Myths of Media in Modern Warfare

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 Media War - Facts Or Fabs?
Common Myths Believed by American Public?

Myth of "Peace Progress?"

Who are the real "Terrorists"?

Can we trust our own News?

Are we getting the actual facts?

Is it the whole truth & nothing but the truth?

False Reports? - Fake Pictures?

Mistranslations? - Biased Experts? - Outright LIES?


Remember the pictures coming to us from Palestine courtesy of CNN on Tuesday afternoon, September 11, 2001? - Arabs dancing in the streets, cheering and celebrating? - "We were all in a state of shock and disbelief", says one American about the horrific events occuring on September 11th, "then I look at the TV showing film of Arab people gleefully parading around the streets in the middle east. Of course I was mad; angry enough to kill all of those [deleted]s."

How could they? Good question. Fact is: They Didn't  - It was MADE UP!  

Not true. Find out what CNN doesn't want you to know about the footage aired on that day. (and remember how they gave themsevles the award for "Most Accurate Reporting")!

CNN showed video tape of Palestinians in the streets waving sparklers and flags, celebrating events of terrorism and carnage while we suffered here in America. I was, like most Americans, disgusted and angry. How could anyone find such pleasure at seeing the distress of others.

The whole story was made up and the video file tape they used was from a celebration years before. This was first spotted by someone in South America who recognised something in the video he knew had happened there in Palestine, but much before 2001.

But wait; there's more.

 The video showed it was broad daylight outside. Yet, this would be impossible to be a "live feed" from Palestine at that time of day. In the middle of the afternoon on any day in September, it would have been dark - not light, as they go into darkness 7 hours earlier than New York. So, if the time in New York is 2:30 PM on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 nobody in Jerusalem or Palestine could have been out in the broad daylight doing anything - because it would not have been daylight - it would have been 9:30 PM (night time).

Interestingly enough, CNN received an award for the best coverage of the 9/11 events. Of course, they are the same ones issuing the award. Makes you wonder, but not for long, after you discover they (CNN) are the same ones who offered themselves the award to start with.

Point is: "Do you really think you can trust what people like this say?"  

- Nearly every Internet user has received a mailing describing an "Only in America" outrageous litigation and award. One such is the man who won $74,000 after his hand was run over while he was stealing hubcaps from his neighbor's car. These false tales take on a life of their own that is incredible and are commonly known as urban legends. That thousands believe such tales is somewhat surprising but illustrates how gullible the general public is and how susceptible to disinformation they are.

No area is more rife with false information than the Middle East. Our government has certainly been guilty of such practices and is cranking up the big lie machine in its drive to dignify war with Iraq. The staunch supporters of the state of Israel in the media and government assault the public stories that don't stand the light of day. But once out there, they also take on a life of their own and the "man in the street" repeats them without fail. Let's look at some of the most common of these myths (fabrications = FABS):

FAB #1. > Israel has been attacked time and again by its enemies and is only defending itself.

In actuality, the vast majority of the time Israel has been the attacker. Certainly they claim provocation for these attacks but they have lied and spread disinformation in many cases. In 1956, Israel attacked Egypt, capturing the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip and was forced to withdraw by President Eisenhower.

In 1967 Israel launched its six-day war against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, announcing it had been attacked. It used Egypt's military manoeuvres in the Sinai and the intent to blockade the Strait of Tiran as its cover for the incursion and only after the war was over did it admit it had launched a pre-emptive strike. If it was in the right, why did it feel it had to lie? If Egypt was indeed attacking Israel, no one bothered to ask why Egypt's entire air force was destroyed on the ground. It has been documented (see former NSA operative James Bamford's Body of Secrets, pp 139-239), that Israel had planned this war for a long time.

When Egypt went to war in the Sinai in 1973, attempting to regain the territory taken from it in 1967, it was in essence attacking its own land, not Israel's.

