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http://cal.jmu.edu/aleysb/chomsky.htm>


[This is an expanded version of an article excerpted
from Propaganda Review (Winter 1987-88).
Subscriptions: $20/yr. (4 issues) from Media Alliance,
Fort Mason, Bldg. D, San Francisco, CA 94123. This
article was drawn from an interview conducted by David
Barsamian of KGNU-Radio in Boulder, Colorado
(cassettes available for sale; write David Barsamian,
1415 Dellwood, Boulder, CO 80302), and an essay from
Chomsky's book Radical Priorities, edited by C.P.
Otero (1984). Black Rose Books, 3981 Boulevard St.
Laurent, Montral H2W 1Y5, Quebec, Canada.]


Propaganda, American-Style

by Noam Chomsky

Pointing to the massive amounts of propaganda spewed
by government and institutions around the world,
observers have called our era the age of Orwell. But
the fact is that Orwell was a latecomer on the scene.
As early as World War I, American historians offered
themselves to President Woodrow Wilson to carry out a
task they called "historical engineering," by which
they meant designing the facts of history so that they
would serve state policy. In this instance, the U.S.
government wanted to silence opposition to the war.
This represents a version of Orwell's 1984, even
before Orwell was writing.


In 1921, the famous American journalist Walter
Lippmann said that the art of democracy requires what
he called the "manufacture of consent." This phrase is
an Orwellian euphemism for thought control. The idea
is that in a state such as the U.S. where the
government can't control the people by force, it had
better control what they think. The Soviet Union is at
the opposite end of the spectrum from us in its
domestic freedoms. It's essentially a country run by
the bludgeon. It's very easy to determine what
propaganda is in the USSR: what the state produces is
propaganda.

Anonymous Comrade writes: "Much of the American public has come to expect or accept as a given the fact that US officials regularly lie and misinform, especially those working in the defense, national security, and diplomatic fields.

cryptome.org has posted ETHICAL DYNAMICS AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY PROCESS: PROFESSIONALISM, POWER, PERVERSION by Peter M. Leitner and Ronald J. Stupak. In this essay, originally published in the Journal of Power and Ethics, they ask why a culture of national security decision-making makes lying an acceptable form of behavior, and examine the implications to the nation.

An excerpt: 'Within the government, "designated liar" has become an unofficial title when
selecting an agency official to give the "company line" to, or craft the
"proper spin" for Congress or the public. In the case of Iran/Contra, North
was the designated liar. Pushed forward by his superiors to throw Congress
off the trail of an unauthorized covert operation, North acted as a good
foot soldier is supposed to act when instructed by his superiors. However,
such behavior within the context of national decision making debases the
very Constitution North had sworn to protect (Stupak, 1990: p. 5).


Perhaps the most frightening aspects of "official lies" or "true lies" are
their extent and that they are often aimed at the American public, not potential
foreign adversaries. Recently declassified data from the Department of Energy
concerning nuclear test effects on civilians clearly demonstrate this. The
secrecy of the Cambodia bombing is another example -- surely our adversaries
in Cambodia knew they were being bombed.'"

The Forgotten Terrorists

By Mumia Abu-Jamal


For far too many Americans, the word 'terrorism' has acquired a whole
new meaning in the dusty aftermath of 11 September 2001. The word now
instantly refers to the mental imagery of the shattered twin towers of
the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, or the broken edifice of
the Pentagon building in Washington, or even the smouldering mound of
earth in southwestern Pennsylvania.


They refer to the thousands of people, from dozens of countries, who
lost their lives when the buildings were shattered, broken and leveled
into dust. But, if truth be told, they refer mostly to Americans.

After Genoa and New York:

The Antiglobal Movement, the Police and Terrorism

Donatella della Porta and Sidney Tarrow

In the light of the events of September 11 and the US
government's subsequent offensive against terrorism, it may be
useful to reflect on the strategies used against protest in times
of terror, and their effects. We take as our starting point the
measures that Italy took to meet the antiglobalization movement in
Genoa this past summer. The implications, we will argue, go well
beyond Italy to authoritiesâ responses to violence, whatever its
source and wherever it is found including the United States in the
months and years to come.

The End of a Truce

In spring 1977, a young Italian activist, Giorgiana Masi, was shot
by the police during a demonstration in Rome. Masi was the last in
a chain of about 120 Italians shotor, as in one infamous case,
"suicided" from the window of a police station, during or after
protests. Last July 19, Carlo Giuliano was killed by a young
carabiniere doing his military service and run over by a police
jeep during the violent protests against the G-8 meetings.
In the almost 25 years between Masiâs and Giulianoâs killings the
interactions between Italian demonstrators and the police wereif
not appeasedat least civilized. Yet in Genoa, not only did the
police shoot a demonstrator; hundreds of peaceful protesters were
caricati con caroselli (the infamous Italian police practice of
aiming police vans directly at demonstrators), beaten up,
strip-searched, forced to sing fascist and anti-Semitic songs and
denied access to an attorney or, in the case of foreigners, to
their consulates. Many returned to their homes in Italy or
elsewhere in Europe and the US with broken bones and cracked heads.
Some were well-known pacifists, others journalists; but most of
them were very young, and their detailed accounts of police
brutality shocked public and foreign opinion. Government and
parliamentary inquiries were immediately begun, and Italy's new
right-wing government was sent reeling by complaints from both
Italian citizen groups and allies protesting the treatment of their
citizens.

