"Just as the advertising industry picks up the pieces from a crushing slump, the drumbeat of war is threatening to spoil the recovery," write Merissa Marr and Adam Pasick. "Advertisers are nervously reviewing their campaigns as a U.S.-led conflict in Iraq looms ... reporting a reluctance among some marketers to spend money on new campaigns and launch new products. ... In the last Gulf war in 1991, advertising spending almost entirely dried up for two months.
A reproduction of the "Guernica" work by Pablo Picasso, which depicts the horrors of war, has been covered with a curtain at the United Nations because it is apparently an "inappropriate" backdrop for discussions of the pending war with Iraq: "A diplomat stated that it would not be an appropriate background if the a
The New York Times notes that "spurred by local antiwar
sentiment, dozens of cities and counties around the country
have passed resolutions imploring President Bush to slow
down his confrontation with Iraq. ... City and county councils in 20 states have passed such
measures, from small towns like Woodstock, N.Y., to cities
as large as Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit." Well-funded right wing supporters of the march to war "stand ready to try to mobilize a
The accusation that Iraq has used chemical weapons against its own citizens - Iraqi Kurds at the town of Halabja - is a familiar part of the debate over whether to go to war. According to a controversial article by Stephen C. Pelletiere, however, the facts surrounding that claim have been selectively presented and distorted.
As it prepares for war with Iraq, the new White House Office of Global Communications (OGC) is "revving up a global effort to defuse its image as arrogant and overbearing," reports Randall Mikkelsen. The State Department is creating an Islamic media center in London to manage U.S. communications with the al Jazeera satellite television network. The OGC is also organizing "daily telephone conference calls to coordinate foreign policy messages among U.S. government agencies and representatives of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
During the first war in the Persian Gulf, U.S. citizens saw mostly sanitized images of smart bombs hitting non-human targets. Images of death and suffering were kept to a minimum, thanks in part to the military's pool system which controlled the movements and activities of most journalists. Photographer Peter Turnley refused to participate in the pool system and managed to get pictures that few people have seen. "Many people have asked the question 'how many people died' during the war with Iraq and the question has never been well answered," he writes.
'War Is Sell,' and the techniques being used by the US are familiar marketing and PR strategies. The Financial Times notes today that the Bush Administration has "published a dossier depicting Saddam Hussein's government as an 'apparatus of lies', as President George W. Bush maintained a high-pitched note of impatience with the Iraqi leader. ... However, the White House's own version of agitprop also skates over some aspects of history. ...
"If you put the First Amendment up for a nationwide vote, we're not so sure it would pass," reports Howard Kurtz. "When war breaks out, many folks believe that the people with pens and microphones should just get out of the way and let the soldiers do their jobs." According to a recent opinion poll, two-thirds of the public believes the government should have the right to stop the media from disclosing military secrets, and 56% say news organizations are more obliged to support the government in wartime than to question the military's handling of the war.
"As the military buildup continues in the Persian Gulf,
another conflict is brewing at home, among MSNBC, CNN and
"What would Americans think if they knew that their best newspaper, The New York Times, had allowed one of its national-security reporters to negotiate a book deal that needed the approval of the CIA?" writes Allan Wolper. "What would they say if they knew the CIA was editing the book while the country is days or weeks away from a war with Iraq and is counting on the Times to monitor the intelligence agency?"