Archive for the ‘PROPAGANDA’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HOW WORDS ARE USED IN OUR NEWS SOURCES TO GIVE IMPRESSIONS THAT MAY NOT BE ACCURATE – A NOTE ON THE PERNICIOUS AND WIDESPREAD PRACTICE OF “FACT CHECKING”   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY THOMAS DAIGLE ON CBC NEWS

 

“Toronto-based fact-checking site tries to loosen Iranian regime’s grip on the truth

“FactNameh purports to reach 1 million Iranians”

 

“Iranian regime”? Why are you using that term?

It is the Iranian government.

Its president is elected. Very much so. The Leader is not, but he serves a role similar to the British Queen in many ways.

Use of the word “regime” in any news source is always a signal that what follows is propaganda.

Please note that you do not use the term “Saudi regime” despite its being a genuine tyranny. Nor do you call the British government serving the unelected Elizabeth II a regime.

Poor work, CBC, but then you’ve been rather active in promoting America’s line on Iran, the line our Prime Minister embraces and promotes. A Prime Minister, by the way, elected by just less than one-third of voters.

And note the claim of reaching one million Iranians, even if true, is actually a pretty small one. That’s slightly more than one-percent of the population of the country.

I’ll add the thought that the term “fact checking,” used virtually anywhere in media is an inappropriate claim. It not only often represents pretensions by people not qualified by their hard knowledge, but more generally it represents a mechanism for persuasion – that is to say, propaganda.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISRAEL’S WEEK-LONG PASSOVER MASSACRE – VICTIM TOTAL IS STILL RISING – ISRAEL’S BRIEF HISTORY PROVES ONLY WHAT A GHASTLY FAILURE YOU GET WHEN YOU MADLY PURSUE THE WRONG OBJECTIVES   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Three dead and hundreds injured as protests on Gaza border turn violent

Total killed now stands at 41 since unrest started in March”

 

A ridiculous headline because of its ambiguity.

From the start, Israel’s response has been violence, extreme violence.

The protests are noisy and unpleasant, but they have not really “turned violent.”

The demonstrators are unarmed, but Israeli snipers keep shooting batches of them, killing, among others, two well-marked journalists and some children. Something in the neighborhood of a thousand have received wounds from guns.

Israel’s only real purpose here is not in protecting itself from violence but to make the demonstrators feel the utter futility of their efforts, to demonstrate, yet again, Israel’s overwhelming military strength and its readiness to kill on very little provocation and without compunction.

It’s all stuff we knew, but this brutal state never tires of showing us again.

This week-long event is only rightly termed the Passover Massacre.

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Response to a comment, “Israel was established largely to provide a safe haven for oppressed Jewish people”:

Yes, as to why, in part, Israel was re-created, but the great tragedy of it is that it was always something of an unrealistic project, bound to be a moral and ethical failure in the face of millions of Palestinians whose towns and farms were stolen as well as the notion that Israel must have only one kind of people. I know there are a fair number of non-Jewish citizens, but their presence was an accident of 1948, and important Israeli leaders do not regard them as either desirable or permanent. More than a few have advocated their expulsion.

As for the many more Palestinians in the occupied territories, they aren’t going anywhere, no matter what horrors Israel inflicts on them. And just where would they go anyway? Who in the region is offering to take millions of refugees? Who anywhere is ready to take millions of refugees? The United States, whose grotesquely unbalanced support of Israel prevents a decent solution, isn’t ready to take even a limited number of refugees from its own bombing campaigns in places like Libya and Syria.

General Dayan, back in the days of the 1967 War, said Israel would have to make the Palestinians miserable enough to want to leave. And that’s just what Israel has never stopped working toward, just with highs and lows in the harshness of the effort. But they are not leaving. The ugly sniper killings plus countless other incidents show Israel’s violent frustration with this reality.

In a way, the demonstrations and Israel’s extreme brutality towards them hide something far larger and more fundamental and ongoing: conditions in Gaza, home to 1.5 million, are approaching the level of not being able to sustain human life, and that’s entirely Israel’s doing, its deliberate and immoral doing.

It is stunning that the world can sit back and watch this all happening. Virtually all of our Western press and politicians just shut their eyes. And even the press that does cover it in the smallest degree, often uses euphemisms to describe things.

It is simply the greatest single shame on earth at this time.

The men who lead Israel seem to have learned, from the suffering of their European ancestors under the Nazis, only how to be extremely brutal and vile themselves.

 

 

NOTE: While the deaths in Gaza appear to be reasonably consistently reported, the wounded are not. It is difficult to get a fix on the number, which, in any case is very high. Looking at different sources, one finds different numbers. The UN, in its latest rather ineffectual call for an end to the violence, cited more than 5,500 having been injured by gunshots.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HARD TO IMAGINE A GROWN INTELLIGENT PERSON WHO REGARDS THE PRESS AS IMPARTIAL – AND FOR THE SIMPLE REASON IT IS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY OWEN JONES IN THE GUARDIAN

“We can no longer pretend the British press is impartial”

Well, Mr. Owen Jones, I can’t imagine who it is that you are addressing.

No well-read person, at least one with fully-operating critical faculties, has ever pretended that the press is impartial.

Bias and various kinds of favoritism and propaganda have been with us for as long as the press has existed.

Indeed, in the 18th century, early political parties started their own newspapers, or formed alliances with existing ones, precisely to get across their views of things.

One of the oldest tools of outfits like the old Nazi Party or the Soviet Communist Party was to create newspapers tailored to their propaganda needs.

The apparent level of bias or propaganda may heat up or cool down at various times, as with the Guardian’s on-again, off-again campaign over nonexistent anti-Semitism in Corbyn’s Labour Party, but it is as much an enduring reality as the sun’s rising.

The record of “distinguished” newspapers like The New York Times or The Washington Post is literally riddled with advocacy, propaganda, and even disinformation. Actual CIA people were discovered more than once working for them.

An old CIA hand in the business of “getting stories out there” once told of sitting down to his “mighty Wurlitzer organ” and hitting the keys, by which he was referring to the various publications and columnists who cooperated.

Just why do you think all the old press Moghuls always wanted to own press empires?

It is for the power to influence others, to intimidate or accommodate governments, it is for the entree that influence gives in high places and the ability to gain treatment favorable to your interests or desires. The ability to make a politician look good or bad to millions of readers has proved a very powerful tool in getting what you want.

The press is not, and never has been, about genuine news and journalism, although of course some happens along the way almost by accident as it were.

It really is only in the advertising brochures for journalism schools that we find language which naively speaks of journalistic principles.

You know the last time we had a big heroic public story about journalists, Woodward and Bernstein, it actually proved in the end less than heroic. Woodward had long-established intelligence connections and would later be found doing such wonderful things as writing a phony book praising president George Bush’s ability and character

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMMENT: PENTAGON SAYS RUSSIAN FIGHTER FLIES DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO ITS SPY PLANE – HOW BEST TO TREAT ALL PENTAGON STATEMENTS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE POSTED IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

One of my basic rules in sorting through the induced chaos of our world is: I believe absolutely nothing the Pentagon says, ever.

The Pentagon’s trail of lies and propaganda is so long and twisted, it’s not worth bothering to sort out any of its new statements. You will always stand a better chance of being informed just by following the simple rule of ignoring them.

But, even were the Pentagon right in this instance, there’s a simple response.

Stay in your own part of the world and quit trying to intimidate and threaten others in half a dozen places.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EUROPE NEEDS AMERICA TO SAVE IT AGAIN? NATALIE NOUGAYREDE WITH THE SMUGNESS OF A CAMERON AND THE INSOUCIANCE OF A WOULD-BE SALON HOSTESS – IN FACT, EUROPE NEEDS SAVING FROM AMERICA   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY NATALIE NOUGAYREDE IN THE GUARDIAN

 

I have rarely seen such an unperceptive and truly meaningless piece of writing. It is a very good example of words used just to hear yourself.

“Once more, America will have to step in to save us…”

What an incredibly patronizing statement, loaded with unwarranted assumptions, the smugness of a David Cameron, and the insouciance of a would-be Paris salon hostess.

How can a country which cannot run its own affairs help anyone? America is in bad shape on almost every front, yet it insists on a new monomaniacal drive to re-make the face of the earth.

And how is that drive financed in a country which cannot balance its books, its trade balances, or any other measure of self-regulation you care to cite? By abusing its fortunate position as world reserve currency, pumping out endless dollars for all the world’s suckers to hold.

In fact, America is the source of many of Europe’s greatest problems.

It was America’s irresponsible, greed-based financial crisis in 2008 that tipped the world into dangerous economic territory from which it has not recovered.

It is American aggressive policies which are pushing Europe into untenable positions vis-a-vis Russia, a natural partner for Europe in everything from energy supplies to a market for consumer goods and farm products.

Aggressive American policies have pushed Europeans towards greater military spending at a time when realistically it is completely unnecessary.

NATO itself is today nothing but a mechanism to keep America at the center of European affairs, a very costly mechanism both in terms of military spending and in terms of divisiveness with Europe’s natural partners.

It is American aggressive policies concerning the Mideast which have caused all the misery of Syria and Libya and Iraq, resulting in all the terrible migration of refugees.

It is American influence, especially through its unceasing facilitator, Ms. Merkel, that has transported these woes into Europe.

Look at the madman, Erdogan, an unbalanced and genuinely dangerous man, and the risky games Europe is driven to play with him.

Europe, left to itself, might end many of its relations with him, but it is American insistence on the geo-political importance of Turkey that keeps Europe from responding as it should.

Good God, what could be more insane than a member of NATO shooting down a Russian plane and then running behind NATO’s skirts? It reflects the same insanity which drives Erdogan to slaughter Kurds, imprison journalists, and assassinate opponents.

The sum total of American policies is effectively crushing Europe almost like a glacier rolling over the continent, and here is this silly salon-voice saying you need more.

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Response to another reader’s comment:

American policy has generated the refugee crisis which is the cause of most xenophobic reactions in Europe.

Any country would be hard pressed to accommodate what is happening today.

Every population has its share of nasty people who will react badly to such huge new stresses.

Every population has a natural distribution of everything from plug-uglies to mental cases. You can’t make that fact go away. Wise governments don’t create situations which stress them and bring them to the fore.

But Europe under American influence has done just that.

I cannot imagine a more bankrupt policy than paying a violent lunatic like Erdogan – a key player in creating the horror – to help, but that is what Europe is doing.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TONY BLAIR, WAR CRIMINAL, PONTIFICATES ON ISIS IDEOLOGY GOING DEEP INTO ISLAM – THE STATEMENT OF AN IGNORAMUS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“… ISIS ideology stretches ‘deep into Muslim society…”

What a complete ass Tony Blair is.

First, he knows nothing about Muslim society, but that fact doesn’t stop him from making sweeping observations.

Second and most important, ISIS itself is an artificial construct, as the duplicitous Blair well knows. It includes many Westerners, even special forces under cover from several nations. It is supported and armed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and America. It is led by people associated with Western powers. It cannot be therefore an accurate representation of anything about Muslims.

Third, it is really important to remember that the Muslim world has been treated horribly in recent years, country after country having been attacked or destabilized by America and smarmy allies like Tony Blair. There is a wealth of abuse and grievances behind the decision of any young man who does join such an organization.

Drones are killing people in half a dozen countries.

Syria is under terrible attack from outside.

Yemen is under attack by the absolute monarch of Saudi Arabia.

Libya is in a shambles.

Iraq is a broken rump state.

Egypt is back to a dictatorship.

Israel, as usual, abuses millions with no one even taking serious notice.

And the religion of more than a billion people is almost daily maligned in our press, as you have done in publishing Tony Blair’s malign musings.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE ANTI-ASSAD PROPAGANDA IN THE INDEPENDENT – JUST WHY SUCH THINGS ARE PROPAGANDA – CAMERON TSK-TSKING ABOUT HORROR IN SYRIA HE ACTUALLY SUPPORTS – A NOTE ON MERKEL AND REFUGEES   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE AND VIDEO IN THE INDEPENDENT

Here’s more propaganda from The Independent, so poorly disguised you cannot vouch for the source.

God, don’t you ever get tired of pushing this stuff out?

Even if you could account for the source, this is propaganda precisely because it has absolutely no perspective. The best propaganda always has a tiny bit of truth, and the truth here is that, yes, such weapons are used.

You absolutely cannot fairly take one small part of a huge destructive war and suggest that it explains what is going on. It cannot. It can horrify people though, and that would appear to be its purpose here because The Independent makes no practice of presenting such things in most situations.

I can’t recall any equivalent material being used by The Independent for Israel’s slaughters in Gaza, and such material does exist. Some very brave photographers took images of the rivers of blood and smashed children.

I don’t recall such material for America’s (and of course Britain’s) proud invasion of Iraq in which such ghastly weapons as cluster bombs and white phosphorus were used. Thousands of pictures exist of sliced-up children and smashed women, but you never ran any.

The creepy Saudis, whom Britain implicitly supports and with whom it explicitly does a handsome business, are, right now, killing masses of civilians in Yemen, and they are using America’s dreadful cluster bombs to tear them apart, maiming those not killed. Where are your terrifying images?

The horror in Syria did not start by the government’s barrel-bombing places. The barrel-bombing is a response to the infiltration and entrenchment of tens of thousands of heavily-armed terrorists trying to destroy the country from scattered and hidden positions all over it.

They were infiltrated into Syria by the lunatic now running Turkey. They are financed and supplied by the absolute princes of Saudi Arabia. They were assisted, advised, and even led in some cases by the same government of Israel which holds more than five million unwilling people as prisoners. Yet more money came from the absolute princes of Qatar.

And the United States has also supplied and trained elements. It clearly approves of what has been going on or it would be stopped. We know to a certainty that nothing happens anywhere near its Middle East colony of which it does not approve.

Britain under David Cameron, as one of America’s most groveling allies, has also done its dirty bit to help.

This entire misery could be ended if outside help and support for thugs were ended, but that help and support, by the above-named parties, will not stop. Because those countries want Syria destroyed just the way Iraq was destroyed, reduced to a meaningless set of rump states with a population left to suffer for a generation.

And they want to achieve that in the most cowardly of fashions, giving the bloody work over to hired mercenaries and ideological maniacs while standing off – tsk-tsking at the horrors as Cameron is wont to do – pretending they have nothing to do with it.

I simply do not understand how anyone can think human trash like ISIS and al-Nusra Front should prevail over a reasonable, highly-educated man like Assad, a leader who has always protected a secular and diverse society and who keeps the support of large parts of that society.

It is a totally absurd situation, and it can only be explained in light of American policy. It is the policy that destroyed Iraq and Libya and sparked in large covert operations the whole pointless and wrongly-named Arab Spring. There was nothing spring-like in what happened.

A brief experiment with democratic government in Egypt was smothered following Israel’s complaints about the threat it represented. Egypt was returned to a decades-old dictatorship much to Israel’s liking. In other places, like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, potential uprisings were violently suppressed by absolute governments.

It was all an effort to re-mold the region to the liking of America and its Middle East colony under a façade of popular revolt and never mind all the inconvenience of death, destruction, and misery. The region’s authoritarian governments were overthrown only where they disagreed with America and/or Israel while in all other cases they were left to flourish, and the authoritarian governments overthrown were only replaced by others. Democracy flourishes nowhere.

Well, Mr. Putin understands that, and if the nations doing the deadly supplying aren’t going to stop, he’ll destroy what they’ve supplied. The Syrian army will do the rest.

NOTE:

Julian Assange has said that the massive influx of refugees into Europe is, in fact, part of the American strategy to de-stabilize Syria, and I don’t doubt that he is right. Emptying Syria of good parts of its professionals and technicians only further weakens it.

This, of course, puts in quite a different light Ms. Merkel’s controversial, open-arms support for unlimited refugees in Germany. She, rather than speaking from a heart larger than we would have credited her from past behaviors, is just once again supporting American policy, a much more familiar stance for her.