Posts Tagged ‘John Pilger’

Barack Obama Worked For The CIA – John Pilger

January 15, 2012

  Some hard facts about  Barack Obama

Pilger: The Kidnapping of Haiti

January 28, 2010

By John Pilger, Information Clearing House, January 27, 2010

The theft of Haiti has been swift and crude. On 22 January, the United States secured “formal approval” from the United Nations to take over all air and sea ports in Haiti, and to “secure” roads. No Haitian signed the agreement, which has no basis in law. Power rules in an American naval blockade and the arrival of 13,000 marines, special forces, spooks and mercenaries, none with humanitarian relief training.

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Pilger: For Israel, a reckoning

January 16, 2010

John Pilger,  New Statesman, January 14, 2010

A new global movement is challenging Israel’s violations of international law with the same strategies that were used against apartheid

The farce of the climate summit in Copenhagen affirmed a world war waged by the rich against most of humanity. It also illuminated a resistance growing perhaps as never before: an internationalism linking justice for the planet with universal human rights, and criminal justice for those who invade and dispossess with impunity. And the best news comes from Palestine.

The Palestinians’ resistance to the theft of their country reached a critical moment in 2001 when a UN conference on racism in Durban, South Africa, identified Israel as an apartheid state. To Nelson Mandela, justice for the Palestinians is “the greatest moral issue of the age”. The Palestinian civil society call for boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) was issued on 9 July 2005, in effect reconvening the great, non-violent movement that swept the world and brought the scaffolding of African apartheid crashing down.

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Welcome to Orwell’s World 2010

January 2, 2010

By John Pilger, Information Clearing House, Dec 30, 2009

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a superstate called Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that “passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’, ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’.”

Barack Obama is the leader of a contemporary Oceania. In two speeches at the close of the decade, the Nobel Peace Prize winner affirmed that peace was no longer peace, but rather a permanent war that “extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan” to “disorderly regions and diffuse enemies”. He called this “global security” and invited our gratitude. To the people of Afghanistan, which America has invaded and occupied, he said wittily: “We have no interest in occupying your country.”

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Welcome to Orwell’s World 2010

December 31, 2009

By John Pilger, Information Clearing House, Dec 30, 2009

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a superstate called Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that “passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’, ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’.”

Barack Obama is the leader of a contemporary Oceania. In two speeches at the close of the decade, the Nobel Peace Prize winner affirmed that peace was no longer peace, but rather a permanent war that “extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan” to “disorderly regions and diffuse enemies”. He called this “global security” and invited our gratitude. To the people of Afghanistan, which America has invaded and occupied, he said wittily: “We have no interest in occupying your country.”

In Oceania, truth and lies are indivisible. According to Obama, the American attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was authorised by the United Nations Security Council. There was no UN authority. He said the “the world” supported the invasion in the wake of 9/11 when, in truth, all but three of 37 countries surveyed by Gallup expressed overwhelming opposition. He said that America invaded Afghanistan “only after the Taliban refused to turn over [Osama] bin Laden”. In 2001, the Taliban tried three times to hand over bin Laden for trial, reported Pakistan’s military regime, and were ignored. Even Obama’s mystification of 9/11 as justification for his war is false. More than two months before the Twin Towers were attacked, the Pakistani foreign minister, Niaz Naik, was told by the Bush administration that an American military assault would take place by mid-October. The Taliban regime in Kabul, which the Clinton administration had secretly supported, was no longer regarded as “stable” enough to ensure America’s control over oil and gas pipelines to the Caspian Sea. It had to go.

Obama’s most audacious lie is that Afghanistan today is a “safe haven” for al-Qaeda’s attacks on the West. His own national security adviser, General James Jones, said in October that there were “fewer than 100” al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. According to US intelligence, 90 per cent of the Taliban are hardly Taliban at all, but “a tribal localised insurgency [who] see themselves as opposing the US because it is an occupying power”. The war is a fraud. Only the terminally gormless remain true to the Obama brand of “world peace”.

Beneath the surface, however, there is serious purpose. Under the disturbing General Stanley McCrystal, who gained distinction for his assassination squads in Iraq, the occupation of one of the most impoverished countries is a model for those “disorderly regions” of the world still beyond Oceania’s reach. This is a known as COIN, or counter-insurgency network, which draws together the military, aid organisations, psychologists, anthropologists, the media and public relations hirelings. Covered in jargon about winning hearts and minds, its aim is to pit one ethnic group against another and incite civil war: Tajiks and Uzbecks against Pashtuns.

The Americans did this in Iraq and destroyed a multi-ethnic society. They bribed and built walls between communities who had once inter-married, ethnically cleansing the Sunni and driving millions out of the country. The embedded media reported this as “peace”, and American academics bought by Washington and “security experts” briefed by the Pentagon appeared on the BBC to spread the good news. As in Nineteen Eighty-Four, the opposite was true.

