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Book Review: Propaganda Blitz – How Corporate Media Distort Reality

Philip Roddis

We’ve heard a good deal of late about Western democracy, and I for one don’t knock it. I think it an excellent idea, but wouldn’t it require an informed electorate? And wouldn’t that require a media untainted by power and unfettered by any ties other than to truth? Truth in the sense of accuracy and immunity from entrenched interest; truth in the sense of facts and interpretations offered with neither fear nor favour on matters vital to the common good – like climate change, waging war, and levels of inequality both morally indefensible and socially dysfunctional?

We have no such media, alas: ergo no real democracy. I’m sure Guardian house radicals believe their employer occupies a higher moral plane than do Murdoch or the Barclay Brothers. I’m sure too that the same goes for their colleagues at the BBC. In this they may be right or wrong – I’m not incurious as to how corporate journalists see themselves – but the more fundamental issue is that of news provision funded by market forces. On which subject I hear my old Uncle Arthur – miner and veteran of Saltley Gate but, it has to be said, not one for gender neutral pronouns – declaiming from the grave that he who pays the piper calls the tune.

And that no man may serve two masters.

So what’s it to be: truth, or the markets? That’s a good question when, corrosive as billionaire ownership is, a corruption greater still, because more insidious, is that of news provision driven by advertising. The seemingly vast differences between right-wing media owned by a handful of Citizen Kanes, and liberal media run by Trusts, become vanishingly small on issues of critical import to our true rulers: issues like the Troubles of the Six Counties prior to the Good Friday Agreement, unswerving support for every one of Britain’s wars on the global south, and above all the sanctity of private ownership of the means of wealth creation.[1] And what does this tell us? Quite a lot, actually, but my concern here is the fact of media ownership patterns mattering less than market forces.

As for the contribution of liberal media to rule of the many by and for the few, Noam Chomsky has this to say:

The right-wing claims the press has a liberal bias, and there’s some truth to that…liberal bias is important in a sophisticated system of propaganda. You don’t express the propaganda: that’s vulgar and easy to penetrate, you just presuppose it. And the presuppositions are instilled not by beating you over the head with them but by making them the foundation of discussion. You don’t accept them, you’re not in the discussion.

For the Guardian, market influence is direct. Content and tone must not seriously challenge a grossly unfair status quo – for instance by unbiased coverage of a Jeremy Corbyn – on pain of falling ad revenues.[2] Nor may they offend wealthy readers, on pain of falling subscriptions. Such factors are matters neither of opinion nor editor devilry, but of realities intrinsic to this business model.

For the BBC, market influence is indirect; exercised through old boy networks to be sure. More fundamental though is its financial dependence on ministers answerable not only to the black spider memos of Prince Charles, but to powers able to swing elections: hence the spectacle of Major, Blair and Cameron going cap in hand to kingmaker Murdoch. Answerable too to powers able to shape policy through an infamous ‘revolving door’ between public office and corporate gift. Which leaves BBC execs no less fearful than Home Secretaries of rebukes delivered in Sun editorials, and no less fearful of those more sustained attacks the Mail goes in for. It’s just that Beeb trepidation is one step removed.[3]

*

The examples – climate, war and inequality – I cited earlier were not picked from a hat but from the wider set explored in an invaluable new book from the Media Lens team, Propaganda Blitz: How Corporate Media Distort Reality.

Climate? Subject to limits in understanding flagged in a recent steel city post, the Guardian’s George Monbiot writes well on this existential question, but is he free to hold his employer to account? Credit where it’s due, he at least had a go.

…there was no Guardian commitment to drop any, never mind all, fossil fuel advertising revenues. A proposal to reject ads from ‘environmental villains’ had been put to the paper by … Monbiot in 2009, following a challenge by Media Lens. It got nowhere … the paper continues to be riddled with ads promoting carbon emissions – notably short-haul flights and cars – ironically appearing right beside articles about dangerous global warming.

