Thursday, January 31, 2008


Suharto died this week, and his death was covered by both NPR and the NY Times. But the history of his rule in Indonesia was strictly censored by both these supposed paragons of US media. Anything that could be considered anti-American was just left out.

The NY Times reported that "Mr. Suharto remained virtually untouchable to the end..." No mention of the US plot that put him in power. Or of the CIA lists given to him for the killings. No mention of the US involvement in the invasion of East Timor and the slaughter of 2 million. No, just a vague statement that he remained "untouchable."

NPR's coverage was even worse. It didn't even describe how he came to power, or the years of US backing while he was killing upwards of 600,000 of his own people. NPR couldn't even bring itself to mention the US at all in its story. At least the NY Times admitted that the US had funded Suharto with billions each year for his long reign of terror.

Both the NY Times and NPR tried to be "balanced" about Suharto. Sure he was a butcher, but his economics helped Indonesia into the 21st Century. Sort of like saying Hitler was a murderer, but the trains ran on time.

And what can we say of our media that just won't let Americans know what happened 50 years ago? Both the NY Times and NPR run stories to make us feel good about our empire, not question it. Often, they are not news sources at all, but simply government propaganda.

To find out the real story, we have to go to a foreign press, the Guardian.,,2248012,00.html


The wall came down for 1.5 million starving people in Gaza last week. The flooded into Egypt to buy food, medicines, and fuel. The images told the story of the people betrayed by the US, and facing annihilation by the Israeli blockade.

But leave it to the US media to try to diminish the story. Why were the Palestinians in such dire straits? Why, because of the rockets being fired on Israel! No mention that collective punishment, a favorite tactic of the Nazis, is deemed illegal by any number of international laws. No, the collective punishment of 1.5 million is just stated as an accepted fact by our media.

And what were the Palestinians buying? CNN mentioned one product, and that was cigarettes. Millions without food, medicine or fuel, and CNN says they were streaming over the wall to buy cigarettes. What an amazing hold the Israeli lobby has on the US media.


A November 2007 Harris poll found that less than 15 percent of the population believes each of the following industries to be “generally honest and trustworthy:” tobacco companies (3 percent); oil companies (3 percent); managed care companies such as HMOs (5 percent); health insurance companies (7 percent); telephone companies (10 percent); life insurance companies (10 percent); online retailers (10 percent); pharmaceutical and drug companies (11 percent)...

An amazing 84 percent told Harris in a poll earlier in 2007 that big companies have too much power in Washington.

These results have proven durable. At least 80 percent of the public has ranked big companies as having too much power in Washington since 1994. In 2000, Business Week and Harris asked a broader question: Has business gained too much power over too many aspects of American life? Seventy-four percent agreed.

Are any of the leading candidates even talking about controlling the power of big corporations? Are there stories in the US media about the overwhelming desire of the US population to control corporate power and abuse? None to date in a democracy that likes to talk of the "will of the people."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


We have two stories about Gaza this week. One in the NY Times and one in the British Guardian. What was left out of the NY Times version?

-"we are going to have to suspend our food distribution programme to 860,000 people in Gaza if the present situation continues," said Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief Works Agency, which distributes food aid to 860,000 Palestinians in Gaza. (no mention of this in the NY Times)

-"We are already seeing signs of malnutrition and there have been cases or rickets [a cause of weak bones through a lack of vitamin D]," Gunness said. (again, left out of the NY Times story)

-The EU criticized Israel for punishing all of Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants and urged it to restart fuel supplies and open border crossings. "I have made clear that I am against this collective punishment of the people of Gaza," the EU external relations commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said in a statement. (didn't happen if you read the NY Times).

Instead of this criticism of Israel, the NY Times gives us a long discussion of post traumatic stress disorder. Stress on the Palestinians of having no food or fuel, and being invaded? No, the NY Times discusses the post traumatic stress on Israeli citizens fearing rocket attacks. Leave it to the NY Times to cover up the humanitarian crisis in Gaza by presenting Israel as the perpetual victim.,,2244363,00.html


Another NPR propaganda piece to make us cringe. Julie McCarthy's Saturday report on the student opposition to Chavez sounded like every other peace NPR has done on Venezuela in the last two years. It could have been written by the Pentagon. In fact, it probably was.

Has NPR ever worried about its reporting on Venezuela? Worried that this supposedly more trusted source of news does nothing but parrot what our government wants us to hear about Chavez. Where is the balance? Where is the attempt to include other voices or points of view?

Like the New York Times, NPR has fallen into line with government vilification campaigns against America's "enemies." Ironically enough, the attacks are all directed against democratically elected leaders in other countries. Has NPR ever done a piece on Saudi students critical of the rule of the royal family? Or about demonstrations against Mubarak, our strong man in Egypt?

And can Ms. McCarthy be happy with her role as government propaganda hack? Could one have needed an advanced degree for that? What a shame on all of us to witness NPR reduced to parroting the Pentagon, again.
-this statement will be read on NPR this coming Friday...


Our media likes to forget Martin Luther King's thoughts on war and racism. Let us look at some of those words, since you will not hear them or read them in this country. Too close to home. Too much like the ongoing war in Iraq...

"It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor - both black and white - through the Poverty Program. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched the program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political play thing of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such...

Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read “Vietnam.” It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over...

Somehow this madness must cease. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam and the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop must be ours...

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. When machines and computers, profit and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."
- April 1967 At Manhattan’s Riverside Church

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Are there signs of US troops heading for Pakistan? Is a complete breakdown foreseen after the Pakistani election, with the introduction of US special forces planned to keep the country from becoming an Islamic State?

