Commentary and links relating to media coverage of war; both before, during, and after.

William A. Dorman is Professor of Government at California State University, Sacramento, and has taught a course in War, Peace and the Mass Media since 1970.

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War, Peace, and the Mass Media
Friday, January 26, 2007  
Groups Head to Capital to Step Up Antiwar Drive

The New York Times
January 26, 2007

Blog editor's note: It would be an interesting exercise to compare how the mainstream media cover this weekend's demonstration with coverage given the demonstrations leading up to the 2003 war. Until very late in the day, the 2003 coverage tended to underplay American demonstrations until after massive demonstrations in Europe made the global anti-war sentiment undeniable.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 — Tens of thousands of demonstrators are set to arrive in the capital this weekend for a major antiwar march, staging the first of several protests intended to persuade the new Democratic-controlled Congress to do more than simply speak against President Bush’s Iraq policy.

But do not look for senators to be standing among the protesters on the Mall on Saturday. Despite a consensus building around a Senate resolution to oppose sending more troops to Iraq, even the most liberal Democratic senators do not appear eager to align themselves with a traditional antiwar protest.

So the groups that are organizing the demonstrations against the president’s strategy are also carrying out a sophisticated, well-financed lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill. Their behind-the-scenes efforts are intensifying, relying on tactics deployed in a cutthroat political race.

To read the full text, see New York Times

7:35 AM

Thursday, January 25, 2007  
Life on the Plantation

By Bill Moyers
Friday 12 January 2007

Blog editor's note: In my view, Bill Moyers is the single most eloquent voice for a genuinely democratic society and a free press speaking or writing today. This recent speech is particularly worthwhile reading.

It has long been said (ostensibly by Benjamin Franklin, but we can't be sure) that "democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

My fellow lambs:

It's good to be in Memphis and find you well-armed with passion for democracy, readiness for action, and courage for the next round in the fight for a free and independent press.

I salute the conviction that brought you here. I cherish the spirit that fills this hall and the camaraderie we share today. All too often the greatest obstacle to reform is the reform movement itself. Factions rise, fences are built, jealousies mount - and the cause all believe in is lost in the shattered fragments of what was once a clear and compelling vision.

Reformers, in fact, too often remind me of Baptists. I speak as a Baptist. I know Baptists.

To read the full text, see

4:04 PM

President's Portrayal of 'The Enemy' Often Flawed

By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
January 24, 2007; A13

Blog editor's not: This is one of the most astute analyses I've read of the President's State of the Union speech in terms of the President's characterization of who and what the U.S. faces in the "war on terror."

In his State of the Union address last night, President Bush presented an arguably misleading and often flawed description of "the enemy" that the United States faces overseas, lumping together disparate groups with opposing ideologies to suggest that they have a single-minded focus in attacking the United States.

Under Bush's rubric, a country such as Iran -- which enjoys diplomatic representation and billions of dollars in trade with major European countries -- is lumped together with al-Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat," Bush said, referring to the different branches of the Muslim religion.

To read the full text, see Washington Post

4:02 PM

Tuesday, January 23, 2007  
Scant evidence found of Iran-Iraq arms link
U.S. warnings of advanced weaponry crossing the border are overstated, critics say.

By Alexandra Zavis and Greg Miller
Times Staff Writers
January 23, 2007

Blog editor's note: The Times' piece illustrates how the press can challenge Administration claims to truth, i.e., that Iran is a major supplier of weapons used against U.S. troops in Iraq. Unfortunately, this has been all too rare--at least until the past year or so.

BAQUBAH, IRAQ — If there is anywhere Iran could easily stir up trouble in Iraq, it would be in Diyala, a rugged province along the border between the two nations.

The combination of Sunni Arab militants believed to be affiliated with Al Qaeda and Shiite Muslim militiamen with ties to Iran has fueled waves of sectarian and political violence here. The province is bisected by long-traveled routes leading from Iran to Baghdad and Shiite holy cities farther south in Iraq.

But even here, evidence of Iranian involvement in Iraq's troubles is limited. U.S. troops have found mortars and antitank mines with Iranian markings dated 2006, said U.S. Army Col. David W. Sutherland, who oversees the province. But there has been little sign of more advanced weaponry crossing the border, and no Iranian agents have been found.

To read the full text, see Los Angeles Times Note: It may be necessary to register with the Times to read this story. It's free.

7:59 AM

How West aided Saddam's regime

If you're interested in how the West, most prominently the U.S., aided Saddam Hussein before 1990 and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, you can access parts of a documentary on by ex-"60 Minutes" producer Barry Lando which he did for French TV. It is worthy of note that such a documentary never appeared on American mainstream TV. To view, go to US Complicity with Saddam's '91 slaughter. PART 1/2 If the link doesn't work, do a search either for "Barry Lando," or the title of the film, "Saddam Hussein: The trial the world will never see."

7:25 AM


This blog resumes today after an eight-month break during which the editor did not teach the class for which it's intended. During the coming semester, we willl resume linking articles that may be of interest to anyone interested in how the American press covers foreign and defense policy and violent conflict in which U.S. forces are involved.

7:22 AM

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