A small circle: The Age of disinformation    
 The Age of disinformation23 comments
picture4 Mar 2006 @ 07:17, by D



I do not think most people truly realize just how serious what is happening to America today really is.

Propaganda is not new. It’s no big secret, all governments have practiced it at one point or another. In America, the CIA, mostly, has been in charge of it.

In an extension of the old Monroe Doctrine’s "Hands Off America" policy, which culminated during the cold war with the fear that communism could take over Latin America, covert operations of all kind in Central and South America (Chile, Cuba, Bolivia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and most recently Venezuela,) have demonstrated the potency of propaganda. (It is the Truman Administration which tripled in 1951 the budget for propaganda and appointed a Psychological Strategy Board to coordinate activities.) And, only last year, in a continuation of such a policy, the House adopted Florida Republican representative Connie Mack’s amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2005, which authorizes the broadcasting of U.S. radio and television propaganda into Venezuela, much as it does to Cuba via Radio Marti.

Propaganda, while usually considered a "necessary evil" when it is exercised outside of our borders "for the good" of the people in other countries, in the name of such lofty ideals as "freedom" or in the name of our own "national security," has a more chilling effect when all of a sudden we find it here at home, when, for example, it threatens to become part of a program to influence the domestic and foreign media (like in operation mockingbird.)

"He who lives by the sword, shall die by the sword." It’s a cliché. Yet, it would be a tragic irony, wouldn't it, if in the end somehow America died not by the hand of another (the propaganda of some enemy, like that of the communist threat during the cold war era, or that of some fiendishly elaborate scheme by some Axis of Evil) but just simply as a result of falling on its own sword (its own propaganda machine turned onto itself, onto the very people the techniques had been developed to protect.)

Consider this:

More than four years after the Sep 11 attacks, many Americans still believe, even to this day, that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al Qaeda (link) though that has now been refuted---including by the 911 bipartisan commission link and (ever so very discreetly so) by the Bush administration (link).

More than four years after the Sep 11 attacks, the DISINFORMATION CONTINUES:

Even as we speak, PROGRESS FOR AMERICA is releasing television commercials juxtaposing images of smoke pouring from the World Trade Center along with images of veterans of the Iraq war and parents of fallen soldiers making the case for continuing the U.S. military campaign in Iraq. link.

Is Progress for America lying to the People? Not outrightly so.

Are the TV stations, which are showing the ads, contributing to the promotion of a lie? Not outrighly so.

Is there a deliberate attempt at misinforming, and possibly deceiving the target audience of the TV stations on which the ads will be shown, YOU BET!

And very successfully so, apparently---how else, are we to explain that more than four years after the Sep 11 attacks, many Americans still believe, against all evidence to the contrary, that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al Qaeda?

Two of the most commonly employed propaganda techniques are the OMISSION of relevant information that works against the propagandist's message, and the repeated JUXTAPOSITION of unconnected facts or events. The propagandist is careful not to say A and B are connected---else he could be caught in a lie and exposed as a liar--- but by constantly juxtaposing A and B, and blurring the lines between the two, the misperception that is created that A and B are connected serves about as well to prop up a prejudice. What makes the techniques powerful is that they are often not recognized as such by the target audience. The way in which people are affected is directly proportional to how closely the message matches their prejudices. If a poorly argued message concludes with what a person already believes is true, he or she will buy it. The problem the Democrats have (one of the many problems they have) is that, on the other hand, powerfully reasoned arguments with ample supporting evidence are more likely to be rejected, if the conclusion doesn’t match what the audience wants to hear (it’s an uphill battle.)

Let’s take a look at some of the ads:

Here are some of the statements found on the MidwestHeroes.com page
"If we weren't fighting al Qaeda in Iraq, we'd be fighting them in America."
Note the omission:
1. Al Qaeda was not in Iraq before we invaded Iraq and toppled the secular Baath regime. (While Hussein and al Qaeda come from different strains of Islam and Hussein's secularism is incompatible with al Qaeda fundamentalism, many Americans mistakenly continue to lump both foes together as Middle Eastern enemies.)

2. Most military intelligence analyses released by the Pentagon have found that the anti-American insurgency in Iraq draws most of its support from a home-grown resistance including former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party, nationalists and members of the Sunni minority disenchanted by the prospect of a Shiite-dominated government. Foreign fighters, including supporters of Al Qaeda, are generally credited with a significant but MINORITY ROLE.
The statement goes on:
"Our troops have captured thousands of al Qaeda terrorists. In doing so, we're bringing freedom to people who knew only the oppression of a brutal dictatorship. Eleven million Iraqis turned out to vote in December's historic elections and brought their own representatives' voice to the national government."
Note the juxtaposition:
Al Qaeda terrorists = brutal dictatorship = Iraqis
The following is from one of the ads:
"(voice over:)Those who know Iraq best are the soldiers who serve there and the families of those who died there." "(Father of a soldier killed in Iraq:) September 11, 2001, the battle began in the streets of America. These people are out to destroy us." "(Major, US army Reserves:) If we were not fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq, I am convinced we would be fighting them in America. And all we have to do is look back at September 11."

