by Richard Keeble (Ianugural Lecture, University of Lincoln) | Anti-spin.com | 25 March 2003
The daily press and the telegraph, which in a moment spread inventions over the whole earth, fabricate more myths….in one day than could have formerly been done in a century.
Karl Marx, 1871
There was no war in the Gulf in 2003. Rather, a myth of heroic, spectacular warfare was manufactured, in large part, as a desperate measure to help provide a raison d’être for the (increasingly out-of-control) military industrial complexes in the US and UK - and to hide the reality of a rout of a hopelessly overwhelmed "enemy" army. The links between mainstream journalists and the intelligence services are crucial factors in the manufacture of the myth. But it is not essentially a massive elite conspiracy. Rather, the myth’s origins lie deep within complex military, historical, economic and political forces which it is crucial to identify. Moreover, the manufacture of the "war" myth has profound implications for any study of the political and military origins of the conflict and press representations.
The strange non-war and the war problematic
The 2003 "war" in the Gulf was a decidedly strange event. The US/UK invasion was supposedly over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction - yet none were ever found. US/UK jets had been bombing Iraqi targets regularly since the end of the 1991 conflict so there was no clear start to the conflict. And with the president of the defeated state melting away into thin air there was no clear end. Casualties on both sides mounted as hostilities continued after the end of the so-called war. Thus the bombing of Baghdad on March 20 became the manufactured "start" of the "war" narrative; and there were two contrived endings: the symbolic toppling of the Saddam statue before the world's media on 9 April and the statement by President Bush before a gathering of US troops on 1 May that the "major combat operations" were over.
The "greatest battles since World War Two" were predicted and celebrated in the press, just as during the 1991 Gulf conflict. But again there was no real warfare: no credible enemy. In a matter of days the world's mightiest military power inevitably crushed a ragtag army of conscripts and no-hopers. As defence expert John Keegan commented in the Daily Telegraph of 8 April: "In truth, there has been almost no check to the unimpeded onrush of the coalition, particularly the dramatic American advance to Baghdad: nor have there been any major battles. This has been a collapse, not a war." AFP photographer Cris Reeves, with the US marines, saw hardly any action at all. "It was like two weeks of camping for me with 20-year-old marines. I was 48 so I was exhausted."
War is about killing. We know precisely how many Americans and British soldiers died. Some 115 US troops were killed in combat and 23 in accidents and so-called friendly-fire incidents (though from 1 May to 1 November the toll was 221 as the "war" dragged on); 19 British troops died in combat with 25 killed in "non-hostile situations". All of these casualties were profiled and listed in "rolls of honour" in the mainstream press. According to John Pilger, as many as 10,000 Iraqi civilians were killed during the invasion - with thousands more injured. But the precise figure of how many thousands of Iraqis perished, were maimed or psychologically damaged, or lost their jobs (in the lead-up to the invasion, during the invasion and the aftermath) we will never know. So silence shrouds the essential horror.
The war's most heroic story, the saving of Private Jessica Lynch, turned out to be a completely manufactured drama while a Sky News "exclusive" about a cruise missile launch from a Royal Navy submarine turned out to be a hoax. The outrageous victory claims of the Iraqi minister of information, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, (dubbed "Comical Ali" by the western media) as US troops captured Baghdad airport were only matched, given the scale of the slaughter, by the US/UK's fantastic claims over their supposedly precise weapons.
What’s going on here?
The military/industrial complex factor
The war myth emerges from the fact that the force deployed by the US/UK bears no relation to the threat posed. The threat is grossly exaggerated, fictionalised, in part to provide a raison d'être for the massively over-resourced military industrial complex.
The US and UK are essentially fighting phantoms of their own making. The US budget plans for 2004 incorporate defence spending of more than $400 bn (alongside a record White House deficit of $455 billion) - and that doesn't include the extra billions expected for the occupation of Iraq. This represents more than all the military spending of the rest of the world and more than twice the spending of the next 15 of the world's powers. Moreover, the US has military bases in three quarters of the countries of the world and 31 per cent of all wealth. Robert Harvey talks of the "United States of the World". This is a military colossus (backed by the UK) of a kind never before seen since the Roman empire - and it is running out of control. As the late historian, E.P. Thompson, argued, there is a technological imperative driving the US and UK towards warfare and testing new military systems.
