The U.S. media/political elites are again riling up the American people about threats abroad, whether it’s the hysterical reporting about Russia or the sensationalistic coverage of Islamic State atrocities. The results are showing with more Americans favoring more war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
In recent decades, the U.S. propaganda system has grown more and more sophisticated in the art of “perception management,” now enlisting not only government PR specialists but careerist journalists and aspiring bloggers to push deceptions on the public, a crisis in democracy that Nicolas J S Davies explores.
Since the anti-war protests on Vietnam, the U.S. government has made “perception management” of the American people a high priority, feeding them a steady diet of propaganda about foreign crises, even getting “peace groups” to buy into “pro-democracy” wars, write Margaret Sarfehjooy and Coleen Rowley.
From the Archive: To understand why many right-wingers are so defensive about offensive U.S. acts, even waterboarding and anal rape, you must look back to the Reagan years when “moral equivalence” became an accusation against applying universal standards to the U.S., as Robert Parry wrote last March about Ukraine.
“Information warfare” is a new centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy, with demonizing an “enemy” the predictable first step sometimes toward actual war, as we’ve seen with Russian President Putin over Ukraine. But this propagandistic approach raises troubling philosophical questions about democracy, says Paul Grenier.
As the world hurtles toward a new Cold War and possibly a nuclear confrontation over Ukraine, the West’s “free press” is again serving the role of an obedient propaganda service — demonizing Russia, presenting a one-sided narrative and feeding a dangerous belligerence, as veteran journalist John Pilger explains.