Note the juxtaposition:
September 11 = Al quaeda in Iraq = September 11 (again)
And the misrepresentation:
"…fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq"...?!
Is that what we are doing in Iraq, fighting Al Qaeda?

Progress for America (PFA) and its affiliate Progress for America Voter Fund are national tax-exempt organizations closely linked to the George W. Bush administration. PFA was established in 2001 to support Bush's "agenda for America." PFA Voter Fund, which was set up in 2004, raised $38 million in support of Bush's 2004 election bid.


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23 comments

4 Mar 2006 @ 10:56 by jazzolog : It Has Begun Already
Thank you i2i, it feels good to join with you in such major concern. Some of us remember another America. Social studies classrooms with pictures of Lincoln on the walls, instead of "Remember 9/11!" Those teachers would do well to remember 9/10, when warning information already was available for a more alert and caring administration.

In some ways Bush's problems with the Dubai ports deal began as a backfiring from his War on Terra propaganda machine. How could any Arab be trusted to run our security? Bush has a bible called Free Markets. When he speaks of democracy and freedom, what he means is Free Markets. Of course they're only "free" if our army is there. What of the free marketplace of ideas in the world?

Every empire the world has ever known has crumbled from one major weakness...again and again: exhausted supply routes. Overreaching Desire places the defense posts too far afield. How much oil is left? How soon can we get to it?  



4 Mar 2006 @ 17:16 by Quinty @68.226.88.25 : When a new administration arrives
(if we have a new administration) it will have a hell of a job reversing the national mood and overall psyche. As a rule, a new administration offers continuance. Reagan, however, was an exception. He lunged the country forward (or backward) toward the far right. He had a powerful and growing base. And now Bush and his neocon philosophs and business associates have taken the country a step further. There is even speculation today that we may have actually tipped, or are about to tip, into an American form of fascism. Some form of a nativist corporate oligarchy which runs the show. And it does so with a great deal of fearful compliance from the American people.

So let's say a new, progressive administration takes over in 2008. We hope, of course, that there will be no continuance. Many of us hope there will be a complete reversal in order to return to a semblance of national sanity.

But this will require an about face the American people may not be willing to go along with. It will require great political courage on the part of a new president and administration. For many, perhaps a majority, of Americans still believe that the only way to fight terrorism is by force. By waging war in the Middle East. And if a saner, more sensible, calm, and clear headed approach is offered, one which isn't pinned upon fear and, that new president will have to accept the risk that when there is another terrorist attack (and there probably will be) he will be blamed for the attack. Because he hadn’t been sufficiently "tough" on terrorism, and hadn’t “stayed the course." For the right will continue to insist that the only way to fight “Islamo fascism” is by waging war in the Middle East.

You and I, and many millions of Americans, can distinguish between Saddam and Osama, terrorism and imperialism, and are disgusted by the Bush administration’s shameless exploitation of many Americans’ fears. But will a new president have the courage to expose himself to charges of “weakness?” Especially when we can be fairly certain there will more major terrorist attacks?

I think, by the way, John Kerry was aware of this conundrum in '04: therefore the "flip flopping."  



5 Mar 2006 @ 19:49 by Hane @68.164.130.57 : Daddy, why did we have to attack Iraq?
Questions and Answers about Foreign Policy (and the U.S. Invasion of Iraq)

This piece of political satire from anarchie bunker sums it all. Here you have it in a nutshell, all the double-standards, all the misdirections, all the propaganda, and all the duplicity.

If you staunchly believe the conduct of this administration is above reproach and the invasion of Iraq was justified no matter what, then go play at the official GOP website and enjoy the pablum they spoon-feed to their choir.

(Permission is freely granted to copy, print, and distribute this material by any means, so long as the author is given proper credit and so long as this statement is included in any and all copies made for distribution.)