The boom in military spending, begun during the Korean War years of the 1950s, continued relentlessly during the Cold War. By 1990, more than 30,000 US companies were engaged in military production, roughly 3,275,000 jobs were in the defence industries and 70 per cent of all money spent on research and development was directed at defence work. In the UK, the arms industry is worth more than £5bn a year, amounting to 20 per cent of global weapons sales. It employs up to 150,000 people, with the UK standing as the world’s second largest manufacturer after the US, which has 32 per cent of the market. Yet arms deals remain remote from public scrutiny, being run by the Defense Export Services Organisation. The Guardian’s David Leigh describes this as "a secretive group within the Ministry of Defense, controlled by the arms companies themselves and with a history of actively conniving at bribery".
New militarism and the manufacture of warfare
The significance of the demise of the Soviet Union to the manufacture of warfare cannot be underestimated. Thereafter the United States became desperate in its search for new enemies. Grenada 1983, Libya 1986, Panama 1989, Iraq 1991, 1993, 1998 and 2003, Somalia 1992-3; Serbia/Kosovo 1999 and Afghanistan 2001 were all of them puny powers rapidly crushed by the overwhelming firepower of the American colossus in a series of manufactured military adventures - manifestations of what I’ve called "new militarism". In effect, with the Great Bear in retreat, the US/UK were left inventing their bogeymen. At the same time they were handing out the clear warning to more powerful states such as Russia and China: don’t meddle with the US – or else.
These new militarist adventures all bore certain crucial hallmarks:
** Most importantly, all the invasions were mediacentric: by that I mean overt warfare becomes essentially a media event, an entertainment, a spectacle. It’s like a Hollywood blockbuster: Gulf war 1 (starring hero papa Bush and the evil Saddam) – and then comes the sequel we’ve all been waiting for. Gulf war 2. (starring baby Bush and the ever defiant Saddam). The main concern of the military is to control and manipulate the image of warfare. In the traditional, militarist wars of 1914-18 and 1939 – 45 people felt they were fighting wars of national survival. And they engaged in the war efforts through active participation. Similarly there was mass participation through conscription during the long Vietnam war but it brought massive casualties and massive social dislocation. In these new post 1982 manufactured wars people neither participate en masse nor feel the survival of their societies are at stake – so they have to be mobilised through their consumption of the heavily censored media (much of the censorship being self-imposed by journalists).
** They were all quickie attacks. The Libya bombings lasted just 11 minutes. All the others were over within days. For instance, the Gulf conflict of 1991 lasted 42 days; earlier this year it lasted just 21 days.
**They were all largely risk free and fought mainly from the air. Afghanistan’s crucial ground attacks were spearheaded by America’s proxy force, the Northern Alliance – and on one famous occasion by John Simpson of the BBC. US forces stuck mainly safely to the air.
** All resulted in appalling civilian casualties. Yet the propaganda – in Orwellian style claimed the raids were for essentially peaceful purposes; that the hardware was surgical, precise, modern and clean.
** The massive displays of US force bore little relation to the threats posed. At the same time, the threats posed to US/western interests were grossly exaggerated.
** Central to the new militarist strategy was the media demonisation of the enemy leaders. Libya’s Col Gaddafi was dubbed throughout the mainstream media as a "terrorist warlord" and immediately before the raids President Reagan dubbed him a "mad dog". Panama’s Noriega was damned as a drug trafficker. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was dubbed a monster, new Hitler, butcher of Baghdad, global threat etc, Serbia’s Milosevic was dubbed a brutal dictator and ruthless ethnic cleanser. Osama bin Laden was dubbed global enemy No 1; an evil fanatic, mastermind of a global terrorist network.
Al Qaida, blamed for the 11 September atrocities and a series of later attacks on western interests, is a shadowy, elusive grouping against whom traditional, war fighting strategies (involving major battle confrontations) are inappropriate. And so the UK/UK is left manufacturing a spectacle of traditional "warfare". As US novelist Don DeLillo commented: "I’m almost prepared to believe that the secret drive behind out eagerness to enter this war is technology itself – that has a will to be realised. And that the administration is essentially a Cold War administration looking for a clearly defined enemy which was not the case after 11 September. Now there is a territorial entity with borders and soldiers in uniform."
