The War You Don't See

The War You Don't See

2010, Politics  -   180 Comments
Ratings: 8.60/10 from 330 users.

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. But who is the real enemy?

John Pilger says in the film: "We journalists... have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else's country... That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is.

For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home... In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us... Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power."

Directed by: John Pilger

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the virgin terry
9 months ago

tremendous work by pilger. especially admired how cool he kept himself as he asked hardball questions to high government officials used to a softball press, and pressed them to defend themselves.

we live in a horribly dystopian world, especially regarding western imperialism, militarism, and psychological corruption. tptb are ruthlessly violent and deceitful. propaganda plays a huge role, as does a dumbed down populace which acts as though it's allergic to critical thinking, especially when it up-ends a dogmatic worldview. brainwashed blue pill addicts (google 'red pill blue pill' to see what i mean), many with fascist tendencies, seeking a (mis)leader like donald j trump. on top of this, civilization is staring collapse in the face, though few perceive this, such is the level of ignorance and delusion, deceit and denial in dystopia. with near term human extinction also a dire threat, thanks to our heedless population growth, consumption, environmental destruction, and fossil fooled climate disruption, which, thanks to reinforcing positive natural feedback loops, looks to get out of control very soon if it isn't already.

matt olsen
1 year ago

It is sickening how blatantly full of cr@& these war mongers are. It's time that these military psychopaths defend the positions they defend without the use of jargon or by avoiding the questions asked. If they fully believe that this atrocious and unneccessary war is, in fact, legitamite then they need to start standing up for what they believe is right. In my opinion, it's obvious that the continual state of war we find our countries involved in is for the plain and simple purpose of profit, national(corporate and politician's) interests, and reasons I'm sure that I'm unaware of. There is no threat out there from any terrorist group an ocean away, the deaths each year that are commited by terrorists aren't any more significant that the deaths that occur from bee stings or lightining each year. Yet we aren't launching operations to combat stinging insects nor are we interested in taking action towards lessening the effects of any major cause of death in our countries. It's a racket, these murders are carried out in our(societies) name, and it's about time that we say enough is enough and start taking action within our own countries. If violence is required to be used against those who feed this "beast" then so be it. I'd love to think that there are means to make changes using non-violent means. However, I fear that the only way we can take back our countries from the current slobs that are and have been in charge for too long. Even back during the advent of democracy were people like Plato smart enough to understand that the governing body must be required to live humble lives without access to money. It was obvious that corruption would ensue if the governors of the state were, in any way, given a chance to enrich themselves as a result of political favor. Yet we openly allow SuperPAC's, lobbying, Corporations having the same rights of human beings, the revolving door that politicians/corporations share in their corrupt governance of many nations. I fear for our future and hope I live to see even a meaningful spark of change occur in any way.

Jean-Pierre Tardif
2 years ago

Super media structures are owned by multi billionaires. And multi billionaires own weapon factories... so they need the fu... journalists to do the propaganda to sell wars and weapons... So simple.

4 years ago

In 1935 or so, the two time congressional medal of honor winning Major General Smedley Butler wrote a piece called "War Is a Racket". Last time I looked you can find it for free with a web search. Definitely worth the read from someone who did his homework and was in the thick of it.

Depending on those, who the political parties put in front of you, isn't getting the job done. Its 83 years later and things haven't improved; they've gotten worse. Government and war are both rackets.

@kimberley Armstrong: Hats off to those who see that the people themselves need to gather together apart from political parties in order to educate the rest. Although "young turks and RT" are not the places to go for unbiased news and information.

The everyday folk gathering together is the only way to take power away from the globalist-bankster-government-corporate-weasels. "government-Corporate" includes the military industrial complex, the corporate owned major media, etc. The only way to stop what they are doing to us is to take away their ability. That means clearing out the bankster corporate minions from government office.

When the people see to it incorruptible people are running in numbers from all parties, so no matter who the lazy minded major media watching bobble heads vote for, someone decent will get in. One or two decent folk won't do, need to clean the majority of congress and state legislators out.

I know some of them. They may vote for something good once but if their party threatens to fund and run someone else against them, they always vote for their job. This is exactly why 1 term limit is a necessity for ALL elected positions.

