Weekend reflections

It’s time again for weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. In keeping with my attempts to open up the comments to new contributors , I’d like to redirect discussion, as opposed to substantive new contributions, to the sandpit. As always, civilised discussion and no coarse language please.

8 thoughts on “Weekend reflections

  1. Over the last few days I’ve noticed that Ahmadinejad’s UN address has been reported widely.

    There is a summary on the UN website and an English translation (excerpts follow) at ‘IRNA’.

    I find it disturbing that despite the fact that he obviously did not “claim US behind 9/11” that was how it was reported. The ABC seems to have now corrected some of it’s online stories to reflect that he was referring to widespread suspicions rather than making a statement of fact.

    Of course, the horse has already bolted so most people believe he actually said it and now we are being blasted with the outrage/fury/shock responses from, eg., Obama to something which was never said in the first place. (He also never ‘called for Israel to be wiped off the map’ but that is still often reported as fact – I asked the ABC why and they said ‘we got it from sources such as the BBC’!).

    Isn’t that how the last few wars started? Shouldn’t we be scrupulously avoiding and sanctioning such poor journalism?

    Here are some other things he said at the UN which didn’t get reported in our media:



    [ United Nations, New York, Sept 24, IRNA — The following is the full text of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech delivered to the 65th annual meeting of United Nations General assembly in New York on Thursday.

    “I wish to begin by commemorating those who lost their lives in the horrible flood in Pakistan and express my heartfelt sympathy with the families who lost their loved ones as well as with the people and the government of Pakistan. I urge everyone to assist their fellow men and women as a humane duty.”…

    “In the past years, I spoke to you about some of the hopes and concerns, including family crises, security, human dignity, world economy, climate change as well as the aspiration for justice and lasting peace.”…

    “As a result of the two World Wars, the occupation of Palestine, the Korean and the Vietnam’s Wars, the Iraqi war against Iran, the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as many wars in Africa, hundreds of millions of people were killed, wounded or displaced.”…

    “1- Would it not have been sensible that first a thorough investigation should have been conducted by independent groups to conclusively identify the elements involved in the attack and then map out a rational plan to take measures against them?
    2- Assuming the viewpoint of the American government, is it rational to launch a classic war through widespread deployment of troops that led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people to counter a terrorist group?”…

    “I wish to announce here that next year the Islamic Republic of Iran will host a conference to study terrorism and the means to confront it. I invite officials, scholars, thinkers, researchers and research institutes of all countries to attend this conference.”…

    “The nuclear bomb is the worst inhumane weapon and which must totally be eliminated. The NPT prohibits its development and stockpiling and calls for nuclear disarmament.”…

    “On behalf of the Iranian nation I pay respect to all Divine Books and their followers. This is the Quran and this is the Bible. I pay respect to both of them.”…

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, I announce clearly that the occupation of other countries under the pretext of freedom and democracy is an unforgivable crime.
    The world needs the logic of compassion and justice and inclusive participation instead of logic of force, domination, unilateralism, war and intimidation.”…

    “Thank You.”]

    This is not a defence of the man or anything he has ever said or done. It IS an attack on blatantly false propaganda posing as journalism in places like Fairfax, SBS and ABC (of course we expect it from News Ltd).

  2. Maybe the ABC Board is not representative and ABC reports are fitted into a political template.

    I imagine this is an issue that Media Watch will not investigate.

  3. Ahmadinejad’s words are as vacuous and pointless as any other politician’s words. They all lie. They all make conventional motherhood and apple pie (or the Iranian equivalent) statements to appeal to their own constituents and allies. Watch and report on what they and their servants and agents do, not what they say.

    All major actors in the Middle East are equally cupable. This goes for USA, Israel, Iraq and Iran.

  4. Megan I agree. This is classic Murdoch biased reporting used to inflame the fears of ordinary people with imaginary enemies with the aim of making them run to the arms of a “strong” republican government (the strength of which he also creates in the media) and reinforce the military industrial complex that is the US.
    Its really disgusting that one man – for so much of the past decades war issues stems from Murdoch one way or another…can inflame and fan so much misery across the globe. He and his politically black media have much to answer for in the modern age.

  5. I’ve been wondering how the mining industry will manage the scuttling of a carbon tax and a resource rent tax. I can’t help but cynically believe that is what will happen. Whilst BHP’s chief seems to favour – or at least seems willing to tolerate – a carbon tax, we have Minerology chief Clive Palmer conceding a RRT probably has some merit as long as it’s at low rates. Fortescue metals chief has been pointing out that BHP would be less impacted because it won’t apply to exports of fossil fuels. I think the latter probably represents the mining sector more clearly by strongly opposing both taxes. Ultimately the mining sector will only tolerate either so long as the rates are low enough as to make them irrelevant. I doubt that we will really get either in any form but tokenism.

    Given the role a carbon tax should have, in significantly reducing the amount of fossil fuels being burned and thus how much comes out of the ground, I can’t see BHP as having any interest in one that’s effective and if one were developed internationally, would they not oppose it? Just kidding, of course they’ll oppose it. Meanwhile what kind of local policy can be introduced that really effects coal and other fossil fuel exports, enough to not merely end it’s expansion but pull it back to where sane climate outcomes can be achieved? Will it wait upon serious harm to lots of people and subsequent class actions that gut the companies involved? Can that be anything more than closing the gates after the horses have bolted? For all the apparent movement towards a carbon tax I’ll believe it when I see it.

  6. Megan I very much appreciated your link to the translation of Ahmadinejad’s UN speech, which I think gives insights into a way of thinking about the world and how this government reflects itself back to its people. The same is true for any national leader. The reporting on this speech from all sources – not just Murdoch -was I thought slanted to the point that the American President was responding to statements that Ahmadinejad did not make, while failing to report his proposition which on its face and in the context of the evidence was reasonable, if in part somewhat mischievous. The point is understanding of different world views, not necessarily agreement. In these instances, it seems to me, that a responsible and democratic media, as distinct from one that seems primarily propagandist, would provide expert commentary.

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