Bush Shifts War Justification To Democracy

Addressing the National Endowment for Democracy, George W. Bush said that "the United States must commit itself to a decades-long transformation of the Middle East and termed the U.S. occupation of Iraq a turning point in the future of worldwide democracy," the Washington Post reports. "Bush's speech was the latest effort by the administration to stop the slipping support for the U.S. occupation of Iraq at home and abroad.


Gay-Bashing Provocateurs

A gay-bashing, right wing student newspaper at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island offers a fresh example of the conservative media's strategy of "publicizing censorship of their papers" so they can "cast themselves as the little guy up against the leftist establishment." The Hawk's Right Eye provoked the university administration into clamping down by running nasty attacks on Judy Shepard, whose son was beaten to death in Wyoming for being gay.


This is Your Brain on Public Relations

The Environmental Working Group has obtained and analyzed documents from a briefing book assembled by Frank Luntz, a top public opinion researcher for corporate lobbyists. The briefing book offers a PR playbook on how to frame the current wholesale rollback of environmental and public health protections while avoiding a stinging public backlash.


Right Wing Collegians

The student editor of the California Patriot, a right-wing student newspaper at the University of California-Berkeley, claims that conservatives are the true heirs to the university's free speech movement of the 1960s. "The conservatives on Berkeley's campus have employed various strategies in order to insert their views -- whether they're wanted or not -- into campus debates," writes Michael Gaworecki.


Mind Games and Word Games

The NATO Review has published an essay by Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Collins, the chief of PSYOPS (psychological operations) in NATO's Operations Division at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. Titled "Mind Games," the essay examines the use of "perception-management operations before, during and after Operation Iraqi Freedom.


Blair 'Knew Iraq WMD Claim Wrong'

"British Prime Minister Tony Blair privately admitted before the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction that could be used within 45 minutes, former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has claimed," CNN International reports. Cook resigned his government post in protest of British involvement in Iraq. The Sunday Times of London published excerpts of Cook's new book, "Point of Departure," based on his diaries kept during the run-up to war.


PR Guru Says Iraq Occupation Needs a Marketing Makeover

What should President Bush do now that the propaganda that deceived a nation into war is being exposed? G. Clotaire Rapaille, a marketing expert whose work we describe in our book Weapons of Mass Deception, told the New York Times that "The important thing is to tell a story. 'I would have an Iraqi child, and I would make a hero of this child. And then we have him on television telling, `Today I went to school, I talked to my grandmother, and this is what my future is going to be now.


What the Iraqis Want

Top Bush administration officials have been citing a pair of public opinion polls conducted in Iraq to demonstrate that Iraqis have a positive view of the U.S. occupation, but Walter Pincus points out that the polls actually show Iraqis have a less enthusiastic view than the administration has portrayed. According to one poll, "only 33 percent thought they were better off than they were before the invasion and 47 percent said they were worse off," Pincus writes.


The Other Lies of George Bush

"George W. Bush is a liar. He has lied large and small, directly and by omission," David Corn writes in the Nation. "Bush's truth-defying crusade for war did not mark a shift for him. Throughout his campaign for the presidency and his years in the White House, Bush has mugged the truth in many other areas to advance his agenda. Lying has been one of the essential tools of his presidency. To call the forty-third President of the United States a prevaricator is not an exercise of opinion, not an inflammatory talk-radio device.



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