‘Worthy’ and ‘Unworthy’ Victims

As the Friday demonstrations inside the border fence in Gaza picked up again today for the fourth week, Israeli security forces have already killed four more Palestinians, who in the eyes of the U.S. are “unworthy” victims, argues David William Pear.

By David William Pear

In their book Manufacturing Consent Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky distinguished between two kinds of victims: the worthy victims and the unworthy victims. The “worthy victims” are the victims (real and alleged) of leaders on the U.S. enemies list, such as Bashar al-Assad. The “unworthy victims” are those of the U.S. and its client states, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The U.S.-led alliance calling itself the “international community” is outraged when there are worthy victims. For example, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley holds up pictures in the Security Council of dead Syrian babies for the world to see. Worthy victims are granted human rights, and Assad deserves our outrage.

Unworthy victims for example are the 50,000 Yemeni children who have died of starvation because of Saudi Arabia’s blockade of Yemen, including food, water and medicine.

Unworthy victims are blamed for being victims and ignored by the international community and the mainstream media. Unworthy victims have no human rights. Yemen is a humanitarian disaster that is ignored. Saudi Arabia is a friend of the U.S. and Washington is helping the Saudi war effort with equipment and logistical support.

So there is no outrage from the U.S. when Saudi Arabia Crown Prince and defense minister Mohammad bin Salman drops U.S.- manufactured bombs from U.S.-made planes, which indiscriminately slaughter Yemeni men, women and children below. MBS is instead the darling of the neocons. Columnist Thomas Friedman praises him as if being an absolute monarch is the thing to be in the 21st century. Robert Parry, the late founder and editor of this site, described Friedman and the neocons as “disconnected from reality.”

Protesting for a Right to Return

For weeks now, tens of thousands of Gazans have been legally protesting for their right to return to their homes in Palestine. There is no outrage in the U.S. when Netanyahu and his regime orders Israeli soldiers to massacre them. Hundreds of Palestinians were gunned down on Land Day and during demonstrations for the Right to Return.  Four more have been killed today and hundreds more wounded in the fourth week of the protests. But Netanyahu has every reason to believe that the U.S. will protect him, as it has many times in the past. Nikki Haley is not going to hold up pictures of dead Palestinian children.

Instead she will shield Netanyahu from criticism, and accuse his critics of being anti-Semitic. Netanyahu’s victims are unworthy victims.  And in what appears to be a major shift in U.S. foreign policy towards Israel and the Palestinians, the latest US State Department annual human rights report released today no longer labels the occupied Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, as “Occupied Territories,” the accurate legal term, as it had previously, reports the Institute for Middle East Understanding.

The Palestinians that have been shot dead in Gaza were inside the Israeli enclosure that has been their prison for over a decade. They were on Palestinian land. They presented no danger to the Israeli soldiers that were on the Israeli side of the barricade. The soldiers had telescopic sights on their rifles and fired from a distance of over 100 yards away. Hundreds of Palestinians were shot with illegal fragmentation bullets that have been banned by the 1899 Hague Declaration.

Netanyahu’s orders were illegal and the soldiers followed illegal orders. The Nuremberg Trials declared that “just following orders” is not a defense against war crimes.

Two million Palestinian refugees have been trapped in Gaza for over a decade. Gaza has become an inhumane, open-air prison. Even former Tory Prime Minister David Cameron called it that.  

Gaza: An open-air prison (UN/OCHA)

The people in Gaza have been cut off from the outside world. Israel controls everything and anything that goes in or out. What goes in is barely enough food for Gazans to survive. Netanyahu joked once he put Gaza on a diet. The sick, wounded and dying are not allowed to get out of Gaza to go to a hospital for medical treatment without Israeli permission. Netanyahu rarely gives that permission. Netanyahu’s victims are unworthy victims and are blamed for being victims.

Total Blockade–an Act of War 

In 2006 Israel tightened the noose around Gaza by imposing a total blockade by air, land and sea. The supposed crime for which Israel imposed an illegal collective punishment on Gazans is that they democratically elected the wrong government, against Israel’s wishes. Instead of electing the Israeli controlled Palestinian National Liberation Movement, known as Fatah, Gazans elected the Islamic Resistance Movement, known as Hamas.

Israel used to consider Fatah a terrorist organization, but now it does not because they are collaborators. Instead Israel, which secretly backed the formation of Hamas in a divide and conquer strategy, calls Hamas terrorists. Netanyahu then falsely brands the demonstrators terrorists.

Israel has killed and wounded journalists reporting from Gaza. They are unworthy victims too. So there’s no outcry from the mainstream media. Instead it repeatedly accuses Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, of (allegedly) killing journalists. Then there is a huge outcry because they are worthy victims.

The U.S. has imposed economic sanctions on Russia. Israel gets billions of dollars in U.S. financial aid every year, regardless of what Netanyahu does.  Putin is accused of invading Crimea when Russian troops were already legally deployed there and Crimeans voted in a referendum to rejoin their historical attachment to Russia. Putin is vilified for (allegedly) meddling in U.S. politics. Netanyahu gets standing ovations from joint sessions of Congress.

The Israeli prime minister has been illegally occupying the West Bank of Palestine, and he is building more illegal Israeli colonies there, euphemistically called settlements. Meanwhile, Netanyahu thumbs his nose at international law. The U.S. has vetoed 43 U.N. Security Council resolutions against Israel. Haley fumes that Putin is an obstructionist for vetoing a U.N. resolution condemning Assad for an alleged chemical weapons attack, even before any investigation was begun. The U.S. tried to block an investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of the alleged chemical weapon attack site in Syria. The OPCW says it will investigate anyway.

The Supreme Law of the Land

Netanyahu: Shielded

President Trump’s order to attack Syria based on an alleged use of chemical weapons is a violation of international law. The U.S. is not the international policeman, judge and executioner. Article 2, section 4 of the U.N. Charter states:

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

The only legal uses of force according to the U.N. Charter are for self-defense and when force is authorized by the U.N. Security Council. Violations of the U.N. Charter are also a violation of the U.S. Constitution under Article VI which states:

“…all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.”

The U.N. Charter is a treaty that was signed by the President of the United States and ratified by the U.S. Senate. Under the U.S. Constitution the U.N. Charter is the “supreme law of the land” in the U.S., as well as internationally.

Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights everyone has a presumption of innocence until proven guilty before a court of law. The U.S. does not have the right to declare a sentence before there is a trial and verdict. Article 66 of the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which the U.S. has refused to join, entitles those accused of crimes the “presumption of innocence” and further says:

The onus is on the Prosecutor to prove the guilt of the accused. In order to convict the accused, the Court must be convinced of the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.”

We do not even know if a crime has been committed in Duma. There is considerable reason for doubt. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh and others (Robert Fisk, Ron Paul, Jeffrey Sachs, former U.K. ambassador to Syria Peter Ford, Fox News Tucker Carlson, Larry Wilkerson, etc.) have raised serious doubts about the alleged chemical weapons attack by Assad. 

The unproven allegation of chemical weapons comes from U.S. backed terrorists that have been waging a war against the Syrian people for over seven years. The terrorists have been reported to have chemical weapons in their arsenal. If chemical weapons were used in any of the attacks they could have come from the terrorists themselves.

It is well known that the U.S. has been behind the war against Assad, and that the U.S. admittedly is backing terrorists in a U.S. regime change project. The dead and wounded of U.S. aggression during the 21st century number in the millions of people in over half a dozen countries. The mainstream media ignores the magnitude of the wars of U.S. aggression, and the U.S. people mainly go about their day-to-day activities as if nothing is happening.

Since the U.S. is allegedly a democracy and has freedom of the press, then U.S. citizens and the U.S. mainstream media are responsible for the actions of their government. Ignorance of the law about what their government is doing is not an excuse.

Palestinian Rights

Under international law the Palestinians have a right to resist the illegal military occupation of Palestine that has been going on since 1967. But Israel does not have the right to impose collective punishment, deny refugees the right to return home, to confiscate land, impose indefinite detention, torture prisoners and restrict the free movement of civilians; nor to confine them in inhumane living conditions in Gaza. Israel has systematically destroyed their homes and civilian infrastructure.

