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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] Dear list members, Comment 'I couldn't have looked my friends in the face if I had opposed the war' She's the firebrand left-wing MP who stunned the Commons into silence when she backed Tony Blair over Iraq. Many said she saved the Prime Minister's skin. After a momentous year, Ann Clwyd talks to Kamal Ahmed Sunday December 28, 2003 The Observer http://observer.guardian.co.uk/politics/story/0,6903,1113107,00.html Regards, Muhamad -----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: 07 January 2004 12:01 To: email@example.com Subject: [casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #6 - 5 msgs [ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] This is an automated compilation of submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org Articles for inclusion in this daily news mailing should be sent to email@example.com. Please include a full reference to the source of the article. Today's Topics: 1. U.S. to let Kurds keep autonomy (=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Per_Klevn=E4s?=) 2. Iraq role can wait, says new Nato chief (N. Martin) 3. Trouble looms after coalition tells Kurds self-rule can stay (N. Martin) 4. Relations returning exiled Iraqi academics / those who remained in Iraq (N. Martin) 5. Why The ' Weapons Of Mass Deception' Are A Death Sentence For Democracy. (cafe-uni) --__--__-- Message: 1 Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2004 23:36:45 +0100 From: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Per_Klevn=E4s?= <per.klevnas@DELETETHIScasi.org.uk> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: U.S. to let Kurds keep autonomy http://www.iht.com/articles/123622.html U.S. to let Kurds keep autonomy Steven R. Weisman/NYT Monday, January 5, 2004 Self-rule timetable cited for decision; federal state at stake WASHINGTON The Bush administration has decided to let the semiautonomous Kurdish government remain as part of a newly sovereign Iraq despite warnings from Iraq's neighbors and many Iraqis not to divide the country into ethnic states, American and Iraqi officials said. The officials said that their new position on the Kurdish state was effectively dictated by the Nov. 15 accord with Iraqi leaders that established June 30 as the target date for Iraqi self-rule. Such a rapid timetable, they said, has left no time to change the identity of the Kurdish stronghold in the north, as many had originally wanted. "Once we struck the Nov. 15 agreement, there was a realization that it was best not to touch too heavily on the status quo," an administration official said. "The big issue of federalism in the Kurdish context will have to wait for the Iraqis to resolve. For us to try to resolve it in a month or two is simply too much to attempt." The issue of whether Iraq is to be divided into ethnic states in a federation-style government is of great significance within the country and throughout the Middle East, where fears are widespread that dividing Iraq along ethnic or sectarian lines could eventually break the country up and spread turmoil in the region. Administration and Iraqi officials insist that leaving the Kurdish autonomous region intact does not preclude Iraq's consolidating itself without ethnic states in the future when Iraq writes its constitution. Indeed, the Bush administration plans to continue to press Iraq not to divide itself permanently along ethnic lines, officials say. But after June 30, if all goes according to plan, the United States will have to wield such pressure from its status as a friendly outside power that happens to have 100,000 troops on the ground and not as an occupier. Many experts fear that once a Kurdish government is installed, even temporarily, it will be hard to dislodge. American officials say that delaying the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq until later in 2004 or the following year - after a constitution was written under American guidance - would have made it more possible to influence a future government's makeup, not just on its federal structure but also on such matters as the role of Islamic law. The earlier deadline, designed to ease Iraqi hostility to the occupation and to undermine support for the continuing attacks on American troops, has forced the United States to scrap many of its other earlier plans for Iraq's future. Originally, for example, the United States had hoped to proceed with the privatization of state-owned businesses established by Saddam Hussein. That hope is gone, American officials concede, in part because of security dangers and possible future legal challenges to any sale carried out by an occupying power. Last summer, L. Paul Bremer 3rd, the chief U.S. administrator in Iraq, said at an economic forum in Jordan that Iraq would soon start privatizing more than 40 government-owned companies. "Everybody knows we cannot wait until there is an elected government here to start economic reform," he said. Now Bremer says repeatedly that such decisions