By Farooq Sulehria
The attendant propaganda-the abuse of language and eternal
hypocricy-has reached its nadir in recent weeks, says John
Pilger regarding undiluted lies daily discharged by the western
media since the beginning of Lebanon crisis. If one happens to
enlighten oneself as to the Mideast situation through mainstream
western media, one would find out that its a proxy
war provoked by kidnaping of two Israeli soldiers
and casualities are mounting owing to Israeli raids
on Beirut and Hezbollah attacks on civilian targets.
True, this is a proxy war. But it is not Hezbollah fighting Irans/Syrias
proxy war. It is, in fact, Israel fighting US proxy war.
And the war was not provoked by Hezbollah but had been a well
thought out and worked out Israeli plan. Of all of Israels
wars since 1948, this was the one for which Israel was most prepared,
Gerald Steinberg , a political science professor at Israels
Bar-Ilan university, told the San Francisco Chronicle almost a
year in advance. To be exact, the story appeared in Chronicle
on 7.21.05. By 2004, the military campaign scheduled to
last about three weeks that were seeing now had been blocked
out and, in the last year or two, its been simulated and
rehearsed across the board. According to Chronicle, a senior
Israeli army officer has been giving presentations for more than
a year to US and other diplomats, journalists and think
tanks outlining the coming war with Lebanon, explaining
that a combination of air and ground forces wold target Hezbollah
and transportation and communication arteries.
Despite briefings a year in advance, the US corporate media have
been laying blame on Hezbollah for recent escalations.
The New York Times, for instance, in its editorial comment ( 6.29.06),
headlined Hamas provokes a fight, comments:
The responsibility for this latest escalation rests squarely with
Hamas and that an Israeli military response was inevitable.
The Washington Post (7.14.06) was even poisonous and unobjective:
Hezbollah and its backers have instigated the current fighting
and should be held responsible for the consequence. It was
perhaps an advance attempt to lay Qanas blame on Hezbollahs
Even if New York Times or Washington Post were not briefed by
the Israeli army officer mentioned by San Francisco
Chronicle , they should have been at least aware of car bombing
in Sidon, Lebanon, that claimed Mahmoud Rafahs life, a leader
of Islamic Jihad. His assassin was arrested and confessed to have
carried out Mossads orders. On 29 May, the New York Times
was told by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a professor at Beiruts Lebanese
American University, that the Israelis in hitting Islamic
Jihad , knew they would get Hezbollah involved too and the
Israelis had to be aware that if they assassinated this guy they
would get a response.
The British media are no exception either. On June 29, Stephen
Farrell reported in The Times a dramatic escalation of the
conflict sparked by the abduction. BBC described the Palestinian
attack as a major escalation in cross-border tensions.
Traditionally, British media reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict has been heavily biased in favour of Israel as was revealed
by a 2002 Glasgow University Media Group report. The report says
that television broadcasters were six times as likely to present
Israeli attacks as retaliating or in some way hitting
back as Palestinian attacks. And Robert Fisk explains why: Ive
yet to find a newspaper which shrinks from reporting the murder
or at least the assassination of IRA or UDA gangsters
in Belfast. But not when the Israelis do the murdersing. For when
Israelis kill, they do not murder or assassinate, according to
Reuters or CNN or the most recent convert to flabby journalism
, the BBC. Israelis perpetrate something which is only called
an assassination by Palestinians. Wen Israelis are
involved, our moral compass our ability to report he truth dries
In fact, Israel and the Empire. All the 267 newspaper editors
working for Rupert Murdoch press globally supported Iraq war.
In Britain, in the run up to Iraq war, there was a public clash
between the government and the BBC. The BBC lost in the clash.
The BBC Director General, Greg Dyke, was sacked. Now he has written
memoir. He tells how in the run up to Iraq war he was harassed
everyday by Prime Minister Tony Bliar.
Now look at what happens in the Empire itself. Walter Isaacson,
CNN chairman, told his staff on the eve of US invasion of Afghantan:
Showing the misery of Afghanistan ran the risk of promoting
enemy propaganda, therefore he advised: It seems
perverse to focus too much on the causalities o hardships in Afghanistan---
we must talk about how the Taliban are using civilian shields
and how the Taliban have harboured the terrorists responsible
for killing close to 5,000 innocent people. The Fox channel
is nothing but a propaganda channel for Bush administration. Its
like former Soviet Union during its worse days when there was
no discussion and same news bulletin was shown for twenty four
hours. The USA is a pretty divided country but no dissenting voice
is allowed on mainstream. In the words of Gore Vidal, The
New York Times gave up being anything except a kind of shadow
of The Wall Street Journal . The Washington Post is the cour circular.
What has the emperor done today? And who will be the under-assistant
of the secretary f agriculture? As though these things mattered.
While the advent of internet has helped alternative media grow
but alternative media need to become mainstream like
Al Jazeera and Telesour. There is a dire need to create alternatives
like Al Jazeera and Telesour. Al Jazeera has challenged the Western
monopoly. The images one sees on the Western chanells are also
available on Al Jazeera. When it was Afghan war, US forces bombed
Al Jazeera. During Iraq war yet again they deliberately bombed
Al Jazeera's office to kill Al Jazeera correspondent Tariq Ayub.
We have now coem to know that Bush and Blair wanted to bomb Al
Jazeera headquarters in Qatar. They dropped the plan owing to
the opposition by British government. They wanted to bomb Al Jazeera
headquarters because they want to maintain the monopoly of the
image. The people who wield power dont like critical media.
Similarly, Telesour launched by Venzuellan government is doing
exactly what power group does not like. But before getting Telesur,
perhaps a Hugo Chavez is needed.(ends)