No, I don’t want to add another verse to John Lennon’s wonderful song, which accompanied me through many decades, yet…
Imagine, there’s no TV
Nobody tells you lies
No news that will confuse you
No conman’s false advise
Imagine all the people
Living for today….
If the quintessential message of Western news reporting would be painted in every room on every wall, if it would be broadcast around the clock on all airwave frequencies and sent through all cables, if the children would recite it instead of the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of every lesson, if it would be preached from every pulpit and blasted from all sound systems in the shopping malls and supermarkets, how much time, energy, and resources could be saved by that.
There would be no need to publish thousands of op-ed articles, analysis, interviews, and background informations, meaning that the authors could instead spend their days with something more productive (gardening for instance). There would be no need to waste scarce materials and energy with printing newspapers, the TV broadcasts could focus on weather forecasts, sport, and celebrity porn, and millions of websites could be taken down, relieving the already overstretched data centers from further strain and making it unnecessary to build new ones.
What a benefit for the environment!
So, to make a start, everybody who reads this blog post should write on every wall of every room which she or he is occupying the following short text who’s formulations are probably already well known to most:
War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength
Easy, isn’t it? If you have these few words in your mind all the time, there is no need to read the papers, watch the evening news, or visit the news aggregators on the web. And, anyway, Western media outlets have not a good record of being truthful and it is unlikely that you will learn from them what is really going on in the world. Western journalism failed us many times, here just a few examples:
Newspapers all over the world reported, that on the 2nd and 4th August 1964 North Vietnam attacked two US ships in the Bay of Tonkin. This started the “hot phase” of the Vietnam war which killed between two and three million Vietnamese, caused an epidemic of genetic malformations from Agent Orange, and inflicted ecological, economic, and social wounds that took decades to heal. Only years later the public learned from declassified documents that on August 2nd the US Navy fired first and the attack on August 4th didn’t happen at all. It was an invention of the White House, unquestioned by the media.
In October 1983 US forces invaded Grenada after a coup had ended that Caribbean islands socialist experiment. It was claimed that Cuba was involved, that the island intended to erect a Soviet military base, and that the lives of US medical students at the True Blue Medical Facility were in danger. As it later came out, the coup was preceded by two years of intense destabilization efforts of the CIA, the medical students could have left at any time, there were only 43 Cuban soldiers on the island, Castro had condemned the renegade officers who launched the coup and killed his friend Maurice Bishop, and there were no plans for a Soviet base.
On December 20th, 1989 the USA invaded Panama with the reported intent to arrest President Noriega for drug trafficking. As it came to light later, Noriega was a CIA asset for many years and his drug involvement was well known during the time of his closest relations with Washington. The real reason for the innovation was, that Noriega claimed sovereignty over the canal, which was intolerable to the United States. A comprehensive analysis of US media coverage can be found here:
In 1991 Iraq invaded Kuwait, not at least because Saddam Hussein, who was on good terms with the USA during the war against Iran erroneously thought to have the approval of the Americans. The press was full of horror stories about the Iraqi occupiers, the most shocking of which was, that Iraqi soldiers had taken babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital and had left them to die.
As it came out later, this particular incident was a total invention of the advertising agency Hill and Knowlton, paid by the Emir of Kuwait.
Iraq was defeated by the US army and driven out of Kuwait, the UN Security Council imposed crippling economic sanctions which caused malnutrition, diseases, and widespread poverty.
In order to break up Yugoslavia, which was a reliable partner of Russia and had a socialist orientated economy and an advanced social welfare system, Western media organizations had to incite ethnic hatred and support right wing political desperadoes like Franjo Tudjman and Goran Izetbegovic.
In 1992 the US firm Ruder Finn and Bernard Kouchner disclosed the existence of Serbian death camps. This was a blatant lie and those camps were ordinary prison camp, which was even admitted by Goran Izetbegovic.
In 1999 Western media accused Serbs of committing a genocide against the Albanians in Kosovo. NATO started a bombing campaign which killed 2,400 Serbs and caused heavy damage to buildings and infrastructure. A third of the electric energy capacity of the country was destroyed.
The genocide against Albanians in Kosovo was a pure media intervention and there was no discrimination of Albanians. The KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) under Hashim Thaci was the crossbreed of a terrorist group with crime gangs, it had numerous contacts with Al-Queda and made money from drug trafficking and other criminal activities. The KLA had no public support and without the NATO bombing campaign would never have been able to take power.
The countless KLA atrocities against Serbs (for instance torture and killings at the Klecka prison) and the successive ethnic cleansing in Kosovo were ignored by the Western press.
Slobodan Milosevic, Yugoslavian president during the time of the forced breakup, was extradited to the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) in The Hague by his successor Zoran Dindic, an opportunist and Western puppet. The trial lasted for five years and ended, when Milosevic died under mysterious circumstances, thereby conveniently saving the prosecution from the embarrassment of his acquittal.
(The life and death of Milosevic would be worth of a separate blog post, which may be written one day in the future, in the meantime the reader is encouraged to look for additional information on the internet.)
