Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University

The Media Wars  11.11.01

"'Remember, knowledge is power.' Michel Foucault? Vaclav Havel? No, Logan Cale, a.k.a 'Eyes Only' [from the TV series Dark Angel] ... In a week marked by a concentration and escalation of the US infowar, as the blurring and blending of multi-media simulation and official dissimulation becomes practically hallucinatory..." Read | Discuss

Analysis  11.10.01

The Limits of Visual Culture
Wendy Chun, Modern Culture and Media, Brown University
"...The Internet's exceptional status stems from the fact it is a communications technology. ... When the internet went public by being sold to private corporations, it was supposed to become a technology of reconstruction, was supposed to make the world a global village..." 11.10.01 Read | Discuss
Lies & (Self) Analysis
Annick T.R. Wibben, Co-Investigator, InfoTechWarPeace
"'If I tell you that I am a liar, I create a perpetual logical rebound.' ... This statement from an introduction to the paradox of conscious self-narration ... takes on special importance in an age of global media..." 11.9.01 Read | Discuss
Television: New, Live and Improved
Lynne Joyrich, Modern Culture and Media, Brown University
"In proposing this forum on television and the internet, Professor Chun and I initially had plans to focus the discussion, as the forum title suggests, on what might be 'new, live, and improved'..." 10.12.01 Read | Discuss
Clippings  11.19.01
Fighting the Image War To Gain Muslim Support
Mike Allen @ Washington Post
"On Monday, President Bush will greet 50 ambassadors from Muslim countries who will munch dates and sip juice, then kneel and touch their foreheads to the floor of the White House's East Reception Room..." Empty document. 11.19.01 Read | Discuss
How Smart Was This Bomb?
Matt Wells @ The Gaurdian
"When World Service correspondent William Reeve dived under his desk in Kabul to avoid shrapnel from the US missile that had landed next door, some think it marked a turning point in war reporting..." 11.19.01 Read | Discuss
Bomb Destroys al-Jazeera's Office in Kabul
Tim Reid @ The Times
"The Kabul office of al-Jazeera, the Arab satellite station that has broadcast two videotapes of Osama bin Laden denouncing America, was obliterated in US bombing..." Broken link. 11.19.01 Read | Discuss
Declaring War on the Press Will Not Help Beat Bin Laden
Anne McElvoy @ The Independent
"The attempt to satiate the demand for news ends up making the war effort look fraught and unco-ordinated..." Empty document. 11.19.01 Read | Discuss
War and the Role of the Mass Media
J. Michael Waller @ Insight on the News
"Major news organizations apparently expected to cover Operation Enduring Freedom as they covered Desert Storm a decade ago -- still fighting the last war -- with camera crews and klieg lights in the faces of bewildered Marines..." 11.19.01 Read | Discuss
War Games
Story @
"Video game developers might spend millions of dollars on a single title, but the STRICOM budget is a whopping $1 billion a year. Those dollars buy a system that army commanders say is the best..." 11.19.01 Read | Discuss
War By Other Means
Galal Nassar @ Al-Ahram Weekly Online
"A month into military operations in Afghanistan, war reporters all over the world are feeling increasingly frustrated by their inability to adequately cover this conflict, which defies the conventional definitions of warfare. This is a war of soundbytes..." 11.12.01 Read | Discuss
Media Still Wait to Be Called Up
David Shaw @ Los Angeles Times
"U.S. military forces are waging an unprecedented war on terrorism thousands of miles from home, but Americans eager to know how the troops are doing have had to rely largely on the Pentagon to evaluate its own success..." Broken link. 11.12.01 Read | Discuss
Unleash the Press
John R. MacArthur @ The Nation
"For the straight-faced Pentagon press corps -- assured by so many commentators that irony ended on September 11 -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's pointedly ironic remarks on October 18 about war news must have come as a great surprise..." 11.12.01 Read | Discuss
"Missing in Action"
Galal Nassar @ Al-Ahram Weekly Online
"Shortly after the US launched its assault on Afghanistan, the Bush administration and the National Security Council took stock of the fact that an important weapon in its offensive arsenal could no longer be used as effectively as it had in America's previous military engagements: the media..." 11.12.01 Read | Discuss
Media Bias -- Once a Sin, Now a Virtue
Michael Kinsley @ Los Angeles Times
"So how come media objectivity is suddenly a bad thing? Conservative press critics are in another tizzy about objectivity and balance in American journalism. Only this time, their complaint isn't the lack of these fine qualities..." 11.9.01 Read | Discuss
On the War
Stanley Hoffmann @ New York Review of Books
"As soon as the shock of the terror attacks on New York and Washington was felt, commentators began saying that September 11, 2001, marked the beginning of a new era in world affairs. It is a misleading interpretation of a horrible event..." 11.1.01 Read | Discuss
Allies Set Up 24-hour Info Offices
Laurence McQuillan and Ellen Hale @ USA TODAY
"The United States and Britain have set up a 24-hour public relations operation for the war on terrorism, and President Bush is planning a week of appearances to shore up support among Americans and the rest of the world..." 11.1.01 Read | Discuss
Mistake to Declare This A 'War'
Sir Michael Howard @ This is London
"Sir Michael Howard, the eminent historian, has delivered a brilliant analysis of the terrorist crisis - and an indictment of its handling - which is likely to prove highly influential in this country and abroad... 'When in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center the American Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that America was 'at war', he made a very natural but a terrible and irrevocable error. Leaders of the Administration have been trying to put it right ever since'..." 10.31.01 Read | Discuss
War Needs Good Public Relations
Norman Solomon @ AlterNet
"At the Rendon Group, a public-relations firm with offices in Boston and Washington, pleasant news arrived the other day with a $397,000 contract to help the Pentagon look good while bombing Afghanistan..." 10.28.01 Read | Discuss
Unintended Consequences
John Tirman AlterNet
"All wars have unintended consequences. No matter how cautious generals and political leaders are, war sets in motion waves of change that can alter the currents of history..." 10.24.01 Read | Discuss
Wanted: Global Politics
Mary Kaldor @ The Nation
"Four weeks on and it feels as though we are living in a black hole. The 'new war on terrorism' has invaded our lives and sucked in all our usual activities. Even before the start of military action..." 10.18.01 Read | Discuss
The Roots of Conflict
Umberto Eco @ La Repubblica
"All the religious wars that have caused blood to be shed for centuries arise from passionate feelings and facile counter-positions, such as Us and Them, good and bad, white and black..." 10.15.01 Read | Discuss