quinta-feira, 29 de setembro de 2011
A Simbologia da Culpa - Entrevista com o historiador do cinema Rainer Rother sobre a cineasta alemã Leni Riefenstahl "A Sedução do Talento" ("Die Verführung des Talents") Revista Bravo!
O autor de A Sedução do Talento, Rainer Rother, analisa a função das imagens da cineasta na Alemanha. Por José Galisi Filho, de Berlim
0 historiador de cinema Rainer Rother lançou no final
do ano passado A Sedução do Talento (Editora Henschel, Berlim, 39,80 marcos), primeiro livro a discutir, além da obra de Leni Riefenstahl, como se deu a transformação de sua imagem pública, e como essa imagem chegou a fazer parte do processo de estabilização ideológica da República Federal da Alemanha. Rother, que é diretor de programação de cinema do Museu Histórico de Berlim, na entrevista que se segue fala sobre o processo que desembocou no atual renascimento de Leni.
BRAVO!: O crítico de cinema Georg Seesslen afirmou certa vez que o "segredo de Leni Riefenstahl é que, na verdade, não existe nenhum segredo sobre ela". Seu livro procura romper o maniqueísmo com que sempre foi considerada. Deixou de ser um tabu falar sobre Leni Riefenstahl na Alemanha?
RAINER ROTHER: Em primeiro lugar, procuro manter uma distância radical dessa imagem pública, estabelecendo uma distinção entre a construção do mito e a realidade histórica da produção da obra de Leni Riefenstahl. 0 objetivo dessa monografia é buscar o nexo entre a imagem simbólica de Leni como inimiga pública e sua carreira o que também não é possível, certamente, sem uma avaliação moral. A recepção de Leni era extremamente orooe-mática na República Federal da Alemanha e desembocava invariavelmente no beco sem saída de um dualismo estéril que obstruía sua compreensão como objeto histórico: seja, por um lado, na forma de uma avaliação apologética do "gênio" cinematográfico, seja, por outro, como a mera propagandista de um regime genocida. Se por um lado a imagem da "cineasta nazista" transformou-se hoje num clichê, por outro lado, a fascinação pela qualidade estética de seu trabalho cinematográfico e fotográfico faz esquecer o contexto do qual essas imagens surgem. Meu argumento, mesmo quando se orienta pelo eixo biográfico, não perde nunca de vista a objetividade da obra e seu contexto histórico. Essa obra tem de ser analisada para além das imagens da cineasta e suas metamorfoses na opinião pública alemã desde 1945. Ao contrário de Veit Harlan, o diretor de 0 Judeu Suss, percebemos que a imagem de Leni é muito mais nuançada. A despeito de sua obstinada perseverança na posição esteticista e na convicção de ter realizado apenas filmes documentários, não é possível negar que Olympia e Triunfo da Vontade
sejam hoje a mais refinada auto-representação da ideologia nazista. Ela serviu ao regime, mas sem fazer, contudo, uma propaganda anti-semita ou pornográfica. Não escrevi também uma biografia sobre Leni Riefenstahl, mas sim uma monografia que se pergunta, enfim, qual o papel que Leni Riefenstahl desempenhou no cinema do nacional-socialismo, de que maneira sua imagem reflete a construção de um consenso sobre a República Federal da Alemanha a partir de 1945 e qual é, de fato, a qualidade estética de seu trabalho.
Quais são as etapas da construção dessas imagens na Alemanha?
É possível reconhecer pelo menos duas etapas bem distintas na imagem de Leni Riefenstahl. A primeira imagem é aquela da Leni de uma ingenuidade imperdoável, sobre a qual ela teria construído oportunisticamente sua carreira. A ausência de auto-reflexão política que freqüentemente lhe foi atribuída, com justiça, encontrava sua contrapartida numa sociedade que simbolicamente a incriminava como o mais perfeito dos bodes expiatórios, na exata medida em que essa mesma sociedade se eximia de trabalhar sua culpa, recalcando-a. A construção de imagens inimigas é parte constitutiva do consenso sobre o qual se alicerçava a República Federal da Alemanha e sua estabilização ideológica. Mas um dos motivos decisivos pelos quais ela se tornou essa figura simbólica da culpa era exatamente o fato de ser também mulher, uma artista que sempre se reconheceu movida por uma "vontade de aço", fazendo sua carreira no domínio masculino do cinema. Mas é importante mais uma vez destacar que na construção da imagem da inimiga pública esconde-se o apagamento da culpa coletiva dessa mesma sociedade. A partir dos anos 70, o eixo dessa imagem começa a se deslocar na Alemanha e, depois da reunificação, nos anos 90, sofre uma guinada maior na direção de uma visão cada vez mais positiva de seu traba-lho, no sentido da valorização de sua qualidade estética até chegar finalmente na imagem cult que hoje observamos. Um dos capítulos mais eficientes nesse processo foi o documentário de Ray Müller (exibido no Brasil com o título de A Deusa Imperfeita), de 1993, que trazia Riefenstahl pela primeira vez como atriz de si mesma diante de milhões de pessoas. 0 filme evitava uma laudação acrítica, mas contornava as questões difíceis, dando à sua estrela muito espaço, como convém a uma lenda. Leni foi convidada de honra no Festival da Baviera em 2000 e, meses depois, recuperada de um acidente de helicóptero, na abertura da mostra de fotos suas na galeria de Charlottenberg Camera Works, teve uma recepção que para ela foi uma grande surpresa: não houve nenhum protesto, nenhuma pergunta incômoda, na verdade dezenas de pessoas queriam um autógrafo. Parecia que o público estava maravilhado com sua chegada. Nada que lembrasse a recusa da apresentação de Olympia no Zoo Palast em 1972. Protestos contra sua aparição pública parecem hoje improváveis. Exposições em Hamburgo, Potsdam e Berlim marcaram essa renascença de Leni, o que não significa, na Alemanha, uma reabilitação.
