Remembering Edward Herman: Explains the Role of Media Propaganda in Justifying War

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On November 11, distinguished scholar, political economist, media analyst/critic, peace champion Ed Herman passed away at age 92.

It was fittingly on the 99th anniversary of WW I’s end. Endless wars followed “the war to end all wars” – a legacy of mass slaughter and destruction Herman deplored, championing elusive world peace.

Along with his friends and family, I mourn his passing, a valued friend and colleague, a contributor to my 2014 book, titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III.”

He and other distinguished contributors made the book successful, published in Russia and France.

Ed Herman’s writing inspired my own. His books and many others by distinguished authors launched my second career – following years in small business.

His writing on Srebrenica explained what I earlier called more myth than massacre, saying:

“(E)vidence for a massacre, certainly of one in which 8,000 men and boys were executed, has always been problematic, to say the least…”

“(T)he ‘Srebrenica massacre’ is the greatest triumph of propaganda to emerge from the Balkan wars…”

“(T)he link of this propaganda triumph to truth and justice is non-existent.”

In his book “The Politics of Genocide, co-written with David Peterson, the authors explained that genocides in Kosovo and Rwanda were used by the West to advance its geopolitical/economic agenda.

Manufacturing Consent, co-authored by Noam Chomsky, was Herman’s best remembered work, his masterwork, mostly written by him.

It explained the “propaganda model,” controlling the public message by filter(ing) (disturbing truths), leaving (behind) only the cleansed residue fit to print” or air.

Today’s media are in crisis, free and open societies at risk by mass-produced fiction substituting for vital facts – alternative spaces the only sources of real news and information, mostly online.

Herman’s message and presence will be sorely missed, his spirit immortal. His last hurrah tour de force Monthly Review essay critiqued the deplorable state of today’s major media, saying:

Establishment “publications take it as an obvious truth that what they provide is straightforward, unbiased, fact-based reporting” – calling dissenting viewpoints “fake news.”

“(T)hey…provide a steady flow of their own varied forms of fake news, often by disseminating false or misleading information supplied to them by the national security state, other branches of government, and sites of corporate power.”

New York Times “(f)ake news on Russia (dates) at least as far as the 1917 revolution.” It rages on steroids today.

Herman’s essay covered an array of important issues, including the CIA’s 1954 coup, toppling Guatemala’s democratic government, NYT and other media propaganda supporting what happened.

He explained Times fake news during the Vietnam War, the attempted 1981 papal assassination, the purported “missile gap” between America and Russia based on Big Lies, and so-called “humanitarian intervention” in Yugoslavia during the 1990s.

Media propaganda sanitized war, suppressing the country’s rape and destruction, its balkanization for easier Western control.

Herman discussed the disgraceful demonization of Vladimir Putin and Russophobia, the New York Times playing a leading role, inventing nonexistent threats, ignoring US-led NATO “expansion up to the Russian borders and first-strike-threat placement of anti-missile weapons in Eastern Europe,” along with endless wars of aggression against sovereign independent states threatening no one.

He ended his detailed essay, saying Trump administration actions “deal(t) a blow to any further rapprochement between the United States and Russia.”

“The CIA, the Pentagon, leading Democrats, and the rest of the war party” continue preventing world peace.

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) called Ed Herman a “master of dissent.”

His life’s work was dedicated to inspiring new generations to work for the society he envisioned – moral, righteous, free, just, egalitarian at peace.


Originally published on 2017-11-16

About the author: Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.

Source: Stephen Lendman

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