John Pilger is a noted Australian journalist. In a documentary ten years ago, he skewered scandal-ridden British MP Alan Clark, as is recalled in a new column on Clark from The Scotsman (thanks to Jean-Luc):
JP: “Did it bother you personally when you were the minister responsible that British equipment was causing such mayhem and human suffering, albeit to a set of foreigners?
AC: “No, not in the slightest. It never entered my head.”
JP: “You didn’t lose sleep over it?”
JP: I ask the question because I read that you were a vegetarian and you are seriously concerned about the way animals are killed?”
JP: “Doesn’t that concern extend to the way humans, albeit foreigners, are killed?”
AC: “Curiously not.”
Yet in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation interview on March 11, Pilger sounded curiously like Clark:
JOHN PILGER: A lot of people depended on a resistance movement to get rid of invaders, virtually since the beginning of history.
When Caesar went up to Gaul, when finally they crossed the Rubicon – which the Americans have done in modern terms – there was a dependence on a resistance. . . .
In fact, you can’t approve, under any circumstances, in my opinion, the killing of innocent people.
But you have to understand why it happens.
In the same way that we have to understand why September 11 happened.
TONY JONES: Can you approve in that context the killing of American, British or Australian troops who are in the occupying forces?
JOHN PILGER: Well yes, they’re legitimate targets.
They’re illegally occupying a country.
And I would have thought from an Iraqi’s point of view they are legitimate targets, they’d have to be, sure.
TONY JONES: So Australian troops you would regard in Iraq as legitimate targets?
JOHN PILGER: Excuse me but, really, that’s an unbecoming question.
I’ve just said that any foreign occupier of a country, military occupier, be they Germans in France, Americans in Vietnam, the French in Algeria, wherever, the Americans in Latin America, I would have thought, from the point of view of the local people – and as I mentioned, be they Australians in Australia – if Australia had been invaded and occupied by the Japanese, then the occupying forces, from the point of view of the people of that country, are legitimate targets.
And yesterday at the Sydney peace rallies (from Channelnewsasia, with thanks again to Jean-Luc):
Australian journalist John Pilger, who said last week that allied troops including Australians were legitimate targets of the Iraq insurgency, and local Muslim leaders will also address the rallies.
In a book, The New Rulers of the World, Pilger has argued, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, “that the ‘war on terrorism’ is a charade, masking an all-powerful oppressor that dares not speak its name.”