Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How the MSM keeps Americans on the warlike Necon/Neoliberal plantation

Changing the Narrative for War
(Campaign For Liberty) -- By Philip Giraldi --

In spite of the calamities of the past eight years, there continues to be no shortage of neoconservatives in one’s face in the media, advising their fellow Americans that wars can be won quickly and decisively and that using military force to change how other nations behave is sound policy. The Washington Post features Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, all three Kagans, John Bolton, and Eliot Cohen on a regular basis. The Wall Street Journal editorial page is the epicenter for those who favor muscular interventionism. The New York Times, America’s most influential newspaper, is somewhat more circumspect, featuring neocons-lite David Brooks and Thomas Friedman regularly, but also including the more measured foreign policy analysis of Frank Rich and Roger Cohen. But even at its best The Times never really breaks the mold by bringing in someone who rejects the entire American imperial and interventionist enterprise. Such individuals do exist and many appear regularly at Ron Paul events and on Campaign for Liberty, but it is as if the mainstream media has decided that such views are outside the pale, the journalistic equivalent of praising Mussolini for making the trains run on time or advocating the disenfranchisement of women voters. And occasionally the Times features a real game breaker that goes in the other direction in the form of an op-ed that sets new benchmarks in terms of audacious support of Washington’s self proclaimed right to enforce its own standards on the world. Such an op-ed was “There’s Only One Way to Stop Iran” by Professor Alan J. Kuperman which, ironically, appeared on Christmas Eve.

As a former intelligence officer I frequently shake my head when I read a piece like “There’s Only One Way to Stop Iran” because I know exactly how what the Soviets used to call disinformation works. When the policy stinks and you have to create buzz about it anyway, you dig up someone who can plausibly describe himself as an “expert” and then find some obliging folks in the media to publish a piece that enables you to change the story line. That is what I used to do myself back in the days when I was working hard to demonize the Soviets. Take an incident or development, twist it a bit so you can come to a conclusion that is at odds with the facts, get your paid asset to write it up, hand it over to another paid agent in the media, and then let it fly. It will be picked up here and there, spread around the world and incorporated into other news coverage, and eventually everyone is saying we have to stand up to the Russians. Or Chinese. Or Iranians. Or the Yemenis.

Recently we have seen change the narrative applied to justify all sorts of outrages, including the pastel revolutions in Eastern Europe, where, so the accepted story goes, brave bands of reformers took on corrupt and authoritarian old regime leaders. The reality was much different, with European and American Non-Government Organizations funding one group of criminals against another with not a touch of genuine reform in sight. And then there is poor little Georgia, hardly plausible that Tbilisi might have been the aggressor against Russia, was it? But it was (John McCain please take note).

That kind of narrative shift is precisely what Kuperman and those who are like minded are doing, changing the story to turn black into white to make war appear to be the only option to resolve a thorny international problem. Appearing in The Times is particularly damaging because when the Grey Lady gives over its pages to someone like Kuperman they are providing their seal of approval and legitimizing his point of view. Even if they don’t explicitly endorse the article they are in effect saying that the argument is extremely credible and worth considering. With the Times imprimatur, the story then becomes part of the broader neoconservative narrative which can exploit the appearance in the Times to convince Americans that a war against Iran would not be such a bad thing and could, in fact, be the best way to eliminate the possibility that Tehran might develop a nuclear weapon.

The only problem is that the entire Kuperman narrative is itself nonsense...MORE...LINK

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