April 23, 2004

PILGER NO LONGER SAFE IN IRAQ

John Pilger writes:

Four years ago, I travelled the length of Iraq, from the hills where St Matthew is buried in the Kurdish north to the heartland of Mesopotamia, and Baghdad, and the Shia south. I have seldom felt as safe in any country.

Well, of course. Whoís going to mess with the Great Leaderís beloved spokesboy?

Once, in the Edwardian colonnade of Baghdad's book market, a young man shouted something at me about the hardship his family had been forced to endure under the embargo imposed by America and Britain.

Memo to JP: Saddam is no longer in power. You donít have to keep repeating the sanctions lie.

Were I to undertake the same journey in Iraq today, I might not return alive.

Only one way to find out. You need some help with the airfare, John?

With the most lethal weapons that billions of dollars can buy, and the threats of their cowboy generals and the panic-stricken brutality of their foot soldiers, more than 120,000 of these invaders have ripped up the fabric of a nation that survived the years of Saddam Hussein, just as they oversaw the destruction of its artefacts.

On the contrary: the invaders have overseen the restoration of artefacts.

They have brought to Iraq a daily, murderous violence which surpasses that of a tyrant who never promised a fake democracy.

Actually, he did.

Even now, as the uprising spreads, there is only cryptic gesturing at the obvious: that this is a war of national liberation and that the enemy is "us". The pro-invasion Sydney Morning Herald is typical.

The Sydney Morning Herald opposed the war. Oh, no -- my FactChecker 5000 just exploded! Guess I'll spend the rest of the afternoon eating tacos.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 23, 2004 03:14 PM
Comments

Is Pilger plaigairising John Kerry because, shit, I was under the impression Indian Rubberhead was Kerry's game.

Posted by: d at April 23, 2004 at 03:27 PM

Does anyone know who publishes this pro-invasion Sydney Morning Herald? I might want to subscribe.

Can't be worse than the other SMH.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at April 23, 2004 at 03:28 PM

dude... the fact that you can stomach reading this BS (written by real live human beings - an equally nauseating fact) before making fun of them makes me appreciate you about 10 times more.

Posted by: Bob at April 23, 2004 at 03:38 PM

I thought he was going tell us of a slightly more interesting experience with the young man in the Edwardian colonnade of the Baghdad book market. My heart leapt and I thought there might actually be something human about the old sourpuss. No such luck!

Posted by: freddyboy at April 23, 2004 at 04:11 PM

I thought he was going tell us of a slightly more interesting experience with the young man in the Edwardian colonnade of the Baghdad book market. My heart leapt and I thought there might actually be something human about the old sourpuss. No such luck!

That's gold!

I will now always think of Pilger as being sent down from Iraq for "sensitive crimes in a Baghdad book market with an undergraduate named Akbar...."*

*plagiarised from Withnail & I

Posted by: James Hamilton at April 23, 2004 at 04:36 PM

John Pilger is a disgusting piece of excrement.

Posted by: donnyc at April 23, 2004 at 04:41 PM

I am seriously surprised that Pilger is still seen as a remotely credible commentator. In the last decade or so he has majorly gone out into lala land and yet he keeps appearing in supposedly reputable print and TV. Why? Is it sheer force of habit? Dosn't this leftist fuckwad realise what damage he does to his cause any time he appears in front of an appauled public to laude child-killers, car-bombers and fascist dictators in the name of pretend concern for their victims?

These days Pilger is seriously nuts. I wonder how long it's going to take for the shit-for-brains press to catch on?

Posted by: Amos at April 23, 2004 at 04:50 PM

The problem with people like Pilger is that there's no way to counter their lies. Their whole worldview is so warped that there's no traction to be had on it. Where would you start to deconstruct Pilger? Tim is doing yeoman service with the litany of errors he points out above, but we all know it's futile. Pilger is the modern day equivalent of Walter Duranty.

Posted by: David Gillies at April 23, 2004 at 05:06 PM

I would have thought after a few recent statements, Uncle Pilgy shouldn't feel safe in the US, the UK or Australia. There might be a few returned legitimate targets happy to dispense some freelance dentistry on the wacky old windbag.

Posted by: Habib at April 23, 2004 at 05:34 PM

Any facts in that piece by "utter' Pilger? Just another left wing journo's braying presented as fact.

Posted by: nic at April 23, 2004 at 05:35 PM

Sorry, this is totally off-topic: Bunyip is back.

Posted by: kwol at April 23, 2004 at 05:41 PM

Even Pilger has his uses (never thought I'd hear myself say that). He quotes a blog from an English "Activist" working in Fallujah.
This is worth reading. The author is obviously sneeringly anti-American. But also a person of courage and goodwill, working to try to help people in a War Zone.
Oh yes, he gets kidnapped by a group of "Mujehadeen" for his troubles, but they let him go.
Read it, if you want an illustration of just what lengths the USMC is willing to go to to reduce civilian casualties, what the limits are to those lengths, just how far short of perfection their results are, what depths (including using 11-year olds as combatants) the enemy has sunk to, and in general, that War is Hell.

