Iraq: Scrubbing History – Deleting Reality

1st May 2018 / Global
Iraq: Scrubbing History - Deleting Reality

By TruePublica: The Chilcot Inquiry conclusion that the invasion of Iraq was “unnecessary and undermined the United Nations” is, to say the very least, something of an understatement. Another is that Sir John Chilcot said he did not believe Tony Blair was “straight with the nation” about his decisions in the run-up to the Iraq war.

The truth, as we all know, the Chilcot Inquiry was a whitewash even though criticism of Blair was no doubt devastating to Blair himself. Officialdom yet again conspired to eradicate history by creating yet another deception – that Tony Blair is not really a war criminal. Iraq not only saw a million innocent victims extinguished, millions more were displaced but it also turned out to the birthplace of an entirely new form of vile Jihadist extremism that will, of course, take more than a generation to calm.

In the end though, the Chilcot legacy meant for nothing. Although Libya predated this deliberately stalled inquiry, Syria didn’t. And yet the same old tactics, from same old playbook – page-by-page are turned. Today, the British government now looks for a pretext for illegal aggression, not diplomatic solutions for what we all thought was going to be the ‘rules-based world order’.

 

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Scrubbing History by Deletion

In his nightmarish and futuristic novel “1984,” George Orwell somehow foresaw almost exactly what is happening in our reality of today. Orwell described in this classic fiction how those who would seek to control us, would first control the media, then language and finally history itself. The novel’s protagonist, Winston Smith, worked at the rather ironically named ‘Ministry of Truth‘. Smith’s role was rewriting historical records and altering photos and images to make the past conform with the ruling party’s views. Original documents that conflicted with new political realities were sent to the incinerator.

Our media, particularly in Britain is known to be the most right-wing, most biased anywhere in Europe. Quite possibly, even in the Western world. It is owned largely by billionaires who don’t reside in the country. The government and the media are largely one and the same. The coverage on the recent Syrian gas attacks as a pretext for bombing is evidence of that. Criticism for such serious breaches of international law is now deemed almost treasonous in Britain.

Today, even basic English language has been co-opted for warmongering. It appears that Britain needs no more evidence than ‘highly likely’, ‘suspected’ and ‘the evidence points to’ – to invade another country. These words would not cross the first threshold for a court case involving the theft of a loaf of bread. Accusations of ‘Fake News’ is deliberately mixed into the narrative of our post-truth world.

The general public is now aware that fake news reports, fake film and fake images are the tools of modern-day government propaganda. $500 million was paid by the Pentagon to a British PR firm Bell Pottinger to produce these fake incidents of wrong-doing by our made-up enemies in Iraq – to persuade an unsuspecting public to support illegal wars of aggression. SCL elections and Cambridge Analytica are just updated versions of the same deceptions.

Control the media, control the language and then finally history itself. That is what is happening.

 

Two years ago I was researching for an article via a search engine (one we are no longer allowed to mention for fear of censorship – hint – it begins with ‘G’ has six letters and is both ubiquitous and a bit evil) looking for evidence of certain news headlines in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war. There was a profusion of damning ‘mainstream media’ headlines and news reports to choose from. Images too. I could settle down and choose the content I needed with ease.

No matter what keywords you use today – the scale of content returned in the same search engine has been dramatically reduced. Yes, you can still find some headlines and images, but it is now much harder to locate what you knew was once there.

 

In May 2014, the European Court of Justice said links to irrelevant and outdated data should be erased from searches on request, sparking fears that news stories and other public information could be concealed from public view. At the time, the discussion was about the ‘right-to-be forgotten’ – but in reality, this was a turning point not just for censorship but the scrubbing of historical information, documentation, images and accounts.

Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales warned: “That is a very dangerous path to go down, and if we want to go down a path where we are going to be censoring history, there is no way we should leave a private company like ‘G’ in charge of making those decisions.”

As far back as 2002, researchers at the highly-respected Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University found that ‘G’ was actively removing sites from its database and that censorship was going unnoticed. This research was based on what people in different countries could see on the internet. For instance, the keywords involving the treatment by the German’s of Jewish people in the last war gave different results in Germany, France, the USA and so on.

The BBC reported that the reason ‘G’ did this was: “that the sites were removed to avoid the possibility of legal action being taken against the company, and that each site was removed only after a specific complaint from the government of the country concerned.”

In 2002, governments were already informing search engines of what websites, pages, documents or images they didn’t like – so the company acquiesced.

The result, complained the BBC reporter at the time, was that one of the web’s most important tools was being deliberately broken at the request of governments.

 

More recently, ‘G’ has taken this one step further by offering advice on how to remove content from ‘G’ news in particular.

The consequence is that when a newspaper wants to erase articles it published years earlier  – they can now erase them at will.

The Telegraph, Times, Mail, Sun, Express and Star – which had a combined circulation of 9.4m just before the invasion of Iraq were the main cheerleaders for this catastrophic world event. The Independent was at the time, the governments fiercest critic and led the anti-war campaign from the front-lines of Fleet Street. Hundreds of jingoistic calls to “Back our Boys”  and “Go Get Em” headlines have since been erased.

Mark Curtis, former director of Global Justice Now writes eloquently about how history is slowly being abandoned with his excellent piece “For the British political elite, the invasion of Iraq never happened.” So concerned is Curtis about Britain’s historical blunders, his website is now a treasure trove of archived declassified documents and articles on UK foreign policy, especially with regards to Iraq.

The myth perpetrated by the newspapers was that Saddam Hussein was a threat to world peace, in fact, not only was that not true, it turned out all these years later to be that America, supported by Britain would be the slayers of world peace. In the meantime, ‘G’ as we now have to refer to them as, is distorting this wretched and uncomfortable truth. History is being misremembered by design.

The scrubbing of historical evidence on the internet is amplified when trying to find out just what was the real consequence of invading Afghanistan and Iraq.  In our report entitled “Shocking Truth Of UK Involvement In The Deaths of 6-8 million in Iraq and Afghanistan” – much of that material, whilst still there, is much harder to find using similar keyword searches.

 

Richard Nixon once said: No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.

Larry Page once lied said: “To me, this is about preserving history and making it available to everyone.”

Jimmy Wales once said: “If it isn’t on G – it doesn’t exist”

All three are connected. One recognised that history was being distorted, another recognised they could be the gatekeeper of that distortion and another recognises that, in fact, it is already actually happening.

 

 



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