War propaganda in German media

This video from Germany says about itself:

13 January 2015

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany is running in student elections taking place at the end of January.

One hundred years after the outbreak of the First World War, and seventy-five years after the outbreak of World War II, the German elites are once again preparing for war.

By seeking to downplay and relativize the crimes of the past, professors at Humboldt University are playing a central role in the campaign to revive German militarism.

This video explains how the IYSSE is fighting to turn the student election into a campaign against war and in defense of historical truth.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

Editor of Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper demands rearmament and war

6 February 2016

For Josef Joffe, the editor of the weekly liberal magazine Die Zeit, the multi-billion-euro rearmament plans of the German government do not go far enough. In his weekly column “zeitgeist,” Joffe complains, on behalf of a substantial lobby of war-mongering scribblers in the editorial offices of the bourgeois press, that the rearmament of the German army is not taking place more quickly.

Under the headline “Warriors in the Lists,” Joffe writes with barely concealed cynicism, “The stepchild of the nation is now to be jazzed up again, but only from featherweight to lightweight.” The “shopping list” of the defence minister is “cryptic,” a “work of art for vagueness,” and is composed of “elastic numbers right and left.”

The additional €130 billion in spending planned by the German government over the next 15 years provokes merely a tired yawn from Joffe. …

Joffe is disturbed most of all by the mass opposition to rearmament and war. Germany is a nation “where pacifism, in common parlance: ‘without me’ is the core belief.” Then he let rip, “Six out of ten Germans reject more foreign interventions. Air attacks on IS are supported by just a third, ground deployments by only one fifth. The (almost without risk) reconnaissance missions and refuelling of others are ok.”

He goes on, “What is the use of the best-equipped army, which cannot be achieved by an extra €5 billion per year, if the people in the democratic state, flanked by the commentariat, do not want to deploy it?”

Joffe urges the German government to impose the war drive on the population as quickly as possible. “The government does not have the 15 years in the defence minister’s timetable to conduct the bone-crunching task of convincing,” he stated, and added threateningly, “The peaceful years (approximately 1990 to 2010) are over, the threat is growing far more rapidly than the arms budget. […] if the people’s minds cannot be changed, the finest arsenal will be worth nothing.”

Joffe comes from a Jewish background and he is no supporter of the Nazi dictatorship. But comments like his recall the crazed militarism of the German ruling elite during the Third Reich. In his first statements as German Chancellor, Hitler called for the German people to be “made fighting ready again.” In 1933, Hitler set up a “Reich defence committee,” whose task it was to “bring the mobilisation of the people and state into line with the mobilisation of the army.”

Joffe’s commentary must be taken seriously by working people and youth and understood as a warning. With his numerous connections to the highest levels of politics and his membership in Transatlantic think tanks, he speaks on behalf of a ruling class, which, despite horrific crimes in two world wars, has once again lost its senses and is preparing to defend the interests of German imperialism and the capitalist elite by all means necessary.

After Murdoch-Blair quarrel, Murdoch-Trump quarrel

This video from the British Parliament says about itself:

Leveson Inquiry: Rupert Murdoch endorsed Tony Blair after getting all he could from him

25 April 2012

The News International proprietor admits that he only sanctioned Sun approval of Tony Blair after he had gotten all the concessions he could get from him.

Rupert Murdoch and fellow Big Media billionaire Silvio Berlusconi used to be buddies. That is, until Rupert and Silvio started to quarrel about a loot of lots of money

Rupert Murdoch and conservative Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott used to be buddies. That is, until Rupert helped to sack Tony.

Rupert Murdoch and British Labour Blairite Prime Minister Tony Blair used to be buddies. Tony is the godfather of Rupert‘s children. That is, until Tony had an affair with Rupert’s wife.

Rupert Murdoch and United States Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump used to be buddies. That is, until now …

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Take advantage of the Fox-Trump fallout now

Saturday 30th January 2016

IT’S always hard to break up with a loved-one …

We’ve all seen, and in many cases been in, those relationships whereby everyone but the individual in question knows that they’re on a one-way trip to deceit, destitution and/or misery.

Yet to point it out is anathema and invariably leads to rifts on both sides.

The quandary therefore, when things inevitably go hideously, irrevocably wrong, is which individual to side with, if any, and whether to take the exalted higher ground or spell out some desperately needed home truths.

Happily this is not the case this week, when both spurned lovers are as loathsome as each other and mutually assured destruction is the best option for the planet.

No, I’m not talking about George Osborne and Google, who would never let a tiny thing like billions of pounds in tax avoidance get in the way of their cosy relationship.

I refer of course, to the rift betwixt Donald Trump and Fox News.

Let us just sit back and enjoy that for a moment …

Even the most favourably starred relationships hit their rocky periods. And none more so than when Trump is involved.

The presidential candidate for the lacking in thought has recently taken the “News” station to task and pulled out of a scheduled debate, complaining that its female anchor was disrespectful and biased … I know! This is Fox News we’re talking about!

The problem, apparently, was that he believes they were biased AGAINST him for a change.

The row ensued after said female anchor raised the use of “pig,” “dog” and several less than chivalrous epithets by Trump during the course of his presidential campaign to attack his female opponents for the Republican candidacy.

Now as we all know, politics is a filthy business and if you want to get involved you had best grow a thick skin and hold your nose, but even by the usual standards of vicious back-biting, slanderous misrepresentation and virulent personal abuse Trump has sunk to new depths.

When this issue was aired in a recent live debate by Fox host Megyn Kelly, who asked quite reasonably if this was the kind of language a wannabe president should be using, Trump spluttered and backtracked before saying off-air that: “She had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her whatever.”

This has widely been perceived as an attempt to claim that Kelly was menstruating and therefore, in Trump’s view, hormonally imbalanced.

Crass and pathetic as this claim is it is highly instructive and tells us two things.

Not only is Trump so patently emotionally and intellectually stunted that he is unable to say the word “vagina” but he has also apparently confused natural bodily changes coinciding with the cycle of the moon with the Ebola virus.

He also, hilariously, claimed that all Fox was interested in was getting money from his appearances, which is no doubt true but coming from the rapaciously capitalistic Trump went right off the end of the irony scale.

Fox went in to bat for their beleaguered anchor, because it’s all right for them to denigrate women and minorities but not when it comes back at them.

A Network spokesman said, and I quote, “We can’t give into terrorisations of any of our employees.”

Showing that he was a total stranger not just to the English language but also its concept.

“Capitulating to politicians’ ultimatums about a debate moderator (Kelly) violates all journalistic standards,” he added.

Which raises a number of questions, but principally, since when did Fox ever adhere to “journalistic standards?”

It never stopped them in the past when they were spoon-feeding made up shit to a gullible public in support of the ongoing “War on Terror” which was largely in their heads.

Lying through their scarily perfect teeth to back up a lame duck president who had no clue what he was doing and led the world into disaster was, likewise, apparently not a problem for their much-vaunted, newly discovered “journalistic standards.”

That’s fine, as long as he’s not black.

Basically the Fox statement can be read: “Say what you want about the Muslims, immigrants and Mexicans but criticise one of us and you’re spoiling for a fight.”

Sadly this spat will not last, so I for one am determined to make the most out of it while I can.

Ah, schadenfreude! It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

The only way it could get any better is if Tony Blair decided to act as peace maker and he probably will — if the price is right.

German media racism

This video from Germany says about itself:

Cologne shows its more tolerant side and stages an anti-racism rally

14 December 2014

Thousands of protesters have taken part in an anti-racism rally in the German city of Cologne.

Organised by mainly artists and musicians, an estimated around 15,000 took part in what was designed to be a good natured event to counter the growing number of far-right demonstrations.

In October in the same place dozens of policemen were injured during a rally against radical Islam which degenerated into a riot.

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

German media incites racist hysteria

12 January 2016

Using the pretext of alleged incidents of sexual harassment in Köln (Cologne), the German media has launched a hysterical, racist campaign against millions of immigrants and Muslims.

On New Year’s Eve, thousands of people gathered in Köln and in other major cities throughout Germany to celebrate the holiday. The next day, police issued a press release stating that there was a “festive mood” at the celebrations and that the atmosphere that evening was “overall peaceful.”

However, one day later, a second statement was issued that referred for the first time to alleged attacks on women. On January 5, Köln’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU)-backed Mayor Henriette Reker said at a press conference that there was “no evidence that people who are residing in Köln as refugees are amongst the perpetrators.”

Suddenly, the media exploded with allegations of mass sexual abuse, setting into motion a hysterical campaign directed against the immigrant population. On January 7, anonymous police officers told the media that “most” of those suspected were migrants. A January 8 report by the Federal Ministry of the Interior announced that out of 31 suspects … were two Germans and an [US] American.

It was not until the period between January 8 and January 10 that the number of those alleging sexual harassment rose from 170 to over 400. So far, only two people have been arrested, and they have been released.

What actually occurred in Köln is not yet known. Some reports point to a provocation. Various international media outlets, including CNN, have reported that at least one undercover police agent had infiltrated the crowd and later reported she was assaulted.

It is, of course, possible that there were incidents of hooliganism in which women were harassed. Unfortunately, such behavior is not uncommon in large crowds almost anywhere in the world where liquor is flowing freely as it was on New Year’s Eve. At last year’s Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana, for example, over 140 people were arrested, 50 for felonies. At last year’s Oktoberfest in Munich, the number of sexual assault allegations rose to 20.

At any rate, given the absence of factual substantiation of what remain, at this point, no more than allegations, the ferocity of the press response can be explained only in political terms. The political parties and the media have launched a campaign that for many decades would have been considered impossible in Germany.

Some 70 years after the collapse of the Third Reich, the media is making use of the same disgusting types of racial stereotyping, with open appeals to paranoid sexual obsessions, in which the Nazis specialized. Once again, a shameless German media is evoking images of pure Nordic women being preyed upon by dark-skinned untermenschen (sub-humans).

On Saturday, the magazine Focus published on its cover an image of a nude woman covered by black handprints. The weekend edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung carried an image of a white woman’s body with a black hand grasping her genitals. The newspaper also disseminated the image on Facebook.

Title pages of the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Focus about Cologne, and a Third Reich nazi cartoon depicting Jews as sex maniacs

These pictures show the title pages of the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Focus about Cologne, and a Third Reich nazi cartoon depicting Jews as sex maniacs.

When a wave of protest erupted, the Süddeutsche apologized. However, Chief Editor of Focus Ulrich Reitz refused to apologise on the grounds that “we are depicting what is unfortunately happening.” Whoever said the cover was racist, he claimed, was “fearful of the truth.”

No, that is NOT the truth, Herr Ulrich Reitz. So far police suspects 31 people (of theft, not of sexual harassment) in Cologne. They are from many countries. But not one of them is from a sub-Saharan African country.

It is not only degenerate journalists who are purveying this racist filth. Leading German academics are also getting into the act. Professor Jörg Baberowski of Berlin’s Humboldt University has written a column for the far-right Basler Zeitung accusing “Germany’s leading media” of remaining silent when “on New Year’s Eve, hundreds of Arab men sexually harassed, humiliated and robbed women on the Cathedral Square in Köln.”

There is no mass popular base for the racialist campaign. It is being instigated and directed by the political elites.

The new edition of Der Spiegel states: “A year ago, on New Year’s Eve 2014, similar assaults would have been (unfortunately) just an issue for the local press.” Der Spiegel adds, “Any attack could just as well have provided the material for national excitement—a child murder in a city park or any other crime in which primal fears are concentrated, stereotypes combined and foreigners involved in one form or another.”

However, this does not prevent Der Spiegel from legitimizing the media campaign. It declares that the events in Köln show the need for the strengthening of the police to defend “our canon of values.”

… This universal shift to the right in all sections of the political establishment has, in fact, nothing to do with the events in Köln. It is, rather, entirely bound up with the resurgence of German militarism.

It is now two years since President Gauck and officials in the federal government announced the end of foreign policy restraint and stated that Germany was, in the words of Social Democratic Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, “too big to comment on foreign policy only from the sidelines.” Since then, the government has supported the right-wing coup in Kiev, participated in NATO’s deployment against Russia, sent troops to Mali and reinforced the military mission in Afghanistan. Recently, German Tornado jets joined the bombing campaign in Syria.

But despite intensive efforts, the ruling elites have thus far failed to break the ingrained resistance of broad social layers to militarism. The vast majority of Germans still oppose foreign missions and war operations by the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces). Now the issue of sexual violence against women is being employed in an attempt to overcome this resistance. The events in Köln are being exaggerated and exploited to this end. The racist smear campaign against refugees and immigrants is a means to prepare the expansion of the military intervention in the Middle East.

The entire tragic and disastrous experience of the 20th century proves that Germany’s ruling class cannot wage war without resorting to racism and erecting an authoritarian regime.

In recent months, the most popular film in Germany has been Er ist wieder da (He’s Back). It is a satirical political fantasy that imagines how a resurrected Hitler, emerging from his World War II bunker, would rebuild his political career with the help of the modern media. During the past week, the filmmaker’s satire has acquired an all too disturbing element of reality.

‘Journalism is terrorism’, Bahraini government says

This 7 April 2015 video, recorded in Italy, is called How the regime of Bahrain is attacking journalism by Ali Abdulemam.

From the Committee to Protect Journalists:

Bahrain accuses journalist of supporting terrorism

New York, January 6, 2016–Bahraini authorities should immediately release journalist Mahmoud al-Jaziri and drop all charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The terrorism charges were announced amid escalating sectarian tensions in Bahrain and other Gulf countries.

The Bahraini Interior Ministry today named Al-Jaziri, a reporter for the opposition daily Al-Wasat, as among those arrested for allegedly plotting terrorist attacks funded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah, according to the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA). That announcement came amid a deepening diplomatic rift between Iran and Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Bahrain, after Saudi Arabia executed prominent Shiite cleric Nimr Al-Nimr on Saturday. It also followed years of official persecution–including the 2011 death in custody of a founding investor–of Al-Wasat staff.

“The Bahraini government has long sought to silence Al-Wasat,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “We call on the authorities to release Mahmoud al-Jaziri immediately and drop all charges against him.”

Police arrested Al-Jaziri from his home on Nabih Saleh Island, south of the capital Manama, on the morning of December 28. He was allowed to call his brother later in the day to say he was being held for criminal investigation, local human rights groups and Al-Wasat reported. Al-Jaziri’s lawyer, Wafaa Marhon, told Al-Wasat on December 31 that prosecutors had not produced any evidence against her client.

But on January 4, two days after Al-Nimr’s execution, Al-Jaziri was referred to a special prosecutor for terrorist crimes, who charged him with supporting terrorism, inciting hatred of the regime, having contacts with a foreign country, and seeking to overthrow the regime by joining Al-Wafaa and the February 14 Youth Movement, which has organized protests since the 2011 uprising, according to news reports. The Interior Ministry statement carried by BNA today listed Al-Jaziri and three other recently arrested men as members of an armed wing of Al-Wafaa that was plotting bombings in cooperation with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah.

Mansoor Al-Jamri, editor-in-chief of Al-Wasat and CPJ’s 2011 International Press Freedom Awardee, told CPJ that Al-Jaziri denied all these charges and that he told prosecutors that his relationship with Al-Wafaa had never extended past proofreading the group’s public statements, and that he had stopped even that activity after he became a professional journalist in 2012. Al-Jamri said Al-Jaziri covers parliamentary news for Al-Wasat.

On the day of his arrest, Al-Jaziri had reported on a member of parliament’s proposal to deny housing to Bahrainis whose citizenship the government had revoked for their political activities. Over the course of 2013-2014, he had also written a series of opinion articles for Al-Wasat in which he blamed world and regional powers for what he called the “failures” of the 2011 uprisings collectively called the “Arab Spring,” criticized the lack of compromise in the region’s conflicts, and called for closer relationships between predominantly Sunni and Shiite countries in the region.

Last year, at least four bloggers were stripped of their Bahraini citizenship because of their critical writings, according to CPJ research. Bahrain was holding at least five journalists behind bars when CPJ conducted its annual census on December 1, 2015.

Bahrain: Arrest and detention of human rights defender Dr Saeed Al Samahiji: here.

January 8, 2016 – 16:35 AMT. PanARMENIAN.Net – A number of human rights organizations have issued a statement expressing severe concern over the case of Bahraini activist, Fadhil Radhi, who was detained in Armenia following his escape from Bahrain after being sentenced to seven years in prison on political and arbitrary reasons: here.