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Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; First Printing edition (July 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585422762
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585422760
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As government officials and observers battle over whether or not the Bush administration exaggerated intelligence reports of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to justify war, there should be a ready audience for this new book by the authors of Believe Us, We're Experts! Professional debunkers of media manipulation, Rampton and Stauber unmask the impact of "information warriors and perception managers" (as one PR consultant described himself) on Bush's attempt to turn public opinion in favor of war on Iraq. The authors deconstruct the PR campaign to promote the U.S. in the wake of September 11: the State Department's hiring of ad exec Charlotte Beers ("the queen of Madison Avenue") to direct the campaign; how PR execs and lobbyists helped construct the government's anti-Iraq message; the administration's alleged misinformation and distortion of facts and reliance on rumor to influence public opinion. Anyone skeptical of the reasons for the war against Iraq will find their suspicions enhanced here.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"The authors brilliantly expose an interconnected web linking some of the country's largest public relations and advertising firms, the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House." —San Francisco Chronicle

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Customer Reviews

I've read your other books and found them enlightening.
Timothy P. Scanlon
THis is a very good book about what led up to the Bush Administration invading Iraq.
Robert M. Jones
This book is truly a read for all who want to know the truth.
"gjetta00"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By C. Colt on November 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
In this extremely well researched book, authors Sheldon Rempton and John Stauber argue that the Bush Regime generated public support for the invasion of Iraq by using a calculated public relations campaign and a series of flagrant lies. The authors base their argument on easily verifiable documents from the media, the PR industry, and a variety of respected government and research organizations. Whether or not you agree with the invasion or Iraq it is important that you understand that the Bush Regime felt the only way it could get support for this policy was to lie. There is simply no question, as this book proves, that the Bush Regime deliberately set out to lie to the American people and to the world about why it wanted to invade and occupy Iraq.
BRANDING AMERICA
The first chapter of this book explains how the Bush Regime set out to change public opinion about the America in the Middle East by running a brand campaign. The regime hired a PR specialist essentially to brand America and to promote that brand in the Middle East the same way one might promote Budweiser or KFC. The problem with Brand promotion strategies, however is that they are more about manipulation and forceful persuasion than about understanding and working with your target audience. Is it any wonder that this policy failed so spectacularly?
WAR IS SELL
The book's second chapter describes the numerous mechanisms of persuasion the Bush Regime employed to convince you and me that the war on Iraq was necessary. These included timing the drive to war like a product launch, publicizing the invasion-friendly views of right-wing think tanks that were recast as foreign policy experts, promoting the CIA funded Iraqi National Congress as liberators.
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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 30, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do not be deceived by the cover of this book, whose cartoon may suggest that this is light reading or comic level stuff. It is not. This book is a professionally-prepared, well-documented catalog of the "platform of lies" that the incumbent (2000-2004) US Administration has pressed upon the public in the course of executing six wars (two public) and two occupations, both of which are going *very* badly, at great expense.

I have to give very high marks to the authors and their employer, the Center for Media & Democracy, for this book represents a "must read" for every voter.

Among the highlights (please note that all references to the US government actually refer to the political administration, which is abusing the good faith and loyalty of the millions of loyal Armed Services members as well as the civil service):

1) Documentation of US government manipulation of images coming out of Iraq

2) Documentation of how US government emphasis on manipulating the truth for the US public has actually left it unable to listen and hear and understand the truth as spoken by the Iraqi and Afghan people.

3) Documentation of the clear and present need to restore the US Information Agency (USIA) as an independent organization with a considerably expanded budget--in the age of information America is losing the mindwar, the culture war, because it is overspending on a heavy metal military and underspending on information power--what Joe Nye calls "soft power.
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80 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on July 28, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In French academic Jacques Ellul's classic tome on the nature and uses of propaganda, Ellul warns against the arrogant and misguided assumption in most social democracies to discount the use of such unobtrusive means of political persuasion in their societies. According to Ellul, all of the Western democracies are every bit as vulnerable to propaganda's sinister anti-democratic effects as any other sort of `less sophisticated' (read "totalitarian" here) culture. As Ellul persuasively argues, no such invulnerability pertains. Indeed, in a modern society characterized by a powerful, affluent, and resourceful central government, one that is highly influenced by the predominant voices of industry and the economically powerful, the means of such `friendly persuasion' are both more prevalent and more dangerous than anywhere else. In this book, "Weapons Of Mass Deception", we have a literal case study of how the authors, Sheldon Rampton and John C. Stauber, have observed the current Bush administration blatantly attempt to subvert the democratic process by foisting such a propaganda campaign in support of a war of aggression against the Iraqis.
Indeed, shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, members of the current administration hired advertising executives to direct a media campaign to convince the populace of the need to conduct a preemptive attack of Iraq in pursuit of eventual security against perceived potential terrorist threats. President Bush's National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice was quoted as pointedly requesting position papers from her White House staffers as to how the administration could immediately begin using the events of 911 to further the administration's domestic and foreign policy goals.
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