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A 21st Century Cold War Calls for 21st Century Propaganda

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2013's propaganda ban repeal, which served the U.S. in its efforts that year to manufacture popular belief in a supposed chemical attack by Assad on the citizens of Syria, also served Washington in its February 2014 coup in Ukraine. As Strategic Culture's Eric Zuesse has written about the Ukraine coup's origins:

"The network behind this coup had actually started planning for the coup back in 2011. That's when Eric Schmidt of Google, and Jared Cohen, also now of Google but still continuing though unofficially as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's chief person tasked to plan 'popular movements' to overthrow both Yanukovych in Ukraine, and Assad in Syria."

These and the other pieces of evidence that Ukraine's regime change was U.S.-engineered were hidden from Western media consumers, who only heard about a Ukrainian "democratic revolution" that prompted a heinous act of aggression in Ukraine by Vladimir Putin.

In reality, it was the U.S. that had caused the crisis in Ukraine, and it's the U.S. that had consequently initiated a new cold war. After the Ukraine coup, Russia had reason to fear NATO nuclear missiles not just near, but on, Russia's border. And Victoria Nuland, Barack Obama's central agent behind the coup, had made sure that the new person to head Ukraine's government would be the far-right and rabidly anti-Russian Arseniy Yatsenyuk. As a result, Ukraine's government has since been a fascistic and aggressive antagonist towards Russia, with the Nazi-tied regime carrying out anti-Russian war provocations, inflaming armed conflict with pro-Russian separatists at the behest of the Trump administration, and engaging in ethnic cleansing against Ukraine's Russian-speaking communities.

In this light, the return of the cold war tensions was not initiated by Russia. Indeed, Putin's 2008 intervention in Georgia and his 2014 intervention in Ukraine were largely done in response to NATO's aggressive expansionism, and Russia's efforts to militarily protect Syria and Venezuela have also been the result of the U.S. empire's belligerence. The new cold war is, rather, the result of America's operations to strong-arm China and its allies Russia, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, and north Korea into submission. And the catalyst for this potential run-up to nuclear conflict was the 2014 regime change project in Ukraine, whose surrounding atmosphere of intensive state-manufactured propaganda has reflected the nature of the years since then.

An empire of illusion

Talking from my experiences and observations as an American, the onset of this new cold war has produced a dystopian new era, one where reality is constantly being twisted by powerful actors who seek to perpetuate a war that has no end in sight. This is a more extreme version of the War on Terror, whose dozen years of existence prior to the start of the new cold war had already primed the American people for a scenario where they would be told to fear not just terrorists, but also the world's other major superpowers.

The messaging campaigns used to manufacture consent for all of these war campaigns have been carried out both through the dissemination of state propaganda itself, and through the suppression of information that contradicts this propaganda. The onslaught of online censorship throughout the last several years was begun with a statement from the U.S. government whose purpose was to declare war on voices which challenge the official narratives; in January 2017, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence published a report on Russia that devoted seven of its 25 pages to RT America, the chief television hub for America's small selection of antiwar and socialist commentators. The report said that:

"RT's reports often characterize the United States as a 'surveillance state' and allege widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use.

RT has also focused on criticism of the US economic system, US currency policy, alleged Wall Street greed, and the US national debt. Some of RT's hosts have compared the United States to Imperial Rome and have predicted that government corruption and "corporate greed" will lead to US financial collapse."

This McCarthyist view of the critics of capitalism and imperialism is one that U.S. intelligence agencies, as well as the online companies they hold influence over, have been applying to how they treat journalists who object to the war effort. Since the media sensation around supposed Russian interference in U.S. elections began in 2016, the world has experienced the biggest wave of Internet censorship in history. The algorithm manipulations and content purges from the online companies have accompanied ambitious new projects from the U.S. and E.U. to police the Internet, which threaten to constrain Internet freedom all around the globe.

After Facebook's big purge of alternative media accounts in October 2018, a top neocon insider promised that the shutdown of the open Internet will go much further. Jamie Fly, director of the Asia program at the influential U.S. and NATO-funded think tank the German Marshall Fund, stated that:

"Russia, China, and other foreign states take advantage of our open political system. They can invent stories that get repeated and spread through different sites. So we are just starting to push back. Just this last week Facebook began starting to take down sites. So this is just the beginning."

Fly and the other power players within the empire are attempting to influence world events by controlling the flow of information. It's crucial to them that the Western public views the current geopolitical developments through the American-centric, pro-imperialist lens through which the government presents current events. Having fully expanded their propaganda operations, they're now in the process of de-platforming the opposition press, which is their only obstacle to total control over the narrative.

However, while the empire may try to insulate those within its sphere of control from reality, reality itself is remarkably stubborn. The CIA's propaganda, sophisticated as it is, can't reverse the trend of imperial collapse that the United States is experiencing. No matter how much the think tanks, intelligence agencies, and corporations work to shut down dissenting voices, climate change and other threats to the system will continue to progress. The coming years and decades will be a period of great instability, where the collapse of global capitalism and the accelerating ecological crisis will upend civilization as we know it.

During this upheaval, we can't let society's collective mind be controlled by a circle of oligarchs who intend to deceive us into remaining docile in the face of emerging dystopia. We must continue to seize control of the narrative and take society in a different direction.

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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution.

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9 people are discussing this page, with 17 comments  Post Comment


lila york

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Right on all counts. THe FBI just issued a statement outlawing dissent - that is the upshot. A good start to undoing this atrocity is informing the public that they are being intentionally lied to and propagandized. 99% of the public would be shocked to know that.

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 at 2:22:25 PM

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lila york

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Next - we need to get the Smith Mundt Modernization Act nullifed and end the propagandizing of the public. Congress and the White House need to be informed that unless they do this, none of the 350 million of us will ever again believe a single word uttered by the government or any US news outlet spewing this garbage.

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 at 3:17:23 PM

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David William Pear

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It is heartening that such a young person such as Rainer could figured out what took me 50 plus years to learn. That means there is hope. His example needs to be studied to see how and why he did it, and use that information to turn other young (and old farts) heads (and butts) to the light.

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 at 5:07:43 PM

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lila york

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Reply to David William Pear:   New Content

I agree . But this knowledge requires immediate action on our part. If the Smith Mundt Act is not restored to its original purpose and propaganda is not outlawed, and the FBI statement criminalizing dissent is not revoked, we can all kiss our asses goodbye because America will be over.

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 at 5:23:27 PM

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Reply to lila york:   New Content

Trying to outlaw the blatant propaganda at this point might not even be possible.

Your government has legalized propaganda, and they obviously had a motive for doing this, and the desired effect has unfolded. Naturally, they're not just going to roll over and reverse Smith-Mundt. But even if they did...

The situation has already been so bastardized that all truth has been labeled as propaganda. Any new regulation of propaganda would just end up shutting out the truth anyway. And, they'll still have all the "authoritative" parties in place, deciding for everyone else what is "truth". (Naturally, it will be THEIR truth.)

This was likely another part of that desired effect. Not only will nothing change, but the truth could actually end up being literally against the law.

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 at 6:20:12 PM

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My thinking is this - the American public was never notified of this law. CNN never mentioned it. There are probably not more than a handful of people who are aware that the government has been intentionally lying to the public and feeding the media false information to justify illegal wars and coups since 2012. Just as the US dollar rests solely on blind trust in its value, network news coverage and government pronouncements rest on trust in the truth of the statements. Once that is gone, the whole thing blows up. That is what is needed now. We need to find a way to get this information out in a huge way. Imagine if it were conclusively proven that Dick and Bibi planned the 911 attacks. And all of those soldiers died for a lie. All of those innocents in the towers died for a lie. What would that do to trust in government. We need a shakeup on that scale.

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 at 10:47:56 PM

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You'll get no argument from me on any of that. That's where the energy needs to be directed - waking up the masses!

Despite how everything looks right now, the flow of information cannot really be stopped. Some of it will, of course, have to "go underground" in a few small ways, but I think that is already what is starting to happen now.

People are waking up. People are ditching Facebook. People are beginning to learn how important encryption and decentralization are becoming to regaining their rights.

This effect will increase, as more people get pissed off with "Big Brother" and his "Thought Police" interfering in their speech, invading their privacy, and taking away their security.

Remember I said that with every step they take to improve their grip on our communications, they "out" themselves more and more as the liars they are. Any group helping them do this (I'm talking to you, Google, Facebook, and Twitter!) will be abandoned as quickly as they were first embraced.

Submitted on Monday, Aug 12, 2019 at 1:28:03 AM

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Rainer Shea

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It warms my heart to see that I've inspired you like this!

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 at 7:33:39 PM

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Please tell us what inspired you? Thank you so much!

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 at 9:30:26 PM

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Obviously his bullshit detector is in full working order. Pity most Americans neither have one or know why they should.

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 at 9:50:35 PM

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Rainer Shea

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I got inspired to become a political writer after experiencing the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016. I've become disaffected from Sanders since then (he repeats all of the anti-Russia narratives that this article discusses), but the energy of the people who supported him continues to inspire me to make change. It shows me there are a lot of people in this country who want to fight the system.

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 at 11:29:36 PM

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Reply to David William Pear:   New Content

David, you know what? Ever since I first saw some of the writing of Rainer and looking at his picture I thought to myself, is this for real? Is he really that young? If so, how and why did he get to know what he does and how and why does he write so well. Anyway, that does not matter. He is who he is and he be what he be. In spite of the rather dreary things he writes about, I find it refreshing.

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019 at 7:24:17 AM

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b. sadie bailey

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Another exemplary piece of writing and thinking that is a pleasure to read, even while it lays out hard truths that seem to "surprise" or even "shock" most U.S. people; but for us, it's a breath of fresh air in an atmosphere of suffocating lies. I learn something new from every well-researched article that Rainer Shea writes.

Lila York is right about the need to seize the moment with no time to waste. The seeming hopelessness of the task makes it all the more imperative to try to educate people and help them wake up, as this articles and some of the people here on Op-Ed do. It's heartening that one so young understands what's going on and writes so lucidly, and also doesn't blame everyone over 60 for the problems we face today. The ongoing greed and injustices are part of a continuum, as are the voices speaking out against them.

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 at 10:44:38 PM

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Michael Dewey

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Seems to me America's fate and destiny is for the fruits Empire breaks enough American backs. Then society will wake up and demand all troops head back home. I've been calling for a year of jubilee party, since first reading of one in Isaiah 25 when the veil will be removed from all eyes. After that am quite sure them with insight from the 60's-70's peace and freedom dreams will shine brightly in Daniel 12:3 when given control of the TV. This Number Nine Dream is the about the swingtown way of life would like to see this broken promised land get down too and start exporting overseas with Thanks Giving Dinners of repainting sent to countries we have destroyed or who are most in need.

Submitted on Monday, Aug 12, 2019 at 1:17:37 PM

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Not much of a biblical dude here, but I do know much of it and quote the obvious when it applies (who knows which version, which language, or speaks the original language? All critical for anyone truly serious).

However, me being Daniel (seemingly forever in the lion's den!) had to look this one up:

Daniel 12:3 New International Version (NIV)

3 Those who are wise[a] will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. click here

I actually see this happening, with folks like Tulsi and Marianne speaking loud and clear, among many others.

P.S Meanwhile, I'm sure my devout Catholic mother had this in mind when she named me click here P.P.S. For the mathematically inclined, I was born on August 8, 1947 (when much was going on politically, to say the least). Assuming nine months from conception to birth, do the math and check the dates. I forget what prompted me to check this a few months ago, but knowing my long-gone mother, I wouldn't be surprised if it was intentionally timed. 🙄

Submitted on Monday, Aug 12, 2019 at 7:03:08 PM

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What was Dec 8th 1947?


I see others besides just Tulsi and Marianne with the right message. Many more will come from the Rock and Roll community. People we know and love so much we made them rich. Lots of it will be about learning to live as a brotherhood of mankind, which looks like giving people "space" can go a long ways. I don't mind using Bible stuff that certainly applies to these latter days, later than ever before. There are a whole bunch about better days that only take some walls come down to make reality.

Submitted on Monday, Aug 12, 2019 at 7:48:35 PM

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lila york

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I put together a brief call to action on this issue and linked to this article, which should be read by everyone.

Submitted on Monday, Aug 12, 2019 at 10:31:31 PM

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