Bhutto was supposed to take over, with close cooperation with the US. She was to allow US troops in, against the expressed wishes of the Pakistani military. 20 percent of the military is from the Northwest areas targeted for US troop intervention. If US special forces were sent in, they would also be very close to the Chinese and the Russian boarders, another risk. Moreover, it is the area with the most nuclear weapons.

Dangerous games being played with Pakistan may indicate that the US is increasingly desperate and willing to try almost any military solution. Once again we may be going against vast majorities of a population. Another military quagmire? Too bad our media doesn't make these issues understandable.
(From Real News Website:

And would the Pakistanis resist a US invasion? University of Maryland poll found that a strong majority of Pakistanis consider the U.S. military presence in Asia and neighboring Afghanistan a much more critical threat to their country than al Qaeda or Pakistan’s own Taliban movement.

Only five percent of respondents said the Pakistani government should permit U.S. or other foreign troops to enter Pakistan to pursue or capture al Qaeda fighters, compared to a whopping 80 percent who said such actions should not be permitted.


US: Official Version of Naval Incident in the Strait of Hormuz Starts to Unravel.

Despite the official and media portrayal of the incident in the Strait of Hormuz early Monday morning as a serious threat to U.S. ships from Iranian speedboats that nearly resulted in a "battle at sea", new information over the past three days suggests that the incident did not involve such a threat and that no U.S. commander was on the verge of firing at the Iranian boats.

The new information that appears to contradict the original version of the incident, and includes the revelation that U.S. officials spliced the audio recording of an alleged Iranian threat onto to a videotape of the incident. That suggests that the threatening message may not have come in immediately after the initial warning to Iranian boats from a U.S. warship, as appears to do on the video.

And the NY Times' response. A front page article outlining how these tiny boats could have been a threat to the US warships. Questions about the Pentagon's version of events are reserved for the NY Times blog.


France best, US worst in preventable death ranking. France, Japan and Australia rated best and the United States worst in new rankings focusing on preventable deaths due to treatable conditions in 19 leading industrialized nations, researchers said on Tuesday.

If the U.S. health care system performed as well as those of those top three countries, there would be 101,000 fewer deaths in the United States per year, according to researchers writing in the journal Health Affairs.

Researchers Ellen Nolte and Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine tracked deaths that they deemed could have been prevented by access to timely and effective health care. (Reuters)

A search of the NY Times indicates that this story was not "fit to print." The US healthcare industry is obviously more important to the NY Times than the people's right to know.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


The NY Times is perplexed by the recent killing of two US soldiers by a member of the Iraqi military.

"Maybe this man is mad," Mr. Askari said. "Maybe he is suffering psychological problems."

"The motive behind what he did or how close he was to any insurgent activity is still unclear. We continue to look into every nook and cranny of this investigation."

But the rest of the world gets another story altogether. Col. Hazim al-Juboory, uncle of the attacker Kaissar Saady al-Juboory, told IPS that his nephew at first watched the U.S. soldiers beat up an Iraqi woman. When he asked them to stop, they refused, so he opened fire.

The witness said the U.S. captain began to shout at his soldiers and the women, and his men then started to grab the women and pull them by their hair.

"The soldier we knew later to be Kaissar shouted at the Americans, 'No, No,' but the captain shouted back at the Iraqi soldier," the witness told IPS. "Then the Iraqi soldier shouted, 'Let go of the women you sons of bitches,' and started shooting at them."

Luckily the NY Times spares us all that useless information.


Reading about the recent meeting of the Arab League in a foreign paper gets you information on its strong condemnation of Israeli settlements:
-from China View:

But reading the NY Times lobotomized reporting, all references to the settlements disappear! The meeting was all about Lebanon:
-from the NY Times:

The NY Times carefully omits criticism of Israel's actions in the West Bank, caring more about protecting Israel's image than in reporting the news accurately to US citizens.

Friday, January 04, 2008


There is something that stinks in Darfur. Actually, there is something that stinks worse in the US media. Let's take a look at some facts that are being left out in the reporting on the "genocide" in Darfur.

-Why Darfur? Sure, there is an appalling civil war with from 2 - 4 hundred thousand killed. But the invasion of the Congo has killed 5 million.

-Sudan and the Darfur region sits on a huge lake of oil. Oil now being developed by Chinese companies, not by US and British ones. Sudan is also located next to Libya and Chad, each with its own vast oil resources.

-The funding for the "Save Darfur" coalition is highly suspect. None of the money raised is being spent to help needy Africans in Darfur. In fact, it is not a grass roots organization at all, but one funded by The American Jewish World Service and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. It has a paid staff of 30 people and a budget (in 2007) of 15 million dollars. Their latest ads target China, host of the 2008 Olympic Games, in an attempt to drive their oil companies out of Sudan.

-The "Save Darfur" coalition is top heavy with evangelical Christians who preach about the apocalypse in the Middle East, and Zionists who would prefer drawing attention away from human rights abuses in Palestine.

-And are peace talks in the works? Not if the Save Darfur coalition and the US Pentagon have anything to say about it. The aim is to invade Sudan with US and Nato troops, establish permanent bases, and start making money on all that African oil.

-Beginning to sound like Iraq? You have the same players: US oil companies, a US government addicted to war, and right wing religious fanatics driving US foreign policy.

-And waiting in the wings is Blackwater, the huge mercenary contractor that has become part of the American right wing. It has plans for "protecting" villages in Darfur and is just waiting for the word.

-And the US media? It has avoided these facts like the plague. From the NY Times on down, the US media's role is to sell military interventions, not to inform citizens about the real reasons we invade foreign countries.
(taken from Z Magazine, Jan. 2008)