Fake News as Washington’s Weapons
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Let no one think that using falsehoods as a pivot for the projection and execution of U.S. foreign policy is an innovation or a novel contribution by Donald Trump. This has been a tradition in Washington’s foreign policy since the explosion of the Spanish battleship Maine in 1898 in Havana, which led to the U.S. declaring war on the Spanishmonarchy and whose aftermath was the rise of U.S. imperialism.
In 1997, the release of the feature film WAG THE DOG, a free adaptation of Larry Beinhart’s novel “American Hero”, starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro and directed by Barry Levinson, was very successful in the United States.
The film is about a spin doctor and a film producer who are inventing a war to distract voters’ attention from a sex scandal that would hamper the re-election of the President of the United States. The film was released a month before the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the subsequent bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory by the Clinton administration and generated numerous comparisons of reality with the film.
On tape, the President is caught falling in love with a young minor in the Oval Office two months before the election. The spin doctor decides to draw the public’s attention with a fictitious war against Albania in order to draw its media attention to this conflict by diverting it from the White House.
The deception initially takes effect by moving the election statistics in favor of the President. But then this clashes with the interests of the CIA, which favors the opposition candidate. All this then is complicated by a succession of dirt and perversions typical of American politics.
Fake news has become a “fourth generation” weapon. Inserted into the new information technology scenarios, it surpasses them widely in scope and validity, given that the scenario in which it is poured exponentially surpasses the level of dissemination of content through the computer media of social networks, where the false becomes true.
An example of recent false news used as weapons of war has been the case of acoustic attacks against U.S. embassy officials in Cuba.
This fake news was denied in many ways, including by an investigation conducted at the University of Michigan by researcher Kevin Fu. He determined that the alleged attacks “were caused by interference between two ultrasound sources very close to those affected: one, a listening and spying device; the other, an ultrasonic blocker of the device. In other words, it was the very espionage activities that the Americans carried out inside their embassy that caused the acoustic attacks that affected their own diplomatic officials.
A large number of previous verifications had confirmed the fallacy, but the aim of this fake news was not to rectify something, but to provoke tension and break ties between Washington and Havana in line with the political objectives of the Trump regime.
Another recent case was that of the poisoning in England of the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The Russian government was automatically accused, allegedly the only producer of a chemical known as Novichok, which – it became known – is not only produced by Russian laboratories, but can be produced in several British laboratories. This showd that the treacherous accusation sought to discredit the Kremlin.
Worse still, there has been the alleged chemical attack by Syria on the city of Douma, recently liberated by the Syrian Arab Army from occupation by terrorist forces supported by the United States. A team of journalists from the U.S.-based One America News Network (OAN)-which is a purely conservative source of guidance and audience and supports Donald Trump-visited Douma. They publicly stated that it had found no evidence of the chemical attack which allegedly took place on April 7, making a mockery of its President.
The self-esteem of the US superpower’s foreign policy must be in a very bad way when it has to resort over and over again to falsehoods and manipulations to try to keep the idea of the invincibility of the US empire in the collective imagination.
May 3, 2018.