The root issue here is not moral courage, or lack of the stuff, at Guardian Media Group. Given truly independent media, questions of moral courage would not apply since such media would by definition be ‘untainted by power and unfettered by any ties other than to truth’.

War and peace? The Guardian and BBC backed Iraq’s destruction and have spent seven years crafting evidence-free – nay, evidence-defiant – portrayals of Syria’s elected president as akin to Hitler.[4] Worse, these media criminally refuse to offer the more evidence based explanation of ‘our’ wars on the middle east as hydrocarbon grabs and reckless attempts to check a shifting of economic power from North America and Western Europe to Eurasia. Here too Propaganda Blitz is on the money, with Libya, sandwiched between the ruins of Iraq and near ruins of Syria, meriting a dedicated chapter: ‘It is all about oil’.

Inequality? The authors dissect a pattern of ridicule and/or vilification of all and any threat to a grotesquely unfair status quo. Jeremy Corbyn has Chapter Two to himself; Julian Assange, Hugo Chavez and Russell Brand share Chapter Three.

Other chapters consider how liberal media shape perceptions on Palestine, Syria, Yemen, the privatisation by stealth of Britain’s NHS, and panic responses in the closing days of Scotland’s Independence Referendum. These follow a Chapter One which defines propaganda blitzes as:

…fast-moving attacks intended to inflict maximum damage in minimal time. They are:

  1. based on allegations of dramatic new evidence
  2. communicated with high emotional intensity and moral outrage
  3. apparently supported by an informed corporate media/academic/expert consensus
  4. reinforced by damning condemnation of anyone daring even to question the apparent consensus
  5. characterised by tragicomic moral dissonance

Each is explored in examples, including but not confined to those marked for closer scrutiny in later chapters, using quantitative (content analysis less of individual articles than the results of media database searches) and qualitative (critical reading) methodologies, together with what has come to be a hallmark of the Media Lens approach, described thus in the book’s preface by John Pilger:

Meticulous in their research, they are respectful and polite when they email a journalist to ask why he or she produced such a one-sided report, or failed to disclose essential facts or promoted discredited myths. The replies they receive are often defensive, at times abusive; some are hysterical, as if they have pushed back a screen on a protected species.

… they have shattered a silence about corporate journalism. Like Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in Manufacturing Consent, they represent a Fifth Estate, questioning, deconstructing and ultimately demystifying the media’s monopoly.

To which I’d add that a manufactured moral panic on so-called fake news cannot properly be understood without reference to Pilger’s ‘media monopoly’. Here, in a Media Lens exchange exemplifying all three – question … deconstruct … demystify – of his key verbs, is an example of what he means:

In March 2014, we challenged Paul Mason (formerly of BBC’s ‘Newsnight’, later Economics Editor of Channel 4 News) to explain why he believed the failure of the US to bomb Syria in August 2013 had been a ‘Disaster’. Mason … failed to reply. After repeated nudges … journalist Ian Sinclair reminded Mason that he still had not responded. Mason replied:

Believe it or not, I still have more important things to do.

We answered:

Well, Chomsky – famously the world’s busiest human – typically replies within 24 hours with detailed comments.

Mason’s sage response:

yeah but I deal in fact not ideology

We replied again:

Time allowing, you should read @ggreenwald’s new book, No Place to Hide – it might relieve you of that conceit.

This is one of the passages in Glenn Greenwald’s book that we had in mind:

“As we are told endlessly, journalists do not express opinions; they simply report the facts. This is an obvious pretense, a conceit of the profession. The perceptions and pronouncements of human beings are inherently subjective. Every news article is the product of all sorts of highly subjective cultural, nationalistic, and political assumptions. And all journalism serves one faction’s interests or another …

“.. ‘Objectivity’ means nothing more than reflecting the biases and serving the interests of Washington. Opinions are problematic only when they deviate from the acceptable range of Washington orthodoxy.”

