On The Music Box: Shabazz
Beautiful Day In Portland…
Gordon K. came through for a short visit. Talked Kids, Music, Absinthe. A very pleasant visit indeed. Pics tomorrow?
Looks like a great day for gardening though a mite chilling still. Be kind to yourself, get outside and walk away from the computer, now! (I need to follow my own advice!)
On The Menu For Saturday…
The Article: Rumsfeld Zeros in on the Internet
The Poetry: Guillaume Apollinaire
The Art: Klimt
by Mike Whitney
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was warmly greeted at the recent meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations. The CFR is the hand-picked assemblage of western elites from big-energy, corporate media, high-finance and the weapons industry. These are the 4,000 or so members of the American ruling class who determine the shape of policy and ensure that the management of the global economic system remains in the hands of U.S. bluebloods.
As the Pentagons chief-coordinator, Rumsfeld enjoys a prominent place among American mandarins. He is the caretaker of their most prized possession; the high-tech, taxpayer-funded, laser-guided war machine. The US Military is the crown-jewel of the American empire; a fully-operational security apparatus for the protection of pilfered resources and the ongoing subjugation of the developing world.
Rumsfelds speech alerted his audience to the threats facing America in the new century.
He opined: We meet today in the 6th year in what promises to be a long struggle against an enemy that in many ways is unlike any our country has ever faced. And, in this war, some of the most critical battles may not be in the mountains in Afghanistan or in the streets of Iraq, but in newsroomsin places like New York, London, Cairo, and elsewhere.
Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in todays media age, but for the most part our country has not.
Huh? Does Rummy mean those grainy, poorly-produced videos of Bin Laden and co.?
Consider that the violent extremists have established media relations committeesand have proven to be highly-successful at manipulating opinion-elites. They plan to design their headline-grabbing attacks using every means of communications to intimidate and break the collective will of free people.
Its foolish to mention intimidating and breaking the collective will of free people without entering Abu Ghraib, Guantanomo and Falluja into the discussion. Rumsfeld is just griping about the disgrace hes heaped on Americas reputation by his refusal to conform to even minimal standards of decency. Instead, he insists that Americas declining stature in the world is the result of a hostile media and skillful enemies; in other words, anyone with a computer keyboard and a rudimentary sense of moral judgment.
(Our enemies) know that communications transcend borders and that a single news story , handled skillfully, can be as damaging to our cause and as helpful to theirs, as any other method of military attack.
If the Pentagon is really so worried about bad press coverage why not close down the torture-chambers and withdrawal from Iraq? Instead, Rumsfeld is making the case for a preemptive-assault on free speech.
The growing number of media outlets in many parts of the world .too often serve to inflame and distort, rather than explain and inform. And while Al Qaida and extremist movements have utilized this forum for many years, and have successfully poisoned the Muslim publics view of the West, we have barely even begun to compete in reaching their audiences.
Inflame and distort?
What distortion? Do cameras distort the photos of abused prisoners, desperate people, or decimated cities?
Rumsfelds analysis borders on the delusional. Al Qaida doesnt have a well-oiled propaganda mechanism that provides a steady stream of fabrications to whip the public into a frenzy. Thats the American medias assignment. And, they havent poisoned Muslim public opinion against us. That has been entirely the doing of the Pentagon warlords and their White House compatriots.
The standard US government public affairs operation was designed primarily to be reactive rather than proactive Government, however, is beginning to adapt
Proactive news? In other words, propaganda.
Rumsfeld confirms his dedication to propaganda by defending the bogus stories that were printed in Iraqi newspapers by Pentagon contractors. (We) sought non-traditional means to provide accurate information to the Iraqi people in the face of an aggressive campaign of disinformation .This has been deemed inappropriatefor examples the allegations of buying news.
A brazen defense of intentionally planted lies; how low can we sink?
This has had a chilling effect for those who are asked to serve in the military public affairs field.
Is it really that difficult to print the truth?
Rumsfeld boasts of the vast changes in communications planning taking place at the Pentagon.
A public affairs strategy is at the heart of the new paradigm, replete with rapid response teams to address the nagging issues of bombed-out wedding parties, starving prisoners, and devastated cities. No problem is so great that it cant be papered-over by a public relations team trained in the black-art of deception, obfuscation, and slight-of-hand. Trickery now tops the list of military priorities.
US Central Command has launched an online communications effort that includes electronic news updates and a links campaign that has resulted in several hundred blogs receiving and publishing CENTCOM content.
The military plans to develop the institutional capability to respond to critical news coverage within the same news cycle and to develop a comprehensive scheme for infiltrating the internet.
The Pentagons strategy for taking over the internet and controlling the free flow of information has already been chronicled in a recently declassified report, The Information Operations Roadmap; is a window into the minds of those who see free speech as dangerous as an enemy weapons-system.
The Pentagon is aiming for full spectrum dominance of the Internet. Their objective is to manipulate public perceptions, quash competing points of view, and perpetuate a narrative of American generosity and good-will.
Rumsfelds comments are intended to awaken his constituents to the massive information war that is being waged to transform the Internet into the progeny of the MSM; a reliable partner for the dissemination of establishment-friendly news.
The Associated Press reported recently that the US government conducted a massive simulated attack on the Internet called Cyber-Storm. The wargame was designed, among other things, to respond to misinformation campaigns and activist calls by internet bloggers, online diarists whose Web logs include political rantings and musings about current events.
Before Bush took office, political rantings and musings about current events were protected under the 1st amendment.
The War Department is planning to insert itself into every area of the Internet from blogs to chat rooms, from leftist web sites to editorial commentary. Their rapid response team will be on hair-trigger alert to dispute any tidbit of information that challenges the official storyline.
We can expect to encounter, as the BBC notes, psychological operations (that) try to manipulate the thoughts and the beliefs of the enemy (as well as) computer network specialists who seek to destroy enemy networks.
The enemy, of course, is anyone who refuses to accept their servile role in the new world order or who disrupts the smooth-operation of the Bush police-state.
The resolve to foreclose on free speech has never been greater.
As for Rumsfelds devotees at the CFR, the problem of savaging civil liberties is never seriously raised. After all, these are the primary beneficiaries of Washingtons global resource-war; should it matter that other peoples freedom is sacrificed to perpetuate the fundamental institutions of class and privilege?
Rumsfeld is right. The only way to prevail on the information-battlefield is to take no prisoners; police the Internet, uproot the troublemakers and activists who provide the truth, and catapult the propaganda (Bush) from every bullhorn and web site across the virtual-universe. Free speech is a luxury we cannot afford if it threatens to undermine the basic platforms of western white rule.
As Rumsfeld said, We are fighting a battle where the survival of our free way of life is at stake.
Indeed, it is.
(Mike lives in Washington State with his charming wife Joan and two spoiled and overfed dogs, Cocoa and Pat-Fergie.)
Now for some delightful Poetry! One of my favourites. Enjoy
Poetry: Guillaume Apollinaire
The Ninth Secret Poem
I worship your fleece which is the perfect triangle
Of the Goddess
I am the lumberjack of the only virgin forest
O my Eldorado
I am the only fish in your voluptuous ocean
You my lovely Siren
I am the climber on your snowy mountains
O my whitest Alp
I am the heavenly archer at your beautiful mouth
O my darling quiver
I am the hauler of your midnight hair
O lovely ship on the canal of my kisses
And the lilies of your arms are beckoning me
O my summer garden
The fruits of your breast are ripening their honey for me
O my sweet-smelling orchard
And I am raising you O Madeleine O my beauty above the earth
Like the torch of all light
The meadow is poisonous but pretty in the autumn
The cows that graze there are slowly poisoned
Meadow-saffron the colour of lilac and of shadows
Under the eyes grows there your eyes are like those flowers
Mauve as their shadows and mauve as this autumn
And for your eyes’ sake my life is slowly poisoned
Children from school come with their commotion
Dressed in smocks and playing the mouth-organ
Picking autumn crocuses which are like their mothers
Daughters of their daughters and the colour of your eyelids
Which flutter like flowers in the mad breeze blown
The cowherd sings softly to himself all alone
While slow moving lowing the cows leave behind them
Forever this great meadow ill flowered by autumn
Our past is as noble and as tragic
As the mask of a tyrant
No tale of danger or of magic
Nothing so insignificant
Describes the pathos of our love
And Thomas de Quincy drinking his
Sweet and chaste and poisoned glass
Dreaming went to see his Ann
Let us since all passes pass
I shall look back only too often
Memories are hunting horns
Whose sound dies among the wind
Under Mirabeau Bridge runs the Seine
And our loves
Must I remember them
Joy came always after pain
Let arriving night explain
Days fade I remain
Arm in arm let us stay face to face
The bridge at our hands passes
With eternal regards the wave so slow
Let arriving night explain
Days fade I remain
Love goes like this water flows
Like life is slow
And like hope is violent
Let arriving night explain
Days fade I remain
The days passed and the weeks spent
Not times past
Nor loves sent return again
Under Mirabeau bridge runs the Seine
Guillaume Albert Wladimir Alexandre Apollinaire was born in Rome in 1880 of an Italian father and a Polish mother. He grew up and received his education in France and, apart from a year in Germany in 1901-2, spent most of his adult life trying to make a living for himself as a writer in Paris. He was among the first to properly appreciate artists such as Picasso, Braque, Matisse and Derain who, in the early years of the twentieth century, were innovating in modern painting. He became their enthusiastic champion and his essay Picasso, peintre appeared as early as 1905. In 1914, at the outbreak of war, he enlisted, serving first in the artillery and later in the infantry. In May 1916 he received a head injury during combat for which he had to be trepanned. When he returned to Paris in 1917 he arranged the first performance of his `surrealist drama’ – Les Mamelles de Tirésias. In November 1918, only a few months after his marriage to Jacqueline Kolb, he died of Spanish influenza.
Have a beautiful weekend!