Trump and Clinton: Censoring the unpalatable, John Pilger

Source: RT

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump ,Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton © Scott Audette, Javier Galeano / Reuters
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump ,Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton © Scott Audette, Javier Galeano / Reuters

A virulent if familiar censorship is about to descend on the US election campaign. As the cartoon brute, Donald Trump, seems almost certain to win the Republican Party’s nomination, Hillary Clinton is being ordained both as the “women’s candidate” and the champion of American liberalism in its heroic struggle with the Evil One.

This is drivel, of course; Hillary Clinton leaves a trail of blood and suffering around the world and a clear record of exploitation and greed in her own country. To say so, however, is becoming intolerable in the land of free speech.

The 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama should have alerted even the most dewy-eyed. Obama based his “hope”campaign almost entirely on the fact of an African-American aspiring to lead the land of slavery. He was also “antiwar”.

Obama was never antiwar. On the contrary, like all American presidents, he was pro-war. He had voted for George W. Bush’s funding of the slaughter in Iraq and he was planning to escalate the invasion of Afghanistan. In the weeks before he took the presidential oath, he secretly approved an Israeli assault on Gaza, the massacre known as Operation Cast Lead. He promised to close the concentration camp at Guantanamo and did not. He pledged to help make the world “free from nuclear weapons” and did the opposite.

As a new kind of marketing manager for the status quo, the unctuous Obama was an inspired choice. Even at the end of his blood-spattered presidency, with his signature drones spreading infinitely more terror and death around the world than that ignited by jihadists in Paris and Brussels, Obama is fawned on as “cool” (the Guardian).

On March 23, my article, “A World War has Begun: Break the Silence”, was published across the web. As has been my practice for years, I had syndicated it to an international network, including Truthout.com, the liberal American website. Truthout publishes some important journalism, not least Dahr Jamail’s outstanding corporate exposes.

Truthout rejected the piece because, said an editor, it had appeared on Counterpunch and had broken “guidelines”. I replied that this had never been a problem over many years and I knew of no guidelines.

My recalcitrance was then given another meaning. The article was reprieved provided I submitted to a “review” and agreed to changes and deletions made by Truthout’s “editorial committee”. The result was the softening and censoring of my criticism of Hillary Clinton, and the distancing of her from Trump. The following was cut:

“Trump is a media hate figure. That alone should arouse our scepticism. Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel
Peace Prize winner Barack Obama… The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system… As presidential election day draws near, Clinton will be hailed as the first female president, regardless of her crimes and lies – just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first black president and liberals swallowed his nonsense about hope.”

The “editorial committee” clearly wanted me to water down my argument that Clinton represented a proven extreme danger to the world. Like all censorship, this was unacceptable. Maya Schenwar, who runs Truthout, wrote to me that my unwillingness to submit my work to a “process of revision” meant she had to take it off her “publication docket”. Such is the gatekeeper’s way with words.

At the root of this episode is an enduring unsayable. This is the need, the compulsion, of many liberals in the United States to embrace a leader from within a system that is demonstrably imperial and violent. Like Obama’s “hope”, Clinton’s gender is no more than a suitable facade.

This is an historical urge. In his 1859 essay On Liberty, to which modern liberals seem to pay unflagging homage, John Stuart Mill described the power of empire. “Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians,” he wrote, “provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end.” The “barbarians” were large sections of humanity of whom “implicit obedience” was required.

“It’s a nice and convenient myth that liberals are the peacemakers and conservatives the warmongers,” wrote the British historian Hywel Williams in 2001, “but the imperialism of the liberal way may be more dangerous because of its open ended nature – its conviction that it represents a superior form of life [while denying its] self righteous fanaticism.”

He had in mind a speech by Tony Blair in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, in which Blair promised to “reorder this world around us” according to his “moral values”. The carnage of a million dead in Iraq was the result.

Blair’s crimes are not unusual. Since 1945, some 69 countries – more than a third of the membership of the United Nations – have suffered some or all of the following. They have been invaded, their governments overthrown, their popular movements suppressed, their elections subverted and their people bombed. The historian Mark Curtis estimates the death toll in the millions. With the demise of the European empires, this has been the project of the liberal flame carrier, the“exceptional” United States, whose celebrated “progressive” president, John F Kennedy, according to new research, authorised the bombing of Moscow during the Cuban crisis in 1962.

“If we have to use force,” said Madeleine Albright, US secretary of state in the liberal administration of Bill Clinton and today a passionate campaigner for his wife, “it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”

One of Hillary Clinton’s most searing crimes was the destruction of Libya in 2011. At her urging, and with American logistical support, NATO, launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, according to its own records, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. They included missiles with uranium warheads. See the photographs of the rubble of Misurata and Sirte, and the mass graves identified by the Red Cross. Read the UNICEF report on the children killed, “most [of them] under the age of ten”.

In Anglo-American scholarship, followed slavishly by the liberal media on both sides of the Atlantic, influential theorists known as “liberal realists” have long taught that liberal imperialists – a term they never use – are the world’s peace brokers and crisis managers, rather than the cause of a crisis. They have taken the humanity out of the study of nations and congealed it with a jargon that serves warmongering power. Laying out whole nations for autopsy, they have identified“failed states” (nations difficult to exploit) and “rogue states” (nations resistant to western dominance).

Whether or not the targeted regime is a democracy or dictatorship is irrelevant. In the Middle East, western liberalism’s collaborators have long been extremist Islamists, lately al-Qaeda, while cynical notions of democracy and human rights serve as rhetorical cover for conquest and mayhem – as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Haiti, Honduras. See the public record of those good liberals Bill and Hillary Clinton. Theirs is a standard to which Trump can only aspire.

johnpilger.com – the films and journalism of John Pilger

Biography

Journalist, film-maker and author, John Pilger is one of two to win British journalism’s highest award twice. For his documentary films, he has won an Emmy and a British Academy Award, a BAFTA. Among numerous other awards, he has won a Royal Television Society Best Documentary Award. His epic 1979 Cambodia Year Zero is ranked by the British Film Institute as one of the ten most important documentaries of the 20th century. His Death of a Nation, filmed secretly in East Timor, had a worldwide impact in 1994. His books include Heroes, Distant Voices, Hidden Agendas, The New Rulers of the World and Freedom Next Time. He is a recipient of Australia’s international human rights award, the Sydney Peace Prize, “for “enabling the voices of the powerless to be heard” and “for fearless challenges to censorship in any form”.

“John Pilger unearths, with steely attention to facts, the filthy truth and tells it as it is” – Harold Pinter.

“Pilger’s work has truly been a beacon of light in dark times” – Noam Chomsky.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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4 thoughts on “Trump and Clinton: Censoring the unpalatable, John Pilger”

  1. Yes.
    Further to this we must accept that Democracy entails the responsibility of the voters for the governments they elect.
    It is accordingly historically obvious that Western democrats, both liberal and conservative, are the world’s greatest war criminals.
    Pilger’s article places this reality in the limelight. We have to follow his example.
    Such as Truthout must be kicked out. The word liberal has a meaning far greater than Liberals have ever realised. The West, meaning all people identifying with it and whatever they want to call it, is a fraud.
    The Revolution is here and now.

    1. In a democracy, the people are responsible for the crimes of their regime, which they voted for, campaigned for, and supported.

      This is especially applies to the greatest war criminal people/nation on the planet: the United States of America.

      As such, the Americans must be held to account and punished.

      This is great unmentionable reality that most people–including “progressives”–attempt to censor or deny.

  2. celebrated “progressive” president, John F Kennedy, according to new research, authorised the bombing of Moscow during the Cuban crisis in 1962.

    This is absolute bullshit. Kennedy was the only thing standing between the maniacs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (particularly Curtis LeMay) and the launching of a strike against Cuba which would likely have escalated to a full-scale nuclear exchange between the the US and the USSR because or a pre-emptive strike against the USSR which was being advocated by the military long before Kennedy even took office.

    Kennedy is famously quoted as derisively saying “and we call ourselves the human race” after walking out on a presentation of the military’s plans for a first-strike nuclear attack on the USSR. If Kennedy was unwilling to launch a strike against Cuba during the missile crisis what makes you think he was willing to authorize a nuclear attack on Moscow? What new “research” shows this – cite your source or withdraw your claim.

    Kennedy did threaten to retaliate against the USSR if a nuclear strike was launched from Cuba against the US or any Western Hemisphere nation but there’s no new “research” needed to confirm that – he announced it in his televised speech to the nation in which he revealed the presence of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba.

    Kennedy’s stand against the military and intelligence establishments with respect to invading Cuba and unprovoked pre-emptive nuclear attacks on the USSR were one of the few true acts of courage displayed in White House in the past half-century. That and his successful advocacy of a limited nuclear-test ban treaty were in no small part what got him killed.

  3. Must see…

    A Response from Truthout and a Letter from Truthout’s publisher.
    http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/35422-on-regrettable-and-false-accusations-of-censorship

    My comment at Truthout…

    Totally agree… after same reading sequence… “Having read all three articles in question — Pilger’s first, his second addressing you, and now your rebuttal — I side with John.”

    Sent this to John Pilgers, CounterPunch, NakedCapitalism, and now Truthout…

    Wow… thank you John Pilger and CounterPunch and NakedCapitalism… it’s VERY IMPORTANT to me to know that organizations like Truthout are censoring authors like John Pilger and protecting people like Hillary Clinton. Everyone knows censorship is a HUGE and rapidly growing problem… while frighteningly few have yet the courage to fight back… but that IS changing!!!

    BTW… as we all also know… the HuffingtonPost’s sellout to mainstream media is the central issue here. What a disgusting thing it was to witness. In the months leading to the HP sellout there was a very obvious and disturbing increase in the number or articles by establishment flacks, clearly they were experimenting with how the HP readers (sheople vs. alert informed citizens?) would respond to being herded and corralled. Then the sellout was announced. How disgusting it was to watch Ariana take the money, cackle like He-Died-Hillary, and, worst of all, how she totally screwed (Gaddafi-ized… it was that bad) all the great independent journalists who had contributed so much and literally built HP.

    I, for one, am watching very closely to developments at sites like TruthOut and AlterNet. Unfortunately there are many signs they want to follow in HP’s footsteps. In the meantime, I will do everything I can to herd people toward the independent media. I’m finally having some successes… and would love to work with others to ultimately destroy the mainstream media.

    BOYCOTT the LAME-STREAM MEDIA!!!

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