Friday, March 31, 2006

Postmodern warfare

When Jean Baudrillard titled his book on the first Iraq war The Gulf War Did Not Take Place a lot of his critics, especially those on the left, took it as confirmation that the man had gone from postmodernism to raving lunacy. One-sided it may have been, but Baudrillard's point about the fantasies involved in the presentation of war in the West seems relevant to the bizarre details of the psy-ops the US has been running in Iraq. Here is Juan Cole, who seems rather too empirical to be a fan of Baudrillard:

The Independent has gotten hold of some of the black psy-ops "newspaper articles" peddled by the Lincoln Group to Iraqi newspapers (it paid $2000 an article to plant them, disguising them as real news). This operation is the ultimate in warfare. Instead of actually winning the war, the Pentagon substitutes itself for the journalists and paints the new Iraqi army as the eighth wonder of the world and declares we are winning.

The illusions are so circular and self-referential that when corporate media went looking for someone to comment on the Lincoln psy-ops operation, they quoted Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute as saying it was all just fine. Turns out that Rubin is a paid consultant of . . . The Lincoln Group (and quite dishonestly didn't let the NYT know it.) So the American Enterprise Institute, which helped manufacture the fantasy of a victorious Iraq War in the first place, now has its staff help manufacture the illusion of success on the ground and then lie about it to the MSM...

People who want to be in Congress should know the difference between Istanbul and Baghdad. Howard Kaloogian's website tried to prove that everything was just fine in Iraq by posting a picture of Bakirkoy in downtown Istanbul and characterizing it as a Baghdad street scene!

I just remembered this issue. Kaloogian spearheaded the move to cancel a CBS mini-series about Ronald Reagan, and to keep Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 out of the theaters! He not only is creating imaginary Iraqs, he has tried to prevent us from seeing in the media other accounts of reality than his own!


Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Yes - the problem of evil! ooops -I mean of personal realities. Baudrillard has some skewy points I imagine - his 'madness' comes true...

6:30 pm  

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