Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fantasyland Media:

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want to keep from the public eye.


Democracy Now:
'Ríos Montt ordered basically a program of extermination against civilians in the northwest highlands. That’s the area where the Mayan population of Guatemala is concentrated. ...

And the Guatemalan army used a strategy of massacre. They would wipe out villages that did not submit to army rule. And the soldiers at the time described to me how they would conduct interrogations where they ask, 'Who here gives food to the guerrillas? Who here criticizes the government?' And if they didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear, they would strangle them to death, or they would slit their throats. If the people being questioned were women and they were pregnant, they would slit them open with machetes. They would make people dig mass graves. They would then make them watch as they shot their neighbors in the head, in the face, in the back of the skull. And this just happened in village after village after village.

And it wasn’t an armed confrontation, because the villagers were unarmed. The soldiers were armed with American and Israeli weapons. The villagers were not. It was straight-up murder. It was part of a strategy that had been developed in conjunction with the U.S. In fact, the U.S. military attaché in Guatemala at the time, Colonel George Maynes, told me that this village—that he, himself, had helped develop this village sweep tactic. There was a U.S. trainer there, American Green Beret, who was training the military, and this is, in his words, how to destroy towns. And that’s what they did. And now Ríos Montt has been convicted for it.' "

-->The NY Times plays this story in its familiar way. No mention of US and Israel organizing, providing weapons for and planning the genocide. At the end of The NY Times article, we are told that American officials "were quick to accept military explanations." In other words, the US was misinformed, and not the agent behind the genocide. Our newspaper of record always assumes the benevolent intentions of US foreign policy, even when the facts indicate the exact opposite.    


Guardian UK:
"Noam Chomsky was among 20 academics who privately lobbied Professor Stephen Hawking to boycott a major Israeli conference, it has emerged. 

Chomsky, a US professor and well-known supporter of the Palestinian cause, joined British academics from the universities of Cambridge, London, Leeds, Southampton, Warwick, Newcastle, York and the Open University to tell Hawking they were 'surprised and deeply disappointed' that he had accepted the invitation to speak at next month's presidential conference in Jerusalem, which will chaired by Shimon Peres and attended by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. ...

The letter to Hawking declared: 'Israel systematically discriminates against the Palestinians who make up 20% of its population in ways that would be illegal in Britain', its treatment of the people of Gaza amounts to 'collective punishment', the construction of Jewish settlements breaches the Geneva convention and 'Israel places multiple roadblocks, physical, financial and legal, in the way of higher education, both for its own Palestinian citizens and those under occupation'.

The letter continued: 'Israel has a name for the promotion of its cultural and scientific standing: 'Brand Israel'. This is a deliberate policy of camouflaging its oppressive acts behind a cultured veneer.' "

-->The NY Times printed nothing about these two foremost intellectuals of America and England who have joined many others in condemning Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. "All the news that's fit to print" never includes reporting on the growing boycott of apartheid Israel. 


Democracy Now:
"We turn now to Bahrain, where the government continues its crackdown on opposition protesters, with demonstrations repressed and scores of dissidents held behind bars. Some of those imprisoned are now being denied visits from their lawyers or families. At least 87 people have died at the hands of security forces since the 2011 uprising began. Thousands more have been injured.
Meanwhile, the U.S.-backed monarchy last month blocked the visit of U.N. Special Rapporteur Juan Méndez, who was seeking to assess conditions on the ground. The move came a little over a year after the regime also blocked a visit by Méndez and Amnesty International. Bahrain is a key U.S. government ally, hosting the Navy’s Fifth Fleet. ...

'Well, I know President Obama in 2011 made that speech that everyone remembers, of course, where he said that anywhere where people come out to demand democracy and freedom, they’ll find a friend in the United States of America. But I think a lot of people, especially in places like Bahrain, believe there was a disclaimer that nobody really paid attention to, which is, if you’re from the Gulf, then our friend is the regime and not the people. And I think that’s the thing that we’ve seen so far, is that, even in the beginning, we saw statements, albeit they were not consistent and there was not much follow-up on these statements, but there has hardly been any real accountability for the Bahraini government due to the human rights violations that have been ongoing in Bahrain for more than two years now.' "

-->The NY Times covers up current American human rights violations in Bahrain, the same way it covered up the US support of genocide in Guatemala. preserving the illusion of US benevolent intentions matters more than honest journalism.

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