Exclusive: U.S. mainstream media sees itself as the definer of what’s true and what’s “propaganda,” but has gotten lost in a fog of self-delusion and is now the principal purveyor of “post-truth” news, writes Nicolas J S Davies.
For several months, Western officials and media outlets repeated thousands of times that there were between 250,000 and 300,000 civilians trapped under Syrian and Russian bombardment in East Aleppo. Western reports rarely mentioned the Syrian government’s estimate that there were only one-third that number of civilians in the rebel-controlled enclave – nor that its estimates were solidly based on what it had found in Homs and other rebel-held areas after it restored state control.
Once East Aleppo fell to government forces, it turned out that there were less than 90,000 people there, about what the Syrian government estimated but only a fraction of the much higher numbers confidently repeated ad nauseam by Western officials and media.
Part of the reason for this misreporting was that Syrian rebels had publicly killed Western and independent journalists to secure a monopoly on information coming out of rebel-controlled areas. Given the West’s disdain for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and sympathy for his opponents, the mainstream Western media then became reliant on anti-government rebels and allied activists for what was going on in those parts of Syria.
Now the complicity of Western media in the success of this strategy has been exposed as a systematic and deadly lapse in journalistic standards. So we should by now have seen widespread corrections and retractions from mainstream media that helped the rebels broadcast propaganda that conveyed a misleading, one-sided picture of the crisis in Aleppo.
The absence of corrections or retractions reflects a “new normal” in Western media practice. The mainstream media reports propaganda, usually produced by Western governments but in this case even by Al Qaeda splinter groups, as uncontested fact. Then, when the bubble bursts and the propaganda is exposed, it is quickly swept down the memory hole as the same reporters, editors and producers who got it all wrong unapologetically move on to other equally unsubstantiated narratives, in this case, ”Russia hacked the election,” and even, “Russia hacked the electric grid.”
It is thus fitting that the Oxford Dictionary has chosen “post-truth” as its “word of the year” for 2016 (although ironically the word is usually hurled by the mainstream media against people who don’t accept Western propaganda as truth). Yet, so much of what we are now told by politicians, newspapers and talking heads has little basis in the real world beyond the media echo chamber. The real human experiences that once provided the raw material for “news” have been displaced by statements and press releases from government officials and corporate P.R. staffs that post-truth editors, producers and reporters repackage as their lead stories.
The resulting talking points are then repeated ad nauseam on infotainment TV shows to give Americans an utterly misleading picture of the world beyond our borders. That this is the only view of the world many Americans ever see fuels an ever-widening and dangerous gap in public perceptions between Americans and the rest of the world, crippling international efforts to solve many of the most serious global problems, including endless war.
Commercially-driven media corporations have adopted the “talking heads” model mainly because it is much cheaper and easier to produce than real news reported by real journalists who actually live, work and know their neighbors in countries all over the world. The increasingly monopolistic U.S. infotainment industry has, in a couple of decades, reprogrammed many Americans to accept this talking-heads model as a substitute for real journalism, simply by offering them nothing else.
When I tell friends and relatives that they’re being misled by cable news, the most common response is, “But where else can I go to find out what’s happening?” The growth of alternative and independent media and easier access to foreign media are gradually providing Americans with more informative and reliable options, but most Americans still rely on domestic TV and radio as their primary sources of “news.”
The astonishing reality is that the mainstream media often leaves the public more ignorant and confused than if they ignored them altogether. This is in fact what polling by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Public Mind Poll has found: that people who said they didn’t follow the news at all were better informed about international events than either Fox News or MSNBC viewers, and about as knowledgeable as CNN viewers. People whose main news source was Comedy Central’s The Daily Show scored second highest of all, outscored by NPR listeners but better informed than Sunday talk show and “talk radio” junkies as well as cable news viewers.
Pollsters found the same pattern in media coverage and public understanding of the reasons behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq, arguably the most critical foreign policy issue of our generation. A PIPA poll three months after the invasion found that only 7 percent of Americans by then understood that there was no connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda, while 52 percent believed that U.S. invasion forces in Iraq had found “clear evidence” that Saddam Hussein was working with Al Qaeda. This number was actually higher among people who were tuning in regularly to U.S. news media to try and make sense of the crisis, rising to 78 percent among “Republicans following Iraq news closely,” which was higher than among Republicans at large.
