April 4, 2003
Gregory Sinaisky, writing in the Asia Times gives an excellent primer for deconstructing propaganda in supposed news coverage the war in Iraq. He takes a look at a Wall Street Journal Europe story with the headline "Basra Shiites Stage Revolt, Attack Government Troops". In the very first paragraph the story changes from the declarative sentence in the headline, to a much vaguer statement: "Military officials said the Shiite population of Basra ... appeared to be rising". Sinaisky does a beautiful job of deconstructing, which is a skill everyone should cultivate in these lying times. One good general principle from Sinaisky: "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." William D. Hartung, a senior research fellow at the World Policy Institute at New School University, writes in The Nation that even though the war against Iraq was not stopped, but only postponed, the anti-war movement has made an impressive showing. "This doesn't sound like a peace movement that is losing," he says. "It sounds like a peace movement that lost the first skirmish but is poised to win the larger struggle to put the doctrine of aggressive unilateralism back in the trash bin of history, where it belongs." And the peace movement that revealed itself in the largest organized peace demonstrations in history is up to the challenge. The Boston Globe reports that John Kerry is coming out of his self-imposed silence and urging "regime change" in the U.S. After the way the U.S. used the U.N. to disarm Iraq, then attacked it mercilessly, the world community will never trust Bush, Kerry said. Quoted by the Globe, Kerry said, "I don't think they're going to trust this president, no matter what," Kerry said. "I believe it deeply, that it will take a new president of the United States, declaring a new day for our relationship with the world, to clear the air and turn a new page on American history." The first day of hearings of the 911 commission yielded an amazing testimony by Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband was killed in the WTC attacks. (See 9-11commission.gov for the text.) Kleinberg lists a number of breaches in security procedures that had to happen in order to allow the attacks and points out many very strange occurrences relating to the official reactions to the disaster as it unfolded. This is really worth checking out, and these questions really need to be answered.