"The term “propaganda,”...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."...
1/9/17, "The ‘Post-Truth’ Mainstream Media," Nicolas J S Davies, Consortium News
"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
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....
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....
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
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."...
"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." image above via Consortium News
Monday, January 9, 2017
Mainstream media continues to threaten existence of life on Earth by eagerly selling aggressive and slanderous accusations about Russia on behalf of war-loving US political establishment which exists only via its access to US taxpayer dollars. Russia (not ISIS) is now surrounded with missile batteries, nuclear-armed subs, Aegis missile destroyers, military bases and exercises on a grand scale-Nicolas Davies, Consortium News, 1/9/17
Posted by susan at 10:38 PM