Incredibly, a Zogby poll of U.S. troops in Iraq a full three years into the U.S. occupation found that 85 percent still primarily defined their mission as “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9/11 attacks.” This can only have exacerbated the murderous brutality of the U.S. occupation, especially when coupled with illegal rules of engagement and no training in their responsibilities toward Iraqi civilians under the Fourth Geneva Convention – training that is legally required by the Convention.
Al Qaeda’s Social Media
In Syria, “social media” reports approved by Al Qaeda and its allies and, in many cases, funded directly or indirectly by Western governments have provided a new stream of inexpensive material to spice up the talking heads format and assist corporate news make more money from the reductionist, profit-driven logic of its business managers. But these selective, sometimes fabricated, reports come at a moral price, which is that they take corporate media even deeper into the looking-glass world of propaganda, sensation and even pure fiction.
The corporate media’s selective crocodile tears over the plight of civilians in East Aleppo stand in sharp contrast to their diametrically-opposed framing of the similar plight of an estimated 1.5 million civilians in Mosul, under siege and daily bombardment by the U.S. and its allies. While the plight of civilians in East Aleppo was blamed entirely on the attacking forces and not on their Al Qaeda-linked captors, the crisis facing civilians in Mosul is blamed entirely on ISIS, while the forces gradually destroying the city with artillery and air strikes are presented as the people’s liberators.
In reality, U.S. air strikes have killed thousands of people in and around Mosul, destroyed all the bridges over the Tigris, and struck at least two hospitals, the university, food warehouses, dairies, flour mills, factories, banks, apartment buildings, private homes, telephone exchanges and water and electricity plants.
After months of escalating siege, artillery bombardment and air strikes, much of the population has lost access to food, water, medicine, electricity and other necessities of life, but still have no means of escape from the twin dangers of American bombs and Iraqi government death squads on one side and ISIS’s murderous rule on the other.
Can we hope that U.S. corporate media will now pay more attention to the plight of civilians in Mosul, or even acknowledge our country’s leading role in the destruction and misery that is engulfing them?
Another meme established by endless repetition in Western media is the term “aggression” applied to Russia. Western officials and media use it to refer to the annexation of Crimea, support for the armed resistance to the post-coup government in Eastern Ukraine, military operations in Syria, cyber-warfare and Russian foreign policy in general.
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)
But the word “aggression” has an actual legal meaning in international relations, referring to the crime of aggression, the planning and launching of a war or armed attack against another country in violation of international treaties and/or customary international law.
When American judges convicted German officials of aggression at Nuremberg, they called aggression the “supreme international crime,” for which they sentenced many of them to death by hanging. Germany, like the U.S., was a signatory to the Kellogg-Briand Pact, in which the world’s major powers renounced war as an “instrument of national policy.” The judges ruled, on the basis of that treaty, that, “those who plan and wage such a war, with its inevitable and terrible consequences, are committing a crime in so doing.” The Kellogg-Briand Pact is still in force today, now reinforced by the U.N. Charter, which prohibits the threat or use of force by any country.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) convicted the United States of aggression against Nicaragua in 1986, and international lawyers regard the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the U.S.-U.K invasion of Iraq and U.S. drone strikes as crimes of aggression under international law. Many believe that the invasion of Afghanistan, the overthrow of the government of Libya, the U.S. role in the Saudi-led war on Yemen and the U.S. bombing of Syria are also crimes of aggression for which the United States and its leaders should be held criminally accountable.
But the U.S. has carved out a regime of impunity for its crimes by withdrawing from the binding jurisdiction of the ICJ after its conviction in U.S. v. Nicaragua, undermining the new International Criminal Court, and using its U.N. Security Council veto twice as often as the other Permanent Members combined since the 1980s. U.S. government lawyers therefore enjoy the privilege, unique in their profession, of issuing legally indefensible but politically creative legal cover for war crimes, secure in the knowledge that they will never have to defend their opinions before impartial courts or the Security Council.
To loosely use the term “aggression” to describe any Russian action that conflicts with U.S. or Western interests is to trivialize what the judges at Nuremberg called the “supreme international crime.” If U.S. officials or commentators were serious about the legitimate enforcement of international laws against aggression, they would first call for the prosecution of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and then try to make a reasonable case that President Putin’s actions meet the same standard of criminality.
But that would be difficult because of other legal principles that justify or mitigate Russian actions:
–Russian forces are operating in Syria at the invitation of the internationally recognized government, unlike U.S. forces bombing Syria since 2014.
–Russia’s sovereignty over the Republic of Crimea has not been internationally recognized. But its annexation was a direct and arguably proportional response to the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev, which followed NATO’s decision to accept Ukraine as a prospective new member at a meeting in Bucharest in 2008 and therefore threatened to hand Russia’s most strategic naval base at Sevastopol over to NATO. Plus, the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to separate from Ukraine in two referenda – by 94% in 1991, and then by 97% in 2014. So Russia’s annexation of a territory that had been part of Russia since 1783 was also a response to the long-held and clearly expressed loyalties of most Crimeans. In contrast with the bloody, intractable wars unleashed by recent U.S. aggression, only two Ukrainian troops were killed before Ukrainian forces withdrew from Crimea.
–After the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev, two Russian-speaking provinces in Eastern Ukraine refused to accept the post-coup government and declared independence as new “People’s Republics.” The Kiev government formed new “National Guard” units, drawing from Svoboda and Right Sector, the neo-Nazi groups that had provided the shock troops for the coup, and sent them to fight the rebels in the East. The rebels appealed to Russia for help, but the true nature and extent of Russian support to the rebels is hotly disputed. Russia is now working with France, Germany and the new Ukrainian government to resolve the conflict under the Minsk II agreement.
–Nobody denies that the U.S. engages in cyber warfare and tries to influence elections in other countries, so the unsubstantiated charges against Russia over the 2016 U.S. election are only that they do the same as we do. In any case, Julian Assange of Wikileaks has explained in interviews that Russia was not the source of the emails he published. Former U.K. Ambassador Craig Murray, who risked and ultimately lost his career for telling the truth about CIA complicity in torture in Uzbekistan, claims that there were two separate sources, both American, and that he met with one of the sources (or a representative) in Washington last September.
Murray’s record of integrity as a whistle-blower and truth-teller makes him a highly credible informant, which may explain why U.S. officials and corporate media have chosen mainly to ignore him instead of trying to impeach his credibility. Assange has also pointed out that nobody has challenged the authenticity of the emails he published, so, if their publication somehow lost the election for Hillary Clinton, it was because voters reacted to what she and her staff wrote in them, not to anything he, the Russians or anybody else said or did.
–As for some kind of generalized “aggression” or threat to its neighbors, Russia has not been involved in an attack on another country since the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Instead it is the U.S. that has surrounded Russia with missile batteries, nuclear-armed submarines, Aegis missile destroyers, military bases and exercises on a scale that Russian military leaders could only dream of, since their military budget is only one-tenth of ours.
When a truly aggressive military power falsely slanders a rival nuclear-armed power as an aggressor, we should all be afraid, very afraid, not so much of the target of this campaign, but of the proven aggressor that threatens the very existence of human life on Earth by stoking these dangerous rising tensions.
Three Minutes to Doomsday
The dangers of a “New Cold War” are not distant threats that might materialize at some point in the future. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, advised by Stephen Hawking, 17 Nobel prizewinners and 20 other eminent scientists and experts, has been warning for two years that we are already as close to Doomsday as at any time in our history except for the period from 1953 to 1960, after the U.S. and the Soviet Union first deployed hydrogen bombs. As the U.S.-Russian confrontation escalated in Ukraine and Syria, the atomic scientists advanced the hands of their “Doomsday Clock” from 5 minutes to midnight to 3 minutes to midnight, with this warning:
“The threat is serious, the time short. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists does not move the hands of the Doomsday Clock for light or transient reasons. The hands of the clock tick now at just 3 minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty – ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization.”
And yet, in the midst of these real existential dangers to human society, Orwellian “post-truth” media are leading the public into a kind of dream world in which words like “aggression,” “propaganda,” “terrorism,” “defense,” “security,” “threat” and “violence” are exclusively appropriated as tools in the hands of powerful political interests and deprived of their objective meaning as useful terms for discussing the real dangers we are facing.
A recent campaign by an anonymous and shadowy Web site — given credibility by the Washington Post – sought to brand Consortiumnews.com and other independent alternative media as “Russian propaganda.” The blacklist of some 200 Web sites was produced by a new group called PropOrNot (which hides the identities of its participants and may be linked to the U.S. Army’s Intelligence and Security Command or Cyber Command at Fort Belvoir in Washington D.C.).
