Saturday, January 2, 2010

Changing the Narrative for War

By Philip Giraldi

"In spite of the calamities of the past eight years, there continues to be no shortage of neoconservatives in one's face in the media, advising their fellow Americans that wars can be won quickly and decisively and that using military force to change how other nations behave is sound policy. The Washington Post features Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, all three Kagans, John Bolton, and Eliot Cohen on a regular basis. The Wall Street Journal editorial page is the epicenter for those who favor muscular interventionism. The New York Times, America's most influential newspaper, is somewhat more circumspect, featuring neocons-lite David Brooks and Thomas Friedman regularly, but also including the more measured foreign policy analysis of Frank Rich and Roger Cohen. But even at its best The Times never really breaks the mold by bringing in someone who rejects the entire American imperial and interventionist enterprise. Such individuals do exist and many appear regularly at Ron Paul events and on Campaign for Liberty, but it is as if the mainstream media has decided that such views are outside the pale, the journalistic equivalent of praising Mussolini for making the trains run on time or advocating the disenfranchisement of women voters. And occasionally the Times features a real game breaker that goes in the other direction in the form of an op-ed that sets new benchmarks in terms of audacious support of Washington's self proclaimed right to enforce its own standards on the world. Such an op-ed was "There's Only One Way to Stop Iran" by Professor Alan J. Kuperman which, ironically, appeared on Christmas Eve.

As a former intelligence officer I frequently shake my head when I read a piece like "There's Only One Way to Stop Iran" because I know exactly how what the Soviets used to call disinformation works. When the policy stinks and you have to create buzz about it anyway, you dig up someone who can plausibly describe himself as an "expert" and then find some obliging folks in the media to publish a piece that enables you to change the story line. That is what I used to do myself back in the days when I was working hard to demonize the Soviets.....

That kind of narrative shift is precisely what Kuperman and those who are like minded are doing, changing the story to turn black into white to make war appear to be the only option to resolve a thorny international problem. Appearing in The Times is particularly damaging because when the Grey Lady gives over its pages to someone like Kuperman they are providing their seal of approval and legitimizing his point of view.....The only problem is that the entire Kuperman narrative is itself nonsense......"

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