“POLISH DEATH CAMPS” June 3, 2012Posted by wmmbb in Duckspeak, European Politics, US Politics.
The striking thing to me was the description of President Obama’s words as having “misspoke”, evoking Richard Nixon. Now they have cleaned up their act and called it a “misstatement”.
The Polish Government, and Poles generally, it seems are in no mood to accept PR. Public Relations is what passes for journalism in the mainstream, corporate media, especially television, but not excluding the “embedded” print journalists with access, who adopt the official line and the official attitudes.
To hear a demonstration, listen to Jo Becker, who broke the story of the drone murders on the To the Point program, via Glenn Greenwald. She adopts the tone and attitude of an insider regarding the “hits”, or whatever she calls them.
It is a remarkable story. Karski, a Catholic, smuggled himself into both the Warsaw Ghetto and one of the concentration camps, which allowed him to see what was happening first hand.
Karski then took that information to then-president Franklin D Roosevelt and other Allied leaders, pleading for the world to act. He later became a professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He died in 2000.
In saying a few words about each honouree, Obama described the concentration camps as “Polish death camps“. Geographically, he was correct; six of Adolf Hitler’s concentration camps were located in Poland.
Still, to suggest that somehow the Poles were involved in operating the camps was a dreadful error.
The US president’s remarks have dominated the news in Poland. Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister, summed up the national feeling: “We always react in the same way when ignorance, lack of knowledge, bad intentions lead to such a distortion of history, so painful for us here in Poland, in a country which suffered like no other in Europe during World War II.”
Barack Obama didn’t write the words that caused so much offense. He was simply repeating remarks someone had prepared.
I suppose that it could be suggested that the President was set up by incompetent staffers, but the Lord of the Globe, otherwise the elected public official as the Head of State, does not do humility with the ease that he reportedly dispenses death to the unpeople of the planet. Divinity is never enough; it has to be accompanied by infallibility – which is perfectly logical within it own terms.
So in order to get the official response, before the story is consumed by the news cycle and becomes a buried in the maelström of important matters and diversions, watch the television reports:
Then to admit errors is a sign of weakness. All the toughness that went into having people killed would be lost.
The state of affairs is that propaganda is winning hands down, even when a slight blip occurs, and it is managing to obscure the critical questions of mass murder, that shades the long-established obscenities of the Assad regimes in Syria. The official media plays the role it has been assigned. John Pilger goes into detail about various incidents of “The War You do not See”:
Scott Horton interviews Marcy Wheeler of Empty Wheel on the counting of the kill list.
- Blair Hickman & Cora Currier, The best watchdog journalism on Obama’s national security policies. (Truthdig)
- Paul Woodward, Journalism in the service of killing. (War in Context)
- Clive Stafford Smith, We are sleepwalking into the Drone Age, unaware of the consequences. (The Guardian, via War in Context)
- John Grant, A Killer in the White House (This Can’t be Happening)
- White House apologizes for President Obama’s reference to ‘Polish death camp’ (boston.com)
- Obama ‘misspoke’ on ‘Polish death camp,’ spokesman says (politico.com)
- White House: Obama regrets calling Nazi death camps in Poland, Polish – CBS News (cbsnews.com)
- ‘Polish Death Camp’ Remark Lands Obama In Hot Water (huffingtonpost.com)
- Barack Obama has insulted 38 million Poles with his crass and ignorant ‘Polish death camp’ remark (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- The Bogus Uproar Over Obama’s “Polish Death Camp” Gaffe (motherjones.com)
- Obama letter says he regrets ‘Polish death camp’ gaffe (thehill.com)
- White house apologizes for Obama’s Holocaust gaffe (timesofisrael.com)
- Poland still miffed with Obama (cbsnews.com)
- JIM TREACHER: Obama doesn’t have to write “I will not call them Polish death camps” on the bl… (pjmedia.com)
- Poles Demand Obama Apology For “Polish Death Camps” Comment (buzzfeed.com)
- Obama ‘Polish Death Camp’ oops moment (blogs.jta.org)
- Every Pole Must Protest Until Obama Apologizes (Dziennik, Poland) (themoderatevoice.com)