US Isn’t Leaving Syria—but Media Lost It When Possibility Was Raised By Gregory Shupak

7 April 2018 — FAIR

Independent: US troops will remain in Syria despite Trump telling rally he ‘wanted’ to bring them home

The White House made clear that Trump’s talk of pulling out of Syria was just talk (Independent4/4/18)–but not before numerous media figures expressed alarm that the illegal occupation might end.

At a rally in Cleveland last week, President Donald Trump said that the US will get out of Syria “very soon.” It is now clear that the 4,000 US troops currently occupying Syria (Washington Post10/31/17) will in fact stay in Syria (Independent, 4/4/18), even though keeping troops in another country in defiance of that country’s government is a violation of international law. Yet the very possibility of US withdrawal from Syria rendered apoplectic journalists who are convinced of the legitimacy of Washington’s domination of the country—international law be damned.

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Media Lens: The Establishment – Andrew Marr And Owen Jones

14 October 2014 — Media Lens

Picture the scene: No.10 Downing Street, September 16: ‘a gentlemen’s-club-style reception room, given factitious poshness by two marble pillars’. The event: a book launch party hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron himself to ‘mark the publication’ of a political novel, ‘Head of State’, by the BBC’s senior interviewer and former political editor, Andrew Marr.

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More on Nigeria’s Hidden History By William Bowles

12 October 2013 — The New Dark Age

Harold Smith, who died 3 January 2010 is almost unknown except for the few who are aware of his courageous and lifelong struggle to expose the murderous duplicity of British Imperialism in Nigeria. Smith, in 1960 then a novice, young colonial administrator in Nigeria, attempted to expose the rigged and phony ‘independence’ that the British had foisted on the Nigerian people. I wrote this back in 2006 and given all the current events in Africa, I felt it worthwhile reprinting it. There is also a followup piece, ‘Hidden histories confirmed: So much for the ‘Mother of Parliaments’‘, that I wrote a couple of years later. You can find a tribute page to Harold here. WB Continue reading

Media Lens: Forever Groundhog Day For Climate? A Tale Of Ice, Smokescreens And Rebellion By David Cromwell

12 February 2013 — Media Lens

A spectacular event captured on film in a new documentary, ‘Chasing Ice’, depicts the stark impact of global warming on the Arctic. The stunning sequence shows the largest glacier calving event ever filmed. An on-screen graphic emphasises the huge scale of the ice collapse: Continue reading

Media Lens: The Mystery Of The Missing Clocks By David Edwards

10 May, 2012 — Media Lens

The truth peeks out at us from the most unexpected places. It can be seen, for example, in the empty spaces where one might otherwise hope to find a clock in shops. The average retailer doesn’t approve of customers clock-watching – they might realise they have something more important to do and cut short their shopping trips.

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23 February 2012Manifesto Club


Our campaign against ‘Pavement Injustice’ takes on unaccountable officials in public spaces – investigating how powers such as on-the-spot fines are being used, and calling for their review and limitation.


Josie Appleton wrote about the tyranny of on-the-spot fines, for Open Democracy.

-We were on Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show, discussing Enfield council’s ban on spitting in public.


-We were in the Brighton Argus criticising Sussex Police‘s plans to give more powers to PCSOs.


Camden Council put up a CCTV camera in an estate telling residents that they were in a ‘restricted area’ and should leave. We were quoted in the Independent about the incident (see Sarah Boyes‘ article about the phenomenon of ‘talking’ CCTV cameras).


-Exeter councils give out a thousand £100 fines for dropped cigarette butts.


If you have received an unjust on-the-spot fine, or have other examples of ‘pavement injustice’ to report – please do contact us.

UK Energy monopolies make £15 Billion in profits while people freeze

11 February, 2011 —

A front page story in the Independent tells us about the gigantic rip off by the six big energy companies over the cost of gas and electricity. It’s estimated that eight out of ten households are cutting back on heating their homes, it’s just too expensive.

Pissed off about it? Then there’s a petition organized by a thinktank called Compass at and they’re looking for a million signatures.

What is going on in Libya? By William Bowles

29 August 2011

29 August 2011

Some Tweets on ‘African Mercenaries’

J0nblaz @al_Jamahiriya @journalist92 This what we mean by Black Libyans being pursued & executed by NATO rabble terrorists!

