• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

vrijdag 8 oktober 2010

The Neoliberal Religion 14


Ben Bernanke Warns of Looming Economic Crisis

by: Nadia Prupis, t r u t h o u t | Report
In a surprisingly candid speech at the annual Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council meeting Monday, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke warned of a potentially dangerous economic future for the country if government spending is not curbed within a few years.
"It is crucially important that we put US fiscal policy on a sustainable path," Bernanke said. "We should not underestimate these fiscal challenges. Failing to respond to them would endanger our economic future."
If budget deficits continue to rise at their current pace, Bernanke said, higher interest rates could slow formation of businesses, productivity and economic growth, while a large federal debt could hurt the amount of government funds available for future emergencies, from war to natural disasters.
"The threat to our economy is real and growing," Bernanke said.
Bernanke outlined a number of "fiscal rules" for Congress to consider implementing through legislation, including constraints on total government expenditure, deficits or debt. Today, Congress operates under a "pay-as-you-go" (PAYGO ) approach that requires tax cuts and spending increases to be offset within a ten-year budget time span, but may not be strong enough for the current economy. "The key question is whether the traditional PAYGO approach is sufficiently ambitious," Bernanke said. "At its best, PAYGO prevents new tax cuts and mandatory spending increases from making projected budget deficits worse; by construction, PAYGO does not require the Congress to reduce the ever-increasing deficits that are already built into current law."
Countries like Canada, Switzerland, Finland and the Netherlands have all seen marked improvements in their budgets since adopting fiscal rules that cap government spending. According to the International Monetary Fund, approximately 80 countries have implemented similar fiscal rules. "The weight of the evidence suggests that well-designed rules can help promote improved fiscal performance," Bernanke said.
If the nation's economic challenges are not addressed in the near future, Bernanke said, "projections by the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) and others show future budget deficits and debts rising indefinitely and at increasing rates ... unsustainable trajectories of deficits and debts will never actually transpire, because creditors would never be willing to lend to a country in which the fiscal debt relative to the national income is rising without limit."
According to the World Bank's "Finding the Tipping Point - When Sovereign Debt Turns Bad," the level at which a country is no longer viable to receive lending is a 77 percent public debt-to-GDP ratio. "If the debt is above this threshold, each percentage point costs 0.017 percentage points of annual real growth."
According to the International Monetary Fund, the 2009 debt-to-GDP ratio in the United States was 83.2 percent. James A. Bacon Jr. of the Washington Examiner states, "the US is experiencing a small growth penalty today: about one-tenth of a percentage point. By mid-decade, however, the growth penalty could swell to .56 percent yearly - more than a half percentage point."
The challenge of reducing deficit doesn't end with capping government spending. In fact, Bernanke said, "economic conditions provide little scope for reducing deficits significantly further over the next year or two ... premature fiscal tightening could put the recovery at risk." But at the same time, "if current policy settings are maintained and under reasonable assumptions about economic growth, the federal budget will be on an unsustainable path in coming years, with the ratio of federal debt held by the public to national income rising at an increasing pace."
Congress faces several unpopular choices to cut the deficit. The CBO has projected that federal spending for Medicare and Medicaid could be double the national income over the next 25 years. Social Security is also threatened as the country's population ages and the number of workers paying taxes grows at a slower rate than the number of people receiving benefits. State and local budgets will also struggle to meet public pension and health care obligations for retired people. "Estimates of unfunded pension liabilities for the states as whole span a wide range, but some researchers put the figure as high as $2 trillion at the end of 2009," Bernanke said, "[and] one recent estimate suggests that state governments have a collective liability of almost $600 billion for retiree health benefits."
"Herbert Stein, a wise economist, once said, 'If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.' One way or the other, fiscal adjustments sufficient to stabilize the federal budget will certainly occur at some point," Bernanke said. "The only real question is whether these adjustments will take place through a careful and deliberative process that weighs priorities ... or whether the needed fiscal adjustments will be a rapid and painful response to a looming or actual fiscal crisis."
Although Bernanke did not plainly endorse any particular methods of reducing the deficit, his message was clear throughout the speech. "History makes clear that countries that continually spend beyond their means suffer slower growth in incomes and living standards and are prone to greater economic and financial instability."

The Empire 683

A Long History of America's Dark Side


Editor’s Note: Many Americans view their country and its soldiers as the “good guys” spreading “democracy” and “liberty” around the world. When the United States inflicts unnecessary death and destruction, it’s viewed as a mistake or an aberration.
In the following article – cobbled together from previous stories published at Consortiumnews.com – Peter Dale Scott and Robert Parry examine the long history of these acts of brutality, a record that suggests they are neither a “mistake” nor an “aberration” but rather conscious counterinsurgency doctrine on the "dark side":
There is a dark -- seldom acknowledged -- thread that runs through U.S. military doctrine, dating back to the early days of the Republic.