Politics is war to begin with. It is the politicians that vote for military spending. Propaganda reigns on both fronts. Nothing bad happens without government approval. So how is it so many still believe government is their friend and there to protect them?

There is a reason the founders of the usa desired limited government. More govt power = less power to the people = less freedom. For those who don't get it, Socialism = more govt = less freedom. If you think Capitalism is corrupt you haven't lived in a fully Socialist country.

More government will NOT prevent corruption or prevent bad things. Govt causes more corruption. Nothing bad happens without government approval.

How is it so many are duped into socialism, as if that would be without corruption and bad things? Govt school IS socialism and full of propaganda. Socialism is corrupt by its very nature. It is designed to get rid of the competition, be it in politics or business.

Suppose you come up with a better mousetrap. The big boys decide that better mouse trap would take money out of their pockets so you don't get a permit to build it. Socialists want to control it all in order to steal from you to give to themselves and dribble a little to buy votes with. The rest is just propaganda designed to fool those who are too lazy to do their homework.

Getting others to pay for your stuff IS CORRUPT at its core. Matters not what that stuff is or how bad you want it.

NAZI was a National Socialist party. You can see how the usa Socialists are very similar to the NAZIs in their words and actions. They believe "the ends justify the means" and lie, lie, lie, and lie some more, while calling everyone else liars. Similar to ISLAM who are instructed to lie to the infidel, not to mention sided with the NAZIs.

Then it should not be a surprise to see the globalist bankster minions importing Islamists around the world. Globalism = One world govt = Socialism-Communism. Pitting disparate groups in close proximity causes fear, distrust, conflict, and cries for more govt protection = more govt control = less freedom.

All because you are too lazy to see to it you don't have much better representation.

5 years ago

The propaganda global machine shown in this documentary is right now trying to take down American president Donald J. Trump.

5 years ago

kimberley Armstrong
This has surely been done many times and then along comes the "powers" to infiltrate it, take it over and lead it down another path.

5 years ago

The fact that USA is just an arm(military) of the powers that be must not be ignored.
They have no power to do anything without orders.

Rough McHewn
"And yes, I think that the Nobel Committee should rip the Peace Prize away from Obama and Kissinger and hand them to Pilger."
I doubt that would ever happen, as the Nobel Committee is probably funded by Obama's and Kissenger's masters.

6 years ago

Good people exist.

6 years ago

Excellent work from John Pilger and insightful interviews as always. Money continues to perpetuate the cycle of violence, and it is getting worse in the US. New York, is a major control center for a lot of this.

John Pilger
6 years ago

I'm the best!

kimberley Armstrong
7 years ago

I have this idea that ordinary folks could get together in teams or groups and make posters, flyers etc and at night go around city's and stick em up at bus stops. They can direct people to alternative news channels on YouTube like young turks, RT news Going underground etc or even blogs, websites. You could challeng mainstream media with real facts and figures that contrast with whatever they've printed that day??? Art that sends a message, makes people think?? I mean you could get real creative with it. Meet up with people each week and brainstorm together?? You could even build a really big group, expand club together and rent out a space and show documentarys from YouTube to the public. Hold discussion afterwards? I dunno like someone mentioned in one of the earlier posts. What is needed is ' A revolution of knowledge to awaken the masses'
Knowledge is power and I think us ordinary folk need to make it happen by getting out there!!

Thoughts?? Anyone??

kimberley Armstrong
7 years ago

Great documentary. Informative and moving. I liked how it was edited and pit together especially that part where it showed news shows talking about the 'evidence or incontrovertible proof' etc etc and then images of warfare, injured and maimed humans. That had quite an emotional punch in the gut. I think that's really important to make an emotional impact upon people as well as being informative. I actually think they could have gone a little further with the emotional side. I think that's how we get people to listen to what's going on I mean what REALLY going on in the world. Not what people want you to think. Anyways.... @reasons voice I chuckled with your comment about Bush " He was inarticulate and spastic under pressure" hahahha brilliant x

A comment made by Wayne "the independent news sources, however need to do a better job of becoming more obvious to the average citizen"
I kinda get what your saying. I know that you really have to go on the hunt and it takes a while to get to know and critique the good from the bizarre, ridiculous or conspiracy theory ?. So I'm wondering Wayne have you any ideas on what people could do or try to get things more out in the open??? Or anyone else?? Wanna add xx