Seu livro afirma que Leni nunca pretendeu "provocar" seu público, apenas "seduzi-lo". Que espécie de sedução é essa? Em Triunfo da Vontade, é célebre a afirmação do credo de Goebbels: "Melhor é conquistar e manter o coração de um povo".
Trata-se, em primeiro lugar, de entender o sentido político desse cinema. Os apologetas a compararam na época à cineasta da "revolução alemã", na mesma medida em que Eisenstein o havia sido para a Revolução Bolchevique. Leni afirmou durante décadas, em parte com razão, já que seu trabalho na verdade não tinha uma mensagem política definida, que nunca realizou um filme de propaganda, mas sim um "documentário". Ela é, sem dúvida, a única autora intelectual de Triunfo da Vontade, o que não pode negar. Ela pretendia tirar da reunião do Partido todas as poten-cialidades cênicas e estéticas, que se tornaram depois o modelo para muitos cineastas.
Se esse filme é "um documentário", ele documenta exatamente o quê, já que para Siegfried Kracauer estamos diante do triunfo do niilismo de uma realidade que é inteiramente montada?
Kracauer mencionou que na seqüência inicial de Triunfo da Vontade a massa de nuvens que cobre Nuremberg esconde, de fato, "a simbiose entre o culto à montanha e o culto ao Führer", ou seja, no plano da montagem o filme operaria como ficção. Mas o filme fica a meio caminho entre o gênero documentário e o ficcional, entre a propagandada e o documentário. Já nessa seqüência inicial, falta-lhe o gesto factual, o avião de Hitler que desce sobre Nuremberg pode ser qualquer avião em qualquer lugar, não há nenhuma indicação factual desse evento. Estamos mais uma vez no mesmo território dos filmes alpinos de Leni e sua textura mítica do culto ao Führer que o filme vai sacralizar. 0 filme é também impregnado por uma eroticidade desse encontro do Führer com seu Partido. O que ela, por assim dizer, "documenta" é a semana de 4 a 10 de setembro de 1934, em que se dá o encontro do Partido. Trata-se de um encontro em que o Führer é jurado pelo Partido, no qual os laços de fidelidade e camaradagem se alicerçam, justamente depois da decapitação da SA de Rohm pela SS, e ela faz o filme dessa simbiose entre o Partido e seu Führer.
0 filme documenta uma mensagem do Partido ao Führer, mas documenta também o sucesso estrondoso desse encontro, pois é uma realidade inegável que a população de Nuremberg não era cética em relação a Hitler, muito pelo contrário. Não podemos negar isso sob hipótese alguma e afirmar que se trata apenas de uma "construção" da realidade, o que nos faz esquecer que esse júbilo e gozo diante do Führer que o filme estiliza na forma de uma mitologia era terrivelmente real e, nesse sentido, podemos chamar o filme de "documentário". Há também a questão de onde o filme é contado, qual é o olhar que o constrói. Ele pressupõe que o público espectador já conhecesse o estilo do Führer pelo rádio, e o filme coloca Hitler como seu ator principal. Isso não tem nada a ver com o fato de que Hitler esteja nele representado também como uma pessoa ficcional no seu papel de número um do Estado. Dessa forma, o filme fica a meio caminho entre a ficção e o documentário. Ele foi rodado como documentário, mas montado como ficção.
Em Olympia, parece predominar uma "bela aura na simbiose entre morte e kitsch", como apontou Saul Friedländer. Não é uma amarga ironia que justamente esse filme tenha se tornado o padrão de transmissões esportivas e de toda a estética publicitária?
Não. não concordo, acho que isso é uma conseqüência da estratégia formal escolhida por Leni. 0 que me parece decisivo é que, desde Olympia, o esporte somente possa ser compreendido pela sua sexualização. É essa visão do corpo masculino em sua beleza que aproxima o filme da estética publicitária. Se o esporte hoje funciona como uma engrenagem onipresente e modelar do desempenho devemos isso à estética de Leni. Mais uma vez estamos diante da ambigüidade de gêneros que já caracterizara Triunfo da Vontade. Certamente Olímpia é um exemplo do culto ao corpo, na celebração do belo e do atlético Hilmar Hoffmann por exemplo, aponta como aspecto problemático essa celebração da physis na sua tensão
Acima, a artista e seu mais recente lançamento, Cinco Vidas, na Feira Internacional do Livro em Frankfurt: mudando a imagem em seu país natal
no limite com a morte. Já Daniel Wildmann menciona o fato de o filme celebrar simbolicamente a estrutura do sacrifício. E mais uma vez estamos diante da questão da ideologia envolvida na estilização dos fatos. Somente poderíamos falar de uma mensagem nazista explícita em Olympia quando a configuração das seqüências, das cenas e do material evidenciassem esse gesto de maneira unívoca, mas náo é o caso. Muitas passagens do filme
permitiriam essa analogia. 0 prólogo e a celebração de abertura definem os jogos olímpicos como celebração da Alemanha nacional-socialista. A apresentação dos atletas alemães no início do filme serve a esse objetivo. Finalmente temos os comentários dos radialistas sobre a competição, no sentido de uma competição de raças e nações. Mas na verdade todos esses elementos aparecem diluídos na mensagem "apolítica" do esporte. Eu diria que se Triunfo da Vontade celebrava a construção da nova ordem, a celebração de Olympia tem como negativo a segregação e a eliminação daqueles que não poderiam pertencer à "comunidade popular do sangue"-, os judeus, os ciganos, os homossexuais, a esquerda, os fracos e os doentes mentais. As massas que desfilavam em Triunfo da Vontade e em Olympia são os espectadores dos jogos. Olympia, de um ponto de vista formal, é o ponto alto da carreira de Leni e lhe ofereceu a possibilidade de ir muito além dos rituais do Partido.