must await Iraqi self-rule. The precise terms of the future status of the Kurdish region in the transitional government, which is expected to last until the end of 2005, remain a matter of sharp dispute among members of the Iraqi Governing Council, the group handpicked by the American-led occupation that helps guide Iraq's future. The Kurdish members of the council are pressing a draft temporary constitution - known as the "transitional law" - that would give the Kurdish area great authority over security, taxing power and especially revenues from its own oil fields, according to Iraqi and American officials. The Kurdish region has enjoyed basic autonomy since 1991, when the United States followed the first Gulf war by establishing a no-flight zone there to prevent Saddam's military from attacking. "The status quo, with substantial Kurdish autonomy, will to a certain degree remain in place in the transitional period," an administration official said. "That is the view across the board of the Iraqi Governing Council. But clearly the Kurds are trying to get more than that. They feel they've got a pretty strong hand and are trying to play it." The Bush administration has many times stated its opposition to a permanent arrangement of ethnic states in Iraq, fearing it might eventually become another Lebanon. During a visit to the Kurdish region in September, Secretary of State Colin Powell said that while he sympathized with such aspirations and understood that Kurdish leaders did not want to break away from Iraq, he opposed a separate Kurdish state as such. "We would not wish to see a political system that is organized on ethnic lines," Powell said. "There are other ways to do it that would not essentially bring into the future the ethnic problems that have been there all along. They understand that, and we'll have different models to show them." In Baghdad, a 10-member subcommittee of the Iraqi Governing Council is wrestling with its own models of how to define the Kurdish area's powers. The committee is trying to meld its own draft with one put forward by the Kurds, officials said. The subcommittee chairman is Adnan Pachachi, a former Iraqi foreign minister. Feisal Istrabadi, a senior legal adviser to Pachachi, said, "There is a substantial agreement that the status quo in the Kurdish region would be maintained during the transitional period, with an important caveat. No one is conceding any ethnic or confessional grounds as the basis for any future federal state." Istrabadi, who is in Baghdad helping Pachachi's committee draft the "transitional law" to take effect after June 30, said that most Iraqis would oppose the establishment of ethnic states. He said such an arrangement would be inappropriate given that Iraq did not have a history of ethnic or sectarian strife that had led to the partition of states in other parts of the world. Some academic experts have suggested that Iraq should be divided into a Kurdish enclave in the north, a Sunni one in the center and a Shiite one in the south. But this idea has little support with the Iraqi Governing Council and none with the United States. "You know what the largest Kurdish city in Iraq is?" Istrabadi asked. "It's Baghdad. It isn't like you could draw a line in Iraq and say the Kurds live here or the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, or the Turkmans or the Shiites or the Sunnis live there. In the supposedly Shiite south, there are a million Sunnis in Basra." The Kurdish region is dominated by two feuding political parties that have been struggling to form a unified government in order to strengthen their hand in pushing for a federalist system that would give them broad autonomy into the future. At present, Iraq is divided into 18 states, known as governorates, of which three are Kurdish in the mountainous north. A permanently unified Kurdish state stirs worries, especially in Turkey and Iran, where there are large and restive Kurdish minorities. --__--__-- Message: 2 From: "N. Martin" <nm313@DELETETHIScam.ac.uk> To: email@example.com Subject: Iraq role can wait, says new Nato chief Date: 06 Jan 2004 07:13:26 +0000 Iraq role can wait, says new Nato chief Ian Black in Brussels Tuesday January 6, 2004 The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1116682,00.html Nato must focus its efforts on Afghanistan before considering taking on a sensitive security role in Iraq, the alliance's new secretary general said yesterday. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the former Dutch foreign minister, also told reporters on his first day in the job that he would seek to "build bridges across the Atlantic Ocean" after last year's bitter divisions. "The primary focus at the moment should be on Afghanistan," he said as he arrived at Nato's Brussels headquarters, adding that any decision on an Iraqi deployment would have to wait. Mr De Hoop Scheffer takes over from the former British defence secretary Lord Robertson, who ran the alliance for four, often difficult, years. Nato's current mission in Afghanistan is limited to 5,500 troops in Kabul and the northern city of Kunduz. But it is drawing up plans to expand its force to other provincial cities in response to requests from the Afghan government and the UN. The Afghan mission is an extraordinary departure for an alliance which pondered its post-cold war role long and hard before being galvanised by the September 11 attacks into a deployment "out of area". The signs are that it will not move quickly to take on a potentially fraught mandate in Iraq, given divisions in the run-up to the war, with France and Germany opposing the US. "Iraq, of course, will also be on the agenda at a certain stage, but let's take the events step by step," Mr De Hoop Scheffer said. The US, backed by Britain, is openly urging Nato to consider a bigger role in Iraq, beyond the logistical support it is giving to a Polish-led multinational division serving in the southern-central sector of the country. Mr De Hoop Scheffer, 55, is a professional diplomat turned Christian Democrat politician with a low profile outside his native country. The third Dutchman to run Nato, he is described as austere and professional. He speaks fluent English, German and French, and has said he favours "multilateralism with teeth". --__--__-- Message: 3 From: "N. Martin" <nm313@DELETETHIScam.ac.uk> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Trouble looms after coalition tells Kurds self-rule can stay Date: 06 Jan 2004 07:14:49 +0000 Trouble looms after coalition tells Kurds self-rule can stay Owen Bowcott and Brian Whitaker Tuesday January 6, 2004 The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1116704,00.html Kurdish political leaders have been reassured that their region's semi-autonomous status will be allowed to continue after the handover to Iraqi self-rule on June 30. The decision, which will infuriate neighbouring states and antagonise other Iraqis, is likely to have far-reaching consequences for any future constitutional settlement. There have already been armed clashes in Kirkuk - with Arabs and Turkomans against Kurds - over control of the disputed, oil-rich city. Last week six people were killed. The deal on preserving regional autonomy was reached at the weekend at a meeting in the Kurdish city of Irbil, when the American administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, and his British deputy, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, met Jalal Talabani, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and Massoud Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Democratic party (KDP). The latter group is determined to extend its control beyond what were once the "safe havens" to the whole of the predominantly Kurdish north, including Kirkuk. Allowing the Kurds to retain regional government is tacit recognition that the coalition has neither the time nor resources to dismantle the existing Kurdish parliament and administrations if they are to meet the June deadline. Those bodies date back to the end of the 1991 Gulf war, surviving outside of Saddam Hussein's rule under allied protection. The British and Americans formally maintain that whether or not Iraq becomes a federal state, with semi-autonomous regions or simply local governorates, is up to the Iraqis. But by not challenging the status quo, the coalition may leave the Kurds in a stronger position at constitutional talks. Mr Bremer wants a US-style federal constitution in which the largest devolved bodies would become Iraq's 18 governorates. "This statement which has come out is a positive one and says the Kurdish areas should have self-rule," Dilshad Miran, the KDP representative in London, said yesterday. "The borders have not been settled but the US has said it will be semi-autonomy. "The area will not be agreed until there's been a proper census and the policies of Arabisation [carried out by the Ba'ath party] have been reversed. It will be a tough negotiation." A Kurdish semi-autonomous region should be like Scotland within Britain, he said. Defence and foreign policy should be left to Baghdad. The spokesman for the PUK in London, Howar Haji, said the Americans and British had "agreed that the existing safe havens will continue" to exist after June 30. The Irbil meeting also confirmed that up to 200,000 Kurds expelled from the Kirkuk region under Saddam's rule will be allowed to return, according to Mr Haji. In the short term the rival KDP and PUK administrations were likely to merge. Kurdish ambitions are worrying other Iraqis, not least the estimated 2 million Turkomans who live mainly in the north-east. The creation of the safe havens effectively split the Turkomans into those dominated by the Kurds and those ruled by Baghdad. This division would be consolidated by the US plans. Although Saddam changed the population balance by resettling Arabs there, the Turkomans regard Kirkuk as their city. The Kurds, meanwhile, view the city as an essential part of a future Kurdish state, because of its oilfields. In an interview with an Arabic paper, the Turkoman member of Iraq's governing council, Songul Chapouk, hinted that the Turkomans