Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, April 01, 2004

"Down with the occupation, down with America," they shouted as they hurled rocks at the bodies, one of them headless, that dangled from the bridge over the Euphrates River, an AFP correspondent witnessed.

These people are the 'legitimate' voice of Iraq, according to Pilger.

TONY JONES: On that score, let me ask you this - is it legitimate for the resistance then to target young Iraqi men queuing up to join the Iraqi police, which you describe as a sort of Gestapo?

JOHN PILGER: You know, all resistances have said if you're going to collaborate, then you are a target.

Well, of course, the killing of innocent people can't be condoned under any circumstances.

But in all resistances, it happens.

TONY JONES: It sounds, however, like you were saying these young men, about to join this Gestapo-like police force, are not innocent?

JOHN PILGER: Well, they're not...

It's nice that you call them 'these young men'.

They're among some of the most vicious creatures.

Forgive me if I seem to take this media poseur too seriously, but I thought you would enjoy this neat Pilger logic:

JOHN PILGER: No, I'm not saying they're legitimate targets but, to a resistance, they are legitimate targets, yes.

TONY JONES: But the resistance is a resistance you say we should be backing?

JOHN PILGER: Ah, no, c'mon.

I'm not saying we should be backing.

I'm saying that we depend. If the rest of us watching this, those who worry about what a rampant United States is going to do next - and we should all be worried about that. The evidence is there, it's all clear - if we're concerned about that, we ask ourselves, and millions of people all over the world have asked themselves - how can that be stopped?

What he means is this: anyone who opposes the US is on his side.

Just as the left used to say about Joe Stalin.

For Pilger, there's always a step further down the slope towards outright lunacy. Here's his best effort in the Tony Jones interview:

TONY JONES: But you're saying, effectively, that the rest of the world now must depend upon a resistance which is prepared to send a truck bomb into the United Nations, which is prepared to bomb civilians who are celebrating on their holiest day in holy cities like Karbala, Shiites, which is prepared to condone, indeed to promote, the whole concept of a civil war in Iraq.

Why do you appear to be suggesting that that resistance is a good thing?

JOHN PILGER: But you missed out the source of all this violence.

But the source of all this is the invasion ...[which killed "up to 55,000 people" directly and] between 500 and 1,000 Iraqis are killed indirectly as a result of the American presence every week

Don't you love that? It's legitimate to 'resist' the liberation forces by murdering thousands of civilians because there are thousands of civilians being murdered (by you) and that's all their fault.

It sounds like a fun job that Pilger has. I wonder if he gets paid for it too.