Because every time the MIC wants to take us into another war of choice against a third rate country the war propaganda increases exponentially, I've been forcing myself to sample some of the toxic "programming" being peddled by the corporate U.S. media. OMG! Is anybody out there really watching this stuff? It really can't be describe as anything but poison to the mind.
But I digress... The repetition of the talking points is outright eerie; it's everywhere.
First let's start with the fact-based, reality-based world. Launching a war of aggression against Syria would be illegal:
Ban Ki-Moon US Unilateral Action Against Syria Will Violate UN Charter, Says Use Of Force Allowed Only In Self-DefenseIt really can't be any more clear than that.
“As I have repeatedly said, the Security Council has primary responsibility for international peace and security. That’s my appeal – that everything should be handled within the framework of the United Nations Charter,” Ban told reporters in New York, according to a transcript published by the U.N.
“The use of force is lawful only when in exercise of self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter and/or when the Security Council approves such action. That is the firm principle of the United Nations,” Ban said.
In this diary I'm not going to address anything president Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, or Ambassador Samantha Power have said thus far in order to try to sell this bogus war since the arguments are so preposterous that I don't think I need to rehash them at this point.
Here are the propaganda talking points I've been able to jot down so far:
- Loss of Prestige: This pulls your strings at the pride (it may be said, jingoistic) level. The narrative is that if Congress fails to authorize Obama to launch a war of aggression against Syria that will mean a dangerous loss of prestige not only for him, but for the country as a whole. And that that would put the country in danger.
- Failed Presidency: This pulls on your partisan strings. The narrative goes something like this: If Congress (and the citizenry by extension) fails to approve this war of aggression against Syria, it will basically mean the end of Obama's presidency for all intends and purposes; it would so damage his effectiveness and leadership that it would render him totally useless and ineffective for the rest of the presidency. That he may as well go hang out at Camp Davis or Martha's Vineyard for the next three or so years while he waits for the next president to take charge.
- Isolationism: This is a standard-bearer of war propaganda for ages. Refuse to engage in a war of aggression against Syria, and you'll be skirting your responsibility as a world power, thus letting potential dangers go unchallenged until they come back to bite us in the ass.
- Dove vs. Hawk: This is another good-old war propaganda standard-bearer. Paint responsible, careful, thoughtful, experienced, and courageous (in the face of jingoistic fervor) as Doves (peacenicks, weak, vacillating, unprincipled), and war-mongers as decisive, strong, responsible.
- Imminent Danger: This is akin to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's "mushroom cloud." It pulls on your fear strings... The narrative goes that if we don't destroy Assad's capabilities to deploy chemical weapons, that weapons could somehow eventually be used against our homeland, and not only that, they could threatened many countries in the world!
- Misnomers: We all know by now: "Limited strike," "No boots on the ground,"Protecting innocent civilians including babies."
Again, it's truly eerie. These talking points are everywhere being repeated over, and over, and over, and over. One of the worst offenders I've seen is NPR (in that what they do as pretending to be serious and unbiased is more insidious). And of course, the crass versions are MSNBC, CNN, FoxNews, ABC, CBS, NBC.
I encourage people to read about Propaganda. Wikipedia offers a very succinct description.
The extent to which the US government was guilty of propaganda aimed at its own people is a matter of discussion. The book Selling Intervention & War by Jon Western argued that president Bush was "selling the war" to the public.Finally, some may ask why would the corporate U.S. media be engaged in propaganda. A good primer on that topic would be the Propaganda Model:
President George W. Bush gave a talk at the Athena Performing Arts Center at Greece Athena Middle and High School Tuesday, May 24, 2005 in Rochester, NY. About halfway through the event Bush said, "See in my line of work [president] you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."
The propaganda model is a conceptual model in political economy advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky that states how propaganda, including systemic biases, function in mass media. The model seeks to explain how populations are manipulated and how consent for economic, social and political policies is "manufactured" in the public mind due to this propaganda.Back in January I wrote a very well-received diary about this subject: Research Study Explains How U.S. Media Brainwashes The Public. In it, I quoted a Gonzaga University Master's Degree Thesis by Frank McCoy, submitted on December, 2012: THE PROPAGANDA MODEL: CORPORATE AND POLITICAL COLLUSION IN THE CREATION OF AN OLIGOPOLISTIC MAINSTREAM U.S. MEDIA:
The theory posits that the way in which news is structured (through advertising, media ownership, government sourcing and others) creates an inherent conflict of interest which acts as propaganda for undemocratic forces.
The more [concentrated] the media landscape becomes the greater risk of harm there is to the public interest. As powerful corporations grow increasingly wealthier, powerful, influential, and politically affiliated the greater risk there is to the political economy on a global scale. The risk inherent with affluential transcultural media corporations is the mass homogenization of content and, thus, propagandist reinforcement of corporate and political interests serving only the dominant elites and, in turn, harming and marginalizing non-elites. One would be grossly remiss of the tangible danger and malign effects to the public to simply abridge the issue examined in this study as a case of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer.The emphasis is mine
Without an awareness of the grave consequences involved with an increasingly concentrated media environment the public (i.e. non-elites) will continue to be systematically brainwashed by the propagandist arm of the government that is the mass media and will unknowingly acquiesce to the interests of the dominant elites.
We are very likely to see war propaganda going into high gear, big time! I think that as citizens, it is important that we learn how to identify it.
Of course, here's the irreverent prophet talking about how it all works (using comedy)
Corporations write our legislation. They control our systems of information. They manage the political theater of electoral politics and impose our educational curriculum. They have turned the judiciary into one of their wholly owned subsidiaries. They have decimated labor unions and other independent mass organizations, as well as having bought off the Democratic Party, which once defended the rights of workers. With the evisceration of piecemeal and incremental reform—the primary role of liberal, democratic institutions—we are left defenseless against corporate power.The emphasis is mine
-- Chris Hedges
P.S. I welcome spirited debate about this topic, and I'm especially interested in hearing from people who do not agree with my position. However, I will not engage in discussion with people who write personal insults, or engage in disruptive behavior. I ask other serious people to do the same. To learn more about this subject, please visit the following links: New Community Guidelines / The 15 Rules of Web Disruption / Thirteen Rules for Truth Suppression / Disinformation: How It Works.
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