RT’s Abby Martin Accuses Israel of War Crimes for Targetting Journalists

Abby Martin of Russia Today’s Brainwash Update pointed out that Israel’s targeting of Gaza media centers, which killed journalists and endangered employees of many news organizations, was a war crime. (She was hardly alone in this). She was the victim of a smear attempt by the Israel lobby, which accused her of support for terrorism (because she dared call illegal Israeli actions illegal). If more journalists stood up to such smear campaigns with her feistiness, the world would be a better place. Watch her let her detractors have it:

(Ideologues don’t bother writing in to complain about Vladimir Putin’s restrictions on journalists. That would just be a diversionary tactic, and besides, he hasn’t had jet planes bomb Moscow television buildings. Go back to kindergarten if you don’t know that two wrongs don’t make a right).

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35 Responses

  1. Wow. Thanks for this. I love to hear strong voices speaking up for truth, human rights, and justice. This is a model for what media world-wide, beginning with the US, needs to be doing.

    • US is as guilty as Israel. Check out these two news links:

      1. Why the US bombed al-Jazeera’s TV station in Kabul?

      2. US Bombs Al-Jazeera Baghdad Office – Kills Cameraman

      Looks like Israel is just following its master’s footsteps.

  2. WOW! I’ll say it a again. Wow! Hearing this young lady speak gives me hope that there are those who are willing to fight back against thugs and tyrants like Netanyahu.

    Thanks for the heads up Prof Cole.

    I am posting Ms. Martin’s facebook page should anyone want to encourage her to keep up the good fight.

    link to facebook.com

  3. Off the direct topic, but involves journalism, fundamentalism, and propaganda.

    As the environmentalist and political scientist David W. Orr points out in “Down to the Wire” novel systems of governance, economics and law are required to deal with climate. In other words, intellectually serious dialogue is needed.

    The ideologue Glen Beck has a new novel out “Agenda 21”. His work is totally intellectually bankrupt. It is pure propaganda. Agenda 21 was a non binding UN proposal in 1994 to address the climate and poverty.

    This incendiary book will likely show up over the next few months. US is at risk!! We will all be in chains!!

    Here is part of the back story from a woman who edited the novel before it was purchased by Glenn Beck and modified and added his name as author.

    link to salon.com

    I just went to amazon.com and found several books. Just go the web page and without even going to books, just search for Agenda 21.

  4. 1) I believe that should go into the OED as an example of “smackdown.”

    2) RT is now my favorite channel.

    3) Abby Martin is hot.

  5. Regarding the objectivity of RT, there may not be a single source that can objectively cover all stories. The US media was supposed to be capable, but has failed us all. If we need to watch RT for info the US media won’t give, then that is a reflection on them, and not on the agency that sponsors RT.

  6. “Ideologues don’t bother writing in to complain about Vladimir Putin’s restrictions on journalists.”

    Assume that Putin did direct Abby Martin to air this story, the truth is still the truth, and in doing so Putin would be exposing himself to increased criticism, not an unhealthy risk to take.

    OTQ: Why are all the Russian girls so hot?

    • Assume that Putin did direct Abby Martin to air this story, the truth is still the truth

      People get confused about the nature of propaganda – they think it consists entirely of lies. There are three kinds of propaganda: white, grey, and black. Black propaganda is the deliberate spreading of lies. White propaganda is the reporting of truthful stories that advance one’s end. Grey is a combination of the two, also known as “misinformation” or simply “spin.

      It’s not as though propagandists flee from the truth when it helps them. They have no philosophical aversion to the truth. The flip side of that is that telling the truth – or, more commonly, some narrowly-defined aspect of the truth – can still be propagandistic.

      • A lie is any statement that obscures the whole truth. We concur.

        My point is that in this instance, RT is not obscuring anything even at the risk of comparison to the lack of comparison with Russia’s own excesses.

        • Right you are.

          In this particular instance, James, the facts are so unequivocally stacked in favor of RT and against the Israeli government that there really is no plausible “other side of the story” to obscure.

  7. No, Putin doesn’t bomb Moscow television buildings, just Moscow apartment blocks, and then kills off anybody who talks about it (Litvinenko) or does any substantive reporting on it (Politkovskaya). Putin is the embodiment of the banality of evil, A dutiful Soviet, convinced he’s working for the glory of Russia, as it sinks into being a failed state, a lawless third world country.

    Unprovable conspiracies and snark aside, he’s directly responsible for ordering airstrikes and tank assaults on civilian centers in Chechnya which killed thousands of Chechens and Russians indiscriminately.

    I understand the cognitive dissonance any journalist must live with to keep working for RT. I don’t need to justify Putin’s “not that evil-ness” to believe her. Her self-righteous posturing on “facts” is off-putting, bordering on Oreilly/Colbert-esque self caricature.

    Of course the Jew hating ex-Soviet media machine allows criticism of Israel. Ironic that so many of the hard line right wing kooks in Israel are supported by Russian Jewish emigres/exiles.

