In 1945 when Japan surrendered to allied armies and the new supreme commander Douglas McArthur began ‘rebuilding’ the country one of the most notorious cover up of war crimes took place. Instead of bringing to justice the members of unit 731, McArthur granted immunity to the key physicians in exchange for research data. The unit 731 was a secret Japanese research facility which was situated near Harbin in Northern China and was working on the development of biological weapons. There was never any question for US administration as to how this research data was obtained. Whole Chinese villages were wiped out while new biological weapons were tried, hundreds of Chinese peasants including children were subjected to most excruciating and painful deaths in order to find out the reaction of human body to various bacteria. All this was hushed up simply because the Cold War was starting in earnest and USA needed all the help it could get to be ahead of USSR in arms race. The US biological weapon program from then on drew on the experience of those hapless Chinese villagers who died like laboratory rats first for the benefit of Japan and then of the new Western colonial power.
It seems that one month ago as Georgian warplanes were bombing the sleeping civilians in Tskhinvali and shooting anybody alive in Ossetian villages the great tradition of hushing up the war crimes when it is compatible with US aims came into play again. The rule, which could be defined as ‘whatever is good for US and NATO is just’, seems to have become the guidance for most Western news outlets. The shameless cover up of attempted genocide on the part of Georgian government was matched up by equally shameless exaggeration of ‘Russian aggression’ sometimes going as far as falsifying the evidence. This was the case when Western press was trying to pass off the images of bombed Tskhinvali as a Georgian city bombed by Russian forces. The last instance is the perfect example of news coverage aimed at producing a particular picture irrespective of whether it has any basis in reality or not. The picture thus created becomes an ‘opinion of the majority’, a vague term referring to the predominant trend within the media reporting in the West which does not always represent the actual opinion of the majority of the population. In fact the impression that one gets after comparing the foreign office policies with media coverage is that the nebulous ‘opinion of the majority’ is the official version of the event formed by the small group of political analysts affiliated to the government to which the majority has to conform.
It is not a secret that Western media is far from offering the freedom of speech and expression for which it overtly fights around the world. Going against the so called ‘opinion of the majority’ is as fatal as it is going against the will of the ruling party in a dictatorial regime. The recent incident of Danhong Zhang, a Chinese broadcaster and journalist who lost her job in Germany’s DW-radio after she dared to contradict the chorus of Western media’s accusation of Human rights abuses brought against Chinese government is only an extra illustration of this point. It is not a question whether what she said was true or false, although it is an undeniable fact that the communist government of China did much more to protect the minorities of their huge country than it is traditionally credited with by the major news providers in the West. The very fact that Danhong Zhang lost her job for voicing her opinion brings the worrying flashback of Brezhnev’s USSR where public condemnation and the ensuing job loss was a standard punishment of the dissidents.
Similarly in the coverage of last month conflict between Georgia and Russia the tone or ‘the opinion of the majority’ was set from the start. From the very moment on 8th of August 2008 the first day of Olympic Games and the first day of military invasion by Georgia of its breakaway region of South Ossetia any person following Western media reports knew where the line between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sides was drawn. Even before Russian army was on the move and Georgian forces were reduced to disarrayed ruble of running men Georgia became 'the victim' of Russian aggression. The tone was set by the US media, the closest ally of Georgian regime and was duly picked up by its vassal states in Europe (UK) and Middles East (Israel). Georgia simply could not do anything wrong. What was the difference between Russian heavy handed response in its separatist region of Chechniya and Georgia’s summary slaughter of its own civilians in its breakaway republic of South Ossetia? Why did the former drew fierce condemnation from the Western media and the latter was intentionally overlooked? Why the desire of Western press to pervert the reality and to paint the defensive party in this conflict as ‘evil’ and the real aggressor as ‘good’ was so great that after running out of factual evidence which could be turned against Russia the war crimes of Georgian military in Tskhinvali were brazenly passed off as the aftermath of Russian bombardment?
The answer to these questions is implied in the incident of fired journalist, Danhong Zhang. Most of Western media now is no more than a propaganda weapon. It is neither an independent nor reliable source of information but a tool of power with a history of covering up the crimes against humanity as in the case of Japanese unit 731 . The only condition for being acquitted of all crimes by the Western media is to be on the right side of the government, which owns it. Conversely, as Danhong Zhang’s case proved, the disagreement with the opinion set by the ruling elite will not be tolerated. The unavoidable conclusion from this soviet style treatment of journalism and one-sided reporting is only one, if globalization is ever to succeed the resulting Global State will have a one party system.