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New York Times: Railing Against Palestinian Statehood

 New York Times: Railing Against Palestinian Statehood - by Stephen Lendman

 

Longstanding Times policy supports wealth and power; war, not peace; US hegemony and imperial rampaging; and all things benefitting Israel.

 

In so doing, it turns a blind eye to its most egregious violations of international law, norms and standards.

 

It's no surprise that Times editorial policy opposes Palestinian statehood and full UN membership. A previous article explained, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/new-york-times-opposition-to.html 

 

Endorsing wrong over right, its August 7 "Palestinians and the UN" editorial falsified and distorted key facts. It also suppressed others instead of explaining issues forthrightly.

 

That's never been NYT's long suit.

 

Its latest broadside did it again. More on it below.

 

On September 10, Times writer Ethan Bronner headlined, "In Seeking Statehood, Palestinians Stir Concern," saying:

 

Days ahead of "Palestinians plan(ning) to 'defy' the Obama administration by requesting (UN) membership and statehood recognition....there is a growing fear that the Arab-Israeli conflict is entering an explosive new phase."

 

Despite clear benefits greatly outweighing concerns, Bronner claims "many (predict) disaster, especially after the storming of Israel's Cairo embassy and the expulsion of its ambassador from Turkey."

 

In fact, Washington and Israeli acquiescence would go a long way to ease, not heighten, tensions, a point Bronner omitted. Instead, he quoted an unnamed "senior Western diplomat," saying:

 

Israel "will react to a Palestinian statehood bid with punitive measures in the West Bank. Congress will probably cut off aid....The Palestinian Authority could collapse. We're watching a potential train wreck."

 

Fact check

 

Under military occupation, Palestinians have no rights. Gazans are suffocating under siege. Daily Israeli attacks and/or incursions into neighborhoods terrorize millions of civilians. Israel at times preemptively declares war. Its modus operandi is death, destruction and immiseration.

 

Statehood and full UN membership is step one for something better, regardless of how long it takes.

 

It's already as bad as it gets unless NATO intervenes supportively for Israel. If so, it may do to Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem what it did to Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, turning the Territories to rubble and slaughtering tens of thousands, defending the indefensible on whatever pretext it chooses.

 

For America, its NATO partners and Israel, it remains a frightening option, given how many previous times it was chosen.

 

Bronner quoted Yuli Edelstein, Israel's public diplomacy minister, saying:

 

"If the Palestinians go to the United Nations, it will begin a long funeral for the peace process and negotiations."

 

Fact check

 

Of course, Israel long ago buried what for decades it refused to tolerate and won't now. As a result, resurrecting a corpse makes no sense, especially when one willing side has no partner.

 

Bronner highlights negatives over positive statehood benefits. For example, "rocket(s) from Gaza would be cause to bring them to account."

 

Fact check

 

True enough except in self-defense, a universally accepted right. Moreover, ineffective "rockets" only follow multiple Israeli attacks. If Palestinians initiated them, Israel might declare war.

 

Palestinians have nothing to gain from conflict. In contrast, Israel thrives on it, knowing it can act with impunity.

 

Bronner also denigrated Palestine's legitimate government, saying:

 

If the Palestinian Authority under Abbas "ended up withering for lack of support and security cooperation with Israel, Hamas would be waiting in the wings. A Hamas 'takeover' attempt in the West Bank is not something Israel would accept lightly...."

 

Fact check

 

In January 2006, Hamas won a decisive 74 seat majority victory as Palestine's legitimate government. Fatah under Abbas got 45, and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's Third Way party won only 2 of 132 Palestinian Legislative Council seats. 

 

Though almost entirely rejected, he's now illegitimately second in command, serving, like Abbas, as an Israeli collaborationist.

 

Bronner entirely omitted that context from his article. He also excluded comments from Palestinian statehood advocates. Instead, he concluded, quoting Israeli MK Einat Wilf, saying:

 

Abbas "knows he is not getting a state. He knows he is not resolving anything. He is simply taking the conflict to another place. (He and other Palestinians) will take each and everybody of the UN and use it as a theater to continue this whole conflict."

 

Fact check

 

Of course, conflict persists because of Israeli and Washington obstructionism and belligerence. 

 

Long ago, Palestinians wanted peace, an equitable resolution of longstanding grievances, and a legitimate sovereign state they deserve after Israel stole their homeland in 1948.

 

Bronner didn't explain. Instead, he one-sidededly backed Israel.

 

So did another disgraceful Times editorial (dated 9/11) headlined, "Palestinian Statehood" saying:

 

"A United Nations vote on Palestinian membership would be ruinous. Yet with little time left before the UN General Assembly meets, the United States, Israel and Europe have shown insufficient urgency or boldness in trying to find a compromise solution."

 

Fact check

 

After 44 years of occupation, statehood and de jure UN membership are long overdue. Opposing it is inexcusable. Nothing less than full recognition is acceptable within 1967 borders, as well as East Jerusalem as its capital.

 

"Last week, the United States made a listless effort to get Palestinians to forgo the vote in favor of new peace talks. (The) best path to statehood remains negotiations."

 

Fact check

 

As explained above, for decades Palestinians have had no willing partner for peace and don't now. Moreover, Israel doesn't negotiate. It demands, with backup muscle like its Washington/paymaster partner.

 

Nonetheless, the editorial says America "and its Quartet partners (EU, UN and Russia) should put a map and a deal on the table, with a timeline for concluding negotiations and a formal UN statehood vote. The core element: a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps and guarantees for Israel's security."

 

Fact check

 

The same futility repeated numerous previous times. Resurrecting a corpse won't revive it. Relying on Israel and Washington assures subjugation, exploitation, and continuity, not justice or peace. 

 

It's long past time that ended, especially with overwhelming world support when Israel is growing increasingly isolated, and along with America, reviled on Arab streets.

 

"To get full UN membership the Palestinians have to win Security Council approval."

 

Fact check

 

Previous articles explained that the Security Council  recommends. Only the General Assembly admits new members by a simple two-thirds majority. 

 

Times writers know it but won't say. Instead, they keep beating the same dead horse lie, plus a blizzard of others daily in print, notably on what's most important.

 

"Congress has threatened to cut millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority if it presses for a UN vote. Instead of just threatening the Palestinians, Congress should lean on Mr. Netanyahu to return to talks."

 

Fact check

 

True enough. Congress may withhold aid. Perhaps the 113th one will restore it after January 3, 2013. 

 

In the meantime, other states can and should fill the void. It's pocket change for them collectively, even during hard times, especially if they wage less war and more peace. 

 

For his part, Netanyahu doesn't respond to pressure. Efforts are better directed on what works, or at least has a better chance.

 

"Israel has said it would cut millions of dollars in tax remittances to the authority."

 

Fact check

 

Israel no longer would control policies of an independent Palestinian state, including matters relating to taxes.

 

The piece concludes saying "Washington and its partners will have to limit the damage" following a vote.

 

In fact, under the best of circumstances, Palestinians are cursed by bordering on a belligerent rogue state, menacingly there all the time.

 

That's a real concern, including for neighboring states knowing they, too, are vulnerable.

 

Shut Out of the Process Hamas Responds

 

On September 12, Haaretz headlined, "Hamas distances itself from Palestinian statehood bid at UN," saying:

 

Hamas officials said PA efforts omitted Gaza interests entirely. Abbas proceeded on his own, without consulting Hamas, Palestine's legitimate government.

 

Other Palestinian factions expressed their views. Islamic Jihad also opposes PA efforts. Spokesman Dawood Shihab said the "move needs to be studied to make sure it will not ignore major issues such as the right of return, and the future of the (PLO) as an umbrella for" all Palestinians.

 

Nothing compromises either if proper procedures are followed. In fact, the right of return for diaspora Palestinians will be strengthened.

 

Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar said no one "asked the people of Gaza to take to the streets showing solidarity with the so-called September bid. If the Palestinian Authority calls for that, we will oppose it because they detain people in the West Bank."

 

"How can I give them the right to demonstrate in Gaza while they do not give us that right in the West Bank?"

 

Hamas official Mushir al-Masri accused Abbas of acting "without consulting any faction."

 

An anonymous PA official said Abbas "was surprised by the international opposition to the reconciliation with Hamas so he decided to slow down at least until September." 

 

"Now, with all efforts focused on" petitioning the UN, "we want all voices to be with us. We are not giving the Americans or anyone else a reason to shun us because of the reconciliation or anything else."

 

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and The Palestinian National Initiative support petitioning the UN, saying it's the last (or perhaps best) chance for statehood, given the futility of peace talks.

 

PFLP official Kayid al-Ghoul said:

 

"We support the Palestinian leadership's plan to go to the UN because (it's) a natural right of the Palestinians and part of the political battle against Israel." 

 

"Regardless of the outcome, this step should be part of the political battle we fight against occupation. It will also be an opportunity to enlarge the circle of solidarity with the Palestinian people's rights, and to expose Israel's policies and the supportive US policy."

 

Palestinian National Initiative leader Mustafa Barghouti called the UN initiative "the last option for two states," adding "time has come for an alternative. There is no space or place for talks. We won't be slaves to apartheid for the rest of our lives."

 

He also said if South Sudan could get statehood in 48 hours (no matter that America and EU nations pushed for balkanization), why not Palestinians after decades of failure.

 

Why not indeed, despite opposition from Washington, Israel, and at least several key European states.

 

Nothing important ever comes easily. Nothing comes at all without trying. Delay is the enemy of success. Whoever said there's no time like the present got it right.