Revista Bravo! Maio 2001 ANo 4 No. 44
terça-feira, 27 de setembro de 2011
A new form of warfare dependent on knowledge has emerged and power is now in the hands of those who control information. This episode of 'Horizon' looks at at the new Information War and how it shapes our time perception.
Transcripts from I-Bomb
Back in 1970, Alvin and Heidi Toffler wrote Future Shock, an influential and as it turned out correct vision of the impact information-age technology was having on the world. Twenty-five years later they turned their attention to the effect the same changes are having on war, in a book called War and Anti-War (see Further Reading). This book led us to make The I-Bomb, but even if it is as influential as Future Shock, this time I hope the Tofflers vision is less accurate.
The scenario they depict is one of more and more lethal weapons in more and more hands, the increasing power of propaganda to intensify ethnic and religious rivalry, and the use of information as a weapon and target in economic warfare. This against a background of social and national disintegration and a growing divide between rich and poor.
The other scenario they outline, though, is less bleak. It is that technological advance will bring riches, non-lethal weapons and the knowledge that will liberate people from totalitarian government. This vision of the future is just as plausible as the first, for these possibilities are also inherent in the microchip.
As with most scenarios, the future no doubt will consist of something between the two, with everything else thrown in. Perhaps the only thing that does emerge clearly as we move into the information age is that nothing is clear. This is why in The I-Bomb we present a collection of thinkers, the most interesting we could find in their field, and leave the audience to make up their own minds as to what the future of war will consist of.
Were living through the greatest upheaval, the greatest social,
technological and economic upheaval, since the industrial revolution.
We are already beginning to see the decline of the nation-state and
ironically, at the same time, the rise of nationalism.
You see giant corporations, some of the biggest in the world, having
been turned into dinosaurs.
Today we have family forms in infinite varieties.
The way we work, the way we create wealth . . .
Were seeing much more individuality and much more freedom for the
The technology is changing rapidly; social institutions are changing
rapidly; values are changing rapidly; and, not inconsequentially, the
entire concept of military action is also changing.
WINN SCHWARTAU (Author, Information War)
Modern society is wired.
NARRATOR (ZAM BARING)
Wired and therefore vulnerable to a new kind of war.
With over a hundred million computers tying our communications,
finance, transportation and power system together, we face a potential
electronic Pearl Harbour.
A threat that challenges all the traditional notions of warfare.
If the information warrior comes at our computers, our networks and
our communication systems, the modern military has very little
War is changing. (Archive: smart bomb hitting target) This is one
image of its future. In 1991 the world thrilled to the range, speed
and accuracy of war in the Gulf. It was a war that the United States
armed forces were trained and equipped to fight, but unlike some of
the enemies they may face, they had the technology to beat Saddam
COLONEL JOHN A. WARDEN III (Gulf War air planner)
The most important technology that we had in the Gulf War was almost
certainly precision projectiles.
COLONEL ALAN D. CAMPEN (Editor, The First Information War)
Cruise missiles . . .
GBU27, a 2,000 lb bomb . . .
They had laser technology, stealth technology.
The 117 stealth fighter was able to penetrate some of the most
extensive, even heaviest air defences in the world.
But the planes and the bombs are not what made the Gulf War different.
Alvin and Heidi Toffler have been writing about the future for the
past 30 years. Now they have turned their attention to war. They
believe Desert Storm was different because it provided the first
glimpse of how the basic currency of war may be changing.
The Gulf War will never be repeated. It is not a model of wars of the
future, but it is an extremely important war in the history of
warfare, because it represented both the past of warfare and the
future of warfare. For example, when I say the past: Saddam Hussein
took his troops, lined them up on the border masses and masses of
troops, masses and masses of tanks. This is the way wars have been
fought ever since the industrial age dawned. And indeed the US and the
coalition responded. They used traditional, industrial-style mass
destruction. They tried to destroy everything in sight. What you saw
in Baghdad was the beginnings of the warfare of the future.
US ARMY INFORMATION FILM INFORMATION WARFARE
Persian Gulf, 1991: the first outbreak of third-wave warfare,
It was the first information war. Not that information hasnt always
been a key element of war, it has been the Battle of Britain being
one example of the use of radar information to position a virtually
destroyed Royal Air Force. But the use of information was
serendipitous. If it was there and if it was correct, it was used.
Information war uses information in a very fundamental way.
This concept was central to the strategy created by Colonel Warden for
the air war in the Gulf.
The most important part of the battle plan, the first part of it, was
designed heavily to take away the Iraqis complete set of information.
Information was a target.
We didnt want Saddam Hussein to be able to see what was happening, so
we hit the strategic air defence system, the radars.
Without information, weapons will not achieve the accuracy they have.
The forces will not be in the right place.
We didnt want Saddam Hussein to be able to talk, to give people
instructions as to what to do, so we took away the telephone system
from him. We didnt want Saddam Hussein to be able to gather with his
staff, so we took away the primary command centres that Saddam Hussein
and his generals and his political cronies were inclined to use.
It was the first war with a notion that an enemy could be brought to
his knees by denial of information. It was actually tested and proven
on the battlefield.
CNN ARCHIVE: PETER ARNETT
. . . and I think, John, that air-burst took out the
telecommunications you may hear the bombs now.
What is happening now is the emergence of a new, third-wave war form
that has its own special characteristics and is highly dependent upon
the application of knowledge. It embodies the concept of deep battle
that the battle is not waged where the soldiers are, necessarily, or
where the front lines are; the battle may be waged a thousand miles
And it was this strategy of deep battle that made the Gulf War
different from any that preceded it.
The technology of precision, of stealth, of rapid information movement
enabled us to do something that had never been done before: to wage an
entirely different kind of a war for the first time in history.
Literally in a matter of hours we were able to impose shock on the
entire Iraqi system. We were able to do it from the inside to the
outside, as opposed to the old-style Clausewitzian attrition approach
of coming from the outside to the inside. We were able to fight all of
the key battles of the war almost within the first 24 hours, and after
that first 24 hours, even after the first hour, there was almost
nothing that Iraq could do from a military standpoint to get itself
out of the impossible problem in which we had put it.
Lets go back a bit to 1956 when Khrushchev said: We will bury the
West. What he was really saying was that the military industrial
complex of the Soviet Union would win out over the military industrial
complex of the West and note that its industrial. What Khrushchev
didnt understand was that 1956 was the first year in the United
States that white-collar and service employees outnumbered blue-collar
We had the introduction of the birth-control pill; we had the
introduction of mass television; it was the year of the spread of jet
aviation. The industrial complex, military or not, was at its end
The industrial revolution gave rise to mass societies. This was not a
question of East or West. Wherever you had the industrialisation
process, you created societies based on mass production, assembly-line
production. They were brute-force machines for the purpose of
manufacturing millions of identical objects. Parts were
interchangeable lives became interchangeable.
This was true in the military, too. Chief of Staff of the United
States Army, General Sullivan:
The assembly line is probably the perfect metaphor. You had men, you
had warriors, that you would mobilise, put into units, equip, and it
was all a linear process.
You had mass media, the newspaper, you had television, you had mass
education, you had mass entertainment, mass recreation; and as far as
warfare was concerned, you had, for the first time in history, mass
Both the First and Second World Wars were characterised by
industrial-age warfare: lots of munitions, lots of men just
pulverised, no manoeuvre, no movement, just industrial warfare,
grinding each other into the ground.
The third wave brings with it a fundamental change in the structure of
our societies we move from the mass, industrial society that arose
during the last 200 or 300 years to a new kind of society in which
more and more things are demassified. In the factory, instead of
long production runs of the same product, we see more and more
customised production. In distribution we see more and more speciality
stores and boutiques. In communications, instead of two or three
networks, or one or two giant networks, we see more and more different
channels. The same thing is true in the military more and more
different functions within the military, more and more diversity up
and down the line.
What were talking now is simultaneity. (Archive: Panama City, 20
December 1989) In my view the first war of the 21st century was
operation Just Cause. What you saw there was the United States of
America seizing 26 to 28 objectives from midnight until daylight. We
simultaneously shot the enemy down with parachutists from the air,
with Special Operations forces, marine forces on the ground, naval
forces off the ocean, all leveraged by the microprocessor.
The chief characteristics of the third wave or information age are
destandardisation, . . .
Now what were faced with purify water, distribute water in Goma,
Zaire for instance is not war as we know it . . .
. . . demassification, . . .
Up to about 500,000 people have been released from this organisation .
. . . desynchronisation.
The United States Army has soldiers in 70 countries a day.
And as we move towards the third wave, and societies become more
internally complex, more and more information is needed to handle
routine events. Information is the central resource of the third-wave
economy. It is the oil of the future. You cant manage a society any
longer in the way you did before whether youre running a company,
running a government or running an army. You now have far more complex
problems, you need more information, and that cant be done on the
back of an envelope.
At the other end of a telephone you have access to the largest
computer system in the world. There are switches all over the United
States, all over Europe, all over Eastern Europe, Russia, southern
Asia that connect over one billion people to each other, allowing them
to speak to each other. At the other end of the computer today I can
access over 35 million people, over three million different computer
systems, in 167 different countries. Its like having the combined
information wealth of the planet at the end of your computer, at your
One of our big challenges today is to prepare the army for the 21st
century. What has changed in the last five or six years that makes
that different is the information explosion.
And this explosion means that the US military are not just attacking
enemy information systems, theyre revolutionising their own. General
Sullivan, General Salomon and General Hartzog are leading the charge.
Their war cry: digitise the battlefield.
I was involved in the 1989 operation in Panama, and the command
centres were noisy places where a lot of people ran around and there
were little sticky things that were put on acetate maps. Well, I was
just involved last year in the assistance to Haiti. The commands were
issued over video links, there were a number of sources that you could
ask for information and get it in near real time, by video or audio.
It was instructive to me that all this change had occurred in the last
The information age has altered the whole nature of time and space and
distance. Weapons can be launched from any place on the globe, in the
air or on the sea. The information will flow over electronic means.
The commander can sense the battlefield regardless of where hes
The way that we are doing this is through a digitisation process.
. . . harnessing the power of the microprocessor to put battlefield
information in the computer, and digitally pass it between battlefield
The turf, the ground, the environment is all put into a digital
reality and simulated within an electronic box.
Information: it makes you more efficient, more effective, able to do
more with less.
Harnessing this power, the armys Materiel Command, led by General
Salomon, is concentrating its efforts on:
Upgrading our existing weapon systems to make sure that we get this
information technology embedded in all of our weapon systems so you
can hear the Bradley, that can talk to the Abrahams, that can talk to
the Apache, that can talk to the Paladin. So we have this horizontal
technology integration to get this common view of the battlefield.
There is some doubt though about the militarys approach to
digitisation. Former math prodigy, Martin Libicki:
MARTIN C. LIBICKI (Senior Fellow, National Defense University)
Digitising the battlefield might be necessary for the way that we
might want to fight future wars, but if were still thinking of
fighting wars around very visible platforms, such as tanks, in fact we
may be putting our money in the wrong direction. Perhaps we should be
thinking about not necessarily how we make the tanks smarter, but how
we use information warfare to conduct operations without having to use
the tank at all.
