Justin OldhamPolitics & Propoganda: The Media ConspiracyTue Apr 12, 2005 21:3064.140.159.196
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Did you know about this?
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 00:09:47 -0800
From: Justin Oldham Oldham@alaskalife.net
Politics & Propoganda: The Media Conspiracy
By Justin Oldham
You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to know that the modern American political establishment is now successfully co-opting our domestic television news outlets. Career politicians on both sides of the aisle are benefiting from this covert corruption of our most influential visual media.
You can read more about this here:
In my first book, Politics & Patriotism: The Fisk Conspiracy, I wrote about how the trend toward big government that will eventually break what we now call the free press. It was part of the 'background' in my story. Like so many other things in that book, Fiction is fast becoming Fact. It's not an accident that one of the characters in my story is a journalist.
Here's the low-down for those who don't know. Many government agencies routinely spend taxpayer money to produce short information pieces on video that look and sound like news stories filed by local reporters. Some are just 30-90 seconds long. In all cases, the 'reporters' are actually GS-grade government workers. These short info-clips are then given out (free) to small news organizations that put them on the air, as if they were real news.
When a government presents its own point of view in print or on film, using its own resources, it's not making news. It's making Propoganda. The distinction is very hard to make, but here it is. Propoganda represents a soft subtle back door in to the minds of the people. Throughout history, governments have been tempted to use this tool for their own ends. There's a big difference between the FDA film about botulism you saw in High School, and an FDA-sponsored sound bite that tells you how safe and good fruits and vegetables from other countries are.
Taken by itself, it's just another symptom of the trend I wrote about. We're still left with the question of what to do about the actual problem. It costs money for other people to bring you the news. Reporters have to go and talk to people. Other research is usually needed. Checking out just one story can take six months in some cases. All of this comes at a cost. Cash-strapped t.v. stations still have to put 'something' on the air. Any station that turns down this Propoganda could run the risk of being driven out of their market.
If you see something on your local news that looks like it could be government Propoganda, pick up the phone. Call them on it, literally. Then, take one more step. Write letters to your local newspapers. Just bear in mind that this is one symptom of a larger problem.
The issue of government Propoganda has to be brought to national attention before it can be effectively dealt with. It's one thing for our government to inform us. It's another thing for our government to mis-inform us. Remember that the next time your local news tries to feed you the government's point of view.
Politics & Patriotism: The Fisk Conspiracy A Small Press Consultant
Author Shadow Fusion Enterprises
104 Muldoon Road
Napoleonic Overreach in Iraq
by Joe Schembrie
by Joe Schembrie
In 1804, the Pope was summoned to Paris to crown Napoleon Bonaparte as Emperor of France. At the climax of the coronation, however, Napoleon snatched the crown from the Pope's hands and crowned himself. The episode reeks of Napoleon's hubris, but it wouldn't be his greatest demonstration of imperial overreach.
That occurred on June 22, 1812, when Napoleon invaded Russia. The campaign proved to be so ill-conceived that it soon toppled his empire. The tale merits scrutiny, as the Bush Administration is duplicating Napoleon's hubristic errors in its imperial misadventure in Iraq.
As with Bush and the invasion of Iraq almost two centuries later, all seemed well at the beginning for Napoleon and his Russian campaign. His Grand Army of 675,000 outnumbered Tsar Alexander's army, almost three to one. However, Napoleon failed to adequately plan the logistics of the campaign. Within weeks, his army melted away from starvation, exposure, and sickness. Napoleon reached Moscow with barely a hundred thousand survivors. His logistical bungling had destroyed four-fifths of his army even before engaging the enemy.
Likewise, in its occupation of Iraq, the Bush Administration has dismissed logistical details and so our military resources are hemorrhaging. The occupation costs a hundred billion dollars a year, more than half a million dollars per soldier deployed, but our troops lack armor and spare parts and receive pay so low that their families qualify for food stamps. As did Napoleon, Bush believes that personal vision transcends grubby bookkeeping.
Another of Napoleon's errors was manifested when he entered Moscow, confidently expecting the Russian opposition to collapse with the seizure of its greatest city. But at the time, the capital of Russia was in Saint Petersburg; Napoleon in his smugness had attacked the wrong target, leaving the Tsarist regime unscathed and the war far from over.
Bush has made a similar blunder in the War on Terror. Our enemies are al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, but Bush – claiming God's wisdom – attacked Iraq and Saddam Hussein instead. And so our real enemies in the War on Terror remain free and unharmed, while the US entangles itself in an exhausting sideshow.
Napoleon compounded his errors by refusing to admit mistakes. He "stayed the course" in occupying Moscow, lingering for weeks as winter approached. When he finally allowed retreat, it was too late. Freezing cold added to hunger and killed more of his soldiers. Of the 675,000 who entered Russia in June 1812, only ten thousand escaped in December.
Similarly, Bush's pride refuses to acknowledge that the War on Terror was derailed by the invasion of Iraq. So the occupation continues, adding a hundred-billion-dollar-a-year burden to an already threatening US federal deficit.
Given these parallels between Napoleon and Bush, what can we expect from America's misbegotten intervention in the Middle East? A final parallel offers a disturbing warning.
When the Russians captured one of the coaches from Napoleon's retreating army, they found maps of India and China. This presciently echoes the Bush Administration's rumored plans to invade Iran and Syria. Imperialist hubris knows no limits – other than overreach and collapse.
Napoleon's imperial overreach into Russia soon cost him his empire. In June 1815, almost exactly three years after entering the Russian quagmire, the Emperor met his ultimate defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. He commanded only 74,000 soldiers on the field that day; if Napoleon could have brought 675,000 more, Wellington would have undoubtedly retreated in undignified haste. Instead, having squandered so much of his manpower upon Russia, Napoleon could no longer defend his own national borders.
If Bush continues on Napoleon's imperial path, America will follow the fate of Napoleon's empire. Regardless of the Bush Administration's vainglory, the United States cannot afford hundred-billion-dollar-a-year-each, manpower-stretching occupations of Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and protect itself as well. Eventually, financial reality will set in, and the United States must withdraw from the Middle East or risk its own survival.
Our real enemy (Osama – remember?), who so far has remained untouched, will then step into the power vacuum which the Bush Administration has created in the Middle East.
Is this any way to conduct a War on Terror? No, but as the parallels with Napoleon in Russia illustrate, it is exactly how hubris-afflicted leaders overreach their empires.
April 12, 2005
Joe Schembrie [firstname.lastname@example.org ] is an electrical engineer in Washington
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