 

A Final Comment

 

Since taking office, Obama's presidency has been defined by duplicity, lawlessness and betrayal.

 

He proved it by waging multiple imperial wars, lying about why they're fought.

 

He did it by handing Wall Street giants multi-trillions of taxpayer dollars - called "emergency loans" that perhaps never were repaid. He and the Fed also refused to say how much until finally it was learned that at least $16.1 trillion was involved. 

 

Some observers think it's lots more, plus an open-ended checkbook for as much as they want.

 

He rubbed it in by demanding austerity cuts during a Main Street Depression when growing tens of millions need help, not a hammer to the back of their heads.

 

On September 8, his "American Jobs Act" address to Congress was, in fact, another thinly veiled wealth transfer scheme to corporate favorites and super-rich elites already with too much.

 

He also proposed stealth measures to weaken Social Security and Medicare ahead of destroying them altogether to free up money for more wars and bailouts.

 

On September 12, he reiterated his contempt for Palestinians, saying:

 

If Palestinian statehood comes "to the Security Council, we would object very strongly, precisely because we think it would be 'counterproductive.' We don't think that it would actually lead to the outcome that we want, which is a two-state solution."

 

"Counterproductive" with no "two-state solution?"

 

Of course, his doublespeak distorts and inverts what Palestinians want and can get if proper procedures are followed.

 

Obama, Netanyahu and other officials from both countries are pushing to prevent them from achieving rights they've been denied for decades.

 

It's high time a ground swell of right over wrong support thunderously rejects the criminal class causing so much harm to so many. 

 

It's time it emerges globally against these two rogue states and their duplicitous allies. 

 

When committed and sustained, it's how great victories are won. 

 

Though never easily or quickly, they're only possible by trying.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

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New York Times: Lying about Libya and Palestine

 New York Times: Lying about Libya and Palestine - by Stephen Lendman

 

Note: A follow-up article will continue the narrative below. Currently, events in Tripoli are fluid.

 

Progressive Radio News Hour contributor Mahdi Nazemroaya's overnight email said:

 

"NATO landed insurgents in (Tripoli) harbor. They are attacking my hotel. I almost got shot. They're still lying a lot (about claims of controlling the capital), but we are in real danger."

 

He's saying that armed guerrilla gangs, mercenaries, indistinguishable from (also armed) Tripoli residents, are waging street warfare. 

 

Russia Today reported about 1,300 deaths. No one knows for sure. However, events are fast-moving and chaotic.

 

On Russia Today, Nazemroaya also said heavy looting occurred, including insurgents breaking into hotel rooms and ransacking them. In addition, he said NATO WANTS A BLOODBATH.

 

In fact, they're getting one, exacerbated by intense terror bombing, deliberately targeting civilians.

 

"Myself, the Press TV journalist (Lizzie Phelan), three French nationals, the Cuban and Telesur journalists are in danger."

 

"One of my French colleagues was told: 'You are going to suffer the consequences of your actions for opposing the NATO war."

 

Sunday, on Russia Today, Nazemroaya said he was told that CNN said he personally would pay for opposing the war.

 

REPEAT: CNN THREATENED MADHI NAZEMROAYA FOR REPORTING TRUTHFULLY ABOUT EVENTS ON THE GROUND, NOT THE PRO-NATO PROPAGANDA CNN (THE NEW YORK TIMES, AND OTHER MAJOR MEDIA) REPORT DAILY.

 

What's ongoing in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Palestine, as well as throughout North Africa/the Middle East/Central Asia is part of a COUP D'ETAT AGAINST FREEDOM - PLANNED, ORCHESTRATED AND DIRECTED FROM WASHINGTON.

 

Below covers the situation through Sunday PM. The narrative aims directly at shameless New York Times propaganda.

 

Rather than not send out because new events alter the picture I present, I believe it's nonetheless important to do so because:

 

(1) The New York Times, CNN and rest of the major media are part of Washington/NATO's war against freedom.

 

(2) They publish or broadcast falsified pro-war reports.

 

(3) They shamelessly support crimes of war and against humanity.

 

(4) On the ground "reporters" have provided NATO with bombing coordinates.

 

As a result, at the risk of inaccuracies because of subsequent events, the original article written Sunday begins as follows:

 

There they go again. Another day, more lies, shameless ones. Their correspondents prostitute themselves daily, making street whores, pimps, and dope peddlers look respectable in comparison.

 

On August 19, David Kirkpatrick headlined, "Qaddafi's Hold in Tripoli in Doubt as Rebels Advance," saying:

 

Gaddafi's "hold on his Tripoli stronghold shows signs of slipping....Residents (believe his) flight or ouster could be imminent. Three people said the feeling of fear was ebbing in the streets," suggesting it's because they think he'll soon be gone in contrast to the vast majority of supportive Tripoli residents, besides 85% of Libyans overall.

 

According to Kirkpatrick, "(w)ith unexpected swiftness, the ill-trained and ill-equiped rebels....overtook Zawiyah with its enormous oil refinery, just 30 miles west of Tripoli."

 

He quoted an unnamed US official saying, "Qaddafi might not know what he's going to do from one day to the next."

 

The article discussed other advances, existing solely in the mind of the Pentagon propagandist and unnamed US official who fed Kirkpatrick this rubbish he published.

 

On August 20, Kareem Fahim and Kirkpatrick headlined, "Heavy Fighting Reported in Tripoli; Rebels Encircle City," saying:

 

"For the first time in months, witnesses in Tripoli reported heavy fighting across the capital late Saturday night, even as rebel forces claimed to have encircled the city by taking major towns to its east, west and south."

 

According to "rebel leader" Anwar Fekini, "We are coordinating the attacks inside, and our forces from outside are ready to enter Tripoli."

 

On August 21, Kareem Fahim headlined, "Libyan Rebels Pass Defense Ring Near Tripoli," saying:

 

"Libyan rebels advanced to within 10 miles of Tripoli on Sunday, pushing past the city's outer defense lines and vowing to combine forces with insurgents who have waged intense battles inside the city," Gaddafi's "final stronghold."

 

As previous articles stressed, these reports read more like bad fiction than true accounts of conditions on the ground, exposing lies about alleged rebel victories.

 

Stratfor Global Intelligence (SGI) offered a mixed analysis, discounting notions of Gaddafi's imminent collapse, while nonsensically suggesting nonexistent rebel "advanc(es) toward Tripoli," indicating they "may be beginning an attempt to lay siege on the Libyan capital" and claim victory.

 

At the same time, SGI admits a "rebel disinformation campaign....in full swing....designed to trigger an uprising from within the capital to facilitate the rebel invasion....A lot of loose talk (about) a lot of explosions in Tripoli can be expected in the meantime."

 

In fact, Stratfor tried having it both ways, claiming rebel victories based on "disinformation," then exposing them as lies.

 

A Reality Check

 

On August 20, Progressive Radio News contributor Mahdi Nazemroaya's Global Research.ca article headlined, "Rebel Advances on Tripoli is Media Disinformation," saying:

 

Rebel disinformation claims "(h)eavy gunfire and explosions" in Tripoli. By the end of August, they say a final battle to take the city could begin. Other falsified reports indicate fighting in several city neighborhoods, including Tajoura, Soug Jomaa and Arada.

 

In fact, besides ongoing NATO bombing, "gunfire in the Libyan capital is sporadic and disorganized." Its main purpose "is to break down the morale here and cause panic." 

 

"The media here at the hotel where I am staying have been part of this disinformation campaign. They just want to feed the panic here and want the regime to collapse. They are fueling and feeding this psychological war against this country." 

 

At the same time, Libyans overwhelmingly support Gaddafi, determined to resist efforts to oust him. New York Times and other media sources, however, never report it. Instead, they lie, doing it shamelessly and badly.

 

Appearing August 20 on Russia Today (RT.com), Nazemroaya confirmed sporadic gunfire only, adding:

 

"It's not organized, and it's meant only to break down the morale" of Tripoli residents "and cause panic....In fact, the (major) media" are a key part of the disinformation campaign.

 

"They're talking about airlifts. (They're) saying migratory workers want to flee Tripoli. That's not true at all. They just want to (create) panic and make the regime collapse....They want Tripoli to be in panic. That's their whole aim," also spreading other lies "to cause trauma, (and) that's the truth."

 

"It's NATO that's doing all the fighting" with relentless daily bombing, mostly targeting civilians, "civilian checkpoints that are mostly protected and manned by volunteers," and civilian infrastructure. 

 

"But when the media say insurgents are moving in, that's not correct. It's NATO that's doing all the hard work here." Except for scattered elements, rebels won't "come into Tripoli. The population (is committed) to oppose them," and well armed by Gaddafi to do it.

 

"This is a NATO operation," controlling everything, rebels taking orders from them. Reporters are giving bombing coordinates to NATO, including civilian checkpoints, hospitals, and other nonmilitary targets to terrorize Libyans into submission. 

 

"The media here are part of the war machine."

 

Also appearing August 20 on RT, Franklin Lamb said he just returned from traveling all around Tripoli. "There's no heavy fighting" as falsely reported. "There is sporadic bombing every hour" or so, and some anti-aircraft fire. "It's clear that the rebels are not here....Now it's very quiet." Claiming rebels are there "is nonsense."

 

On the same day, independent journalist Lizzie Phelan told RT:

 

Tripoli gunfire and fireworks now heard is celebratory among Gaddafi supporters, not falsified claims of rebel attacks. 

 

Earlier there were some scattered rebel fighters in the city, perhaps sleeper cells awaiting orders. Libya's government calls them gangs. "They've now been cleared out of the city, captured and arrested."

