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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY NATALIE NOUGAYREDE IN THE GUARDIAN

I am one of those people who appreciates dependability and tradition.

And Natalie Nougayréde never disappoints.

Reading her has much in common with having a hamburger at McDonalds with its consistent mushy, gummy texture and almost no meat.

This woman’s entire output of writing, without a single exception I’ve seen, may be summed up with one word, propaganda.

It is propaganda slightly dressed up as thought, wordy as though thoughtful, with a few foreign words or phrases thrown in as light spicing, but it is always predictable with a clear and non-analytical purpose running through it.

Invariably, authors who use the term, “conspiracy theories,” as she does here, are doing propaganda, not writing.

Its use by any columnist should be an instant red flag, almost like someone using racial slurs.

Only an extremely naive person believes that where there is great power and large stakes in events, there is no great dishonesty and secret manipulation. It happens to be that in America’s empire today we find the greatest power and the largest stakes ever in history. Does any reasonable person not believe there then will be dishonesty and secrets in government beyond what we find in most places?

People in the West have been lied to a very great number of times around manipulated events. Remember Tony Blair?

You’ve only to review current events in this paper to find continuing examples – e.g., what Saudi Arabia is doing, what Turkey is doing, what Israel is doing, and the American government’s public version of each and of its role in each?

We have so many parts of our experience which have been deliberately created by people with an agenda, from the mess in Libya, a once well-run state reduced to chaos to the rump state of Iraq, once the most advanced country in the Arab world, from an absolute monarch in Saudi Arabia who bombs children and hospitals in Yemen without ever being covered by the press to a brutal government in Israel whose ghastly treatment of people in Gaza is ignored deliberately by our press.

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All these matters actually have nothing to do, as the writer asserts, with extreme right or extreme left.

They are simply manipulated realities influencing and coloring our world, and every group in the body politic has its own reaction to them.

Virtually no one – in any supposedly democratic state such as Britain, France, or America – votes in elections for secret and manipulative policies and acts. Nor are they honestly asked to do so.

The very fact that the governments people elect go ahead with such dishonest and destructive stuff, lying all the way along, is one excellent measure of just how weak our democratic values and institutions are in the West.

We in fact live in thinly-disguised aristocracies with carefully-arranged systems of conducting big theater productions we call elections.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Britain with the new leader of the Labour Party, a genuinely decent man, under continuous attack by newspapers, retired politicians, and columnists.

He is despised simply for not voting to join bombing of a country already under terrible, artificially-created terror, all paid for by leaders in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and America.

Not one Britain in ten likely understands what has been happening in Syria, it is such a tangle of lies and manipulation – all by governments, except of course Mr. Cameron’s good friend King Salman, supposedly elected in democratic systems.

Likely not one Britain in ten voted to support the killing of women and children, the destruction of hospitals and power plants, but that is what their “elected” government goes ahead with.

Most British people undoubtedly would like to see a government which does not support the bloody tyranny of Saudi Arabia or the dirty, secretive killing of Turkey or the literal horrors Israel imposes on Gaza, but is that what their votes get them?

No, quite the opposite. Were a government such as David Cameron’s to run an honest election – stating just what they support and favor in this international menu of horrors – they simply could not be elected, despite the influence of money and a very biased press.

The inevitable results of this failed form of democracy with all its dishonesty and manipulation actually are what the Natalie Nougayrédes of this world are writing about.

They are in fact defending a very undemocratic style of government with regular and great injustices imposed upon others.

No, the problem is not “conspiracy theories” – whatever those might be – and it is not extremists, except for the extremists holding office right now who suppress others, interfere in lives, and frequently kill – all while claiming democratic legitimacy.

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