Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17: Letters to the editor - what they tell us about the editors...

I always read the letters to the editor because they tell me more about a newspaper and, sometimes, the news, than the newspaper itself does.  Take today's Moncton Times&Transcript, for example.

A writer from Sackville mourns the loss of thousands of Americans on   9/11 in New York City. So we all should. She says we shouldn't blame the American people for this happening. No. Of course we shouldn't. Neither the kills nor the responses were decisions made by ordinary Americans.  But:

1. A CIA "asset" from Cuba blew up a Cuban airliner, killing over a hundred civilians. This is only one of many terror bombings within Cuba from him and other US paid agents. He took refuge in the US, and now lives in Florida.

2. The American government encouraged, supervised, and supplied weapons for a Guatemalan army massacre of Maya native peoples - men, women, and children. It was aided in this genocide of 200,000 people by the CIA and the Israeli secret service. Missionaries who befriended the Maya were murdered, and nuns raped and murdered. One of the lay missionaries was a man from Buctouche named Raoul Leger.

But the Moncton Times ignored the story. So did most of tohe North Amaerican press. If you doubt it, just  Google: New York Times Clinton Apology Guatemala.  The operation was directed by the CIA,  headed for much of that period by George Bush I. You can also look up Raoul Leger in google.

For over a hundred years, US businesses like United Fruit Company had impoverished the people of Guatemala to keep them as cheap labour. They also took most of the arable land, so people had no choice but to submit. Anhybody who complained was beaten or killed.

After World War Two, the US supported dictator was overthrown, and Guatemala elected its own president who wanted to do silly things like letting people have land so they could eat.. Suddenly, an army of thugs armed with US weapons (our press called them "freedom fighters") overthrew the president, and installed a dictator. (Later 'presidents" won rigged elections.) Then came the killing years. Think of that as you peel your next Chiquita Banana.

3. Just a few days ago, the former head of British Intelligence testified to a formal inquiry that Tony Blair (and George Bush II lied about their reasons for invading Iraq. It had nothing to do with terrorism or WMDs. That means Bush and Blair killed more than a million innocent people.  Heard any talk of commemorative spoons or memorials for that one?

3. The American government has publicly admitted it has no evidence against Bin Laden. That's why the government of Pakistan refused to allow his extradition at first. Before  the invasion, it told Bush it was willing to turn him over to a neutral country for trial. Bush refused. Then he invaded.

4. The invasion of Afghanistan has killed far more  innocent people than 9/11 did - even though there is no reason to believe that Afghanistan had anything to do with 9/11. But I haven't noticed a whole lot of  tears shed for the women and children of Afghanistan.

5. There have almost certainly been far more Pakistanis killed by US forces than the total killed on 9/11. Do you think Pakistanis don't mourn for their family members killed in terror raids by the US drones and assassination squads?

6. I could add the more than two million innocent people killed in Vietnam, the half million killed in Cambodia by illegal and  terrorist American bombing - but you get the idea.

7. Oh, I forgot about Iran. It used to be a democracy. A real one. But it wanted to raise the price of its oil and to build silly things like hospitals and schools. (While under a dictator before it became a democracy, Iran also supplied all the oil for the British navy, free of charge, for almost thirty years.) The democracy was overthrown by Britain, France and the US, with each getting a share of control over the oil. They then installed that murderous dictator called the Shah. And that's why the people of Iran turned to their mosques, and why it now is an Islamic state.

I don't blame the writer for not knowing that. How could she? Most of it never appeared in Bru\nswick Press - or  most other media in North America. When it did appear, - well - words can be used to disguise the message. We've all, though our news media, heard of Islamic terrorists. How many of us have heard or read of US government (and Christian) terrorists?  And guess which side has killed more people? By far.

The Moncton Times ignores news reports that Brunswick News doesn't want us to hear. It's not hard to get it. You can get news reports from all over the world on your computer. All the incidents I mention above can be checked in the very respectable and respected Manchester Guardian, in Al Haaretz (the best newspaper in Israel), Der Spiegel, Le Monde... There's lots of them. The Moncton Times deliberately misleads us on the news. Unless one is splitting hairs, that's called lying.

And then there's that streak of racism we all have. The truth is most of us don't give a damn about how many Africans or Asians or Arabs or Latin Americans get killed. They's iggerant. They ain't civilized like us.

But, you know,  our side slaughters innocents by the million, and tortures in camps all around the world, and Canada willingly offers up its own citizens for torture and murder. The Canadian government refused even to ask about Raoul Leger. We were the only western country that failed to demand jurisdiction in the case of a citizen imprisoned at Guatemala. We are the only western country, to my knowledge, to  have turned over our own citizens, without charge or evidence, to the US for torture.

Bin Laden was a mad man from hell? Possibly. We really don't know.  But if he was, he's not alone.

I learn a lot about a newspaper from its letters to the editor. I certainly learn more than the newspaper tells me about anything.

For contrast, there's also a letter from Frank Belcastro of Grand Digue which tells the truth, and which offers evidence for what it says. I'm a little surprised The Moncton Times published it. But they probably figured that in this world of 1984, nobody will believe the truth, anyway.

re the editorial - I'm sure we're all aware of how much billionaires from this province have done for us. So how come at the end of the day, they're still billionaires, while New Brunswick is still poor?

1 comment:

  1. It’s unfortunate most of the mainstream media, especially American, avoids putting the ugly history you have listed into print or video. I believe I now understand why the mistakes are repeated. Without an historical knowledge it’s easy to consider your country in line for sainthood.

    Essentially, we can never learn by our mistakes when we are unprepared to know them. This is a maxim I have come to understand that can be applied to countries and individuals, including myself. Perhaps this is because when you are perfect, there is little room for spots on the record. Fueling this ignorance are the acceptable tone and same theme press releases further encouraging avoidance of negative events. The press release theme is always “We are the good guys.”

    This historical ignorance promoted by the media comes from their lazy and cowardly reporting. En masse without question, the euphemisms in these press releases are repeated verbatim. These worn out phrases will be forever will be the worst of journalese. Of course they are intended to cover up the reality making for an easier public conscience. You’ve heard too many times, “A surgical air strike”, that invariably has some collateral damage. The translation of this is that the military hit their target and in the process killed mothers and children. And Americans wonder why they have enemies worldwide.

    Avoidance is a theme in every life and for every country. When some humility enters the picture, only then can progress be made.

    David Leonardo