By Rainer Shea
Source: Ghion Journal
The recent decline of American global power, and the subsequent onset of the U.S./NATO empire’s 21st century cold war with Russia and China, have made the flow of information throughout the capitalist world a lot less free than it was before. To be sure, when this great power conflict started in the early 2010s, censorship and state propaganda had already been intensified throughout the War on Terror. But the emergence of the current alliance between Russia, China, and their partners against the United States created the necessity in the minds of the Western ruling class to expand its list of enemies and, in the process, expand its tools for controlling public discourse.
In this heightened new era of warfare, America’s list of enemies has grown to include not just Russia and China, but also a large amount of the nations those countries are allied with. North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Syria are the empire’s four other highest level enemies, since the empire feels a strong need to replace all of their governments. The empire’s mid-level enemies include Cuba, Lebanon, and Yemen, which are currently the targets of strategic economic and/or military warfare instead of outright regime change operations. Bolivia and Nicaragua are the low-level adversaries because, while small, they’ve proven themselves willing to actively challenge capitalism and imperialism. All of these countries in total are part of a group of powers whose interests don’t align with those of the Western empire, so the propaganda and censorship practices within the core imperialist nations, particularly the U.S., have tended to treat them like one entity.
An example of this intersection between the empire’s targeting of non-aligned nations and information warfare operations used to control public discourse is the Western media’s simultaneous efforts to vilify Russia, Syria, and people who don’t buy in to that vilification. During moments like last year’s controversy over whether or not Bashar al-Assad committed a chemical attack in Douma, pro-war propagandists claimed that “Russian bots” and “Russian propaganda” were behind the arguments that “Assad apologists” use.
These kinds of slogans were often repeated in the media’s attempts throughout April 2018 to discredit critics of the empire’s official Syria narrative, so much that the war propagandists were sometimes caught using their own tropes too loosely and making themselves look silly. For…