Most people know about John Pilger and his crusading journalism through the years, so I won’t dwell on his many achievements.
Pilger has just been awarded a Peace Prize by a Sydney-based organisation and gave a speech at the Sydney Opera House to mark the award. It’s a long speech and whilst I could post the whole thing, it is freely available elsewhere on the Web, notably here: http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=555
It’s the kind of thing that should be distributed to schools, given away with breakfast cereals, discussed, analysed and shouted from the rooftops. But it probably won’t be – partly because Pilger is routinely praised then ignored or tolerated but dismissed as a barmy leftist/idealist.
I’ve seen films he produced on Captain Bob and the Decline/Destruction of the ‘Daily Mirror’ and a shocking film on the Indonesian genocide in East Timor and I’ve also read many articles he has written over the years. There are some things I don’t like about him – he can be terribly overbearing at times, but his instincts for stories that the ‘Establishment’ would rather we ignored are usually spot-on.
Here’s a taste of his speech …..click on the link above to read the full text – believe me, it’s worth the time you will spend reading it…..
“………Since the second world war, the arsenal of freedom has overthrown 50 governments, including democracies, and crushed some 30 liberation movements. Millions of people all over the world have been driven out of their homes and subjected to crippling embargos. Bombing is as American as apple pie.
In his acceptance of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, Harold Pinter asked this question: “Why is the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought of Stalinist Russia well known in the West while American criminal actions never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it never happened. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”
In Australia, we are trained to respect this censorship by omission. An invasion is not an invasion if “we” do it. Terror is not terror if “we” do it. A crime is not a crime if “we” commit it. It didn’t happen. Even while it was happening it didn’t happen. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.
In the arsenal of freedom we have two categories of victims. The innocent people killed in the Twin Towers were worthy victims. The innocent people killed by Nato bombers in Afghanistan are unworthy victims. Israelis are worthy. Palestinians are unworthy. It gets complicated. Kurds who rose against Saddam Hussein were worthy. But Kurds who rise against the Turkish regime are unworthy. Turkey is a member of Nato. They’re in the arsenal of freedom………”