In 1978 Israel invaded and occupied South Lebanon, which they held for 22 years. In 1982, they drove all the way to Beirut creating some 30,000 casualties in the process.

So, independent of all the "drive them into the sea" and "death to the Arabs" rhetoric, who is the principal aggressor here?

Israel has been the attacker in almost all Middle East wars; at times has bombed Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and even the United States via its attack on the USS Liberty in June 1967. They tried to sink the Liberty with all hands because they feared that the spy ship had monitored communications wherein they lured Jordan and Syria into the 1967 war, and seen the war crimes they were committing in the Sinai. None of the above countries has bombed Israel, save several Scud missiles launched from Iraq during the Gulf War for which there were virtually no casualties.

FAB #2. > Israel wants peace with the Palestinians and its generous offers have been rebuffed at every turn.

It is the Israelis who have successfully scuttled every so-called "peace accord." The original Camp David Accords, under the Carter administration, which returned the Sinai to Egypt, was supposed to halt settlement activity in the West Bank. The Israelis have added thousands more settlers since then.

The so-called "generous offer" by Ehud Barak two years ago, has taken on a life of its own as standard by which Palestinian folly is to be judged. The truth of this generous offer, which was never set forth in writing, can be summarized as follows:

a) It denied Palestinians control over their own borders, airspace and water resources while legitimizing and expanding the illegal Israeli colonies.

b) It re-packaged the military occupation by keeping military outposts for an "indefinite period" to protect their settlements.

c) It required the annexation of nearly 9 percent of the Occupied Territories in exchange for only 1 percent of Israel's current territory and an additional 10 percent of the Occupied Territories in the form of a "long-term lease."

d) It divided Palestine into four separate, surrounded cantons: the Northern West Bank, the Central West Bank, the Southern West Bank and Gaza subjecting movement of people and goods within their own country to Israeli control.

This was Israel's generous offer, which no Palestinian leader of sound mind could accept.

FAB #3. > The Palestinians don't recognize Israel's right to exist.

Palestinians recognized Israel's right to exist in 1988 and re-iterated this recognition on several occasions including Madrid in 1991 and Oslo in 1993. Israel has yet to recognize Palestine's right to exist.

FAB #4. > It is unreasonable for the Palestinians to insist on the right of return because this would endanger Israel's security.

It is interesting that Jews from all over the world have inherited "the right of return" to a place to which they have no geographical or ancestral lien and yet, Palestinians, whose forbears may have lived there for a thousand years or more, have no such rights. The Palestinian refugees were never seriously discussed at the last Camp David because Barak declared that Israel bore no responsibility for the refugee problem or its solution, international law and UN Resolutions notwithstanding.

FAB #5. > The Palestinians really don't want peace with Israel.

The Palestinians are on record as willing to accept a settlement based on UN Resolutions 242 and 338. Israel will not.

FAB #6. > The Israeli government wants peace.

The Likud Party, of which Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is the leader, stands on its platform: There will be no Palestinian State; they will strengthen settlements in the Occupied Territories; the eastern border of Israel will be the Jordan River; Israel will maintain control of the water resources in the West Bank; and Jerusalem will be the undivided capital of Israel. That doesn't leave a whole lot for the Palestinians does it?

FAB #7. > The Palestinians are just a bunch of terrorists.

The Palestinians certainly didn't introduce terrorism to the Middle East. In Menachem Begin's writings, he tells how successful the newly founded Israeli state was in driving out the Palestinians by terrorizing them with barrel bombs (which he claims to have invented), slaughtering a whole village (Deir Yassin was publicized to encourage flight), allowing Israel to grab over 40 percent more land than they were given in the UN mandate.

Israel would have us believe that state sponsored activities such as assassinations, home demolitions, confiscation of property, mass deportations and myriad other humiliating human rights violations are legal and justified as self defense. Resistance to these crimes is, of course, terrorism.

FAB #8. > The characterization that Jews control the media is but another manifestation of anti-Semitism.

