Monday, August 22, 2011

Gaddafist Propaganda Central: Ottawa, Ontario.

The Centre for Research on Globalization is - how to put it delicately- a Canadian clubhouse for crackpots of the anti-war, 911-truth, anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist variety. The Centre would not normally be worth noticing except for a laugh. But, today is not a normal day.

Run by the loopy Michel Chossudovsky, economics professor emeritus at the University of Ottawa, the Centre has for some long while adopted what could be called a friendly demeanour towards the Libyan regime of Moammar Gaddafi. The Centre also enjoys an intimate and wildly successful relationship with one of the world's pre-eminent cable "news" networks, and it has put that relationship to the purpose of disseminating undiluted Gaddafist propaganda. As I write this, it's all crashing down around their heads.

The news network is Russia Today, a massively-subsidized Moscow propaganda agency with about 2,000 staff (almost twice as big as Fox News) and roughly 200 million viewers worldwide. Two years ago, Nielsen Media Research found that more Washington, D.C., area viewers were watching prime-time news on RT than on any other foreign broadcaster. Russia Today is one of the top 10 news channels on Youtube, and rarely does Google's news page not prominently feature an RT version of the day's big news stories.

One of the "journalists" the Centre for Research on Globalization relies upon in Tripoli is Thierry Meyssan, a French national who claims French president Nicholas Sarkozy is a CIA agent of some kind, and 911 was an inside job. There is also the Centre's increasingly frantic and incoherent research associate, Mahdi Nazemroaya, a "Canadian-based sociologist and scholar." Both appear regularly in Centre dispatches and on RT broadcasts, presented to viewers as journalists and political analysts.

Here is Meyssan, only today, whose dispatch to Centre for Research and Globalization explains the dizzying events in Tripoli on Sunday as having begun when "a NATO warship sailed up and anchored just off the shore at Tripoli, delivering heavy weapons and debarking Al Qaeda jihadi forces, which were led by NATO officers." No massive popular uprising, no victorious rebels flooding into Tripoli greeted by throngs of well-wishers among the city's populace. It was a NATO - Al Qaida job.

Meyssan and Nazemroaya are now in very deep trouble. Here is Nazemroaya today, telling RT all about how he's now "trapped" in his hotel, that rebels are firing at the hotel and so on. Actually he's filing directly from the Libyan government's propaganda office, purporting to expose the ravages of alleged looters who have taken the Gaddafists' files on "journalists." No doubt those files will show which "journalists" could be counted on to serve as mouthpieces for the regime, and, I fully expect, which so-called journalists were on the regime's payroll to broadcast regime propaganda. Nazemroaya is clearly terrified. He is begging for some kind of "airlift" out of Tripoli. One shouldn't wonder why.

UPDATE: About those files, The Telegraph reports on their contents, which include plans for a multi-million-dollar slush fund to finance "anti-war" influence peddling in Britain.

By whatever means Centre boss Chossudovksy finances his outrageous services to police states, I do hope for the distressed and hysterical Nazemroaya's sake that the nutty professor finds some method to get him safely out of Libya and back to Canada. I also hope that we're not all going to have our intelligence insulted by some revisionist lunacy of this variety, imploring us to accept Nazemroaya as a "journalist" to whose aid we must rally.

[UPDATE: It's already happening. UPDATE 2: His mum is understandably worried, and she's right that Foreign Affairs should really do something. UPDATE FINAL: The Red Cross has now intervened, the fuss is over, Mahdi Nazemroaya is, most hilariously, at sea, in an IOM boat - after earlier ridiculing reports about the IOM's presence in Tripoli as propaganda - and here's just one more tiny little detail poor young Mahdi failed to mention in his hyperventilated "reports" from the Hotel Rixos: All of the 36 journalists marooned at the hotel were being held "essentially against their will, in what we all considered — all along — to be a hostage situation," reports Matthew Chance of CNN. Perhaps Chance is really one of the MI6 goons masquerading as CNN reporters that we've been hearing about? Note well: the hostage-takers were Gaddafists, not the scary rebels Mahdi was on about.]

If you think I'm being mean to Chossudovsky, here he is on RT, mouthing Baathist propaganda on behalf of the regime in Damascus. What is the Syrian revolt all about? Is it not a popular uprising against a despotism run by the mass-murderer Bashar al-Assad? Not at all, Professor Chossudovsky explains: "What we have are Islamists, gunmen, Salafi as well as Muslim Brotherhood gunmen, snipers shooting at civilians as well as police. . .these are death squads which are supported directly by Turkey and Israel. It is an intelligence operation. They come in, they cross the border, they go into communities. . they go into the Christian communities, they intimidate people, they shoot on them, they kill them. . ."

How does one deal with "experts" and "journalists" like this? Here is the way the Libyan rebel front's Guma El Gamaty deals with the dizzy presenter Phil Rees, who had the audacity to expect him to debate with the Mao-admiring goofball Sukant Chandan, a Chossudovsky favorite who has also, curiously, "reported" from Tripoli in ways that pleased the Gaddafists. While even Chandan describes himself as a ten-year veteran "Garage and Jungle/Drum&Bass MC with the DubNeg crew" in London, Rees describes him on air, as "a political analayst and writer for the respected socialist magazine, The Monthly Review." Good for El Gamaty for having none of that rubbish.

For a real journalist, reporting from Tripoli, here's Alex Crawford:


Blogger said...

< sarcasm > Terry, c'mon, how bad can it be, really? If, as the Centre claims, the MSM are willing dupes, and the firing isn't from the rebels, all MUST be well in Libya, therefore independent reporters are safe, no? < /sarcasm >

Seriously, good catch, good foil unhatting.

9:18 AM  
Blogger said...

Update - he's been freed with the rest of the journos held at the Rixos hotel. Funny, the statement from the Centre doesn't mention it was LIBYAN forces holding reporters hostage at the hotel - but it's all NATO's fault, right?

9:22 AM  
Blogger dmurrell said...

I was a student of Professor Chossudovsy way back when in 1972, and did some research assistantship work for him and a senior professor around that time, when I was a third year student at U of O. Back then, he taught and researched orthodox economics.

But he went on a one-year sabattical, in 1974-75 I believe, in Chile, and witnessed the abortive Chilean revolution, and the overthrow of Salvador Allende. I was doing my Master's level gradual work when he returned. WHen he left, he was a fairly droll, happy 24-year-old prof. When he came back, he was wide eyed in shock. It was like Charleton Heston, as Moses, after meeting God in the burning bush, in the movie "The Ten Commandments".

So after 1975, Chossudovsky did Marxist internationalist economics, and did no more orthodox research, as he had done when I was his assistant. I take no position on Allende, but there was a sharp change in MC's writing.

But after 1996 or so, Chossudovsky when bonkers. and began to do conspiratorical writing. One of his current theses is that the American military creates the deadly earthquakes of the world, and other such rubbish.

Jonathan Kay in his wonderful book, "Among the Truthers", mentions that often the leading crackpots were just average researchers before their transofrmation. With Mr. Chossudovsky, this is truly the case.

Btw: good research Terry on this. As well as crackpot journalism with Mr. MC, there is an ugly strand of anti-Western extremism, as you so well describe in your piece.

2:13 PM  

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