US Propaganda Arm: The Hospital That Bombed Itself

I’ll bet you didn’t know the US bombed a hospital in Afghanistan over the weekend.  It could be because you were getting your news from CNN or the New York Times, the most reliable branches of the US propaganda machine.

Here’s how CNN presented the story Sunday

FireShot Capture 1 - Afghanistan_ 19 die in air attacks on _ - http___edition.cnn.com_2015_10_03_a

Notice the language.  “Air attack.”  “US investigating.”  A preponderance of vagueries.  CNN even mentions that there were US bombing operations running in the area at the time but never even bothers to point out that the bomb that dropped was a US bomb.  They then “enhance” the story by pointing out that it was out of the area, and so on.  They didn’t know who did it, didn’t report on it, but just in case it was “us” they’re already out to make sure it’s downplayed.

The New York Times contorted the English language even further.  Eventually the story was modified to include possible US involvement:

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This “airstrike,” however, was known.  The “insurgents” don’t have planes.  At least the Wall Street Journal had the stomach to call the obvious what it was; a US bombing of a hospital.  Mistake or otherwise, the perpetrators of this “mistake” were not hidden from our eyes.

It’s very troubling when you see the propaganda machine in action.  It’s even more troubling when you take into account the subtlety with which it’s employed and the “trusted” figures it comes from.

Earlier we spoke a lot about what the new propaganda machine looks like and its subtlety.  I laid out a few examples of how the media has become a rubber stamp to the people in power, and how little they really care about getting to the truth of a story.  We all like to believe that in the “old” days this was the main reason for journalistic enterprises, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer with each passing day that the only thing that drives the media now is the agenda of the day.  Which social justice cause?  Which conflict?  Which -ism can they attach to someone to make the story hum?

Then there’s the part that has devoted its existence to protecting the powerful.  If you ever wanted to see what that side looked like and how much it pays to be the “right kind” of “leader” for the talking heads and flittering keys, you only need look at the presidency we’re living under right now.  One of the memes that keeps recurring with regards to the President is that he “ended two wars.”  If that’s the case, he has some explaining to do as to why the US military blew a hospital up in Afghanistan when the “war” was over.

A friend of mine recently related the story of a friend of hers.  One of her Facebook friends was arguing about what a great President Barack Obama has been and specifically mentioned that “things are so much better” and he “ended two wars” and “fixed the economy.”

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He ended a war?

He isn’t getting that idea on his own, someone is telling him that.  Who?  The folks who have successfully managed to keep, almost entirely, armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan off the front pages.  The last we heard about them was that there was a draw-down and that the troops were “withdrawing.”  People were coming “home.”  Victory is ours!  Then, to make the point stronger, people like John McCain (who I have no love for in any fashion) were quoted regularly as being upset at the “retreat” and how we were “leaving too early.”  His over-outrage about “leaving” made the claims that the war was ending appear even more valid and yet right now, in spite of what you may have heard about the war being over, there are 3,500 troops in Iraq (give or take a few) and 9,800 troops in Afghanistan.

That’s the “end?”

But the media is careful in how they refer to these troops.  This isn’t the “War in Iraq” or the “War in Afghanistan” any more.  That was only what it was called under George W. Bush, particularly after his “Mission Accomplished” speech.

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Ironically, in that speech he talked about the end of “major combat operations” specifically, not an end to all armed conflict in Iraq.  He was mocked mercilessly for that (deservedly, in my opinion) but if you think about it, a few years later, President Obama has coasted along as if the wars in the two countries were over, and yet here we are with over 13,000 troops between the two countries.

If the war is over, why are they still there?  Why are hospitals being bombed?  Why are soldiers still dying?  What in God’s name are we doing there at all?

The answer is that the war isn’t over.  It’s no more over now than it was when President Bush stood on an aircraft carrier deck and said major combat operations were over, but the allies in the media want you to believe it is because their guy is responsible now.

The voice of the opposition has been silenced.  The anti-war movement, in spite of the continuous conflicts going on, has shut down.  There is no anti-war movement.  The Nobel-winning President has involved us in conflicts around the world, drone bombed every country he could at any point he felt like it, and failed to extricate us from the two he inherited and at the same time we’re being told he’s the “peace” President.  A thinker.  An academic.  He’s not some crazy lunatic neocon like the last guy.  He’s different.

He is different in one way: his wars are protected, minimized, covered up, and justified at every turn.  He can do no wrong in the eyes of his media guardians.

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