Something similar is planned for Afghanistan. People are to be forced into “target areas” controlled by warlords bankrolled by the Americans and the opium trade. That these warlords are infamous for their barbarism is irrelevant. “We can live with that,” a Clinton-era diplomat said of the persecution of women in a “stable” Taliban-run Afghanistan. Favoured western relief agencies, engineers and agricultural specialists will attend to the “humanitarian crisis” and so “secure” the subjugated tribal lands.

That is the theory. It worked after a fashion in Yugoslavia where the ethnic-sectarian partition wiped out a once peaceful society, but it failed in Vietnam where the CIA’s “strategic hamlet program” was designed to corral and divide the southern population and so defeat the Viet Cong — the Americans’ catch-all term for the resistance, similar to “Taliban”.

Behind much of this are the Israelis, who have long advised the Americans in both the Iraq and Afghanistan adventures. Ethnic-cleansing, wall-building, checkpoints, collective punishment and constant surveillance – these are claimed as Israeli innovations that have succeeded in stealing most of Palestine from its native people. And yet for all their suffering, the Palestinians have not been divided irrevocably and they endure as a nation against all odds.

The most telling forerunners of the Obama Plan, which the Nobel Peace Prize winner and his strange general and his PR men prefer we forget, are those that failed in Afghanistan itself. The British in the 19th century and the Soviets in the 20th century attempted to conquer that wild country by ethnic cleansing and were seen off, though after terrible bloodshed. Imperial cemeteries are their memorials. People power, sometimes baffling, often heroic, remains the seed beneath the snow, and invaders fear it.

“It was curious,” wrote Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four, “to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same, everywhere, all over the world … people ignorant of one another’s existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same people who … were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world.”

Invasion of Iraq: The Crime of the Century

December 14, 2009

The purpose of the Chilcot inquiry is to normalise an epic crime by providing enough of a theatre of guilt to satisfy the media

John Pilger, New Statesman, Dec 10, 2009

I tried to contact Mark Higson the other day, only to learn that he had died nine years ago. He was just 40, an honourable man. We met soon after he resigned from the Foreign Office in 1991 and I asked him if the government knew that Hawk fighter-bombers sold to Indonesia were being used against civilians in East Timor.

“Everyone knows,” he said, “except parliament and the public.”

“And the media?”

“The media – the big names – have been invited to King Charles Street [the Foreign Office] and flattered and briefed with lies. They are no trouble.”

As Iraq desk officer at the Foreign Office, he had drafted letters for ministers reassuring MPs and the public that the government was not arming Saddam Hussein. “This was a downright lie,” he said. “I couldn’t bear it.”

Giving evidence before the arms-to-Iraq inquiry, Higson was the only British official commended by Lord Justice Scott for telling the truth. The price he paid was the loss of his health and marriage, and constant surveillance by spooks. He ended up living on benefits in a Birmingham bedsit where he suffered a seizure, struck his head and died alone. Whistleblowers are often heroes; he was one.

“Questionable legitimacy”

He came to mind when I saw a picture in the paper of another Foreign Office official, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who was Tony Blair’s ambassador to the United Nations in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It was Sir Jeremy, more than anyone else, who tried every trick to find a UN cover for the bloodbath to come. Indeed, this was his boast on 27 November to the Chilcot inquiry, where he described the invasion as “legal but of questionable legitimacy”. How clever. In the picture he wore a smirk.

Under international law, “questionable legitimacy” does not exist. An attack on a sovereign state is a crime. This was made clear by Britain’s chief law officer and attorney general, Peter Goldsmith, before his arm was twisted, and by the Foreign Office’s own legal advisers, and subsequently by the UN secretary general. The invasion of Iraq is the crime of the 21st century. During 17 years of assault on a defenceless civilian population, veiled with weasel monikers such as “sanctions” and “no-fly zones” and “building democracy”, more people have died in Iraq than at the height of the slave trade. Set that against Sir Jeremy’s skin-­saving revisionism about American “noises” that were “decidedly unhelpful to what I was trying to do [at the UN] in New York”. Moreover, “I myself warned the Foreign Office . . . that I might have to consider my own position . . .”

It wasn’t me, guv.

The purpose of the Chilcot inquiry is to normalise an epic crime by providing enough of a theatre of guilt to satisfy the media, so that the only issue which matters, that of prosecution, is never raised. When he appears in January, Blair will play this part to odious perfection, dutifully absorbing the hisses and boos. All “inquiries” into state crimes are neutered in this way. In 1996, Lord Justice Scott’s arms-to-Iraq report obfuscated the crimes his investigations and voluminous evidence had revealed.

At that time, I interviewed Tim Laxton, who had attended the inquiry every day as an auditor of companies taken over by MI6 and other secret agencies as vehicles for the illegal arms trade with Saddam. Had there been a full and open criminal investigation, Laxton told me, “hundreds” would have faced prosecution. “They would include,” he said, “top political figures, very senior civil servants throughout Whitehall . . . the top echelon of government.”

