How America Does Regime-Change Propaganda
In the case of Saddam Hussein, it was by lying about “WMD” and about Saddam’s being behind Al Qaeda.
In the case of Muammar Qaddafi, it was by lying about Qaddafi’s being hated (instead of supported) by most Libyans.
In the case of Bashar al-Assad, it was by lying about Assad’s being hated (instead of supported) by most Syrians.
In the case of Xi Jinping, it is by lying about Xi’s being a dictator.
In the case of Vladimir Putin, it is by lying about Putin’s being a dictator.
However, all such allegations, except the case against Saddam, were irrelevant under international law, and provided no legal basis for an invasion or sanctions by any foreign country. (Furthermore, all of those allegations were lies.) Regarding Iraq, the U.S. regime lied to allege the presence of a nuclear-bomb program there, and this allegation pertained to America’s own national security; so, that allegation concerning Iraq would have been a possible justification to invade, if it hadn’t been a lie. (Truthfulness is always a requirement under international law.) But in the other instances, no danger to America’s national security was even being alleged. The U.S. regime alleged that the foreign leaders it wanted to overthrow were ‘violating the human rights of the people’ there, but the U.S. Government routinely violates the human rights of its own population and imprisons a higher percentage of them than any other country — including all of the ones it criticizes — does; so, any such allegation by the U.S. regime is perhaps even worse than a pot calling the kettle black, because this particular “pot” is blacker than any of the others. What foreign countries say about ‘human rights’ in any other country provides no grounds in international law for the accusing country to invade that country. If a given national leader should be replaced, that regime-change shouldn’t be foreign-imposed (for example, America and its allies — the champions of foreign regime-change operations — should have nothing to do with it), but instead it should be done only by patriots within that given nation — and not assisted (much less instigated) by the CIA, MI6, or etc., since that would make it be imperialism. A basic principle of international law is that law within any nation doesn’t fall within the purview of international law: it’s simply not an international matter. International law is supposed to concern only international relations — no internal (domestic) matters (unless the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council specify there to be an exception — such as if they rule that a genocide is being perpetrated within a given nation). Other countries (such as the rulers of America) might not like the ruler of a given nation, but this doesn’t give those foreigners any right to perpetrate regime-change there, such as the U.S. and its allies routinely do (and have done ever since 1948).
Consequently: the way that America and its allies do sanctions, coups, invasions, and other regime-change operations, is by deceiving their own publics — it is always being done by means of propaganda, lying to their own people. To this extent, any imperialistic nation is actually a regime, not a democracy, because imperialism is always, and even intrinsically, based upon lies, which the given nation’s rulers use in order to fool their own citizenry, so that those ‘citizens’ are actually those rulers’ “subjects,” not authentically citizens, of that actual dictatorship. (And then they lie by referring to their subjects as ‘citizens’, instead of as “subjects,” so as to be able to continue fooling them throughout the future, to continue the myth of their own nation’s being a ‘democracy’.)
The foreign-imposed regime-change operations are always based upon lying. It’s the basic tool of any dictatorship. And the public never learns that they’ve been suckered by their rulers.
That’s why it happens again and again, and the public fall for it again and again. The public never learn from their own government’s lying; they just fall for it, again and again. They trust their Government, ‘their’ ‘democracy’, and its ‘news’-media (actually propaganda-media).
In the world today, what country doesn’t call itself a “democracy”? Do any democracies actually exist? A nation that engages in imperialism is certainly a dictatorship — its government lies routinely, to its own subjects. That cannot be a democracy. A ‘democracy’ that’s built upon lies is a dictatorship. Democracy can be built only upon the public’s being truthfully informed regarding every issue that’s of governmental importance. Does such a nation exist? Where does it exist?
The biggest lying is done about international matters. Unfortunately, most people don’t care about international matters, but only about domestic (or intranational) matters. So, it’s easy for dictators who rule an imperialistic regime to fool their public — i.e., to enslave them mentally. It’s what the public there are actually accustomed to.
Let’s take, as an example, the case by the American regime against Russia’s leader, Putin. America and its allies allege that Alexei Navalny, who has long aspired to replace Putin as Russia’s leader, is in prison in Russia because Navalny is so popular there that in a fair-and-square election, Navalny would beat Putin.
The dominant public image of Navalny in the United States and in its allied countries is that of his being an anti-corruption campaigner in a very corrupt Russia, and his being Russia’s most-popular opponent against Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, and therefore blocked by Putin from running against Putin, and who has even been poisoned by Putin, but — amazingly — survived that poisoning by Putin, and is therefore now being imprisoned by Putin, so as to prevent Navalny from being able to run against Putin in a free and fair democratic election in Russia.
However, the dominant public image of the Russian Alexei Navalny inside Russia is that of his being a CIA-MI6 asset who is a racist-fascist traitor who would sell-out his country for anything so long as he could become its leader, just like Benedict Arnold was in early U.S. history, when the then U.S. Vice President Arnold worked with the intelligence services of Britain’s King George III in order to become America’s leader so as to restore the United States to British control. (That ploy, by Arnold, failed, of course.)
Typical of the view regarding Navalny that’s popular in the U.S. and in its allied countries is a news-report from Reuters on May 6th, titled “Defiant but cornered: Jailed Kremlin critic Navalny’s movement is on the ropes”. It opens:
He has been poisoned, jailed and his close aides are either being prosecuted or have fled abroad. His anti-Kremlin opposition movement is now also likely to soon be outlawed as extremist.
Yet Alexei Navalny and his supporters continue to work on ways to remain a thorn in President Vladimir Putin’s side, even as one of his most important financial backers says the movement in its current form is finished and will take time to rebound.
In the eyes of the Kremlin, the only half-meaningful political weapon the Navalny camp has left is its campaign for tactical, or what it calls “smart” voting against the ruling United Russia party in a parliamentary election in September, according to three people close to the Russian authorities.
Navalny’s supporters are set to be barred from that election via a court case, due to unfold later this month, and planned legislation unveiled on the parliamentary website on Tuesday that would ban “extremists” from running for office.
A court, meeting in secret, is considering a request from Moscow prosecutors to have Navalny’s network designated “extremist” for allegedly plotting a revolution, state media have reported. Russia’s financial monitoring agency has already added the network to a list on its website of groups involved in “terrorism and extremism”.
In response, Navalny’s movement has redoubled its call for sympathisers to vote for other opposition parties in September, however unpalatable they may consider them.
Typical of the view of Navalny that is popular inside Russia itself are the following:
An RT news-report on 1 February 2021 headlined “Top Navalny aide asked alleged British spy for millions in funding, intelligence video released by Russia’s FSB claims to reveal”. Back in 2012, Russia’s equivalent of America’s FBI had a hidden camera in position filming, and recording, Navalny’s top aide trying to persuade a person he thought to be an MI6 (UK’s CIA) agent that MI6 should annually donate tens of millions of dollars to Navalny’s organization because doing this would provide billions of dollars of benefit to UK corporations if Navalny would then succeed and become Russia’s leader.
Navalny is also known in Russia as a far-right ethnic supremacist. Here is a video that he posted to youtube on 19 September 2007, under the title of “НАРОД за легализацию оружия” meaning “PEOPLE for the legalization of weapons”:
He was saying there that all Russians should get guns in order to kill Muslims who are infesting Russia, which would be like swatting big flies or stamping on big cockroaches. Later, he decided that demagoguing against Russia’s “corruption” was far likelier to win him the backing of the U.S and its allies than demagoguing against Russia’s Muslims would. This was when U.S.-and-allied ‘news’-media began presenting him as the ‘democratic’ alternative to Vladimir Putin, who has always been vastly more favorably viewed by Russians than Navalny has been. On 5 September 2020, right before the latest Russian Presidential election, the internationally respected Levada polling organization in Russia reported that the top choice of Russians to lead the country was Putin at 56%, the second-from-top choice was Zhirinovsky at 5%, and Alexey Navalny (shown there as Алексей Навальный), was the third-from-top choice, at 2%. In the 2018 Presidential election, Zhirinovsky polled at 13.7%, Grudinin polled at 12.0%, and Putin polled at 72.6%. The actual election-outcome was Putin 76.69%, Grudinin 11.7%, and Zhirinovsky 5.65%. There were many polls and Navalny was never any serious contender for Russia’s Presidency. The U.S. regime lies as it usually does (at least about international matters).
That’s what Russians know about Navalny. And, of course, it’s very different from what the publics in U.S.-and-allied countries know (or, at least, believe) about him.
Here is some recent propaganda that’s published by U.S.-and-allied regimes about Navalny:
On May 22nd, Japan Times ran a Reuters report, “How Russia’s new gulag tries to break convicts like Alexei Navalny”.
On May 23rd, the Wall Street Journal headlined “Russia’s Navalny Fights to Stay in Public Eye in Putin Standoff”.
On May 4th, the Washington Post columnist Vladimir Kara-Murza headlined “Russia just took a big step back toward the Soviet Union”, and said: “Last week, for the first time since the Soviet era, the Kremlin officially classified opposition to its rule as a criminal offense. … Moscow prosecutors suspended the activities of the nationwide organization of Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent. Navalny is currently incarcerated in a prison camp after surviving a state-sponsored assassination attempt last year.”
Navalny, though he actually is favorably viewed by only around 2% of Russians (as indicated in polls there), is widely publicized in U.S.-and-allied media as having instead the highest support by the Russian people of anyone who might challenge Vladimir Putin for Russia’s leadership. It’s a lie, and always has been. Other politicians have far higher polled support in Russia. For example, a Russian poll conducted in the days following Alexey Navalny’s alleged novichok poisoning showed the following level of support for him then, if a Russian election for President would be held at that time: Vladimir Putin 56%, Vladimir Zhirinkovsky 5%. Alexei Navalny 2%. In the 2018 Presidential election, Zhirinovsky polled at 13.7%, Grudinin polled at 12.0%, and Putin polled at 72.6%. The actual election-outcome was Putin 76.69%, Grudinin 11.7%, and Zhirinovsky 5.65%. There were many polls and Navalny was never any serious contender for Russia’s Presidency. The U.S. regime lies as it usually does (at least about international matters).
To say that Navalny has enough public supporters for him to have become elected as Russia’s President is like alleging that the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke had enough public supporters for him to have become elected as America’s President.
But some people in America still think that Saddam Hussein was hiding WMD in 2002.
This is how America does regime-change propaganda, every time: lies.
These lies come from the regime that spends around half of all of the entire world’s military spending, and the regime that imprisons the world’s highest percentage of its subjects (or ‘citizens’). It’s the ‘land of the free’, and exports its ‘freedom and democracy’ everywhere.
And that’s how America does regime-change operations: by sheer lies.
Like all imperialism throughout history, it’s based on lies — propaganda. And, like in all imperialistic regimes throughout history, their public believe these lies, every time, time after time. They don’t learn the truth, because they’re never taught the truth. (Dissenters are suppressed, not hired. In any dictatorship, the financial incentives support the liars, not the truth-tellers.)
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.