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Cracks Appear in Mainstream Media’s ‘Perpetual War’ Machine

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Written by Robert Bridge; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org

As historians know, events of great significance are sometimes put into motion by some seemingly irrelevant occurrence.  This week’s shot across the bow of the mainstream media by one of its erstwhile members probably won’t trigger a stampede for the exits, but it did provide for a timely wake-up call.

Cracks Appear in Mainstream Media’s ‘Perpetual War’ Machine

Although probably no more harmless than the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings deep inside the Amazon rainforest, news that veteran journalist William M. Arkin severed relations with NBC over its relentless pro-war, anti-Trump narrative was exactly the message the omnipotent media kings needed to hear as attacks on alternative (i.e. conservative) voices have reached totalitarian proportions.

In a farewell letter to his colleagues, Arkin said he was “alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war.”

“We shouldn’t get out Syria,” he asked rhetorically, suggesting Trump’s particular brand of foreign policy has not been a total flop. “We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia … do we really yearn for the Cold War?”

Cracks Appear in Mainstream Media’s ‘Perpetual War’ Machine

For many, news of Arkin flipping his bosses the proverbial bird on the way out the door was the sort of salute many have dreamed of delivering to the Legacy Media ever since the conspiracy theory of Russia intervention in the 2016 election turned into a nice excuse for the hulking Orwell Brothers – Google, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – to start culling alternative media voices like hunters on the opening day of deer season.

Although Arkin’s letter betrays some naiveté – at one point he says he believed, despite his experience with the Iraq War, that he was invited back to NBC in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign to “break through the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness” – it is his frank admittance that the media has assumed the role as “cheerleader” for evermore military misadventures that strikes a nerve.

“I would assert that in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself – busy and profitable,” he wrote. “No wars won but the ball is kept in play.”

Reading Arkin’s letter forces one to question at what point the mainstream media stopped serving as the voice of reason and restraint and started shaking the pompoms on behalf of military conquest. It seems that something fundamentally changed in the American mindset following the 20-year Vietnam War, which was arguably the last time the Liberals displayed genuine disgust with war.

Despite a plethora of global butchery today that warrants some serious criticism and debate, ‘progressive’ Liberals – from college campuses to Hollywood to the media establishment, institutions they essentially own lock, stock and barrel – would rather devote their time to insanely personal issues instead (specifically, matters related to sexualitypolitical correctnessfeminism and race).

Although it may be argued that many millions of people did take to the streets around the world to protest the 2003 Iraq War, for example, those efforts are known today for what they failed to accomplish: halting the mad rush to war without UN approval against a country that played no role whatsoever in the attacks of 9/11. The fact that the media was overwhelmingly on the side of the hawks certainly did not help the campaign.

In the New York Review of Books, writer Michael Massing ventured to ask members of the mainstream media tribe “where were you all before the war?”

“Why didn’t we learn more about these deceptions and concealments [of the Bush administration with regards to what some had dubbed ‘faith-based intelligence’] in the months when the administration was pressing its case for regime change—when, in short, it might have made a difference?”

Across the pond, meanwhile, the glaring disconnect that existed between the war-wary public and the pro-war press was summed up by Roy Greenslade of the Guardian: “There is a genuine scepticism about the existence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, a readiness to question America’s warmongering leadership and an obvious unease at Tony Blair’s zealous push for war,” Greenslade wrote. “People…do not seem to accept the views of President Bush and Blair that Saddam Hussein is a threat to world peace. Yet, and here is the rub, the vast majority of the British press certainly does.”

The situation today with regards to the media and its coverage of war is bad to the point of appalling. In the past, it was the generals and political leaders who geared up the nation for war while the journalists at least feigned to be the arbiters of common sense and caution. Today the calculus has flipped and we find the media openly and unashamedly agitating for bloodshed long before the military commanders have sounded the charge. Much of this lamentable situation underscores the hazards of allowing a small clique of super-influential media companies – Comcast, Disney, AT&T, 21st Century Fox, CBS and Viacom – to control the vast majority of what the public sees and hears. But I digress.

It only requires a brief glimpse as to how the media responds to the ‘promise’ of military aggression to understand that something has gone seriously awry with American journalism. What did it take for CNN to quickly shelve Russiagate and finally endorse Trump as POTUS more than a year after he’d been in the White House? It took Trump launching a crack-of-dawn missile strike on Syria in April 2017. CNN analyst Fareed Zakaria could barely contain his jingoistic juices when he declared the morning after the bombardment, “I think Donald Trump became President of the United States. I think this was actually a big moment…Trump understands there is no need to go to a pesky Congress every time they want military force.”

Meanwhile, MSNBC anchor Brain Williams demonstrated far more enthusiasm for military hardware than could be considered healthy when he remarked while watching US missiles streaming towards Syria: “I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen,” Williams said, ‘I am guided by the beauty of our weapons,’ and they are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments what is for them a brief flight over this airfield.” Worse, Williams only ventured to ask a guest “What did they hit?” after this bombastic prelude.

Cracks Appear in Mainstream Media’s ‘Perpetual War’ Machine

On the flip side, when Trump made the audacious announcement in late December that he would be pulling US troops out of Syria it came off as a Kleenex moment for the media mavens. Max Boot, neocon cheerleader on behalf of non-stop bloodshed wailed in the Washington ‘Truth Dies in Darkness’ Post that “We are at the mercy of an ignorant and impetuous president.” At the same time, Rachel Maddow over at MSNBC showed consternation at the thought of US troops actually exiting some illicit military theater where we have no right to be in the first place.

This is the sort of choice American viewers get when the question of war and peace is on the table.

Amid such groveling behavior from so many ‘loyal’ members of the mainstream media, I will wrap this up by saying ‘hats off’ to William M. Arkin for having the courage to remind his media bosses about the real purpose of journalism, which is certainly not to parrot the official line when it comes to the prospect of war, or worse, push for military offensives on behalf of the military industrial complex. The duty of the journalist is to speak truth to power, even if it means forfeiting a paycheck in the process.

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  • jako

    Even if true MSM is part of the Deep State totally separated from interests of ordinary US citizens
    Empire in decline.
    “CRACKS APPEAR” not only on the MSM propaganda but on many other places in U.S.
    Everything that is divided is divided for reason…..to fall.

  • VeeNarian (Yerevan)

    Arkin is a brave and lone voice cast in the role of “King Canute” and he will fail to dent the waves of warmongering and anti-Russian RACIST hysteria.
    I fear that only a fearsome demonstration of Russia’s new weapons will rescue the deluded and blood-thirsty US/EU/NATO elite from their determined push towards nuclear war.
    Surely, there must be some uninhabited island that can be blown up by the Avangard or Sarmat? The penguins of Antarctica and US sensor satellites better be warned first!
    Without this live demo the deluded US elite will continue to doubt that these weapons work and will continue to dream about their own invincibility.
    RF must put the fear of God and awaken visions of their own vulnerability and mortality in this warmongering, expansonist and exceptionalist US elite or we all cooked.

    • Jesus

      Since the trajectory of the Avangards cannot be determined, a handful of them can be directed surgically directed at the HQ’s of major MSM establishments to have a taste of their warmongering diatribe.

      • BMWA1

        Maybe Senate office of late McCain’s boyfriend can be targeted?

      • Richard

        Such attacks would not be acts of war against the USA. They would be assistance to the USA and the rest of the world.

        • Jesus

          No, they are acts against a parasitic establishment, the President….the Commander in Chief has the authority to deem such act as an act of war and order a response.
          These parasitic establishments are trying to underminin the President and his agenda.

      • VeeNarian (Yerevan)

        I watched all the msm reaction to the avangard test and their acidic scepticism was very revealing. RF must find a way to puncture their ignorant smugness, or we are all in deep trouble, heading for extinction.
        These supremacists and exceptionalists really do believe that only they have the God-given right to invent these terrifying weapons, and Russia must be lying!
        This is the same Russian “untermensch” complex that got the Nazis into terminal trouble during WW2.
        Truly unbelievable!

        • Jesus

          They are living in a deep delusion, their ability to invent sophisticated weapons is circumvented by their ability to lie, deceive and make up stories about their self greatness. American society including the elites have a self esteem problem, they always have to pump themselves with BS and believe they are the rulers of the world.

  • Tommy Jensen

    Money!
    Money buys the majority´s conscience and soul. Its sad to say the majority of us are no more than hookers and payboys.
    Obama doubled US public debt to -$20 trillion in his 8 year liberal nightmare regime. To what did he use $10 trillion?

    A world wide spider net of deep state. To pay a new gladio network of ISIS sleeping cells. $11 billion was paid to “incentives” for spreading the Skynet, a spynet of SMART meters who gives cancer, eye deceases, brain tumors, autism children to feed his liberal Health Care reform. Deliberate planned refugee waves in millions to create tensions and liberal jobs, m.m.

    In this money train of “incentives” to buy new pink Nike shoes and Iphones, 95% sold their souls to warmongering and torture prisons with shiny eyes. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/901432297b31babb287f374b0eccb0465b7a94063003e1d076f40df54a19b028.jpg

  • Jesus

    US media and entertainment industry are Jewish owned, they are on the same page with the Zionist program of disinformation and deception, they themselves believe their own lies to their utter demise.

  • jako

    According to The Intercept, the first piece of legislation to be rolled out by the 2019 GOP-controlled Senate will give the US government the authority to cut ties with companies that choose to boycott Israel.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/448190-us-senate-israel-boycott-law/

    • verner

      yes and that is so shameful that the rest of the world will have to do the job of the ever more deranged states of A and join the bds-movement and demand that your country revokes the recognition it once gave to israel and prohibit any financial offerings from your country and collected by the various ngo:s, synagogues and private parties and finally cease any and all business deals with israel.

      in short israel has forfeited the right to be a sovereign country and by its actions has released any country that at one stage recognized israel from that undertaking and is thus free to revoke its recognition!

      once a de-recognition movement is under way, the desperation within israel, which already is quite noticeable, will be smelly and very palpable.

      end israel now and send the war criminals and operator of a latter day concentration camp a la dachau and the spoiler of the two state solution onto their next unforgiving diaspora.

      pls also note that israel needs the world a lot more than he world needs israel, i.e.israel won’t be missed for a million of a second, apart possibly from the corrupt senators in washington dc on the israeli payroll.

      • jako

        And who is suppose to start that de-recognition ?!
        When even some Arab countries ( like Egypt, S Arabia calling for “normalization” of Arab countries with Israel ) have recognized Israel…
        And they are moving now to recognition of Jerusalem as capital (US & Australia and Brasil soon) despite U.N. resolution…

        The way Israel behaves today is not much (if at all worse) than US…

        • verner

          and where would you suggest the discontinuation of israel would start – there are a number of states that would be willing to de-recognize israel. maybe not saudi but kuwait and sudan and eritrea and libya and a number of south american states and ditto asian states. it’s a question of getting a viable movement going that will pull the rug of legality from under israel’s feet and you will see hundred of countries willing to participate. just look at the support palestine has in the UN general assembly (where the more than stupid dildo-brandishing and moronic states of A can’t use its veto) and a compliment to the bds-movement will be in operation.

          israel is toast, just like the apartheid south africa was toast when the movement came into operation. and note – no one needs israel as much as israel needs the world – good riddance!

          • jako

            I hear what you are saying but I still don’t find that to be realistic.
            Nobody wants to upset Israel’s protector U.S.
            E.U. are just U.S. vassals and others are insignificant and seek not to steer unnecessary trouble for themselves.
            Maybe you didn’t carefully read above…. They just voted a law in US that they will punish ANY company that boycotts Israel.
            Enough said.

          • verner

            you’re wrong – remember that guatemala, el salvador nicaragua were threatened by the more than imbecill states of a to move their respective embassies to jerusalem, agreed to do so and then changed their mind. so the threats from the dysfunctional states of a don’t carry the same weight no more, as they used to, although the imf loan to equador being conditioned on assange being kicked out from the equadorian embassy in london is seriously sick. but that is imf. run by the seriously demented states of a and tells you that you’re better off having your books in order (remember obama, the blackguard, calling tsipras).

            however, you need to have faith in something and I haven’t seen anything remotely more constructive than a scheme to de-recognize israel, coupled with an end to financial support (like sending money to terrorist groups) and the bds-movement. start somewhere, have certain rich arab countries pay off other countries to de-recognize israel (in the same way they fund ordinary terror-groups like isis on the sly). once you get a few countries to de-recognize israel, others will follow and, at the end of the day, israel and its thieving murderous concentration camp operators will be on the run.great days ahead! number of african states that would denounce israel at the tip of a hat! hate them racist israelis furiously!

  • MikeH

    “the 20-year Vietnam War, which was arguably the last time the Liberals displayed genuine disgust with war.”

    I don’t think that anti-war movement during Vietnam was genuine disgust with war. I think it was the Soviet influence fomenting unrest and strife. The bulk of the hippies would be accurately described as NPCs that were merely programmed by the communist/socialist influences.

    • You can call me Al

      Satire ?.

  • JPH

    Dutch goverment being exposed as being in bed with US supported terrorist:

    https://international.sp.nl/nieuws/2018/12/state-secrets-have-just-become-less-secret