 

"The only explosions (heard are) from NATO bombing and sound bombs to create a sense of panic....Now what we're hearing happened earlier today is that the rebels (by) their own media, their own channels, including Al Jazeera at the center of the media conspiracy, is that they created some fake footage inside Zawiya, claiming they're (there) and in Tripoli."

 

It was done to create panic. Scattered rebel gangs began firing and threatening people, saying they'd be assassinated if they didn't join them.

 

Other "armed Libyans came out to defend their capital." Control was reestablished. Now people are out because they feel safe again, showing relief with fireworks and celebratory gunfire, ready to resist other rebel attacks if they come.

 

Gaddafi also spoke live by phone, insisting he's alive, well, and inside the country. Moreover, "NATO isn't having any successes on the ground, so (their only recourse) is to fabricate them by (media lies) to convince the Security Council and most people that the war is worthwhile."

 

Since the beginning of the conflict, "people have been armed to the teeth," using weapons Gaddafi supplied. They're "ready to defend their capital and country, and stand by their leader Muammar Gaddafi."

 

They understand the unacceptable alternative. As a result, they're committed to fight to prevent it.

 

Phalen's Sunday report said scattered fighting continues. In other words, rebel pockets claim advances not made, solely for media-spread propaganda purposes to incite panic in Tripoli. 

 

Residents are too smart to buy it. Well-armed and committed, they're ready to defend their city and country, unwilling to surrender to NATO, rebel cutthroats, and media liars.

 

Suppressing Information about Israel's Crimes

 

On August 20, Times writers Isabel Kershner and Fares Akram headlined, "Casualties on Both Sides as Israel and Gaza Trade Fire," saying:

 

"Palestinian militants from Gaza fired rockets at cities deep inside Israeli territory on Saturday, killing one person. And Israel struck a squad that was firing mortars from northern Gaza as violence continued in the wake of an attack on Thursday that killed eight Israelis, Israeli officials said."

 

Instead of explaining what's really ongoing, both writers suggested Palestinians are at fault, responsible for killing Israelis, when, in fact, they had nothing to do with it. 

 

As a result, they implied support for Israel's right to respond violently, saying nothing about its plan to assassinate Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) leaders, willfully target civilians and nonmilitary infrastructure, and perhaps continue relentless attacks.

 

Why? 

 

To derail Palestinian UN General Assembly efforts for self-determination and de jure member status.

 

End weeks of nationwide protests for social justice issues Netanyahu won't address.

 

Perhaps also prevent a possible Palestinian spring and provide pretext for Cast Lead II.

 

Both writers, in fact, steered clear of Israeli motives, said little about Palestinian casualties, nothing about years of Gaza under siege, Israel's planned slow-motion genocide, nor explain extreme human suffering too severe to ignore.

 

Instead, they changed the subject, covering IDF attacks against "Hamas training facilities, weapons manufacturing sites, smugglers' tunnels, and rocket and mortar teams preparing to attack," ending their brief report, saying:

 

"Some 50 rockets have been fired at Israel since Thursday. (Saturday) evening, a rocket that hit a house in Ofakim wounded three, including an infant and a child."

 

Implied was that only Israeli casualties matter, not horrific ones inflicted regularly on Palestinians.

 

Not only do Times writers lie, they airbrush uncomfortable truths about Washington and Israeli crimes, betraying their readers and profession in the process.

 

A Final Comment

 

Judith Miller's fall from grace taught Times correspondents nothing. Like her, they're again in full battle mode, scamming their readers by publishing Pentagon press releases, not accurate reports, disgracing themselves in the process.

 

And if Times reports proliferate lies, imagine what other media sources provide, especially US television news and information. It's little more than a bottomless profane sinkhole of worthlessness. 

 

Tune it out, avoid it, and prevent a bad aftertaste and self-flagellation.

 

Instead, stay informed. Spread the truth and act on it responsibly.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Falsified New York Times Middle East Reports

 Falsified New York Times Middle East Reports - by Stephen Lendman

 

They appear daily like weeds on all topics. As a result, Times reports aren't fit to read, let alone print. August 18 was no exception, publishing lies about Libyan insurgent victories. 

 

On August 18, headlining, "Libyan Rebels Gain Control of Oil Refinery as Qaddafi Forces Flee," Kareem Fahim's article was pure Pentagon propaganda, duplicitously lying to readers. 

 

Yet he said "(r)ebel fighters claimed complete control of a sprawling (Zawiyah) oil refinery, seizing one of (Gaddafi's) most important assets after just three days of fighting and delivering the latest in a string of small victories that have suddenly put the rebels at Tripoli's door."

 

Reporting from Tripoli, independent Middle East/Central Asian analyst, Mahdi Nazemroaya refuted him, telling Progressive Radio News Hour listeners that:

 

-- Gaddafi forces are winning;

 

-- rebels are in disarray;

 

-- the so-called National Transitional Council (NTC) is falling apart;

 

-- Misrata was liberated from rebels;

 

-- Tripoli is peaceful and calm, despite daily NATO bombing, willfully targeting civilians and nonmilitary  sites;

 

-- scattered fighting continues along routes to Tunisia and elsewhere;

 

-- arteries between the two countries remain open;

 

-- Intense Western propaganda wants to intimidate Gaddafi supporters to give up hope of prevailing;

 

-- it's had the opposite effect, in fact, galvanizing Libyans overwhelmingly behind Gaddafi, making him by far the most popular African/Middle East leader; and

 

-- his forces control Gheryan, Sorman, Sabratha, and Zawiyah, its oil refinery and others; reports saying otherwise are lies; rebels are south of the city, not in it.

 

In an August 18 morning email, he added:

 

"Nothing has changed thus far. There is fighting in the area, but (rebels) do not have control. Bombings over Tripoli are very bad though."

 

As part of NATO's intimidation campaign, they continue daily, inflicting pain and suffering on Libyans unrelated to military necessity. As a result, they're war crimes, what Times and other major media sources won't explain.

 

Moreover, in times of war, the first casualty is duplicitous reporting, journalists lying for a living, prostituting themselves for a buck.

 

Daily The New York Times lies. So do other Western broadsheets, magazines, US television, the BBC, National Public Radio, Public Broadcasting, and other mainsteam sources, showing their managed news lacks credibility.

 

For example, Fahim falsely claimed:

 

-- Gaddafi forces "mounted (no) forceful counterattack;"

 

-- signs indicate that the conflict "reached a critical moment, if not its final stage;"

 

-- "the vital highway from Tunisia to Tripoli has remained closed, controlled by rebels;"

 

-- thousands of refugees flee Tripoli daily to escape "mounting hardships" and "be safer in rebel-held areas;"

 

-- rebels show increasing confidence;

 

-- morale among Gaddafi forces is near collapse;

 

-- daily defectors joins rebels; and

 

-- rebels now control former Gaddafi held cities.

 

In fact, his article reads more like bad fiction than news. Independent reports refute him and others, including about other Gaddafi held cities claimed in rebel hands.

 

On August 17, writers Susan Lindauer and Joanne Moriarty headlined, "Libya: Gadhaffi Retakes Key Towns," saying:

 

"Is Gadhaffi losing? Au contraire. In total contradiction to the propaganda push on CNN (and other Pentagon mouthpieces, independent) sources inside Libya say" Gaddafi, not rebels, is prevailing.

 

In fact, pockets of insurgents are in all these areas, but they're "isolated and surrounded by the Libyan army." In addition, most tribes, including major ones "are fighting with Gaddafi" against rebels.

 

His forces are motivated, not demoralized, as falsified reports claim. 

 

On August 17, Scott Taylor's Chronicle Herald article headlined, "Gadhafi Support Soars Amid NATO Bombing," saying:

 

Libya's insurgency "has been more of a media war than a full-scale armed clash." In fact, despite an embargo, sea blockade, theft of Gaddafi's assets, and ferocious daily bombing, "the ragtag collection of fractious" rebels haven't managed "to make any serious headway against Gadhafi loyalists," let alone topple him.

 

His overwhelming popularity is key, polls showing it about 85%. Moreover, over 2,000 of Libya's 2,335 tribes support him, including the largest ones. 

 

At the same time, Libyans revile NATO and cutthroat rebels with good reason. They're destroying, not liberating Libya for well understood imperial reasons. As a result, popular sentiment is determined to resist.

 

On August 16, the Mossad connected DEBKAfile headlined, "Libyan rebel 'gains' smokescreen for talks in Tunisia to end war," saying:

 

Claims about rebel advances and Gaddafi forces near collapse are pure propaganda, not facts because government and TNC representatives "have been meeting in semi-secrecy on the Tunisian island of Djerba...."

 

Fighting on the ground has been "tailing off and morphing into direct talks between the two" sides.

 

DEBKA sources explained "a step-by-step" process, involving Gaddafi yielding power in stages to a new government to include top positions for his sons, key loyalists, supportive tribes, and TNC turncoats. In addition, Gaddafi will remain in Libya, his personal safety guaranteed.

 

DEBKA also confirmed independent reports that TNC "leadership is being torn apart by infighting," especially after its field commander, Gen. Abdel Fatah Younis was assassinated.

 

"By broadcasting false reports of victories, such as the conquest of....Brega (Zawiyah, and other Gaddifi held cities), the rebels hope to cover up their internal disputes and inability to win the war, while at the same time (hoping falsified victories will be) bargaining chips for the negotiations."

 

The only so-called rebel gains, in fact, were made by "Berger tribes (that) reject any ties whatsoever with" insurgent forces.