That is why Chilcot is advised by the likes of Sir Martin Gilbert, who once compared Blair with Churchill and Roosevelt. That is why the inquiry will not demand the release of documents that would illuminate the role of the entire Blair gang, notably the 2003 cabinet, long silent. Who remembers the threat of the thuggish Geoff Hoon, Blair’s “defence secretary”, to use nuclear weapons against Iraq?

“Useful idiots”

In February, Jack Straw, one of Blair’s principal accomplices, the current “justice secretary” and the man who let the mass murderer General Pinochet escape justice, overruled the Information Commissioner, who had ordered the government to publish cabinet minutes from the period when Lord Goldsmith was pressured into changing his judgment that the invasion was illegal. How they all fear exposure.

The media have granted themselves immunity. On 27 November, Scott Ritter, the former UN chief weapons inspector, wrote that the invasion “was made far easier given the role of useful idiot played by much of the mainstream media in the US and Britain”. More than four years before the invasion, Ritter, in interviews with myself and others, left not a shred of doubt that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction had been disabled, yet he was made a non-person. In 2002, when the Bush/Blair lies were in full echo across the media, the Guardian and Observer mentioned Iraq in more than 3,000 articles, of which only 49 referred to Ritter and his truth.

What has changed? On 30 November, the Independent published a pristine piece of propaganda from its embedded man in Afghanistan. “Troops fear defeat at home”, said the headline. Britain, said the report, “is at serious risk of losing its way in Afghanistan because rising defeatism at home is demoralising the troops on the front line, military commanders have warned”. In fact, public disgust with the disaster in Afghanistan is mirrored among many serving troops and their families; and this frightens the warmongers. So “defeatism” and “demoralising the troops” are added to the weasel lexicon. Good try. Unfortunately, like Iraq, Afghanistan is a crime. Period.

Pilger: Normalising the Crime of the Century

December 10, 2009

By John Pilger, Information Clearing House, Dec 9, 2009

I tried to contact Mark Higson the other day only to learn he had died nine years ago. He was just 40, an honourable man. We met soon after he had resigned from the Foreign Office in 1991 and I asked him if the government knew that Hawk fighter-bombers sold to Indonesia were being used against civilians in East Timor.

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Pilger: Australia’s first people betrayed

December 4, 2009
Morning Star Online,  December 3, 2009
John Pilger

I remember the boys dressed in army surplus, the girls in hessian, silhouettes framed in beach shanties, staring across an abyss. You were not meant to talk about them. They were not counted in the census, unlike the sheep, and anyway were dirty and feckless and dying off.

You were not meant to disturb the surface of our great southern idyll, sun-kissed and God-blessed, in circumstances that might raise questions of race.

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Free The Forgotten Bird Of Paradise

November 18, 2009

By John Pilger, ZNet, Nov 18, 2009
John Pilger’s ZSpace Page


When General Suharto, the west’s man, seized power in Indonesia in the mid-1960s, he offered “a gleam of light in Asia”, rejoiced Time magazine. That he had killed up to a million “communists” was of no account in the acquisition of what Richard Nixon called “the richest hoard of natural resources, the greatest prize in South-east Asia”.

In November 1967, the booty was handed out at an extraordinary conference in a lakeside hotel in Geneva. The participants included the most powerful capitalists in the world, the likes of David Rockefeller, and senior executives of the major oil companies and banks, General Motors, British American Tobacco, Imperial Chemical Industries, American Express, Siemens, Goodyear, US Steel. The president of Time Incorporated, James Linen, opened the proceedings with this prophetic description of globalisation: “We are trying to create a new climate in which private enterprise and developing countries work together for the greater profit of the free world. The world of international enterprise is more than governments . . . It is a seamless web, which has been shaping the global environment at revolutionary speed.”

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Pilger: Breaking The Great Australian Silence

November 8, 2009

By Pilger, John | ZNet, Nov. 7, 2009
John Pilger’s ZSpace Page


Thank you all for coming tonight, and my thanks to the City of Sydney and especially to the Sydney Peace Foundation for awarding me the Peace Prize. It’s an honour I cherish, because it comes from where I come from.

I am a seventh generation Australian. My great-great grandfather landed not far from here, on November 8th, 1821. He wore leg irons, each weighing four pounds. His name was Francis McCarty. He was an Irishman, convicted of the crime of insurrection and “uttering unlawful oaths”. In October of the same year, an 18 year old girl called Mary Palmer stood in the dock at Middlesex Gaol and was sentenced to be transported to New South Wales for the term of her natural life. Her crime was stealing in order to live. Only the fact that she was pregnant saved her from the gallows. She was my great-great grandmother. She was sent from the ship to the Female Factory at Parramatta, a notorious prison where every third Monday, male convicts were brought for a “courting day” – a rather desperate measure of social engineering. Mary and Francis met that way and were married on October 21st, 1823.

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