The Insidious Power of Propaganda, by Karel Van Wolferen

To study the effects of political propaganda in what used to be called the ‘free world’ there could hardly be a better time than now. We are living through an instance of insidious propaganda that has clean contours. It fills a common need. In a period of large-scale slaughter and other man-made disaster the morally conscious person can do with some clear categories of good and bad, desirable and despicable. Political certainty, in other words. You can even sell wars using ‘moral clarity’ as a sales pitch, as happened with Iraq and Afghanistan.

Good-evil classification is easy enough when we have imprisoned journalists decapitated by jihadis. Those who “will do something about that” are automatically placed in the ‘good guys’ category. But there is a problem of murkiness in this sample. Syria’s Assad has been listed for years at the top of the bad guy list, and yet he appears to be changing into something of an ally of those who are intent now on setting things straight. On top of which, the fact that the radical islamists out of which ISIS emerged were funded and encouraged by the United States and its Arab allies is not a deep secret, and the fact that none of this mayhem would now exist were it not for the sorcerer’s apprentice effect of the decapitation of the Iraqi state in 2003 has been pretty much agreed on.

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Freedom For Palestine! And Papua! And Congo!, by André Vltchek

Israeli-wall-from-Palestinian-side-510x340

This is not an easy essay to write. I have been postponing it for several weeks. But I have many readers all over the world who trust me, and they encourage me to tell the truth, as I perceive it. And I will continue doing so, for them, even when the topic is complex and somehow uncomfortable.

Let me begin by saying that I fully support freedom for Palestine; I demand that the Palestinian people be allowed to have their own state, and to have their pride and dignity restored. Not ‘soon’ but now, and even ‘now’ is too late!

I condemn Israel, for being the Rottweiler of the West in the Middle East, for its bellicose approach in the region, for its brutality towards Palestinian people, and for its endemic dishonesty.

I have stood by the Palestinian people on several occasions: In Gaza and the West Bank, in Hebron and Bethlehem, in the Rafah Refugee Camp. I stood by them physically, not just in an abstract way, fighting, at least verbally, with the Israeli border guards, having rubber-coated bullets flying all around me, dashing illegally from Jerusalem to Bethlehem with my Israeli activists and Marxist friends.

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