Perhaps I’m getting too grumpy?
If so, it’s not without provocation.
This morning I switched on the local Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio channel (ABC Far North) to catch up on regional news. Presenter Fiona Sewell was on deck. All fine.
Clive Williams: at least he didn't have the gall to mention Bin Laden!
Then I learnt she was to interview Clive Williams of the Australian National University after 9am, on the topic of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is not in Far North Queensland, but I decided to listen anyhow.
The softball, reventential tone of her interview raised my hackles from the outset. Williams was introduced as an ‘expert’; the ABC up to its usual tricks…
This is Cairns, for God’s sake. We’re not even close to Canberra, let alone Kabul. If the local ABC is going to cover Afghani affairs, how about balance? And how long will this publicly-funded institution continue to churn out war propaganda while lying by omission on subjects such as 9-11? It really is beyond a joke.
Hence my letter, which is self explanatory. I’ll publish any reply received. Watch this space…
Attention Fiona Sewell
ABC Far North,
I refer to your interview this morning with Clive Williams, Visiting Fellow, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University.
Had you provided any of the following background about Mr Williams, which his own ANU webpage presents as his ‘Career Highlights’, your listeners might have been better able to evaluate his comments in context. Instead, as I recall, you introduced him with words such as ‘academic’ and ‘expert’. It’s true, as far as it goes, but they are rather bland terms in the circumstances:
Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) Attaché in Washington 1990-1993; Head of Imagery Exploitation Centre 1993-1994; Director Major Powers Section, DIO 1994-1998; Director of Security Intelligence 1998-2002.
Yes, Clive Williams is an expert. He’s expert in rationalizing open-ended military occupations based on a bogus initial pretext.
I’d be grateful if you could take two minutes to watch the video featured on a recent post on my blog. It was produced by The Guardian.
THAT is the war that Clive Williams wants us to keep fighting for AT LEAST another TEN years. Another DECADE, for heavens sake!
I believe most Far North Queensland locals do not want our local ABC station serving as a part-time propaganda wing of the military-security establishment. (I’m aware that the national ABC performs this role more or less as a matter of course, but surely there are limits!)
However, as ABC Far North has now chosen to enter the minefield of Afgani/Pakistani affairs -presumably to help better inform local listeners on these weighty matters – I trust you will follow up soon with an interview about the Afghanistan war in which an informed advocate of an anti-occupation, pro-reconciliation approach to resolving conflict in that region is granted at least an equal amount of airtime as Clive Williams.
Otherwise, the local public in this part of the world have a right to ask why ABC Far North chooses to help push a minority view held by those Australians who support our continuing involvment in this war.
Please now give at least least equal voice to the substantial MAJORITY of Australians (70%+ according to statistics cited by Williams himself) who seek a rapid end to Australia’s involvement in the occupation of Afghanistan.
It's obvious 'Al Qaida' didn't cause this building to collapse, so ABC reporters don't talk about it. Why should the Australian public pay the wages of fake journalists?
Please ALSO give voice to those of us able to present compelling evidence that the 2001 assault on Afghanistan was a war launched on false premises – evidence which the ABC, to its shame, never deigns to report fairly in its current affairs coverage.
I understand that the rest of the mainstream Australian media insists on treating the public like idiots. But ABC Far North need not do the same. So, if you want to raise the issue of Afghanistan, why not also interview a prominent 9-11 sceptic on the topic? Perhaps Professor David Ray Griffin would be amenable to the opportunity? I have other suggestions if he isn’t available.
A declining number of well-informed people believe any longer that fanatical Muslims, led by ‘Al Qaida’ based in Afghanistan, managed to effect the free-fall collapse of THREE steel-framed Manhatten skyscrapers into dust and molten steel on 9-11. After all, such a phenomenon has never been observed before or since in history, absent pre-planned controlled demolition… Recall also that the Taliban Government of the day offered to extradite Mr Bin Laden if it could be presented with evidence of his guilt; that perfectly normal and reasonable request – a request any sovereign nation makes in the event of an extradition request – was dismissively treated as a casus belli by the Bush Administration.
‘NATO’s’ war in Afghanistan is being waged a long way from the North Atlantic. Afghanistan is a long way from Australia too. Even Clive Williams admitted the conflict poses no direct ‘threat’ to Australia. This war, launched on the basis of demonstrable lies, is being waged against an increasingly popular resistance movement. The chief beneficiaries of the post-2001 conflict have been drug barons, arms merchants and profiteering military contractors. Ordinary Afghanis have been and remain the principal victims.
Australians are right to reject this foul war. It’s a war based on outrageous deceptions that our own publicly-owned mass media is too conformist and cowardly (and/or complicit?) to investigate. How shameful is that!
If you must interview warmongering academics with ‘Defense Intelligence’ (double misnomer?) connections, please at least question them critically and balance their pro-war spin with opposing views.
With regards to you and all at ABC Far North, on this fine sunny day in relative paradise.
cc. Bruce Woolley (Manager); CairnsBlog (local independent media)
Gandhi and King: most folk I know respect peace warriors, not war peddlers. Will the ABC catch up?
PS. As I have little remaining confidence that the mainstream media in Australia provides an opportunity for meaningful discussion of topics such as those raised above, I intend to publish this letter on my blog. I will, of course, publish any replies received from yourself and/or Mr Woolley.
Ventiliation of these issues in the public domain, in my opinion, is very much in the public interest – within this region and everywhere else.
It’s past time.