption of a volcano to finally get rid of US Military presence in our country, and here you are all smiles. I wonder if you hugged one of the nuclear weapons like it was a teddy bear. Cute.
No apologies. No legal action. Anything goes. Whatever you did in the past is water under the bloody bridge.
US President Obama’s statements regarding the CIA’s treatment of “terrorism suspects” is simply disgusting however you look at it. It is consistent with what previous US administrations have done in the past century to people within American borders and those living in different parts of the world. Can you hear the sound of rattling bones?
It seems forgetting is a disease that quickly latches on even the most seemingly pro-human rights political leaders of the world. Is the time for dreaming and hoping over?
Imagine if the same policy were used throughout the world. Orwell’s Animal Farm comes to mind.
Obama accused of “condoning torture”
17 April 2009
US President Barack Obama has been accused of “condoning torture” following his announcement that CIA agents who used harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects will not be prosecuted.
Amnesty International has called on the US administration to initiate criminal investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for carrying out acts of torture, including waterboarding, in its “war on terror”.
“President Obama’s statements in the last days have been very disappointing. In saying that no one will be held to account for committing acts of torture, the US administration is in effect condoning torture,” said Daniel Gorevan, of Amnesty International’s Counter Terror with Justice campaign.
“It’s saying that US personnel can commit acts of torture and the authorities will not take any action against them.
From a recent Associated Press report we find this:
Many detainees locked up at Guantanamo were innocent men swept up by U.S. forces unable to distinguish enemies from noncombatants, a former Bush administration official said Thursday. “There are still innocent people there,” Lawrence B. Wilkerson, a Republican who was chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, told The Associated Press. “Some have been there six or seven years.”
Wilkerson, who first made the assertions in an Internet posting on Tuesday, told the AP he learned from briefings and by communicating with military commanders that the U.S. soon realized many Guantanamo detainees were innocent but nevertheless held them in hopes they could provide information for a “mosaic” of intelligence.
“It did not matter if a detainee were innocent. Indeed, because he lived in Afghanistan and was captured on or near the battle area, he must know something of importance,” Wilkerson wrote in the blog. He said intelligence analysts hoped to gather “sufficient information about a village, a region, or a group of individuals, that dots could be connected and terrorists or their plots could be identified.”
Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel, said vetting on the battlefield during the early stages of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan was incompetent with no meaningful attempt to determine “who we were transporting to Cuba for detention and interrogation.”
In the deeply spiritual film “The Willow Tree” by acclaimed director Majid Majidi, we find the lead character, a man in his forties, who has been blind since childhood about to undergo a personal journey. The last time he had seen an image of himself was at age ten. Now with his own wife and child, he regains his sight following a miraculous operation. He is instantly overjoyed by a world again made visible. And, within moments, he encounters a reflection of his aged features in the glass walls of the hospital.
Questions of faith and choice arise throughout the film as he rejoins the same people who had known him, including his own family, but whom he meets as if for the very first time. Sight becomes a new experience that introduces him to a changed world, but it also sends crashing the same world he once knew. The film culminates in a painful reawakening, a humbling down to the very core of one’s spirit.
The blindness that this sensitive film deals with is beyond the physical. It is a powerful film that quietly works its way to reveal the darkness inside us, and the light that we sometimes refuse to see.
There are many ways of going blind. Many ways of remaining in the dark.
Mainstream media – the BBC, CNN, Reuters, Associated Press, and all other big corporate media – currently suffer from a particular blindness. They have chosen this affliction. They continue to ignore the historic significance of a convoy of humanitarian aid that was organized by ordinary citizens from the UK and supported by ordinary people from various countries.
How can one choose blindness to a common humanity?
Viva Palestina Email Alert
Midnight, Sunday 8th March 2009
A message from the Viva Palestina website
Viva Palestina is your story
Thirty years ago, as an 11-year-old boy, I remember eagerly awaiting 5.05pm on a Monday and Thursday for the start of Blue Peter. I, like millions of other children, was desperate for our first glimpse of the totaliser – the bright flashing lights showing us how much money we had raised between programmes for that year’s Blue Peter Appeal. The 1979 appeal, with it’s bring and buy sales, had been launched after the horrors of Cambodia’s ‘killing fields’ had been exposed to the world.