8 years ago

It confirms what we have always believed. The election of a president does not mean too much. The war machines have a life of their own and since the campaigns of all politicians are financed by corporations which make billions in profit in the military industrial complex nothing will get done. . When you manufacture all those weapons you need to use them up so that you can make more. Obama has not control really. No matter who the people vote for their bidding will not be done.
I have advised my family that keeping careful watch on the system can only allow them to leave ahead of catastrophe. I don't want to live anywhere that war is their business but I am too old now to do much except warn others.

DrEam PhD
9 years ago

I just wanted to say that as long as this film is allowed to make its appearance again, its up to us the people who watched to re post it as much as we can on other sites, or anywhere else that lets you do that..This will never get time on PBS or any of the others, so this is the only way people will see it. This should be mandatory viewing for every American., but sadly most Americans will never see it...

Iraqi society today, thanks to American help, is defined by house raids, death squads, check points, detentions, curfews, blood in the streets, and constant violence..That's not democracy

Terry Lawrence
9 years ago

Thank you John Pilger. With the US pushing a renewed "Cold War" to justify their unlimited military spending, it is good to be reminded how they constantly 'create' new "enemies" to keep the US and "Western" public in a state of fear so they will go along with any weapons program or attack on any targeted country.

With the hysteria currently being generated around the Autonomous Republic of Crimea voting overwhelming to reunify with Russia, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has been running nonsense pieces about how NATO has been letting it's military wither away while the Russian bear is ramping up military spending and will soon overrun the Free World. A quick look-up of "World military spending by country" shows that NATO is outspending Russia by more than 10 to 1, while the USA alone spends almost as much on weapons as the rest of the world combined.

This film was obviously made before Edward Snowden made public the incredible extent of US and British spying on their own citizens, not mention the rest of the world. The Nazi Gestapo or Stalin's KGB could only dream about the NSA's ability to track the exact location most of the world's population minute by minute and secretly turn on the microphones on their phones at will. Not to mention reading all their mail, bering privy to their thoughts, watching what they look up on the internet (such as Johns' movie), and murdering people around the world with missile firing drones at the whim of the US president . . . .

9 years ago

they should all be put in prison all the lyers

9 years ago

We're in a system that directs our attention away from the extremes of this violence. Drawing attention towards it is the best thing we can do to disentangle ourselves. Thank you for this - you are brilliant.

9 years ago

John Pilger is a f*cking hero of journalism.

11 years ago

As far as I can tell, this film has been banned in the USA. Since when does a free and democratic society ban films? I have seen with my own eyes how it disappears from websites every time it gets posted. I know of one where it was posted twice on the same page. On one of the posts it says deleted by Vimeo. On the other it says film does not exist.

Yet it should be the responsibility of every American to see this film. As Americans you really need to ask why is someone making it so hard for you to see it? There are many answers, but I will give you the one that first comes to mind.

Scott Ritter was the UN weapons inspector that everyone saw in those reports about IRAQ not allowing the UN weapon's inspector to do his job before the US ever invaded that country. If you recall, that was one of the main reasons the Bush admin gave for justifying the invasion of Iraq. It was front page news at the time.
But here in this film you see Scott Ritter clearly in focus, freely and willingly, admitting that no one ever stopped him from doing his job.

11 years ago

The US plan to use Australia as their centralised base of operations for 'tackling' China.

- Pilger / Assange / Wiki Leaks

11 years ago

Why can't we bring charges upon media and their journalists for lying? Why shouldn't we charge the murderers with crimes against humanity and treason for deceiving the country and its laws?

11 years ago

unfortunate he says on the death of children !!!! What the f*** are these yanks but fascists!!

11 years ago

@ 31:52 "every site visited in 2003 (by a reporter) was still sealed from 1991"...we attacked, what we learned after the fact, to be a DEFENSELESS UN compliant sovereign country-Iraq. It is true in my humble estimation-Iraqi's were practically defenseless against a superpower like us led by the Bush admisitration...

11 years ago

Like joabkulnin I would like to download this film or even buy it but I cannot figure out how.