would declare their own "Turkmanistan" if the Kurds looked like fulfilling their ambitions. Such a move would mark the start of a civil war in the north - one in which neighbouring Turkey could feel obliged to intervene because of its cultural affinity with the Iraqi Turkomans and its fears about its own Kurdish minority. --__--__-- Message: 4 From: "N. Martin" <nm313@DELETETHIScam.ac.uk> To: email@example.com Subject: Relations returning exiled Iraqi academics / those who remained in Iraq Date: 06 Jan 2004 07:18:37 +0000 Back to the future As exiled Iraqi academics consider whether to return to their homeland, Christina Asquith, in Baghdad, asks those who stayed behind how warmly they welcome their old colleagues Tuesday January 6, 2004 The Guardian http://education.guardian.co.uk/egweekly/story/0,5500,1116346,00.html After a decade of sanctions had left his physics lab a crumbling shell, Dr Raat Mohammed decided it was time to go. In 1999, following a route paved by thousands of Iraqi academia's best and brightest, Mohammed escaped across the desert to Jordan, without a goodbye to his lifelong colleagues and accompanied only by his wife, their suitcases and handfuls of cash to bribe Saddam Hussein's intelligence agents at the border. He was not alone. An estimated 2,000 academics fled Iraq's 20 major universities between 1995 and 2000, according to news reports at the time. Many more left before them. But now Mohammed is back. He has returned to his homeland out of loyalty to his country, pride and a deep hope to rebuild his university system to the halcyon days of the 1960s and 70s, when it was the intellectual Mecca of the Middle East. "We are free," says Mohammed, sitting in the department of science at Baghdad University, where he is an assistant physics professor. "I am a son of this university. I aspire to see its excellent future and to build the sciences back to the level from which I graduated." Academics in Iraq's beleaguered universities are seeing signs that the brain drain of the 1980s and 1990s is slowly being reversed. In recent months dozens of academics have returned from exile and are seeking to get their old jobs back. At the US-led ministry of higher education, which is staffed by expatriate academics, hundreds more have emailed from England, the US and the Netherlands to inquire about returning and to offer donations, scholarships and start partnerships. Just as lost academics were symptomatic of a universities slump under Saddam, their re-emergence offers a thread of promise for the future, particularly to colleagues struggling to piece back campuses suffering from academic repression, sanctions, looting and now terrorism. "When he left, he left a wide gap behind him," says physics professor Hussein Ahasal, who stayed behind. He pats Mohammed on the back. "I missed him very much because he was not only a colleague, but also a close friend." Ghazi Derwish, an Iraqi chemistry professor, was living well in London; semi-retired and working as a visiting professor at the University of Surrey. He'd fled Ba'ath party persecution 11 years earlier, and held little hope of ever returning. The war changed all that. He was already arranging a flight back when he was tracked down by the American senior adviser to Iraq's ministry of higher education, who was in great need of educated, English-speaking Iraqis with no ties to the former regime. Derwish recently spent several months working in Iraq for the Iraq reconstruction and development group as a higher education adviser, attempting to undo years of Ba'ath party policy. While many former Iraqi academics have returned from Yemen, Jordan and Libya to their former teaching posts, others are reaching out from abroad. Several Iraqi academics in London are organising donations and planning conferences. In the US, an Iraqi professor, Abdul Jabbar Al- Wahedi, created a website, www.iraqihighereducation.com , to link all Iraqi scientists abroad with Iraqi universities, foundations and ministries. So far, he has had responses from over 120 Iraqis in 32 different countries. One Iraqi expat academic brought 100 computers to Iraqi universities over the summer. Dozens of other academics are arranging to come to Iraq as visiting lecturers. Through email, expat academics are also offering to consult Iraqi colleagues on everything from reviewing graduate student theses to research evaluation. A website discussion has also begun on ways to encourage the Iraqi government to bring expats back. "They call and say, 'we want to help in the rebuilding'," says Joseph Ghougassian, deputy adviser to the ministry of higher education. "They feel an emotional pull. They really want to come back and bring their own skills and American way of thinking." Iraq's brain drain mirrored the rise of the Ba'ath party, with the first wave leaving immediately after the 1963 Ba'ath party coup. Another wave left in the early 1970s, as Saddam brutally muscled his way into power. However, it was the Iran-Iraq war that opened the floodgates. As the Ba'ath party recruitment began in earnest, the