Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Control of Information for Wars


Control of Information for Wars Newsletter #1, January 26, 2011, Compiled by Dick Bennett

Contents: (placed in web site, and to What’s Happening? 1-26-11)
Pilger on Media Deception by Mainstream Media
Z Magazine Example of Alternative Media Truth-Telling
Graphic Images Effective
Books on US Wars and Media
Limits of Dissent
Manufacturing Consent
Selling War
Ruses for War
Spinning War (made easy)

Posted by: "radtimes" 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 beneath Message clipped] View entire message

When people complain about the failure of media to tell the truth or at least the truth adequately, they mainly refer to the MAINSTREAM media, for the US Constitution and democracy are strengthened by thousands of critical, truth-telling journals, magazines, and newsletters exposing the illegal US wars.

Here’s the example of one print journal and its online counterpart:
On Friday October 22nd [2010] WikiLeaks released the "Iraq War Logs," in what they are calling “the largest classified military leak in history” with 391,832 reports. The logs document the war and occupation in Iraq between 2004-2009 “as told by soldiers in the United States Army.” ZNet is featuring our coverage of this event and so far we have a number of items on the site. These include articles and video by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Josh Stieber who was deployed in Iraq, and whose Infantry Company was shown in the Wikileaks’ “Collateral Murder” video released April this year, and finally, by legendary whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971.
Here are a few items that we have published so far:
Julian Assange: Explaining the Logs (Video)
Assange: Defending the Logs (Video)
Josh Stieber: Responding to the Leak (Article)
Daniel Ellsberg: Logs Released (Video and Article)
We hope you find these useful. Please check the site for more news and analysis over the coming days.

Inside the back cover you’ll find a description of the documentary, Human Terrain: War Becomes Academic, that examines a U.S. counterinsurgency initiative under which social scientists are embedded with combat troops. Contact: Bullfrog Films, ;
The 8 articles:
--What WikiLeaks reveals about the wars and enrages the rightwingers: the truth. Assange: “The more secretive or unjust an organisation is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership.”
--How violent toys and games legitimate our warrior culture. “Normalizing militarism in culture prepares a large segment of the population to support war.” But resistance is widespread (see list of organizations vs. war entertainment).
US strengthening Israeli offensive capability: “The actual bribe…will massively escalate the offensive capacity and reach of Israel’s Air Force……”.
IVAW’s Operation Recovery, “a campaign to transition this country out of our declared ‘endless war’and heal some of its wounds.” .
Dangers of nuclear war: interview with Fidel Castro..
US empire, the Mideast, the world (Chomsky), entitled “U.S. Savage Imperialism,” Part II on Israel/Palestine.
US military spending and China: analyzes the $2 trillion surge in US military spending between 1999 and 2010.
Obama’s Bush foreign policy (rev. of Ali’s The Obama Syndrome) In military spending “Obama makes Bush look like a welterweight.”.
If we broadened the subject, we could add the article on the US bullying culture against glbtq., the 2 articles on the violence of the US prison system, and the 2 on US/Western domination of Haiti...

Greg Harton, “Can Graphic Images Change the World?” (NAT 11-15-10). New studies show they can, e.g. one at UA on smoking. The truth can awaken people. WikiLeaks is revealing the hidden truths of US warmaking. We need also more graphic truths of combat, which the recruiters and the corporate media are not showing.


--Dimaggio, Anthony. When Media Goes to War: Hegemonic Discourse, Public Opinion, and the Limits of Dissent. Monthly Review P, 2009. Dissects the limits of dissent in the US press, stressing the government and mass media’s use of propaganda to restrict information in the “war on terror.” That is, the book explains how U.S. mainstream media frame foreign policy on Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran in accord with the views of political officials and other elite representatives. The book’s central analytical method is that of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in their Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.

--Herman, Edward and Noam Chomsky. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. Pantheon, 1988/2002. Explains the performance of mainstream US media in terms of basic institutional structures and relationships within which they operate, especially the powerful societal and financial interests that control them. Media function to inculcate and defend the agendas of privileged groups that dominate the US in many ways, including selection of topics, distribution of concerns, framing of issues, filtering of information, emphasis and tone, and by keeping the bounds of debate within acceptable premises. Especially, five media filters function to direct access and disseminate information to the public: 1) ownership, owner wealth, profit orientation, 2) advertising the main income source, 3) reliance on government, business, and experts funded by these institutions of power, 4)”flak” to discipline media, and 5) anti-communism as national religion to silence criticism (which today includes anti-terrorism).

--Osgood, Kenneth and Andrew Frank. Selling War in a Media Age: The Presidency and Public Opinion in the American Century. UP of Florida, 2010. How US presidents have promoted war.

--Quigley, John. The Ruses for War: American Interventionism Since World War II. 1992. Chapter on “Won’t the Media Protect Us?” See books by William Blum, Killing Hope and Rogue State on US interventions and invasions.

--Solomon, Norman. War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. Wiley, 2005.

1. Videos for War Made Easy

War Made Easy
70 min - Aug 28, 2007
Uploaded by Media Education Foundation

War Made Easy - TRAILER
3 min - Jun 11, 2007
Uploaded by ChallengingMedia

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3. War Made Easy - Narrated by Sean Penn
War Made Easy | A new documentary featuring Norman Solomon and narrated by Sean Penn that chronicles how propaganda has been used to sell wars to the ... - Cached - Similar
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10. Democracy Now! | War Made Easy
Jan 6, 2011 ... Media critic Norman Solomon and the Media Education Foundation have released a documentary titled “War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits ... - Cached
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12. War made easy: how presidents and pundits keep spinning us to death - Google Books Result
Norman Solomon - 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 314 pages
This is a stop-the-presses book filled with mind-blowing facts about Washington's warmongers who keep the Pentagon budget rising.
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