Broadcast this Tuesday on ITV and released in some cinemas, “The War You Don’t See”, by John Pilger, ICAHD UK Patron, is a shocking, heart-rending film, a powerful critique of the role of the media in modern day war, and can be seen as an inditement of the “imperialism” of a secretive elite in the UK and USA which keeps us in a perpetual state of war. He examines the failure of the media in the UK and the USA to ask serious questions during the lead up to the war in Iraq, and its execution, looking particularly at the role of “embedded” journalists in that war. The film suggests that the journalists were very much “in bed” with the military, and their selective presentation of the war for the public.
If you didn’t see it, you can buy the DVD of the film here
There is an introduction to the history of governmental propaganda in the UK and USA since the First World War, to “sell” the necessity of war to their publics. Pilger reveals that the Pentagon spends a billion dollars annually just on “marketing”, PR and recruitment for war. Then the film focuses on the coverage of war in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gaza Fredom Flotilla attack by Israel, showing, through interviews and film footage by independent journalists, the “war you don’t see”.
Pilger argues to senior newsmakers from the BBC and ITV that they are regurgitating government information, without properly researching and presenting another side. The failure of the media not to swallow whole the British and American governments’ line on Saddam Hussein’s non-existent WMD threat was particularly examined.
There is a revealing interview with an ex-member of the Foreign Office.
In the film, discussion with Julian Assange of Wikileaks and others goes beyond the role of our media in war, to suggest that we are kept in a constant state of war by the recycling of taxpayers’money for the enrichment of the industrial-military complex.
This is a deeply disturbing film with some ghastly footage, including the infamous video posted on Wikileaks of American helicopter attacks on Iraqis in the street and on a van which comes to their assistance, and which turns out to contain two children.
If you would like to congratulate ITV on broadcasting this film, which includes an interview by Pilger with a senior ITV newsmaker, discussing the shortcomings of ITV news coverage of the build-up to the Iraq war and other situations, email firstname.lastname@example.org