United States International

The Faceless and The Dead - The Guardian and Iraq’s Refugees

The Faceless and The Dead - The Guardian and Iraq's Refugees
by: medialens

For several months now, non-UK visitors accessing the Guardian website have been shown an endlessly revolving animation in three segments that would not look out of place on FAIR, ZNet, or indeed Media Lens.

The first segment depicts a blue-eyed man wearing glasses with images of anti-war demonstrators reflected in the glasses. The protestors are carrying a banner that reads: “End The War NOW!” It instantly recalls the enormous February 15, 2003 anti-war march in London.

The second segment shows a nervous-looking woman in traditional Arab dress with intense flames reflected in her eyes. The third has two grief-stricken women, again in Arab dress, with one carrying a frightened child - their images are reflected in a soldier’s goggles. The animation ends with the words:

“See the world through their eyes. The Guardian Weekly Global Network (theguardian weekly.co.uk)”

These images are shown hour after hour, week after week, to people visiting the site. This surely is a newspaper subjecting Western policies to fierce critical analysis. It must be focussing relentlessly on Iraqi, Afghan and other civilian suffering as a result of these policies.

But in reality, the Guardian has a long history of supporting Western state violence and of suppressing the truth of its consequences.

In 1956, the Guardian’s editors backed military action during the Suez crisis:

“The government is right to be prepared for military action at Suez“, the paper wrote, because Egyptian control of the canal would be “commercially damaging for the West and perhaps part of a plan for creating a new Arab Empire based on the Nile”. (Leader, August 2, 1956; cited, Murray Mcdonald, ‘50,000 editions of the imperialist, warmongering, hate-filled Guardian newspaper,’ July 2007; www.medialens.org/forum/viewtopic.php ?t=2617&highlight=murray+McDonald)

In 1991, a Guardian leader hailed the righteousness of Operation Desert Storm in almost biblical terms:

“The simple cause, at the end, is just. An evil regime in Iraq instituted an evil and brutal invasion. Our soldiers and airmen are there, at UN behest, to set that evil right. Their duties are clear ... let the momentum and the resolution be swift.” (Leader, January 17, 1991, ibid)

Eric Hoskins, a Canadian doctor and coordinator of a Harvard study team, later reported that the ensuing allied bombardment “effectively terminated everything vital to human survival in Iraq - electricity, water, sewage systems, agriculture, industry and health care”. (Quoted, Mark Curtis, 'The Ambiguities of Power - British Foreign Policy since 1945', Zed Books, 1995, pp.189-190)

The Guardian used the word ‘evil’ three times in a single paragraph in its leader. The same emotive word has not been used once in any Guardian editorial to describe the Bush-Blair-Brown invasion of Iraq - a war crime that has cost the lives of one million people and forced 4 million more from their homes.

Read the entire article at: http://www.medialens.org/alerts/index.php

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