All posts tagged: Ben Norton

Venezuela? The bad guys are on Wall St.

Philip Roddis With Washington talking up a military coup (Democrats for once in no hurry to berate Trump on the issue) and Russia a sufficiently interested party to have flown nuclear capable bombers into Caracas last month, it behoves us all to get up to speed on Venezuela. It should go without saying we can’t trust a word corporate media say but, case it doesn’t, here’s why. First, corporate media are not independent but reliant on market forces. This applies not just to the billionaire media but, for reasons given elsewhere, to Guardian and BBC too. Second, media both sides of the Atlantic have a long record of backing US predation on the global south. Never have they deviated from this – take the Guardian’s cheerleading on Iraq. Worse, they’ve abdicated a core duty in their refusal to explore motives that cast a very different light on Western interventions sold to us as humanitarian. Third, sanctions have sown economic havoc in Venezuela. They’re spoken of in such calm tones that an already innocuous word loses …

No, the UN did NOT report China has “Massive Internment Camps” for Uighur Muslims

by Ben Norton and Arjit Singh, via Grayzone Project,  August 23, 2018 Media outlets from Reuters to The Intercept falsely claimed the UN had condemned China for holding a million Uighurs in camps. The claim is based on unsourced allegations by two independent commission members, US-funded outfits and a shadowy opposition group. Numerous major media outlets, from Reuters to The Intercept, have claimed that the United Nations has reports that the Chinese government is holding as many as 1 million Uighur Muslims in “internment camps.” But a close examination of these news stories, and of the evidence behind them — or the lack thereof — demonstrates that the extraordinary claim is simply not true. A spokesperson from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) confirmed in a statement to the Grayzone that the allegation of Chinese “camps” was not made by the United Nations, but rather by a member of an independent committee that does not speak for the UN as a whole. That member happened to be the only American …

Media Turn Civilian ISIS Victims in Beirut Into Hezbollah Human Shields

By Ben Norton When civilians are killed, media reaction is often contingent upon who did the killing and why. Instead of blanketly condemning such attacks, the bombing of civilians can be implicitly justified if those civilians were in the wrong place at the wrong time—say, in a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan, or, more recently, in a neighborhood in Lebanon. Two ISIS suicide bombers killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 230 in attacks on a heavily Shia Muslim community in Beirut on November 12. This was the worst attack on the city in years. The vast majority of the victims were civilians, not armed militants—but many media headlines obscured this. “Deadly Blasts Hit Hezbollah Stronghold in Southern Beirut,” declared the New York Times (11/12/15). Absent from this headline were crucial facts—namely, that this supposed “stronghold” of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah is in fact a busy civilian area, and moreover that dozens of civilians were killed in the attacks. You can find the full text of this article here.