Mason’s one-word reply to our suggestion that he might read Greenwald’s book:

nope

And here’s one I used in a steel city post on the character assassination of Julian Assange:

The Guardian’s Suzanne Moore set the tone on Twitter on June 19, 2012:

I bet Assange is stuffing himself full of flattened guinea pigs. He really is the most massive turd.

Moore later complained that, after writing articles about Assange, she has suffered ‘vile abuse’. We wrote to her:

That’s a real shame. Sorry to hear that. But how would you describe calling someone ‘the most massive turd’? Vile abuse?

Such exchanges are revelatory. I’ve more than once expressed a belief that journalists may be self servingly blinkered, and arrogant careerists to boot, but in general are subjectively honest. Propaganda Blitz reminds me that the lines may be less distinct than that assertion implies. Do Mason’s and Moore’s responses, to fair if awkward questions, reflect passionate interest in the truth? If not, what do they reflect?

Taken out of context such exchanges can seem frivolous. In context, however, they leaven and illuminate a book anything but. Scrupulous in data collection and inferential reasoning, Media Lens throw a searing spotlight on a profession sullied less by such prima donna aloofness than by the deference to power – here subtle, there gross – at the heart of its business model, and by that fact profoundly subversive of democracy. It also provides as good a reference source, in its case studies of media distortion of the most pressing realities of our time, as you’re likely to lay hands on.

To which I’ll add, in closing, that on both counts this book makes the ideal gift for those whose healthy mistrust of capitalism is compromised by an excess of faith in liberal media.

Propaganda Blitz: How the Corporate Media Distort Reality is available here in various formats including an e-version at £3.99.

NOTES:

  • 1. For simplicity I’ll disregard here those matters where said rulers are seriously and structurally divided, as in eighties stand-offs between Britain’s rentier and industrial wings of Capital.
  • 2. I don’t say such considerations are ever present and overt influences on journalists and editors. Ideology is a vast and complex thing on which trillions of words have been written. But insight is afforded by Upton Sinclair’s pithy quote on the difficulty of getting a man to see a truth his salary depends on him not seeing. And by Chomsky’s words to the BBC’s Andrew Marr: “I’m sure you believe all you say. What I’m saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting there.”
  • 3. Here I’m oversimplifying, for clarity and brevity, phenomena intricately interwoven. Propaganda Blitz highlights clear conflicts of interest between the roles of those at the top of the BBC food chain, and their investment portfolios in topics – like private healthcare – worryingly under-discussed in their news and comment output.
  • 4. I’m not the first to observe that any third world leader in the way of Western plans for his country’s assets and/or geostrategic location will be compared to Hitler. As a rule that’s the precursor to military attack, lynchpin of a propaganda blitz to manufacture our enthusiastic support for Taking Out a Crazed Tyrant to Bring Democracy to his downtrodden subjects.

36 Comments

  1. Controlled Mass Media says

    Guardian’s Suzanne Moore’s tweet of 19 June 2012 is one of lowest point for a journalist to reach. It makes you realise how the world has changed lately, as in people’s mind, the Guardian’s forte is defending the vulnerable and holding power to account.

    To describe someone who tried to hold power to account and who has been held hostage for more than 6 years, as a turd is beyond logic and beyond redemption.

    • harry stotle says

      I hesitate before trying to unpick Moore’s thought processes but my guess is she sees Assange as a cipher for men who commit sex crimes and get away with it (so therefore needs to be punished and publically vilified).

      There are a few problems with this – all of the available evidence (statement from the 1st prosecutor, police transcripts, deleted tweets, etc) point to Assange not actually being guilty of anything except promiscuity which as far as I know is not a crime (although I’m sure the likes of Suzanne Moore would like to change this).

      More importantly Moore fails to understand one of the key principles of any justice system, i.e. the idea of a person being innocent until proven guilty.