Secrecy feeds the myth making
Secrecy also feeds the myth-making. Alongside the "democratic" state in both the US and UK there exists a secret and highly centralised state occupied by the massively over-resourced and intensely competing intelligence and security services (MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, the Cheltenham-based signals spying centre), secret armies and undercover police units. Since the 1980s a raft of legislation, such as the Official Secrets Acts, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, has reinforced their growing powers. Mark Almond, lecturer in modern history at Oriel College, Oxford, has highlighted the extent to which intelligence has reached into the heart of the Blair government: "More than any predecessor, Blair has relied on a kitchen cabinet in Downing Street but one made up of a cabal of diplomats and intelligence officials rather than ambitious, if unelected party apparatchiks. Hence the focus on globalisation rather than domestic issues. Blair has liberated British politics from the influence of politicians."
But examining the activities of the intelligence services remains incredibly difficult. A few researchers and journalists – such as Stephen Dorril (2000), author of a seminal history of MI6, David Leigh and Richard Norton-Taylor of the Guardian, Martin Bright and Nick Cohen of the Observer, Paul Lashmar and Chris Blackhurst, of the Independent, freelance Phillip Knightley, and Robin Ramsay, editor of the alternative journal, Lobster, have managed to penetrate the fog that envelops all the work of the spooks – but only slightly.
Spooks and hacks: close encounters of a strange kind
Yet, while it might be difficult to identify precisely the impact of the spooks (variously represented in the press as "intelligence", "security", "Whitehall" or "Home Office" sources) on mainstream politics and media, from the limited evidence it looks to be enormous. Certainly the links between spooks and hacks are far closer than the public imagines. Let’s have a look at some of the evidence.
Going as far back as 1945, George Orwell no less (the centenary of whose birth is being celebrated this year) became a war correspondent for the Observer probably as a cover for intelligence work. Significantly most of the men he met in Paris on his assignment, Freddie Ayer, Malcolm Muggeridge, Ernest Hemingway were either working for the intelligence services or had close links to them. Records also indicate that Orwell attended a meeting in Paris of resistance fighters on behalf of David Astor, his editor at the Observer and leader of the intelligence service’s unit liaising with the French resistance.
The release of Public Record Office documents in 1995 about some of the operations of the MI6-financed propaganda unit, the Information Research Department of the Foreign Office, threw light on this secret body - which even Orwell aided by sending them a list of "crypto-communists". Set up by the Labour government in 1948, it "ran" dozens of Fleet Street journalists until it was closed down by Foreign Secretary David Owen in 1977. According to John Pilger, in the anti-colonial struggles in Kenya, Malaya and Cyprus, IRD was so successful that the journalism served up as a record of those episodes was a cocktail of the distorted and false in which the real aims and often atrocious behaviour of the British intelligence agencies was hidden. Stephen Dorril, the author of a seminal history of MI6, has claimed that despite IRD’s closure some of its elements "lingered on".
Spy novelist John le Carré, who worked for MI6 between 1960 and 1964, has made the amazing statement that the British secret service then controlled large parts of the press – just as they may do today.
In 1975, following Senate hearings on the CIA, which highlighted the extent of agency recruitment of British and US journalists, sources revealed that half the foreign staff of a British daily were on the MI6 payroll. Bloch and Fitzgerald, in their book on covert British military operations, similarly report the editor of "one of Britain’s most distinguished journals" as believing that more than half its foreign correspondents were on the MI6 payroll. David Leigh, in his seminal study of the way in which the secret service smeared through the mainstream media and destabilised the Government of Harold Wilson before his sudden resignation in 1976, quotes an MI5 officer: "We have somebody in every office in Fleet Street."
And the most famous whistleblower of all, Peter (Spycatcher) Wright, revealed that MI5 had agents in newspapers and publishing companies whose main role was to warn them of any forthcoming "embarrassing publications". Wright also disclosed that the Daily Mirror tycoon, Cecil King, "was a longstanding agent of ours" who "made it clear he would publish anything MI5 might care to leak in his direction." King was also closely involved in a plot to oust Wilson and replace him with a coalition headed by Lord Mountbatten.
