Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15710 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:31 pm Post subject:
Want to comment on a Northcliffe newspapers regional title?
Think again - censorship by moderators/editors here too
Subject: Re:Local World User account disabled - 911 Inside Job user name an inconvenient truth? The fall into Facism
Thank you for your reply, however this interpretation by LocalWorld of my user name and my content seems to be a restriction on the freedom of speech! I am quite happy to use my own name to criticise fools, especially political ones that have let us down, but the usual internet trolls along with these fools can then just gang up or ignore you even more if they are your MP and then abuse you for no reason, and unless you are a councillor like Christian Martin, whom I presume has complained (You ran an item where he complained about comments on Local World which he got disabled, along with a lack of gay film website internet access at the Town Hall!?), redress can be difficult! I am not alone in using a nom de plume on your website so I think your arguments are rather sad and a poor excuse.
Sadly you have also missed, as a media group, highlighting the Crime of the Century - 911 in New York! When the 47 storey World Trade Centre 7 in New York was demolished at free fall speed on 911, after not being hit by any aircraft late in the afternoon after the Twin Towers had been demolished also at free fall speed. The BBC strangely announced WTC7's collapse while standing in front of it about 20 minutes before it fell - check out utube footage! WTC7 is one of the smoking guns to this inside job crime handily blamed on Islamic terrorists by Israel to start new wars in their favour! WTC7 collapse footage was not shown initially in the USA by the MSM as the game would have been seen through by many more people.
My user name, '911 inside job', illustrates my view and that of many, that there were at the time of 9/11 and still are many Zionists agents in the US government and I did not think we were not allowed to hold a viewpoint on this! My icon on LocalWorld against my user name is Webster Tarpley's book' 9/11 Synthetic Terror made in the USA' . Webster Tarpley is an investigative journalist who was involved as a journalist in exposing the crimes of the CIA in the Bologna Bombings in Italy, as part of Operation Gladio an attempt to blame this crime on the communists in Italy - another false flag by fascists. He is another excellent investigative journalist that has pointed out problems in the Ukraine, where it's government has moved towards Russia it's neighbour, it's hence very handy to have all of this pink washing cover at the moment for anti-Russian and Putin sentiment - my take on your item on MP Kerry McCarthy - that Saudi Arabia is part of this axis of terror and has the death penalty on Homosexuality, but we still do business with it seems to have been lost!
#Ukraine fascist mob unmasks as foreign assets with call to US, #NATO foreigners to intervene in internal struggle in #Kiev, help pick gov
In a world where civil liberties are being eroded it seems the Bristol Evening Post and Local World are trying to control debate. When Israel is strongly implicated in 911 along with rogue military intelligence elements in The US and UK to start a money spinning war against Terror (tm Bush, Blair & Netenyahu) the real news should be that war criminals like Blair, who must have known in part at least, who started the illegal war with Iraq on behalf of his Zionist backers are still on the lose! I suggest you check out the website of investigative journalist Christopher Bollyn who has dug very deeply into the crimes of 911, he was interviewed by local journalist Tony Gosling on Tony's radio program in Bristol the other day, you may learn something!
The World is waking up to this heinous crime and the real culprits, but it won't be with the help of LocalWorld
Yours disappointedly and off to alternative independent media
----- Original Message -----
To: 'Michael XXXXXXX'
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 11:25 AM
Subject: RE: User account disabled
Dear Mr XXXXXXXX
Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately your account was disabled as we considered your username and its content to be misleading, in breach of our terms and conditions.
Bristol Post comments team
From: Michael XXXXXXXX
Sent: 31 January 2014 14:55
Subject: User account disabled
Can you please tell me why my account has been disabled, I have made a comment about Pinkwashing of anti-russian Foreign policy and it seems this has upset someone!? I have only stated that there are many worse countries in the world that Stephen Fry and Ian McKellen would be worth shouting about, specifically Saudi Arabia, that we chose to do alot of business with that still hold the death penalty for Homosexuality. I am not homophobic, but I would not need to declare this, that children should be given time to make up their own minds about their sexuality when they go through puberty should be a given.
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Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15710 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:00 am Post subject:
The Mainstream Media
Forging a New Global Consciousness
by Berit Kjos - 2002
See Rockefeller & Global Media Censors
The Revolutionary Steps to Global Tyranny | Media-made "Foes"
"…we will build a culture of peace based on non-violence, tolerance, dialogue, mutual understanding, and justice. We call upon the institutions of our civil society, the United Nations System, governments, governmental and non-governmental organizations, corporations, and the mass media, to strengthen their commitments to peace and to listen to the cries of the victims….” UNESCO's Declaration on the role of religion in the Promotion of a Culture of Peace. 
"Let’s just make sure that social change and transformation are going in the right direction…. The media must act as part of the education process that counters individualism.” Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Vice President of the World Bank. 
"Nonformal educators should encourage lifelong learning about sustainability.... Media strategists and sustainable development experts should develop an integrated approach for raising public awareness of and support for sustainable goals... " Public Linkage, Dialogue, and Education Task Force Report, The President's Council on Sustainable Development.
Matthew Shepard. What does that name mean to the American people? Hatred, torture, homophobia, sexism, political advocacy...?
Few Americans could miss the shocking details of this young homosexual's horrible death in 1998. According to a newspaper data base, the media published the story 3007 times -- 45 times in the New York Times alone. It stirred a national scandal and made Matthew a martyr for the cause of gay rights, hate-crimes legislation and anti-Christian sentiment. Ignoring his mother's plea not to politicize her son's death, reporters from coast to coast seemed to revel in a sensational story tailor-made for its liberal political campaign.
Did you read about Jesse Dirkhising's torture and murder at the hands of two homosexual lovers eleven months later? Probably not. The thirteen-year-old boy was drugged, strapped down, sodomized, tortured and killed by two adults living in an apartment which "reeked of excrement and was littered with drug paraphernalia and residue." Driven by sadistic passions, the men sealed the boy's mouth with duct tape and tormented him until he died. 
Like Matthew's murder, it was a horrible crime -- almost unfit to print. But that's not why most newspapers across the country refused to tell the story. The real reason? It wasn't politically correct. As journalist Andrew Sullivan wrote in the wake of Jesse's torturous murder, "the media only coughed up 46 stories." (Robert McCain, Washington Times, 03-23-01). This gross imbalance shows the driving priorities of the powerful social advocates who control the mainstream media....
This infographic created by Jason at Frugal Dad shows that almost all media comes from the same six sources.
That's consolidated from 50 companies back in 1983.
NOTE: This infographic is from last year and is missing some key transactions. GE does not own NBC (or Comcast or any media) anymore. So that 6th company is now Comcast. And Time Warner doesn't own AOL, so Huffington Post isn't affiliated with them.
But the fact that a few companies own everything demonstrates "the illusion of choice," Frugal Dad says. While some big sites, like Digg and Reddit aren't owned by any of the corporations, Time Warner owns news sites read by millions of Americans every year.
Just a two-minute video clip, but how significant? _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
The Paris-based organization called on
the UK Government to "reiterate clearly
to the international community that it
continues to support a free and
independent press". It also warned other
countries "not to transpose like-for-like
the British model of regulation".
The findings come a year after the
publication of the Royal Charter on 18
March 2013, following Lord Justice
Leveson's long public inquiry into the
state of the British press.
The other night, I saw George Orwells's '1984' performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell's warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, "To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country."
Acclaimed by critics, the skilful production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned. "What a *," said the young woman, lighting up her phone.
As advanced societies are de-politicised, the changes are both subtle and spectacular. In everyday discourse, political language is turned on its head, as Orwell prophesised in '1984'. "Democracy" is now a rhetorical device. Peace is "perpetual war". "Global" is imperial. The once hopeful concept of "reform" now means regression, even destruction. "Austerity" is the imposition of extreme capitalism on the poor and the gift of socialism for the rich: an ingenious system under which the majority service the debts of the few.
In the arts, hostility to political truth-telling is an article of bourgeois faith. "Picasso's red period," says an Observer headline, "and why politics don't make good art." Consider this in a newspaper that promoted the bloodbath in Iraq as a liberal crusade. Picasso's lifelong opposition to fascism is a footnote, just as Orwell's radicalism has faded from the prize that appropriated his name.
A few years ago, Terry Eagleton, then professor of English literature at Manchester University, reckoned that "for the first time in two centuries, there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life". No Shelley speaks for the poor, no Blake for utopian dreams, no Byron damns the corruption of the ruling class, no Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin reveal the moral disaster of capitalism. William Morris, Oscar Wilde, HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw have no equivalents today. Harold Pinter was the last to raise his voice. Among the insistent voices of consumer-feminism, none echoes Virginia Woolf, who described "the arts of dominating other people... of ruling, of killing, of acquiring land and capital".
At the National Theatre, a new play, 'Great Britain', satirises the phone hacking scandal that has seen journalists tried and convicted, including a former editor of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World. Described as a "farce with fangs [that] puts the whole incestuous [media] culture in the dock and subjects it to merciless ridicule", the play's targets are the "blessedly funny" characters in Britain's tabloid press. That is well and good, and so familiar. What of the non-tabloid media that regards itself as reputable and credible, yet serves a parallel role as an arm of state and corporate power, as in the promotion of illegal war?
