Saturday, April 10, 2004

How to Market War and Aggression

Here are some examples:

1. It was a candid slip of the tongue when the White House chief of staff, Andrew Card, explained why US announced its intention to invade/liberate Iraq in September 2002. Explaining the rationale of the timing, Card told the New York Times: "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."

2. From an interview with James Harff (director to Ruder Finn Global Public Affairs, a Washington DC-based public relations firm that had been hired by the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the parliamentary opposition in Kosovo). Ruder Finn was the firm which made the story of Serbian Camps (though it was never verified later) the reason for invading/liberating Kosovo. He says:"Our work is not to verify information. We are not equipped for that. Our work is to accelerate the circulation of information favorable to us, to aim at judiciously chosen targets. We did not confirm the existence of death camps in Bosnia, we just made it widely known that Newsday affirmed it. ... We are professionals. We had a job to do and we did it. We are not paid to moralize."

1. In 1996, John Rendon, a PR consultant hired by the Pentagon and CIA on Iraq-related projects, told the cadets at the US Air Force Academy, he said: "I am not a national security strategist or a military tactician. I am a politician ... I am an information warrior and a perception manager." He then asked the cadets if they remembered when victorious US troops rolled into Kuwait City after the first Gulf War and were met by hundreds of Kuwaitis waving American flags. "Did you ever stop to wonder," Rendon asked, "how the people of Kuwait City, after being held hostage for seven long and painful months, were able to get hold of American flags? Well, you know the answer. That was one of my jobs then."

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