Posts Tagged ‘media’

Chomsky: The U.S. behaves nothing like a democracy

August 18, 2013

The MIT professor lays out how the majority of U.S. policies are opposed to what wide swaths of the public want

Chomsky: The U.S. behaves nothing like a democracyNoam Chomsky (Credit: AP/Nader Daoud)
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The following is a transcript of a recent speech delivered Noam Chomsky in Bonn, Germany, at DW Global Media Forum, Bonn, Germany. It was previously published at Alternet.

I’d like to comment on topics that I think should regularly be on the front pages but are not — and in many crucial cases are scarcely mentioned at all or are presented in ways that seem to me deceptive because they’re framed almost reflexively in terms of doctrines of the powerful.

In these comments I’ll focus primarily on the United States for several reasons: One, it’s the most important country in terms of its power and influence. Second, it’s the most advanced – not in its inherent character, but in the sense that because of its power, other societies tend to move in that direction. The third reason is just that I know it better. But I think what I say generalizes much more widely – at least to my knowledge, obviously there are some variations. So I’ll be concerned then with tendencies in American society and what they portend for the world, given American power.

American power is diminishing, as it has been in fact since its peak in 1945, but it’s still incomparable. And it’s dangerous. Obama’s remarkable global terror campaign and the limited, pathetic reaction to it in the West is one shocking example. And it is a campaign of international terrorism – by far the most extreme in the world. Those who harbor any doubts on that should read the report issued by Stanford University and New York University, and actually I’ll return to even more serious examples than international terrorism.

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Joseph E. Stiglitz: Whose World Bank?

April 7, 2012

 05 April 2012 14:33 By Joseph E Stiglitz, Project Syndicate| truthout

New York – US President Barack Obama’s nomination of Jim Yong Kim for the presidency of the World Bank has been well received – and rightly so, especially given some of the other names that were bandied about. In Kim, a public-health professor who is now President of Dartmouth University and previously led the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department, the United States has put forward a good candidate. But the candidate’s nationality, and the nominating country – whether small and poor or large and rich – should play no role in determining who gets the job.

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“Liberating” the Women of Afghanistan

August 10, 2010

by Huda Jawad, Dissident Voice,  August 9th, 2010

Time magazine must be experiencing a severe case of amnesia, judging by the cover of this week’s issue which asks, “What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan .” At best, this effort by Time is irresponsible slick journalism; at worst, it is one of the most blatant pieces of pro-war propaganda seen in years. The world owes Afghanistan’s women an honest answer as to why we apathetically allow their condition to deteriorate from horrible to simply unspeakable. Instead, Time is willingly deceiving readers into thinking that the condition of Aisha – the woman pictured on the cover – is a product of the Taliban 10 years ago. It is not. Aisha’s scarred face is a heart-wrenching reflection of the state of Afghan women today in the year 2010, and under the absurd assertion of democracy and the presence of thousands of US and NATO troops in the country.

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The Terror Card: Fear is the Key to Obedience

February 1, 2010

The Terrorism Industrial Complex (TIC)

By Rev. Richard Skaff

Global Research
, January 31, 2010

Webster’s dictionary defines terrorism as the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. [1].

However, the United States code defined terrorism as “(An) act of terrorism means an activity that (A) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any state, and (B) appears to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population: (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping.” [2].

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Democracy in America is a useful fiction

January 26, 2010

Chris Hedges, truthdig.com,  January 24, 2010

Original: AP / Charles Dharapak

Corporate forces, long before the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, carried out a coup d’état in slow motion. The coup is over. We lost. The ruling is one more judicial effort to streamline mechanisms for corporate control. It exposes the myth of a functioning democracy and the triumph of corporate power. But it does not significantly alter the political landscape. The corporate state is firmly cemented in place.

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Is the Zionomedia Kingdom Invincible?

September 19, 2009
by Kourosh Ziabari, Foreign Policy Journal, Sep 18, 2009

The suggestion that Israelis might be involved in illegal organ harvesting has sparked considerable controversy.The suggestion that Israelis might be involved in illegal organ harvesting has sparked considerable controversy.

An August 17th article by Swedish photojournalist Donald Bostrom on longstanding suspicions amongst Palestinians that Israeli soldiers might have been involved in an illegal organ harvest conspiracy predictably sparked controversy and acrimony between the governments of Israel and Sweden.

With their exasperated and precipitate reactions, Israel officials once again underscored the accuracy and precision of an analogy made by the late founder of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who likened the Israel’s stability to a “Spy Nest” some 30 years ago. A government whose very security and stability is threatened by the publication of a critical article should drastically review its policies to see what’s wrong with its trembling foundations. The same rule could be justly applied to Iranian authorities whose severe crackdown on the dissident media highlights major political shortages which the country suffers from; however, the Israeli lobby is so formidable and influential as to convince the “international community” to take its side in the face of such a “legitimacy crisis” while Iran has not ever nurtured such a network of lobbies worldwide.