The Leveson inquiry into phone hacking glimpsed this unmentionable. Tony Blair was giving evidence, complaining to His Lordship about the tabloids' harassment of his wife, when he was interrupted by a voice from the public gallery. David Lawley-Wakelin, a film-maker, demanded Blair's arrest and prosecution for war crimes. There was a long pause: the shock of truth. Lord Leveson leapt to his feet and ordered the truth-teller thrown out and apologised to the war criminal. Lawley-Wakelin was prosecuted; Blair went free.
Blair's enduring accomplices are more respectable than the phone hackers. When the BBC arts presenter, Kirsty Wark, interviewed him on the tenth anniversary of his invasion of Iraq, she gifted him a moment he could only dream of; she allowed him to agonise over his "difficult" decision on Iraq rather than call him to account for his epic crime. This evoked the procession of BBC journalists who in 2003 declared that Blair could feel "vindicated", and the subsequent, "seminal" BBC series, 'The Blair Years', for which David Aaronovitch was chosen as the writer, presenter and interviewer. A Murdoch retainer who campaigned for military attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria, Aaronovitch fawned expertly.
Since the invasion of Iraq - the exemplar of an act of unprovoked aggression the Nuremberg prosecutor Robert Jackson called "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole" - Blair and his mouthpiece and principal accomplice, Alastair Campbell, have been afforded generous space in the Guardian to rehabilitate their reputations. Described as a Labour Party "star", Campbell has sought the sympathy of readers for his depression and displayed his interests, though not his current assignment as advisor, with Blair, to the Egyptian military tyranny.
As Iraq is dismembered as a consequence of the Blair/Bush invasion, a Guardian headline declares: "Toppling Saddam was right, but we pulled out too soon". This ran across a prominent article on 13 June by a former Blair functionary, John McTernan, who also served Iraq's CIA installed dictator Iyad Allawi. In calling for a repeat invasion of a country his former master helped destroy, he made no reference to the deaths of at least 700,000 people, the flight of four million refugees and sectarian turmoil in a nation once proud of its communal tolerance.
"Blair embodies corruption and war," wrote the radical Guardian columnist Seumas Milne in a spirited piece on 3 July. This is known in the trade as "balance". The following day, the paper published a full-page advertisement for an American Stealth bomber. On a menacing image of the bomber were the words: "The F-35. GREAT For Britain". This other embodiment of "corruption and war" will cost British taxpayers £1.3 billion, its F-model predecessors having slaughtered people across the developing world.
In a village in Afghanistan, inhabited by the poorest of the poor, I filmed Orifa, kneeling at the graves of her husband, Gul Ahmed, a carpet weaver, seven other members of her family, including six children, and two children who were killed in the adjacent house. A "precision" 500-pound bomb fell directly on their small mud, stone and straw house, leaving a crater 50 feet wide. Lockheed Martin, the plane's manufacturer's, had pride of place in the Guardian's advertisement.
The former US secretary of state and aspiring president of the United States, Hillary Clinton, was recently on the BBC's 'Women's Hour', the quintessence of media respectability. The presenter, Jenni Murray, presented Clinton as a beacon of female achievement. She did not remind her listeners about Clinton's profanity that Afghanistan was invaded to "liberate" women like Orifa. She asked Clinton nothing about her administration's terror campaign using drones to kill women, men and children. There was no mention of Clinton's idle threat, while campaigning to be the first female president, to "eliminate" Iran, and nothing about her support for illegal mass surveillance and the pursuit of whistle-blowers.
Murray did ask one finger-to-the-lips question. Had Clinton forgiven Monica Lewinsky for having an affair with husband? "Forgiveness is a choice," said Clinton, "for me, it was absolutely the right choice." This recalled the 1990s and the years consumed by the Lewinsky "scandal". President Bill Clinton was then invading Haiti, and bombing the Balkans, Africa and Iraq. He was also destroying the lives of Iraqi children; Unicef reported the deaths of half a million Iraqi infants under the age of five as a result of an embargo led by the US and Britain.
The children were media unpeople, just as Hillary Clinton's victims in the invasions she supported and promoted - Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia - are media unpeople. Murray made no reference to them. A photograph of her and her distinguished guest, beaming, appears on the BBC website.
In politics as in journalism and the arts, it seems that dissent once tolerated in the "mainstream" has regressed to a dissidence: a metaphoric underground. When I began a career in Britain's Fleet Street in the 1960s, it was acceptable to critique western power as a rapacious force. Read James Cameron's celebrated reports of the explosion of the Hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll, the barbaric war in Korea and the American bombing of North Vietnam. Today's grand illusion is of an information age when, in truth, we live in a media age in which incessant corporate propaganda is insidious, contagious, effective and liberal.
In his 1859 essay 'On Liberty', to which modern liberals pay homage, John Stuart Mill wrote: "Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end." The "barbarians" were large sections of humanity of whom "implicit obedience" was required. "It's a nice and convenient myth that liberals are peacemakers and conservatives the warmongers," wrote the historian Hywel Williams in 2001, "but the imperialism of the liberal way may be more dangerous because of its open-ended nature: its conviction that it represents a superior form of life." He had in mind a speech by Blair in which the then prime minister promised to "reorder the world around us" according to his "moral values".
Richard Falk, the respected authority on international law and the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine, once described a "a self-righteous, one-way, legal/moral screen [with] positive images of western values and innocence portrayed as threatened, validating a campaign of unrestricted political violence". It is "so widely accepted as to be virtually unchallengeable".
Tenure and patronage reward the guardians. On BBC Radio 4, Razia Iqbal interviewed Toni Morrison, the African-American Nobel Laureate. Morrison wondered why people were "so angry" with Barack Obama, who was "cool" and wished to build a "strong economy and health care". Morrison was proud to have talked on the phone with her hero, who had read one of her books and invited her to his inauguration.
Neither she nor her interviewer mentioned Obama's seven wars, including his terror campaign by drone, in which whole families, their rescuers and mourners have been murdered. What seemed to matter was that a "finely spoken" man of colour had risen to the commanding heights of power. In 'The Wretched of the Earth', Frantz Fanon wrote that the "historic mission" of the colonised was to serve as a "transmission line" to those who ruled and oppressed. In the modern era, the employment of ethnic difference in western power and propaganda systems is now seen as essential. Obama epitomises this, though the cabinet of George W. Bush - his warmongering clique - was the most multiracial in presidential history.
As the Iraqi city of Mosul fell to the jihadists of ISIS, Obama said, "The American people made huge investments and sacrifices in order to give Iraqis the opportunity to chart a better destiny." How "cool" is that lie? How "finely spoken" was Obama's speech at the West Point military academy on 28 May. Delivering his "state of the world" address at the graduation ceremony of those who "will take American leadership" across the world, Obama said, "The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it. International opinion matters, but America will never ask permission..."
In repudiating international law and the rights of independent nations, the American president claims a divinity based on the might of his "indispensable nation". It is a familiar message of imperial impunity, though always bracing to hear. Evoking the rise of fascism in the 1930s, Obama said, "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being." Historian Norman Pollack wrote: "For goose-steppers, substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarisation of the total culture. And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manqué, blithely at work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while."
In February, the US mounted one of its "colour" coups against the elected government in Ukraine, exploiting genuine protests against corruption in Kiev. Obama's assistant secretary of state, Victoria Nuland, personally selected the leader of an "interim government". She nicknamed him "Yats". Vice President Joe Biden came to Kiev, as did CIA Director John Brennan. The shock troops of their putsch were Ukrainian fascists.
For the first time since 1945, a neo-Nazi, openly anti-Semitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No Western European leader has condemned this revival of fascism in the borderland through which Hitler's invading Nazis took millions of Russian lives. They were supported by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), responsible for the massacre of Jews and Russians they called "vermin". The UPA is the historical inspiration of the present-day Svoboda Party and its fellow-travelling Right Sector. Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok has called for a purge of the "Moscow-Jewish mafia" and "other scum", including gays, feminists and those on the political left.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its Nato Enlargement Project. Reneging on a promise made to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that Nato would not expand "one inch to the east", Nato has, in effect, militarily occupied eastern Europe. In the former Soviet Caucasus, Nato's expansion is the biggest military build-up since the Second World War.
A Nato Membership Action Plan is Washington's gift to the coup-regime in Kiev. In August, "Operation Rapid Trident" will put American and British troops on Ukraine's Russian border and "Sea Breeze" will send US warships within sight of Russian ports. Imagine the response if these acts of provocation, or intimidation, were carried out on America's borders.
In reclaiming Crimea - which Nikita Kruschev illegally detached from Russia in 1954 - the Russians defended themselves as they have done for almost a century. More than 90 per cent of the population of Crimea voted to return the territory to Russia. Crimea is the home of the Black Sea Fleet and its loss would mean life or death for the Russian Navy and a prize for Nato. Confounding the war parties in Washington and Kiev, Vladimir Putin withdrew troops from the Ukrainian border and urged ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine to abandon separatism.
In Orwellian fashion, this has been inverted in the west to the "Russian threat". Hillary Clinton likened Putin to Hitler. Without irony, right-wing German commentators said as much. In the media, the Ukrainian neo-Nazis are sanitised as "nationalists" or "ultra nationalists". What they fear is that Putin is skilfully seeking a diplomatic solution, and may succeed. On 27 June, responding to Putin's latest accommodation - his request to the Russian Parliament to rescind legislation that gave him the power to intervene on behalf of Ukraine's ethnic Russians - Secretary of State John Kerry issued another of his ultimatums. Russia must "act within the next few hours, literally" to end the revolt in eastern Ukraine. Notwithstanding that Kerry is widely recognised as a buffoon, the serious purpose of these "warnings" is to confer pariah status on Russia and suppress news of the Kiev regime's war on its own people.
