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John Pilgar Laid It All Out Over A Decade Ago
Lessons from the Iraq War that should have been heeded...
In 2010, Australian journalist John Pilger released a groundbreaking documentary. The establishment hated it.
‘The War You Don’t See’ made for a thought-provoking critique of war propaganda, focusing on how governments manipulate facts in collaboration with the media to fabricate realities. These “realities” are then spread to the wider masses to construct what we now call the “official narrative”.
What’s most striking is how almost every tactic Pilger unearths correlates to what we experienced in 2020 through to 2022.
In 1917, a public relations specialist named Edward Bernays went to President Woodrow Wilson and told him that if the US is to enter the war, then you’re going to need to sell it.
Shortly after, Wilson instituted the war propaganda machine.
They theorised the best way to persuade people was to appeal to their emotions. Target their instinctual urges, scare the hell out of them and you’ll fashion an environment where facts do not matter.
Sound familiar? The media’s screening of unverified footage of people in China dropping dead? Vans piled up to the brim with corpses? The persistent adjective-laden headlines - “deadly”, “killer”, and “fatal”…
Bernays first tested out this theory on women. He convinced a group of aspiring debutants to pose with cigarettes on New York’s 5th Avenue when smoking was not seen as “lady-like”. They became icons of liberation, bucking the trend. The press loved it. Thus, the taboo was no more. Cigarettes became known as “torches of freedom”.
What Bernays discovered was the power of symbology. He successfully made a product signal a virtue. And so, it was time to test it out on a larger scale.
Suddenly, legions of posters emerged of the Statue of Liberty engulfed in flames, of brutish gorillas sporting German helmets clawing at a globe with bloodied hands, kidnapping the innocence. Opinion shifted.
Were masks not our equivalent? Were the ad campaigns showing the tormented elderly strapped up on ventilators? Perhaps the laminated “hands, face, and space” print-outs mandated for every shop?
Skip forward to the 2000s and we’ve reached the endpoint of that conceptualisation. Intelligence agencies and defence ministries now have contracts with new organisations.
As Former CIA Analyst Professor Melvin Goodman relays in the documentary:
“There are Pentagon contracts with news organisations in terms of how to manipulate the news. There are Pentagon officials involved in press releases that go to the media in which intelligence is used to manipulate public opinion, which is a violation of the charter of any intelligence organisation.
Then you have retired generals who serve as press spokesmen for all the networks and it’s never revealed which military industrial firms they work for.”
Does this not run parallel to the “experts” cable news and mainstream media featured to reinforce the “safe and effective” narrative without disclosing their ties to Big Pharma?
A new word surfaced during the Iraq campaign - “embedded”. It was used to describe journalists who teamed up with government departments and accompanied military units to report “on the ground”. It was an accepted and explicit form of collusion between two parties that should have remained separate. Objectivity, naturally, waned.
Like when the government and The Daily Express partnered up to encourage Brits to line up for an experimental booster based on research of 8 mice? And no long term research?
The Media Circus
On 9th April 2003, then-BBC war correspondent Rageh Omaar described the arrival of Americans in Baghdad as a “liberation”. He continued, saying, “people have come out holding up V signs, this is an image taking place across the whole of the Iraqi capital today”.
Scenes then spread across the networks showing Iraqis cheering in mass as the statue of Saddam Hussein toppled.
What Omaar failed to inform viewers of was that there were almost as many reporters there as Iraqis and it was the Americans who ordered and toppled the statue. A US army investigation later described the event as a “media circus”.
Speaking to Pilger in 2009, Omaar said:
“I didn’t really do my job properly… I hold my hands up and say that one didn’t press the most uncomfortable buttons hard enough”.
Much like when we were presented with a daily simulacrum of an open press conference where journalists asked the hard-hitting questions. Except, no one really did. It was theatre - with almost every journalist running with the “killer virus” narrative or moaning about the failure to meet testing targets.
While the embedded journalists reported on the stories they were ushered toward, a peculiar trend appeared in the west. News stations began to glorify weapons of war.
One Fox News anchor at the time said, “should they use, you know, the mother of all bombs or a few daisy cutters, let’s not stop a couple of cruise missiles”.
There was a severe lack of empathy shown for civilians suffering under the chosen method of combat - airstrikes, chopper gunners, etc.
Does any photo better exemplify the commentariat’s normalisation of the inhumane? A virtue-signalling performance hug, smiling and joking as care home residents died off in their hundreds alone in isolation while children across the nation suffered a mental health crisis.
Speaking to John Pilgar in 2010, former BBC reporter Rageh Omaar unveiled that he was the only journalist in the world to see the bombing of Al Jazeera Arabic’s bureau in Kabul in 2001 and Baghdad in 2003. He said:
“The case of the bombing in Kabul was without doubt and categorically a direct targeting of those journalists to shut them up and possibly kill them.
Every news organisation provides the western military commanders with exact coordinates of where their journalists reside. But the point about the bombing of the Al Jazeera Arabic office in Kabul was that they were given a warning to get out.
That was a clear targeting of a journalistic organisation and personnel to get them off the air”.
Is this not akin (albeit, yes, dialled down) to the 77th Brigade surveilling Covid dissenters like Peter Hitchens or Toby Young? Were authorities not dispatched to intimidate “law-breakers” by shutting down businesses, issuing fines, and threatening people with jail time? Was the violence inflicted on anti-lockdown demonstrators not designed to keep them “off the air”?
In 2003, Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Hanley visited all the sites Bush officials had noted as possible nuclear weapon sites. He found in every case that they were sealed.
So then he filed a report, sending it to every major newsroom in America. It got virtually no pick up. Most outlets never published it, because it did not fit the narrative.
Is there any need to list the hundreds of studies linking Covid jabs to elevated cardiac events? To crap transmission efficacy? To crap infection efficacy? None of which were picked up by the mainstream.
Perhaps the bare coverage of the bombshell admission from a Pfizer representative last year revealing that the company never tested for transmission? Maybe of how Google appeared to block articles detailing the suicide of Katerina Pavelek last month due to her booster injuries? The list is endless.
Towards the end of the documentary, Pilger interviews former BBC Head of Newsgathering Fran Unsworth. He asks her about why the BBC amplified falsehoods in the run up to the invasion (false nuclear weapons narrative).
Unsworth responds by clarifying the BBC’s duty is to report what government officials say. She continues “it is the BBC’s duty to scrutinise what it is people say, we’re not there to accuse them of lying though, because that’s a judgement.”
So the BBC repeats overt falsehoods for years, or being polite, seriously questionable government narratives, but the point at which they can hand hold their hands and admit wrong, they obfuscate.
No matter what travesties they committed, no matter what laws they broke, no matter what rights they shattered, all were done in the name of safety and protection and with the “best” evidence available, just as they were in Iraq.
Is this not the same principle laid out in The Altantic’s “Let’s Declare A Pandemic Amnesty” opinion piece and a tiny minority politicians since?
Perhaps the reason there are so many parallels to the Iraq War is because the Covid response was a direct product of the war propaganda machine. If we all better heeded history, maybe we could have stopped it in its tracks.
In any case, this will be me during the next pys-op, telling the Karens and Kevins to watch The War You Don’t See while they berate me for not wearing a mask again.
Link to documentary via https://www.documentaryarea.com/video/The+War+You+Dont+See/
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