Wednesday, September 08, 2010

John Pilger - fact vs false reality

In John Pilger's latest article for the New Statesman dated September 2nd 2010, he examines the difference between Fact and False Reality in mainstream media reporting as espoused by the likes of Edward Bernays to a) get Americans to send their children be slaughtered in Europe and b) to get women to smoke 'torches of freedom', aka cigarettes.

False reality
The last US combat troops have left Iraq “as promised, on schedule”, according to President Barack Obama. TV screens have filled with cinematic images of the “last US soldiers” silhouetted against the dawn light, crossing the border into Kuwait.

Fact
They are still there. At least 50,000 troops will continue to operate from 94 bases. American air assaults are unchanged, as are special forces’ assassinations. The number of “military contractors” is currently 100,000 and rising. Most Iraqi oil is now under direct foreign control.

False reality
BBC presenters and reporters have described the departing US troops as a “sort of victorious army” that has achieved “a remarkable change in [Iraq’s] fortunes”. Their commander, General David Petraeus, is a “celebrity”, “charming”, “savvy” and “remarkable”.

Fact
There is no victory of any sort. There is a catastrophic disaster; and attempts to present it as otherwise are a model of Bernays’ campaign to “re-brand” the slaughter of the first world war as “necessary” and “noble”. In 1980, Ronald Reagan, running for president, re-branded the invasion of Vietnam, in which up to three million people died, as a “noble cause”, a theme taken up enthusiastically by Hollywood. Today’s Iraq war movies have a similar purging theme: the invader as both idealist and victim.

False reality
It is not known how many Iraqis have died. They are “countless” or maybe “in the tens of thousands”.

Fact
As a direct consequence of the Anglo-American led invasion, a million Iraqis have died. This figure from Opinion Research Business is based on peer-reviewed research led by Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC, whose methods were secretly affirmed as “best practice” and “robust” by the Blair government’s chief scientific adviser, as revealed in a Freedom of Information search. This figure is rarely reported or presented to “charming” and “savvy” American generals. Neither is the dispossession of four million Iraqis, the malnourishment of most Iraqi children, the epidemic of mental illness and the poisoning of the environment.



AND OF MORE INTEREST TO THE UK READERS OF FREE PLANET...

False reality
The British economy has a deficit of billions which must be reduced with cuts in public services and regressive taxation, in a spirit of “we’re all in this together”.

Fact
We are not in this together. What is remarkable about this public relations triumph is that only 18 months ago the diametric opposite filled TV screens and front pages. Then, in a state of shock, truth was unavoidable, if briefly. The Wall Street and City of London financiers’ trough was on full view for the first time, along with the venality of once celebrated snouts. Billions in public money went to inept and crooked organisations known as banks, which were spared debt liability by their Labour government sponsors.

Within a year, record profits and personal bonuses were posted, and state and media propaganda had recovered its equilibrium. Suddenly, the “black hole” was no longer the responsibility of the banks, whose debt is to be paid by those not in any way responsible: the public. The received media wisdom of this “necessity” is now a chorus, from the BBC to the Sun. A masterstroke, Bernays would surely say.

False reality
The former government minister Ed Miliband offers a “genuine alternative” as leader of the British Labour Party.

Fact
Miliband, like his brother David, the former foreign secretary, and almost all those standing for the Labour leadership, is immersed in the effluent of New Labour. As a New Labour MP and minister, he did not refuse to serve under Blair or speak out against Labour’s persistent warmongering. He now calls the invasion of Iraq a “profound mistake”. Calling it a mistake insults the memory and the dead. It was a crime, of which the evidence is voluminous. He has nothing new to say about the other colonial wars, none of them mistakes. Neither has he demanded basic social justice: that those who caused the recession clear up the mess and that Britain’s fabulously rich corporate minority be seriously taxed, starting with Rupert Murdoch.


Remember, the Corporate War Machine will brainwash you to death, if it so pleases - try to fight back in any way you can.

1 comment:

tangel476 said...

Buckminster Fuller warns in 'Critical Path' that the Dark Age will be filled with disinfo.