Last Tuesday, upon flipping through a hardcopy issue of Al Ghad newspaper, I fell upon a strange article, which, loosely translated, was titled: “Kissinger: Deaf is he who does not hear the drums of war”. The piece is apparently based on an interview conducted by Alferd Heinz, reporting for an entity dubbed Global Research, and subsequently translated to Arabic by Al Ghad’s Ala’aldeen Abu Zeina. In it, Kissinger predicts an all out third world war taking place in the region, the result of which will see the American military taking over seven countries in the Middle East, whereby Iran will tip the balance and create a situation where – and I quote – “Israel will have to fight with all its might and weapons to kill as many Arabs as it can. Hopefully if all goes well, half the Middle East will be Israeli.”
The article is also filled with quotes from the Kissinger interview that include:
“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”
and of course..
“If you are an ordinary person, then you can prepare yourself for war by moving to the countryside and building a farm, you must take guns with you, as the hordes of starving will be roaming”
and this fine gem…
“Our young have been trained well for the last decade or so on combat console games, it was interesting to see the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 game, which mirrors exactly what is to come in the near future with its predictive programming.”
I admit, my first impression was that Kissinger had lost his marbles. But, suffice to say, I was suspicious. So I plugged the key words into Google, including the original author, “AlfredÂ Heinz”, and the original source, “Global Research”. First off, Global Research
is anÂ independent research and media organization based inÂ Montreal, whose website provides alternative political and social analysis on issues from around the world, and specifically in the Middle East. The Kissinger interview was indeed posted up by Global Research
, however, the original source (as the website makes sure to include) is the UK-based The Daily Squib
As you may have guessed by now, The Daily Squib is a satirical publication
. Actually, please allow me to expand on what I mean by “satirical” by quoting the website’s footer, which states: “The Daily Squib is a curious satirical publication and should therefore be taken fu**ing seriously”
As for the author, Alfred Heinz, well Henry Kissinger’s full name is actually,Â Heinz AlfredÂ Kissinger
, so this is likely an alias. AndÂ I can only imagine that Al Ghad chose to use Global Research as the news source instead of The Daily Squib simply because the former sounds more respectable. Which it does. Actually, Global Research even made sure to prefix the headline of the article with the words: “ACCURATE SATIRE”
. They actually put it in caps just to emphasize that. Seriously. You can check it out.
This isn’t the first time Al Ghad has published something like this. Who can forget that piece
on the Canadian company that invented a real life human doll made from human genes that you can buy off the shelf for your kids to play with, and has a lifespan of 3 years? And then there was the time that Al Ghad, a respectable non-governmental newspaper, thought it was a good idea to publish a piece about aliens landing in Jordan’s Al Jafr area, only to turn around the next day and call it an April Fools Day joke
. Rest assured, such news was not taken lightly
by the good people of Al Jafr. And then of course there was much publicized conflict
with ARIJ over an article on orphanages, which saw Al Ghad insisting that the sources of the investigation piece be handed over to the government at the behest of the Ministry of Social Development.
This is not all to say that Al Ghad hasn’t done some fairly decent reporting in the seven years that it’s been inÂ existence. However, the aforementioned kind of reporting is quite dangerous. It paints a certain picture for readers, many of whom have grown to trust Al Ghad as a more “honest” publication when contrasted withÂ ancient publications like Al Rai and Ad Dustour, which are generally deemed to be government mouthpieces. These pieces instigate a kind of fear mongering common in the Arab press. And in the age of the Internet, when a simple Google search can verify news that just doesn’t sit quite right, I would think that the editorial policy for all newsprint is to check the source at least once, twice, maybe even three times, especially when considering that many journalists have taken to translating texts right off the World Wide Web.
The author has since offered an apology
of sorts, for being fooled in to believing this was a genuine story.