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The War You Don't See (2010)

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journalism | propaganda | media

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Documentary | War

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14 December 2010 (UK)  »

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Wojna, której nie widac  »

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John Pilger: Those whose job it is to keep the record straight, ought to be the voice of people, not power.
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Compulsory watching
14 April 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

The War you Don't see is a British documentary produced and directed by Australian journalist John Pilger that focus on the dangers of embedded journalism in war times. If journalists do not do their job, we are misinformed and more easily manipulated, we don't see the suffering of innocent civilians and, therefore, we don't oppose the involvement of our governments and Army in those conflicts. The documentary presents many cases in History to proof the point, specially focusing on the Iraq War but showing examples that go from the support of Cigarettes in the media in the 1920s, to the Vietnam War to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, to Wikileaks. It is not as much a critic to those who start and carry out unjust wars, but a warning call to the Journalists, who should be doing their job properly, asking the right questions, investigating things when needed, so we know the truth and act upon it. I loved the documentary. I thought that the Libyan war is showing more of the same, another oil war masqueraded as a free the people war. Pilger makes the right questions, upfront, and does not allow his interviewees to bullshit the public. Pilger is not complacent with his colleagues, not even with the heavy weights of journalism. He does what he asks them to do, and that makes the documentary honest, thrilling, entertaining and informative. However, to be honest, we knew already much of what it is said in it. In fact, there were thousands of people demonstrating against the Iraq War in Australia (and the USA, UK, and the rest of the Western World) calling the arms of mass destruction "arms of mass distraction" despite those embedded journalists believing USA-UK's lies and contributing to their spread. People are sometimes wiser that one could think. The problem is that, once the war starts, and civilians are slaughtered every day, we need to know what we are fighting for. Pilger shows us the nitty-gritty of it, the details, the Monica Lewinski's sort of proof. On the other hand, we do not want to see deceased chopped bodies in our news bulletins in certain countries (I'm just remembering the airbrushing of one of the iconic images of the Madrid Bombings showing severed limbs in most Australian media). I thought that not only the media is guilty of that, but we are guilty too, for not wanting to know the real human drama behind any war, especially if the deceased are not ours.

Too many people swallow the news (TV or newspapers) as if they were God's Gospel, without thinking that perhaps the channel they are watching is owned by a filthy rich disgusting guy who is not interested in the truth, but in controlling its spread, so his corporation or businesses do better. Lies make them richer. We have to be honest with ourselves. Lies in the news are easily spread because the level of education of the population is not high enough (in fact, money is more valued than education nowadays), and because independent thinking is not promoted in school, University, or anywhere. Quite the contrary. Everybody wants to be in tune with the social network in vogue. Everybody wants to belong to a flock. So, the problem is not just the sort of journalism we have nowadays, or that the news lie to us regularly, but also the sort of viewers we have nowadays - Viewers who don't question what they hear or see on the news when war is on, or when there isn't even a war. I missed a hint of this point in the documentary, which I consider very important. That would have been moving a step forward from the usual blaming of the Empire, as if our society wasn't to blame for letting others think for us, or swallow crap without any sort of resistance.

Said this, the documentary was great, as it proves that we are certainly being lied every day, intentionally or by default, in war times or not. We are told that we are fighting for the freedom of the people, but that is never the case.

A wish. I would like Pilger to focus on the crap of ours, the Australian one, and examine closely which sort of news are shown in our TV stations every day, or which sort of crappy newspapers we have in Australia regarding local issues. Why is so? Who are the responsible? What are the lies? Who are the liars?

Compulsory watching!


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