Glenn: Like all propaganda, [the U.S. use of the word "militant"] is designed to deceive the citizenry in order to compel acquiescence to government conduct
here, glenn is commenting on yesterday's wapo story on a u.s. drone missile strike in pakistan...
[T]he word “militant” is being aggressively distorted by deceitful U.S. government propaganda that defines the term to mean: any “military-age males” whom we kill (the use of the phrase “suspected militants” in the body of the article suffers the same infirmity).
How is it possible to have any informed democratic debate over a policy about which the U.S. media relentlessly propagandizes this way? If drone strikes kill nobody other than “militants,” then very few people will even think about opposing them (and that’s independent of the fact that the word “militant” is a wildly ambiguous term — militant about what? — though it is clearly designed (when combined with “Pakistan”) to evoke images of those who attacked the World Trade Center). Debate-suppression is not just the effect but the intent of this propaganda: like all propaganda, it is designed to deceive the citizenry in order to compel acquiescence to government conduct.
what most people in the u.s. fail to realize is just how massively we are propagandized on a daily basis... it hits us from every direction, 24/7, from the ceaseless ads on tv for prescription drugs ("ask your doctor if it's right for you") to the critical importance of checking our credit scores to news stories obsessing on celebrities, the the all-pervasive focus on violence... then, besides the in-your-face kind of propaganda, there's the more subtle and insidious kind that simply fails to report on anything of substance or, if something of substance is being reported, omitting all relevant context thus ensuring that any real understanding is virtually impossible... i was lunching with a friend and colleague this week who, bless his heart, is one of the few who understands just how little we are told about what's really happening in the world... i probably wouldn't be so aware of it myself if i didn't spend so much time poring over multiple sources and trying to fit the pieces together... (whether that's healthy or not is for a later discussion...!)
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