NPR Propaganda Watch. Faux Debate on U.S. Role in Syria.

John V. Walsh, March 15, 2012

Yesterday (3/14) NPR’s “All Things Considered” ran a “discussion” about Syria and the U.S. All options were not on the table – at least not the anti-interventionist option.

Melissa Block hosted three guests seriatim: the aptly named Anne-Marie Slaughter, former “director of planning” at the State Department. Paul Wolfowitz, architect of the criminal war on Iraq and Daniel Serwer, a former U.S. “special envoy” and “coordinator” for the Bosnian Federation. How is that for a broad spectrum of views?

Going first, Slaughter suggested that “no-kill” zones be established but that plan quickly morphed into the need for a supporting air campaign by the U.S. and NATO and “defensive” arms to the pro-Western forces in Syria. When Melissa Block inquired about the nature of a “defensive” arms, Slaughter conceded that there was no way to prevent the arms from being used in other ways, “revenge attacks” and “offensive actions” in Block’s terms.

For Slaughter time is of the essence, because there is “brutality on an extraordinary scale” in Syria (There are indeed 7000 dead in Syria – thousands on each side of the civil war there.) Enter the second guest Paul Wolfowitz whose Iraq war has resulted in the deaths of 1.4 million Iraqis and the displacement of 4 million. That, however, is not to be considered “brutality on an extraordinary scale.” Of course the U.S. was not killing its own people in Iraq but other people – which seems to make it OK. Block and her editors apparently were clueless about the irony of this juxtaposition of Slaughter’s claim and Wolfowitz’s appearance.

What was Wolfowitz’s prescription for Syria? “Defensive weapons.” Where had I heard that before? But Wolfowitz wants more US control over the weapons saying: “Hamas, which used to be in bed with Assad, has now distanced itself from the Assad regime. I’m sure the bad guys are figuring out how they can help the opposition so that they can have a position later.” Hamas the democratically elected government of all Palestinians and still in control of Gaza, daily under an assault by Israel (backed by the U.S.) is of course one of the “bad guys,” the infantile designation for official enemies, at least weak ones. Block concluded by raising what lessons Iraq holds for the present situation in Syria. And Wolfowitz had the answer. The problem was that the US did not invade earlier, in 1991, rather than 2003. No challenge from Block on that one.

So far two guests – one opinion. Surely the third guest, Mr. Serwer must be an anti-interventionist. Early on he made his position quite clear: “I don’t believe that there is a military solution in Syria without a massive U.S. effort to defeat the air defenses, the artillery, the tanks of the Syrian army and I see no will in Washington to do that kind of thing at the moment.”

Serwer simply says he opposes military action because it must be big and costly and there is no will “at the moment” in Washington to do so. That lack of will is due to the fact that the average American is fed up with the endless wars in the Middle East. Serwer continues: “You know, if you take military action, I think you have to think about taking serious military action. And serious military action would be aimed at decapitating this regime. The problem is you don’t know what comes after because there is no really consolidated opposition political structure.” Like Wolfowitz Serwer is concerned about “the bad guys.” Again no opposition to intervention but there is concern that once the dogs of war are unleashed, the new rulers may be one of “the bad guys.”

Serwer tells us that regime change could be effected if only Russia and China would go along. But Russia and China saw what happened in Libya, with “humanitarian” cover used to plunge Libya into an orgy of death and destruction; they are unlikely to be fooled again. So Serwer advises the “opposition” to bang on pans in the middle of the night.

Three interventionists, with one, Serwer, opining that intervention is impractical now so that we have to hope we can effect regime change through diplomatic means. The idea that we have no right to intervene in Syria is not even discussed. The anti-interventionist view is not even considered. Humanitarian Imperialism holds sway in the corridors of NPR.

NPR is one of the main opinion shapers for the intelligentsia in the US, and hence a very valuable asset for the Empire. What is an anti-interventionist to do?   This writer has stopped contributing.  If I want to listen to the occasional decent show (Car Talk is the only thing that comes to mind.), then I take heart in the fact that my tax dollars more than cover that one hour a week.

