There was a report yesterday that the Pentagon spends $500 million per year on “media operations” to convince the American people we need to be in Iraq and Afghanistan (and Pakistan and Yemen and Somali, etc.). Here is an excellent explanation of what is really happening, by Australian journalist John Pilger, one of the best in the trade today.
John Pilger: Why are wars not
being reported honestly?
The public needs to know the truth about wars. So why have journalists colluded with governments to hoodwink us?
In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a “war of perception . . . conducted continuously using the news media”. What really matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the adventure is sold in America where “the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences”. Reading this, I was reminded of the Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government in 2002. “We had a secret weapon,” he boasted. “We had the media, especially TV. You got to have the media.”
Never has so much official energy been expended in ensuring journalists collude with the makers of rapacious wars which, say the media-friendly generals, are now “perpetual”. In echoing the west’s more verbose warlords, such as the waterboarding former US vice-president Dick Cheney, who predicated “50 years of war”, they plan a state of permanent conflict wholly dependent on keeping at bay an enemy whose name they dare not speak: the public.