Winter Soldiers Left Out in the Media Cold

Winter Soldier posterLast March 13-16 some 250 American veterans of the Iraq and Afghan occupations gathered at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, MD for the “Winter Soldier – Iraq and Afghanistan” conference, a replica of a similar event which took place in Detroit in 1971, during the Vietnam War. This recent weekend was devoted to the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ first-hand testimonies regarding the events which they both witnessed and participated in during their tours of duty in those two countries, events which included abuses and atrocities from the destruction of homes to the cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians. Continue reading

“With countries, just like people, it’s easy to let the best of yourself slip away.” Bruce Springsteen

Who is Pepe Escobar, Anyway?

pepe-escobar

Journalist Pepe Escobar is one of those remarkable Brazilians like the film director Fernando Meirelles or the photographer Sebastiao Salgado, rich in both human and professional qualities. In fact, all three of them are related to Sao Paulo. The first two were born in that city and Salgado studied economics at the university there.

Escobar was one of the first journalists to reach Kabul after the Taliban’s retreat, and more recently he has explored and reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China. He currently writes a column called The Roving Eye for Asia Times Online and is a correspondent and news analyst for The Real News Network. Escobar is the author of two books, Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge (Nimble Books, 2007).

On August 30, 2001, less than two weeks before September 11, he wrote a prophetic column for Asia Times Online entitled: “Get Osama! Now! Or Else…

Here’s a link to the best of Escobar’s columns in Asia Times Online. There’s lots of excellent reporting here dating back to July, 2004. Continue reading

Americans Victims of Pentagon Media PSYOPS

I’m Aghast But Not Surprised

In a bombshell article published yesterday in the NY Times, entitled “Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand,” investigative journalist David Barstow reveals a continuing Pentagon psychological operations (PSYOP) maneuver to disinform the American public through the manipulation of retired senior military officers employed by the media as news analysts. Barstow says, “Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance…”

The 14-page article was based on smoking-gun official Pentagon documentation–8,000 pages of e-mail messages, transcripts and records describing years of private briefings, trips to Iraq and Guantánamo and an extensive Pentagon talking points operation–obtained by the NY Times after suing the Defense Department to gain access. Continue reading

Take a Look at The Real News

The Real News logo

This is television for people who hate television.

Why hasn’t someone done this before?

It would have to come from Canada, wouldn’t it.

Look at any of their stories and see the difference.

Is this left-wing journalism? Founder Paul Jay says no, it’s just journalism. He also says, “Most people are aware that politicians are not speaking to them honestly, openly, and sincerely. But the news media is reporting on them as if they were.”

Which leaves us wondering what adjectives to attach to conventional journalism.

I’d Like You to Meet Lewis Lapham

Louis LaphamI’ve been an unconditional admirer of Lewis Lapham ever since I discovered Harper’s Magazine many years ago. Lapham was the editor of Harper’s for 30 years, from 1976 to 2006. His current title is “editor emeritus,” which is not to say he’s retired. He still writes his regular Notebook feature for Harper’s and he’s embarked on a new history-journal project called Lapham’s Quarterly. The journal’s interest goes beyond its excellent content, for the three media it employs simultaneously: online, print and radio. Not to drag this introduction out, I just want to offer you some of Lapham’s comments on YouTube. There are a couple of hour-long interviews, along with some shorter features. All of them are worth spending your time. Lewis Lapham is a singular American. If there were 100 like him it would be a different country. Continue reading

All the News That’s Fit to… Ignore

For most of my adult lifetime the New York Times, the American newspaper of record, was practically an object of reverence for me. “All the news that’s fit to print…” proclaimed the masthead, and still does. I still read it online even though, over the years, it has lost some of its luster. To begin with, it’s take on the Iraq war seemed to me driven by the mass hysteria which gripped the less critical elements in the U.S.A. from the beginning. I really didn’t expect my beloved Times to go along with the baying crowd.

Recently I began to receive regular email publicity blurbs from the Times, plumping their most viewed feature stories over the previous week. Here’s the one which arrived a couple of days ago:

Top 5 Viewed Features on NTTimes.com
(Between Wednesday, Feb. 6-Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008