Subject: ON PSYCHOLOLOGICAL WARFARE : FROM THE CENTER FOR THE ADVANCED
STUDY OF AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, GRENOBLE, FRANCE.
OCTOBER 9, 2003
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Our Research Center in Grenoble has received three items forwarded to us by our research associate, Professor Ed Herman.
Religious militarism today, which is reminiscent of the Spanish conquest
of the Bahamas at start of the 16th Century, is an obscenity better to
recognize than to try to ignore, and the contradictions are coming fast
and furious. No doubt some latterday Bartolomé de Las Casas is quietly
recording the ineptitude of the son of a former CIA Director and his entourage
who are awakening more and more people in the world to a radical analysis
of the limits of late capitalism --it's a deadly lesson, but an
important lesson none-the-less.
We thank Professor Herman for his integrety and his willingness to educate
the public to what until now has remained undiscussed and unchallenged.
As usual, we invite readers to respond to the contents of these essays.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Subject: FW: [AcademicsforJustice] Arafat
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 13:51:15 -0400
A very good analysis of psychological warfare directed against Arafat, written by Uri Avnery back in February 2002. It is extremely relevant right now.
Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2003 4:58 PM
Subject: [AcademicsforJustice] Arafat
"Break the Head"
by Uri Avnery
Many years ago I got interested in a field of military activity called
Psychological Warfare, in which all the armies in the world invest
considerable resources.Psychological warfare is the opposite of propaganda.
Propaganda triesto convince the other side that we are right. Psychological
warfare does not try to convince anybody, it is an instrument of war like
the air-force or the armored corps. Its aim is to break the enemy and
compel him to submit to our will. If propaganda is honey, psychological
warfare is prussic acid.
To achieve this aim, this field uses psychological means in order to
break the enemy apart and sow suspicion and distrust between its parts. The
main objective is to destroy the person leading the enemy, i.e. break the
head: to undermine the trust in him and to get his fighters, followers and
the world at large to hate him.
How does one do this? The manuals describe the methods:
The leader of the enemy is corrupt. He sends his fighters to their
death while he himself enjoys life. He steals the people’s money and hides
it in foreign bank accounts. His henchmen are a gang of thieves, who lead a
life of luxury in hotels around the world, while the ordinary people go
hungry. The leader is a contemptible, loathsome, brutal, effeminate,
tyrannical, ridiculous figure.
These stories are repeated thousands of time, they are planted in
foreign media, so that they come back from “objective” sources.
Does this sound familiar?
Of course. For several years, already, almost all Israeli media and
spokesmen are engaged in demonizing one person: Yasser Arafat. All the
classic tricks of psychological warfare, as well as some authentic Israeli
inventions, are used to achieve this central aim. Not against the
Palestinian people, not even against the Palestinian leadership, but
against Arafat personally.
The conductors of this campaign do not care a damn whether Arafat is
nice or mean, handsome or ugly, a peace-lover or a war-monger, super-honest
or a highway robber. Quite possibly, Sharon himself admires him in secret.
(In 1976 he asked me to arrange a meeting with him, in order to propose
that Arafat become the president of a Palestinian state east of the Jordan
river.) That did not prevent him last week from declaring that he regrets
that he did not succeed in killing him in Beirut.
Arafat is targeted for one sole reason: he is the head of the
Palestinian people fighting against the occupation. Breaking the head means
breaking the whole structure of the Palestinian fight. In the course of
war, especially a war of liberation, trust in the leader is essential for
steadfast resistance against overwhelming forces. Without it, the movement
will splinter into thousand pieces. No amount of missiles can compete with
In the Israeli and international arenas, this campaign has achieved
considerable success. The story about the corrupt Arafat, heading a
“corruptt authority” and surrounded by a gang of thieves has been spread
throughout the world with relentless effort, until the very words
“Palestinian Authority”, “Arafat” and “corrupt” have become synonymous.
These days, the success can be measured: If Arafat had been imprisoned in
Ramallah ten years ago, there would have been riotous demonstrations in all
European capitals, with the pictures of Arafat being carried side by side
with those of Che Gevara and Mandela. Where are they now?
In Israel itself the success is even greater. The hatred of Arafat
unites all parts of the public, from the extreme right to the established
left. Research shows that out of 300 articles published by “leftists” about
the Palestinian problem, 284 contained abusive remarks about Arafat. Like
hristians crossing themselves when entering a church, an Israeli “leftist”
as to say something like “I am for peace with the Palestinians, but I annot
stand the corrupt Arafat”, or “I am against the occupation, but rafat’s
corrupt gang has to be removed”, as a sop to public opinion. The eople who
write this are not aware, of course, that they are serving the sychological
warfare campaign aimed at breaking the Palestinian people at he decisive point.
