If You’re Suddenly Yelling About Ukraine & Have Been Silent On Yemen – You’re Being Manipulated
“The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”
― George Orwell, 1984
What’s happening in Ukraine right now is a travesty. Innocent people are suffering and it is unacceptable. War is the plight of mankind and should be avoided at all cost. Unfortunately, however, when a physical conflict or war breaks out, it is always preceded and accompanied by psychological attacks, in the form of propaganda which help to start it and keep it going.
The propagandists involved in the Ukrainian crisis have been in a full-court press well before the first shot was fired or border crossed. Americans were bombarded with conspiracy theories about Russian false flags before the invasion and they have been bombarded with false stories taking place after it began.
Cenk Uygur & Vaush on the Snake Island “massacre.” pic.twitter.com/BxRH9XALWl
— Jackson Hinkle 🇺🇸 (@jacksonhinklle) February 27, 2022
The result of such a massive propaganda campaign has been a new era of McCarthyism. Simply pointing out facts about how this war was preventable, and the historical context which shaped it — now makes you a traitor — who should be hung.
What Tulsi Gabbard says in the above quote is accurate. For the last decade, Russia has been asking for Ukraine and Georgia to remain neutral states and not be allowed into NATO, and for years, the United States has refused to reach a compromise.
It is also important to point out that just because the US baited Putin into war, it does not excuse any of the violence the Russian military is carrying out inside the Ukrainian border. This invasion is criminal and it is why the Russian people are protesting.
Yes, Vladimir Putin is a tyrant in his own regard and so is the Ukrainian government, who has been attacking the Donbass region, killing innocent civilians for 8 years since the coup in 2014.
If he was so concerned with the Donbass region, why didn’t Putin step in sooner? What’s more, why didn’t the US condemn the attacks against civilians in Donetsk that have been taking place at the hands of their allies for years?
Not only was the US silent as Ukraine bombed innocent civilians but they were actively planning an escalation in the region in order to “take the fight to Russia.”
“The US aids Ukraine and her people so that they can fight Russia over there, and we don’t have to fight Russia here,” Rep Adam Schiff said on the Senate floor in 2020.
“The US aids Ukraine and her people so that they can fight Russia over there, and we don’t have to fight Russia here.” –@RepAdamSchiff
Schiff made it plain that US uses Ukraine to “fight Russia over there.” Don’t be surprised when Russia fights back.pic.twitter.com/6B4QVFSZvV
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) February 25, 2022
Even if you forget that the US has been one of the main driving forces behind this war, what right does America and their 30 nation Army in NATO have to sabotage peace agreements between Russia and Ukraine? What right does the US have to arm insurgents in the region to fund one side of the war?
There is no basis even for US sanctions against Russia much less providing the means of taking lives. Yet somehow, this is all happening and acceptable now thanks largely in part to psychological manipulation from the corporate press and state actors who are weaving a narrative that fits their interests, and their interests only — truth and the lives of innocent people be damned.
What we are seeing now is a level of propaganda akin to that of which unfolded after 9/11 when hundreds of millions of people were tricked into supporting senseless wars — including this author. Unfortunately, we are now seeing the full catastrophic nature of such reckless endeavors going largely unchecked by the mainstream. We should not do this again.
As Glenn Greenwald reminds us, “Again, no matter how certain one is about their moral conclusions about this war, these are urgent questions that are not resolved or even necessarily informed by the moral and emotional investment in a particular narrative. Yet when one is trapped inside a system of a complete consensus upheld by a ceaseless wave of reinforcing propaganda, and when any questioning or dissent at all is tantamount to treason or “siding with the enemy,” there is no space for such discussions to occur, especially within our minds. When one is coerced — through emotional tactics and societal inventive — to adhere only to one script, nothing that is outside of that script can be entertained. And that is all by design.”
This divide and propaganda is not new. For years, all wars have been started with distortions of the truth and appeals to emotion. Government-sanctioned blinders are applied to the minds of statesmen and the lies and propaganda reverberate between them, reinforcing false narratives to the point of dehumanizing entire groups of innocent people.
How would the state get away with ruthlessly killing children for years without this tactic of manipulation? How is it that millions of people are donning the blue and yellow flag emojis in support of Ukraine, while simultaneously ignoring the genocide the US is currently aiding in Yemen?
Yemen has been devastated by more than 6 years of civil war, fostered by the Saudi Arabian government and supported militarily by the United States and yet Twitter is not flooded with millions of Yemeni flags in profiles.
“Since March 2015, over 23,000 airstrikes have been launched by the coalition in Yemen, killing or injuring over 18,000 civilians. Living in a country subjected to an average of 10 airstrikes per day has left millions feeling far from safe,” the UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen stated in a recent report.
While there have been thousands slaughtered with US-backed airstrikes, the blockades imposed by the US and its allied states are wrecking far more havoc. As Antiwar.com reported, humanitarian groups agreed that the air war conducted by the KSA and UAE caused the most civilian damage and casualties. Along with the de facto blockade imposed by the royal states and their hireling “coalition” partners, the result has been horrific. Nearly 400,000 civilians, an astonishing 70 percent of them children, have died, most from disease or malnutrition.
Clearly we are not trying to deemphasize the severity of the suffering of the people in Ukraine. Their suffering is real, calculable, and senseless. The point to be made here is the selective outrage held by so many folks who claim to be against their suffering, while largely ignoring the suffering of those in other conflicts.
Despite this horrific suffering of mostly children, the mainstream has been almost completely silent on the issue of Yemen. As a result, the American public and Westerners at large, have also been completely silent. This is by design.
As Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman pointed out in their book Manufacturing Consent, this propaganda model works because the establishment is able to convince the population which victims are worthy of support and which aren’t.
Chomsky and Herman hypothesized that “worthy victims will be featured prominently and dramatically, that they will be humanized, and that their victimization will receive the detail and context in story construction that will generate reader interest and sympathetic emotion. (Ukrainians) In contrast, unworthy victims will merit only slight detail, minimal humanization, and little context that will excite and enrage.(Yemeni children)”
Sadly, their hypothesis has been proven right multiple times since the book was published in 1988.
We have the tools to be able to see the truth and beat the propaganda, yet fewer and fewer people are choosing to use them. If this tendency continues, the possibility of catastrophic consequences increases. We cannot allow this to happen.
— Maajid أبو عمّار (@MaajidNawaz) February 28, 2022
The only beneficial outcome to this scenario comes through peaceful discourse which is why the chief rabblerousers on team war are already making moves to shut this down.
This doesn’t mean that one side is right and one side is wrong when it comes to the war in Ukraine as Russia is undoubtedly sewing their own web of propaganda domestically. What it means is that it takes at least two sides to form a resolution and if the largest purveyor of propaganda wins, there is no resolution to be had, only destruction.
As Greenwald points out, we should be keen to the “recognition of what the effects of being immersed in one-sided, intense and highly emotionalized war propaganda are — effects on your thinking, your reasoning, your willingness to endorse claims or support policies, your comfort with having dissent either banished or inherently legitimized. Precisely because this propaganda has been cultivated over centuries to so powerfully and adeptly manipulate our most visceral reactions, it is something to be resisted even if — perhaps especially if — it is coming from the side or viewpoint you support.”
Article posted with permission from Matt Agorist