Thursday, December 10, 2015

How The Public Gets Suckered

Americans are slowly becoming hip to the lies and propaganda of the "mainstream media" corporate frauds and propaganda shills - and are now seeking news sources elsewhere  

By Eric Zuesse

The US aristocracy’s control over all the mainstream ‘news’ is ironclad – and this includes the political magazines, such as National Review, and The Nation; as well as ‘intellectual’ magazines, such as Harpers and The Atlantic. 

American ‘news’ media stifle democracy in America; they’re not part of democracy, in America. They’re like poison that’s presented as being ‘medicine’ instead. Suckers don’t just swallow it; they come back for more.

Here was the shocking admission that was made by the US Defense Department’s press-spokesman at his 18 November 2015 presetation, in which he voluntarily acknowledged that the US had not previously destroyed any of the thousands of oil tank-trucks that were transporting ISIS's stolen oil out from Iraq and from Syria – the stolen-oil sales that bring $2 billion per year into ISIS coffers:

"This is our first strike against tanker trucks, and to minimize risks to civilians, we conducted a leaflet drop prior to the strike. We did a show of force, by – we had aircraft essentially buzz the trucks at low altitude. So, I do have copy of the leaflet, and I have got some videos, so why don't you pull the leaflet up. Let me take a look at it so I can talk about it. As you can see, it's a fairly simple leaflet, it says, "Get out of your trucks now, and run away from them." A very simple message.

And then, also, "Warning: airstrikes are coming. Oil trucks will be destroyed. Get away from your oil trucks immediately. Do not risk your life."

"And so, these are the leaflets that we dropped – about 45 minutes before the airstrikes actually began. Again, we combine these leaflet drops with very low altitude passes of some of our attack aviation, which sends a very powerful message."

So not only had the US previously avoided destroying ISIS’s main source of income (other than multimillion-dollar donations made by members of the royal families of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait – all of whom are protected by the US), but, when the US now started to bomb those tank-trucks filled with stolen oil, they warned in advance the drivers who were also assets to the jihadist cause the US pretended to oppose, and thus were enemies of the public (and participants in the evils of ISIS). 

The US Department of Defense (DOD) wanted to protect them – not to kill them. Wow. And the US totally ignored the need to choke off the financing of ISIS, which pays their fighters etc. Can any hypocrisy exceed this? If the United States were a democracy, its press would have been focusing on this issue for a week. The US protecting ISIS’s financial base, and assets, has mind-boggling implications.

Did any of the major US news media, all of which have reporters attending those press conferences, report the US Government’s open admission there, that the US Government had protected ISIS all along, not bombed any of ISIS’s oil tank-trucks? None of them reported it. None of them conveyed to their audience this astounding information – essentially, that the US was protecting the money-flow to the jihadists in Syria, and was even protecting their truckers.

Another major revelation at this same press conference was that "we right now have no plans to conduct coordinated operations with the Russians" in Syria. In other words: the US President is so hostile toward Russia, that, even a month and a half after Russia’s request to Washington to cooperate in exterminating all jihadists in Syria, Obama still refuses to work together with Russia, or even just to "coordinate operations with the Russians," to kill the jihadists. The jihadists had flocked into Syria to oust the non-sectarian leader of that country, Bashar al-Assad, and to replace him with an Islamist leader, a Sharia-law Sunni, whom the US Government, and the royal families of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait, approve of as being better than the non-sectarian Assad (who is personally a Shiite, but runs a decidedly unsectarian, secular, government). The jihadists work for the American alliance. Russia’s position on the matter is that no foreign power possesses the right to determine whom the President of Syria will or won’t be; only the Syrian people do, in an election. Russia insists that it be determined in internationally monitored and overseen elections. However, polls taken by Western polling firms indicate that Assad would overwhelmingly win any such election; so, US President Barack Obama has rejected democracy for Syria. And yet, the US accuses Putin of being dictatorial, and claims itself to be ‘democratic.’

The DOD spokesperson, Steve Warren, spoke contemptuously of Russia. He said that in Russia’s war against jihadists in Syria, "the Russians are using dumb bombs. Their history has been both reckless and irresponsible." This statement was being made by a military spokesman for the same Government that in the most «reckless and irresponsible» manner had invaded and destroyed Iraq in 2003. However, his statement here was also, itself, simply false. Russia’s bombings have been with both precision-guided weapons and unguided munitions that are under no control after being fired.

Warren there was reaffirming a reporter’s question which had asserted: "Getting back to Raqqa, as we all know, the Russians are not using precision munitions. Any sense of any increased civilian casualties in Raqqa as a result of that?" So, Warren was here reaffirming a reporter’s (or actually, a press-appointed government stenographer’s) falsehood – reaffirming an assertion that was either unprofessionally ignorant, or else a knowing lie. On September 30th, when Russia had started its air strikes, the US had said that they were "doomed to failure." That, too, seems increasingly likely to have been false. (And any such pretended foresight is also a lie when it comes from an official source such as a government. It was propaganda.)

Instead of the mainstream US press reporting that the US Government lied there (though this Government does so routinely), only a small number of only non-mainstream sites, all online-only, picked up anything from this stunning press conference, regarding any of the important and much-discussed issues it addressed, and the first such site to do so was a fundamentalist Christian one, which is obsessively pro-Israel, and generally hard-rightwing Republican. 

Bridget Johnson at PJ Media headlined, on the same day as the press conference (the only site to report at all upon it that day, November 18th), "ISIS Oil Tankers Hit for First Time – With 45-Minute Warning." This was an admirable reporting coup (though it wasn’t really «for First Time,» since Russian bombers had already done it dozens of times), because it covered all of the main points, including the shocking admissions by Mr Warren. Her news coup had over 1,400 reader-comments.

Paul Joseph Watson, at the generally conservative Republican site InfoWars, bannered on November 23rd, "White House Gave ISIS 45 Minute Warning Before Bombing Oil Tankers," and he placed these matters honestly into their geostrategic context, of the Obama Administration’s placing a higher priority upon defeating Russia than defeating jihadism. As is so often the case with the terrific journalist Watson, he penetrated deeply into these matters, and was not at all shy to acknowledge, for example, the following stark contrast, which US ‘news’ media hide:

"Compare the Obama White House’s approach to fighting ISIS to that of Russia. While it took the US fifteen months to even begin targeting ISIS’ oil refineries and tankers, air strikes by Moscow destroyed more than 1,000 tankers in a period of just five days. In comparison, Col. Steve Warren said that the US had taken out only 116 tanker trucks, the «first strike» to target ISIS’ lucrative black market oil business, which funds over 50 per cent of the terror group’s activities."

So: this, too, like Bridget Johnson’s report, was honest and first-rate news-reporting, from another non-mainstream Republican site. (Note, however, that the mainstream Republican news-sites, such as Fox News, Wall Street Journal, and Rush Limbaugh, were no more forthcoming on this matter than all of the Democratic Party sites were.)

The next day, November 23rd, "Tyler Durden," the pseudonymous genius behind his own Zero Hedge blog, headlined "Get Out Of Your Trucks And Run Away': US Gives ISIS 45 Minute Warning On Oil Tanker Strikes," and he reported using some of the same sources as the others, but supplementing it with additional good sources. He had around 400 reader-comments.

In addition, there were some trashy news-reports at far-right Republican sites, such as one, on November 19th, crediting Bridget Johnson’s news report the day before as its source, "The Obamization of the military, pt. 243." This was by JR Dunn, at the fundamentalist Republican, American Thinker, blog. He pretended that Obama was being bad here because Obama was too concerned to avoid bloodshed: 

"You see, the important thing isn’t hurting ISIS. No – the important thing is not hurting civilians." Picking up from the standard Republican meme that torture should be used against ‘bad people’ in order for ‘good people’ to be kept safe, and that civilians in ‘enemy’ nations are okay to be victims of American military attacks, Dunn took Bridget Johnson’s news-report merely as confirmation of his own bigotries and hatreds. He had about 150 reader-comments. Typical was this one: "The Left in America has known that in order to succeed with their agenda the US military had to be infiltrated, compromised, and weakened." For such suckers, the ‘source’ of America’s problems wasn’t America’s aristocracy; it was America’s Democrats.

On November 24th, Michael Morell, Obama’s CIA Director during 2011-2013, said on the trashy PBS Charlie Rose show (hosted by Mr Rose, who is such an incompetent interviewer that he’s beloved by aristocrats for his reliably softball interviews), "We didn’t go after oil wells, actually hitting oil wells that ISIS controls, because we didn’t want to do environmental damage, and we didn’t want to destroy that infrastructure." 

Of course, Mr Rose avoided drilling down there to find out why the US Government treats jihadists as being such a minor matter. And, of course, almost all of the news-media that picked up on that stunning admission from Obama’s former CIA Director, were Republican sites, such as Daily Caller, Washington Times, Breitbart, Real Clear Politics, and American Thinker. In addition, there were a few high quality journalistic sites reporting it, such as Zero Hedge, The Hill, The Economic Collapse, and Moon of Alabama. In other words: only very few Americans came to know about this jaw-dropping stunning admission from an Obama official – and most who did were people who hate Obama for his being such things as ‘against torture.’

Basically, in America, only marginal, and mainly right-wing, audiences were being informed even badly, regarding the sensational things that were revealed – and in some instances proudly revealed – at the November 18th DOD press conference, and also in the November 24th TV interview of Morell. 

What is traditionally viewed as being America’s ‘news media’ were entirely absent from their job of reporting even one of these two important statements by US Government officials. And none of the news-reports on that astounding DOD press conference, and of that Morell interview, reached Democratic Party voters at all. Republicans hate Obama because he’s a communist Islamic Kenyan, while Democrats love Obama because the wacko Republican Party lies about him constantly and because Obama is to the left of those blithering wackos.

A press like this makes it impossible for there to be intelligent, informed, rather than misinformed and/or stupid, voting in national political elections in the United States.

Perhaps the biggest scandal in America is its rigid aristocratically controlled ‘press,’ which is really nothing more than a propaganda-operation that’s run by and for the nation’s aristocracy. The owners of America’s ‘news’ media know that the way for the press to make money in this type of dictatorship is to sell to the aristocrats’ corporations access to the public, and to ‘report’ only ‘news’ that the corporate sponsors don’t mind the public’s knowing about.

So: this is how the public gets suckered, in America.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the American Government didn’t hypocritically claim to be a ‘democracy.’ That’s just piling it on, with a shovel.

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