David Swanson: Ukraine and the Anti-Communications System – Dandelion Salad

My point is not about a particular article. It’s about millions of articles that all build into them the understanding that resistance is futile, protest is silly, rebellion is dumb, the powerful pay no attention to the public, and violence is the most powerful tool of last resort. This grandest of all lies is piled on top of the characterization of popular majority positions as fringe opinions, so that people who favor peaceful, just, and socialistic policies falsely imagine that few agree with them. Many opinions, including popular ones, are worse than marginalized. They are virtually banned. There’s a show of debate within an acceptable range. On the right you have, for example, the view that playing the World Cup in Qatar is perfectly fine, and on the left the view that such a foreign backward place using slave labor and abusing women and gay people should be shunned. But nowhere, left, right, or in the so-called Center, can the U.S. military bases in Qatar — the U.S. arming and training and funding of the dictatorship in Qatar — be mentioned at all.

For years there’s been, for example, a media debate on Iran ranging from the need to bomb Iran because it has weapons — weapons that could destroy the world if bombed and that it would be likely to use only if bombed, all the way over to the need to impose deadly sanctions on Iran because otherwise it will soon have those weapons. The record of decades of lying about and punishing and threatening Iran, and of Iran not actually developing any nuclear weapons, is inadmissible. The fact that the United States itself maintains nuclear weapons in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty is inadmissible. The fact that Iran has a horrible government is treated as shutting down any questioning of U.S. policies — policies likely to only make that government worse.

But there’s no announcement in the media that the public will have not even any pretense of a say over foreign policy. It’s just done that way as if there were no other, and it’s not thought about. Nobody knows that the U.S. once came close to mandating public votes before wars. Few know that wars were supposed to be authorized by Congress or that wars are now illegal whether or not authorized by Congress. Numerous wars happen with hardly anyone aware of their existence at all.

In the old joke the Russian sitting by an American on an airplane says he’s on his way to the United States to study its propaganda techniques, and the American asks “What propaganda techniques?” And the Russian replies, “Exactly!”

David Swanson: Ukraine and the Anti-Communications System – Dandelion Salad