FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why US Journalists Have Blood on Their Hands

by ERIC SOMMER

Hey U.S. mass media journalists: A large number of you writing in outlets like CNN, Fox News, New York Times, and Washington Post have blood on your hands.  It may initially sound exagerative, but you are complicit in mass murder.  In  the Nuremberg trial of the Nazi war criminals at the end of WW II, the prosecution powerfully argued that those journalists who use propaganda to prepare the public to accept war crimes are themselves also guilty of those crimes.

As the Nuremberg prosecutor stated: “The use made by the Nazi conspirators of psychological warfare is well known. Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack….In the propaganda system of the Hitler State it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.¡±”

During the run-up to the Iraq war – an unprovoked war of aggression  – many of you endlessly repeated, without proper critique or doubt, the false Bush Administrations claims that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that this somehow justified military invasion.

By helping to manufacture the consent of the public for that war, and by helping to intimidate opponents of the war, you were complict in sending thousands of young American men and women abroad to kill and be killed; thousands of them died, tens or hundreds of thousands were injured or mentally traumatized,  not to mention up to a million Iraquis who died as a result of the war.

“In The Six Months Leading Up To The Invasion,” according to well-known social commentator Bill Moyers, “the Washington Post would Editorialize In Favor Of The War At Least 27 Times.”  Among the dozens of mass media news columists who prepared the public for the war were Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who even argued that an invasion of Iraq would bring democracy to the middle east; Post columnist Richard Cohen, who  stated that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell had proved that Iraq “Still Retains [WMD]. Only A Fool-Or, Possibly, A Frenchman-Could Conclude Otherwise.”;  Wall Street Journal vice-president and editorial page editor Paul Gigot, who  told the public: “The “Coalition Will Find “Nasty Weapons And The Cheering Iraqis … When It Liberates The Country.”; and  Fred Barnes, Fox News contributor, who stated that Iraq has  “weapons of mass destruction, there is a delivery vehicle, and it’s called terrorists, it’s called al Qaeda.

Of course, there were no weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq; and the current presence of al Qaeda in Iraq was a *consequence*  of the destruction and destabilization resulting from the invasion.

Now many of you working for the corporate mass media are at it again – demonizing Russia and Putin, preparing the public to accept the necessity to ‘punish the devil’. Your propaganda is concealing the fact that two neo-Nazis parties, Svoboda and Right Sector,  have gained control of the military and security apparatus of the Ukraine – they are now ministers of those departments – through a violent seizure of power from a democratically elected government; you are glossing over the fact that Russia has a standing military base and treaty rights for Russian soldiers to be present in the Crimea; and you are mindlessly presenting the U.S. administrations argument that Russias willingness to help protect Crimeans from fascist forces is somehow ‘aggression’, though they have fired no shots, and that American sanctions or even military action may be ‘required’ to ‘protect Ukraine’.

The reality on the ground has been shamelessly distorted by a large number of media journalists, helping to prepare public opinion for threats, sanctions, or even military action against Russia.  The  New York Times has opined that  “Putin¡¯s claim of an immediate threat to Ukrainian Russians is empty.¡±  The  Guardian newspaper in Britain dismissed as false the statements by Russian officials that Russian-speaking Ukranians and other minorities are threatened by fascist forces.   Hundreds of articles in other mass media have echoed sentiments of this type, giving the impression that Russian concerns are nothing but a smoke-screen for a land-grab.

In reality, six ministers in the unelected Ukranian government are from the two fascist parties, Svoboda and Right Sector, whose anti-semetic and racist leaders are on record as admiring and wanting to emulate fascists of the past. Tyahnybok, the leader of the larger of the two fascist parties, has called for the destruction of the ¡°Russkie-Yid mafia that controls Ukraine’.  In 2010 he praised John Demjarijuk, convicted as a participant in the murder of 30,000 people in Nazi concentration camps, as a hero. His assistant has founded a think-tank called ‘the Josepht  Goebbels Political Research Center, named after Nazi Germany’s head propagandist.  Within the past year the world Jewish Congress has warned about the danger from this party.

Back in the day you – using the power of the press – also uncritically backed the U.S. governments massive supply of weapons, training, and money to Ben Laden and the other Jihad ‘freedom fighters’ in Afganistan.   The blowback from that venture was 911, and the spread of Ben Ladens  U.S.backed Al Cada terrorists all over the world.