    Thanks for the blog, Juan! I Couldn’t resist ranting. Russia is puzzling and depressing. And glorious, which is all the more depressing in these times.

    • I understand the cognitive dissonance any journalist must live with to keep working for RT.

      I’d love to find out the real reason why Alyona quit.

  8. Wikipedia on “Time inmemorial”:
    “Reviewing the book for the November 28, 1985 issue of The New York Times, Israeli historian Yehoshua Porath described the book as a “sheer forgery,” stating that “[i]n Israel, at least, the book was almost universally dismissed as sheer rubbish except maybe as a propaganda weapon.”[16] In 1986, Porath repeated his views in The New York Review of Books, and published a negative review that cites many inaccuracies.[14]”

  9. America continues to isolate and narrow its own vision psychologically and informationally by major media intent combined with the acquiesence of the American public. Much of the rest of the world wonders at this trend in amazement but does not allow itself to be similarly held back. American media condescension toward RT and Al Jazeera, and its supeficial reoprting on Asian opinion has not prevented those organs from ascending as often more reliable conduits of fact. The net effect is contributing to America’s overall loss of reputation and influence. Americans simply comprehend less and less about what is more and more important. America does have by far the best propaganda on planet Earth, but it is aimed almost entirely at its own population.

    • I agree with your analysis, James. The American media, including NPR, reminds me of a parody of Pravda, prior to fall of the Soviet Union. We made fun of them, but I imagine the rest of the world is now doing the same regarding our resulting ignorance. You can also make a parallel to our self delusions, to that of American right wing in the presidential election due to Fox Noise.

  10. You have to admit Perfesser, for an RT presenter to open up her segment with a complaint about some other network being a tool of a government is a little rich.

    I hope you haven’t forgotten their rather disgraceful campaign of misinformation about the Libya mission.

  11. Israel’s answer to RT news … Three journalists killed in two separate airstrikes in Gaza

    Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama, cameramen for the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV, were covering events in the Al-Shifaa neighborhood of central Gaza when a missile hit their vehicle at around 6 p.m., according to a statement by Al-Aqsa TV. The statement said the journalists’ car was marked “TV” with neon-colored letters. The journalists suffered severe burns and died in a nearby hospital.

    A third journalist was killed when his car was hit by a missile, The Associated Press reported citing a Gaza official. Initial local news reports identified the journalist as Mohamed Abu Aisha, director of the private Al-Quds Educational Radio. The reports said his vehicle was hit while he was driving in the Deir al-Balah neighborhood, but did not say whether Abu Aisha was reporting at the time.

    • She’d be pleased to hear that, I’m sure.

      From the opening sequence production to her haircut to the way her producers make sure to open up with some crowd pleasers (“Hello, Cleveland, are you ready to rock?!?” = “You’re too smart to believe what the American media tells you, right?”), it is quite clear that the purpose of this program is to appeal to the American and Western European progressive community by coming across as one of their own.

      • Yeah, we are far gone into the age of creative fabrication of convenient myths and fables, where “sex sells” just about anything. Abby Martin ain’t exactly Axis Sally or one of the many Tokyo Roses (nor in my estimation does she play the Righteous Wronged all that well, with inartful theatrics and even fluffing her lines at points — she is no Rachel Maddow). But she has her opposite numbers in many Ministries of Truth, including Voice of America as you note, and of course FOXy Blondes, and NPR/PBS where the subtlety of the purveying of the Reactionary Notion of What’s To Be Believed has risen, along with the “qualities” of the work product of orifices like “PolitiFacts,” to a truly Squealer level of competence. (For those for whom the Squealer reference is obscure, a quick review at link to sparknotes.com)

        As you point out below, Joe, there’s a huge, vastly profitable disinformation and DYSinformation industry out there, both NGO and in mufti and right up front like the “Pentagon spokespeople” and various saps that become hapless stooges who’ve mastered the stay-on-message two-step, like Ron Ziegler or that Gibbs fella, working tirelessly to make the rest of us more ignorant and malleable and enervated and Pissed-Off-With-The-Enemy-Du-Jour-Ou-Moment. And not a tiny bit of assurance that all that effort is doing a goddam thing to make the lot of the common person a tiny whit better, and pretty strong assurances that it’s doing just the opposite.

        And what is with all the nominally rational, uniformly male commenters here going on and on about how “hot” the RT spokesbroad is? Does Truth always come out of the mouths of “babes?” Faux aggressiveness is not a becoming trait all the time, especially when if you listen carefully, you hear echoes of Glenn Beck and that horse’s giant ass, Limbaugh — says the Hot Babe, “this is an opinion show, and I am entitled to my opinion!!!!” (Or at least entitled, with the backing of one of many propaganda apparati, to spew her lines effectively via the kind of media exposure the lady enjoys.)

