Reality Is Collateral Damage in the War to Regain Narrative Control
The myth of American exceptionalism has been busted. An era of global hegemony, fueled by rapacious growth and backed by military muscle, built the world’s largest echo chamber, reassuring Americans of their greatness even as their country crumbled into a shadow of its former self.
The ruling class became complacent, relying upon an increasingly threadbare series of clichés, magic words and images without substance (democracy! humanitarian intervention! tolerance!). These talismans worked to keep us alienated and powerless: too scared to speak up when we did.
Then came 2016. Too late, the ruling class realized that the powers they had harnessed after 9/11 to shred the Constitution and impose police-state totalitarianism could not be taken for granted and might even have escaped their control, particularly with the rise of social media facilitating the dissemination of alternate narratives even as it enabled the unprecedented growth of the surveillance state.
In an effort to stop reality from poisoning the narrative, President Barack Obama authorized the establishment of a Ministry of Truth (the Center for Information Analysis and Response) as he walked out the door in December 2016, his parting gift to a government in the throes of utter existential panic – but it was too little, too late.
Narrative supremacy has become such a crutch for our foreign and domestic policies that the country is no longer capable of functioning if when we say jump! the rest of the world does not obediently shout how high?
Thus, what was supposed to be a morale-boosting quickie regime-change operation to cheer up the rank and file on the road to Tehran – the overthrow of Nicolas Maduro’s sanctions-starved socialist state in Venezuela, the oil-rich fly in the ointment of “our own backyard” – has become just another entry on a long list of ignominious failures.
Even the truest of true believers can no longer pretend that the US is in the business of spreading democracy – not when all the evidence and information available points the other way. The only remedy left for the “sole superpower” is to cut off the flow of information entirely and build an informational Iron Dome, an epistemological missile shield capable of withstanding all truth.
Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?
Lazy propaganda is largely to blame for the lapse in narrative superiority. The same tawdry psy-ops are recycled again and again, as we see now in Venezuela, where Iran-Contra felon and smirking genocide enthusiast Elliott Abrams has been wheeled out of cold storage to work his death-squad magic on a population we’ve already tried and failed to hypnotize with the promises of neoliberalism.
Just as the one-two punch of fake Iranian revolutions made the fatal error of running the same script twice in most “protesters’” lifetimes, the attempt to overthrow Maduro comes less than two decades after the US-backed effort to overthrow Chavez – also led by Abrams – and it’s not fooling anyone.
It doesn’t help that the total nobody they picked to lead the charge was a stranger to 80% of all Venezuelans, or that John Bolton couldn’t even keep from blurting out the truth – that this entire pantomime of humanitarian intervention is being conducted to pillageVenezuela’s sweet, sweet oil, which has the gall to sit beneath one of the last socialist holdouts in the western hemisphere.
The Kissinger Chicago School-style, “make the economy scream” model that worked so well in Chile and Argentina fell flat in Venezuela in 2002 – the people did not trust an opposition movement willing to tank the economy in order to take over, and refused to vote for the barbarians at the gate, no matter how slickly produced their “revolution.” With even Washington’s subservient allies in the Lima Group refusing to back military action, elections would be Trump’s only way to climb out of this hole gracefully, short of Libya-style indiscriminate slaughter – and that option is far too tempting for a country whose very existence is an affront to neoliberalism, as evidenced by the chillingly sociopathictweets of Marco Rubio.
With Abrams at the helm, we know what’s next. There will be no graceful extrication.
Trump has said over and over that there’s no going back, and the loss of face after such a public coup attempt would make him a laughingstock among his neocon pals, if not his dwindling base.
Abrams’ Central American genocides of the 1980s are not forgotten, and the same old script is playing out – Venezuelan authorities have already caught a CIA-linked airline unloading crates of weapons bound for the opposition in Valencia.
Buying elections is not an option – Venezuela’s electoral system is markedly less corrupt than the American model, and the slickly-produced Juan Guaido – who might as well have been grown in a vat at Langley – would never prevail in an electoral contest.
The Lima Group – a body created with the sole purpose of de-legitimizing Maduro’s government! – will not green-light the military invasion the US is so desperately itching to conduct as its regime-change operation melts down. Even Brazil – whose leader, Jair Bolsonaro, served under the last crop of military dictatorships imposed on the country and prefers such a model to democracy – has categorically refused to allow US forces to use its borderlands as a staging ground for invasion.
A UN resolution calling for Maduro to step down was blocked last week. Absent a spectacular false flag – not really Abrams’ specialty – only a sustained, high-level propaganda campaign can win the hearts and minds of the “broad coalition” Bolton now says the administration wants.
One must give the establishment media credit for working with the few scraps of plausibility they’re thrown – CNN has featured entire segments on Venezuelan military defectors who are neither Venezuelan, nor in the military. We are told again and again they are eating dogs, they are eating zoo animals, they are eating rats (the “babies flung out of incubators” Wag the Dog myth of the 21st century).
Wikipedia, Facebook and Instagram all stamped their seal of approval on Guaido the moment he became the Emperor Norton of the southern hemisphere – sometimes before. Richard Branson was pressed into service, bringing his (uneaten) dog-and-pony show to town as soundtrack to the Standoff On The Bridge that was supposed to be Maduro’s Waterloo. The myth unraveled quickly as the opposition was caught on film fire-bombing a USAID truck, then trying to blame the conflagration on Maduro’s forces.
Maduro staged his own musical intervention to drown out Branson’s sparsely-attended PR stunt. Colombian hirelings and provocateurs threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the looming squadron of US aid delivery vehicles (cluelessly labeled USAID – as if everyone in South America isn’t aware of what it means when USAID shows up in your country) while Guaido’s “human avalanche” evaporated into a trickle when the Boy Wonder himself vanished at the height of the action. The Abrams brigade was caught disguising themselves as Red Cross workers, lest a distinct brand lead to White Helmets-style infamy if one were to be caught mid-atrocity.
Venezuelan foreign minister Jorge Arreaza accused the US of staging the bombing of the aid convoy and exposed the “humanitarian” fraud for what it is – a pastiche of photo-ops, “crumbs” of spoiled food, expired medicine, barricade-construction materials, and weapons for the opposition framed as manna from heaven; the Venezuelan regime depicted as selfish and self-sabotaging, valuing their pride over the full bellies of their people. Meanwhile, millions of dollars in aid continues to pour in from Russia, Turkey, China, and other countries that aren’t interested in installing a pliable puppet to plunder petroleum. The Potemkin aid supply operation – complete with fake crowd numbers for Branson’s concert, fake atrocities to protest against, even fake terrorist collaborators (watch Rapture Mike Pompeo bloviate about Hezbollah) – would have been laughable if it were not so deadly serious.
The UN human rights rapporteur Alfred De Zayas has exposed the fraud that is the Venezuelan “humanitarian crisis,” demanding the US answer for its own violations of international law in creating the situation.
“I see human rights more and more being instrumentalized to destroy human rights,” he told Abby Martin – not the UN, which isn’t interested in hearing his recommendation to haul the US before the International Criminal Court for the sanctions he calls a “crime against humanity” as well as its violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty.
This is to say nothing of Venezuela’s stolen gold, a crime which bodes ill for every other country that has ever stored its bullion with the Bank of England. Even Australia, one of the Five Eyes, has never been permitted to fully audit its gold reserves there, raising the question: does the City of London no longer care, with the dollar due to collapse at any minute, whether its customers find it trustworthy? Or has the gold long since been sold or traded to points east?
“Progressive” stooges are deployed at home to sell this war to Americans, and the 2020 hopefuls (except Tulsi Gabbard) have all scored media points shilling for regime change. Bernie Sanders, whose last act as a 2016 candidate was to sell his supporters out to his erstwhile enemy Hillary Clinton, has dragged his feet jumping on the regime-change bandwagon, but at the same time refuses to support Maduro – despite ostensibly sharing his socialist values. Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressives’ Great Brown Hope, has been less than forthcoming in her support for Maduro and the poor Venezuelans whose interests he represents.
But then, she’s more Guaido’s hue anyway. Not even the most virulently anti-Trump US lawmakers are willing to publicly question the idea that putting a loaded gun to a country’s head and demanding they swear fealty to a total stranger is “democracy.” Twitter, ever the helpful servant of the ruling class, deleted thousands of pro-Maduro accounts in January in an effort to manufacture consent while permitting doxxing and hacking attacks on pro-regime entities and even the Venezuelan currency itself by a dodgy group of Venezuelan expats called DolarToday – the very “coordinated inauthentic behavior” Maduro’s supporters are blamed for. Facebook and Instagram signed off on Guaido’s legitimacy with blue check-marks they withheld from Maduro – and Wikipedia declared Guaido President before Guaido had a chance to do it himself. The propaganda operation is running at full capacity, 24/7 – so why isn’t it working?
Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
This article was originally published on the author’s blog site: Helen of desTroy.
Helen Buyniski is a journalist and photographer based in New York City. Her work has appeared on RT, Progressive Radio Network, and Veterans Today. Helen has a BA in Journalism from New School University and also studied at Columbia University and New York University. Find more of her work at http://www.helenofdestroy.com and http://firstname.lastname@example.org. She is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
All images in this article are from Helen of desTroy