A third of the population of Ukraine are Russian-speaking and bilingual. They have long sought a democratic federation that reflects Ukraine's ethnic diversity and is both autonomous and independent of Moscow. Most are neither "separatists" nor "rebels" but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland. Separatism is a reaction to the Kiev junta's attacks on them, causing as many as 110,000 (UN estimate) to flee across the border into Russia. Typically, they are traumatised women and children.
Like Iraq's embargoed infants, and Afghanistan's "liberated" women and girls, terrorised by the CIA's warlords, these ethnic people of Ukraine are media unpeople in the west, their suffering and the atrocities committed against them minimised, or suppressed. No sense of the scale of the regime's assault is reported in the mainstream western media. This is not unprecedented. Reading again Phillip Knightley's masterly 'The First Casualty: the war correspondent as hero, propagandist and mythmaker', I renewed my admiration for the Manchester Guardian's Morgan Philips Price, the only western reporter to remain in Russia during the 1917 revolution and report the truth of a disastrous invasion by the western allies. Fair-minded and courageous, Philips Price alone disturbed what Knightley calls an anti-Russian "dark silence" in the west.
On 2 May, in Odessa, 41 ethnic Russians were burned alive in the trade union headquarters with police standing by. There is horrifying video evidence. The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh hailed the massacre as "another bright day in our national history". In the American and British media, this was reported as a "murky tragedy" resulting from "clashes" between "nationalists" (neo-Nazis) and "separatists" (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine). The New York Times buried it, having dismissed as Russian propaganda warnings about the fascist and anti-Semitic policies of Washington's new clients. The Wall Street Journal damned the victims - "Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says". Obama congratulated the junta for its "restraint".
On 28 June, the Guardian devoted most of a page to declarations by the Kiev regime's "president", the oligarch Petro Poroshenko. Again, Orwell's rule of inversion applied. There was no putsch; no war against Ukraine's minority; the Russians were to blame for everything. "We want to modernise my country," said Poroshenko. "We want to introduce freedom, democracy and European values. Somebody doesn't like that. Somebody doesn't like us for that."
According to his report, the Guardian's reporter, Luke Harding, did not challenge these assertions, or mention the Odessa atrocity, the regime's air and artillery attacks on residential areas, the killing and kidnapping of journalists, the firebombing of an opposition newspaper and his threat to "free Ukraine from dirt and parasites". The enemy are "rebels", "militants", "insurgents", "terrorists" and stooges of the Kremlin. Summon from history the ghosts of Vietnam, Chile, East Timor, southern Africa, Iraq; note the same tags. Palestine is the lodestone of this unchanging deceit. On 11 July, following the latest Israeli, American equipped slaughter in Gaza - 120 people including six children in one family - an Israeli general writes in the Guardian under the headline, "A necessary show of force".
In the 1970s, I met Leni Riefenstahl and asked her about her films that glorified the Nazis. Using revolutionary camera and lighting techniques, she produced a documentary form that mesmerised Germans; it was her 'Triumph of the Will' that reputedly cast Hitler's spell. I asked her about propaganda in societies that imagined themselves superior. She replied that the "messages" in her films were dependent not on "orders from above" but on a "submissive void" in the German population. "Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie?" I asked. "Everyone," she replied, "and of course the intelligentsia."
Israeli spokesmen have their work cut out explaining how they have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them civilians, compared with just three civilians killed in Israel by Hamas rocket and mortar fire. But on television and radio and in newspapers, Israeli government spokesmen such as Mark Regev appear slicker and less aggressive than their predecessors, who were often visibly indifferent to how many Palestinians were killed.
There is a reason for this enhancement of the PR skills of Israeli spokesmen. Going by what they say, the playbook they are using is a professional, well-researched and confidential study on how to influence the media and public opinion in America and Europe. Written by the expert Republican pollster and political strategist Dr Frank Luntz, the study was commissioned five years ago by a group called The Israel Project, with offices in the US and Israel, for use by those "who are on the front lines of fighting the media war for Israel".
Every one of the 112 pages in the booklet is marked "not for distribution or publication" and it is easy to see why. The Luntz report, officially entitled "The Israel project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary, was leaked almost immediately to Newsweek Online, but its true importance has seldom been appreciated. It should be required reading for everybody, especially journalists, interested in any aspect of Israeli policy because of its "dos and don'ts" for Israeli spokesmen.
These are highly illuminating about the gap between what Israeli officials and politicians really believe, and what they say, the latter shaped in minute detail by polling to determine what Americans want to hear. Certainly, no journalist interviewing an Israeli spokesman should do so without reading this preview of many of the themes and phrases employed by Mr Regev and his colleagues.
Mark Regev Mark Regev The booklet is full of meaty advice about how they should shape their answers for different audiences. For example, the study says that "Americans agree that Israel 'has a right to defensible borders'. But it does you no good to define exactly what those borders should be. Avoid talking about borders in terms of pre- or post-1967, because it only serves to remind Americans of Israel's military history. Particularly on the left this does you harm. For instance, support for Israel's right to defensible borders drops from a heady 89 per cent to under 60 per cent when you talk about it in terms of 1967."
How about the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were expelled or fled in 1948 and in the following years, and who are not allowed to go back to their homes? Here Dr Luntz has subtle advice for spokesmen, saying that "the right of return is a tough issue for Israelis to communicate effectively because much of Israeli language sounds like the 'separate but equal' words of the 1950s segregationists and the 1980s advocates of Apartheid. The fact is, Americans don't like, don't believe and don't accept the concept of 'separate but equal'."
So how should spokesmen deal with what the booklet admits is a tough question? They should call it a "demand", on the grounds that Americans don't like people who make demands. "Then say 'Palestinians aren't content with their own state. Now they're demanding territory inside Israel'." Other suggestions for an effective Israeli response include saying that the right of return might become part of a final settlement "at some point in the future".
Dr Luntz notes that Americans as a whole are fearful of mass immigration into the US, so mention of "mass Palestinian immigration" into Israel will not go down well with them. If nothing else works, say that the return of Palestinians would "derail the effort to achieve peace".
The Luntz report was written in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009, when 1,387 Palestinians and nine Israelis were killed.
There is a whole chapter on "isolating Iran-backed Hamas as an obstacle to peace". Unfortunately, come the current Operation Protective Edge, which began on 6 July, there was a problem for Israeli propagandists because Hamas had quarrelled with Iran over the war in Syria and had no contact with Tehran. Friendly relations have been resumed only in the past few days – thanks to the Israeli invasion.
Frank Luntz Frank Luntz Much of Dr Luntz's advice is about the tone and presentation of the Israeli case. He says it is absolutely crucial to exude empathy for Palestinians: "Persuadables [sic] won't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Show Empathy for BOTH sides!" This may explain why a number of Israeli spokesman are almost lachrymose about the plight of Palestinians being pounded by Israeli bombs and shells.
In a sentence in bold type, underlined and with capitalisation, Dr Luntz says that Israeli spokesmen or political leaders must never, ever justify "the deliberate slaughter of innocent women and children" and they must aggressively challenge those who accuse Israel of such a crime. Israeli spokesmen struggled to be true to this prescription when 16 Palestinians were killed in a UN shelter in Gaza last Thursday.
There is a list of words and phrases to be used and a list of those to be avoided. Schmaltz is at a premium: "The best way, the only way, to achieve lasting peace is to achieve mutual respect." Above all, Israel's desire for peace with the Palestinians should be emphasised at all times because this what Americans overwhelmingly want to happen. But any pressure on Israel to actually make peace can be reduced by saying "one step at a time, one day at a time", which will be accepted as "a commonsense approach to the land-for-peace equation".
Dr Luntz cites as an example of an "effective Israeli sound bite" one which reads: "I particularly want to reach out to Palestinian mothers who have lost their children. No parent should have to bury their child."
The study admits that the Israeli government does not really want a two-state solution, but says this should be masked because 78 per cent of Americans do. Hopes for the economic betterment of Palestinians should be emphasised.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quoted with approval for saying that it is "time for someone to ask Hamas: what exactly are YOU doing to bring prosperity to your people". The hypocrisy of this beggars belief: it is the seven-year-old Israeli economic siege that has reduced the Gaza to poverty and misery.
On every occasion, the presentation of events by Israeli spokesmen is geared to giving Americans and Europeans the impression that Israel wants peace with the Palestinians and is prepared to compromise to achieve this, when all the evidence is that it does not. Though it was not intended as such, few more revealing studies have been written about modern Israel in times of war and peace.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92kG2tMBR40 _________________ --
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
Here are the mindless accusations against Putin from the idiots that the billionaire put in charge of his trophy newspaper:
'Putin, bitterly resentful at the loss of power from the Soviet collapse, has “resurrected the tyranny of the Big Lie” in order to reconstitute the Russian Empire.
“Russian sponsored militias in Ukraine” are responsible for the “shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner in July.” The “Russian state-controlled media” lied and misrepresented to the Russian people the party responsible for downing the airliner.
“In the absence of independent and free reporting, few Russians realize that Russian soldiers and armaments are in action in eastern Ukraine, albeit (as in Crimea) in uniforms and vehicles stripped of their identifying insignia and license plates. With no free media, Russians are left to fend for themselves against a firestorm of falsehoods.”
