John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton from the Center for Media & Democracy have written a new book (with graphics from Tom Tomorrow) that covers the propaganda campaign that led us up to war. The Best War Ever: Lies, Damned Lies and the Mess in Iraq should be a great antidote from the fictionalized hackumentary airing tonight.
- Offers the most compelling and complete study to date of the propaganda campaign that led us to war, and which continues to trap the Bush administration within a "mirrored echo chamber" of its own "message consistency"-with catastrophic consequences for the United States and the world.
- Provides meticulous accounting of the polling and spin-doctoring of GOP and administration officials in laying out language to obscure the reality of this unilaterally-declared war of choice, and occupation.
- Details how the Bush administration has aimed its propaganda not at a tactical deception of enemy combatants, but at the American people themselves. This violates long-standing and important American political traditions dating back to the Smith-Mundt Act, which was first passed by Congress in 1948 after lawmakers saw the harm that propaganda had done during Hitler's reign in Germany.
- Gives necessary context and background on the administration's use of leaked information and ad hominem attacks to discredit their critics. It examines the case of CIA analyst Valerie Plame and her husband Joseph Wilson, showing how the administration's eagerness to discredit a critic came at the cost of sacrificing important policy goals, including preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
- Is the first book to compile and compare various accountings of Iraqi and U.S. casualties as a result of this conflict. Why is there no official U.S. count of Iraqi dead? And why have pro-war pundits engaged in smear campaigns against respected research journals such as the Lancet for conducting their own research into the number of casualties?
- As support for the war dwindles, Rampton and Stauber predict a next round of propaganda that will likely be aimed at rationalizing the failures to bring stability and democracy to Iraq. They also warn that the same officials who misled us into war with Iraq are now gearing up to argue for war with Iran. The authors urge all Americans to understand the lies that were told, and to hold accountable those responsible for creating and disseminating them.
"How are nations ruled and led into war? Politicians lie to journalists and then believe those lies when they see them in print."
-Austrian journalist Karl Wiegand, explaining the causes of the First World War.
(big h/t to Jennifer Nix)
You can support C&L and arm yourselves for those inevitable debates with those who accepted The Path for 9/11's fictionalized coverage by ordering The Best War Ever here.