War by media and the end of truth
By John Pilger
The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war - with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China.
This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003
The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an "invisible government". It is the government.
It rules directly without fear of contradiction and its principal aim is the conquest of us: our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies.
The information age is actually a media age. We have war by media; censorship by media; demonology by media; retribution by media; diversion by media - a surreal assembly line of obedient cliches and false assumptions.
The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The biggest Western military build-up in the Caucasus and eastern Europe since world war two is blacked out.
Washington's secret aid to Kiev and its neo-Nazi brigades responsible for war crimes against the population of eastern Ukraine is blacked out.
Evidence that contradicts propaganda that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner is blacked out.
What the Russian president has to say is of no consequence; he is a pantomime villain who can be abused with impunity.
An American general who heads NATO and is straight out of Dr Strangelove - one General Breedlove - routinely claims Russian invasions without a shred of visual evidence. His impersonation of Stanley Kubrick's General Jack D Ripper is pitch perfect.
In the news, whole countries are made to disappear. Saudi Arabia, the source of extremism and western-backed terror, is not a story, except when it drives down the price of oil. Yemen has endured 12 years of American drone attacks. Who knows? Who cares?
In 2009, the University of the West of England published the results of a 10-year study of the BBC's coverage of Venezuela. Of 304 broadcast reports, only three mentioned any of the positive policies introduced by the government of Hugo Chavez. The greatest literacy programme in human history received barely a passing reference
In Europe and the United States, millions of readers and viewers know next to nothing about the remarkable, life-giving changes implemented in Latin America, many of them inspired by Chavez. Like the BBC, the reports of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and the rest of the respectable western media were notoriously in bad faith. Chavez was mocked even on his deathbed. How is this explained, I wonder, in schools of journalism? Why are millions of people in Britain are persuaded that a collective punishment called "austerity" is necessary?
The economic crisis is pure propaganda. Extreme policies now rule Britain, the United States, much of Europe, Canada and Australia. Who is standing up for the majority? Who is telling their story? Who's keeping record straight? Isn't that what journalists are meant to do?
"When the truth is replaced by silence," said the Soviet dissident Yevtushenko, "the silence is a lie."
It's this kind of silence we journalists need to break. We need to look in the mirror. We need to call to account an unaccountable media that services power and a psychosis that threatens world war.
This was John Pilger's address to the Logan Symposium, "Building an Alliance Against Secrecy, Surveillance & Censorship", organized by the Centre for Investigative Journalism, London, December 5-7, 2014.
Posted with permission www.johnpilger.com
(Copyright 2014 John Pilger)
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