This military tradition has explicitly defended the selective use of terror, whether in suppressing Native American resistance on the frontiers in the 19th Century or in protecting U.S. interests abroad in the 20th Century or fighting the “war on terror” over the last decade.
The American people are largely oblivious to this hidden tradition because most of the literature advocating state-sponsored terror is carefully confined to national security circles and rarely spills out into the public debate, which is instead dominated by feel-good messages about well-intentioned U.S. interventions abroad.
Over the decades, congressional and journalistic investigations have exposed some of these abuses. But when that does happen, the cases are usually deemed anomalies or excesses by out-of-control soldiers.
But the historical record shows that terror tactics have long been a dark side of U.S. military doctrine. The theories survive today in textbooks on counterinsurgency warfare, "low-intensity" conflict and “counter-terrorism.”
Some historians trace the formal acceptance of those brutal tenets to the 1860s when the U.S. Army was facing challenge from a rebellious South and resistance from Native Americans in the West. Out of those crises emerged the modern military concept of "total war" -- which considers attacks on civilians and their economic infrastructure an integral part of a victorious strategy.
In 1864, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman cut a swath of destruction through civilian territory in Georgia and the Carolinas. His plan was to destroy the South's will to fight and its ability to sustain a large army in the field. The devastation left plantations in flames and brought widespread Confederate complaints of rape and murder of civilians.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, Col. John M. Chivington and the Third Colorado Cavalry were employing their own terror tactics to pacify Cheyennes. A scout named John Smith later described the attack at Sand Creek, Colorado, on unsuspecting Indians at a peaceful encampment:
"They were scalped; their brains knocked out; the men used their knives, ripped open women, clubbed little children, knocked them in the head with their guns, beat their brains out, mutilated their bodies in every sense of the word." [U.S. Cong., Senate, 39 Cong., 2nd Sess., "The Chivington Massacre," Reports of the Committees.]
Though Smith's objectivity was challenged at the time, today even defenders of the Sand Creek raid concede that most women and children there were killed and mutilated. [See Lt. Col. William R. Dunn, I Stand by Sand Creek.]
Yet, in the 1860s, many whites in Colorado saw the slaughter as the only realistic way to bring peace, just as Sherman viewed his "march to the sea" as necessary to force the South's surrender.
The brutal tactics in the West also helped clear the way for the transcontinental railroad, built fortunes for favored businessmen and consolidated Republican political power for more than six decades, until the Great Depression of the 1930s. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Indian Genocide and Republican Power.”]
Four years after the Civil War, Sherman became commanding general of the Army and incorporated the Indian pacification strategies -- as well as his own tactics -- into U.S. military doctrine. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, who had led Indian wars in the Missouri territory, succeeded Sherman in 1883 and further entrenched those strategies as policy. [See Ward Churchill, A Little Matter of Genocide.]
By the end of the 19th Century, the Native American warriors had been vanquished, but the Army's winning strategies lived on.
Imperial America
When the United States claimed the Philippines as a prize in the Spanish-American War, Filipino insurgents resisted. In 1900, the U.S. commander, Gen. J. Franklin Bell, consciously modeled his brutal counterinsurgency campaign after the Indian wars and Sherman's "march to the sea."
Bell believed that by punishing the wealthier Filipinos through destruction of their homes -- much as Sherman had done in the South -- they would be coerced into helping convince their countrymen to submit.
Learning from the Indian wars, he also isolated the guerrillas by forcing Filipinos into tightly controlled zones where schools were built and other social amenities were provided.
"The entire population outside of the major cities in Batangas was herded into concentration camps," wrote historian Stuart Creighton Miller. "Bell's main target was the wealthier and better-educated classes. ... Adding insult to injury, Bell made these people carry the petrol used to burn their own country homes." [See Miller's “Benevolent Assimilation."]
For those outside the protected areas, there was terror. A supportive news correspondent described one scene in which American soldiers killed "men, women, children ... from lads of 10 and up, an idea prevailing that the Filipino, as such, was little better than a dog. ...
“Our soldiers have pumped salt water into men to 'make them talk,' have taken prisoner people who held up their hands and peacefully surrendered, and an hour later, without an atom of evidence to show they were even insurrectos, stood them on a bridge and shot them down one by one, to drop into the water below and float down as an example to those who found their bullet-riddled corpses."
Defending the tactics, the correspondent noted that "it is not civilized warfare, but we are not dealing with a civilized people. The only thing they know and fear is force, violence, and brutality." [Philadelphia Ledger, Nov. 19, 1900]
In 1901, anti-imperialists in Congress exposed and denounced Bell's brutal tactics. Nevertheless, Bell's strategies won military acclaim as a refined method of pacification.
In a 1973 book, one pro-Bell military historian, John Morgan Gates, termed reports of U.S. atrocities "exaggerated" and hailed Bell's "excellent understanding of the role of benevolence in pacification."
Gates recalled that Bell's campaign in Batanga was regarded by military strategists as "pacification in its most perfected form." [See Gates's Schoolbooks and Krags: The United States Army in the Philippines, 1898-1902.]
Spreading the Word
At the turn of the century, the methodology of pacification was a hot topic among the European colonial powers, too. From Namibia to Indochina, Europeans struggled to subdue local populations.
Often outright slaughter proved effective, as the Germans demonstrated with massacres of the Herrero tribe in Namibia from 1904-1907. But military strategists often compared notes about more subtle techniques of targeted terror mixed with demonstrations of benevolence.
Counterinsurgency strategies were back in vogue after World War II as many subjugated people demanded independence from colonial rule and Washington worried about the expansion of communism. In the 1950s, the Huk rebellion against U.S. dominance made the Philippines again the laboratory, with Bell's earlier lessons clearly remembered.
"The campaign against the Huk movement in the Philippines ... greatly resembled the American campaign of almost 50 years earlier," historian Gates observed. "The American approach to the problem of pacification had been a studied one."
But the war against the Huks had some new wrinkles, particularly the modern concept of psychological warfare or psy-war.
Under the pioneering strategies of the CIA's Maj. Gen. Edward G. Lansdale, psy-war was a new spin to the old game of breaking the will of a target population. The idea was to analyze the psychological weaknesses of a people and develop "themes" that could induce actions favorable to those carrying out the operation.