Q: Daddy, why did we have to attack Iraq?
A: Because they had weapons of mass destruction.
Q: But the inspectors didn't find any weapons of mass destruction.
A: That's because the Iraqis were hiding them.
Q: And that's why we invaded Iraq?
A: Yep. Invasions always work better than inspections.
Q: But after we invaded them, we STILL didn't find any weapons of mass destruction, did we?
A: That's because the weapons are so well hidden. Don't worry, we'll find something, probably right before the 2004 election.
Q: Why did Iraq want all those weapons of mass destruction?
A: To use them in a war, silly.
Q: I'm confused. If they had all those weapons that they planned to use in a war, then why didn't they use any of those weapons when we went to war with them?
A: Well, obviously they didn't want anyone to know they had those weapons, so they chose to die by the thousands rather than defend themselves.
Q: That doesn't make sense. Why would they choose to die if they had all those big weapons with which they could have fought back?
A: It's a different culture. It's not supposed to make sense.
Q: I don't know about you, but I don't think they had any of those weapons our government said they did.
A: Well, you know, it doesn't matter whether or not they had those weapons. We had another good reason to invade them anyway.
Q: And what was that?
A: Even if Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was a cruel dictator, which is another good reason to invade another country.
Q: Why? What does a cruel dictator do that makes it OK to invade his country?
A: Well, for one thing, he tortured his own people.
Q: Kind of like what they do in China?
A: Don't go comparing China to Iraq. China is a good economic competitor, where millions of people work for slave wages in sweatshops to make U.S. corporations richer.
Q: So if a country lets its people be exploited for American corporate gain, it's a good country, even if that country tortures people?
A: Right.
Q: Why were people in Iraq being tortured?
A: For political crimes, mostly, like criticizing the government. People who criticized the government in Iraq were sent to prison and tortured.
Q: Isn't that exactly what happens in China?
A: I told you, China is different.
Q: What's the difference between China and Iraq?
A: Well, for one thing, Iraq was ruled by the Ba'ath party, while China is Communist.
Q: Didn't you once tell me Communists were bad?
A: No, just Cuban Communists are bad.
Q: How are the Cuban Communists bad?
A: Well, for one thing, people who criticize the government in Cuba are sent to prison and tortured.
Q: Like in Iraq?
A: Exactly.
Q: And like in China, too?
A: I told you, China's a good economic competitor. Cuba, on the other hand, is not.
Q: How come Cuba isn't a good economic competitor?
A: Well, you see, back in the early 1960s, our government passed some laws that made it illegal for Americans to trade or do any business with Cuba until they stopped being Communists and started being capitalists like us.
Q: But if we got rid of those laws, opened up trade with Cuba, and started doing business with them, wouldn't that help the Cubans become capitalists?
A: Don't be a smart-ass.
Q: I didn't think I was being one.
A: Well, anyway, they also don't have freedom of religion in Cuba.
Q: Kind of like China and the Falun Gong movement?
A: I told you, stop saying bad things about China. Anyway, Saddam Hussein came to power through a military coup, so he's not really a legitimate leader anyway.
Q: What's a military coup?
A: That's when a military general takes over the government of a country by force, instead of holding free elections like we do in the United States.
Q: Didn't the ruler of Pakistan come to power by a military coup?
A: You mean General Pervez Musharraf? Uh, yeah, he did, but Pakistan is our friend.
Q: Why is Pakistan our friend if their leader is illegitimate?
A: I never said Pervez Musharraf was illegitimate.
Q: Didn't you just say a military general who comes to power by forcibly overthrowing the legitimate government of a nation is an illegitimate leader?
A: Only Saddam Hussein. Pervez Musharraf is our friend, because he helped us invade Afghanistan.
Q: Why did we invade Afghanistan?
A: Because of what they did to us on September 11th.
Q: What did Afghanistan do to us on September 11th?
A: Well, on September 11th, nineteen men - fifteen of them Saudi Arabians - hijacked four airplanes and flew three of them into buildings in New York and Washington, killing 3,000 innocent people.
Q: So how did Afghanistan figure into all that?
A: Afghanistan was where those bad men trained, under the oppressive rule of the Taliban.
Q: Aren't the Taliban those bad radical Islamics who chopped off people's heads and hands?
A: Yes, that's exactly who they were. Not only did they chop off people's heads and hands, but they oppressed women, too.
Q: Didn't the Bush administration give the Taliban 43 million dollars back in May of 2001?
A: Yes, but that money was a reward because they did such a good job fighting drugs.
Q: Fighting drugs?
A: Yes, the Taliban were very helpful in stopping people from growing opium poppies.
Q: How did they do such a good job?
A: Simple. If people were caught growing opium poppies, the Taliban would have their hands and heads cut off.
Q: So, when the Taliban cut off people's heads and hands for growing flowers, that was OK, but not if they cut people's heads and hands off for other reasons?
A: Yes. It's OK with us if radical Islamic fundamentalists cut off people's hands for growing flowers, but it's cruel if they cut off people's hands for stealing bread.
Q: Don't they also cut off people's hands and heads in Saudi Arabia?
A: That's different. Afghanistan was ruled by a tyrannical patriarchy that oppressed women and forced them to wear burqas whenever they were in public, with death by stoning as the penalty for women who did not comply.
Q: Don't Saudi women have to wear burqas in public, too?
A: No, Saudi women merely wear a traditional Islamic body covering.
Q: What's the difference?
A: The traditional Islamic covering worn by Saudi women is a modest yet fashionable garment that covers all of a woman's body except for her eyes and fingers. The burqa, on the other hand, is an evil tool of patriarchal oppression that covers all of a woman's body except for her eyes and fingers.
Q: It sounds like the same thing with a different name.
A: Now, don't go comparing Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are our friends.
Q: But I thought you said 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11th were from Saudi Arabia.
A: Yes, but they trained in Afghanistan.
Q: Who trained them?
A: A very bad man named Osama bin Laden.
Q: Was he from Afghanistan?
A: Uh, no, he was from Saudi Arabia too. But he was a bad man, a very bad man.
Q: I seem to recall he was our friend once.
A: Only when we helped him and the mujahadeen repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan back in the 1980s.
Q: Who are the Soviets? Was that the Evil Communist Empire Ronald Reagan talked about?
A: There are no more Soviets. The Soviet Union broke up in 1990 or thereabouts, and now they have elections and capitalism like us. We call them Russians now.
Q: So the Soviets - I mean, the Russians - are now our friends?
A: Well, not really. You see, they were our friends for many years after they stopped being Soviets, but then they decided not to support our invasion of Iraq, so we're mad at them now. We're also mad at the French and the Germans because they didn't help us invade Iraq either.
Q: So the French and Germans are evil, too?
A: Not exactly evil, but just bad enough that we had to rename French fries and French toast to Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast.
Q: Do we always rename foods whenever another country doesn't do what we want them to do?
A: No, we just do that to our friends. Our enemies, we invade.
Q: But wasn't Iraq one of our friends back in the 1980s?
A: Well, yeah. For a while.
Q: Was Saddam Hussein ruler of Iraq back then?
A: Yes, but at the time he was fighting against Iran, which made him our friend, temporarily.
Q: Why did that make him our friend?
A: Because at that time, Iran was our enemy.
Q: Isn't that when he gassed the Kurds?
A: Yeah, but since he was fighting against Iran at the time, we looked the other way, to show him we were his friend.
Q: So anyone who fights against one of our enemies automatically becomes our friend?
A: Most of the time, yes.
Q: And anyone who fights against one of our friends is automatically an enemy?
A: Sometimes that's true, too. However, if American corporations can profit by selling weapons to both sides at the same time, all the better.
Q: Why?
A: Because war is good for the economy, which means war is good for America. Also, since God is on America's side, anyone who opposes war is a godless unAmerican Communist. Do you understand now why we attacked Iraq?
Q: I think so. We attacked them because God wanted us to, right?
A: Yes.
Q: But how did we know God wanted us to attack Iraq?
A: Well, you see, God personally speaks to George W. Bush and tells him what to do.
Q: So basically, what you're saying is that we attacked Iraq because George W. Bush hears voices in his head?
A: Yes! You finally understand how the world works. Now close your eyes, make yourself comfortable, and go to sleep. Good night.
Q: Good night, Daddy.  