Rwanda and Congo
The 1994 genocide of Tutsis and Hutus alike is commonly portrait as the responsibility of the Hutu government, which had to be toppled by Paul Kagame’s forces to stop the bloodshed. But nothing could be further from the truth!
The RPF (Rwanda Patriotic Front), led by the Tutsi expatriate and Ugandan official Paul Kagame (who was trained at Ft. Leavenworth), had fought since 1990 a war of attrition against the democratic Hutu government, resulting in the forced exodus of thousands of Hutu farmers.
Tutsis comprised not more than 16 percent of the population and Kagame would never have had a chance to attain power in a democratic election. The trigger for the genocide was the downing of a plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. UN investigator Michael Hourigan charged Kagame for this crime but the report was suppressed.
UN investigator Robert Gersony came to the conclusion that RPF cells hat infiltrated Rwanda and at least shared the responsibility for the genocide, yet no Western journalist ever mentioned this. UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros- Ghali repeatedly said: “…The genocide in Rwanda was one hundred percent the responsibility of the Americans.” The only reaction was his replacement.
Kagame was encouraged to move one to the next venue, which was the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). The genocide of Hutu refugees and Congolese alike, committed by Rwandan troops from 1996 untill recently, more than equals the Rwanda genocide, but it was a “friendly” genocide, done by an US ally, so there was no need to write anything about it.
As the most important mining areas of the DRC have been conquered and made ready for the exploration by Western companies, Kagame’s troops are on the move again to the next arenas, which are the CAR (Central African Republic) and South Sudan. The USA just airlifted a Rwandan mechanized battalion with giant C-17 Globemaster III planes to the CAR.
No US-boots on the ground, Kagame does the dirty work.
In 2001 US President G.W. Bush wanted to avenge the 9/11 attacks and capture Osama Bin Laden. After a media drumbeat of war Afghanistan was invaded, despite the fact that the Taliban had offered to extradite Bin Laden. Today Afghanistan is a failed state, the Taliban rules in many areas, the production and trafficking of opium has greatly increased.
In 2003 Saddam Hussein was accused, to possess large hidden stockpiles of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and US Secretary of State Colin Powell presented evidence during a speech at the UN Security Council. Hussein was also accused of supporting Osama Bin Laden.
Iraq was invaded, Saddam Hussein was killed together with some 600,000 fellow Iraqis, the infrastructure was destroyed, the country descended into chaos and barbarism, and Iraqi women lost all the social gains of the Ba’ath era.
No WMDs were found and the alleged support of Bin Laden was pure fantasy. The media just ignored the corrections and went on to the next imperial conquest project.
Huge Chavez, the democratically elected president of Venezuela, was untruthfully referred to as a dictator and while the US together with Venezuelan business tycoons used every trick in the book to destabilize the country and roll back the social gains of his administration the media reported breathlessly about alleged human rights violations, media censorship, and expropriations of enterprises.
As Huge Chavez has finally died of cancer (good riddance), the vitriol is now poured onto his democratically elected successor Nicolas Maduro. Needless to say, that the destabilization efforts go on unabated.
To prepare the Western public for the destruction of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi was accused of using fighter jets against peaceful protesters and of distributing viagra to his solders to facilitate mass rapes of the allegedly suppressed population. None of the stories were true, but that came to light only after Libya was destroyed and 40,000 Libyans had died.
Libya has since descended into chaos and anarchy. The NATO installed authorities are clueless and helpless and have no control about a multitude of ransacking militias. It seems, that in recent days the south of Libya has been taken back by Gaddafi loyalists, as the Green Resistance Flag flies in most of the southern cities. This doesn’t mean that the days of the militias are numbered, because NATO will just drop more weapons and ammunitions to them, enabling the savages to completely destroy one southern town after the other as they did it with Bani Walid and Sirte.
Whatever happens, one will not hear anything about Libya in the media. There may be a genocide of the southern tribes but like the genocide of Kagame’s troops in the DRC it will be a “friendly” genocide, not worth to be reported.
Western journalists have no time to report about Libya, they are busy to follow the latest mission order which unmistakably demands to demonize the Syrian government and especially President Bashar al-Assad. He is now called “the butcher of Damascus,” and after media consumers were told for three years again and again that he is a bestial, depraved criminal, a brutish monster which should be eliminated from the face of the earth as soon as possible, no one will have any doubts that this depiction is the whole truth and nothing but the truth (so help us god).
Qatar commissioned the British law firm Carter-Ruck, who has in the past defended Saudis suspected of financing Al Qaeda, to write a report about 55,000 digital images, who a defected Syrian military police photographer, only known by the pseudonym “Cesar” supposedly smuggled out of Syria. The horrifying images show tortured and killed detainees.
According to Amnesty International the images are conclusive. “….while we cannot authenticate the images, the allegations are consistent with Amnesty International’s own research into the widespread use of torture and enforced disappearances by the Syrian authorities.”