The first signs of trouble from support for the ‘Ukranian freedom fighters’ have already appeared. Some  members of the unelected ‘Ukranian government’ in Kiev. are calling for it to arm itself with nuclear weapons if the U.S. doesn’t force Crimea to remain part of the Ukraine.   This development would place weapons of unimaginable power for mass destruction  in the hands of the two fascist parties  which now control the   military and security ministries of the self-appointed government.

The  blowback from support – including your support – for the first fascist government to be installed in Europe since the end of World War II is unfortunately coming.

Eric Sommer is an international journalist.

More articles by:

Eric Sommer is an international journalist.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 22, 2017
Jason Hirthler
Invisible Empire Beneath the Radar, Above Suspicion
Ken Levy
Sorry, But It’s Entirely the Right’s Fault
John Laforge
Fukushima’s Radiation Will Poison Food “for Decades,” Study Finds
Ann Garrison
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, and the UK’s Socialist Surge
Phillip Doe
Big Oil in the Rocky Mountain State: the Overwhelming Tawdriness of Government in Colorado
Howard Lisnoff
The Spiritual Death of Ongoing War
Stephen Cooper
Civilized, Constitution-Loving Californians Will Continue Capital Punishment Fight
Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla
Cuba Will Not Bow to Trump’s Threats
Ramzy Baroud
Israel vs. the United Nations: The Nikki Haley Doctrine
Tyler Wilch
The Political Theology of US Drone Warfare
Colin Todhunter
A Grain of Truth: RCEP and the Corporate Hijack of Indian Agriculture
Robert Koehler
When the Detainee is American…
Jeff Berg
Our No Trump Contract
Faiza Shaheen
London Fire Fuels Movement to Challenge Inequality in UK
Rob Seimetz
Sorry I Am Not Sorry: A Letter From Millennials to Baby Boomers
June 21, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
Resist This: the United States is at War With Syria
James Ridgeway
Good Agent, Bad Agent: Robert Mueller and 9-11
Diana Johnstone
The Single Party French State … as the Majority of Voters Abstain
Ted Rall
Democrats Want to Lose the 2020 Election
Kathy Kelly
“Would You Like a Drink of Water?” Please Ask a Yemeni Child
Russell Mokhiber
Sen. Joe Manchin Says “No” to Single-Payer, While Lindsay Graham Floats Single-Payer for Sick People
Ralph Nader
Closing Democracy’s Doors Until the People Open Them
Binoy Kampmark
Barclays in Hot Water: The Qatar Connection
Jesse Jackson
Trump Ratchets Up the Use of Guns, Bombs, Troops, and Insults
N.D. Jayaprakash
No More Con Games: Abolish Nuclear Weapons Now! (Part Four)
David Busch
The Kingdom of Pence–and His League of Flaming Demons–is Upon Us
Stephen Cooper
How John Steinbeck’s “In Dubious Battle” Helps Us Navigate Social Discord
Madis Senner
The Roots of America’s Identity and Our Political Divide are Buried Deep in the Land
June 20, 2017
Ajamu Baraka
The Body Count Rises in the U.S. War Against Black People
Gary Leupp
Russia’s Calm, But Firm, Response to the US Shooting Down a Syrian Fighter Jet
Maxim Nikolenko
Beating Oliver Stone: the Media’s Spin on the Putin Interviews
Michael J. Sainato
Philando Castile and the Self Righteous Cloak of White Privilege
John W. Whitehead
The Militarized Police State Opens Fire
Peter Crowley
The Groundhog Days of Terrorism
Norman Solomon
Behind the Media Surge Against Bernie Sanders
Pauline Murphy
Friedrich Engels: a Tourist In Ireland
David Swanson
The Unifying Force of War Abolition
Louisa Willcox
Senators Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Tom Udall Back Tribes in Grizzly Fight
John Stanton
Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor in the United States
Robert Fisk
Did Trump Denounce Qatar Over Failed Business Deals?
Medea Benjamin
America Will Regret Helping Saudi Arabia Bomb Yemen
Brian Addison
Los Angeles County Data Shows Startling Surge in Youth, Latino Homelessness
Native News Online
Betraying Indian Country: How Grizzly Delisting Exposes Trump and Zinke’s Assault on Tribal Sovereignty and Treaty Rights
Stephen Martin
A Tragic Inferno in London Reflects the Terrorism of the Global Free Market
Debadityo Sinha
Think Like a River
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail