In the sublime days before 11 September 2001, when the powerful were routinely attacking and terrorising the weak, and those dying were black or brown-skinned non-people living in faraway places such as Zaire and Guatemala, there was no terrorism. When the weak attacked the powerful, spectacularly on 9/11, there was terrorism.— John Pilger
The most almighty John Pilger quotes that will inspire your inner self
During my lifetime, America has been constantly waging war against much of humanity: impoverished people mostly, in stricken places.
It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the message and the myths that surround it.
More terrorists are given training and sanctuary in the United States than anywhere on earth. They include mass murderers, torturers, former and future tyrants and assorted international criminals. This is virtually unknown to the American public, thanks to the freest media on earth.
Private Manning is the world's pre-eminent prisoner of conscience, having remained true to the Nuremberg principle that every soldier has the right to 'a moral choice.' His suffering mocks the notion of the land of the free.
Many journalists become very defensive when you suggest to them that they are anything but impartial and objective. The problem with those words "impartiality" and "objectivity" is that they have lost their dictionary meaning. They've been taken over. "Impartiality" and "objectivity" now mean the establishment point of view.
The people who died in the Twin Towers in that terrible crime mattered.
The people who were bombed to death in dusty villages in Afghanistan didn't matter, even though it now seems that their numbers were greater. The people who will die in Iraq don't matter.
The impact of the human tragedies I've reported on is that, more often than not, I'll be angry. I want to know why is this child dying? These are not acts of God; they're results of respectable politicians' decisions.
Whenever a journalist says to me, "Oh, you don't understand, I'm impartial, I'm objective," I know what he's saying. I can decode it immediately. It means he channels the official truth. Almost always. That protestation means he speaks for a consensual view of the establishment. This is internalized.
When governments and other vested interests attack me personally I usually regard it as a vindication, otherwise they would use facts. That's why I believe in the wonderful Claud Cockburn dictum, 'Never believe anything until it is officially denied.' It has certainly been my experience.
Secretive power loathes journalists who do their job: who push back screens, peer behind façades, lift rocks. Opprobrium from on high is their badge of honour.
Classic nineteenth century European imperialists believed they were literally on a mission. I don't believe that the imperialists these days have that same sense of public service. They are simply pirates.
In these surreal days, there is one truth.
Nothing justified the killing of innocent people in America last week and nothing justifies the killing of innocent people anywhere else.
There is no war on terrorism; it is the great game speeded up. The difference is the rampant nature of the superpower, ensuring infinite dangers for us all.
What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot completed.
Orwell is almost our litmus test. Some of his satirical writing looks like reality these days.
Al journalism should be investigative, from football to cookery
Bill Clinton kept funding Star Wars. He took the biggest military budget to Congress in history. He routinely bombed Iraq, and he kept the barbaric sanctions in place. He's really played his part. The George W. Bush gang has taken it just a little further.
British establishment uses "the royal we," as in, "We think this.
" You hear a lot of that these days. It erroneously suggests that those who are making the decisions to bomb countries, to devastate economies, to take part in acts of international piracy involve all of us.
I'm absolutely convinced of that. Israel is the representative of the United States in that part of the world. Its policies are so integrated with American policies that they use the same language.
Vietnam was as much a laboratory experiment as a war.
Using the passive voice is always very helpful.
Mind you, a lot of that propaganda English emanates from here. The British establishment has always used the passive voice. It's been a weapon of discourse so those who committed terrible acts in the old empire could not be identified.
Israel is the representative of the United States in the Middle East.
Its policies are so integrated with American policies that they use the same language. If you read Sharon's statements and George W. Bush's statements, they're virtually identical.
We have an extreme rightwing government in this country, although it's called the Labour government.
I grew up in Sydney in a very political household, where we were all for the underdog.
Iraq has been successfully demonized as if everybody who lives there is Saddam Hussein. In the build-up to this attack on Iraq, journalists have almost universally excluded the prospect of civilian deaths, the numbers of people who would die, because those people don't matter.
The British Labour Party has always had a very strong "Atlanticist component," with an obsequiousness to American policies, and Blair represents this wing. He's clearly obsessed with Iraq. He has to be because the overwhelming majority of the people of Britain oppose a military action. I've never known a situation like it.
I think the accurate description for the George W.
Bush administration is a military plutocracy. Having lived and worked in the United States, I must add that I don't want to make too much of the distinction between the Bush regime and its predecessors. I don't see a great deal of difference.
