These flimsy, poorly-sourced allegations are being hammered into mainstream liberal consciousness on a daily basis now in the exact same way the discredited Russiagate psyop was, writes Caitlin Johnstone.
By Caitlin Johnstone
With overwhelming bipartisan support, the House Armed Services Committee has added a Liz Cheney-spearheaded amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which throws severe roadblocks in the Trump administration’s proposed scale-down of US military presence in Afghanistan and Germany.
As The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald notes, both parties advancing the amendment cited in their arguments the completely unsubstantiated intelligence leak that was recently published by credulous mass media reporters alleging that Russia has paid bounties to Taliban fighters for killing the occupying forces in Afghanistan. Yet another western imperialist agenda once again facilitated by unforgivably egregious journalistic malpractice in the mass media.
Every aspect of this development is enraging.
The mass media have continued to add to their mountain of Gish gallop fallacies promoting this narrative with a new Daily Beast report citing former senior Taliban figure Mullah Manan Niazi who asserts that “The Taliban have been paid by Russian intelligence for attacks on U.S. forces—and on ISIS forces—in Afghanistan from 2014 up to the present.” The Beast’s own article admits that its source has severe conflicts of interest and is believed to be a CIA asset by Taliban leadership, and that Niazi provided no evidence of any kind for his claim or any further details whatsoever.
These flimsy, poorly-sourced allegations are being hammered into mainstream liberal consciousness on a daily basis now in the exact same way the discredited Russiagate psyop was, and just like with Russiagate the narrative they are being used to shape helps advance military expansionism and new cold war escalations which just so happen to fit perfectly into pre-existing geostrategic agendas of planetary domination.
The way mainstream news outlets consistently refuse to account for a fact so obvious and indisputable as intelligence agencies being known liars should by itself be enough to discredit the entire institution of mass news reporting. Yet here we are with these reports being treated as established fact throughout the entire political/media class and down through the entire population of propagandized rank-and-file citizenry.
The Afghanistan Papers established conclusively that the occupation has been unwinnable and without a clear picture of what winning would even look like from the very beginning, and that this fact has been hidden from the world by systematic deceit for two decades. The revelation was in the news for a day and then quickly memory holed without having any meaningful impact on the dominant narrative about Afghanistan, and now the mainstream consensus is that even trying to reduce the number of troops there is a hazardous and outlandish notion.
This is because the mainstream consensus is shaped not by facts, but by narrative. We see this in the way the fact-filled Afghanistan Papers have played no role in shaping the dominant narrative about what should be done about the nineteen-year occupation, and we see it in the way the fact-free “bounty” narrative is shaping public opinion and determining US foreign policy. The propagandists who manufacture consent for imperialist agendas understand that truth and facts play far less of a role in what the propagandized consider important than does mindless repetition and emotion.
The Empire Files has an absolutely phenomenal mini-documentary on the Afghanistan occupation which came out the other day, and everyone should watch it. Abby Martin quickly breaks down the geostrategic, resource control, and military-industrial complex agendas which are advanced by this interminable war, the deceit and depravity which went into initiating and maintaining it, and the devastating toll it has taken on the Afghan people. I strongly encourage my readers to give it a view when you get the chance.
The continued Afghanistan occupation is like if the police stormed a house, shot a bunch of people, realized they got the wrong house and they’d never find the guy they were looking for by staying there, stayed anyway, moved in, and then years later said they can’t move out because they heard a rumor that the neighbors are trying to make them leave.
In a sane world it would be the violent invasion and occupation of sovereign nations which elicits outrage and opposition from elected officials and intense skepticism and critical reporting from prominent journalists. In today’s propaganda-maddened society we get the exact opposite: the invasions and occupations are treated as the normal default position and any attempt to end them is regarded as outlandish.
This cannot continue. We must find a way to awaken from the brainwashing and force it to end. Anyone who works to prevent this from happening is an enemy of human progress.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either Youtube, soundcloud, Apple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books “Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone” and “Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.”
This article was re-published with permission.
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
Please Contribute to Consortium
News on its 25th Anniversary
The Boston Globe featured this bloodthirsty column
‘There is not a nation on earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”—Frederick Douglass Independence Day speech July 5th 1852 .—-These words taken from that speech ring true today on this independence day .
Afghanistan: the graveyard of armies. Ignore this at your own peril.
Thank you for the link to the Abby Martin documentary. It’s sort of like all the arguments I’ve ever expressed against US hegemony, all rolled into one.
I’ve never seen something I’ve constantly failed to adequately impart to other people put so succinctly. Pity is that, from experience, the odds that the succinct truth will sway the brainwashed US general public are zero to none.
The public don’t control the narrative and never will. All those in control have to do is invoke the bureaucratic “abracadabra” of this age, “national security”, and debate is magically terminated.
The greatest pity of all is that the “national security” in question is _never_ that of the US.
We will need to put up with trump until November. UNLESS trump decides to become the only self proclaimed POTUS and decide he is not leaving office to go to ICC for war crimes, Federal Prison for all the public funds and property crimes and New York State Prison for all the false tax returns he filed. Need to have all republicans in congress and Senate arrested and charged with crimes as accessories after the fact and all his appointees and family as co conspriters.
Another thing that needs fixing is the American Flag. With trump driving all the thefts from smaller countries we need the flag to be a JOLLY ROGER. White picture on a black background, with the statement Making trump Wealthy.
How many hundred thousands of Americans need to die to satisfy trump the mass murderer? We know trump is always trying for new records, but he has this one in the body bag.
Hopefully the Ghislaine Maxwell arrest can lead to a Swamp Draining Operation so he could get out, but the odds of that happening soon are very long. However, if Barr and Durham can start putting some of these Treasonous Democrats in jail, those odds would improve.
Lock up the Democrats, and while we at it, lock up Barr Durham, Trump and the rest. There are no good guys in either party
The end of the American empire is the only way out of this mess.
What? Get a grip on yourself. The end of the American Empire? …… Too many video games I think.
Correction: End of the fantasy of an American Empire. That illusion began shattering by the end of the Vietnam War (how many wars ago was that?). And the US has remained on a slow downhill slide since the mid-1980s. By no measure is the US the “greatest, richest, freest, most powerful country” today.
It is not an “American Empire”. It is an empire of inbred dynastic central banking mafia who care nothing for America. The modern empire receives tribute from vassals but now calls it interest. During the last 100 years of almost perpetual war the American republic has been perverted into the role of mafia enforcers that garrison the empire with hundreds of military bases in vassal states. The US could not have financed WWI or WWII without unlimited “money” conjured from nothing. Voting is the new “opiate of the masses”. The delusion of democracy, the political theater, and a drugged population keeps masses docile unable to comprehend that traffic in drugs, people and weapons is all the doing of a global mafia.
Absolutely correct but with the current crop of politicians and lobbyists , it’s mission impossible. War and weapon sales are the primary moneymakers for the fading empire.
Thank you for posting the Gray Zone piece as well as Abby Martin’s accurate history of the Afghanistan affair. Everyone should view these and spread them around just to try and counter the hideous propaganda of the M$M. War truly is a racket.
Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con usted
Some moronic individuals in the USA won’t even wear face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic because they are so brainwashed – what makes you think there is a way to awaken these Ameribots from their slumber when it comes to a topic like this one? Hopefully Climate Change will wipe out the complete human gene pool forever! We don’t deserve the ground we walk on…
I looked it up on my computer. The US has had 2400 soldiers die in Afghanistan while they killed 100,000 Afghanis. Are people paying the US soldiers to go there or do they just go to Afghanistan for the fun of killing people?
Many who join the military today do so because it provides their only chance at obtaining the higher ed/job skills training necessary for a chance at a family-supporting job/out of the hell of American poverty.
No, the US is not just after “planetary domination.” The creation of the US Space Command signals the intention to dominate everything.
And “the invasions and occupations are treated as the normal default” because they _are_ the normal default.
Otherwise, spot on.