It seems that certain members of the Jewish community are trying to perpetuate the media myth. Last year, media giant CanWest Global Communications Corp., owned by Israel (Izzy) Asper and family, announced that beginning Dec. 12, 2001, not one but eventually three editorials a week would be written at corporate headquarters in Winnipeg and imposed on 14 dailies, which include the Vancouver Sun and Province, the Calgary Herald and the Montreal Gazette. CanWest also owns 50 percent of the nationally distributed National Post, which will be subject to the new directives as well.

Furthermore, in addition to the imposed editorials themselves, all locally produced editorial column pieces will be forced to reflect the viewpoints of the CanWest Global Corporation. CanWest last year became Canada's dominant newspaper chain when it purchased Southam News Inc. resulting in ownership of the 14 metropolitan dailies and 128 local newspapers across the country.

The story came to light on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's As It Happens radio program. Bill Marsden, an investigative reporter with the Montreal Gazette, contended his editor had said CanWest was "very sensitive" to editorial content. Marsden explained, paraphrasing the directives, "That is to say they do not want to see any criticism of Israel. We do not run in our newspaper Op-Ed pieces that express criticism of Israel and what it is doing in the Middle East. We do not have the free-wheeling debate there should be about these issues."

Add to this Ariel Sharon's declaration in a heated Knesset debate over American concerns: "We own the banks and the media. Without us they are a stupid people." It seems this stereotype might have some strong Jewish sponsors.

FAB #9. > The responsibility for the Palestinians rests with their Arab brothers.

This is a popular theme of the Israeli "hard-liners," intending to foist the problem they created on their neighbours. The "Arabs" and the Palestinians are not one entity, as these right-wingers like to argue. Common language or religion does not define ethnic or national groups. It is but another attempt to portray the Israelis as the underdog, a beleaguered people under threat of being overrun by the Muslim Arab hordes. When Israel took over in 1948, it was estimated that up to 40 percent of Palestinian population were Christian. Most have left or been driven out.

Even now, if the polls are to believed, Israelis approve the "transfer" (a euphemism for ethnic cleansing) of Palestinians out of the Occupied Territories. The lust for territory is at fever pitch among the Likud and its followers as the current offensive against the indigenous population can attest. Why else would the Israelis bulldoze homes, uproot orchards, shoot and terrorize innocent civilians, deprive the sick and wounded of medical services, destroy the Palestinian Authority's infrastructure, roll their tanks over every automobile and produce stand in sight, fire on and destroy ambulances, if not to force the people into leaving their land?

Lie #10. > Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.

Israeli apologists love to trumpet the notion that Israel is surrounded by repressive regimes while it is a pristine example of democracy in action. The true test of a democracy rests on the treatment of all its citizens equally. In fact, a million Israeli-Palestinian citizens constitute a vast underclass of second-class citizenry in this supposed democracy.

They are not treated equally with their Jewish counterparts in many ways; denial of construction permits; special identification papers and license plates; discrimination in employment and travel, etc. Free elections do not make a democracy, for if that were the measure, Lebanon and Turkey also qualify as democracies. At best, Israel is a theocracy, a country based on religion that insists on maintaining its "Jewishness," a notion that flies in the face of democratic principles.

This is the case against the Israeli propagandists and their unsuspecting cohorts. It is neither complicated nor complex. Israel has painted a canvas of fear and hatred in the Middle East while picturing itself as the victim and the Palestinians as terrorists instead of a dispossessed people. From the newspapers and TV op-ed accounts, which parrot variations of the above, one can see that the big lie is alive and well in the United States of America.

[Raff Ellis lives in the United States and is a retired former strategic planner and computer industry executive. He has had an abiding and active interest in the Middle East since early adulthood and has travelled to the region many times over the last 30 years.]

Raff Ellis for
16 September 2002

-Read more about it in Raff Ellis' story from Yellow

>> Note: Raff Ellis "" has "disappeared(?) - But good news - here is another site with his reports: - Write to him at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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