While psy-war included propaganda and disinformation, it also relied on terror tactics of a demonstrative nature. An Army psy-war pamphlet, drawing on Lansdale's experience in the Philippines, advocated "exemplary criminal violence -- the murder and mutilation of captives and the display of their bodies," according to Michael McClintock's Instruments of Statecraft.
In his memoirs, Lansdale boasted of one legendary psy-war trick used against the Huks who were considered superstitious and fearful of a vampire-like creature called an asuang.
"The psy-war squad set up an ambush along a trail used by the Huks," Lansdale wrote. "When a Huk patrol came along the trail, the ambushers silently snatched the last man on the patrol, their move unseen in the dark night. They punctured his neck with two holes, vampire-fashion, held the body up by the heels, drained it of blood, and put the corpse back on the trail.
“When the Huks returned to look for the missing man and found their bloodless comrade, every member of the patrol believed the asuang had got him." [See Lansdale's In the Midst of Wars.]
The Huk rebellion also saw the refinement of free-fire zones, a technique used effectively by Bell's forces a half-century earlier. In the 1950s, special squadrons were assigned to do the dirty work.
"The special tactic of these squadrons was to cordon off areas; anyone they caught inside the cordon was considered an enemy," explained one pro-U.S. Filipino colonel. "Almost daily you could find bodies floating in the river, many of them victims of [Major Napoleon] Valeriano's Nenita Unit. [See Benedict J. Kerkvliet, The Huk Rebellion: A Study of Peasant Revolt in the Philippines.]
On to Vietnam
The successful suppression of the Huks led the war's architects to share their lessons elsewhere in Asia and beyond. Valeriano went on to co-author an important American textbook on counterinsurgency and to serve as part of the American pacification effort in Vietnam with Lansdale.
Following the Philippine model, Vietnamese were crowded into "strategic hamlets"; "free-fire zones" were declared with homes and crops destroyed; and the Phoenix program eliminated thousands of suspected Viet Cong cadre.
The ruthless strategies were absorbed and accepted even by widely respected military figures, such as Gen. Colin Powell who served two tours in Vietnam and endorsed the routine practice of murdering Vietnamese males as a necessary part of the counterinsurgency effort.
"I recall a phrase we used in the field, MAM, for military-age male," Powell wrote in his much-lauded memoir, My American Journey. "If a helo [a U.S. helicopter] spotted a peasant in black pajamas who looked remotely suspicious, a possible MAM, the pilot would circle and fire in front of him. If he moved, his movement was judged evidence of hostile intent, and the next burst was not in front, but at him.
"Brutal? Maybe so. But an able battalion commander with whom I had served at Gelnhausen [West Germany], Lt. Col. Walter Pritchard, was killed by enemy sniper fire while observing MAMs from a helicopter. And Pritchard was only one of many. The kill-or-be-killed nature of combat tends to dull fine perceptions of right and wrong."
In 1965, the U.S. intelligence community formalized its hard-learned counterinsurgency lessons by commissioning a top-secret program called Project X. Based at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School at Fort Holabird, Maryland, the project drew from field experience and developed teaching plans to "provide intelligence training to friendly foreign countries," according to a Pentagon history prepared in 1991 and released in 1997.
Called "a guide for the conduct of clandestine operations," Project X "was first used by the U.S. Intelligence School on Okinawa to train Vietnamese and, presumably, other foreign nationals," the history stated.
Linda Matthews of the Pentagon's Counterintelligence Division recalled that in 1967-68, some of the Project X training material was prepared by officers connected to the Phoenix program. "She suggested the possibility that some offending material from the Phoenix program may have found its way into the Project X materials at that time," the Pentagon report said.
In the 1970s, the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School moved to Fort Huachuca in Arizona and began exporting Project X material to U.S. military assistance groups working with "friendly foreign countries." By the mid-1970s, the Project X material was going to armies all over the world.
In its 1992 review, the Pentagon acknowledged that Project X was the source for some of the "objectionable" lessons at the School of the Americas where Latin American officers were trained in blackmail, kidnapping, murder and spying on non-violent political opponents.
But disclosure of the full story was blocked near the end of the first Bush administration when senior Pentagon officials working for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney ordered the destruction of most Project X records. [See Robert Parry's Lost History.]
Living Dangerously
By the mid-1960s, some of the U.S. counterinsurgency lessons had reached Indonesia, too. The U.S. military training was surreptitious because Washington viewed the country's neutralist leader Sukarno as politically suspect. The training was permitted only to give the United States influence within the Indonesian military which was considered more reliable.
The covert U.S. aid and training was mostly innocuous-sounding "civic action," which is generally thought to mean building roads, staffing health clinics and performing other "hearts-and-minds" activities with civilians. But "civic action" also provided cover in Indonesia, as in the Philippines and Vietnam, for psy-war.
The secret U.S.-Indonesian military connections paid off for Washington when a political crisis erupted, threatening Sukarno's government.
To counter Indonesia's powerful Communist Party, known as the PKI, the army's Red Berets organized the slaughter of tens of thousands of men, women and children. So many bodies were dumped into the rivers of East Java that they ran red with blood.
In a classic psy-war tactic, the bloated carcasses also served as a political warning to villages down river.
"To make sure they didn't sink, the carcasses were deliberately tied to, or impaled on, bamboo stakes," wrote eyewitness Pipit Rochijat. "And the departure of corpses from the Kediri region down the Brantas achieved its golden age when bodies were stacked on rafts over which the PKI banner proudly flew." [See Rochijat's "Am I PKI or Non-PKI?" Indonesia, Oct. 1985.]
Some historians have attributed the grotesque violence to a crazed army which engaged in "unplanned brutality" or "mass hysteria" leading ultimately to the slaughter of some half million Indonesians, many of Chinese descent.
But the recurring tactic of putting bodies on gruesome display fits as well with the military doctrines of psy-war, a word that one of the leading military killers used in un-translated form in one order demanding elimination of the PKI.
Sarwo Edhie, chief of the political para-commando battalion known as the Red Berets, warned that the communist opposition "should be given no opportunity to concentrate/consolidate. It should be pushed back systematically by all means, including psy-war." [See The Revolt of the G30S/PKI and Its Suppression, translated by Robert Cribb in The Indonesian Killings.]
Sarwo Edhie had been identified as a CIA contact when he served at the Indonesian Embassy in Australia. [See Pacific, May-June 1968.]
US Media Sympathy
Elite U.S. reaction to the horrific slaughter was muted and has remained ambivalent ever since. The Johnson administration denied any responsibility for the massacres, but New York Times columnist James Reston spoke for many opinion leaders when he approvingly termed the bloody developments in Indonesia "a gleam of light in Asia."
