Category Archives: Media Highlight of the Week

Al-Shabaab’s Nairobi Mall Attack Tied to “Disastrous American Foreign Policy in Somalia”

It’s my simple assertion that the recent attacks in Nairobi are yet again another reaction that are tied to a disastrous western foreign policy in Africa, where violence simply begets violence.

What’s so fascinating about the reporting on the reactions to the War OF Terror, is the way almost all of it ignores history, as if it is a conflict happening in another time.

The recent attacks in Kenya are a case in point. In the wake of this tragic event, we have been deluged by a wave of terror experts that warn us about yet another dark mediaeval movement that harbours incomprehensible fanatics who want to destroy the West.

In our simplified media, with its sound bite driven propaganda culture, little to no context is given as to why people resort to such violent acts.

But it’s only when you start looking into “the West’s” foreign policy in East Africa over the last twenty years, that you can begin to form the context into which you can build a truer and fuller construct around.

This is yet again another reaction tied to a disastrous western foreign policy.

Jeremy Scahill, author of “Dirty Wars” talks about Al-Shabaab’s Nairobi mall rampage and its ties to “disastrous” western meddling in Somalia.

In the early 2000′s, the Bush administration made a disastrous decision to put all these warlords on the CIA payroll, they named them the “Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter Terrorism” in Somalia and Kenya.

This group was used as an assassination squad.

Most terrorism experts said there were no more than a dozen individuals linked to Al-Qaeda in Somalia after 9/11.

So the CIA hires these warlords to ostensibly hunt these people down, but instead they end up murdering vast numbers of people who were Imams or religious scholars, and in some cases they would literally chop people’s heads off and bring them to their American CIA liaisons, saying “this is so and so and I’ve killed them”.

What you had was an utterly ruthless and thuggish collection of CIA sponsored warlords murdering people at the behest of the CIA.

These actions sparked a revolt against the warlords, with coalitions of religious figures across Somalia forming “The Islamic Courts Union”, which consisted of twelve regional sharia based courts that had imposed law and order in their own respective areas, coming together to form one united body, pooling their resources to overthrow the CIA warlords in Mogadishu.

When the Islamic Courts Union took Mogadishu, overthrowing the CIA backed warlords, they in turn imposed a brutal but effective form of governance in Mogadishu. Effective in the sense that it stabilised the city, crime rates plummeted and they reopened the ports.

Almost everyone apart from the Bush era administration would agree that it was the only moment since Siad Barre’s regime fell in 1991 that there had been anything resembling stability in Mogadishu. The CIA had been kicked out and the Islamic Courts Union was in control.

The US then partners with the Ethiopian dictatorship and Ethiopia launches an overt invasion into Somalia to overthrow the Islamic Courts Union.

Once the proxy war had succeeded, JSOC, America’s Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA use the cover of this overt invasion to go in and start hunting down and assassinating the leaders of the Islamic Courts Union.

The Islamic Courts Union is totally destroyed and Somalia returns to a state of lawlessness, brutality and civil war, coupled with the fact you now have American backed Ethiopians who are committing rape, murdering civilians, torturing people, setting up their own prison camps and rendering people back to Ethiopia.

In the midst of all this, a group of no bodies called Al-Shabaab, say ‘We will be the vanguard against the US backed Ethiopians, we will take up arms and we will defend Somalia, mixing the rhetoric of Bin Laden and Somali nationalism.’

The simple point is this, groups such as Al-Shabaab were non-players in Somalia, and it’s the American backed warlords and the overthrowing of local governments, such as the Islamic Courts Union, which ends up creating the very force that the Americans claim they were trying to fight in the first place.

A deadly self-fulfilling prophecy, where violence begets violence.

Precisely the same manner in which the chaos in Yemen today is a direct result of “the West’s” secret war forty years ago.

Since this was first written, America launched co-ordinated raids in both Libya and Somalia to grab so called “highly prized assets”. What isn’t known is how many civilians were killed in these raids and what kind of further resentment this will build from the children of those men and women killed in years to come. This won’t garner many column inches in the mainstream media.

As violence begets violence, you can expect this cyclical scenario to continue, just don’t fool yourself into believing that people carry out such acts without a reason.

This article also appeared on the MPACUK website

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Filed under Foreign Policy, Manufacturing Consent, Media Highlight of the Week

Hollywoods Greatest Taboo – The Hero Wins Via Suicide Bombing

It’s the Christmas period and no doubt you’ve consumed just a few of Hollywoods finest flicks on TV while chowing down on your (halal) turkey yesterday.

So while you tuck in to some delicious left over turkey sandwiches today, I thought I’d give you a different look at what Hollywood could offer.

The clip above is the alternative ending from the 2004 film “Man on Fire” starring Denzel Washington. It’s one of my favourite films, revenge, redemption, pathos, flawed but a redeemable lead character, it has it all.

The film was directed by the late Tony Scott, and the above alternate ending is voice overed by Scott himself.

After watching the alternate ending on the DVD, I felt it was much better than the ending they actually put out, but of course, our protagonist winning by suicide bombing is never going to be allowed to air in cinema.

As the debate rages today over “Zero Dark Thirty” and it’s use of the cinematic portrayal of torture (we all know the CIA & Mi5/6 do it) in capturing Bin Laden and any bad guy or “ticking bomb scenario” that allows them to use torture, it becomes very interesting what Hollywood can frame as being a cultural norm and a taboo.

Here’s some suggested reading from my earlier posts on how Hollywood is so good at propaganda:

The Oscars – Approving American Imperialism

Rambo – How an Anti War Book became a Hollywood Pro War Blockbuster

Or the flipside is, you make your own films to counter the propaganda that Hollywood churns out:

Valley of the Wolves: Palestine

Ilich Ramírez Sanchez AKA Carlos The Jackal -”Carlos” – The Movie

Reviewing The Four Lions – Is Satire & Ridicule Used To Debunk Jihad?

If like me, you’re not one for the madness of the christmas sales – with people buying things they don’t need, with money they don’t have – then this is for you:

When will you wake up? THEY LIVE!!!!

Enjoy your holiday period & go easy on the turkey!

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As usual – comments welcome below or via The Akh – Twitter @HotterThanCurry

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Filed under 4GW, Arts & Media, Film Review, Media Highlight of the Week

American Jews are falling out of love with Israel

Norman Finkelstein was on BBC Hardtalk recently, the topic being discussed – American Jews are falling out of love with Israel.

Finkelstein argued that American Jews are now so unhappy with the murderous and quite frankly indefensible actions of Israel, that they want to distance themselves from that country.

Watch out, the Hardtalk presenter Sarah Montague looks to be an Israeli hasbara agent.

Dr. Finkelstein is adept at putting zionists firmly in their place, even beating the trump card of the holocaust, as this old blog piece testifies.

And if you still want more, I’ll direct you to read “On the Crisis of Zionism” an article on the much discussed Peter Beinart book. You know when Rolling Stone magazine starts covering Palestine it’s getting to be a pretty mainstream issue in America.

Recently Hebrew graffiti denouncing Zionism was sprayed inside Israel’s own Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in occupied Jerusalem:

Translated into English, the above reads as:

“The war of the Zionist regime is not the war of the Jewish people”

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Filed under Media Highlight of the Week, The Holocaust Industry, Zionism

This is REAL journalism – Julian Assange interviews Hezbollah leader Sayyid Nasrallah

This is what I call real journalism, as Julian Assange interviews Hezbollah leader Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah on RT.

Watch the video above & here’s my views below:

In no way will any parts of this interview be aired in the U.S. or mainstream corporate media.

The crack-down on the internet is spurred from many quarters, one of them is to censor content such as this.

There’s no Arabic word for “Take-Away food” (I wonder if you spotted it?) otherwise the translation was very good.

I’ll let you make your own conclusions on the interview, from a man who is denied air time on the western media. We cry loudly about the great freedom of speech we have and at the same time block Al-Manar from broadcasting and even blocking their twitter account – thanks Israel.

The interview has had wider ripples across the British media.

The sandal wearing, recycled bean eating readership of The Guardian were treated to a hatchet job by Luke Harding who was given prominent positioning on the Guardian website to attack Assange as a “useful idiot” for Russia.

I haven’t seen so many bad elements of journalism incorporated into one article since The News of The World went out of business.

Firstly there is an element of competition between two rival media outlets, and if one side gets a big scoop, the other has to respond by dismissing it. Sadly, it’s becoming an ugly side of journalism that is becoming much more common.

For those with a memory will remember that The Guardian did it with the Murdoch Phone-hacking Scandal, running it for weeks on end. Not that it shouldn’t have been reported but there was a clear “conflict of interest” underpinning Britain’s second-best selling Newspaper (The Guardian) attacking Britain’s best selling Newspaper (The News of the World) until it was shut down.

The second bad journalism element is the “personel vendetta” that I charge The Guardian with running.

Less then two years ago The Guardian was working with Julian Assange and calling him a hero.

I’m sure everyone here remembers reading the Wikileaks stories on The Guardian website.

Now after a public falling out they are calling Assange “Russia Today’s Useful Idiot”.

Bitterness is never an attractive quality.

Simplicity will defeat complexity – shout out to the israeli encryptors!

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Filed under 4GW, Documentary, Media Highlight of the Week, Palestine, Resistance By All Means Necessary

Rambo – How an Anti War Book became a Hollywood Pro War Blockbuster

The film “Rambo” is a classic tale of how a anti-war book written about the post Vietnam era in America is hijacked by Hollywood to glorify violence and war, the exact psyche of the American system, that the author David Morrell examined in his 1972 novel “First Blood”.

If, like me you were a child of the Eighties, then you grew up on a diet of “big gun americana” movies, I’m talking about Stallone & Schwarzenegger and everything that promoted the american way.

It didn’t matter how crap the quality of your pirated VHS version was, Rambo was on heavy rotation where ever I went.

Years later I found out it was based on a book, and decided to have a read of it.

What I found out as a child barely into my double digits was that the film was far removed from the book.

Rambo first learns about the death of one of his former soldier buddies, the film doesn’t mention what the book did, and that was he died from cancer – the after effects of the american army spraying millions of litres of Agent Orange into the jungles of Vietnam.

Why would the American army – do a such a thing?

Yeah the Vietnamese were the bad guys, but why would the americans also kill their own soldiers (thought a 8 year old Akh).

Another example was that if you’ve actually watched the film, ask yourself how many people actually die?

The answer is one

The sheriffs deputy that gets hit with a rock and falls out of the helicopter (that’s what happened, I’m not making it up)

The book was far more brutal, Rambo killed literally every single figure of authority, or that represented the police or the army that he came into contact with, even the dogs weren’t spared.

Eventually the Colonel that Rambo served under in Vietnam is called up to reach out to his creation and after that speech he persuades Rambo to give up and escorts him out…and that’s where the film ends.

True to form, reading the book I was absolutely shocked as to what the ending was….and I only found out this week that the ending was actually filmed, but it didn’t make the final cut as it didn’t go down well with the test audiences.

Why would it?

After all Uncle Sam’s boys would never kill themselves.

I cross posted words from John Pilger last year when he spoke about Hollywood approving american imperialism, whilst portraying itself as the aggrieved party.

Years later to satisfy Hollywood’s bloodlust, Rambo III was made, this time Rambo was siding with the Afghan Mujahideen against the USSR.

Of course this served as great propaganda at the time with the americans happy to slowly bleed the russians, with the Afghan Mujahideen being in the firing line.

I was over the moon to see Rambo fighting alongside the Mujahideen and kicking some russian ass, after all, isn’t that exactly what the power of a lobby should be? to use the mass media to win hearts and minds?

There was no book for Rambo III, but I sat glued to the end credits, and found that the film wasn’t made on location in Afghanistan, but filmed in israel, and what was even worse, nearly all the Afghan Mujahideen were played by israeli’s too.

I found out at a very young age that you shouldn’t believe what you see in the media. Perhaps Rambo left an indelible mark on my psyche too…who really runs Hollywood?

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Filed under 4GW, Afghanistan, Arts & Media, Experiences, Film Review, Media Highlight of the Week, Media Ownership & Control, Western Hypocrisy

Afghanistan – A War Without End, Inventing Enemies to Buy Bombs

With Obama’s declaration that “Combat Activities” will cease in Afghanistan & 33,000 US troops will be leaving it’s yet again time to separate the media propaganda from the truth.

Last night’s BBC documentary “Afghanistan – War Without End?” showed many a half truth in discussing the “Great Game V.2.0”. Then again, what can we really expect from John Ware, one of the pro israeli journalists embedded within the BBC.

Already Obama is under pressure from the military industrial complex to keep the troop numbers high. Despite Obama’s approval ratings riding high after the “deading” of Osama Bin Laden, what are the real chances of him still being President in 2013? seeing US presidential elections are due next year. This of course comes from a man who said Guantanamo would be closed as part of his election campaign – four years later, we’re still waiting.

The entire premise of foreign troops, especially American troops leaving a country they have invaded is an entirely false one. The media maybe reporting it as that, but what’s being said is that “Combat Operations” will cease. Just like combat operations ended in Iraq years ago, hasn’t led to a drawdown of troop numbers, Afghanistan will be precisely the same. No one builds the world’s largest “embassy” compound to leave it behind. The Second World War ended in 1945, yet American bases remain in the countries they invaded, principally Germany & Japan.

Listening to Radio 4’s Today Show this morning was far more revelatory than a whole hour’s worth of BBC programming.

Simply listen to what Michael Semple, former Deputy to the EU Special Representative for Afghanistan and a key proponent of talking to the Taliban had to say on the subject:

I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve had to explain to people that western military theory is based primarily on Carl von Clausewitz’s teachings, what is taught in every single military academy is;

“War is not merely a political act, but also a political instrument, a continuation of political relations, a carrying out of the same by other means”

War is a conduit to achieve a political objective, if you have no political objective to achieve, or the remit is changed regularly as has been the case in Afghanistan, then you are in a perpetual state of war, a never ending war, that has no end game in sight.

While negotiating a settlement with the Taliban is probably the only option left to “The West”, it’s a bit hard to be taken seriously if you are talking peace, yet continue to kill the people you want to bring to the negotiating table.

The Afghan War Logs showed the true nature of the Afghan War, one that the media doesn’t report on.

As Simon Jenkins, writing in The Guardian pointed out recently, it is not democracy that keeps western nations at war, but armies and the interests now massed behind them. Eisenhower’s farewell message to America was a simple warning against the “disastrous rise of misplaced power” of a military-industrial complex with “unwarranted influence on government”.

A burgeoning defence establishment, backed by large corporate interests, would one day employ so many people as to corrupt the political system. (His original draft even referred to a “military-industrial-congressional complex”.) This lobby, said Eisenhower, could become so huge as to “endanger our liberties and democratic processes”.

I wonder what Eisenhower would make of today’s US, with a military grown from 3.5 million people to 5 million. The western nations face less of a threat to their integrity and security than ever in history, yet their defence industries cry for ever more money and ever more things to do. The cold war strategist, George Kennan, wrote prophetically: “Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial complex would have to remain, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented.”

The war on terror fulfilled all Eisenhower’s fears, as America sank into a swamp of kidnapping, torture and imprisonment without trial.

The belligerent posture of the US and Britain towards the Muslim world has fostered antagonism and moderate threats in response. The bombing of extremist targets in Pakistan is an invitation for terrorists to attack us, and then a need for defence against such attack. A self fulfilling perpetual cycle of violence.

Meanwhile, the opportunity cost of appeasing the complex is astronomical.

Eisenhower remarked that “every gun that is made is a theft from those who hunger” – a bomber is two power stations and a hospital not built. Likewise, each Tomahawk Cameron drops on Tripoli destroys not just a Gaddafi bunker (are there any left?), but a hospital ward and a classroom in Britain.

As long as bullets are fired in war, there will be a company profiting from their sale, with the invention of the global war against terrorism, it provides a blank cheque opportunity for the defence industry – the military industrial complex – the scenery maybe variable – Iraq or Afghanistan – the money source remains the constant and the end result remains constant.

Muslims die.

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Filed under 4GW, Afghanistan, Creating The Terror Threat, Documentary, Foreign Policy, Manufacturing Consent, Media Highlight of the Week, Military Industrial Complex, Obama, War