Former Guardian staffer takes George Monbiot to task
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sat Jan 13 01:46:44 GMT 2018
Monbiot is not only a hypocrite, but a bully too
Cook on January 12, 2018 - https://bsnews.info/monbiot-not-hypocrite-bully/
It is time for George Monbiots legion of
supporters to call him out. Not only is he a
hypocrite, but he is becoming an increasingly dangerous one.
Turning a blind eye to his behaviour, or worse
excusing it, as too often happens, has only
encouraged him to intensify his attacks on
dissident writers, those who whether right or
wrong on any specific issue are slowly helping
us all to develop more critical perspectives on
western foreign policy goals than has been possible ever before.
I do not lightly use such strong language against
Monbiot, someone I once admired. But his column
this week drips with hypocrisy as he accuses the
rightwing media of being the real villains when
it comes to no-platforming. Monbiot
But perhaps the real discomfort is that the worst
no-platforming of all takes place within our
newspapers. In the publications most obsessed
with student silliness, there is no platform for
socialism, no platform for environmentalism, no
platform for those who might offend the interests of the proprietors.
I believe that a healthy media organisation, like
a healthy university, should admit a diversity of
opinion. I want the other newspapers to keep
publishing views with which I fiercely disagree.
But they and we should also seek opposing
views and publish them too, however uncomfortable this might be.
What free speech advocate would disagree with
that. Except it is Monbiot himself who has been
using his prominent platforms, at the Guardian
and on social media, to discredit critical
thinkers on the left not with reasoned
arguments, but by impugning their integrity.
Denied a platform
with his unsubstantiated claim that scholars like
Noam Chomsky and the late Ed Herman, as well as
the acclaimed journalist John Pilger, were
genocide deniers and belittlers. It now
on childish insinuations that those who question
the corporate medias simplistic narrative on
Syria are Assad apologists or in Vladimir Putins pay.
But worse than this, Monbiot is also conspiring
either actively or through his silence to deny
critics of his and the Guardians position on
Syria the chance to set out their evidence in its pages.
The Guardians anti-democratic stance does not
surprise me, as someone who worked there for many
years. I found myself repeatedly
by the paper even while on its staff after I
started taking an interest in the
Israel-Palestine conflict and writing about the
discomforting issue of what a Jewish state
entails. My treatment is
Now the paper is denying a platform to those who
question simplistic and self-serving western
narratives on Syria. And Monbiot is backing his
employer to the hilt, even as he professes his
commitment to the publication of views he
fiercely disagrees with. Thats the dictionary definition of hypocrisy.
Selfless White Helmets?
The latest instalment of the Guardian and
Monbiots long-running battle to silence Syria
dissidents arrived last month when Olivia Solon,
the papers technology writer living in San
Francisco, developed a sudden and
expertise in a controversial Syrian group called the White Helmets.
In the western corporate media narrative, the
White Helmets are a group of dedicated and
selfless rescue workers. They are supposedly the
humanitarians on whose behalf a western
intervention in Syria would have been justified
before, that is, Syrian leader Bashar Assad
queered their pitch by inviting in Russia.
However, there are problems with the White
Helmets. They operate only in rebel read:
mainly al-Qaeda and ISIS-held areas of Syria,
and plenty of evidence
that they are funded by the UK and US to advance
both countries far-from-humanitarian policy objectives in Syria.
The White Helmets have been filmed describing
Syrian Arab Army bodies as trash and one
particular video shows them standing on top of a
pile of SAA soldiers bodies, whose boots have
been removed or stolen. The White Helmets talk
about the bodies in pejorative terms and they
flick a victory V sign as the truck drives off ~
White Helmets Campaign for War not Peace
There are also strong indications that members of
the White Helmets have been involved in war
crimes, and that they have staged rescue
operations as a part of a propaganda offensive
designed to assist Islamic extremists trying to
oust Assad. (Solon discounts this last claim. In
doing so, she ignores several examples of such
behaviour, concentrating instead on an improbable
mannequin challenge, when the White Helmets
supposedly froze their emergency operations, in
the midst of rescue efforts, apparently as part
of a peculiar publicity campaign.)
Guardian hatchet job
Whatever side one takes in this debate, one would
imagine that Monbiot should have a clear agenda
in support of hearing evidence from all sides.
