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    Newstatesman

    This week I are be most bringing you Pilger.

    <h1 ="size32">Setting the limits of invasion journalism</h1>
    John Pilger


    Published 11 December 2006
    'Sanitised' coverage of the Iraq war by organisations like the BBC compares with America's 'noble cause' in Vietnam
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    On 14 November, Bridget Ash wrote to the BBC's Today programme
    asking why the invasion of Iraq was described merely as "a conflict".
    She could not recall other bloody invasions reduced to "a conflict".
    She received this reply:

    Dear Bridget
    You may well disagree,
    but I think there's a big difference between the aggressive "invasions"
    of dictators like Hitler and Saddam and the "occupation", however badly
    planned and executed, of a country for positive ends, as in the
    Coalition effort in Iraq.
    Yours faithfully,

    Roger Hermiston
    Assistant Editor, Today

    In
    demonstrating how censorship works in free societies and the double
    standard that props up the façade of "objectivity" and "impartiality",
    Roger Hermiston's polite profanity offers a valuable exhibit. An
    invasion is not an invasion if "we" do it, regardless of the lies that
    justified it and the contempt shown for international law. An
    occupation is not an occupation if "we" run it, no matter that the
    means to our "positive ends" require the violent deaths of hundreds of
    thousands of men, women and children, and an unnecessary sectarian
    tragedy. Those who euphemise these crimes are those Arthur Miller had
    in mind when he wrote: "The thought that the state . . . is punishing
    so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be
    internally denied." Miller might have been less charitable had he
    referred directly to those whose job it was to keep the record straight.

    The
    ubiquity of Hermiston's view was illuminated the day before Bridget Ash
    wrote her letter. Buried at the bottom of page seven in the Guardian's
    media section was a report on an unprecedented study by the
    universities of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds on the reporting
    leading up to and during the invasion of Iraq. This concluded that more
    than 80 per cent of the media unerringly followed "the government line"
    and less than 12 per cent challenged it. This unusual, and revealing,
    research is in the tradition of Daniel Hallin at the University of
    California, San Diego, whose pioneering work on the reporting of
    Vietnam, The Uncensored War, saw off the myth that the supposedly liberal American media had undermined the war effort.

    This
    myth became the justification for the modern era of government "spin"
    and the "embedding" (control) of journalists. Devised by the Pentagon,
    it was enthusiastically adopted by the Blair government. What Hallin
    showed - and was pretty clear at the time in Vietnam, I must say - was
    that while "liberal" media organisations such as the New York Times
    and CBS Television were critical of the war's tactics and "mistakes",
    even exposing a few of its atrocities, they rarely challenged its
    proclaimed positive motives - precisely Hermiston's position on Iraq.

    Language
    was, and is, crucial. The BBC's sanitised language in Iraq today is
    little different from America's "noble cause" in Vietnam, which was
    followed by the "tragedy" of America's "quagmire" - when the real
    tragedy was suffered by the Vietnamese. In effect, the word "invasion"
    was banned. What has changed? Well, "collateral damage", the obscene
    euphemism invented in Vietnam for the killing of civilians, no longer
    requires quotation marks in a Guardian editorial.

    What
    is refreshing about the new British study is its understanding
    The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

    #2
    Mark Thomas

    <h1 ="size32">Human Writes</h1>

    Campaigner and comedian Mark Thomas explains a human rights infringement and urges you to take up your pens in protest.



    <!- /.blog-er ->




    <div ="post-er">


    Human Writes Homepage

    <!- ISI_LISTEN_START ->
    <h2>We need a 'Bribery Tsar' for the 21st century</h2>

    <ul ="article-details"><li ="first">Posted by Mark Thomas[*]05 January 2007@@@@SPAN ="ISI_IGNORE">

    @@@@/SPAN>[/list]




    </div>

    <!- /.post-er ->



    If bribery is so good for jobs, why should it be a crime?


    The
    war on terror has been used to justify many things from the Brian Haw
    law (to make protesters get permits) to illegally invading Iraq. It is
    indeed a small wonder that John Prescott when caught shagging didn’t
    opt for the “war on terror” defence.

    I for one would pay money to
    see him declaring, “We have it on reliable intelligence information
    that unless I put my penis in the woman’s vagina then terrorists will
    detonate a nuclear dirty bomb device. In London, quite possibly at
    Battersea Dogs Home or somewhere else with a large collection of
    vulnerable pets.”

    In the game of Parliamentary Top Trumps the
    “war on terror” is the argument with the least amount of logic or
    consideration but the most likely to win - the political equivalent of
    a parent saying to a child, “Because I said so!” However, the most
    unbelievable use of the “war on terror” excuse has to have been
    committed by Tony Blair.

    Just before Christmas, on the day Blair
    was questioned by the police (in connection with the cash for peerages
    inquiry) and Lord Stephens issued his report on Diana and her drunk
    driver, the Attorney General briskly announced the Serious Fraud Office
    were stopping their investigation into allegations of bribery between
    Britain's biggest arms manufacturer BAE Systems and the
    happy-go-lucky-beheading-nepotistic state of Saudi Arabia.

    Why
    had Britain ceased its legal duties to investigate corruption? Tony
    Blair later explained that sometimes the rule of law had to be balanced
    against security interests - the "war on terror" excuse!

    Even the
    most cynical could not have predicted the Prime Minister of Britain
    would publicly say that we need to pay bribes to Saudi Arabia or
    al-Qaeda will get us! In fact, considering that one of the bribery
    allegations under investigation was that BAE Systems forked out for
    prostitutes for Saudi officials, what Blair is essentially saying,
    “unless he puts his penis in the woman’s vagina then terrorists...”

    Of
    course, it is quite illegal for the SFO to cancel its investigations;
    as the OECD convention - to which the UK is a signatory - clearly says
    prosecutions should not be “influenced by considerations of national
    economic interest [or] the potential effect upon relations with another
    state.”

    The UK authorities argue that Saudi Arabia will get upset
    and refuse to collaborate in the fight against al-Qaeda if the SFO
    investigates corruption. This kind of behaviour is normally called
    extortion, and caving in is also breaking the law under the OECD treaty.

    However,
    while the authorities try to dance on the legal head of a pin, the
    views that “we need to bribe the Saudis to get the jobs,” and “well,
    it’s wrong but it’s good for the economy,” has swung a begrudging
    public mood.

    So let us put aside the legal arguments. Let us
    leave the constitutional debates on how the rule of law is defied.
    Cease the cries of “corporate criminals breaking the law with Blair’s
    blessing!” Silence the shouts of “hypocrisy” from the admonished
    African leaders at the G8!

    If bribery is so good for jobs, then
    surely it should
    The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

    Comment


      #3


      hippys should all be killed.





























      (good night[img]smileys/lol.gif[/img])
      Frank the Tank is not coming back. OK? That part of me is over, water under the bridge.

      Comment


        #4
        Yet more and it's a doozie;

        Newstatesman

        <h1 ="size32">Dubbya in denial</h1>
        Andrew Stephen


        Published 08 January 2007

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        The
        hanging of Saddam failed to provide the lesson in justice longed for by
        George W Bush. But even as the US forces' death toll hits 3,000 and a
        hostile Congress convenes, the president holds out for "victory" in Iraq
        @@@@SPAN ="ISI_IGNORE">

        <div ="capti&#111;ned-pic-left">

        </div>
        @@@@/SPAN>



        The
        week between Christmas and New Year had begun so promisingly for
        Dubbya. CNN had brought in its own model of a noose tightening around a
        mock skeleton's neck, while a doctor answered questions from
        lip-smacking presenters: whether the man being executed feels any pain
        (probably not, but we don't really know), how long asphyxiation lasts
        even if the spinal cord is severed (two minutes), and how long the
        heart beats after the drop (eight minutes). By 9pm on the evening of
        Saddam Hussein's execution, the 43rd president of America was in bed:
        surely he had the right to sleep soundly, knowing his image of
        manliness would gain a notch or two while the nation's bête noire du jour was being despatched to whatever hell awaited him?

        But
        these days nothing goes right for Bush 43 (as he is, I swear, still
        known to those working for him). First, America's 38th president was
        inconsiderate enough to die and hog all the headlines. It didn't help,
        either, that the death of 93-year-old Gerald Ford evoked impressions
        across the world (not necessarily accurate ones) of a healer rather
        than divider, and that Bush would be expected to deliver a eulogy for
        the old wimp. Second, Dustin Donica, 22, from Spring, Texas - damn him! - managed to become the 3,000th US military fatality in Iraq. Not good, as Bush 41 would say.

        Most
        infuriatingly of all, Dubbya was denied the televised spectacle of
        Saddam dragged kicking and squealing to the gallows that his
        administration confidently expected. Rather, it was Saddam's image of
        manliness that improved when the first (official, silent) video showed
        him going to his death bravely and with dignity. The second, recorded
        on a mobile phone and replete with taunts from a Shia lynch mob, could
        not have illustrated better how the Americans and Iraqis can hardly put
        together a dog's dinner, let alone an execution, in Bush's $8bn-a-month
        war. No wonder Bush 41 burst into tears the other day when speaking
        about his sons.

        The conventional wisdom these days is that it has
        all finally got to Bush 43. If not exactly a broken man, he is now a
        very worried one. I frequently find myself pointing out in these pages,
        however, that consensus inside-the-Beltway views are invariably wrong.
        This particular wisdom misunderstands the nature of the alcoholic: that
        he or she, by definition, is in denial. In the words of Dr Justin
        Frank, a psychiatrist who has written a book on the president's
        psychology, Bush belatedly set out to solve his drinking problems "by
        externalising the enemy rather than acknowledging that a greater threat
        than alcohol was the enemy within". Not long ago I quietly alluded to
        persistent rumours here (and repeated to me by somebody senior in the
        British government) that Bush has started drinking again;
        paradoxically, that could turn out to be good news if it stops Bush
        from externalising whatever inner demons Frank believes drove him to
        drink in the first place.

        Long march of history

        There
        is every indication, however, that Bush remains in denial, not only
        The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

        Comment


          #5





          Keep em coming TWIB - I'm reading them - even if no one else is.
          New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

          Comment


            #6
            Heathens the lot of them, including Harry.
            The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

            Comment


              #7


              never been a fan of pilger,a bit too one sided and a bit too exreme for my liking.


              he could write most of his articles in a couple of sentences" capitalism is bad,globalisation is bad,america is bad" and thats about it,makes good points but like Chomsky hes so one sided,hes a bit hard to take seriously
              g\'wan bruff!!

              ``The answer is not heavy- handed regulations that crush the entrepreneurial spirit and risk- taking of American capitalism. That\'s what\'s made our economy great.\"
              -Barack Obama


              \"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics\"
              -thomas sowell

              Comment


                #8
                Go figure, eh.
                The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

                Comment


                  #9
                  well i do him a disservice,he also probably have ago at the IMF and WTO aswell if he had time.granted they've both made mistakes,although i dont think they're part of this great eevil empire that pilger basically states they're a part of
                  g\'wan bruff!!

                  ``The answer is not heavy- handed regulations that crush the entrepreneurial spirit and risk- taking of American capitalism. That\'s what\'s made our economy great.\"
                  -Barack Obama


                  \"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics\"
                  -thomas sowell

                  Comment


                    #10

                    They offer prose that has been lauded worldwide you offer nothing more than trite soundbites. Forgive me for siding with award winners like Pilger, Fisk, Hersh, et al.

                    How do you defend the indefensible?

                    The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

                    Comment


                      #11


                      Originally posted by The Word Is Born


                      How do you defend the indefensible?




                      Generally, mainlyby mocking and deriding any constructive critics. The "pig-f**ker" approach as someone recently described it!
                      New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

                      Comment


                        #12

                        Originally posted by Old Dog

                        Originally posted by The Word Is Born


                        How do you defend the indefensible?




                        Generally, mainlyby mocking and deriding its critics. The "pig-f**ker" approach as someone recently described it!
                        Shirley Bruffian can ignore the "charms" of those with their snout in the trough?
                        The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

                        Comment


                          #13


                          Good reading that. Of course theyDO need extra troops. There's really no way around that.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by mullet is gone


                            Good reading that. Of course theyDO need extra troops. There's really no way around that.


                            How many? To do what? Where?


                            Have you ever read an account of the French/Aus/US occupation of SE Asia post-WWII? Even fools can learn from history, but by then it's usually too late.


                            Don't understandyour2nd sentence.

                            Comment


                              #15


                              Originally posted by The Word Is Born
                              They offer prose that has been lauded worldwide you offer nothing more than trite soundbites. Forgive me for siding with award winners like Pilger, Fisk, Hersh, et al.

                              How do you defend the indefensible?

                              what an idiotic statement! have you ever played preofessional rugby?....no?,well then what gives you the right to comment on how munster or indeed any other professional rugby team or player plays?


                              anyway,milton friedman,and jagdish bhagwati have won numerous awards and plaudits around the world aswell,yet they would ridicule anti-globalists like pilger.


                              forgive me for siding with people who actually have a clue about economics,and its when guys like pilger et al. start dipping their fingers in economics that they tend to get shown up as simplistic ideologues that dont know what they're talking about.


                              by all means talk about the war etc,but stick to what you know about
                              g\'wan bruff!!

                              ``The answer is not heavy- handed regulations that crush the entrepreneurial spirit and risk- taking of American capitalism. That\'s what\'s made our economy great.\"
                              -Barack Obama


                              \"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics\"
                              -thomas sowell

                              Comment

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