Patriotism in the U.S

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Fascism should more
properly be called corporatism since it is
the merger of
state and corporate power

-Benito Mussolini

Estimated Prophet
"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government."
-Thomas Jefferson

{A long post, but the propaganda stuff is worth scrolling down to.}

Corporate Media and War
...Fifteen years before the National Socialist Party came to power there was the opportunity of carrying out these revisions by peaceful settlements and understanding. On my own initiative I have, not once but several times, made proposals for the revision of intolerable conditions. All these proposals, as you know, have been rejected - proposals for the limitation of armaments and, even if necessary, disarmament, proposals for the limitation of warmaking, proposals for the elimination of certain methods of modern warfare ... You know the endless attempts I made for peaceful clarification and understanding of the problem...

Adolf Hitler, as he started WWII

Quoted from "Familiar, Haunting Words" by Jimmy Breslin

"Hitler" has caused controversy ever since CBS announced its intentions last summer. In an interview with TV Guide about the four-hour film, scheduled for May, Gernon compares many Americans' acceptance of a war in Iraq to the fearful climate in post-World War I Germany, of which Hitler took advantage to become its ruler.

"It basically boils down to an entire nation gripped by fear, who ultimately chose to give up their civil rights and plunged the whole nation into war," Gernon said in the interview. "I can't think of a better time to examine this history than now."

Ed Gernon, the executive producer of the mini-series on Hitler was fired for his comment. A very simplistic, yet partially accurate assessment of the German third Reich as well as 43rd presidency. For one thing, the role of propaganda, the media has been left out.

CBS has weathered charges from some critics who have said the miniseries - to air May 18 and 20, and starring Robert Carlyle as Hitler - will humanize the Nazi dictator.

This biopic started filming last year, I find the timing interesting; moreso now that there is a sense of perpetual war in the air. And a film that humanizes a villain, a Saddam Hussein; but Hussein didn't attack other countries... Will it show Hitler praying over the "hard" decision to sacrifice his troops in the name of Empire? Will it portray radio announcers inciting people 'loyal' to the Reich to beat up dissenters who don't blindly follow the Furher? Industrialists making millions on government contracts?

Will it show anything about the Bush family financial connections to Adolf Hitler?

Shortly after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued a stark warning to Iran and Syria last week, declaring that any "hostile acts" they committed on behalf of Iraq might prompt severe consequences, one of President Bush's closest aides stepped into the Oval Office to warn him that his unpredictable defense secretary had just raised the specter of a broader confrontation.

Mr. Bush smiled a moment at the latest example of Mr. Rumsfeld's brazenness, recalled the aide. Then he said one word — "Good" — and went back to work.

Next stop Syria seems to be the message of Rumsfeld Wolfowitz et al. They seem to be the heavies, while Powell's role is that of the moderate, the thinker- who if his role is unchanged will reluctantly but righteously join the attack team after a well publicized international slight. Read a bit about Mr Powell's history, you'll see he is ideally suited to his role.

My appraisal of what is being offered to us from Washington is a slickly designed lowest common denominator melodrama engineered to sweep a public overwhelmed with contentless "information" that is often contradictory , graphics of knee jerk patriotism, mixed with fear and and 'righteous' nationalism into supporting that which is, when thought about, anathema to all the US stands for. Think about the Patriot Act both 1 and 11. Think about attacking another country pre-emptively.

This illegal attacking of Iraq, an attack that Mr Bush broke his solemn oath to uphold the Constitution {link fixed} to carryout, is getting spun in the corporate media as a victory to embolden other non-Democratic actions. In the code of conduct that our military folks swear to they to are pledged to uphold the principles that make our country free. Mr Bush has done them a great disservice by putting them in harms way as well as causing them to prosecute an illegal war.

In the Constitution all treaties are part of the supreme law of the land. The use of American troops in defiance of the U.N. Charter is a degradation of military service. Bush is subjecting our troops-once viewed as defenders of the sovereignty of states-to condemnation of world opinion. It is a humiliation.

Source How Bush Betrayed our Troops by Paul Rockwell

Would the media purposefully manipulate our feelings about this endeavor? That wouldn't be very Patriotic in a country that claims freedom of speech as one of the rights that set apart.

You've seen the US Marine putting the lag on the Saddam statue, I'm sure. Just high spirited , spontaneous Patriotism from one of Iraq's liberators, right? Nope. Photo op for the US public, "our boys and all", a subtle victory reference to blot out the thinking anti-war folks might ask of one. . Psy-op for us and the world.

The mood of Iraqi civilians was briefly muted in Baghdad Wednesday as Chin climbed up and covered Saddam's face with an American flag.

