George Monbiot is an influential journalist, and his words on Syria over the past seven years will have carried weight in shaping public opinion. Some critical readers, however, have been concerned.
Author: Professor Tim Hayward
The truth is sometimes revealed through words, but more often through deeds. The Times and several other papers recently carried alarming stories about “Apologists for Assad” to be found in social media, in independent journalism, and even in universities. Passive consumers of corporate media communications may have taken the papers’ word for it and been perturbed. The more alert, however, […]
The Guardian recently published an article claiming that critical discussion of the White Helmets in Syria has been ‘propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government’. Many readers were dismayed at this crude defence of a – presumably – pro-imperialist perspective, and at the unwarranted smearing of reasoned questioning based on evidence from independent journalists.
Anybody who pays critical attention to outputs of corporate news media will be aware that the idea of a free press, while lauded in principle, is scarcely actualised in practice. A further worrying development is that the very principles animating the idea are apparently being called into question by an organisation that purports to defend them.
Amnesty International has a moral mission: ‘to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of human rights’. Could that be an impossible mission for an organisation that calls for military intervention on human rights grounds? This question arises from an attempt to understand Amnesty International’s role in the war in Syria. Critics have argued that by justifying […]
Moderate political opposition does not involve or support taking up arms against the government, let alone against unarmed fellow citizens. This proposition would be treated as self-evident in our own country, so why are people seemingly ready to discard it when talking about Syria? Some who do so aim thereby to claim legitimacy for wishing ‘regime change’ upon that country, […]
‘Conspiracy theory’ is frequently used as a derogatory term, a term of disdain and implicit criticism. An effect of this is to discourage certain kinds of legitimate critical inquiry. But surely, in a world where conspiracies happen, we need good theories of what exactly is happening. The only people who really have anything to worry about from conspiracy theories are […]
Why is it that certain ‘regimes’ become ripe for imperial subversion or overthrow? What was it, in particular, that linked together the list of countries that retired general Wesley Clark shared in his famous 2007 interview as being next in the sights of the United States’ bellicose intentions and most of which since have indeed been plunged into horrendous wars?
These past six months I have been getting to know the inter-media. They’re not formally part of mainstream, and they’re not very social, so I call them inter-media. They are like the maintenance team for the mainstream. To explain this, I’ll first say how I came to meet them. The context of these encounters is writing posts on Syria. Doing so, I rely entirely […]