Friday, March 02, 2012

piercing the propaganda: a pure play for primate primacy?

MediaLens | What would it take for journalists to seriously challenge government propaganda? A war with over one million dead, four million refugees, a country’s infrastructure shattered, and the increased threat of retail ‘terror’ in response to the West’s wholesale ‘terror’? How horrifying do even very recent experiences have to be, how great the war crimes, before media professionals begin to exhibit scepticism towards Western governments’ hyping of yet another ‘threat’. Why is warmongering the default mode for the corporate media?

On Channel 4 News, the famed ‘pinko-liberal’ news presenter Jon ‘Six Pilgers’ Snow intoned ominously:

‘It is still not a nuclear weapon, but an upgrading of Iran’s capacity to enrich uranium ostensibly for its nuclear power plant.’ (C4 News headlines, February 15, 2012)

‘Still’ not a nuclear weapon - not yet? - but the primary focus is absolutely on an alleged military threat that does not actually exist. Foreign correspondent Jonathan Miller added:

‘This development does not bring Iran any closer to building a bomb… But if Tehran is trying to convince the world that its purpose is peaceful, no-one’s buying it...' (C4 News, ‘Iran reveals its latest step in nuclear arms’, February 15, 2012)

That is not quite true, as we will see below. Miller added:

'This may look like the set of a 70s Bond movie, but this is the Natanz reactor…’

The reference is telling - much media reporting does seem to be inspired by a Bond movie vision of the world. Token balance was provided:

‘There’s no evidence that Iran is intending to construct a nuclear weapon.’

This put Snow’s opening comment in perspective. A more accurate version would have been: ‘It is still not evidence that Iran has plans to build a nuclear weapon.’

Instead, the required propaganda pitch was clear. Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was defiantly sticking ‘two fingers up to the UN and a hostile world’. As ever, it is 'us' (the 'world') versus 'them'. Miller continued:

‘The 74 million people of the Islamic republic are paying a high price for their leader’s defiance.’

As in Iraq, the Bad Guys, not the West, are responsible for any suffering caused. No question that Israel, the US and its allies bear any responsibility for the tension, or the lethal effects of sanctions.


nomad said...

"Use your leadership!," a woman yelled at Obama. "No war in Iran!" "Nobody has announced a war, young lady," Obama responded.
Please, can't you guys at least wait till the war is started before you start complaining?

nomad said...

Doubletake: "no one has ANNOUNCED the war"

CNu said...

Is the video of this exchange available somewheres you can share?

At the end of the day, it's all about extractive access to and control of that ~120 billion barrel reserve of sweet, light crude, but what do you think about Telhami's "pecking order"/"street cred" take on what's going down in the middle-east at this very moment.

nanakwame said...

For Le Quotidien d’Oran, K. Selim writes in part:


Within the long article written by Vladimir Putin which defines
the foreign policy of Russia, he outlines another more “classical” vision for
Iraq, Libya and respect for the rules of international law – which have all
been challenged by Western strategy. Some might point out that Putin speaks as
a man of the KGB, and they aren’t wrong, provided that they don’t forget: the
services in the other camp also “talk,” and in a much more effective and far
more devious way.


Westerners haven’t suddenly become champions of humanism in our
region; they defend their positions and attempt to conquer others. Cynically,
one could say they do so according to their interest alone. The issue of freedoms
and rights – a cosmetic pretext – is totally secondary. Vladimir Putin
expresses clearly that Russia has interests to defend. Even if the country was
rolled on Libya, it doesn’t intend to fall for the same trick in Syria or
elsewhere. Putin is above all defending his nation’s status as a respected
nationalist and “anti-imperialist” power.


Some analysts have spoken, thanks to the Russia-China veto of U.N.
plans to intervene in Syria, about a return to the Cold War. Viewed from Russia
House Рto borrow the title of the popular John Le Carr̩ novel Рthis Cold War
is fueled by the expansion of NATO and coupled with the desire to limit
Russia’s influence in international affairs
And this nation is looking serious at energy

nanakwame said...

nomad said...

March 01, 2011 - A supporter at fundraiser urged President Barack Obama to avoid a war with Iran over its disputed nuclear program. "Nobody has announced a war," Obama cautioned. "You're jumping the gun a little bit." (March 1) 

LOL at that last line too.

nomad said...

I'm not familiar with  Brookings. But from what I see in WikiP, it certainly makes sense. And, of course you know I think Obie is a CIA creation.

CNu said...

 What makes you think so?

The short version

nomad said...

A combination of things. The first. The near impossible happened in the US of Aryanica. A black man POTUS. Mission Impossible. Accomplished by whom? Affirmative action. No, a powerful cabal. What cabal? Well, out of what social milieu does Obama emerge? The fruit doesn't fall far from the family tree. And his modus operandus: deception and secrecy (cloak and daggers). And qui bono? Isn't he the ideal person to conduct secret warfare and extrajudicial assassinations? The CIA couldn't ask for a better president. And, of course they were the ones in charge of vetting this mysterious person. They are the ones who are experts at falsifying documents and providing operatives with convincing cover stories. That's where the arrows point. 

