HomeArticleHow To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings

How To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, our government-funded media outlet, has published an article titled “Australian expat living in Hong Kong throws off business suit to join protest movement“. The entire story is in the headline: some random guy, who ABC keeps anonymous but for the name “Daniel”, has joined the protests in Hong Kong. That’s it. That’s the whole entire bombshell newsworthy news story.

“In Australia we have proper democracy but in Hong Kong, democracy is being slowly eroded away and I’ll try to do whatever I can to try and help the cause,” the anonymous guy told ABC.

This sort of enthusiastic empty non-story cheerleading is typical for western media coverage of the Hong Kong protests so far, while these same media outlets consistently ignore or downplay protests against the government of France, Israel, Honduras, India, Indonesia and any other region that happens to fall within the US-centralized power alliance. It’s an amazingly reliable pattern: the entire western political/media class finds protests and uprisings endlessly fascinating when they are in opposition to governments which haven’t yet been absorbed into the imperial blob like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, pre-collapse Libya, or then-Moscow-aligned Ukraine, but any protests or uprisings within that empire are ignored at best or demonized at worst.

If dissidents in the United States began donning yellow vests and holding aggressive demonstrations in the current media environment, you could safely bet your bottom dollar that they would be ignored for as long as possible and then smeared as fascists, antisemites and/or Russian pawns thereafter. This would happen with absolute certainty.

This very reliable trend in the western media is very interesting, because it also happens to be the known position of the US State Department.

In 2017 a memo was leaked to Politico in which the sniveling John Bolton lackey Brian Hook explained to DC neophyte Rex Tillerson how to perform his job as Secretary of State with regard to human rights violations. Hook explained that the US government must downplay and ignore the human rights violations of US allies like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Philippines while aggressively targeting unabsorbed governments like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea for any allegations of human rights violations on their part.

“In the case of US allies such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines, the Administration is fully justified in emphasizing good relations for a variety of important reasons, including counter-terrorism, and in honestly facing up to the difficult tradeoffs with regard to human rights,” Hook explained in the memo.

“One useful guideline for a realistic and successful foreign policy is that allies should be treated differently — and better — than adversaries,” Hook wrote. “Otherwise, we end up with more adversaries, and fewer allies. The classic dilemma of balancing ideals and interests is with regard to America’s allies. In relation to our competitors, there is far less of a dilemma. We do not look to bolster America’s adversaries overseas; we look to pressure, compete with, and outmaneuver them. For this reason, we should consider human rights as an important issue in regard to US relations with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran.”

This State Department memo is really all you need to understand what’s going on whenever there’s any kind of uprising or conflict in a foreign nation. Hell, it’s almost all you need to understand the dynamics of empire in general. And, combined with the consistent pattern we’ve seen in coverage of protests and uprisings against empire-absorbed governments versus unabsorbed ones, it certainly tells you all you need to know about the state of the western media.

In theory the US Department of State was meant to serve as a counterpart to what was then called the Department of War (later falsely re-titled the “Department of Defense”). In theory the State Department was meant to specialize in peace and diplomacy in the same way the War Department specialized in war. In practice the warmongers just got two war departments.

Understand this one basic concept and you can understand all the hot topic foreign policy issues of any given day: there is an alliance of nations, centralized around US military and economic power, which effectively functions as a single empire. This empire works tirelessly to either absorb unabsorbed governments into its blob, or at least to undermine and marginalize them so they can’t impede the empire’s growth. The goal of the empire is total global domination without causing a nuclear war and without the public noticing that they’re living in an empire. In this sense it’s essentially a silent, slow motion third world war.

I see some of my readers voicing confusion about the protests in Hong Kong, but if you understand the basic dynamic I just described you’ll see that this is really no different from the protests and uprisings we’ve seen in Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Libya and Ukraine: the western political/media class are backing an uprising which benefits the imperial blob and undermines an unabsorbed government. This doesn’t mean that the protesters don’t have grievances or that none of those grievances are legitimate, it just means that you’re being told to cheerlead for an agenda by empire narrative managers solely because your doing so benefits that empire.

So don’t. Refuse to be a pro bono CIA propagandist. This doesn’t mean you need to oppose the protesters in Hong Kong, Venezuela or anywhere else, it just means that the only people who benefit from westerners cheerleading a CIA-approved uprising against an unabsorbed government are your rulers, who work endlessly to manufacture support for pro-empire agendas.

People who don’t get this sometimes tell me that we should “support” the protesters in a given unabsorbed region, but they’re always very reluctant to say what they mean by “support”. Do they mean simply joining the western mass media in uncritically cheerleading for an uprising which benefits western power structures? Do they mean send them money? Weapons? An emotional thumbs-up? Prayers? Getting someone to say what they mean when they say we should “support” the Hong Kong protesters or whomever is like pulling teeth, because it would bring up a lot of cognitive dissonance to actually turn and examine what’s behind the impulse they’re following: narrative management. They’re promoting pro-empire narrative management, and nothing more. And they’re doing this because the empire narrative managers trained them to.

“Centrist” empire loyalists tend to ignore the protests in places like France while amplifying and cheerleading the protests in places like Hong Kong. Right-wing empire loyalists sometimes do it a little differently, actively conflating the Yellow Vests protests with protests in places like Hong Kong despite the very different forces that are at play in those two situations. But in both cases they’re effectively mirroring the same State Department posture that Brian Hook tried to educate into Rex Tillerson in 2017.

Don’t subject yourself to such indignities. If the political/media class is going to propagandize the masses into supporting the advancement of the agendas of the empire, at least make them do it without your help.

___________________________

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Latest comments

  • Recently a clerk in a courthouse indicated to me that there might be something wrong with my brain if I came there expecting justice! Ah the life of a peon in the United States of America:
    https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/the-american-gulag/

  • Please tell us how the “western” imperial propaganda you rightfully denounce differs from the propaganda treatment of mass protest by the Russian (formerly self-styled “Soviet” à la Stalin) and Chinese (self-styled “Communist” à la Mao) Empires.

    • Please tell me how the McShit Sandwich at McDonalds differs from the shit-sandwichs at Burger King and Wendy’s?

      My suggestion: don’t eat shit sandwiches.

    • like the eastern europeans found out after the fall of the berlin wall, “not everything that the communists told us about our communist country was true, but everything that they told us about the capitalist countries have turned out to be true.”

      human systems as praxis of ideologies and philosophy are never perfect, but people need to know the truth about their options so as to make an informed choice, and their choice should be respected. thus, democracy as the process of making the choice is paramount.

  • simple. follow the zionists in the Deep State (state dept + DoD + DoJ + CIA + USAID + Mossad + the pressititutes (NYT / WP / CNN / BBC / guardian / MSNBC / AP / Reuter) + message massagists (hollywood / thinktanks / academia / publishing houses). if you can’t check more than one place, check Council On Foreign Relations. and you know the opposite to what they spew is the truth and the right thing to do. 100% guaranteed.

    • greyzone has already nameark opd the names: there are Simon, Bolton, and their criminal operatives behind Wong, Laid, Leung, etc….

      • “named the names” dammit

    • You pretty much nail it in your comment. Regards Israel’s attack on Lebanon, Syria and Iraq couple days ago – where’s the hyperventilating outrage in the presstitute media? Imagine if Russia or Venezuela did the same thing? The alleged ‘journalists’ would be screaming from the rooftops. What searing hypocrisy.

  • I would be shocked if USA intelligence services were not involved with the HK protests.

  • Just contrast the media coverage of the HK protests with the long running Gilets Jaunes demonstrations in France.
    https://twitter.com/hashtag/GiletsJaunes
    The French protestors have lost limbs, eyes and even their lives. We are coming up to week 42 of the French uprising but it’s not covered by the mass media.
    It’s so obvious as to which of these uprisings is a genuine organic movement

    Perhaps you might care to give the Gilets Jaunes movement some publicity?

  • Wow, Caitlin, a great summing up.
    This should be a required reading in high schools!

  • Just get rid of those people who protest the actions of the masters and owners; throw them in jail:
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/dissent-is-being-criminalized-right-under-our-noses/

    • Or even merely EXPOSE the criminality of the masters and owners. We’ll soon see how the (in)justice system of The Greatest Democracy On Planet Earth “judges” Julian Assange ……….if Mr. Assange survives the (in)justice system of the Second-Greatest Democracy On Planet Earth — the one that colonized and robbed China, India, etc. etc. You know, the one whose flag many of the Molotov-Cocktail-throwing democracy-lovers in Hong Kong are waving.
      ..
      Ahhhhhh, there’s nothing like recent history to expose the bald-faced lies and blatant hypocrisy of those hiding behind the curtains, pulling all the levers and, most importantly, doling out the “money”.

  • There is a logical leap here.
    1. If Western Empire managers cheerlead for uprising X, that is solely because uprising X is in the interest of Western Empire. – true.
    (2. necessary implicit intermediate step: If uprising X is in the interest of the Western Empire, then it is *solely* in the interest of the Western Empire – false)
    3. Hence, if Western Empire managers support uprising X, then support for it is solely in the interest of the Western Empire, and thus A Bad Thing – also false
    .
    The question whether uprising X should be supported at all is separate from the question just what form one’s support should have: merely speaking in favour of the uprising, participating personally or something else.
    .
    The other possible argument would be that not helping or actively subverting the Western Empire is so important that no other considerations and general principles should be paid attention to. I do not and cannot subscribe to that position. Evil in general and specific exponents of it should not be confused, and the degree to which evil is concentrated in specific exponents is all too often extremely exaggerated by people, leading to the betrayal of principles.
    .
    Of the demands of the HK protesters, I cannot but support those for universal suffrage (democratically elected legislature and chief executive) and for the complete and formal retraction of the extradition bill. An inquiry into police brutality is also a reasonable demand. I do not, however, support the violent and provocative methods of the protesters and the demand for an amnesty of all arrested or tried protesters. The prospect that democracy in HK would be a win for the Western Empire and its many unsavoury agents (as legitimately highlighted by the Grayzone) cannot be a reason for me to reject democracy; after all, the very reason why I often find myself opposing the Western Empire and its agents in the first place is that I am an adherent of democratic self-government.
    .
    A separate issue is what western progressive activists should allocate their limited time and resources to. Arguably, causes that are already backed by the Western Empire do not need any independent activism to support them in addition to that. Also, anybody who believes Australia and the West in general already has ‘proper democracy’, so that the most sensible thing that Australians and other westerners can devote their efforts to is to go to other countries and establish it there, is so thoroughly propagandised by the system as to be clueless about the world where s/he lives. Universal suffrage is one necessary condition for real democracy, but it is far from being a sufficient one.

  • Teilhard de Chardin’s amazing words – “someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love” – should no longer be seen as a distant aspiration for some mythic future. What we are talking about now is our today and tomorrow. We will discover the fire of love, or we will be destroyed by the fires of fear. (from A Politics of Love, by Marianne Williamson)

    • Is this the Marianne Williamson you’re talking about?
      https://www.informationliberation.com/?id=60626

      • Hi Ish. We can always find flaws in those we would like to see guide our country. I don’t feel the need for someone who is “perfect” to give us a breather from the likes of Trump. I disagree with Williamson on several issues, including her stance on Israel, but that does not keep me from endorsing her, due to her being right on so any vital issues. If you read her book you will probably find much to agree with there.

        • now i see why you’ve been so passionately trying to discourage people from rising up…

  • …………there is an alliance of nations, centralized around US military and economic power, which effectively functions as a single empire. This empire works tirelessly to either absorb unabsorbed governments into its blob, or at least to undermine and marginalize them so they can’t impede the empire’s growth. The goal of the empire is total global domination without causing a nuclear war and without the public noticing that they’re living in an empire. In this sense it’s essentially a silent, slow motion third world war.”
    ..
    IMO that is an accurate description of reality. I would add to that description of reality that the ongoing WWIII is getting very much noisier and “faster” – this almost entirely because the hegemony of the drone-backed, printed-out-of-thin-air USD and its accompanying SWIFT system are now being seriously, obviously challenged by alternative currencies and “settlement” systems. In short, when, not if, the USD loses world-reserve-currency status, the standard of living of the vast majority of Americans is going to fall very dramatically. Therefore, the US transnational Elite are going to do “whatever it takes” to delay that inevitability as long as possible. What we now see happening every day of the week is that “whatever it takes”. The most important question/issue for the human race is whether “whatever it takes” includes the use of nuclear weapons.
    ..
    Now that we have a description of the present fatally-flawed arrangement, what are the day-to-day details of a better arrangement, Caitlin and Tim? Start off with just the “foundation stone” or founding principle of that better arrangement and then many of the details will naturally fall into place. For example, is the better arrangement going to be based on Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” of perfect, infallible greed, or is it going to be based on something else and, if so, precisely what is that something else?

    • You are correct that selfishness, greed and violence are poor principles to found social life on. What will it take to have a better world? Love. Unconditional Love is the foundation for a good and sustainable world. Nothing else will really work. Not the limited and flawed love of isolated egos, but the spiritual Love that embraces all beings equally. How to get there is our problem. Solve it or else!

      • Marianne Williamson’s book is entitled A Politics of Love. Of course many think she is crazy. The deluded always think that the truth is insane.

        • A politics of Love eliminates war and poverty, and makes space for creativity and happiness. ‘Make Love, not war” was not a bad idea after all.

          • Yes, I am an aging hippy.

  • Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than material force, that thoughts rule the world.- Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • i know right? let the wall street materialist bloodsuckers rule the material world with their material bombs all they want. that’s not important to spiritual people at all.

  • I don’t know about Hong Kong, looks more like the corrupt ultra rich in Hong Kong paid some protestors to stop the extradition treaty to Taiwan and the Mainland, considering the corrupt ultra rich in Hong Kong would be the first ones extradited. The Western Elite were in favor of this protest, this protest worked and now the protestors instead of returning home to their apartments that in many cases are smaller than a prison cell decided to continue the protests. Quality of life for the middle class and poor and Hong Kong sucks, lowest birth rate of any industrial nation, lowest happiness score, future for these kids looking very dim. I’m going out on a limb and say this is what is referred to as blow-back. I would think Hong Kong protests start receiving very little Western Media coverage, the protestors have clearly had it with the Hong Kong system, not the Mainland system. One Country, Two Systems isn’t working and Hong Kong’s importance to the whole with this present system is shrinking quickly.

    • China has yet to root out the corruption of its financial elites, especially in Hong Kong.

      • more like “the financial elites corrupting the entire society”.

      • How can China root out the corruption from the financial elites in Hong Kong? The financial elites in Hong Kong just paid kids to protest against an extradition treaty. China still shoots banksters in China and makes the family pay for the bullet. In the US we bail them out and let them go back to their same scams.

  • From way back in our collective history we have accepted and institutionalized our bad behavior. Greed, violence, and domination of others has been accepted and legalized. We should have based our lives together on having fun together and caring for each other. Is it too late to see he error of our ways, and change to something better? Are we doomed to keep repeating our loveless ways and end destroying ourselves? In our present deluded darkness, it is considered naive and clueless to even speak of the need to love all creatures great and small……..

  • The entire planet is in the throes of an anarchist transformation to a decentralized, peer-to-peer, catallaxic economy. From Hong Kong to France to Moscow to Mexico City, people are taking their lives back into their own hands and rejecting the charade of authority.

  • The US public gets a diet of nothing but lies about China from mainstream sources. Those who do not search the web for truth are left in darkness about the realities of their world. Check out Jeff Brown’s books about China for the other side of the China story. https://chinarising.puntopress.com/

  • Thank you Caitlin, I am sjure that ABC adequately represents the bunya nut republic MSM. The ABC has been dumbing down the dialogue for two decades and has made some progress.

    As for Hong Kong, I strongly advocate that China close all embassies of the five eyes countries in Hong Kong and retain them in Beijing. The five eyes hooligans could have a skeleton staff trade office in Hong Kong but nothing else. China is China and there is no conceivable need for any embassy in the island remote from the seat of Chinese power in Beijing. Sycophants thrive in smog and I am sure the five eyes will get irritated at the thought but they need to be totally shut down in Hong Kong.

  • Caitlin, have you seen this Robert Kennedy Jr. video about the dangers of 5G? It isvery enlightening.

    https://the5gsummit.com/expert/robert-f-kennedy/

  • Caitlin, have you seen this Robert Kennedy Jr. video about the dangers of 5G?

    https://the5gsummit.com/expert/robert-f-kennedy/

  • I just finished watching he 1958 version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Liz Taylor, Paul Newman and burl Ives. The story line is basically that we all live in a world of lies and half truths. We lie to each other and ourselves. Truth is painful so it is avoided. Thus we let the MSM create our own reality of lies because the truth is just too painful. In the end healing takes place with a little honesty. Too bad it won’t happen today,

  • My guess is that unless one lives outside of America, almost no one has a clue what you just said.The people who should know, as though that would ever mean anything, say that most service animals and hogs are far more intelligent than people; at least here in America, it’s obviously true.

  • Your first 4 paragraphs nail it, thanks Caitlin. I was also going to mention the excellent analysis of the Hong Kong ‘protests’ by Dan Cohen at The Grayzone as he really hits the nail on the head.
    I try and boycott ABC here in Australia along with all the other fakestream stenographers for Empire and Imperialism, however, do occasionally take a look just to see how grotesque they’ve become.
    Indeed, where is the coverage of the Gilets Jaunes compared to how much mass coverage they’ve given these HK protests, or even ones in another Official Demon; Russia.
    The mainstream media belong in the sewer with their cousins…

  • thanks for the link to grayzone. googled for Jimmy Lai and Edward Leung, and got their associates’ names, from Simon to Bolton to Shaunemann of “Project for American — more like Zionist — Century”, the dark hand who pulled the late McCain’s strings…. indeed, there are many many Epsteins who have been fucking this world up.

  • So many knob ends hate Sanders from the “right” (Sneera, Madcow, Andervanderbiltson, etc.). I utterly loathe him from the left. Fell in line for Killary, toured with Perez, signed the MSDNC pledge, and continues to muhRUSSIARUSSIARUSSIA!!! What a sacless piece of shit. Disqualified. #dropoutyouignorantsoldoutfuckingcoward

    • Yes you are. Have better place to go?

      • I’m going to have to defend George Carver here.

        I’m grateful to Bernie for picking up the torch from the Occupy movement and making economic inequality and Medicare For All part of the “national conversation.” But in 2016 he was a *despicable* Judas goat from the beginning, refusing to protest voter-roll purges, significant exit-poll discrepancies in every state with unauditable voting machines, the rigged super-delegate system, and uncounted ballots. (His supporters ended up having to sue the DNC on their own, because Bernie. Wouldn’t. Do it.) And after rolling over, he urged his supporters to vote for a candidate who championed virtually *everything* he had claimed to *hate,* and then he *campaigned* for her! (Sure, he had promised to support whoever “won” the Democratic nomination, but when the DNC stole the nomination for Hillary rather than Hillary winning it, that promise was void: the DNC had “unclean hands.”)

        If Bernie had accepted the Greens’ open invitation to headline their ticket — win or lose, given that he was (and remains) the most popular national politician in the US — he would have initiated a sea change in American politics and begun sending the gay-, woman-, and person-of-color-friendly wing of the Corporatist/Billionaire Uniparty on its way to the dustheap of history. (And that’s where the Democratic Party needs to go as soon as possible if ordinary Americans are to have any representation whatsoever.) Of course, if he had done that, the Democrats wouldn’t give him back the chairmanship of the Committee on Veterans Affairs when they retake the Senate, Vermont might lose its detachment of F-35s in Burlington, and his wife might have gotten prosecuted for loan fraud in connection with her work for the University of Vermont — which are all pretty small-minded priorities given the countervailing stakes at play.

        In short, I’m grateful to Bernie for flapping his lips about income inequality, Medicare For All, free college tuition, and the like (if not about military imperialism and Israeli apartheid). It helps set the stage for a leader with the conviction, commitment, and courage to try to actually *deliver* those things. What we need is an American Jeremy Corbyn — and that’s clearly *not* Bernie. (And as her track record emerges, I’m pretty sure it’s not Tulsi, either. I like the net effect of her talking points on régime-change wars, though, even if her primary concern is the welfare of her fellow grunts.)

  • “Sniveling” sums it up for me …
    Thank you again Caitlin for your Torchlight

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