Thursday, November 22, 2007

The 'Great Return': Bussed in & bought

Standing outside 10 Downing Street on 9 April 2003, the BBC's then political editor, Andrew Marr, reported the fall of Baghdad as a victory speech. Tony Blair, he told viewers, "said they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right. And it would be entirely ungracious, even for his critics, not to acknowledge that tonight he stands as a larger man and a stronger prime minister as a result." In the United States, similar travesties passed as journalism. The difference was that leading American journalists began to consider the consequences of the role they had played in the build-up to the invasion. Several told me they believed that had the media challenged and investigated Bush's and Blair's lies, instead of echoing and amplifying them, the invasion might not have happened. A European study found that, of the major western television networks, the BBC permitted less coverage of dissent than all of them. A second study found that the BBC consistently gave credence to government propaganda that weapons of mass destruction existed. Unlike the Sun, the BBC has credibility - as does, or did, the Observer.

The above is from John Pilger's "The forgotten fallen" (New Statesman) which we noted earlier this week but it's worth noting again especially considering that the BBC delivers some news.

It's not the lede they're pushing.

What they're pushing is the GREAT RETURN!

Yes, girls and boys, after weeks of non-stop lies about the Great Return of Iraqi refugees, the beat goes on and dumb keeps pounding rhythm to the lame.

BBC wants you to believe that 1,000 Iraqis are returning to Iraq a day. Based on non-verifiable numbers coming from the puppet government of Iraq.

They want you to trust them -- little liars who helped sell the illegal war think they've earned something other than the blood directly on their hands for the death of Dr. Kelly. They 'report':

One factor in their return is likely to be a sharp and sustained drop in all kinds of violence, particularly in parts of the capital Baghdad, following a US-Iraqi military "surge".

Oh, is that likely?

Is it now?

Their own presentation (the low-key part of the report) demonstrates what is likely:

* Money runs out.

* It's the start of the school year.

You're broke, your kids aren't in school, what do you do?

If you're in Jordan you've been promised universal schooling. So, no surprise, Jordan's not seeing a trickle of Iraqis coming back.


Well there's a trickle which isn't surpising on the basis of the non-stop lies that things are 'secure' and that there are thousands and thousands and thousands who have returned in September! The Iraqi government lied about a trend, the press ran with it.

Trend stories often have a tiny effect and that could be in place in here or, as the BBC might put it, that's "likely." Certainly more likely than any of the nonsense they push.

But how about this? They're bussing the trickle in.

They're bussing them in.

And that's not a lede to the BBC?

The Iraqi government, so desperate to prove that their lies are true are preying on refugees in Syria via free bussing and, as the BBC so delicately puts it, other "incentives".

Exactly how much are they paying these destitute refugees?

And exactly who decided (you know it came from the US side) that to sell this latest wave of Operation Happy Talk, the answer was to hire extras?

Well stunt casting worked so well when it was time to stage the photo-op of "Saddam's statue taken down!" Remember that one? The US military secured the area, brought down the statue and busses in some Iraqi exiles to give the shot 'local color'. That supposed independent media (Reuters was an exception) all agreed to a tight shot because a wide one would have revealed the reality that there was no huge number of Iraqis gathered to cheer the US pulling down a statue.

It's time to stage more photo ops.

And if you were the BBC and had Dr. Kelly's blood on your hands, you might hesitate to put others blood on your hands as well.

But what's a little blood on the hands when you can score some points with the US government?
And brandish the inept prime minister you hope will be less of a joke on the world stage than the dentally challenged Tony Blair was?

$800 is the amount the BBC says internally displaced Iraqis are being paid for 'returns'. Per family. Not per individual. It's sort of a no-deposit, no-return, Iraqis are Coke bottles kind of 'award.' So what's the price paid the external refugees in Syria?

They are harder hit than the ones who went to Jordan. And both Syria and Jordan are responsible for any lessening of Iraqis leaving the country due to the restrictions they've put in place. To go to Syria now, for instance, you have to go to the Syrian embassy which is in the worst and most violent part of Baghdad. If you don't go there and get approval, you're turned back at the Syrian border.

But somehow 'security' is what's slowing the number of Iraqis fleeing their country. That's the lie the mainstream press wants to tell you over and over.

And with international refugee and aid organizations standing up to the lies, the puppet government of Iraq has been instructed to start casting the roles of The Great Return by tossing around cash and bussing them in.

Iraqi Abu Naseem is quoted stating, "After all this effort to fix the house I hope there will be no more fighting. But I think the violence will be back again."

All this effort to fix the house? The man is retired and had no money. Where'd he get the money to fix the house? He was paid to play the role of the 'returned.' And as the BBC and other outlets lie and allow the Iraqi government to use broke and starving Iraqis to cast their lie, they better grasp that people hear this crap and believe it. So the violence that Abu Naseem knows will be back, when it comes don't express the shock or the horror. The media sold this lie and the media will be directly responsible for the deaths to follow.

Broadcasting these lies, giving them the appearence of 'truth,' means the ones who return are doing so based solely on the lies promoted by the media. The media's playing pied piper and leading the refugees to their most likely slaughter. They should all be ashamed. But, in the case of Dr. Kelly's death, the BBC just shrugged that off. They outed him. They're still responsible. When the violence levels rise as returnees trying to go back to their homes in violent neighborhoods they left for a reason, what happens to them is the responsibility of the media.

From Mark Vardy's "The Week" (Monday Magazine):

The "last avenue of judicial appeal" American war resisters currently have to claim refugee status in Canada is now closed, according to Valerie Lannon of the Victoria Chapter of the War Resisters Support Campaign.
"Now all our efforts are focused on the political front, which has always been a part of our campaign--the political lobbying--but now it’s front and centre," says Lannon.
This comes after last week's decision by a panel of supreme court of Canada judges to reject a full hearing into the illegality of the war in Iraq. The War Resisters Support Campaign is lobbying individual Liberals to join the NDP and Bloc Quebecois and support legislation that would let war resisters to stay in Canada. The fact that the Liberal government under Trudeau allowed Vietnam draft-dodgers, as well as current surveys indicating popular support for such measures, bode well for their campaign, says Lannon. And, she adds, they have a solid moral argument.
"When these people are recruited, I don't know if you've seen Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, but it's spot-on in terms of the recruitment techniques we're being told are being used. There's a lot of promises that are made and it's fair to say that, unless you’ve done a lot of research in advance, you’re certainly not signing up to commit war crimes. You’re being sold a bill of goods around extreme sports."

The legislative avenue is needed due to the Supreme Court of Canada refusing to hear the appeals of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey.

There will be another entry this morning. Probably in an hour or so. Isaiah has a comic that will go up today as well. It's Thursday so there will be an "And the war drags on . . ." tonight. The "Iraq snapshot" will depend on the amount of news re: Iraq today.

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