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NATO Media Advisory

September 7, 2011 — 7 Comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

NATO Media Advisory on the correct use of language in case of armed conflict.
NATO Headquarters 07 Sep 2011

1. This Media Advisory contains recommended guidelines for the use of language by media representatives in their reports.
2. For further information, please visit: http://www.nato.int .

Content:

For enemy forces please use the following approved terms:
The government of [ ] ……………………………………the [ ] regime
Government officials ……………………………………..regime officials / henchmen
President/Prime Minister [ ] ………………………….[ ] / the dictator /ruthless dictator /tyrant
[ ] armed forces …………………………………………….regime forces /mercenaries /snipers
[ ] volunteers …………………………………………………[ ] militia / thugs / regime diehards /regime loyalists
NATO proxies ……………………………………………….freedom fighters/armed civilians

In reporting civilian casualties it is important to follow the following guidelines:
Civilian casualties caused by NATO are always alleged casualties/ unavoidable collateral damage. If in doubt, don’t report.

In any report alluding to civilian casualties it must always be stated that NATO do their utmost to avoid civilian casualties and the target was in all cases a legitimate one.

Civilian casualties caused by the other side are to be reported as the result of deliberate targeting of civilians.

Human Rights Abuses

Media representatives need to be careful in the use of the words massacre, mass grave, atrocity and war crime – these terms are solely for the use of acts committed by the enemy, where they should be used as frequently as possible.
It is important to realise that NATO opponents in this and future wars will inevitably use rape as a weapon of war – all media outlets should ensure that they cover this properly.
In reporting any human rights abuses or war crimes it is considered good journalistic practice to assign guilt to the regime or regime forces. Where evidence suggests otherwise, the use of the word alleged is mandatory.
Any alleged abuses by NATO proxies must be put firmly in the context of
a) They probably didn’t happen
b) The proxy leadership does not approve
c) They are partially justified (revenge, use of mercenaries etc)
It is a frequent tactic of enemy forces to massacre their own people for the cameras.

Weaponry
Weapons used by NATO and those of our allies are targeted and precise. NATO will provide details of successful deployment of weapons systems and it is recommended that media representatives use the manufacturer designated brand names in their reporting.
Weapons used by our opponents are to be described as indiscriminate and their use is invariably a war crime. ANY use of heavy weapons is to be described as use of weapons of mass destruction.
Media should stick to these guidelines even where both sides are apparently using the same weapons and tactics (e.g. use of Grad rocket systems).

Sources
The approved sources of information for media are:
1) Statements by the NATO secretary-general
2) NATO press releases
3) NATO press conferences
4) Briefings by NATO officials
5) Statements of Heads of State of NATO countries
6) Statements by Defence officials
7) Off -the-record briefings from intelligence officials.

Any statements by these sources may be reported as fact.

Media may produce reports based on other sources, but in each case we strongly recommend they contact us to check the story for reliability.
If you have any problems about what to write, please contact NATO press centre and we will provide you with any information required.

Any failure to report according to these guidelines will certainly lead to a loss of privileges and could be regarded as a deliberate attempt to give succour to the enemy by undermining the information war.

For an example of media best practice we recommend the British Broadcasting Corporation .

Guidelines signed off by Admiral James Stavridis (Internet Governor-General) and Luis Moreno Ocampo of the ICC/Psyops Division

This is, of course, not a real media advisory – we don’t need to teach you guys how to do your job!

Human Rights Investigations has been repeatedly warning about the Libyan rebels and it has become increasingly clear that racism lies at the very heart of the conflict in Libya. It now clear that the rebel forces are NATO (and Qatar and UAE)’s proxy fighters on the ground. Many of these fighters have been recruited and motivated on the basis of psy-ops about African mercenaries, fired up by viagra, mass-raping women and pillaging their cities – discredited stories which have been spread and amplified by rebel commanders, NATO ministers, the media and ICC prosecutor Moreno Ocampo.

The effects of this pernicious propaganda campaign have been seen in Benghazi, Misrata and Tawergha and across the nation and are now being seen on the streets of Tripoli as rebels round up black-skinned Libyans and African guest workers, putting them into football stadiums.

AP reports:

Virtually all of the detainees say they are innocent migrant workers, and in most cases there is no evidence that they are lying. But that is not stopping the rebels from placing the men in facilities like the Gate of the Sea sports club, where about 200 detainees – all black – clustered on a soccer field this week, bunching against a high wall to avoid the scorching sun.         

In the Khallat al-Firjan neighborhood in south Tripoli, Associated Press reporters saw rebel forces punching a dozen black men before determining they were innocent migrant workers and releasing them.     

Racism lies at the heart of many of the NATO campaigns, including in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq where innocents are slaughtered in a way that simply would not be accepted if the victims were white.

NATO’s chief weapon in the Libyan conflict has been and continues to be, not Brimstone or Paveway bombs, Tornados, Typhoons or Tomahawk cruise missiles – but racism.

To appreciate the importance of racism in motivating soldiers please listen to Mike Prysner’s speech made at the 2008 Winter Soldier hearings:

Transcript:

“And I tried hard to be proud of my service but all I could feel was shame and racism could no longer mask the occupation. These were people. These were human beings. I’ve since been plagued by guilt anytime I see an elderly man, like the one who couldn’t walk and we rolled onto a stretcher, told the Iraqi police to take him away. I feel guilt anytime I see a mother with her children like the one who cried hysterically and screamed that we were worse than Saddam as we forced her from her home. I feel guilt anytime I see a young girl like the one I grabbed by the arm and dragged into the street.

”We were told we were fighting terrorists, but the real terrorist was me and the real terrorism is this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country. It has long been used to justify the killing, subjugation, and torture of another people. Racism is a vital weapon deployed by this government. It is a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber or a battleship. It is more destructive than an artillery shell, or a bunker buster, or a tomahawk missile. While all of those weapons are created and owned by this government, they are harmless without people willing to use them.

”Those who send us to war do not have to pull a trigger or lob a mortar round. They do not have to fight the war. They merely have to sell the war. They need a public who is willing to send their soldiers into harm’s way and they need soldiers who are willing to kill or be killed without question. They can spend millions on a single bomb, but that bomb only becomes a weapon when the ranks in the military are willing to follow orders to use it. They can send every last soldier anywhere on earth, but there will only be a war if soldiers are willing to fight, and the ruling class: the billionaires who profit from human suffering care only about expanding their wealth, controlling the world economy, understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression, and exploitation is in our interests. They understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability to convince the working class to die to control the market of another country. And convincing us to kill and die is based on their ability to make us think that we are somehow superior. Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, have nothing to gain from this occupation.

”The vast majority of people living in the US have nothing to gain from this occupation. In fact, not only do we have nothing to gain, but we suffer more because of it. We lose limbs, endure trauma, and give our lives. Our families have to watch flag draped coffins lowered into the earth. Millions in this country without healthcare, jobs, or access to education must watch this government squander over $450 million a day on this occupation. Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in another country to make the rich richer, and without racism soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war

”I threw families onto the street in Iraq only to come home and find families thrown onto the street in this country in this tragic, tragic and unnecessary foreclosure crisis; only to wake up and realize that our real enemies are not in some distant land. But not people whose names we don’t know, and cultures we don’t understand. The enemy is people we know very well and people we can identify. The enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable. The enemy is the CEO who lays us off our jobs when it’s profitable; it’s the insurance companies who deny us health care when it’s profitable; it’s the banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not 5000 miles away, they are right here at home. If we organize and fight with our sisters and brothers, we can stop this war, we can stop this government, and we can create a better world.”