The crowd's loud cheers faded, and in less than a minute the Stars and Stripes was removed from the massive statue and replaced with Iraq's black, white and red flag.

Chin, of the 3rd battalion, 4th Marines regiment, says he was just following orders in the minutes before the statue was pulled to the ground in a joint effort by jubilant Iraqis and U.S. troops.

"I was just trying my best to get the chain around his neck and put the flag on his head," Chin told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "Pretty much at the moment I was just doing what I was told to do by my commanding officer," he said.

Now do you know the significance of the flag or where Mr Chin is from?

"And the flag — it was on the Pentagon when it got hit on 9/11. That was the same flag, and me being from New York, it kind of all goes together a little bit. It was a team effort, which made it even better, you know," he said.

And a large percentage of American people wrongly believe there is a Saddam /911 connection. Why would our leaders reinforce that? Because it will be on the news, Mr Chin will be interviewed: propaganda with foresight that will create an unconscous impression months down the road as you hear him in a 30 second inteview on "Good Morning America" or the like- an appearance that will subtly reinforce Saddam Hussein/ 911. You gotta hand it to these guys...

Now the cheering Iraq's participating in the pulling down of the Saddam statue, showing their joy and solidarity with the Americans to the whole world. Right? (Go to link for phots that support quote)
The up close action video of the statue being destroyed is broadcast around the world as proof of a massive uprising. Still photos grabbed off of Reuters show a long-shot view of Fardus Square... it's empty save for the U.S. Marines, the International Press, and a small handful of Iraqis. There are no more than 200 people in the square at best. The Marines have the square sealed off and guarded by tanks. A U.S. mechanized vehicle is used to pull the statue of Saddam from it's base. The entire event is being hailed as an equivalent of the Berlin Wall falling... but even a quick glance of the long-shot photo shows something more akin to a carefully constructed media event tailored for the television cameras.

The Bob Kemper of the Chicago Tribune has written an eye opening piece about The Office of Global Communications and it's mission to keep the world's media on message.
The communications office helps devise and coordinate each day's talking points on the war. Civilian and military personnel, for example, are told to refer to the invasion of Iraq as a "war of liberation." Iraqi paramilitary forces are to be called "death squads."

The effects of that discipline are evident almost daily. When questions arose recently about whether the United States could find Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, U.S. spokesmen and spokeswomen--from the White House to the Pentagon to the Central Command in Qatar--simultaneously insisted that the war was "not about one man."

So controlled is the administration's message that officials from Bush on down often use identical anecdotes to make their points...

A technique Hitler knew as part of "the Big Lie"

The article goes on to mention:
The Global Communications Office was created about a year after the Pentagon met with disaster with a similar operation. The Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence was accused of planning to spread disinformation. The Pentagon denied the accusations but shut it anyway.

A rose by any other name...

Kari Lynderson expands on this in an Alternet article:
According to PR Week, a trade publication of the PR industry: "The OGC, an office born out of post-September-11 efforts to combat anti-American news stories emerging from Arab countries, will be key in keeping all U.S. spokespeople on message. Each night, U.S. embassies around the world, along with all federal departments in DC, will receive a 'Global Messenger' e-mail containing talking points and ready-to-use quotes."

The PR industry, as many may know, was actually started by the military during World War I, when persuasive techniques were developed to recruit soldiers.

"After the war a lot of those people went to work for the private sector and are seen as the grandfathers of PR," says Laura Miller, associate editor of PR Watch (, a corporate and media watchdog group. "They were very up front about the fact that [in their opinion] in a democracy, public opinion needs to be controlled by a small number of people who know what's best for the public."

Here is an exhaustive list of propaganda from the first ten days of the invasion of Iraq.

There is so much information to wade through if you have the time to look. And what to believe? After the pre- invasion deceptions from the White House it seems like a stretch to find them credible, war is a product and our government has the best resources in the world at its' disposal to sell it to us. It is up to us to listen closely for inconsistancies, generalities:
Remember the following first rule of disinformation analysis: truth is specific, lie is vague. Always look for palpable details in reporting and if the picture is not in focus, there must be reasons for it.

Advertising, Propaganda, Infotainment- it is all aimed at affecting our attitudes, to sell us something. And the nexus of Corporate/Republican governance has our minds in the hands of the PR/Advertising industries best:
"This is propaganda," a Chinese journalist told Kristof at a U.S. military briefing in Doha. "I was born and grew up in a propaganda country, and so I know it well." The Chinese journalist continues, "Actually, they do the propaganda very well, better than we do it. We in China can learn from this propaganda."

Stop by the Political Compass, take the quick test and see where you stand. Pretty interesting.



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