By Patrice Greanville, The Greanville Post
Utter contempt is amply justified when it comes to those who knowingly lie in the service of war and global imperialism. In this regard, the leading players in the Western media–from owners to top executives and leading editors and figures on camera, especially in America, deserve to be hauled before a Nuremberg-class tribunal for crimes against humanity, right along with the other warmongers in government and the Congress.
Wars do not happen accidentally. “Peoples” by the millions do not spontaneously combust and march across another nation’s frontiers in search of conquest and blood. Such enterprises require leaders, and usually, especially in the age of nominal democracy, “the consent and willful participation of the masses.” That means those who will do the most killing and the most dying.
All of this requires plenty of propaganda, and the chauvinist pump has to be primed over and over again. Humans are no angels. In fact a case could be made that they’re–from nature’s viewpoint–exactly the opposite. But the reluctance to kill –at least fellow humans–appears hardwired. Thus, as leaders of all stripes have learned since time immemorial, and all drill instructors know so well, it has to be overcome.
Jingoism to the rescue
The people need to be whipped into frenzies. The demonization of the enemy must be carried out with zeal, leaving few or no doubts in the minds of the majority. People need to be taught to hate and fear. In this regard, tribal sanctimony and clannishness is a splendid tool that rarely disappoints. Love of tribe—facilitated by propaganda— trumps loftier visions of a humanity united in peace, egalitarianism, and mutual respect just about every time. (Narrow tribalism can be shed, alright, but it won’t be as long as powerful elites profit from a debased status quo in which mediocrity and the lowest instincts are abetted among the masses instead of challenged.)
The biggest test of this was the Great War. On the eve of the First World War, in the early 1900s, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the leading force in the international labour movement. Socialists in general had as standing policy a refusal to support or participate in what they defined (correctly) as bourgeois or imperialist war. But as the winds of war began to blow ever harder, and the press raised the pressure on the pacifist-workerist camp, fissures began to show up in their ranks, eventually splitting the SPD into two factions: a majority faction that joined the war party with Haase, one of the leaders proclaiming, “We will not let the fatherland alone in the hour of need!”, and a second faction which eventually would become the Spartacus League, led by the legendary Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht (both murdered at the end of the war with the connivance of the reigning SPD by the rightwing Freikorps).
Prevented from speaking in the Reichtag, which was his right as a deputy, and despite immense obstacles and intimidation, Liebknecht was able to produce and circulate a leaflet explaining his opposition to the war:
“The present war was not willed by any of the nations participating in it and it is not waged in the interest of the Germans or any other people. It is an imperialist war, a war for capitalist control of the world market, for the political domination of huge territories and to give scope to industrial and banking capital.”
He was absolutely correct, of course, but the chauvinist noise, in which the press, as usual, played a key role, drowned out his wise words, and, as it is, sealed his fate.
Nothing much has changed since that awful period, which would eventually spawn a second war and Nazism itself, but in our time the American propaganda system (aka “the Free Press”) presents humanity with a much more difficult challenge since it is infinitely stronger and far more hypocritical. Thus, the perfidy of the bourgeois media—loyal servitors of their capitalist masters—continues unabated.
In this context, let us remember that the process of indoctrination for young journalists, of fitting into the propaganda machine, of doing things unquestioningly “as professional journalists do”– begins early, not just with the all-enveloping self-flattering myths that penetrate the mind of most Americans almost as soon as they draw breath, but with the nation’s “Journalism Schools”– ever more interested in having their graduates join the existing scandalously manipulative apparatus of misinformation than in resisting and exposing it. In a word, careerism always wins. It’s not too surprising, then, that as our colleague Stephen Lendman has said with his usual uncompromising precision,
When America goes to war or plans one, media scoundrels march in lockstep. Journalism is the first casualty. Managed news misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure. Cheerleading propaganda is relentless. Readers and viewers are betrayed. Imperial wars are called liberating ones. Separating fact from fiction is challenging. Only replacing independent regimes with pro-Western puppet ones matters. Media scoundrels support it. Blood on their hands doesn’t deter them. Steady income eases conscience pangs. Soul-selling pays well. (Stepped Up Media War on Syria, The Greanville Post, 6.10.12)
Lendman is far from exaggerating, although we wish he were. Consider this item, picked at random from a crowded field, all spouting similar notions:
The world according to NBC: “SYRIANS SAY: ‘WE NEED INTERVENTION!’”
