Friday, January 13, 2012

Learning to Spot Propaganda

One of the keys to living intelligently in this modern media age is being able to accurately spot propaganda. In the old Soviet Union, citizens learned to be able to read between the lines. They learned to spot the obvious propaganda messages that were directed at them.

In this modern age, we need to be able to do the same. To somehow figure out what's really going on amongst the lies we are fed on a daily basis. We need to be able to know when to discard the obvious lies and other propaganda messages that are pushed at us daily.

This Glenn Greenwald article is a wonderful piece in exploring this. The subject is the recent car-bomb assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientists. And the fact that some western journalists and writers have accurately called this an act of terrorism. And the fact that these writers have been attacked for daring to state that the US or Israel appears to be engaged in acts that can only be properly described as terrorism.

Iran and the Terrorism game by Glenn Greewald from

Part of the problem here is the pretense that Terrorism has some sort of fixed, definitive meaning. It does not. As Professor Remi Brulin has so exhaustively documented, the meaning of the term has constantly morphed depending upon the momentary interests of those nations (usually the U.S. and Israel) most aggressively wielding it. It’s a term of political propaganda, impoverished of any objective meaning, and thus susceptible to limitless manipulation. Even the formal definition incorporated into U.S. law is incredibly vague; one could debate forever without resolution whether targeted killings of scientists fall within its scope, and that’s by design. The less fixed the term is, the more flexibility there is in deciding what acts of violence are and are not included in its scope.

I remember that back after 9-11, there were writings and discussions about the definition of terrorism. The definition I remember goes something like this. "Acts of violence that kill or injure innocent civilians with the purpose of achieving a political goal".

The US and/or Israel apparently just killed an innocent scientist with the express political purpose of getting Iran not to continue its nuclear program. Of course, some might immediately respond that this scientist wasn't an 'innocent civilian' in that he was working on a nuclear bomb. But, this argument only rests on more propaganda. The IAEA has had inspectors looking at the Iranian nuclear program for at least a decade, and has never found a shred of evidence that any enrichment beyond what's needed for civilian reactors has ever occurred. And, such enrichment would be very hard to hide. The various intelligence agencies of the west have at times all concluded that the Iranians have no nuclear weapons program, only a peaceful civilian program. And of course, the Iranian government has consistently stated that they are only pursuing peaceful civilian uses of nuclear power.

I don't know who this man was, but it seems rather obvious that the facts point to him being a civilian scientist. One who is now dead because of a violent car-bomb attack. A man who is now undoubtedly being mourned by family and friends who loved him and who miss his presence in this world. This man is dead from an act of terrorism. And its an act of terrorism that was committed by either the US or our ally Israel.

If you want to understand the world, face up to the fact that the current government of the United States is a supporter of terrorism. Or, at the very least, that most of the rest of the world certainly has good reason to look at the United States as a supporter of terrorism.

It doesn't have to be this way. There were candidates on the last ballot for President who would not be supporting terrorist attacks against Iran. The voters of America had a choice not to support this policy. Yet, some 98% of American voters voted for candidates (McCain and Obama) who would clearly support and continue this policy. And only some 2% of American voters supported the candidates (McKinney, Nader, Barr) who would have opposed this policy.

If the thought of an American government that is an obvious supporter of terrorism bothers you, try voting for candidates that don't support this policy. If you voted for Obama or McCain in the last election, then you voted to support terrorism. If this bothers you, then please don't do that again in the next election. Votes for Obama, Romney or Gingrich are clearly and obviously votes for an America that is a supporter of terrorism.

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