According to Stephen Dorril intelligence gathering during the miners’ strike of 1984-85 was helped by the fact that during the 1970s MI5’s F Branch had made a special effort to recruit industrial correspondents – with great success. And Roy Greenslade, media specialist at the Guardian, has commented: "Most tabloid newspapers - or even newspapers in general - are playthings of MI5." In 1991, Richard Norton-Taylor revealed in the Guardian that 500 prominent Britons paid by the CIA and the now defunct Bank of Commerce and Credit International, included 90 journalists. Also in 1991, just before his mysterious death, Mirror proprietor Robert Maxwell was accused by the US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh of acting for Mossad, the Israeli secret service, though Dorril suggests his links with MI6 were equally as strong.
Following the resignation from the Guardian of Richard Gott, its literary editor in December 1994 in the wake of allegations that he was a paid agent of the KGB, the role of journalists as spies suddenly came under the media spotlight – and many of the leaks were fascinating. For instance, according to the Times editorial of 16 December 1994: "Many British journalists benefited from CIA or MI6 largesse during the Cold War."
Yet not all is secret: some journalists are quite open about their links with intelligence. The newscaster Sandy Gall, for instance, was keen in his autobiography News from the Frontline: A television reporter’s life, to boast of his links with MI6. He reported without any qualms how, after returning from one of his reporting assignments in Afghanistan, he was asked to lunch by the head of MI6. "It was very informal, the cook was off so we had cold meat and salad with plenty of wine. He wanted to hear what I had to say about the war in Afghanistan. I was flattered, of course, and anxious to pass on what I could in terms of first hand knowledge." So much for journalistic autonomy!
During the controversy that erupted following the end of the "war" and the death of the arms inspector Dr David Kelly (and the ensuing Hutton inquiry) the spotlight fell on BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan and the claim by one of his sources that the government (in collusion with the intelligence services) had "sexed up" a dosier justifying an attack on Iraq. The Hutton inquiry, its every twist and turn massively covered in the mainstream media, was the archetypal media spectacle that drew attention from the real issue: why did the Bush and Blair governments invade Iraq in the face of massive global opposition? But those facts will be forever secret. Significantly, too, the broader and more significant issue of mainstream journalists’ links with the intelligence services was ignored by the inquiry.
Yet during the Hutton period, a myth emerged that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was the first conflict to be justified on (dodgy) evidence supplied by the intelligence services. Yet even during the Vietnam conflict, intelligence on the strength of the Vietcong was faked to make the case for war more plausible. Similarly, the US attack on Libya in 1986 – deliberately aimed to effect "regime change" by assassinating President Gaddafi – was justified by President Reagan on dubious intelligence (dutifully reported in the mainstream media) of Libyan responsibility for the bombing of a disco in West Berlin, frequented by US servicemen. Intelligence misinformation fed to the mainstream media before the 1991 Gulf massacres constantly "over-sexed" Iraq’s alleged nuclear capability since opinion polls in the States showed fears of President Saddam Hussein as a "nuclear monster" were most likely to win support for the military option. Even during the 1991 Iraqi conflict much of the reporting was based on intelligence-driven disinformation. For instance, while Iraqi soldiers were deserting in droves and succumbing to one massacre after another, all the British mainstream media highlighted intelligence predictions of the "largest ground battle since the Second World War". Images of enormous berms, sophisticated Iraqi defences and trenches of burning oil filled the media. But in the end there was nothing more than a 100-hour rout. Colin Powell, in his account of the 1991 war, estimated that 250,000 Iraqi soldiers were eliminated.
Similarly since the 11 September atrocities in the United States, the London-based mainstream media have been awash with intelligence-inspired leaks stressing the dangers of terrorist attacks in Britain. Even the Independent, most critical of the US/UK rush to military action, has given credibility to dubious "intelligence" sources. On 16 September 2001, for instance, Lashmar and Blackhurst reported that at least three terrorist cells linked to Osama Bin Laden were at large in Britain. An "intelligence source" was quoted as saying: "There is no reason why what happened in America couldn’t happen in Britain or any European country. " This is terrifying stuff. But how much is fiction? Similarly in September 2002 the Daily Express was awash in intelligence-inspired scare stories. "Nuclear attack in just months" it thundered on 9 September; "Anthrax threat on our streets: Britain on alert for Saddam suicide squads" it reported the next day. A climate of fear is manufactured allowing the apparatus of the national security state (surveillance cameras, email snooping, arrest without trials, demonisation of asylum seekers) to expand. On 15 September 2002, drawing on intelligence disinformation linking Iraq to nuclear weapons, the Sunday Express editorialised: "War brings evil but we believe the country must not be frightened from doing what we pray will save the world from the greater evil of nuclear bombs. We see no alternative but to help demolish the Iraqi regime."