      There is a wider point about our shitty media selling out whistle blowers – the likes of Moore are too hopelessly compromised to understand how and why they are part of this broader problem.
      Perhaps for this reason the likes of Moore, Marina Hyde and James Ball have little insight into the suffering Assange has endured (isolation, lack of intimacy, denial of health care, psychological intimidation, etc) or even more worryingly do actually get it but still prefer to persecute him.

      This is absolutely despicable in my ipinion.

      • andy pandy1 says

        Moore became extremely worked up about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.They are about the oppression of women by privileged white males etc ad nauseam. So far, so Guardian.

        What really strikes me however about the Kavanaugh hearings is that they are supposed to be for a seat on the Supreme Court, supposedly the guardian of the US Constitution, America’s most revered document and the cornerstone of the Republic. The justices are supposed to be above politics and are appointed for their upholding and expertise in law and its constitutional foundation.

        So why the hell are the appointments made by politicians ? The Fraudian likes to pretend that it is all about whether or not the senators possess a vagina, yet all the Republican women voted in favour of Kavanaugh’s appointment. The vote split down party lines (almost). All the Republicans in favour and almost all the Democrats against.

        The elephant in the room that everybody seems to ignore is not that a patently unsuitable overprivileged rich drunk who is very possibly a rapist with anger management issues is being appointed for life to one of the most responsible jobs in the country, but that the US Constitution is a fraud and guardians of its temple are appointed on party political lines.

        Incidentally, NONE of the articles about Kavanaugh in the Fraudian run by the shill Viner allowed comments. Interesting.

        She doesn’t want to risk BTL comments which will probably be abusive about her precious USA the land of the “free”.

        This situation has always been like this, no matter which end of the Republocrat party happened to be in office. It’s just that in the past most presidents have observed the forms and so there was no controversy. Trump is like the little dog in the Wizard of Oz, who pulls back the curtain revealing the all powerful, admirable US Constitution to be a tawdry affair decided by time serving political hacks for their own ends.

        This is the country that is supposedly held up as a shining light and a beacon of freedom.

        What a joke.

  2. Controlled Mass Media says

    You don’t like some people? You alter or hide the information that gives them a positive image. Here is an axample:

    A headline found in CMMM, controlled major mass media: ISS crew back to Earth after almost 200 days in space.

    Same news, but from a less controlled media: Soyuz space crew land safely in Kazakhstan.

  3. Gwyn says

    It’s really quite pathetic to see the government stenographers’, I mean, MSM journalists’, defensive and evasive reactions to being asked simple questions.

    They can’t give decent, straightforward, honest answers, because they’re attempting to defend the indefensible. They are a lot worse than useless.

    • andy pandy1 says

      “government stenographers”. Excellent. And very true.

      I saw the piece about the GRU officers supposedly caught in the Netherlands after a tip off from our wonderful and oh so clever intelligence services. There was even a photo of the boot of the car and all the equipment they had was carefully labelled. So who supplied the photo ?

      Then I saw the byline, the hack who “wrote” the piece. Luke Harding.

      There you go.

      I think that the pieces are actually written in that big white building by Vauxhall Bridge and emailed over to the offices of the Fraudian to be published. Does Luke Harding even exist or is it just a code name ?

      Incidentally, since the Grauniad is so obviously the rag of choice of the UK security services, why don’t they get their funding directly from the government rather than irritating everyone with their constant begging bowl : Since you are here gissus some money….

      I DO still read it. 1. For a laugh 2. It still has a couple of readable hacks 3. John Crace is quite funny

  4. harry stotle says

    One thing you are unlikely to hear from simpering, self-regarding hacks like Suzanne Moore (perhaps because she is busy promoting her own victimhood after being taken to task about the bile she tends to spew) is the fact America is ratcheting up economic pressure on Bolivia in order to get to Assange.

    If you want stories like that you have to go the alternative media, or more trusthworthy news sources like RT.

  5. Controlled Mass Media says

    Let’s hope MSM will quickly cease be mainstream.

    Better acronym to use would be CMMM: controlled major mass media.
    I noticed today, Pilger is using the term: Approved Media.

