Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"The war of perception"

'The Times' Executive Editor, Daniel Finkelstein thinks that we should pay for "quality journalism", the war that, according to the German Defence Minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, is a war but is not really legally a war continues and John Pilger's article in the 'New Statesman'  "Obama and the age of permanent war", hits the nail on the head as we find ourselves long since in an age of "newspeak" and the battles are fought not the killing fields of Gaza or Helmland, that is slaughter, but in the "war of perception". The good news is that the disgusting propaganda, which Mr Finkelstein calls "quality journalism", need not prevail, the war is not lost and indeed, there are encouraging signs that it is very much there to be won.

Yesterday 'Wikileaks' released a video showing a trigger happy US air crew shooting down Iraqi civilians and even before this latest "scoop", this piece of real news, the Pentagon had identified the website as a threat to national security. The US military originally said that all of the dead were insurgents, they weren't, they were civilians and the apostles of "newspeak" Daniel Finkelstein et al, find themselves in a quandary, to publish or not to publish, the news is out and about, publish but for christ's sake, take the sting out of it and 'The Times' writes: "When it comes to uncovering secrets, Wikileaks spares no one. Hollywood celebrities, the Kenyan police and the Church of Scientology have all endured embarrassing disclosures and now it is the US military’s turn." Nevertheless, credit where credit is due and in an earlier report the story was told in full. Yes, it might not be "quality journalism", there might be a bit of plagiarism or at least no particular creativity involved in the report, but the evidence would seem to suggest that once the manufacturers of consent have their hands forced, once it is out there, they too are forced to at least pass on the real news.

This is the war that is being fought and it is being fought not only by 'Wikileaks', this is the "war of perception", no comment is required, just confront them with the facts, get it in writing, preferably with pictures, maybe even with a video as long as that can be done it is a war that they cannot win. Their slaughtering on the killing fields of Gaza, Helmland and elsewhere will continue and, yes, they will move onto Iran and to the Horn of Africa. Nevertheless, despite the manufacturers of consent and their "quality journalism", truth will not be a casualty in this war and unless it is, the war can be won.

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