According to Wikipedia: “The War You Don’t See is a 2010 British documentary film written, produced and directed by John Pilger with Alan Lowery, which challenges the media for the role they played in the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine conflicts.

In this documentary, John Pilger sets out to explore the effects of 24 hours news structure with its endless flow of raw and shallow reports coming from all different parts of the world. He claims that this sensationalism does not allow the viewer to think and reflect on the issue anymore, partly because the journalistic language essentially dutifully reports the government and military statements, without challenging them. He shows as well how the embedded structure essentially segregates the journalists from the people outside the military bases, and finally how the media structure simply rewards those who convey the official line and punishes those who do not by shutting down their access to precious resources.

The media has indeed a very important role to play: its duty is to inform citizens from countries around the world about what is happening in order for them to make up their own mind on specific topics. However, today’s media ‘conventional wisdom’ is to not challenge our countries’ officials and simply take everything they say at face value. 60 years of proven misinformation, misrepresentation of reality or even outright lies don’t seem to influence the way journalists process and comment on the governmental line.

The Iraq War was a terrible war that killed around  700,000 civilians if you count those who died because of invasion related destruction of infrastructure, a much larger number than the 4,500 coalition forces that died; yet we seldom heard about them. In addition, some 4.7 million people have fled the war torn country where torture and human rights abuses became common place. Not to speak about the decision to invade a country based on false information and lies, most of which were pretty obvious from the beginning. And yet, was anyone held accountable ?

Afghanistan is also a terrible war that is killing people everyday, forced millions out of their homes and left an already broken country into an even worse situation. Today, we read the news and we hear about claims that Iran is on a fast track to get a nuclear bomb. Once again, the media repeats sheepishly the official line without challenging it. But a quick search on any relevant source of information will quickly prove you that Iran is not the warmongering-nuclear-thirsty regime that some interests claim it is. As for the nuclear issue, here is an article I wrote in fall 2010; its conclusions are still up to date.

We’ve let the USA and the UK invade Iraq a decade ago based on the same kind of dodgy claims. Are we going to let them impose the pain and suffering of war and death on another country yet again ?

The War You Don't See

About Carlito Riego

"Great perfection may appear imperfect, but its usefulness is inexhaustible. Great abundance may appear empty, but its usefulness cannot be exhausted. Great correctness may appear twisted, great skills appear crude, great eloquence appear awkward. Activity conquers cold; inactivity conquers heat. Clear serenity governs the world." - Lao Zi