Home » Posts tagged 'caitlin johnstone'

Tag Archives: caitlin johnstone

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Narrative Managers In Overdrive After Death Of White Helmets Founder

Narrative Managers In Overdrive After Death Of White Helmets Founder

James Le Mesurier, the founder of the White Helmets, has died. He was found to have plummetedfrom a height to the street outside his home, and authorities are reportedly calling it a suicide.

Le Mesurier has a history with British military intelligence and was fundamentally involved with an extremely shady narrative management operation geared toward manufacturing support for yet another imperialist military intervention in yet another Middle Eastern nation, so obviously any claims of suicide should be taken with a grain of salt no smaller than a Buick. But it is worth noting that according to Middle East Eye, Le Mesurier’s wife told police that he’d been struggling with psychological issues for which he was taking medications and had previously been hospitalized. Le Mesurier’s home was reportedly only accessible by fingerprint and no video footage of anyone besides Le Mesurier and his wife entering or leaving has been found.

Establishment narrative managers, for their part, have been floating the possibility that the White Helmets founder was murdered by the Russian government. The Washington Examiner has published an article titled “Did Russia kill White Helmets founder James Le Mesurier?”, calling to mind Betteridge’s law of headlines which states that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” The BBC’s Mark Urban tweeted out and then deleted a thread (screenshots here) in which he cites an anonymous source who claims to have known Le Mesurier’s flat well enough to be sure that it’s not possible to “fall” from his balcony, then meaningfully pointing to a “black propaganda campaign by Russia and Assad media” against Le Mesurier. He apparently didn’t consider the possibility of suicide until later, saying he deleted his thread due to “new information”.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

MSM Adamantly Avoids The Word “Coup” In Bolivia Reporting

MSM Adamantly Avoids The Word “Coup” In Bolivia Reporting

There has been a military coup in Bolivia backed by violent right-wing  rioters and the US government, but you’d hardly know this from any of the mainstream media headlines.

“Bolivian President Evo Morales steps down following accusations of election fraud” proclaims CNN.

“Bolivia’s Morales resigns amid scathing election report, rising protests” reports The Washington Post.

“Bolivian Leader Evo Morales Steps Down” says The New York Times.

“Bolivian President Evo Morales resigns amid fraud poll protests” declares the BBC.

“President of Bolivia steps down amid allegations of election rigging” we are informed by Telegraph.

“Bolivia’s President Morales resigns after backlash to disputed election” says the Sydney Morning Herald.

So there you have it. The indigenous leader of a socialist South American government which has successfully lifted masses of people out of crushing poverty, which happens to control the world’s largest reserves of lithium (which may one day replace oil as a crucial energy resource due to its use in powering smartphones, laptops, hybrid and electric cars), which has an extensive and well-documented history of being targeted for regime change by the US government, simply stepped down due to some sort of scandal involving a “disputed election”. Nothing to do with the fact that right-wing mobs had been terrorizing this leader’s family, or the fact that the nation’s military literally commanded him to step down and are now currently searching for him to arrest him, leading to ousted government officials being rounded up and held captive by soldiers wearing masks.

All perfectly normal and not suspicious at all.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Propaganda Narratives Are Custom-Made For Each Ideological Echo Chamber

Propaganda Narratives Are Custom-Made For Each Ideological Echo Chamber

Yesterday I started a thread on Twitter lamenting the fact that support for WikiLeaks and Julian Assange has been eroded all across the political spectrum since 2016 by the establishment smear campaign.

I started the thread because I’d just been reflecting on how some of the first clumsy articles I ever wrote for this gig were basically just me marvelling at how support for Assange had united Berners, Trumpers, Greens, anarchists, libertarians and hackers against those who sought to silence him. Yet today I routinely see people from those factions smearing him because, at some point between then and now, an establishment propaganda narrative got through to them.

Almost immediately after I made the initial post, commenters started lining up to unintentionally prove me right. A Bernie supporter came in to proclaim that Assange is “a giant piece of shit”, and a liberal claimed Assange was “a de facto member of an election campaign to get a white nationalist elected president of the U.S.”

Multiple Trump supporters came forward arguing in support of their president’s persecution of Assange, arguing that his imprisonment and pending extradition is no big deal, claiming Assange is a CIA asset, saying Assange needs to be punished for publishing US military secrets, arguing that Trump is actually just trying to force Assange to give up his sources for the 2016 publications (as though a president coercing a journalist to give up a source with the threat of life in prison would be perfectly fine and constitutional), and claiming Assange’s persecution is coming exclusively from the UK and not the US (the US extradition request is the only reason for his continued imprisonment and US officials are openly giving instructions to British prosecutors in the courtroom).

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Imperial Propaganda Machine: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

The Imperial Propaganda Machine: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

It’s important to avoid fake news, Russian media or conspiracy theorists. We must only trust those reputable news outlets who tell us that neoliberalism is working fine, that US foreign policy is perfectly sane, and that protests are only happening in Hong Kong and nowhere else.

The difference between state media and western media is that in state media the government controls what information the public is given about what’s going on in the world in order to prevent political dissent, whereas in western media this is instead done by billionaires.

Any attempt to understand the world which fails to take into account the fact that extremely powerful people are pouring massive amounts of money and resources into manipulating your understanding of the world will necessarily result in a distorted worldview.

Whenever news media reports unsubstantiated assertions from anonymous sources in government agencies, just mentally insert “Here is something the government told us to tell you:” into the beginning of the report, because that’s all they’re doing.

Russia and China haven’t become any more of a threat to you than they were three years ago, yet you think about them many times more often than you did back then. That’s propaganda at work, FYI.

All the establishment loyalists you argue with are ever really saying is, “No! The TV would NEVER lie to me!”

Sometimes all I can do is stare in awe at the power and efficiency of the imperial propaganda machine. When I first started this gig in 2016 Assange had way more support, from Berners, Greens, Trumpers, all across the spectrum. Now a large amount of that support has been eroded. For Trumpers Assange is being extradited for his own good to bring down the Deep State.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Incredible Shrinking Overton Window

The Incredible Shrinking Overton Window

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”
~ Noam Chomsky

The plutocrat-owned narrative managers of the political/media class work constantly to shrink the Overton window, the spectrum of debate that is considered socially acceptable. They do this by framing more and more debates in terms of how the oligarchic empire should be sustained and supported, steering them away from debates about whether that empire should be permitted to exist at all.

They get people debating whether there should be some moderate changes made or no meaningful changes at all, rather than the massive, sweeping changes we all know need to be made to the entire system.

They get people debating whether they should elect a crook in a red hat or a crook in a blue hat, rather than whether or not they should be forced to elect crooks.

They get people debating violations of government secrecy laws, not whether the government has any business keeping those secrets from its citizenry in the first place.

They get people debating how internet censorship should take place and whom should be censored, rather than whether any internet censorship should occur.

They get people debating how and to what extent government surveillance should occur, not whether the government has any business spying on its citizens.

They get people debating how subservient and compliant someone needs to be in order to not get shot by a police officer, rather than whether a police officer should be shooting people for those reasons at all.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Needs To Occupy Syria Because Of Kurds Or Iran Or Chemical Weapons Or Oil Or Whatever

US Needs To Occupy Syria Because Of Kurds Or Iran Or Chemical Weapons Or Oil Or Whatever

President Trump reiterated to the press today that the United States is maintaining its military presence in Syria not to patrol the nation’s border with Turkey, but to control its oil fields.

“We’ve kept the oil,” Trump said. “We’ve stayed back and kept the oil. Other people can patrol the border of Syria, frankly, and Turkey, let them – they’ve been fighting for a thousand years, let them do the border, we don’t want to do that. We want to bring our soldiers home. But we did leave soldiers because we’re keeping the oil. I like oil. We’re keeping the oil.”

This open “kick their ass and take their gas” policy is nothing new for America’s reality TV president; he’s been saying it for years. It was recently addressed head-on by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who said during an interview that it’s nice to have a US president who is honest about America’s true motives in the Middle East for once.

“As for Trump, you might ask me a question and I give you an answer that might sound strange,” Assad said. “I say that he is the best American President, not because his policies are good, but because he is the most transparent president.  All American presidents perpetrate all kinds of political atrocities and all crimes and yet still win the Nobel Prize and project themselves as defenders of human rights and noble and unique American values, or Western values in general.  The reality is that they are a group of criminals who represent the interests of American lobbies, i.e. the large oil and arms companies, and others.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Things Are Only Going To Get Weirder

Things Are Only Going To Get Weirder

Things are getting stranger and stranger. If you would have told someone ten years ago that Dennis Rodman would one day be helping to negotiate peace between North Korea and President Donald Trump, they would have assumed you were describing some weird movie cooked up in the mind of Mike Judge or the South Park guys. But in this timeline it’s an actual news story.

Everything about the last few years has been weird. The mass media’s behavior has been weird, Russiagate was weird, Ukrainegate is weird, a former presidential candidate accusing a current presidential candidate of working for the Kremlin was weird, people constantly accusing strangers on the internet of being Russian agents is weird, factions of the US government constantly leaking information against other factions of the US government is weird, the DNC getting caught rigging their primary was weird, Hillary Clinton losing the election was weird, the Skripal poisoning was weird, US government officials openly tweeting about their Venezuela coup is weird, the breakdown of the entire mainstream Syria narrative is weird, Assange’s arrest was weird, the campaign to censor the internet is weird, and this is just stuff off the top of my head from the areas I’ve been looking at in my own narrow spectrum of focus. Anyone else could list dozens of other weird new developments from their own slice of the information pie.

I often hear people in my line of work saying “Man, we’re going to look back on all this crazy shit and think about how absolutely weird it was!”

No we won’t. Because it’s only going to get weirder.

It’s only going to get weirder, because that’s what it looks like when old patterns start to fall away.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

In A Society Built On War, We Must Do More Than Just Prefer Peace

In A Society Built On War, We Must Do More Than Just Prefer Peace

American activist Angela Davis once said, “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” Our responsibility to truth and justice isn’t fulfilled by merely witnessing the perverse tendency in western society toward white supremacy without participating in it, any more than our responsibility is fulfilled by merely witnessing but not participating in a gang rape. Simply choosing not to participate in a grave injustice while giving it our tacit permission to continue is insufficient, especially if the color of your skin gives you an advantage resulting from that injustice. This injustice must be forcefully opposed.

The same is true of war, which is the glue that holds together the empire which dominates our society.

There is a painfully common notion among leftists and progressives that it is perfectly acceptable to focus on domestic policy while de-emphasising the importance of foreign policy, or even ignoring foreign policy entirely. Politicians can generate immense support for themselves simply by promoting decent domestic policies while maintaining foreign policy that is not terribly distinct from the CIA/CNN mainstream consensus. I’m not as familiar with right-wing political circles, but I gather that libertarians and other right-leaning anti-interventionists often encounter a similar deprioritization of sane foreign policy.

War is the worst thing in the world. In terms of death, destruction and suffering caused to human beings, nothing else comes close: it’s just the absolute worst thing. It is worse than economic injustice. It is worse than racism. It is worse than sexism. It is worse than homophobia and transphobia. It is worse than draconian drug policies and immigration policies. All of those things are bad. War is worse. The politics of anyone who claims to care about people should reflect this.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Only Cowards And Sadists Support The Persecution Of Assange

Only Cowards And Sadists Support The Persecution Of Assange

Former British ambassador Craig Murray has published a very disturbing account of Julian Assange’s court appearance yesterday which I recommend reading in full. There have been many reports published about Assange’s case management hearing, but the combination of Murray’s prior experience with torture victims, his familiarity with British courts, his friendship with Assange, and his lack of reverence for western power structures allowed for a much more penetrating insight into what happened than anyone else has been able to provide so far.

Here is a small excerpt:

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

On Psychopathy And Power

On Psychopathy And Power

Due to a very painful and disturbing revelation in my personal life I have had the unfortunate occasion to spend the last several days thinking a lot about psychopaths and what makes them tick. I don’t want to get into the hairy details at this time, but I would like to share some of the more general thoughts that have been coming up here on the matter.

It is interesting that psychopathy should have reached a dark tentacle into my life in the way that it did, given that the three years I’ve been at this gig have been spent writing more and more about the way our world is run by calculating manipulators who are devoid of empathy. I often say that we have found ourselves ruled by psychopaths because we have a system wherein (A) those who are willing to do anything to anyone are rewarded with immense wealth, and (B) immense wealth translates directly to immense political power. Add in the fact that studies have shown that wealth itself kills off empathy and compassion, and you’ve got yourself a perfect recipe for a plutocratic dystopia dominated by antisocial personality disorder.

I’m not really interested in getting into the specific clinical diagnoses of psychopathy and sociopathy for the purposes of this discussion. What I’m talking about here is a specific slice of humanity that is neurologically wired in such a way that they experience the world more as a series of puzzles which can be manipulated around to get them them whatever they want regardless of who it hurts, rather than experiencing a world full of fellow sentient beings with whom you can have deep, meaningful connections and interactions.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

CIA, Climate And Conspiracy: More Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

CIA, Climate And Conspiracy: More Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Take off the revolutionary’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the terrorist’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the news man’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the filmmaker’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the professor’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the billionaire’s mask, and it’s the CIA.
Take off the whistleblower’s mask, and it’s the motherfucking CIA.
These monsters are raping our sensemaking faculties.

Never call anyone from the CIA a “whistleblower” unless they are actually whistleblowing on the CIA, without the CIA’s permission, in a way that inconveniences the CIA.

The deployment of a bomb or missile doesn’t begin when a pilot pushes a button, it begins when propaganda narratives used to promote those operations start circulating in public attention. If you help circulate war propaganda, you’re as complicit as the one who pushes the button.

Many believe that the mass media just tell whole-cloth, outright lies all the time, but that’s not usually how it works. What they do is selectively omit inconvenient facts, disproportionately amplify convenient facts, and uncritically report on dubious government assertions. Basically they only tell the truth when it’s convenient for them, and when it’s inconvenient they are silent. Only telling the truth when it’s convenient for you is effectively the same as lying all the time, only you can get away with it a lot easier.

How to solve the climate crisis:
– End the economic system which requires infinite growth on a finite planet.
– Let people get more relaxed and less busy.
– End corporate influence in politics.
– End militarism.
– End patents.
– Kill the capitalist propaganda engine known as the mainstream media.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Want To Save The Environment? De-Fund The Pentagon.

Want To Save The Environment? De-Fund The Pentagon.

Millions of people are uniting in demonstrations worldwide against our civilization’s ecocidal march toward extinction, which makes me so happy to see. It’s really encouraging to see so many young people burning with love for their planet and a hunger to reverse the damage that has been done to our ecosystem by the refusal of previous generations to turn away from our path of devastation. This must continue if we are to survive as a species.

The challenge now is the same perennial challenge which comes up every single time there is a massive and enthusiastic push from the public in a direction that is healthy: such movements always, without exception, become targeted for manipulation by establishment interests. I write all the timeabout how this has happened with the intrinsically healthy impulse of feminism; I just finished watching an MSNBC pundit proclaim that anyone who still supports Bernie Sanders over Elizabeth Warren is a sexist. This corralling of healthy energy into the advancement of corrupt establishment interests happens with feminism, it happens with the healthy fight against racism and antisemitism, and of course it happens with environmentalism.

Of course it does. People get very emotional when you say this, even if you fully support environmentalism and don’t have any objections to the overall scientific consensus about what’s happening to our environment, but environmentalism is not destined to be the one and only popular movement which establishment interests don’t move mountains to co-opt.

We know that our oligarchic empire will do literally anything, up to and including murdering a million Iraqis, to secure control over energy resources. We know this with absolute certainty.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

MSM Defends CIA’s “Whistleblower”, Ignores Actual Whistleblowers

MSM Defends CIA’s “Whistleblower”, Ignores Actual Whistleblowers

The word “whistleblower” has been trending in news headlines lately, but not for the reasons that any sane person might hope for.

Read the whistleblower complaint regarding President Trump’s communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky“, says The Washington Post. “Trump responds to hearing on whistleblower complaint“, says MSNBC. “Trump-Ukraine scandal: what did the whistleblower say and how serious is it?“, writes The Guardian. “Whistleblower complaint says White House tried to ‘lock down’ Ukraine call records” announces CBS. “Whistleblower’s complaint is a devastating report from a savvy official“, declares CNN.

So who is this “savvy official”? Who is this courageous whistleblower who boldly shone the light of truth upon the mechanisms of power in the interests of the common man? Who is this brave, selfless individual who set off an impeachment inquiry by taking a stand and revealing the fact that the US president made a phone call in July urging Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to help investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son?

Well believe it or not, according to The New York Times this brave, noble whistleblower who the mainstream media are currently championing is an officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.


The idea that the media needs to “protect” a high-level CIA officer making explosive claims about the president, which have now been used as the basis for impeachment proceedings, is such an insane perversion of journalistic ethics


“The whistle-blower who revealed that President Trump sought foreign help for his re-election and that the White House sought to cover it up is a CIA officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people familiar with his identity,” The New York Times reports. “The man has since returned to the CIA, the people said. Little else is known about him.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Twitter’s ‘Hide Replies’ Function Serves To Appease The Elitists Of The Political/Media Class

Twitter’s ‘Hide Replies’ Function Serves To Appease The Elitists Of The Political/Media Class

“I honestly think the annoyingness of a certain candidate’s supporters on Twitter prevents other reporters/analysts from pointing out that said candidate’s campaign obviously isn’t going that well,” griped the popular statistician/establishment narrative manager Nate Silver on Twitter today, following angry backlash from American progressives for a controversial racially charged tweet a few hours earlier in which he referred to Bernie Sanders’ diverse base as “residue”.

We’ve been seeing many such complaints from elitists of the political/media class about the way Twitter’s somewhat egalitarian structure allows ordinary citizens to effectively criticize their posts, and it’s been growing louder and louder in recent years. Slate‘s Ashley Feinberg published an article earlier this month documenting New York Times columns over the last two years that have been dedicated to NYT columnists using their massive platforms to whinge about the comments they receive on Twitter. Feinberg’s article was inspired by the hilarious melodramatic hissy fit thrown by neocon Bret Stephens over some random guy calling him a “bedbug” on the social media site, but it’s amazing how many other columns the editors of the New York Times thought worthy of publication on this matter.

This ongoing meltdown by elitist narrative managers over the fact that mere commoners now dare address them in public without reverence and respect is the result of the novel nature of this dynamic. It used to be that the unwashed masses were kept quarantined from the narrative makers of the plutocratic media; they’d stay safely insulated among their own kind and they’d tell the rabble what to think from behind a wall of inaccessibility.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Defends Your Freedom By Using Troops As Saudi Oil Security Guards

US Defends Your Freedom By Using Troops As Saudi Oil Security Guards

If you’ve been lying awake at night terrified that the Pentagon might not send additional troops and armaments to defend oil corporations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, I’ve got some great news for you.

In response to an attack on Saudi Aramco oil infrastructure for which Houthi rebels in Yemen have taken credit, the US government has responded in the only possible rational way: by blaming Iran and deploying troops to act as security guards for Middle Eastern oil companies.

“In response to the kingdom’s request, the president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper informed the press yesterday. “We will also work to accelerate the delivery of military equipment to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to enhance their ability to defend themselves.”

So you can breathe easy, my friend. Freedom and democracy are safe once more.


JUST IN: Pentagon to will deploy additional troops and military equipment to Saudi Arabia: “In response to the Kingdom’s request, the president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense.”


A lot of delusional, unpatriotic democracy haters like to argue that the US military doesn’t actually defend the freedom of the American people, and that it isn’t really used to defend freedom at all, and that it isn’t even really used to defend any rules-based international order as sometimes claimed, and that even to use the word “defend” to describe anything the US military does is inaccurate since it is consistently on the attacking and aggressing side of any given conflict…

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase