Realism or Iconography? The Pentagon’s Implicit Theory of Visual Representation

The following is an extract from my chapter, “A Flickr of Militarization: Photographic Regulation, Symbolic Consecration, and the Strategic Communication of ‘Good Intentions’,” published in Good Intentions: Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism (Montreal: Alert Press, 2014), pp. 185-279: US military documents make it quite clear that, for the military, a photograph is a straightforward, […]

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The US Military as Great Chief, Father, Doctor, and Babysitter

The following is an extract from my chapter, “A Flickr of Militarization: Photographic Regulation, Symbolic Consecration, and the Strategic Communication of ‘Good Intentions’,” published in Good Intentions: Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism (Montreal: Alert Press, 2014), pp. 185-279: In 2009 the Department of the Army produced a field manual titled, “Visual Information Operations” (US […]

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The Visual Imperium

The following is an extract from my chapter, “A Flickr of Militarization: Photographic Regulation, Symbolic Consecration, and the Strategic Communication of ‘Good Intentions’,” published in Good Intentions: Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism (Montreal: Alert Press, 2014), pp. 185-279: One of the possibly more fruitful areas of inquiry to come out of studies of contemporary […]

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Pentagon Photography and Visual Anthropology

Could it be any more obvious how the Pentagon has learned to mimic certain styles of anthropological photography as shown in the instance above? Resembling any of a vast number of photographs of or by anthropologists, such as famous ones of Bronislaw Malinowski and Margaret Mead “in the field,” this one also features the note-taking […]

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Encircling Empire: Report #24—Regime Change

In this report, our first for 2014, the reader will find links and article extracts for a selection of some of the very best resources to have been published online, focusing on the topic of regime change, along with an extended essay on Imperialism and Democracy. Here we address the current cases of Venezuela and Ukraine, and […]

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Book Review: Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya – Lessons for Africa in the Forging of African Unity, by Horace Campbell

In October 2011, days after the brutal murder of the Libyan Leader, Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, NATO General Secretary, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, declared that the NATO mission in Libya had been one of the most successful in NATO’s history. In his new book, Professor Horace Campbell sets out to analyse that claim, and to analyse the […]

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Getting It Right: Hugo Chávez and the “Arab Spring”

Some opening vignettes might set the right tone for properly appreciating the question of “who was right” about the so-called Arab Spring. (The notion of there having been an “Arab Spring,” a term first coined by U.S. neoconservatives such as Charles Krauthammer back in 2005, is one that has been subject to radically diverse interpretations, […]

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Encircling Empire: Report #19—Militainment

Encircling Empire Reports is a selection of essays, blog posts, and news reports covering a given time period, providing links and representative extracts or key passages from each resource, usually focusing on certain countries/continents and/or processes in each report. The focus of the reports ranges from imperialism discussed in broad strokes, to specific facets of […]

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Encircling Empire: Report #16—War, Hegemony, Ideology, and Resistance

Encircling Empire: Report #16—War, Hegemony, Ideology, and Resistance Encircling Empire Reports is a selection of essays, blog posts, and news reports covering a given time period, providing links and representative extracts or key passages from each resource, usually focusing on certain countries/continents and/or processes in each report. The focus of the reports ranges from imperialism […]

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Libya and the Passive Repeaters: Deploying Depleted Information Warheads

A video that in many ways corresponds with what I argued in “America’s Iranian Twitter Revolution,” the video below in part shows how the use of social media to make falsified versions of Libyan reality can go viral–radioactive–producing an intellectually toxic swarm of passive repeaters. Critical questions are like static, they interrupt the clarity of the message: dictator vs. revolutionaries, support the people, implement a no-fly zone right now. But this is so patronizing, it denies “agency”–just like the agency of the consumer who must decide and then boldly act on which colour iPod™ to buy. Have a look at The Guardian’s “Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media: Military’s ‘sock puppet’ software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda.”…Also check “‘Post-Qaddafi Libya’: on the Globalist Road,” “Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?” “US-trained [and U.S.-based] economist, Libyan rebels’ new finance minister,” and “New Libyan rebel leader spent much of past 20 years in suburban Virginia.”….

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