ALISON BANVILLE takes to task the BBC flagship programme over its investigation of British foreign aid diversion to extremist groups in Syria
We no longer have a media worthy of the name; we have a propaganda machine. A Ministry of Truth stretching from the ‘’soundly conservative to utterly reactionary’’ to use Ralph Miliband’s apt description. A daily scripted fog-horn ramping up the population for war against Russia; and we have been brought to this impasse by a cabal of fanatics ensconced in an ideological bubble – the neo-conservatives – who are frankly deranged.
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.
Those who tweet and write in Bana Alabed’s name seem unconcerned about the enforcement of harsh punishments by Jabhat al-Nusra, such as the execution of women. Nor are they concerned about the group’s violence or terror tactics, which are detailed on the Australian National Security webpage.
The goal of a mass media propaganda campaign is to create the impression that ‘everybody knows’ that Saddam is a ‘threat’, Gaddafi is ‘about to commit mass murder’, Assad ‘has to go’, Corbyn is ‘destroying the Labour party’, and so on. The picture of the world presented must be clear-cut. The public must be made to feel certain that the ‘good guys’ are basically benevolent, and the ‘bad guys’ are absolutely appalling and must be removed.
When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them. One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter. “Arabs”, they said, “nomads”. The words were almost spat out. […]
This fetishization of the ‘British Soldier’, emblem of the armed forces as a whole, has become pathological in its intensity in parallel with our foreign military interventions being prosecuted in an era of unprecedented political mendacity. The more profound the corruption, the greater the need for propaganda and, importantly, the cruder it needs to be as the most skilled propagandist of them all, Joseph Goebels, well understood when he declaimed that propaganda ‘must always be essentially simple and repetitious’ and must ‘appeal to the emotions and instinct, never the intellect.’ ‘Hero’, ‘Help For Heroes’, ‘our heroes overseas’, ‘our courageous men and women protecting our freedoms’, ‘protecting us’, ‘doing it for us’… ‘for us’, ‘for us’, for us’.
Last week, Jeremy Corbyn humbled the entire political and corporate media commentariat. With a little help from Britain’s student population. And with a little help from thousands of media activists. Without doubt this was one of the most astonishing results in UK political history. Dismissed by all corporate political pundits, including the clutch of withered fig leaves at the Guardian, […]
I have just (belatedly) read David Hare’s highly praised, ‘provocative’ 2004 history play about events leading up to the invasion of Iraq, ‘Stuff Happens’. It contains verbatim public statements made by Bush, Blair and other leading characters’ real life counterparts but Hare has stated that for the behind the scenes conversations he used his imagination, which is entirely acceptable as […]
Our point is that if journalists like Monbiot are serious about establishing the truth, they will test the French government and other claims against the arguments and evidence offered by dissidents. They will consider the different claims, and come to some kind of informed conclusion. What is not acceptable is that journalists should simply accept as Truth arguments made by Western governments openly seeking regime change in Syria and that have a spectacular track record of lying about claims supposedly justifying war.
News organizations have ended up being spoon-fed by jihadis and their sympathizers who make it impossible for independent observers to visit areas they control. By regurgitating information from such tainted sources, the media gives al-Qaeda type groups every incentive to go on killing and abducting journalists in order to create and benefit from a news vacuum they can fill themselves.
A declassified CIA document from 1983 reveals the real reasons behind destabilizing Syria and how “the US should consider sharply escalating the pressures against Assad through covertly orchestrating simultaneous military threats against Syria from three border states hostile to Syria: Iraq, Israel and Turkey.” On April 11, the Saudi regime was highlighted for its continued deployment of chemical weapons against […]