Al-Aqsa Mosque .. Israel’s all-seeing blindness .. criminalising Palestine’s defenders .. a (media) lens on propaganda .. meet the Bidens ..

13 Oct

If Superman is so clever, how come he wears his underpants outside his trousers? And if the combined efforts of IDF, Shin Bet and Mossad gave no inkling of the impending Hamas attacks last Saturday – two days after Israeli security forces stood by as illegal settlers attacked the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to beat up pilgrims and trash Palestinian shops – how are they now mysteriously able to “target” every Hamas hide-out in Gaza?

My first read, a 1740-word tour de force from the high octane pen of Pepe Escobar, establishes the Al-Aqsa attacks as a red line for Hamas but swiftly moves onto the geopolitical context. The kicker is self explanatory:

Global focus just shifted from Ukraine to Palestine. This new arena of confrontation will ignite further competition between the Atlanticist and Eurasian blocs. These fights are increasingly zero-sum ones; as in Ukraine, only one pole can emerge strengthened and victorious.

For her part Caitlin Johnstone’s post today, 810 words, skewers the paradox of Superman’s baffling inability to dress himself. It too has a self explanatory kicker …

… last week Israel had no idea what Hamas was up to, and yet this week they know every mosque, school and hospital that Hamas is hiding in.

… and ends with a quintessentially Caitlin flourish:

… if you want to uncritically accept the official narrative about Saturday’s attack then do. Just don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

Speaking of endings my third and final pick on the Hamas attacks, a 1500-worder from WSWS, does its usual trick of pulling rabbit from hat in its final paragraph. But along the way it offers a salutary overview of how western governments are criminalising support for the Palestinian victims of an apartheid state. (For the why of that, see my 2019 review of Stephen Gowans’ invaluable book, Israel: a Beachhead in the Middle East. )


Moving on, my fourth and longest pick is a fine 3200-word effort from Media Lens. I’m all too aware now that my world falls into two polarised camps, different as chalk and cheese. By far the larger camp clings at some level of consciousness, even if its more sophisticated sections affect a cynicism they confuse with scepticism, to the belief that corporate media can more or less be trusted even on matters – war for one, the nature of Israel for another – vital to power.

The other knows this to be nonsense, a truth which (a) is part-obscured by upmarket corporate media running stories embarrassing but never seriously damaging to power, and (b) need not suppose mendacious or consciously biased journalists and editors. 1

At time of writing my masthead quote is taken from the piece’s second paragraph:

Giant media corporations recruited ‘disinformation experts’ – savant guardians uniquely qualified to distinguish between rational and propaganda journalism. Their mystical powers are such that, working within profit-maximising, billionaire-owned, advertiser-dependent, government-subsidised media, they are nevertheless exposing ‘disinformation’ without the slightest trace of bias.

My fifth and final selection takes a lawyerly look at the Biden family. I’ve long held that beneath a fig leaf of democracy, the west is ruled by criminals. Now check out this 1170 worder by one Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. In a piece that never flags, he reminds us that:

The president’s son, Hunter Biden, is facing federal charges on gun violations under a law that his father has heralded. He is also looking at possible additional charges on taxes.

Joe Biden’s brother James Biden was just subpoenaed alongside his nephew over millions of dollars sent by foreign figures as part of an influence-peddling operation.

Joe Biden is now formally under investigation for possible impeachment with at least four articles of impeachment under consideration.

Finally, a media that has long shielded the Bidens is now starting to acknowledge that Hunter and others were engaged in corrupt influence peddling.

All of this scrutiny is not simply threatening the Biden sense of invincibility. It is also revealing more about the Bidens behind the scenes in an unvarnished and unflattering light.

Have yourself a good weekend, folks.

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  1. For why subjectively honest corporate media professionals can make highly effective propagandists, see Monolithic Control at the Guardian? and Britain decides.

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