One can view Arafat positively or negatively. He can be criticized from
many directions. He is not a romantic figure like Che Gevara (who died in a
tupid campaign) or Nelson Mandela (whose task was incomparably easier than
rafat’s), neither is he a television star. He is only the leader of the
alestinian people, elected by an immense majority in democratic elections
under the supervision of Jimmy Carter). The corruption in the Plestinian
Authority is no worse than in Egypt or Jordan, and there is less there than
in the United States (the Enron affair), France (the Elf-Aquitaine
affairs), Germany (the Kohl affair) or Israel (Shass). In the middle of a
life-or-death national liberation fight, the treatment of this disease can
certainly be postponed.
The Palestinians themselves understand this well. In this arena - the
main target of Israeli psychological warfare - the campaign, it now turns
out, has completely failed. Sharon believed that by shutting Arafat up in
Ramallah he would expose him to ridicule and show that he is not “relevant”
anymore, in order to install a gang of collaborators in his place. The very
opposite has happened, of course: from Sheikh Yassin of the fundamentalist
Hamas to the left-wing Popular Front, the Palestinian people has closed
ranks behind Arafat at this moment of supreme danger to their very
existence. Even the rumbling of criticism from some Palestinian
intellectuals - who where also unwittingly exploited by Israeli
psychological warfare - has fallen silent.
These methods were used against Churchill, as well as against Castro.
To no avail. They will, probably, not succeed against Arafat either.
Join Us! 2003 is Al-Nakba Awareness and Al-Awda Activism Year.
Contact your representatives and elected officials: use
For other ways to help, see http://BoycottIsraeliGoods.org
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2003 11:25 PM
To: Academics for Justice
Subject: [AcademicsforJustice] Academics for Justice, Fw:
[Peace_Without_Borders] Support Quds Univ. Frm. Destructions
Al Quds University on the occupied West Bank is now a target of naked
Israeli state terror. Please read the note below and write a protest note
to Israeli Minister of Defence Shaul Mofaz. His email address is given below.
I will be writing on behalf of Asiapeace.
Moderator Asiapeace An electronic discussion group
The construction of the security fence by Israel on Palestinian land
dividing communities in the West Bank. It is most destructive and ugly
manifestation is seen at Al-Quds.
The Al-Quds University is now target of Israeli Army contractors building
the fence right across its campus.
The students and faculty of Al-Quds are calling for support. Could you
please circulate it among your friends?
Al Quds University - A Call for Support
Al-Quds University, whose Abu Dis campus straddles the imaginary municipal
line dividing Jerusalem from the West Bank, is next in line in Israel's
Wall Program. Some of the IDF's contracted huge machinery are now parked in
the seized University's main campus grounds, in the middle of the football
field. Slated for takeover is almost one third (about seventy dunams) of
the University grounds, with a specially preserved pine wood, and areas in
which the University had hoped it would develop student sports facilities
and a botanical garden.
The University, home to almost 6000 students, has been in the forefront
the campaign to encourage Israeli-Palestinian academic cooperation for the
past few years. The University campus has been fairly quiet for the most
part during the past three years of bloody violence and confrontation, with
students intent whenever allowed to reach the campus on pursuing their
research and studies. The ravaging of the campus grounds, and the erection
of a high cement wall in its midst blocking the natural view across the
valley, cannot but be an indelible statement of enmity, aggression, and
political as well as human failure. This negative statement, written in
concrete blocks in the face of university students, stands in direct
opposition to the positive educational values we try to propagate at the
University, such as the necessity of breaking down the barriers of enmity,
and the building of bridges of understanding in order to enhance the
prospects for peace.
We at the University sadly realize that the Wall is currently an
irreversible project, a symbol of the failure of politicians and
self-professed peace-makers. However, we believe that it is possible, even
obligatory, especially at this campus location, to minimize its negative
psychological effects on our student population. The Wall could easily be
built further down in the valley, or itself be the western wall of the
campus, which we had been prevented by the Municipality so far from
building. The presumed security imperative would not be affected by such an
adjustment. But the political and psychological damage would be
Help us instill some human and political sensitivity into the IDF's
planning department. Speak on our behalf by appealing to the Minister at
the following address. Your voice can make the difference. So can your
Minister of Defense
Subject: FW: Herman / Coalition Of Joint Venture Looters? / Sep 22
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 15:44:20 -0400
Coalition Of Joint Venture Looters?
