A World War Has Begun - John Pilger

This is an edited version of an address by John Pilger at the University of Sydney, entitled A World War Has Begun.
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  A world war has begun. Break the silence. 20 March 2016 I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. henever I tell !eo!le where I have been, the as#, $here is that%$ If I offer a clue b referring to $&i#ini$, the sa , $'ou mean the swimsuit.$(ew seem aware that the bi#ini swimsuit was named to celebrate the nuclear e)!losions that destro ed &i#ini island. *i)t +si) nuclear devices were e)!loded b the nited *tates in the Marshall Islands between 1-6 and 1-/ ++ the euivalent of 1.6 iroshima bombs ever da for twelve ears.&i#ini is silent toda , mutated and contaminated. Palm trees grow in a strange grid formation. 3othing moves. 4here are nobirds. 4he headstones in the old cemeter are alive with radiation. M shoes registered $unsafe$ on a 5eiger counter. *tanding on the beach, I watched the emerald green of the Pacific fall awa into a vast blac# hole. 4his was the crater left b the h drogen bomb the called $&ravo$. 4he e)!losion !oisoned !eo!le and their environment for hundreds of miles, !erha!s forever.On m return ourne , I sto!!ed at onolulu air!ort and noticed an American maga7ine called omen8s ealth. On the cover was a smiling woman in a bi#ini swimsuit, and the headline9 $'ou, too, can have a bi#ini bod .$ A few da s earlier, in the Marshall Islands, I had interviewed women who had ver different $bi#ini bodies$: each had suffered th roid cancer and other life+threatening cancers.nli#e the smiling woman in the maga7ine, all of them were im!overished9 the victims and guinea !igs of a ra!acious su!er!ower that is toda more dangerous than ever.  I relate this e)!erience as a warning and to interru!t a distraction that has consumed so man of us. 4he founder of modern !ro!aganda, ;dward &erna s, described this !henomenon as $the conscious and intelligent mani!ulation of the habits and o!inions$ of democratic societies. e called it an $invisible government$.ow man !eo!le are aware that a world war has begun% At !resent, it is a war of !ro!aganda, of lies and distraction, but this can change instantaneousl with the first mista#en order, the first missile.In 200-, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of ;uro!e. e !ledged himself to ma#e $the world free from nuclear wea!ons$. Peo!le cheered and some cried. A torrent of !latitudes flowed fromthe media. Obama was subseuentl awarded the 3obel Peace Pri7e.It was all fa#e. e was l ing.4he Obama administration has built more nuclear wea!ons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear deliver s stems, more nuclear factories. 3uclear warhead s!ending alone rose higher under Obama than under an American !resident. 4he cost over thirt ears is more than <1 trillion. A mini nuclear bomb is !lanned. It is #nown as the &61 Model 12. 4here has never been an thing li#e it. 5eneral =ames >artwright, a former ?ice >hairman of the =oint >hiefs of *taff, has said, $5oing smaller @ma#es using this nuclear wea!on more thin#able.$In the last eighteen months, the greatest build+u! of militar forces since orld ar 4wo ++ led b the nited *tates ++ is ta#ing !lace along Bussia8s western frontier. 3ot since itler invaded the *oviet nion have foreign troo!s !resented such ademonstrable threat to Bussia.#raine + once !art of the *oviet nion + has become a >IA theme !ar#. aving orchestrated a cou! in Ciev, ashington effectivel controls a regime that is ne)t door and hostile to Bussia9 a regime rotten with 3a7is, literall . Prominent !arliamentar figures in #raine are the !olitical descendants of the notorious O3 and PA fascists. 4he o!enl !raise itler and call for the !ersecution and e)!ulsion of the Bussian s!ea#ing minorit .4his is seldom news in the est, or it is inverted to su!!ress the truth.In Datvia, Dithuania and ;stonia ++ ne)t door to Bussia + the * militar is de!lo ing combat troo!s, tan#s, heav wea!ons. 4his e)treme !rovocation of the world8s second nuclear !ower is met with silence in the est. hat ma#es the !ros!ect of nuclear war even more dangerous is a !arallel cam!aign against >hina.*eldom a da !asses when >hina is not elevated to the status of a $threat$. According to Admiral arr arris, the * Pacific commander, >hina is $building a great wall of sand in the *outh >hina *ea$.hat he is referring to is >hina building airstri!s in the *!ratl Islands, which are the subect of a dis!ute with the Phili!!ines + a dis!ute without !riorit until ashington !ressured and bribed the government in Manila and the Pentagon launched a !ro!aganda cam!aign called $freedom of navigation$.hat does this reall mean% It means freedom for American warshi!s to !atrol and dominate the coastal waters of >hina. 4r to imagine the American reaction if >hinese warshi!s did the same off the coast of >alifornia.  I made a film called 4he ar 'ou Eon8t *ee, in which I interviewed distinguished ournalists in America and &ritain9 re!orters such as Ean Bather of >&*, Bageh Omar of the &&>, Eavid Bose of the Observer. All of them said that had ournalists and broadcasters done their ob and uestioned the !ro!aganda that *addam ussein !ossessed wea!ons of mass destruction: had the lies of 5eorge . &ush and 4on &lair not been am!lified and echoed b  ournalists, the 200F invasion of Ira might not have ha!!ened, and hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be alive toda .4he !ro!aganda la ing the ground for a war against Bussia andGor >hina is no different in !rinci!le. 4o m #nowledge, no  ournalist in the estern $mainstream$ ++ a Ean Bather euivalent, sa ++as#s wh >hina is building airstri!s in the *outh >hina *ea.4he answer ought to be glaringl obvious. 4he nited *tates is encircling >hina with a networ# of bases, with ballistic missiles, battle grou!s, nuclear +armed bombers.4his lethal arc e)tends from Australia to the islands of the Pacific, the Marianas and the Marshalls and 5uam, to the Phili!!ines, 4hailand, O#inawa, Corea and across ;urasia to Afghanistan and India. America has hung a noose around the nec# of >hina. 4his is not news. *ilence b media: war b media.In 201/, in high secrec , the * and Australia staged the biggest single air+sea militar e)ercise in recent histor , #nown as 4alisman *abre. Its aim was to rehearse an Air+*ea &attle Plan, bloc#ing sea lanes, such as the *traits of Malacca and the Dombo# *traits, that cut off >hina8s access to oil, gas and other vital raw materials from the Middle ;ast and Africa. In the circus #nown as the American !residential cam!aign, Eonald 4rum! is being !resented as a lunatic, a fascist. e is certainl odious: but he is also a media hate figure. 4hat alone should arouse our sce!ticism. 4rum!8s views on migration are grotesue, but no more grotesue than those of Eavid >ameron. It is not 4rum! who is the5reat Ee!orter from the nited *tates, but the 3obel Peace Pri7e winner, &arac# Obama. According to one !rodigious liberal commentator, 4rum! is $unleashing the dar# forces of violence$ in the nited *tates. nleashing them% 4his is the countr where toddlers shoot their mothers and the !olice wage a murderous war against blac# Americans. 4his is the countr that has attac#ed and sought to overthrow more than /0 governments, man of them democracies, and bombed from Asia to the Middle ;ast, causing the deaths and dis!ossession of millions of !eo!le. 3o countr can eual this s stemic record of violence. Most of America8s wars Halmost all of them against defenceless countries have been launched not b Be!ublican !residents but b liberal Eemocrats9 4ruman, Cenned , =ohnson, >arter, >linton, Obama.In 1-J, a series of 3ational *ecurit >ouncil directives described the !aramount aim of American foreign !olic as $a world substantiall made over in @America8s own image$. 4he ideolog was messianic Americanism. e were all Americans. Or else. eretics would be converted, subverted, bribed, smeared or crushed.  Eonald 4rum! is a s m!tom of this, but he is also a maveric#. e sa s the invasion of Ira was a crime: he doesn8t want to go to war with Bussia and >hina. 4he danger to the rest of us is not 4rum!, but illar >linton. *he is no maveric#. *he embodies the resilience and violence of a s stem whose vaunted $e)ce!tionalism$ is totalitarian with an occasional liberal face.  As !residential election da draws near, >linton will be hailed as the first female !resident, regardless of her crimes and lies+ ust as &arac# Obama was lauded as the first blac# !resident and liberals swallowed his nonsense about $ho!e$. And the drool goes on.Eescribed b the 5uardian columnist Owen =ones as $funn , charming, with a coolness that eludes !racticall ever other !olitician$, Obama the other da sent drones to slaughter 1/0 !eo!le in *omalia. e #ills !eo!le usuall on 4uesda s, according to the 3ew 'or# 4imes, when he is handed a list of candidates for death b drone. *o cool. In the 200 !residential cam!aign, illar >linton threatened to $totall obliterate$ Iran with nuclear wea!ons. As *ecretar of *tate under Obama, she !artici!ated in the overthrow of the democratic government of onduras. er contribution to the destruction of Dib a in 2011 was almost gleeful. hen the Dib an leader, >olonel 5addafi, was !ublicl sodomised with a #nife + a murder made !ossible b American logistics + >linton gloated over his death9 $e came, we saw, he died.$One of >linton8s closest allies is Madeleine Albright, the former secretar of *tate, who has attac#ed oung women for not su!!orting $illar $. 4his is the same Madeleine Albright who infamousl celebrated on 4? the death of half a million Irai children as $worth it$. Among >linton8s biggest bac#ers are the Israel lobb and the arms com!anies that fuel the violence in the Middle ;ast. *heand her husband have received a fortune from all *treet. And et, she is about to be ordained the women8s candidate, to see off the evil 4rum!, the official demon. er su!!orters include distinguished feminists9 the li#es of 5loria *teinem in the * and Anne *ummers in Australia. A generation ago, a !ost+modern cult now #nown as $identit !olitics$ sto!!ed man intelligent, liberal+minded !eo!le e)amining the causes and individuals the su!!orted ++ such as the fa#er of Obama and >linton: such as bogus !rogressive movements li#e * ri7a in 5reece, which betra ed the !eo!le of that countr and allied with their enemies.*elf absor!tion, a #ind of $me+ism$, became the new 7eitgeist in !rivileged western societies and signaled the demise of great collective movements against war, social inustice, ineualit , racism and se)ism.4oda , the long slee! ma be over. 4he oung are stirring again. 5raduall . 4he thousands in &ritain who su!!orted =erem >orb n as Dabour leader are !art of this awa#ening + as are those who rallied to su!!ort *enator &ernie *anders.In &ritain last wee#, =erem >orb n8s closest all , his shadow treasurer =ohn McEonnell, committed a Dabour government to!a off the debts of !iratical ban#s and, in effect, to continue so+called austerit . In the *, &ernie *anders has !romised to su!!ort >linton if or when she8s nominated. e, too, has voted for America8s useof violence against countries when he thin#s it8s $right$. e sa s Obama has done $a great ob$.
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