Good day, Medium readers, I hope you’re continuing to learn a lot about our world. We’ve never had it so good, in terms of access to world media.
When at Princeton in the 1970s, I considered myself a member of the pampered elite, training to give back, because I could read three week old newspapers from Pakistan. Now I can watch newscasts from all over the world, minutes later, thanks to Youtube and other conduits.
Before I’m accused of sowing discord, let me confess I travel with Church of Subgenius, a cult with roots in the Discordia movement. Before planting a next crop, one must turn the soil.
Few people plow anymore, or sow anything. Agricultural science has taken a back seat to computer science in our urban-based civilization, but don’t expect that to last.
These two sciences are on convergent pathways, given advances in genetic science and ecology. Besides, food is medicine.
The discord I’m talking about relates to the recent blow up (you may remember) between Tulsi Gabbard, an Hawaiian, like Obama, running for president of the United States in the 2020 race, and Hillary Clinton, who lost to president Trump in 2016.
The Obama-Hillary camp didn’t see how such a businessman bozo could beat them without expert help from a bona fide intelligence service, which had to mean Russians. Trump was a Russian tool for sowing discord and disrupting the neoliberal consensus. That would have to be the story.
After one of the CNN debates among candidates seeking the endorsement of the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton declared Tulsi Gabbard a member of her enemy’s camp. Tulsi shot back that she’s the loyal one, whereas she called Hillary the Queen of the Warmongers. The Democratic Party had just split down the middle.
That’s around the same time RT ran its mocking segment on #KPT (Kremlin Talking Points) and suggested a new Wikipedia page for this very meme.
People started hearing that Tulsi was parroting a set of talking points that were running counter to the Clinton talking points. What emerged was more emphasis on “talking points” as the salient arguments made by any debating team. If one couldn’t stick to a set of talking points, but kept shifting ground, this could be evidence of an upgrade in progress, or of running out of ideas. Time would tell. Tulsi had already upgraded several times, but had Hillary?
The Clinton Crowd initially started losing the debate when Sy Hersh documented a “rat line” carrying weapons from Libya to Turkey-Syria, including chemical weapons. The plan was to catch Syrian president Assad using such weapons, even after Assad had strategically surrendered his chemical weapons arsenal to the United Nations.
President Assad could see he might be framed, and officially joining the consensus that chemical weapons should be banned, was like an insurance policy, should he be accused of using them, as he would be.
A lot of people had little time to actually follow the raw footage, as White Helmets and others staged this or that mini-drama, amidst the reality of the actual bombings.
Prong two was to make the Russians complicit with Syria in the use of chemical weapons, with the novichok meme planted earlier, and a storyboard carefully worked out. There’d be collusion, in people’s minds.
However that storyboard did not bear fruit as planned and had to be rescue-managed through increasing complexities, including finding the two suspects had real identities. The two tourists, supposedly undercover, had heard Salisbury was a great place. Getting British citizens to scoff at this notion was difficult, as many secretly feel the same way.
Instead of witnessing a sinister dark side, we were treated to the awkward forward-lurching towards war of some rather amateur pranksters, caught red handed doing dastardly deeds.
The professional militaries did not, and still do not, want to blow everything up over botched psyops, and have to work closely to keep the suicide boys (and girls) from having their way.
Obviously that’s not a narrative all obedient (in the sense of loyal) media outlets wish to share. Most TV personalities do not have time to independently investigate, and stick to talking points. Others simply feel duty-bound to never second guess “our” pretext for firing cruise missiles from the Mediterranean, over Damascus, with no declaration of war from Congress.
If I were looking for an impeachable offense, that would be it. All completely against Kellogg-Briand. However that would mean applying the higher standards of a more civilized age, whereas we have paradoxically descended into barbarism, commensurate with the indiscriminate use of lethal weapons. The show must go on regardless. Welcome to Planet of the Apes.