Murdoch Moves Against Iran

Darth Murdoch
Darth Murdoch… or is it William Randolph Hearst?

I’ve just read this on Keyvan’s blog:

Media Lens have received legal threats from the Times newspaper concerning their latest media alert, Selling The Fireball: Bush and Iran. Due to these threats they’ve had to amend their alert to remove responses from Times journalist Bronwen Maddox. To read the excellent alert, including the parts the editors have had to remove, you can try one of the following sites: UK Indymedia, UK Watch, CASMII (Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran).

The Media Lens editors posted the following message about the threats:

We have received repeated threats of legal and police action from Alastair Brett, legal manager of News International’s Times Newspapers on June 28 and July 2. Brett claims a Times Journalist, Bronwen Maddox, has been subject to threatening emails from Media Lens readers. Brett also claims that we have breached copyright by publishing an email from Maddox without permission. We have sought legal advice and, having essentially zero resources for fighting a court case, feel we have no choice but to delete Maddox’s email from our media alert, ‘Selling The Fireball’, as demanded. You can see the amended version [here.]

With more than 1 million people lying dead in Iraq, it pains us greatly to see our attempt to host an honest, rational discussion on the looming threat of war with Iran butchered in this way.

It is almost exactly seven years since we started Media Lens and this is the first time we have been threatened with legal action. We will have more to say about this in due course, as will others. As ever, we strongly urge readers to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone in communicating with journalists.

(Source: Keyvan Minoukadeh)

Rupert Murdoch is partly responsible for the pile of dead in Iraq. It’s well documented that he used his vast empire to agitate for the illegal invasion of Iraq.

And look what’s happening now: Murdoch’s mouthpiece, The Times, is now selling the lie of a dangerous Iran.

Dangerous how? How many countries has Iran invaded in the past five years? How many people lie dead at the hands of Iranian troops? If it’s less than 1.2 million, then I can think of more dangerous countries.

So, by choosing not to report what the IAEA had to say about the true security threat, or indeed the USA’s own National Intelligence Estimate, The Times heeds its warmonger master’s voice.

When Media Lens pulled up The Times’ writer Bronwen Maddox on this, it first received a quite dismissive, evasive response and then, when pointing out further flaws, no response at all.

Until it was threatened with legal action from Rupert Murdoch’s corporation.

Understandably, Media Lens has edited its page because, unlike Murdoch, it hasn’t got pockets swollen with the proceeds of international tax evasion. (You can still see the original post here and here).

Murdoch has successfully bullied a tiny, independent news source. Again, we witness the wonders of the free-market system and how glorious captains of industry like Murdoch protect our freedom of speech.

And in case you find it bizarre that a media mogul is trying to start wars, well it wouldn’t be the first time:

The Spanish-American War (April-August 1898) was the first conflict in which military action was precipitated by media involvement. The war grew out of U.S. interest in a fight for revolution between the Spanish military and citizens of their Cuban colony. American newspapers fanned the flames of interest in the war by fabricating atrocities which justified intervention in a number of Spanish colonies worldwide.

Several forces within the United States were pushing for a war with Spain. Their tactics were wide ranging and their goal was to engage the opinion of the American people any way possible. Men such as William Randolph Hearst, the owner of The New York Journal was involved in a circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World and saw the conflict as a way to sell papers. Many newspapers ran articles of a sensationalist nature and sent correspondents to Cuba to cover the war. Correspondents had to evade Spanish Authorities, usually they were unable to get reliable news and relied heavily on informants for their stories.

Many stories were derived from second or third hand accounts and were either elaborated, misrepresented or completely fabricated by journalists to enhance their dramatic effect.
(Source: Wikipedia)

Manufacturing “evidence?” Whipping up the public with baseless fear? Using your newspapers to further your own political agenda?

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

The Dead That Don’t Count

US Kills More Afghan Civilians

At least 20 people have been killed in a missile strike by coalition forces in Afghan’s eastern Nangarhar province.

Local people say that the group was a wedding party and that most of the dead were women and children.

Meanwhile Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered an investigation into a missile attack by US helicopters on Friday in which 15 people died.

Deh Bala district governor Hamisha Gul told AFP news agency that 22 people had been killed in the strike – 19 of them women and children – and several more wounded.
(Source: BBC News)

If you see any news on the telly about Iraq or Afghanistan (and that’s a pretty big ‘if’), it’ll be some footage of chaos and news of yet another car bombing. Like a lot of people, this might give you the feeling that the major cause of death in those countries is the favourite catchphrase of the US propaganda machine: “sectarian clashes.” If you ignore this:

These shocking statistics are made all the more horrific when we realize that among the 600,000 [now 1.2 million] or so victims of Iraqi war violence, the largest portion have been killed by the American military, not by carbombings or death squads, or violent criminals — or even all these groups combined.
(Source: AlterNet)

What you won’t see, night after night, day after day is the innocent civilians murdered by the ruthless forces of occupation. Nope. That’s not worth mentioning.

You see, if a carbomb kills ten people at a checkpoint, that’s news. It shows that these troublesome brown people need us to teach them how to live, to teach them about the wonders of democracy and Sky+.

However, if US bombs kill 15 people in Afghanistan on Friday and then another 22 people only two days later… well, that’s simply unfortunate. Never mind that 19 of those 22 were women and children. And that it was a wedding party.

Hey – why don’t we retroactively say they were insurgents? Perhaps plant some guns near the bodies of the children? That’s worked before!

Meanwhile, the forces of liberation keep slaughtering the people they came to liberate and we, the marvellous, civilised West, all turn a blind eye…

But enough of this – wasn’t there a tennis tournament on today? Oh, what jolly fun!