 

Clearly, the scripted media victory claims are pure Pentagon propaganda - ball-faced lies with no credibility whatsoever. Reporters, commentators, and editorial writers regurgitating them function solely as imperial tools, disgracing their profession in the process.

 

A Final Comment

 

Misreporting on Syria matches Libya propaganda. On August 18, New York Times writer Steven Lee Myers headlined, "US and Allies Say Syria Leader Must Step Down," saying:

 

Obama and other Western leaders "called on Syria's Bashar al-Assad to give up power." Obama also froze "all Syrian assets within American jurisdiction, banned imports of Syrian oil and barred American citizens from having any business dealings with the Syrian government...."

 

In addition, he called on other countries to impose similar sanctions.

 

An August 18 White House Office of the Press Secretary statement was propaganda rubbish, saying:

 

"The United States has been inspired by the Syrian peoples' pursuit of a peaceful transition to democracy. They have braved ferocious brutality at the hands of their government. They have spoken with their 'peaceful' marches, their 'silent' shaming of the Syrian regime, and their courageous persistence....For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step down."

 

Aside from the audacity of demanding regime change anywhere, as well as imposing sanctions harming civilians, not government officials, the entire statement falsified what's been ongoing in Syria for months. 

 

A previous article explained, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/destabilizing-syria.html

 

More on it below.

 

An August 18 Times editorial headlined, "Truth About Syria," saying:

 

"It took too long, but (Obama) finally - and unequivocally - called for (Assad) to step down and end his murderous war against the Syrian people....Any fantasies that Mr. Assad is a guarantor of Syrian stability or could lead a peaceful transition have been rightly jettisoned."

 

Even Saudi and Bahrain despots can't "stomach (h)is killing spree...."

 

Expecting truth on New York Times pages is like imagining a progressive awakening in Washington, Republicans and Democrats renouncing imperial wars, holding past and current culpable officials accountable, nationalizing the Federal Reserve, breaking up too-big-to fail banks, and prosecuting Wall Street and other corporate kleptocrats, confiscating their stolen assets for starters.

 

The above linked article compared events ongoing in Syria to what began in Libya, pitting imperial powers against ruling governments for destabilization and control. In Libya, it's by war for regime change, colonization and plunder. In Syria, it's to establish another client state, no matter who heads it.

 

Clear evidence shows armed non-Syrian insurgents responsible for much violence, killing civilians and security forces. Western media, European leaders, and complicit regional ones falsely blame Assad, despite legitimate nonviolent opposition to his regime. They, in fact, are caught between hostile sides.

 

On August 6, Lebanon's Al-Akhbar newspaper said government security forces foiled an attempt to ship large quantities of arms to Syrian insurgents, including high-quality Kalashnikov and M-16 rifles. Suppliers were arrested after delivering them to a Beirut neighborhood.

 

On August 8, Lebanon's As-Safir newspaper quoted a security official, saying:

 

"The recently foiled operation is still under investigation, and there has been highly significant information gleaned from those involved who are affiliated with a prominent tendency in the March 14 alliance. This is not the only operation that they have carried out."

 

March 14 is the anti-Hezbollah/anti-Syrian Saad al-Hariri-led alliance, son of assassinated Rafik Hariri in February 2005, a Mossad operation falsely blamed on Hezbollah.

 

Washington, Israel, and Saudi Arabia back March 14. Seizing arms for Syrian insurgents provide more evidence of imperial efforts to destabilize Assad's government, replacing it with a pro-Western one, controlled by America.

 

According to DEBKAfile and Israeli intelligence, internal anti-Assad elements also have or will get heavier weapons, including machine guns, mortars, anti-tank and air rockets. Syria's army also said hundreds of Islamist Salafi fighters were detained, including Afghans.

 

On August 16, Michel Chossudovsky's Global Research.ca article headlined, "The Pentagon's 'Salvador Option:' The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria," saying:

 

Turkish troops may intervene in Syria. A broader military confrontation may result, and "(i)n recent developments, Islamist death squads have penetrated the port city of Latakia's Ramleh district, (including) rooftop snipers (who) are terrorizing the local population."

 

Imperial Washington orchestrated and escalated North African/Middle East/Central Asian conflicts. Involving Syria risks expanding them to general war, perhaps involving Russia and China for their own interests, opposite America's.

 

Washington's imperial arrogance suggests a possible global conflict, especially to divert public attention from deepening economic Depression. 

 

The strategy is tried and true, scaring people enough to put safety above pocket book issues, besides enlisting public support for greater geopolitical aims. 

 

Attacking weaker countries is one thing, involving China and Russia potentially quite another. As a result, understanding the risk and stopping it is crucial. The alternative is too grim to imagine.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

מחאה חברתית אמיתית

אל תדרשו, חוקים לחטיפת-ילדים למוסדות-שטיפת-המוח הבורגניים!! תיבעו מן הממשלה, הארכת חופשת-הלידה, הכפלת שכר-המינימום, הפחתת שבוע-העבודה ושוויון מוחלט בין המינים!! קנו פחות = חיו יותר!! זאת תהיה, מחאה חברתית אמיתית....לא מה, שאנחנו רואים כיום באוהלים!!

Indymedia Trolls Attack

Indymedia Trolls Attack in Greece are united Greek trolls of Athens Indymedia ( https://athens.indymedia.org/?lang=el ) as expressed by our blog http://indymediatrolls.blogspot.com/

 

Media Lies and Misinformation on Bin Laden

 Media Lies and Misinformation on Bin Laden - by Stephen Lendman

 

Corporate media manipulators love a big story they can hype, distort and falsify to attract large audiences, unaware they're getting managed news, not truth. 

 

Moreover, the bigger the event, the worse the reporting, and no matter how often they're fooled, madding crowds rely on proved unreliable sources like US cable and broadcast TV, as well as corporate broadsheets and popular magazines publishing rubbish not fit to print.

 

After Obama's May day announcement, round-the-clock coverage now features "story one" ad nauseam, cheerleading the death of a dead man with no one allowed on to refute it. 

 

A previous article did, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/05/lies-damn-lies-and-bin-ladens-death.html

 

Separating fact from fiction, it explained:

 

(1) Significant facts from David Ray Griffin's important book titled, "Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?" In it, he provided objective and testimonial evidence of his December 2001 death, likely from kidney failure, not a special forces hit squad getting their man then or now.

 

(2) Forensic evidence that post-9/11 videos and audios were fake.

 

(3) Bin Laden's role as a CIA asset, as well as called "Enemy Number One," using him advantageously both ways.

 

(4) Also, reports of his 2001 hospitalizations in Pakistan and Dubai where (in July) the emirate's CIA station chief visited him in his hospital room. Why not if he was a valued asset, his likely status until his natural, not violent, death.

 

Nonetheless, Western politicians and media, notably America's, never miss a chance to report fiction, not fact, especially on headline news like bin Laden's death, a decade after it happened.

 

Examples of Media Misreporting

 

Several May 2 New York Times articles provide painful reading, including Mark Mazzetti, Helene Cooper and Peter Baker's headlined, "Behind the Hunt for Bin Laden," saying:

 

"For years, the agonizing search for (him) kept coming up empty. Then last July, Pakistanis working for the (CIA) drove up behind a white Suzuki navigating the bustling streets near Peshawar, Pakistan," and discovered, after checking its license, that it belonged to his "most trusted courier...."

 

Claiming he lead them to bin Laden's location, it said:

 

"79 American commandos in four helicopters descended on (it). Shots rang out....Of the five dead, one was a tall, bearded man with a bloodied face and a bullet in his head."

 

Bin Laden's manhunt ended, said the writers, when he was identified, then quickly buried at sea to hide the evidence, though under English common law most often, no body means no killing or crime. In other words, without proof, prosecutorial allegations are baseless.

 

Nonetheless, Mazzetti, Cooper and Baker recounted a decade-long fantasy, including detainee interrogations in secret Eastern Europe prisons, widespread surveillance, wiretaps, satellite images and more before tracking bin Laden to a Abbottabad, Pakistan compound and killing him.

 

No matter that none of it was true and much more. International and constitutional law prohibit sending uninvited military forces to another country for any reason. 

 

Moreover, no one suspected of any crime may be summarily executed with no arrest, no due process, no no judicial fairness, and no trial. Just a bullet, bomb or slit throat, Washington's version of summary judgment besides torture and imperial wars as official policies. 

 

These topics were ignored in major media reports, focused solely on killing a decade earlier dead man.

 

On May 2, Times writers Scott Shane and Robert Worth headlined, "Even Before Al Qaeda Lost Its Founder, It May Have Lost Some of Its Allure," saying:

 

Bin Laden had "long been removed from managing terrorist operations and whose popularity with Muslims worldwide has plummeted in recent years," calling him a "violent extremis(t) without saying he was replaced after his 2001 death so, of course, his influenced waned. Out of sight, out of mind, especially when dead.

 

A May 2 Times editorial headlined, "The Long-Awaited News," saying:

 

"The news that (he'd) been tracked and killed by American forces filled us, and all Americans, with a great sense of relief....(but we must) remember that the fight against extremists is far from over."

 

Noting years of painstaking "vigilance and persistence," it praised Obama for "show(ing) that he is a strong and measured leader. His declaration on Sunday night that 'justice has been done' was devoid of triumphalism."

 

In fact, he affirmed continuity of America's war on terror - state terror, including four imperial wars and numerous proxy ones, expending enormous sums while popular needs go begging. 

 

Ignoring truth, he repeated lies endorsed shamelessly by America's media, notably by Times correspondents, op-ed contributors, and editorial writers with comments like:

 

"Bin Laden's death is an extraordinary moment for Americans and all who have lost loved ones in horrifying, pointless acts of terrorism." 