Posted by: Alan E Brain at April 23, 2004 at 06:00 PM

"Four years ago, I travelled the length of Iraq, from the hills where St Matthew is buried in the Kurdish north to the heartland of Mesopotamia, and Baghdad, and the Shia south. I have seldom felt as safe in any country."

"They have brought to Iraq a daily, murderous violence which surpasses that of a tyrant who never promised a fake democracy."

He longs for the 'good old days' when Saddam&Sons were murdering and torturing the Iraqis and JP was free to roam the length and breadth of Iraq.

I wonder if Saddam, or one of his sons, had JP over for 'home movie night'? This would be when they played the videos taken during various torture sessions.

He should consider visiting N. Korea. I've read that regime is good at murdering and torturing citizens as well. Since he misses Saddam&Sons' regime so much, he may really like N. Korea. Don't know if they do videos, though. But, JP could make his own and feel almost like he's in Saddam&Sons' Iraq again.

I bet he could have said the same thing about Hitler's Germany. Germany was probably very safe, for some people, while the Nazis were in power.
He could have roamed around Germany (disguising his nationality, of course) and had a great time.
That is, until the Allies came and Germany became very unsafe for a while.

If I were an Iraqi reading his garbage, I'd get sick. What sort of a person thinks 'safety' under Saddam&Sons was a good thing?

Posted by: Chris Josephson at April 23, 2004 at 06:12 PM

Back to James Hamilton:
James,I see it more like a scene from Death in Venice.The elderly Pilger, arthritic and senile, dressed in white linen suit, sombrero and cane,like a second-rate John Gielgud, wanders the Edwardian colonnades of the Baghdad book market, looking for a folio edition of George Bush's memoirs. He encounters a beautiful young boy, Uday, a pistachio seller in the market and falls immediately in love. Uday strings him along determined to extricate as much dosh as possible before selling his story for millions to the National Enquirer.
I'm calling it Death in Saddam City.

Posted by: Freddyboy at April 23, 2004 at 07:08 PM

We should call this cretin 'Potemkin' Pilger in reference to Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin, who had elaborate fake villages constructed for Catherine the Great's tours of the Ukraine and the Crimea.

That's what Pilger does. The phoney constructs of his own bitter imagination are meant to make us all believe that life in modern history's worst dictatorships wasn't (and isn't) all that bad. Of course it wasn't for someone like Pilger. This love-child of Benedict Arnold and Wilfrid Burchett (hell, throw in Tokyo Rose as well) was probably always welcome in Saddam's Iraq. It made him feel important, connected, protected and special.

How to slander the United States and its allies and trivialise mass murder and tyranny? "It takes a village", says Potemkin Pilger. A fake one.

A ponce and a punk.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at April 23, 2004 at 07:55 PM

Listen you blokes, leave poor old Pilger alone. You all have the wrong end of the stick. Look at it from his point of view. The Left is utterly failed, even the Russians don't believe that crud any more. Every Communist regime has actually been a squalid, murderous and FASCIST dictatorship. The few remaining ones are the very bottom of the barrel labelled "Human Intellectual Sewage".

The holy leftist dream of the UN is really staffed by verminous thieves who worked with a Fascist dictator to steal BILLIONS in aid money. The Secretary General himself may well be one of them.

Pilgers entire world lies in ruins. Every leftist dream is a filthy cesspit of death, criminality and pathetic lies.

He has nothing, absolutely NOTHING left to believe in. It was all lies, delusions, fraud, mass-murder and dross, and it all lies unmourned on the dungheap of history.

SO he hates those who destroyed it. He hates democratic nations, and is reduced to mourning the passing of loathesome Fascist dictators and their rapist sons.

SO I read all the Pilger I can. Same as Phillip Adams, another pathetic old has-been leftist who has lost it all. They are the pitiful maunderings of the dying dinosaur. And it is absolutely bloody hilarious. Read it as a parody of the left, and hold your sides. Laughing at the stupidity of a life wasted on the worthless drivel of the left is the sweetest thing of all.

The fellow I know who actually hates Pilger and Adams (REALLY hates them with a furious passion) is a devout practising Marxist!

The irony is just delicious.

Cheers: MarkL
Canberra

Posted by: MarkL at April 23, 2004 at 08:52 PM


How come Pilger get his stories published in the great Western propaganda machine? How come the lies that it publishes don't include lies about him? How come we get to hear that he and Al Jazeera are the only ones who tell the truth?

I can feel the enlightenment working... Thankyou John, you've saved me. I'm going straight on over to Al Jazeera now.

See y'all there...

