October 05, 2014

America's perception management of Europe

Cartoon of Barack Obama by Morten Morland
Glenn Greenwald wrote in October 2012:
"It is almost certainly the case that an Obama-led attack on Iran would generate far more public support than a Romney-led attack, because most Democrats will almost certainly cheer for the former while pretending to be horrified by the latter, will while Republicans would support both (that's the dynamic that made the very same "counter-terrorism" policies that were so divisive in the Bush years become wildly popular once Obama embraced them)."

And what's most fascinating, Greenwald said:
"That's true on the international level as well. Recall the 2008 CIA report fretting about growing anti-war sentiment in western Europe and concluding that the best weapon to safeguard against its continuation would be the election of Obama. That's because, the CIA presciently realized, Obama's election would massively increase public support for US wars because it would be a kind, sophisticated, progressive constitutional scholar rather than a swaggering, evangelical Texas cowboy who would be the face of them."
On Salon, Greenwald had in 2010 earlier explained:
"A newly leaked CIA report prepared earlier this month (.pdf) analyzes how the U.S. Government can best manipulate public opinion in Germany and France — in order to ensure that those countries continue to fight in Afghanistan."

"The Report highlights the unique ability of Barack Obama to sell war to European populations."
Then Greenwald says:
"It’s both interesting and revealing that the CIA sees Obama as a valuable asset in putting a pretty face on our wars in the eyes of foreign populations. It is odious — though, of course, completely unsurprising — that the CIA plots ways to manipulate public opinion in foreign countries in order to sustain support for our wars."
This is the "perception management" which the aforementioned CIA Report proposes the U.S. do with regard to the citizenry of the allied countries.

Greenwald said:
"The need for independent leaks and whistle-blowing exposures is particularly acute now because, at exactly the same time that investigative journalism has collapsed, public and private efforts to manipulate public opinion have proliferated. This is exemplified by the type of public opinion management campaign detailed by the above-referenced CIA Report, the Pentagon’s TV propaganda program exposed in 2008, and the ways in which private interestscovertly pay and control supposedly “independent political commentators” to participate in our public debates and shape public opinion."
My blog on Hitchens and his excoriating, coruscating attack on Barack Obama's being awarded the Nobel peace prize here:
"We thus find ourselves in a rather peculiar universe where good intentions are rewarded before they have undergone the strenuous metamorphosis of being translated into good deeds or hard facts and it becomes increasingly difficult to entertain the suspicion that there is something explicitly political in the underlying process of Nobelista decision making."
Glenn Greenwald said:
"People who exercise power inevitably abuse it when they can wield it in secret. They inevitably lie about what they do when they can act in the dark. This is just basic human nature, and applies even to the most kind-hearted leaders, even ones who are charming and wonderful family men. This is what makes pervasive secrecy and a lack of oversight and accountability so dangerous. It's what makes it particularly dangerous when the powers in question are ones highly susceptible to abuse, such as the power to target people for execution."
As Molly Crabapple said the US likes "their dissidents foreign." "[America toasts] hell-raisers abroad, and clamp down on hell-raisers at home."

Have a little look at the Republican ballot security movement. But this is where we are now, from a model of probity and strength, to a pygmy of stasis and incompetence.

Compare and contrast the two cartoons, one being when Obama came into office and the other of him 5 years deep.

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