The Subtleties of Anti-Russia Leftist Rhetoric

While the so-called liberal and conservative corporate mainstream media – all stenographers for the intelligence agencies – pour forth the most blatant propaganda about Russia and Ukraine that is so conspicuous that it is comedic if it weren’t so dangerous, the self-depicted cognoscenti also ingest subtler messages, often from the alternative media.

A woman I know and who knows my sociological analyses of propaganda contacted me to tell me there was an excellent article about the war in Ukraine at The Intercept, an on-line publication funded by billionaire Pierre Omidyar I have long considered a leading example of much deceptive reporting wherein truth is mixed with falsehoods to convey a “liberal” narrative that fundamentally supports the ruling elites while seeming to oppose them.  This, of course, is nothing new since it’s been the modus operandi of all corporate media in their own ideological and disingenuous ways, such as The New York Times, CBS, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, Fox News, CNN, NBC, etc. for a very long time.

Nevertheless, out of respect for her judgment and knowing how deeply she feels for all suffering people, I read the article.  Written by Alice Speri, its title sounded ambiguous – “The Left in Europe Confronts NATO’s Resurgence After Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine” – until I saw the subtitle that begins with these words: “Russia’s brutal invasion complicates…”  But I read on.  By the fourth paragraph, it became clear where this article was going.  Speri writes that “In Ukraine, by contrast [with Iraq], it was Russia that had staged an illegal, unprovoked invasion, and U.S.-led support to Ukraine was understood by many as crucial to stave off even worse atrocities than those the Russian military had already committed.” [my emphasis]

While ostensibly about European anti-war and anti-NATO activists caught on the horns of a dilemma, the piece goes on to assert that although US/NATO was guilty of wrongful expansion over many years, Russia has been an aggressor in Ukraine and Georgia and is guilty of terrible war crimes, etc.

There is not a word about the U.S. engineered coup in 2014, the CIA and Pentagon backed mercenaries in Ukraine, or its support for the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and Ukraine’s years of attacks on the Donbass where many thousands have been killed.  It is assumed these actions are not criminal or provocative.  And there is this:

The uncertain response of Europe’s peace activists is both a reflection of a brutal, unprovoked invasion that stunned the world and of an anti-war movement that has grown smaller and more marginalized over the years. The left in both Europe and the U.S. have struggled to respond to a wave of support for Ukraine that is at cross purposes with a decades long effort to untangle Europe from a U.S.-led military alliance. [my emphasis]

In other words, the article, couched in anti-war rhetoric, was anti-Russia propaganda.  When I told my friend my analysis, she refused to discuss it and got angry with me, as if I therefore were a proponent of war.  I have found this is a common response.

This got me thinking again about why people so often miss the untruths lying within articles that are in many parts truthful and accurate.  I notice this constantly.  They are like little seeds slipped in as if no one will notice; they work their magic nearly unconsciously.  Few do notice them, for they are often imperceptible.  But they have their effects and are cumulative and are far more powerful over time than blatant statements that will turn people off, especially those who think propaganda doesn’t work on them.  This is the power of successful propaganda, whether purposeful  or not.  It particularly works well on “intellectual” and highly schooled people.

For example, in a recent printed  interview, Noam Chomsky, after being introduced as a modern day Galileo, Newton, and Descartes rolled into one, talks about propaganda, its history, Edward Bernays, Walter Lippman, etc.  What he says is historically accurate and informative for anyone not knowing this history.  He speaks wisely of U.S. media propaganda concerning its unprovoked war against Iraq and he accurately calls the war in Ukraine “provoked.”  And then, concerning the war in Ukraine, he drops this startling statement:

I don’t think there are ‘significant lies’ in war reporting. The U.S. media are generally doing a highly creditable job in reporting Russian crimes in Ukraine. That’s valuable, just as it’s valuable that international investigations are underway in preparation for possible war crimes trials.

In the blink of an eye, Chomsky says something so incredibly untrue that unless one thinks of him as a modern day Galileo, which many do, it may pass as true and you will smoothly move on to the next paragraph.  Yet it is a statement so false as to be laughable.  The media propaganda concerning events in Ukraine has been so blatantly false and ridiculous that a careful reader will stop suddenly and think: Did he just say that?

So now Chomsky views the media, such as The New York Times and its ilk, that he has correctly castigated for propagandizing for the U.S. in Iraq and East Timor, to use two examples, is doing “a highly creditable job in reporting Russian crimes in Ukraine,” as if suddenly they were no longer spokespeople for the CIA and U.S. disinformation.  And he says this when we are in the midst of the greatest propaganda blitz since WW I, with its censorship, Disinformation Governance Board, de-platforming of dissidents, etc., that border on a parody of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. 

Even slicker is his casual assertion that the media are doing a good job reporting Russia’s war crimes after he earlier has said this about propaganda:

So it continues. Particularly in the more free societies, where means of state violence have been constrained by popular activism, it is of great importance to devise methods of manufacturing consent, and to ensure that they are internalized, becoming as invisible as the air we breathe, particularly in articulate educated circles. Imposing war-myths is a regular feature of these enterprises.

This is simply masterful.  Explain what propaganda is at its best and how you oppose it and then drop a soupçon of it into your analysis.  And while he is at it, Chomsky makes sure to praise Chris Hedges, one of his followers, who has himself recently wrote an article – The Age of Self-Delusion – that also contains valid points appealing to those sick of wars, but which also contains the following words:

Putin’s revanchism is matched by our own.

The disorganization, ineptitude, and low morale of the Russian army conscripts, along with the repeated intelligence failures by the Russian high command, apparently convinced Russia would roll over Ukraine in a few days, exposes the lie that Russia is a global menace.

‘The Russian bear has effectively defanged itself,’ historian Andrew Bacevich writes.

