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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/11/14

Breaking the last taboo -- Gaza and the threat of world war

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The West's principal "ally" in this imperial mayhem is the medieval state where beheadings are routinely and judicially carried out -- Saudi Arabia. Whenever a member of the British Royal Family is sent to this barbaric place, you can bet your bottom petrodollar that the British government wants to sell the sheiks more fighter planes, missiles, manacles. Most of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, which bankrolls jihadists from Syria to Iraq.

Why must we live in this state of perpetual war?

The immediate answer lies in the United States, where a secret and unreported coup has taken place. A group known as the Project for a New American Century, the inspiration of Dick Cheney and others, came to power with the administration of George W Bush. Once known in Washington as the "crazies," this extreme sect believes in what the US Space Command calls "full spectrum dominance."

Under both Bush and Obama, a 19th-century imperial mentality has infused all departments of state. Raw militarism is ascendant; diplomacy is redundant. Nations and governments are judged as useful or expendable: to be bribed or threatened or "sanctioned."

On 31 July, the National Defense Panel in Washington published a remarkable document that called for the United States to prepare to fight six major wars simultaneously. At the top of the list were Russia and China -- nuclear powers.

In one sense, a war against Russia has already begun. While the world watched horrified as Israel assaulted Gaza, similar atrocities in eastern Ukraine were barely news. At the time of writing, two Ukrainian cities of Russian-speaking people -- Donetsk and Luhansk -- are under siege: their people and hospitals and schools blitzed by a regime in Kiev that came to power in a putsch led by neo-Nazis backed and paid for by the United States. The coup was the climax of what the Russian political observer Sergei Glaziev describes as a 20-year "grooming of Ukrainian Nazis aimed at Russia." Actual fascism has risen again in Europe and not one European leader has spoken against it, perhaps because the rise of fascism across Europe is now a truth that dares not speak its name.

With its fascist past, and present, Ukraine is now a CIA theme park, a colony of NATO and the International Monetary Fund. The fascist coup in Kiev in February was the boast of US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland, whose "coup budget" ran to $5 billion. But there was a setback. Moscow prevented the seizure of its legitimate Black Sea naval base in Russian-speaking Crimea. A referendum and annexation quickly followed.

Represented in the West as the Kremlin's "aggression," this serves to turn truth on its head and cover Washington's goals: to drive a wedge between a "pariah" Russia and its principal trading partners in Europe and eventually to break up the Russian Federation. American missiles already surround Russia; NATO's military build-up in the former Soviet republics and eastern Europe is the biggest since the second world war.

During the cold war, this would have risked a nuclear holocaust. The risk has returned as anti-Russian misinformation reaches crescendos of hysteria in the US and Europe. A textbook case is the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in July. Without a single piece of evidence, the US and its Nato allies and their media machines blamed ethnic Russian "separatists" in Ukraine and implied that Moscow was ultimately responsible.

An editorial in The Economist accused Vladimir Putin of mass murder. The cover of Der Spiegel used faces of the victims and bold red type, "Stoppt Putin Jetzt!" (Stop Putin Now!) In the New York Times, Timothy Garton Ash substantiated his case for "Putin's deadly doctrine" with personal abuse of "a short, thickset man with a rather ratlike face."

The Guardian's role has been important. Renowned for its investigations, the newspaper has made no serious attempt to examine who shot the airplane down and why, even though a wealth of material from credible sources shows that Moscow was as shocked as the rest of the world, and the airliner may well have been brought down by the Ukrainian regime.

With the White House offering no verifiable evidence -- even though US satellites would have observed the shooting-down -- the Guardian's Moscow correspondent Shaun Walker stepped into the breach. "My audience with the Demon of Donetsk," was the front-page headline over Walker's breathless interview with one Igor Bezler. "With a walrus moustache, a fiery temper and a reputation for brutality," he wrote, "Igor Bezler is the most feared of all the rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine... nicknamed The Demon... If the Ukrainian security services, the SBU, are to be believed, the Demon and a group of his men were responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17... as well as allegedly bringing down MH17, the rebels have shot down 10 Ukrainian aircraft." Demon Journalism requires no further evidence.

Demon Journalism makes over a fascist-contaminated junta that seized power in Kiev as a respectable "interim government." Neo-Nazis become mere "nationalists." "News" sourced to the Kiev junta ensures the suppression of a US-run coup and the junta's systematic ethnic cleaning of the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine. That this should happen in the borderland through which the original Nazis invaded Russia, extinguishing some 22 million Russian lives, is of no interest. What matters is a Russian "invasion" of Ukraine that seems difficult to prove beyond familiar satellite images that evoke Colin Powell's fictional presentation to the United Nations "proving" that Saddam Hussein had WMD. "You need to know that accusations of a major Russian 'invasion' of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence," wrote a group of former senior US intelligence officials and analysts, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "Rather, the 'intelligence' seems to be of the same dubious, politically 'fixed' kind used 12 years ago to 'justify' the U.S.-led attack on Iraq."

The jargon is "controlling the narrative." In his seminal Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said was more explicit: the western media machine was now capable of penetrating deep into the consciousness of much of humanity with a "wiring" as influential as that of the imperial navies of the 19th century. Gunboat journalism, in other words. Or war by media.

Yet, a critical public intelligence and resistance to propaganda does exist; and a second superpower is emerging -- the power of public opinion, fueled by the internet and social media.

The false reality created by false news delivered by media gatekeepers may prevent some of us knowing that this new superpower is stirring in country after country: from the Americas to Europe, Asia to Africa. It is a moral insurrection, exemplified by the whistleblowers Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange. The question begs: will we break our silence while there is time?

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John Pilger grew up in Sydney, Australia. He has been a war correspondent, author and documentary film-maker. He is one of only two to win British journalism's highest award twice, for his work all over the world. On 1 November, he was awarded (more...)
 
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