And it wasn’t just children who wanted to know – the weekly total was reported on the national news and in the national papers, journalists sought out heart-warming stories of those who had given up their toys, clothes and books to help the impoverished and destitute thousands of miles away in South East Asia.
Working on the website for Viva Palestina I have had the daily task of making our own appeal totaliser reflect the generosity of another generation. Each day I’ve been overwhelmed by the scale of the donations and the stories that accompany them – of a four year old child in Manchester who emptied her piggy bank for the children of Gaza and so spurred her family into raising over £1,600; of the four girls in Torquay who baked cakes to sell at their school, of the hundreds of children in Preston who packed shoeboxes with toys and presents for other children whom they had never met. These stories have been repeated up and down the country – and they are a shining tribute to Britain at its best.
And just as in 1979 they should have been reported – shouted from the rooftops and celebrated in articles in the Sunday colour supplements.
Here was a truly incredible story – of an aid mission that in just eight weeks had galvanised community after community to create a convoy of over 100 vehicles, laden with over £1 million of aid and then driven over 5000 miles and two continents to relieve the suffering in Gaza.
And it was a movement that was created from scratch, with no full time staff – just a website, a few blogs, text messages, public meetings and a million conversations. Surely this would be worth reporting; surely this was news….
But the sad reality is that the Viva Palestina convoy, carrying the love and human solidarity from the people of Britain to the people of Gaza has been deemed un-newsworthy by nearly all of the British media.
The BBC, who next week will entreat us all to do ‘something funny for money’ in aid of Comic Relief has felt fit to mention the Convoy just three times on its website (and once hidden away in the Africa pages). The Guardian, that bastion of ‘liberal Britain’ only reported it once it thought it had the makings of a nasty little smear. The Independent showed its ‘independence’ by spiking a column by Mark Steel, which discussed Viva Palestina.
We did get media coverage from abroad – from France and Spain, Italy, Canada and a host of other countries but in Britain we had to rely on the work of a few journalists on local newspapers who still recognise a good story when they see one.
One can’t help but wonder how the national media would have responded had the convoy been headed for Darfur instead of Gaza – or had not been supported so over-whelmingly by Britain’s beleaguered Muslim community. Perhaps we may have even have made it onto Blue Peter.
Depressingly, our most prominent publicity came when nine of our convoy members were arrested in the piece of pure political theatre on the M65 – the day before the convoy departed. Yet the same media outlets, that reported the arrests with such gusto on the day of departure, chose to ignore or downgrade the news that all nine men were entirely innocent and had been released without charge. Even the terrible damage to community relations in Blackburn and Burnley resulting from these arrests was not a news-worthy topic for Britain’s ‘quality’ press.
The Viva Palestina convoy has been a remarkable achievement; it has overcome a virtual media blackout, the cynical arrests of some of its members and the refusal of banks to allow us to open accounts.
Yet despite all this we are now just a few hours away from taking our aid into Gaza. The vehicles and their contents represent the hopes of millions and the solidarity of whole communities: of families, mosques, churches and schools. Whatever happens at the Rafah crossing today – and we hope and pray for a swift and smooth crossing into Gaza – Viva Palestina has been a remarkable story.
It is a story that has only just begun. Its first chapter lasted just one hectic month from an inspired idea hatched by George Galloway in early January to the departure on Valentine’s Day in London’s Hyde Park. Its second chapter, the journey itself, is almost over and we hope it will soon be told in a film, report back meetings and, it has been suggested, perhaps a book as well.
The story will now continue into its third chapter with the distribution of the convoy’s aid and the purchase and delivery of even more – from water-purification systems for schools and neighbourhoods to a field hospital and medical equipment for the injured, tents for the homeless and much more. Convoy members will return with the names of clinics, schools and communities with which to twin their local communities in Britain.
If our media, whose own cynicism has been so badly exposed by their silence, continue to write Viva Palestina out of the news then we must do all we can to spread the news ourselves. We have shown that what ordinary people do can make a real difference – and perhaps that is what the editors and news-chiefs hate most of all. Or maybe we just didn’t have enough celebrities driving the fire engine!
