Posts Tagged ‘war propaganda’

War propaganda from Afghanistan

April 29, 2010
By Glenn Greenwal, Salon.com, April 27, 2010

AP
In this April 26, photo, U.S. Army Lt. David Cummings, of Raleigh, N.C., talks on the radio with his platoon while patrolling areas in Kandahar.

The New York Times yesterday excitedly declared that the imminent Battle of Kandahar “has become the make-or-break offensive of the eight-and-half-year [Afghanistan] war” and is “the pivotal test of President Obama’s Afghanistan strategy.”  As Atrios suggests, there never is any such thing as “make-or-break” because we never leave no matter how completely our war and occupation efforts fail.  That’s what led to the countless Friedman Units of the Iraq War:  the endless proclamations that The Next Six Months will be Decisive, only to be repeated at the end of the six-month period of failure as though the prior one never happened.

Just consider what’s being said now about how the Kandahar offensive is the “make-or-break” battle of the war and the “pivotal test” for Obama’s war strategy by comparing it to what was said a mere two months ago about the now clearly failing assault on Marjah:

Times of London, February 13, 2010:

Allied troops launched a major offensive into Afghanistan’s most violent province last night, in a key part of President Obama’s push to seize control of the Taleban’s last big stronghold. . . . If it fails, many analysts believe that the war will be lost.

The Independent declared on February 9, 2010, that General McChrystal wants the Marjah offensive to “be one of the most significant in the country since the fall of the Taliban in 2001″ and, of Obama’s war strategy, said that “Marjah looks like being its first major — and possibly decisive — test.”  The BBC quoted a NATO official who proclaimed that Marjah “was ‘probably the definitive operation’ of the counter-insurgency strategy” and “this operation could potentially define the tipping point, the crucial momentum aspect in the counter-insurgency.”  Time helpfully informed us that “U.S. officials believe it will mark a turning point in the war.”

Now that that “make-or-break decisive test” has failed (or, at best, has produced very muddled outcomes), did the Government and media follow through and declare the war effort broken and the strategy a failure?  No; they just pretend it never happened and declare the next, latest, glorious Battle the real “make-or-break decisive test” — until that one fails and the next one is portrayed that way, in an endless tidal wave of war propaganda intended to justify our staying for as long as we want, no matter how pointless and counter-productive it is.

* * * * *

Speaking of war propaganda, today is a very proud day for the U.S.:  the military commission ordered by Eric Holder begins for Omar Khadr, a Canadian-born, Afghanistan-residing detainee encaged at Guantanamo for seven years — since he was 15 years old — on “war crimes” and “terrorism” charges that he was involved in a firefight with American military forces who, revealingly enough, were using a former Soviet military base as their outpost.  Khadr was wounded in the battle, imprisoned at Bagram, then at Guantanamo, claims he was severely tortured into falsely confessing, and made worldwide news when a video of him weeping, begging for medical help, and crying for his mother during an interrogation was released.  Apparently, if the U.S. Army invades a foreign country, anyone who fights against that invading force — including a 15-year-old boy — is a “war criminal” and a “Terrorist,” even the Worst of The Worst, which is, of course, all that we’re currently holding at Guantanamo.  Now that’s some robust propaganda.

Jewish International Opposition Statement Against Attack on Iran

August 13, 2008

Information Clearing House, August 12, 2008

Efforts to beat the drums of war for an attack on Iran’s nuclear reactor facilities are promoted in both the USA and Israel scenes. The recent New York Times opinion piece of July 18th, written by the Israeli historian Benny Morris, serves to consolidate those political forces. The Jewish opposition here expresses our outrage in order to forestall this horrendous proposal.

That clamour for war with Iran has met not only popular opposition but also runs counter to the quiet diplomacy that has engaged Iran in ongoing relations with the UN nuclear agency, as well as economic trade talks with the USA itself. Israel is also committed to a cease-fire that has held now for a month’s time, to the relief of both the populations of Israel and Gaza. In light of the developing political atmosphere of reason and negotiations, the militarist mindset has pumped up its rationale for war attempting to create the preconditions for a further war. Morris seeks to fabricate such prior conditions arguing,

“They are likely to use any bomb they build, both because of ideology and because of fear of Israeli nuclear pre-emption. Thus an Israeli nuclear strike to prevent the Iranians from taking the final steps toward getting the bomb is probable. The alternative is letting Tehran have its bomb. In either case, a Middle Eastern nuclear holocaust would be in the cards.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/18/opinion/18morris.html

This promotion of inevitability plays on Jewish and Israeli memory of the Nazi Holocaust in order to garner any and every source of support for an Israel military strike against Iran, provoking a reaction and leading to a further war by drawing in the USA. This is particularly deplorable in view of the fact that 16 US intelligence agencies concluded that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and has not had one for five years.

We extol the heroic courage of Israel’s nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu, joining our voices to his in condemnation of Israel’s illegal stockpile of nuclear warheads and support the call for a nuclear-free Middle East.

The mindset calling for a war of mutual annihilation as a solution to security is astoundingly self-contradictory. Only the fabrication of a Nazi-like threat seeks to provide any credibility to such a call to war, much like the rationale for occupation that perceives a Palestinian plot to drive Jews into the sea. The reference to Iranian ideology (Islam) as the source of confrontation does not stand up to scrutiny, since the political challenge to Israel by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is not a call for extermination, despite any mistranslation.

We seek security for all concerned by affirming the right of all to security. While we lend no credibility to the prospect of an inevitable conflict, we nonetheless object to the hysteria promoted by the Iran-bashers who are now desperate in their repeated false starts to create another unnecessary war. The attempt to oblige Iran to comply with Security Council resolutions loses its legal, diplomatic and political force as the United States and Israel consistently ignore UN diplomacy and World Court decisions, relevant to the question of Palestine. We call upon all opposed to a military confrontation with Iran to write their governmental representatives demanding that the State of Israel subject its nuclear facilities to international inspection and sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) as has Iran, rather than issue threats of war.

Continued . . .


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