Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Authoritarianism Of The Russia Narrative

Russia has not forced half the country into poverty by imposing neoliberal policies. Russia has not shipped out millions of jobs while telling the unemployed workers they shouldn’t complain. Russia hasn’t put marginal communities under a brutal police state and incarcerated 2.3 million people. Russia hasn’t destabilized the Middle East through catastrophic imperial wars while imposing austerity on a struggling American population. Russia hasn’t destroyed American democracy by expanding corporate power into a monstrous global oligarchy.

The political establishment’s drive to scapegoat Russia is the culmination of the arrogance, willful ignorance, and immaturity that’s driven our civilization to this point of crisis. The claims this narrative is based on are almost entirely dubious or disproven, including the ones of Russia hacking the DNC, Russia hacking the Podesta emails, Russia hacking into state voting apparatuses, Russia buying ads on social media, and Russia having colluded with the Trump campaign. Its propagators are CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other corporate and CIA-controlled media outlets. The figures supporting it include the country’s most famous government liars and war criminals, like Dick Cheney, John Bolton and James Clapper.
This charade lets demagogues and opportunists, like congressman Adam Schiff, position themselves as brave fighters for justice and national sovereignty. Schiff has taken $70,000 from defense contractors in the last election cycle alone, and has supported every war throughout his career. Last year the McCarthyism of Schiff and others like him pressured President Trump into approving a dangerous and destructive arms deal to Ukraine-as well as helped instigate the reckless Syrian war escalations and NATO aggressions towards Russia that continue to threaten World War III.
Just last month, American and Russian warplanes came into a standoff over Syria. Similar close calls with a U.S.-Russia war have happened before in the last year, and they’ll keep happening as long as the American Deep State continues its drive to a new Cold War. The U.S. empire’s reasons for this became clear when Russia started to interfere with neocon regime change missions around 2013. But this conflict’s other purpose is made clear in the war that governments and corporations are now waging against dissenting journalists, all under guise of fighting Russia.
“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders,” said Hitler aide Hermann Goering. “That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” The renewed public fears of Russia, instilled through incessant media propaganda, has let the corporate state carry out massive censorship measures. These measures started with social media companies’ blacklisting innocent sites as Russian fronts in late 2016, and with Obama’s signing the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act-the law that’s established a government agency for advancing “truth-based narratives.”
This added onto the White Houses’ covertly producing videos for networks to show as objective news clips, the CIA’s being authorized in 2013 to recruit media figures as secret propaganda agents, and much of the defense budget being designated towards producing propaganda. And it’s since only gotten worse. Facebook, Google, You Tube, Twitter, and the other CIA-controlled online companies started imposing strict anti-”fake news” measures in August, which have reduced the views of our crucial dissenting websites by as much as 80%. The Justice Department has forcedRT America to register as a foreign agent. This last week the German government ordered social media companies within the country to remove disfavored news stories.
Then there’s the repeal of net neutrality, which will be in place by the end of the month; the anti-”fake news” authority that will be set up in the EU countries this spring; Emmanuel Macron’s bill to silence “fake news”; Facebook’s colluding with the Israeli government to delete offending accounts, mainly the ones of Palestinians; the increasing retribution being directed at disobedient people from governments around the world in general. 
This tyranny is not limited to the U.S. and its partners, as China, Russia, and other autocratic states attempt to crush dissent while building up their militaries. The planet-and the species-is solidifying into three totalitarian superstates, each of them vying for world domination while at the same time settling into an unwinnable, continuous war.
You can almost envy those who are asleep to this roiling assault on freedom. To disobey the regime is to be held in contempt by conventional thinkers, to be under personal or physical threat from authorities, and to be aware of a bleak reality. Subtle forms of war propaganda, like regular military displays at public events and America’s manufactured gun culture, pervade our daily lives. The toy drones of recent years have added onto this militarization of society’s psyche. Smart TVs and mobile devices, as revealed in WikiLeaks’s Vault 7 leak, can now act as camera and mic surveillance tools for the government.
In a rough but unmistakable version of the pacifying drugs from Huxley’s Brave New World, Big Pharma has gotten much of the populous addicted to their substances.  Nonconformists are demonized as Russian agents or traitors. The insipid, 24-hour network television droning of state propaganda and superficial media distractions is presented as a vital information source. Mindless consumerism is promoted ubiquitously even as 80% of the population is now livingin or close to poverty. Political language has deteriorated, as it does under dictatorships, into euphemistic safe terms that trivialize atrocity and oppression.
As the CIA prepares for another regime change war in Iran, we must resist the establishment narratives. “The science of psychologically manipulating the masses has been in research and development for more than a century, and the CIA is at the cutting edge of it,” writes Caitlin Johnstone about this war runup. “No matter how clever you think you are, they’re more clever. You cannot outfox them in this area, so the only rational position is intense, relentless doubt and skepticism.”
It will very likely be one year from now when America has started the next war, whether with Iran, North Korea, Russia, or more than one. Already Obama’s worldwide military campaigns have been greatly escalated under Trump. The U.S. empire may be in fast decline, but the globalization-fueled empire of the most powerful plutocrat Jeff Bezos is still expanding. If our resistance efforts fail, ten years from now Bezos and the other elites might be presiding over a far more fortified corporate/surveillance dictatorship. 
For now these powers are employing layered and sophisticated propaganda techniques, ones that may soon include the U.S. government’s long-used tactic of false flags, to make us comply. Stay outraged and fighting. These days that’s the only way to remain conscious.

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