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Jun-12-2011 14:44printcommentsVideo

Pilger's Iraq Film Cancelled, Where is Santa Fe New Mexico' Soul?

Pilger's film confronts the American conscience for its role in Iraq.

The War You Don't See
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(WEST KINGSTON R.I.) - Australian correspondent John Pilger's latest film, “The War You Don’t See” is mainly about Iraq and it includes footage you won’t readily find elsewhere together with stories of the media cover -ups.

The U.S. premier of the film was scheduled as part of a major event by the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe. Pilger and David Barsamian were to discuss free speech, US foreign policy and censorship in the media. But the showing was cancelled just days before it was to happen.

The film was reviewed by's Tim King and then that story also become a story of censorship and a willingness to bury war crimes. (see: Pilger's 'The War You Don't See' is a Dose of Mind Numbing Reality ) In this article, not only Pilger's series, but a video from the YouTube account, five years old, featuring more than 500 videos, are pulled.

This illustrates the heavy drive of the YouTube team to scrub any signs of truth and reality from their pages, if it shows the real military achievements of Israel and the U.S. All media who utilize YouTube while reporting about Israel, is familiar.

The banning of this film and YouTube's decision to strip it from their pages, directly ignores the pleas of Iraqi civilian families burned to death by U.S. aggression. It disrespects all of the calls from war protesters and activists simply seeking an end to needless world violence.

Telling the truth should not be such an uphill battle, for Pilger, for, for all of us.

From the Lannan website: “Lannan Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity through projects which support exceptional contemporary artists and writers, as well as inspired Native activists in rural indigenous communities.” But if you watch the video you’ll see why some people would not want it shown.v

An open letter to Noam Chomsky and the general public. Dear Noam I am writing to you and a number of other friends mostly in the US to alert you to the extraordinary banning of my film on war and media, 'The War You Don't See', and the abrupt cancellation of a major event at the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe in which David Barsamian and I were to discuss free speech, US foreign policy and censorship in the media.

Lannan invited me and David over a year ago and welcomed my proposal that they also host the US premiere of 'The War You Don't See', in which US and British broadcasters describe the often hidden part played by the media in the promotion of war, notably in Iraq and Afghanistan. The film has been widely acclaimed in the UK and Australia; the trailer and reviews are on my website

The banning and cancellation, which have shocked David and me, are on the personal orders of Patrick Lannan, whose wealth funds the Lannan Foundation as a liberal centre of discussion of politics and the arts. Some of you will have been there and will know the Lannan Foundation as a valuable supporter of liberal causes. Indeed, I was invited in 2002 to present a Lannan award to the broadcaster Amy Goodman.

What is deeply disturbing about the ban is that it happened so suddenly and inexplicably: 48 hours before David Barsamian and I were both due to depart for Santa Fe I received a brief email with a 'sorry for the inconvenience' from a Lannan official who had been telling me just a few days earlier what a 'great honour' it was to have the US premiere of my film at Lannan, with myself in attendance.

I urge you to visit the Lannan website Good people like Michael Ratner, Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald are shown as participants in discussion about freedom of speech. I am there, too, but my name is the only one with a line through it and the word, 'Cancelled'.

Neither David Barsamian nor I have been given a word of explanation. All my messages to Lannan have gone unanswered; my calls calls are not returned; my flights were cancelled summarily. At the urging of the New Mexican newspaper, Patrick Lannan has issued a one-sentence statement offering his regrets to the Lannan-supporting 'community' in Santa Fe. Again, he gives no reason for the ban. I have spoken to the manager of the Santa Fe cinema where 'The War You Don't See' was to be screened. He received a late-night call. Again, no reason for the ban was forthcoming, giving him barely time to cancel advertising in The New Mexican, which was forced to drop a major feature.

There is a compelling symbol of our extraordinary times in all of this. A rich and powerful individual and organisation, espousing freedom of speech, has moved ruthlessly and unaccountably to crush it.

With warm regards

John Pilger

June 10 2011

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Terri Rolland June 13, 2011 3:34 pm (Pacific time)

THANK YOU thank you for your coverage on this issue. and for showing the film.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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