By Mark Taliano
In the 21 st century, we’re constantly being bombarded with information from a myriad of sources, including the internet, but in many respects, we actually know less.
In matters of war and peace, disinformation campaigns have effectively blinded us to realities on the ground, as permanent war destabilizes countries and murders multitudes throughout the world.
Waving fraudulent banners of democracy, freedom, stabilization, humanitarian bombing, self-defence, and any number of other lies, illegal wars of aggression are being waged and international rules of law and order have been reduced to insignificance.
A multitude of lies and false pretexts were used to justify the on-going horrors of the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, and yet for the most part North Americans, oblivious to the realities on the ground, seem to have forgiven the powers that waged these wars.
And yet similar strategies to manipulate the masses have been repeated successfully as precursors to wars in Libya, Syria, Palestine, and Ukraine.
The lies and crimes of empire mask the real objectives – apart from the strategic ones — that impoverish most as the few are enriched. As with the destruction of Iraq and its peoples, war profiteering is foundational to all invasions but there are other material benefits as well: Gas resources and land grabs are behind the invasion of Palestine; fracking and IMF profiteering in Ukraine, pipelines in Afghanistan, oil in Iraq and Libya.
Strategies used to mask the crimes are consistently accepted by most people since those who wage the wars or benefit from the wars compromise the same polities that control the messaging. There is a great deal of overlap between those who serve on the boards of directors of the media monopolies and those who serve on the boards of corporate monopolies, including the military-industrial complex. New “complexes” are also emerging, not the least of which is the military-pop-cultural-complex.
Author Naomi Wolf argues in “Katy Perry and the military-pop-cultural complex,” that Hollywood is yet another branch of War Inc. It too serves the important goal of manipulating the public mindset into accepting warmongering.
Most recently, another perceived threat has emerged — The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) — and all of the familiar strategies are rolling in to manufacture public consent for yet another war.
Dr. Anthony Hall, Professor of Globalization Studies at University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, argues in “All Party Agreement in Canada on War with ISIL” that “ISIL incorporates many of the same people that the Canadian government recently helped and lauded in overthrowing the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and in the unsuccessful attempt to implement regime change in Syria. Now ISIL is being set up to justify a major military intervention on the expanding eastern frontiers of so-called ‘Greater Israel.’”
ISIL is likely the most recent incarnation of al Qaeda — a western manufactured proxy force — that will serve the criminal aspirations of empire. It, like al Qaeda, is being branded as the enemy, and it will serve as a pretext for western imperialism. After all, if ISIS is in Syria, then Syria can be bombed. If Isis is in Iraq, then Iraq can be bombed. And the public will embrace, yet again, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The “wretched of the earth” – the multitudes being slaughtered and displaced — will remain out of sight and out of mind.
Some of the strategies currently being employed to brand ISIS as the next threat worthy to be eradicated from the face of the earth, involve the usual suspects, but the “usual suspects” now have an unusual amount of space to ply their trade.
The National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) is the most recent addition to the arsenal of those employed to manipulate the masses. According to Max Keiser in “First time since 1948, propaganda is now legal in the U.S,” it “legalize(s) covert infiltration of media organizations by government agents and even the creation of media outlets that legally operate entirely as government fronts.”
Non-state actors, in collusion with the U.S government, can now legally plant disinformation into corporate news messaging to manipulate citizens. A recent screenshot of a video — depicting the beheading of Steven Sotloff— is a case in point.
An investigation conducted by Naomi Wolf’s citizen’s journalism Facebook page uncovered some important facts:
A private intelligence contractor called “Search for International Terrorist Entities” (SITE) is the source of the image. Furthermore, according to journalist James F. Tracy in “Sotloff Family Spokesman Is Media Pundit,”
“One of SITE’s founders, Rita Katz, is a government insider with close connections to former terrorism czar Richard Clarke and his staff in the White House, as well as investigators in the Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security, according to SourceWatch. Her father was executed in Iraq as an Israel spy, a fact that suggests a connection to Israeli intelligence.”
Clearly there appears to be a conflict of interest here. SITE, in collusion with the White House, is providing possibly fraudulent images to manipulate the collective mindset of the public, and to further a war agenda.
The apparent collusion between SITE, the US government, and the New York Times, is emblematic of (legal) government power to subvert and control populations for the benefit of the few, and the catastrophic detriment of the multitudes.
Now, more than ever, we cannot accept corporate government messaging with an uncritical eye.
Today’s abundance of information — and disinformation —- does not necessarily translate into an abundance of knowledge, or wisdom.
Mark Taliano is a Niagara, Ontario resident and regular contributor of news and analysis to Niagara At Large.
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