    • George Cornell says

      AM is an overused acronym. How about Submissive Compliant Unprincipled Media?

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    • I’ve always preferred the term used for decades by the west when referencing media in China and Russia; “State Controlled Media”.

  6. George Cornell says

    The continued contempt for its readers by the MSM will do more than anything to secure Donald Trump’s second term. The Guardian spent more than 2 pre-election years running 6 anti-Trump articles / day. When that did not work, they cried foul and had to invent the ridiculous narrative that the consensus bogeyman, those nasty Russkies, stole the election from Hillary. Nothing to do with their self-inflicted loss of credibility, no.

    Why do they not get the obvious? The public are increasingly on to them and illustrated by the evidence that even the remaining BTL commenters at the Fraudian are noticeably critical of their relentless promotion of the interests of the 1%, of Israel, and of the US. Bleeding money and readership cannot be unique to the Fraudian because its modus operandi is ubiquitous cf. CNN, the NYT, ….

    Good article. Will circulate the link.

  7. James Connolly says

    Bought this yesterday and am looking forward to reading it. A phenomenon that will further entrench pro-establishment bias is the evermore uniformly privileged backgrounds of people in the media (following the collapse of the local newspaper industry and the rise of unpaid internships and expensive graduate journalism programs.) Owen Jones – a not unproblematic commentator in his own right – sheds much light on this and on the depressing pattern of BBC recruitment in this novara media podcast.
    https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-s85kb-3ef2816

  8. Peter Wilberg says

    I think it would be most valuable if someone at OffGuardian did some serious in-depth research that goes behind the scenes of propagandistic journalism and media and into a deeper rabbit hole. NATO, the US Military, and indeed the British Government itself have so-called ‘Strategic Communications’ and ‘InfoOps’ centres which they regard as vital and which make use of the media for their purposes. The primary objective of ‘StratCom’ is to carefully construct ‘narratives’ which support particular geopolitical agendas and objectives. You might start with looking at Mark Laity, who worked for the BBC and then joined NATO and became Communications adviser to its ‘Supreme Allied Commander’. The talk given by Laity (see second link below) inadvertently exposes a key tactical tool of ‘Strategic Communications’, namely to make it appear that the ‘enemy’ (in this case Russia) is making up stories or ‘strategic narratives’ – rather than NATO, Britain or the US. It needs to be understood that when a figure like Lavrov tries to talk historic facts or just plain rational common sense he can get nowhere – since he is faced by journalists already fed on ‘narratives’ made up by StratCom advisers like Laity and countless other teams of ‘practitioners’. There are even books written by them which describe what they do. The term ‘InfoWars’ was not an invention of Alex Jones but of NATO and its American – and British – StratCom and ‘InfoOps’ counterparts. Laity openly declare the need to create emotionally convincing narratives (i.e. make up stories) in which reason and rational debate plays no part and which can be used to suppress both information and debate. Mark Laity’s motto for StratCom is “Perception becomes Reality” – and the simpler and more emotional the ‘story’ one creates the more effective it can be in drowing out rational debate, reason, and facts. The whole Skripal ‘affair’ also needs to be seen in this context. There is a straight line from highly organised StratCom operations to PsyOps and InfoOps (…read ‘false flags’).

    https://www.google.cz/search?q=Perception+becomes+reality+Laity&rlz=1CAACAX_enCZ717CZ717&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiIrK_Ln-zdAhVEIlAKHacsD4gQsAR6BAgFEAE&biw=1366&bih=623

    https://www.psa.ac.uk/psa/news/storytelling-and-politics-how-history-myths-and-narratives-drive-our-decisions

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  9. Elsewhere it is being reported by the Times and the BBC that Putin has referred to Skripal as a traitor and ‘scumbag’. Are there any Russian speakers out there who could qualify how accurately that has been translated?