“Mr. Putin’s Big Lie shows why it is important to support a free press where it still exists and outlets like Radio Free Europe that bring the truth to people who need it.”
As a former Wall Street Journal editor, I can say with complete confidence that such extraordinary propaganda posing as an editorial would have resulted in the immediate firing of all concerned. In my days on the Congressional staff, the Washington Post was regarded as a CIA asset. Today the Post has sunk far below this status.
I have seen much media propaganda in my day, but this Washington Post editorial takes the cake. The editorial shows that either the editorial writers are completely ignorant or they are completely corrupt and also assume that their readers are completely ignorant. If Russian military units were in action in eastern Ukraine, the situation would be precisely as Alexander Zakharchenko
and Dmitry Orlov describe.
Ukraine would no longer exist. Ukraine would again be part of Russia where it was for centuries prior to Washington taking advantage of the Soviet collapse to tear Ukraine away from Russia.
The question before us is: how long will Russia’s patience last with the West’s enormous lies and provocations? No matter how restrained Russia is, Russia is accused of the worst. Therefore, Russia might as well inflict the worst.
The shake-up will now see the MOG sharing its training facilities with 15 (UK) Psyops under the banner of the newly-formed Security Assistance Group (cue another odd acronym, SAG).
Both the MOG and 15 (UK) Psyops have moved into Denison Barracks in the Berkshire village of Hermitage, their offices just yards apart. This is all part of Jolly's plan for greater co-operation between the two groups, sharing expertise in the field of content creation.
This approach is not without its detractors. Traditionally, the two worlds of the MOG and Psyops have existed in separate universes, the former being expected to deal in the honest-to-goodness truth, the latter being more closely associated – fairly or unfairly – with the "dark arts", usually directing its material at an enemy's audience....
Privatising Psycological Operations: British Army Psychological Warfare officers from 15 PsyOps (Chicksands, Beds.) headhunted by private Strategic Communications companies who pay them approximately twenty times more. Prince Andrew’s Private Secretary working for Bell Pottinger who represent despotic regimes such as Sri-Lanka & Bahrain. Prime Minister David Cameron is visiting King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia today. Assassination of fifth Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan in Tehran. Bradley Stoke resident Lesley Cox & Martin Farmer discuss BAe Systems’ plan to close Filton airfield and sell it off for housing despite site’s history and future need for aerospace industry in the city. Are the public concerned that Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti is a Freemason? BBC Southern Eye documentary ‘Anything To Declare’ (2000) shows Local Government Ombudsman taking stern view of freemasons failing to delare their masonic interest, using their votes to grant planning permission to masons in the same lodge. Look at CERN near Geneva and the Higgs boson ‘God particle’ with mathematician and system analyst and editor of victims unite website Sabine McNeill FRSA.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
Ryan, a former Reagan administration official and founding member of the website Politico, will take over for Katharine Weymouth.
The Post reports:
"The departure of Weymouth, 48, ends eight decades of Graham family leadership of The Post, which her great-grandfather bought in 1933. Bezos, who acquired The Post for $250 million in a sale announced in August 2013, initially kept the senior leadership team intact. He told Weymouth during a visit to Washington, on Aug. 18, that he had selected a new publisher, according to people familiar with the decision. She will remain on the company payroll as an adviser through the end of the year.
"Ryan, 59, an attorney, spent years rising in the Reagan administration, eventually becoming a top presidential aide and key leader in the construction of his presidential library and numerous other initiatives after Reagan left office in 1989.
"In an interview Monday, Ryan called The Post 'a world-class news organization' that has made substantial progress in building a digital readership. He said it would continue to pursue a 'growth strategy' that involved investing in journalistic innovation to expand The Post's reach and audience."
NPR's David Folkenflik reports that Ryan will take over Oct. 1; he's currently chairman of the Ronald Reagan library foundation.
Before we delve into some of the details of the ongoing propaganda war between the West and Russia, which has intensified since the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine last September, let me give you an example of how propaganda can be spread at no cost at all.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said last week that the G20 members are divided on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin should participate in the group's summit that will be held in November in Brisbane. It appears Bishop has "taken soundings" and found that the members of that club of the most powerful countries "are determined to ensure that the G20 remains the premier economic forum for global issues and there is a view that president Putin should turn up". She also said that Australia, as host nation, has no right to "rescind invitations that have been sent".
"That would have to be a consensus view within the G20 and there isn't that consensus," she said.
Now, here's the deal: No one has asked Bishop to come out with her assessments, especially as she concedes that there is no prevailing view that Putin shouldn't be at Brisbane. But she did anyway. Did it cost the US anything to get out this piece of propaganda against Russia for its "aggression against Ukraine"? No, not a penny - just like it didn't cost the Yanks and their allies anything for Canada to suddenly come out and announce a new set of sanctions against Russiaabout a week ago, as punishment for its "behaviour in Ukraine".
The sad thing is that the Cold War mentality has never really left the minds of people in the corridors of power in the West, as otherwise, there would be no Nato in existence by now and it wouldn't be amassing its troops on the borders with Russia.
But were these two examples beneficial to the overall efforts to undermine Russia's standing on the world stage and domestically? Of course they were. Even though the joke among Russian hacks is that Canada has officially asked Moscow to treat its sanctions seriously.
'Russian Aggression Prevention Bill'
Which brings me to the bill that was passed last week by the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, the so-called "Russian Aggression Prevention Bill", that authorises $10 million a year to be used to counter "Russian propaganda" in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. It all has to do with financing broadcasts by the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to these fine destinations. It is no doubt a welcome boost for these mouthpieces of the Cold War that are going through a renaissance these days. Obviously, these amounts are totally separate from other branches of the US government spending on the propaganda war with Russia. It doesn't, for example, include $100m provided by the US to NGOs in Russia and $25m to opposition bloggers, according to the respected Russian website, politonline.ru.
We already know that the US has spent a massive $5bn on "promoting democracy in Ukraine" alone, as revealed by Victoria Nuland of the US State Department. But every little helps, as they say, especially if we add all those freebies like I mentioned above. Not forgetting that the EU has its own programmes of "helping to promote democracy" in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova; so whatever the US spends, it triggers a chain reaction among its allies.
The Russian answer to that is not very impressive, if you consider that the TV channel Russia Today reportedly gets nearly $500m a year to run all of its services across the world and the Voice of Russia radio station that broadcasts in around 50 countries is said to have a modest $25m budget. Both of these services are not widely available in Georgia and Moldova and are banned in Ukraine. And if you consider that RT and VoR don't have the same access to audiences in the West as the mighty US broadcasters, it really doesn't look all that impressive.
Facts are stacking up
On the face of it, if you listen to the western media, Russia has been winning the propaganda war with the West over Ukraine, even though in an amazing consensus most western media are highly critical of Russia and their broadcasts overwhelm that of RT and VoR in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. I suppose this fear of losing the propaganda war comes from the fact that events on the ground in Ukraine, for example, are not exactly confirming a lot of what US and western hacks are reporting, like it happened with the tragic flight MH17 by Malaysian Airlines in July, that we don't hear much about any more in the western media, as the facts are starting to stack up against the Ukrainian troops and militias.
The sad thing is that the Cold War mentality has never really left the minds of people in the corridors of power in the West, as otherwise, there would be no Nato in existence by now and it wouldn't be amassing its troops on the borders with Russia. So, is there any wonder that the Cold War rhetoric came back into the western media reports and statements by officials, basically without a hitch, as if they were ready for that all along?
And finally, how can we forget the propaganda that the US has been so good at in the past 50 years or so? Yes, I am talking about Hollywood and US TV belting out films and shows and programmes that promote US values, and the mighty internet engines providers that are strangely all American and even receive substantial funding from the US Big Brother.
Not forgetting the onslaught of computer games that carry messages of American greatness and make bad guys out of Russia and other nations that are seen as "unfriendly" to the US. If you add all this together, you would get an astronomical figure that dwarfs anything that Russia can cough up on its propaganda response.
It's an uneven struggle, by any account.
Alexander Nekrassov is a former Kremlin and government adviser.
THIS GUY LAYS IT ALL ON THE LINE; admits he worked with Intelligence Agencies, but has decided to speak out because of the current lies being told about Russia, and the risks of war breaking out fuelled by all the false propaganda. This needs to go viral. _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
In this case, Wikipedia has it pretty well nailed:
'....According to Alex Constantine (Mockingbird: The Subversion of the Free Press by the CIA), in the 1950s, "some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts". Wisner was able to constrain newspapers from reporting about certain events, including the CIA plots to overthrow the governments of Iran (see: Operation Ajax) and Guatemala (see: Operation PBSUCCESS).
Thomas Braden, head of the International Organizations Division (IOD), played an important role in Operation Mockingbird. Many years later he revealed his role in these events:
"If the director of CIA wanted to extend a present, say, to someone in Europe—a Labour leader—suppose he just thought, This man can use fifty thousand dollars, he's working well and doing a good job - he could hand it to him and never have to account to anybody... There was simply no limit to the money it could spend and no limit to the people it could hire and no limit to the activities it could decide were necessary to conduct the war—the secret war... It was a multinational. Maybe it was one of the first. Journalists were a target, labor unions a particular target—that was one of the activities in which the communists spent the most money."
