norman solomon

norman solomon

intro’d to Norman via war made easy (2007 film) about his (2005) book from thought maybe site (1:10:15):


voices from white house:

Johnson – we want nothing for ourselves, we want that the people of vietnam can live w/o fear

Bush – axis of evil

govt quite often helped dictators they then sought to overthrow, sometimes leaving things out – more effective than lies

10 min – almost as though repeating it makes it so , ie: democracy, freedom, safety, rebuild,…

Bush  – even as we attack iraq – i prefer to think of peace than war – ending tyranny in our world

so many pres’s tell how much they love peace

14 min  – exchange between nixon & kissinger (oh my) 200,000 via drowning so nuclear – kissinger balks

15 min – iraq has weapons of mass destruction

16 min – necessary  to provide drumbeat media effect .. in many ways us news media were equal partners

19 min – the sources that have deceived u.s. so constantly

20 min – cnn’s use of retired generals  even before war – created a decided military mindset

Eason Jordan – top cnn official – asked defense dept if these were good people (the retired generals), wasn’t even something to hide, saying see – we’re team players w/pentagon – that’s directly counter to free press

Noam’s countering of that ? – in q&a after power film talk, ie: press wouldn’t listen to govt

1964 – official story of gulf of tonken was a lie.. crucial as it opened floodgates to vietnam war

william fulbright – unity of country  – at that point facts were secondary

colin powell – weapons of mass destruction – speech to un – and u.s. press applauds him — kissinger – he has closed the deal, hannity – he was outstanding today, overwhelming evidence/data

28 min – critical voice – phil donahue – show abruptly canceled.. memo leaded – we don’t want this to be a face at nbc as u.s. goes to war

when american lives are at risk – need to unit till war is done

30 min – gotta support the troops – arnette fired – prowar is seen as objective, antiwar seen as biased

32 min – cnn memo from top executive, 2001 – remind people anytime you show images that it’s in context of 9-11 (more civilians killed in bombing of afghanistan than 9-11)

36 min – the truth comes out too late, once public support is in place – the the war becomes the product, news coverage is pr about war

pentagon worked w/media, cheney – didn’t have confidence to leave it to press, 83/89/91, decide exactly what footage would be used, came up with name – operation desert storm – was era of media war maniputlation

then different era – invasion of iraq 2003 – reporting backdrop cos $200,000, focus was o tech sophistication of weaponry, every war we’ve had media that has praised killing capabilities via tech, “a great way to go to war” – allows us to be accurate and terribly disruptive – cheney

ww1 – 10%, ww2 – 50%, vietnam – 70%, iraq – 90% – civilian deaths

43 min – cultivated callousness at what happens at other end of it all, ie: moral if from 30,ooo ft, immoral if suicide bomber

44 min – care and humanity – weapon appropriate to target – enhances degree of precision (as images of civilians slaughtered by us)

45 min – embedding of journalists – became art of invading apparatus – through eyes of invaders n- not of those being bombed – you guys are making us stars back home 0 so we need to protect you….. i doubt there’s been as much free press (while embedding going on)

47 min – myth after nam wart that coverage/reporting was very tough. yes exceptional reporting – but the exception. very little about tremendous violence was shown, ie: what’s involved when missiles paid for by u.s. tax payers kill/maim

vietnam syndrome – reagan: common belief that american public no longer had stomach for war – unless clean and quick; bush – we’ve kicked vietnam syndrome

public support: ww2-86%, nam-29%, irag-30%

2 strategies: 1) sold on need to attack 2) withdrawal seen as unacceptable, ie: we won’t cut and run we will stay the course – bush. so real precedent to lie/deceive to get war started.

53 min – lyndon johnson – need assistance of concerned americans. must not call for surrender those fantasies hold nightmare of ww3

54 min – agnew – more of our share on negativism

john murtha – only vet in congress – it’s time to bring them home. as original supporter of war – he was not taken seriously – ie: murtha sounds like grim reaper

feb 1968 – globe did survey of 39 newspapers – couldn’t find a single paper that had written on withdrawal

strategy nixon – last generation we americanized war, we are now vietnamizing peace

strategy bush – shifting burden of fighting on to iraqi people themselves

rumsfeld – focus on word quagmire (false critique)- as a positive way of formatting debate – it says what problem here is what war is doing to u.s.

early 1968 – cronkite – war couldn’t be won – heralded as: tide has turned. moral statement by journalistic establishment –

huge – but not a statement that war was wrong. doesn’t challenge prerogative of military empire

1:02 – the future will be replicated with the failure to understand what has been done in past – american people have no major role to play – yet – they had it right and officials had it wrong.

barbra lee – only vote to no bomb after 9-11, ie that loners/mavericks turned out to understand historical moment

1964 – sen wayne morse – vote against tonken

1:05 – s w morse said foreign policy was up to american people not president, under our constitution president is administrator of people. my charge against govt – we’re not giving people the facts

1:07 – stone – we should never trust something said by govt as ever true

king – madness of militarism – a time comes when silence is betrayal. greatest pervailer of violence today – my own govt. nation that determines year after year to spent more money on war.

greatest initiative is ours. initiative to stop it must me ours.


feb 2015 on democracy now:


find/follow Norman:

link twitter

his site:

war made easy site:

– – –

wikipedia small

Norman Solomon (born July 7, 1951) is an American journalist, media critic, antiwar activist, and was a candidate in 2012 for the United States House of Representatives. Solomon is a longtime associate of themedia watch group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR). In 1997 he founded the Institute for Public Accuracy, which works to provide alternative sources for journalists, and served as its executive director until 2010. Solomon’s weekly column, “Media Beat”, was in national syndication from 1992 to 2009. More recently Solomon focused on his 2012 congressional campaign in California’s 2nd congressional district.


Solomon came under FBI scrutiny after he picketed for the desegregation of a Maryland apartment complex at age 14. He drew further FBI surveillance for his efforts on behalf of the Montgomery County Student Alliance activist group both while a student and after dropping out of high school. He became aware of their surveillance later, through a Freedom of Information request. According to Solomon’s autobiography, a book he titled Made Love, Got War, he chose to drop out of high school during the summer after he completed his Junior year of high school.

After high school, Solomon briefly attended Reed College in Oregon taking some writing courses but left before graduating. In college, he began a lifelong commitment to peaceful protests against nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Solomon engaged in civil disobedience as part of the anti-nuclear movement, and eventually spent 40 days in jail as a result. He made eight trips to Moscow during the 1980s, including one during which he and a leader of a veterans’ group organized a sit-in at the U.S. Embassy, demanding that the U.S. join the Soviet Union in a halt to tests of nuclear bombs.


A book of Solomon’s collected columns, The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media, ..Jonathan Kozol’s introduction to the book noted “the tradition of Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens, and I. F. Stonedoes not get much attention these days in the mainstream press … but that tradition is alive and well in this collection of courageously irreverent columns on the media by Norman Solomon….”


War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death appeared in 2005. The Los Angeles Times called the book “a must-read for those who would like greater context with their bitter morning coffee, or to arm themselves for the debates about Iraq that are still to come.” A documentary based on the book was released in 2007.

may 2015 – on Jeffrey Sterling

the documentary:


oct 2015

the idea that somehow there are channels for whistleblowers to go thru.. is ridiculous – @normansolomon

Original Tweet:


oct 2015 – holli sterling and norman – democracy now interview

Norman Soloman – Jeffrey went through right legal channels.. and they didn’t work

process riddled w pollution and political power.. ie: others who aren’t even charged for worser disclosures..

rights of whistleblowers totally intertwined with right to freedom of press