Persuading the Left Intelligentsia on Syria

Published on William Bowles.info, by blog owner, Sept 9, 2013.

Barack Obama’s fervent drive for yet more war carries a number of important lessons in terms of propaganda and the extent to which the “progressive left” literati can be persuaded to jump on the homicidal bandwagon.

The forces behind Syria’s destabilization have employed an array of public relations maneuvers to sway public sentiment and hone in on the support of key constituencies, including credentialed intellectuals and opinion leaders.  

This became abundantly clear to many in 2011 as the mercenary guerrilla forces within Syria were self-referentially labeled “activists” and “rebels,” a falsehood that continues to be unquestioningly echoed throughout Western corporate media [1] and its “progressive” alternative counterparts such asDemocracy Now! As Finian Cunningham observes, because such programs are presented as ostensibly “critical, independent journalism,” they serve “to sow powerful seeds of misinformation in a way that the ‘compromised’ mainstream media cannot.”[2]

Similar ploys include “astro-turf” outlets purporting to represent genuine causes. One such organization appears to be the Global Campaign for Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution (GCSSR). The GCSSR has managed to obtain the signatures of close to one thousand prominent European, American and Middle Eastern academics and public intellectuals on its petition, “Solidarity with the Syrian Struggle for Dignity and Freedom.” Perhaps the support is unsurprising, especially since the document presents Syria’s coordinated subversion with genuine indigenous uprisings throughout the world … //

… The “eyewitness account” provided the basis for continual denunciations of the Iraq army’s alleged atrocities by those American political leaders angling for war. Yet it later turned out that Nayirah was the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States, and before her testimony she had been coached by Hill and Knowlton staff. In the end the initial story of hundreds of Kuwaiti newborns cast out of their incubators was discredited.[5]

Still, the effort was ultimately successful, as it conned the American people into backing a conflict that stole an anticipated Cold War peace dividend, presaged the slow deaths of half a million Iraqi children via US-led sanctions, and paved the way for America’s far-expanded and destructive role in the Middle East.

Much like the George W. Bush administration’s “weapons of mass destruction” ruse, there is a degree of primitiveness in the deceptive effort leading to the Gulf War vis-à-vis the clever and overall low-cost maneuvers encompassed in those such as GCSSR. The latter entails a more flagrant and Orwellian manipulation of political codes whereupon empty appeals to “democracy,” “solidarity,” and “struggle” direct passions toward ends far removed from their historical bearings and original intent.

America’s political myopia is perhaps most abundantly clear in the enigma that is Obama—a personage who enthralls his supporters with well-crafted platitudes that rouse veneration once reserved for genuine leaders. In his hypocritical and now increasingly isolated worldview where war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength, the obligation to act on humanitarian grounds likewise wraps coldblooded aggression in the adornments of morality and deliverance.
(full text and notes).

Links:

forgotten how Govs have to be run? on Humanitarian Blog, August 12, 2011;

(see also: Welcome to our new blog: politics for the 99%).

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