9 March 2012
Resign right now, PM urges Assad
David Cameron urges Syrian President Assad to step down to end the “bloodshed” in the country, and calls on Russia and China to back regime change. – BBC News 06/03/2012
The nerve of the man! What gives that pompous ass Cameron the right to call for the resignation of a sovereign nation’s head of state? This is the same Cameron who authorized bombing Libya back into the Stone Age. Well of course it’s the insidious ‘Responsibility to Protect’, probably the most successful confidence trick in history and performed in full view of the entire planet.
Whose Responsibility is it to Protect the hundreds and thousands of lives being lost in Palestine, Afghanistan, or any one of the Western-inspired ‘protections’ currently underway? And how are they able to get away with such brazen lies and hypocrisy?
And, as I write those tasked with the Responsibility too Protect [sic] let rip, killing 19 people including eleven children in Afghanistan is a direct result of the nature of the Occupation, because that’s what it is. USNATO wasn’t invited into Afghanistan, it invaded the place under yet another pretext, the alleged ‘War on Terror’ and to catch the alleged mastermind behind 9/11, Osama bin Laden. And even here, it’s not at all clear if it was a ‘lone gunman’ or a bunch of drunk GIs doing the slaughtering. (More US servicemen die from suicide than from the wars they are apparently reluctantly fighting in, else why choose the ultimate AWOL? One every 80 minutes apparently.)
As to why the Western public have gone along with this wolf in sheep’s clothing monstrosity, the answer can be found in the intertwined relationship between the corporate/state media and the state. A relationship that makes it not only possible but permissible to drop bombs on people and call it protecting them.
Without a sustained and effectively coordinated propaganda campaign, one that has been running for a year, I think it would be all but impossible to persuade our public that calls to arm/bomb/invade Syria have a justification either in law or on the basis of some alleged ‘morality’ that Cameron and his murderous class have claimed as their own.
The term science fiction comes to mind when I think of the nature of a globalized and monopolized media, either in the hands of gigantic corporations or equally monolithic state structures like the BBC and their Western audiences, swamped as they are (with local variations) by a single view of the world and how it is alleged to work.
Thus the media corps that bring you the ‘news’ about Syria also manufacture weapons systems that will be used to ‘protect’ the Syrian people. It kills two birds with one missile as killing people also makes good (profitable) news. Thus the media effectively has a vested interest in prolonging conflicts for as long as possible and in turn, the nature of what is considered to be ‘news’ undergoes a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) transformation.
Now you may think it far-fetched to say this but the corporate media, precisely because it has its soiled fingers in so many military-related industries, does have a vested in interest in prolonging wars. They’re good for business. And with plenty of people willing to sell their souls for three minutes of celebrity and some moolah, inventing the news has an important role to play in the propaganda war.
In 1990-91 we saw the formalisation of inventing the news, a development that ‘coincided’ with the end of the Soviet Union. I remember it well sitting in my loft in Brooklyn watching how the mainstream media didn’t cover Operation Desert Storm where we saw the first use of ’embedded journalists’ and the DoD’s use of a PR corporation to control/massage the flow of the ‘news’ to the outside world. There was going to be no repeat of the disastrous (for the Empire) media coverage of the destruction of Vietnam.
It was also around this time that we saw a major consolidation of media corporations with NBC for example, being bought by General Electric, a major US weapons manufacturer. Conflict of interest? Nah! Add to this the impact of the computer and the Internet, what is euphemistically called ‘convergence’ but for all the wrong reasons!
In the short span of a dozen years, the world we live in has been transformed by the media/state onslaught on our senses and sensibilities but worse was to come as a result of the computer revolution. The same media corps via their network ownership have also entered into an unholy alliance with the state to not only spy on their own customers but also to block the free flow of information whenever the information threatens the status quo! Is this Orwellian or what!
The process has been inexorable. Take the case of ’embedded journalists’: When these creatures first appeared in media world, it was sometimes ‘polite’ to mention that stories originating with ’embedded journalists’ were actually ‘vetted’/censored by the military but this didn’t last long. What corporate/state media outlet bothers to mention that some ‘news’ stories from Afghanistan are from embedded ‘journalists’?
Real-time video and instant messaging has also given ‘editorial’ almost complete control of the ‘news’ content. Very few ‘journalists’ these days that work for the MSM actually write the stories they send back from the front line. The consolidation is complete, the MSM now has complete control over the ‘news’ content which enables it integrate the flow of story content over time.
This is especially important once an ‘enemy’ is identified. The story must be consistent over time, the time it takes to whip up a frenzy over whatever ‘evil monster’ (not under Western control) the West has in its sights.
If we were to take the MSM’s take on things, Syria is already a basket case, its government in disarray and on the verge of collapse. The reality however is somewhat different, for clearly in spite of all the protestations to the contrary, the Syrian state remains intact and in control:
‘One year after the unrest in Syria started President Bashar Assad is still firmly in control of his country, US intelligence services say, despite their leaders claiming his regime is doomed.’ ‘US intelligence: Assad firmly in charge in Syria’, – RT, 10 March 2012
As with the other protest movements that have sprung up, starting in North Africa’s Tunisia, the West’s reaction has clearly been conditioned and guided by each particular country’s strategic and economic relationship to the West.
Thus the barbarous suppression of the protests in Bahrain for example, barely gets a mention in the MSM (see for example, ‘[Media] Silence as Bahraini Children are Stabbed and Gassed’). Yes, it’s true that once in a flood, state suppression in Bahrain does get mentioned, but only in passing (the BBC for example between 29 November 2011 and 9 March 2012 ran just 27 stories on Bahrain, one of which illustrates the different ‘take’ the BBC has on killingds in Bahrain and killings in Syria.
Bahraini king visits UK for talks BBC News 12/12/2011
The king of Bahrain makes a visit to the UK for talks with Prime Minister David Cameron, in an effort to improve relations following the Arab Spring.
By contrast, over a shorter period (11/2/12 – 11/3/12) the BBC ran over 100 stories on Syria. And the headlines as I have shown here many times, tells the story.
On the other hand and you’ll note it’s not another BBC headline:
Why Doesn’t the American Red Cross Want People to See “Haiti: Where Did the Money Go?”
By Center for Economic and Policy Research
What does the Red Cross find so objectionable? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30755.htm
Syria faces day of reckoning – PM
BBC News 02/03/2012
David Cameron says the West should “build evidence” to “hold Syria’s leaders to account” for their crimes, as EU leaders hold talks on the country.
It struck me as I was reading today’s stream of stories on events in Syria that what stands out about the BBC stories is the assumption that we in the West have some kind of divine right to interfere in other countries business and tell them what to do. Or else!
When NYC cops shoot down young unarmed Black and Hispanic men in a hail of lead, do we see headlines on the BBC asserting that New York’s cops “face a day of reckoning”? Are they ever “held to account for their crimes”? Well no actually as not a single NYC policeman has ever been convicted of killing unarmed Black and Hispanic men. Not once, not ever.
And just what does “build evidence” mean? What like the ‘Dodgy Dossier’ that was part of the ‘evidence built’ to justify the murderous invasion of Iraq? Or even better all those dodgy home videos supplied by ‘activists’ in Syria?
1. See ‘ The Media Monopoly’ by Ben Bagdikian, the first edition of which came out in 1983 and accurately recorded over five subsequent editions this process at work. Thus when Bagdikian wrote the first edition there were some twenty-seven media corporations in the US but by the time the last edition appeared in 2000 there were just six giant corporations owning and controlling the flow of ‘news’ (two of them foreign-owned).