THE GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENT: SOME POINTS OF CLARIFICATION -- By David Graeber

A great deal of nonsense has been written about the so-called
antiglobalization movement—particularly the more radical, direct action end
of it—and very little has been written by anyone who has spent any time
inside it. As Pierre Bourdieu recently noted, the neglect of the movement
by North American academics is nothing short of scandalous. Academics who
for years have published essays that sound like position papers for large
social movements that do not in fact exist seem seized with confusion or
worse, highminded contempt, now that real ones are everywhere emerging. As
an active participant in the movement as well as an anthropologist, I want
to provide some broad background for those intellectuals who might be
interested in taking up some of their historical responsibilities. This
essay is meant to clear away a few misconceptions.


The phrase "antiglobalization" movement was coined by the corporate media,
and people inside the movement, especially in the non-NGO, direct action
camp, have never felt comfortable with it. Essentially, this is a movement
against neoliberalism, and for creating new forms of global democracy.
Unfortunately, that statement is almost meaningless in the US, since the
media insist on framing such issues only in propagandistic terms ("free
trade," "free market") and the term neoliberalism is not in general use. As
a result, in meetings one often hears people using the expressions
"globalization movement" and "antiglobalization movement" interchangeably.

jim writes:

"Claude Lefort's 1949 essay from Les Temps Modernes examines Trotsky's early attitude towards Stalin.

It is available on-line courtesy of Collective Action Notes at http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/2379/Le fort_Trotsky.htm"

Jim writes: "Le Monde has published Jean Baudrillard's essay, "The Spirit of Terrorism" Here are some excerpts, translated courtesy of Brian Holmes:


"...All the discourses and commentaries betray a gigantic suturing of the
event itself, and of the fascination it commands. The moral condemnation,
the holy alliance against terrorism are on the scale of the prodigious
jubilation at seeing this world superpower destroyed, or better, seeing it
somehow destroy itself, in a beautiful suicide. Because with its
unbearable power it has fomented this violence pervading the world, along
with the terrorist imagination that inhabits all of us, without our
knowing.


That we dreamed of this event, that everyone without exception dreamed of
it, because no one can fail to dream of the destruction of any power
become so hegemonic - that is unacceptable for the Western moral
conscience. And yet it's a fact, which can be measured by the pathetic
violence of all the discourses that want to cover it up.

Anarchist site willfull disobedience has posted Neither Their War Nor Their Peace: Against the Myth of Unity.

The author calls for a rejection of nonviolence and pacifism and seeks to reinvigorate the concept of 'social war.'

Guerrilla News Network has posted an interview with Noam Chomsky: The Fifth Freedom: Gangster Pimping in the Culture of Terrorism.

An excerpt: "The first operation against Afghanistan was called ‘Infinite Justice’ and they withdrew that when it
was pointed out to them that the only ‘infinite justice’ is God’s justice, and they were being
interpreted as regarding themselves as divinity. And they didn’t want to do that for obvious reasons,
so they changed it to some other phrase. The phrase they did pick is interesting. The campaign is
now called ‘Enduring Freedom’. Well, a number of comments about that...

If you want to look at the kind of ‘freedom’ they have in mind, there’s an ample historical record of
the kind of freedom they impose. The other point is, nobody seems to have noticed it but, the word
‘enduring’ is actually ambiguous. It can mean ‘lasting’ or it can mean ‘suffering from’. So, I’m
enduring pain is another interpretation of ‘enduring’ and, in fact, if you think of the kind of freedom
they impose and enduring freedom in the other sense, that is: ‘somehow living with the horrendous
consequences of it,’ is not an inaccurate description.

Nobody’s pointed that out to them yet so they’re still using this phrase, but if someone does maybe
they’ll make another one up."

shoplift writes: "The International Corrections and Prison Association, a new group affiliated with the United Nations, recently finished its annual conference in Australia. The professional group is aggressively reformist and its trajectory is not yet clear. Its formation was preceded by the "Beyond Prisons" international symposium held in Canada, in March 1998. The symposium included a speech given by Stephen Carter, a principal at Carter Goble Associates, the least zealous architectural programming firm specializing in jails and prisons. The complete text can be found at www.icpa.ca.

"An entire paradigm shift is required in the perception and promotion of violence by citizens, elected officials, and information peddlers if the United States is to wean herself from a virtual complete reliance upon one form of community control. However, the change cannot be abrupt due to the massive existing investment in a national infrastructure that promotes the use of incarceration, but alternatives must continue to be debated and tested which expand awareness of the high cost-low return axis that currently defines our national policy.