universities' goals changed from being centres of research and education to promotion of Ba'ath party interests and Saddam's personal preferences. Like most academics, Derwish never dreamed of leaving Iraq. He received his PhD in England in the late 1950s, a common practice among Iraq's burgeoning intellectual elite, but was so eager to return to Iraq that he went ahead of his wife and children, who were still tying up travel plans. Trouble started for Derwish in the early 1980s. He was one of 50 of the top academics forced to transfer out of the university by "presidential order" to government ministry positions advising on the Iran-Iraq war. "I resented greatly the way we were transferred," Derwish says. "I'm an independently minded person who's worked hard to cultivate my faculties and I was not prepared to be submissive to anyone's orders." The academic environment deteriorated. Even as existing universities wilted, Saddam continued to build new ones. Saddam ordered the building of seven universities between 1988 and the present, including Kirkuk University, which opened in January 2003, three months before the war. As more buildings went up, less money went into them. Due to the war and UN sanctions, lab supplies dwindled, broken equipment could not be replaced and printing presses ceased operation. Entire classrooms of science students would gather around one piece of equipment. As salaries descended throughout the 1990s, corruption entered university life. Professors blackmailed students, who in turn bribed professors. For select academics and administrators who supported the Ba'ath party, salaries rose. But the majority of academics had to take second jobs, as tutors or starting small businesses. Baghdad University design professor Al Atif Suhairy said his monthly salary fell from $2,000 (=A31,300) in the 1980s to $50 (=A333) in the 1990s. Suhai= ry, who has four children, eventually left to go to Yemen. "We received the same salary as the merchant on the street who sells melons," said Suhairy, now back in his teaching post at Baghdad University. "I had no money even to marry my son, who was a doctor. This was the case for all of us." Like many, Ghazi Derwish refused to join the Ba'ath party, and suffered for it. In the mid-1980s, his daughter lost her scholarship because she wouldn't join the Ba'ath party. Intelligence agents and Ba'ath party officers began visiting Derwish at his home at night, just to "check up on him". Once, they asked him for passport photos without saying why. In the early 1990s, academics were still allowed to take their summers abroad. Derwish went off to Jordan. He did not return. For those left behind, academic life became unbearable. Throughout the 1990s, as more academics fled, Saddam cracked down. He prohibited foreign travel and refused to issue certificates of graduation, necessary documents to apply for jobs abroad. Still, many academics escaped by bribing people in the passport office. Their disappearance always rattled the departments. Abdul Mahdi Talib Rahmatallah, dean of the college of science at Baghdad University, remembers well the feeling of losing his colleagues. A student would report yet another ghost lab - students sitting at desks with no teacher. Weeks might pass until someone drove to the academic's home and discovered it empty. No one would know whether the disappearance was because of an escape, or detention by the Ba'ath party. Eventually, a letter with no return address would arrive, typically with news that the academic was teaching in Jordan, or England, together with offers to send computers, journals and even money. Word spread quickly. "We would all want to know: what new way did they invent to escape?" recalls Dr Talib Rahmatallah. The departure was a permanent loss for the university. New academics in the 1980s and 1990s were often unqualified, dubbed "homemade PhDs" - meaning they had no international experience and had been trained in the increasingly bereft conditions of Iraqi universities. Many PhD candidates were Saddam's relatives from the villages of Tikrit, and Ba'ath party loyalists who rarely showed up for class except on exam day. They damaged the culture of education that Iraq was so proud of, and terrorised academics. "Some students would put guns on their desk to take the test," says Dr Hafudh Alwan, assistant dean of the political science department at Baghdad University. "Once, someone was cheating and when I told him to stop, he said: 'Leave me alone or I will take this pen and draw on your face'. It made us so upset we would cry. We are PhD professors, and our students humiliate us. We could do nothing." Kasim Mohammed, assistant dean of higher education and scientific affairs, was one of those who stayed behind. He concedes he felt both sympathy and bitterness when a colleague left, and is now of mixed emotions regarding their return. "If they left here because they were oppressed, we welcome them back again. But those who left for more money left us adrift in the middle of the sea," he says. "It is difficult to welcome them back." Derwish, who is now back in London, is approaching another major decision: should he return permanently to his homeland? The dilemma is between safety and patriotism, his new life abroad and the home he left behind. Returning to Iraq was not as easy as expected. The thrill of living in his homeland free of Saddam was countered by the looting, lapses in security and a rise in terrorism. Academics who fled because of poor equipment and outdated journals now find themselves struggling in classrooms without light fixtures, desks or doors because of the looting. Salaries have not risen, and in most cases are much less than what an academic could earn abroad. Security also weighs heavily on academics' minds. Many academics say they have received threatening letters, and the president of Basra University walks on campus with an armed guard. Whether the return continues depends a great deal on how successful US efforts overall are in Iraq. "I say to them: 'Please come back, but I warn you that your salary will be very low and you'll have to live exactly how we live, without mobiles or push-button facilities like they have in Europe'," says Musa Jawad Aziz Al Musawy, president of Baghdad University. "I have to give them the reality. In the end, they will come back because this is their country." --__--__-- Message: 5 From: "cafe-uni" <cafe-uni@DELETETHISfreeuk.com> To: "casi news" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Why The ' Weapons Of Mass Deception' Are A Death Sentence For Democracy. Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 14:49:34 -0000 > Why the ' weapons of mass deception' are a death sentence for democracy. > All the talk about "weapons of mass destruction", "links with international > terrorism", "acquisition of nuclear weapons" and so on was based on > deliberate misrepresentation. > Ken Macnab > http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5476.htm > > In the 1930s George Orwell, well aware of contemporary politics, > particularly the propaganda of Fascism, Nazism, Stalinism, and the > contenders in the Spanish Civil War, became concerned with the corruption of > language and communications. Work for the BBC during the Second World War > increased these concerns, to the extent that he wrote an essay titled > Politics and the English Language > http://www.resort.com/~prime8/Orwell/patee.html in 1946, in which he > asserted: "Political language - and with variations this is true of all > political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists - is designed to make > lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of > solidity to pure wind". He argued that "one ought to recognise that the > present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that > one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal > end". This concern became widely shared during the Cold War, when words > became weapons and vast propaganda edifices were created to brand opponents > and justify policies. The same process quickly became central to "the war on > terrorism". > > However, the conduct of public affairs, particularly the language of > political communication, has reached new depths of duplicity in the past > twelve months. An all-pervasive "culture of spin" has smothered rational > analysis and debate. All the talk about "weapons of mass destruction", > "links with international terrorism", "acquisition of nuclear weapons" and > so on was based on deliberate misrepresentation. All their insistence that, > despite extensive "pre-deployment" of massive military forces, Bush and > Blair and Howard were "men of peace" who had not yet made a "final decision" > about war, was utter falsehood. Much of the material presented to the public > to justify the need for war in Iraq was equally false. This was made > abundantly clear during the Hutton Inquiry in the United Kingdom, into the > public naming (and subsequent suicide) of weapons expert Dr Kelly, whose > concerns about the misuse of "intelligence" were used by a journalist to > claim that the famous Blair Dossier had been "sexed up" for political > purposes. The Inquiry revealed the machinations through which the Blair > dossier on Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction" was fabricated using > information known to be spurious. > > Equally creative effort and disregard for truth has gone into the American > saga of "Saving Private Lynch". This lack of regard for integrity has > promoted even greater lack of public respect for the political process > itself. In July this year, outgoing head of the Uniting Church in Australia, > the Reverend James Haire, told the Church's National Assembly that the > recent policies of the Howard government (and the inability of the > Opposition to do its job properly) had plunged the nation into "new depths > of moral depravity". A range of policies, from the Tampa incident through > welfare matters to the war on Iraq, displayed "abysmal moral standards". He > went on: "When truth becomes a commodity manufactured by spin doctors and > aided and abetted by government departments