The ISIS attack: Reporting the news from within the exceptionalist Bubble

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How a probable false flag gets reported through exceptionalist and highly opportunistic lenses


Living inside the exceptionalist Bubble, everything reported in the US is seen through its self-righteous and hypocritical lenses. The clamor about four Americans recently killed in Syria reeks of infantile petulance: what do you expect when you send soldiers into battle zones? Some professions have built-in risks. Ask any firefighter. Yet this response—used, as noted elsewhere, to make Trump walk back his promise to get the US troops out of Syria—is only too typical of American discourse. The ugly fact is that for a variety of reasons, none too healthy or honorable, the American people have been conditioned to believe in fighting endless wars with practically no casualties, or a ratio of losses so absurdly small when compared to the enemy’s that every casualty is mourned indignantly, as if the targets of American meddling had no right to inflict any punishment on our legions.

This was already seen in Vietnam, when the casualty ratio was already absurdly low (roughly 250:1 or higher), though still significant enough to send chills down the spine of many youths facing a vacation in Indochina courtesy of Uncle Sam. In 1970, long before Nick Turse gave us his withering account of the Pentagon’s sociopathic approach to the Vietnam conflict (Kill Anything That Moves), which unleashed utter savagery on that nation, Philip Slater, a sociologist at Brandeis University, produced an extraordinary book, The Pursuit of Loneliness. (1) While the book was not solely concerned with Vietnam, per se, being a wide-ranging critique of American society, Slater focused on many aspects of that war, including the reigning mentality among the US military. Speaking of the American air war, where the US enjoyed practically uncontested dominion, a passage struck me as memorable and eminently quotable:

Pilots learn their trade in the Delta, where there are no trees for the peasants to hide under, and no anti-aircraft fire. It is so safe for Americans that one pilot  described it as “a rabbit shoot.”

American pilots were most anxious to bomb North Vietnam until they had actually experienced ground fire, at which point their motivation lessened markedly. It became difficult, in fact, to man these missions. According to [author Frank] Harvey, the Tactical Air Command in Vietnam loses a squadron of pilots a month for noncombat reasons. Killing in a dubious war is apparently much more palatable than getting killed, and Americans are not used to fighting with anything approaching equal odds. (Imagine our outrage if the North Vietnamese bombed us back).  In the Delta, pilots seem surprised and almost indignant when their massive weaponry is countered with small-arms fire. One pilot, asked if he had killed anyone on a mission, replied:  “Yeah—thirty, maybe forty…Those little mothers were shooting back today, though.”  We are reminded of the old French chestnut:


Cet animal est trés méchant,
Quand on l’attaque, il se défend.


As Crichton points out, Americans have become so accustomed to what Harvey estimates as 1000 to 1 firepower odds, that they come to feel it is their inherent right to kill people without retaliation.


Jeremiads on cue: “Single Worst loss of American life..!”

Hypervaluation of American lives is a deeply held national conceit, so pervasive that few notice it and nobody questions, exploited by politicians for the benefit of the ruling class they serve to incite more innocent souls to enlist in what is in reality vastly immoral undertakings.

This is the cultural backdrop in which these shouts to continue meddling in Syria must be weighed. From the start, narcissism, so deliberately cultivated, has served the ruling class well in their imperial project. And so it does again in this case, even if it is only one of the pseudo rationales being used to push American policy toward further interference in the sovereign affairs of this heroic nation.

You have heard this before in these pages, but let”s state it again for the record: As Caitlin Johnstone points out, the media noise about the most recent ISIS attack, supposedly targeting Americans, is totally suspect. Everything in these media reports reeks of mendacity and tendentiousness, the obvious purpose being to convince the American people of the need to “stay in Syria” and the Middle East indefinitely. And the attack carries an immediate political payoff: It provides more ammo for those criticizing Trump for his decision to withdraw from that tortured country.  Not surprising then that the presstitutes and warmongers —connected with the Neocon-dominated Deep State and its allies in the Democrat party and media—seem positively elated, literally gloating on the embarrassment the ISIS attack can cause the administration.


Peace threat: media to the rescue

To press their case, this fetid and rather crowded lot, in which CBS Margaret Brennan is a sure standout (see video below), makes a great deal of the American loss of life (microscopic by the war’s and historical standards), and the supposed nervousness of “our allies”, an old Pentagon line, those poor waifs who are always being betrayed by the politicians capriciousness. Boo hoo. Boo hoo.

Of course nothing is said about who these perennially nervous “allies” are. It would help if the normally clueless Americans could hear that these knights on white chargers are corrupt, eager and hypocritical accomplices in imperialist crimes (Britain a very good example), when not outright barbaric regimes worthy of obliteration themselves (Saudis). In other words, as is by now customary, the attack —quite probably a very convenient coincidence for the war-obsessed Neocons or an outright false flag worked on by our intel boys or their counterparts among the regional powers (chief suspects Israel and Turkey)— is presented here by the presstitutes devoid of historical context. And the shamefully uniform coverage reminds us, again, that while the American media are large in “numerosity” (thousands of media outlets: newspapers, radio and tv stations, and other types of media) they offer no diversity of content or viewpoint, the trademark of a totalitarian system.  The upshot is informational chaos and general confusion. It hardly needs stating that ABC News and CBS, while privately owned, are all, like NBC, Fox, etc., active collaborators with the Deep State. Outfits like VOA are directly funded by the Deep State. To test my assertion, try and find just a single instance in this enormous assembly of mainstream media someone saying, in plain English, the way Caitlin does in this report, the following:


“Of course, this whole debate ignores the most obvious point of all: that if there was no US military presence in Syria, there would be no US military personnel being killed in Syria. The fight against the terrorist forces who nearly overtook the nation with the help of the western power alliance’s imperialist support have been beaten to the brink of total defeat not by the US, but by the Syrian government and its allies. If US troops were removed Damascus would quickly restore stability to the region and continue rebuilding the war-ravaged nation. But this is precisely what these war whores do not want.”  (Caitlin Johnstone, War Whores Scramble To Say Syria Attack Means Troops Must Remain, 1.16.19)


1 ABC News


2 CBS


3 CBS


4 VOA

About the author
Patrice Greanville is editor in chief and founding editor of The Greanville Post. Publisher of the first US radical media review, Cyrano’s Journal, he has been fighting corporate lies and confusion for almost five decades, and the job keeps getting worse.


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