PropOrNot and the Post abused the term “propaganda,” which was defined by Edward Bernays in his classic 1928 book, Propaganda, as involving the use of mass media to plant ideas in the mind of the public on behalf of powerful political and commercial interests. Ironically, this is exactly what the Washington Post and PropOrNot are doing and the exact opposite of what independent alternative media do, so this campaign has given Americans one more reason to trust independent news sites with long records of producing genuine journalism over profit-driven servants of power like the Washington Post.
President Obama has just signed into law a “National Defense” bill that includes $160 million for new U.S. propaganda operations, nominally designed to counter “Russian propaganda.” But the Keystone Cops PropOrNot operation suggests that this escalation of U.S. information warfare will produce more blacklists, trolling, hacking, denial-of-service attacks and demonization of alternative, independent media by U.S. military psy-ops, “intelligence” agencies and P.R. firms, which will be loyally amplified and reinforced by censorship, rote repetition and circular analysis in the echo chamber of the corporate media, including by “social media” corporations like Facebook.
Like many institutions in our society, the U.S. media system has been degraded by the inherent corruption of the neoliberal order that has been consolidating its power over our lives and society for the past generation. Just as commercially driven corporate control has proven to be a destructive model for education, healthcare and other public services that leads only to corruption and declining quality, handing over the responsibility for informing the public about what is happening in the world to increasingly monopolistic for-profit corporations is eroding yet another vital pillar of American life.
Understanding the world we live in is a basic human need, and an informed, educated population is the most basic building block of any form of democratic society. So we desperately need independent media institutions that genuinely and honestly shed light on the world around us, instead of profit-obsessed media corporations cynically exploiting and abusing our concerns for our world and our future as bait for advertising and propaganda.
About the author:
Nicolas J S Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.
Source: Consortium News
Join the debate on our Twitter Timeline!
Israel is in a class all by itself when it comes to perpetuating some of the worst human rights violations of any country on earth today. For decades, Israel has had a policy of ethnically cleansing and robbing the indigenous Palestinian population of its lands and resources and killing them when they resist the atrocities committed against them under the guise of self-defense. Now, an Israeli military general, someone who is one of the leaders of Israel’s killing machine, has come out and admitted that Israel today shares many of the same elements as Nazi Germany.
Addressing an audience at Tel Yitzhak in central Israel on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel Defense Forces Major General Yair Golan dropped a bombshell on the Israel’s racist establishment when he said:
“It’s scary to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here.”
“The Holocaust should bring us to ponder our public lives and, furthermore, ...
September 17, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - Over recent months the situation in the Mediterranean has served as a dramatic reminder of what the leaders of Europe have tried hard to forget. The Syrian crisis has reached Europe. Although a lot of talk has been made over numbers and percentages of refugees that every country may or may not accept, let’s not forget that behind those numbers and the showy emotionalism of the politicians hides the ugly side of world politics.
The plans to overthrow the “annoying” regimes in the Middle East began at the time when the war hawks of Washington and their European allies prepared the first Iraqi war.
In a 2007 speech, US General Wesley Clark recounted a conversation he had back in 1991 with the then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. During that talk, the Secretary told the General that the Pentagon had already drawn plans in ...
From Brussels we hear here in Serbia, the signing of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) is a "new phase in relations with NATO." While Ivica Dacic and Bratislav Gasic issue PR proclamations applauding themselves though, many Serbians are dissenting. Here's the other side of the coin.
The dictatorial government that rules Serbia is leading our people into ruin. Slowly but surely we leave military neutrality and become just another puppet state, a pawn in the greater game of western hegemony. We’re a puppet country with a puppet government. Unfortunately for us, the government can defend its argument that NATO membership was chosen by the vast majority of our people, but here with us, many are now ashamed to be Serbs.
On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and Defense Minister Bratislav Gašić signed the so-called IPAP, or the Individual Partnership Action Plan with NATO. It should be carved in stone here that ...
A decade ago left-wing governments, defying Washington and global corporations, took power in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Venezuela, Uruguay, Bolivia and Ecuador. It seemed as if the tide in Latin America was turning. The interference by Washington and exploitation by international corporations might finally be defeated. Latin American governments, headed by charismatic leaders such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, won huge electoral victories. They instituted socialist reforms that benefited the poor and the working class. They refused to be puppets of the United States. They took control of their nations’ own resources and destinies. They mounted the first successful revolt againstneoliberalism and corporate domination. It was a revolt many in the United States hoped to emulate here.
But the movements and governments in Latin America have fallen prey to the dark forces of U.S. imperialism and ...
Let’s imagine for just a moment that a people was forcibly dispossessed of its homeland.
Let’s imagine that a portion of this people had rotted in refugee camps for some seven decades while others had lived under a brutal military occupation for almost five decades.
Let’s imagine that the people living under this military occupation were systematically tortured, abused, stolen from, and prevented from exercising their most basic and universally ratified human and political rights.
Let’s imagine that for nearly a decade, a part of this people was placed under an inhuman and illegal siege that brought about the complete collapse of their already desperate economy, and rendered their environment borderline unfit for human inhabitation.
Let’s imagine that, on top of the expulsion, military occupation, and inhuman and illegal siege, these people suffered periodic massacres, the most recent of which killed more than 2,200 people, including 550 children, and destroyed or rendered uninhabitable fully 18,000 homes.
Let’s imagine ...
Even those in Donetsk who originally supported Kiev have come to realize that Ukraine is waging a war against its own people
The Ukrainian army’s shelling has turned many formerly pro-Ukrainian locals against Kiev
Although this article tries to make the people of Donetsk appear gullible and indoctrinated, it does make one incredible admission: Kiev is waging a vicious war against its own people—something that East Ukrainians will never forget, and probably never forgive. This article originally appeared in Financial Times
As world leaders convened in Minsk this week to decide the fate of east Ukraine, Tatiana Prussova, a teacher at Khartsysk school number 23, stood in front of her class, a map on the wall behind her.
For 10 minutes, she led a group of 15 and 16-year-old students through the day’s lesson: a review of the recent developments in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). She explained a new local holiday — ...
Barack Obama is the first two-term American president to have presided over war every day of his tenure in office. He bequeaths to a Trump administration ongoing operations in Afghanistan, continuing drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, the consequences of the 2011 destruction of Libya, the instigation of civil war in Syria, US sponsorship of the brutal Saudi interventions in Yemen, and the civil conflicts in Ukraine, the Caucuses and across Africa.
Obama’s blood-soaked legacy, however, is most graphic in Iraq. There is a bitter irony in this, given the fact that he was elected in 2008 largely on the basis of claimed opposition to the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of the country, and his boasts, after continuing the war for nearly three more years after his inauguration, to have ended it with the formal withdrawal of US forces in December of 2011.
Obama launched new military attacks in Iraq following ISIS’ ...
If you wanted to identify, with confidence, the very worst president in American history, how would you go about it? One approach would be to consult the various academic polls on presidential rankings that have been conducted from time to time since Harvard’s Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr. pioneered this particular survey scholarship in 1948. Bad idea.
Most of those surveys identify Warren G. Harding of Ohio as the worst ever. This is ridiculous. Harding presided over very robust economic times. Not only that, but he inherited a devastating economic recession when he was elected in 1920 and quickly turned bad times into good times, including a 14 percent GDP growth rate in 1922. Labor and racial unrest declined markedly during his watch. He led the country into no troublesome wars.
There was, of course, the Teapot Dome scandal that implicated major figures in his administration, but there was never any evidence that ...
Since the end of the Cold War, the United States of America has systematically violated the prohibition against the threat or use of force contained in the UN Charter and the Kellogg Briand Pact. It has carved out a regime of impunity for its crimes based on its UN Security Council veto, non-recognition of international courts and sophisticated "information warfare" that undermines the rule of law with political justifications for otherwise illegal threats and uses of force.
Former Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin B. Ferencz has compared current U.S. policy to the illegal German "preemptive first strike" policy for which senior German officials were convicted of aggression at Nuremberg and sentenced to death by hanging.
In 2002, the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy described post-September 11th U.S. doctrine as "a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept." And yet the U.S. government has succeeded in assembling alliances ...
Professor Noam Chomsky said it would be “no small trick” for the Ferguson protests to turn into an anti-racism and social justice movement, considering America’s founding principles are slavery and the extermination of the indigenous population. In a sweeping interview covering everything from Iraq and Syria to China, capitalism, and the protests in Ferguson, MIT linguistics professor Chomsky told GRITtv’s Laura Flanders that events in Ferguson and the protests that have followed show how little race relations in the United States have advanced since the end of the Civil War.
“This is a very racist society,” Chomsky said. “It’s pretty shocking. What’s happened to African-Americans in the last 30 years is similar to what Baptist (Edward E. Baptist in The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and The Making of American Capitalism) describes happening in the late 19th Century.” Chomsky said constitutional amendments were supposed to free African-American slaves, which they ...
The Arctic has in recent weeks become a focal point of geopolitical tensions between Russia and the United States. Given the present rate of global warming, scientists anticipate that the region will be ice-free by the summer of 2030. It is believed to contain a large portion of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas reserves. It is also an important maritime route, one that is increasingly accessible due to the thawing of its ice cover.
The Arctic is one of the most resource-rich regions of the world. According to a study commissioned by the US government, some 30 percent of unexplored natural gas reserves and 13 percent of undiscovered oil and gas condensate are located there. Only Russia has a greater supply of raw materials.
The Northeast Passage, which extends beyond the Arctic, is regarded as an alternate sea route from Europe to Asia to the southern route, which runs via the ...
Here we go again. Earlier this year, some were surprised to see Project For The New American Century (PNAC) co-founder and longtime DC fixture Robert Kagan endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president.
They shouldn’t have been. As is now clear from a policy paper [PDF] published last month, the neoconservatives are going all-in on Hillary Clinton being the best vessel for American power in the years ahead.
The paper, titled “Expanding American Power,” was published by the Center for a New American Security, a Democratic Party-friendly think tank co-founded and led by former Undersecretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy. Flournoy served in the Obama Administration under Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and is widely considered to be the frontrunner for the next secretary of defense, should Hillary Clinton become president.
The introduction to Expanding American Power is written by the aforementioned Robert Kagan and former Clinton Administration State Department official James Rubin. The ...
Chris Hedges is on vacation and will return to writing his weekly Truthdig column on Sept. 5. While he is on break, we are republishing some of his past columns. This one originally appeared Nov. 10, 2008
We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture. It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and clichés. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into radically ...
Imagine – the European Union were to collapse tomorrow – or any day soon for that matter. Europeans would dance in the streets. The EU has become a sheer pothole of fear and terror: Economic sanctions – punishment, mounting militarization, the abolition of civil rights for most Europeans. A group of unelected technocrats, representing 28 countries, many of them unfit to serve in their own countries’ political system, but connected well enough to get a plum job in Brussels – are deciding the future of Europe. In small groups and often in secret chambers they decide the future of Europe.
Take the TTIP – under pressure from their masters in Washington, behind closed doors under utmost secrecy – and most likely against their own personal good – a small group of European Commission (EC) delegates without scruples, without any respect for their co-citizens, without consideration for their children, grand-children and their ...
PRISTINA, Kosovo — It was the fall of 2000, just over a year after the end of the war in Kosovo, when two NATO military intelligence officers produced the first known report on local organized crime, painting the former political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Hashim Thaci, as having “established influence on local criminal organizations, which control [a] large part of Kosovo.”
The report, the existence of which has not been previously reported, was widely distributed among all NATO countries, according to former NATO sources interviewed by GlobalPost. And year after year as the nascent democracy of Kosovo struggled to move forward and Thaci rose to political prominence, more detailed allegations and intelligence reports, totaling at least four more between 2000 and 2009, would name Thaci, these sources add. The reports were widely available to U.S. and NATO intelligence officials, and at least two were readily available on the ...
There are few more intrinsically brutal facts than slavery’s role in the building of European, and then subsequently, its various settler empires. As a system, it became the peculiar institution, as it was euphemistically termed, in the American south. It signified a demographic theft that the African continent has struggled to overcome, a shock of exponential proportion.
Slavery was always lucrative, not merely because it filled the pockets of owners and investors, but because it was literally a state-building enterprise. The development of the southern US states, be it in terms of infrastructure, would have been inconceivable without slave labour. In 1776, it was estimated that 40 members of the British parliament were deriving earnings from enslaved entities of the Caribbean.
This historical burden has been handled in an assortment of ways. Caribbean voices were particularly angered at the end of September when Prime Minister David Cameron ducked and weaved around the ...