John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com




21 Responses to “NPR Propaganda Watch. Faux Debate on U.S. Role in Syria.”

  1. NPR, Nationalist Propaganda Regurgitators, can be counted on to roll over and play the good doggie with the administration. A more faithful poodle one could only wish for.

  2. When they are in a winner seat they do their orchestrated lies for people to believe in their lies, when they are faced with losing what they have created they still lying about the reality and situation on the ground. Thats when they look into their propaganda machinery and NPR is one of those system which indicating the fact that these used and abused info or gatherings are not based on democracy, otherwise all parties who have something to say would have been invited and asked the intelligent questions.

    The bottom line is this, US and EU are after their interests, “empire”, if there is anything left of its “emporium", is after the interests of its system, Capitalism and its vutur-ism, NPR and others are working for the system, they get paid by producing a half true, a falsified story, a theoretical scenario based on half truth and half lies and other matters that works for the system.

    Is like.., if you ask a man that works for MacDonald this question: is this hamburger made of a pure 100% meat, and not processed meat, his answer would be: according to the company is a good hamburger. If his response answers your question then you would eat that hamburger and wait for the impact and consequences don the line, otherwise you would look into hamburgers in general wanting to find out more before you eat it. Unfortunately, this is the social situation in US and EU, the mechanism in propaganda is part of the system, still working for the system to provide you with what they think is right.

  3. Wolfowitz? That ratty little war criminal still wanders our world a free man? There is NO justice. NPR sucks and they suck really REALLY large.

  4. To get the real news you need to tune in to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now or Free Speech Radio News. NPR has been Status Quo with no new ideas or solutions to world problems. The fore mentioned give you the real facts unlike any NPR program.

  5. Do not be silly. NPR and Amy Goodman are increasingly indistinguishable. Goodman cheered on the war on Libya through her constant commentator on it the hawk in dove's feathers, Juan Cole.
    HypocrisyNow! has become one more voice for "humanitarian" imperialism.

  6. Amy Goodman still can't bring herself to question the events of 9/11.

  7. Dear Mr. Walsh:

    I applaud you for your honesty and courage in exposing the propaganda shills of the “Neo-con Public Radio,” a first cousin of the “Neo-con Public Broadcasting System.” I would like to bring to the attention of your readers (perhaps superfluous on my part) the truly excellent article by Helen Redmond, “NPR: the Voices and Views of One Side,” Counterpunch, March 5, 2012, http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/05/npr-the-voices-and-views-of-one-side/. I would like to suggest starting a boycott campaign against these “undeclared” agents of a foreign country, except having never participating in a political campaign before, I do not know how to begin. Any recommendation from you or your readers will be most welcome.

    Best regards,
    Satya

  8. [...] ordinary people in the United States these days are far less hawkish than the Neo-conservative and militant humanitarian crowds. Those who do not want to see more US soldiers and foreign civilians lose their lives in yet [...]

  9. And I will take this a step further. Even in this discussion of war propaganda, vis-a-vis
    npr and democracy now there is one common thread, the producers, commentators
    and all the "talking heads" are first and foremost Zionists(Israeli Firsters.)
    That's it, it's as simple as that. Pay attention to how they rattle on about Hamas, the Gaza strip,
    Syria, Iran and on and on. All lies, all propaganda.

  10. Agree fully, It is a disgrace how npr is doing it; the pomposity of Melissa Block and her cohorts has not bounds. Long time ago when I was still reading Daily Kos, one commenter there also said how unbearable she is. I was shocked to hear that Wolfowitz on the radio as if he was a reputable person, a lier, cheater, criminal. I turned the radio off before they finished their blabbering.

  11. [...] NPR asks three people who want to go to war with Syria what we should do about Syria. [...]

  12. But NPR has NO ADVERTISEMENTS! Just ‘messages’ from their ‘sponsors’…

    What a brilliant system of propaganda: On the ‘Left’ we have NPR and the New York Times for the establishment elite who make the policies.

