Tell me no lies (John Pilger, m.fl.) [2005]

”Tell me no lies” är en samling grävande journalistik som John Pilger valt ut. De flesta reportage var nya för mig (förutom ett utdrag ur Pilgers egna banbrytande reportage om Kambodja (Year Zero)) även om många av namnen är bekanta. Det här är en ovärderlig samling på hur riktig journalistik kan se ut. Pilger inleder varje reportage med att ge sammanhanget som journalisterna arbetat i, och effekterna som deras jobb fått.

  • Martha Gellhorn – Dachau (1945)

Gellhorn (som var gift med Hemingway) var den första utländska journalisten att se koncentrationslägret i Dachau (strax utanför München) och prata med såväl fångar som de polska läkare som arbetade där. Hennes redogörelser för experimenten som ägde rum där är sanslösa. Man låste in människor i tryckkammare och sänkte trycket tills de dog. Syftet? Att ta reda på vilken höjd människan klarar av att vistas på utan hjälpmedel. Upp emot 800 fångar dog i detta experiment (experimentet var klart först när försökspersonen hade dött).

  • Wilfred Burchett – The Atomic Plague (1945)

Burchett bröt sig loss från teamet med krigskorrespondenter som följde amerikanska flottan och besökte helt på egen hand Hiroshima bara dagar efter atombomberna (och kapitulationen). I en tid av tung censur och amerikanska militärens förnekande av att bomberna skulle ha seneffekter var hans envetna rapportering oerhört viktig.

  • Edward R. Murrow – The Menace of McCarthyism (1947-54)

Programledare på CBS försöker förklara för TV-publiken varför McCarthyismen skadar samhället. Mycket intressant.

  • Jessica Mitford – The American Way of Death (1963)

Udda reportage om den amerikanska begravningsindustrin. Mycket tankeväckande och läsvärt.

  • James Cameron – Through the Looking-Glass (1966)

Pilger berömmer på flera håll Camerons arbete. Isåfall måste det här vara ett av hans sämre. Så till exempel, kan han förmå sig att skriva att bombningarna av södra Vietnam inte ledde till särskilt många dödsoffer, men att de fungerade som propaganda och stärkte Hanoi. Det är ett ypperligt cyniskt sätt att tolka statlig aggression. Enda texten som är direkt avvikande i den här samlingen.

  • Seymour M. Hersh – The Massacre at My Lai (1970)

Journalisten som först skrev om My Lai-massakern (som förvisso inte var någon avvikande ”incident” på grund av några ”dåliga äpplen”, utan tvärtom vardag i kriget). Det anmärkningsvärda är förstås att han inte var på plats, och att historien kom ut två år efter händelsen (bl.a. efter att en av soldaterna som kände till det under ett års tid försökt få New York Times att nappa på storyn). Kylig och saklig redogörelse av händelseförloppet. Väldigt obehagligt.

  • John Pilger – Year Zero (1979)

The UN vote for Pol Pot meant that stricken Cambodia was denied almost the entire international machinery of recovery and assistance: the United Nations Development Programme, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank could not legally help. At the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the British delegate, Sir Henry Yellowlees, voted for Pol Pot’s man to take Cambodia’s seat. This meant that the resources of WHO, the World Health Organisation, were now denied to Cambodia. Shortly after the Geneva meeting, a WHO official telephoned me. ‘That picture with your Cambodia story of the pock-marked man,’ he said, ‘can you tell us if that was caused by smallpox?’ I said I did not know, but if smallpox had reappeared during Pol Pot’s time, surely a WHO investigator should go to Cambodia to find out. ‘We can’t do that,’ he said. ‘They’re not recognised.”In their hearts’, he said, ‘they remain very cruel, very Maoist, very Cultural Revolution, very Robespierre, very French Revolution, very bloody revolution. They are monsters, it is true … but since they decided to behave as normal human beings, we have to accept them … naughty dogs and naughty Khmer Rouge, they need to be caressed.’ At this, he laughed, and most of the foreign press laughed with him.A prime example was the denial of all development aid by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) between the critical years of 1979 and 1992 as a direct result of pressure from the United States, China, Britain and Singapore. No single decision better ensured that Cambodia would remain broken and impoverished, at best a service economy for foreigners.

  • Günter Wallraff – Lowest of the low (Ganz unten) (1985)

Ett föredöme och en ljuspunkt i journalistiken. Wallraff klär ut sig till turkisk flykting och speglar det tyska samhället från dess sämsta sida. Självuppoffrande och empatiskt, utan att vara blödigt. Kommande Wallraff-samling på svenska.

  • Brian Toohey & Marian Wilkinson – The Timor Papers (1987)

Två australiensiska journalister som läckte diplomatiska dokument tillhörande amerikanska och australiensiska diplomater i Indonesien under tiden för en av vår tids värsta (och minst kända) massakrer i Östtimor.

[ur National Intelligence Daily 1975, rapporter som skulle läsas av Gerald Ford, så det här är alltså officiella, interna dokument, min anm.]

18 August: ‘[…] Top military commanders, however, still favour swift action because they fear that the situation will soon turn irrevocably against pro-Jakarta elements in Timor […] On Saturday fifty Indonesian-trained Timorese guerrillas reportedly crossed the border into the Portugese territory. […] Indonesia’s clandestine activities in Timor may lead to a more serious breakdown in law and order, forcing a military decision upon Suharto.’

28 August: ‘[…] Recent worldwide publicity about the deteriorating situation in Timor and the Portugese admission that they have lost control will work to Jakarta’s advantage. Unilateral Indonesian action undertaken now in the name of ending bloodshed and with the appropriate disclaimers about territorial ambitions will probably not draw sharp international criticism.’

11 October: ‘President Suharto continues to hold out against pressure from his armed forces commanders for a military invasion of Portugese Timor. He has, however approved a plan of action that will increase military pressure on Fretilin forces […] The troops participating in the operation will wear uniforms without insignia and are to carry older, Soviet-made weapons so as not to be identified as Indonesian regulars.’

29 November: ‘The declaration of independence for Portugese Timor issued yesterday by the left-wing Fretilin group appears to be a desperate Fretilin effort to protect itself from indonesian military operations. […] The group may hope that the publicity shortly before President Ford’s visit to Indonesia on 5 December will inhibit the Indonesians.’ [invasionen började några dagar efter att Ford och Kissinger lämnat, och 8:e december hade Dili fallit, min anm.]

7 December: ‘[…] The current cooperative stance of Portugal, Indonesia and Australia in co-sponsoring the UN resolution calling for a peaceful solution will be difficult to maintain; that Portugal could well condemn Indonesia’s action and may take the matter to the Security Council; that Australia, only a week away from elections, is likely to be far more cautious but is unlikely to openly support Indonesia’s move; and that other countries in the area will be embarrassed by the move but will not wish to stand up and be counted. US interests at this time would appear to be best served by following Indonesia’s lead on the issue while remaining responsive and receptive to Australian and Portugese views if pressed on us. Our efforts should be devoted to getting the three together to work out what is essentially their problem.’

13 January: ‘[…] the UN mission will be allowed to visit only Dili and other towns securely under Indonesian control, and formal contact will be allowed only with the carefully coached pro-Indonesian regime in Dili… [..]’

1 February: ‘[…]The Indonesians are worried that, if the envoy [FN-representanten Guicciardi, min anm.] reaches East Timor, he will find confirmation of the presence of a large Indonesian military force, and evidence that the Fretilin is stronger that is admitted. The degree of importance which the Indonesians assign to blocking Guicciardi’s visit to East Timor is manifested by their plan to sink the Portugese frigate with the envoy on board. Having rejected this option due to its ramifications, they are still considering whether to sink the vessel before it reaches Darwin […]’ [min markering]

10 February: ‘Indonesia has managed to thwart efforts of a UN representative to visit Fretilin-held areas of Timor.’

  • Max du Preez & Jacques Pauw – Exposing Apartheid’s Death Squads (1988-94)
  • Paul Foot – The Great Lockerbie Whitewash (1989-2001)
  • Robert Fisk – Terrorists (1990/2001)
  • Seumas Milne – The Secret War against the Miners (1994)
  • Amira Hass – Under Siege (1996)
  • Philip Knightley – The Thalidomide Scandal: Where We Went Wrong (1997)
  • Eduardo Galeano – The Upside-Down World (1998)

‘When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint,’ said Brazilian bishop Helder Cámara. ‘And when I ask why they have no food, they call me a Communist.’

  • Anna Politkovskaya – Chechnya: A Dirty War (1999-2002)

Mycket modig människa. Har flera böcker ute på svenska som jag måste läsa.

  • Linda Melvern – A People Betrayed (2000)
  • Greg Palast – How to steal the Presidency and Get Away with It (2000-1)
  • Eric Schlosser – Fast Food Nation (2001)

Fruktansvärd läsning om arbetsförhållandena i amerikanska fabriker i köttindustrin. Arbetarna är de mest skadedrabbade  i alla industriella branscher, både vad gäller förslitningsskador som amputationer och dödsfall.

  • Mark Curtis – Complicity in a Million Deaths (2003)

The killings in Indonesia started when a group of army officers loyal to President Sukarno assassinated several generals on 30 September 1965. They believed the generals were about to stage a coup to overthrow Sukarno. The instability, however, provided other anti-Sukarno generals, led by General Suharto, with an excuse for the army to move against a powerful and popular political faction with mass support, the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). It did so brutally: in a few months hundreds of thousands of PKI members and ordinary people were killed and the PKI destroyed.
[…]
Summarising the events of 1965 the British Consul in Medan said: ‘Posing as saviours of the nation from a Communist terror, [the army] unleashed a ruthless terror of their own, the scars of which will take many years to heal.’ Another British memo referred to ‘an operation carried out on a very large scale and often with appalling savagery.’

  • David Armstrong – Drafting a Plan for Global Dominance (2002)
  • Felicia Arbuthnot – Iraq: The Unending War (1998-99)
  • Joy Gordon – Cool War: Economic Sanctions as a Weapon of Mass Destruction (2002)

In early 2001, the United States had placed holds on $280 million in medical supplies, including vaccines to treat infant hepatitis, tetanus and diphtheria, as well as incubators and cardiac equiment. The rationale was that the vaccines contained live cultures, albeit highly weakened ones. The Iraqi Government, it was argued, could conceivably extract these, and eventually grow a virulent fatal strain, then develop a missile or other delivery system that could effectively disseminate it. UNICEF and UN health agencies, along with other Security Council members, objected strenuously. European biological-weapons experts maintained that such a feat was in fact flatly impossible. At the same time, with massive epidemics ravaging the country, and skyrocketing child mortality, it was quite certain that preventing child vaccines from entering Iraq would result in large numbers of child and infant deaths. Despite pressure behind the scenes from the UN and from members of the Security Council, the United States refused to budge. But in March 2001, when the Washington Post and Reuters reported on the holds – and their impact – the United States abruptly announced it was lifting them.

  • Richard Norton-Taylor – Under a False Pretext (2002-3)
  • Robert Fisk – Another Day in the Bloody Death of Iraq (2003)
  • Jo Wilding – Eyewitness in Falluja (2004)
  • Edward W. Said – Covering Islam and Terrorism (1997/2002)
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~ av bookplanet på december 22, 2010.

Ett svar to “Tell me no lies (John Pilger, m.fl.) [2005]”

  1. […] två gånger (och som rapporterat på bl.a. thalidomid-offren, se hans kontribut till Tell me no lies) säger följande om Pilgers arbete (och Hayward låter detta avsluta boken).  Jag håller inte […]

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