Conversation with Cory Morningstar and Vanessa Beeley
THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world. – Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928) 
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Since at least as far back as World War I, propaganda has been a major force in our lives, and a critical factor shaping public support for foreign policy.
With time, this propaganda campaign has gotten more sophisticated. Consider, for example, the 1991 Persian Gulf War, acceptance of which was ramped up following a testimony of an alleged witness of atrocities by invading Iraqi soldiers. The incident was eventually exposed as a massive deception as explained in the following video by Canadian journalist Barrie Zwicker.
The current conflict in Syria would seem to reveal an unprecedented evolution of this process of mind control in service of imperial conquest.
The general public throughout the West, including many self-described progressives and anti-imperialists, see the Syrian conflict as a civil war. An uprising of democratic rebels against a tyrannical dictator. The Syrian regime, together with the Russian military are, apparently, the main cause of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians and the dislocation of millions. He stands accused of using chemical weapons on his own people on two occasions, once in 2013, and later in the spring of 2018.
Enter the White Helmets – a team of volunteers rescuers whose exploits have impressed the sympathetic masses as heroes. A documentary about them won an Oscar Award. They have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. They have also helped foster popular enmity toward president Assad and his government.
As revealed in past episodes of the Global Research News Hour, the Syrian conflict is not a civil war, but an insurgency, backed by the U.S., Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. Articles in the independent press have debunked claims of the government’s use of chemical weapons.
As for the White Helmets, reporters like Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley have revealed them to be a propaganda construct, aligned with the terrorist factions in the country and actually putting together fake videos with the intent of demonizing President Assad and pushing for a U.S. intervention.
An elaborate apparatus has been put in place to protect the Assad-as-bad-guy narrative. Reporters putting forward an alternative narrative on Syria have faced doxxing, smears, defamation and deplatforming. Several journalists working for mainstream and even some alternative publications have put out articles portraying these challengers of the official story as ‘conspiracy theorists’, agents of Bachar al Assad or Russia, and even ‘antisemites.’
This episode of the Global Research News Hour will focus on this network of well financed interests and how they are manufacturing consent for the overthrow of governments in the Middle East with Syria as a case study.
Our guests for the hour are two of the independent journalists who have invited the scorn of the Empire as well as from advocates for social and environmental justice. Their names are Cory Morningstar and Vanessa Beeley.
Over the course of the program, they discuss the crimes of the White Helmets, the Greta Thunberg phenomenon, the suspicious death of White Helmets founder James Lemesurier, the behaviour of the media, and much more.
Vanessa Beeley is an award-winning independent investigative journalist and photographer who has worked extensively in the Middle East – on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, while also covering the conflict in Yemen since 2015. Vanessa contributes regularly to Mint Press News, Russia Today, UK Column, The Last American Vagabond, Sputnik radio, 21st Century Wire, Global Research and many other independent media outlets.
Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation, and Counterpunch.
(Global Research News Hour episode 280)
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- Edward Bernays (1928) Propaganda, pg 9-10