  10. Francis Lee says

    Mason is a species of political pondlife which emerged in the mid-20th century. It involves a movement from far-left to far-right on the political spectrum, Christopher Hitchens being yet another choice specimen. The movement started with American Trotskyists such as Irving Kristol and Sidney Hook and a clique of ultra-leftists which hung out in the trendy areas of New York. These gentlemen were to become militant neo-conservatives and bequeathed their noxious ideology to the next generation of neo-cons. Mason was involved in a Trotskyist sect called ‘Workers Power’, but hey there was no money or status involved, so he makes the career move to London, gets a job in the media, and becomes a NATO socialist (yes, I know, an oxymoron). Now baying for a war against Russia in the Guardian like the rest of the neo-con crowd. His sort are ten a penny. Question: What are his principles? Answer: what would you like them to be?

    • Makropulos says

      And don’t forget David Horowitz – another swinger from here to there, And when he changed from left to right he wrote a book called “Radical Son” whose title goes to show how desperate he was to continue to convince himself he was still some kind of crazy rebel.

    • writerroddis says

      I was in that same Trotskyite sect, Francis Lee, and still count some of my comrades from that era (mid to late 80s) among my friends. I knew Paul Mason slightly but have had no contact with him for decades. I think it a bit of stretch to describe him as ‘far right’ – we need to go to places like Ukraine to see what THAT looks like – but there is truth to the vector you describe. Particularly spectacular have been the intellectual acrobatics of those two leading lights of the RCP: a Frank Furedi (aka Frank Richards) who from his academia fortress now specialises in ‘common sense’ critiques of liberalism; and Clare Fox who features regularly on BBC Radio 4’s reactionary Moral Maze.

      Whether that rightward trajectory takes folk who once called themselves revolutionaries to the far right or merely the centre left, they doubtless see it as Growing Up, And here’s me, 66 the other day, penning babyish diatribes at The System …

      • Francis Lee says

        ” … a bit of a stretch to describe him (Mason) as far right.” Really? You think? Try this from the Graun October 9 2017.

        ” …lthe hybrid warfare being waged against all western democracies by Vladimir Putin. Even in 2015 it was clear that the major and strategic threat to the global order came from unilateral actions by Moscow. Crimea had been annexed, Ukraine for all practical purposes partitioned and the mass murder of passengers on MH17 traced to Russian backed and armed rebels. Yet the security strategy busied itself with trade issues, the aid budget, a vanity naval base in Bahrain and training missions to Malaysia and Singapore.”

        If it walks like a neo-con, talks like a neo-con ….

        And so forth.

  11. ‘… A proposal to reject ads from ‘environmental villains’ had been put to the paper by … Monbiot in 2009, following a challenge by Media Lens …’

    Is this suggesting that George Monbiot wouldn’t have advanced this proposal to reject advertisements from “environmental villains” if Media Lens hadn’t challenged him to do it?

  12. Gary Weglarz says

    Since the (Brexit /Trump / Russiagate) nexus of concern emerged over the last two years MSM has arguably morphed into something quite akin to one long painfully extended Monty Python “parody of the media” skit. Sadly a not very funny skit at that. From the New York Times to the Guardian absolutely evidence-free war propaganda, economic propaganda and skewed reporting on climate are served up daily to we the unwashed masses – all provided apparently without slightest notion that “truth” or “evidence” might have an important and necessary part to play in any of this.

    The MSM now exists in some sort of – “irony-free-zone” – in which it can spout endless lies and half-truths, or routinely remain conspicuously silent on matters of the life and death of ‘certain others’ – yet label any challenge to the veracity of their reporting, or their failure to report, as – “fake-news” to be distrusted and ultimately censored out of existence if possible. All in the name of protecting “democracy” of course.

