move on past concision, euphemisms...
MoveOn and other virtual organizing efforts have a potential to connect with concrete actions and independent media, to complement protest demonstrations and other actions taken by peace and justice organizations and individuals, and with anyone accepting or critical of corporate media. Connections could even be formed between say, online music sharing services with 'Do no harm' type of ads, not all ads must default to corporate ones.
There's always hope that corporate advertising figures who currently display underwear, soft drinks, etc. could takes stands for principles.
Organized efforts such as Win without War To Resist Bush Preemption of Peace Process, MoveOn and other virtual efforts can connect with anyone, not only those who actively get news from non-corporate veiwpoints, concerned about the Bush administration's plans regarding Iraq.
Even if there was more international support beyond what Noam Chomsky describes as the Intcom group of states it would still be a preemptive attack in lieu of any eminent identified threat, thus Great Britain and Spain (hardly a coalition of the willing) and regimes who "support" the U.S. while in direct opposition to the majority of concern expressed on the streets (odd sort of democracies for sure) fails to achieve any high-minded moral claims to invade Iraq.
The virtual organizing can also direct concerns to so-called representatives in Congress and it will complement traditional protest efforts as well as daily choices made by citizens who are currently excluded from corporate media by way of its range of a cceptable debate, self-imposed time constraints allotted between commercials, or superficial at best discussion of issues that need broad in-depth discussion as one would expect from a country that claims to be naturally destined to spread democracy (not establish economic conditions under dictatorship rule).
It is unfathomable how in the words of Arundhati Roy the goalposts have been moved without notice by corporate media. medialens (Roy's speech was recently aired on Democracy NOW!) Also, Robert Fisk among other staples of Alternative Radio have noted the lack of discussion about this change in game plan in corporate media.
Every day I'm taken aback at how many people believe that opposing the war in Afghanistan amounts to supporting terrorism. Now that the initial aim of the war - capturing Osama bin Laden - seems to have run into bad weather, the goalposts have been moved. It's being made out that the whole point of the war was to topple the Taliban regime and liberate Afghan women from their burqas. We're being asked to believe that the US marines are actually on a feminist mission. (If so, will their next stop be America's military ally, Saudi Arabia?) Think of it this way: in India there are some pretty reprehensible social practices, against "untouchables", against Christians and Muslims, against women. Pakistan and Bangladesh have even worse ways of dealing with minority communities and women. Should they be bombed?
The virtual efforts can potentially conjoin large numbers of people to action in a complementary way to that achieved by protest demonstrations and other organized efforts for peace and justice efforts, organizations and individuals (to not recognize the potential of all citizens who already have the power, and certainly the responsibility would be odd since it is well known what an impact popular outcry could have upon misconceived signs of assumed passive consent on such issues as "intervention", those that cause immediate physical and long term harm as well as economic. Popular thrust must apply to peace and justice efforts too and focus on corporate media's impact).
Independent media ought to further highlight the fallacies of the "free market", confusions about "conservatives" who sway from the traditional notions regarding state intervention, and standards in terms of what, and by who terrorism equally applies.
Rather than as a means for those 'who can not attend protests in Washington, DC, San Francisco' virtual marches should show what can be done in complementary ways each and every day by all those who are unheard by the narrow and artificial sides of debate while corporate media ignores them. It was quite evident on February 15, 2003 that there is not complete acceptance to ignore international law or moral conscience.
It is difficult to reconcile how the U.S. can be even considering a preemptive attack upon the people of Iraq who have experienced and witnessed the effects of sanctions, rising cancer levels, degradation of pre-Gulf war ways of life, devaluation of currency, deterioration of state of health care and hospitals, etc. without any eminent and substantiated threat. (See the IraqJournal for details.)
It should be added how "aid" tends to favor regimes with the worst human rights records presumably because they have shown they know how attend to expressions of disapproval with their governments use of aggression to set "free markets" even more free for business interests.