 

Unmentioned was decades of US and Israeli-sponsored state terrorism responsible for millions of deaths, destruction and human suffering. Earlier, noted scholar/activist Eqbal Ahmad (1934 - 1999) called it:

 

"illegal violence, (including) torture, (attacking and bombing) villages, destruction of entire peoples, (and) genocide," adding, "Who will define the parameters of terrorism, or decide where terrorists lurk? Why, none other than the United States, (its leading practitioner) which can from the rooftops of the world set out its claim to be the sheriff, judge and hangman, all at one and the same time."

 

So while rhetorically supporting equal justice and democratic values, Washington spurns international and constitutional law, using brute force to assert might over right, all the while proclaiming just cause reasons for its actions.

 

No wonder Ahmad called America "a troubled country," sowing "poisonous seeds" globally, saying "(s)ome have ripened and others are ripening (with no) examination of (what they've) sown," adding that "(m)issiles won't solve the problem." In other words, violence assures more of it, but don't expect America's media to explain.

 

On May 2, Washington Post writers Greg Miller and Joby Warrick headlined, "Bin Laden discovered 'hiding in plain sight,' " recounting the same fantasy as Times writers, saying:

 

"The commandos swept methodically through (his) compound's main building, clearing one room and then another" until they got their man. Sounding more like bad fiction, they said the operation was secretly planned for months, culminating with Sunday's assault, adding bin Laden wasn't hiding in a cave after all.

 

A WP editorial headlined, "Possible consequences of the bin Laden coup," saying:

 

"There are multiple reasons to celebrate" his death, including loss of Al Qaeda's leader, the prowess of US intelligence and military, and that the "prime (9/11) author (finally was) brought to justice."

 

It brought "a rare moment of common celebration and relief in a divided America. But (it's) not clear to what degree al-Qaeda's operations will be affected by the loss of its leader." It may, in fact, strengthen its resolve. History shows dead militants often inspire followers.

 

Ignoring illegal operations on foreign soil, it worried most about ending or curtailing them prematurely, no matter the toll in human life and neglect for popular domestic needs. For now, celebratory joy takes precedence, even for false reasons.

 

A Wall Street Journal editorial headlined "Victory in Abbottabad," saying:

 

Killing bin Laden "doesn't end the war against Islamic terror (note the racism), but it is a crucial and just victory that is rightfully cause for celebration."

 

Ignoring daily US war crimes, including killer drones murdering civilians, it railed against "combatants who hide in the world's dark corners, who rarely fight in the open and who attack innocents far from any conventional battlefield."

 

Praising Obama, it called it "a moment to salute George W. Bush....a vindication of (his war on terror, intelligence, and) interrogation policies," torturing innocent victims to extract false confessions and information about things they know nothing about, including bin Laden's alleged whereabouts.

 

His death, said the writer, "is a measure of justice for the thousands he killed (and) a warning to others who would kill Americans that they will meet the same fate, no matter how long it takes or where they try to hide."

 

This and other accounts like it, sadly, is what passes for corporate opinion in America, endorsing state terror and vilifying those against it.

 

Huffington Post contributor Michael Calderone headlined "Network Anchors Head to Ground Zero for Bin Laden Coverage," saying:

 

They never miss a chance to misreport major news, including the three broadcast anchors: NBC's Brian Williams, ABC's Diane Sawyer, and CBS' Katie Couric (an entertainer impersonating a newsperson) "host(ing) an expanded, one-hour May 2 edition of their nightly broadcasts from" Ground Zero.

 

Several cable channels joined them, including CNN and Fox, reporting fiction about a decade earlier dead man.

 

Time magazine's cover story featured bin Laden's full-page image with a pronounced red X crossing him out, highlighting what didn't happen to the detriment of readers believing inaccurate reporting.

 

Al Jazeera was just as bad with stories like one headlined, "Obama says world safer without Bin Laden," saying:

 

He "claimed responsibility for planning the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington," providing no corroborating evidence. In fact, in David Ray Griffin's  writings, he said:

 

"(T)here is no good evidence that bin Laden had planned or even specifically authorized the 9/11 attacks." Those believing it cite his misinterpreted September 2001 Al Jazeera interview, rejoicing in the attacks but denying knowledge or responsibility.

 

Griffin said one of his aides confirmed that he had "no information or knowledge about the attack(s)" but he "thanked Almighty Allah and bowed before him when he heard this news." Days later he told Al Jazeera:

 

"I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation." 

 

During two subsequent October 2001 interviews, he praised the "vanguards of Islam (who) destroyed America," but again admitted no knowledge or responsibility. 

 

Al Jazeera now claiming it is a lie.

 

BBC aired the same misinformation as did America's National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting (PBS), calling his death a blow to Al Qaeda. So did Democracy Now, ignoring bin Laden's decade earlier natural, not violent, death.

 

Nation magazine editor Katrina vanden Heuvel also swallowed the big lie, headlining her article, "With Osama bin Laden Dead, It's Time to End the 'War on Terror,' " that was entirely bogus from inception, saying:

 

"Today, President Obama and his team have a chance to reset our fight against terrorism," vanden Heuvel not condemning its lawlessness, America's imperial wars, a president with no credibility, a falsely reported 9/11 event, and that the only relevant terror is what Washington unleashes globally against nonbelligerent nations.

 

Instead, she praised Obama's "humane and sober" position, calling it "a relief to hear in his words reminders of" a brief post-9/11 period before America went to war in Afghanistan, then Iraq, undertakings Nation magazine supported at the time and still stops short of rejecting.

 

A Final Comment

 

On May 2, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting's Peter Hart headlined, "Bush's Palpable Persistence in Pursuit of bin Laden," suggesting he stopped looking, knowing he died, quoting him saying in March 2002:

 

"Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not. We haven't heard from him in a long time....I don't know where he is. I really just don't spend that much time on him, to be honest with you."

 

Washington Monthly's Steve Benen offered more evidence of no interest in pursuing him, saying:

 

"In July 2006, we learned that the Bush administration closed its unit that had been hunting bin Laden," reported also by New York Times writer Mark Mazzetti on July 4, saying the CIA ceased all efforts last year pursuing him.

 

Along with David Ray Griffin's important work, it's more proof of bin Laden's 2001 death, putting a lie to Obama's announcement and shameless journalists repeating it.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Al Jazeera's War on Syria

 Al Jazeera's War on Syria - by Stephen Lendman

 

A previous article discussed Al Jazeera's war on Gaddafi, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/al-jazeeras-war-on-gaddafi.html

 

Discussing its recent programming, it explained how compromised it's become. For example on Libya, it's been largely Western/Qatari propaganda, not legitimate news, information, and analysis. 

 

It's Syria coverage has been similar, providing its host country regime friendly reporting. Qatar is part of the Washington-led NATO anti-Gaddafi coalition. Shamelessly, Al Jazeera News channel (JNC) is on board supporting it.

 

Like America's media and BBC, JNC's biased reporting got one of its prominent journalists to resign in late April - its Beirut chief and host of the popular Hiwar Muftuh (open dialogue) program, Ghassan Bin Jiddo.

 

According to the Lebanon newspaper, As-Safir, it was to protest its recent coverage of Arab uprisings, saying:

 

The broadcaster "has abandoned professionalism and objectivity, turning from a media source into an operation room that incites and mobilizes. Ghassan Ben Jeddo believes JNC no longer pursues....independent and unbiased policies, and quite conversely, is in pursuit of a certain type of (policy) regarding the brewing uprisings in the region."

 

Professor AbuKhalil's Angry Arab News Service also expresses sharp criticism of Al Jazeera's less than credible reporting. He said Bin Jiddo resigned for the above reasons and because of the broadcaster's "recent radical shift....in alliance with the Saudi-Israeli alliance in the Middle East....Ghassan belongs to the Arab nationalist mold and is a fierce supporter of resistance to Israel."

 

He had great influence at JNC, nearly became director-general before Waddah Khanfar got the job, so his resignation "will bring further embarrassment to the network."

 

AbuKhalil also said he's heard directly from others at Al Jazeera Arabic and English that "the majority are quite irate" about network coverage, especially on Bahrain, but also on Libya, Syria, and elsewhere, making all of its reporting suspect.

 

In late April, a report from a supposed eye-witness, identified as dentist Mohammad Abdul Rahman, about alleged clashes between security forces and protesters in Homs, Syria, were, in fact, fabricated.

 

After its airing, the real Abdul Rahman called the Syrian Satellite Channel. Condemning the false use of his name to provide unsubstantiated information about Homs, he said:

 

"I was surprised when one of my friends called me saying that my name was aired on Al Jazeera as an eyewitness....I didn't call that channel. The broadcast statement is false and is in the framework of the huge media incitement campaign targeting Syria by this channel."

 

It wasn't the first time. Another man identified as Ammar Wahud, told JNC he was one of the protesters with information on Baniyas demonstrations. This time, however, it backfired when on air he said:

 

"There are mass protests in Baniyas but they are all in support of President Bashar Assad." He then criticized JNC's biased coverage but was stopped when the interview was abruptly ended.

 

In mid-October 2010, the Morocco Board News Service also condemned JNC for not covering Polisario dissident Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud's "odyssey from the Moroccan city of Smara, where he voiced his support (for) the Moroccan Autonomy Plan for the Western Saraha, to the Algerian city of Tindouf where the separatist Polisario Front arrested him and sent him to an Algerian prison."

