- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The 'information' war

Posted by: bill on April 11, 1999 at 17:40:23:

In Reply to: Kosovo - Beyond the Hype posted by DrCruel on April 09, 1999 at 11:56:18:

:Finally, we gave up, and prepared to station troops into the area to force a peace. I would suggest reading a book called To End A War, by Richard Holbrooke.


What I would expect to find from such a self-promotional book would be a defence of Dayton with an overlay of just how frightfully important it is to have a roomful of elites determine (usually with whatever instruments of force are available) the future course of a region. At least one reviewer has suggested as an alternate title: "How to Start a War" (after presiding over the diplomatic carving up of Bosnia into three distinct ethnic entities, complete with its own "ethnic cleansing" in the process!)
Naturally those fascinated by "power-brokers" with all the surrounding trappings are drawn to pot-boilers like this. It comes recommended by such luminaries as H. Kissinger, A. Schlesinger, and G. Kennedy - each appropriately contemptuous of democracy, preferring "stability" backed by force - from Indonesia to Chilie.

A more useful book might be a recent one called: Burn this House by Jasminka Udovicki.

The break-up of Yugoslavia was accompanied (and fostered by countries such as Germany) with massive appeals to ethnic identity with demonization of ethnic neighbors. Naturally each region could produce a thug to whip up xenophobia. It happened in Ruwanda, as radio stations called on the Hutu population to slay their Tutsi neighbors. The power of media in molding opinion is nowhere recognized more than in the U.S.. (That is why there are now plans to knock out Belgrade's TV station (unless it permits 3 hours of Western oriented news) (Sort of like we present 3 hours of Their views right? Or Rugovas? Or even Veran Matic whose station was taken over while he himself was arrested recently?

Part of the manipulation of a population (as in the U.S. and elsewhere) consists in anthropomorphising the nation/state. Thus a country will seem to possess emotions and psychological states. The U.S./Serb/British/Chinese/etc/ must "save face" or show "pride", for example. These are powerful (if irrational) tools, pervasive and and perversely used in so-called policy formation. One must ultimately go back to cold, hard, unvarnished geo-political realities.


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