This text was first published on March 8, 2015,
The Islamic State is not only protected by the US and its allies, it is trained and financed by US-NATO, with the support of Israel and Washington’s Persian Gulf allies.
Al Qaeda Affiliated Entities are “Intelligence Assets. Instruments of US Intelligence. The Global War on Terrorism is a fabrication used to justify a war of conquest. The Jihadist terrorists are “Made in America”. They are instruments of US intelligence, yet they are presented to public opinion as “enemies of America”.
The Obama administration has embarked upon the ultimate war crime, a Worldwide military adventure, “a long war”, which threatens the future of humanity.
The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest.
This military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously, resulting in millions of civilian deaths and countless atrocities. More recently, U.S. and NATO ground forces have been deployed in Eastern Europe including Ukraine on ...
The US Senate Report documenting CIA torture of alleged terrorist suspects raises a number of fundamental questions about the nature and operations of the State, the relationship and the responsibility of the Executive Branch and Congress to the vast secret police networks which span the globe – including the United States.
CIA: The Politics of a Global Secret Police Force
The Senate Report’s revelations of CIA torture of suspects following the 9/11 bombing is only the tip of the iceberg. The Report omits the history and wider scope of violent activity in which the CIA has been and continues to be involved. CIA organized large scale death squad activities and extreme torture in Vietnam (Phoenix Project); multiple assassinations of political leaders in the Congo, Chile, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, the Middle East, Central America and elsewhere; the kidnapping and disappearance of suspected activists in Iraq and Afghanistan; massive drug-running and narco-trafficking in the “Golden Triangle” in Southeast Asia and Central America (the Iran-Contra war).
A complex geopolitical situation in the region forces the Baltic States and their NATO allies to take unprecedented efforts to increase defence capabilities to counter potential aggressors. A new Lithuanian military strategy approved in March describes Russia actions along with terrorism as the main threats for the security of Lithuania, as reported by Delfi.
Unfortunately for pacifists, the Alliance and Russia today are arming and demonstrating their military power. They constantly compare their armed forces' strength and capabilities, conduct large-scale military exercises, respond to each other by deploying new contingents and military equipment closer and closer to the NATO-Russian border.
The Baltic States have become such a border.
Moscow has placed Iskander-M launchers in Kaliningrad. The Russian Iskander is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and has never been made available to any foreign army for operational use. The weapon affords Russia the ability to use its Baltic exclave to threaten US missile ...
A hegemonic power never says sorry.
Three recent episodes underscore this truism.
When US President Barack Obama offered a floral wreath at the cenotaph of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on 27 May 2016, some peace advocates in the United States, in Japan and in other parts of the world hoped against hope that he would say “sorry” for the Atom bomb that the then US President, Harry Truman, had ordered to be dropped over Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945. The deadly bomb claimed 140,000 lives. Three days later a second Atom bomb destroyed the city of Nagasaki killing another 80,000.
There is a view advanced by a number of scholars and activists that based upon documentary analysis Japan had already indicated to the US Military Command in the Pacific a couple of months before 6th August that it was prepared to surrender if there were some safeguards for the position ...
Israeli Military General Compares Israel To Nazi Germany At Holocaust Remembrance Day Event
The Dirty Role Of The West In Syria
A Serb View Of Partnership Action Plan With NATO
In Latin America, The Empire Strikes Back
Financial Times Finally Prints The Unvarnished Truth: Kiev Is The Violent Aggressor In East Ukraine
Mosul, Iraq and Obama’s Legacy of War
America’s Worst President Ever
Appeal from U.S. to World: Help Us Resist U.S. Crimes
Chomsky on US: ‘This is a very racist society’
US Imperialism And The New Race To The Arctic
Hillary Clinton’s Project For A New American Century
The Collapse of the European Union: Return to National Sovereignty and to Happy Europeans?
Kosovo’s mafia: How the US and allies ignore organized crime
David Cameron, The British Empire And The Issue Of Slavery
The Ultimate War Crime: America’s “Global War On Terrorism”
Imperialism And The Politics Of Torture: Towards A Global Secret Police Force
Nuclear weapons in Lithuania: Defence against Russia or target for terrorists?
Hiroshima, Vietnam, Cuba: A Hegemonic Power Never Says Sorry…