Smokin' Mirrors: Hollywood in LA LA Land
In a joint statement made in an advertisement in the LA Times this
week, some of Hollywood's most powerful actors, producers, directors,
studio bosses and media moguls condemned terrorism. Why don't we call
terrorism what it is - the new red menace - and then we'll all know
we're back in the throws of McCarthyism and be done.
The ad stated:
"We the undersigned are pained and devastated by
the civilian casualties in Israel and Lebanon caused by terrorist
actions initiated by terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and
Hamas...If we do not succeed in stopping terrorism around the world,
chaos will rule and innocent people will continue to die.
"We need to support democratic societies and stop terrorism at all costs."
Kidman, who has been used by co-signatory Rupert Murdoch to publicise
the ad in almost every one of his newspapers and broadcasting outlets,
has not only signed the statement, but has also agreed to an official
visit of Israel. Murdoch's Australian newspaper, The Daily Telegraph,
reported that Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres had persuaded
Kidman to visit Israel when they met at a conference held by Murdoch in
California last month. "We will be happy to have you," the paper quotes
Peres telling Kidman. "Maybe you can be tourism ambassador to the
The 'conference', was attended by some of the
world's most powerful - and wealthy - figures in the world today,
including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, rock star and 'activist'
Bono, Bill Clinton (who waived his normal US$100,000 speaking fee), and
was anything but your average team building exercise, reported the LA
Times. Opened by Murdoch, followed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the
mic was then turned over to Blair. Included on the program was Peres,
appearing on a panel called "Islam and the West" (some would say that's
just asking for trouble right then and there) and News Corp.'s Roger
Ailes, who built Fox News, introduced four high-ranking U.S. military
officers who have served in Iraq.
"It's not your standard cookie-cutter management conference where
you only talk about business," News Corp. spokesman Andrew Butcher told
the LA Times. "The businesses we run give our people unique social
responsibilities in their communities. The retreat is meant to provoke
and broaden their perspectives so they return home more curious and
informed about the world."
"What's in it for the politicians?" asked the LA Times. "That's
simple, Jamieson said: "Media influence and the potential for political
One has to wonder at this point as to whether 'our Nic', as
Australians love to call her, is just as much a national embarrassment
at this time as her old mate Rupert.
Another signatory, Haim Saban, is a billionaire media mogul and
Democrat supporter. He donated so much money to the Dems, they awarded
him a position as Trade Advisor during the Clinton administration. He
also used to own half of Fox Family Worldwide, so no wonder he and
Rupert know each other so well. In 2005, Saban was number 78 on the
list of the America's top 400 richest people. Forbes wrote:
"Self-described "cartoon schlepper" made first fortune with popular
kids show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Scored again with Fox Family
Network, joint venture with Rupert Murdoch's Fox television: netted
$1.7 billion after sale to Disney in 2001. Latest coup: bought big
stake in German broadcaster from bankrupt Kirch Media; will triple
investment if $5.2 billion sale to German publisher Axel Springer is
approved. Now making a run at Bezeq, Israeli telecom."
Israeli Telecom. The plot thickens...
I doubt very much whether any one of those signatories give a flying
cahoot about anyone who died in Lebanon, if they did, they would have
put out a full page ad four weeks ago calling on an immediate Israeli
ceasefire. They undoubtedly know that the real cause of the conflict is
not rooted in the last month of turmoil, nor is it rooted in the
kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers. It has far deeper roots than that,
and UK Minister George Galloway told Rupert Murdoch's Sky News In
England just exactly what he thought of their brand of propaganda:
"Isreal has been invading and occupying Lebanon all of my 24 year
old daughter's life. Hezbollah are a part of the Lebanese National
Resistance, who are trying to drive, who have successfully driven, most
Israelis from their land in 2000, Israel from the rest of their land,
and to get back those Lebanese prisoners who were kidnapped, by Israel,
under the terms of their illegal occupation of Lebanon. It's Israel
that's invading Lebanon. It's Israel that's attacking Lebanon, not
Lebanon that's attacking Israel. You've just been carrying a report of
ten Israeli soldiers, on the border, getting ready to invade Lebanon,
and you ask us to mourn that operation as if it were some kind of war
crime. Israel is invading Lebanon, and has killed thirty times more
Lebanese civilians than have died in Israel. So it's you who should be
justifying the evident bias which is written on every line on your
face, and is in every nuance in your voice, and is loaded in every
question that you ask."
For more on the George Galloway interview, go to this site.
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A report released in August by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) bombing of Lebanon has pointed out what anyone with any common sense can conclude: that Israel is in violation of international humanitarian law. It is, in its most basic form, strong evidence for the United Nations to pick up the pace in calling for an immediate ceasefire.
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