News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Ex-CIA Agent Touts Mideast Propaganda Program

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ex-CIA Agent Touts Mideast Propaganda Program

An ex-CIA agent, Reuel Marc Gerecht, lauds the current plans by the Defense Department to inundate the mideast with pro-US propaganda. Working under the fallacy that propaganda equals "ideas," Mr. Gerecht blithely suggests that this is a good plan since a similar effort worked in the former Soviet Union.

Perhaps someone should teach him the difference between ideas and propaganda. ...

Just a few suggestions jump off the top of my mind after reading this article:

  • Use the money to rebuild the educational system in Iraq, so they can generate their own ideas
  • Find out who's assassinating leading Iraqi scholars and academics
  • Fund forums for a free-flow of ideas between the mideast's leading intellectuals and western intellectuals. (And I mean real intellectuals from the US, like Stanley Cavell, Noam Chomsky, Cornell West, and Hubert Dreyfus, to mention a few, not ideologues who are just going to mouthe platitudes about how great the us IS.)
  • Publish genuine works of literary pith (which would be ironic since the US support of the Arts is laughable)
  • Promote freedom of thought in the US by promising not to spy on US citizens
Okay, this list mixes many things. But I think that were the CIA to seriously wish to promote freedom and freedom of thought, they'd first realize that they themselves are not capable of defining what real culture is and seek outside assistance.

1 comment:

Poshboy said...

That's not the point of propaganda. Propaganda is not a debating club, it's an old-fashioned club that persuades using any means possible. Such a valid "ends justify the means" are certainly acceptable when a nation is at war, which we certainly are.

BTW, congratulations on the Washington Post blog link to your blurb. That's how I found your comments...PB, Arlington, Va.