Remembering Vietnam William Bowles

7 July 2003 —

My, what short memories we have. In 1954 the French colonialists got their arses kicked by the Vietnamese at Diem Bien Phu and thus began US imperialism’s mission in stemming the ‘red tide’ in South East Asia. But even before the French defeat, the US had been supplying the French with weapons and logistics support as part of its Cold War strategy directed against the USSR and China. Continue reading this...

Blairspeak By William Bowles

6 July 2003 —

Predictably, in response to continued challenges to the rationale behind the invasion of Iraq, Blair said the following:

‘There couldn’t be a more serious charge, that I ordered our troops into conflict on the basis of intelligence evidence that I falsified.’

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Manufacturing Terror William Bowles

5 July 2003 —

The vast and overwhelming propaganda onslaught that we’ve been subjected to since 911, is indicative of the lengths to which the ruling elites are prepared to go to in order to gain our consent for their actions. Indeed, the nature and scope of the propaganda war indicates just how insecure they feel. Appeals to patriotism and scaremongering tactics (eg the Anthrax attacks) have only short-term effects on the population. Sooner or later, the population is going to demand results, if indeed ‘results’ are possible to produce. And then one has to consider the idea that ‘results’ might have to be manufactured.

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From Burgers to Baghdad By William Bowles

3 July 2003 —

For over fifty years , the West has carried on a campaign that pushes the idea that the superiority of the ‘Western way of life’ based upon unlimited ‘choice’ and the ‘free market’ as opposed to the drab and conformist communist world, is the best of all possible worlds. They sold us the idea, that an ocean of ‘choice’ in clothes, cars, food, consumables and so on, was the only definition of ‘freedom’ worth pursuing. Moreover, we ‘freely’ made the choice to live in a world of unlimited consumption (and of course, production).

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Desperate measures for desperate times

30 June 2003 —

It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that the Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, will clear ‘Ali’ Campbell and the government of ‘exaggerating’ or deceiving the country over the reasons for the invasion of Iraq. After all, the committee is ‘stacked’ in favour of the government, 4 to 3.

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The never-ending story: 45 minutes from Niger William Bowles

28 June 2003 —

The never-ending story: 45 minutes from Niger By William Bowles

Will it never end? Obviously not, because in upping the ante, the government has introduced yet another layer of dissembling in trying to shift the focus from the government’s web of lies onto its spin doctors, headed by Alistair Campbell. So if and when the shit hits the fan, it’ll be Campbell who gets covered, not the ministers in government, principally Blair and Straw, at least that’s the theory. What is critical about the display we’ve been subjected to over the past week, is what it reveals about the nature of what passes for governance in this ‘new’ imperialist epoch.

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Red Herring Day

26 June 2003 —

A reader sent me the following note after reading my essay, ‘Exaggerate’ on class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Jack Straw’s dissembling over the use and definition of words: A letter he’d read on Ceefax,

‘posed the question that Straw’s use of the word ‘current’ by any definition means that the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>WMD was not ‘immediate’, ‘imminent’ or even a mere 45 minutes away but precisely as the dossier was being compiled. However as Straw clearly states if the evidence didn’t justify a very soon to be realised threat, then it equally cannot justify a threat existing at the very time the dossier was being written.’

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Incredible! By William Bowles

26 June 2003 —

‘The charge against the Government is not one of lying, but that it failed to tell the whole truth’

This is the London Independent’s incredible editorial headline today (26/06/03) over the lies told by the UK government to justify the invasion of Iraq. Okay, for the sake of argument, we’ll accept the Independent’s outrageous head and ask the question, what is the whole truth? What did the government fail to tell us?

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Spinning out of control By William Bowles

26 June 2003 —

Wonderful! Alistair Campbell accuses the BBC of ‘lying’ because, he asserts, the BBC accused the government of lying over the ’45 minute’ scenario. Is this a desert storm in a teacup? Whilst the two monopolies go at each other, the essential issues simply don’t enter into the discussion at all, from either side. Whilst they squabble over whether or not one of the other lied, the real issue, why we went to war, disappears from sight.

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Exaggeration By William Bowles

25 June 2003 —

Exaggeration: overestimate, overstate, hyperbolize, enlarge on, distort, expand, magnify, misquote and overdraw

The farce of an ‘investigation’ into the ‘rush to war’ continues in the UK as does the media’s complicity in presenting the reasons entirely divorced from the context and history of the trajectory of Western imperialism. The main argument being advanced by ‘critics’ of the war in Parliament, is that the government ‘exaggerated’ the threat in order to convince us of the need to go to war.

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Through a glass objectively By William Bowles

25 June 2003 —

The idea that there is some kind of ‘objective’ ground from which to view events, particularly of the political variety, is a long-held fantasy, especially of British journalism. It’s still taught in British universities would you believe, that out there, somewhere, there’s a space that the journalist can occupy, which sits perfectly in the middle, between one view and another (pre-supposing of course, that there are only two sides to an issue).

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Palestine: US plays the shell game By William Bowles

23 June 2003 —

Statements by secretary of state Colin Powell would seem to represent a change of heart on the part of the US over the Israeli position on the future of a Palestinian state. But does a call for the establishment of a Palestinian state and the removal of a few shacks (some not even occupied) erected in remote positions on Palestinian territory, represent a fundamental change in US policy, namely that it’s putting ‘pressure’ on Sharon to rollback the expansionist policy that has been in place since 1948? Statements by Sharon signal that regardless, the current expansionist policy will continue. When asked whether building would continue in one large West Bank settlement, Sharon said, ‘We just build.’

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May the force be with you? By William Bowles

21 June 2003 —

Messianism seems to be the thing with the Bush government. A God-given mission to cleanse the world of evil, or ‘creative destruction’ as Michael Ledeen puts it. There are those who are making dark comparisons with the Third Reich but perhaps because of my background, upbringing or whatever you want to call one’s past, I have resisted the temptation to call the Bush clique a bunch of Fascists.

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Iran: First it was ‘October Surprise’ – now it’s No Surprise By William Bowles

20 June 2003 —

History is a great teacher but often, you’ve got to dig deep to find out what’s really going on and as the US propaganda machine gets into gear for ‘regime change’ in Iran, it’s already obvious that unlike the Iraqi invasion, the technique of the Big Lie is not working the way the White House would like it to. The coming Iran ‘adventure’, as with earlier essays I’ve penned, was triggered by names that I’ve had the dubyaous pleasure of typing before, most notably Michael Ledeen, doyen of the ultra-right, whose role on Iran-Contra and the October Surprise of the late 70s and eighties, was he hoped, lost in the mist of time, especially to our current, historically-challenged populace. As with DNA testing, it’s now possible to exhume events long thought dead, with the hope that this time round, we can get a conviction.

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