Directorate for Plans
In August 1952, the Office of Policy Coordination which dealt with covert-action such as paramilitary or psychological influence operations, and the Office of Special Operations which dealt with espionage and counter-espionage, were merged under the Deputy Director for Plans (DDP), Allen W. Dulles. When Dulles became head of the CIA in 1953, Frank Wisner became head of this new organization and Richard Helms became his chief of operations. Mockingbird became the responsibility of the DDP.
J. Edgar Hoover became jealous of the CIA's growing power. Institutionally, the organizations were very different, with the CIA holding a more politically diverse group in contrast to the more conservative FBI. This was reflected in Hoover's description of the OPC as "Wisner's gang of weirdos". Hoover began having investigations done into Wisner's people. He found that some of them had been active in left-wing politics in the 1930s. This information was passed to Senator Joseph McCarthy who started making attacks on members of the OPC. Hoover also gave McCarthy details of an affair that Frank Wisner had with Princess Caradja in Romania during the war. Hoover claimed that Caradja was a Soviet agent....' _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
How does power really work in the Western world? Who owns the means of communication, who decides what is and isn’t news? A journalist himself, Tony reveals the mechanics of censorship and who owns the media. His talk brings to our attention the stories that get swept under the carpet in mainstream journalism.
From original http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNz2AZ6mQvY http://www.greengathering.org.uk/?page_id=350
George Orwell "In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
World In Action - The Cook Report
1:30 - Denuded 'government approved journalism' versions of neutered Dispatches and Panorama
3:00 - Dumbing down - pernicious arm of Gaza genocide
4:20 - Freemasonry - UK's biggest religious cult - the planning system - BBC Freemasonry documentary 'Rites and Wrongs' Masons on planning committee CJ Fry Prince Charles Poundbury
6:15 - Hacking our Lives - police infiltration of the environmental movement and animal rights
7:10 - Whitehall/Westminster Child Sexual Abuse - Theresa May's two 'still born' paedophile enquiries.
8:15 - SEPTEMBER 1944 THE LIBERATION OF HOLLAND - Operation Market Garden - a battle thrown by Nazi infiltrators - Former SS Officer Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and Lord Peter Carrington, later to become Bilderberg Conference chairmen, both key figures in the failure of this 'A Bridge Too Far' battle in September 1944.
Bilderberg criminal elite controls George Osborne and Ed Balls - both sides of the chessboard.
13:20 - APRIL 1963 THE CROOKED RICHARD BEECHING AXE - Richard Cotterel's book - 'Atomic Bomber Beeching and his War on the Railways' - responsible for car pollution - 'Tube Alloys' British Atomic bomb project at Fort Halstead near Sevenoaks under the North Downs.
18:30 JUNE 1967 - SINKING OF USS LIBERTY BY IDF DURING ARAB ISRAELI SIX DAY WAR - Phantom airstrike ordered against Israeli airfields - US nearly at war with Israel under orders of Admiral George Morrison - connections to the strange 1971 death/assassination of Jim Morrison lead singer of The Doors. Jim didn't die in hospital neither did he use heroin.
25:20 - MARTIN BORMANN NAZI IN EXILE - what happened to the Nazi loot? - Spain, Switzerland and Argentina - Former CBS News correspondent uncovers the fact that Hitler's secretary and successor Martin Bormann survived World War Two - taking off The Dulles Brothers - set up 750 companies and recruited Nazis into them.
28:40 - OPERATION GLADIO - BBC TIMEWATCH DOCUMENTARY - NATO#s use of fascist 'stay behind' groups to carry out terrorist attacks to blame on left wing groups - Bologna Railway Station, Italy, German Beerfest, Belgium Supermarket Attacks - Allan Francovich -
34:00 LIBYA DOCUMENTARIES - Lockerbie documentary 'The Maltese Double Cross - 'Murder In St James'' two part Dispatches
35:40 - 9/11 ATTACKS 2001 - just look at Building 7 - book 9/11 Synthetic Terror Made In USA
37:00 - 7/7 ATTACKS 2005 - surprise attack? - Ludicrous Diversion film (2005) - Inquests? No, Public enquiry needed - Israeli explosives expert Daniel Bodner had access to tube network for months before attacks - Israeli Embassy went on to - Met anti-terror corruption
THREE BIG STORIES THIS WEEK
40:00 - Israeli 'Nazis'? 2011 Anders Breivik Freemason assassin - 'did it for Israel' Zionism is Nazism according to Breivik - modern far right - Israeli Crusader State - right of return - creating diabolical situation - much of today's Middle East chaos is Britain's fault as the colonial power
43:40 - Malaysian airliner downed in Ukraine - MH17 - Malaysia has gone against IMF and convicted Bush and Blair for war crimes. 10 other planes shot down in Ukraine beforehand - Psychological Warfare unit in Bedfordshire - privatised version is Strategic Communications (SCL) much bigger than PR.
48:00 - CIA SPYING ON SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE - assassinated
US Investigative Journalist Michael Hastings - Rolling Stone magazine - working on expose of CIS spying of US politicians and the press - driverless cars - Mercedes Car hacking
52:30 - OUR RADIO SHOW - BCFM POLITICS SHOW - the only way to maintain freedom of speech is to use it - big media in the grip of the military industrial complex - the slow death of BBC Newsnight
54:30 - JIMMY SAVILE AFFAIR - Liz Mackean - Jimmy Savile special on the BBC - Peter Ripon not sacked for trying to cover up Savile crimes
55:55 - THE COOK REPORT - destroyed by Rupert Murdoch - News Of The World by Rupert Murdoch - News Of The World
Rewriting history at George Orwell’s ‘Ministry Of Truth’
John Pilger: The Media's Propaganda Campaign against Russia
To justify a campaign against Russia the media has created an alternate reality
John Pilger OPINION 5 hours ago | 1526 5
This is an edited version of an address by the well-known leftist Anglo-Australian journalist John Pilger given to the Logan Symposium in London.
Pilger, in this very wide-ranging address on the subject of the propaganda content of much of the western media today, discusses at length the extent to which the western media (especially the liberal media in the west) has completely misrepresented the facts of the Ukrainian crisis.
He also discusses the reasons for the vilification of Assange and Snowden - that they are truth-sayers who contradict the western media’s propaganda narrative.
This article originally appeared at JohnPilger.com
The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an “invisible government”. It is the government. It rules directly without fear of contradiction and its principal aim is the conquest of us: our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies.
The information age is actually a media age. We have war by media; censorship by media; demonology by media; retribution by media; diversion by media – a surreal assembly line of obedient clichés and false assumptions.
This power to create a new “reality” has building for a long time. Forty-five years ago, a book entitled The Greening of America caused a sensation. On the cover were these words:
“There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual.”
I was a correspondent in the United States at the time and recall the overnight elevation to guru status of the author, a young Yale academic, Charles Reich. His message was that truth-telling and political action had failed and only “culture” and introspection could change the world.
Within a few years, driven by the forces of profit, the cult of “me-ism” had all but overwhelmed our sense of acting together, our sense of social justice and internationalism. Class, gender and race were separated. The personal was the political, and the media was the message.
In the wake of the cold war, the fabrication of new “threats” completed the political disorientation of those who, 20 years earlier, would have formed a vehement opposition.
In 2003, I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the distinguished American investigative journalist. We discussed the invasion of Iraq a few months earlier. I asked him, “What if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and investigated their claims, instead of channeling what turned out to be crude propaganda?”
He replied that if we journalists had done our job “there is a very, very good chance we would have not gone to war in Iraq.”
Rupert Murdoch is said to be the godfather of the media mob, and no one should doubt the augmented power of his newspapers – all 127 of them, with a combined circulation of 40 million, and his Fox network. But the influence of Murdoch’s empire is no greater than its reflection of the wider media.
The most effective propaganda is found not in the Sun or on Fox News – but beneath a liberal halo. When the New York Times published claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, its fake evidence was believed, because it wasn’t Fox News; it was the New York Times.
The same is true of the Washington Post and the Guardian, both of which have played a critical role in conditioning their readers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All three liberal newspapers have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia – when, in fact, the fascist led coup in Ukraine was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato.
This inversion of reality is so pervasive that Washington’s military encirclement and intimidation of Russia is not contentious. It’s not even news, but suppressed behind a smear and scare campaign of the kind I grew up with during the first cold war.
From just about as early in my life as I can remember, growing up as a child in Holland, there were stories about World War II, and not just about Anne Frank and the huge amounts of people who, like her, had been dragged off to camps in eastern Europe never to come back, but also about the thousands who had risked their lives to hide Jewish and other refugees, and the scores who had been executed for doing so, often betrayed by their own neighbors.
And then there were those who had risked their lives in equally courageous ways to get news out to people, putting out newspapers and radio broadcasts just so there would be a version of events out there that was real, and not just what the Germans wanted one to believe. This happened in all Nazi – and Nazi friendly – occupied European nations. The courage of these people is hard to gauge for us today, and I’m convinced there’s no way to say whom amongst us would show that kind of bravery if we were put to the test; I certainly wouldn’t be sure about myself.
Still, without wanting to put myself anywhere near the level of those very very real heroes, please don’t get me wrong about that, that’s not what I mean, I was thinking about them with regards to what is happening in our media today. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think Joseph Goebbels had anything on US and European media today.
That propaganda as a strategic and political instrument has been refined to a huge extent over the past 70-odd years since Goebbels first picked up on Freud’s lessons on how to influence the unconscious mind, and the ‘mass-mind’, as a way to ‘steer’ an entire people, not just as a means to make them buy detergent. These days, the media can make people believe just about anything, and they have the added benefit that they can pose as friends of the people, not the enemy.
But there is a reason why such a large ‘industry’ has developed on the web with people writing articles that don’t say what the mass media say. That reason for is, obviously, first and foremost that not everybody believes whatever they are told. The problem is equally obvious: not nearly enough people are being reached to make a true difference, and to question the official narratives.
Me, I have no claim to fame outside of the appreciation I get from first, my readers and second, from my colleagues and peers. I get a lot of both, and I thank you for that, but this certainly is not about me. If anything, it’s about trying to live up to the desire for truth in the face of odds squarely stacked against it, and against the people I try to reach out to. Trying to do just 0.1% of what the WWII underground press was about.
A few days ago, I wrote in About That Interview:
The FBI claims they are certain the hackers are North Korean, but they have provided no proof of that claim. We have to trust them on their beautiful blue eyes. I think if anything defines 2014 for me, it’s the advent of incessant claims for which no proof – apparently – needs to be provided. Everything related to Ukraine over the past year carries that trait. The year of ‘beautiful blue eyes’, in other words. Never no proof, you just have to believe what your government says.
And that truly defines 2014 for me. A level of propaganda I don’t recognize, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. 2014 has for me been the year of utter nonsense. To wit, it just finished in fine form with a 5% US GDP growth number, just to name one example. Really, guys? 5%? Really? With all the numbers presented lately, the negative Thanksgiving sales data – minus 11% from what I remember -, the so-so at best Christmas store numbers to date, shrinking durable goods in November and all? Plus 5%?
It really doesn’t matter what I say, does it? You have enough people believing ridiculous numbers like that to make it worth your while. After all, that’s all that counts. It’s a democracy, isn’t it? If a majority believes something, it becomes true. If you can get more than 50% of people to believe whatever you say, that’s case closed.
With well over 90 million working age Americans counted as being out of the labor force, and with 43 million on food stamps, you can still present a 5% GDP growth number, if only you can get a sufficiently large number of people to ‘believe’. And you do, I’ll give you that. As far as the media goes, we have achieved the change we can believe in. We may not have that change, but we sure do believe we have, don’t we? And isn’t that what counts? Are congratulations in order?
Well, not where I’m at, they’re not. I should do a shout out to the likes of Zero Hedge, Yves Smith, David Stockman, Wolf Richter, Mish, Steve Keen, Jim Kunstler, and so many others, we’re a solid crowd by now even if we’re neglected, and please don’t feel left out if you’re not in that list, I know who you are. The problem is, we’re all completely neglected by the mass media, even though there are a ton of very sharp minds in this ‘finance blogosphere’. And perhaps we should make it a point to break through that ridiculous black-out in 2015.
2014, in my eyes, has been the year of propaganda outdoing even its own very purpose, and succeeding too. We are supposed to be living in a time of the best educated people in the history of mankind, and everyone thinks (s)he’s mighty smart, but precious few have even an inkling of a clue of what transpires in the world they live in. Talk about a lost generation. Or two.
We really need to question the value of higher education, if all we get for it is a generation of people so easily duped by utter blubber. What do they teach people at our universities these days? Certainly not to think for themselves, that much is clear. And then what is the use? Why spend all that time raising an entire generation of highly educated pawns, sheep and robots? I can think of some people liking that, but for society as a whole, it’s devastating if that’s all higher education is.
And if you would like to raise doubts here, the very existence of finance blogosphere I mentioned before is proof that we indeed have raised a generation of sheep. If we had functioning media, there’d be no need for that blogosphere. We are the people who keep on pointing out where the mass media fail, let alone the politicians, simply by being there and being supported to the extent we are by the few people who escape the sheep mentality.
But that’s not nearly enough. Journalists, reporters, whatever they call themselves, working for Bloomberg, Reuters, CNBC etc. should at the very least quote Zero Hedge on a daily basis, and Mish, and Steve, and Yves, and perhaps even me – though it’s fine if they continue to ignore me, as long as they give the rest their rightful place.
There are many people in the blogosphere who are many times smarter than the people who write for the mass media, and that’s a very simple and hardly disputable fact that needs to be recognized. When you read something in your paper or at your online news provider, it should be second nature to ask yourself: but what would Tyler Durden say, or the Automatic Earth, or Naked Capitalism, or David Stockman?
But we’re nowhere near that, are we? We’ve been fooled with economic stats for years, not just in the US, not even just in the west, but all over, they all grabbed on to the potential of providing people with numbers that have little to do with reality, but that simply feel good. Or even just look good.
Still, boy, have we been, and are we being, fooled. Then again, most of you wouldn’t know, would you? We people tend to discount the future, to see today as more important than tomorrow, and in the same manner we find our children’s future much less important than our own. Because that feels good too. If we are comfy right now, screw them. Not that we’d ever put it into those terms.
But you know, that’s really all old hack by now. 2014 brought us a whole other class of nonsense. And we swallowed it all hook line and entire sinker.
2014 gave us Ukraine. And you just try and find anyone today who doesn’t think Vladimir Putin is and was the evil genius mind behind the whole thing, including the 4500+ people who died there over the past 10 months. Why is it so hard to anyone who doubts that narrative? Because our media told us Putin is the bogeyman. And ‘we’ never asked for any proof. That is, except for those of us in that same blogosphere.
Meanwhile, round after round of sanctions against Russia have been set up and activated by EU and US, causing hardship for both Russian people and European businesses. But why, what exactly is Putin allegedly guilty of?
The US/EU installed a government in Kiev in February (yeah, yap about it), which is still in place, with a bunch of US citizens recently added for good measure – and for profit-. The chocolate prince president was indeed elected months later, but the prime minister – Yats – was handpicked by America, and is still -amazingly – in place. That’s the same government that had it own army murder thousands of its own citizens, and not a thing has been resolved so far.
The whole thing came to a head when MH17 was shot down over the summer. That too was blamed on Putin. Or was it? Well, not directly, nobody said Putin ordered that plane to be shot. Nor did anyone say Russia shot it. There is the accusation that Russian speaking Ukrainian ‘rebels’ did it, but proof for that was never provided in the 6 months since the incident. And there must be a best before date in there somewhere.
Is it possible the ‘rebels’ did it? We can’t exclude it, but that’s for the same reason we can’t exclude the option that little green Martians did it: we don’t know. But even then, even if they did, there’s the question whether that would have been on purpose. Which seems really stretching it: nothing they want would be served by shooting down a plane full of European, Malaysian and Australian holiday goers.
But here we are: no proof and layer upon layer of sanctions. And nary a voice is raised in the west. If one is, it’s to denounce the Russians as bloodthirsty barbarians. Even though there is no proof they did anything other than protecting what they see as their own people. Something we all would do too, no questions asked.
Ukraine defines 2014 as the year western propaganda came into its own. Not just fictional stories about an economic recovery anymore, no, we had our politico-media establishment ram an entire new cold war down our throats. And we swallowed it whole. We may have had a million more years of higher education than our parents and grandparents, but we sure don’t seem to have gotten any smarter than them.
There is a lot of information out there, written by people inspired by things other than monetary incentives or job security or anything like that, people who simply want to get information out that your trusted media won’t give you anymore than Goebbels’ media did in occupied Europe in the 1940s. And you don’t even have to risk your lives to access that information. All you have to do is to get off your couch.
The Automatic Earth is but a small part of a very valuable and fast growing resource that warrants a lot more attention than it’s been receiving to date. A reported 5% US GDP growth print is one reason why, the entire Ukraine fantasy story is another. The blogosphere is full of functioning neurons, which is more than you can say for your papers and online MSM.
As far as media is concerned, 2014 has been downright scary in its distortion of reality. Let’s try and move 2015 a little bit closer towards what’s actually happening.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-27/2014-year-propaganda-came-age _________________ --
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
I've known Adam Curtis for nearly 20 years. We're friends. We see movies together, and once even went to Romania on a mini-break to attend an auction of Nicolae Ceausescu's belongings. But it would be wrong to characterise our friendship as frivolous. Most of the time when we're together I'm just intensely cross-questioning him about some new book idea I have.
Sometimes Adam will say something that seems baffling and wrong at the time, but makes perfect sense a few years later. I could give you lots of examples, but here's one: I'm about to publish a book – So You've Been Publicly Shamed – about how social media is evolving into a cold and conservative place, a giant echo chamber where what we believe is constantly reinforced by people who believe the same thing, and when people step out of line in the smallest ways we destroy them. Adam was warning me about Twitter's propensity to turn this way six years ago, when it was still a Garden of Eden. Sometimes talking to Adam feels like finding the results of some horse race of the future, where the long-shot horse wins.
I suppose it's no surprise that Adam would notice this stuff about social media so early on. It's what his films are almost always about – power and social control. However, people don't only enjoy them for the subject matter, but for how they look, too – his wonderful, strange use of archive.
His new film, Bitter Lake, is his most experimental yet. And I think it's his best. It's still journalism: it's about our relationship with Afghanistan, and how we don't know what to do, and so we just repeat the mistakes of the past. But he's allowed his use of archive to blossom crazily. Fifty percent of the film has no commentary. Instead, he's created this dreamlike, fantastical collage from historical footage and raw, unedited news footage. Sometimes it's just a shot of a man walking down a road in some Afghan town, and you don't know why he's chosen it, and then something happens and you think, 'Ah!' (Or, more often, 'Oh God.') It might be something small and odd. Or it might be something huge and terrible.