This is hardly as organized and extensive as I plan for at some point. It seems like an opportunity for Affero to connect with South End Press and Z Magazine to direct more monetary support to them (Free Speech Radio News, etc. too). The resource provided by Znet such as the enclosed samplings below from books that are available also provide opportunity for updates to be made to such serious investigations as more information become s available - hidden from lengthy years of information kept from public long after any threat to any "defense" concerns have surely passed though incrimination is potentially more of an issue.
Does the propaganda model predict outcomes?
One prediction of the model is that it will be effectively excluded from discussion, for it questions a factual assumption that is most serviceable to the interests of established power: namely, that the media are adversarial and cantankerous, perhaps excessively so. However well-confirmed the model may be, then, it is inadmissible, and, the model predicts, should remain outside the spectrum of debate over the media. This conclusion too is empirically well-confirmed. Note that the model has a rather disconcerting feature. Plainly, it is either valid or invalid. If invalid, it may be dismissed; if valid, it will be dismissed. As in the case of eighteenth-century doctrine on seditious libel, truth is no defense; rather, it heightens the enormity of the crime of calling authority into disrepute.
If the conclusions drawn in the propaganda model are correct, then the criticisms of the media for their adversarial stance can only be understood as a demand that the media should not even reflect the range of debate over tactical questions among dominant elites, but should serve only those segments that happen to manage the state at a particular moment, and should do so with proper enthusiasm and optimism about the causes -- noble by definition -- in which state power is engaged. It would not have surprised George Orwell that this should be the import of the critique of the media by an organization that calls itself "Freedom House."25
Natural Spectrum of Opposing Views? Or keep out anyone who might be concerned with principles and such:
There were some who found all this a bit too much. Commenting on the Panama coverage, David Nyhan of the Boston Globe described the media as "a docile, not to say boot-licking, lot, subsisting largely on occasional bones of access tossed into the press kennel," happy to respond to lies with "worshipful prose." The Wall Street Journal noted that the four TV networks gave "the home team's version of the story." There was a scattering of skepticism in reporting and commentary, but most toed the line in their enthusiasm for what George Will called an exercise of the "good-neighbor policy," an act of "hemispheric hygiene" expressing our "rights and responsibilities" in the hemisphere -- whatever the delinquents beyond our borders may think, as revealed by their near-universal condemnation.14
The Bush administration was, naturally, overjoyed. A State Department official observed that "the Republican conservatives are happy because we were willing to show some muscle, and the Democratic liberals can't criticize because it's being so widely seen as a success"15; the State Department follows standard conventions, contrasting "conservatives," who advocate a powerful and violent state, with "liberals," who sometimes disagree with the "conservatives" on tactical grounds, fearing that the cost to us may be too high.
War of the Words (or euphemisms):
Unreported, however, was the conclusion of the Andean Commission of Jurists that the charges are "clearly a set-up by the military forces which are looking to discredit the popular work [of] the IPC," a community-based organization working in popular education, training and human rights. The staff workers arrested -- all those present at the time, including the director -- were held incommunicado and tortured, according to the Colombian section of the Andean Commission. The Colombian Human Rights Committee in Washington reported increasing harassment of popular organizations as new aid flowed to the military in the name of "the war on drugs.
Post-"Cold War" and the Search for New Enemies - even better when they can be portrayed in a dichotomous "other" fashion:
The historical and planning record and underlying institutional factors provide good reason to expect the post-Cold War era to be much like the past as far as relations between the United States and the Third World are concerned, apart from tactics and pr opaganda. "Radical nationalism" and experiments with independent development geared to domestic needs will raise the danger flags, and call forth a reaction, varying with circumstances and the functions of the region. The same continuity is to be expected with regard to the concomitants of these policy goals, including the persistent support for human rights violations, the general hostility to social reform, and the principled antagonism to democracy.
War on Democracy?
A closer look at Colombia is directly relevant to what follows, and provides further insight into what counts as "democracy." In Colombia, the New York Times informs us, courageous people threatened by "violence from cocaine gangs" are struggling "to preserve democratic normalcy" and "to keep democratic institutions alive." The reference is not to peasants, union leaders, or advocates of social justice and human rights who face the violence of the military and the oligarchy. And crucially, democratic norm alcy has never been threatened by the fact that the two parties that share political power are "two horses [with] the same owner" (former President Alfonso Lopez Michaelsen) -- not exactly a circumstance unfamiliar to us. Nor does a problem arise from the actual conditions of this "democratic normalcy." To mention a few, death squads have killed about 1,000 members of the one party not owned by the oligarchy (the Patriotic Union, UP) since its founding in 1985,6 leaving the unions and popular organization s with no meaningful political representation. Disappearance and execution of labor, Indian and community leaders is a regular part of daily life while "many Colombians insist that army troops often act as though they were an occupation force in enemy ter ritory" (Americas Watch). These death squads dedicated to extermination of "subversives" are in league with the security forces (Amnesty International). An official government inquiry made public in 1983 found that over a third of members of paramilitary groups engaged in political killings and other terror were active-duty officers, a pattern that continues to the present, along with alliances with drug dealers, according to human rights inquiries (Alfredo V?squez Carrizosa, president of the Colombian Permanent Committee for Human Rights and former Minister of Foreign Affairs). The death squads sow "an atmosphere of terror, uncertainty and despair," and "all families in which even one member is somehow involved in activities directed towards social justice" are under constant threat of disappearance and torture, conducted with "impunity" by the military and their allies (Pax Christi Netherlands), including "cocaine gangs" and the owner of the two horses. Political killings in 1988 and 1989 averaged 11 a day (Andean Commission of Jurists, Bogot? office).
That is some of the record that doesn't always make it into the "official" historical record. Hopefully attention will address the conflict between U.S. vetoes that appear to contradict its celebrated image on such matters as human rights and international law when it is nearly the only opposing vote, presumably when conflict exists, business goals outweigh lofty ideals.
In addition to inflicting more harm on the people of Iraq and the further fallout from weapons such as Depleted Uranium that will likely also harm all soldiers, U.S., British, and Iraqi, the latter with not much of suitable alternative choice but to 'fight", there's the impact on future generations. Veteran's still Agent Orange, recent Free Speech Radio News segment.
The state of officially recognized so-called public radio in the US, a lesser version of the "Washington-media", should address public concern over underwriting and connections with the keeper of the written record newspaper to name but two. WBUR in Boston, the show, On Point Radio, February 25, 2003, discussed security in terms of civil liberties as if only one of a balancing act, or only in terms of delays some people might have to wait at an airport, hardly addressed the fallout from Patriot Act and Act II, nor the people who have experienced more than waiting Amer Jubran and many others.
Fortunately recognition of realty does occur in Boston, Radio with a View ( AirWaveWEB) had a proper discussion on the topic, Nancy Murphy, ACLU MASS, spoke about the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003.
It is time for popular activism, an extension of the "Vietnam Syndrome", along with new efforts to address such things as the "threat of a good example", "crisis in democracy", how nationalism is only accepted if it is the U.S., actually business goals , and connect at minimum with religious groups concerning Central America, specifically attacks on organized groups, teachers, priests, union activists.
It is unlikely that corporate media will discuss the all too common euphemisms and cases where stated rhetoric concerning democratic values conflicts with the historical record. This is for the independent media, Free Speech Radio News, Democracy NOW!, Between The Lines, Flashpoints, etc. to pursue the true meanings of U.S. "aid", "human rights", "drug wars", "humanitarian intervention", "free trade", "intervention", nationalism, concern over "ultranationalism" when it is others pursuing independent courses, etc.
Second worldwide convergence for awareness and actions: Corporate Media, Weapons on Mass Public Subsidy...Click and Support Independent Media on Saturday, March 16, 2003.
U.S. Conflicts - with its self-reported image when it blocks peace efforts and other inconsistent votes in the UN:
For many years, the US has stood virtually alone in blocking a diplomatic settlement in the Middle East. The UN record brings out the facts and the issues clearly. The Security Council was eliminated as a forum years ago, thanks to the US veto.
U.S. Corporate Media Advantage "official's say" access:
The elite reaction to the invasion did not pass unnoticed abroad. An editorial in Canada's leading journal condemned "the shallow, boosterish U.S. media" with their "chilling indifference to the fate of innocent Panamanians who have been victimized by this successful little military deployment." A columnist commented on "the mood of jingoism" fostered by the media, the "peculiar jingoism so evident to foreigners but almost invisible for most Americans." "Reporters seeking alternative comments on the invasion typically have to go to the fringe of U.S. society merely to gather opinions on the invasion that would be common in other countries," and the foreign consensus in opposition to this use of force was "given short shrift in the U.S. media." A typical example is the (null) reaction to the U.S. veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the ransacking of the residence of Nicaragua's ambassador to Panama by U.S. troops, voted 13 to 1 with only Britain abstaining."
Letters to the editor, in contrast, made frequent reference to the hypocrisy of the pose, asking "what is the difference between our invasion of Panama and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait?," among many other cases of benign aggression. The dramatic difference between letters and professional commentary again illustrates the failure of the ideological offensive of the past years to reach beyond educated elites to all sectors of the general public. Overseas, simple truths could be perceived outside of the major power centers, where deviation from established truths is too dangerous. A lead editorial in the Dublin Sunday Tribune, headlined "Moral Indignation is Pure Hypocrisy," recalls the Western reaction to Iraq's invasion of Iran, the U.S. invasion of Grenada and Panama, Israel's invasion of Lebanon, and "the injustice done to the Palestinians [which] is a continuing cause of justifiable anger in the Middle East" and will lead to "continued turmoil." Irish Times Washington correspondent Sean Cronin, noting the impassioned words of U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering in support of the Security Council resolution condemning Iraq, recalled some events just eight months before: the December 23 U.S. veto of a Security Council resolution condemning the invasion of Panama (with British and French assistance, in this case); and the December 29 General Assembly resolution demanding the withdrawal of the "US armed invasion forces from Panama" and calling the invasion a "flagrant violation of international law and of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.
Deterring Democracy Review:
US presidents rail against minor acts of terrorism by arab nations - but the US spent millions of dollars arming terrorists to attack hospitals and schools in Nicaragua, attempted to assassinate Ghaddafi, and continues to turn a blind eye to Israeli and South African aggression in Mozambique and Lebanon. The US claims to be the leader of "the international community" - but the US has vetoed more UN security council resolutions than any other member and has several times been the only dissenting member in UN general assembly resolutions.
Also see Norman Finkelstein, Z Magazine, Nov. 1990.
Sent to MoveOn - On MoveON Syndrome - hopefully for popular activism
I was already familiar with MoveOn prior to hearing about the virtual effort on Free Speech Radio News. My concern is on people who oppose the Bush administration but who literally consume corporate media who might not hear about you. I often use my aunt along with her WW II husband as an example. They're aware of what is "missed" from corporate media but they still don't actively pursue independent forms or listen to radio shows such as noted on one regional form of AirWaveWEB .
Hopefully there are more efforts to connect more peace and justice related organizations with individual efforts and with a focus on strengthening all forms of support for independent media (www.fsrn.org currently in need) and highlighting the impact of c orporate media.
And here's to your effort being a long term threat of a good example of organizing popular activism as one would expect from anyone with responsibility for what the U.S. does, not just a task for its victims, Central America, etc.
Above I left out how it is not even hidden how the U.S. tries to "persuade" other countries to vote as it decides they should but this is in itself is not a credibility issue for the UN. On FSRN, 26 February 2003 the laugh but the crowd is quiet telling when Ari Fleischer questioned such a thing. It seems to be for the corporate media who missed another opportunity.
Chomsky/Woolsey "Debate" It's not everyday that I refer to the Newshour especially when Noam Chomsky is a guest.