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Media 95: MSM – collective amnesia about the life of George Bush Snr

Many readers will have been shocked at the standard media responses following the death of George Bush Snr. Media Lens has spelt out the reasons for such reactions. After a summary of the gushing eulogies from Barack Obama and the Clintons, they move to review the British media’s coverage: 

“ . . . [The] Guardian‘s ‘glowing’ obituary omitted many brutal facts, describing Bush Senior’s devastation of Iraq as ‘triumphant’; ‘the president did not put a foot wrong’; ‘his most impressive achievement’; ‘Bush’s masterly management of the first Iraq war’; and so on, in an elite-friendly script that was essentially a press release from the very centre of US power”.

It continues:

“The cruel reality of Bush’s ‘most impressive achievement’, as we noted in a 2002 media alert, was that Iraq’s entire civilian infrastructure was targeted and largely destroyed under the rain of bombs. All of Iraq’s eleven major electrical power plants, as well as 119 substations, were destroyed. 90 per cent of electricity generation was out of service within hours; within days, all power generation in the country had ceased. Eight multi-purpose dams were repeatedly hit and destroyed, wrecking flood control, municipal and industrial water storage, irrigation and hydroelectric power. Four of Iraq’s seven major water pumping stations were destroyed. According to Eric Hoskins, a Canadian doctor and coordinator of a Harvard study team on Iraq, the allied bombardment: ‘effectively terminated everything vital to human survival in Iraq – electricity, water, sewage systems, agriculture, industry and health care’. (Quoted Mark Curtis, ‘The Ambiguities of Power’, Zed Books, 1995)”.

The article points out that the author, Simon Tisdall, made no reference to the tons of bombs – ‘the equivalent of seven Hiroshimas’ – that followed the launch of the air campaign on January 17, 1991, and the killing of 150,000 Iraqi troops and 50,000 civilians were killed and continued:

“In his Bush obituary, Nick Bryant, the New York-based BBC News correspondent, brushed all this away and stuck to the standard deception of ‘mistakes were made’ in Iraq”.

Readers with strong stomachs will continue to read about Bush’s work within the CIA and his ‘shared responsibility’ for earlier ‘bloodbaths’ in South America.

And the reason for the media’s whitewashed responses?

According to Media Lens, there are a few rules that journalists must follow if they are to be regarded as a safe pair of hands by editors and corporate media owners:

“One of these rules is that ‘we’ in the West are assumed to be ‘the good guys’. This seriously damaging narrative, flying in the face of historical evidence and endlessly crushing state policies, ensures that the public is kept ignorant and pacified. The consequences have been deadly for millions of the West’s victims around the world, and now mean climate catastrophe that could end human civilisation”.






Mr Corbyn beware: apologies and compromise are the ammo feverishly sought by the establishment media

jeremy corbynThe established corporate-political order is seething with anger at the huge support given to a plain-living, simply dressed man of principle and integrity, rather than the political norm of bombast, ‘spin’ and conspicuous consumption.

The pliant cash-strapped advertisement-dependent media and the government-threatened BBC are relentlessly attacking Jeremy Corbyn – openly or insidiously – fearful that the ever-increasing momentum of support for his ideas will eventually lead to his election as prime minister.

That would – of course – be anathema to partyfunding arms traders and manufacturers and those politicians who crave the additional income from their cash and non-executive directorships.

Few are working harder than Jim Pickard in the formerly objective Financial Times, accompanied this week by George Parker, its Political Editor. As the former says, the new leader’s principles have generated negative headlines in the British press all week. His statement:

“The more (Corbyn) softens his views, the more the risk that he disappoints the radical leftwingers who propelled him into office”.

The hope is that their relentless and unjust bombardment will eventually make inroads into his widespread popular support. The language is carefully chosen to influence the weak-minded:

  • the ‘bearded 66-year-old’, an ‘outsider, inside’.
  • The serial rebel . . . barely scraping enough support from fellow MPs to get on to the ballot sheet.
  • his old-fashioned brand of radical socialism
  • an inveterate protester, sometimes in dubious company
  • an isolated figure within the parliamentary Labour party

Pickard concedes that his first appearance at PMQs was #a relative success’ and adds that Corbyn can expect some tactical victories in the coming months: senior Tories are worried about a backlash next April as welfare cuts — opposed by Mr Corbyn — kick in. he adds that Corbyn’s ‘rhetoric’ on helping Syrian refugees may also have chimed temporarily with the public.

George Parker, Political Editor has a similar approach, but more subtle and less verbose – a few gems:

  • Labour under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership ended a dizzying week of policy shifts
  • Mr Corbyn’s team was showing signs of quietly shelving some of the new leader’s most radical ideas.
  • Mr Corbyn has also bowed to pressure from moderate colleagues.

Speculation and surmise followed by untruths. Two of many:

Though insistence on genuine and widespread consultation has been a consistent feature of the Corbyn approach, Mr Parker says “Attempts by the new leader to impose his will on party policy will be gruelling” and others follow this line.

Though Jeremy Corbyn said, from the earliest days of the campaign that he was ready – like David Cameron – to press for beneficial changes to the EU, it is implied that he said he wants to leave and has reneged on this policy, so: “He has also been forced by colleagues to change his stance on the looming referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

Quoting a Walsall blogger, we ask: How far will the “monstering currently being aimed at the newly elected Leader of the UK Labour Party by MI5, the CIA, the IMF, senior civil servants and members of the armed forces and a particularly unpleasant newspaper mogul” go?

As the plight of migrants from destabilised countries dominates the media, our other special friend inflicts a far higher death toll

Will Saudi Arabia’s financial ‘strains’ end their devastation of Yemen?

In June a barrage of news accumulated about Saudi Arabia, aka Britain’s biggest arms market last year, and a brief overview of the last quarter was given on this site.

The Saudi regime is killing thousands and destroying key infrastructure in Yemen - in order to ’protect’ it.

The Saudi regime is killing thousands and destroying key infrastructure in Yemen – in order to ’protect’ it.

A month later, Fahad al-Mubarak, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, said in that Riyadh had issued its first $4bn in local bonds. Simeon Kerr and Anjli Raval of the FT see the country’s plan to raise $27bn by the end of the year, as the “starkest sign yet of the strain lower oil prices are putting on the finances of the world’s largest oil exporter”. They add:

“Saudi Arabia’s resort to further domestic borrowing highlights the challenges facing the region’s largest economy amid one of the steepest falls in the oil price in recent decades”.

Economists estimate their deficit will reach SR400bn this year amid falling revenues and spending commitments, including the continuing war in Yemen. Detail here.

Earlier this month the Telegraph surmised that Saudi Arabia might ‘go broke’ before the US oil industry buckles. It quotes the CIA explanation for this aggressive, destructive behaviour:

“The Saudi royal family is leading the Sunni cause against a resurgent Iran, battling for dominance in a bitter struggle between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. “Right now, the Saudis have only one thing on their mind and that is the Iranians. They have a very serious problem. Iranian proxies are running Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon,” said Jim Woolsey, the former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency”.

Update, destruction and death dealing unabated:

Yesterday, Ben Norton reported that approximately 4,500 people, many civilians, have been killed in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition began bombing 150 days ago, according to the UN. 23,000 more have been wounded.

13 Yemeni teaching staff and four children were killed by a Saudi air strike on August 20. Two days before, coalition bombing in the Amran province took the lives of 17 civilians, injuring 20 more. UNICEF condemned what it called the “senseless bloodshed.” A Red Cross spokeswoman said the violence in Ta’iz, in southern Yemen, in just one day on August 21 left 80 people dead.

To our shame and theirs, with weapons bought from Britain and other arms dealers and troops also trained by their allies, the Saudis continue to lay Yemen waste.

Would MP Tom Watson work well with Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party deputy leader?


tw picA message in support of Tom Watson (also not FT approved) has been received from a Labour Party registered supporter who had been ‘terribly downhearted and disillusioned by the election result but didn’t necessarily believe that anything would change’.

This correspondent signed up to vote in the leadership election because she now thinks it might and is convinced that, whoever we elect as leader, (and she is backing Jeremy Corbyn) choosing Tom Watson as deputy is a crucial part of the change the country needs. Many potential CLP electors agree as the snapshot from his website on the left shows. She points out:

tw 2 supportHe’s also a conviction politician who stood up against Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation when nobody else would.

He had his garage broken into, people went through his bins and he was put under covert surveillance. At times he feared for his own and his family’s safety, but he kept going because that’s what he’s like, and he won. Other points:

  • Historic child abuse survivors began to contact him about organised cover-ups at the heart of the Establishment. The world told him to leave it alone. Again, he refused, and now several police inquiries are underway.
  • He set up the All Party Drones Group to campaign against CIA extra-judicial killings. Some Labour politicians said it was bad politics. Tom said it was the right thing to do.
  • He became the first MP to Judicially Review government primary legislation, successfully, over the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act – in a joint action with Liberty and the Open Rights Group.
  • In the last Parliament he opposed the military actions in Libya and Syria.
  • Wide experience: MP since 2001, former full-time trade union official, Government Minister, Government Whip, Deputy Chair of the Party.

But power-hungry? Union bound?

Jim Pickard in the FT quotes an un-named Labour MP: “It mostly seems to be about power with Watson, I would have more sympathy if his manoeuvres were for a bigger cause or purpose. He just sees politics as a game.”

Friends reject that claim, pointing out that he has resigned three times from government or party positions. “Why would he walk away from power if it was so important to him?” says one. Critics answer that Mr Watson’s influence in the party is so great that he can wield power without needing a title.

Mr Watson’s union ties also came under close and damaging scrutiny in Pickard’s article.

But would he, as our correspondent claims, be a unifier? And would Tom Watson wholeheartedly support and co-operate with Jeremy Corbyn if both are elected?

Secret State 13: Britain shamed by successive nefarious governments

uk coat of arms

Though continually persuaded that unthinking patriotism is honourable, “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” – so effectively deconstructed by Wilfred Owen – many observers have become deeply ashamed of their British motherland.

This site has focussed on political-corporate corruption in most of its posts, the revolving door and incompetence irrationally rewarded, but of late the secret state which conceals its shameful truths from its citizens has not been headlined. The last related to HS2, on July 14th 2013: Secret State 12.

Secret State 13 has been prompted by David Cameron’s admission that Britain’s spying agencies discussed redactions to the CIA torture – enhanced interrogation – report and more explicitly that United States and the UK were found to have trained interrogators in other countries in the use of ‘torture techniques’.

doctors of the dark side coverOnline, excruciating accounts of these ‘techniques’ may be read, photographs and cartoons may be seen by those who can bear to look at them. The most restrained offering, though no less horrifying is this film, selected for the United Nations’ Film Festival: “Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical mantra “first do no harm” did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill. “The report laid blame primarily on the defence department (DoD) and the CIA, which required their healthcare staff to put aside any scruples in the interests of intelligence gathering”.

Italians can hold their heads higher on this account:

The BBC reported that Italy’s courts convicted in absentia 22 CIA agents and imprisoned former intelligence chief Nicolo Pollari and his former deputy Marco Mancini for their roles in ‘kidnapping’ Egyptian cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr – assisting in extraordinary rendition, the CIA’s practice of transferring terror suspects to countries where torture is permitted. The abducted cleric gave evidence that he was flown to Egypt and tortured.

Next week a reminder of just a few of the detected Secret State ‘coverups’. The tip of the iceberg which is gradually sinking our ship.


Time to declare independence – 1: USA provoking regime change

So many have for years seen the soft power exerted by the US over the young to destabilise Middle Eastern countries; first items, ‘cool’ pop music, jeans,T-shirts and other trappings, then by lavish funding to build up openly or covertly subversive groups.

We suggest that this ‘special friend’ is to be set aside and no longer slavishly followed.

In a recent article, Aeneas Georg shows a YouTube Chinese video which indicates that the Chinese read the geopolitical chess game very well. It maps out 12 steps that the US uses for regime change and goes on to explain how these “regime changes” around the world and the antagonizing of Russia and China follow a pattern that could lead to World War III.

The 12 Steps to regime change, employed by the US are outlined in the sub-titled video:

occupy central utube 12 steps

  1. Dispatch CIA, MI6 and other intelligence officers as students, tourists, volunteers, businessmen, and reporters to the target country
  2. Set up non-governmental organisations (NGO) under the guise of humanitarianism to fight for “democracy” and “human rights” In order to attract advocates of freedom and ideals
  3. Attract local traitors and especially academics, politicians, reporters, soldiers, etc., through bribery, or threaten those who have some stain in their life
  4. If the target country has labour unions, bribe them
  5. Pick a catchy theme or color for the revolution. Examples include the Prague spring (1968), Velvet revolution (Eastern Europe, 1969), Rose revolution (Georgia, 2003), Cedar revolution (Lebanon, 2005), Orange revolution (Ukraine), Green revolution (Iran), Jasmin revolution, Arab Spring and even Hong Kong’s Umbrella revolution
  6. Start protests for whatever reasons to kick off the revolution. It could be human rights, democracy, government corruption or electoral fraud. Evidence isn’t necessary; any excuse will do
  7. Write protests signs and banners in English to let Americans see and get American politicians and civilians involved
  8. Let those corrupted politicians, intellectuals and union leaders join the protests and call upon all people with grievances to join
  9. The US and European mainstream media help continuously emphasize that the revolution is caused by injustice thereby gaining the support of the majority
  10. When the whole world is watching, stage a false-flag action. The target government will soon be destabilised and lose support among its people
  11. Add in violent agent provocateurs to provoke the police to use force. This will cause the target government to lose the support of other countries and become “delegitimized” by the international community
  12. Send politicians to the US, EU and UN to petition so that the target government will face the threat of economic sanctions, no-fly zones and even airstrikes and an armed rebel uprising.