The American denials of involvement held until 1990 when U.S. diplomats admitted to a reporter that they had aided the Indonesian army by supplying lists of suspected communists.
"It really was a big help to the army," embassy officer Robert Martens told Kathy Kadane of States News Service. "I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that's not all bad. There's a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment." Martens had headed the U.S. team that compiled the death lists.
Kadane's story provoked a telling response from Washington Post senior editorial writer Stephen S. Rosenfeld. He accepted the fact that American officials had assisted "this fearsome slaughter," but then justified the killings.
Rosenfeld argued that the massacre "was and still is widely regarded as the grim but earned fate of a conspiratorial revolutionary party that represented the same communist juggernaut that was on the march in Vietnam."
In a column entitled, "Indonesia 1965: The Year of Living Cynically?" Rosenfeld reasoned that "either the army would get the communists or the communists would get the army, it was thought: Indonesia was a domino, and the PKI's demise kept it [Indonesia] standing in the free world. ...
“Though the means were grievously tainted, we -- the fastidious among us as well as the hard-headed and cynical -- can be said to have enjoyed the fruits in the geopolitical stability of that important part of Asia, in the revolution that never happened." [Washington Post, July 13, 1990]
The fruit tasted far more bitter to the peoples of the Indonesian archipelago, however. In 1975, the army of Indonesia’s new dictator, Gen. Suharto, invaded the former Portuguese colony of East Timor. When the East Timorese resisted, the Indonesian army returned to its gruesome bag of tricks, engaging in virtual genocide against the population.
A Catholic missionary provided an eyewitness account of one search-and-destroy mission in East Timor in 1981.
"We saw with our own eyes the massacre of the people who were surrendering: all dead, even women and children, even the littlest ones. ... Not even pregnant women were spared: they were cut open. .... They did what they had done to small children the previous year, grabbing them by the legs and smashing their heads against rocks. ...
“The comments of Indonesian officers reveal the moral character of this army: 'We did the same thing [in 1965] in Java, in Borneo, in the Celebes, in Irian Jaya, and it worked." [See A. Barbedo de Magalhaes, East Timor: Land of Hope.]
The references to the success of the 1965 slaughter were not unusual. In Timor: A People Betrayed, author James Dunn noted that "on the Indonesian side, there have been many reports that many soldiers viewed their operation as a further phase in the ongoing campaign to suppress communism that had followed the events of September 1965."
Classic psy-war and pacification strategies were followed to the hilt in East Timor. The Indonesians put on display corpses and the heads of their victims. Timorese also were herded into government-controlled camps before permanent relocation in "resettlement villages" far from their original homes.
"The problem is that people are forced to live in the settlements and are not allowed to travel outside," said Msgr. Costa Lopes, apostolic administrator of Dili. "This is the main reason why people cannot grow enough food." [See John G. Taylor, Indonesia's Forgotten War: The Hidden History of East Timor.]
Public Revulsion
Through television in the 1960-70s, the Vietnam War finally brought the horrors of counterinsurgency home to millions of Americans. They watched as U.S. troops torched villages and forced distraught old women to leave ancestral homes.
Camera crews caught on film brutal interrogation of Viet Cong suspects, the execution of one young VC officer, and the bombing of children with napalm.
In effect, the Vietnam War was the first time Americans got to witness the pacification strategies that had evolved secretly as national security policy since the 19th Century. As a result, millions of Americans protested the war's conduct and Congress belatedly compelled an end to U.S. participation in 1974.
But the psy-war doctrinal debates were not resolved by the Vietnam War. Counterinsurgency advocates regrouped in the 1980s behind President Ronald Reagan, who mounted a spirited defense of the Vietnamese intervention and reaffirmed U.S. resolve to employ similar tactics against leftist forces especially in Central America. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Guatemala: A Test Tube for Repression.”]
Reagan also added an important new component to the mix. Recognizing how graphic images and honest reporting from the war zone had undercut public support for the counterinsurgency in Vietnam, Reagan authorized an aggressive domestic "public diplomacy" operation which practiced what was called "perception management" -- in effect, intimidating journalists to ensure that only sanitized information would reach the American people.
Reporters who disclosed atrocities by U.S.-trained forces, such as the El Mozote massacre by El Salvador's Atlacatl battalion in 1981, came under harsh criticism and saw their careers damaged.
Some Reagan operatives were not shy about their defense of political terror as a necessity of the Cold War. Neil Livingstone, a counter-terrorism consultant to the National Security Council, called death squads "an extremely effective tool, however odious, in combatting terrorism and revolutionary challenges." [See McClintock's Instruments of Statecraft.]
When Democrats in Congress objected to excesses of Reagan's interventions in Central America, the administration responded with more public relations and political pressure, questioning the patriotism of the critics. For instance, Reagan’s United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick accused anyone who took note of U.S.-backed war crimes of “blaming America first.”
Many Democrats in Congress and journalists in the Washington press corps buckled under the attacks, giving the Reagan administration much freer rein to carry out brutal “death squad” strategies in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
What is clear from these experiences in Indonesia, Vietnam, Central America and elsewhere is that the United States, for generations, has sustained two parallel but opposed states of mind about military atrocities and human rights: one of U.S. benevolence, generally held by the public, and the other of ends-justify-the-means brutality embraced by counterinsurgency specialists.
Normally the specialists carry out their actions in remote locations with little notice in the national press. But sometimes the two competing visions – of a just America and a ruthless one – clash in the open, as they did in Vietnam.
Or the dark side of U.S. security policy is thrown into the light by unauthorized leaks, such as the photos of abused detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq or by revelations about waterboarding and other torture authorized by George W. Bush’s White House as part of the “war on terror.”
Only then does the public get a glimpse of the grim reality, the bloody and brutal tactics that have been deemed “necessary” for more than two centuries in the defense of the purported “national interests.”
Peter Dale Scott is an author and poet whose books have focused on “deep politics,” the intersection of economics, criminality and national security. (For more, go to http://www.peterdalescott.net/) Robert Parry is a veteran Washington investigative journalist. (For his books, go to http://www.neckdeepbook.com)
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Jane Elliott