On 18 March 2003, before the major air assault on Baghdad began, the Sun typically reported: "According to intelligence reports Republican Guard units have been equipped with chemical warfare shells to make a desperate last stand south of Baghdad. A source said: ‘They clearly have given some chemical capability to some forces." On 2 April the Sun "revealed" that Saddam Hussein had issued a coded chemical attack on US/UK troops. Coalition intelligence chiefs, it reported, interpreted a reference to "catching breath" in a speech by Saddam Hussein "as a signal for lethal chemicals or nerve gas to be unleashed against US forces massing south west of Baghdad". There were similar reports throughout the mainstream press.
Dodgy dossiers and the epistemological implications
Now there is a major problem with intelligence - it can never be doubled checked. By definition, it’s secret, exclusive. It could all be fiction (and often is). All too often journalists are seduced by the attractions of secret exclusive information. When politicians further doctor the evidence from the intelligence services, as appears to have happened before the Iraqi conflict, for their own warmongering purposes (with the creation of a new intelligence agency, the Office of Special Plans, by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to manufacture evidence of Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction) we have entered the realm of hyper myth.
Another problem with intelligence is that anyone attempting to highlight its significance is accused of lacking academic rigour and promoting "conspiracy theory". Certainly underlying the myth of "warfare" lie complex cultural, military, ideological forces. But given the close links between politicians, journalists and the intelligence services some conspiratorial elements have to be acknowledged to be behind mainstream media’s coverage of the Iraqi crisis.
With the emphasis on intelligence, the focus of journalism shifts from objective, verifiable "facts" to myth: in effect, there is a crucial epistemological shift. As General Richard Myers, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admitted: "Intelligence doesn’t mean something is true. You know, it’s your best estimate of the situation. It doesn’t mean it’s a fact. I mean, that’s not what intelligence is." Similarly, the historian Timothy Garton Ash stressed: "...the trend in journalism as in politics, and probably now in the political use of intelligence, is away from the facts and towards a neo-Orwellian world of manufactured reality." The assumption of Iraq possessing WMD was based entirely on unverifiable intelligence reports as is so much of the reporting of the "war on terror".
The crucial role of embedded journalists in the manufacture of the "war" myth
Most of US/UK imperialism advances essentially in secret. Both countries have deployed forces virtually every year since 1945 – most of them away from the glare of the media. But at various moments the US/UK chooses to fight overt, manufactured "wars". We, the viewers and readers, have to see the spectacle. It has to appear "real". During the first Gulf "war", the pooling system was used to keep correspondents away from the action. And since most of action was conducted from the air, with journalists denied access to planes, the reality of the horror was kept secret.
In contrast, during the 2003 conflict, journalists were given remarkable access to the "frontlines". And those frontline images and reports from journalists who were clearly risking their lives, aimed to seduce the viewer/reader with their facticity; the correspondents were amazed at their "objectivity". Yet beyond the view of the camera and the journalist's eye-witness, with the war unproblematised, the essential simulated, mythical nature of the conflict lay all the more subtly and effectively hidden. Moreover, military censorship regimes always serve essentially symbolic purposes – expressing the arbitrary power of the army over the conduct and representation of "war".
Significantly defence minister Geoff Hoon claimed: "I think the coverage…is more graphic, more real than any other coverage we have ever seen of a conflict." Most of the critical mainstream coverage highlighted the information overload. But, as David Miller, editor of an important new collection of essays on the media coverage of the invasion, commented: "It is certainly true to say that it is new to see footage of war so up-close but it is a key part of the propaganda war to claim that this makes it ‘real’."
Some 600 US and 128 UK journalists, including journalists from the Western Daily Press, Scotsman, Manchester Evening News, Ipswich Evening Star and Eastern Daily Press, and one from the music network MTV, were "embedded" with military units. According to Phillip Knightley: "The idea was copied from the British system in World War 1 when six correspondents embedded with the army on the Western front produced the worst reporting of just about any war and were all knighted for their services. One of them, Sir Phillip Gibbs, had the honesty, when the war was over, to write: ‘We identified ourselves absolutely with the armies in the field.’ The modern embeds, too, soon lost all distinction between warrior and correspondent and wrote and talked about ‘we’ with boring repetition."