 

Moroccans are mystified about JNC's lack of interest, especially after its news team earlier covered stories about anti-Moroccan activities in the region. They're also outraged about JNC's biased coverage of human rights abuses in Morocco and Algeria, as well as siding with Algeria on the Sahara dispute.

 

"Moroccans, like other Arab viewers are starting to see through Al Jazeera's screaming programs and theatrical discussions."

 

Despite its earlier credible work, it now has a "country-by-country a la carte agenda," picking and choosing between accurate and biased reporting, tainting all its work in the process. 

 

For concerned Moroccans and others in the region, JNC's avoidance of Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud jailing by Algeria's army provides proof of its "influenced and prejudiced policy." Featuring other stories instead, his disappearance got short shrift. 

 

As a result, Moroccans are tuning out. "It will take more than shouting matches and anti-Israeli rhetoric to convince" them otherwise.

 

On February 21, the New Media Journal (NMJ) headlined, "Al Jazeera and Middle East's Quest for Democracy," saying:

 

What began as a noble experiment more recently deteriorated visibly. For example:

 

"During the Egyptian uprising, (JNC's) biased reporting became even more obvious....reign(ing) in its reporters," perhaps under pressure to do it. Now "its true colors are fast emerging. Bias is clearly seen (in its coverage of or lack thereof) about Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Algeria, Bahrain, and, of course, its host country Qatar and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. 

 

"This is indeed unfortunate and (shows) when it comes to support(ing) democracy, (JNC was created) to give it lip service (but instead offers) biased reporting (of the kind) it accuses America or the American media of" doing. Unless it returns to its roots, it "will find itself in a dead end, much like some of the dictators it pretends not to support." 

 

Too often, however, JNC replicates Western reporting. As a result, it's now part of the message presenting managed news, not unbiased reporting. That could be its undoing, at least as a source for real news, information and analysis, what too often it avoids.

 

Even Foreign Policy took note, now a Washington Post publication. On February 1, it headlined "The Al Jazeera Spotlight," saying:

 

"There are various reasons why (some of JNC's coverage) is lopsided and selective. Some of it has to do with the Qatari monarchy's own diplomatic interests. A decade ago, Al Jazeera used to annoy the Saudi regime fairly regularly....until Riyadh (complained to) the Qatari government." After it intervened, "the TV network softened the nature of its reporting toward Saudi Arabia," and also slanted its other coverage.

 

Its bias largely depends on where Qatar stands and to what degree other nations influence its positions. In other words, it's like BBC, supporting Britain's agenda the way its founder and first general manager, John Reith, once explained, saying:

 

"(You) know (you) can trust us not to be really impartial." 

 

BBC never was nor has been to this day. In fact, most, perhaps all, Western media are deeply comprised by state and commercial interests. Increasingly it's no different on Al Jazeera.

 

Now living in London and Dubai, Ghanem Nuselbeh is a Palestinian closely following Middle East events. Interviewed by Just Journalism on April 12, he expressed views about JNC's reporting, saying:

 

As a Palestinian, he "had very high hopes for Al Jazeera, as the region's first relatively impartial news channel....To put things in context, we must remember that (it's) sponsored by the Qatari government and to a large extent, is an instrument of Qatari public diplomacy."

 

"Qatar is one of the West's leading regional allies, and home to (US CENTCOM bases)....Al Jazeera has in many instances been cutting-edge, and even revolutionary. For example, it was the first Arabic channel to use the word 'Israel' as a noun, rather than adjective, and to put this on the map. (JNC) also provided a platform for public debates about topics that have hitherto been considered taboo in the Arab World."

 

But its "lack of coverage of Bahrain" and other regional countries "has undoubtedly damaged (its) image (on) the Arab street and I think this will take a long time to mend....I have also noticed significant variation between how (its) Arabic and English language channels report things."

 

Angry Arab News Service Comments on Al Jazeera's Syria Coverage

 

April 29: JNC's "coverage has become so comically lousy that they in fact really help (Syria's) propaganda (by) making it easy to discredit its coverage (and the fact that its coverage seems to be coordinated with....Al-Arabiyyah....the lousy news station of)" Saudi King Fahd.

 

April 28: "The main complaint about (JNC's) coverage is not that it covers Arab upheavals but that its coverage is selective. "Any person can call and claim to be a 'witness in Syria' (and get) put on the air and allowed to say anything," without checking its accuracy.

 

April 25: "You see the evidence of the Saudi-Qatari counter-revolution plot in the coverage of" Al Jazeera and (Saudi-controlled) Al-Arabiyyah. "They used to cover everything differently. Lately, the coverage is exactly the same: they devote the same amount of time to the same issues and they even use similar propaganda pieces."

 

April 23: "What Al Jazeera does not cover - dictatorships of the GCC."

 

April 14: Despite good Qatari - Syrian relations, JNC "never covered Syria uncritically....But lately, there is a shift: the coverage of the Syrian regime became more negative and government propagandists are visibly mocked and ridiculed (which is fine if it employed the same tactics with Saudi and NATO propagandists), and lately the channel relies on sensational Saudi propaganda sheets for coverage."

 

For example, it "cited the more sensational and unreliable propaganda Saudi outlet, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (mouthpiec of Prince Salman and his sons), in its reference to a 'secret Syrian intelligence' document. (It's) so clearly made up....The paper admits it lifted it from Facebook pages, and (its written instructions urge) goons of the regime to kill a certain number and to even shoot at soldiers. With Saudi media, I cite the Babylonian Talmud: they lie when they tell the truth." Too often, Al Jazeera replicates it.

 

Current Al Jazeera Reporting on Syria

 

On May 1, JNC headlined, "Death toll rises as Syria crackdown continues," saying:

 

"Syrian forces have continued their military crackdown in the flashpoint city of Deraa....shooting dead the son of (an) imam, witnesses say."

 

Another unidentified witness said, "We are totally besieged. It is a tragedy." Still another said, "The bullets are flying straight over my head as we are talking. It's so close."

 

JNC admitted it "could not independently corroborate the witness accounts." Why then were unverified comments aired, besides offering no other views.

 

On May 1, JNC headlined, "Syrian protesters stay defiant amid crackdown," saying:

 

"Anti-government protesters in Syria are planning further demonstrations....undaunted by a violent security crackdown unleashed on them."

 

Again quoting an unidentified "source," it said "(H)undreds of people have been arrested....in Deraa. (It's) been blockaded since Monday, when the army went in backed by snipers and tanks....But no matter how panicked, or concerned they are, (protesters) say their morale is still high."

 

On April 30, JNC headlined, "Blood continues to be shed in Syria," saying:

 

"Amateur videos....show deadly crackdown continu(es) in major towns," providing no information about who supplied them, as well as no other views.

 

On April 28, JNC headlined, "Syrian soldiers 'switching allegiances,' " saying:

 

Unverified "(a)mateur footage is said to show that some troops have been shot at from within their own ranks for refusing to fire upon protesters in the city of Deraa."

 

JNC admits it "cannot independently verify the footage," but reports nothing about instances of armed instigators firing on and killing security forces. Doing so anywhere, of course, generates a robust response, even in democracies.

 

A Final Comment 

 

Media coverage aside, the forty-year Hafez and Bashar al-Assad dictatorship has been repressively harsh. As a result, like elsewhere in the region, protesters genuinely want democratic reforms and social grievances addressed. However, violence isn't how to achieve them, nor does international law permit nations to interfere lawlessly in the internal affairs of others, especially by inciting it for regime change.

 

Leaked WikiLeaks cables show Washington secretly financed Syrian opposition groups. Richard Perle's 1996 document, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Security the Realm," recommended rolling back its regime. Washington's National Endowment for Democracy admits being active in the country. It operates to destabilize and oust regimes, not democratically reform them. 

 

A March 30 Haaretz article reported a US-Saudi scheme to oust Assad, and on December 19, 2006, Time magazine writer Adam Zagorin headlined, "Syria in Bush's Cross Hairs," saying:

 

"The Bush Administration has been quietly nurturing individuals and parties opposed to the Syrian government in an effort to undermine the regime of President Bashar Assad."

 

Citing a "classified, two-page document," Zagorin said Washington was "supporting regular meetings of internal and diaspora Syrian activists in Europe." Moreover, US officials were funding and maintaining "extensive contacts with a range of anti-Assad groups in Washington, Europe and inside Syria."

 

At the time, according to an unnamed US official:

 

"You are forced to wonder whether we are now trying to destabilize the Syrian government."

 

Efforts then were being coordinated with the National Salvation Front (NSF), connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. It wasn't for democratic reforms. Though unstated, it was for regime change. 

 

It now appears to be playing out violently on Syrian streets, and getting horrid media coverage explaining it, including by Al Jazeera, airing the same type propaganda as Western media.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Al Jazeera's War on Gaddafi

 Al Jazeera's War on Gaddafi - by Stephen Lendman

 

Based on its recent Libyan and Gulf states reporting (or lack thereof), Qatar-based Al Jazeera's credibility appears extremely compromised.

 

A previous article said the following:

 

Overall, its Libya misreporting has been deceitful, functioning more as a propaganda arm for Washington, NATO and insurgents, indistinguishable from US and other western media, representing imperial conquest, colonization, and pillaging of another non-belligerent country.

 

In late March, moreover, Front Page writer Mohammed al-Kibsi accused Al Jazeera of airing old Iraqi prisoner abuse video, broadcast by Al-Arabiya in 2007, in fabricating news about Yemen. 