MikePrysner Rebels are correct; many Black Africans being lynched in #Libya were “hired by #Gaddafi.” They’re called immigrant workers, not mercenaries, about 3 hours ago

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NYT Points Out ‘Racist Overtones’ in Libyan Disinformation It Helped Spread By Peter Hart

24 August 2011 — Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

Today’s New York Times has a story by David Kirkpatrick and Rod Norland running down the exaggerations and misinformation that have been spread throughout the Libya War. There’s been ‘spin from all sides,’ they report. Gadhafi’s exaggerations are well-known, but this passage is rather striking: Continue reading

Patrick Cockburn: Don’t believe everything you see and read about Gaddafi

26 June 2011 — The Independent

In the first months of the Arab Spring, foreign journalists got well-merited credit for helping to foment and publicise popular uprisings against the region’s despots. Satellite TV stations such as Al Jazeera Arabic, in particular, struck at the roots of power in Arab police states, by making official censorship irrelevant and by competing successfully against government propaganda.

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Bumrushing the Syrian Revolution with the Help of The Independent

25 May 2011 — China Matters

The Syrian government has banned foreign and, I would imagine, anything but state-media reportage on the ongoing unrest.

So I guess that foreign journos have little to chew on except reports relayed by dissidents and their own, understandable resentment at Bashar al-Assad’s attempt to dominate the news cycle. Even so, I think The Independent’s Alastair Beach or his editors reached a new low in submissive fluffing of the Syrian revolution.

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Media Lens: Yemen’s Useful Tyranny – The Forgotten History of Britain’s ‘Dirty War’: Part 1

31 March 2011 — Media Lens Part 2

All revolutions are not equal. While Libya is deemed worthy of the West’s ‘humanitarian intervention’ – express delivery by B-2 bomber, F-15 fighter and cruise missile – protesters elsewhere have been denied such Western largesse. In response to the atrocities in Yemen, for example, Obama has sent mere words. The reason, as one astute commentator notes, is that Yemen’s dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh is a ‘useful tyrant’. Continue reading

Libya Newslinks 23-24 March 2011

24 March 2011 19:10:02 —

24 March 2011


20 July, 2010 MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

Last month, the Independent carried an interview with Tony Blair, the former British prime minister and now “the international community’s Middle East envoy.” (Donald Macintyre, ‘Tony Blair: Former PM urges Israel to ease Gaza blockade‘, Independent, June 4, 2010;

Taken literally, the “international community” refers to the UN General Assembly, or perhaps to a majority of its members. But in media Newspeak, the term stands for the United States joined by its allies and clients. As Noam Chomsky has noted: “Accordingly, it is a logical impossibility for the United States to defy the international community.” (Chomsky, ‘The Crimes of “Intcom”’, Foreign Policy, September 2002;—.htm)

As for the “peace process” being facilitated by the “peace envoy”, Gideon Levy, a columnist in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, comments:

“The masked ball is at its peak: Preening each other, Obama and Netanyahu have proved that even their heavy layer of makeup can no longer hide the wrinkles. The worn-out, wizened old face of the longest ‘peace process’ in history has been awarded another surprising and incomprehensible extension. It’s on its way nowhere.” (Levy, ‘An excellent meeting‘, Haaretz, July 8, 2010;

This, Independent readers were told portentously, was Blair‘s first newspaper interview since the Israeli navy “halted” the Gaza peace flotilla. Questions were posed by Donald Macintyre, the paper’s Jerusalem correspondent since 2004 and, previously, its chief political commentator for eight years. (Macintyre, op.cit.)

Macintyre began by channelling Blair‘s call for “an easing of the ‘counterproductive’ blockade of Gaza” and a new “strategy” which “isolates the extremists and helps the people and not one that operates the other way round.”

Blair, the reporter told us, “stressed more than once that the world needed to understand Israel’s deep-seated security concerns and the fact that [Israeli soldier] Gilad Shalit, who has been held for almost four years by Gaza militants, was a ‘huge issue’ for the Israeli public. Mr Blair again called for Sgt Shalit‘s release.”

Blair‘s sympathy for Israel’s security concerns was clear, and dutifully reflected in Macintyre’s piece:

“Mr Blair said the captivity of Sgt Shalit and the fact that ‘Hamas as an entity is hostile’ would be a ‘very difficult situation for any country’.”

Macintyre relayed Blair‘s assertion “that not enough international attention was paid to the fact that ‘the events that we see across TV screens are perceived completely differently in Israel, and people have got to understand that the pressure on [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu in respect of Gaza from many quarters is to be tougher’.”

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