Georg continues:

”Anyone who has being paying just a little attention to the world events can recognise this pattern. Psychopaths are not that creative and therefore tend to use the same method again and again . . . And the public memory is conveniently very short, with all the distraction that Hollywood and the social media can come up with . . .

”Though the video blames it all on the Freemasons, it would be more correct to say the pathological elite. One of the key defining traits of this subspecies is the fact that they have no conscience and therefore care naught about human suffering and deaths . . . If the 12 steps above do not work, then the US will find an excuse to intervene militarily and overthrow the target government by force. In fact, these steps have proven to be very effective . . .

”The emperor is exposed as being naked, something that the BRICS countries and a number of other countries are becoming aware of. There is no doubt that greater cooperation among these countries has helped to spread knowledge about the psychopaths’ modus operandi. The above video is an example of the exposure of this pattern.

For more reading on the same website:

MEP Gerald Batten: nominally Christian USA bombs civilians

UKIP MEP Gerard Batten told a Guardian journalist: “Christians aren’t blowing people up at the moment, are they? Are there any bombs going off round the world claimed by Christian organisations? I don’t think so.”

drone for general use

Mr Batten: for years the CIA in the nominally Christian United States has directed the dropping of bombs on civilians in Pakistan, Somalia and the Yemen.

You are referred to the latest figures from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism:

Will government CIA and MI6 agencies be thwarted again in Syria?

Events in Syria today bear a striking similarity to those envisaged in a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for the invasion of Syria. 

Investigative journalist Felicity Arbuthnot, who worked as senior researcher on the Pilger film about the effect of United Nations sanctions on people of Iraq, remembers the Guardian’s 2003 report that Matthew Jones, a Reader in International History at London’s Royal Holloway College, had discovered “frighteningly frank” documents — 1957 plans between then UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and then President Dwight Eisenhower endorsing: “a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion (of Syria) by Syria’s pro-western neighbours,” including the assassination of powerful political figures close to the Syrian president.

The Guardian reported: “The plan called for funding of a “Free Syria Committee”, and the arming of “political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities” within Syria. The CIA and MI6 would instigate internal uprisings, for instance by the Druze in the south, help to free political prisoners held in the Mezze prison, and stir up the Muslim Brotherhood in Damascus. 

The plan was not used at the time because Syria’s Arab neighbours could not be persuaded to take action . . . just as today’s attempts are being thwarted by an unco-operative Russia and China, though the Syrian state news agency has just reported the assassination of the head of a Syrian military hospital. 

Robert Fisk on President Assad’s real position: Westerners have got it wrong 

“President Bashar al-Assad is not about to go . . . few in the region understand how we Westerners can get it so wrong . . . 

“[L]ook east, and what does Bashar see? Loyal Iran standing with him. Loyal Iraq – Iran’s new best friend in the Arab world – refusing to impose sanctions. And to the west, loyal little Lebanon refusing to impose sanctions. Thus from the border of Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, Assad has a straight line of alliances which should prevent, at least, his economic collapse  . . .

”As long as Syria can trade with Iraq, it can trade with Iran and, of course, it can trade with Lebanon. The Shia of Iran and the Shia majority in Iraq and the Shia leadership (though not majority) in Syria and the Shia (the largest community, but not a majority) in Lebanon will be on Assad’s side, however reluctantly . . .

”Assad has Damascus and Aleppo, and those cities matter. His principal military units have not defected to the opposition . . .”  and Fisk added that the Royal Navy cannot put into Tartous as they did in Benghazi because the Russian Navy is still there.

The simplistic view promoted in most Western newspapers and broadcasts is corrected by Fisk’s reminder: “The “good guys” also contain “bad guys” – a fact we forgot in Libya, even when the “good guys” murdered their defected army commander and tortured prisoners to death.”