So in the quiet moments before the crossing I would like to thank all those who have worked so hard for this project. Those who collected the aid, sorted it, packed it and filled the vehicles; those who donated online – from over thirty five countries across the globe – and who filled the collecting tins and buckets; the drivers with their legendary endurance and those who found time to blog their stories; the local newspaper journalists who reported the convoy and the journalists who wrote stories that their editors refused to print: to the people who sent in their pictures and video clips to the website – and finally to Farid Arada who kept us all up to date with his daily reports on the convoy’s location. The Viva Palestina story is your story.
The investigative journalist John Pilger, who broke the news of Cambodia’s ‘killing fields’ three decades ago, has made a film called ‘Palestine is still the issue’ – and he is right. The convoy story is but one bright spark in the ongoing tragedy of Palestine and its courageous people. The issue remains to be resolved but Viva Palestina has taken us one step closer to a solution – a solution based on solidarity, co-operation and love.
Viva Palestina website
An update on the humanitarian aid convoy.
This letter tells a lot about mainstream media’s not-so-subtle defense of Israel.
It says everything we need to know about cynical journalism (March 3) that the first time the Guardian chooses to cover the Viva Palestina convoy of aid to Gaza – an epic journey of over 5,000 miles – it is to repeat as fact tittle tattle culled from the blogosphere.
Two hundred and eighty people have driven through eight different countries to deliver over a million pounds of aid to the stricken people of Gaza. Everywhere we have been, the convoy has been greeted with thousands of well-wishers who have provided food, fuel and accommodation.
The Algerian government allowed passage across the border with Morocco for the first time in 15 years. In Tunisia we were joined by six of the people who the Lancashire police wrongly arrested and detained, preventing them reaching London for the start of the journey.
In Libya we were celebrated by thousands on the streets and a Libyan charity, inspired by the convoy, has established its own convoy of trucks to Gaza.
We are currently negotiating entry into Egypt and passage through to Gaza. The Egyptian authorities are doing everything they can to assist the process and we are in their hands, as we have been with all the other governments whose countries we have crossed in order to take these vital supplies into Gaza.
The Viva Palestina convoy and the achievements of the 280 volunteers who have driven so far deserve celebration, not denigration by The Guardian.
Assistant to George Galloway MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Avaaz is calling for signatures for this campaign.
This week the US government is debating whether to set up a Commission of Inquiry to look into Bush’s ‘War on Terror’ tactics. This could have major ramifications all the way up the chain of command.
Key US Senators, leading this call for justice, need a massive global endorsement to ensure that the Commission is set up and has real teeth. But there are powerful interests that want to cover up the truth about torture, secret detention and other unlawful abuse.
Magicians are in a trade. They satisfy an audience’s craving for the fantastic, the impossible, the breathtaking. They know the best contraptions to use, the best colours of smoke to release, the slightest gesture to reveal and conceal at the precise moment. They suck you in a narrative of sorts, preparing and priming you for that special moment, and then a quick flourish and VOILA!
They know the tricks of the trade, so to speak.
Mainstream corporate media is in a trade. They are run with the intent to sell texts and images and, unlike the distant origins of journalism that strives to reveal the uncompromising truth, mainstream media aims to keep the status quo and not rock the boat of complacency. There are exceptions, of course, but in more recent times there have been fewer and fewer brave media people willing to risk their jobs and even their own lives by going against approved storylines and perspectives.
Those who put out “news” have many ways of revealing and concealing things. Some tricks are easy to spot as outright lies and fabrications. Some “news reports” are mere repetitions or muffled Amens to greater powers – political, corporate, religious, military, etc. – and, by mere repetition, are assumed to be facts by the less critical reader or “consumer” of news, details not meant to be questioned.
These types of media people view their readers as uncritical and feed them the same information from the same sources but spiced up or slightly changed to add some variety. Their positions remain the same.
It would be quite easy to pinpoint outright lies in a news article. Some tricks are more subtle and so we shall reveal just one of them for now.
In the aftermath of the historic “Throwing of the Shoes at Outgoing President Bush” – which to some people may seem a mundane and totally irrelevant event in world affairs – there has been an unprecedented flurry of activities from protest rallies in various parts of the world to show support for the reporter, proliferation of internet-based games depicting alternate scenarios, and numerous articles full of accurate or fictional information.