5 Mar 2006 @ 20:55 by Hane @68.164.130.57 : Blatant Hypocrisy
While this fact is not included in the Bush administration's history of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, it was Reagan's administration that brought Iraq back into the American fold after years of isolation.

US relations with Iraq had been severed since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. But in 1982, as the Iran-Iraq war escalated, the Reagan administration removed Iraq from the list of nations that allegedly sponsored terrorism. This permitted Reagan to sell Saddam Hussein weapons. And Iraq began a buying frenzy.

According to a February 1991 Los Angeles Times article:

"First on Hussein's shopping list was helicopters -- he bought 60 Hughes helicopters and trainers with little notice. However, a second order of 10 twin-engine Bell "Huey" helicopters, like those used to carry combat troops in Vietnam, prompted congressional opposition in August, 1983... Nonetheless, the sale was approved."

In 1984, according to The LA Times, the State Department - in the name of "increased American penetration of the extremely competitive civilian aircraft market"-pushed through the sale of 45 Bell 214ST helicopters to Iraq. The helicopters, worth some $200 million, were originally designed for military purposes. The New York Times later reported that Saddam "transferred many, if not all [of these helicopters] to his military."

In 1988, Saddam's forces allegedly attacked Kurdish civilians with poisonous gas from Iraqi helicopters and planes. U.S. intelligence sources told The LA Times in 1991, they "believe that the American-built helicopters were among those dropping the deadly bombs."

In response to the gassing, sweeping sanctions were unanimously passed by the US Senate that would have denied Iraq access to most US technology. The measure was killed by the Reagan White House. Senior officials later told reporters they did not press for punishment of Iraq at the time because they wanted to shore up Iraq's ability to pursue the war with Iran.

The following companies in the USA, Britain, France, China, Russia and other countries were identified in the Iraqi weapons report, submitted to the United Nations on July 12, 2002, as having supplied materials or advice to Iraq in the development of its various weapons programs.

When it comes to the issue of "weapons of mass destruction," what this means is that any such weapons,

A = Nuclear program
B = Bioweapons program
C = Chemical weapons program
R = Rocket program
K = Conventional weapons, military logistics, and the building of military plants,

would have had to be obtained or developed with the assistance and cooperation of many Western governments and companies, mostly American and British.

This is interesting, since it is the political leaders of the USA and Britain who have been loudest in denouncing Saddam Hussein as an "evil dictator" intent on using his military might to terrorize civilian populations.

USA

1. Honeywell (R, K)
2. Spectra Physics (K)
3. Semetex (R)
4. TI Coating (A, K)
5. Unisys (A, K)
6. Sperry Corp. (R, K)
7. Tektronix (R, A)
8. Rockwell (K)
9. Leybold Vacuum Systems (A)
10. Finnigan-MAT-US (A)
11. Hewlett-Packard (A, R, K)
12. Dupont (A)
13. Eastman Kodak (R)
14. American Type Culture Collection (B)
15. Alcolac International (C)
16. Consarc (A)
17. Carl Zeiss - U.S (K)
18. Cerberus (LTD) (A)
19. Electronic Associates (R)
20. International Computer Systems (A, R, K)
21. Bechtel (K)
22. EZ Logic Data Systems, Inc. (R)
23. Canberra Industries Inc. (A)
24. Axel Electronics Inc. (A)

"In addition to these 24 companies home-based in the USA are 50 subsidiaries of foreign enterprises which conducted their arms business with Iraq from within the US. Also designated as suppliers for Iraq's arms programs (A, B, C & R) are the US Ministries of Defense, Energy, Trade and Agriculture as well as the Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories."

