Obama plan: $50M for friendly media in Pakistan

By Gavin Dahl
Sunday, February 28, 2010 14:07 EDT
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New US-sponsored Pakistani media will raise awareness and build a brand for America, according to sources in the international press.

The Obama administration is set to spend $50 million on media in Pakistan.

The goal is to raise awareness of projects aimed at reversing anti-American sentiments.

The US Special Representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke believes that a substantial amount of monies spent on media, especially private TV channels, will reduce tension and may even bring Pakistan-US relations back on the right path, according to Examiner.com.

The Obama administration sent lawmakers this week a plan for $1.45 billion in aid for Pakistan this year, funding water, energy and other projects as well as a media campaign to counter extremist views, according to Reuters.

“This effort will reduce the ability of al Qaeda and other extremists to influence public perceptions and attitudes and support Pakistan’s people and government as they establish a more secure, prosperous and lasting state,” the report said.

Military spending, more than $10 billion over the past nine years, has not been effective at building better relations with Islamabad so under Obama the focus will shift to infrastructure, and apparently propaganda.

As RAWSTORY has extensively investigated, Obama’s predecessor oversaw massive propaganda campaigns targeted at US citizens.

According to PR Watch, those programs were illegal under US law:

The Pentagon military analyst program unveiled in last week’s exposé by David Barstow in the New York Times was not just unethical but illegal. It violates, for starters, specific restrictions that Congress has been placing in its annual appropriation bills every year since 1951. According to those restrictions, “No part of any appropriation contained in this or any other Act shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not heretofore authorized by the Congress.”

The Obama administration plans to help Pakistan’s democratic government meet budget shortfalls and deliver services to a population increasingly angry about economic and security troubles. US law allows public money to be spent by the federal government on foreign propaganda.

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