Thank You, Edward S. Herman (1925-2017) – Tireless Champion of Peace

Hits: 1461

Edward S. Herman died on November 11, 2017, at the age of 92. Fortunately, it was a peaceful death for a supremely peaceful man. In all he did, Ed Herman was a tireless champion of peace.

Ed Herman could be considered the godfather of antiwar media critique, both because of his own contributions and because of the many writers he encouraged to pursue that work. Thanks to his logical mind and sense of justice, he sharply grasped the crucial role and diverse techniques of media propaganda in promoting war. He immediately saw through lies, including those so insidious that few dare challenge them, such as the arrogant presumption by the U.S. War Party of the “right to protect” and the “need to prevent genocide”, to justify the oxymoronic “humanitarian war”.

He saw that these pro-war lies flourish on the basis of what he called the distinction between “worthy and unworthy victims” persistently drawn by apologists for United States militarism. The million of victims of United States bombings, sanctions, regime changes and undercover assassinations are not considered calls to arms. Washington think tanks do not draw moral conclusions concerning the victims of Dresden, Hiroshima and Vietnam. But the public is endlessly exhorted to indignation concerning victims whose misfortune can serve as casus belli for the latest U.S. aggression.

Imperialist Party Line hypocrites predictably pretended not to understand this distinction, and deliberately misinterpreted Herman’s exposure of this propaganda device to falsely accuse him of “denial” – when all he was denying was the pretext for more war.

The date of Ed Herman’s death carries an irony that he might have appreciated. It was the 99th anniversary of the armistice that brought an end to the wholesale slaughter of World War, a date that should above all be a reminder that war is senseless mass murder. Europe sacrificed its future and a generation of its youth to a pointless struggle, because masses of people accepted the propaganda that portrayed the other side as an evil threat. Yet today, the United States, by proclaiming that day to be Veterans Day, subtly turns it into a glorification of war, by requiring public honor for soldiers who died – worthy victims. The unworthy cause always hides behind the worthy victims.

Ed Herman was not only a courageous political commentator, of rigorous honesty, who constantly dared challenge official lies with careful and factual analysis. He was also an extraordinarily good man, outraged against injustice but always kind and gentle, generous and considerate.

He personified human qualities that currently appear to have gone out of style. Prominent among these qualities was modesty. He generously encouraged other writers, and greatly enjoyed working with others, notably Noam Chomsky, as co-author. He had no vanity. His most famous work, Manufacturing Consent, a more or less permanent worldwide best-seller, is widely attributed to Noam Chomsky – although Chomsky himself, in recognition of Herman’s leading role in developing the book’s ideas, insisted in putting Herman’s name ahead of his own in non-alphabetical order. It never seemed to occur to Ed Herman that he never had the recognition he deserved.

He had no children, and after she suffered a disabling accident, he cared for his wife Mary for the last years of her life before she died in August 2013, after 67 years of marriage. His pleasures were simple: he enjoyed a good meal and he loved cats, especially the strays who were lucky enough to find him. He never expected gratitude, but there are so many of us, human and feline, who have reason to say, thank you, Ed Herman, for the life you gave us.


Originally published on 2017-11-15

Author: Diana Johnstone

Source: Global Research

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

READ MORE!
The Nobel Peace Prize in Support of War
Norway is a member of NATO and has close ties to the United States and Great Britain. The political, economic and bureaucratic elites are firmly integrated in transatlantic networks, a nexus of economic connections, think tanks, international institutions, media and a thousand other ties that bind. They tend to identify with the liberal wing of the empire, (i.e. the Democrats, not the Republicans), but will work with any US administration. The members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee are selected by the Norwegian parliament, and the Committee is nominally independent.Despite being considered – and where the population considers itself – a ...
READ MORE
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy be Damned
We are witnessing a presidential election of epic farce. The Republican Party nominates the caricature of a tinpot dictator. The Democratic National Committee is a caricature too, of comic opera: exposed in collusion with a favored candidate it anoints a felon, shown to be such but unindicted.We are witnessing the collapse of democratic presidential politics. It is a derelict process, complex, absurdly long, insanely expensive, tedious, inconsistent and now chaotic.Professional football is a public extravaganza, its six-month season culminating in the tangible climax of the Superbowl. It is dwarfed in spectacle however by the same suspense and dramatic finale of ...
READ MORE
A Short History of Czechoslovakia
The origins of Czechoslovakia (1918−1920)Czechoslovakia gained its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. Even though the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was one political entity, the Austrian part and the Hungarian part existed under a Dual Monarchy. Each half of the empire had a large amount of control over their area independent of the other half of the country. The differing policies of the Austrians and the Hungarians had a strong impact on the state of what is now the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. In particular, the Czech industry was developed, while Slovakia remained a mostly agrarian area managed by ...
READ MORE
Criticism of Israeli Policy is not Anti-Semitic
I was provoked to write this discussion of what is and what isn’t anti-Semitism by an article in Ha’aretz on the “controversy” created by the awarding of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to George P. Smith. According to the reporting, Smith is not only a brilliant scientist whose work has helped lead to the creation of new drugs that can treat cancer and a range of autoimmune diseases, he is also an outspoken supporter of Palestinian rights and a critic of Israeli policies. The Ha’aretz piece notes that Smith has long been “a target of pro-Israel groups” and is listed ...
READ MORE
North Korea Threatens America. They’re Coming, They’re Going to Blow Us Up
“And you know, we have this mad guy [Kim Jong-un], I guess he’s mad, either he’s mad or he’s a genius, one or the other, but he’s actually more unstable, even than his father, …” (Donald Trump, August 2016 during election campaign) What was indelible about it [the Korean War of 1950-53] was the extraordinary destructiveness of the United States’ air campaigns against North Korea, from the widespread and continuous use of firebombing (mainly with napalm), to threats to use nuclear and chemical weapons, and the destruction of huge North Korean dams in the final stages of the war. …. (Bruce ...
READ MORE