But this is not a truth the war makers impart to the public. Russia must be inflated to become a global menace, despite nine weeks of humiliating military failures. [my emphasis]

Russia’s revanchism?  Where?  Revanchism?  What lost territory has the U.S. ever waged war to recover?  Iraq, Syria, Cuba, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, etc.?  The U.S.’s history is a history not of revanchism but of imperial conquest, of seizing or controlling territory, while Russia’s war in Ukraine is clearly an act of self-defense after years of U.S./NATO/Ukraine provocations and threats, which Hedges recognizes.  “Nine weeks of humiliating military failures”? – when they control a large section of eastern and southern Ukraine, including the Donbass.  But his false message is subtly woven, like Chomsky’s, into sentences that are true.

“But this is not a truth the war makers impart to the public.”  No, it is exactly what the media spokespeople for the war makers – i.e. The New York Times (Hedges former employer, which he never fails to mention and for whom he covered the Clinton administration’s savage destruction of Yugoslavia), CNN, Fox News, The Washington Post, the New York Post, etc. impart to the public every day for their masters.  Headlines that read how Russia, while allegedly committing daily war crimes, is failing in its war aims and that the mythic hero Zelensky is leading Ukrainians to victory.  Words to the effect that “The Russian bear has effectively defanged itself” presented as fact.

Yes, they do inflate the Russian monster myth, only to then puncture it with the myth of David defeating Goliath.

But being in the business of mind games (too much consistency leads to clarity and gives the game away), one can expect them to scramble their messages on an ongoing basis to serve the U.S. agenda in Ukraine and further NATO expansion in the undeclared war with Russia, for which the Ukrainian people will be sacrificed.

Orwell called it “doublethink”:

Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty.To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality one denies – all this is indispensably necessary….with the lie always one step ahead of the truth.

Revealing while concealing and interjecting inoculating shots of untruths that will only get cursory attention from their readers, the writers mentioned here and others have great appeal for the left intelligentsia.  For people who basically worship those they have imbued with infallibility and genius, it is very hard to read all sentences carefully and smell a skunk.  The subterfuge is often very adroit and appeals to readers’ sense of outrage at what happened in the past – e.g. the George W. Bush administration’s lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Chomsky, of course, is the leader of the pack, and his followers are legion, including Hedges.  For decades they have been either avoiding or supporting the official versions of the assassinations of JFK and RFK, the attacks of September 11, 2001 that led directly to the war on terror and so many wars of aggression,and the recent Covid-19 propaganda with its devastating lockdowns and crackdowns on civil liberties.  They are far from historical amnesiacs, of course, but obviously consider these foundational events of no importance, for otherwise they would have addressed them.  If you expect them to explain, you will be waiting a long time.

In a recent article – How the organized Left got Covid wrong, learned to love lockdowns and lost its mind: an autopsy – Christian Parenti writes this about Chomsky:

Almost the entire left intelligentsia has remained psychically stuck in March 2020. Its members have applauded the new biosecurity repression and calumniated as liars, grifters, and fascists any and all who dissented. Typically, they did so without even engaging evidence and while shirking public debate. Among the most visible in this has been Noam Chomsky, the self-described anarcho-syndicalist who called for the unvaccinated to “remove themselves from society,” and suggested that they should be allowed to go hungry if they refuse to submit.

Parenti’s critique of the left’s response (not just Chomsky’s and Hedges’) to Covid also applies to those foundational events mentioned above, which raises deeper questions about the CIA’s and NSA’s penetration  of the media in general, a subject beyond the scope of this analysis.

For those, like the liberal woman who referred me to The Intercept article, who would no doubt say of what I have written here: Why are you picking on leftists? my reply is quite simple.

The right-wing and the neocons are obvious in their pernicious agendas; nothing is really hidden; therefore they can and should be opposed. But many leftists serve two masters and are far subtler. Ostensibly on the side of regular people and opposed to imperialism and the predations of the elites at home and abroad, they are often tricksters of beguiling rhetoric that their followers miss. Rhetoric that indirectly fuels the wars they say they oppose.

Smelling skunks is not as obvious as it might seem.  Being nocturnal, they come forth when most are sleeping.

 

 

 

 

 

63 thoughts on “The Subtleties of Anti-Russia Leftist Rhetoric”

  1. This is not subtle.

    https://twitter.com/MaajidNawaz/status/1527975589235376128

    “Covid is critical because this is what convinces people to accept to legitimize total biometric surveillance. We need to not just monitor people, we need to monitor what’s happening under their skin”
    +++++++++

    https://twitter.com/MaajidNawaz/status/1528322061839499265

    “The biggest question..what to do with all these USELESS people. The problem is boredom & what to do with them.. when they are.. WORTHLESS. My best guess..is a combination of DRUGS & COMPUTER GAMES”
    ++++++++++++++++
    -30-

    1. I think…, we have covered systems of domination and the indoctrination into systems of domination with various aspects of the system to help reinforce this domination…., the creation of common fears, universalizing thought and behavior.
      I have been told to recommend the following books; ‘The Great Cosmic Mother’ as well as, ‘When God was a Woman’.

  2. This is an excellent article, pointing out the hypocrisy of what passes for the left, which has become almost synonymous with the establishment at this point.

    Up until a few years ago, I would have considered myself to be liberal or left-leaning. But I found as I researched events via books, articles and videos, that those who were supposedly the most articulate on issues, like Chomsky or Hedges, abdicated any responsibility to address the most important questions of our time.

    I think one of the problems with being “progressive” is that what we are progressing towards is never identified except with vague ideas of tolerance and equality or by the opposition on the right, which will come up with “communism” as the answer.

    As I examined this question, I also learned about the Fabian Society, with their goal of the incremental implementation of socialism. Many famous figures of history were members, like Wells and Shaw. What that organization intended to do seems to resemble what has been done gradually to our society, and which is now becoming less gradual and more in your face obvious.