        Our only protection against being taught or suckered into the belief that “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others,” is a critical faculty honed to an Ockham’s-Razor edge by anger at being suckered and lied to and screwed over again and again by the Mephistophelian Machiavellists among us. [Note the tragic horror of Mephistopheles’ existence, written out briefly here: link to en.wikipedia.org

  12. When I do not want to know what is happening in the world, I listen to Fox, CNN & MSNBC.

    When I want to know what is happening in the world I tune to RT, BBC & Al Jazeera

    Well done Abby Martin.

    • CNN is vastly superior to RT, i do like al jazeera but it too is a weaker channel.

  13. 1. Gentlemen, Ms. Martin is Americanski, I believe.

    2. Is it Jew-hating to point out that what Israel is doing is a violation of international law and conventions? I think not.

    Prof. Cole, thanks, as always.

    • Yes, she is an American working as the presenter for the Russian-sponsored “Russia Today.” It’s the Kremlin’s overseas operation, similar to Voice of America or Radio Free Europe. The use of local talent is common.

  14. “In 10 years there will be no more Israel.” -Henry Kissinger

    Easy to see why!

  15. That gal has some spunk! I like her! What an articulate, attractive spokesperson for the progressive cause.

  16. “Ideologues don’t bother writing in to complain about Vladimir Putin’s restrictions on journalists. That would just be a diversionary tactic, and besides, he hasn’t had jet planes bomb Moscow television buildings. Go back to kindergarten if you don’t know that two wrongs don’t make a right”

    Juan Cole, with respect non idealogues can fairly attack Russia TV and Abby Martin for being propogandists who implicitly support suppression of freedom of the press by President Putin. You can do this while also holding Israel to Israeli values and Israeli law.

    Who has a better record on journalistic freedom and rule of law? Israel or Russia? Is this really controversial?

    I don’t know all the details of the attack on the Gazan media center. Why did the IDF do it? Was it hit as part of fire support for IDF ground forces? Was it hit because of a nearby Hamas fire base? It seems to have been unwise to hit the Gazan media center. Russia is a close Israeli ally with which Israel conducts a lot of joint military training, joint military R&D and bilateral weapons procurement. This is in addition to very extensive trade and investment between Israel and Russia. There are people in Russia TV who are favorably disposed towards Israel.


    Why does Abby Martin have so many supporters? If she is right on one issue that doesn’t justify her ammoral and immoral stances on other important issues?

    Israel practices a form of Apartheid. So do many countries all over the world, including many Arab countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

    Intentionally killing journalists is a war crime. Do we have proof that this happened? How do we know that the specific IDF fire support assets that attacked the Gaza media centers knew that they were firing at journalists? The Fog of War is very deep.

    Shahid Shahid, could you elaborate on the attack in Kabul?

    The attack in Baghdad that you mentioned was tactical fire support aimed at Saddam’s signals during a major conventional battle.

    Israel’s record with respect to journalists is worse than the NATO record.

  17. The most blatant example of the killing of a foreign journalist by the Israel Defense Forces was the demise of the Briton James Miller, 35 years of age who was filming a documentary with Saira Shah, on life in the Gaza region.

    He was shot in the neck as the documentary was being filmed and the fatal shot from can be heard as part of the documentary. Miller had planned to complete it by interviewing Israelis but his death prevented the Israeli side from being recorded. His award-winning documentary was published as a work in progress under the title “Death in Gaza”. Gazans hung posters of Miller throughout Gaza as a martyr.

    No one was held accountable in his death.

  18. More than a few countries inhibit the free and fair gathering of the news. As Americans, we neither condone nor forget that fact, but what is at stake here is the gathering and dissemination of news on our own outlets.

    Israel routinely interferes with open news gathering, both there, and here in the US! It’s the last thing that we should be discussing.

    They claim innocence in bombing the journalists’ hotel. Typical Israeli tactic. They accidentally killed UN observers when invading Lebanon, they accidentally kill other news people, they accidentally tried to sink the Liberty. Israel has a lot of similar accidents, but these accidents all seem to go in one direction, and Israel tries to operate under the belief that no one notices.

    AM’s interview with Selzy demonstrated this point. During his tirade about how Israel was only trying to disable the antenna Hamas uses to spread propaganda, and no one was hurt, RT showed side by side clips of Selzy lying and video of the damaged building.

    Now, ok, Israel has propaganda, Russia has propaganda, what’s the difference? It’s this. Israel takes our money, interferes with our Congress, intimidates our professors and news-people, and it does so with self-righteous indignation when called on the obvious hypocrisy. Israel has no shame about destroying another people’s livelihood, and claims righteous privilege to destroy their communications, as if Israel has the moral right to tell other people what to think and feel, and respond visciously when they don’t obey.

    The difference is that Israel is a nation wholly dependent on the US, and to maintain the lifeline, without which Israel would perish through the weight of it’s own hubris, Israel shows no shame about destroying our tradition of free speech.

    Israel’s behavior towards journalists, the US, Gazans, Iranians, and anyone who does worship them is amoral.

    Their national symbol should be the lamprey eel.

  19. Israel’s behavior towards journalists, the US, Gazans, Iranians, and anyone who does not worship them is amoral.

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