GREAT BRITAIN

1. Euromac Ltd-Uk (A)
2. C. Plath-Nuclear (A)
3. Endshire Export Marketing (A)
4. International Computer Systems (A, R, K)
5. MEED International (A, C)
6. Walter Somers Ltd. (R)
7. International Computer Limited (A, K)
8. Matrix Churchill Corp. (A)
9. Ali Ashour Daghir (A)
10. International Military Services (R) (part of the UK Ministry of Defence)
11. Sheffield Forgemasters (R)
12. Technology Development Group (R)
13. International Signal and Control (R)
14. Terex Corporation (R)
15. Inwako (A)
16. TMG Engineering (K)
17. XYY Options, Inc (A)

FRANCE

1. Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (A)
2. Sciaky (A)
3. Thomson CSF (A, K)
4. Aerospatiale and Matra Espace (R)
5. Cerbag (A)
6. Protec SA (C)
7. Thales Group (A)
8. Societé Général pour les Techniques Nouvelles (A)

USSR/RUSSIA

1. Soviet State Missile Co. (R)
2. Niikhism (R)
3. Mars Rotor (R)
4. Livinvest (R)
5. Russia Aviatin Trading House (K)
6. Amsar Trading (K)

CHINA

1. China Wanbao Engineering Company (A, C, K)
2. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd (K)
3. China State Missile Company (R)

OTHER COUNTRIES

- Japan: Fanuc (A), Hammamatsu Photonics KK (A), NEC (A), Osaka (A), Waida (A)
- Netherlands: Melchemie B.V. (C), KBS Holland B.V. (C), Delft Instruments N.V. (K)
- Belgium: Boehler Edelstahl (A), NU Kraft Mercantile Corporation (C), OIP Instrubel (K), Phillips Petroleum (C), Poudries Réunies Belge SA (R), Sebatra (A), Space Research Corp. (R)
- Spain: Donabat (R), Treblam (C), Zayer (A)
- Sweden: ABB (A), Saab-Scania (R)

Charles Duelfer, who advises the director of central intelligence on Iraqi weapons, reported that Iraq's WMD program was essentially destroyed in 1991 and Saddam ended Iraq's nuclear program after the 1991 Gulf War. Duelfer believes that Saddam decided to give up his weapons in 1991, but tried to conceal his nuclear and biological programs for as long as possible. Then in 1995, when his son-in-law Hussain Kamal defected with information about the programs, he gave those up, too. Iraq's nuclear program, which in 1991 was well-advanced, "was decaying" by 2001, the official said, to the point where Iraq was -- if it even could restart the program -- "many years from a bomb."  



5 Mar 2006 @ 22:17 by i2i : Betrayal of the Public Trust
Thank you Richard, and thank you Quinty for the feedback.

I am not going to go over the last two long commnents above, as all of this has been said before, and there is no doubt today that the Bush administration has been "less than forthcoming" (to put it mildly) on its reasons for the invasion of Iraq.

Back in 2003 Quidnovi asked:

"Above and beyond the question of US credibility abroad looms a larger issue. Does the current administration believe in our institutions or does it think that something more transcendent, such as 'manifest destiny' or maybe 'divine providence' or just simply the belief that it 'knows better', somehow supercedes those institutions and imbues it with some sort of a 'mission,' perceived or imagined, that gives it (in its mind) the right or the duty to govern by deception?"
----Noble Lies?

It is this notion of "deception," amongst others, that is at the heart today of H. RES. 635 introduced by Rep. John Conyers on December 18, 2005 and which aim is to create "...a select committee to investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment."

The text of the resolution can be found here on GovTrack. (GovTrack.us is "a nexus of information about the United States Congress, following the status of federal legislation and the activities of your senators and representatives." Since 2004, GovTrack has been an independent website run by a graduate student in his spare time. Data is collected via automated processes daily.)

The text can also now be found, here, in the Library of congress.

More about this can also be found here on NCN, where Richard has been runing a story, on jazzolog, about the case for impeachment.  



5 Mar 2006 @ 22:45 by jobrown : America was
once destroyed from the Outside and by Outsiders, who blatantly raped and murdered its Original Peoples and took over, after pushing the few surviving Originals into Oblivion, called "Reservations".... the Age-old life destroying pattern that Man is so good at!.... How many times will Man still continue to... well... and what group (of 'Man' ) will eventually turn out to be the Ones to turn this humongous tide of Evil around? ??? Will it indeed be the Modern Day Americans -or???
Who ever it will be, will become the Redeemers of Mankind -as I see it.
Thanks, "D"  



6 Mar 2006 @ 01:38 by i2i : The Deception of America
Remember this video?

Burried in the Sand: The Deception of America: link

------"Exclusive, Uncensored Footage of Atrocities Gives Rare Insight Why America Had 'MORAL OBLIGATION' to Invade Iraq."------

------"After viewing this DVD, Americans will soon have a far better understanding of why it was the United States' unavoidable obligation to invade Iraq."-------

This video came out in 2004, just in time for the Presidential electoral campaign. Expect more of the same in 2006.