Nightmarish things happen in Bitter Lake. There are shots of people dying. It's a film that could never be on TV. It's too disturbing. And it's too long as well – nearly two and a half hours. And so he's putting it straight onto BBC iPlayer. I think, with this film, he's invented a whole new way of telling a nonfiction story.
VICE asked the two of us to have an email conversation about his work. We started just before Christmas, and carried on until after the New Year.
Jon Ronson: I've known you nearly 20 years, but I have no idea how you spend your days. I have a mental picture of you in your own special archive room in some BBC building, day after day, hacking through arcane archive like Doctor Livingstone, trying to find some marriage of your ideas and someone else's pictures. Is that what it's like? Do you have a special room? If so, what does it look like? Does it have windows? Do you get annoyed if people disturb you?
Adam Curtis: I don't have a special room. Most of the archive I watch is stored down in a giant series of anonymous sheds in West London. A lot of it I can borrow and watch in giant BBC open plan offices. It is a bit odd, because as well as ordering up films directly related to what I'm researching, I also order all kinds of other stuff that I think might have images that I could use – guided by my instinct and imagination. So people walking past see me watching this endless strange collage of material. From a film about Mrs Thatcher giving fashion tips on how to dress well in 1987, to a programme about people who had visions during epileptic fits, to a documentary about Hells Angels taking a weekend mini-break on a canal barge in the British countryside in 1973. I do get people asking why I'm watching this odd mix. It can be difficult to explain because, to be honest, I don't really know myself sometimes. I've just let my mind drift.
What I look for in the archive are shots that I can use to create a mood that gives power and force to the story I'm telling. So much factual stuff on television and film is so insistently literal, like doomy Arvo Pärt music over pictures of bad things that have happened. And they think that's emotion. But those are cliches that actually make you feel strangely unemotional.
What I don't tell anyone about are the hidden levels in the BBC archive – the stuff that's there that isn't on the normal catalogues. The secret levels of images from, what, 70 years of continuous filming?
The trailer for Adam Curtis' new film Bitter Lake
What do you mean by secret levels? You mean the stuff when people don't quite realise they're being filmed? There's a moment in Bitter Lake when a bomb goes off in the desert and the cameraman misses it. And he goes, "*." And so he pans left and there's the explosion: a huge plume of smoke and sand going up to the sky. And he's so disappointed and annoyed to have missed it. Is this what you mean about the secret levels? Or do you mean something completely different?
What I began to discover was all sorts of hidden material in the BBC archives. And it wasn't just forgotten films or misclassified stuff – although there's quite a lot of that. I also discovered different kinds of recorded realities.
So, for example, I stumbled on what are called the Comp Tapes. These are thousands of videotapes that, from the 1970s through to the 1990s, were used every day to record satellite feeds of material coming through for news. Often it's just a live feed, like one I found of a camera in a helicopter hovering over the LA hills in 1981 watching police search for – and find – a body of a woman who'd been murdered by the Hillside strangler. But because the feeds are over satellite they often break up into the most beautiful abstract coloured shapes, and then the image clicks back in.
Then I found a man in the archives who spends his time recording the bits in between the programmes when they are broadcast. He writes down in detail all the announcements and the trailers, plus all the bits where things go wrong. So far his log of this stuff has got to 7,500 pages. He's convinced that we don't really understand television. He says the idea that you can break television up into discrete programmes is wrong. He believes television is really one long construction of a giant story out of fragments of recorded reality from all over the world that is constantly added to every day, and has been going on for 70 years.
But what really opened things up for me was the realisation that there was an even further forgotten source of images. Not in London, but hidden all over the world. A BBC news cameraman called Phil Goodwin came to me and told me that the BBC offices in major cities have kept all their recorded footage in cupboards and store rooms. There are hundreds of tapes of what are called rushes – the original, unedited material from which news reports are created. And they were just lying there.
To prove this, Phil went to Kabul and spent weeks digitising the rushes. He brought them back to London and no one wanted them. But I was very interested, so he gave them to me.
And I started to watch them. And it was amazing. Hundreds of thousands of hours of moments recorded. Ten or 20 seconds would have been taken out of some of the tapes for a news report. Other tapes would never have been touched. Forgotten. They would never ever have been seen by anyone. Like trees in a forest, falling – you know that thing. But together, what they recorded was an extraordinary world – something so completely different from the simple stories we are told both by TV journalists and politicians. That's where I started.
A few years ago I presented a documentary about a foiled school shooting in a Christmas theme town in Alaska. The kids there have to pretend to be elves for the tourists, and a bunch of them were arrested in the final stages of planning a school shooting. So I went there to find out whether all that Christmas had turned the kids crazy – like When Elves Go Bad.
Usually I direct my own documentaries, but this time Channel 4 paired me with a director. The reason why I bring it up now is that it didn't work out. When I went into the edit to watch the rough cut I saw that the director had kept in all the backstage stuff – the little banal chats I had with people before doing the interview. I felt really embarrassed to see my ungainly little offstage moments. And the edit became really tense. I was fighting to take them out and she was fighting to leave them in.
Bitter Lake has lots of moments where you've left in telling offstage snippets of conversations between the camera people and the directors. Of course, you aren't doing anything mean – you aren't naming and shaming your fellow BBC people or anything like that. None of them are identifiable in any way. And your motives couldn't be more serious. It's a totally different situation to my bad Alaska experience. But I was thinking: because you're a BBC person too, did you ever feel like you were doing something your colleagues might not like?
Your Alaska thing is very funny – and I'm glad you're not in my film. But the people in the rushes I have used are doing something very different. They are really brave journalists and technical people going into an incredibly complex situation and trying to make sense of it. And, in a way, they are the heroes of my film.
I've taken care not to criticise or shame any of them. But, to be honest, it would be difficult, because what's sitting there in those thousands of hours of footage is an amazing achievement. It is a group of women and men going into the most difficult, frightening and strange situation, and recording it in incredibly intelligent and imaginative ways. Some of the camera-work is so brilliant. It has that modern eye that you find in some movies. The camera does what you yourself would do instinctively in the situation – and as it hunts and looks you get the most unexpected compositions.
The problem is how that material is then used, when it's processed through broadcast central. It is taken and fitted into increasingly rigid formats in TV that tend to remove the very thing that has been captured so well in the original rushes: the emotional truth of the situation. What it felt like to be there. And what you would think if you yourself were there.
It's part of a much bigger problem. I'm not just talking about news, but about all factual reporting on television. The way they tell stories about the world feels increasingly thin – and more and more detached from the way all of us think and feel. Journalism used to open up reality to tell us new stuff. But now it is helping to keep us all inside the bubble by playing back stuff we already know in slightly altered forms.
So I've taken all that unedited material from Afghanistan and tried to use it in a new way. My aim is both to show the complex reality that we didn't see in Afghanistan, but also to try and do it in a way that's more emotional and involving. Some of it is quite radical, but I think you have to try and do that if you want to puncture the bubble.
Our age is a highly emotional one. It's a time where what people feel as individuals is really important. I'm not saying that journalism should just become a wash of feeling and simply pander to that emotionalism. Journalism's job should always be to explain things to you. But in our age it should do that with real emotional power.
But it doesn't. It has become rigid and full of cliches, and in response people turn away and immerse themselves in the stories of themselves and their friends' lives. Which is exciting – and a new kind of world – but it leaves large parts of the public world completely unexamined, which means that people in power can do more and more what they like.
I don't agree with your last point. Yes, there are a lot of self-absorbed tweets out there. But social media is also very political. Look at the Black Lives Matter protests – organised and promoted on social media. Actually, I think the problem is that social media has become too political. This is partly what So You've Been Publicly Shamed is about. Some of our social justice campaigns have worked. But one result is that we've become so keen to right political wrongs we do it even when there aren't any wrongs to right. So somebody gets destroyed for telling a joke on Twitter that comes out badly. People are getting destroyed for bad wording. And their fate is so horrendous it's frightening all of us into behaving in a more conformist way.
I'm afraid I disagree with you that social media is a new kind of politics. It's a powerful new tool for helping to organise people – that is true. But what it really doesn't offer is a new kind of political way of changing the world. And, in fact, the belief that it does, and the failure of that, can lead to the most conservative situation.
Let's analyse what happened to the Arab Spring. Because that is often held up by the tech-utopians as the evidence for social media's revolutionary potential. In the Arab Spring all the liberal middle classes in places like Egypt came out to protest, summoned by social media. But then, once the revolution – or revolts – happened they had absolutely no idea of what to do. In the face of forces like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists, who had a powerful idea, the Twitter and Facebook networks were completely incapable of coming up with something new and powerful that could challenge the Brotherhood or the Salafists.
All they did was keep tweeting each other about how they all agreed that what was happening was terrible. And, in the process, they became trapped in an echo chamber that completely stopped them looking at the world from other people's points of view, and thus finding ways to effectively challenge the opposing point of view imaginatively. They got trapped in a system of feedback reinforcement.
Then the generals had a coup and all those liberals sighed a big sigh of relief and they tweeted each other that this was really a good thing.
You tell me anywhere in the Arab Spring where the ideas of those who used social media have risen up to become dominant. From Tunisia to Egypt and Yemen to Bahrain, those very groups who based their faith in social media have completely failed to have any substantial influence on power. Those doing well are ironically the traditionalists who have a powerful cultural conservative vision. Except, of course, Syria, where, as you know, the liberal middle classes are doing really well.
