02 December 2016

Iraq: How journalist lies helped destroy nations & people

Mainstream media has lost all credibility. Most alarming has been the loss of viewers and readers. In a frantic damage control effort it is naming fake news sites majority of which exposed the mainstream media lies and they are all out to ensure people do not turn to alternative media, thus the calls to censor alternative & social media claiming they are protecting ‘misinformation’. Just like some people’s terrorists are other people’s freedom fighters, information & news will be liked by some, hated by others, accepted by some& rejected by others. There is no one news that is or can be accepted by all. However, no media or journalists can get away by creating false news and distorting truth. We take a look at some of these falsehoods fed us through the years. Everyone is guilty of telling a fib (innocent lie) but news that cause death, destruction and ruin to entire nations cannot be allowed.   

According to Timothy Alexander Guzman writing for Global Research the US foreign policy was part of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) a neoconservative think tank founded in 1997 (ceased operation in 2006) by William Kristol, a political analyst, media commentator for Fox News, ABC News and founder and editor of The Weekly Standard together with Robert Kagan, author, columnist and foreign-policy commentator who was a member of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) and fellow at Brookings Institute. Kagan was the husband of Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs who orchestrated the coup in Ukraine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QxZ8t3V_bk (leaked phone call – Nuland says f…ck the EU)

George Bush only carried out what was part of the plan starting off with Iraq invasion and toppling of Saddam in 2003 for which 9/11 paved the way complimented with the propaganda lie about WMDs. Kristol doesn’t think he needs to offer any apology for WMD lies –  On 7 February 2002 he says “American and alliance forces will be welcomed in Baghdad as liberators.”

Those in media who contributed to the lies that destroyed sovereign nation & their citizens. These are the personalities who remain columnists without offering any apology for how they fooled the American people and the world promoting lies to facilitate illegal invasions. It has not been just Iraq, ever seen numerous countries have been illegally invaded and in all cases there are journalists and media to promote these are ‘humanitarian intervention’ they write giving hyped up ‘evidence’ of ‘human rights abuses’ they ‘introduce’ ‘witnesses’ to substantiate their lies and as a result countries fall prey and the civilians of these countries become victims and collateral damage for other people’s agendas.

Iraq war (invasion and occupation based on lies) has
§  killed more than 1.4million Iraqis (Just Foreign Policy)
§  killed more than 4488 US troops
§  tens of thousands are permanently injured (Iraqis and Western troops).
§  5m Iraqi’s are displaced still.
§  American tax payers are paying trillions for illegal wars.
§  Iraq land is devastated by chemical weapons and munitions
§  Ancient buildings, artefacts and civilian structures were destroyed by US/NATO bombing
§  The newly armed ISIS and other militant groups are continuing to destroy whatever is left of Iraq.

Who are the journalists who promoted and fed lies to the American people and the world through their columns?

Judith Miller
Adjunct fellow at Manhattan Institute & contributor to New York Times – wrote articles on Iraq’s WMDs justifying toppling of Saddam. Her 21 April 2003 article “after effects: prohibited weapons; illicit arms kept till eve of war, an Iraqi scientist is said to assert’ claims an Iraqi scientist led Americans to the material. She appeared on PBS News Hour the next day and spoke about her evidence. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east-jan-june03-search_04-22/ Miller is also a Pulitzer prize winner.

Miller’s news was based on an Iraqi exile (Ahmed Chalabi) while refusing to name the other sources. Miller even wrote that a shipment of aluminium tubes had been intercepted claiming Saddam was using uranium gas to develop nuclear material. Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, VP Dick Cheney even congratulated New York Times for their journalism! NYT eventually was left embarrassed because there were no WMD as Judith Miller claimed. On 26 May 2004 editors of NYT admitted their error. It was too late. Iraq was destroyed by lies. Fake news had assisted in regime change and ruined an entire nation. But lessons have not been learnt – the same mainstream media continues lies on Syria, Russia, China, Iran and even Sri Lanka.

Played a key role as NYT Executive Editor in building the case for US Govt to attack and invade Iraq. The NYT never once brought up the UN Charter or International Laws that prohibited US attack on another nation that had not threatened the US. He too is a Pulitzer prize winner.

Hailed the Iraq war as ‘Three Week War’. His columns in the Washington Post before the invasions was full of ‘attack Iraq – bring democracy to Iraq’. He too believed in the WMD stories. Excerpts from 4/19/02:”Saddam survived, rearmed, defeated the inspections regime and is now back in the business of building weapons of mass destruction.” http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2006/11/krauthammers_re.html

"Time Is Running Short. Saddam Has Weapons Of Mass Destruction." (WP – April 2002)

He said winning the war was ‘going to be easy’ (18 Jan 2003 – FOX News). In April he writes “[I]t gets easier now. … When you see those statues topple…you know that’s victory.”  Take a look at FOX News propaganda before Iraq invasion to be shocked at how media promoted the invasion of a country that had not threatened the US –

·         "[W]inning The War In Iraq" Is "Going To Be Easy." (FOX News – Jan 2003)
·         “Military Will Find WMD”
·         “The Goal Here Is To Remove Saddam Hussein And Get Rid Of Those Weapons Of Mass Destruction." (FOX News, Mar 2003)

He is executive director of The Weekly Standard and continues to contribute to FOX News.

Karl Rove
In 2002 the White House Iraq Group was set up to frame Iraq conflict. Rove was part of this strategy team tasked to promote WMD. In his article on 5 April 2003 to New York Times he presented the notion that Iraq would be disarmed and dictator Saddam’s rule would end. He is also a FOX News contributor and writes to Wall Street Journal and Newsweek as well.

Washington Post openly advocated the WMD and Al Qaeda claims and pushed for the invasion of Iraq.

Fred Hiatt 
Washington Post Editorial Page was another war cheerleader. He used his editorial position to justify going to war. He smeared the war critics who were exposing Bush’s lies ot the American people. A study by Columbia University journalism professor Todd Gitlin noted, “The [Post] editorials during December [2002] and January [2003] numbered nine, and all were hawkish.” [American Prospect, April 1, 2003]

MSNBC analyst and host.

"Congressman [Jack] Kingston [R-GA], Give Me A Quick Response. How Could There Be Anyone Left On The Planet Today That Doesn't Believe That Saddam Hussein Has Weapons Of Mass Destruction?" (MSNBC – 2003)

Toppling Saddam "Will Mean The End Of His Weapons Of Mass Destruction." (Mar 2003)

Paul Gigot
Wall Street Journal Editorial Page and Vice President Wall Street Journal. He was constantly using column to make alarmist claims on Iraq nuclear capabilities. He wrote in Jan 2003 that Iraqi National Congress had “brought out scores of defectors and tons of information on Saddam’s weapons programs’. None of which was of course true. In February he wrote “coalition will find nasty weapons and the cheering Iraqis … when it liberates the country”.
Washington Post columnist during Iraq invasion.
Colin Powell Proved That Iraq "Still Retains [WMD]. Only A Fool-Or, Possibly, A Frenchman-Could Conclude Otherwise."(Powell wrote after Powell fooled the UN with lies)

Co-host of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes.
"We're Going To Find All Of The Weapons Of Mass Destruction." (Feb 2003)
We're Invading Iraq "So The Weapons Of Mass Destruction That We Will Be Finding Don't End Up In American Cities." (Mar 2003)
Iraq War Critics "Made Fools Of Them Themselves." (Apr 2003)

Writer for The Weekly Standard.
His job was to promote falsehoods that Al Qaeda and Iraq were linked even in his book The Connection: How al Qaedas Collaboration with Saddam Hussein has endangered America’. On 9 December 2005 he defended Dick Cheney’s 2001 claim that 9/11 hijacker M. Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague in an interview on MSNBC. Spencer Ackerman says Hayes “has made a career out of pretending Saddam & Al Qaeda were in league to attack the United States” – we know of so many other journalists who have made fortunes writing books of political lies!

CNN hired him in 2008 calling him "a well-respected and knowledgeable journalist." He left and joined FOX news.

Was New York Times columnist during Iraq invasion claiming Iraq Invasion was "Worth Doing" because we needed to tell the Middle East to "Suck On This." (PBS Interview 2003) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwFaSpca_3Q  

Space restricts to cover the many journalists, media and even how Blair lied too. At least the UK Guardian owned up “a country we helped ruin’ https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/04/the-guardian-view-on-war-in-iraq-a-country-that-we-helped-to-ruin  

Closer to home in Sri Lanka we will recall how very few media and journalists had the pluck to even call LTTE as terrorists – all LTTE attacks were reported as ‘allegedly’ being done by LTTE. Apart from the Island newspaper coverage during the war to spur the armed forces was lacking, many in media preferred to highlight the wrongs of the armed forces rather than their efforts to free the nation from the scrooge of terror. It is these locals whose lack of national commitment who are often been given jobs and are quoted by the external sources whose agenda we should now know.

However, we know what damage terrorists can do but we cannot realize the extent of damage that media is doing or has done until after the damage when we look back to analyse what happened. The case of Iraq goes to show the multitude of players that lied to devastate a country and its people – most of these same people and agencies did the same damage to Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Haiti and now they are doing the same in Syria.

Its time people stop buying newspapers or advertising in print/electronic media if people find that they are twisting the truth, distorting the truth or simply creating distortions. It is as a result of their own making that people are openly accusing them of being ‘presstitutes’.

Shenali D Waduge


01 December 2016

Should Sri Lanka’s civilizational values be replaced with animal cruelty & export of goats for slaughter?

What we are seeing is a clash of values with people now needing to decide to return to the simplistic, full of compassion and humane lifestyle that existed pre-colonial or the valueless, animal unfriendly and compassionless society that was introduced after colonial rule and through capitalistic-liberal ideology which is collapsing before our very eyes. The West are departing from the capitalist liberal value systems and are embracing the humane and compassionate ideologies while Asia now hypnotized with greed, hunger for profit, power and glory are moving towards the destructive path that the West is now aborting. We should not turn our back to a supreme culture and value system that was part of our national identity. There can be no virtue in animal export for profit. This venture through private parties must stop forthwith.  

How we once lived

“Oh! Great King, the birds of the air and the beasts have an equal right to live and move about in any part of this land as thou. The land belongs to the people and all other beings and thou art only the guardian of it”. There were the famous words by Arahat Mahinda to King Devanampiyatissa over 2300 years ago.  

The words led to all Sinhale Kings by royal edict protecting animals. Protecting animals became a National Culture – a National Value – a National Tradition influenced by the tenets of Buddhism that guided pre-colonial royal rule. 

Capitalist ideology is all about profit at any cost. Open markets, liberal policies mean that everything ends up a commodity with a price value. Nothing is protected and everything is up for sale and profit. Yet, even the most powerful first world countries suffer malnutrition, hunger, lakhs are on food stamps, millions are homeless – they are not better off than those in the third world suffering the same. So what or where is the development when 1% own the same as the 99% own in total? Imperialistic manoeuvres are today being challenged. Former colonial rulers are all facing chaos in their own nations. The pendulum is shifting – days of plunder and pilfering are numbered. People themselves are reaching out to fundamentals of living. Many are embracing the more aesthetic way of living.

Countries like China are rising on their own terms protecting their language, culture and their history. Sri Lanka needs to do the same. No profit can come by compromising the national identity of the country to embrace cultures that are foreign to us. We do not need to copy cultures when we have a rich history that countries some of us are copying envy. We need to preserve that identity not destroy it. Our identity must align with our pride and knowledge of the wonderful ancient irrigation works, the magnificent Buddhist structures/temples and the animal-friendly culture that existed which even the South Indian invader Elara followed.    

Our identity was ceded by our own in 1815, the same is being done exactly 200 years later.  

Sri Lanka built an animal friendly cultural heritage including the world’s first wildlife sanctuary at Mihintale under the direction of King Devanampiyatissa. Under the rule of Buddhist Kings for a period of over two millennium, animal sacrifice was not permitted under any circumstances. Until the fall of the Kandyan Kingdom in 1815 the slaughter of cattle was completely prohibited.

The total disregard for the norms of the older Buddhist culture will not ensure peaceful co-existence. Religious rights have limits. They end when harm or pain prevails to either man or animal.

Just look at this video to understand the anguish of animals https://secure.animalsaustralia.org/take_action/festival-of-sacrifice-2016/int?r=1. The investigation shows there is nothing ‘humane’ in the sacrifice of animals. These animals have their eyes stabbed, tendons slashed, and throats clumsily cut open.

We were known as a Dharmaishta Society wherein all Kings governed the nations upholding the principals of Dasa Raja Dharma – these royal decrees highlighted the legal and social structure of Sri Lanka. Our people were known as the Aryavamsa (noble race). These values and cultures should not be compromised just to pave way for failed experiments of liberalism, multiculturalism, reconciliation and capitalism. 

The high moral and ethical governance changed with the arrival of colonial rulers and practisers of Abrahamic faith – animals were cruelly killed, slaughtered for rituals, sacrifices and became a prize treat at the dinner table. Millions and millions of animals have been cruelly laid to rest. Yet, we can be happy that it is in these Western nations that movements and individuals are rising against animal slaughter, ritual slaughter, against the live export of animals. Ideally, it is the Asian dharmic religions who should be leading the way.

How can anyone merit from taking the life of another – eating an animal sacrificed? There is no such thing as blind faith. People need to realize that there is no blessing in killing a life.People know what is right and wrong. They all have a choice. Life is precious to everyone even non-human sentient beings.  

However, we are shocked to hear that the Government of Sri Lanka has decided to export live animals to be slaughtered.  

“Goat export, a profitable venture’ was the news caption of a daily newspaper. One Farhath Amith claims that Sri Lankan exporters can contribute more to the economy by exporting goats! In fact we have come to know too late that goats had already been exported by airfreight to Maldives in 2015. These goats were just 6-8months. Is that no different to shipping a new born baby just 6-8months old? How would both mother and baby feel emotionally? In another news story titled “Sri Lanka exports goats to Male’ we are told that Sri Lanka has started shipment of goats to Maldives through a private firm. It is tragic that Sri Lanka’s culture has stooped this low. We are exporting women slaves to Middle East and now we are breeding animals to be sent for slaughter and people are calling this as profitable export. Is there no better ways to make a living or earn profits? Must Sri Lanka give up its core values to allow local businessmen insensitive to Buddhist culture and values to denigrate the image of Sri Lanka?  

A minority religious faith and minority ministers have no right to use their religious privilege to make state policy destroying the cultural ethos and fundamentals practiced for centuries! 

All living things fear being beaten with clubs.
All living things fear being put to death.
Putting oneself in the place of the other,
Let no one kill nor cause another to kill.

Dhammapada verse no. 129

Shenali D Waduge