The other day, I stood outside the strangely silent building where I began life as a journalist. It is no longer the human warren that was Consolidated Press in Sydney, though ghosts still drink at the King’s Head pub nearby. As a cadet reporter, I might have walked on to the set of Lewis Milestone’s The Front Page. Men in red braces did shout, “Hold the front page”, and tilt back their felt hats and talk rapidly with a roll-your-own attached indefinitely to their lower lip. You could feel the presses rumbling beneath and smell the ink.
In the wake of Thatcher’s departure, I remember her victims. Patrick Warby’s daughter, Marie, was one of them. Marie, aged five, suffered from a bowel deformity and needed a special diet. Without it, the pain was excruciating. Her father was a Durham miner and had used all his savings. It was winter 1985, the Great Strike was almost a year old and the family was destitute. Although her eligibility was not disputed, Marie was denied help by the Department of Social Security. Later, I obtained records of the case that showed Marie had been turned down because her father was “affected by a Trade dispute”.
What is modern propaganda? For many, it is the lies of a totalitarian state. In the 1970s, I met Leni Riefenstahl and asked her about her epic films that glorified the Nazis. Using revolutionary camera and lighting techniques, she produced a documentary form that mesmerized Germans; her ‘Triumph of the Will’ cast Hitler’s spell.
She told me that the “messages” of her films were dependent not on “orders from above,” but on the “submissive void” of the German public. Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? “Everyone,” she said.
Filed under: CIA, Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and-or Videos 2, Imperialism, Iran on Dandelion Salad, Media, Propaganda, Technology | Tagged: Fascism on Dandelion Salad, Pilger-John | 4 Comments »
Last December, I stood with supporters of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in the bitter cold outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Candles were lit; the faces were young and old and from all over the world. They were there to demonstrate their human solidarity with someone whose guts they admired. They were in no doubt about the importance of what Assange had revealed and achieved, and the grave dangers he now faced. Absent entirely were the lies, spite, jealousy, opportunism and pathetic animus of a few who claim the right to guard the limits of informed public debate.
A full-scale invasion of Africa is under way. The United States is deploying troops in 35 African countries, beginning with Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. Reported by Associated Press on Christmas Day, this was missing from most Anglo-American media.
The invasion has almost nothing to do with “Islamism”, and almost everything to do with the acquisition of resources, notably minerals, and an accelerating rivalry with China. Unlike China, the US and its allies are prepared to use a degree of violence demonstrated in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Palestine. (more…)
Filed under: Africa, Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and-or Videos 2, Imperialism, Media, Military, Politics | Tagged: AFRICOM, Meet the new boss the same as the old boss, neo-colonialism, Pilger-John, wikileaks | 9 Comments »
Project Censored: Important stories unreported or suppressed by the media most Americans watch or read.
In the week Lord Leveson published almost a million words about his inquiry into the “culture, practice and ethics” of Britain’s corporate press, two illuminating books about media and freedom were also published. Their contrast with the Punch and Judy show staged by Leveson is striking.
For 36 years, Project Censored, based in California, has documented critically important stories unreported or suppressed by the media most Americans watch or read. This year’s report is Censored 2013: Dispatches from the media revolution by Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth (Seven Stories Press). (more…)
Filed under: Al Qaeda, Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and-or Videos 2, Media, Net Neutrality - Internet, Politics | Tagged: Assange-Julian, cybersecurity, Leveson Inquiry, Pilger-John, Police State on Dandelion Salad, Project Censored, Rupert Murdoch | 6 Comments »
In Peter Watkins’ remarkable BBC film, The War Game, which foresaw the aftermath of an attack on London with a one-megaton nuclear bomb, the narrator says: “On almost the entire subject of thermo-clear weapons, there is now practically total silence in the press, official publications and on TV. Is there hope to be found in this silence?”
The truth of this statement was equal to its irony. On 24 November, 1965, the BBC banned The War Game as “too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting”. This was false. The real reason was spelt out by the chairman of the BBC Board of Governors, Lord Normanbrook, in a secret letter to the Secretary to the Cabinet, Sir Burke Trend.
Filed under: Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and-or Videos 2, Death-destruction, Gaza, Israel, Israel-Palestine-Gaza-Occupation, Media, Nukes, Politics, Propaganda, War Crimes | Tagged: Israel-Gaza-Palestine War, Pilger-John | 2 Comments »
Nov 18, 2012 by fourmanfilms
Humanitarian Interventions Reframing The War On Terror
Media And War Conference
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In 1999, I travelled to Iraq with Denis Halliday who had resigned as assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations rather than enforce a punitive UN embargo on Iraq. Devised and policed by the United States and Britain, the extreme suffering caused by these “sanctions” included, according to Unicef, the deaths of half a million Iraqi infants under the age of five.
Filed under: Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and-or Videos 2, Death-destruction, Iraq, Iraq on Dandelion Salad, Justice or Injustice, Politics | Tagged: Bush-George W., Human Rights on Dandelion Salad, Pilger-John, Rafil Dhafir, sanctions | 4 Comments »
Apartheid never died in South Africa. It inspired a world order upheld by force and illusion by John Pilger
The murder of 34 miners by the South African police, most of them shot in the back, puts paid to the illusion of post-apartheid democracy and illuminates the new worldwide apartheid of which South Africa is both an historic and contemporary model.
In 1894, long before the infamous Afrikaans word foretold “separate development” for the majority people of South Africa, an Englishman, Cecil John Rhodes, oversaw the Glen Grey Act in what was then the Cape Colony. This was designed to force blacks from agriculture into an army of cheap labour, principally for the mining of newly discovered gold and other precious minerals. (more…)
Filed under: Africa, Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and-or Videos 2, Politics, Racism | Tagged: apartheid, Barack Obama on Dandelion Salad, Meet the new boss the same as the old boss, Nelson Mandela, Pilger-John, South Africa | 1 Comment »
With John Pilger
Aug 24, 2012 by sevenearths2010
John Pilger was banned from South Africa for his reporting during the apartheid era. On his return thirty years later with Alan Lowery, he describes the extraordinary generosity of a liberated people, but asks who are the true beneficiaries of a democracy – the black majority or the white minority? Won the Gold Award in the category of ‘Film & Video Production: Political/International Issues’, Worldfest-Flagstaff, 1998; Certificate for Creative Excellence (third place), U.S. International Film & Video Festival, Elmhurst, Illinois, 1999.
What is the world’s most powerful and violent “ism”? The question will summon the usual demons, such as Islamism, now that communism has left the stage. The answer, wrote Harold Pinter, is only “superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged,” because only one ideology claims to be non-ideological, neither left nor right, the supreme way. This is liberalism.
Filed under: Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and-or Videos 2, Death-destruction, England-UK-Britain, Israel, Israel-Palestine-Gaza-Occupation, Politics, War Crimes | Tagged: liberalism, Libya on Dandelion Salad, Pilger-John, Syria on Dandelion Salad, Tony Blair on Dandelion Salad | 10 Comments »
The British government’s threat to invade the Ecuadorean embassy in London and seize Julian Assange is of historic significance. David Cameron, the former PR man to a television industry huckster and arms salesman to sheikdoms, is well placed to dishonour international conventions that have protected Britons in places of upheaval. Just as Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq led directly to the acts of terrorismin London on 7 July 2005, so Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague have compromised the safety of British representatives across the world.
Filed under: Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and-or Videos 2, Ecuador, England-UK-Britain, Media, Politics | Tagged: Assange-Julian, Journalism or Journalists, Pilger-John, Sweden, US Cables Leaked from WikiLeaks, Whistleblowing, wikileaks | 11 Comments »
Arriving in a village in southern Vietnam, I caught sight of two children who bore witness to the longest war of the 20th century. Their terrible deformities were familiar. All along the Mekong river, where the forests were petrified and silent, small human mutations lived as best they could.
Today, at the Tu Du paediatrics hospital in Saigon, a former operating theatre is known as the “collection room” and, unofficially, as the “room of horrors”. (more…)
Filed under: Corporations Really Suck, Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and-or Videos 2, Death-destruction, History, Iraq on Dandelion Salad, PSYOP, War Crimes | Tagged: Agent Orange, Meet the new boss the same as the old boss, Olympics, Pilger-John, Vietnam | 2 Comments »
Rupert Murdoch is a bad man. His son James is also bad. Rebekah Brooks is allegedly bad. The News of the World was very bad; it hacked phones and pilloried people. British prime ministers grovelled before this iniquity. David Cameron even sent text messages to Brooks signed “LoL”, and they all had parties in the Cotswolds with Jeremy Clarkson. Nods and winks were duly exchanged on the BSkyB deal.
Filed under: Corporations Really Suck, Crime, Crime and or Corruption, Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and-or Videos 2, England-UK-Britain, Media, Politics | Tagged: Pilger-John, Rupert Murdoch | 2 Comments »