The film is hosted by Mark Taylor, who had been a frequent guest on such shows as The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes and Politically Incorrect, as well as on MSNBC and CNN news broadcasts.

As one reviewer put it "No one would claim that these atrocities never happened. Of course they did. If you go to chop-chop square in Saudi Arabia on any Friday, you'll see this form of justice dispensed, as it has been for the past 1000 years. Question the accuracy of these claims, and the motivation behind the claims and ask yourself whether, yet again, we are being manipulated. One thing is certain, if you believe that what you see in this film justifies the war against Iraq, consistency demands that we attack Saudi Arabia immediately."

THE POINT is that the rationale for the war was not that we went to Iraq to "free" the Iraqi people from the rule of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship or to end the atrocities this film deals in.

THE WHOLE ISSUE is that Congress, the American people, the UN, and the whole world was told that we had to invade because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that it would use against the West if these were not dismantled. The war was waged even though the weapons inspectors could find no weapons. After the now infamous "mission accomplished," no weapons of mass destruction were found.

While I understand how there are those who would rather turn the whole thing into a debate about whether or not we had a "moral obligation" to free Iraq----the video came out at about the same time as "George W. Bush: Faith in the White House," a 70 minute documentary praising Bush’s "spiritual life" and "servant leadership," which was released to Christian bookstores and many Churches all across the country, the film also aired on a number of Christian TV networks like TLN, TBN, and INSP, and features a number of people who offer their takes on Bush and his faith, including James Robison, a religious broadcaster and a close Bush friend, Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals; and Don Hodel, President/CEO of Focus on the Family----sadly, the truth of the matter is that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with "morality," and, as for people’s "Faith in the Whitehouse," I’d say it is pretty shaken right now. There are now grave and serious mounting concerns that the case for war, as presented by this administration to Congress and to the People was "manufactured." And that is the issue. A very serrious issue, H. RES. 635 talks of "manipulation of pre-war intelligence."  



6 Mar 2006 @ 21:20 by i2i : It's obfuscation 2004 all over again:

While even Mr. Bush now publicly acknowledges the mistakes his administration made in judging the threat posed by Saddam Hussein link, an "outside advocacy group" is taking to the airwaves to insist that the White House was right all along. link

The television commercials are attention-grabbing:

----"Newly found Iraqi documents show that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, including anthrax and mustard gas, and had 'extensive ties' to al Qaeda."

----"The discoveries are being covered up by those 'willing to undermine support for the war on terrorism to selfishly advance their shameless political ambitions.'"

Gasp!

"Similar to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- the advocacy group that helped derail John Kerry's presidential campaign -- Move America Forward has magnified its reach by making small television and radio ad buys and then relying on cable and local-television news outlets to give the commercials heavy coverage."

"Move America Forward has no discernible formal ties to the White House or the Republican National Committee, and the group says it operates independently from the Republican Party establishment. Still, the organization provides a clear benefit to the administration by spreading a pro-war message that goes beyond what administration officials can say publicly."

"The White House didn't return several calls seeking comment. A Republican National Committee spokesman declined to comment."

"The effect of the ads hasn't been measured..."

Yet, "polls show that Mr. Bush's job-approval ratings, specifically his handling of the Iraq situation, have risen this month from all-time lows."  



7 Mar 2006 @ 01:39 by i2i : Quinty's question
"You and I, and many millions of Americans, can distinguish between Saddam and Osama, terrorism and imperialism, and are disgusted by the Bush administration’s shameless exploitation of many Americans’ fears. But will a new president have the courage to expose himself to charges of 'weakness?' Especially when we can be fairly certain there will more major terrorist attacks?"
----4 Mar 2006 @ 17:16 by Quinty @68.226.88.25

Well, yes, "fighting terrorism" is one thing, and then again "imperialism" or "nation building" are another thing entirely. I don't know. Barbara O’Brien had a great idea of how the whole Saddam/Osama link can be put to bed:

"Maybe the Democrats should hire Ross Perot to explain to the 'heartlanders' that Osama and Saddam are two different
guys who never got along with each other, much less worked together. 'See, people, it's just this simple ...'"

The problem, here, is that you have a political system and a state of the media which make it possible for the President and for people in his administration to get away with talking from both sides of their mouth:

While on one hand the administration----which can no longer cling to its pre-war claims of an imminent WMD threat and a link between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda link---- has had to water down its rhetoric and make major concessions on both those points, what the blue States (and most of the world,) and the red States hear and are told, however, are not the same thing. This is no accident! The double-speak is carefully calculated and the disinformation of the "heartland" is deliberate.

This topic alone is worthy of a thesis (I am surprised that there is not more on the Internet about this. ) Politically, it matters little to this administration what the blue States or the rest of the world think or know, it is enough for it, that the red States continue to be deceived into believing that Iraq had WMD and Saddam was tied to al-Qaeda (and, even, September 11.) The "red State/ blue State" concept is an oversimplication, of course, but you got the general idea. Basically, targeted groups A and B are not told the same thing. As illustrated above, this is done through groups like Progress for America and Move America Forward, and, more specifically, in so far as the White House is concerned, through the use of VERBAL AMBIGUITY.

Whenever an utterance allows more than one level of meaning, whenever an utterance implies more than it states, or whenever an utterance reflects a belief or attitude that is not specifically articulated, ambiguity is possible.

The President is on shaky ground with regard to group A (let's say the "blue States," AND our allies, and most of the world,) as past and recent revelations have dealt a sharp blow to the already-strained credibility of his administration. The President’s focus with group A is all about damage control. On one hand, the President does not want to go "there," because he is on shaky ground and he cannot afford for his base to see that he, his administration, and his case for the invasion of Iraq were at best shaky (and possibly trumped up, and even, actually forged in a couple of instances,) on the other hand, he cannot afford not to go "there," because if he does not go there willingly (like he has tried to do by delaying the 911 bipartisan commission and so on,) pressure would mount for him to do so, and the whole thing would probably draw even more attention and cause a bigger stench. So the President releases some ballast, he "temporizes," and acknowledges what he cannot help but acknowledge (minimizing his role and the role of his administration and mostly blaming the whole thing on "faulty intelligence,") but his language is that of VERBAL AMBIGUITY, so that in so far as group B (let’s say the "red States") is concerned, the pretense can be kept.

While acknowledging with group A, as ambiguously as possible, the absence of any operational link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein and the fact that "Iraq did not have the weapons that our intelligence believed were there"----thus squarely placing the blame on U.S. intelligence agencies----, to group B, the message remains triumphant as in the President’s speech aboard the aircraft carrier on May 1, 2003, when he asserted: "The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We've removed an ally of al Qaeda…"  



7 Mar 2006 @ 19:20 by i2i : Propaganda & the Heartland:Country Music

Remember country star Darryl Worley’s 2004 performance at the Super Bowl ("Have you forgotten")?

"I hear people saying we don't need this war
I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground
We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down
Now they say we don't realize the mess we're getting in
Before you start your preaching let me ask you this my friend

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbours still inside going thru a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

They took all the footage off my T.V.
Said it's too disturbing for you and me
It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say
If it was up to me I'd show it everyday
Some say this country's just out looking for a fight
Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right.”

Say what? Who ever said that "we shouldn’t worry ‘bout Bin Laden"? Was Darryl Worley’s referring to the President when he said (March 13th, 2002) "I truly am not that concerned about him." Of course, not! And while the song was allegedly originally written in support of the strike against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the recycling of the song in 2004 (Afghanistan is not mentioned by name in the song) right in the middle of the controversy about the invasion of Iraq, leaves the song open to "misinterpretation" (or does it?) It is interesting how much is achieved, through VERBAL AMBIGUITY.

Yet, again, whenever an utterance allows more than one level of meaning, whenever an utterance implies more than it states, or whenever an utterance reflects a belief or attitude that is not specifically articulated, ambiguity is possible.

e.g.

- implication that the war in Iraq is connected to "Bin Laden" and "9/11."

- implication that the people who are "preaching" against the war in Iraq, mostly "them Democrats" and the "peaceniks," believe we "shouldn’t worry ‘bout bin Laden."

- alleged Media censorship: "They (them "liberal media") took all the footage off my T.V. Said it’s too disturbing for you and me."

To be fair not all such songs bother being that subtle:

Tolerate This

Bush was right

More titles: here

In an article about the 2003 Academy of Country Music Awards (the one in which the Dixie Chicks were publicly booed by the audience of an institution that pride itself in "standing for true American values," like "freedom of speech," "manners, and good old American decency and respect,") the Moderate Independent asks:

Does country Music only exists "to head-off free thought, and to provide yet more ultra-conservative propaganda, taking a different angle - a supposedly cultural, artistic one – so as to add another prong to the multi-faceted right-wing propaganda machine's attack"? link

The question is a good one. Another good question would be how did country music get so politicized?

Legendary songwriter Bobby Braddock gave a brief and compelling address (2/13/2004) on that topic link :

"Just as Republican PR has given birth to the notion that it is now unSouthern to be a Democrat, they have also politicized OUR MUSIC. In a recent article, journalist Beverly Keel wrote that one might listen to country radio these days and get the impression that they were hearing the music of the Republican Party. I found that upsetting because I knew she was telling the truth. I won't open up that can of worms, the politicization of country music, but anyone who saw the crowd at the Belcourt Cinema on February 5 knows that the business end of country music in Nashville is NOT solidly Republican!"

"Country music is the music of everyday people. Why would we NOT belong to the party that sympathizes with the underdog? Country music is the music about families and mommas and babies. Why would we NOT belong to the party that cares about health care for seniors and children? Why would people in the music of wide open spaces and green green grass NOT be in the party that wants to protect God's green earth from the polluting global-warming big shots that the Bush administration loves and defers to?"

Bobby Braddock’s point is well taken, yet a few notable country music exceptions aside, most country singers are loathe to say anything vaguely critical of Bush or the occupation in Iraq lest they find themselves on the receiving end of a consumer and Clear Channel type boycott (an allegation still refuted by Clear Channel who claims that local managers make their own programming decisions.)  



9 Mar 2006 @ 17:13 by i2i : Mind control for sale

This from Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) via Anthony Marsh:

----quote----

"Strategic Communication Laboratories has pioneered a new methodology to enable governments and countries to manage their relationships with their key audience groups through more powerful communication.

The methodology is based on 16 years of academic research and development conducted at 42 universities around the globe. It uses scientific techniques from a variety of social sciences to make ‘communications with groups’ far more effective (and measurable).

SCL offers various solutions based on this methodology to help countries in specific governmental areas such as defence, foreign affairs, internal security, health, finance and tourism.

In a world where the perception is the reality, all countries need to have the capability to manage their own perceptual alignment – otherwise someone else will."

----endquote----

The concept of "managed perception of reality" is not exactly "news," but the link is very relevant indeed.

Anthony's comment is that, well, now that "we know the plan," "we do have the power to ignor them."

I don't know that I share his optimism about that.

We know the plan? Who is we? Are the people "who know," the people who really matter? Are they enough? What if the people who are "managed" (i.e "disinformed") are enough of a protective buffer to insulate the "targeted communication" experts from the backlash of those "who know."

As stated in an earlier comment further above:

Politically, it matters little to this administration what half of the country or the rest of the world think or know, it is enough for it, that the red States continue to be deceived into believing that Iraq had WMD and Saddam was tied to al-Qaeda (and, even, September 11.)

Abe was right, "he who molds public opinion is greater than he who enacts laws."

But I don't think he meant it as an eulogy for disinformation.  



9 Mar 2006 @ 17:37 by bushman : I say, yes to:
We know the plan? Who is we? Are the people "who know," the people who really matter?

In that the more people who know, by us that know we are being suckered, the more likely thier PT Barnum mentality, wont apply itself to the masses. " those who know, will always feel thier backs against the thin wall" Ultravox, Rage in Eden.
[link]

The Thin Wall

The sound is on the visions move
The image dance starts once again
They shuffle with a bovine grace and glide in syncopation
Just living lines from books we've read
With atmospheres of days gone by
With paper smiles
The screenplay calls a message for the nation

Chorus:

And those who sneer will fade and die
And those who laugh will surely fall
And those who know will always feel their backs against the thin wall
The thin wall
Thin wall

Grey men who speak of victory
Shed light upon their stolen life
They drive by night and act as if they're moved by unheard music
To step in time and play the part
With velvet voices smooth and cold
Their power games a game no more
And long the chance to use it

(Chorus)

And those who dance will spin and turn
And those who wait will wait no more
And those talk will hear the word
And those who sneer will fade and die
And those who laugh will surely fall
And those who know will always feel their backs against the thin wall
The thin wall
Thin wall

The thin wall (Repeat 3 times)

And those who dance
The thin wall
And those who talk
The thin wall
And those who sneer
The thin wall
And those who laugh
The thin wall
And those who know
The thin wall
And those who dance
The thin wall
And those who wait
The thin wall
And those who talk
(Fade)  



9 Mar 2006 @ 18:23 by i2i : The wall

"All alone, or in two's,
The ones who really love you
Walk up and down outside the wall.
Some hand in hand
And some gathered together in bands.
The bleeding hearts and artists
Make their stand.
And when they've given you their all
Some stagger and fall, after all it's not easy
Banging your heart against some mad bugger's wall."
------Pink Floyd, "Outside the Wall"

Another brick in the wall: link  



9 Mar 2006 @ 18:33 by bushman : Hmm,
The Thin Wall, of the circus tent, is not made of brick, its made of waterproof canvas. :}  


9 Mar 2006 @ 19:00 by i2i : Still...

"The wall was too high,
As you can see.
No matter how he tried,
He could not break free.
And the worms ate into his brain."

------Pink Floyd, "Hey you"  



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15 Sep 2016 @ 12:57 by Margis @195.211.212.118 : Pink Floyd super
"Hello.
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

Come on, now.
I hear you're feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain,
Get you on your feet again.

Relax.
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Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb  



15 Sep 2016 @ 13:00 by Margis @195.211.212.118 : Pink Floyd super2
'and I am not frightened of dying, any time will do, i
Don't mind. why should I be frightened of dying?
There's no reason for it, you've gotta go sometime.'
'i never said I was frightened of dying.'

[url=http://lyricsmusic.name/pink-floyd-lyrics/dark-side-of-the-moon/the-great-gig-in-the-sky.html]The Great Gig in the Sky[/url] by Pink Floyd  



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Other entries in
13 Jun 2006 @ 23:54: The Final Frontier?
20 Feb 2006 @ 08:21: Political Fiction---or is it?
10 Nov 2004 @ 03:22: "Family Values"
18 Oct 2004 @ 21:58: One Nation Under God
23 Aug 2004 @ 01:24: The Planet is Fine...
27 Apr 2004 @ 15:23: 54%
24 Apr 2004 @ 14:32: The Schmürz
5 Apr 2004 @ 16:54: Does the end justify the means?
20 Sep 2003 @ 15:42: The American Way
18 Sep 2002 @ 12:52: Where is Away?



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