Last summer the US based Left Forum hosted an event entitled ‘The New Axis of Evil: Understanding U.S. “Regime Change” in Syria’ which discussed media performance specifically related to the ongoing ‘dirty war in Syria’.
Professor of media studies at New York University, Mark Crispin Miller, was first to speak, and with a clarity seldom seen in US or UK media circles. As Mark began to discuss the debunking of the ‘Assad barrel bomb’ meme he was interrupted by a member of the audience. But rather than insist on waiting for the Q and A at the end of the session, Mark graciously took the opportunity to respond to the question, “are you denying Assad has murdered his people with barrel bombs”.
Mark cited an article (Obama’s Ludicrous ‘Barrel Bomb’ Theme September 2015) by the late, great Robert Parry of Consortium News, who saw “barrel bomb” as the latest ‘propaganda buzz phrase of choice associated with the Syrian conflict’:
Yet, it seems likely this clumsy, improvised weapon supposedly dropped from helicopters would be far less lethal than rocket-propelled bombs delivered from afar by jet planes or drones, the approach favored by the U.S. government and its “allies.”
Civilians would have a much better chance to seek safety in a bomb shelter before some “barrel bomb” is shoved out the door of a helicopter than when a sophisticated U.S.-made bomb arrives with little or no warning, as apparently happened to the victims of that wedding in Yemen.
And that is not to mention the U.S. bombs that involve depleted uranium, napalm, phosphorous and cluster munitions, which present other humanitarian concerns. However, while U.S.-assisted or U.S.-directed slaughters of civilians attract little attention in the mainstream U.S. media, there are endless denunciations of the Syrian government’s “barrel bombs.”
The propaganda drumbeat is such that the American people are told that they must support “regime change” in Syria even if it risks opening the gates of Damascus to a victory by the Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorists.
Earlier on in his talk Mark mentioned Arthur Ponsonby (MP) who wrote a detailed analysis of propaganda deployed by the British prior to and during the First World War, ‘Falsehood in War Time 1929‘. Geoffrey Miller has scanned and serialized the book here and it is a useful and still pertinent read almost a century after publication.
In calm retrospect we can appreciate better the disastrous effects of the poison of
falsehood, whether officially, semiofficially, or privately manufactured. It has been
rightly said that the injection of the poison of hatred into men’s minds by means of
falsehood is a greater evil in wartime than the actual loss of life. The defilement of the
human soul is worse than the destruction of the human body. A fuller realization of
this is essential.
There are several different sorts of disguises which falsehood can take. There is the
deliberate official lie, issued either to delude the people at home or to mislead the
enemy abroad; of this, several instances are given. As a Frenchman has said: ” Tant
que les peuples seront armés, les uns contre les autres, ils auront des hommes d’état
menteurs, comme ils auront des canons et des mitrailleuses.” (“As long as the peoples
are armed against each other, there will be lying statesmen, just as there will be
cannons and machine guns.”)
The second speaker at the Left Forum conference was Jason Hirthler, author of excellent ‘The Sins of Empire: Unmasking American Imperialism’ and frequent contributor at Counter Punch. Jason spoke of empire, specifically that of the US and the methods used to sustain and expand the empire. This excerpt is from the preface to Sins of Empire:
“The United States is an empire. It may not look like the old colonial British Empire, but it colonizes nations and peoples much as the British did. We don’t put boots on the ground as often because we’ve found more economical methods of domination. Subtler forms of violence. We foment coup d’états that swap out the leaders of a nation, typically replacing an independent-minded populist with a venal servant of the imperial system. Then we load up the country in question with onerous debts, the loan conditions of which demand social austerity and the selling off of national assets and resources to foreign concerns. Fancy words for looting. Should that nation’s leadership find themselves waxing nostalgic for self-sustaining days of yore, we can easily threaten them with interest rate hikes and currency attacks to keep them subservient. There’s nothing like runaway debt to quell the seething mob.
If choreographed color revolutions and midnight coups don’t work, military action can be swiftly procured, often justified on the basis of falsehoods and usually legitimized by corrupted international institutions originally designed to keep the peace. Wars of aggression are the calling card of the imperial state. Sadly, most countries on earth can point to either the wreckage of a U.S. invasion or the nearest U.S. military base. We have some 800 bases around the world. We’ve bombed 14 Muslim countries since 1980. We’ve invaded around 50 since the end of World War II. In total, we’ve invaded some 70 nations since the founding of the republic. A notable study just released in 2014, America Invades, claims we’ve invaded 43 percent of the countries in the world, and have had “military involvement” in 98 percent of them”
For anyone interested, the author and historian Bill Blum maintains an up-to-date list of the countries the US has invaded. Overthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List can be found on Bill’s site along with his books, articles and his regular Anti-Empire Reports.
Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi ends the talk by explaining the detail of the machinations of the deep state. Again, his contribution and wealth of knowledge is invaluable and his articles on Unz Review and Russia Insider are well worth reading.
The full recording of the Left Forum conference is shown below and we’d encourage all those wishing to see through the lies and propaganda related to Syria to watch. The question and answer session is also below as a separate video.
The Questions and Answer session was also recorded:
Mike Raddie is co-editor of BSNews