Source: NBC News
NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin visits Zabadani, Syria, a once beautiful snowcapped resort town that has been deeply scarred by the recent military crackdown and speaks with members of the anti-regime Free Syria Army. (Nightly News)
How convenient! What could be clearer? “They” want us to intervene! But who are these people? For all we know they could be actors some place in the Middle East or in a backlot in the Hollywood hills. America, of all nations, with a highly sophisticated hyperdeveloped movie/entertainment industry, is supremely well positioned to undertake this kind of shenanigan. Their faces covered, standing in chaotic surroundings amid piles of spent cartridges that anyone can produce (and which 99% could not identify anyhow)…the obliging victims cry for an avenging angel…will Washington listen? The tragedy here is that even if the victims of this outrage are genuine, which probably are, the context is not, for the unending warfare that is destroying their lives has been injected from outside, by the avenging angel itself.
The false flag flies again
The truth is elusive these days, more so than at any other period in modern history because we live in an Orwellian world. If those who committed atrocities such as Houla were supporters of president Assad, what’s the evidence? Only the rebels’ claims, their say-so. Or Western media reporters. Meanwhile, we KNOW that the “Free Syrian Army” —the “freedom fighters du jour”—includes al-Qaeda members, assorted mercenaries paid by the corrupt and utterly reactionary Gulf kingdoms and the CIA, and many of the brutal “Libyan freedom fighters” who, after “liberating” Libya with the help of the West, wasted little time in committing all manner of hideous human rights abuses with nary a protest by the same Western media now so smugly fixated on badmouthing Assad. Indeed, the real value of these “surplus” peripatetic Libyan rebels is now as a force for “destabilizing” the remaining regimes that fail to bow to Washington’s commands. When it comes to bending history one’s way or convincing the obdurate, a willing murderer’s skills are always in high demand in certain respectable quarters.
I am hardly original in reminding readers (it’s been said by far more prominent voices than mine) that such foul deeds can very well be —indeed all signs suggest they are—part of a false flag campaign to besmirch the reputation of the Syrian government. So why doesn’t the media even contemplate such a high probability? In all death penalty cases—which is what Assad and his regime are facing—American law dictates (out of minimum decency) a belief “beyond reasonable doubt” before finding someone guilty. We know that Western intelligence services, in association with the Mossad, and other allied operatives, have conducted false flags operations in numerous places. And that the jackals are out in full force.
It doesn’t take an investigative journalist to dig this up: it’s a matter of record. Indeed the US/NATO alliance created a formal subterranean network (GLADIO) decades ago (Google it!), to carry out expressly such a program–”strategy of tension” they call it. Murdering civilians (who have no tactical or strategic value to Assad’s defenses) is a classical propaganda maneuver with the fingerprints of a false flag op stamped all over the place. Object is, as usual, to create turmoil and “assassinate” the image of a leader or regime so as to make it easier to murder him later in actuality with the aid of US weapons and soldiers while getting the perennially fooled American public to cheer another show of “selfless humanitarianism” on our part.
As things stand, get ready for more engineered carnage in Syria and more sanctimonious crap from the media and the top politicians in the land. The “smart” insider money is already on a successful regime change. So bet your last shekel that after the election Obama (or Romney) will proudly and solemnly “explain” why we need to march into Syria. That Assad’s number is up. That the patience of a decent, forgiving humanity is now exhausted.
Ah, poor peace-loving, crusading America. Always dragged into dreadful conflicts against its will!
If you haven’t seen this squalid movie before you’re really not paying attention.-
P. Greanville is The Greanville Post Editor in Chief. In the 1980s he also published Cyrano’s Journal, the first radical media review in the United States.