Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Blinkin's arrogant hypocrisy

 


The Saker reports:

Out of the Ukraine we have a new movie. The video of the alleged “Kazakhstan Liberation Front”, in which they call to fight the CSTO troops, was filmed in the Ukraine by a group of nationalists (Nazis) led by Dmitry Korchinsky. 

This was reported to “Strana UA” by a source in nationalist circles.  Take a look at the ‘statement’ from the Ukrainian leader of the Ultra-Nationalist group Bratstvo on Kazakhstan — says Ukrainian militias will penetrate Kazakhstan and assist the armed gangs that have been wreaking havoc on the population for the last few days:

 

Well-armed 'protesters' in video below. Word is that many civilians are helping to search for, locate and identify terrorists.

According to Kazakh President Tokayev, among those who had launched "at least six waves of attacks" on Almaty over the past few days were militants that did not speak the Kazakh language. He noted that the assailants, whom he called terrorists and bandits, were well-trained and well-organised, and likely received orders from a 'special centre' - code words for CIA and M16..

The Kazakh president accused the militants of beating and killing [beheading] police officers and soldiers, setting fire to administrative buildings, looting private premises and shops, killing ordinary citizens, and raping young women. 

Interestingly this event makes the now 'infamous' January 6 protest at the capital in Washington DC look quite tame although with all the investigations you'd never know that. 

But to hear Blinkin talk (from the political party leading the DC capital investigations) the protests in Kazakhstan are not much to get worked up about - further indicating the US role in this so-called color revolution.


Strong words & truth about Julian Assange

 

 

In his New Year’s message, SCMP chief news editor Yonden Lhatoo demands Western governments free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange before preaching press freedom to everyone else.

Friday, January 07, 2022

UK's growing role in destabilization of Central Asia

 


British Intelligence Intensifies its Struggle against Russia and China in Central Asia

By Vladimir Odintsov

In a recent interview for the The Telegraph Damian Hinds, the British Minister of State for Security and Borders, named the most threatening states with which British politicians and secret service agents must contend. According to him, clear dangers are posed by Russia, China, and Iran.

That a representative of Britain’s present-day political and military elite is willing to speak in such hostile, specific, and repetitive terms comes as no surprise: ever since the 19th century London has been unsuccessfully attempting to “pacify” Russia and China, whose actions in Central Asia were supposedly a threaten to the “domain of the British Empire” in the Near and Middle East. In Britain, this idea has long since become an obsession in the truest sense of the word. As such, official London misses no opportunity to demonstrate its anti-Russian and anti-Chinese bona-fides, working the media into a frenzied clamor of hostility and propaganda.

Under the cover of this popular hysteria, Britain made large-scale covert interventions in Central Asia meant to hinder the extension of Russian and Chinese influence in the region, shut their goods out of traditional markets, and take control of the trade-routes linking Moscow and Beijing to the Middle East across the Caspian and Aral regions.

For Britain, as indeed for other NATO powers, Central Asia is an area of long-standing strategic interest. To some extent this is due to the region’s significant mineral reserves, as well as its strategic location as a bridge between Europe and Southeast Asia. For precisely this reason the West has been especially active there in recent years, trying to forestall any revival of Russian and Chinese strategic presence and to use this important bridgehead to exert pressure on both Moscow and Beijing. Secret intelligence organs have been actively employed in this effort. Thus, back in the autumn of 2005 American and British intelligence recruited elements of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (the IDU – banned in Russia) in the province of Kunduz to organize an attack on the southern provinces of Kyrgyzstan, although this operation was never actually carried out.

 

The appointment in June 2020 of Richard Moore, a former ambassador to Turkey, as head of MI6, Britain’s foreign intelligence service, was a move to strengthen the British position in the Central Asian theatre.

