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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/24/11

Cheerleading for War

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Cheerleading for War - by Stephen Lendman

When America goes to war, managed news goes with it spreading rumors, half-truths, misinformation, and willful deception about targeted nations, regimes and leaders, whether despots or democrats. Whoever first said it, the first casualty of war is truth, and then some as John Pilger once observed saying:

"Journalism is the first casualty. Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship (and willful misreporting) that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries...."

As a result, managed news jeopardizes free and open societies by substituting fiction for facts, carefully filtered reports for truth, and cheerleading propaganda for real journalism. As a result, wars of aggression are called liberating ones. Civil liberties are suppressed for our own good, and patriotism means going along with lawless governments, reigning death and destruction on defenseless nations for imperial, not noble, reasons.

Media support backs them, notably in America where dominant electronic and print reporting marches in lockstep with government policy, right or wrong.

As a result, dominant information sources (the major media) are in crisis as leading media scholar/critic/activist Robert McChesney once observed, saying:

"Going to war is arguably the single most important decision any society can make. The track record of the US news media in the twentieth century is that they often went along with fraudulent efforts to get the nation into one war or another" from WW I to today.

Each time with no exceptions, "administration(s) in power believed that (truth wouldn't enlist) support (for) war. So they lied. The Pentagon Papers (exposed it about Southeast Asia) in shocking detail."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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