The Battle for Our Minds

There are battlefields in Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, and elsewhere, but given the state of corporate media, perhaps the most consequential battle now being fought is for our minds, says Patrick Lawrence.

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

After reading The New York Times piece “The Plot to Subvert an Election” I put the paper down with a single question.

Why, after two years of allegations, indictments, and claims to proof of this, that, and the other did the newspaper of record—well, once the newspaper of record—see any need to publish such a piece? My answer is simple: The orthodox account of Russia-gate has not taken hold: It has failed in its effort to establish a consensus of certainty among Americans. My conclusion matches this observation: The orthodox narrative is never going to achieve this objective. There are too many holes in it.

The information age is actually a media age,” John Pilger, the noted British–Australian journalist, remarked during a symposium four years ago, when the Ukraine crisis was at its peak. “We have war by media; censorship by media; demonology by media; retribution by media; diversion by media—a surreal assembly line of obedient clichés and false assumptions.” Pilger revisited the theme in a piece last week on Consortium News, arguing that once-tolerated, dissenting opinion has in recent years “regressed into a metaphoric underground.”

There are battlefields in Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, and elsewhere, but perhaps the most consequential battle now being fought is for our minds.

Those who dispense with honest intellectual inquiry, healthy skepticism of all media, and an insistence that assertions require supporting evidence should not win this war. The Times piece by Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti—two of the paper’s top-tier reporters—is a case in point: If the Russia-gate narrative were so widely accepted as their report purports, there would have been no need to publish such a piece at this late date.

Many orthodox narratives are widely accepted however among a public that is not always paying attention. The public too often participates in the manufactured consent. Usually it take years for the truth to be widely understood. Sometimes it comes when the U.S. admits it decades later, such as the role of the CIA in the coups in Iran and Chile. Other times it comes through admissions by former U.S. officials, such as former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara about the Vietnam War.

Even Recent Narratives are Fraying

There are more recent examples of official narratives quickly fraying if not starting to fall apart, though Establishment media continues to push them.

For instance, there are serious doubts about who was responsible for alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria. The most significant was in Eastern Ghouta in August 2013 followed by attacks in Khan Sheikhoun (April 2017) and Douma (April 2018).

The corporate media accounts of each of these attacks have been countered with persuasive evidence against the prevailing view that the government of Bashar al–Assad was to blame. It has been provided journalists (Seymour Hersh ), a scientist (Theodore Postol ), and on-the-ground correspondents and local witnesses. These reports are subject to further verification. But by no means do official narratives stand without challenge.

There is also the case of Malaysian Flight MH–17, shot down over Ukrainian territory in June 2014. The official report, issued a year later, concluded that the plane was downed by Ukrainian rebels using a Russian-supplied missile. The report was faulty from the first: Investigators never visited the site , some evidence was based on a report produced by Bellingcat , an open-source web site affiliated with the vigorously anti–Russian Atlantic Council, and Ukraine was given the right to approve the report before it was issued.

Last week the Russian military disclosed evidence that serial numbers found in the debris at the MH–17 crash site indicate the missile that downed the plane was produced at a Soviet military-production plant in 1986 owned by Ukraine. Let us see further verification of this evidence (although I seriously doubt any Western correspondent will seek any). The official report of 2015 noted the serial numbers, so we know they are authentic, but it did not use them to trace the missile’s provenance.

There is also the seriously muddled case of the poisoning of the Skripals in Britain.  Why hasn’t the Western media dug into this story rather than accept at face value the pronouncements of the British government?

A month ago I lamented the damage Russia-gate has done to many of our most important institutions, the press not least among them. What is the corporate media thinking? That once President Trump is dumped, all will return to normal and professional standards will be restored? One can also argue the reverse: that adversarial journalism has returned to the White House beat largely out of personal animus towards Trump and that it will disappear again once a more “normal” president is in office.

As Pilger put it, “This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new ‘groupthink,’ as [Robert] Parry called it, dispensing myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.”

In other words, Establishment journalism has shifted far afield from its traditional ideals of non-partisan, objective reporting and is instead vying for your mind to enlist it in its agenda to promote American interests abroad or one party or the other at home.

We can’t let them get away with it. Our minds are our own.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is www.patricklawrence.us. Support his work via www.patreon.com/thefloutist.

If you valued this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

image_pdfimage_print

117 comments for “The Battle for Our Minds

  1. Steve Snyder
    October 4, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Speaking of frayed narratives, your narrative on VIPS and Forensicator is kind of frayed. https://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/08/shirtlost-dumbshit-zach-haller-actual.html

  2. Stephen Berk
    October 1, 2018 at 11:31 am

    I have been aware of media falsification for many decades. Reading the research into the research on the JFK assassination was the beginning of my own disillusionment. Today I never look at or listen to the mainstream media, particularly the New York Times, which has been thoroughly infiltrated by the intelligence establishment and publishes inflammatory articles that are supposedly factual concerning whomever the strongman of the moment that the empire wants to knock off, impose war by proxy or extreme sanctions on. But I am a retired university history professor. And many of the others who are skeptical of the MSM are also among elites who have learned to read between the lines. This stuff has been going on for a very long time. My wife spoke of an Eastern European she knew back in the fifties who told her he had learned to read between the lines of his own paper, and he was surprised Americans don’t do the same with their own propaganda filled media. My point is that the general public still watches CNN (few even read the newspapers any longer, just because they don’t read, not because the local paper has turned into a propaganda rag). So CNN, FOX. MSNBC, etc. playing constantly in public places like gyms, banks, etc. indoctrinate the people with lies. A more sophisticated version of Orwellian newspeak and doublethink. The public is also distracted by sports and pervasive entertainment, the Brave New World side of the coin.Those who would enlighten today’s public now have a very hard row to hoe.

  3. September 30, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Is it Hegelian philosophy of a religious sect at base? Is it merely from Chatham commenced after World War II with the help of the C.I.A., Israel, Brittain – from where ways and means are continutally invented to produce a mass response to what ‘they’ wnat. It comes to us all through the educational system, radio, television the internet, the universtities – wher-ever. It is the Satanic mind control of perversity and evil. Can we escape it? Yes, it is possible if one travels the right road. We should find it.

  4. September 28, 2018 at 12:04 am

    On a broader note the war for the mind is as complicated as our own self-talk. Those who specialize in propaganda, Hollywood, social media, news stations, etc. are experts at creating doubt or certainty. Some business sectors literally make billions in profits from dysfunction – gambling, porn, drugs, drinking, divorce, etc. Do we think that propaganda to lull some to one extreme side and the availability of toxicity all in one day is helpful to society? This is the war for the mind. To make you believe that you don’t have an unlimited mind that can create and nearly do anything. You see… the goal is to dumb you down with lies and temptation from so many divided topics everywhere.

  5. Richard Graham
    September 27, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I am reading a book about the Mafia and Hollywood. The author retails an anecdote in the introduction.

    Robert Mitchum was making a movie in Trinidad with John Huston. Mitchum walks around a lobby corner and finds Huston masturbating the hotel’s pet monkey. Mitchum asked, ‘Why? Why do you do this, John?’ ‘The monkey likes it’, said Huston, ‘He really likes it!’

    I leave it to you whether this anecdote reveals the author’s contempt for his readers’ desire for prurient detail (as the book hardly touches fact, retails name dropping, and broadly sketches political/Mafia/Hollywood connections and scandals).

    Or does the anecdote reveal Hollywood’s contempt for its fans?

    To me it reveals the subterranean attitude of the public media/entertainment/political/economic elites to truth-telling in public.

    Their base strategy regarding the public, and only real skill, is to ‘jerk off the monkeys’.

    Our minds, sophisticated, intelligent readers of independent websites and media, are intact as we have learned to question statements and authority. The vast mass of the public just want to know if ‘this will be on the test’. They memorize whatever plagiarized factoids their comprador instructors present, and then piss it all away with the first jug of beer.

  6. RickD
    September 27, 2018 at 7:20 am

    The premise of this article; that if the attempt by Russia to influence our election was true no article need be written about it, is simply ridiculous.

    • September 27, 2018 at 11:38 am

      Go back to Truthdig Ricky.

  7. colin hastingscolinbangkok
    September 27, 2018 at 2:51 am

    MH-17 was downed by Ukrainian rebels?. Most reports say it was Russians. Might be wrong since the blame game here is on full throttle.

    • RickD
      September 27, 2018 at 7:22 am

      Purportedly there is an intercepted phone call from a Russian military officer who says he is preparing to shoot down a “military plane” just before that passenger plane was .

      • September 27, 2018 at 11:28 am

        And then there is the fact that US military surveillance of the region indicates who was actually doing what in the area at the time, but that this information is sealed and not allowed for public view. Hmmm….

        • Richard Graham
          September 27, 2018 at 1:12 pm

          Exactly correct: we are supposed to believe that no US military intelligence exists regarding this incident.

          We are supposed to believe that the US wouldn’t be most interested in Russian air defences, In particular, anti-aircraft radar and missiles, and all communications between front-line units and their Russian commanders. Hostile militaries the world over routinely approach enemy coastlines, fleets, installations, and field military units. This is done for the sole purpose of activating defensive preparations, including, most importantly, scanning and targeting radar. We are supposed to believe that the US military didn’t task every available intelligence asset to surveil their most dangerous opponent’s military while this military is in the field engaged in hot combat with every system active and broadcasting.

          It is obvious that this surveillance couldn’t be missed without Pentagon ranks being thinned, afterwards, by firing squad.

          So independent evidence does exist in US/NATO hands. It isn’t being released because it shows the Ukrainians shooting down the MH-17 airplane as it was deliberately directed to fly through a combat zone.

          We can be grateful that Putin didn’t allow Russia to engage NATO in a war over this Ukrainian provocation.

          It might have resulted in Hillary Clinton being elected, and the world destroyed.

          • Maxwell Quest
            September 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm

            Amen!

          • backwardsevolution
            September 27, 2018 at 6:17 pm

            Richard Graham – great post. Thank you.

          • September 27, 2018 at 7:44 pm

            Yep

    • September 27, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      colin hastingscolinbangkok – “Most reports say it was Russians.”

      Uhh – well – “most reports” claimed (weapons of mass destruction), and “most reports” claimed (Kuwaiti incubator babies), and “most reports” claimed (Gaddafi’s viagra fueled rape camps), and “most reports”claim JFK was assassinated using a “magic bullet” . . . well, you get the idea regarding “most reports.”

      What Western media claim on behalf of the interests of Western empire constitutes “most reports.” The actual truth of matters in the “real world” typically has nothing whatsoever to do with “most reports” and quite typically is in direct opposition.

  8. willow
    September 26, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Obama, the Constitutional Law professor from Colombia left us a gift that keeps on giving. Oh, the irony. The attack on our democracy that’s never discussed in polite circles: Obama authorized the repeal of the
    Smith-Mundt Act as part of the 2013 NDAA. He literally created a fake news industry.
    If you can handle truth more frightening than fiction, here is a short synopsis from Business Insider.
    https://www.businessinsider.com/us-domestic-propaganda-officially-aired-2013-7

  9. September 26, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    A guerra mais importante está sendo travada.
    A mentira é martelada diuturna e dioturnamente.
    Tenhamos muito zelo pela nossa opinião pois ela pode estar contra nós mesmos.

  10. yahweh
    September 26, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Who is the god of this world ? What do the scriptures say about the god of this world. There are many sub categories the god of this world controls, however the two main avenues are money and media. Are you hooked, check your portfolio. Very soon the final curtain call…….then I drop the axe.

  11. September 26, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Ha, Back, I see your comment. All colors mixed together should be white, you know. But all color revolutions are set up on people not knowing what’s going on. My lost comment said we’ve gone down the rabbit hole with Clinton’s loss and are at The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

    • backwardsevolution
      September 26, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      Jessika – you can tell I’m not an artist. So all primary colors mixed together produce black, but ALL colors mixed together produce white? Is that it?

      Yes, Jessika, it truly is full-on insanity right now. I guess the forces will battle it out until “somewhere in the middle” is reached. I’m trying to be optimistic here. It’s either that or civil war. The pressure is building.

  12. September 26, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    My comment was lost, I state it simply, that I believe we have a Color Revolution going on in the US, and it’s Purple. Trump was not able to resist it effectively, maybe didn’t even figure it out, and took in neocons and neolibs for his administration. The Clintons wore purple for Hillary’s concession the day after. A joke in Russia is, “Why is there no Color Revolution in the US?” Response is, “Because there’s no American Embassy in the US.”

    • backwardsevolution
      September 26, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      Jessika – ha, good comment. But there is a revolution of sorts going on in the States. What color do you get when you mix every other color together? Black? We are being kept in the dark. Identity politics rule the day, speech is being suppressed, facts are being omitted, lies are being told. The color is black.

    • September 27, 2018 at 12:00 am

      Black is the absence of color. As when the lights are turned off. White is all the colors of the rainbow, before a prism splits up the spectrum into wavelengths.

  13. James
    September 26, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    I’m reminded of the Gary Kasparov quote, “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth”.

    • Skip Scott
      September 28, 2018 at 9:12 am

      James-

      You can see the reality of Kasparov’s quote plain as day. I have exhausted a few of my friends by linking articles from this site. They don’t want to argue the validity of the facts and viewpoints, they just want to doze in front of their boob tubes and don’t like being confused. To use the “Matrix” analogy, they’ve taken the blue pill, and they like it just fine.

  14. Steve
    September 26, 2018 at 11:46 am

    “Establishment journalism has shifted far afield from its traditional ideals of non-partisan, objective reporting”

    I’d argue the opposite is true.

    The MSM is returning to the traditional ideals of partisan muckraking and yellow journalism. Non-partisan, objective reporting was a fairly recent development over the last 70-90 years. Prior to that, journalism was all about taking a side and having no shame about reporting blatant falsehoods. The most obvious example being William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer cooking up the USS Maine story in order to drive public opinion towards declaring war on Spain. And that was hardly an outlier. American journalists have been cooking up ‘fake news’ to drive public opinion ever since the ‘Boston Massacre’.

  15. September 26, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Nothing new under the sun, is there?

    Edward Bernays and the Manipulation of the American Mind

  16. Mild - ly - Facetious
    September 26, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Patrick Lawrence “One can also argue the reverse: that adversarial journalism has returned to the White House beat largely out of personal animus towards Trump and that it will disappear again once a more “normal” president is in office.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Give a listen to the speech Trump gave at the UN yesterday. His words, his projection, his affect and his words were as the speech of an acrimonious, pompous autocrat. It was top loaded with warnings and threats, and bigotry. — “SOUND AND FURY”?!?
    — He read the speech as if a Pompous Potentate laying down rules and threats to his ‘subjects’ throughout the entire World.
    — He was both threatening and boastful, churlish and impudent
    — speaking as if ‘The Ruler of the World’s Last Great Empire’
    — were lying down AMERICAN RULES to all the ‘lesser’ nations and peoples of the world.
    — His arrogance was truly an embarrassment and, figuratively, a giant Middle Finger to the rest of the world. …

    View Full Speech
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfVdIKaQzW8

    • Realist
      September 26, 2018 at 10:02 am

      Yes, very much at odds with his inaugural address.

      Who or what changed his mind so drastically? I think I can guess.

      Shoot, with that mindset he ought to simply hire on Hillary as Secretary of War and unleash the hound. BFF’s all over again!

      • Mild - ly - Facetious
        September 26, 2018 at 1:32 pm

        World Laughs at Trump as He Boasts About Himself in U.N. Address Threatening Iran, Venezuela
        9 26 2018

        https://www.democracynow.org/2018/9/26/world_laughs_at_trump_as_he

      • Mild - ly - Facetious
        September 26, 2018 at 1:48 pm

        Peter Miller is the speech writer. The below link tells of what his prominent uncle thinks of him …

        https://www.democracynow.org/2018/9/26/david_glosser_stephen_miller_is_an

      • backwardsevolution
        September 26, 2018 at 9:35 pm

        Realist – or maybe nobody changed his mind and he just stupidly read what he was given because “If you want Kavanaugh confirmed and Russiagate to end, you go along and read the God-damned script”? We don’t know. There are some scary mothers behind the scenes.

        I find it hard to believe that someone who doesn’t believe in the official JFK or 9/11 version of events, has questioned the source of the chemical weapons attacks and the “Russia is the enemy” nonsense could change his mind so readily.

        I do not like that he goes after Iran and Venezuela, or that he handed Jerusalem to Israel. Stupid, stupid moves, but as Cynthia McKinney stated, if you don’t go along with what Israel wants, you are toast.

        The only thing that keeps me sane is thinking that Trump is doing this on purpose, intentionally putting down other countries, threatening them, sanctioning them, in order to prevent them from being bombed. He might be providing lip service to the neocons by doing this, which serves to release some pressure and keep the neocons at bay.
        That’s all I can think of to explain his words.

        Israel completely rules Washington, the whole country. That’s what needs to be brought to the surface and dealt with. They own the media, academia, Hollywood, the politicians, banking, the Fed. If Israel wants Iran gone, let them go and try, all by themselves.

        Am I being too charitable to Trump here?

        • Realist
          September 27, 2018 at 11:09 am

          BW,

          I don’t think it requires kindness to admit that the forces surrounding and assailing Trump have had a much greater influence on his presidency than he could ever have imagined when running for the office. I think their influences have been rather greater than his own in many instances. Nobody ever said, as they did of Reagan, “let Trump (Reagan) be Trump (Reagan).” It’s been more like, “how do we stop this guy?”

          • backwardsevolution
            September 27, 2018 at 6:28 pm

            Realist – they sure have been trying to get Trump. So far he’s still standing, miraculously. See my post below to Nancy. If true, that would be a real laugh.

