Cross posted at the blog, Nick Nipclose
John Pilger, who has legitimized 9/11 conspiracy theories, suggested that Hezbollah’s resistance represented “humanity at its noblest” and supports neo-nazi Gilad Atzmon, claims, in his July 4 CiF essay, that the plane of Bolivian President Evo Morales was “forced down” on “suspicion” that it was carrying a “political refugee” (Edward Snowden) to safety. The episode, he argues, is “a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world and the cowardice and hypocrisy of bystanders.”
Pilger, in contextualizing the incident, describes the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) as “a vast Orwellian police state apparatus servicing history’s greatest war-making machine…engaging in criminal activity on an epic scale“. And, though, for instance, the NSA cannot wiretap without warrants, Pilger quite fancies Hugo Chavez whose party passed legislation allowing warrantless wiretapping, and whose government engaged in manipulation of the judiciary and intelligence agencies – the latter which had spied on the country’s tiny Jewish population.
Additionally, Pilger’s central allegation regarding Morales’ plane seems to be highly questionable according to Philip Bump at The Atlantic, who notes that such claims seem to be relying on “reporting comes from a single source, the Bolivian government”, and that some of it has already been contradicted. The “tall tale of the re-routed Bolivian president’s plane is falling apart,” according to Michael C. Moynihan at the Daily Beast, and “does not make sense,” citing, for instance, an audio recording of the Bolivian pilot telling an air-traffic controller that they needed to land because they were unable to get a correct indication of the fuel indication.
Taking his bizarre narrative a step further, Pilger then argues that the incident reveals that “the democratic facades of the US now barely conceal a systematic gangsterism…historically associated with fascism.”
Pilger is a leftover from 20th century faux radicalism, evoking Buster Keaton in the twilight zone episode ‘Once Upon a Time’, a comical relic from a bygone era. Pilger engages in antisemitic tropes with abandon, produces lies in service of Baathists in Syria and runs interference for Iranian tyrants, yet is moved to liberal outrage by ‘American imperialism’ which he believes most people, unguided by his enlightened morality and keen intellect, are unable to detect.
Extremists like Pilger play populist games but reveal that they have a very low opinion of the masses they imagine themselves fighting for.