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Sri Lanka Continues War on Media

September 4, 2009

Thursday 03 September 2009

by: J. Sri Raman, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

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In a statement, President Barack Obama said journalist J.S. Tissainayagam was “guilty of nothing more than a passion for truth and a tenacious belief that a free society depends on an informed citizenry.” (Photo: Reuters)

Colombo’s war on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam may have ended. But its war on media freedom is far from over. Unlike the army offensive in the northeast of Sri Lanka, this is a war waged in disregard of the island-state’s ethnic divide.

The latest illustration of this years-long offensive has come with the Colombo High Court sentencing a Sri Lankan journalist to a 20-year prison term, with “hard labor,” on August 31 for his published comments on the armed conflict. Forty-five-year-old Jayaprakash Sittampalam Tissainayagam is a Sri Lankan Tamil, but has never been known to function as a member of the LTTE.

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Threatening Iran

July 20, 2009

By Paul Craig Roberts | Counterpunch, July 20,  2009

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Japan did not spend years preparing her public case and demonstrating her deployment of forces for the attack.  Japan did not make a world issue out of her view that the US was denying Japan her role in the Pacific by hindering Japan’s access to raw materials and energy.

Similarly, when Hitler attacked Russia, he did not preface his invasion with endless threats and a public case that blamed the war on England.

These events happened before the PSYOPS era.  Today, America and Israel’s wars of aggression are preceded by years of propaganda and international meetings, so that by the time the attack comes it is an expected event, not a monstrous surprise attack with its connotation of naked aggression.

The US, which has been threatening Iran with attack for years, has passed the job to Israel.  During the third week of July, the American vice president and secretary of state gave Israel the go-ahead.  Israel has made great public disclosure of its warships passing through the Suez Canal on their way to Iran.  “Muslim” Egypt is complicit, offering no objection to Israel’s naval forces on their way to a war crime under the Nuremberg standard that the US imposed on the world.

By the time the attack occurs, it will be old hat, an expected event, and, moreover, an event justified by years of propaganda asserting Iran’s perfidy.

Israel intends to dominate the Middle East.  Israel’s goal is to incorporate all of Palestine and southern Lebanon into “Greater Israel.”  The US intends to dominate the entire world, deciding who rules which countries and controlling resource flows.

The US and Israel are likely to succeed, because they have effective PSYOPS. For the most part, the world media follows the US media, which follows the US and Israeli governments’ lines.  Indeed, the American media is part of the PSYOPS of both countries.

According to Thierry Meyssan in the Swiss newspaper Zeit-Fragen, the CIA used SMS or text messaging and Twitter to spread disinformation about the Iranian election, including the false report that the Guardian Council had informed Mousavi that he had won the election.  When the real results were announced, Ahmadinejad’s reelection appeared to be fraudulent.

Iran’s fate awaits it.  A reasonable hypothesis to be entertained and examined is whether Iran’s Rafsanjani and Mousavi are in league with Washington to gain power in Iran. Both have lost out in the competition for government power in Iran.  Yet, both are egotistical and ambitious.  The Iranian Revolution of 1979 probably means nothing to them except an opportunity for personal power.  The way the West has always controlled the Middle East is by purchasing the politicians who are out of power and backing them in overthrowing the independent government.  We see this today in Sudan as well.

In the case of Iran, there is an additional factor that might align Rafsanjani with Washington. President Ahmadienijad attacked former President Rafsanjani, one of Iran’s most wealthy persons, as corrupt.  If Rafsanjani feels threatened by this attack, he has little choice but to try to overthrow the existing government.  This makes him the perfect person for Washington.

Perhaps there is a better explanation why Rafsanjani and Mousavi, two highly placed members of the Iranian elite, chose to persist in allegations of election fraud that have played into Washington’s hands by calling into question the legitimacy of the Iranian government. It cannot be that the office of president is worth such costs as the Iranian presidency is not endowed with decisive powers.

Without Rafsanjani and Mousavi, the US media could not have orchestrated the Iranian elections as “stolen,” an orchestration that the US government used to further isolate and discredit the Iranian government, making it easier for Iran to be attacked. Normally, well placed members of an elite do not help foreign enemies set their country up for attack.

An Israeli attack on Iran is likely to produce retaliation, which Washington will use to enter the conflict. Have the personal ambitions of Rafsanjani and Mousavi, and the naive youthful upper class Iranian protesters, set Iran up for destruction?

Consult a map and you will see that Iran is surrounded by a dozen countries that host US military bases. Why does anyone in Iran doubt that Iran is on her way to becoming another Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, in the end to be ruled by oil companies and an American puppet?

The Russians and Chinese are off balance because of successful American interventions in their spheres of influence, uncertain of the threat and the response. Russia could have prevented the coming attack on Iran, but, pressured by Washington,  Russia has not delivered the missile systems that Iran purchased.  China suffers from her own hubris as a rising economic power, and is about to lose her energy investments in Iran to US/Israeli aggression. China is funding America’s wars of aggression with loans, and  Russia is even helping the US to set up a puppet state in Afghanistan, thus opening up former Soviet central Asia to US hegemony.

The world is so impotent that even the bankrupt US can launch a new war of aggression and have it accepted as a glorious act of liberation in behalf of women’s rights, peace, and democracy.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com


Iran protesters to keep up pressure

June 17, 2009
Al Jazeera, June 17, 2009

Pro-Ahmadinejad supporters were out in force in Tehran on Tuesday [AFP]

Anti-government protesters appear set to keep up the pressure on the Iranian leadership, with a fifth day of rallies planned.

The plan by the demonstrators to hold more protests on Wednesday comes a day after the Guardian Council, Iran’s highest legislative body, said that it was prepared for a partial recount of last week’s vote.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the incumbent president, was officially declared winner of Friday’s poll by a margin of two-to-one over his nearest rival Mir Hossein Mousavi.

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Obama’s Great Illusion

June 3, 2009

By Yvonne Ridley | Information Clearing House, June 2, 2009


I wonder how many of you have woken up to the fact that America’s latest leader is really a political Houdini … an illusionist on a presidential scale.

In front of our very eyes he has morphed from a gentle intellectual, and strong defender of human rights into a war-mongering bully who sponsors targetted assassinations and orders pre-emptive strikes with casual ease.

It took George W. Bush years before he dared to unveil his true intentions and invade Iraq, displacing three million people in a war which cost the lives of thousands of US soldiers and the slaughter of countless civilians.

Whereas the smooth-talking Obama has achieved the same in just a few months since he arrived in The White House by launching an illegal war on Pakistan … but he’s using someone else’s army instead of his own.

He is twice as clever as the previous White House incumbent and far, far more deadly. Obama is quite possibly one of the world’s most skillful manipulators and his greatest illusion so far is fooling the public as well as the media.

While blatantly using Pakistan’s army as a cheap source of military labour he holds the country’s leader Asif Ali Zadari in suspended animation, trapped helplessly in an almost hypnotic state, induced by the promise of millions of dollars and the support of the world’s biggest military machine.

Of course we must lay some blame at Zadari’s feet for allowing himself to be used like a magician’s assistant instead of acting with the dignity and honour his office, country and people demand.

Obama is far more lethal than his predecessor – and yet his transformation from Mr Nice Guy to something more sinister seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the world’s watching media which appears to be intoxicated by the powerful charisma emanating from his rich, but smooth seductive tones.

He has already reneged on promises over closing down Guantanamo, ending military tribunals and releasing to the public the entire archive of shame which captured the torture and abuse of the previous administration’s War on Terror in video and film from 2001 onwards.

Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee remarked recently over one of his u-turns: “President Obama has recently granted immunity to CIA agents … if the desire to get at what went wrong is so blatantly covered up under cover of “national security concerns”, there will be no end to this. And once again, the warmongers will get away with another odious and criminal cover-up”.

He has the power to make Guantanamo’s vile prison disappear and for a few glorious weeks human rights activists across the world waited with baited breath for the cages of Cuba, Bagram and elsewhere to fly open.

Just how difficult is it for the media to dip into their own archives and remind Obama about the pledges he made on the campaign trail and hold him to account? His first promise on the White House website was that his administration would be the most transparent in US history. Sadly these grand statements have not been followed through.

But this journalistic amnesia is all too convenient – what happened to his determination to bring home all combat troops from Iraq within 18 months?

Is there no journalist from the White House lobby prepared to remind him of how he said during televised presidential debates that getting Usama bin Ladin was “our biggest national security priority”? Perhaps the hypnotic Obama Affect has wiped their computer hard-drives and their memories but if you listen to his very first TV interview as the Commander-in-Chief of America he said Usama was more than a symbol.

His actual words were: “He’s also the operational leader of an organization that is planning attacks against U.S. targets,” adding that “capturing or killing bin Ladin is a critical aspect of stamping out al-Qaida.”

Having secured the votes from red neck territory by saying Obama will get Usama, he now says that killing or capturing the al-Qaida chief is no longer necessary to “meet our goal of protecting America.”

However, American Armenians are not so gullible and quite a few were shocked out of their trance following the US President’s recent visit to Turkey when he executed with the greatest of ease yet another presidential flip flop.

“As President, I will recognise the Armenian genocide,” he declared loud and proud during his campaign, but when he arrived in Turkey he sort of muttered, when asked about the hugely sensitive subject: “My views are on the record, and everyone knows my views.” And then he refused to elaborate and state them!

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant” said Obama before he took the keys to the White House – may be that’s why, when I watch the US President perform under the glare of the spotlights on the world stage, I can see something of the night lurking around his presidential shadows.

There are a few of us who are immune to the charms of the new president. Like me, they believe that the sheep’s clothing has vanished and what we now have is a dangerous wolf stalking the corridors of power on Capitol Hill.

Yes, there’s a new act in the White House these days but while Harry Houdini built his reputation performing death-defying escapes and magic tricks his political Doppelganger is certainly the master of dark arts and mass illusion.

This president has gone from charming to harming and few have noticed.

Journalist Yvonne Ridley is a patron of the human rights organisation Cage Prisoners at http://www.cageprisoners.com and a member of the RESPECT political party as well as being a presenter of the weekly political show The Agenda on Press TV


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