....LMB: "Better Living Through Chemical Warfare"....

April 16, 2002

The real news story that bothered me today was this one.

The short version is that the US government is trying to get Jose Bustani, head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fired from his job. The OPCW is one of the most successful disarmament agencies in history and has done great things under Bustani's leadership. In the past five years he has overseen the destruction of 2 million chemical weapons, 2/3 of the world's chemical weapons facilities (I admit, that number seems a little fishy. Surely there are secret facilities that can't have factored into that statistic), and increased the number of countries who prohibit chemical weapons from 87 to 145. Sounds like the man is doing some great work. So why does the US want to get him fired?

Poor Bustani does not understand politics, or has chosen not to let political considerations influence his judgement. For example, made the ludicrous effort to send weapons inspectors to facilities in the US. While this is perfectly rational and egalitarian, the US government has shown time and time again that it feels that it is above the law and will not tolerate attempts to hold it accountable to international rules (for example, just last week the International Criminal Court came into being. The US opposed it because the Court would not make US citizens immune from its prosecution).

But Bustani is not under fire for his "arrogance" in expecting the US to live up to its part of the treaty agreements. You see, Bustani's agency is so well-known for its impartiality and fairness, it looks as though Iraq may agree to allow OPCW inspectors into the country to search for chemical weapons. If the inspectors can verify that there are no chemical weapons in Iraq, the US rationale for invading Iraq crumbles. For some reason, George W. seems hell-bent on invading Iraq and has trotted out the flimsy excuse that Iraq has "weapons of mass destruction." If Bustani and the OPCW can disprove that excuse, George W's evil schemes are foiled.

Of course, that's not how the US tells it. They accuse Bustani of a poor "management style," "financial mismanagement," "bias," and "ill-considered initiatives." The US seems to be the only country that feels this way though. The US asked Brazil to recall him; they refused. They proposed a vote of no confidence; they lost. In May 2000, Bustani was elected unanimously to continue his work of the OPCW. And yet the US may get its wish just the same.

Apparently, the US holds many of the purse-strings for the OPCW, and will force another vote on Bustani this coming Sunday. The US seems poised to demand that Bustani resign or it will allow the OPCW to wither and die. Sad. Sounds like Bustani was doing a good job of keeping Sarin, VX and mustard gases out of my lungs. The US makes my lungs a little more vulnerable, and some months from now will probably turn Iraq into an even smokier, more desolate hell-slum of doom. Granted, they might oust Saddam Hussein, but there's no guarantee that the new boss'll be any better than the old boss.

This seems like a good time to mention a little historical footnote. Remember back in 1998 when Saddam Hussein accused the UN weapons inspectors of being spies? And then the US used his expulsion of the inspectors as a pretense to bomb Iraq some more? Well guess what! It turns out that the weapons inspectors were spying on Iraq! (check the old article here. And the final icing on the cake in that story is that American journalists found out that the inspectors were spying on Iraq in October of 1998, but chose not to publish that information until January of 1999. If they'd printed the story when they first learned of it, the US might not have bombed Iraq again, and many people might not have died.

Posted by Jake at 11:22 PM

François: Achei esta media alternativa. Talvez o Bustani se interesse. MTereza

Posted by: f.joffily at November 4, 2002 04:57 PM

François: Achei esta media alternativa. Talvez o Bustani se interesse. MTereza

Posted by: f.joffily at November 4, 2002 04:57 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

Both projects focus on our media-marinated world, political lies, corporate tyranny, and the folks fighting the good fight against these monsters.

All brought to you by Jake Sexton, The Most Beloved Man in America ®.

contact: jake+at+lyingmediabastards.com

Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
More Media News

Jake Jake Jake


Fake "Ha-Ha" News




"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into."

-Jonathan Swift

More Quotes

Media News


Obligatory Blog Links



Several years of mild sleep deprivation and only one hallucination? That's pretty good.

More Snapshots

Columnists Of Note



Sonic Resistance


Dead Trees


Heavy Rotation



Squiggles of Insight



Design and Layout by Mark McLaughlin and Quang Tang
LMB Logo by Quang Tang

Alt "One Hell of a Leader" logo largely stolen from Obey Giant.
All other material by Jake Sexton (unless otherwise cited)

hosted by nice dream