11 years ago

I want to download it but can't find a link. My connection is too slow to watch it online.

11 years ago

I hope that the people who speak to the truth, the courageous voices of conscience, put the rest to shame. Let us hope that they are able to save humantiy.

11 years ago

Wow, the BBC woman at 37m, sounds like she doesn't have a clue what was happening, and trying to cover herself! And then the same woman at 1h05m, and 1h09m - just excusing how we should accept governments all the time, "duty to report. From this I have lost all faith in the BBC!

And who is the man at 1h28m blaming the evidence on film(!) that US soldiers are killing children and committing atrocities... on "the enemy"?

11 years ago

How many "others" human lives just one 9/11 offer will cost at the end and is it worth continuing that way? And we don´t even talk the money, oil ...etc

11 years ago

Oh, by the way, it was a fine documentary. I guess the moral of the story is while many can't see until hindsight, more importantly, they fail to learn from history.

11 years ago

Some interesting blogs regarding this documentary. Let me just simplify for the simpletons that protecting one's country, as opposed to protecting your country's interests globally, defines the difference between moral and immoral. Attacking a foreign country for their oil resources is not an act of courage or liberation; it's murder and subjugation. True courage is telling people in authority to go take a flying leap when they haven't a moral leg to stand on. Of course, this requires intelligence before courage, which is quite uncommon for young adults who have limited knowledge from lack of experience. Besides, when they need a job, and the only opportunity is a career in the military because that is what the entire U.S economy is built on, you have to ask yourself; who is profiting off their efforts, and who are you really helping?

11 years ago

Great movie while it lasted. Looks like the 'big brother' grinches have stopped the movie 01:04:20 mins. I've tried reloading, moving the tab back and forth to no avail. Anyone else faced the same problem?

11 years ago

harry harry i find your comment on this manner "disrespectful" as when in history do you see a liberation by military force (aka war, call it what you will, going in with "military power" is war and it stays this no matter what you say or do) as saving or truly liberating the people of any country. and in this case after 9/11 was it not more of a vendetta than liberation. a documentary like this is a must otherwise i would severely doubt the western world as "democratic".

Harry Gifford
11 years ago

This documentary is disrespectful to every one of our troops, as well as all those UK, Aus and NZ troops who went to Iraq to liberate their people from an oppressive, totalitarian regime which killed its own citizens by the millions. And some of the comments below make me sick.

11 years ago

karma is a bitch, us and uk military, media and gov.

people must wake the fnck up!!!!

11 years ago

Mainstream media has forgotten their original responsibility as civil and political watchdogs to give the common man his voice back by protecting the common man from those "HE" has placed in power.

Without the media's manipulation to the truth, no government will ever go to war.

Shame on the media...

12 years ago

ok so i saw the trailer for the documentry it was appuling what the americans an the british can do and hide irt from the media

12 years ago

When we, executed Osama Bin Laden, I saw a post that said, I dedicate this day to the 3000+ innocent lives that were lost on 9/11. I would actually complete this post by saying; I dedicate this post to the 3000+ innocent lives that were lost on 9/11 and the 100,000+ innocent Iraqi and Afghan lives that we killed after 9/11 all in the name of "fight against terror".

Shameful and sad!!

12 years ago

“We journalists… have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else’s country… That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is." If this did not warn any of you that this documentary had an are fools. Along with any who think this guy is such a great researcher, if he says more than a million innocent civilians have died in Iraq. Most of you can be excused because of what you have allowed yourselves and your country to become. Americans, however, should be ashamed of yourselves if you believe the pretty little party quotes that are being spouted on here. Our men and women in uniform are courageous and deserve every respect you can give them. Someone here said the Law of Karma will give them what they are right. Karma will be kind to them, not sure what kind of b*tch she will be with you though!

12 years ago

a lot of the shots, and facts and the way they are presented seem like they are plagarized from "war made easy". "war made easy" made a more nuanced point about the media. some but not much sloppy editing and researching, but informative and well argued and it has mark curtis in it! a journalist that is scandalously unkown.

