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John Pilger (1939-2023)

John Pilger

John Pilger was an investigative journalist, a documentary filmmaker, writer, and a long-standing critic of the mainstream media and the West's foreign policy driven by imperialist's greed. He was always interested in revealing the plights of exploitive capitalist system victims. A ferocious orator of the truth to power. His works cover nearly all of the Global crises, conflicts, and wars, which were celebrated around the World.

Pilger was awarded BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), and Emmy in 1991, among others, for his countless documentary films especially plights of sick children and poor in the NHS (National Health Service) UK, the gross segregation against indigenous Australians, and about the hidden motives of big business behind the US and UK foreign policies.

Pilger was born in Bondi, New South Wales, Australia on October 9. The son of Elsie and Claude Pilger. He attended high school in Sydney, and after that trained for 4 years as a journalist in the Australian Consolidated Press, which he liked.

He began working at the Sydney Sun, then at the Daily Telegraph as a reporter, sportswriter, and sub-editor. Following that he started working for the Sydney Sunday Telegraph as a freelance journalist. In 1961 he moved to Europe and worked as a freelance correspondent in Italy.

In 1962 Pilger settled in London, UK, and started working for Reuters, then as the chief foreign correspondent for the Daily Mirror, he went to the US, during his assignment in 1968. Pilger covered the marches following the April 4, 1968, assassination of Martin Luther King, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was then in the same room in Los Angeles when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in June 5, 1968.

Pilger was a correspondent in Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Biafra-Nigeria during the worst crises, turmoil, and wars inflicted on these countries.

In 1987, Pilger founded the left-wing "News on Sunday", a newspaper which lasted for seven months in spite of all burdens. From 1991-2014 he worked often for "News Statesman". In 2018, Pilger said "his written journalism is no longer welcome in the Main Stream Media". His last column in journalism was in the Guardian dated November 2019.

Pilger believed that Mainstream Media journalism means corporate journalism. They represent corporate interests more than those of the people.

In recent years pilger was a staunch supporter of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who was forcefully removed on Thursday April 11, 2019, from London's Equatorian Embassy during the presidency of Lenin Moreno, a US stooge, and jailed in Belmarsh Prison, London. Assange has been fighting against his extradition to the US. The USA charges are related to the publication of thousands of classified documents in 2010-2011, disclosing war crimes of mainly US and UK forces, mostly in Iraq.

On September 2, 2019, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters performed his classic "Wish you were here" outside the Home Office (interior ministry) in London, Pilger spoke passionately against the extradition of Assange to the United States. On March 10, 2023, to mark the launch in Sydney, Australia of David Dormino's sculpture of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden. Pilger called them figures of courage.

Pilger described Assange as a "truth teller" who committed no crimes but expressing real journalism.

In his January 21, 2007 article, Pilger wrote a genocide is engulfing the People of Gaza, Palestine, while a silence engulfs its bystanders. "Some 1.4 million people, mostly children are piled up in one of the most densely populated regions of the world, with no freedom of movement, no place to run and no place to hide." He wrote that the senior UN relief officials, Jan Egeland, and Jan Eliasson, then Swedish foreign minister described Gazans in Le Figaro, people "living in a cage", cut off by land, sea, and air, with no reliable power and little water, tortured by hunger, disease and incessant attacks by Israeli troops and planes.

In his 2014, article published in the Guardian, Pilger wrote that President Vladimir Putin was "the only leader to condemn the rise of Fascism in the 21st century Europe. He warned that Ukraine "a CIA Theme Park" was preparing "a NATO-run guerrilla war that is likely to spill into Russia itself".

On December 16, 2021, about the existence and the rise of Nazism in Ukraine, Pilger wrote, that the only nations to vote against UN resolution that called for "combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism" were United States and Ukraine.

John Pilger died, of pulmonary disease in London on December 30, 2023, he was 84 years old.

Some of his selected works:


  • The Last Day (1975).

  • Aftermath: The Struggle of Cambodia and Vietnam (1981).

  • Heroes (1986).

  • A Secret Country (1989).

  • Distant Voices (1992 and 1994).

  • Hidden Agendas (1998).

  • Reporting the World (2001).

  • The New Rulers of the World (2002, 4th edition 2016).

  • Tel Me No Lies (2004).

  • Freedom Next Time (2006).


  • Conversation With a Working Man (1971).

  • Thalidomide. The ninety- Eight We Forgot (1974).

  • Palestine is Still the Issue (Part 1), 1974.

  • Mr. Nixon's Secret Legacy (1975).

  • Do You Remember Vietnam (1978).

  • Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia (1979), In this documentary, Pilger recounts the bombing of Cambodia against Vietnamese Revolutionaries' targets by the US in 1970s, and the subsequent brutality and genocide by Khmer Rouge (1975-1979). In 1975, US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger told the Thai foreign minister "You should tell the Cambodian (Khmer Rouge) that we will be friend with them. They are murderous thugs but we won't let that stand in our way (Benkiernan: The Pol Put Regime (2003).

  • Heroes (1980).

  • Nicaragua: A Nation's Right to Survive (1983).

  • The Secret Country: The First Australians Fight Back (1985), It details the persecution of Aboriginal Australians, and Torres Strait Islanders).

  • Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy (1994).

  • Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq (2000).

  • Palestine is Still the Issue (2002).

  • Breaking the Silence: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror (2003).

  • Stealing a Nation (2004). It is about the British-American Clandestine Operation that saw the expulsion of the Chagossians who lived on Deigo Garcia and neighboring islands since the late 18th Century.

  • The War on Democracy (2007), it is about imperialists' interventions in Latin America.

  • The War You Don't See (2010), Challenges the media for role they played, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel/Palestine conflicts. US chopper attack on unarmed Baghdad residents.

  • Utopia (2013), experience Aboriginals in Modern Australia.

  • The Dirty War on the NHS (2019), About gradual destroying of UK Public Health System( Parts of Neo-Liberalism policy of cuts and austerity measures of public institutions affecting ordinary and dispossessed in the capitalist systems).

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