Posted by: "radtimes" email@example.com radman94606
Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:03 am (PST)
"Why Are Wars Not Being Reported Honestly?"
Tuesday 14 December 2010
by: John Pilger
In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander
Gen. David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a "war of perception …
conducted continuously using the news media." What really matters is
not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the
adventure is sold in America, where "the media directly influence the
attitude of key audiences." Reading this, I was reminded of the
Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government
in 2002. "We had a secret weapon," he boasted. "We had the media,
especially TV. You got to have the media."
Never has so much official energy been expended in ensuring
journalists collude with the makers of rapacious wars which, say the
media-friendly generals, are now "perpetual." In echoing the west's
more verbose warlords, such as the waterboarding former US
vice-president Dick Cheney, who predicated "50 years of war," they
plan a state of permanent conflict wholly dependent on keeping at bay
an enemy whose name they dare not speak: the public.
At Chicksands in Bedfordshire, the Ministry of Defence's
psychological warfare (Psyops) establishment, media trainers devote
themselves to the task, immersed in a jargon world of "information
dominance," "asymmetric threats" and "cyberthreats." They share
premises with those who teach the interrogation methods that have led
to a public inquiry into British military torture in Iraq.
Disinformation and the barbarity of colonial war have much in common.
Of course, only the jargon is new. In the opening sequence of my
film, The War You Don't See, there is reference to a pre-WikiLeaks
private conversation in December 1917 between David Lloyd George,
Britain's prime minister during much of the first world war, and CP
Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian. "If people really knew the
truth," the prime minister said, "the war would be stopped tomorrow.
But of course they don't know, and can't know."
In the wake of this "war to end all wars", Edward Bernays, a
confidante of President Woodrow Wilson, coined the term "public
relations" as a euphemism for propaganda, "which was given a bad name
in the war." In his book, Propaganda (1928), Bernays described PR as
"an invisible government which is the true ruling power in our
country" thanks to "the intelligent manipulation of the masses." This
was achieved by "false realities" and their adoption by the media.
(One of Bernays's early successes was persuading women to smoke in
public. By associating smoking with women's liberation, he achieved
headlines that lauded cigarettes as "torches of freedom.")
I began to understand this as a young reporter during the American
war in Vietnam. During my first assignment, I saw the results of the
bombing of two villages and the use of Napalm B, which continues to
burn beneat Message clipped] View entire message http://www.truth-out.org/why-are-wars-not-being-reported-honestly65844
Control of Infomation in the United States (1987) and Control of the Media in the United States (1992)