Thanks for the links.

Dale Asberry said...

Is it actually possible that all the nonsense about the big O's legal documentation by the klowns on the right may actually be real political cointel? Someone in covert ops spilled the secret only for the righties to fubar it up royally? Lol

nomad said...

I know! And ain't it strange that Breitbart drops dead the day before he was to spill some more beans on the subject. Couriouser and couriouser.

CNu said...

lol, stop playing...,

Breitbart dead cause Gawd don't like ugly - and - he was a non-compliant hypertensive cardiac disease patient - had nothing whatsoever to do with Obamamandius. You lads give much too much credit to the CIA, which after all, is only the military component of the State Department. It's the revolving doors of the state department to which you must turn to see the ins-and-outs of various elites into the apparatus of governance. As noted in the Tarpley short piece on Obama and Patrick;

They were already busily scheming to
find ways to use this next political upsurge to further their favorite
cause, that of totalitarian government in the United States. Huntington
wrote in his American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony (1981):

If the periodicity of the past
prevails, a major sustained creedal
passion period will occur in the second and third decades of the
twenty-first century ... the oscillations among the responses could
intensify in such a way as to threaten to destroy both ideals and
institutions. Yet the continued presence of deeply felt moralistic
sentiments among major groups in American society could continue to
ensure weak and divided government, devoid of authority and unable to
deal satisfactorily with the economic,
social and foreign challenges confronting the nation. Intensification
of this conflict between history and progress could give rise to
increasing frustration and increasingly violent
oscillations between moralism and cynicism. This situation could lead
to a two-phase dialectic involving intensified efforts to reform
government, followed by intensified frustration when those efforts
produce not progress in a liberal-democratic direction, but obstacles to
meeting perceived functional needs. The weakening of government in an
effort to reform it could lead
eventually to strong demands for the replacement of the
weakened and ineffective institutions by more authoritarian
structures more effectively designed to meet historical needs. Given
the perversity of reform, moralistic extremism in the pursuit of liberal
democracy could generate a strong tide toward authoritarian efficiency.
(p. 232)

CNu said...

The money-bags don't receive commissions to analyst and field-hand roles in the CIA, they get appointed to ambassadorships and commerce roles better suited to their high-level relationship management knowledge, skill, and abilities. Which is how you have the emergence of such entities as Brookings and the Council on Foreign Relations, etc.., and a free ebb and flow between academia and elites and certain executive level departments of government.

THAT'S where all the high-level scripting of operations takes place, in many regards, just like in a Hollywood movie. THAT'S where your Kissingers, Brehzinski's and other deep state operatives come into lifelong play as functionaries and go-betweens for the real rulers of America and the paper-hat wearing gofers and operations management personnel in government.

nomad said...

The money-bags don't receive commissions to analyst and field-hand roles in the CIA, they get appointed to ambassadorships and commerce roles better suited to their high-level relationship management knowledge, skill, and abilities."  They give the orders, no doubt. The Praetorian class (the CIA, POTUS and the like) carry them out. The CIA, I would think, executes the will of the moneybags, taking rather giving commissions. Mr. Phelphs never sets the agenda. He just carries out whatever is assigned him on that Mission Impossible tape. Which pf course self-destructs right after he is given his disavowable mission.

nomad said...

taking rather than giving commissions

CNu said...

The establishment's historian

{until I read a more engaging imaginary account, I like to believe that Robert Ludlum did the best job here-to-date providing a fictionalized snapshot of what it's all about in his Bourne trilogy - including making Jason Bourne a collateral casualty of intrigues and psychopathocracy during the Vietnam war. All of that contextualizing richness is left out of the Bourne movies, the Mission Impossible movies, and only very glancingly hinted at in older selected James Bond movies - a most interesting oversight wouldn't you say?}

nomad said...

Very interesting. I haven't followed that genre, in either novels or movies, since the Connery era. I haven't seen the Bournes, the Mission Impossibles. I did see one of the Bonds. A forgetable movie. I suspect that these movies neglect those contextualizations that place the agencies on our side in an unfavorable light. 

Makheru Bradley said...

Isn't he the ideal person to conduct secret warfare and extrajudicial assassinations?
As I said from the very beginning--The Perfect Proxy. 

"We are leading again by the power of moral example." Yeah right, as in Libya. 

CNu said...

The whole business of extra-judicial killings places the agencies in an unfavorable light, and the genre not only takes that activity for granted - it celebrates it and depicts it as "cool".

No, it's the specific truth of the matter that the agencies subserve - and even exist to subserve - specific elite agendas outside "national" security - that's never, ever depicted.

nomad said...

"The whole business of extra-judicial killings places the agencies in an unfavorable light"Not at all. You even say so in the same sentence. It's cool. Killing is cool. That's the mass drawing card of the theatre. A license to cheer killers. Killing made cool. By the precept that "we" are the good guys. Yes we killed them. "But they were all bad."

But I totally agree with this
"that the agencies subserve - and even exist to subserve - specific elite agendas outside "national" security - that's never, ever depicted."

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