‘Noble’ War In Libya – Part 2

by Media Lens

(see part one at https://revolutionaryfrontlines.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/noble-war-in-libya-part-1/)

March 28, 2011

As a Sunday Times leader made clear on March 20, sometimes you just have to draw a line:

‘[T]here can be no accommodation with a man like Gadaffi or any of his family who aspire to succeed him.’ (Leading article, ‘Allies need a rapid victory to outwit Gadaffi,’ Sunday Times, March 20, 2011)

Seven years earlier, Alan Massie wrote in the same newspaper:

‘The sight of Tony Blair shaking hands with Colonel Gadaffi last week will have disgusted many… One may sympathise with these sentiments but, pushing emotion aside, Blair has shown courage. It would be lovely if international politics could be conducted so you were always dealing with decent people. It might be nice if governments were able consistently to pursue the “ethical foreign policy” of which Robin Cook used to speak so enthusiastically but the world isn’t like that.’ (Massie, ‘Keeping Gadaffi close is the safest option,’ Sunday Times, March 28, 2004)

Sometimes, then, there can be accommodation with a man like Gaddafi. It was important not to overstate the extent of his crimes:

‘Of course, Libya remains essentially a dictatorship, even if not as repellent a one as that of Saddam’s.’

And democracy was far more likely to take root in the Middle East ‘in an atmosphere of friendship than of hostility’. Thus Blair was ‘bringing Libya into the fold of the community of nations’. Continue reading

Egypt: Crushing the non-compliant media, obliterating electoral choices

[Egypt’s now into a new round of fraudulent “demonstration elections”, and the way the media is controlled or crushed is a crucial part of the government’s game plan.  AlJazeera presents some details on how this works, and then discusses the control of information elesewhere (with reference to the attacks on WikiLeaks as well as how the media helps reframe imperialist history)–Frontlines ed.]

The Listening Post – Egypt’s media squeeze
alJazeera English

December 03, 2010
When the results of Egypt’s first round of parliamentary elections came in, there was shock – from the opposition Muslim Brotherhood whose seats in parliament fell from 88 to zero, from election watchers inside and outside Egypt who had not expected the apparent rigging to be so brazen and from the many Egyptian voters who had cast ballots in favour of the opposition. If anyone was not shocked, it was Ibrahim Issa, the ousted editor of the Al Dustour newspaper. In an online editorial, Issa wrote that the results were not only to have been expected, but were not worth the “astonishment, wonder and condemnation”. Newsmen like Issa speak from bitter experience. In the run up to the parliamentary elections, the government came down hard on the media – both mainstream and alternative. We take a look at Egypt, the parliamentary elections there and what the media clampdown tells us about what to expect next year, when the presidential elections take place.

Independent journalists dismantling Israel’s hold on media narrative

Israeli naval ships trailing the Mavi Marmara. (Cultures of Resistance)

Abraham Greenhouse, Nora Barrows-Friedman

The Electronic Intifada, 15 June 2010

“The systematic attempt and very deliberate first priority for the Israeli soldiers as they came on the ships was to shut down the story, to confiscate all cameras, to shut down satellites, to smash the CCTV cameras that were on the Mavi Marmara, to make sure that nothing was going out. They were hellbent on controlling the story,” commented Australian journalist Paul McGeough, one of the hundreds of activists and reporters who witnessed the deadly morning attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on 31 May (“Framing the Narrative: Israeli Commandos Seize Videotape and Equipment from Journalists After Deadly Raid,” Democracy Now, 9 June 2010). McGeough was one of at least 60 journalists aboard the flotilla who were detained and their footage confiscated.

Within hours of the Gaza-bound aid flotilla being intercepted and besieged in international waters by Israeli commandos, who killed at least nine — some at point-blank range — aboard the Mavi Marmara, news of the bloody attack had spread across the globe. Rage, condemnation and calls for an international investigation followed.

