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#124#125#126#127 Episode #128 - The Theater of War
(State Strategies to Create Positive Images of War)

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Sat 17 August 2002  Michael Parenti, Rambo and the Swarthy Hordes
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2 This week we continue our exploration of the crafting and telling of that big lie. First, part three of the Radio Netherlands series on propaganda with a look at the role of war reporting, then some on the public relations campaigns used to manipulate public sentiment towards Iraq. We'll conclude with a talk by Michael Parenti, Rambo and the Swarthy Hordes on the use of the entertainment media to influence American political perceptions.
A war zone is euphemistically called a theater, but war itself is now being presented as a sort of theatrical spectacle for the majority of the American population who will not be anywhere near it. The approach to war, the entire for-public-consumption presentation of US governance looks more and more like a cliché Hollywood production: the tough talking politicians standing up for freedom, the waving flags, the smiling soldiers. The entire presidential spectacle is tightly scripted and closely managed by teams of professionals, and the news media, which should be pulling aside the veil to expose the lies and manipulation, is actively a part of creating the illusion. The dismembered limbs and smell of burning flesh in faraway lands will not reach us via our TV screens - thus the angry twisted men who return from military service to become snipers, murders or demented street people will not be understood for what they are - people who snap after being turned into killing machines, participating in atrocities that they can never put out of their minds - all for a patriotic fantasy that they realize is a big lie only after it's too late.
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