The appointment in June 2020 of Richard Moore, a former ambassador to Turkey, as head of MI6, Britain’s foreign intelligence service, was a move to strengthen the British position in the Central Asian theatre. He is not only a stalwart Russophobe, but also a fierce apologist for Great Turania: that is, the success of the pan-Turkist aspiration to create a state uniting the Turkic-speaking peoples in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and even for that matter in the Russian federal republics of the Volga region, the Urals, and the North Caucasus. Richard Moore has long nurtured this project. The key to London’s plans in this area is winning the support of Erdogan, president of the Turkish Republic Erdogan, and the now-head of MI6 worked to realize this aim during his ambassadorship in Turkey in 2014-2018. To this end Moore organized repeated visits to Britain where the Turkish leader met with representatives of its political-military establishment; always supported Erodgan’s course for Turkey in his official statements; and gave packing to his political party. Since the abrupt cooling of Ankara’s attitude to the USA and the EU following the failed coup of 2016, which involved partisans of the Islamist preacher Gülen and members the American secret service, Britain has practically become Turkey’s leading ally in the West, with a central role played by Richard Moore. It was through Erdogan that Moore established a friendly relationship with the Azerbaijani leadership; through Erdogan that he actively observed the situation in the North Caucasus and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. British law enforcement and intelligent agencies showed a particular zeal for strengthening Britain’s position in Central Asia through their involvement with the elder daughter of Nursultan Nazarbayev and the disgraced daughter of the late Islam Karimov.

With Moore taking the helm, British intelligence has noticeably intensified its activities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Both pan-Turkist organizations have tame Islamist groups have been strengthened in order to neutralize the influence of Moscow and Beijing in the region. Turkey’s part in this great game is to serve as a kind of battering-ram for British interests.

A no less important role must be assigned to the British Council’s activities in the region: in Central Asia and elsewhere, this organization is a known front for British intelligence operatives. The British Council has covered all of Central Asia with its “projects”. Britain has extensive experience in using ethnic conflicts to broaden its influence from its imperial days, and this strategy is central to the work of British intelligence in Central Asia. Being well aware that the Ferghana valley is a potential hotbed of destabilising ethnic conflict in the region, especially for those states whose borders are entangled there, the British Council has thoroughly studied the situation there and established contacts with as many informal assets as possible: drug-barons, nationalists, and radicals are all being subjected to its “re-education”. For the last 30 years, under the banner of the so-called “Eastern Partnership” policy, the British Council has penetrated most of the state structures of the region and formed a powerful network of influence.

Under the cover of the Western coalition’s military campaigns in the Middle East against the terrorists of Daesh, British intelligence has also established contacts among several of the terrorist organizations now re-locating to Afghanistan. Daesh militants from among the citizens of Central Asian states and the Transcaucasus were given special attention as potential British assets. A clear example of this is furnished by the official confession by Dagestan native Azamat Ayvazov that he was recruited by British intelligence, who deceived him into travelling to Syria and joining the ranks of Daesh. From Ayvazov’s confession one can draw the conclusion that British intelligence operate a pipeline through which potential terrorists are moved between Turkey and Syria.

Further insight into the ties between the British secret service and terrorist groups is provided by the recent media reporting of a meeting on the Syrian-Turkish border in May 2021 between Jonathan Powell, a high-ranking representative of MI6, and the leadership of the Al-Nusra Front terrorist organization (the Jabhat al-Nusra; banned in Russia). Powell offered to remove this criminal militia from the list of terrorist organizations in exchange for its loyalty to the West. This organization is of special interest to Britain as emigrants from Central Asia fight in its multi-national ranks.

 



Britain has long been developing its own program for the countries of Central Asia. A full decade ago, the British parliament formed a working group for this region in which more than twenty members of the Lords and Commons took part. Its strategy was based on strengthening economic and military-political co-operation with the Central Asian countries.

Britain makes active use of NGOs working in the field of education to project London’s ideological influence. One of these is the University of Central Asia, founded by the Aga Khan Foundation (headquartered in London) and having branches in Kazakhstan (Tekeli), Tajikistan (Khorog), and Kyrgyzstan (Naryn). Aga Khan IV, spiritual leader of the Ismailis, is well-known for his and his family’s close ties to the British intelligence community, and himself takes an active part in advancing Britain’s political ends.

~ Vladimir Odintsov, political observer, writing for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

U.S. - Japan war plan for Taiwan being resisted by Okinawan people

 


Dear Mr. Bruce K Gagnon,

I am writing today in response to a recent report in Japan about a joint operation plan in preparation for a possible Taiwan invasion by China.