Meanwhile, Israel’s campaign to spin the attack, distort the facts and quell an outraged public was already in full swing. Concurrently, activists and skeptical journalists began deconstructing the official story and assembling evidence to uncover the truth behind the violent deaths of activists on a humanitarian mission to the besieged Gaza Strip.

From the time the Israeli military apparently jammed the flotilla’s communications, and for the next 48 hours as survivors were held incommunicado, their cameras and potentially incriminating footage seized, Israel’s account of the raid dominated international headlines. Continue reading

Indian Maoists: “We are being falsely implicated” in sabotage of railway

http://www.icawpi.org/en/peoples-resistance/statements/470-the-second-statement-from-cpi-maoist-on-the-train-accident

(In view of the train accident that took the lives of more than a hundred passengers  and left many more injured who had been travelling by Gnaneswari Express, the railways have been contemplating postponing train services along that route at night and re-scheduling its timings accordingly. In response, the CPI(Maoist) has issued a statement on 29 May 2010 that came out in a Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika published from Kolkata.  It was published on 30 May 30, 2010 under the caption ‘The Maoists ask the railways to ply trains without fear.’-ed)

Second Statement from CPI(Maoist) on the Train Accident

“We were not involved in the sabotage in the railway line. Still we are being falsely implicated in it.”

CPI (Maoist) tells the Indian rail authorities to ply their trains

Let the railway authorities ply their trains on schedule. There is nothing to fear.  On Saturday, on behalf of the State Committee of the CPI (Maoist), Aakash issued this statement to the press. “We were not involved in the sabotage in the railway line. Still we are being falsely implicated in it. There is no need to stop railway service on the plea of Maoist sabotage.  Let the rail authorities ply their trains. Nothing (no harm) will be done from our side”.

The Maoists stated: We gave a call for organizing a ‘Black Period’ from 23 May to 2 June; it was not directed against the railways. Besides price rise and operation by the security forces, it was also directed against the central government policy of selling out shares of public sector undertakings, taking US assistance for the defence sector and the creation of special economic zones. Our aim was to make propaganda and create awareness on these issues among the people. Wearing black badges, organizing processions comprise part of our programme, but there was nothing against the railways. The Maoists claimed: “Whenever there is any programme against the railways or a call for stopping railway services, there is a formal notification much before that date”. Continue reading

CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA deny any involvement in Friday train derailment

http://icawpi.org/en/peoples-resistance/statements/467-both-the-cpi-maoist-and-pcapa-have-denied-their-involvement-in-the-friday-train-derailment

Statement from the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF):

Yesterday’s( 28 May 2010) Gnaneshwari Express and a goods train tragedy near Kharagpur in West Bengal  in which 80 people were killed and 200 injured was attributed to CPI(Maoist) and Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) by the media. The media unscrupulously played false news stories blaming CPI (Maoist) and Peoples Committee for two days. Some political parties like Trinomial Congress and the ruling CPI(Marxist)  also blamed these organisations without any verification.  Significantly Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has declined to attribute the blame on the CPI (Maoist) and also announced that there was no evidence of any bomb blast in the incident.

The Union Home Minister has ordered an enquiry to find out any possibility of sabotage. During the day the leaders of CPI (Maoist) clarified through a long statement that they were not responsible for the train tragedy and condemned any possible sabotage work if any force involved behind the incident. They have also expressed their condolences for the families of deceased. The PCAPA also clarified that their activists are not involved in this incident. They suspected the ruling CPI(Marxist) to have been involved in the sabotage desperately trying to tilt the public opinion against the fighting forces.

Purposefully the media did not cover the statement issued by the CPI (Maoist) while playing the false stories and commentaries blaming the CPI (Maoist) for the incident. Some all India newspapers like The Hindu wrote editorials blaming the CPI (Maoist) for the incident. Many other newspapers wrote major articles decrying the CPI (Maoist) as terrorist attributing the blame on them. Now when the clarifications come from CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA, will these media houses withdraw their false stories and give the facts to the people? Will they regret for propagating the false news?

These two days of false propaganda is made with a malicious intension of maligning the CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA. Continue reading