    On the ‘Right’ there’s Fox News for the unwashed masses who pay for the wars and do the dying and killing.

    In the ‘Middle’, with their cartoonish graphics and ‘internet reporters’, CNN aims for schoolchildren and young adults who have yet to be assigned to either group.

  13. NPR becomes more corrupted and war/murder friendly with every passing day…. Far too many of it's reporters and commentators hooked on the exceptionalism kool aid…. They have headlines which imply sinister motives to the victims and infer the victimizers are acting morally against (would be) troublemakers…… Their coverage of our mini client &No.1 Welfare State is cloying and suffocating. NPR must mean Neocon Pathological Reasoning……………… Are their ANY Palestinians on NRR..??
    My rating, just above silence………

  14. Wonder how the interveners feel about this? "Russian Anti-Terror Troops Arrive In Syria" http://news.yahoo.com/russian-anti-terror-troops-… Danger Will Robinson!

  15. The USA mainstream news outlets have become what I'd call the "corporate-bin-Laden" media. They are totally complicit in America's Imperial wars(nowadays hiding under the fig-leaf cover of "humanitarian intervention!) I have repeatedly posted anti-Imperialist criticism in response to NPR's foreign policy stories, but apparently the editorial board is deaf to such objective response to their pro-empire slant. Perhaps that's why both the GOP NeoCONs and the Dem NeoLIBs are unified in supporting a "Full Spectrum Dominance," especially the corporate domiinance over the air waves.

  16. I agree completely that NPR is just another propaganda mouthpiece. I was listening one day as I formerly used to all the time and they were interviewing people just like this about some potential invasion and it ran the same way. I at that moment I deprogrammed NPR from my radio and will keep it that way. I have actaully started calling them National Propaganda Radio since that time.
    Never mind not donating, I will only listen to them in the same way I do Rush or Hannity, to see what the fools are being spoon fed to believe today.

  17. I was horrified the other day while listening to the terrible Terri Gross litterally unable to comprehend that the U.S. war in Afghanistan may be morally questionable and the reality we need to at least negotiate with the (admittedly terrible) Taliban forces. Because of the wimmens, you know? You could hear it in her voice the incomprehension that the US and its wars are not the light of the world.

  18. Melissa Block hosted three guests seriatim: the aptly named Anne-Marie Slaughter, former “director of planning” at the State Department. Paul Wolfowitz, architect of the criminal war on Iraq and Daniel Serwer, a former U.S. “special envoy” and “coordinator” for the Bosnian Federation. How is that for a broad spectrum of views?houston spring limo

  19. NPR is one of the main opinion shapers for the intelligentsia in the US, and hence a very valuable asset for the Empire. What is an anti-interventionist to do? This writer has stopped contributing. If I want to listen to the occasional decent show (Car Talk is the only thing that comes to mind.), then I take heart in the fact that my tax dollars more than cover that one hour a week.
    perfect-essaysVery nice..

  20. It's called PR… She's (Goodman) just playing the game. If she actually came out and candidly spoke her mind about these issues she'd be thrown in Guantanamo.. everyone knows that. Everyone knows DN are radicals. But PR is PR.. it has to be formatted and presented in a way that is culturally acceptable. She can't just come out and say shit like that, but you know she knows it. Comparing DN to NPR is intellectual dishonest on par with NPR.

    NPR on the other hand is, by far, the most dangerous media outlet in the US. They are the most intellectually dishonest media outlet in the US. It's specifically targeted to those witAh the propensity for radicalism and completely and very cleverly manages to lull them to sleep and put them back in line as a cog in the machine. NPR is to the educated masses of America (only about ~5% of the populAation at best) what Fox is to the remaining, brain dead, walking dead, zombie, 95% of Americans./

  21. I at that moment I deprogrammed NPR from my radio and will keep it that way. I have actaully started calling them National Propaganda Radio since that time.