Media Revolution

Thursday, July 10, 2003

U.S. report on 9/11 to be 'explosive'
Probe debunks tales of Private Lynch's heroics More here
US warned over Iraq law enforcement
The law enforcement operation in Iraq could disintegrate unless US forces stop "kicking ass" and take a more conciliatory attitude towards civilians, senior UK police advisers have told their government.
The problem with U.S. pensions

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Bush's Uranium Cranium

Just FYI on the fact that there is an explosion of Bush / Uranium /
credibility stories right now. has as one of its headlines:

Democrats pounce on Bush uranium statement (a CNN article)

And it says there are 676 related articles.

The publicity is good, and the continued exploration of this issue is good. I hope it builds into a major scandal.

What's frustrating about all this is that it illustrates how the press focuses too much on statements by our "leaders" (Bush, Powell, Rumsfeld). They can say the most ninny things, and hundreds of stories parrot them. Meanwhile, there can be compelling evidence about their lies, but it as long as they maintain their lies, there is no aggressive reporting.

This raft of stories only came because Bush admitted a mistake in the State of the Union address.

We knew about the forgery of the Uranium documents BEFORE the war(1), but the issue wasn't broadly questioned by the media.

This is the first time I've heard of the Bush Administration admitting a mistake. It might be the last, but if the press were more dogged, it wouldn't be.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Interesting take on the Hong Kong mobilization: Protesters want efficiency, not democracy?

Rally organizers admit most of the turnout was not against the Beijing-backed security measures or the city's nearly 9 percent unemployment rate. Few people are suggesting that the paternalistic Tung is autocratic or evil, in the way of a Berlusconi or a Saddam. If there is a single complaint against the Tung administration in the wake of the SARS epidemic, it's that government officials are incompetent bunglers.

Incompetence -- therein lies the main grudge that swept the Fascists into office in Italy. Mussolini got the trains to run on time, and that is exactly what these half a million protesters want: a government bureaucracy that operates as efficiently as a Swiss watch, at least between the hours of 9 and 5.

The marchers' "Down With Tung" slogan clearly spelled out their goal: not a mere revision of security laws but the downfall of the Tung government. The new Black Shirts are aiming for a coup that will propel them into power and onto a confrontation course with the communist mainland. Though Marx may be rolling in his grave, Mussolini would be proud.

The one sure guarantee against any threat to civil liberties hidden in the small print of Article 23 is that the current government will be too ineffective to carry it out. The real danger for Hong Kongers -- as the Italians discovered to their dismay by the 1940s -- is that they just might get the government they desire.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Kenya: Brittish troops face rape claims

London - The lawyer for some 650 women in Kenya who claim they were raped by British troops on manoeuvres in the east African country was confident Wednesday they will win a court fight for compensation.

Martyn Day told reporters in London that his clients were altogether seeking up to £20m in damages from the Ministry of Defence.

Speaking to reporters, he alleged that 2 000-odd troops had been involved in rape "ambushes" in the vicinity of British military bases in Kenya stretching back to 1977.

Man gets life in prison for spitting

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Flirting with Fascism
A view from the old right about the neo-conservative theorist Michael Ledeen "who draws more from Italian fascism than the American Right." His latest book is The War Against the Terror Masters. As a younger man he wrote Universal Fascism, published in 1972.

That work starts with the assertion that it is a mistake to explain the support of fascism by millions of Europeans “solely because they had been hypnotized by the rhetoric of gifted orators and manipulated by skilful propagandists.” “It seems more plausible,” Ledeen argued, “to attempt to explain their enthusiasm by treating them as believers in the rightness of the fascist cause, which had a coherent ideological appeal to a great many people.” For Ledeen, as for the lifelong fascist theoretician and practitioner, Giuseppe Bottai, that appeal lay in the fact that fascism was “the Revolution of the 20th century.”

The Israeli government has accused the BBC of competing with the "worst of Nazi propaganda" and severed ties with the corporation over a documentary broadcast internationally over the weekend.

BBC journalists will still be able to report from Israel, but the government will no longer invite corporation journalists to special briefings or grant them interviews.


"In the guise of journalistic integrity it lends support to evil portrayals of Israel and the Jewish people which has been done before in the gravest circumstances," Mr Seaman added.

"The programme tried to show that we don't abide by international law. There was a decision by the state of Israel to cut off all contacts with the BBC because of what we feel to be a bias and an anti-Israel line apparent in a series of programmes that portray Israel in a very evil light."

U.S. condemned by Amnesty International over Iraq detentions

American Judges setting up new judicial system in Iraq are categorically denied free speech

Bogota Court Rules to End Harmful Aerial Fumigation Program

Hong Kong Gripped by Massive Anti-Govt. Street Protest

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to Hong Kong's streets on Tuesday to denounce the government and its planned anti-subversion law in the city's biggest demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

"Return rule to the people," they chanted as the rally began to denounce the bill which critics say will impose Beijing-style control over free speech and the media.

Brandishing banners, umbrellas and fans, many wore black on a sweltering day to mourn what they said was the demise of rights and freedoms in one of the world's key financial centers.

Critics say the law, which Beijing has been pressing Hong Kong to enact, poses the biggest threat to basic rights in the former British colony since it reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.

Earlier, a group of protesters burned the Communist Party flag as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao tried to reassure the territory that its freedoms would be protected. But the afternoon march was peaceful.

By nightfall, organizers said around 500,000 people had turned out, while police said they counted at least 350,000 people as of 6 p.m. (1000 GMT). It was the largest protest in Hong Kong since 1989, when a million turned out after troops killed hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators in the Chinese capital. [MORE]