12 years ago

nice, shows the reality

12 years ago

Oh come on now guys, can't you see how "the Burning-Bush" is freeing the people of Iraq; along with the reporters? It won't be too long before they start "freeing" the people in America. You know, from all that tyranny. You all understand it's nothing "personal." They just don't understand being murdered with machine guns is Bush's way of saying "welcome to democracy." What "men in uniform" too. Such brave and wholesome boys they are. So full of need to free the people of Iraq their trigger fingers begin to itch. They just can't wait to do God's work. Remember after all, "God speaks through me," Bush said. Quite frankly, the Law of Karma will give them what they deserve. If not in this life, then the next. You get out of life what you put into it. "He who lives by the sword, will die by the sword."

12 years ago

John Pilger makes me proud to be an Australian. Every time he comes to Australia though the media gives him little or no exposure, he is basically censored. You will never see this docco on Australian TV. What I like best about John Pilger's books is the fact, that when you look in the back at the bibliography, he gives you the source for all of his statements. This man does fantastic research. I can't understand why some people seem to have a problem with his voice but I guess I am an Australia, I think it is very well modulated. It must be a cultural thing I guess.

Paul, UK
12 years ago

Ive seen many of these video's, but nothing get's done about these people/goverment's. We really can't know what there actual agenda's are, and that scare's me more. They can't be stopped. The more I read and watch the more disgusted I feel.

amol acharya
12 years ago

A good point made by vartas. for a citizen of and authoritarian government it is easier to know that everything that comes out of the press is fabricated. but for a citizen of a so called 'democratic government', it is difficult to know.

Joe Blow
12 years ago

everyone needs to view this.
it should be in the schools.
it should be shown to every soldier
It should be shown to every human being in every language of the planet.
next their should be a total world wide revolution to end those bastards I shall call the puppet masters.

I am ashamed to be living on a planet run by these monsters

12 years ago

@ProudinUS @Antagonist @Mark Oakley

It is obvious that you feel that blind allegiance to a country makes you some sort of patriot. When the country has lied to us, saying that we stand for "Freedom" around the world, and then bombs the crap out of innocent lives, being patriotic means admitting those lies have been fed to us and standing up for the REAL rights of others around the world to live as we HAD been promised. THAT is a patriot …

You need to pay attention to the actual histories that have gone on behind your back and not blame any other peoples for the lies we have been told. If our countries actually gave a poot for others, we would have intervened in Rwanda, Darfur, Tibet and many more. But we would rather have our service personnel die for oil, not Freedom.

And what the hell is wrong with the UN? Are they under NWO, as well? or are they just impotent?

12 years ago

Good documentary. Painful to watch -- but good. I like John Pilger -- a very sincere man.

12 years ago

@ Reasons Voice
Honestly WWI and WWII was not "great victory for the U.S." the USSR scared Hitler into suicide and the Nazi's surrendered. Also must be noted that WWII was a war fought not by good against evil but many evil superpowers fighting for various reasons lots of young men lost their lives. Innocent people lost their homes and America thrived for many years after this war (mainly because we destroyed our two main competitors Germany & Japan) so technically America has always lived in this made up bubble of fictitious security that it does not posses. America supposedly the strongest army in the world cant defeat small guerrilla forces in the smallest weakest most defenseless poorest 3rd world countries on the planet..

12 years ago


So your ok with the death of innocent children so you can feel more secure?

12 years ago

I understand everyones resent for US GOV.
But the reality is if it weren't for ruthless barbaric,leaders in gov. Our nation would've dwindle long ago.These people were put in for a speacial reason and that's to put the fear of God into other nations....What,do you think you can protect our way of life with global peace.That would be nice,huh? But in the real world I'm affraid that a world power nation needs to pick a few fights every once in a while to keep everyone else in check,and yes,my country does it very brutaly and barbaric.

Everyones talking as if these ruthless leaders have just mysteriously appeared in gov?(Like it or not we need them to accomplish and secure our way of life ) Nah, they've always been there for a special reason. What? do you think our nation was made on handshakes?(That would make for a good fairy tale)No we did it with some serious blood shed and brutal force.

To be realistic we will continue to dominate and take what we need to secure our way of life.(and we will make sure we secure the future for our children)

With that being said it's them Islam monkeys that marred our nation......NOT US GOV. (to be frank, to much commpassion for other countries might just be the thing that destroys us.)