 

Yet it was aired repeatedly, claiming it showed Yemeni Central Security forces torturing protesters. Later admitting its mistake, Al Jazeera blamed a technical error and apologized, too late to undue the damage to those blamed and its own reputation, badly tarnished by frequent misreporting on the region, despite earlier worthy efforts that built its standing as a reliable broadcaster. That now is very much in question.

 

California State University Professor As'ad AbuKhalil runs the Angry Arab News Service, accessed through the following link:

 

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/

 

His recent comments on Al Jazeera's Libya coverage include:

 

April 20: "According to Al Jazeera's legal opinion," UN Resolution 1973 permits use of nuclear weapons. 

 

America, in fact, has an arsenal of so-called deep-penetrating mini-nuke buster busters, able to destroy underground targets with varying yields from one to 1,000 kilotons. Hiroshima's bomb was about 15 KT, Nagasaki's about 21 KT. 

 

Since the Bush administration's 2001 Nuclear Policy Review, Washington claimed a unilateral right to use first-strike nuclear weapons preemptively, including against non-nuclear states under three conditions:

 

-- against targets able to withstand non-nuclear weapons;

 

-- in retaliation against nuclear, biological or chemical WMDs; or

 

-- against any perceived real or contrived national security threat.

 

April 20: "Al Jazeera now wants a ground invasion," citing Misurata residents and UAE officials also wanting intensified bombing.

 

April 17: "Al Jazeera and the Qarari-Saudi conflict" benefitted the broadcaster early on, then compromised its credibility after rapprochement between their royals. "That severely narrowed the limitations of speech. I have heard many complaints from (Al Jazeera) hosts about the terrible impact of the....reconciliation on their coverage and programming."

 

"Now what happened recently was worse:" establishing a solid alliance compromising it more. As a result, "only criticisms of countries that are not on good terms with Saudi royals (are) allowed."

 

April 15: AbuKhalil "was thinking yesterday while doing (his) laps: (He) may have appeared for the last time ever on Al Jazeera but (he's) glad that (his) last words were about Bahrain. The Saudi-Qarati-financed Arab media want us to forget about Bahrain, but we won't."

 

April 14: "Bahrain - Al Jazeera's scant reports are hilarious. They are one sentence or two. They read - as they are - like Bahraini propaganda press releases. Today, the network had a line or two about (its) government planning to prosecute opposition groups," with no comments from them aired.

 

April 14: "Al Jazeera and Syria." Despite good Qatari - Syrian relations, Al Jazeera's coverage has been "negative, and government propagandists are visibly mocked and ridiculed. And lately the channel relies on sensational Saudi propaganda sheets for coverage."

 

April 14: "Al Jazeera: the new Qatari foreign policy. Bahrain does not exist as far as Al Jazeera is concerned, and they have avoided inviting" on air Bahraini, Omani and Saudi critics. "Most glaringly, Al Jazeera" suppresses criticisms of Bahraini repression. As a result, GCC countries have "closed ranks and Qatar may be rewarded with the coveted post of" Arab League secretary-general.

 

April 11: "Al Jazeera's coverage of Libya is not only politically bad and professionally over the top, but it is also worse than all that - it is boring."

 

March 23: "Shame on Al Jazeera. (Its) sinister role (has) gotten worse, much worse" with its "obsessive non-stop (Libyan) coverage" at the expense of important omitted news. "It seems that Al Jazeera now operates according to the Western standards," providing one-sided propaganda, not unbiased reporting.

 

February 17: Bahrainis "are on there own now. There is no Al Jazeera to support their cause and expose the regime, and the US and EU will do their best to rationalize and support government repression. Shame on Al Jazeera Arabic for abandoning the people of Bahrain, and for invoking a sectarian element in their coverage, implying that only Shi'ites are protesting."

 

On February 25, Monthly Review contributor Yoshie Furuhashi headlined, "Al Jazeera Promotes Libya's 'Crown Prince' Who Calls for Military Intervention in Libya," saying:

 

Covering regional uprisings, Al Jazeera's reporting "began to deteriorate....when revolutionary sparks" ignited in GCC states, including Bahrain. About the same time, Libya was affected, another oil-producing country. Henceforth, Bahain was forgotten to focus on Gaddafi. 

 

"Now there's nothing wrong with (doing it) if the purpose is to convey accurate information. (But there's) everything wrong with" propagandizing at the expense of truth. "And I'm afraid that's exactly what Al Jazeera" did, supporting imperial intervention.

 

"In both Arabic and English," it features "members of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya," the main CIA/Saudi/French intelligence funded opposition group, then combined with others to form the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition umbrella organization.

 

On February 24, Al Jazeera "hit a new low, (giving) the self-styled 'Crown Prince' of Libya - Muhammad as-Senussi," its so-called heir to the Senussi Crown, a platform to urge "the international community to help remove Gaddafi from power and stop the (claimed) massacre." In fact, most casualties and destruction were caused by daily Western bombing and support for extremist rebels - a combination of untrained civilians, former soldiers, and CIA-backed paramilitary Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) insurgents, cutthroat killers acting as a proxy NATO force. 

 

Al Jazeera's Fall from Grace

 

Launched in November 1996, the satellite channel once aired "dissenting views, for example on call-in shows," according to Wikipedia, adding that it "created controversies" among GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, and its home base, Qatar.

 

Its chairman, Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, is a distant cousin of Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. Wadah Khanfar is director general and managing director of the Arabic channel. Ahmed Sheikh is its editor-in-chief, Mohamed Nanabhay holding the same English channel position. 

 

Its Arabic channel reaches 50 million or more global viewers, its English one up to twice as many, a remarkable achievement in less than 15 years with little US penetration where most viewers must do it online. Elsewhere it's available by satellite or cable.

 

Reportedly, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi hosts its most popular program, ash-Shariah wal-Hayat (Shariah and Life) and has significant overall editorial influence. He's written over 80 books, serves as chief religious scholar for IslamOnline, received eight international prizes for Islamic scholarship, and in 2004 was an Oxford University Center for Islamic Studies trustee. In 2008, Foreign Policy magazine ranked him third among public intellectuals worldwide, despite his controversial views. 

 

Since 1999, however, he's prohibited from entering America, and in 2008, Britain refused him a visa. On February 16, Der Spiegel contributor Alexander Smoltczyk headlined, "Islam's Spiritual 'Dear Abby:' Yusuf Qaradawi, The Voice of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood," saying:

 

"(F)ew (others) have as much influence on Sunni Muslims....(He's) a word machine, a one-man talk show that leaves no subject unexamined....He's a driven man. (There's) only one Islamic scholar like (him), who (memorized) the Koran (at age 10)....the only man who can help the faithful understand the world." For the past 15 years, Al Jazeera's broadcast his "Shariah and Life" program Sundays, viewed by up to 60 million Muslims.

 

Now aged 84, he's "a blend of pope and service hotline, a spiritual 'Dear Abby' for all (aspects of) Muslim life," claiming moderate credentials about which some disagree, among other reasons for issuing a pro-Western fatwa against Gaddafi.

 

However, on February 2, 2009, the extremist pro-Israeli Anti-Defamation League denounced him for "support(ing) terrorist groups that seek to undermine a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," and for "inciting violence against Jews and Israel."

 

On February 22, the Los Angeles Times headlined, "Libya: Popular TV cleric issues fatwa against Kadafi," 

live on Al Jazeera, saying:

 

"It is not heroism to fight your people and to hit them with missiles....I say to my brothers and sons who are soldiers and officers of the Libyan Army to disobey when (the government) gives orders to kill the people using warplanes....I now issue a fatwa urging officers and soldiers who can to kill" him....This man wants to annihilate the people."

 

Qaradawi, in fact, chose sides, using Al Jazeera's platform to display a remarkable one-sidedness and lack of scholarship for a man of his credentials, ignoring facts to support Western imperial war, conquest, colonization, and exploitation of another Muslim country. As a result, he's Al Jazeera's leading hawk against Libyans and others across the region suffering repressively under despotic regimes, including GCC ones Al Jazeera supports.

 

A Final Comment

 

Al Jazeera feature stories since April 15, include:

 

April 15: "Western leaders insist 'Gaddafi must,' go," vowing to keep fighting until he's gone, quoting Obama, Sarkozy, and Cameron's day before propaganda, saying:

 

"It is unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government."

 

April 15: "Gaddafi forces 'cluster bombing Misurata,' " based solely on what insurgent leaders as well as Western officials and media claim with no verifiable proof, categorically denied by Libya's military saying they have none.

 

April 19: "Libya death toll 'reaches 10,000,' " again based solely on what insurgents claim, ignoring the toll from heavy NATO bombing, using depleted uranium and other terror weapons.

 

April 22: "(Senator) McCain urges recognition of Libyan 'heros,' " - imperial proxy killers, in fact, Al Jazeera disgracefully supports, propagandizing like their Western media counterparts, allied in the same dirty war on truth.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Pack Journalism Promotes War on Libya

 Pack Journalism Promotes War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman

 

America's major media never met an imperial war it didn't love and promote, never mind how lawless, mindless, destructive and counterproductive. 

 

Despite Washington already bogged down in two losing ones, Obama's heading for another on Libya, the media pack in the lead clamoring for it, perhaps by "shock and awe," supplemented by special forces death squads on the ground recruiting, inciting, and arming opposition elements.

 

Notably favoring intervention, a New York Times February 24 editorial headlined, "Stopping Qaffafi," saying:

 

Unless he's stopped, he'll "slaughter hundreds or even thousands of his own people in his desperation to hang on to power." 

 

Where's the Times outrage over millions Washington slaughtered, hundreds more killed daily, its ties to global despots, its funding and support for Israeli brutality against Palestinians, and its imperial insanity to achieve unchallengeable global dominance, no matter how many corpses it takes to do it.

 

Nonetheless, The Times hailed Libyan courage, asking for more Western support, implying the belligerent kind. "Colonel Qaddafi and his henchmen have to be told in credible and very specific terms the price they will pay for any more killing. They need to start paying now. (The) longer the world temporizes, the more people die."

 

On February 28, The Times editorial headlined, "Qaddafi's Crimes and Fantasies," saying:

 

His "crimes continue to mount. Rebel commanders said (his) warplanes bombed rebel-controlled areas in the eastern part of the country." However, Russian satellite imagery showed no bombing evidence or destruction on the ground. So much for The Times or other major media credibility, reporting the same unverified accounts.

 

On March 8, The Times headlined, "Washington's Options on Libya," saying:

 

"....some way must be found to support Libya's uprising and stop (Gaddafi) from slaughtering his people....It would be a disaster if (he) managed to cling to power by butchering his own people."

 

Indisputably, Gaddafi is a despot, but he didn't initiate conflict. Western powers did, sending in covert intelligence and special forces to incite, arm and support it. 

 

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that UK commandos were in Benghazi. So did Foreign Secretary William Hague, telling Parliament it was "a serious misunderstanding," drawing laughs from opposition benches. 

 

Channel 4 News aired a video with him saying intelligence and elite special forces were on "a diplomatic mission" to make contact with rebel elements. However, he left unexplained why they arrived secretly by helicopter at 2AM with no advance warning. In fact, the Cameron/Hague "misunderstanding" came to enlist and incite violence along with US special forces there for the same purpose. Commandos are trained killers, not diplomats.

 

As a result, Gaddafi responded in self-defense. Washington and NATO bear full responsibility for growing daily casualties. Blood's on their hands. It's their cross to bear, costing many Libyan lives.

 

It hardly matters for greater stakes, including:

 

-- replacing one despot with another;

 

-- preventing democratization;

 

-- colonizing Libya;

 

-- controlling its oil, gas and other resources;

 

-- privatizing its state industries, handing them over to Western interests;

 

-- perhaps balkanizing the country like Yugoslavia and Iraq - in other words, effectively destroying it for profit and control, as well as using it as a platform to intimidate other regional states to comply fully with Western diktats - or else; and 

 

-- exploiting its people ruthlessly as serf labor. 

 

It's a familiar Western scheme, justified as "humanitarian intervention," what America, above all, doesn't give a damn about and never did, seeking only imperial dominance, no matter how much death and destruction it takes to get it. "Operation Libya" had antecedents, notably in Yugoslavia and Iraq, two previous countries Western powers destroyed and now exploit.

 

International Law on Self-Defense and External Intervention - Humanitarian or Otherwise

 

International law authorizes Gaddafi to respond in self-defense. Article 51 of the UN Charter's Chapter VII: Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression" states:

 

"Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security."

 

In other words, self-defense is permissible. Moreover, the UN Charter explains under what conditions intervention, violence and coercion (by one state against another) are justified. Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use, including no-fly zones that are acts of war.

 

In addition, Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral or other external threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 or otherwise authorized by the Security Council.

 

Three General Assembly resolutions also prohibit non-consensual belligerent intervention, including:

 

-- the 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty;

 

-- the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; and

 

-- the 1974 Definition of Aggression.

 

Under no circumstances, with no exceptions, may one nation, NATO, or other combination of nations intervene against another without specific Security Council authorization. Doing so is illegal aggression, a lawless act of war. Washington and NATO have already initiated conflict. Gaddafi, or any other democrat or despot, legally may respond in self-defense as he's doing, love him or hate him. By law, he's justified.

 

Yet The Times urges NATO to expand "its air surveillance over Libya (and) share relevant information with the rebels." No matter that violating its air space is illegal and aggressive. The Times also wants pressure put on "Qaddafi and his cronies to cede power," by what authority it didn't say because there is none. No matter because in Times-think, "(i)t would be a disaster if (he) managed to cling to power by butchering his own people."

 

Hyperbole, misinformation, imperial support, and disdain for international and US laws as well as democratic values are Times specialties - on display backing Washington's attempt to destroy, colonize and exploit another country, no matter the corpse count to do it.

 

In his March 9 commentary, longtime insider Bob Chapman said the following:

 

"....as we pointed out after the Tunisian episode, this was the beginning of CIA, MI6 and Mossad planned activities in the Middle East. As usual there were several objectives. The first was a distraction to cover up (Western) financial troubles....The second was to remove Mubarak from his dictatorial position, because (he refused) to participate and agree to an invasion of Iran and to cause chaos in the region, so that (Iranian allies) would not give it assistance in the event of war."

 

"There was also the matter of controlling Libya's oil and toppling its dictator Gaddafi....From behind the scenes, (new leadership will emerge) tied to the CIA, MI6 and the Mossad. (These plans) have been in the works for years." Unrest will continue. "A solution will be found for Libya, and the west hopes its puppet (Saudi) regime stays in place." If disruption occurs there, America will intervene. Turmoil will continue for some time. "It won't take long for Mr. Gaddafi to be deposed and sent on his way," perhaps by US troops.

 

More Major Media War Endorsements

 

With total editorial control, Murdoch's Wall Street Journal aggressively backs imperial wars, notably now against Libya. On February 23, it editorial headlined, "Liberating Libya," saying:

 

"The US and Europe should help Libyans overthrow the Gadhafi regime," replacing him, of course, with a Western favored despot, ceding control to imperial interests.

 

On March 6, the Journal headlined, "Obama's Libyan Abdication," asking:

 

"Will the US let Gadhafi slaughter his way back to power? The greatest danger now to US interests - and to Obama's political standing - would be for (him) to regain control....isolated and dangerous (he'll) likely (abet) terrorists," hyperbole exceeding The New York Times and most other corporate sources.

 

Not far behind, a February 21 Washington Post editorial screamed, "Moammar Gaddafi must pay for his atrocities," calling them "genocide." It was the same deception used before, including against Slobodan Milosevic to justify NATO's punishing 1999 illegal aggression to complete its long-planned Yugoslavia balkanization, defended then as "humanitarian intervention," no matter the vast destruction and loss of lives it caused.

 

The Post's resident zealot, Charles Krauthammer, called Gaddafi "a capricious killer" in his March 4  "Baghdad to Benghazi" article, saying he's "delusional, unstable and crazy."

 

On March 8, the Post's Marc Thiessen headlined, "Apply the Reagan Doctrine in Libya," by arming opposition elements, and inciting violence to topple Gaddafi the way Reagan operated in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union and Central America, notably against the Nicaraguan Sandinistas and FMLN in El Salvador, killing countless tens of thousands in the process, a record airbrushed from official history, calling imperial slaughter "liberation."

 

Arming Libya's Opposition

 

On March 7, London Independent writer Robert Fisk headlined, "America's secret plan to arm Libya's rebels," saying:

 

Washington asked "Saudi Arabia (to) supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi." In the 1980s, Saudis helped arm Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan and Contra forces in Central America. Asking Saudi help lets Washington deny involvement, perhaps impossible with Fisk breaking the news. He also said "US Awacs surveillance aircraft have been flying around Libya" for days, violating its air space illegally.

 

Moreover, he noted an "Arab awakening, the demand for democracy in North Africa, the Shia revolt, and the rising against Gaddafi become entangled in the space of just a few hours with US (UK, and NATO) priorities in the region." They augur no good for Libyans for sure.

 

A Final Comment

 

At times, Al Jazeera sounds like BBC, falling short of what viewers deserve. On February 18, Professor As'ad AbuKhalil's Angry Arab News Service discussed its coverage, saying:

 

"I am seething. The coverage of Aljazeera Arabic has become too blatantly politically biased for my taste. They protect their allies and friends and go intensely after the rivals and enemies of Qatar (where it's based) like the regime of Hosni Mubarak."

 

When GCC countries "decided to back the Bahrain monarchy, Aljazeera quickly reflected that. It is not a story anymore. Aljazeera is extensively covering Libya and Yemen now: not close allies of Qatar. If Mubarak was a member of the GCC, he would have been protected by Aljazeera."

 

Nonetheless, its service is vastly superior to US corporate news, offering entirely propaganda, sanitized reports and infotainment, a worthless mix to be avoided and condemned.

 

Reaching 40 million viewers, The New York Times called Al Jazeera "the bete noire" of Arab governments (shaping) popular rage against oppressive American-backed Arab governments (and against Israel) ever since its (1996) founding."

 

In their recent study on "How Al Jazeera Shapes Political Identities," Erik Nisbet and Teresa Myers found that exposure to Arabic media weakens national identities and strengthens Muslim and Arab ones.

 

Asked how it affects Middle East protests, Nisbet said:

 

"In the short term, the Pan-Muslim and Pan-Arab narratives typically embedded in Al Jazeera content, in combination with growing Pan-Muslim and Pan-Arab identification among Arab audiences, most likely facilitate the contagion begun by the Tunisian revolt."

 

The long-term implications for US foreign policy are also significant, posing "a serious challenge for Egyptian relations with the United States and Israel." Perhaps also for America's regional agenda. The "greater political liberalization combined with the growth of transnational political identification may challenge the United States to enact foreign policy within a regional context dominated by transnational political identities whose interests may be more opposed, or at least less amenable, to US foreign policy goals compared to state-centric identities."

 

Anything weakening Washington's dominance anywhere is important. Hopefully, Al Jazeera will promote and encourage it by more forcefully opposing imperial intervention, especially by belligerence and occupation.

That would make its service invaluable.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

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