"It won't help much to be prepared to face Jane Elliott. This elderly woman will tear down any shield. Even we, the spectators in BLUE EYED, can't get rid of this feeling of uneasiness, embarrassment, anxiety and utterly helpless hatred when she starts keeping people down, humiliating them, deriding them, incapacitating them. No doubt about this: for three quarters of the time in this documentation Jane Elliott is the meanest, the lowest, the most detestful, the most hypocritical human being hell has ever spit back on earth. But she should be an example for all of us." - Stuttgarter Zeitung



Jane Elliott, internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer, and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education, exposes prejudice and bigotry for what it is, an irrational class system based upon purely arbitrary factors. And if you think this does not apply to you. . . you are in for a rude awakening.
In response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. over thirty years ago, Jane Elliott devised the controversial and startling, "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise. This, now famous, exercise labels participants as inferior or superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposes them to the experience of being a minority. Everyone who is exposed to Jane Elliott's work, be it through a lecture, workshop, or video, is dramatically affected by it.

Israel as a Rogue State 120

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11555.shtml


Towards accountability: John Dugard interviewed
Adri Nieuwhof, /The Electronic Intifada,/ 5 October 2010

Former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories John Dugard in 2007. (UN Photo)


Last month, Professor John Dugard, former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, chaired a meeting on universal Jurisdiction in the Hague. The Electronic Intifada contributor Adri Nieuwhof interviewed Dugard about means of bringing Israel to account for its human rights violations, particularly the legal mechanism of universal jurisdiction.

*Adri Nieuwhof:* Can you explain the principle of universal jurisdiction?

*John Dugard:* Essentially, universal jurisdiction means that a state has the power to exercise jurisdiction over serious crimes under international law that were committed outside the boundaries of the state by non-nationals. Normally states have only jurisdiction over crimes in their territory by their nationals.

*AN:* Do states have responsibility towards exercising universal jurisdiction?

*JD:* Yes, if states are serious about suppressing international crime and preventing impunity, then there is an obligation to exercise universal jurisdiction. It is important to realize that the International Criminal Court in The Hague has limited universal jurisdiction. If impunity is to be avoided, states will have the obligation to prosecute international crimes themselves.

*AN:* Can you specify what this obligation of states implies?

*JD:* They have to institute criminal procedures against persons suspected of international crimes, to investigate and to bring the suspects before their court.

*AN:* You spoke at the meeting about selectivity in implementing universal jurisdiction. Can you clarify this?

*JD:* Universal jurisdiction is not very effective at present. There are practical difficulties involved, in particular, the collection of evidence. For example, if the Netherlands prosecuted serious crimes committed in Rwanda, it will have to collect evidence in Rwanda. There is no political will on the part of states to exercise universal jurisdiction, particularly where it concerns Israeli officials. When attempts are made to exercise universal jurisdiction over Israeli officials obstacles are raised by governments or courts find some technical reasons for not exercising universal jurisdiction.

*AN:* Is there a reason behind this selectivity in universal jurisdiction?

*JD:* European and American states are reluctant to undermine their relations with Israel.

*AN:* What needs to be done to reverse this selectivity? Is there a role for civil society?

*JD:* Civil society can always bring pressure on governments to exercise criminal jurisdiction. It has a role to play in changing public opinion. It will mean that courts will start to exercise universal jurisdiction.

*AN:* Israel increasingly oppresses human rights defenders and activists campaigning for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). Can you comment on this development?

*JD:* It is unfortunate. Israel has been relatively tolerant of dissent in its society. It indicates a new repressive tendency of Israeli society. The effect will be stifled dissent in Israeli society.

*AN:* Can you comment on the imprisonment of civil society leader and Palestinian citizen of Israel Ameer Makhoul and the reports that he was tortured during the interrogations?

*JD:* My difficulty is that I have not been in Israel since 2007. I cannot comment on Israel. In the past there were frequent allegations of torture by Israeli human rights activists. That is serious. I am out of touch with recent developments.

*AN:* Israeli accuses the BDS movement of delegitimizing Israel. What is your reaction to this accusation?

*JD:* The BDS actions are delegitimizing Israel. There is no question about that. Obviously Israel is unwilling to accept that, similar to apartheid South Africa, which did want to suppress international sanctions. BDS was at that time effective, largely as a result of international advocacy for [boycott, divestment and] sanctions. It delegitimized the state and ultimately led to change in South Africa.

The comparison between Israel and South Africa is important. The situation is very similar at present. The international community is increasingly critical of Israel, advocating for international [boycott, divestment and] sanctions. It is not surprising that Israel is taking steps to prevent them in the same way the South African government did.

De Volkskrant 105

Aangezien het imago van Israel bij het grote publiek in het Westen almaar slechter wordt, zit er niets anders op dan dat de 'Joodse staat' weer eens een oorlog begint. Al enige tijd is de New York Times druk doende de geesten in het Westen daarvoor rijp te maken, dat wil zeggen: Hamas en Hezbollah, met op de achtergrond  Iran, worden geportretteerd als de grote bedreiging van de zionisten. En zodra de Amerikaanse pro-Israel lobby bij de massamedia gemobiliseerd wordt volgen hun westerse collega's braaf. De Volkskrant heeft vandaag een van die artikelen overgenomen dat in de New York Times een paar dagen geleden als kop had:

Hezbollah raises a bolder profile

met als bewering 'that Hezbollah instigated its war with Israel in 2006.' Het is dus niet Israel dat Libanon binnenviel en daar een lange reeks oorlogsmisdaden pleegde, maar Hezbollah is de agressor. En zo wordt de geschiedenis herschreven. Ondertussen blijft Israel doorgaan met het stelen van Palestijns land en het onderdrukken van de Palestijnse bevolking, en dat alles met steun van het Westen. En het feit dat premier Netanyahu weigert in te gaan op een voorstel van de Amerikaanse president wordt domweg verzwegen. Want niet de Joden in Israel maar de Arabieren in het Midden-Oosten moeten de schuld krijgen van het toekomstige geweld. Daar worden mijn collega's voor betaald.



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


October 7, 2010

MEDIA ALERT: DEATHLY SILENCE

OBAMA’S LETTER, NETANYAHU’S REJECTION AND THE MEDIA’S NON-RESPONSE


Following Israel’s capture of the West Bank in 1967, along with other territories including East Jerusalem, Israel has built and expanded Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land. The settlers enjoy the benefits of a separate, and far superior, civilian infrastructure to nearby Palestinian communities, and they are protected at great expense by the Israeli military. Under international law, the settlements are illegal. But despite private agreements with the US to rein in growth, Israel has continued the non-stop expansion of its illegal settlements. While the public stance of the United States is that it does not recognise “the international legitimacy” of the settlements, Washington has in practice provided decades-long support for Israeli policy.

Earlier this week, independent journalist Jonathan Cook reported facts that blow a hole through the standard deceit that the United States is an “honest broker” for peace in the Middle East. (Jonathan Cook, ‘Obama's Cave-In to Israel’, Counterpunch, 4 October, 2010; http://www.counterpunch.org/cook10042010.html). As Cook explains, details were leaked of a letter sent by US President Barack Obama to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister:

“Obama made a series of extraordinarily generous offers to Israel, many of them at the expense of the Palestinians, in return for a single minor concession from Netanyahu: a two-month extension of the partial freeze on settlement growth.”

The  previous 10-month freeze on settlement growth in the West Bank, which has just ended, has not so far been renewed by Israel. This obduracy threatens to bring the negotiations to an abrupt halt. This was the deadlock that Obama’s letter was supposedly designed to break. 