In the age of deep battle the same question might be asked about the
I see absolutely no way that information-age technology can replace
War is a dirty, personal thing, and the soldier is at the centre of
The soldier has to be able to link into and perform in an environment
in which information moves rapidly. So the soldier is getting all of
the same attention that every other part of the battlefield is
SPECIALIST JACKSON (US Army)
My weapon is the modular weapon system. This system has been designed
to allow me to mount various types of weapons and sights according to
our mission. Im currently equipped with the M203 grenade launcher, a
daylight camera and a thermal weapons sight.
Give the soldier a small television camera, and then that information
that the soldier gathers can be transmitted back to his operation
These sights, along with the helmet-mounted display, will allow me to
engage targets on the battlefield, day or night, in any weather
conditions, without using the current cheek-to-stock aiming method.
Our 21st-century land warriors move in to clear out bypassed pockets
In my pack Im carrying the soldiers computer. This computer will
have an integrated global positioning system, which will allow the
soldier to know his position on the battlefield at all times. The
computer will also have several preformatted reports, which will allow
the soldier to send his reports in a more reliable and efficient
Information assists in the prosecution of the war.
The computer will be connected to a radio, which will allow me to
receive both digital and voice-message traffic.
It is not an end to itself, but it is a supporting technology that
improves all aspects of war fighting.
With my present combat ensemble I am the land warrior.
But just as the army is changing, so are the threats new threats
that may challenge the relevance of the military itself.
The shift to third-wave information warfare is not just a question of
plugging a computer into an existing weapon system, for example, or
giving everybody a computer. What it is, ultimately, is a battle for
control of the information flows of the world. In the Gulf War you saw
classic examples of the use of propaganda and perception management,
by both sides. In Washington, there was this stunning example of a
traditional form of propaganda: the atrocity story. There you had a
young woman appear before television cameras and talk about babies
being ripped out of incubators in Kuwait, and this horror story, of
course, struck everybodys heart. It later turned out that she was
related to the Kuwaiti embassy and that she was really apparently
following a script prepared by a public-relations agency, and that
this was not necessarily true. On the other hand, at the very same
time, there was Saddam holding hostages and patting the children on
the head in front of the television camera to convey an avuncular
image of himself, what a nice guy he is, to the rest of the world. In
the era of information warfare, all of that is going to become far
more important and be managed with far more sophistication.
At Leeds University Dr Phil Taylor has studied how the military manage
the media, and why they think its so important.
DR PHIL TAYLOR (Institute of Communication Studies)
Most of the senior American personnel in operation Desert Storm were
Vietnam veterans. They were deeply influenced by that experience,
including the media experience that they had. They believed that they
had lost the war in Vietnam almost because of television, not through
any of their own failures, which has been used as a justification for
imposing restrictions on media coverage of battles ever since, right
the way up to operation Desert Storm.
PETE WILLIAMS (Former Pentagon spokesman)
In all the discussions about the policy for accommodating reporters in
the Persian Gulf, I never heard anybody say that we had to be worried
about losing the war on television.
They arranged journalists into pools which were attached to the troops
in the field. The journalists in the pools, of course, were dependent
upon the military not just for their safety, but for access to the
The second element was back in Riyadh and Dhahran, where the vast
majority of journalists were holed up in hotels. They were called
hotel warriors because their ability to report the war was limited
to the official briefings that were held by the Americans and the
British, the Saudis and the French.
Former CNN correspondent, wild man Chuck de Caro, thinks this
reliance on the military compromised the journalism.
CHUCK DE CARO (President, Aerobureau Corporation)
The media, by entering into the pool system with the governments,
wound up as so many obsequious yuppies looking for hand-outs and
calling the reading of those hand-outs news. It wasnt news; wasnt
even bad journalism. It was PR.
Testing this view, Phil Taylor recorded the global television output
during Desert Storm.
This was not a war which was a bloody, brutal war according to the
television images. This was a smart, clean war. It was precisely that
image of the war that the American military wanted to project, which
was why it allowed crews to film Patriot missiles intercepting the
indiscriminate Scuds. I think that the media image helped to sustain
public support for the war. We were treated to a war as infotainment.
I think most military people are sophisticated enough to understand
that you cant really tell the American people what to think about an
operation, and our experience, once it got started, was that the
biggest concern of Americans was that nothing would be done to
jeopardise American lives.
The real war was not really the Scud/Patriot duel, or the smart
missiles. They were military side-shows, but they were central to the
media war. The real war was being fought between soldiers, in a brutal
way, far away from the prying gaze of television.
But just as the armed forces are becoming more sophisticated in their
management of the news, so are the media in how they gather it. Since
leaving CNN, Chuck de Caro has been developing the latest in
CHUCK DE CARO
This is Aerobureau 1. Aerobureau integrates all the things necessary
to do journalism everything into an aircraft that can land on
3,000 feet of gravel. That means the Aerobureau crew can travel 4,250
miles unrefuelled, land in a dirt strip, open up the door, push out a
helicopter, remotely piloted vehicles, and all kinds of other things
necessary to operate for one week, and then begin doing news as any
full-scale news bureau would in any city in the world, except we can
do it in the middle of a jungle or a desert or on a glacier in Canada
if we need to. The advance of these technologies means that the
ability of a government or governments to control access is being
rapidly eroded. As a result, the media becomes a prime player in
We go into Somalia, we see a dead soldier dragged through the streets
on the screens of America.
And the world.
The next day, practically, Congress says: out of Somalia. And
meanwhile in Haiti, Cédras is watching all of that, and he comes to
the conclusion that the Americans have no resolve, that they can be
easily . . .
Cédras has his goons on the dock, and says, Youre going to have to
kill us in order to . . . So thats what stopped the invasion.
And indeed Clinton, in what I regard as one of the stupidest moves,
sends a warship off the coast of Haiti and withdraws it because these
hundred guys were on the dock all tracing back to the use of
(John Holliman, CNN, Baghdad:) Wow, holy cow! . . . (President Bush:)
This will not be another Vietnam . . . (President Clinton:) Tonight I
can tell you that they will go . . . (Martin Fletcher, BBC, Tel Aviv,
wearing gas mask:) We dont know if theres a chemical warhead there
or not . . .
The interesting thing is the media are, in fact, becoming almost as
powerful as governments in some issues, in some respects, and yet
nobody ever elected the media. Who elected you and your camera?
CHUCK DE CARO
The power of global television has already changed the nature of war.
In the last century, and to this day, in our military schools were
taught the Clausewitzian definition of war, that is the extension of
politics that uses violence to constrain the enemy to accomplish our
will. But now, with global television, reaching all those various
bodies politic around the world, it is possible to fight a different
kind of war. Its called soft war. Soft war is the hostile use of
global television to shape another nations will by changing its view
At least one part of the US Army is taking this alternative definition
of war to heart. At Fort Bragg in North Carolina the Fourth Division
of Psychological Operations have always recognised the power of
information. Colonel Geoffrey B. Jones is the commanding officer.
COLONEL JEFFREY B. JONES
Psychological Operations [Psyop] is basically the use of information
to effect attitudinal and behavioural change in a foreign audience.
One of the products we developed and disseminated before we got to
Haiti was this leaflet. On the back it says: The road to prosperity
begins with democracy, and on the front we have a sign with little
stick figures walking up towards the sun and along the road it
begins with democracy, the next word is education, then
opportunity, propriety, and it ends with happiness.
In the Gulf Psyop was loudspeaker teams with all of the coalition
The speakers are located on top of the HUMV. Theres a microphone, for
live broadcast, and a Walkman for pre-recorded messages. The range on
this is about two and a half kilometres. They were used in Saudi
Arabia during operation Desert Storm to broadcast surrender appeals.
We also dropped, floated leaflets up in plastic water-bottles on the
SERGEANT RON WELSH
During Desert Shield, Desert Storm, I was a Psyop liaison to the
theatre army headquarters. One of the ideas I came up with was putting
Psyop leaflets in little water-bottles like this and they were dropped
off the coast of Kuwait. The Iraqis did get them. The intent of the
leaflets was to mislead the Iraqi forces to believe that invasion was
coming from the coast, and it worked rather effectively.
With the arrival of the information age, Colonel Joness good
old-fashioned propaganda can also be used to wage soft war.
Commando Solo is an Air Force EC130. It provides a broadcast
platform for radio and TV: they can broadcast AM, FM, short-wave and
colour TV worldwide. Theyve participated in virtually every operation
in Just Cause, in the Gulf, and most recently in Haiti.
I was one of the combat production specialists at Port au Prince,
Haiti, and my primary mission in Haiti was to go into the Haitian
community and document all accessible aspects of Haitian life. I would
then take these products and produce radio spot announcements,
programmes and audio products for video and loud-speaker. The content
of these messages was designed to do three things: calm the Haitians,
prepare them for the return of their president, and reassure them that
the Americans will stay to help them, and I believe they were very
For sure, Psyop is most often thought of in terms of combat, and I
think Sun Tsu, the Chinese visionary in 500 BC, captured it best when
he said: To win a hundred victories in a hundred battlefields is not
the acme of skill, but to subdue the enemy without fighting is the
acme of skill.
And it was just this skill that was used in the 1980s to subdue the
biggest enemy of all.
ARCHIVE: PRESIDENT REAGAN
. . . Ill bet on American technology any day.
JANET MORRIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies)
Even in the Cold War era, psychological operations have been
phenomenally effective. The announcement of Star Wars faced the
Soviets with a new spending cycle they knew they couldnt endure. The
very announcement brought them back to the bargaining table, without a
single weapon being built.
But it is since the end of the Cold War that bloodless victory has
become vital to the US military, if they are fighting completely
different types of battle. Policy analysts Christopher and Janet
US and other Western governments today face entirely new kinds of
missions, operations other than war, humanitarian assistance, actions
below the threshold of war as we knew it in the Cold War era.
We need to arrive at a geopolitically acceptable means of projecting
force to contain conflict.
We require two new abilities: (1) the ability to project a credible
deterrent; (2) the ability to operate quickly and effectively with the
minimum number of casualties and minimum destruction of property.
Psychological operations will play a critical part in these new
And just how critical can be seen in the Gulf War, where the Iraqi
troops were bombed with 29 million Psyop leaflets.
Through our campaign we were able to convince some 17,000 Iraqis to
defect, over 44 per cent of the Iraqi units in the Kuwaiti theatre of
operations to desert, and over 87,000 to surrender.
Management of an aggressors perception of you is very important.
But psychological weapons are only one part of a new arsenal that may
well be considered our peace dividend. We will have weapons that make
things sticky, weapons that make things slippery, weapons that act as
the old Roman nets acted to ensnare a convoy, a tank, a rioting crowd.
The arsenal of new tactics and options that these weapons will provide
are called non-lethal.
Tactics that are a far cry from the days in which destruction was
mutually assured. But these options meet with a mixed reception from
the army and the air force.
The non-lethal technology should give us the opportunity to achieve
large political military objectives without the necessity to shed lots
People think that because we are in a new age war will be bloodless.
War will not be bloodless. There is no silver bullet. Were not
talking about some magic weapon that has now appeared on the
Theoretically weve always understood that going out there and having
two armies fighting was merely a means to an end. However, as a result
of a lot of history, including Karl von Clausewitz and others, we
really began to see this actual clash as being the essence of war. And
it isnt, it never has been. Always the essence of war should have
been more of a Sun Tsu kind of a thing, where you get the other guy to
do what you want him to do.
War will mean putting your soldiers on the ground and fighting each
other with weapons which may be leveraged and more effective because
of information-age technology, but youve got to get out there and
impose your will on the enemy.
If you can get the other guy to do what you want him to do without
killing a lot of people, without destroying a lot of things, that
certainly has got to be better. A simple example: we figure out a way
to destroy the central processing unit, the chip in a computer, as
opposed to blowing up the whole computer, because we simply dont care
about the majority of the computer.
Some would argue that there is no need to destroy anything at all. The
targets of the future will not be computers, but the world they give
One significant way in which the proliferation of technology has
changed the world is that war will be fought in the battlefields of
cyberspace, that place which connects all of the computers world-wide.
In an electronically interdependent world a virtual act of war may be
taken as seriously as a bomb might have been 50 years ago. If we use
electronic technology to zero Gaddafis bank account, is that an act
The new battlefield is the battlefield for knowledge. If you have
adequate and appropriate knowledge you can also wage conflict outside
war, you can wage economic warfare.
This is it: the wired city, an infinite number of fragile,
spider-web-like connections gluing us all together into modern
society, yet ready to fall like a house of cards. A bank how many
vulnerabilities does the bank have? Eavesdropping, surveillance,
software bad software.
WILLIAM J. MARLOW (Science Applications International Corporation)
Im setting up to attach to the Internet. Now that Im on the network
itself Im choosing to access a remote network. Once on that network
Im going to install whats called a sniffer programme. That sniffer
programme is a piece of software that monitors all the information
that gets transferred electronically on that network. That information
includes passwords. Im going to capture a password, and then use it
to log on and pretend to be an authorised user. And Im going to
monitor all the information thats going on in the remote computer.
Not too long ago the military and the intelligence community had
exclusive control over the domain of information. With the
proliferation of technology and the Internet, theyve lost the control
that they once had, and today we find that information weapons systems
are being developed outside of the control of the military, and
virtually anybody with a little bit of technical knowledge has access
to those weapons.
What Im going to do now is set up to actually do some damage to the
other computer system. Im going to send a electronic mail message;
attached to that mail message is whats called polymorphic code the
slang term is software bomb.
Everybody has access to computer equipment, whether its the hacker or
the information warrior or just anybody at home, but the true
information warrior is also going to want to be able to provide
cellular interception, telephone and fax interception, or other types
of video and audio surveillance equipment such as is available here.
SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT SALESMAN
This is a wireless miking system which is designed out of
state-of-the-art surface-mount technology. It will transmit a signal
up to a mile away. This particular device attaches to a phone line and
has the ability to record six hours of conversation off of one tape.
It comes telephone ready. This is a wireless video transmitting cap.
It will wireless remote video back to a viewing post.
The software bomb polymorphic code is a type of code that
propagates itself. It attaches itself in the computer system and then
starts writing over all the files that are on the disc, all the
application files, data files and communications files.
Information warfare is also about transportation systems. Think about
it. On aeroplanes you cannot use your lap-tops or CD players under
10,000 feet. The planes themselves are susceptible. The air traffic
control systems use land-based communications, they need to be
protected. Information warfare is about national economic protection.
. . . and here we go. Thats it, the bomb is now executed and working.
MICHAEL R. HIGGINS (Chief, Counter Measures Division)
Theres a natural reluctance to admit when your computer system has
been broken into. Examples of that might be the banking industry.
Theres a reluctance for the banking industry to admit that their
business functions, funds transfers, might be compromised by some
outsider. Not to say that happens, but last year 255 incidents were
reported to us from the Department of Defense. Were a microcosm,
were a small portion, we have less than a million computers in the
Department of Defense. There are 30 million plus systems within the
Internet community. So if we have 255 incidents, theres a lot more
activity that we believe is going on out in the global community that
just is not being reported.
At the Defense Information Systems Agency, Mike Higginss job is to
maintain the security of all the military networks the encrypted,
classified networks, the unclassified and the communications
infrastructure that connects them. It is where the Department of
Defense defends itself from attacks by information warriors.
If you view our network like a building, like the Pentagon for
instance the Pentagon, the largest building in the world, has
hundreds of windows and doors in it that I have to protect, and I have
to make sure that every single one of those doors and every single one
of those windows is locked. An intruder only has to find one opening.
To protect the virtual Pentagon, Defense Information Systems Agency
staff spend their time trying to hack into it through the Internet, to
identify the open windows. If there is an intrusion, they give help
down a hotline. The defences, though, are constantly being breached.
Two of the most widely reported incidents within the Department of
Defense over the past year have been, first of all, the sniffer
incident its commonly referred to as the Internet sniffer. People
penetrated over 200 systems were talking about payroll systems,
were talking about personnel systems, medical systems, logistic
systems and transportation systems. The other incident would be the
16-year-old out of London that penetrated an air force computer system
here in the United States. A small group of dedicated individuals, we
believe, today, can disrupt national security. This is the cutting
edge, and this is exactly where the Department of Defense needs to
address the warfare of tomorrow.
For other defence commentators it is not so much that the information
age is increasing the dangers of war in cyberspace, but that the
global traffic of information is increasing the dangers of real war.
Carl Builder is an analyst at the Rand Corporation.
I have a particular concern that the information revolution may spread
the availability of nuclear devices or weapons very widely. I have
that concern because the materials for nuclear devices are
increasingly in commerce, and all that lies between the taking of
those materials and making nuclear devices is information. I was so
concerned about this when I was responsible for nuclear safeguards
that we called in some nuclear bomb makers and they told us
hair-raising recipes: If you really want to make a crude nuclear
explosive, here is how you could do it, and do it very simply on your
kitchen table, with materials that are available in the hardware
It is not only a matter of DIY nuclear bombs. The weapons of the
information age are advertised on global television and can be bought
off the shelf.
Countries around the world have seen what we did with information
technologies in the Gulf War, and many of these information
technologies are available in the commercial market. Computers are
available in the commercial market; 30 countries make unmanned aerial
vehicles; access to space imagery is becoming available in the
commercial market. The result is that I believe that our platforms,
particularly our larger platforms, such as surface ships, will be a
lot more visible in the future than they were during the Gulf War. And
because we will be a lot more visible the next time around, we will be
much more likely to be targets the next time around.
I think its illustrative to point out something which I bought in
Mogadishu. Its a camel bell, and this is made out of wood. Its got a
couple of wooden clackers in it. So here you are dealing with
something which is pre-Bronze-Age. Interestingly enough, the reason
that we didnt fly our soldiers out of Mogadishu by air was because we
figured that they had some kind of a surface-to-air missile. So here
you have someone who is living, really, in a different age, using
information-age weapons systems.
And just as control of information-age bombs is sliding away from the
old centres of power, so is control of information itself.
It used to be that either the government controlled the media, or some
giant corporations controlled the media. Well thats fine. They were
the producers of the message and therefore could control what was in
the message. But now there is a breakdown, or a blurring of the line
of who is the producer and who is the consumer, because the consumers
have cameras and copying machines and PCs . .
. CARL BUILDER
And fax machines, and fax machines in the hands of people are power as
we saw in the uprising in China in Tiannamen Square. We saw in Los
Angeles where video camera . . .
. . . just shook up the country, and indeed parts of the world, by
showing the police beating unmercifully a black man who should not
have been doing what he was doing at the time, but thats beside the
point. It was the use of a citizen . . . the citizens eye altered
The use of the citizens computer may well have the same effect.
TIMOTHY C. MAY (Computer Consultant)
Im a cypher punk . . .
The old organising principles and controls which weve had in the past
for societies will be under massive assault.
. . . Im connected. Enter my password Im into the system; Im now
on the Internet. Im now going to show how to send a piece of mail
through whats called a remailer. This is software which takes
incoming messages into a site, rebatches them up, takes off the outer
envelope, if you will, and resends them to the next destination. By
chaining a series of these remailings a message can be sent from one
person to almost any other person on the planet without the identity
of the sender being known, and this offers amazing possibilities for
free speech, for whistleblowing . . .
Were likely to see people forming interest groups, common-interest
groups, to challenge their institutions, to challenge their own
society and to challenge their governments.
This is the message I sent out in that earlier example. Comments: this
message did not originate from the above address, it was automatically
remailed by an anonymous mail service. Heres the body of the message
This is a test message sent to Digital Mixes. And I have an
example of items for sale on Blacknet. This might be how to obtain
RU-486, the abortion pill; Banned Books R Us, a bookstore
specialising in banned books; and the largest collection of surplus
military equipment in the world.
What is happening is that the information devices are putting power in
the hands of the individual rather than in the hands of new élites.
This is a system in which no government can control what people say.
People can communicate anonymously, untraceably and securely, and
thats civil liberties through complex mathematics.
Ideology can no longer be enforced through control of information.
One hundred and eighty-six per cent growth annually is what the
Internet is experiencing.
CHUCK DE CARO
This is terrific. Weve now got more information than weve ever had
about anything before.
The potentials are terribly exciting.
To keep the peace . . .
. . . resolve the crisis . . .
Weapons of mass protection.
. . . to help contain the conflict.
Realistically, what are the dangers?
Dissidence and terrorism.
Battles to control information.
Fought in the battlefields of cyberspace.
CHUCK DE CARO
On global television.
Pushed to the outer limits.
Ten billion dollars.
CHUCK DE CARO
There is no bloodless war, and in my view, there are no silver
Alvin and Heidi Toffler, War and Anti-War (Littlebrown 1993)
Winn Schwartau, Information Warfare (Thunders Mouth Press 1994)
Peter G. Neumann, Computer-Related Risks (ACM Press 1995)
Col. Alan D. Campen, The First Information War (AFCEA International
Martin Van Creveld, Proliferation and the Future of Conflict (Free
Produced by Broadcasting Support Services for BBC Horizon.
Edited by Peter Millson
This text is also available, as a booklet, from:
PO Box 7
London W3 6XJ
segunda-feira, 26 de setembro de 2011
For 20 years the image of the earth floating in space has been adopted by environmentalists to suggest the planet’s wholeness and vulnerability, as a challenge to industrialism and consumerism. But the meaning of the icon is changing with the advent of global telecommunications and finance. It is advances in science and technology which make such images possible, yet the effects of science and technology have been divisive. As a result of science and technology the earth is more and more divided between rich and poor. "Icon Earth" explores the implications of these changes and asks what the future holds. It uses the image of the world seen from outer space, the "blue earth", once viewed as an icon of global unity as critique of the promise of globalization.
domingo, 25 de setembro de 2011
Para a artista plástica e escritora de ficção científica Sheilla Liz, o sentimento orbital de Gaia e da superfície do planeta Solaris, pois seu "gesto" é pleno de delicadeza e desafia a gravidade dos sentidos.
For the painter and science fiction writer Sheilla Liz, an orbital feeling of Gaia and of the surface the Solaris Planet, your "gesture" is full of tenderness and defies the gravity of the senses.
Для художника и писателя-фантаста Шейлы, орбитальное чувство Геи и поверхности планеты Солярис, их «жест» полон нежности и бросает вызов серьезности чувств.
"Nas mãos de Gaia"
"Ilha das Mulheres Serpentes"
For the painter and science fiction writer Sheilla Liz, an orbital feeling of Gaia and of the surface the Solaris Planet, your "gesture" is full of tenderness and defies the gravity of the senses.
Для художника и писателя-фантаста Шейлы, орбитальное чувство Геи и поверхности планеты Солярис, их «жест» полон нежности и бросает вызов серьезности чувств.
"Nas mãos de Gaia"
"Ilha das Mulheres Serpentes"