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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/23/21

"The Western firewall is complete": the CIA's vast modern anti-communist propaganda effort

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With Covid-19, the coming of the 2020s "Greater Depression," and the climate catastrophe that's increasingly afflicting our society with disasters like last month's Texas blackouts, class conflict in the United States has reached the highly intensified state that it was destined to reach when neoliberalism first became implemented. You can't drive down the living standards of the masses this much without provoking an ever greater series of uprisings, as shown by the unprecedented amount of participants that last year's Black Lives Matter protests gained.

In this environment of ever-heightening potential for popular revolt, the U.S. ruling class can only stave off revolution by intensively working to sabotage the process towards the formation of a revolutionary force. Everything that the U.S. national-security state does is centered around preventing a scenario where the country's proletariat builds up a vanguard capable of overthrowing and replacing the capitalist state. This is why in every respect, the disinformation that the state's propaganda organs put forth ultimately serves to demonize Marxism-Leninism, the revolutionary model that's already succeeded at putting state power into the hands of the proletariat within numerous countries.

Such is the nature of the ideological battle that the state is going to wage with increasing intensity in the coming years and decades, as class discontent continues to approach a boiling point.

Media hoaxes designed to turn the masses against revolutionary socialism

This central goal that the national-security state has of preventing Marxism-Leninism's ideological rise is most apparent in the fabricated stories about China that we're being inundated with these days. Since 2018, when every major U.S. media outlet uncritically promoted a shoddily sourced claim about how China had interned "one million" Uyghurs, Americans have been constantly bombarded with the same idea: that China is committing a genocide comparable to that of Nazi Germany. The rise in anti-Asian hate crimes during the last year that this inflammatory propaganda has helped produce is collateral damage in the U.S. empire's relentless campaign to stir up anti-communist paranoia, American chauvinism, and cold war fever.

As Ajit Singh of The Grayzone has observed about the most recent report that the U.S. media has used to promote the "Uyghur genocide" claim, every part of the scant "evidence" that supposedly supports the narrative comes from sources that are heavily vested in advancing Washington's imperialist subversion goals. Singh writes about the integrity of this "independent" study from the Newlines Institute:

Newlines' report relies primarily on the dubious studies of Adrian Zenz, the US government propaganda outlet, Radio Free Asia, and claims made by the US-funded separatist network, the World Uyghur Congress. These three sources comprise more than one-third of the references used to construct the factual basis of the document, with Zenz as the most heavily relied upon source--cited on more than 50 occasions. Many of the remaining references cite the work of members of Newlines Institute's "Uyghur Scholars Working Group", of which Zenz is a founding member and which is made up of a small group of academics who collaborate with him and support his conclusions. As The Grayzone has reported, Zenz is a far-right Christian fundamentalist who has said he is "led by God" against China's government, deplores homosexuality and gender equality, and has taught exclusively in evangelical theological institutions.

An equivalent disinformation campaign has been waged against the DPRK, another socialist country whose system of workers' democracy has much to teach U.S. proletarians who want to take power. If the victims of our electorally dysfunctional corporate oligarchy were to learn how functional and transparent the DPRK's voting system is, and how effective it's been at advancing the interests of the Korean proletariat, eagerness to build a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party would explode. But the masses are systematically deprived of this knowledge. They're fed a demagogic story about how the DPRK is a "monarchy" where Kim Jong-un holds total power, and where the people are frequently tortured and arbitrarily imprisoned. As journalist Tony Cartalucci has written, these claims are entirely lacking in evidence, with all the sources of the abuse claims coming from the north Korean defectors who are paid extravagant sums of money to make up atrocity stories:

The "pattern" Washington Post writer Anna Fifield and many others claim to have spotted is merely a pattern of unverified claims being made by the Western media--built upon previously and likewise unverified claims, creating a cartoon-like vilification of a state writers at the New York Times and Washington Post know readers are unfamiliar with. The Western media understands their narratives are difficult for the public to question without conducting their own, extensive and time-consuming research. They depend on readers not clicking links--if links are even included--to long UN reports and understanding the paper-thin credibility of such reports when built entirely on "witness testimony."

The imperialist media also fabricates outlandish claims like men in the DPRK being forced to get the same haircut as Kim Jong-un, or like wildly violent public executions taking place within the country. These serve to sow a general sense of confusion surrounding the DPRK, as war propaganda is so often meant to do. An especially absurd example of this happened last year, as explained by the journalist Ben Norton:

The "hipster arm of the empire" [VICE NEWS] published an article trumpeting, "A Prominent North Korean Defector is '99% Certain' Kim Jong Un Is Dead." Its source was a defector trained and funded by the NED. Days before, the US government-funded Daily NK had also praised VICE for producing a slick documentary that effectively amounts to fawning PR for the disinformation outlet, in a perfect circle of propaganda. Then on May 1--the same day VICE News claimed there was a 99 percent chance Kim was dead--the house of cards came crumbling down, as DPRK state media published photos of the leader cutting a ribbon at a fertilizer plant.

This is a media that's relentlessly intent on distorting reality when it comes to Washington's communist rivals. The impacts of these perpetual disinformation campaigns on our society's political consciousness are predictably noxious.

Fostering a culture where anti-communism is embraced across the entire political spectrum

Despite the indications that the "Uyghur genocide" is the Iraqi WMDs hoax of our time, and the evidence that virtually everything our media says about the DPRK is a lie, the CIA has gotten those within almost every part of the country's political spectrum to unquestioningly accept these lies as truth. In addition to the bipartisan consensus that these ridiculous reports are credible and that China needs to be sanctioned for "crimes against humanity," the supposedly left-wing social democrats who seek to make the Democratic Party more progressive are promoting the "China genocide" hoax as well; in line with Bernie Sanders, the leading social democratic publication Jacobin absurdly claimed last year that China's Uyghurs are "suffering in mass concentration camps."

Even in supposedly "radical" spaces like the online anarchist community, belief in these lies are widespread, with the anarchist subreddits regularly producing posts like "Debunking Uighur Genocide Denial" and "how do you combat uyghur genocide denial?" More notably, when U.S.-funded reactionaries began carrying out terrorism within Hong Kong two years ago, the anarchist site LibCom took the opportunity to reinforce the "Tiananmen Square Massacre" narrative in an attempt at lending legitimacy to the anti-CPC agenda of the Hong Kong protests. It didn't matter that the accounts of the "massacre" have been so thoroughly debunked that this word doesn't even truthfully apply to what happened in the square; attacking China's government was more important than the truth.

This is the political culture that the CIA has succeeded at creating within the U.S., and within the other imperialist countries that are participating in Washington's cold war against China. A culture where the world's largest workers' democracy is denounced as a genocidal dictatorship, or at least as an oppressive oligarchy, even by many of those who consider themselves leftists. Of course, this culture has long had ideological basis; as Michael Parenti wrote in Left, Right and the "Extreme Moderates" about how the anti-Leninist left has long sided on geopolitical issues:

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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. Donate to me on Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=11988744

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