Netanyahu reportedly declined the US offer, while Washington denies that a letter was ever sent. But according to the Israeli media, US officials in Washington are “incensed” by Netanyahu’s rejection.

As Cook notes, the disclosures were made by an informed source: David Makovsky, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a close associate of Dennis Ross, Obama’s chief adviser on the Middle East, who is said to have initiated the offer. 

Cook continues:

“In return for a two-month extension of the settlement moratorium, the US promised to veto any UN Security Council proposal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the next year, and committed to not seek any further extensions of the freeze. The future of the settlements would be addressed only in a final agreement.

“The US would also allow Israel to keep a military presence in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, even after the creation of a Palestinian state; continue controlling the borders of the Palestinian territories to prevent smuggling; provide Israel with enhanced weapons systems, security guarantees and increase its billions of dollars in annual aid; and create a regional security pact against Iran.”

The Palestinian leadership, observes Cook, is certain to draw three major conclusions “from this attempt at deal-making over its head.”

“The first is that the US president, much like his predecessors, is in no position to act as an honest broker. His interests in the negotiations largely coincide with Israel’s.

“Obama needs a short renewal of the freeze, and the semblance of continuing Israeli and Palestinian participation in the ‘peace process’, until the US Congressional elections in November.”

“The second conclusion -- already strongly suspected by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and his advisers -- is that Netanyahu, despite his professed desire to establish a Palestinian state, is being insincere.”

Finally:

“The third conclusion for the Palestinians is that no possible combination of governing parties in Israel is capable of signing an agreement with Abbas that will not entail significant compromises on the territorial integrity of a Palestinian state.”

There was next to no coverage of these dramatic revelations, and their implications, in the UK news media. As far as we can determine, the Independent has remained silent, along with The Times and the bulk of the national press.

One welcome, although brief, exception appeared last week on the Guardian website by its Jerusalem-based correspondent Harriet Sherwood. (‘Obama offering Israel incentives to extend freeze on settlement construction, say reports’, guardian.co.uk, 30 September 2010 18.11 BST,http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/30/israel-obama-netanyahu-peace-talks). Oddly this did not appear in the print edition, as far as we can determine from searches of the Lexis-Nexis newspaper database. 

A fleeting mention did, however, appear in the Guardian on Monday this week (and the following day in the paper). Stretching his journalistic muscle to all of 40 words, Guardian assistant editor Simon Tisdall wrote blandly in his “world briefing”:

“Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, is likewise refusing to budge. He reportedly told US officials that a 60-day extension to the building moratorium that expired last month, as sought by Obama, would damage his political credibility and endanger his coalition.”
(‘Obama faces humiliation over Middle East talks’, guardian.co.uk, 4 October 2010 16.00 BST;http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/oct/04/israel-palestine-peace-collapse)

Note the conformity to the requirements of professional journalism to report facts, but only superficially and without the context and analysis that might offend power.

As far as we can see, the only other national UK newspaper to mention the latest disclosures was the Daily Telegraph which had a printed piece titled inoffensively – indeed, deceptively - ‘Obama tries to keep peace deal on track’. The earlier online version was more honest: ‘Barack Obama “sent Israel letter outlining assurances on peace talks”’. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8035425/Barack-Obama-sent-Israel-letter-outlining-assurances-on-peace-talks.html)

As for the BBC, the search function on its news website is notoriously cumbersome to use; so it has been difficult to verify whether BBC news online has reported it at all. But an email from Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen (see below) strongly suggests the corporation has yet to mention the disclosures about Obama’s letter, Netanyahu’s rejection of it, and what these latest developments might mean for a proper understanding of the Middle East “peace process”. 


Exchange With BBC Middle East Editor

On October 4, we wrote to Jeremy Bowen, asking whether he was aware of Obama’s letter and Netanyhau’s rejection of it. We also referred to Cook’s report, highlighting the main conclusions that could be drawn, as we saw above: namely, that the US is no “honest broker”; the timing of Obama’s letter with forthcoming US Congressional elections is unlikely to be a coincidence; and that Netanyahu, and indeed the Israeli leadership as a whole, is not a sincere negotiating partner.

We concluded in our email to Bowen:

“Were you aware of these disclosures? And do you plan to report them, and their significance?”

On October 5, Bowen emailed back:

“Yes, I am aware of the American proposals, which have been reported extensively since David Makovsky put them in the WINEP [Washington Institute for Near East Policy] site.

“I am in Lebanon working on a radio programme at the moment. I feel sure that the American offer will be part of my reporting when I am back with the Israelis and Palestinians.”

We replied the following day:

“It is noteworthy that the BBC has seemingly failed to report on President Obama’s letter, especially given the extensive resources at your disposal. Obama’s self-serving offer to the Israelis, and Netanyahu’s rejection of it, is significant for many reasons as reporter Jonathan Cook makes clear in his piece. The role of the US as 'honest broker', and the cynical realpolitik of the timing with US Congressional elections in November, are laid bare; as is Netanyahu’s obstructionism and insincerity. The story is all over the Israeli media.

“There were thus compelling reasons for the BBC to bring these disclosures in a timely and fully explanatory way to the attention of the public. That the BBC’s Middle East bureau is seemingly unable or unwilling to do so, regardless of whether you happen to be in Lebanon working on a radio programme, is grim news indeed.

“By denying the public vital facts that enables us to form a fully rounded picture of what’s going on, you have surely neglected your professional responsibilities. This matters because ultimately people’s lives depend upon the truth being reported.”



SUGGESTED ACTION

The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. If you do write to journalists, we strongly urge you to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone.

Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor
Email: jeremy.bowen@bbc.co.uk

Please copy to:

Helen Boaden, BBC News editor
Email: helenboaden.complaints@bbc.co.uk

Michael Lyons, BBC Trust chairman
Email: michael.lyons@bbc.co.uk

Please blind copy us in on any exchanges or forward them to us later at:
editor@medialens.org

Having started Media Lens in 2001, we are delighted to announce that, a mere nine years later, David Cromwell has managed to flit from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton to join David Edwards in working full-time on the project. No longer can the BBC’s John Sweeney claim that we are “two moonlighting clerks from the White Fish Authority or some such aquatic quango”. (Sweeney, letter to New Statesman, September 22, 2003). 

This wonderful development for us is entirely thanks to the kindness and generosity of numerous individuals sending one-off and monthly donations. As ever, your support is hugely appreciated. With our writing manpower doubled, our energies revitalised, we are exploring new ways of challenging the mainstream media Moloch.

The best way to support us is to send a monthly donation via PayPal or a standing order with a UK bank. If you currently support the corporate media by paying for their newspapers, why not support Media Lens instead?
http://www.medialens.org/donate

This media alert will shortly be archived here:
http://www.medialens.org/alerts/10/101007_deathly_silence_obamas.php

The second Media Lens book, 'NEWSPEAK in the 21st Century' by David Edwards and David Cromwell, was published in 2009 by Pluto Press. John Pilger writes of the book:
"Not since Orwell and Chomsky has perceived reality been so skilfully revealed in the cause of truth."
http://www.medialens.org/bookshop/newspeak.php

Our earlier book, 'Guardians of Power: The Myth Of The Liberal Media' (Pluto Books, London), was published in 2006:
http://www.medialens.org/bookshop/guardians_of_power.php

The Empire 671

Rumours Aside, Something Big Is About To Happen

____________________________________________________________________________
Buckle up.
As I type this, a flurry of activity is taking place within security and financial circles around the world. Normally, this would signify just another busy day in the hard-working quarters of modern defence and finance, however this time there is good reason to suspect that the world may be about to witness something historic.
If not something violent, then certainly something spectacular.
I’m not going to waste time on a long, detailed post. Instead, I’m going to present the data, the facts and the patterns. Then I’m going to make you make up your own mind.
First are the financial movements that preceded the security movements, starting with the CNN Money report on October 1st, which shows an unusual .15 yield on treasury bonds. Basically, investors are betting big time on ‘you know what’ hitting the fan shortly.
Digging a little deeper we begin to see  something interesting emerge. As of closing (again, October 1) on Friday, we see some unusually high option volume reported inSchaeffer’s Investment Research supporting this trend.
The S&P traders seemed to be on the bandwagon too. This video showing massive put options on the S&P for October speaks for itself.
It was only today that it became clear to many that the world economy is actuallydecoupling from the U.S, fleeing the sinking ship while it still can. In that industry, you look out for yourself.
To top it off, the other global capital of modern finance, London, has even worsenews. According to an economic think-tank and Sky News, the UK is on the cusp of a second banking failure.  
Now whether all of these events are pointing towards the same thing or not, the theme of something big happening soon is replete throughout the media lately. We should not be scared, nor should we panic. We must take a step back and look carefully at what is going on so that we can assess what, and where, the real danger actually is.
With the unusual activity happening in one place, we could be mistaken for missing the events unfolding in another.
That other place is Western Europe.
This week, the United States and Britain issued a strong travel warning to European-bound tourists. Without offering specifics, they said the threat was “high” and “imminent”, raising more questions than it answered. Yes, this happens from time to time and in most cases nothing comes of it.
That’s why when Japan issued an extremely rare travel warning to its citizens, this developing story suddenly became a lot more interesting to me. An official at the foreign ministry in Tokyo said that the warning “was not prompted by any specific intelligence but by the previous British and American alerts.”
Make of it what you will, but the key phrase here is “unusually rare travel warning”.
So, in summary, we’ve got massive bets on a bumpy ride ahead by prominent investors on the back of warnings concerning imminent terrorist attacks in Europe. 
Surely one can’t be blamed if his ears prick up. We will hear of wars and rumours of war (or stock market crashes, terrorist attacks, etc, etc)
But rumours aside, something big is about to happen.
-BJH

donderdag 7 oktober 2010

The Mainstream Media 6

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


October 7, 2010

MEDIA ALERT: DEATHLY SILENCE

OBAMA’S LETTER, NETANYAHU’S REJECTION AND THE MEDIA’S NON-RESPONSE


Following Israel’s capture of the West Bank in 1967, along with other territories including East Jerusalem, Israel has built and expanded Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land. The settlers enjoy the benefits of a separate, and far superior, civilian infrastructure to nearby Palestinian communities, and they are protected at great expense by the Israeli military. Under international law, the settlements are illegal. But despite private agreements with the US to rein in growth, Israel has continued the non-stop expansion of its illegal settlements. While the public stance of the United States is that it does not recognise “the international legitimacy” of the settlements, Washington has in practice provided decades-long support for Israeli policy.

Earlier this week, independent journalist Jonathan Cook reported facts that blow a hole through the standard deceit that the United States is an “honest broker” for peace in the Middle East. (Jonathan Cook, ‘Obama's Cave-In to Israel’, Counterpunch, 4 October, 2010; http://www.counterpunch.org/cook10042010.html). As Cook explains, details were leaked of a letter sent by US President Barack Obama to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister:

“Obama made a series of extraordinarily generous offers to Israel, many of them at the expense of the Palestinians, in return for a single minor concession from Netanyahu: a two-month extension of the partial freeze on settlement growth.”

The  previous 10-month freeze on settlement growth in the West Bank, which has just ended, has not so far been renewed by Israel. This obduracy threatens to bring the negotiations to an abrupt halt. This was the deadlock that Obama’s letter was supposedly designed to break. 

Netanyahu reportedly declined the US offer, while Washington denies that a letter was ever sent. But according to the Israeli media, US officials in Washington are “incensed” by Netanyahu’s rejection.

As Cook notes, the disclosures were made by an informed source: David Makovsky, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a close associate of Dennis Ross, Obama’s chief adviser on the Middle East, who is said to have initiated the offer. 

Cook continues:

“In return for a two-month extension of the settlement moratorium, the US promised to veto any UN Security Council proposal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the next year, and committed to not seek any further extensions of the freeze. The future of the settlements would be addressed only in a final agreement.

“The US would also allow Israel to keep a military presence in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, even after the creation of a Palestinian state; continue controlling the borders of the Palestinian territories to prevent smuggling; provide Israel with enhanced weapons systems, security guarantees and increase its billions of dollars in annual aid; and create a regional security pact against Iran.”

The Palestinian leadership, observes Cook, is certain to draw three major conclusions “from this attempt at deal-making over its head.”