Israel routinely shoots to kill anyone or anything entering a “no man’s land” buffer zone inside Gaza. It even has remote controlled machine guns and other indiscriminant instruments of death within the buffer zone. When tens of thousands of unarmed demonstrators approached the buffer zone, the Israeli military snippers were prepared to massacre them. And Netanyahu says Israel has the most moral army in the world

The demonstrations in commemoration of Land Day and protests for the Right to Return have been announced in advance, including today’s.  The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem on April 3 called on Israeli soldiers to refuse illegal orders to shoot unarmed civilians saying:

The use of live ammunition against unarmed persons who pose no danger to anyone is unlawful. It is even more blatantly unlawful in the case of soldiers firing from a great distance at demonstrators located on the other side of the fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip. In addition, it is impermissible to order soldiers to fire live ammunition at individuals for approaching the fence, damaging it, or attempting to cross it.”

Under international law commanders giving the orders to shoot unarmed civilians and individual soldiers who do so could be charged with wars crimes by the International Criminal Court. That is not likely to happen anytime soon because the U.S. protects Israel and allows Netanyahu to literally get away with murder. Netanyahu’s victims are unworthy.

This article was first Published by The Greanville Post

David William Pear is an activist and progressive columnist writing on economic, political and social issues. He is a member of Veterans for Peace, Saint Pete for Peace, CodePink, and International Solidarity Movement.  In 2016 he spent 10 weeks in Palestine with the Palestinian lead non-violent resistance group International Solidarity Movement. In November of 2015 he was a delegate with CodePink to Palestine to show solidarity with Palestinians. David returned to Palestine for 10 days in March 2018. He can be contacted at dwpear521@gmail.com.

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46 comments for “‘Worthy’ and ‘Unworthy’ Victims

  1. Antiwar7
    April 21, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    This is the keystone of the War Party’s propaganda.

    Everything follows from this. Every illegal armed attack requires this.

  2. mike k
    April 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    I can’t help wondering Joe, if WC stands for water closet. Maybe we are dealing with a Brit?

    • Joe
      April 22, 2018 at 7:58 am

      Mike- very good point. Although, generally speaking, I love the English. Overall, they are miles ahead of us in awareness.

  3. Andy Jones
    April 21, 2018 at 2:43 am

    Electing a terrorist group makes you an unworthy victim. Your kids would still be worthy victims.

  4. Realist
    April 20, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    When I look at that map of Gaza I see Auschwitz writ VERY LARGE. The place is a concentration camp and the IDF is every bit as murderous as the SS was, gratuitously shooting people dead for strolling too close to their forbidden zone. All they are lacking is some mercenary Ukrainian guards. The West Bank is nearly as bad, just a lot more convoluted. Does Netanyahoo really imagine that some day the Palestinians incarcerated in his camps will come to love the Israeli Big Brother? The rest of the world can see this is a crime against humanity just on the face of it, but most are too cowardly to offer a protest, and the United States just offers more advice on clamping down harder.

    • Zachary Smith
      April 21, 2018 at 12:41 am

      Does Netanyahoo really imagine that some day the Palestinians incarcerated in his camps will come to love the Israeli Big Brother?

      I doubt if he cares what they think, and he obviously doesn’t give a hoot about world opinion. Fanatics are immune to that. What I think he and the others in The Cesspool are waiting for is a proper crisis. By that I mean a really, really big one.

      If Trump’s Syria attack had played out as Israel wanted, we’d been on the brink of WW3. Think about the scared-spitless news coverage if a couple of warning nuclear weapons went off somewhere. The Corporate Media would talk of nothing else, and a new Death March to the borders would go completely unnoticed. Heck, the government might even shut down the Internet for several days as a “temporary security measure”. When it finally came back Israel would spit in the eye of everyone.

      • Realist
        April 21, 2018 at 1:58 am

        If it comes to world war, the first thing the American government would do would be to shut down, not just the internet, but the entire power grid so we’d all be left freaking out in the dark and become much more pliable in their hands. They’d tell us all facilities are down, we are dependent entirely on them and doing what we are told, and that the Russians attacked us first, so our efforts are needed to defeat them. You’d be marched out of your house and off to some camp to labor for our beneficent leaders. Lots of people would be disposed of as fifth columnists. Nobody’s life would matter, unless you were amongst the privileged class. There are lots of reasons not to want WWIII, aside from instant incineration in a nuclear blast. It would be the end of the world as you know it, and you’d never get it back.

        • mike k
          April 21, 2018 at 1:52 pm

          Good points, as usual Realist. That postnuclearwar world will not be a picnic anyone will enjoy. Let’s do whatever we can to stave it off. Getting through this post Empire bottleneck is going to be a tight squeeze………

  5. WC
    April 20, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    If we are allowed some friendly ribbing on this site, you might want to give the arms, shoulders and fingers a break from digging that bomb shelter there mike. I built a large retaining wall last year and the same thing happened to me. ;)

    • WC
      April 20, 2018 at 7:14 pm

      Everyone’s sooooo serious. Understanding hard facts doesn’t always require a frown. Lighten up. :) :)

      • Zachary Smith
        April 20, 2018 at 8:05 pm

        Dead Yemeni kids. Dead Palestinians in Gaza from casual Israeli murder.

        Yes, this is all trivia. Lighten up!

        Indeed. We need to wait for our marching orders from the troll. He’s bound to fill our empty little heads with visions of End Games and Globalists and much, much more. Forget about those starving people in their open-air prison camp.

      • Gregory Herr
        April 20, 2018 at 8:12 pm

        Character requires sensibilities. Do you understand?

      • Abe
        April 21, 2018 at 1:32 am

        ‘Why so serious? Let’s put a smile on that face!’

        The Hasbara troll hilarity of “WC” fully explained in the CN comments near the bottom of the page at
        https://consortiumnews.com/2018/04/15/bob-parry-holding-government-accountable/

        • Abe
          April 21, 2018 at 9:13 pm

          Hasbara jokers like “WC” are scuttling around all over the internet. It’s really not surprising.

          Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, not to mention their allied “agents of chaos”, are led by murderous clowns with zero empathy.

          For all their “world without rules” pretense, the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis and its subsidiaries remain a league of petty schemers. Their decline will be no less precipitous for that.

      • April 21, 2018 at 11:21 am

        WC, If you are not technically an utterly deranged human, I’d have to conclude no one is.

      • Abe
        April 21, 2018 at 2:49 pm

        The purpose of Hasbara propaganda trolls is to distract, divert, distort, dismiss, and disrupt online discussion of Israeli government actions, pro-Israel Lobby influence, and Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis warmongering.

        Hasbara trolls also attempt to deceive and dismay by using “resistance is futile” propaganda rhetoric.

        So let’s be clear: the term “Hasbara troll” is not name-calling or a term of abuse.

        The term “Hasbara troll” accurately describes a specific form of online propaganda activity.

        It’s not merely inconvenient or annoying distraction. Hasbara is targeted distraction and diversion with a distinct political agenda.

        Most readers understandably prefer to “not feed the trolls” and to avoid engagement.

        However, in the case of Hasbara propaganda trolls, it is a legitimate response to point out the distortions, deceptions, logical fallacies, and Hasbara rhetorical manipulations.

        – Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel / pro-Zionist) propaganda includes appeals to “alt-right” so-called “theories”

        – Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” / “anti-Zionist” and fake “anti-Jewish” / “anti-Semitic”) propaganda includes extremist rhetoric and bogus incitements to “hatred”

        Trolls typically mutter deceptive rhetorical appeals for “conversation”, “engagement” and “exchanging ideas”.

        But as Hasbara troll “WC” has repeatedly demonstrated, no actual conversation takes place with trolls.

        When their distortions and logical fallacies are exposed, Hasbara trolls like “WC” simply roll on to their next propaganda declaration.

        It is entirely appropriate for administrators to moderate troll comments that violate the CN comment policy. That is not “censorship” as trolls like “WC” loudly complain. Moderating trolls who violate comment policy is responsible site administration.

        Part of the hybrid warfare that accompanies ongoing Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis military assaults, both Conventional Hasbara and Inverted Hasbara propaganda trolls have been more and more aggressive, probing to see how far they can push the propaganda and how much distraction they can get away with.

        If readers have concerns about site moderation (or the lack thereof), or spot violations of Comment Policy, we can bring them to the attention of CN at info@consortiumnews.com.

    • Zachary Smith
      April 20, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      Har Har Har. The troll decides to do some “friendly ribbing”. I’ll bet he went and washed his hands after sinking to the level of joshing with the narrow-viewed and small-minded goyim.

      • WC
        April 20, 2018 at 8:12 pm

        Good, trust either half of the tag team to bite on that hook. The message here is calm down and try not to be so EMOTIONAL. Didn’t your parents tell you that if you stopped reacting so emotionally to events your thinking process will be better? Angry people don’t make good decisions. I’m amazed I even have to bring this simple truth up to a bunch a supposedly smart and grown-up adults. And YES, that was meant as a dig, for which you all richly deserve. ;)

        • Zachary Smith
          April 20, 2018 at 8:37 pm

          Note to all: the troll claims mass murder is a subject for laughter.

          Well, to be sure the Israelis have done a lot of laughing and cheering from the roof-tops during Israeli murder sprees. So in his culture it may actually be the norm. Folks who don’t see the humor in dead and mutilated Palestinians are referred to as children.

          That’s how they see us. After all, they control Congress, and seem to have some serious dirt on Trump.

          Cold blooded murder is MUCH better than doing it when you’re “angry”. You might make a bad decision like not cleaning up the fingerprints. Or missing one of the Palestinian kids with your rifle bullet.

          • Gregory Herr
            April 20, 2018 at 8:42 pm

            Righteous indignation is a concept beyond the reach of our “friendly ribber”.

        • Gregory Herr
          April 20, 2018 at 8:40 pm

          Having fun demonstrating more ignorance? Your proud and prosaic pronouncement reflects poorly on your “process”. Thoughtful people cogitate while being in touch with their humanity.

          • WC
            April 20, 2018 at 8:46 pm

            You might want to consider – cognitive dissonance – there Greg. :)

          • Gregory Herr
            April 20, 2018 at 9:14 pm

            My personal ideas, beliefs, and values are consistent. I am fairly “well-grounded”. When I am exposed to an idea or belief that contradicts one of my own, I generally have little trouble evaluating that idea or belief and either dismiss or assimilate it to one degree or another. Thinking is nuanced. I’m neither afraid nor troubled by “dissonance”—I deal with it.

          • WC
            April 20, 2018 at 10:22 pm

            Good. Then you should have no trouble dealing with the real world. Nor should there be any disappointment associated with that understanding. While your protests are valid, nothing will come of it simply because the system is gamed not to allow it. You are allowed to feel self-righteous for speaking out. And they will give you just enough room for hope and dreams to validate your moral high ground, until the time comes where that will no longer be tolerated either.

            What makes you or us that are alive right now so special in the continuing cycles of history? If you were a hard, cold betting man, who is immune to wishful thinking, what are the realistic odds of history doing another familiar dance? This is not a statement made from fear or paranoia. In fact it is liberating. That doesn’t mean I have become emotionally numb, rather I have found a nice balance between the two.

          • Zachary Smith
            April 20, 2018 at 10:38 pm

            Gregory Herr, you must surrender and kneel down to the know-all word salad served by the better-than-any-of-us troll.

            I say again, give it up. The universe is too complicated for simple goyim to understand. We narrow-minded tunnel-vision children must be properly guided to the acceptance/necessity of kow-towing to God’s Favorite People. Parroting Orwell, such is the path to True Freedom.

          • WC
            April 20, 2018 at 10:55 pm

            So far on this page I have said calm down and don’t let your emotions get the better of you. I have also given some hints on how to overcome fear (a primary emotional driver). And for this I am a super troll conspiring to take over the world. Haha and sad both at the same time, but I have learned how to balance that out.

            You can all now have the last word because it is not fair to the other commenters to hog this page. :)

          • April 21, 2018 at 9:43 am

            “Shock is dead.” -Marilyn Manson. I wonder if WC would have told Jews in concentration camps to “lighten up.” We live in the era of “spockism” and “institutional evil,” we are to deny our own human condition, as the Dead Kennedys proclaimed (I think synically) “Your emotions make you a monster!” True to the article compassion is allowed when issued to worthy victims. Trump admitted he issued his first strike against Syria after seeing his daughter crying over the children killed by the “chemical attack.” To understand this collective hubris that WC shares with so many, I reprint something I lifted from another CN article because I think it explains much of the shared insanity. I think it is fair to insert “and Israel by extension” every time your read “The U.S.”

            For the record, the official narrative follows certain principles. Among them are:
            1. The U.S. is never wrong in any conflict with other nations.
            2. If the U.S. ever happens to be wrong, it was a reasonable mistake.
            3. U.S. intentions are always benign and honorable.
            4. U.S. judgment is always objective and fair.
            5. The U.S. is a democracy and always supports democracy.
            6. Americans are a peaceful people.
            7. Americans are a superior people, so American lives matter more.
            8. Americans are always on the high moral ground because God is on our side.
            9. The word of our leaders is sufficient proof of any assertion.
            10. The U.S. is the greatest nation in history.
            11. Private is always better than public.
            12. Individualism is always better than collectivism.
            “Understanding the ‘Fake News’ Hysteria. David P Hamilton. ConstortiumNews.com

        • Antiwar7
          April 21, 2018 at 6:21 pm

          Dead civilians, that you’re paying for. Why so emotional? Only a non-sociopath would be emotional about that.

    • Abe
      April 20, 2018 at 10:48 pm

      Israeli “world’s most moral army” giving arms a break
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdZ1Y0kKi9g

      Propaganda troll “WC” popped back up out of the Hasbara hole the day after John Bolton’s appointment was announced.

      “Winning Charlie” has been projectile vomiting ever since.

      We’re getting quite the “nice” display of the “real world” mindset of Apartheid Israel and the pro-Israel Lobby.

  6. joeblogs
    April 20, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    ‘Antisemitism.’ – Bullshit word to intimidate criticism.

    • Druid
      April 20, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      Absolutely agree. Anti-semitism word is somethings I totally discount! It’s become a joke and only an idiot falls for it!

  7. Abe
    April 20, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    In The Iran “Threat” in a Kafkaesque World (2012), Edward S. Herman and David Peterson examined the “extreme application of the double standard” by the United States in the Middle East:
    http://therealnews.com/t2/images/blogs/eherman1218.pdf

    “U.S. ally and client Israel had from the start received active assistance developing its nuclear capability, and with the help of the United States, France, and Germany, it has built up a substantial arsenal since. This includes some 150-250 nuclear warheads (the exact number is unknown) plus delivery systems by land, sea, air, and ballistic missile. And throughout more than forty years of such unparalleled help, Israel refused to sign the NPT and subject itself to IAEA inspections and was never pressed to do so. A secret agreement was even struck between U.S. President Richard Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1969 under which the United States agreed to accept – and remain silent about – Israel’s nuclear weapons program. This agreement, often referred to as the “U.S.-Israeli nuclear understanding,” was reaffirmed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in May 2009. Netanyahu boasted about it in September that same year after the UN General Assembly (UNGA) summit, telling Israel’s Channel 2 television station that at his meeting with Obama in May, he ‘asked to receive from him an itemized list of the strategic understandings that have existed for many years between Israel and the United States on that issue.’ Obama had obliged. In effect, ‘The president gave Israel an NPT treaty get out of jail free card,’ one Senate staffer told the Washington Times.

    “So thoroughly built-in is this double standard that when the IAEA’s General Conference in Vienna in September 2009 voted forty-nine to forty-five to adopt a binding resolution that ‘calls upon Israel to accede to the NPT and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards’ – in other words, that Israel’s nuclear weapons program was to be treated the same as Iran’s civilian nuclear program – the English-language media observed near total silence about the event. The only major newspaper that reported it was the next-day’s Irish Times, and nothing showed up in any major U.S. print media.

    “Similarly unmentioned is the fact that the United States is itself in violation of the NPT (as is every member of the Founding Five states – the United States, Russia, Britain, France, and China – that tested a nuclear weapon prior to 1 January 1967). Article VI of the NPT requires that all parties to the treaty ‘pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.’ But the Founding Five have not done this. The United States has openly striven to upgrade its nuclear weapons to make their use more practicable in conventional warfare settings, and both the United States and NATO have publicly declared the importance that the Alliance attaches to a ‘credible’ nuclear posture ‘to preserve peace and prevent coercion and any kind of war.’ Nevertheless, in a Kafkaesque moment, UNSC Resolution 1887, adopted with much fanfare during the opening week of the UNGA’s 2009 session in September, called upon the ‘Parties to the NPT’ to live up to the treaty’s ‘nuclear arms reduction and disarmament’ demands. Indicative of the depth of the institutionalized reality-denial was the fact that the rampant violations and double standards in no way tempered the indignation of the United States and its allies concerning Iran’s alleged NPT violations.”

    The late professor Herman (died 11 November 2017) was a distinguished scholar, political economist, and media analyst/critic.

    Herman is probably best known for developing the propaganda model of media criticism (co-authored with Noam Chomsky) in Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988).

    The propaganda model is a conceptual model in political economy advanced by Herman and Chomsky to explain how propaganda and systemic biases function in mass media. The model explains how populations are manipulated and how consent for economic, social, and political policies is “manufactured” in the public mind due to this propaganda.

    According to the propaganda model, the way in which news is structured (e.g. through advertising, concentration of media ownership, government sourcing) creates an inherent conflict of interest that acts as propaganda for undemocratic forces.

    The propaganda model postulates five general classes of “filters” that determine the type of news that is presented in news media. These five classes are: Ownership of the medium, Medium’s funding sources, Sourcing, Flak, and Fear Ideology.

    The Flak filter is conspicuous in the recent Washington Post / PropOrNot imbroglio and Russia-gate hysteria. The term “flak” describes efforts to discredit organizations or individuals who disagree with or cast doubt on prevailing assumptions that are favorable to established power. Flak is characterized by concerted efforts to manage public information in support of the political and economic Establishment, culminating in outright censorship.

    The propaganda model views private media as businesses interested in the sale of a product – readers and audiences – to other businesses (advertisers) rather than that of quality news to the public.

    In The Politics of Genocide (co-authored with Peterson, foreword from Chomsky, 2010), Herman has argued that some genocides have been heavily publicized in the West to advance a specific economic agenda, often leading to a minority controlled governments of pro-Western and pro-business factions, while other genocides, such as in East Timor, have been largely ignored for the same reason.

    • Sam F
      April 20, 2018 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks, Abe. Interesting to evaluate a medium as propaganda on the basis of Ownership, funding sources, news sources, Flak, and Fear Ideology. The US mass media choice of worthy/unworthy victims puts them all squarely in the propaganda category.

      For mass media, we cannot restore honesty without restricting funding to limited individual contributions, and perhaps should also require distributed ownership, standards of news sourcing, and absence of serious flak and fear ideology. For small media under ten percent of audience in any subject or region, bias is not so harmful.

      Perhaps watchdogs could score articles in news sourcing, flak, and fear ideology to evaluate a mass medium and require management changes for persistent problems.

    • Tannenhouser
      April 24, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      Yes, we can always count on Abe to ‘illuminate’. It is this exact problem, solutions to which I have proposed to discuss here. Only to be shouted down as a Zionist shill, or Hasbara Troll. Thanks for finally starting the conversation Abe. Any here have any thoughts how to discuss this problem with those less informed with out the flack and fear most have to being labeled Anti semite, and therefore just tune out?

  8. Joe Tedesky
    April 20, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    When reading articles such as this it’s makes it harder by the dozens for me to stand for our National Anthem. Now I ask you all this, when will the U.S. choose the winning side of history?

    • Anon
      April 20, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      Yes, I can no longer see what so proudly I hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.
      The star-spangled banner is still there, but no longer waves o’er the land of the free or the home of the brave.
      Perhaps one of our poets will write a clever version that could be proudly sung, hailing proposed changes.
      Perhaps a new dawn, with the flag waving o’er new institutions of democracy, the night just a bad dream.

      I like your point about the winning side of history, in which the interests of humanity are advanced rather than greed, in which the US emerges as a moral leader instead of an empty suit of armor, blundering around the world, swinging its sword madly, permanently disgraced.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 21, 2018 at 12:56 am

        Perhaps Anon America should live up to all of its mythology. Rhetorically speaking no one stands near our American hype. Our downfall will be our believing in making our own reality. Nice plan if you can sell it, and it’s evident the rest of the world just ain’t buying it…. not now, no never into this 21st Century. America needs to join the world, and not combat it at every turn. Joe

    • Zachary Smith
      April 20, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      I think my personal solution to the Anthem issue is to try very hard to avoid any and all places where it would be found. No more ball games for me!

      The other day I went to a play, and had to endure an armed guard sweeping a metal detector around me. Since I live in Indiana, I’m perfectly within my rights to take a firearm to the library or hospital with me. But to that play? NO!

      At a local library I still go to the quarterly book sale, but the rest of the time I avoid the place like the plague. Don’t care to make the news as one of umpteen victims of some Second Amendment hero.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 21, 2018 at 1:03 am

        I hear you Zachary. For everything you mentioned is the result of our modern day instigators winning hand to introducing their fantastical fascist style governance. My teenage grandchildren love for Pap to tell them about a time when we just simply boarded the plane. Think about it, these kids have never known a America without metal detectors at the entrance of their school. How do these young people get back to something they never knew? What makes it kind of worst for you and me, is we never believed any of it in the first place… take care Zachary. Joe

  9. Christian Chuba
    April 20, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    I’ve been wondering if the so-called ‘terrorist tunnels’ that the Israelis like to show on FOX News, complete with an Israeli soldier dressed up in black garb holding an AK-47 with a black T-Shirt labeled ‘T-E-R-R-O-R-I-S-T’ were in fact used for smuggling rather than killing Israelis.

    I mean the tunnels always look so well manicured, like they have been their for weeks, months, or longer yet I never here of any massacres in Israel. Am I to believe that the ever vigilant Israelis discover these tunnels just in the nick of time?

    • Zachary Smith
      April 20, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      Good point about the tunnels. Closing them means the suffering of the people in Gaza will increase. That’s the game plan for God’s Favorite Thieves and Murderers.

      But never fear – those Palestinians aren’t really people. They’re like animals of the field. You can ask the troll about that, but don’t expect to get a reply. He’s to busy trying to educate us in the wag-the-dog-nation about the inevitability of David’s Second Kingdom.

  10. mike k
    April 20, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    The Israeli government and many of it’s citizens are terrorists plain and simple. They are also fascist Nazis in the mold of Hitler’s gang. They are a disgrace to the human race, but like the Nazis, they consider themselves a superior “race”. That the US government supports them with weapons, propaganda, and money means that the US is of the same rotten ilk that they are. How low this county has sunk, and yet we still think we are “exceptional”. And indeed we are – exceptionally evil.

    • mike k
      April 20, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      typo: county should read country.

      • mike k
        April 20, 2018 at 5:40 pm

        When will Americans wake up and admit who we have become? Honesty is the essential prerequisite for redemption and making amends. To continue o lie to ourselves about who we have become is to guarantee our descent into the further depths of evil.

        • mike k
          April 20, 2018 at 5:41 pm

          continue to lie. (darn typos!)

        • Joe Wallace
          April 23, 2018 at 4:48 pm

          mike k:

          Just as I was on guard for a lie whenever Obama announced “That’s not who we are,” I am on guard for a lie whenever Trump says “Believe me.”

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