By Edward Herman
The word "coalition" has been a favorite of the Bush administration
media as they have attempted to put the invasion-occupation of Iraq in a
good light. "Coalition" has the implication of joint and collective rather
than unilateral action, even if done without UN sanction.
A humorous feature of the Iraq coalition, however, is that only
States and Britain were serious coalition members in the sense of pushing
the invasion and providing military forces. The Spanish and Italian
governments gave moral support, along with some two dozen nominal supporters
in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, tagged by critics as the "Coalition of the
Bribed and Coerced."
This coalition was made up of weaker countries of Eastern Europe and
eager to be on the good side of the Godfather so as to obtain his support
for entry into NATO or financial aid, and sometimes entering the coalition
only after a bout of arm-twisting. A second humorous feature of the invasion
coalition was the extent to which its governments had entered in defiance of
the desires of their people--they were allegedly seeking to bring democracy
to Iraq, but in the process they showed how little respect they had for
their nominal democracies at home.
In a notorious case, also, Bush team official Paul Wolfowitz expressed
regret that the Turkish army had not seen fit to make the Turkish government
support the U.S. war, despite a 90 percent citizen opposition. That this
would have required the overthrow of democracy in Turkey didn't bother
Wolfowitz at all.
The Bushies expected not only a quick victory in Iraq but
also a rapid and
cheap return to conditions that would allow a withdrawal of most of the U.S.
troops, a puppet government that would accept U.S. bases, economic policies
desired by the Bush administration (mainly privatization of oil and other
businesses, and free trade), and a self-funding of the residual occupation
(and maybe payback for earlier expenses) from Iraq oil revenues.
It hasn't worked out that way. The Bush administration did get the UN
ratify the aggression-occupation and to help the conquerer with aid that did
not challenge the conquest, despite Kofi Annan's plaintive warning before
the attack that the "coalition" was about to violate the UN Charter--a bit
different treatment than given Iraq when it occupied Kuwait in 1990. In
consequence the Iraqi resistance has treated the UN as an agent of the
aggressor, and the UN has been forced to retreat and reconsider its role.
Meanwhile, the Bush administration faces the painful problem that the
of the occupation are not only very large, but U.S. taxpayers are being
forced to bear these costs themselves; the self-funding plan hasn't proved
viable yet, and having gone into Iraq without Security Council sanction and
in violation of the Charter and demands of the REAL international
community (the world's population), getting others to share the military and
financial burden is not easy.
With amazing chutzpah, unrecognized as such by the mainstream
Bushies propose to their erstwhile allies not in their coalition that they
should come help in the "liberation," by providing troops and money, but
only with consultative rights, leaving all power in the hands of the
aggressor-occupation "coalition" (at this level, only the United States). If
they would do this they would perhaps be forgiven for not supporting the
United States as it lied its way into a war of aggression, earlier
allegedly to protect everybody against Iraq's weapons of mass destruction,
belatedly, an act of U.S. self-sacrifice in the interest of liberating
Iraqis from Saddam (but not from the United States).
This crazy tragic-comedy has now taken this turn: the Bushies are proposing
to potential troop or money contributors that while they would not be
permitted to share in the control of Iraq, if they came in early they would
be on the ground floor to reap benefits along with the Godfather himself!
"We're not telling them that this is just about writing checks or sending
troops, but about having a stake in Iraq so their government agencies and
humanitarian groups are involved in a sector when a new sovereign [sic]
government is in power in Iraq. It's a way to get in on the ground floor.
That's the selling point," according to a "well-placed U.S. official" (Robin
Wright, "U.S. Dangles A Carrot: Opportunities in Iraq," Los Angeles Times,
Sept. 10, 2003).
In short, the Bushies are trying to organize a new "coalition
venture looters," a limited partnership with the managing general partners
based in Washington and London. Given that truly "liberated" Iraqis might
not buy into this joint venture looting of their country, this makes pretty
open the fact that any claim of a liberation or intent to allow Iraqis to
rule their own country is another Big Lie that is a fitting complement to
the Big Lie about the urgent threat of those weapons of mass destruction.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research at CEIMSA
Center for the Advanced Study of American
Institutions and Social Movements
University of Grenoble-3