Monday, December 27, 2004

How to learn the truth about Iraq

To sum it up: watch and listen to the media outside of the U.S. The LA Weekly reports on 4 Ways to Find Out What's Really Happening in Iraq:

If you want to know why public opinion in Western Europe has been so overwhelmingly against the U.S. war in and occupation of Iraq, there’s one obvious answer: the difference in television news between theirs and ours. You can easily determine this for yourself: Spend a week watching the news broadcasts and TV magazines of the BBC, France2 and Deutsche Welle, all available on many U.S. cable systems. The footage of dead Iraqi babies and children — victims of U.S. attacks on "terrorists" — that you will regularly see on European public television is rarely aired on U.S. networks. The regular interviews in Iraqi hospitals with doctors recounting the slaughter of the innocents that show up on European news broadcasts aren’t often seen on the all-news cable networks here, let alone on the Big Three broadcast nets’ newscasts. Iraqis, of course, know this daily reality all too well — which explains their overwhelming hostility to the U.S. occupation.

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The degree to which coverage of Iraq reflects the structural corruption of U.S. major media is even more damningly portrayed in Weapons of Mass Deception, the superb new film by Danny Schechter. Schechter, a TV veteran of three decades, is an Emmy-winning former investigative producer for ABC and CNN (he calls himself a "network refugee"), and the founder of the independent TV production company Globalvision and also of MediaChannel.org, the Web site where his sharp-eyed, acid-tongued media criticism punches gaping holes in official newsdom’s coverage of Iraq. In this film — which is much more meticulously documented and more accurate than Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, and therefore infinitely more devastating — Schechter shows with precision how U.S. mass media have been recruited as part and parcel of the Pentagon’s war-propaganda machine.


They also recommend Undernews, Truthout, and Informed Comment. I would add Dahr Jamail and Democracy Now! to that list.

In additon to the above story I'd suggest Mike Whitney's article over at Counterpunch, Rummy's Quagmire of Lies in which he discusses the U.S. military's use of information and mis-information as a weapon. I agree with his suggestion that lying by the military is now "a matter of policy." Unfortunately the corporate media regurgitates the lies with no critique or independent verification, proof, or corroboration.

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