Storytellers For The State
By Chris Rossini
My belief is that the United States government should not be intervening militarily in the Middle East, or anywhere else in the world. No foreign entanglements. No U.S. troops stationed anywhere in the world.
Everything that I write (and you can go back to the very first word that I've typed) is consistent with that stance. No waffling, no "yeah, but", and no exceptions. The contributions that I make to advancing the ideas of Liberty do not rest on a foundation of sand.
My beliefs are obviously the polar opposite of the government's. They seek to rule the world militarily, and have a cadre, known as the mainstream media, to narrate stories to the American public.
If the government wants (A), the mainstream media goes to work on weaving stories in support of (A).
Now...government almost always fails to achieve its stated objectives. It's constantly taking one situation and making it worse. It then moves on the ruin something else...ad infinitum.
This leaves the mainstream media storytellers in an awkward position. They have to constantly change their storylines. They have to make excuses as to why they supported (A) before, but it didn't work out, so blah...blah...blah.
Basically, to be a storyteller for the mainstream media, you can't have any sound principles other than your loyalty to whatever the government wants you to say. Pre-Internet, that was a sweet deal. No one could check your work. Today, you end up looking like a fool.
Let's focus on a well-known storyteller: Thomas Friedman from The New York Times.
Just a few months ago, on Dec. 17, 2014, Friedman was setting the Iranians straight. I want to warn you that he speaks like a collectivist, so do your best to follow along without losing your lunch:
Strip away the details of the Iran deal and, at its core, Kerry is offering Tehran this choice: Do you want to be a big North Korea or a Persian China? If you want your power and influence to be defined by how many nuclear weapons you can make, you can do that, but you will be a big failed state, largely isolated from the rest of the world, with your people never able to realize their full potential. If you want your greatness to be defined by the talent and energy of your people — which will be fully unleashed once sanctions are removed and they can reintegrate with the world after 34 years of semi-isolation — you’ll have to abandon all nuclear enrichment except for limited research and electrical needs. You choose. A better deal is not coming.
Friedman had his peacock feathers on full display.
In today's column (again just 3 months later) Friedman sings a different tune:
In the brutal Middle East, the only thing that gets anyone’s attention is the threat of regime-toppling force. Obama has no such leverage on Iran.
It was used up in Afghanistan and Iraq, wars that have left our military and country so exhausted that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big U.S. land army into the Middle East “should have his head examined.” Had those wars succeeded, the public today might feel differently. But they didn’t. Geopolitics is all about leverage, and we are negotiating with Iran without the leverage of a credible threat of force. The ayatollahs know it. Under those circumstances, I am sure the Obama team will try to get the best deal it can. But a really good deal isn’t on the menu.
Did the disasters of Afghanistan & Iraq just dawn on Friedman in the last three months? Was he unaware of them? Of course not. His job is to say whatever is expedient at the time.
In fact, Friedman helped to champion the Iraq invasion! The very same invasion that has"left our military and country so exhausted". Back then, the expedient thing was to drum up the war. His job was to tell the story. Here he was, telling it:
...what we needed to do was go over to that part of the world...and burst that bubble. We needed to go over there...and take out a very big stick, right in the heart of that world, and burst that bubble. ... What they needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house from Basra to Baghdad and basically saying 'which part of this sentence don't you understand? You don't think we care about our open society? You think this bubble fantasy, that we're just going to let it grow? Well suck on this.'
As I pointed out at the beginning, there are choices that each of us must make. Either latch onto the truth, and refuse to yield, or twist and turn through a never-ending chain of nonsense.
The mainstream media consists exclusively of taking the latter path. The results are as ugly as the government that they serve.