        • September 27, 2018 at 11:54 am

          In a word, yes. Trump is an ego-driven individual. He is too simple-minded to be playing multi-dimensional chess as you suggest here. He is right about many of these issues (JFK, chemical weapons, etc.) but he doesn’t have the integrity to stand up for his beliefs. And yes, I’m sure he is being threatened on all sides.
          I still prefer him to Hillary because he is exposing the madness that is U.S. imperialism, if unwittingly.

          • backwardsevolution
            September 27, 2018 at 6:25 pm

            Nancy – Paul Craig Roberts has an interesting post. At first he rakes Trump over the coals, and then he says this:

            “Now I will be my own devil’s advocate. When Trump saw how boxed in he was by the material interests of the ruling oligarchy, he decided to finish off Washington’s already diminishing influence. He appointed Nikki Haley as US ambassador to the UN, where she has done a superb job of alienating every country in the world.

            Trump has infuriated Europe with tariffs, sanction threats, and orders to Germany not to go forward with the Russian/German natural gas pipeline. Trump followed up by treating the UN Security Council on September 26 as Washington’s footstool. Trump with threats and sanctions is driving Turkey, Iran, India, China, and North Korea into Russia’s arms, and he is driving Europe into independence. In a stroke of genius, Trump, despite his thoroughly neoconservative regime, is destroying Washington’s hegemony.

            We might never know whether this result is an unintended consequence of arrogance and hubris or whether it is a clever strategy. But if it turns out the way it seems to be heading, Trump will go down in history as Trump the Great, the man who saved the world by dismantling American hegemony.”

            https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/09/27/trump-an-assessment/

          • Realist
            September 27, 2018 at 6:54 pm

            So, Trump is turning out to be essentially what Susan Sarandon wanted when she said that he might either defuse the major conflicts if he enacts the policies he was spouting (not happening) or he would shake up the existing order so thoroughly that it would have to be overturned and irrevocably changed (hopefully for the better). He certainly won’t be ignored in the history books–assuming who comes after allows them to be written. Vegas gives odds on elections. I wonder if they give odds on revolutions, rebellions or coup d’etats?

          • backwardsevolution
            September 28, 2018 at 2:16 am

            Realist – smart lady, Susan Sarandon, and one of my favorite actresses. If anyone can create chaos, it’s Trump, and every now and then I catch a glimpse (and it’s ever so slight) of brilliance out of him. I don’t think he’s as stupid as people like to think he is. Let’s hope Paul Craig Roberts is on to something.

  17. Realist
    September 26, 2018 at 9:20 am

    The federal government is simply following Karl Rove’s dictum of creating its own realities and using the subservient corporate media to “validate” them. For instance, every genuinely curious and honest person in the world–at least those who have made the effort to acquire as much unbiased information about objective reality as possible–knows that the elected Syrian government has NOT been gassing its own people, especially not when winning conventional battles in the field. And certainly not when Washington threatens direct action against them as a consequence. The culpability for the staged gas attacks belongs strictly to the US-supported terrorists and their ancillary White Helmet charlatans. Yet Uncle Sam and his media mouthpieces trot out the same deception, time and again, whenever they need an excuse to bomb Syrian government military assets. Apparently, they don’t care that they have pretty much no credibility. Their many confabulations force fed to the public are basically just “rubber stamps,” to pro-forma justify what the world knows is total bullshit. Britain, France, Israel and the rest of the co-opted “West” all just nod their heads in agreement and say “amen” to whatever the American propaganda du jour happens to be. They just pretend to agree with the American pretenders. It’s all illusion, smoke and mirrors, a fully contrived “matrix.” Whatever the Ministry of Truth dispenses is held correct by authority alone, not corroboration. Never that.

  18. PleaseBeleafMe
    September 26, 2018 at 5:56 am

    I had a cushy job in the Canadian military where during the winter months the computer in the corner became my best friend. This was at the time of Wikileaks/Manning revelations. I wouldn’t say that I was a sheep but I was one of the misinformed masses as I call them. At this time up pops an e-mail sent to everyone in the forces from the gods above us which basically said that all members were to refrain from checking out Wikileaks as it could compromise national security.
    “Interesting” I thought, “wtf is Wikileaks?”. Being as bored as I was and ignoring the warning I googled away. What struck me as most eye opening however was that with regards to the Reuters video and others was I had already seen them (and more) a couple of years earlier in one of my basic training courses. One of the instructors would show them to us from a USB stick that was downloaded from some website that glorified war and the military. I don’t remember what the site was though. I used to think at the time it was to get our blood up to make us better killers. One that stood out to me was of a Spector gunship opening up on the parking lot of a mosque. The camera focused in on a guy who was wounded with both legs blown off who had survived the initial bombardment. As he’s crawling away trailing blood like a snail in the infrared images. Someone says:”there’s one he’s still alive” and they blow the shit out of him with a 155 round. These videos did itch at me but none of us ever questioned the morality of them. It took the public backlash over the widespread releases to put them into the proper perspective for me.
    This put me on the path to asking questions. Why now is there such a ruckus when much of the barbarity our militaries commit are already in the public domain? It’s not hard to find and only a little harder to verify. I came to the conclusion eventually that all information is cherry picked to fit a narrative and truth is mostly inconvenient. Thus my eyes were opened.
    The msm are losing the information war and the Internet must remain free. People know truth when they hear it but they need be able to make their own decisions on what info is really true.
    I believe the calls for censorship and “approved news” are actually driving people to seek alternatives to the msm. It’s why I’m here!

    • djoe
      September 27, 2018 at 8:20 am

      I hope you are right – that people are starting to realize that mostly what official and corporate media tell us are lies. I am more skeptical. The overwhelming majority of people are mindless, brainless sheeple. The result of me telling people what I think of the official and corporate media narrative? I lost tons of “friends” because they think I am crazy.

  19. Quentin
    September 26, 2018 at 5:06 am

    An error?

    ‘…the missile that downed the plane was produced at a Soviet military-production plant in 1986 owned by Ukraine.’

    That should surely read AND owned by Ukraine, which was not the owner of the plant but of the missile? The Soviet Union owned the plant in 1986 and Russia owns it today.

    The serial numbers were published in the 2015 report? This is the first time I come across this information. Could you direct me to the source. I understood that the serial numbers of the parts became generally known, even to the Russians, when they parts were illustrated in the JIT’s latest report in May/June (?).

  20. KiwiAntz
    September 26, 2018 at 2:03 am

    With the explosion of alternative news sources such as Consortium News, RT Channel, Sputnik & Zerohedge etc, which are telling the real truth, in real-time, no one is swallowing the “dead rat” narratives, excreted by the Mainstream Media Propagandist, Big brother, BS spin doctors! Especially with the Russiagate lie, they have spun themselves into a Gordian knot due to their ridiculous ineuendo, speculation & unfounded nonsense with zero evidence & facts to back up their false claims? Totally confusing the populace & readers, this massive lie is simply not believable & the never ending, doubling down of this lie, despite any proven evidence has eroded & destroyed any credibility that the MSM previously had & people are just tuning out & abandoning their news sites! And this is driving them crazy & totally insane!! The situation is that NO ONE IS BUYING THEIR BULLSH*T ANYMORE! The scales have come off the Public’s eyes in a road to Damascus way & people have now come to the realisation that the Mainstream media is nothing more than a Ministry of Truth, aka George Orwell’s 1984 Propagandist arm of the American Empire!

    • Skip Scott
      September 26, 2018 at 9:34 am

      I wish you were right Kiwi, but I see many folks buying their B.S. Most people are too busy working to spend the time it takes to get real information and form logical arguments based on evidence. They become victims of the “Mighty Wurlitzer” as they sit in front of their boob tubes and rest up from another hard day’s work. Most of the readers and commenters on this site “get it”, but we are a very small portion of the population. And even our small group is seen as a threat to TPTB, so we become targets for the laughable commenters that come here to parrot the MSM narrative, probably at the behest of one of our three letter agencies.

    • Steve
      September 26, 2018 at 11:51 am

      I don’t know that I would list RT and Sputnik as alternative media. They should be lumped in with other state media news sources like the BBC and NPR. They are beholden to their political paymasters and will never counter the official narrative. The only difference between them is the government those paymasters belong to.

  21. Don Bacon
    September 25, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    For me, the sad part of the current trends is not only the mainstream press but also the blog-world, where I have been banned in many sites because my fact-based opinions bother some blog-hosts. For recent examples, my (unacceptable) opinion that women should be barred from the Infantry (where I’ve served) got me banned from Facebook, and my statement that there is no evidence that Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 (the FBI never wanted him for that) got me banned on SST. And so on.

    So the principle of free speech has become confined to only some speech, as determined by the gatekeepers, and forget the oath: “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;. . .”

    • September 26, 2018 at 4:32 am

      I feel you as the kids say.

      I was banned from most sites for my factual Hillary comments.

      I never trusted Facebook

  22. CitizenOne
    September 25, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    I am reminded of the article the late Robert Parry wrote in response to the Op Ed in the NYT “The Dumbed Down Democracy” by Timothy Egan August 26 2016. In the Opinion piece Mr. Egan lamented to sorrowful state of our dumbed down democracy by citing the statistic that”If more than 16 percent of Americans could locate Ukraine on a map, it would have been a Really Big Deal when Trump said that Russia was not going to invade it — two years after they had, in fact, invaded it.”

    Robert Parry’s article and response to the lament that Trump and Americans did not know that Russia invaded Ukraine with the title, “The Dumbed Down New York Times”

    Here is Robert Parry’s response which is a applicable today on many issues the New York Times spins as it was then.

    In a column mocking the political ignorance of the “dumbed-down” American people and lamenting the death of “objective fact,” New York Times columnist Timothy Egan shows why so many Americans have lost faith in the supposedly just-the-facts-ma’am mainstream media.

    Egan states as flat fact, “If more than 16 percent of Americans could locate Ukraine on a map, it would have been a Really Big Deal when Trump said that Russia was not going to invade it — two years after they had, in fact, invaded it.”

    But it is not a “fact” that Russia “invaded” Ukraine – and it’s especially not the case if you also don’t state as flat fact that the United States has invaded Syria, Libya and many other countries where the U.S. government has launched bombing raids or dispatched “special forces.” Yet, the Times doesn’t describe those military operations as “invasions.”

    Nor does the newspaper of record condemn the U.S. government for violating international law, although in every instance in which U.S. forces cross into another country’s sovereign territory without permission from that government or the United Nations Security Council, that is technically an act of illegal aggression.

    In other words, the Times applies a conscious double standard when reporting on the actions of the United States or one of its allies (note how Turkey’s recent invasion of Syria was just an “intervention”) as compared to how the Times deals with actions by U.S. adversaries, such as Russia.

    Biased on Ukraine

    The Times’ reporting on Ukraine has been particularly dishonest and hypocritical. The Times ignores the substantial evidence that the U.S. government encouraged and supported a violent coup that overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, 2014, including a pre-coup intercepted phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt discussing who should lead the new government and how to “midwife this thing.”

    The Times also played down the key role of neo-Nazis and extreme nationalists in killing police before the coup, seizing government building during the coup, and then spearheading the slaughter of ethnic Russian Ukrainians after the coup. If you wanted to detect the role of these SS-wannabes from the Times’ coverage, you’d have to scour the last few paragraphs of a few stories that dealt with other aspects of the Ukraine crisis.

    While leaving out the context, the Times has repeatedly claimed that Russia “invaded” Crimea, although curiously without showing any photographs of an amphibious landing on Crimea’s coast or Russian tanks crashing across Ukraine’s border en route to Crimea or troops parachuting from the sky to seize strategic Crimean targets.

    The reason such evidence of an “invasion” was lacking is that Russian troops were already stationed in Crimea as part of a basing agreement for the port of Sevastopol. So, it was a very curious “invasion” indeed, since the Russian troops were on scene before the “invasion” and their involvement after the coup was peaceful in protecting the Crimean population from the depredations of the new regime’s neo-Nazis. The presence of a small number of Russian troops also allowed the Crimeans to vote on whether to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, which they did with a 96 percent majority.

    In the eastern provinces, which represented Yanukovych’s political base and where many Ukrainians opposed the coup, you can fault, if you wish, the Russian decision to provide some military equipment and possibly some special forces so ethnic Russian and other anti-coup Ukrainians could defend themselves from the assaults by the neo-Nazi Azov brigade and from the tanks and artillery of the coup-controlled Ukrainian army.

    But an honest newspaper and honest columnists would insist on including this context. They also would resist pejorative phrases such as “invasion” and “aggression” – unless, of course, they applied the same terminology objectively to actions by the U.S. government and its “allies.”

    That sort of nuance and balance is not what you get from The New York Times and its “group thinking” writers, people like Timothy Egan. When it comes to reporting on Russia, it’s Cold War-style propaganda, day in and day out.

    And this has not been a one-off problem. The unrelenting bias of the Times and, indeed, the rest of the mainstream U.S. news media on the Ukraine crisis represents a lack of professionalism that was also apparent in the pro-war coverage of the Iraq crisis in 2002-03 and other catastrophic U.S. foreign policy decisions.

    A growing public recognition of that mainstream bias explains why so much of the American population has tuned out supposedly “objective” news (because it is anything but objective).

    Indeed, those Americans who are more sophisticated about Russia and Ukraine than Timothy Egan know that they’re not getting the straight story from the Times and other MSM outlets. Those not-dumbed-down Americans can spot U.S. government propaganda when they see it.

    End

    Indeed “those of us “not-dumbed-down Americans can spot U.S. government propaganda when they see it.” Robert Parry saw it and reported on it and the main stream media just doubled down on dumb and continues to this day chastising Donald Trump for not enforcing ever more sanctions against Russia for their “war crimes” and aggression in Ukraine.

    It is up to us and the internet with sites like this to throw a cold light on propaganda in an effort to combat the battle for control of our minds by our corporate propaganda press. The main stream corporate press will never change course or retract any false assertions just as there was only the most tepid mea culpa from the NY Times about publishing all the garbage regurgitated by unreliable sources on Saddam’s WMDs and threats to the west in the run up to the second Iraq war. We are never going to hear US media admit they were puppets and cheerleaders for war based on lies but that is what they are and thousands of American soldiers are dead and many thousands more left permanently maimed and disabled because (in part) of the willingness of the NY Times to publish unsubstantiated and ultimately proven false “facts” which helped lead to war.

    The stakes are clear. If left unchallenged the main stream media including so called newspapers of record will continue to spread propaganda and lies for their own agenda right or wrong. In this fight we have Consortium News on the side of truth.

  23. P. Michael Garber
    September 25, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Good piece, good to see several of the suspicious narratives being pushed on us gathered in one place. However I’m not as confident as the author that the orthodox account of Russiagate has not taken hold. Virtually every Clinton supporter I know fully buys every aspect of the story; it’s not a matter of facts to them, but a matter of morality, right and wrong. Trump is bad. Therefore, the only moral thing to do is to support Russiagate. Pointing out all the holes in the story is an exercise in futility when the people who believe in it have both righteousness and the NYT on their side. We have entered a strange new topsy-turvy world where Fox viewers are less mis-informed than their msm-consuming Democratic counterparts.

    • CitizenOne
      September 26, 2018 at 12:24 am

      I agree PMJ! Well said.

      “We have entered a strange new topsy-turvy world where Fox viewers are less mis-informed than their msm-consuming Democratic counterparts.”

      In fact we are misinformed on both ends of the spectrum. The Liberal Left and neoliberals (democratic neocons) cling to the intelligence agencies reports of collusion and FBI investigations while the right gains ground pointing out the lack of any evidence. It puts Mueller in the cross-hairs and if “there is no there there” then it will be a giant boost for Trump who has called all this special prosecutor investigation a Witch Hunt.

      It seems to me that the Dems are playing into the hands of the conservatives and are setting themselves up for a showdown they can’t win barring some explosive reveal which so far they have not come up with.

      • Michael
        September 26, 2018 at 7:13 am

        Most likely Mueller will invent something. Like the yellow cake uranium. The Establishment will never let facts get in the way of their narratives.

  24. Lois Gagnon
    September 25, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    The media are just one more western institution that has been bought out by financial interests. It is their empire that is failing and using all means at its disposal to prevent total collapse. The hysterical Russiagate narrative reeks of desperation. The best thing we can do regarding the commercial press is ridicule it and replace it with the real thing. Just like the rest of this fraudulent system. Replace the inauthentic with what’s reality based.

    • Sam F
      September 26, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      Well put.

    • Sam F
      September 26, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      Well put.

  25. GKJames
    September 25, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    I disagree with the suggestion that they dynamics among media, policy makers, and public are something new. Group-think has been the central feature of US policy for decades. And the national security apparatus has each morning turned every presidential head since Truman’s with tales of the world’s awfulness, such that, as of 2018, one can wonder as to who controls whose mind. But in all other respects, whatever happens starts and ends with what the public (“customers” in today’s parlance) wants or is willing to tolerate. As for the three cases mentioned — Syria, Skripal, and Ukraine — it’s certainly right to maintain a healthy skepticism and demand quality reporting. But how does that skepticism translate into automatic exculpation of Syria and Russia? One would think that, absent a legitimate impartial investigation of ALL the facts (effectively, an impossibility), the most rational position is, We can surmise certain things but can prove little.

    • September 25, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      ” One would think that, absent a legitimate impartial investigation of ALL the facts (effectively, an impossibility), the most rational position is, We can surmise certain things but can prove little.”

      What is missing in this reasonably sounding post is (a) our governing officials and establishment media do not posit that they surmise and can prove little, instead they perform actions like trade penalties, banning individuals and companies, bombardment, supplying arms, propping “deserving regimes” with aid and loans while fomenting economic chaos in vulnerable “abominable regimes”, hiding stories how our allied regimes are no whit better than their “abominable neighbors” (say, Colombia vs Venezuela, Honduras vs Nicaragua) etc. etc. When you surmise without proof, you should not engage in a frenetic activity that is distinctly harmful.

      • GKJames
        September 26, 2018 at 7:52 am

        Welcome to the long-standing traditions of US foreign policy: part opportunism, part assertions of power (if only to control the narrative), and part show business. Verifiable facts and reason are rare, usually accidental, occurrences. That said, the only difference to how other countries go about asserting themselves is that they’re not steeped in the delusion of their own virtue.

  26. LarcoMarco
    September 25, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    {As Pilger put it, “This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new ‘groupthink,’ as [Robert] Parry called it, dispensing myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.”}

    Robert Parry disparaged the 9/11 Truthers, which raises the question: where to draw the line? Many books about 9/11 have been written. Has anyone ever analyzed the information which has been presented as “facts”?

    • backwardsevolution
      September 26, 2018 at 12:01 am

      Larco Marco – so much needs to be questioned and analyzed: 9/11, JFK, MLK, Civil War, the big “H”, World War I, World II, the Balfour Declaration, and on and on and on. IF people were given ALL of the facts – and I mean all of them – what a difference that would make!

  27. mike k
    September 25, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    The ability to question deeply and think clearly is not a God given talent. It must be worked for and developed, usually with help from those who have gone before on this truth seeking path. Most people in our culture are totally unprepared for this arduous but necessary study. Hence the apathy and widespread conformity which are the real source of our escalating disasters. Real knowledge galvanizes us to question and change our world.

    • Skip Scott
      September 26, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Excellent comment mike k, and spot-on.

    • Sam F
      September 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      Yes, well said.

    • Eddie
      September 30, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Exactly! We’re all initially products of our cultures (national, local, & family) plus our biological drives (food,shelter, social acceptance, sex/propagation, etc) and those institutions & drives typically don’t especially reward self-doubt or rational reflections, even when people have the time and/or inclination to pursue them.

  28. michael crockett
    September 25, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Excellent article Patrick. Thank you. Trump was speaking at the UN today and was attempting to sell abroad the same remarkable narrative he has been selling at home: America is being victimized by the rest of the world. The Unipolar behemoth having launched wars and regime change every where, having left in its wake millions of dead bodies is now claiming victim status. The super power with the dollar has the worlds reserve currency, having weaponized the US dollar to bring other countries to heel is again being victimized by others. How dare they! So what was the response from the members of the UN General Assembly. Laughter. Our President the Comedian and Chief. You`re killing me Trump.

    • J2027
      September 25, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      I know, but it was laughable. Even at the UN, how much more blatant hypocrisy and hubris can be ingested with a straight face?

      • September 25, 2018 at 11:26 pm

        Trump fit right in with the rest of the clowns in the corrupt ineffficacious U.N.

  29. flashlight joe
    September 25, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    While I hate to bring up another contentious issue, the “War over slavery” myth is a great example of cultural propaganda which begins in elementary school and continues throughout our life in the culture. It’s purpose, of course, is to foment the belief that our federal government kills people and destroys nations for a good, noble purpose. You know, like getting rid of a mean evil dictator, bringing democracy to a people, or freeing someone else’s slaves.

    The issue here is an understanding of war, not race relations, who was right, who started it, who shot first, or what was the cause. There is no cause of a war. There is a purpose. Who wants it and why. As Carl von Clausewitz said “War is the continuation of politics by other means”. So the real question about war is “Who wants it and what are they trying to achieve”.

    If you want to understand the truth about this “war over slavery” myth, consider the following:

    1) Does it make sense that someone would kill hundreds of thousands of people to do something nice for someone?

    2) Does anyone ever go to war to free someone else’s slaves?

    3) Has any other war in the history of the world ever been fought to free someone else’s slaves?

    4) Is there any historical statement from Abraham Lincoln saying that he will go to war over the issue of slavery?

    5) In his first inaugural address, what did Lincoln say about the slavery issue?

    6) In his first inaugural address, what reason did Lincoln give for going to war?

    7) Did your history books in school EVER say that Lincoln invaded the South over the issue of slavery, or did they just keep insinuating it so that you “got the message”. (Ken Burns did this too.)

    I brought this issue up to show that mind control is throughout the culture and, as Hitler said about war propaganda, “All advertising, whether in the field of business or politics, achieves success through the continuity and sustained uniformity of it’s application”. (Main Kampf, chapter 6).

    • September 25, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      The Cornerstone Speech, the States reasons given for secession, they’re all about slavery. So when I read what people alive at the time said about the Civil War – instead of buying the revisionist history people like you are selling – it is obvious.

      The Civil War was all about slavery. That’s what the people fighting said. It isn’t controversial except to Dukes of Hazzard fans.

      http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/weblogs/jackblog/2015/jun/21/confederates-speak-yes-we-fought-the-civil-war-ove/

      • flashlight joe
        September 25, 2018 at 5:50 pm

        You may have an argument for why the Southern States left (the feds were interfering with state issues against the limitations placed on it by the constitution), but this is debatable.

        I should have added “or why the southern states left the union” as another non-issue for why Lincoln invaded the south. Have you read his first inaugural address where he states he will not invade over slavery because he has no legal right to do so? And he also states the Corwin Amendment has solved that issue? But he will invade if they do not bow down and pay their taxes?

        These taxes were collected by the federal fort at Charlston harbor, i.e., Ft. Sumpter. Sound familiar? These import taxes were sent up north for the benefit of the big banks and big business, and were economic war against the South. Problem was, under the constitution, our federal government HAS the right to impose import taxes, so no legal argument there.

        When lincoln said he wanted to save the union, he meant bow down to me and pay your taxes. In effect it was a tax rebellion, and Lincoln invaded to collect those taxes. But stop listening to me or anyone else. Go read his speech. Learn about the Corwin Amendment. I am not discussing or defending slavery. I am talking about the nature and purpose of war.

        I have produced historical documentation for his reasons, stated by Lincoln himself. You can investigate these documents online or in a library. If you wish to continue the discussion, please produce a historical statement by Lincoln where he says he is invading over slavery.

        As a gentlemen’s bet, I will bet you $20 that you cannot find it. I used to bet people $10, but I am raising my wager. I would consider $20 a good deal to learn the truth, if it is the truth. But I have never seen any such statement, nor do I know of any other war fought to free someone else’s slaves.

        I get a lot of flack over this, but my goal is historical accuracy and the exposure of war propaganda, hence my moniker.

        • September 25, 2018 at 7:11 pm

          Donate the $20 to your local NAACP. Thanks!

          The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States

          First up, Mississippi. What I appreciate about Mississippi is they don’t seem to want to waste anyone’s time with a lengthy preamble about states’ rights. It turns out that we arrive at the slavery factor pretty quickly in this document:

          A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.
          In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.
          Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery–the greatest material interest of the world.

          Not to be outdone, Georgia mentions slavery in the second sentence:
          The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years, we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.

          Texas adopted what can only be described as a whiny tone when sounding the alarm on Northern states for failing to help Texas maintain an orderly slave labor system. It’s basically a paraphrase of: “You states in the north are not helping us do slavery to the utmost of our abilities! Shame on you!” In their own words:

          The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [the fugitive slave clause] …

          “Noble” Virginia puts it in their opening paragraph, with helpful capitalization:
          … the Federal Government, having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern Slaveholding States.

          Apparently, in South Carolina “life, liberty, and the pursuit of fugitive slaves” were considered inalienable rights:
          We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.

          The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: “No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”

          You have to dig a little for Alabama, but ultimately, the state doesn’t disappoint. In a call for a convention with the other Confederate states, it lists six ways the Civil War was about slavery:
          Our delegates selected shall be instructed to submit to the general convention the following basis of a settlement of the existing difficulties between the Northern and Southern States, to wit:
          1. A faithful execution of the fugitive slave law …
          2. A more stringent and explicit provision for the surrender of criminals charged with offenses against laws of one State and escaping into another.
          3. A guaranty that slavery shall not be abolished in the District of Columbia …
          4. A guaranty that the interstate slave-trade shall not be interfered with.
          5. A protection to slavery in the Territories …
          6. The right of transit through free States with slave property.

          Corner Stone Speech

          Confederate Vice-President Alexander H. Stephens Savannah, Georgia March 21, 1861

          But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away.

          This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

          Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago.

          Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men.

          The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.

          http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/cornerstone-speech/

          • michael
            September 26, 2018 at 7:29 am

            Lincoln freed the slaves in the Confederacy in 1863; the slaves in the Union were freed in 1865. Why the delay? Many Northerners had converted slaves into indentured servants; when old and of no use they could be turned out into the streets. The last President to own slaves was Ulysses S. Grant, who commanded the Union forces.
            Agreed slavery was an important issue, but it was not the decisive issue in secession and Lincoln’s desire to keep the rebels in the Union. As always, that comes down to Money. Lincoln was known by many as the Tariff President, and the Abominable tariffs from 20 to 40 years before which built industry in the North didn’t go away in the minds of Southern politicians, no more than policies of the Clinton administration have vanished into history today.

          • flashlight joe
            September 26, 2018 at 4:02 pm

            to O Society

            You have given very good evidence that the South left the union over slavery.

            The issue I am discussing is the purpose of Lincoln’s invasion of the South, the destruction of cities and towns, and the killing of hundreds of thousands of people.

            I did not see any statement in your response showing a statement by Lincoln saying he is going to war over the issue of slavery. I provided you an official recorded document of a speech to congress before the war saying he will not invade over slavery but will invade over taxes.

            You apparently cannot separate the 2 issues – why the south left, and why Lincoln invaded. These 2 issues have been conflated together by propaganda, which is the whole point of my discussion.

            I appreciate your concern and feelings about the injustices of racial relations in America. My topic is the nature and purpose of war.

            I do understand the power of propaganda and recognize its effects. Believing the war over slavery myth allows you to believe the U.S. military murders people for a good and noble purpose. But nobody murders hundreds of thousands of people to do something nice for someone else. War is an animal behavior to conquer territory, resources, and people.

            Sorry, but no $20 yet. I will pay if you provide the statement from Lincoln where he says he will invade over the issue of slavery. As a truth seeker, and I mean this sincerely, I would consider $20 a bargain to learn such a fact about history. Problem is, I can’t find it. Can you?

        • September 25, 2018 at 8:18 pm

          There argument that tariffs were a major cause for the Southern secession has weak points. In 1830-ties a very high tariff was enacted, dubbed “tariff of abominations”. However, in 1846 is was substantially reduced, and then further reduced in 1857, to 21% on goods subject of the tariff and 17% on overall import. Southerners had no reason to complain about the tariff of 1857.

          However, industrial states experienced severe recession (?) called “panic”, and most of northern representative and senators advocated to increase the tariff. So it was indisputably a matter of political contention. Nevertheless, the rules of committee seniority and filibuster in the Senate held, and they prevented the tariff increase. Actually, the proposal never came to vote as the respective committee was chaired by a senator from Virginia. It was only AFTER the secession was proclaimed and the Southern senators ceased to participate in Senate proceedings that a sharp tariff increase was enacted in 1861.

          Thus tariffs were not really a burning issue, as oppose to various controversies related to slavery that were literally burning, like Southern mob crossing Ohio river to burn the facility of an abolitionist newspaper. Advocacy of abolition was illegal, and a person doing it in a public meeting could be lynched on the spot. There was a major controversy if post master should, or should not, censor periodicals and other publications ordered by mail. A controversy on capturing slaves who fled North. Events in “bleeding Kansas”. The issue of slavery was raising flames and drawing blood,

          After reading Wikipedia articles on tariffs, it appeared to me that Southern elite made a rational calculation, even though in retrospect it was disastrous, They had a very large stake, huge proportion of their working capital, in slaves, and, secondarily, the possibility of the return of the Tariff of Abomination was disconcerting. Having military officers in their ranks, families etc. they could calculate that the North could not afford war effort on a sufficient scale to defeat the South. Who knew that the North would embark on a budget financed in ca. 70% by bonds. The Northern elite had their own miscalculation, they expected a short war, but it took about two years for rather pacifist North (few officers and generals) to get their act together.

          Nevertheless, war requires passion, and the issue raising most passion was slavery.

          • Paora
            September 26, 2018 at 1:54 am

            I hate to get involved in an off-topic thread but I still think the old school Marxist account is the most persuasive. Gareth Stedman Jones had a great article in New Left Review way back in 1970 (link posted below, sorry stuck behind the NLR paywall). The US civil war was a clash between two versions of Imperialism. The Planter Aristocracy that ruled the South sought territorial expansion into Latin America in on the European model to create a closed ‘sphere of influence’, while the Northern Finance Capitalists were more interested in dominating Asian markets through a kind of ‘proto-Globalism’ in the form of the Open Door policy. The victory of the North set course of the US Empire up to the present with the dominance of US Finance Capital masquerading as an ‘Global Rules-Based Order’. Interesting Trump appears to want to revert to a more openly Imperial approach, perhaps his Racism isn’t the only thing that attracts him those good old antebellum days.

          • Paora
            September 26, 2018 at 1:58 am

            Gareth Stedman Jones on US Civil War & subsequent course of the US Empire. (Yes I know his work is pretty terrible these days, I miss the 20th Century)

            https://newleftreview.org/I/60/gareth-stedman-jones-the-specificity-of-us-imperialism

          • flashlight joe
            September 26, 2018 at 4:15 pm

            to Piotr Berman

            We have all been taught that the war was over slavery, under slavery, about slavery, around slavery, etc. but these space-time metaphors are just that, metaphors.

            The real question about war is who wants it and what political result do they intend to achieve. What is the purpose of the war.

            Lincoln stated this very clearly in his First Inaugural Address. He would not invade over slavery (” because I have no right to do so”) but that he would invade to make them pay their taxes. That is the purpose of war. Conquering territory, resources, and people. Nobody goes to war and murders hundreds of thousands of people to do something nice. Do you see the propaganda trick there? Please read his First Inaugural Address.

            If you believe the war was about slavery, please provide a documented statement from Lincoln where he states that his invasion has anything to do over the issue of slavery. For you, I will raise my bet to $25.

    • September 27, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Bowing out of this discussion. What is being said here sounds disingenuous at best.

      Apologies if what is being said in the spirit of sincerity, because it does not sound as if it can be so.

      Perhaps I am cynical. Perhaps the trolls have inherited the earth.

      The Civil War was undoubtedly fought for reasons of slavery. To say it was not so sounds… well, asinine.

      Here is another resource to go with the States Reasons for Succession and the Corner Stone speech. Letters written by the soldiers themselves. A thousand of such letters.

      Undoubtedly, the No True Scotsman will say these do not meet the criteria. So be it.

      Peace

      Chandra Manning. What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War.

      Chandra Manning investigates what “ordinary soldiers thought about the relationship between slavery and the Civil War” (4). But in one of the most important recent books on the Civil War—it draws from the letters and diaries of over 1,100 Civil War soldiers, both U.S. and Confederate, and the regimental newspapers these soldiers edited—Manning shows us how slavery mattered in ways that have previously eluded scholars. Historians have long discussed the lives and minds of the Civil War’s common soldiers but have disagreed regarding the extent to which ideology and patriotism motivated these soldiers. In contrast to those historians who argue that community and group cohesion influenced the Civil War’s common soldiers more than ideas, Manning counters that the soldiers were “intensely ideological” (18). She also finds that soldiers [End Page 76] from both sides expressed fervent patriotism in the letters they wrote, but reports important differences between Union and Confederate patriotism.

      Manning challenges historian Gary Gallagher’s position that enthusiasm for the Confederacy transcended class divisions, as well as Paul Escott’s contention that class conflict and Confederate patriotism worked at cross-purposes. In contrast, Manning asserts that soldiers’ allegiance to the Confederacy derived from their belief that the Confederacy could better defend their families, which in turn depended upon protecting the South’s hierarchical and slave-based social order. Slavery “served as the cement that held Confederates together,” even among nonslave-holding Southern whites who held a very deep commitment to slavery (6). Despite becoming greatly dissatisfied with their government, soldiers proved willing to support the Confederacy so long as it could prevent white Southerners from being subject to a national authority headed by an antislavery president. The Confederacy, in short, was a union of self-interest.

      Union soldiers’ patriotism took them beyond self-interest, as they saw themselves as the world’s stewards for “liberty, equality, and self-government” (6). Northern soldiers conceived of liberty in collective, rather than in individualistic, terms. They quickly recognized slavery’s role in the struggle and embraced emancipation before their political leaders did. Union soldiers’ distinctive patriotism stemmed from millennialism, which Manning sees as characterizing the antebellum North rather than being a religious doctrine confined to narrow bands of enthusiasts. African American soldiers responded to different ideological impetuses than did whites, as black soldiers saw in the war the possibility of a transformed nation that would recognize their humanity.

      Manning places the development of Confederate and Union patriotism, and soldiers’ attitudes toward slavery, within a broad Civil War narrative. White Union solders believed that the Emancipation Proclamation showed that the government finally recognized what they had known all along. Meanwhile, the Proclamation forced white Northerners to confront their complicity with slavery. And even as Confederates increasingly disliked their government’s orchestrating of the war, Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation intensified Confederates’ contempt for the Union. Confederate and Union soldiers’ hopes of imminent victory waxed and waned in response to battlefield victories and defeats. When the war persisted longer than most contemporaries expected, soldiers on both sides confronted demoralization. Union soldiers survived demoralization better than Confederates did because [End Page 77] their self-transcending patriotism proved more resilient than Confederate patriotism. Yet Confederate soldiers’ fear of emancipation countered their discouragement. Rebel resistance, for example, reasserted itself on the eve of Confederate collapse after the U.S. Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment in January 1865, with Confederate troops threatening desertion if blacks enlisted in the Confederate army. Accordingly, after the Confederate Congress enacted black enlistment, Confederate soldiers concluded that “the surrender of the war’s purpose had already happened” and made Confederate defeat just a matter of time (211).

      Manning builds her argument atop a historiographical structure that seldom enters her narrative but can be easily followed in her footnotes. She is most convincing regarding slavery’s centrality to Union and Confederate soldiers’ understanding of the war and of the differences between the two sides’ opposing patriotisms.

      • September 27, 2018 at 12:18 pm

        Sorry, but the Union Army was conscription, not volunteer and most of the draftees would do anything to get out of fighting the rich man’s war regardless of whether it was over slavery or tariffs. They knew it was not in their interests, just like all wars before and after.

      • flashlight joe
        September 27, 2018 at 12:42 pm

        to O Society

        Peace. Thanks for the wealth of information regarding the civil war era and the social and political milieu of the times. I was and am sincere. As I said, I take a lot of flak for this.

    • Zenobia van Dongen
      September 27, 2018 at 11:43 am

      What are the answers to your questions?

    • Eddie
      September 30, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      This is the ‘Lost Cause’ ideology, which is critically dissected at length in the following Wikipedia article: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Cause_of_the_Confederacy. I’ve never found the Lost Cause arguments as being compelling at all —- they’re more like sour-grape rationalizations and self-pity built on misrepresentations and omissions of key facts, as explained in the above link and ‘O Society’s comments.

  30. Jerry hoyt
    September 25, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    He leaves out the most glaring battle for our minds. The stupifyingly obnoxious glorification of Israel.

    Like, calling it a Deomcracy…….

    Excuse me while I puke.

  31. September 25, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Good article Mr. Lawrence. Thank you.

    I would only call attention to your use of the words “American interests”. I think we all know or should know by now that none of this being done in our name is in 99% of Americans best interests.

    • Joe Lauria
      September 25, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      Do the 99% have interests abroad? The vast majority don’t even go abroad on vacation.

      • September 27, 2018 at 12:21 pm

        Most don’t have any vacations, hence the term “staycations.”

  32. flashlight joe
    September 25, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    The right wing pundits tell you to “Connect the dots”, but that is a children’s game. The best way to interpret any news is to understand the game and know the players.

    For example, you are watching a football game with a friend who does not understand football. It is third down and 8 yards to go for the first down. The center hikes the ball, the ends and halfbacks go downfield for the pass, the quarterback falls into the pocket and looks for a receiver, the fullback stays with the quarterback to block. Suddenly the quarterback hands the ball to the fullback who runs through a hole in the scrimmage line and he barrels through for 15 yards. First down!

    Now your friend, who does not understand the game, says: Wow! Wasn’t that a great play! They needed long yardage so they went for the pass play. But nobody was open, so, on the spur of the moment the quarterback handed the ball to the fullback, and as he ran forward luckily a hole opened up in the line and he was able to get 15 yards. Was’t that a great job of thinking on your feet. Their play had failed but they did some quick thinking and changed their plans.

    Your response: It’s the draw play. The whole thing was a planned deception.

    Understand the game. Know the players. Only then you can understand what is happening.

    • backwardsevolution
      September 25, 2018 at 7:07 pm

      flashlight joe – “Understand the game. Know the players.”

      Yep. Excellent post.

    • yahweh
      September 26, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      Joe Tttt….

  33. tpmco
    September 25, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    I’m glad that Lawrence has finally woven all the threads of the slippery slope that the USA is on into a single, concise article. There is a summary in this piece that presents to me the dilemna I have been suffering through for the past 17 years in stark terms: What information am I finding which is really true?

    The suffering involves where do I find information, how do I judge the reliability of it, and how does it comport with whatever seems logical to me. I went on a mission in 2006 when I finally turned off the teevee and moved to the complexities of the internet and radio to learn what I could about news. And it has occurred to me that I have often been misled by the news that has been omitted—yes I have found stories that are outright lies but the omission thing seems to be the prevalent thing which blocks me from having information which is true.

    So I have to commend Lawrence in this article for citing the stories he did mention because, I have followed each of them as closely as I could, and I now have to conclude that information is on an ominous path. I call it a slippery slope. That slope really started to gain steam during 2014 with the Ukrainian story, and hit full throttle with this Russia-gate story. We truthseekers are almost done for. I have to ask how do we get off this train without wrecking everything?

  34. J2027
    September 25, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    The battle has always been of the Mind, the causal-plane, where ideas are born and manifested, for better or worse, onto the physical-plane. While a mass enlightenment of any kind seems to be wishful thinking at this point, nothing less will do. To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, we can’t change anything if we can’t change our minds.

    • Maxwell Quest
      September 25, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      Esoterics – the eventual doorway entered by all dedicated truth-seekers.

      • DavidH
        September 25, 2018 at 6:29 pm

        Don’t know if I’m one of’em, or if all of’em do (enter that door), but I did. Is anything really different through that door, or is it just other? Sometimes I think when we go through it we lose sight of sociological principles just as profound. Battling for minds means insane (neoliberal) workloads placed on people to make each paranoid of the other…so we are too psychically burnt out to really pay attention to issues. Face it, it drains you. The problem is that those lucky enough to have the time to go through the door never see it so much, let alone face this phenomenon others face in any meaningful way. Along with the dividing-of-the-people is the fact that low income becomes a stigma, thus the associated class a bunch of scapegoats. But as far as mimetic theory goes, I think unconsciously we aren’t imitating actors, singers, and sports figures so much as that…the behavior of interviewer and interviewee…and the MSNBC roundtables (or panel tables) are affecting our cognitive processes. Vapid, hollow, soundbyteish, move on to the next question. Can’t think of another way in which the “information age” is affecting us so heavily.

        Interviewers are too often in la la land when a point made merits digression. When such omissions happen you know it’s not the days of Susan Stanberg on NPR. The lack of two sides to issues on that platform is starting to drive me a little up the wall.

        Not to say I wouldn’t be drawn in by any Advaita vs qualified non-dualism debate, but even on the side I stand with germane (where I’m pretty firm) it seems there are many, many questions that must be left alone when you get a certain age. Forget about the damn koan. Leave it alone. “Sleep on it,” as John Heider said. There are lots of sister/fellow humans to help…and to speak up for too.

        Since you’re here at this place, MQ, and since your reply was so frugal/sustainable in nature, I figure you know all this already. But for some reason I had to write it out.

        • DavidH
          September 25, 2018 at 9:43 pm

          Sorry, Stamberg…not Stanberg.

        • Maxwell Quest
          September 25, 2018 at 9:52 pm

          David, my reply was intended as a nod to J2027, whose terminology indicated a familiarity with the cosmic structure as taught by esoterics. I am hesitant to say much more on this subject, as many readers will consider it off topic. However, I consider most (if not all) readers of CN as those searching for a deeper understanding of the world… aka truth-seekers.

          Those “lucky enough to have the time to go through the door”, as you said, must all pay the same price of admission: the long, arduous path of self-development and purification. All light must be worked for, and is only bestowed when you are qualified to receive it. The comment of ‘mike k – 4:02 pm’ above is particularly insightful in this regard.

          Once firmly on this path, one’s heart and mind turn not toward nirvana, as most mistakenly assume, but toward a suffering humanity, for as a wise man once said, “There are lots of sister/fellow humans to help…and to speak up for too.”

          • DavidH
            September 27, 2018 at 6:49 pm

            Yes, Max, I saw it as a nod to J2. When I saw J2’s “causal plane,” I was glad. Thanks for your thoughtful reply, and for the excess thoughtfulness too. Ha! Causal and etheric and all the rest…it would be nice if humans could survive to discover more about these things; I mean many more humans taking a look at them. Impossible to imagine what would happen. Rupert Sheldrake (on the other dimensions level) and the “space”-is-made-of-stuff-thesis (on the materialist level) seem to be changing old concepts a bit. Sheldrake’s ideas, for example, might make the Bannon followers think more deeply, if they could somehow bump into’em fairly directly.

  35. September 25, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    The mainstream press has always been compromised at least since the establishment of the National Security State in 1947 and the initiation of Project Mockingbird by the CIA which has, since the Church Committee outed the project has redoubled its influence. People look back at the 60s and 70s as a kind of golden age but the media universally supported the Vietnam War until ’68 and reporters knew very well what was going on but were not allowed to report it. The difference today is that there is that mainstream reporting is close to 100% propaganda about foreign policy whereas in the “golden age” it was about 60% propaganda. Domestic issues are more mixed but there is almost no coverage of corruption in government whereas there was once a decent amount of coverage until 9/11. Today, I assume that what I read in the NYT and WaPo are largely fiction unless proven otherwise.

    • Mike from Jersey
      September 25, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      You sound a lot like me. I read the mainstream press every morning. If the story involves coverage about a hurricane, I take it as being pretty accurate. If it involves a domestic policy issue, I read it carefully and skeptically. If it is about foreign policy, I assume it to be fiction but I read it through just to see what “narrative” is being spun.

    • willow
      September 26, 2018 at 9:49 pm

      I am amazed no one talks about the effect of the repeal of the Smith-Mundt propaganda ban Obama authorized as part of the NDAA in 2013. That ban against domestic propaganda protected Americans somewhat since 1948. When Obama legalized fake news, a new industry was born. Here’s an article
      from business insider.

      https://www.businessinsider.com/us-domestic-propaganda-officially-aired-2013-7

  36. Mike From Jersey
    September 25, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    The people who are actually running this country are finally getting the message. The “official narrative” is no longer automatically accepted as gospel. This is why the anti “fake news” campaign has been initiated and this is why Google, Facebook, Twitter are now resorting to censorship and ostracism. Their idea is to go back to the “good old days” when the population was more easily controlled.

    The question is: will they succeed? Will the internet go the way of television – a medium with great potential turned into a wasteland.

    I hope not. Freedom feels good. I just hope enough other people feel the same way about it as I do.

  37. September 25, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    “In other words, Establishment journalism has shifted far afield from its traditional ideals of non-partisan, objective reporting and is instead vying for your mind to enlist it in its agenda to promote American interests abroad or one party or the other at home.”

    Yes, certainly that is the case, although I would add qualifiers about the “traditional ideals of…reporting.”

    I’ve just done a summary and analysis closely related to this piece.

    Readers may enjoy it:

    https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/john-chuckman-comment-on-the-hatred-of-russia-its-background-and-the-purposes-it-serves-on-the-dishonesty-of-our-press-in-serving-that-purpose-and-the-importance-of-foreign-and-independent-news-s/

  38. September 25, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    The empire is failing and so has to double down to try to keep control. It is a shame that people are so much subjects to the political reality, do they have no other interests? People need to get a life, start thinking for themselves. Technology has been used to enslave people into a hive mind, and it’s high time that we resist this attempt to turn us into Borgs: “Resistance is Futile”. No, resistance is crucial! Thanks for this article, Patrick Lawrence

  39. September 25, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    I’m afraid Russiagate is hardening into orthodoxy.

    I can hardly get two words in edgewise with liberal acquaintances who know everything and assure me in condescending tones that the Kremlin hacked the ’16 election (i.e. hacked the DNC and Podesta).

    It’s now looking like a lost cause that even the historical record someday will have difficulty setting straight.

    Because goddamned NPR, PBS NewsHour, NYTImes, CIA house organ WaPo, and CNN tell them over and over and over that it’s settled fact, it’s just got to be true.

    • Skip Scott
      September 26, 2018 at 9:03 am

      Yes Drew, I’m afraid you are right. Robert Parry’s “Mighty Wurlitzer” has worked its magic.

  40. September 25, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you, Patrick Lawrence!

    One of the crucial messages we need to take away from the rise of Donald Trump is his cries of “fake news” would have little to no effect on the American citizens as if there weren’t plenty of actual fake news being dispensed.

    There is.

    However, this does not mean Trump (or Fox News, where he seems to get most of his information) tells us the truth. Or the NY Times. Or the government. Or the Rs; or the Ds.

    They don’t.

    Therefore, the only solution is to train our minds. We are the gatekeepers of information now. We the People. It is our responsibility to develop critical thinking skills. No one can do this for us.

    No one else. Just us.

    • backwardsevolution
      September 25, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      O Society – I don’t know, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity at Fox are doing a masterful job of reporting. Tucker is shining a light on illegal immigration; Google, Facebook and Twitter re their current censorship, controlling the information that we see, and for being monopolies; and he’s questioning whether Russia and Iran are really enemies of the American people.

      Sean Hannity is doing a great job following all of the facts re the plot to overthrow Trump (as a candidate and then as President) by the FBI, DOJ, CIA. This was a criminal conspiracy, and as far as I know it’s not being covered by CNN and other outlets.

    • September 25, 2018 at 9:19 pm

      “Having spent the past three months monitoring Trump’s Twitter feed professionally, I had a good sense of why this spectacle was unfolding. After watching a recording of the previous few minutes of Fox News, my hunch was confirmed: The president was live-tweeting the network’s coverage.

      After comparing the president’s tweets with Fox’s coverage every day since October, I can tell you the Fox-Trump feedback loop is happening far more often than you think. There is no strategy to Trump’s Twitter feed; he is not trying to distract the media. He is being distracted. He darts with quark-like speed from topic to topic in his tweets because that’s how cable news works.

      A man with unparalleled access to the world’s most powerful information-gathering machine, with an intelligence budget estimated at $73 billion last year, prefers to rely on conservative cable news hosts to understand current events.”

      I’ve Studied the Trump-Fox Feedback Loop for Months. It’s Crazier Than You Think.

      • backwardsevolution
        September 25, 2018 at 11:32 pm

        O Society – Oh, goodie, Trump has access to the intelligence agencies. Would those be the same intelligence agencies who have been working behind his back, trying to oust him from office, and committing criminal conspiracy? And Trump is supposed to depend on them? The same people who advised going into Iraq? And Trump is stupid?

        Go back and read the article again. We aren’t getting “all” of the truth, big parts of it are being omitted. CNN runs Avenatti and Stormy Daniels. At least Fox is investigating and delving into the lies, trying to fill in what is purposely being left out. Tucker has asked some hard questions re Ukraine, Russia, Syria. He even covers topics like “innocent until proven guilty”, the importance of free speech, etc. You should watch him; you might learn something.

        No wonder the American public don’t know which end is up. They aren’t getting the information with which to make an informed decision.

      • September 26, 2018 at 7:47 am

        If you are not terrified by the realization the person in charge of America gets his information from watching television, there isn’t much else I can say.

        https://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi489947929

        • backwardsevolution
          September 26, 2018 at 4:43 pm

          O Society – where else is he going to find out the facts? From the New York Times? The Washington Post? At least Fox is providing facts that are not being talked or written about elsewhere in the media. Kim Strassel at the Wall Street Journal, John Solomon at The Hill, Tom Fitton at Judicial Watch and a few others are doing the same, but unfortunately they’re few and far between.

          What books would you recommend? We could have a field day arguing about what books we’d both recommend he read. What economists should he listen to? Those coming from the neoliberal/corporate think tank side or the more socialist side, or something in between? You’re probably well-read, but then so am I, and yet we don’t agree. As we’re seeing right before our eyes, history can be written any way the author wants it to be written. They can twist and manipulate facts, omit important information, and most people are none the wiser, especially with political correctness increasing.

          What is needed is ALL of the facts, a discussion about what makes a country great, whether there’s too much government or not enough, should speech be limited or left wide open, the importance of the Rule of Law, etc.

          The country is circling the drain. If this continues, civil war is not far off.

          • Sam F
            September 26, 2018 at 7:56 pm

            “You’re probably well-read, but then so am I, and yet we don’t agree. As we’re seeing right before our eyes, history can be written any way the author wants it to be written”

            Yes, reasoned interchanges require moderated debate between experts selected by those of all viewpoints. Without the challenge-response of debate the public cannot be informed. And piecing together fragments of real debate is too incoherent and laborious.

            Hence I recommend and will try to set up a College of Policy Debate to conduct such debates in all policy areas and regions, by experts of all disciplines, protecting all viewpoints, to produce commented debate summaries available to the public with auto-quiz options, allowing everyone to see all views and challenges, and move from debate to debate through the logical structure of each issue.

            Congress has never done that, nor the Congressional Research Service, and of course they don’t intend to do so, being for the most part no more than hired shills for oligarchy.

          • backwardsevolution
            September 27, 2018 at 6:24 am

            Sam F – hi, Sam. “Congress has never done that, nor the Congressional Research Service, and of course they don’t intend to do so, being for the most part no more than hired shills for oligarchy.”

            Yep, no intention. You’re so right. Sounds like a great idea, Sam F. Hope you can get it done before the country falls apart. When so many people can’t even place England on a map, it’s going to be a tough road. They really do have the population right where they want them. 40 to 50 years of neglect has left the country in very poor shape.

            But we must keep up hope, and your idea is a very good one. Take care, Sam.

  41. Jeff Harrison
    September 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Well, Patrick, it seems to me that this is a clear indication that “The West” plans to attack Russia and we are being treated to their process of manufacturing consent. Furthermore, the “guardians” of the world order (so called), the UN, the WTO, etc are failing miserably to reign in the great powers which is leading to chaos and a reprise of the pre-WWII failure of the League of Nations. This is a make or break for the world again. The US has all the aggression of pre-WWII Germany (see Iraq, if not Afghanistan and Libya and Syria) and we are making our break for full scale hegemony.

Comments are closed.