Wednesday, 15 December 2010


we have to wait an hour and a half after the 9 o'clock watershed
after most weary viewers have turned off
and switched on their electric blankets or filled their hot water bottles
but the wait is nothing compared with what we see
shocking and harrowing images fly thick and fast
iraqi civilians in the crossfire of an apache helicopter gunship
moments before they are ripped to pieces by gunfire
a us soldier carrying a critically wounded 7-year-old from the scene of the incident
as the murderous pumped-up apache crew mocks and sneers
our brave british soldiers abuse iraqi detainees in some rotten hellhole
forcing their chained blindfolded captives to sit agonisingly with their backs to a wall
as they moan and wail sickeningly
'torture by stealth' as a lawyer approprately describes it
we see the mass graves in afghanistan after a us air strike
unidentifiable disassembled and mangled body parts buried together in one giant pit
PR is revealed as little more than a sophisticated war on the public
politicians as professional liars
journalists as niaive and gullible hoodwinked accomplices
miserably failing to hold power to account
what comes across is the numbing desensitising bludgeon of war
unending, sprawling and uncontrollable
casualties become little more than numbers
fuel for the propaganda game
an extra-legal source of vast profits
guantanamo provides a way of laundering people
arms sales are state-sponsored tax evasion footed by the taxpayer
the pre-eminent superpower somehow remains in a permanent state of war
obama approves the largest war budget in history
likewise at the british armed forces memorial in staffs
there is a constant record of war in 'peacetime' since 1948
with the names of the victims missing
john pilger's message is that journalists don't have to risk their lives
but they do need the bravery to uncover the truth
and that means always challenging the official version of events
"never believe anything until it is officially denied"

during the commercial breaks
it is interesting to see what market itv is selling to its advertisers
we want a new laptop for christmas
we warm to jamie oliver
while we'll be heating up frozen christmas snacks courtesy of iceland
was there something about a sony camera?
i honestly can't remember...

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