    From the Kuwaiti incubator babies lies, to the weapons of mass destruction lies, to the Gaddafi’s viagra fueled rape camps lies, to the Assad just loves killing his own people (preferably children) with poison gas lies, to strange silence on the Western supported murders of civilians in Yemen and Palestine – MSM has been there to shamelessly promote (or ignore) as necessary – the murder of innocents in the Middle East through Western violence justified by totally fabricated propaganda ploys. All necessitated of course by “humanitarian” reasons and “duty to protect,” etc. (“Why must we bomb you? Because we love you!”) – as the bizarre self-serving identity politics related “duty to protect” logic goes. This is of course simply the latest twist on the 500 year old pattern of Western violence against those we exploit. Violence which was justified in earlier ages as necessary to “save souls,” or in order to “bring civilization” the those we were slaughtering. Now we have a “duty” to bomb and kill you because, well, “if we don’t somebody else might, and we simply couldn’t live with ourselves it we let that happen!”

    The MSM are critical in all of this. They are clearly accessories to murder and should therefore be considered war criminals. They are in the final analysis simply amoral shills for Western empire who are well paid as such. A rather large number of them work for the Western intelligence agencies to boot – which is either a conflict of interest – or more likely simply the perfect expression of what is meant by the Orwellian term – “Western democracies.”

    Thanks for bringing this new book to our attention. I’ll certainly add it to my reading list.

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    • Rhisiart Gwilym says

      Certainly a long list of currently-operating lamestream mediawhores should be treated as accessories to great crimes against humanity and the world, and should be prosecuted for that by new Nurnberg Tribunals – starting with Brown Noses Higgins, for a laugh. Most will die, still overstuffed with money and status, in their beds, though.

  13. 90% of Chinese–who are smarter, better educated and more widely traveled than Americans–trust their media. Sooner or later, people will ask how and why that could be.

  14. summitflyer says

    I believe it was Mahatma Gandhi when asked what he thought about Western civilization replied “I think it would be a good idea”

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  15. rilme says

    If Saddam, Gaddafi, and Assad are “as bad as Hitler”, but really they were rather good leaders for their countries, does that mean that Hitler, too, was rather good, or at least not quite the benchmark for evil?

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    • Admin says

      please don’t try to tell us

      1. No one died in any of the concentration camps

      2. The camps didn’t exist

      3. The camps were quite nice really

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      • rilme says

        please don’t try to tell us

        No one died in any UK prisons in WW2

        Strangeways didn’t exist

        Wormwood Scrubs was quite nice really

      • Smitty says

        Please try to explain to us about Japanese Unit 731’s reprieve by the u$a.

        “Responsibility for Japan’s secret germ-warfare program, organized as Unit 731 in Harbin, China, extended to top government leaders and many respected scientists, all of whom escaped indictment. Instead, motivated by early Cold War tensions, U.S. military intelligence in Tokyo insinuated itself into the Tokyo Trial by blocking prosecution access to key witnesses and then classifying incriminating documents. Washington decision makers, supported by the American occupation leader, General Douglas MacArthur, sought to acquire Japan’s biological-warfare expertise to gain an advantage over the Soviet Union. . . “

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      In fact Netanyahoo, Begin, Sharon, Shamir and scores of other Zionazi terrorist thugs far more closely approximate to Hitler than Assad or Gaddaffi.

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      • vexarb says

        Our most conspicously Christian PMs, T.Bliar and Brown, were morally worse than Hitler, and go to the deepest circle: the Hell of the Treacherous, some who betrayed their own country and some who betrayed Christ for money; B.Liar and Brown did both. Hitler was a primitive “Man of Blood” — a Darwinist who killed millions of people because he said they were inferior species; but B.Liar was a Christian who killed millions of people because he said it would save them from a tyrant.

    • The original analogy between Hitler and other politicians who happen to be or have been targets of Western regime change is false in the first place.

      That this question about Saddam Hussein, Muammar Ghaddafi and Bashar al Assad is posed in a faux innocent manner does not put the person who asks it in a good light, I’m afraid.

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    • Yarkob says

      you draw an immediate logical fallacy; namely that those three belong in the same “club” as each other. the irony of your statement kind of illustrates the exact point the author is making. the term “hook, line and sinker” comes to mind

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