Buckling Under Bush
In an early leading article on the Chilcot inquiry, the Guardian observed: “What is already clear from the first week alone is that the decisions, secret or otherwise, that led to war were the product of systemic failure. Intelligence analysts, diplomats, in fact the entire machinery of the British government, proved supine against Washington’s will. Under that pressure, almost everyone buckled.”
They certainly did. The Guardian’s Martin Woollacott wrote in January 24, 2003:
“Among those knowledgeable about Iraq there are few, if any, who believe he is not hiding such weapons. It is a given.”
This was close to being an exact reversal of the truth. Hans Blix, former head of UNMOVIC arms inspections in Iraq (November 2002-March 2003), said in June 2003:
“If anyone had cared… to study what UNSCOM [arms inspections in Iraq from 1991-1998] was saying for quite a number of years, and what we [UNMOVIC] were saying, they should not have assumed that they would stumble on weapons.”
Unfortunately, almost no-one had cared to study anything. Former chief UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, put the issue in perspective last month: … //
… The corporate media concern, quite obviously, is not with examining and declaring the reality of what the organisation is — much less the ugly reality — but the reality of what it needs to +appear+ to be to its customers in order to maximise profits. Expecting honest self-analysis from the Guardian and the Independent is like expecting the meat industry to set up glass abattoirs next to supermarkets. The idea is a logical absurdity, a structural impossibility. Abattoirs +have+ to kill animals out of sight and earshot of consumers. Corporate media +have+ to serve state-corporate power while feigning neutrality. The sham of media neutrality +has+ to be defended by silence — honest, rational analysis is a serious threat.
And so we have the Guardian opining that, in the face of US government propaganda in 2002-2003, “almost everyone buckled.”
The elephant tap dancing across the living room floor, shaking the house to its very foundations, is not even mentioned. This is the role of the media in causing the deaths of more than one million living, breathing, dreaming, suffering human beings. This is the role of a media, which did +not+ merely buckle in helping this happen, but which performed the traditional propaganda service it has been +designed+ to perform in the service of the interests that created it.
The problem is that there can be no fundamental political change so long as the media has the power to stifle discussion and dissent. This is why media protestations that politicians need to be called to account are so cynical, so insulting to the intelligence. The very structure, the very reason for being of the media, ensures that there can be no real change.
Power has to be taken away from the mainstream media. The answer, as ever, lies with ordinary people willing to reject compromise, willing to invest their time, energy and resources in work that prioritises people and planet above profit.
In truth, this path is not at all “rocky and barren”; it does not involve a “terrible casting out.” It is alive with humanity, compassion and creativity. It is the life of meek servility to power and profit that is soulless, miserable and dead. (full text and Notes).