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John Pilger 3 June 2006

Posted by TwentyTwoYards in Helping the oppressor and the oppressed..., The 'Zionist Entity'.

There is an interesting introduction to John Pilger's latest book, Freedom Next Time, in the Guardian today. For those who don't know this man, here is Mark Curtis' two-line intro:

John Pilger is a very unusual journalist. He writes about people on the receiving end of grisly western policies – whether bombs or economic "advice" – and then exposes the motivations of those who are responsible. One might think Pilger is just doing his job. In fact, it is an indictment of western journalism that this way of working is rather unusual and Pilger unique.

Indeed. Not many mainstream Western journalists print books with accounts such as the one from Liana Badr; she was the director of the Palestinian Cultural Centre, and was interviewed by Pilger just after it had been "hideously destroyed by Israeli soldiers". In her words:

"We have been raped; and all the while, the perpetrators are crying that they are the victims, demanding the world's sorrow and perpetual silence about us while their powerful army demolishes our culture, our lives"

Read the whole thing.. at the very least, you will find out who the Chagossians are – and don't ever say that this blog is unafraid to explore new and exotic geographies :-)

And while you are at it, also check out Pilger's website – its cool too. For an Aussie, he is remarkably level-headed, and even clear-headed ;-)


1. knicq - 13 June 2006

Salam Alaikum Bro.,

Overloaded with work, I have had to take a hiatus form blogistan, but hey…nice post here. I was introduced to Pilger through a website called mediawatch.org way back in 2000…to him and to Chomsky…not to forget Arundhati Roy.

Haven’t been to that place in ages!

Where you been though?

2. Abu Abdur Rahman - 14 June 2006

wa alaikum assalam knicq bhai!

aah so this is where you have been hiding… I’ve been wondering whatever happened to you!

Do stop by whenever you can – its always good to hear from intelligent people (makes a change I guess, and a nice contrast to what I am normally listening to, ie my own rambling monologues)

Hope all is well with work and family – yes media watch used to be a decent site, and hey, if they introduced you to America’s leading left-wing intellectual, to India’s most famous anti-globalisation campaigner, and to Australia’s chief contribution to mankind, then the site’s done quite well! Pilger, though impressive in print, truly comes into his own on TV – some of his documentaries have been classic, and his interviews are often very hard-hitting. I remember one with John Bolton a few years ago (when he just some junior apparatchik) where Pilger had Bolton sweating throughout, as he attempted to continue ducking and weaving every question!

Prof Chomsky is an acquired taste though and not for everyone – sometimes, he lets his opinions cloud his analysis, one would expect better from a leading academic. That’s when I really miss the late Edward Said. But if its a rabidly anti-Zionist American Jewish academic you want, look no further than the peerless Prof Norman G. Finkelstein – two of his books should be compulsory reading for all students of the Mid-East: “Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History” and “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the exploitation of Jewish suffering“. Speaking as he does as the child of not one but two concentration camp survivors, its not easy for the Israel Lobby to swat him away as an anti-Semite! The citation on his first book was particularly poignant:

To my beloved parents,

Maryla Husyt Finkelstein,
survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto,
Maidanek concentration camp


Zacharias Finkelstein,
survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto,
Auschwitz concentration camp.

May I never forget or forgive what was done to them.

3. knicq - 18 June 2006

Bhaijan, important pointers indeed. I will make sure I get my hands on those two books by Professor Finkelstien.

Being a middle class Pakistani can sometimes have its drawbacks, one amongst them is the fact that we are subjected to half truths in our curriculum, and our history lessons draw a convenient blank on the darker chapters of our history as Muslims. I strongly believe history should only have one version – a version that offers a clinical, unbiased, unprejudiced, uncensored and unltered account of the times gone. I also believe that we should look at our history critically under the illumination of the Quranic principals, so that we know about our mistakes, and more importantly learn from them. When presented in such manner, history will also serve to remind the movers and shakers of tomorrow just how unforgiving it tends to be to those who steer her into murky waters.

Wonder where I am going with this? So do I. Its a jumla-e-motariza jo tool pakad gaya, what I intended saying was that another downside of being subjected to some of our text-books is the fact that we are subjected to, rather weaned on the stereotypes of other people, and cleansing one’s thought process of the inherent biases is a painstaking process. It is people like Pilger, Roy, Finkelstien and even Chomsky that help us understand that humanity is not limited to us Muslims; just as a critical look at the Non Tipus, the Not Mohammad Bin Qasims, and the other than those Muslim leaders who we read about in our text-books (and Naseem Hijazi’s Novels) reminds us that un-Islamic and inhumane traits were not peculiar to non-Muslim leaders/empires alone.

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