New York – US President Barack Obama’s nomination of Jim Yong Kim for the presidency of the World Bank has been well received – and rightly so, especially given some of the other names that were bandied about. In Kim, a public-health professor who is now President of Dartmouth University and previously led the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department, the United States has put forward a good candidate. But the candidate’s nationality, and the nominating country – whether small and poor or large and rich – should play no role in determining who gets the job.
Posts Tagged ‘media’
by Huda Jawad, Dissident Voice, August 9th, 2010
Time magazine must be experiencing a severe case of amnesia, judging by the cover of this week’s issue which asks, “What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan .” At best, this effort by Time is irresponsible slick journalism; at worst, it is one of the most blatant pieces of pro-war propaganda seen in years. The world owes Afghanistan’s women an honest answer as to why we apathetically allow their condition to deteriorate from horrible to simply unspeakable. Instead, Time is willingly deceiving readers into thinking that the condition of Aisha – the woman pictured on the cover – is a product of the Taliban 10 years ago. It is not. Aisha’s scarred face is a heart-wrenching reflection of the state of Afghan women today in the year 2010, and under the absurd assertion of democracy and the presence of thousands of US and NATO troops in the country.
The Terrorism Industrial Complex (TIC)
By Rev. Richard Skaff
Global Research, January 31, 2010
Webster’s dictionary defines terrorism as the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. .
However, the United States code defined terrorism as “(An) act of terrorism means an activity that (A) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any state, and (B) appears to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population: (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping.” .
Chris Hedges, truthdig.com, January 24, 2010
|Original: AP / Charles Dharapak|
Corporate forces, long before the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, carried out a coup d’état in slow motion. The coup is over. We lost. The ruling is one more judicial effort to streamline mechanisms for corporate control. It exposes the myth of a functioning democracy and the triumph of corporate power. But it does not significantly alter the political landscape. The corporate state is firmly cemented in place.
An August 17th article by Swedish photojournalist Donald Bostrom on longstanding suspicions amongst Palestinians that Israeli soldiers might have been involved in an illegal organ harvest conspiracy predictably sparked controversy and acrimony between the governments of Israel and Sweden.
With their exasperated and precipitate reactions, Israel officials once again underscored the accuracy and precision of an analogy made by the late founder of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who likened the Israel’s stability to a “Spy Nest” some 30 years ago. A government whose very security and stability is threatened by the publication of a critical article should drastically review its policies to see what’s wrong with its trembling foundations. The same rule could be justly applied to Iranian authorities whose severe crackdown on the dissident media highlights major political shortages which the country suffers from; however, the Israeli lobby is so formidable and influential as to convince the “international community” to take its side in the face of such a “legitimacy crisis” while Iran has not ever nurtured such a network of lobbies worldwide.
Thursday 03 September 2009
In a statement, President Barack Obama said journalist J.S. Tissainayagam was “guilty of nothing more than a passion for truth and a tenacious belief that a free society depends on an informed citizenry.” (Photo: Reuters)
Colombo’s war on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam may have ended. But its war on media freedom is far from over. Unlike the army offensive in the northeast of Sri Lanka, this is a war waged in disregard of the island-state’s ethnic divide.
The latest illustration of this years-long offensive has come with the Colombo High Court sentencing a Sri Lankan journalist to a 20-year prison term, with “hard labor,” on August 31 for his published comments on the armed conflict. Forty-five-year-old Jayaprakash Sittampalam Tissainayagam is a Sri Lankan Tamil, but has never been known to function as a member of the LTTE.
By Paul Craig Roberts | Counterpunch, July 20, 2009
When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Japan did not spend years preparing her public case and demonstrating her deployment of forces for the attack. Japan did not make a world issue out of her view that the US was denying Japan her role in the Pacific by hindering Japan’s access to raw materials and energy.
Similarly, when Hitler attacked Russia, he did not preface his invasion with endless threats and a public case that blamed the war on England.
These events happened before the PSYOPS era. Today, America and Israel’s wars of aggression are preceded by years of propaganda and international meetings, so that by the time the attack comes it is an expected event, not a monstrous surprise attack with its connotation of naked aggression.
The US, which has been threatening Iran with attack for years, has passed the job to Israel. During the third week of July, the American vice president and secretary of state gave Israel the go-ahead. Israel has made great public disclosure of its warships passing through the Suez Canal on their way to Iran. “Muslim” Egypt is complicit, offering no objection to Israel’s naval forces on their way to a war crime under the Nuremberg standard that the US imposed on the world.
By the time the attack occurs, it will be old hat, an expected event, and, moreover, an event justified by years of propaganda asserting Iran’s perfidy.
Israel intends to dominate the Middle East. Israel’s goal is to incorporate all of Palestine and southern Lebanon into “Greater Israel.” The US intends to dominate the entire world, deciding who rules which countries and controlling resource flows.
The US and Israel are likely to succeed, because they have effective PSYOPS. For the most part, the world media follows the US media, which follows the US and Israeli governments’ lines. Indeed, the American media is part of the PSYOPS of both countries.
According to Thierry Meyssan in the Swiss newspaper Zeit-Fragen, the CIA used SMS or text messaging and Twitter to spread disinformation about the Iranian election, including the false report that the Guardian Council had informed Mousavi that he had won the election. When the real results were announced, Ahmadinejad’s reelection appeared to be fraudulent.
Iran’s fate awaits it. A reasonable hypothesis to be entertained and examined is whether Iran’s Rafsanjani and Mousavi are in league with Washington to gain power in Iran. Both have lost out in the competition for government power in Iran. Yet, both are egotistical and ambitious. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 probably means nothing to them except an opportunity for personal power. The way the West has always controlled the Middle East is by purchasing the politicians who are out of power and backing them in overthrowing the independent government. We see this today in Sudan as well.
In the case of Iran, there is an additional factor that might align Rafsanjani with Washington. President Ahmadienijad attacked former President Rafsanjani, one of Iran’s most wealthy persons, as corrupt. If Rafsanjani feels threatened by this attack, he has little choice but to try to overthrow the existing government. This makes him the perfect person for Washington.
Perhaps there is a better explanation why Rafsanjani and Mousavi, two highly placed members of the Iranian elite, chose to persist in allegations of election fraud that have played into Washington’s hands by calling into question the legitimacy of the Iranian government. It cannot be that the office of president is worth such costs as the Iranian presidency is not endowed with decisive powers.
Without Rafsanjani and Mousavi, the US media could not have orchestrated the Iranian elections as “stolen,” an orchestration that the US government used to further isolate and discredit the Iranian government, making it easier for Iran to be attacked. Normally, well placed members of an elite do not help foreign enemies set their country up for attack.
An Israeli attack on Iran is likely to produce retaliation, which Washington will use to enter the conflict. Have the personal ambitions of Rafsanjani and Mousavi, and the naive youthful upper class Iranian protesters, set Iran up for destruction?
Consult a map and you will see that Iran is surrounded by a dozen countries that host US military bases. Why does anyone in Iran doubt that Iran is on her way to becoming another Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, in the end to be ruled by oil companies and an American puppet?
The Russians and Chinese are off balance because of successful American interventions in their spheres of influence, uncertain of the threat and the response. Russia could have prevented the coming attack on Iran, but, pressured by Washington, Russia has not delivered the missile systems that Iran purchased. China suffers from her own hubris as a rising economic power, and is about to lose her energy investments in Iran to US/Israeli aggression. China is funding America’s wars of aggression with loans, and Russia is even helping the US to set up a puppet state in Afghanistan, thus opening up former Soviet central Asia to US hegemony.
The world is so impotent that even the bankrupt US can launch a new war of aggression and have it accepted as a glorious act of liberation in behalf of women’s rights, peace, and democracy.
|Al Jazeera, June 17, 2009
Anti-government protesters appear set to keep up the pressure on the Iranian leadership, with a fifth day of rallies planned.
The plan by the demonstrators to hold more protests on Wednesday comes a day after the Guardian Council, Iran’s highest legislative body, said that it was prepared for a partial recount of last week’s vote.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the incumbent president, was officially declared winner of Friday’s poll by a margin of two-to-one over his nearest rival Mir Hossein Mousavi.
Miren Gutierrez interviews NANCY SNOW, propaganda expert
ROME, Jan 22 (IPS) – The war of words continues in Gaza, in spite of the ceasefire. Nancy Snow, propaganda expert, talks to IPS about information spin strategies and whether we, the public, have learnt any lessons from Iraq.
Snow is a writer and a Huffington Post blogger. Her latest book is “Persuader-in-Chief” about public diplomacy and persuasion in the Age of Obama. She is also Associate Professor at the Newhouse School of Communications, Syracuse University.
IPS: The Israeli propaganda effort is being directed to justify their attack. The sight of Hamas rockets streaking into Israel has been helpful in this respect. But do you think Israel’s effort has achieved anything?
NS: Israel’s effort seems to be designed to shake the confidence of Hamas. Of course, innocent people are in the way of this power struggle. We don’t know yet if Hamas will be emboldened or weakened by the Gaza conflict. We do know that global public opinion is against Israel for its raining of air attacks on a densely populated area. A lot of people died unnecessarily simply because of where they lived.
IPS: On Dec. 28, Israel released a video of a missile attack against what appeared to be a lorry being loaded with rockets. A caption says: “Grad missiles being loaded onto the Hamas vehicle.” As of last week, 632,714 people had watched it. However, it turned out that a Gaza resident named Ahmad Abdallah Muhammad Sanur claimed that the truck was his and that he and his workers were moving oxygen cylinders from his workshop. How do you think this case has hampered Israel’s propagandistic efforts?
NS: If one believes that the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) is acting in self-defence and that Hamas is completely responsible for creating the Gaza conflict, then the resident’s claim that this truck was his and that they were only moving oxygen cylinders places innocent victims smack in the middle of the propaganda war between Hamas and the IDF. If Sanur’s claims are true, naturally it hurts the IDF position that only Hamas is the target of its rockets.
IPS: Has the ban on foreign correspondents “helped”? (The television channels Al-Jazeera and BBC operated there during the attack). The absence of reporters from other major organisations has meant, for example, that Sanur’s story has not been as widely told as it probably would have been, or his account subject to examination.
NS: How do you think the ban is affecting this war of words? I’m all for the complete access of media to conflict areas. If correspondents are willing to put themselves in harm’s way in order to tell the story, completely and truthfully, then they should be allowed in. When a ban takes place, all we can wonder is what is being left out of the story being told? We cannot allow just officials to tell their stories. We need people on the ground, both citizen journalists and foreign correspondents, to complete the landscape picture.
IPS: Only last week, if you typed “Gaza” in the YouTube search engine, you would get 47,200 hits. Some of the titles included “Mortar Bombs Shot from U.N. School in Gaza” (from Oct 29, 2007); “Hamas terrorists kill innocent Palestinian in Gaza”; and “White phosphorus shells on Gaza.” Some of them come from established TV channels like Al-Jazeera, BBC or CBS. Others come from unclear sources. We have seen pictures of the conflict in Lebanon in 2006 and videos of the Jabalya refugee camp from September 2005 passed off as images of the current conflict in Gaza too. An apparently conclusive piece of evidence can turn into something doubtful. How can the reader know that what he or she is seeing is true or an honest rendition of the truth?
NS: I wouldn’t entirely trust Youtube for the whole story. We often say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but if that picture has been doctored of if the caption is inaccurate, then the picture is utterly worthless. I would tell people to utilise a wide spectrum of sources, both print, online, and video, to dig deeper. Compare and contrast media coverage, for instance CNN versus Al-Jazeera. A lot of the story is being left out or told from a biased perspective. We’re all biased; no one is without a slanted perspective, but we can try to overcome our worse biases by constantly questioning the story, its conclusions and the sources used. Always ask yourself, what is being left out on the cutting room floor?
IPS: In an interview with IPS in 2004, you said that, once the masses have chosen sides, “propaganda is used to reinforce existing attitudes more than it is used to change attitudes”. Is that what is happening here?
NS: Yes, this is still the case. Propaganda is generally ill-suited to completely change opinions from one side to another. What it can be more effective at is challenging a prevailing assumption among those who aren’t yet fully committed to one side or another. Also, the best propaganda, like the best persuasion, is that which is subtle and designed to make one believe that the conclusion comes from oneself and not an outside sponsor.
IPS: In the same interview with IPS, you said about the invasion of Iraq that the propaganda surrounding it that it was more “about not seeing images. People in the U.S. didn’t see the same war as people outside the U.S. or as did viewers of Al-Jazeera.” What about Gaza now? Are we seeing the same war?
NS: Absolutely not. Just the other day, my colleague, Mehrzad Boroujerdi, director of Middle East studies here at Syracuse University, commented on how different the media coverage of the Gaza conflict was between CNN and Al-Jazeera English. He said that just five minutes of watching convinced him that the media are setting the agenda and creating different wars through their distinct coverage. CNN was much more pro-Israeli and pro-official sources while Al-Jazeera English gave voice to the people on the ground.
IPS: You also said that with Iraq, the U.S. public “succumbed more to the stupid propaganda tricks than did the rest of the world”. Are they succumbing to Israeli propaganda now? Has the public learnt any lessons from Iraq?
NS: I’m not sure if we learned anything from Iraq. It’s still too soon. We’re in the midst of saying goodbye to a most unpopular war president whose favourability is at an all-time low of 22 percent. I think most of us don’t know whose propaganda is more credible.
*Miren Gutierrez is IPS Editor in Chief.