It is not exactly making some profound astute observation and brilliant revelation to say that following news now is, at the least, challenging, and just plain overwhelming. This is not a sudden development, either. It might be fair to say, though, that right at the present moment, it could seem to be a state of affairs that is increasing.
So, one question might be something like- like what, exactly? Any particular story or situation? Even picking out a single item is difficult. For a long time now, in what’s presented as news here in America, we’ve had this odd notion of “the news cycle”, where something pops up for a short period, and then disappears to be replaced by The New Thing. As I’ve mentioned often before, if you happen to get your news diet as a news consumer by watching CNN, you should be familiar with the ridiculous and useless procedure of CNN. That is, when some new arising Big Story appears, it becomes The One Thing Happening In The World, excluding all else. Then, for some period of time, maybe a few days, the CNN talking head entertainers babble on and on endlessly, maybe reporting a few general facts that can be covered in a minute or less, that might turn out to be incorrect anyway, and then carry on with an assortment of random other guest talking heads who just spew a variety of noise. For visual occupation, a few video clips are selected and played as repeating loops, on and on and on. Then, presto! Something else pops up, and the One Thing is now something different.
There are all kinds of things to be said about all this, and I’m not just talking specifically about what I said about CNN. The broad state of “news” that most people regard as legitimate news reporting, which unfortunately also gets into the problematic overused and abused phrase “mainstream media”, clearly seems to consist of less and less of what could realistically be regarded as proper honest competent and substantial journalism.
That’s a problem.
As something of a side note, it’s probably a ridiculously obvious bet that the One Thing now will be the national convention of Brand R happening in Cleveland, and I’m trying to avoid getting sucked into commentary on that right now, as this is too much of an exercise in bizarre surrealism to not lead me into going on endlessly. I have a feeling, having said that, I will get sucked into it in a minute, anyway.
Also, by the way, I assume people are aware that, evidently, a rather large batch of people somehow seem to have themselves all wrapped up in some sort of mobile phone app software Pokemon cartoon game whatzit as a featured item in their lives, which is, in the context of the times, strikes me as pretty profoundly odd. Now, let’s be clear, I don’t want to seem like a complete killjoy here, I have nothing against a little silly fun for people, but from what I gather, this silliness isn’t just a time wasting distraction diverting people’s attention, in a period of human history where misdirected attention is a serious problem. I keep seeing stories showing some incredible and just plain dangerous stupidity… people walking into traffic, a couple of people actually breaking into a zoo late at night and going into an area where tigers live, and probably a few more that I don’t know.
Trying to stay informed about public affairs, at any level and scale up to world events, is always a challenge, but we’re in a time now when it is, simply, one hell of a mess. To be clear, I don’t just mean “the world is a mess”, I’m talking about what we’re dealing with in terms of information.
Just the array of events and topics is an overwhelming barrage, never mind the task of sorting out fact from fiction in any one of them.
A large amount of attention right now here in the US is obviously directed to the ongoing dog and pony show theater of the game to select the next President. Trying hard to avoid the gravitational pull of talking about the flashy absurdity of the Brand R festivities that just started, I already see that after a speech delivered to the convention by Mrs. Trump to promote her husband (that would be Mrs. Trump number 3), there is a lot of online chatter about Mrs. Trump giving a speech that directly copied, verbatim, parts of the same kind of speech delivered by Mrs. Obama at the Brand D convention several years ago.
Pulling away from that circus, looking out at world news, recent events included a burst of high drama as news came in about a military coup in Turkey, which then became a failed coup. That would be Turkey, NATO member and, we’re told, “US ally and partner”, where there is a US Air Force base, reported as a key base for “the War on Terror” and also storing a pile of nuclear bombs, just to make things, shall we say, interesting. By interesting, I think I mean “what the hell are people thinking?”.
What has actually happened in that burst of drama appears to be a real knot of confusion, and in the past few days, all sorts of different reports and widely varied speculation has appeared about what actually has happened. One of the newer notes comes from Dmitry Orlov, with his own thoughts about the matter. There are reports saying that Turkish leader Erdogan, who is evidently a real piece of work and a whole messy subject of his own, overcame the attempted coup by appealing to mass support from the Turkish people. It’s hard to be sure of what to make of all this, as the leader in power in question here appears to fit into an ugly category, of a democratically elected leader of government who, in actual practice, looks to have transformed into a dictator in real terms, and a nasty one, at that.
Some suggest that the whole coup was faked, a gigantic bit of deadly theater concocted by Erdogan something like the infamous German Reichstag fire that helped Hitler consolidate power, to rally “the people” into unquestioning loyal support and provide a justification for purges and generally imposing more authoritarian control. Others suggest a secret CIA coup to remove Erdogan, as a troublesome loose cannon difficult to control from Washington.
It’s complicated by the involvement of Turkey as a part of NATO, bringing all kinds of complications, especially considering the involvement of Turkey in the Syrian mess, with Erdogan reportedly being a happy supporter of the Washington neocon plans of “regime change” and “Assad Must Go!” in Syria.
Incidentally, in anything like this, it should be kept in mind that almost inevitably, in international dramas that are really none of our government’s business, somebody will start barking platitudes about “support for democracy” as the fundamental ethos if Washington gets involved, but try to remember Egypt, as Orlov pointed out. Remember that? Longtime “President” (really a long running dictatorship) Mubarek was overthrown in a coup a few years ago by the Egyptian military. Then, a “democratic election” brought forth a new leader… who was from the bunch known as the Muslim Brotherhood. Surprise, almost immediately, another military coup, this time retaining power, no “democratic election”, and to this day, the place is still under military command, with nary a peep from Washington about any lack of “freedom and democracy” in Egypt.
Talking about any situation in Turkey is, as I said, complicated and troublesome, given what I already just mentioned (the store of nuclear bombs really does add an ugly twist). The foreign policy nightmare of Washington’s neocons barking about regime change in Syria is a gigantic mess, with monumental levels of confusion involved. One running theme of the neocons about why “Assad Must Go” is the story that he attacked his own people with poison gas chemical weapons a few years ago, although most people seem to have entirely missed the reporting by someone doing real journalism, that Assad and the Syrian military evidently had nothing to do with it, and evidence indicates the involvement of Erdogan in Turkey in conducting a “false flag” operation to look like Assad had done the evil deed, and trigger a US military attack by manipulation, the poison gas incident happening just a few weeks or so after Obama’s “crossing a red line” declaration, where he proclaimed that if Assad used chemical weapons in the ugly civil war there, this would be “crossing a red line”, with “consequences”. What a coincidence!
Getting into the whole Syrian epic is like being sucked into a swirling whirlpool of confused madness. We keep hearing about Syria being a scene of “The War on Terror” fighting the evil ISIS/ISIL/whatever, who are causing all kinds of trouble there trying to overthrow the Syrian government, while we’re also hearing chatter from Washington demanding “regime change” in Syria, “Assad must go!”, trying to over throw the Syrian government and chattering about supporting “moderate rebels” trying to overthrow Assad and the Syrian government, who, in any other context, would be referred to by the Washington crowd as “terrorist groups”.
Trying to sort out, understand, and even get a clear view of basic facts of that whole epic of madness is an almost impossible challenge for the American people, with the one glaringly obvious fact being that the whole mess is an insane mass of confusion and nonsense, but even that seems to be carefully avoided by most people, even, incredibly, people who regard themselves as well informed about world affairs and American national affairs. I keep encountering astonishing nonsense from people like this who spout things about how, indeed, it must be obvious that Assad must go, because he’s a bad man, a very bad man who kills his own people with poison gas chemical weapons! Now, there’s the obvious here, point them to the Seymour Hersh article investigating this, revealing it to be a very different story, right? Do that, and chances are high that they will not even bother reading it, because of what, in their mind, they already “know”.
Earlier this year, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote a fairly in depth article that should illuminate people about what’s really going on in the Washington neocon project for “regime change” in Syria, but, first, how many people will actually read it, and if they do, how many people will dismiss it by sheer automatic reflex, because it doesn’t fit with the simplistic nonsense fed to them in propaganda.
Talking about this nudges things back to the questions about what actually happened in Turkey, and a suggestion that there was CIA involvement to overthrow Erdogan, because he was wobbling on his commitment to play along with the Washington project of “Assad must go!”, and making nice with Russia, after the incident of Turkey shooting down Russian military aircraft involved in helping the Syrian military fight off the attacks from the bunch trying to overthrow the Syrian government.
I’ve been over the Ukraine horror story so many times over the past couple of years now that it’s ridiculous, I struggle to understand how so many people have no idea what has happened there, and not just that, but, rather than being simply ignorant of the events and situation, and repercussions, but carry around a narrative planted repeatedly in their minds, telling them a story about the situation that is virtually completely wrong, backwards and inverted.
This comes up again, as new items presented as news offer commentaries that are bizarre, straight out of Orwell, regarding Donald Trump and Brand R and what is seen as Trump’s ideas about foreign policy. The Washington Post continues its awful mission of changing from a formerly respected newspaper to a neocon propaganda medium. One new example is the article “Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine”.
The subject is the matter of the Republican Party’s new platform to go with the 2016 presidential election campaign, and the item that is presented as a major shocking drama is that, apparently, Trump and his associates have insisted on changes that shock the Brand R apparatchiks, or at least the neocon variety, which means basically virtually all of the Brand R establishment. What changes? Basically, changing anything about declaring Russia as an enemy that threatens the world, and military support for Ukraine, specifically the new regime in Ukraine since the 2014 coup, supported and evidently largely engineered by the Washington neocons.
I’m not sure of the right words to describe what you can run into trying to discuss the subject seriously, although “tragic” might be a good choice. That’s not hyperbole. It’s truly hard to comprehend the levels of determined ignorance when it comes to the subject of what has happened there, and the repercussions. Right now, obviously, where you encounter Americans who bother to turn their attention to anything involving governance and world affairs, which basically means political sports and entertainment madness now, you can bet on people being all wound up in all kinds of silliness and petty nonsense and diversions, while ignoring things that really matter, like the way we have lunatics orchestrating events trying hard to start World War III, with it becoming a nuclear war if it happens, most likely. People can’t even take the idea seriously, it’s outside their field of perception of what is possible. Not everybody, of course. It’s important to not over generalize. However, it certainly seems to be a vast majority. It includes many people who should know better.
I have reviewed the Ukraine insanity many times here before, so I’m not going to go through a whole review summary again, but I might return to this soon to go through that particular Washington Post article and everything wrong with it, which is fairly extensive. I expect that to probably have little to no effect for some people, although those people probably would not be reading anyway. They would, on the other hand, be likely to read that WP piece and use it as more material to offer as proof of the madness of Donald Trump, with the irony that it actually is a rare example of Trump actually getting something right, and, in the process, alienating the Brand R establishment who are so devoted to the neocon lunacy as their idea of proper “foreign policy”. Many people, tragically (yes, tragically) are so completely misinformed, to the point of complete delusion, that they read things like an article that I pointed out online a few days ago, that was a very good summary of the real situation in Ukraine and the geopolitical madness around it, which was then instantly dismissed by one guy as “bollox” (apparently meaning the English slang “bollocks”, American equivalent basically being “bullshit”).
The list could go on, and I’m thinking of a few more recent and ongoing news subjects that qualify, where masses of people are so misled and misinformed and overwhelmingly confused, that we’re in circumstances where serious problems are not being dealt with at all, or treated completely the wrong way, because so many people simply don’t seem to be able to tell what’s real anymore.