The Mirror has become an important antidote to a media that is, most of it, supportive of the establishment, some of it quite rabidly rightwing. The Mirror is breaking ranks, and that's good news.
Journalists don't sit down and think, "I'm now going to speak for the establishment." Of course not. But they internalize a whole set of assumptions, and one of the most potent assumptions is that the world should be seen in terms of its usefulness to the West, not humanity. This leads journalists to make a distinction between people who matter and people who don't matter.
We are beckoned to see the world through a one-way mirror, as if we are threatened and innocent and the rest of humanity is threatening, or wretched, or expendable. Our memory is struggling to rescue the truth that human rights were not handed down as privileges from a parliament, or a boardroom, or an institution, but that peace is only possible with justice and with information that gives us the power to act justly.
There isn't a war on terror, there is a war of terror.
Since September 11, the Mirror has reached back to its roots, and decided, it seems, to be something of its old self again. I received a call asking if I would write for it again, which I've done. It's a pleasure to be able to do that. It's become an important antidote to a media that is, most of it, supportive of the establishment, some of it quite rabidly rightwing. The Mirror is breaking ranks, and that's good news.
Israel is the American watchdog in the Middle East, and that's why the Palestinians remain victims of one of the longest military occupations.
An elite group of less than a billion people now take more than 80 per cent of the world's wealth.
Not all the Americans in Iraq are those who torture and murder, or course they're not, I don't know how many are doing it, I know it is systematic throughout the United States military I think that's been revealed.
It's only when journalists understand the role they play in this propaganda, it's only when they realize they can't be both independent, honest journalists and agents of power, that things will begin to change.
In Western Australia, minerals are being dug up from Aboriginal land and shipped to China for a profit of a billion dollars a week. In this, the richest, 'booming' state, the prisons bulge with stricken Aboriginal people, including juveniles whose mothers stand at the prison gates, pleading for their release. The incarceration of black Australians here is eight times that of black South Africans during the last decade of apartheid.
Who are these evil ones? In 1984, the evil one was called Goldstein.
Orwell was writing a grim parody. But these people running the United States mean what they say. If I were a teacher, I would recommend that all my students very hurriedly read most of Orwell's books, especially 1984 and Animal Farm, because then they'd begin to understand the world we live in.
Two increasing themes which appear to dominate our listening, reading and watching lives are propaganda and 'national security', or manufactured war.
I love irony in pictures. There's one photograph from Vietnam by Philip Jones Griffiths that shows a very large GI having his pocket picked by a tiny Vietnamese woman. It told the whole story of the clash of two cultures and how the invader could never win.
Certainly, until there is justice for the Palestinians, there will never be any kind of stability in the Middle East.
The attack on Iraq has been long planned.
There just hasn't been an excuse for it. Since George H.W. Bush didn't unseat Saddam in 1991, there's been a longing among the extreme right in the United States to finish the job. The war on terrorism has given them that opportunity. Even though the logic is convoluted and fraudulent, it appears they are going to go ahead and finish the job.
This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq... this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we dont try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war... our children will sing great songs about us years from now.
Rupert Murdoch gave up his Australian citizenship in order to buy television stations in the United States, which is symptomatic of the way Murdoch operates. Everything is for sale, including his birthright. The Mirror is not read by soccer hooligans. It's read by ordinary people of this country. That comment is simply patronizing. But to be criticized by the Moonies and Murdoch in one breath is really just a fine moment for me.
We have an extreme rightwing government in Britain, although it's called the Labour government. That's confused a lot of people, but it's confusing them less and less.
Bill Clinton persuaded some people that he was really a civilized character and his Administration had the best interests of humanity at heart. These days we don't have to put up with that nonsense. It's very clear that the George W. Bush Administration is out of control. It contains some truly dangerous people.
If I were a teacher, I would recommend that all my students very hurriedly read most of Orwell's books, especially 1984 and Animal Farm, because then they'd begin to understand the world we live in.
The censorship is such on television in the U.S. that films like mine don't stand a chance.
The major western democracies are moving towards corporatism.
Democracy has become a business plan, with a bottom line for every human activity, every dream, every decency, every hope. The main parliamentary parties are now devoted to the same economic policies - socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor - and the same foreign policy of servility to endless war. This is not democracy. It is to politics what McDonalds is to food.