Kyodo News in Japan recently reported that Japan’s Self Defense Forces and the U.S. military had made a draft plan for a joint operation should an emergency with Taiwan arise. The plan reportedly would set up a temporary attack base to be built on the Nansei Islands chain including Okinawa at the first sign of the emergency, which could result in involving local residents in combat operations.

The reports created a stir in Okinawa where a fierce field battle was fought and hundreds of thousands of people were killed during WWII. Right after the report, a group of civic leaders and scholars issued an emergency statement calling for the recall of the plan and announced that they would launch a non-partisan association campaigning not to let Okinawa become a battlefield.

Governor Tamaki, expressed his opposition to the plan and requested further information when he met with Mr. Oniki, State Minister of Defense on December 24, 2021. Citing the report that a uniformed Defense Ministry officer said that the Self Defense Forces would not be able to afford to protect residents during contingencies and that the local governments would need to play the role instead, Governor Tamaki told the State Minister that no additional burdens should be imposed on Okinawa which already bears excessive burdens in hosting military bases, and that Okinawa should never be a target for attack.

He stressed the need for Japan and the U.S. to reduce tensions and build confidence in the Asia-Pacific region instead of just strengthening deterrence.

We would appreciate it if you would understand Okinawa's voices, and reach out to members of Congress of your region for support for Okinawa. Please feel free to let me know if you need any further information from us. We are open to online/in-person meetings.

Sincerely,

Satoshi Uechi
Director
Okinawa Prefecture Washington D.C. Office

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Dr. Malone: 'No discussion of the risks allowed'

 

 

Dr. Robert Malone, co-inventor of the mRNA vaccine is being systematically silenced and deplatformed for giving the people ALL facts regarding C19 and treatments. 

This is a short video excerpt from the recent interview with Dr. Robert Malone on the Joe Rogan Podcast. 

 

What does corporate oligarchy gain by suppressing global discussion about covid? 

  • Increased profit$ as the public has little available information about real alternative treatment protocols to deal with the virus. See here
  • Little to none public and government review of vaccine testing results. (Some nations are mildly forthcoming with test results - others give out no information.)
  • Massive profit$ for ever-expanding corporate interests who have made huge money as result of the lock-downs and closure of small local business, restaurants, home foreclosures, etc
  • With the growing international calls for 'Green Pass' mandates the corporate/government 'surveillance society' has taken a huge leap forward.
  • Further division of society which benefits corporate interests. Just this week President Macron in France declared that anyone refusing to take the jab is 'no longer a citizen'. What gives Macron the right to make such a proclamation? What kind of 'democracy' is that? (Sadly we see many 'liberals' in the US supporting those same kinds of un-democratic tendencies.)
  • With the international governmental failures to offer early treatment protocols (as well as the reality that these vaccines are still in the testing phase) there have been massive numbers of deaths. People like Bill Gates have long promoted a public agenda to 'reduce global population'. In fact Gates for years has been using unsuspecting poor people in India and Africa as guinea pigs to test the various vaccines his companies are promoting. Many have died in the process.
Bruce

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Back on my feet with many unanswered questions

 

Mary Beth and I drove to nearby Popham Beach yesterday to walk about 1.5 miles and to enjoy the sun. I'd not been anywhere, except to the hospital since December 20, other than to walk about a bit in our neighborhood.

Needless to say it was great to feel alive again.

I've been re-gaining some weight and strength - still a bit shaky at times but my mind fog is mostly gone which allows me to be more active on internet. I do miss blogging and such.

People tell me it will still take some time for my lungs to heal from the pneumonia but even that so far is feeling good.

During the worst of the covid time I was not eating much at all - which for me is not normal. I lost around 15 pounds.

About 3-4 days ago I noticed I was wanting to get on the internet more and my typing was starting to sort of make some sense again. That is when I knew my brain to hand connection was coming back.

I'm hearing from more people that have got (or are now getting) the virus. Who knows which variant it is for sure? They say everyone will get it at some point. Taking 3-4-5 jabs ain't likely to help, in fact I'm seeing more info that says taking too many shots begins to harm your immune system.

I remain convinced that covid is ultimately a biological weapon cooked up at the Army lab at Ft. Detrick in Maryland. It was then sold by Fauci to the Wuhan lab in China where it likely leaked out and spread. 

I don't trust Fauci as far as I can spit. I notice that CNN just named Pfizer's CEO 'as the man of the year'. With all that big-media advertising Big Pharma does this should come as no surprise. One dirty hand washes the other.

I don't criticize anyone for doing what they think they need to do to stay safe during these crazy times - except - if you are not speaking out more about Big Pharma then you are seriously missing the political moment of our time.

I send my best thoughts and prayers to anyone suffering from this scourge.  

Ask yourself why the medical 'profession' basically told the public to stay home and only come to hospital once you could not breathe anymore. Why didn't the 'medical industry' tell people about things like Vitamin D, C, Zinc and other supplements that would help them ward off the virus? Imagine how many lives might have been saved by those simple steps?

Why were the people abandoned and then only given expensive jabs that are proving not to work so well after all?

Bruce

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Who does war propaganda?

 

Publicity image from The Battle at Lake Changjin.

Beijing’s Movie War Propaganda — And Washington’s


 

By Robin Andersen,
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
   

To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party, the powerful Chinese Central Propaganda Department commissioned a blockbuster film that depicts a US defeat in the Korean War.

Under fire from US bombs, the heroic People’s Army fights a brutal ground battle and emerges victorious. Brave Chinese soldiers are caught in a hellish landscape as air attacks riddle the earth all around them. A villainous US Gen. Douglas MacArthur, shot Nazi-style from a low camera, shakes his fist and shouts into a microphone, “I believe we will succeed!” Spoiler: He doesn’t.

This Chinese war entertainment opened the 11th Beijing International Film Festival and made audiences cheer as they flocked to theaters in China. The Battle at Lake Changjin has grossed more than $900 million to date at the box office, making it the second-highest-grossing film in the world in 2021 (beaten only by Spider-Man: No Way Home), and the highest-grossing non-English-language film of all time.

The New York Times (10/8/21) didn’t think much of the movie. It called it “aggrieved, defiant and jingoistic,” and pointed out that depictions of the Korean War have long been a staple of Communist Party propaganda. Despite its big budget—the film came with a $200 million price tag, the most ever spent on a film in China—the film got “mixed reviews,” though the Times acknowledged it was at least better than the “usual agitprop.”

The paper did worry that it was supported by the government, which helped with “script development, production and publicity,” and used “serving soldiers among the movie’s 70,000 extras.” Communist Party support for The Battle at Lake Changjin underscored “the lengths the authorities will go to shape popular culture.”

Chinese authorities, that is. 

Them, not us

Each aspect of Chinese propaganda the Times complains about is routinely employed by US media, and they have been for years. But such facts are not mentioned.

There is no doubt that the film is propaganda. A piece pulled from CNN’s international wire (10/4/21) explained that for the 100th anniversary, Beijing ordered filmmakers to to “spread propaganda celebrating the anniversary of the Communist Party.”  Movies would have to focus on themes of “loving the Party, the country and socialism,” and “singing the praises of the Chinese Communist Party, the motherland, the people and its heroes.”

But in the post-9/11 era, in which US popular culture has been dominated by the military, the main difference between China’s film industry and Hollywood’s is that the China Film Administration openly explains its propaganda goals. In the United States, filmmaking has been subsidized and guided by the Pentagon for years, but that influence is rarely identified as propaganda.

Twenty years ago this month, on November 11, 2001, Bush Administration communications strategist Karl Rove called a conclave in Beverly Hills, and four dozen members of the media industry elite showed up. Rove asked these “dream makers” to help the White House promote the “war on terror.” The industry complied.

Though military influence on film studios dates back to World War I (MRonline, 7/3/21), the military entertainment complex took off in the 21st century, and the long-time head of the Pentagon’s Film Liaison Office, Phillip Strub, became the most powerful man in Hollywood (SpyCulture, 12/11/18).
 

The Pentagon’s Hollywood power

Roger Stahl’s latest film, Theaters of War: How the Pentagon and CIA Took Hollywood, an educational documentary to be released in 2022 by the Media Education Foundation, examines this media/military merger, and looks at Strub’s influence on hundreds of films. On-camera interviews with journalists, scholars, writers (of which I am one), and even filmmaker Oliver Stone, detail the rules and their consequences.

Professor Trisha Jenkins explains: “The Pentagon is powerful in the film and TV industry because they have expensive toys. They have submarines, they have aircraft carriers,” not to mention helicopters, pilots and extras. Another UK scholar, Matthew Alford, follows with “that is going to give them rights, usually contracted in, to change the script.” Oliver Stone is featured saying, “You can call it censorship, you can call it propaganda—it’s all of these things.” But ultimately, as Canadian professor Tanner Mirrlees argues, “This is more insidious than actually state-controlled and state-produced propaganda, because it passes off as just entertainment.”

Blockbuster films like Iron Man (2008), Captain Marvel (2019) and even Superman (1978) are loaded with military hardware and influence. Indeed, the Air Force was very pleased that its personnel “came off looking like rock stars” in Transformers (2007) (American Forces Press Service, 6/21/07), and director Michael Bay “loves working with veterans” on other movies in the franchise (Military.com, 9/12/21).



Media scholars have long understood that stealth tactics of persuasion, able to deliver propaganda messages under the cover of entertainment, enhance those messages’ effectiveness. Not only did active duty Navy Seals star in Act of Valor, but the film grew out of a recruitment advertisement for the military. The previously super-secret SEALs are endowed with almost superhuman prowess; one is said to be “made of granite.” Though dramatically outnumbered, they vanquish every terrorist plot and never seem to miss a shot. And Marvel Comics’ superhero franchises have shilled for the Pentagon for years, creating the illusion of US militarism as a benevolent force.

All the equipment, tanks and army vehicles, crews and pilots so often featured in blockbuster films have earned enormous profits for studios. Meanwhile, many films not aligned with a positive military ethos, or that declined to present the military in a singularly positive light, have been turned down and never made. Previously, scholars estimated about 200-300 films had been made with Pentagon direction. “Then in 2018, we were able to account for about 900 films,” Roger Stahl told FAIR. But recently, with the help of journalist Tom Secker, he uncovered a blizzard of recently released documents that together show about 3,000 films shaped by Pentagon censors. Over the years, militainment has, in the words of Henry Giroux, created “a constant military presence in American life” and forged a civil society “more aggressive in its war-like enthusiasms.”

But the power of the Pentagon’s Film Liaison office and the influence it’s had on Hollywood is rarely discussed in corporate media. US media easily recognizes Chinese propaganda, but the “lengths the authorities will go to shape popular culture” in the US is not on their agendas.

Some papers are more adept at identifying the often-heavy-handed propaganda produced by Hollywood. The British Independent (10/24/21) asked, “If this mega Chinese blockbuster is propaganda, what are Bond and Captain Marvel?” Louis Chilton observed that when “transparent indoctrination is getting called out,” it’s a good thing; “if only we were so ready to spot propaganda when it’s a little closer to home.” He tags Captain Marvel (2019) as a “bare-faced piece of propaganda,” at times mimicking an “unusually elaborate advertisement for Air Force recruitment.”
 

Captain Marvel as recruitment tool

The review of The Battle of Lake Changjin includes a photo of a little boy saluting for the camera in front of the film’s huge poster, no doubt to illustrate the film’s indoctrination of China’s young people. But consider Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers, Marvel Comics’ superhero, the strong, determined, female warrior empowered by absorbing a super-cosmic light force, was harnessed, pigeonholed and appropriated into a promotional product for the Air Force.

Partnering in the production of the film, the Air Force used Captain Marvel as an elaborate recruitment tool. It began with a photo of the star, Brie Larson, with Brig. Gen. Jeannie M. Leavitt, the first female fighter pilot, atop an F-15 at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Larson joined simulated dogfights at Nellis, and explained, while promoting the film, that at “the core of [Carol Danvers] is the Air Force.”

The Air Force, together with the Navy and Marine Corps, are all short 25% of their pilot billets. The Air Force is on the hunt for the next generation of pilots, having  been doling out cash incentives to prevent pilots from defecting to the private sector with little success. A glamorous superhero would be much more persuasive.

The weekend Captain Marvel was released, thousands of screenings included US Air Force ads highlighting female pilots like Carol Danvers: “Every superhero has an origin story. For us, it was the US Air Force.”  Air Force personnel were featured at the film’s red-carpet premiere, and the Nellis-based Thunderbirds performed a thrilling flyover at the base.

Bathing in the reflected glow of a superhero, few will pause to consider the harsh realities of what it’s like for women in the Air Force. Just before the movie came out, a Smithsonian Magazine survey (1/19) found that two-thirds of women polled said they experienced gender discrimination while serving, and the same proportion reported being sexually harassed or assaulted. In 2019, the Department of Defense reported the number of sexual assaults at service academies rose from 507 in 2016 to 747 in 2018, a 47% spike. In 2018, at the Air Force Academy, 15% of women reported incidents of sexual assault.

The Pentagon has long claimed that a pillar of script selection is the accurate portrayal of the armed forces, something they can do better than fictional film directors. As one Air Force spokesperson explained, we partner with “any number of entertainment projects to ensure that the depiction of Airmen and the Air Force mission is accurate and authentic.” Touting the film as authentic hides the realities of sexual assault and the fact that women pilots in the Air Force amount to only 6.5 % “and fewer than 3% fly fighters.” In terms of accuracy, Carol Danvers is a fictional superhero, a comic book character with supernatural powers who flies unassisted through space and destroys alien spaceships!
 


 

China battles the US

Though US media reviews consistently condemned The Battle at Lake Changjin as Chinese propaganda, they eschewed discussion of the Korean War itself. A few headlines seem to imply that the Chinese and US versions of the war were different in the film, but none articulated how.

A Washington Post review (10/14/21), headlined “Americans Vanquished, China Triumphant: 2021’s Hit War Epic Doesn’t Fit Hollywood Script,” opens with food: US troops eat “roast chicken” and the People’s Army “gnaw on frozen potatoes.” The second paragraph includes Chinese soldiers charging through snow into battle, shouting, “Resist American aggression and aid Korea,” compared to—nothing.

The actual conflict presented seems to be between China’s new commercial film success, which can now challenge Hollywood’s global dominance, “despite a debate over the movie’s historical accuracy,” though no inaccuracies are offered. Other examples make it hard to see how “macho action films” popular in China since 2017 present a different script from US films. No difference is offered between US films and those produced in China, where studios “work closely with the government and army to ensure that their films fit with the official narrative of events.” It’s simply implied that this doesn’t happen here.

In like manner, Chinese soldiers that died in battle in Lake Changjin are “valorized,” or turned into “martyrs,” as if US war films refrain from such blatant genre stereotypes. Even though the Post admits the Lake Changjin battle was a “successful campaign to hold off US troops during the Korean War,” it’s still referred to as a “foundational myth.”

The Hollywood Reporter (6/23/21) does the same. After describing the narrative as a Chinese victory—“the historic battle saw the PLA overcome long odds” to push “US military forces into retreat”—it went on to say, “It glorifies Chinese sacrifices and heroism.” Aren’t glory and heroism the main points of war blockbusters?

Ultimately for the Post, the conflict of this “politically charged debate” is about global film profits, which “underscores the uneasy relationship between Hollywood and China.” A decade ago, US blockbusters dominated the top 10 lists for Chinese ticket sales, but now those spots are often taken by Chinese produced movies. Forbes (10/2/21) and CNN (10/4/21) also picked up the battle of the box office theme, a topic far more suited to corporate film journalism than unpacking film content.

 



The real Korean War

The Battle at Lake Changjin depicts a Chinese victory over US troops at a place known to the US military as Chosin Reservoir. It was a turning point of the Korean War—or, as the war is known in China, the “War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea.”

Most corporate media reports on the film repeated these facts. A few outlets interjected that the film failed to mention that North Korea had invaded the South first, a statement that stands as the central justification for the US intervention.

The war in Korea has long been referred to as the “forgotten war.” Big journalism, now as in the past, has failed to pen a coherent narrative of the war, but it was a defining moment for US militarism. The first major combat of the Cold War, the sheer brutality of the US offensive left North Korea in shambles and killed 3 million people on both sides.

The US entered the war in July 1950 and began a relentless bombing campaign. By September 1950, official press communiqués from Gen. Douglas MacArthur announced a “paucity” of targets, as everything had already been bombed. One lamented, “It’s hard to find good targets, for we have burned out almost everything.”

After devastating the country, US forces pushed north toward the Chinese border, where they expected to confront about 30,000 Chinese soldiers. But “faulty intelligence” from the CIA vastly underestimated Chinese resistance, and UN and US forces confronted, instead, a Chinese army over 120,000 strong. The 17-day battle started on November 26 and lasted until December 13, 1950, and turned the war from a US-led rout of North Korean forces to a stalemate that still exists on the Korean peninsula.

When Military.com (10/11/21) reviewed the film, it gave an official US version of the battle: “Chinese forces surprised United Nations troops, and a force of 30,000 was confronted by 120,000 Red Army soldiers.” Nicknamed the “Frozen Chosin,” it’s “a heroic tale of survival against incredibly long odds as US-led forces successfully retreat to the port of Hungnam.” This tale of heroism that presents US forces as victims is made possible by the certainty that it will not be challenged.
 

North Korean and Chinese POW's were forced to build a Catholic cathedral and Statue of Liberty at a US Army controlled prison camp during the Korean War.

‘Moral imbecility’

Historian Bruce Cumings, a recognized authority on the war, speaking on a BBC documentary titled Korea: The Unknown War (1988), describes the genocidal bombing that killed perhaps 2 million civilians—one quarter of the peninsula’s population. American pilots “dropped oceans of napalm, left barely a modern building standing, opened large dams to flood nearby rice valleys and killed thousands of peasants by denying them food. It was “a conscious program of using Air Power to destroy a society.” Cummings expresses indignation that “this well-documented episode merits not the slightest attention or moral qualms in the United States.”

These sentiments are mirrored in I.F. Stone’s Hidden History of the Korean War. The investigative journalist slogged through MacArthur’s communiqués, characterizing them as “literally horrifying.” Stone noted the complete indifference to noncombatants displayed by the tactic of saturating villages with napalm to dislodge a few soldiers.

Another communiqué from a captain gloated, “You can kiss that group of villages goodbye.” These documents “reflected not the pity which human feeling called for, but a kind of gay moral imbecility utterly devoid of imagination—as if the flyers were playing in a bowling alley, with villages for pins.”

MacArthur wanted to continue to push north and bomb China, but President Harry Truman found the nerve, with some help from Congress, to fire the four-star general who had heckled him in public and challenged his policy. The fighting ended with an armistice on July 27, 1953. It was not won, it was negotiated. In the words of Cumings, “An American army victorious on a world scale five years earlier was fought to a standstill by rough peasant armies.”
 

‘Upsurge in seeking the truth’

Cai Xia, a domestic critic of the Chinese government and former scholar at the Central Party School, wrote that Lake Changjin’s efforts to incite enmity for the United States had “unexpectedly triggered an upsurge in seeking the truth about the Korean War.” It would be surprising if US reviews of the film had inspired such knowledge-seeking in this country.

As Louis Chilton observed in the Independent (10/23/21), propaganda can look like The Battle at Lake Changjin, but it can also look like Brie Larson strapping herself into a fighter jet in Captain Marvel, or “Bradley Cooper squinting through the sight of a rifle in American Sniper.” Picking and choosing which to recognize “can only end badly.”

A precursor to previous US calls to war, laying the groundwork for full-on demonization of an enemy, has been the charge that the targeted country and its leaders are propagandists. As FAIR (10/6/21) observed, US corporate media have been making that charge with gusto recently, which should be a cause for concern to all of us. 

You can watch the new Chinese film here

Monday, January 03, 2022

The fundamental rights to organize, speak & protest

 


Jeremy Corbyn: “This government [UK] is taking away the very FREEDOM our ancestors fought for”.

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Navy harming the people of Hawaii

 

Under the cover of pre-dawn darkness, Native Hawaiians surprised the gates of the US Navy Command with a civil disobedience action over the #RedHill fuel leak.

Empire Files producer Mike Prysner was on the ground.