One might also imagine that he would want to
distance himself from Solons efforts to tie
criticism of the White Helmets to a supposed
fake news crisis and paint those critical of
the group as Putin-bots. According to Solon:
The way the Russian propaganda machine has
targeted the White Helmets is a neat case study
in the prevailing information wars. It exposes
just how rumours, conspiracy theories and
half-truths bubble to the top of YouTube, Google and Twitter search algorithms.
Those are the same algorithms that have been
in recent months to make sure that prominent
leftist websites are increasingly difficult to
find on internet searches and their writers views effectively disappeared.
Yet Monbiot has been using social media to
promote Solons cheerleading of the White Helmets
and her hatchet job against on-the-ground
journalists who have taken a far more critical view of the group.
out by Prof Tim Hayward, the Guardians response
to criticism of Solons piece has been typical.
The comments section below the article was
hastily closed after many criticisms were voiced
by readers. The journalists who were singled out
for attack by Solon were denied a right of reply.
A group of concerned academics led by Hayward who
submitted their own article, which detailed
publicly available evidence to counter Solons
simplistic account of the White Helmets, were
ignored. Meanwhile, the Guardians editors and
the readers editor have ignored all efforts by these parties to contact them.
Given his claim to be an uncompromising defender
of free speech and a fierce advocate of providing
platforms to those who can back up their
arguments with evidence, however discomforting,
one might have assumed that Monbiot would at the
very least have lobbied on behalf of Hayward and
his fellow scholars. But not a bit of it. Yet
again he has joined the dogs of the corporate
media baying for blood. Instead he turned to
Twitter to claim Hayward and Piers Robinson, an
expert on propaganda, had
Undermining climate concerns
The many tens of thousands of leftists who defend
Monbiot, or turn a blind eye to his hypocrisy,
largely do so because of his record on the
environment. But in practice they are enabling
not only his increasingly overt incitement
against critical thinkers, but also undermining
the very cause his supporters believe he champions.
Climate breakdown is a global concern. Rewilding,
bike-riding, protecting bees and polar bears, and
developing new sustainable technologies are all
vitally important. But such actions will amount
to little if we fail to turn a highly sceptical
eye on the activities of a western
military-industrial complex ravaging the planets poorest regions.
These war industries fill their coffers by using
weapons indiscriminately on enemy populations,
spawning new and fiercer enemies while often
propping them up too to generate endless wars.
The consequences include massive displacements of
these populations who then destabilise other
regions, spreading the effect and creating new
opportunities for the arms manufacturers,
homeland security industries, and the financial industries that feed off them.
A true environmentalist has to look as critically
at western policies in Iraq, Libya, Syria,
Ukraine, Venezuela and many other areas of the
globe as he does at UK policy in the Welsh hills and the Lake District.
All indications are that Monbiot lacks the
experience, knowledge and skills to unravel the
deceptions being perpetrated in the wests proxy
and not-so-proxy wars overseas. That is fair
enough. What is not reasonable is that he should
use his platforms to smear precisely those who
can speak with a degree of authority and
independence and then conspire in denying them
a platform to respond. That is the behaviour not
only of a hypocrite, but of a bully too.
published: Jonathan Cook
From South America, where payment must be made
with subtlety, the Bormann organization has made
a substantial contribution. It has drawn many of
the brightest Jewish businessmen into a
participatory role in the development of many of
its corporations, and many of these Jews share
their prosperity most generously with Israel. If
their proposals are sound, they are even provided
with a specially dispensed venture capital fund.
I spoke with one Jewish businessmen in Hartford,
Connecticut. He had arrived there quite unknown
several years before our conversation, but with
Bormann money as his leverage. Today he is more
than a millionaire, a quiet leader in the
community with a certain share of his profits
earmarked as always for his venture capital
benefactors. This has taken place in many other
instances across America and demonstrates how
Bormanns people operate in the contemporary
commercial world, in contrast to the fanciful
nonsense with which Nazis are described in so much literature.
So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish
participation in Bormann companies that when
Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv
to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the
Jewish and German communities of Buenos Aires.
Jewish leaders informed the Israeli authorities
in no uncertain terms that this must never happen
again because a repetition would permanently
rupture relations with the Germans of Latin
America, as well as with the Bormann
organization, and cut off the flow of Jewish
money to Israel. It never happened again, and the
pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of
these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an
Argentinian safe haven, protected by the most
efficient German infrastructure in history as
well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being.
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