But I do really agree with you about Twitter domestically. Twitter – and other social media – passes lots of information around. But it tends to be the kind of information that people know that others in that particular network will like and approve of. So what you get is a kind of mutual grooming. One person sends on information that they know others will respond to in accepted ways. And then, in return, those others will like the person who gave them that piece of information.
So information becomes a currency through which you buy friends and become accepted into the system. That makes it very difficult for bits of information that challenge the accepted views to get into the system. They tend to get squeezed out.
I think the thing that proves my point dramatically are the waves of shaming that wash through social media – the thing you have spotted and describe so well in your book. It's what happens when someone says something, or does something, that disturbs the agreed protocols of the system. The other parts react furiously and try to eject that destabilising fragment and regain stability.
I don't think these waves are "political" in the liberal way the shamers proudly think. They are political in a completely different way, because they work to create a static, conservative world where nothing really changes.
What I find so fascinating in your book is the intensity of the reaction – the fury of the shaming. And I think this is possibly due to an underlying frustration among people in the network not being able to escape the static confines of their web.
I have this perverse theory that, in about ten years, sections of the internet will have become like the American inner cities of the 1980s. Like a John Carpenter film – where, among the ruins, there are fierce warrior gangs, all with their own complex codes and rules – and all shouting at each other. And everyone else will have fled to the suburbs of the internet, where you can move on and change the world. I think those suburbs are going to be the exciting, dynamic future of the internet. But to build them I think it will be necessary to leave the warrior trolls behind. And to move beyond the tech-utopianism that simply says that passing information around a network is a new form of democracy. That is naive, because it ignores the realities of power.
Why do you believe journalism changed? You say it used to be about "opening up reality to tell us new stuff. But now it is helping to keep us all inside the bubble by playing back stuff we already know in slightly altered forms." Why the change?
The thing that fascinates me about modern journalism is that people started turning away from it before the rise of the internet. Or, at least, in my experience that's what happened. Which has made me a bit distrustful of all that "blame the internet" rhetoric about the death of newspapers.
I think there was a much deeper reason. It's that journalists began to find the changes that were happening in the world very difficult to describe in ways that grabbed their readers' imagination.
It's intimately related to what has happened to politics, because journalism and politics are so inextricably linked. I describe in the film how, as politicians were faced with growing chaos and complexity from the 1980s onwards, they handed power to other institutions. Above all to finance, but also to computer and managerial systems.
But the politicians still wanted to change the world – and retain their status. So in response they reinvented other parts of the world they thought they could control into incredibly simplistic fables of good versus evil. I think Tony Blair is the clearest example of this – a man who handed power in domestic policy making over to focus groups, and then decided to go and invade Iraq.
And I think this process led journalism to face the same problem. They discovered that the new motors of power – finance and the technical systems that run it, algorithms that try and read the past to manage the future, managerial systems based on risk and "measured outcomes" – are not just obscure and boring. They are almost impossible to turn into gripping narratives. I mean, I find them a nightmare to make films about, because there is nothing visual, just people in modern offices doing keystrokes on computers.
Right. I write about this in The Psychopath Test. In 2006 I tried to write a book about the credit industry, but I abandoned the idea three months later for that same reason. It made me realise that if you have the ambition to become a Bond-style arch villain, the first thing you should do is learn to be boring. Don't act like Blofeld – monocled and ostentatious. We journalists love writing about eccentrics. We hate writing about boring people. It makes us look bad: the duller the interviewee, the duller the prose. If you want to get away with wielding true, malevolent power, be boring.
So large parts of journalism did exactly what Tony Blair did. On the one hand they went down the focus group road, which is what is now called consumer-journalism. On the other, they simplified the world into a black-and-white picture of terrible dangers that threaten their readers. Frightening warlords and people-traffickers, paedophiles prowling the internet, terrorist masterminds in caves, and killer foods.
And they largely ignored the really important shifts in power that were happening – so they went unexamined. And even when something like the crash happened in 2008, it was portrayed as a bunch of evil bankers. And much larger questions are ignored, like, "What has happened to the very idea of money?" Has it mutated into a strange virus that is taking over all institutions and private parts of people's lives, so everything becomes monetised?
And now I think journalism has retreated into the past to find its baddies. And to be honest, I'm extremely guilty of this myself – constantly going back into the past and reworking it in new ways. It's because none of us seem to be able to imagine other futures, alternatives to the complex muddle we have at the moment.
So, at present, we get a continuous, ferocious vaudeville of aged DJs and light entertainers exposed for their past crimes.
I'm not saying that is wrong; it is right for any kind of sexual abuse to be punished. But at the same time, all the other, modern, crimes that are being exposed – in finance, in the intelligence agencies, by which I mean torture, and in the new companies to which so much of the state is being outsourced – go largely unpunished. Plus, we the audience seems not to care about those modern crimes – and instead turn our heads to see what entertainer might be hauled up for our delight this week.
British army creates team of Facebook warriors
Soldiers familiar with social media sought for 77th Brigade, which will be responsible for ‘non-lethal warfare’
Ewen MacAskill, defence correspondent
Saturday 31 January 2015 11.48 GMT
The British army is creating a special force of Facebook warriors, skilled in psychological operations and use of social media to engage in unconventional warfare in the information age.
The 77th Brigade, to be based in Hermitage, near Newbury, in Berkshire, will be about 1,500-strong and formed of units drawn from across the army. It will formally come into being in April.
The brigade will be responsible for what is described as non-lethal warfare. Both the Israeli and US army already engage heavily in psychological operations.
Against a background of 24-hour news, smartphones and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, the force will attempt to control the narrative.
The 77th will include regulars and reservists and recruitment will begin in the spring. Soldiers with journalism skills and familiarity with social media are among those being sought.
An army spokesman said: “77th Brigade is being created to draw together a host of existing and developing capabilities essential to meet the challenges of modern conflict and warfare. It recognises that the actions of others in a modern battlefield can be affected in ways that are not necessarily violent.”
The move is partly a result of experience in counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan. It can also be seen as a response to events of the last year that include Russia’s actions in Ukraine, in particular Crimea, and Islamic State’s (Isis) takeover of large swaths of Syria and Iraq.
Nato has so far been unable to find a counter to what the US and UK claim is Russia creating unrest by sending in regular troops disguised as local militia, allowing president Vladimir Putin to deny responsibility.Isis has proved adept at exploiting social media to attract fighters from around the world.
The Israel Defence Forces have pioneered state military engagement with social media, with dedicated teams operating since Operation Cast Lead, its war in Gaza in 2008-9. The IDF is active on 30 platforms – including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram – in six languages. “It enables us to engage with an audience we otherwise wouldn’t reach,” said an Israeli army spokesman.
It has been approached by several western countries, keen to learn from its expertise.
During last summer’s war in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, the IDF and Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades, tweeted prolifically, sometimes engaging directly with one another.
The new brigade is being named the 77th in tribute to the Chindits, the British guerrilla force led by Maj Gen Orde Wingate against the Japanese in Burma during the second world war. Wingate adopted unorthodox and controversial tactics that achieved successes completely disproportionate to the size of his forces, sending teams deep into Japanese-held territory, creating uncertainty in the Japanese high command and forcing it to alter its strategic plans.
In a nod to the Chindits, members of the 77th Brigade will have arm badges showing a mythical Burmese creature.
The aim is that the new force will prove as flexible as the Chindits in the face of the dizzying array of challenges being thrown up in the early part of this century.
The creation of 77th Brigade comes as the commander of Nato special operations headquarters, Lt Gen Marshall Webb, speaking in Washington this week, expressed concern about Russia and about Isis.
“Special operations headquarters is uniquely placed to address this,” he said. “We tend to take an indirect approach. We can engage without being escalatory or aggressive. We tend to view things from an oblique angle, and we absolutely acknowledge that trust, information-sharing and interagency collaboration is crucial.”
WTF, journos LYING? What next, Bishops abusing little children?
What is this world coming to? _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:38 pm Post subject: Astroturf and manipulation of media messages
Astroturf and manipulation of media messages
Published on Feb 6, 2015
In this eye-opening talk, veteran investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson shows how astroturf, or fake grassroots movements funded by political, corporate, or other special interests very effectively manipulate and distort media messages.
Sharyl Attkisson is an investigative journalist based in Washington D.C. She is currently writing a book entitled Stonewalled (Harper Collins), which addresses the unseen influences of corporations and special interests on the information and images the public receives every day in the news and elsewhere. For twenty years (through March 2014), Attkisson was a correspondent for CBS News. In 2013, she received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for her reporting on “The Business of Congress,” which included an undercover investigation into fundraising by Republican freshmen. She also received Emmy nominations in 2013 for Benghazi: Dying for Security and Green Energy Going Red. Additionally, Attkisson received a 2013 Daytime Emmy Award as part of the CBS Sunday Morning team’s entry for Outstanding Morning Program for her report: “Washington Lobbying: K-Street Behind Closed Doors.” In September 2012, Attkisson also received an Emmy for Oustanding Investigative Journalism for the “Gunwalker: Fast and Furious” story. She received the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting for the same story. Attkisson received an Investigative Emmy Award in 2009 for her exclusive investigations into TARP and the bank bailout. She received an Investigative Emmy Award in 2002 for her series of exclusive reports about mismanagement at the Red Cross.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
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