“The first is that the US president, much like his predecessors, is in no position to act as an honest broker. His interests in the negotiations largely coincide with Israel’s.

“Obama needs a short renewal of the freeze, and the semblance of continuing Israeli and Palestinian participation in the ‘peace process’, until the US Congressional elections in November.”

“The second conclusion -- already strongly suspected by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and his advisers -- is that Netanyahu, despite his professed desire to establish a Palestinian state, is being insincere.”

Finally:

“The third conclusion for the Palestinians is that no possible combination of governing parties in Israel is capable of signing an agreement with Abbas that will not entail significant compromises on the territorial integrity of a Palestinian state.”

There was next to no coverage of these dramatic revelations, and their implications, in the UK news media. As far as we can determine, the Independent has remained silent, along with The Times and the bulk of the national press.

One welcome, although brief, exception appeared last week on the Guardian website by its Jerusalem-based correspondent Harriet Sherwood. (‘Obama offering Israel incentives to extend freeze on settlement construction, say reports’, guardian.co.uk, 30 September 2010 18.11 BST,http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/30/israel-obama-netanyahu-peace-talks). Oddly this did not appear in the print edition, as far as we can determine from searches of the Lexis-Nexis newspaper database. 

A fleeting mention did, however, appear in the Guardian on Monday this week (and the following day in the paper). Stretching his journalistic muscle to all of 40 words, Guardian assistant editor Simon Tisdall wrote blandly in his “world briefing”:

“Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, is likewise refusing to budge. He reportedly told US officials that a 60-day extension to the building moratorium that expired last month, as sought by Obama, would damage his political credibility and endanger his coalition.”
(‘Obama faces humiliation over Middle East talks’, guardian.co.uk, 4 October 2010 16.00 BST;http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/oct/04/israel-palestine-peace-collapse)

Note the conformity to the requirements of professional journalism to report facts, but only superficially and without the context and analysis that might offend power.

As far as we can see, the only other national UK newspaper to mention the latest disclosures was the Daily Telegraph which had a printed piece titled inoffensively – indeed, deceptively - ‘Obama tries to keep peace deal on track’. The earlier online version was more honest: ‘Barack Obama “sent Israel letter outlining assurances on peace talks”’. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8035425/Barack-Obama-sent-Israel-letter-outlining-assurances-on-peace-talks.html)

As for the BBC, the search function on its news website is notoriously cumbersome to use; so it has been difficult to verify whether BBC news online has reported it at all. But an email from Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen (see below) strongly suggests the corporation has yet to mention the disclosures about Obama’s letter, Netanyahu’s rejection of it, and what these latest developments might mean for a proper understanding of the Middle East “peace process”. 


Exchange With BBC Middle East Editor

On October 4, we wrote to Jeremy Bowen, asking whether he was aware of Obama’s letter and Netanyhau’s rejection of it. We also referred to Cook’s report, highlighting the main conclusions that could be drawn, as we saw above: namely, that the US is no “honest broker”; the timing of Obama’s letter with forthcoming US Congressional elections is unlikely to be a coincidence; and that Netanyahu, and indeed the Israeli leadership as a whole, is not a sincere negotiating partner.

We concluded in our email to Bowen:

“Were you aware of these disclosures? And do you plan to report them, and their significance?”

On October 5, Bowen emailed back:

“Yes, I am aware of the American proposals, which have been reported extensively since David Makovsky put them in the WINEP [Washington Institute for Near East Policy] site.

“I am in Lebanon working on a radio programme at the moment. I feel sure that the American offer will be part of my reporting when I am back with the Israelis and Palestinians.”

We replied the following day:

“It is noteworthy that the BBC has seemingly failed to report on President Obama’s letter, especially given the extensive resources at your disposal. Obama’s self-serving offer to the Israelis, and Netanyahu’s rejection of it, is significant for many reasons as reporter Jonathan Cook makes clear in his piece. The role of the US as 'honest broker', and the cynical realpolitik of the timing with US Congressional elections in November, are laid bare; as is Netanyahu’s obstructionism and insincerity. The story is all over the Israeli media.

“There were thus compelling reasons for the BBC to bring these disclosures in a timely and fully explanatory way to the attention of the public. That the BBC’s Middle East bureau is seemingly unable or unwilling to do so, regardless of whether you happen to be in Lebanon working on a radio programme, is grim news indeed.

“By denying the public vital facts that enables us to form a fully rounded picture of what’s going on, you have surely neglected your professional responsibilities. This matters because ultimately people’s lives depend upon the truth being reported.”



SUGGESTED ACTION

The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. If you do write to journalists, we strongly urge you to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone.

Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor
Email: jeremy.bowen@bbc.co.uk

Please copy to:

Helen Boaden, BBC News editor
Email: helenboaden.complaints@bbc.co.uk

Michael Lyons, BBC Trust chairman
Email: michael.lyons@bbc.co.uk

Please blind copy us in on any exchanges or forward them to us later at:
editor@medialens.org

Having started Media Lens in 2001, we are delighted to announce that, a mere nine years later, David Cromwell has managed to flit from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton to join David Edwards in working full-time on the project. No longer can the BBC’s John Sweeney claim that we are “two moonlighting clerks from the White Fish Authority or some such aquatic quango”. (Sweeney, letter to New Statesman, September 22, 2003). 

This wonderful development for us is entirely thanks to the kindness and generosity of numerous individuals sending one-off and monthly donations. As ever, your support is hugely appreciated. With our writing manpower doubled, our energies revitalised, we are exploring new ways of challenging the mainstream media Moloch.

The best way to support us is to send a monthly donation via PayPal or a standing order with a UK bank. If you currently support the corporate media by paying for their newspapers, why not support Media Lens instead?
http://www.medialens.org/donate

This media alert will shortly be archived here:
http://www.medialens.org/alerts/10/101007_deathly_silence_obamas.php

The second Media Lens book, 'NEWSPEAK in the 21st Century' by David Edwards and David Cromwell, was published in 2009 by Pluto Press. John Pilger writes of the book:
"Not since Orwell and Chomsky has perceived reality been so skilfully revealed in the cause of truth."
http://www.medialens.org/bookshop/newspeak.php

Our earlier book, 'Guardians of Power: The Myth Of The Liberal Media' (Pluto Books, London), was published in 2006:
http://www.medialens.org/bookshop/guardians_of_power.php