Posted by: The Gnu Hunter at April 23, 2004 at 09:47 PM

"and the threats of their cowboy generals and the panic-stricken brutality of their foot soldiers,"

Would someone please ask Pilger to return that video of "Apocalypse Now?" It's overdue by 2 months.

Posted by: ushie at April 23, 2004 at 10:07 PM

Tim: As an side.... As a youth, I BROKE the ENIAC! I'm not proud, but, erm... okay... I'm proud...

Posted by: Joe at April 23, 2004 at 11:08 PM

You know, I felt FAR safer in gun-crazy USA than I did staying in Darlinghurst in Sydney. I actually got punched in the mouth there by some young jerk because I didn't give him "a couple of dollars".

I walked all around "shall issue" states in the US over several years, where concealed carry is legal without seeing even a scowl. I was verbally assaulted once -- in Washington, DC -- that gun-free utopia -- because I dared walk on the left side of the footpath ... ahem ... sidewalk.

I'll feel safer any day in a place where citizens are able to protect themselves and thus have no need to prove any-damn-thing to anyone.

Posted by: BruceT at April 24, 2004 at 12:15 AM

Come with me on a journey into the living, dreaming heart of the Coalition armed forces. It may seem a bit scary, this collection of individuals armed with laser-guided munitions, but it's really not a collection of individuals but an organism-- basking in the warmth of the Iraqi oil, inhaling planeloads of ordnance, exhaling dead Islamofascists. It's a creature of naturalness, this organism, a creature of flowing, vital imagination. Not necessarily the imagination you use when writing a poem or making a sculpture, but the imagination you use every time you use your gunsight to lay a WP round right on a nest of terrorist scum, every time you root a murderous dictator out of his spider-hole....

Posted by: Pro-invasion Robert Bosler of the pro-invasion SMH at April 24, 2004 at 12:30 AM

I'm sure Pilger can feel at home in any place ran by a murdering, torturing, warmonger. A country where there is total state control and the people live in fear of offending the leader has always been the leftist/socialist/liberal wetdream.

Hopefully the list of countries where Pilger feels safe gets shorter and shorter.

Posted by: Arty at April 24, 2004 at 12:32 AM

Mayhaps Pilger should emigrate to Antarctica and start his own regime amongst the native population there. All hail Potemkin Pilger, Penguin Emperor!

Posted by: JeffS at April 24, 2004 at 12:51 AM

Pilger is right at home with any ABBA tribute outfit; that scabby blond overbrush is >.Bjorn waiting; I think he met his Waterloo when he open his yap, and I think he heard the drums, Fernando.

Posted by: Habib at April 24, 2004 at 12:57 AM

Whoís going to mess with the Great Leaderís beloved spokesboy?

Did you mean Great Uncle?

Posted by: Andjam at April 24, 2004 at 01:18 AM

He's simply an embittered, pathetic, old man, who's hatred has reduced him to a desiccated, bile spewing corpse. Still, he needs to be shot down every time he opens his scurrilous mouth. This latest rant will see him guest starring on the Tony Jones show very soon I'm sure.

Posted by: Brian. at April 24, 2004 at 02:31 AM

I tried to think of a witty response to Fisk's spew, but couldn't come up with anything better than "what a dick."

Posted by: James Holloway at April 24, 2004 at 03:50 AM

Uhh, I meant Pilger of course. No matter, they are both dicks.

Posted by: James Holloway at April 24, 2004 at 03:58 AM

JeffS,
That's a terrible thing to wish on innocent penguins.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at April 24, 2004 at 10:30 AM

Oh, seldom felt as safe? That takes me back to my college days, and old Professor R and his endless yarns about Moscow: it was safe to walk at midnight, you know! And the subway was very clean!

And did I ever tell you about Prof. N, who twice in my hearing gave his famous lecture on how every single thing the USSR ever did was purely defensive? No? Well, sit down and --

Hey! Where are you going? Come back!

Seriously though, I second Amos: how in the hell does Pilger still get printed? Neither he nor Morford should be appearing on anything that isn't cranked out by hand on a mimeograph.

Posted by: Teenage Diplomat at April 24, 2004 at 01:36 PM

When I sit down and really think about it I would live to Kick the Shit out of Pilger!!

Posted by: Dog at April 24, 2004 at 03:31 PM

When I sit down and really think about it I would like to Kick the Shit out of Pilger!!

Posted by: Dog at April 24, 2004 at 03:32 PM

Michael Lonie:

I expect that the penguins will deal with Pilger summarily. And permanently. How can they not? They are surely smarter than he.

Posted by: JeffS at April 24, 2004 at 03:39 PM

There is one thing on which Pilger and I agree: he thinks he deserved to be beaten up by an Afghan mob. I think so, too.

Posted by: Alex Bensky at April 25, 2004 at 12:13 AM