The witnesses, on which Amnesty International relies are either jihadist fighters, criminals, or unscrupulous opportunists. I personally would not give much weight to their testimony but US sponsored NGOs have obviously other standards of fact checking.
Reuters has reviewed the report but acknowledges, that it was not possible to determine the authenticity of Caesar’s photographs or to contact Caesar.
Also issued was the usual stipulation: “….this is not to say that the people on the other side have been free of serious crime. There is evidence that has led very responsible people to say there have been crimes committed on both sides.”
This new story is so flimsy that without the power of totalitarian mass media propaganda it would not impress anybody, it would not even worth mentioning. There exist without any doubt thousands of gruesome photographs which depict tortured and killed prisoners, because the islamic psychopaths, which were flown and bussed to Syria by the Western allies, love to viciously torture their victims and to document their savage and barbaric acts.
Qatar is undoubtedly in a good position to collect pictures from these treasure troves of horror and mislabel them.
This story is even weaker than the fabrications about the Houla massacre and the Ghouta gas attack but as it happens in all the other incidents, we will not be informed about the objections of serious experts, which for sure soon will emerge.
All the Western media consumers will ever hear or read is the constantly repeated mantra of the bloodthirsty dictator Bashar al-Assad, who is mercilessly butchering his own people.
The compliance of mass media journalists, their willingness to follow the directives given out by the ruling elites, and their voluntary self-censorship is nearly total and there are only a precious few who are principled enough to resist (like for instance Chris Hedge, Daniel Simpson, Natasha Lennard, Rick Bragg, who left the New York Times).
Compliance is enforced with draconian measures, Here a few examples out of thousands:
NBC and National Geographic fired journalist Peter Arnett for giving an interview to an Iraqi television station in which he criticized America’s planning for the Iraq war.
Dan Guthrie, Tom Gutting, and Tim McCarthy were fired for criticizing then president G.W. Bush.
CNN journalist Octavia Nasr was fired after expressing sympathy for Lebanese Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.
KMOV reporter Larry Conners was fired after asking President Obama some tough questions, Drew Johnson was fired by the Chattanooga Times Free Press after a critical article about Obama.
Yahoo’s Washington bureau chief David Chalian was fired after he made critical comments about Mitt Romney.
Paulo Lopez was fired by Paraguay’s ABC newspaper because he refused to distort a report about Cuba.
Gemma O’Doherty, Ireland’s leading investigative journalist was fired after investigating the countries police chief Martin Callinan.
Well-known Turkish journalist Nazlı Ilıcak was fired from the daily Sabah in December after criticizing ministers whose sons are investigated for corruption.
Michael Hastings, who’s reporting did cost General Stanley McChrystal his job, died in mysterious circumstances.
If one has bills to pay and is depending on the next paycheck, if one wants to keep the position in a time when job offerings are rare because newspaper circulations, add revenues, and popularity of news-websites are declining, one has to acquiesce and roll over. Traditional journalism is dead, the journalists have become “media workers,” who leave their ethics and their conscience at home or in the wardrobe.
Press freedom is the freedom to fire anybody who does not follow the strict rules of self censorship and the empoyees of traditional media enterprises have to write or speak what their bosses want to read and hear. Don’t expect to read and hear anything what challenges the official narrative, the stranglehold of the ruling elites about traditional media is total.
Yet there are enough alternative news sources (the fake alternative press represented by Democracy Now, Alternet, Huffington Post, Common Dreams, Salon, Daily Kos is not meant here). The internet is still partly free and many whistleblower organizations, private blogs, and small web portals, where independent journalists present their findings, can be easily accessed.
Just to name a few:
FBI wistleblower Sibel Edmonds Boiling Frog Post
Ann Garrisons radio show
Sharmine Narwanis blog
Naked Capitalism, the blog of Susan Webber (Yves Smith)
And all the other links in the right column beside this blog text here.
There is an abundance of independent journalism available and considering that, the continuing consummation of corporative media sources like the New York Times or the Washington Post can be justifiably considered either as mental masochism, pathological confusion, plain stupidity, or callous complicity.
Yet, in order to avoid such hard portrayal, one can grant the consumers of traditional media the excuse, that old habits are hard to abandon and change comes not easy. Many mass media consumers are like smokers who know, that they risk to develop lung cancer and who still are unable to beat their addiction.
Change comes not easy, and once you are boxed in and have established yourself comfortably in the save and cosy box of tightly controlled official media narratives, thinking outside the box and challenging the mainstream story can be disturbing, unsettling, and exhausting.
So, what to do? How to escape the clutches of mass media? How to break free and breath the fresh air of decency, honesty, and truth?
Well, it’s the same as with other addictions, obsessions, and harmful habits: Seek friends who can assist and counsel you, follow the teachers and prophets, be disciplined, systematic, unyielding.
Shun, ignore, forget the corporate media enterprises and never, ever again support the traditional media businesses with your subscription fees!
And if you really are severely and achingly suffering from withdrawal symptoms, a short reminder of this should help you to alleviate the pain for a while:
War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength