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Caitlin Johnstone: “How To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings”

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Written by Caitlin Johnstone; Originally appeared at her blog

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, our government-funded media outlet, has published an article titled “Australian expat living in Hong Kong throws off business suit to join protest movement”. The entire story is in the headline: some random guy, who ABC keeps anonymous but for the name “Daniel”, has joined the protests in Hong Kong. That’s it. That’s the whole entire bombshell newsworthy news story.

Caitlin Johnstone: "How To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings"

“In Australia we have proper democracy but in Hong Kong, democracy is being slowly eroded away and I’ll try to do whatever I can to try and help the cause,” the anonymous guy told ABC.

This sort of enthusiastic empty non-story cheerleading is typical for western media coverage of the Hong Kong protests so far, while these same media outlets consistently ignore or downplay protests against the government of France, Israel, Honduras, India, Indonesia and any other region that happens to fall within the US-centralized power alliance. It’s an amazingly reliable pattern: the entire western political/media class finds protests and uprisings endlessly fascinating when they are in opposition to governments which haven’t yet been absorbed into the imperial blob like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, pre-collapse Libya, or then-Moscow-aligned Ukraine, but any protests or uprisings within that empire are ignored at best or demonized at worst.

If dissidents in the United States began donning yellow vests and holding aggressive demonstrations in the current media environment, you could safely bet your bottom dollar that they would be ignored for as long as possible and then smeared as fascists, antisemites and/or Russian pawns thereafter. This would happen with absolute certainty.

This very reliable trend in the western media is very interesting, because it also happens to be the known position of the US State Department.

In 2017 a memo was leaked to Politico in which the sniveling John Bolton lackey Brian Hook explained to DC neophyte Rex Tillerson how to perform his job as Secretary of State with regard to human rights violations. Hook explained that the US government must downplay and ignore the human rights violations of US allies like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Philippines while aggressively targeting unabsorbed governments like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea for any allegations of human rights violations on their part.

“In the case of US allies such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines, the Administration is fully justified in emphasizing good relations for a variety of important reasons, including counter-terrorism, and in honestly facing up to the difficult tradeoffs with regard to human rights,” Hook explained in the memo.

“One useful guideline for a realistic and successful foreign policy is that allies should be treated differently — and better — than adversaries,” Hook wrote. “Otherwise, we end up with more adversaries, and fewer allies. The classic dilemma of balancing ideals and interests is with regard to America’s allies. In relation to our competitors, there is far less of a dilemma. We do not look to bolster America’s adversaries overseas; we look to pressure, compete with, and outmaneuver them. For this reason, we should consider human rights as an important issue in regard to US relations with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran.”

This State Department memo is really all you need to understand what’s going on whenever there’s any kind of uprising or conflict in a foreign nation. Hell, it’s almost all you need to understand the dynamics of empire in general. And, combined with the consistent pattern we’ve seen in coverage of protests and uprisings against empire-absorbed governments versus unabsorbed ones, it certainly tells you all you need to know about the state of the western media.

In theory the US Department of State was meant to serve as a counterpart to what was then called the Department of War (later falsely re-titled the “Department of Defense”). In theory the State Department was meant to specialize in peace and diplomacy in the same way the War Department specialized in war. In practice the warmongers just got two war departments.

Understand this one basic concept and you can understand all the hot topic foreign policy issues of any given day: there is an alliance of nations, centralized around US military and economic power, which effectively functions as a single empire. This empire works tirelessly to either absorb unabsorbed governments into its blob, or at least to undermine and marginalize them so they can’t impede the empire’s growth. The goal of the empire is total global domination without causing a nuclear war and without the public noticing that they’re living in an empire. In this sense it’s essentially a silent, slow motion third world war.

I see some of my readers voicing confusion about the protests in Hong Kong, but if you understand the basic dynamic I just described you’ll see that this is really no different from the protests and uprisings we’ve seen in Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Libya and Ukraine: the western political/media class are backing an uprising which benefits the imperial blob and undermines an unabsorbed government. This doesn’t mean that the protesters don’t have grievances or that none of those grievances are legitimate, it just means that you’re being told to cheerlead for an agenda by empire narrative managers solely because your doing so benefits that empire.

So don’t. Refuse to be a pro bono CIA propagandist. This doesn’t mean you need to oppose the protesters in Hong Kong, Venezuela or anywhere else, it just means that the only people who benefit from westerners cheerleading a CIA-approved uprising against an unabsorbed government are your rulers, who work endlessly to manufacture support for pro-empire agendas.

People who don’t get this sometimes tell me that we should “support” the protesters in a given unabsorbed region, but they’re always very reluctant to say what they mean by “support”. Do they mean simply joining the western mass media in uncritically cheerleading for an uprising which benefits western power structures? Do they mean send them money? Weapons? An emotional thumbs-up? Prayers? Getting someone to say what they mean when they say we should “support” the Hong Kong protesters or whomever is like pulling teeth, because it would bring up a lot of cognitive dissonance to actually turn and examine what’s behind the impulse they’re following: narrative management. They’re promoting pro-empire narrative management, and nothing more. And they’re doing this because the empire narrative managers trained them to.

“Centrist” empire loyalists tend to ignore the protests in places like France while amplifying and cheerleading the protests in places like Hong Kong. Right-wing empire loyalists sometimes do it a little differently, actively conflating the Yellow Vests protests with protests in places like Hong Kong despite the very different forces that are at play in those two situations. But in both cases they’re effectively mirroring the same State Department posture that Brian Hook tried to educate into Rex Tillerson in 2017.

Don’t subject yourself to such indignities. If the political/media class is going to propagandize the masses into supporting the advancement of the agendas of the empire, at least make them do it without your help.

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  • Tommy Jensen

    Its quite easy to see whether an “uprising” is staged or justified.
    US flag in a Chinese demonstration is too obvious. CIA^M16 standard strategy again and again.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abK0Kxb2ufg

  • AM Hants

    The Soros regime change script, but, why do we allow ourselves to be played and not notice the same script going down, time and time again.

    Are they also trying to do similar in Belarus?

    The West’s De-Russification of Belarus Reaches a Critical Stage… https://www.stalkerzone.org/the-wests-de-russification-of-belarus-reaches-a-critical-stage/

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    All you need to know about John Bolton is that he is even shorter than th Hong Kong publisher he is trying to woo. Sometimes world politics is just that simple.

  • Carlos Correia

    Same M.O since WW2.. remember Italy 1947 elections? That was a blueprint in “how to” grab power. It looks hod but is truth CIA uses mafia style strategy to grab influence and power, but even that is not new, history show us that’s the way to do it. And we that know little about it have to give credit to this puppets master’s. I respect them and respect you that took time to read this. But this crew is too damn repetitive, and mother ship earth deserve better.

    • Icarus Tanović

      Do you have in mind Palmiro Togliati and communistic-socialistic party of Italy?
      They’ve almost won elections not once, but several times. When Americans occupied Italy, they made fun of italian government, doing whatever they want to.
      What is good, dough, nowadays, Russia have great bilateral relations with Italy.

  • peter mcloughlin

    Caitlin Johnstone is sadly correct: states support human rights where it serves their interests, justifying them as ‘difficult trade-offs’. That is the pattern of history that has not been broken and is leading humanity to world war three.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d843b92814b3f0c755369d1c8febcab531be6f268ed76d2c59895dbfe3748df8.jpg

  • AM Hants

    So who is behind it all, as I go on a ramble.

    Common Purpose, which was founded by David Bell, was launched back in 1989. It controls a lot of shadow Government, together with the UK Media.

    1989, Gorbechev, Reagan and Thatcher, were discussing the dismantling of the Warsaw Pact and the dismantling of the Soviet Union. Margaret Thatcher’s special adviser was Timothy Bell, who received a life time peerage from Tony Blair. His brother was David Bell, who founded Common Purpose.

    1984 George Soros signs a contract between the Soros Foundation (New York) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the founding document of the Soros Foundation Budapest. This was followed by several foundations in the region to help countries move away from communism.

    In 1991, George Soros Open Society Foundation, merged with the Fondation pour une Entraide Intellectuelle Européenne, an affiliate of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, created in 1966 to imbue ‘non-conformist’ Eastern European scientists with anti-totalitarian and capitalist ideas.

    1990, Bush and Thatcher launch the first Iraq War, with John Major replacing Maggie Thatcher, who appears to have upset her Bilderberg friends. Dick Chenie was the US Defence Secretary. Dick Chenie who then went on to find a niche, in the Haliburton market, for the private military industry, which he go up and running, in time for the Kosovo invasion. Dick Chenie, and John Major, who joined the Bush family and Bin Ladens, (who the Bush family were dining with, the night before 9/11) over at the Carlyle Group. Chenie who became the CEO of Haliburton and Chenie, who is now working with Rupert Murdoch, Jacob Rothschild (if still alive) and Larry Summers, over in the Golan Heights, and their Genie Energy Project.

    President George H W Bush and the First Iraq War (1991)
    excerpted from the book Lying for Empire How to Commit War Crimes With A Straight Face… http://thirdworldtraveler.com/American_Empire/BushI_Iraq_LFE.html

    1992 George Soros bet against the British £ and the UK got thrown out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

    1993 Open Society Institute was created in the United States in 1993 to support the Soros foundations in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

    Timothy Bell, special adviser to Margaret Thatcher, who set up Bell Pottinger, who were paid over £500,000 million to spin the Iraq War, or $1 million, for every dead Iraq baby, toddler or child, that Madelaine Albright thought was well worth the price of the war, based on lies.

    Timothy Bell, who then went onto set up Sans Frontieres, an NGO which does well out of tax payer funding, with regards the refugee crisis and the Libya to Europe cruises. Brother of David Bell, who set up Common Purpose, which runs closely with ‘Integrity Initiative’, which was set up for the sole purpose of Russian media disinformation.

    Well the good news is Baron Timothy Bell died on 25 August 2019. Not long after the demise of the other Mossad Agent, Jeffrey Epstein, or am I being cynical?

    • Ralph London

      AM, I take it he doesn’t ring your bell?

      • AM Hants

        Haha, and sorry, I go into rant mode, as soon as CP or II pop up. Must admit, still smiling knowing Brother Timothy is no longer with us.

        • FlorianGeyer

          One of The Koch Brothers died last week as well,AM.

          The Grim Reaper is working overtime :)
          Could this lot become the Patsies for the Epstein debacle I wonder?

  • Veritas Vincit

    Western bloc nations that claim to champion a ‘rules-based order’ frequently show they believe themselves to be above such concepts.

    With regard to the immediate issue, the ABC does not only engage in support of anti-government groups/protests within nations perceived as strategic adversaries but importantly it (and broader Western Mainstream media) support illegal forms of action including violence in the above ABC report.

    – “The idea of violence as a legitimate form of political expression, hand-in-hand with peaceful protest, is becoming increasingly mainstream in the evolving tactics of a decentralised pro-democracy movement. “The peaceful protests didn’t get anywhere, so people feel they have to take some more extreme measures and I understand that,” Daniel said. He does not believe peaceful protests will get the attention of the Chinese communist party. “You need something extreme to bring Hong Kong to a standstill, or to destroy Hong Kong’s economy for China to say ‘we don’t want a stake in Hong Kong’ and back off,” he said. ” (Australian expat living in Hong Kong throws off business suit to join protest movement, By South-East Asia correspondent Kathryn Diss and Robert Koenig-Luck in Hong Kong, ABC News, 27/08/2019)

    Of course the Australians are being hypocritical when they accuse other nations of ‘foreign interference’. Australian foreign interference however is not limited to supporting violent protests. it includes participation in various allied destabilization, partition and regime change efforts and illegal allied wars of aggression (wars that are active and gradually globally expanding). All wars of aggression are framed as defense and Australian violations of international law and corresponding actions of aggression are no different.

    The actions and policies of Australia are clearly incompatible with a defensive posture. Australian support for the allies that engage in illegal actions (inclusing aggression) is also worth noting. However, in the event of a more profound conflict developing (an increasingly likely scenario), they shall likely regret their aggressive policies and actions.