The nature of “establishments” is that they cling desperately to power, and will attack anyone who defies or challenges that power with unrestrained fervor. That’s what we saw in the U.K. with the emergence of Corbyn, and what we’re seeing now with the threat posed by Sanders. It’s not surprising that the attacks in both cases are similar — the dynamic of establishment prerogative is the same — but it’s nonetheless striking how identical is the script used in both cases.
Just as there was no al Qaeda or ISIS to attack in Iraq until the U.S. bombed its government, there was no ISIS in Libya until NATO bombed it. Now the U.S. is about to seize on the effects of its own bombing campaign in Libya to justify an entirely new bombing campaign in that same country.
We live in disconcerting times. Here at home, a Tory government with the weakest of mandates is waging, on behalf of corporate-financial elites, class war against the poor and vulnerable. Across the world, and particularly in the Middle East, the engines of western imperialism continue to chug remorselessly along, their slaughter and immiseration of millions an irrelevance to western war […]
The BBC loves to boast about how “objective” and “neutral” it is. But a recent article, which it was forced to change, illustrates the lengths to which the British state-funded media outlet will go to protect one of the UK Government’s closest allies, Saudi Arabia, which also happens to be one of its largest arms purchasers (just this morning, the Saudi Ambassador to the UK threatened in an Op-Ed that any further criticism of the Riyadh regime by Jeremy Corbyn could jeopardize the multi-layered UK/Saudi alliance).
The Jerusalem Post today describes the killing of a man by two IDF soldiers after, the soldiers claim, he was acting erratically and tried to grab one of their guns. When he was fatally shot by the IDF, says the paper, he was “believed to be an Arab terrorist.” As it turns out, he was not an Arab Palestinian but rather an Israeli Jew. Upon learning this, the “terrorist” designation was officially and “immediately” rescinded
The formula by now is clear: bombing whatever countries it wants, justifying it all by reflexively labeling their targets as “terrorists,” and then dishonestly denying or casually dismissing the civilians they slaughter as “collateral damage.”
The ongoing atrocities by Saudi Arabia and its “coalition partners” in Yemen reflect powerfully – and horribly – on both the U.S. and UK. That’s true not only because those two countries in general are among the closest allies of the Saudi regime, but also because they are specifically lavishing Saudi despots with the very arms and intelligence being used to kill large numbers of Yemeni civilians.
The Sunday Times today merely recycled the same evidence-free smears that have been used by government officials for years – not only against Snowden, but all whistleblowers – and added a dose of sensationalism and then baked it with demonstrable lies. That’s just how western journalism works, and it’s the opposite of surprising.
Far from serving as a model, this Libya intervention should severely discredit the core selling point of so-called “humanitarian wars.” Some non-governmental advocates of “humanitarian war” may be motivated by the noble aims they invoke, but humanitarianism is simply not why governments fight wars; that is just the pretty wrapping used to sell them.
Let’s tick them off: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-), Pakistan (2004-) and now Syria. Whew.
It is always stunning when a country that has brought violence and military force to numerous countries acts shocked and bewildered when someone brings a tiny faction of that violence back to that country. Regardless of one’s views on the justifiability of Canada’s lengthy military actions, it’s not the slightest bit surprising or difficult to understand why people who identify with those on the other end of Canadian bombs and bullets would decide to attack the military responsible for that violence.
If anyone wonders what’s wrong with the mainstream media and why we at BSNews have devoted so much of our lives to shouting about it, just have a gander at Kirsty Wark interviewing Glen Greenwald on Newsnight about the Snowden revelations. Have a wild guess at why Greenwald is so obviously filled with contempt for her ‘ludicrous’ line of questioning. And dwell on the question: why did Glen have to remind Kirsty several times that, as a journalist, it’s not a good idea to blindly accept government statements as fact.