Exposing and Resisting Empire and War Media in the Age of Obama

“Our enemy is right here at home.” Exactly. It prominently includes the corporate masters of Empire, who profit from endless one-sided conflicts that put Americans at risk while providing cover for an ever-deepening assault on civil liberties and sucking up resources that need to be invested in addressing the growing mountain of unmet social needs at home and abroad. It includes the Masters of War Media who lie and deceive and delete and distort and “hide in their mansions while young people’s blood flows out of their bodies and gets buried in the mud.”

Thank you very much.

* This is an extended and merged version of shorter comments given at two recent and separate speaking engagements: “Holding Up the Mirror to Empire” (University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, April 11, 2010 sponsored by AWARE [Alliance Against War and Racism] and the International Socialist Oranization [ISO], panel shared with Kathy Kelly) and “Collective Irresponsibility: Examining Our Relationships to Distant Conflict” (Columbia College,Chicago,IL, April 13, 2010, sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, Art Activists at Columbia College, and Critical Encounters: Fact and Faith, panel shared with Anthony Dimaggio)

Paul Street’s next book is The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, July/August 2010). Street (paulstreet99@yahoo.com) is the author of Empire and Inequality: America and the World Since 9/11 (Boulder,CO: Paradigm, 2008); Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis ( New York : Rowman & Littlefield, 2007); Segregated School: Educational Apartheid in the Post-Civil Rights Era ( New York: Routledge, 2005); and Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2008).


1. Edward S. Herman, “Obama and the Steady Drift to the Right,” Z Magazine (March 2010), p. 9.

2. John Pilger, “Media Lies and the War Drive Against Iran,” Pakistan Daily, October 15, 2009, read at http://www.daily.pk/media-lies-and-the-war-drive-against-iran-12189/

3. Carlotta Gall and Taimoor Shah, “Civilian Deaths Imperil Support for Afghan War,” New York Times, May 6, 2009.

4. Gall and Shah, “Civilian Deaths;”

5. Christina Boyle, “President Obama Calls Air Force One Flyover ‘Mistake’ After Low-Flying Plane Terrifies New York,” New York Daily News, April 28, 2009; Michel Muskai, “Presidential Plane’s Photo-Op Over New York Coast as Much as $357,000,” Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2009; Peter Nicholas, “Louis Caldera Resigns Over Air Force One Flyover Fiasco,” Los Angeles Time, May 9, 2009.

6. Aljazeera English, “Afghans Anger at Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize,” YouTube (December 10, 2009) qt www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBHrnQTinGY&feature=related

6A. Martin, Luther King, Jr., “A Time to Break Silence,” New York City, April 4, 1967, read text at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2564.htm

7. Nir Rosen, “The Death of Iraq,”Current History (December 2007), p. 31.

8. WIFR Television, CBS 23, Rockford, Illinois, “Obama Speaks at General Motors in Janesville,” February 13, 2008, read at http://www.wifr.com/morningshow/headlines/15618592.html

9. Barack Obama, “A Way Forward in Iraq,” Speech to Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chicago Illinois (November 20, 2006), available online at http://obama.senate.gov/speech/061120-a_way_forward _in_iraq/index.html.

10. Michael Mann, Incoherent Empire (New York: Verso, 2005, p. xii); Anthony Arnove, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal (New York, 2006), pp. 27-28; Paul Street, “Vilsacking Iraq,” ZNet Magazine (December 22, 2006).

11. Author of two recent important books on the propagandistic pro-war/pro-empire content of dominant U.S. media: When Media Goes to War: Hegemonic Discourse, Public Opinion, and The Limits of Dissent (New York: Monthly Review, 2010); Mass Media, Mass Propaganda: Examining American News in the “War on Terror” (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2008),

12. Mike Prysner, “Speech to Iraq Veterans Against the War,” December 20, 2009, view and hear at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akm3nYN8aG8

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