and political minions afraid to > tell it like it is [we are] in a powerless moral state." Similar "abysmal > moral standards" were being displayed in the United States and the United > Kingdom. > > The process of deliberately and aggressively using propaganda, distortion, > misinformation and outright lies, as a substitute for honest policy > formulation and presentation, in relation to the American case for war on > Iraq, has recently been subject to scrutiny by Sheldon Rampton and John > Stauber, from the Centre for Media and Democracy, a watchdog organization > that monitors the public relations industry. Their book, Weapons of Mass > Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq > http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1585422762/qid =3D1071796382/onli > neopinion exposes the interconnections between the White House, the > Pentagon, the State Department and a number of America's largest public > relations and advertising firms. One such firm was Benador Associates, "a > high-powered media relations company that acted as a sort of booking agent" > for Middle East "experts" affiliated with neoconservative think tanks. > > According to Rampton and Stauber, Benador's success in filling the media > with the views of their clients "was all the more striking in comparison > with the slight attention that media and policymakers paid to the 1,400 > full-time faculty members who specialise in Middle East studies at American > universities". Thus "weapons of mass deception" consisted of the continuous > manufacture of post-September 11 fear by terror alerts, raids and > deportations, the flooding of an uncritical media with endlessly repeated > government statements and supporting commentary, the use of emotive language > (such as "regime change", "liberation" and "coalition of the willing") that > concealed reality, and the displacement of independent assessment by > self-chosen 'experts' from lavishly funded support groups and think tanks. > > A recent Australian study by Don Watson, Death Sentence: The Decay of Public > Language, http://www.abbeys.com.au/items/25/02/28/ reinforces this concern > for the corruption of language. Watson illustrates how mindlessly repetitive > corporate jargon, incorporated in "mission statements" and organisational > systems and processes", displaces genuine articulation of beliefs and > values. He laments that: The language of management - for which read the > language of virtually all corporations and companies, large and small, > public service departments, government agencies, libraries, galleries and > universities, the military, intelligence organisations and, increasingly, > politics - is language that cannot describe or convey any human emotion, > including the most basic ones such as happiness, sympathy, greed, envy, love > or lust. You cannot tell a joke in this language, or write a poem, or sing a > song. It is language without human provenance or possibility. > > What is even worse is the political embracement of this language, and the > complete failure of the media to challenge its shallowness and duplicity. > > Watson makes the point: > > Politicians are attracted to managerial language because it is an endless > fund of clich=E9s; of interchangeable phrases that can be rolled out > interminably. The pressure of the media makes these instant weasel words - > words with the meaning sucked out of them - invaluable. And the media, for > reasons I don't quite understand, play along with it. They never ask what > these vacuous phrases mean. They never object to them on our behalf. They > seek the truth in a language that has no truth in it. Whether the media > really seeks the truth is a matter of opinion. But human beings have long > recognised the inhumanity of war; and those who fail to heed the past are > destined to repeat it. In 1509 the famous Dutch Renaissance humanist, > Erasmus, wrote scathingly in his Praise of Folly > http://www.ccel.org/e/erasmus/folly/folly.html . > > "War is something so monstrous that it befits wild beasts rather than men, > so crazy that the poets even imagine that it is let loose by Furies, so > deadly that it sweeps like a plague through the world, so unjust that it is > best generally carried on by the worst type of bandits, so impious that it > is quite alien to Christ; and yet they leave everything to devote themselves > to war alone. Here even decrepit old men can be seen showing the vigour of > youths in their prime, undaunted by the cost, unwearied by hardship, not a > whit deterred though they turn law, religion, peace and all humanity upside > down. And there's no lack of learned sycophants to put the name of zeal, > piety and valour to this manifest insanity, ..." > > This article was published in the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies' > newsletter PeaceWrites No.2 2003. > > Dr Ken Macnab is an historian and President of the Centre for Peace and > Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney. > End of casi-news Digest _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk