Misinformation gone wild: corporate media ignores the real issues
I think I started off my post last Monday with “where do we start?” and it’s time to ask that again. Four days have passed since the outrageously illegal and lethal Israeli raid on the humanitarian aid flotilla, as the blood dries, the facts are boiling to the surface. And they don’t look good for Israel.
Problem is, Israel’s Orwellian PR campaign machine is in full effect; and the lobotomized American corporate media is once again its willing bullhorn. Since the Israeli naval commandos massacred people on the boat (9 confirmed dead; not all reports are in yet and Israel still won’t release all the names), the mainstream media has been saturated by Israeli officials, spokesmen, and those who lie on their behalf (534 year-old Ed Koch was apparently exhumed and re-inflated by AIPAC’s Special Forces to spew fanatical pro-Israeli government rants at our good friend and comrade in truth Jeremy Scahill, who reminded me of Ultimate Fighter champion Kimbo Slice as he pile-drived Koch’s racist diatribes again and again).
It’s really interesting to see the wheels of this conspiracy so well-oiled and homogenized. If one network or news agency begins a meme, so go the rest. Witness how AP, Reuters, the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Telegraph (to name just the top few searches on Google) all used the word “bungled” to describe Israel’s lethal, atrocious raid. As though the military’s true intent was to throw, as I said on Flashpoints earlier today, kittens and rainbows onto the boat instead of rappeling from helicopters IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS, shooting as they dropped in, according to eyewitness accounts now being released as activists return home following expulsion by the Israeli government.
But, luckily, some of us journalists are doing our jobs. As Max “Maxzilla” Blumenthal points out in his latest post, written from ground zero in Tel Aviv,
Statements by senior Israeli military commanders made in the Hebrew media days before the massacre revealed that the raid was planned over a week in advance by the Israeli military and was personally approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. The elite Israeli commando unit known as Unit 13 was tasked with carrying out the mission and its role was known by the Israeli public well before the raid took place. Details of the plan show that the use of deadly force was authorized and calculated. The massacre of activists should not have been unexpected.
On May 28, three days before the raid, top Israeli military officials revealed details of their strategy to Maariv, Israel’s most widely circulated paper. The caption of the Maariv article reflected the military command’s plan to use force: “On the way to violence; one of the boats is on its way.”
Max, who rightly points out that this was another account of a premeditated attack by the Israeli military, in direct approval from the State’s top leaders, also reveals that the Israeli plan was to lay the foundation inside the Israeli public for blanket approval and backing to the military’s actions, whatever they happened to be. And now, across Israel, thousands are out in the streets with banners and flags, chanting for a full return of the fascist Kakh party, while others are publicly calling for the expulsion and assassination of Israeli MK member Hanin Zoabi, a Palestinian citizen of the State who was aboard the flotilla. This is a democratic country? With a full and free press?
Israel’s revision of what happened Monday has gotten to the point of Monty Python-esque absurdity. With official claims of shooting activists with paint-guns, to their shocking announcement that humanitarian aiders attempted to kidnap several of the commandos, to Bibi Netanyahu invoking terrible 1980′s sitcoms in an attempt to classify the flotilla, to accusing the activists of being affiliated with al-Qaeda (something that Max B’s work may have forced the Ministry to publicly retract its statements), to claiming that the cement and other raw construction supplies included in the aid package would be used for building Hamas bunkers and rocket launchers (I almost expected them to say “the Death Star”), to belaboring the assertion that Gaza faces no humanitarian crisis, it’s become an all-out circus — as the spokesmen and federal officials sound less and less like leaders and more and more like 14 year old boys hopped up on Ritalin, internet porn, terrible sci-fi paperbacks and candy corn.
And the US corporate press, in its silence of the facts and its echoing of Israel’s ludicrous fairy-tales, has become completely and totally irrelevant, once again. Meanwhile, an American teenager is among the at least nine killed in Israel’s attack; Emily Henochowicz, a 21 year old art student from New York is left without an eye; and Palestinians in Gaza still can’t get enough to eat, enough medicine to take, enough pens to write with and enough paper to write on.
Things are really bad now. But they’re going to get worse: Israel announced that it will treat the next batch of flotilla ships as if it was “in a war” with the flotilla; to which Turkey — unflinchingly — countered that announcement with an interesting one of their own. The next few days are going to be tense, perhaps lethal. Welcome to Palestine.