Hold the front page! We need free media, not an Order of Mates By John Pilger

9 May 2013 — John Pilger

The other day, I stood outside the strangely silent building where I began life as a journalist. It is no longer the human warren that was Consolidated Press in Sydney, though ghosts still drink at the King’s Head pub nearby. As a cadet reporter, I might have walked on to the set of Lewis Milestone’s The Front Page. Men in red braces did shout, “Hold the front page”, and tilt back their felt hats and talk rapidly with a roll-your-own attached indefinitely to their lower lip. You could feel the presses rumbling beneath and smell the ink. 

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Netanyahu's war wish By Moshe Machover

9 February 2012The Weekly Worker

The threat of a military provocation by Tel Aviv against Iran is very real, warns Israeli Marxist Moshé Machover

Image: Binyamin Netanyahu: warpath

Binyamin Netanyahu: warpath

One thing is beyond any doubt: a major aim of Israel’s foreign policy is the overthrow of the Iranian regime. What is not generally understood are the motives behind this aim, and the present Israeli government’s preferred means of achieving it. In this article I would like to say something about the motives, and then explain why prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s preferred means is war – one likely to ignite a major conflagration.

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11 January, 2010 — MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

Ignoring or downplaying Western crimes is a standard feature of the corporate Western media. On rare occasions when a broadcaster or newspaper breaks ranks and reports ‘our’ crimes honestly, it is instructive to observe the response from the rest of the media. Do they follow suit, perhaps digging deeper for details, devoting space to profiles of the victims and interviews with grieving relatives, humanising all concerned? Do they put the crimes in perspective as the inevitable consequence of rapacious Western power? Or do they look away?

One such case is a report that American-led troops dragged Afghan children from their beds and shot them during a night raid on December 27 last year, leaving ten people dead. Afghan government investigators said that eight of the dead were schoolchildren, and that some of them had been handcuffed before being killed. Kabul-based Times correspondent Jerome Starkey reported the shocking accusations about the joint US-Afghan operation. But the rest of the UK news media have buried the report.

After details of the massacre first emerged, Afghan President Karzai sent a team of investigators to the alleged scene of the atrocity in the village of Ghazi Kang in eastern Kunar province. Assadullah Wafa, a former governor of Helmand province, led the investigation. He told The Times that US soldiers flew to Kunar from Kabul, implying that they were part of a special forces unit:

“At around 1 am, three nights ago, some American troops with helicopters left Kabul and landed around 2km away from the village. The troops walked from the helicopters to the houses and, according to my investigation, they gathered all the students from two rooms, into one room, and opened fire.” (Jerome Starkey, ‘Western troops accused of executing 10 Afghan civilians, including children’, The Times, December 31, 2009; www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/Afghanistan/article6971638.ece)

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MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

November 22, 2007

Blaming ‘External Interference’

A striking feature of Soviet media performance on Afghanistan was its focus on “external interference” – primarily US in origin – and the role of this interference in fuelling the war.

In 1988, Pravda reported that Afghan president Najibula had criticised this “interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan”. (Pravda, February 9, 1988) The newspaper failed to mention that the Soviet Union was itself guilty of illegal external “interference”. Instead, journalists blamed the West for “pouring oil onto the fire of the Afghan conflict”. (Pravda, February 22, 1987) Ignoring the fact that much of the fighting in Afghanistan was in +response+ to the Soviet occupation, the media were also heavily critical of Iran and Pakistan.

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The Death of Dr David Kelly: Opening a can of worms By William Bowles

21 July 2003

Who was Dr David Kelly?
Head of the infamous Porton Down, Britain’s own WMD factory from 1984 to 1992, and who in 1989 was approached by MI6 to help debrief a Soviet defector from the Soviet Union’s CBW programme, it seems inconceivable that a man with this kind of background and over such a long period of time, wasn’t privy to the most confidential government information, which gives the lie to the claim by the government that he was approached some time in 2002 to supply information to the September document simply because he was the most knowledgeable person in the field, unless he was utterly trustworthy on a political level. Moreover, there was a six month delay between the announcement of publishing the document and the date of its actual publication, a delay which hasn’t been explained.

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