    So, if a move towards socialism is the goal of progressives, even if those identifying as such don’t know it, how can that be supported by the establishment? Aren’t we dominated by extremely wealthy industrialists and bankers? Don’t they have a lot to lose to a change-over to a highly socialist or communist system?

    Most do have a lot to lose, but not the top tier wealthy families who run things behind the scenes. They might fear outright rebellion and violence on the streets, but even with that scenario, they feel confident and able to overwhelm such violence with the greater violence of the state. But they prefer a controlled demolition, as we saw in 2001.

    If the goal of the establishment, to tear everything apart and build back better, is in line with the goals of progressives, who are susceptible to the reasonable sounding pleas of people like Robert Reich that no one should be poor in “the richest country in the history of the world”, it can be seen how liberals and progressives might identify with the establishment. They see no problem with taking some of that wealth and distributing it to the poor, not realizing that most of the wealth has already been stolen by the high level predators in and above government.

    Any re-distribution involves taking from the productive segment of society, not the “idle rich” who wield the power, and giving it to the poorest people, who tend to be, for the same reasons they are poor, unproductive. This may be temporarily helpful for them, but at some point even the power of common people trading honestly is unable to bear the burden of theft from all directions.

    It can be seen in looking at any of the “stimulus” bills passed in congress that the amount of help given to the common folk is dwarfed by the funds heaped on the wealthy corporations by the owned politicians. Help for the people is just a fig leaf for wealth transfer to the wealthy.

    And currently, we see that the Federal Reserve is supposedly trying to reduce inflation caused by limits on supply and transportation by raising interest rates. Doing so may help with stopping people from borrowing money to speculate in the stock market, but it will not create baby formula (or any other necessary item subject to shortage) where there is none. And for most people, it will only increase the burden of inflation on their personal economies.

    But is the Fed trying to ameliorate the inflation felt on Main Street, or is it trying to make it worse, in order to crash the system in a predictable way and bbb (build back better).

    As can be seen from recent breakthroughs in medical interventions and mandates, those with an agenda to bbb do not require 7 or 8 billion people in order to do so. A much lower number would actually facilitate the process, and is desirable.

    So even if they succeed in a predictable crash, many of us could be collateral damage, though politicians will cry alligator tears.

    Likewise the front people like Chomsky and Hedges, though it may be that Chomsky will find that we deserved to be eliminated, considering some of his recent remarks.

    Some commenters have included Caitlin Johnstone in the discussion of liberals who slip in the establishment message in the manner Ed describes. There may be examples of this, but mostly I think it is what Johnstone does not say which speaks the loudest.

    From her Australian vantage point, she is quick to point out the nature of US war policy, and I have often enjoyed her writing. But she will not address the elephant in the room of Covid policy. That may be due to self-preservation, as no doubt the Aussie government would not look favorably on her pointing out anything making them look as vicious and nonsensical as they are.

    It is usually safe to pick on US war machine machinations, and up until the current war, many people did it. She does stand out if compared to the US mainstream and captured alternative media, who obediently joined the anti-Putin chorus. But she still acts as gatekeeper as long as she presents US aspirations to hegemony in isolation from all the other related events and agendas in the world.

    But also, when she tries to provide answers to the current power structures, she invokes “the collective”. As G. Edward Griffin has remarked, the left vs. right dichotomy is false, as both extremes, communism and fascism, are centrally controlled collectivist systems – there is no place for individualism. The real spectrum has individualism on one end and collectivism on the other.

    People fear the loss of services and infrastructure which perfect individualism might entail (though those well versed on the subject have answers for those questions), but it must be understood what are the risks of power concentrated in the “collective”. It seems that many people have forgotten the lessons of the 20th century.

    1. Eddy may I add, you are right on the mark. What people seem to think is that the system of civilization is somehow good and perfectible through “progress”.

      This is the lie. Civilization which began some several thousands of years ago has always been a struggle between the rule of the few elite over the many. Right/left, socialism, communism, fascism are just means of control by which this system continues to operate.

      Note the biggest boogeyman: anarchism. This has been aligned with the notion that what was once the normal existence of human life for many thousands of years before is in fact that which must never be contemplated. This, in my mind, opens up the inquiry since civilization has been about elite rule, war, domination, slavery and utter control…why is anarchism such a forbidden consideration?

      1. Art, you echo what John Trudell said, “The great lie is that it is civilization. It’s not civilized. It has been literally the most blood thirsty brutalizing system ever imposed upon this planet. That is not civilization. That’s the great lie, is that it represents civilization.” Adding to that: the etymology of “civilization” has to do with “city” and the so-called civilizing of the so-called primitive barbaric peoples. There was the US “Civilization (citify) Fund Act” of 1819 and nowadays ~70% of Native Peoples live in cities. So i don’t think it’s just about anarchy rather attempts to control and assimilate highly evolved ancient cultures and peoples and ways of being where people know how to get along without authority figures; one could call that like a cohesive anarchy, kinda the way kids can play game after game without being told what to do.

        1. The lack of domination, or as you put it, authoritarians is not the definition of civilization has it has existed for thousands of years, but of true anarchy which is how “we” lived for many more thousands of years.

          So I would abandon the word “civilization” because it has always been about rule of the few over the many, of domination. I appreciate the desire to hold up an ideal, but the ideal of civilization is that it’s used to hide the truth.

          The story of indigenous peoples is complex and runs the gambit, so I hesitate to say that at all points in time it represents X or Y. But many examples exist of those indigenous peoples who have not been corrupted by civilization.

      2. Yes, the word “anarchy” has been associated in the press with throwing bombs and chaos on the streets, and some people have called themselves anarchists who do those things.

        But it really means “without government”, not without law. Law can be enforced, those few laws which are truly necessary, by private means.

        Criminal law in the US does not serve the people at all. If someone is found guilty of a crime against you, the state does not ensure they recompense you for the damage they have done. If they fine the guilty party, the state keeps that money. It is up to you to find the money to pursue civil charges to get anything back – and hope to collect.

        The best the state does is remove the law-breaker form society, and if the law-breaker has enough money, even that will not happen.

        Mankh’s comparison to kids playing games is a good one. Sandlot baseball could be played and the rules of the game observed without adult or official supervision. Cheaters are excluded form the game.

        Of course, it in the interest of those who have made (nonproductive but lucrative) careers out of public office to demonize any thing or person which suggests that government is not just the most necessary thing in the world.

        The founding fathers of the US considered government to be a necessary evil, and that should be the starting point of any discussion about government. How necessary is it, and how evil has it become?

        At this stage of things, if one can break the conditioning which tells us we need it, the government we have looks totally unnecessary and it has become extremely evil. Everything it touches goes bad.

        It would be nice if this was a recent development, but the forces which sponsor evil have been at work for centuries, pushing for more law and more regulation tailored to favor their interests and enslave the majority of people.

        People, and even animals, have a sense of fairness which appears to be inborn. Children know when something doesn’t feel fair.

        Families and communities can govern themselves in the absence of “authority”, and for most of history there were no omnipresent authorities to control the people.

        The view the UN and its ilk is that people living outside the purview of modern governments must be “civilized” and lifted out of “poverty” – and all those poor, underserved people must be vaccinated, certainly (if their governments will pay for it)! It has often been used in the context of race, but now it is concealed in “responsibility to protect” and the wonderful charity of immense corporations.

        Technological progress has been hi-jacked to create a panopticon of surveillance by the kakistocracy. Social progress leads us to enslavement. Those who favor progress need to find out what it is they are progressing towards.

        1. Thanks for appreciating the kids playing, which is a kind of natural innate anarchy.
          And i learned a new word “kakistocracy”, which is kind of amusing b/c Yiddish alte kacker which could be endearing like ‘old man’ also can be ‘old fart/shit’, thus kakistocracy is befitting of the oft-used colloquialism, “shitshow”. And, Art, i was referring to the word “civilization” with the negative definitions, whereas a lot of people think of “civilization” as a positive cultured thing.

      3. Art…, excellent comment ! “Note the biggest boogeyman: anarchism. This has been aligned with the notion that what was once the normal existence of human life for many thousands of years before is in fact that which must never be contemplated. This, in my mind, opens up the inquiry since civilization has been about elite rule, war, domination, slavery and utter control…why is anarchism such a forbidden consideration?
        And I agree and when, how did rule by elite, war, and domination as the 3 come about. Fear of boogymen when the invention of ‘elites’ church/god came onto the scene?

        1. One aspect of “domination” from: “Pope Nicholas V issued the papal bull Dum Diversas on 18 June, 1452. It authorised Afonso V of Portugal to reduce any ‘Saracens (Muslims) and pagans and any other unbelievers’ to perpetual slavery. This facilitated the Portuguese slave trade from West Africa…. ‘- to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies
          of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods whatsoever held and
          possessed by them and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to apply and appropriate to himself and his successors the kingdoms, dukedoms, counties, principalities, dominions, possessions, and goods, and to convert them to his and their use and profit –’” & According to Steven T. Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape),
          “7 major concepts that hold society together all flip back to domination: civilization, sovereignty, state, dominion, property, empire, ascendancy.” His excellent book,
          Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the
          Doctrine of Christian Discovery, explains a lot.

          1. Mankh Steve Newcomb is brilliant. He was outspoken against the claims Supreme Court Justice Ruth B. Ginsberg made invoking the doctrine of discovery in a case. I watched a number of interviews with Tessa Lena which I think was one of her best.
            .
            As Mr. Newcomb notes the Europeans did not conquer native Americans, they are a dominating occupation force.
            Here’s the interview:
            https://youtu.be/I9X71GeLUXs

  3. Propaganda And Indoctrination – (posted elsewhere initially)
    My highly regarded acquaintance Edward Curtain made a surprisingly controversial observation in his latest “Treatise”, that propaganda is not really aimed at brainwashing the masses, but is in fact far more effective at brainwashing the “intelligencia” or most highly educated “elites” in society. This is very much in accord with my observation that ALL education is actually a form of INDOCTRINATION, and that the more indoctrinated they are, the more susceptible they are to accepting or not even seeing any alternative to the presented narrative or view. In other words, it is the mass indoctrination of people, with the promotion of the most indoctrinated (intelligencia and think tank elites), that eventually ensures mass subservience.

    The concept of “mass” indoctrination or education, was NOT invented or conceived by NAZIs, but by the Christian Church,(think “congregation”) and only understood, refined, and implemented for perhaps a slightly different cause. The concept of the most indoctrinated(educated) being “top of the grade” or superior, also obviously does not originate from the common perception of the origins of “propaganda”.

    I will not here make the further simple connection of the transition from the value of wisdom to the obsession with “intelligence”, which is nothing more than the capacity to be indoctrinated!

  4. Joseph Goebbels said that to be effective, propaganda must not be seen as
    such. And if someone sees it as propaganda, it will lose its effectiveness.
    Skilled practicioners of the “art of progaganda” ALWAYS present a sound
    set of facts and a coherent logical format within which to organize them.
    Once the listener has his defenses down and gets in tune with the presentation, the skilled operator will slip into his dialogue a gross non-sequitur. This can be done so casually that the listener will follow down the
    primrose path to the malodorous destination of the dialogue. Skilled lawyers are very good at this. So are some newscasters, but very few. Even “smart” people get taken in all the time. The “sheeple” of course can be easily fooled, like shucking peas.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein believed the goal of philosophy was to “escape the
    tyranny of language”.. Easier said than done. People should try to see through and beyond the words. The tyranny of language has now reached
    a very toxic level. I think Chomsky is senile and perhaps Chris Hedges has
    become a bit disoriented, strolling down the magnificent corridors he has constructed.

  5. We should not be pro or anti when it comes to nuclear war. And that is what this crisis is building towards. Yet all the parties dragging us to destruction are blind to the consequences of their actions, impotent to change course. As always in history: every great power eventually meets the war it seeks to avoid – destruction. None of them want world war, nuclear war. That’s the one they will get if they cannot heed the warning of history.
    https://patternofhistory.wordpress.com/

    1. Peter since you mentioned “nuclear war”, perhaps you can tell me why when no one else had nuclear weapons the US after WWII didn’t use it on N. Korea, or why U.S. Major Alexander P. de Seversky inspecting the bombed Japanese cities saw nothing unusual about Hiroshima than he saw in the fired bombed cities?
      https://www.winterwatch.net/2017/08/was-hiroshima-firebombed-and-not-nuked/

      I’m not convinced one way or the other but I see the propaganda value of a god-like destructive bomb in mass control. (By the way, N. Korea was utterly destroyed through massive air raids and millions of tons of napalm. People moved to caves to survive (could a nuclear bomb have been worse – if one existed?). War against N. Korea was total war against the civilian population. This has been the case since Lincoln ignited US “Civil” War at Fort Sumter; a war brother against brother killing mostly civilians – women and children and burning the land so as to assure crops would not grow…and starvation would follow – 700,000 people murdered. And that has been the way of US military destruction ever since. And the history gets even more sordid than the mayhem of war. Killing of our citizens with the spread of cocaine and opioids.

      These wars are against the people, and they have means of destruction that don’t require a splitting of imagined “atoms”.
      Pax

  6. Ed, thanks for a clear presentation of the problem of disinformation by left luminaries. Would you also be willing to share your opinion on the taxonomic question that begs to be asked: Are Chomsky and Hedges Janus-faced Machiavellians—perhaps with an Agency handler in the wings—or the garden variety of admittedly brilliant but also self-important and self-deceived intelligentsia whose valuation of an accurate comprehensive picture of the world is deftly and subconsciously subordinated to a desire to shine and prosper as much as possible within it?

    1. An answer still requested to the question, put more simply as this: Given that Chomsky (or Hedges) is a skunk, is he a witting or unwitting skunk? If unwitting, please sketch or state the dynamics.

      1. Michael,
        I can only guess, just like you. They clearly know what they are saying, so in this sense they are witting. There are too many examples with both of them; many more with Chomsky because of his age. MIT and The New York Times employed them. These are not exactly innocent institutions. Many argue that they say certain things and avoid certain topics – like the ones I mentioned – to preserve their careers. I don’t buy that. Chomsky was a highly celebrated professor with tenure. He’s now 92+ and has nothing left to preserve. Hedges, once he left the NY Times, made his name by disagreeing with the Times but was their Middle East and Balkans Bureau chief. It was quite a turnabout. He seems to have had a very successful post-Times career which might well have been even more successful if he renounced the Times’ positions on the war against Yugoslavia, JFK, 9/11, etc. Are they intelligence assets in some way? There is no way to know without evidence, and I don’t have that, so I can only judge what they say and critique those words and positions. And their avoidance of other issues.

  7. Here’s a wild theory about who can still see what’s up, and why. Maybe a survey could be taken…
    The mystery of Chomsky et al. is another side-effect of the mRNA shots. Brain damage from spike proteins in the self-preservation area of the pre-frontal cortex. ;>)

    1. Peter much of what’s said about Chomsky, et al was foreshadowed before Operation Covid. As Ed notes Chomsky, et al’s silence and even demeaning of anyone who said otherwise about the major historical events such as the 1960s assassinations, 9/11, and now Covid (and subsequently Ukraine) demonstrated what Chomsky truly represented.

      He use to refer to himself as a anarchist. This was the first signal of fraud. He was never such; and he’s certainly no true north critic of the power structure, say like Michael Parenti who never misses a beat in calling out US crimes.

  8. This became most evident with Operation Covid – a Deep State/CIA psy-ops – that continues to this day. Chomsky was part of that as well. He is a “social influencer”, a prop, gatekeeper, controlled opposition. Most of all he’s a fraud, good for an occasional quote.

    Hegelian dialectics at work: Trump was the problem, staged elections were the reaction, embracing the system the solution (the very thing that created the problem). Operation Covid was able to control much of the population and reinforce (even for those who criticized it) the state and its propaganda media. ConsortiumNews was silenced on the Covid Operation with an attack on their video reporting of Assange; and recently by PayPal regarding CN’s reporting on Russia/Ukraine (more accurately US/Russia). Some of the “left” have used the Operation Covid to push for single payer or providing experimental injections to poor nations; and now this play with “anti-war”. The so-called “anti-war” congressional Dems all voted for $40 bn to go to most weapons for Ukraine (accurately US weapons manufacturers). System is rotten to the core. No 3rd party will change this course.

    Cynthia Chung has done incredible research and exposes on the entanglement of the West – with the “leadership” of the US provocateur extraordinaire. What comes through is that the US is a rogue nation with a number of puppet states used to prop up the great American Myth. But it’s not how the US has supported world democracy, but rather how true (so far) the notion of Might Makes Right is in geopolitics. Her reporting tells just how corrupt and treacherous the USA has been. Last link is one written by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky titled “America’s Insidious Plan to Invade Canada and Bomb Montreal, Vancouver, Halifax and Quebec City (1930-39).

    I’ve been reading Cynthia Chung’s 4 part, starting with “Fact Checking the Fact Checkers: Why Does Ukraine Seem to Have So Many Nazis Nowadays?”
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2022/03/22/fact-checking-the-fact-checkers-why-does-ukraine-seem-to-have-so-many-nazis-nowadays/
    and ending with part 4: “CIA, NATO and the Great Heroin Coup: How Miami Became the Center of International Fascism and the Murder of President Kennedy”
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2022/05/10/cia-nato-and-the-great-heroin-coup-how-miami-became-the-center-of-international-fascism-and-the-murder-of-president-kennedy/

    Prof. Michel Chossudovsky article on US plans to invade Canada:
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/reflecting-on-canadas-sovereignty-americas-plan-to-annex-and-invade-canada/5341097

    1. Art I agree…, you said about Chomsky; “He is a “social influencer”, a prop, gatekeeper, controlled opposition”…, especially the controlled opposition to manipulate.

  9. Caitlin Johnstone is one of the typical leftist skunks Ed warns about:
    “Smelling skunks is not as obvious as it might seem. Being nocturnal, they come forth when most are sleeping.”

    1. Caitlin Johnstone falls mostly in line through her intentional silence on Operation Covid.

      From the start of Operation Covid she stated she had nothing to say about the promoted “pandemic”. No desire to investigate, to question. Her nation was one of the most repressive of the lot, and yet she merrily went on talking about anything but, as if what was happening outside her “window” was non-existent. People were literally dragged out of their homes, put into internment camps and treated as criminals because they refused to comply with (in some cases) masks!!

      Her silence made her, as a vocal and prolific social critic, complicit. How did she survive under the repressive regime of the Australian state without missing a beat?

      1. Thank you Art Costa. You saved my words!
        I bet you already read this. But still… just in case!
        https://off-guardian.org/2021/08/27/with-a-left-press-like-this-who-needs-fascist-media/

        I did comment on that under my old blog-name “phiquyenchinh”
        “””..phiquyenchinh
        Aug 29, 2021 9:40 AM
        Oh well, it’s my “GUESS” that this pseudo leftie loves the mainstream venue and money that such RT has offered her! (Yeah I know her articles are free to repost!!! I did pick some for my Blog! Go figure) The LEFT has been completely corrupted and on board wholeheartedly with Covid crime against humanity! They have sold out every single human right values and liberty principles…The LEFT is total statist to begin with anyway! I have no surprise at all!
        BTW, I am Melbournian! Been there done that and still doing it right now alongside the “right wing anti-vax conspiracists bla bla bla” …very proud of it! “””
        ======
        All the best. Be safe and be strong.

      2. I agree that she fell short regarding COVID. Consortium News also fell short. Even the late Robert Parry had shortcomings regarding 9/11. I don’t believe in throwing out the good for its lack of being perfect. Caitlin concentrates mostly on the war machine and empire, and she’s very good at that.

        1. Skip I understand your point. I guess Operation Covid has been too much in your face, and I would say it has been conducted much like any war the US has engineered. So compartmentalizing it as “not my problem” speaks to the depth and breadth of one’s moral principles.

          And in the case of Caitlin her native Australia was one of the most repressive, but all of this was done in lockstep on a global scale.

          For me: just no excuse when the most oppressive regimes have waged war on their people…to ignore it like, “this is just not something I pay attention to…” is unconscionable given her and the others’ general positions regarding the working class and poor.

          That said there is one truly aching feeling I have had: what I see as tyranny, others see as a kind of “normal” or somehow acceptable given…..

          1. Art I understand your point as well. I am often very frustrated, especially by people accepting tyranny as somehow “normal”.
            I am fortunate to live in a rural area of Arizona where the locals definitely do not accept tyranny, and many are armed. Many of us looked at the COVID plandemic in disbelief. Most of the mask wearers were up visiting from Phoenix. Most of those who initially went for the jab realized their mistake when they were told they needed “boosters”. Two of my friends that got jabbed got sick anyway, and who knows what side effects lie down the road. I’ve never trusted any of our government bureaucrats. They have all been “industry captured.”
            I wish Caitlin had spoken out about it. I hear she blocked CJ Hopkins on twitter (or was it facebook) because he was badgering her about not speaking out.
            That said, there are many good people that I don’t see eye to eye with on many issues, and I am not foolish enough to think that I don’t have my own “blind spots” as well. If I only associated with folks that I agree with on everything, I would lead a very lonely life.

  10. This is your best and the sharpest analysis of all, imho.
    I hope you’re not going to loose a “friend” in this way!
    I’ve lost ALL MY FRIENDS and those “around me” since my “analysis” on CovidFraud and the current so-called “Russian War of aggression” implied their useful idiocy!
    But at least I am at peace with myself.
    Peace be with you Ed.
    Thank you

    1. And while so many people are distracted…old lady Nulland is doing dirty deeds in Syria…and most likely elsewhere. These ghouls love their hobbies.

  11. Great article. I think a good supplement to this is today’s posting by Caitlin Johnstone.
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/05/15/celebrities-are-such-scumbags-because-theyre-invested-in-the-status-quo/

    I’m not sure if the short comings of people like Chomsky and Hedges are conscious. It may be that they unconsciously fear for their “credibility” among the establishment “leftists”. I would say the same about Amy Goodman. Of course, the other possibility is that they are aware of their subtle obfuscations, and are ultimately serving evil as sellouts.

    1. Caitlin Johnstone is one of the typical leftist skunk Ed warns about:
      “Smelling skunks is not as obvious as it might seem. Being nocturnal, they come forth when most are sleeping.”

  12. I regularly read Chris Hedges and was shocked by his strange and factually inaccurate statements about Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, which were embedded in an otherwise excellent article. Russia is totally in command in Ukraine and – though I am generally antiwar- I think their justification is not unreasonable. Also, Biden and NATO clearly pushed Putin way past the red line he drew a long time ago.

  13. Excellent post. I, a Western intellectual, completely agree with you. Do note, too, that in recent decades Western oppositionists like Vltchek have a way of dying before their time. The blatherous fake opposition continues to fail to see how ruthless Western power is to real oppositionists.

  14. I found my way here from Unz. Below is the comment I had left behind there:

    “There are many, many scores, probably hundreds, like Chomsky and Hedges that visit and comment at this site and similar others, namely Moon of Alabama, Strategic Culture and Saker, bearing names like Matthew Ehret or who give themselves titles like SEER (Moon of Alabama).

    You can unpack them in the snap of a finger, simply by pointing out a logical error. But their mobs will come back at you in a second and begin calling you names — exactly the way MSM readers comment and think.

    In his article above, Edward Curtin fails to see that the propaganda lies distributed by Chomsky, Hedges et al were made and brew in their hearts and minds and were never found in the empirical truths outside their persons. That is, objective facts don’t matter to them! Restated another way: these people are just as bigoted, as psychopathic and as selfish as the national, connected elites and the MSM they criticize.

    Anglo-American intellectual, political and social lives, or whatever that’s left, are fucked. But carry on…. White man! Don’t let us, or anyone else, interrupt you. So you can all see why MSM and the western elites had it so easy — democracy, you see — with their audiences, the taxpayers and their voters over Ukraine, before that the world, and so on.

    Russia has finally woken up to the fact above: that Europeans and those they beget in America are a barbaric, uncivilized culture. The Chinese told them that. Hence, Russia ought to, like China, begin to design and create a gargantuan firewall separating the West and the Rest. Language and the Immigration are excellent starting points: you don’t want Anglo-American poison in your homes, not even if they wear Cossack or speak in tongues. Russia needs, first and foremost, to protect and preserve its own and Motherland. The Chomskies can fry inside Anglo-America, along with their like-minded.

    Those we’d admit must be verified by years and years of scrutiny: Michael Hudson and Andre Vitchek being the standard. The like of Chomsky and Hedges will never be admitted into our ethical, rational society but will be kept out — at all costs! — so they may remain in Anglo-America to help eat itself, from the tail up. A person like Andrew Anglin? He’s a wait and see….”

  15. This is such an excellent article, Edward. I was a fan of Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges in the past, as I was Counterpunch. (Ah, but I was so much older then…) However, it’s essential that venerated journalists such as Chomsky and Hedges (and so many others), who’ve accepted at face value far too many massive, obvious, provable lies (whether about 9/11, Covid-19, Ukraine or the US election) in recent years, be slammed repeatedly and mercilessly. The fate of the world may depend on it.

    1. Hi Philip….Isn’t, wasn’t Chomsky simply a marketing agent for something, someone ? Counterpunch is pathetic !
      I had to express this.

  16. Chomsky’s books were readily available in the larger book store chains. That makes one wonder as to just how ‘subversive’ his writings are. He also claimed boycotts are worthless, i.e, having the same impact as an act of suicide. His inconsistencies showed through.

  17. Russians have been sitting on the throne of England for over 100 years. Don’t believe me? Look it up. Nothing is what they tell you. On purpose…

  18. “Sampson defeating Goliath”
    David defeated Goliath, Sampson defeated the Philistines.

  19. “to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed”

    Worth remembering.

    I would also recommend Orwell’s article Politics and the English Language, which can be found online. He mentions how language is rewritten. The names of groups and actions are rewritten to obscure.

    And there is one important point that we see in every war: The enemy is described as one PERSON, while the good side is named as a country. Because it is easier to hate a person than a country.

    So it is “Putin” a thousand times over in the media, against “Ukraine”. Never “Russia against Zelensky”. Yes, they do mention and praise Zelensky, but not in terms of war: It’s not “Zelensky prepares to attack this region,” for example. No, then it’s the country’s collective will.

    In this war it’s extreme; I don’t think I have ever seen so articles focus so completely on the person in the evil country. Not in the case of Serbia or Iraq or Iran or North Korea. Now it’s even headlines like, “Putin holds a speech in leather jacket that costs X dollars.” “Putin’s oligarchs.” “Putin’s mistress” over and over and over – HE ISN’T MARRIED, so how would his girlfriend be a “mistress”? “Putin is increasingly isolated.” (Approval rating of 86 percent, the highest ever, for saving Donbass from the planned invasion.)

    While it’s “Ukrainians refuse to bend,” “Brave Ukrainians,” “the people of Ukraine”. Not in a single newspaper in a single Western country do they write about the people of Donbass, of course.

    1. Not mentioning , at all, the people of donbas, indicates the western media approve of the atrocities committed there the last 8 years by Ukraine. They were only content in bringing up the donbas, when the Malaysian airliner conveniently got shot down. THAT was not long after obama initiated the 2014 coup against yanukevich.

  20. I ordinary do not at all watch television or listen to radio. My information comes from downloading numerous articles and videos of all kind of news articles and then make up my own mind. My wife who lived through WWII and under communist regime (and escape from it) now expressed herself that communism was a bliss compared to what we now experienced in Victoria, Australia. My views are in details set out at my blog https://www.scribd.com/inspectorrikati and so no need to set it out in this post. However, the article by Edward very much confirms what I gained as an understanding from my own limited research.

  21. It’s just easier and more socially comfortable to believe.
    Whether it be religion, propaganda, spin or advertising, believing requires no effort and believers are not subject to derision or nasty looks.
    So many believers, so few Truth seekers.

  22. A really excellent analysis Ed. The ability to do what you have done here – sift through the most subtle nuanced “propaganda”- produced by “respected” left intellectuals – and call it out for what it is – is certainly sorely lacking among the “left” these days.

    It is so difficult to speak with friends and family about many of the most important issues facing all of us – because they literally have no larger “context” through which to understand the endless lies of empire. It is almost as if for them each new lie, each new propaganda operation exists alone, independent and on its own with no connection to “history” – even recent history. Decade after decade of endless lies are all magically forgotten as the Hedges and Chomsky’s of the world play their pied piper tunes for young people looking for a “hero” – and having to settle instead for “left celebrity” propagandists.

  23. Beautiful metaphor at the end. I’d be curious if the subtle weaving of the falsehoods into truthful contexts is done subconsciously or consciously.

  24. “This is the power of successful propaganda, whether purposeful or not. It particularly works well on “intellectual” and highly schooled people.”

    Why do you think this is so? I think it’s because they’ve been brainwashed and dumbed down during 16 years of public school and university indoctrination. Unless they’ve entered graduate school and conducted their own research, they haven’t been asked to critically analyze ideas.

    What say you?

    1. Hi Kevin,

      In my experience most graduate students are just as bad as undergraduates. Few bother to research such matters because they wish to please their professors and get jobs, and questing only hurts that process. It’s all about the career ladder. Pax,
      Ed

    2. Hello Kevin…The indoctrination system…If I were asked for advice from a high school graduate, I would encourage them to seek a wide variety of jobs over a period of 3-5 years before making a decision about college.

      I would encourage them to work in as many different work environments as possible, observe closely, communicate, ask questions.

      If a college graduate asked me for advice, I would say the same things ( including getting involved in some kind of human services so to learn how inhumane we are). Develop a keen perception, challenge anything that seems illogical or irrational. Yes, you might get fired, but that will also be an experience to learn from.

      Somehow, the indoctrination process must be interrupted, I think in those years. Experience, close observation, intuition, dealing with fear and peer pressure; understand all of the dysfunction….then make some kind of decision for future activity. Hopefully money, material gain will be the least influential concerns.

    3. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of propaganda at NYU, reminds us that the *intelligentsia*, not the deplorables, were responsible for Hitler’s rise in the 30’s. A cursory look at that era gives us the impression that corrupt leaders gained power by tricking “the masses.” However, history shows that power is gained by tricking the sycophantic careerists at universities, think tanks, etc..

  25. Thank you Ed. Reminds me of the great line by Peter Finch in the movie ‘Network’, 1976, this movie is far more relevant now than it was then.
    Finch walked toward the TV studio audience and said; “you’ll believe any shit we tell you”! Another interesting detail of this movie is; in different geographic locations, people perceived newsman Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch from a comedic sense. You might remember, Peter Finch said he was going to commit suicide while live on the air in the studio. He said the reason is, “I ran out of bullshit” ! He was not trying to be funny. Today…, bullshit is all there is in the TV and print news ! As we were holding NO WAR signs in the streets yesterday, it was interesting to listen to comments from people driving by. We have a gigantic mess from deception that’s 245 years old !

  26. There is no “left” in this country, nor is there a “right”.

    Camus said it best: executioners of “left” and “right”, of the same family.

    NYTimes constantly uses such confusing labels, both out of laziness and to appear to be “objective” when in fact empiricism and reality gleaned — minus any ideology and filters — is only path towards knowledge.

    NYT obvious not alone. In doing this.

    A useful spectrum would be total ignorance across gamut to total knowledge. Foolish journalist can’t have that, it would actually be useful to people, however.

    Understanding — weltanschauung — is function of education.

    Palestine, a problem left over from WWI — a western created problem — no closer to resolution today, more than a century later.

    Were, for instance, Palestine history actually taught in USA, there would be many less illusions about westernism and it’s ‘good cop’ partner “liberalism” attached like congenital twin to capital accumulation, our state religion of predator capitalistism.

    Palestine, among other historical facts, perfectly demonstrate actually existing westernism.

    Amherst, Mass., Northampton, Mass., Easthampton Mass., all waving Ukraine flags.

    Go read the reasons these municipal “leaders” provided to justify such.

    Fragmented [that is to say, broken, broke apart, fractured, disarticulated] Consciousness is great and everlasting hallmark of agents leading, and functionaries part of our education, polity and economic institutions.

    Briefly, on the highly schooled — what Edward says is worth paying attention to.

    My perspective is that in fact, and as a social fact, in fact these and those with degrees and so on and so forth in fact are really not well-educated.

    There is achieved status and ascribed status.

    None of the charlatans Edward mentioned possess actual, achieved status.

    And their fragmented consciousness blares here there and everywhere as the gospel.

    As a society, we don’t understand the essence of that which constitute the religious — a scheme of idea and beliefs for which there is no proof.

    Call this myths, fairy tails, dogma, psyops, propaganda, limited and modified hangouts. . . . those ‘intellectuals’ are in fact not well educated.

    And yet they think they are and many act as if they are.

    Thus plastic reality [false consciousness, or ignorance] is thus created on which our conversations glide and ride and travel upon. [Sociologist label this social theory “Symbolic Interactionism”]

    On a rotten or nonexistent foundation: We are on our own: Our institutions broken, fragmented, collapsed and collapsing.

    “Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.
    Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting, and farewells him with hooting, only to welcome another with trumpeting again.
    Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.
    Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.”
    — Khalil Gibran

    -30-

    1. Thanks, Ed! I’ve experienced similar as far as people simply not wanting to hear of let alone think about a another narrative. And the facility of the gadgets and social media also enhances the rapid spread of falsities that quickly get adopted as the norm, becoming stock phrases promoted by everyone’s an expert, as you highlight. I’m still looking for banners such as “stand with rainforest” or “stand with Mother Earth”, rather than the corporate sports mentality of rooting for one country against another.

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