Shred NATO's credibility

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Tue Apr 20 08:00:03 PDT 1999

This is an interesting observation by Michael Pollack. His statement suggests that one of the treacherous aspects of lefties and ex-lefties supporting the current wars on Iraq and Yugoslavia is that they contribute skill and experience in avoiding the propaganda errors of previous imperialist wars. The right wingers had already learned from the eras of Viet Nam and modified their approach in the contra wars of the 1980's. Now added to that may be a whole gang of left advisors, many of whom have experience in peace movements in the past.

Shall we overcome ?

Charles Brown

>>> Michael Pollak <mpollak at> 04/20/99 06:53AM >>>

On Fri, 16 Apr 1999, Carl Remick wrote:

> As I expected, the NATO debacle in the Balkans is continuing to unfold
> along the lines of the Vietnam War. Once again, I believe, the antiwar
> movement's best tactic is to destroy the warmongers' credibility among
> the public at large.

Maybe you're right, Carl. But I have the depressing feeling they've learned from Vietnam. They deny it when the first reports hit, and then admit it a day later, when it's old news, complete, as you point out, with gory details. And then move on. With their own rumors, they do it in reverse: trumpet outrageous claims in an ominous voice, and then -- when people turn up alive, for instance -- say that it's tough to get information in wartime.

If they would only deny things longer, stonewall, refuse comment on outrageous lies, credibility could really take a fall. But they don't do that anymore. They just keep spinning. They've preserved the most effective features of the big lie (constant repetition). But, by making it a constantly churning procession of slightly different stories, it's less attackable than it used to be. They constantly admit they were wrong, which is the biggest lie of all, since it implies inadvertance. But it's hell to pin down.

We haven't learned a thing about humanitarian aid, conflict resolution or even how to wage war. But we do seem to have improved our propaganda techniques.


__________________________________________________________________________ Michael Pollak................New York City..............mpollak at

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