John Pilger’s new film The War You Don’t opens on Tuesday with screenings at independent cinemas around the UK followed by a live question and answer with Pilger.
The film is described as “is a powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of ’embedded’ and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq. As weapons and propaganda become even more sophisticated, the nature of war is developing into an ‘electronic battlefield’ in which journalists play a key role, and civilians are the victims.”
Writing in the Guardian today, Pilger describes how several high-profile journalists quoted in the film now regret the role they played in reporting the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its aftermath.
Observer journalist David Rose, who has already admitted the extent to which he and other journalists were manipulated by Western intelligence in the run-up to the war, is among those quoted in the film Pilger reports.
Rose: “I can make no excuses . . . What happened [in Iraq] was a crime, a crime on a very large scale…”
Pilger: “Does that make journalists accomplices?”
Rose: “Yes . . . unwitting perhaps, but yes.”
Interviewed in Press Gazette in 2007, Rose revealed that he had considered quitting journalism because he was so dismayed at the way he had been misled by US intelligence sources in the run-up to the war in Iraq.
He said at the time: “I badly regret writing stories that have turned out to be completely untrue in the run-up to the Iraq war.”
Here is the trailer for The War You Don’t See: