‘Fake News’ Isn’t New: Dissecting Two Decades Of War Propaganda

Author and noted peace activist David Swanson joins host Mnar Muhawesh on ‘Behind the Headline’ about the narrative on Aleppo and Russia’s role in the Syrian conflict, dissecting who benefits and how.
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    MINNEAPOLIS — The “fog of war” erupts in the confusion caused by the chaos of war. And in the media, it’s an intentional phenomenon that makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction.

    While the battles over war narratives evolve, they all have a common goal: to distort reality on the ground.

    Such is the case on the crisis in Syria, the new cold war with Russia, and even the buildup for President Bush’s support for Kuwait’s “humanitarian” war against Iraq.

    On Oct. 10, 1990, a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl identified only as “Nayirah” told the Congressional Human Rights Caucus that she witnessed Iraqi soldiers removing babies from incubators and leaving them on a cold floor to die.

    Her testimony was cited numerous times by senators and even President George H.W. Bush as  justification for backing Kuwait in the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, which erupted just three months later.

    However, it was later revealed that “Nayirah” was the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States, and her testimony was arranged by a PR firm representing a Kuwaiti-sponsored group lobbying Congress for military intervention.

    15-year-old Nayirah al-Ṣabah testifies in front of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

    15-year-old Nayirah al-Ṣabah testifies in front of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus that she witnessed Iraqi soldiers removing babies from incubators. Her testimony would later be used to justify America’s involvement in the first Gulf War.

    More recently, during the “Arab Spring” uprisings that swept the Middle East in 2011, Libyan media claimed that Moammar Gadhafi loyalists carried out mass “Viagra-fueled rapes,” and that the Libyan leader had ordered rape as a weapon of war. When Luis Moreno-Ocampo, a prosecutor with the International Criminal Court, opened an investigation into these allegations, it grabbed international headlines, appearing in Al-Jazeera, the BBC, and Reuters, among many others.

    Even as Amnesty International questioned the legitimacy of the allegations, other supposedly humanitarian groups hit a loggerhead on the veracity of the claims. One top U.N. official said he believed the claims were meant as a scare tactic to invoke “massive hysteria” even as another top U.N. official defended them, creating a distraction from the war itself.

    And today the fog of war is obscuring realities on the ground in Syria.

    Major news outlets frequently cite unnamed sources, a convenient way to manipulate public perception. From CNN to Reuters, these outlets are publishing unverifiable claims and providing minimal evidence to support them, and readers are supposed to drink it all up

    The crisis in Syria has attracted international attention and concern, and the corporate media is using the tragedies of war to push an agenda and boost its audience. This push for content — no matter what — has serious consequences. On Dec. 20, for example, Egyptian police arrested five people for making videos they claimed were set in Aleppo, but were actually filmed at a demolition site.

    Social media further distorts reality on the ground, presenting a fragmented image of war as the media promotes only those accounts that align with the goals of the United States and its allies.

    The media and public both accept the accounts of the White Helmets as gospel. Yet that group, which purports to serve as volunteer first responders in Aleppo, receives training from British mercenaries and funding from a PR firm with ties to George Soros.

    Not only are the White Helmets making fake videos, but they’ve even been exposed as agents embedded in the Nusra Front and ISIS.. Armed and far from impartial, the White Helmets are a recipient of millions in USAID funding.

    Whether the White Helmets are the apolitical first responders they claim to be or not, one thing is clear: The narrative being weaved by and about them supports U.S. intervention in the war in Syria.

    The narrative is built around activists frequently cited by the media, like Bilal Abdul Kareem, who is embedded with the Nusra Front and recently glorified suicide bombers as revolutionaries.

    Or Lina Shamy, the young Syrian activist who promotes sectarian terrorists from Jaysh al-Sham, who threaten genocide against religious minorities as revolutionaries.

    It’s time to put a critical lens to the propaganda in the news and social media. It’s time to demand more than reporting that toes the government line and makes claims without real evidence.

    Learn more about fake news and about the forgotten genocide in Yemen on the full episode of the Behind the Headline:

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    • DreamGirlsDaily

      There’s WAY more than two decades of war propaganda to dissect. I have a collection of propaganda posters for WWII and the beginning of tel-lie-vision for the war propaganda at the end of WWII when they staged the holohoax “horror show” with Hollyweird director Billy Wilder, starring Dwight D. Eisenhower and the U.S. military psychological warfare division.

    • André De Koning

      The far Left is also complicit (Amnesty International with their unfounded, ill-researched allegations) in the war in Syria. They think they are independent and forget their leaders have a revolving door to the State Dept. and don’t do research anymore. Yes, the world is complicated and it is not a matter of either/or or Right or Left. Fake news about SYria, as there was in Ukraine, Libya, Iraq and every war, is all around us and in the West we follow what the MSM show us, ignoring the rest. MintPress at least has investigative journalists instead of those who lazily copy and paste what they are seeing on their computers. We need real investigations and people on the ground and not a Washington Post or NYT who publish what sells.

      • Stern Daler

        Investigative reporters on the ground get kidnapped etc. lately. So terrorists and NGO that are in their hands have a monopoly about the info we get from certain regions. Western NGO like AI America are personally entwined with governments – changing jobs to and from. The same can be said about UN agencies. All this makes getting reliable sources hard.

        I personally start research with my best friend.
        Google will tell me who is who… So I can assess a little the quality of the info.
        But most media copy & paste the info provided by the big agencies without this. Time is money.

    • André De Koning

      Still a lot of people who do not know that the US, Saudi, Qatar and Turkey have been supplying weapons by the billions to terrorists groups who dominate the scene in Syria. Even Trump quotes his generals as saying “That they do not know who these people are who are getting the billions etc/”. No, they do not supply it directly or visibly but they do know the weapons end up in these groups. During the trading of oil from Syria to Turkey the US did nothing to stop ISIS from trading and took the Russians to finally stop it. This all well documented and is amazing how (probably Americans) still do not know the overall big game. Always so naive: US has intervened, often violently, in 51 countries and 36 governments have been overthrown and the Americans don’t wake up to their Deep State Intelligence services who run these campaigns. Read some books, such as The Dirty WQra on Syria by Syndey Univ.prof Tim Andersen to get some research done instead of being complicit with these war actions that suit the US to overthrow Assad and get their oil pipelines going from Qatar, via Saudi and SYria to Turney and dominate the region.

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    • James Wherry

      MintPressNews seems bent on becoming a purveyor of “fake news,” such as the claim that America is backing ISIL.

      “U.S. increasing airdrops of supplies to forces battling ISIL in Syria” Jim Michaels , USA TODAY 6:02 a.m. ET Jan. 17, 2017


      • Stern Daler

        AFAIK You are right the US did no large scale support for IS. But they backed others groups that would arguably foreseeable pass on supplies.

        • James Wherry

          What we’ve seen in Syria is that weapons, supplies and some fighters we trained went over to ISIL or al-Nusra: loyalties are fluid – which is yet one more reason why America is never benefited by getting involved in other people’s civil wars.

          • Stern Daler

            A/RES/2625(XXV) is clear. The US bound to it also. No matter whether profit or no.

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    • jexyrmrock
    • ‘ALL WARS ARE BANKERS’ WARS By Michael Rivero

      I know many people have a great deal of difficulty comprehending just how many wars are started for no other purpose than to force private central banks onto nations, so let me share a few examples, so that you understand why the US Government is mired in so many wars against so many foreign nations. There is ample precedent for this.


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    • James Wherry

      Yes, the Far Left frequently lies about the news. It’s called the “Name and Shame Game.” Leftist groups like Amateur International and the Anti-Civil Liberties Union act as megaphones and let individuals and groups shout anything they want and then dare the government, “Okay, now disprove it!” Men and women who serve in uniform are then “Guilty until proven innocent.”

      • It seems to me that it does not matter which side of the aisle you are on.

        CNN and MSNBC are Bolshevik Zionist Khazar propaganda disguised as American liberalism.

        Fox News is Bolshevik Propaganda disguised as American conservatism.

        I once wore the uniform of the United States. I am deeply ashamed for what they made me do.

        • James Wherry

          Thank you for sharing your history with us. You and I have discussed your injuries, before, and I encourage you to re-file a claim: new updates have been made on the use of poison gas by Saddam Hussein during Gulf War I.

          However, the sanctions were because Saddam Hussein continued to possess chemical weapons until 1995. After that, I agree they were wrong.

      • tapatio

        For those who are unaware, James Wherry is the “resident” Zionist troll on Mint Press. His function is to denigrate the articles here and attack anyone who tells the truth about US Imperialism, Zionism, Judaism or its gods – the Rothschild-Bilderberg Predatory Empire.

        Mr Wherry is a former major in the US Army who was employed in “Civil Affairs”, the organization that involved in “enhanced” techniques to render populations docile and obedient to whatever puppet the Empire placed over them. He has bragged on Mint Press about helping to train the state terrorists of Uganda.

        Mr. Wherry is also what is called a “gay” chickenhawk – older men who prey on young boys.. It’s actually a sub-species of ped0phile – too cowardly to actually run the risk of attacking children and turns their attention to barely legal young men. In Mr Wherry’s case, he obtained a young Filipino boy through a web site that handles such transactions, brought the boy to the US and “married” him. Presumably, the boy’s birth certificate is authentic (difficult to know in a country like the Philippines, where any official document is available for under $100). At any event, Mr Wherry appears to be a very, very dissipated 50-something and the boy looks like he should be in junior high school.

        I know this because James Wherry trolled me for some months, on this site, until I became sufficiently irritated. He was stupid enough to use his real name and a traceable photo, making it easy to investigate him and do a background check.


        “”I’m very happy about it,” James Wherry said. “Marriage is the bedrock of our society. I hope that same-sex couples can rejuvenate and revitalize marriage and give it the respect it is due.””





        Anyone wishing to chat with James Wherry on the subjects of Jew crimes, Jews defrauding of America and war crime involvement by US Army “Civil Affairs” could do so at this address…………….
        6300 MILGEN RD, APT 1403
        COLUMBUS, GA 31907
        (Wherry claims to have moved from the above address)
        OR AT
        6450 Way Ave Bldg 2839 • Fort Benning, GA 31905
        (Fort Benning is home of School of the Americas. Wherry has claimed that he has never worked at Fort Benning – he lied)

        I’m sure Wherry would also love to show how to buy boy s-x slaves from third world countries and show the one he brought home from the Philippines
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/36a0758fd596c1f9f6cd979ebdcd762e8f9a8d7220fa3a43bfbbd55abea1a8b0.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f559826f262fce8dd7d37180fa65e8274c229de86c8aa9b1bccb72503a5852fe.jpg

      • James Wherry

        *** Warning *** the thing below that goes by the avatar “tapatio” is a Jew-hating, gay-bashing neo-NAZ!

      • Stern Daler

        All do. But the US has been caught red handed too often. Oh I see comrade tapido is also still here.

    • Michael Dale Johnson

      Remember the U.S.S. Liberty?

      • James Wherry

        Yes: Israel hit an American ship, then called the U.S. to report it, then apologized and paid reparations.

        Remember the Iranian/Hezbollah bombing of our Marine barracks in Beirut? No reparations are forthcoming from the cult government of Iran, though they DID acknowledge their crime.



        • Michael Dale Johnson

          The white-washed official story, and the resulting coverup by the powers that be on this tragic issue are in stark contrast to the eye-witness testimony of those aboard the Liberty, and also in contrast to the voice recordings of the Israeli pilots and the air traffic controllers on duty that tragic day. Your comment, “Yes: Israel hit an American ship, then called the U.S. to report it, then apologized and paid reparations,” is vastly over-simplifying yet another issue that the powers that be have gone to great lengths to both cover-up, and to obfuscate the resultant investigations into, and also does a great injustice to the American casualties that day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZluFfyQ7sAI

        • Then why did Israel take the CMS and Chips?

    • Israel did 9/11

      9/11 Missing links proves this biggest fake news known as the official 9/11 story

    • TecumsehUnfaced

      Remember the Tonkin Gulf!

    • ’46 one time hippy

      Remember the Maine!

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        Remember 9/11!

        Which one? 2001? or 1973?

        • ’46 one time hippy

          Good point. I guess the cia likes that date. I understand Mexico is getting rather edgy, and what will the cia do if Mexican government were to fall without cia intent?