Terror in Paris: The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), European Politics, and the International Context

November 16, 2015 at 11:41 AM

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on CPR Sunday (November 15, 2015) with security analyst Mark Sleboda and journalist/broadcaster Don DeBar. Eric, Mark and Don discuss the tragic events in Paris on Nov. 13, and the fallout from that. They examine the narrative of the attack, the objectives of the Islamic State (which has claimed responsibility), and the importance of asking the right questions about what happened. Additionally, Eric, Mark, and Don touch on the significance of the attacks for French politics and the European continent generally, as well as how this will be used to justify an expansion of the war on Syria and the regional conflict more broadly. (mp3 below)

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After the Paris Attacks: Western Intelligence, Foreign Policy, and the Rise of European Fascism

November 14, 2015 at 12:15 PM

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on RT (Nov. 13, 2015) just a few hours after the terror attacks in Paris. Draitser discusses the need to question the narrative of the attacks and shine a light on the potential connection between the attack and French and Western intelligence agencies. He also examines the likely ways in which the US-NATO powers will capitalize on the tragedy to pursue their agenda for Syria and the Middle East. Draitser also points out that European right wing extremists will be in the ascendance, both as political forces and in the streets.

The Paris Attacks, the War on Syria, and the West’s Collaboration with Terrorism

November 14, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Eric Draitser appears on Press TV (Nov. 13, 2015) in the hours after the terrorist attacks in Paris to provide his commentary on the latest developments, and what it means for Syria and the Western agenda in the Middle East. Draitser notes the importance of questioning the role of Western intelligence agencies and their documented collaboration with terrorists around the world. Draitser appears alongside author and journalist Pepe Escobar.

Saakashvili’s ‘Maidan’ in Georgia, Syria War Strategy, and the Geopolitics of Egypt and the Region

November 10, 2015 at 9:53 AM

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on CPR Sunday (November 8, 2015) with security analyst Mark Sleboda and journalist/broadcaster Don DeBar. Eric, Mark and Don discuss former Georgian President (and current Odessa governor) Mikheil Saakashvili’s attempted destabilization in Georgia, and the importance of it being exposed and foiled. They examine the latest in Syria including the tragic downing of the Russian airliner over Egypt. Eric, Mark and Don also discuss Egypt and President Sisi, touching on the strategic and geopolitical importance of Egypt and the role of Sisi in the regional war. All this and more in this in-depth weekly conversation.

Chinese Hackers? US Propagandists Should Look in the Mirror

November 4, 2015 at 11:55 AM

china hack

Like millions of Americans, this past week I was sitting on my couch, drinking a cold beer, watching Game 1 of the World Series – professional baseball’s hallowed championship. Suddenly the satellite feed went out, the screen went dark. Naturally, as FOX Sports scrambled to get their live feed fixed, many of my fellow Americans took to twitter to speculate as to what had caused the outage. I was, sadly, unsurprised to see that the most common joke people were making was that China must have hacked the World Series.

On the one hand, it is understandable given the barrage of propaganda about Chinese hackers as a threat to corporate and national security; seemingly every week there is a new news item highlighting the great red cyber-menace. On the other hand, it is a perfect illustration of the hypocrisy and ignorant arrogance of Americans who, despite being citizens of unquestionably the most aggressive nation when it comes to both cyber espionage and surveillance, see fit to cast China as the real villain. It is a testament to the power of both propaganda and imperial triumphalism that a proposition so disconnected from reality, and bordering on Orwellian Doublethink, is not only accepted, but is ipso facto true.

But there is a deeper political and sociological phenomenon at play here, one that begs further exploration. How is it that despite all the revelations of Edward Snowden regarding US intelligence and military snooping capabilities across the globe, Americans still cannot accept the culpability of their own government and corporate interests – the two work hand in hand – in global cyber-espionage? Even if they explicitly or implicitly know about the NSA, CIA, DIA, and Pentagon programs (among many others), their instinctive reaction is to blame China. Why? The answer lies in the complexity and effectiveness of the anti-China propaganda.

In his landmark book Public Opinion, the renowned writer, commentator, and theoretician of propaganda, Walter Lipmann, defined the term “stereotype” in the modern psychological sense as a “distorted picture or image in a person’s mind, not based on personal experience, but derived culturally.” In other words, the stereotype is an image in our mind’s eye, one that is constructed by outside forces; it is information filtered through a particular societal or cultural framework that then creates a picture of how something is to be understood. Lipmann went further, noting that carefully constructed propaganda could be used to shape stereotypes, thereby allowing the powers that be the ability to construct and manipulate information and narratives.

And this is precisely the phenomenon at work here. By repeating it endlessly, the US political and corporate media establishment have successfully convinced Americans that China is the real threat when it comes to cyberspace, playing on the stereotype of Chinese people in general, and the People’s Republic of China specifically. But, I would argue something far different: rather than seeing China as a threat, perhaps Americans, and westerners generally, should shine a light on what their own countries are doing, thereby gaining a broader perspective on the issue. For China’s moves in this field pale in comparison to those of the US, and are clearly a response to them.

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