As The Times media commentator, Brian MacArthur, reported: "Embeds inevitably became adjuncts to the forces." Audrey Gillan, with the Household Cavalry for the Guardian, was one of the few to accuse the military of censorship. She reported that soldiers complained of being like mushrooms – kept in the dark with you know what shovelled on top of them – but she could not use this phrase for fear of upsetting the brigade HQ.
Unprecedented access to the "front lines" was the carrot, but the stick was always on hand. Fifteen non-Iraqi journalists were killed, two went missing and many unilateral non-embeds were intimidated by the military. Had there been the same death rate for journalists during the Vietnam war, there would have been 3,000 killed. Two journalists working for RTP Portuguese television, Luis Castro and Victor Silva, were held for four days, had their equipment, vehicle and video tapes confiscated and were then escorted out of Iraq by the 101st Airborne Division. How many Iraqi journalists perished in the slaughters we will never know. For the most of the Western mainstream media they are non-people.
At this point you may be wondering: well this is all too one-dimensional. We are lucky to have a free press in this country. OK most of Fleet Street is pro-war but there are important voices opposing this line. Indeed, Britain is not a totalitarian state; the different lines taken by newspapers and columnists are significant – particularly in marketing terms – and have to be acknowledged. But precisely how wide has been the range of views in the coverage of these new militarist adventures?
Well, the evidence is fascinating. For the 1991 conflict all Fleet Street newspapers backed the military response together with 95 per cent of columnists. For the 1993 and 1998 attacks on Iraq the consensus fractured with the Guardian, Independent and Express coming out against the attacks. Then for the Nato attacks on Serbia in 1999 virtually all of Fleet Street backed the action, even calling for the deployment of ground troops (which not even the generals dared adopt as policy). There was one exception - the Independent on Sunday - and its editor, Kim Fletcher, left the paper just weeks after the end of the conflict. But there was far more debate amongst columnists. A survey I conducted showed 33 out of 99 prominent columnists opposed military action against Serbia. For the attacks on Afghanistan and the toppling of the Taliban, the whole of Fleet Street backed the action - but again there was a wide-ranging debate amongst columnists and letter writers.
In 2003, with significant opposition to the rush to war being expressed by politicians, lawyers, intelligence agents, celebrities, religious leaders, charities and human rights campaigners - together with massive street protests - both nationally and internationally the breakdown in Fleet Street’s consensus was inevitable. Yet still for the invasion of Iraq, the vast bulk of Fleet Street backed the action (though columnists and letter writers were divided). The Independents, carrying prominently the dissident views of foreign correspondent Robert Fisk, were the most hostile. Following the massive global street protests on 15 February, the Independent on Sunday editorialised: "Millions show this is a war that mustn’t happen."
The Guardian did not criticise military action on principle but opposed the US/UK rush to war and promoted a wide range of critical opinions. The Mirrors were also "anti" in the run up to the conflict (perhaps more for marketing reasons since the Murdoch press was always going to be firmly for the invasion) with the veteran dissident campaigning journalists John Pilger and Paul Foot given prominent coverage. But then, after editor in chief Piers Morgan claimed his papers' stance attracted thousands of protesting letters from readers, their opposition softened. And the Mails managed to stand on the fence mixing both criticism of the rush to military action with fervent patriotic support for the troops during the conflict.
The essential task
A few months before his death in September, the great Palestianian/American intellectual Edward Said, who has been such an inspiration to me and millions of others, identified the way in which the dominant discourse in the US/UK before the invasion of Iraq fabricated an "arid landscape ready for American power to construct there an ersatz model of free market ‘democracy’". But he concluded with typical optimism: "Critical thought does not submit to commands to join in the ranks marching against another approved enemy. Rather than the manufactured clash of civilisations we need to concentrate on the slow-working together of cultures that overlap, borrow from each other and live together." Indeed, while US/UK militarism appears out of control it is clear from this analysis that it is built on lies, misinformation and myth. And by exposing the lies and the myth, by joining with the global movement for peace and human rights, we can all help put a brake on the US/UK military juggernaut.