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Syria.

Discussion in 'Bar' started by Mutant, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. He's Dead, Jim

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    Haha, I considered posting this. Good for her. If she feels that strongly about editorial independence, though, she would do well to find another network. RT's coverage has been truly appalling, evidenced not least by the fact that they got rid of that Abby Martin clip on the network's official YouTube channel.

    And I'm well aware the U.S. has limited credibility on this count after the Iraq war, etc. etc. But that doesn't make what Russia is doing any less reprehensible or nakedly self-interested.
     
  2. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    This. The amount of tu quoque directed towards the US in response to this has been bullshit. I'm no staunch defender of this country but I'm not going to let that slide.
     
  3. J.Paine

    J.Paine New Metal Member

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    Which network would that independence you speak of be found? Which corporate network would allow her to have reports that constantly denounce corporate activities? Which network would allow her to be so critical of any administration? When all the american media outlets I know of are pro establishment because they do not want to ruin their "access" to the white house.

    She has stated publicly that "It's a very sad commentary that I need to work for the Russian government in order to tell the truth about my own country." What she did today on her show was no surprise, she has risked her employment before, I am betting she does it again.

    "First Look Media" is the only outlet which comes to mind when it comes to "editorial independence" in the US. And they have only just started, so it is probably to early to call. However their contribution to the news the "Intercept" has been very impressive so far. But again there are certain interests behind that company, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER MEDIA OUTLET ON EARTH.

    Who here said the russian invasion of ukraine was a good thing? I have looked and am unable to see it.

    I find it utterly repugnant when people choose sides in politics as they would in a sport. You seem to think that those who are critical of america are unable to apply the same critique universally because they adhere to this side choosing mentality. So I will repeat myself for you. Feel free to start a Ukraine thread and see what happens rather than jeering behind speculation.

    EDIT: Just as I was saying. https://firstlook.org/theintercept/...-martin-condemns-russian-incursion-crimea-rt/
     
  4. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    J.Paine who's throwaway account are you? Why are you here? You've never posted anywhere but the off topic forum and only on political threads. Why shouldn't I operate under the assumption that you're a paid shill?
     
  5. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Because you could instead opt to engage his argument on intellectual merit instead of attempting some form of throwaway discreditation.
     
  6. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    I'm going to be totally honest and say that I don't really care because I can't find a real point in his writing. I can't see any specific thing he's advocating for other than He's Dead, Jim being wrong and telling him repeatedly to start a thread that he could very well start himself.
     
  7. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    I guess what I'm saying is: What the fuck is his argument? I can't find one. He's offered some (at times good, at times repetitive drivel) criticisms of the discussion but hasn't actually said anything of substance.
     
  8. aramism

    aramism Member

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    the amount of propaganda in western media is making me think that we don't have it that much better than north koreans. it's that bad.

    the anti-russian agenda is disgusting and so much misinformation out there. the unites states is the biggest perpetrator of atrocities both on the surface and behind the scenes in the world for the last 75 years. and this is not even getting into the fact that everything they accuse of other countries doing they do the exact same thing both in obvious ways ("war on terror" "iraq") not so obvious.
     
  9. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    People always seem to find the need to define everything along bipartisan lines. It could go to us being such a social creature and always wanting to belong to something, so we try to define clear sides and paint one as 'good' and the other as 'bad'. In reality, every side is fucked. The world is divided up based on self-interest generating entities, only finding common ground when waging outright war would be too costly or inconvenient. The crux of what's being said here is that just because some of us are critical of the oligarchic western media, doesn't mean we innately support the return of zombie Lenin. If we were in Russia we would likely be as critical of the propaganda their stations bombard their populace with, though in that hypothetical we would likely have been hauled off to the gulags by now. The west is more subtle and insidious - the Russians don't quite have the sociopathy and double-talk down as well as the US does. They tend to be a bit more on the nose, and expressly corrupt. In the west there is still some remnant of a cracking facade where enough people can still attempt to delude themselves into believing that democracy as an idea wasn't hijacked and raped into corporatism before any of us were even born.
     
  10. AD Chaos

    AD Chaos MGTOW

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    This may not be about who's the 'good/bad' guy.. what's happening in Crimea is but a continuation of the Syrian confrontation; a show of forces (which might turn into a cold, or even a hot war) to see who amongst the two main world powers (US/Nato/EU on one side, Russia/China on the other) gets to seize the geopolitical, economic and strategic control over the region, the Black Sea, and more importantly, the entrance -through Syria- into Iran's oil.
    This was already discussed in the thread, and a video already posted before:

    And although perhaps a bit inflated, I think this article explains the current Crimea situation:

    http://thecommonsenseshow.com/2014/02/28/the-road-to-world-war-iii-runs-through-ukraine/

    Clearly the people in Ukraine are divided in between favoring Russia or the EU; the western part siding with the EU, the east and south regions asking Russia to topple their government and take over.

    As the article above says (and I probably have mentioned like a hundred times now :lol:) both Russia and China are also waging a currency war to kill the dollar, aided by the corrupt politicians, the bankers and the FED in the US.

    'Utterly repugnant'? How about cooling it down a bit?

    It's unfortunate sure, but in the real world, those are the only viable options we have in most places. I agree about being discerning of the news and not taking sides without an actual informed opinion, but because of that, I find it unnecessary to antagonize in calling people dumb (or 'utterly repugnant') for realistically weighing in the alternatives at hand, and going with whatever they think more closely resembles their own views.
     
    #250 AD Chaos, Mar 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  11. He's Dead, Jim

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    The reason I bumped this thread was to humorously note that a fair amount of the posts contained in it were, as you put it, "taking sides." People got all up in arms when the U.S. was tentatively considering responding to a massive human rights violation by the Assad government with military force, but now that Russia is literally invading Ukraine in order to politically and economically dominate it, nobody seems to care. The mere absence of posts and threads on the subject belies the alleged concern of many of the people who posted in this thread for human rights and state sovereignty. So if you consider pointing that out "taking sides," I guess maybe I am, but I was more trying to point out the irony of the situation in a funny way.

    Regarding the media, I don't know what "corporate activities" we should be denouncing. There's already a lot of coverage in the mainstream press (NYT, WaPo, Politico, NPR, etc.) about the impact of 501(c)(4) organizations on American democracy. When Wal-Mart was accused of bribing Mexican officials for building permits, it received coverage. When fast food workers protested in favor of a higher minimum wage, it received coverage. When Goldman Sachs lost billions of dollars in the London Whale affair, it received coverage.

    I'm not under the illusion that CNN, MSNBC, and Fox aren't owned in part or in whole by major multinationals, but I'm two months away from getting a master's degree and I like to think I'm not a total moron, so I can recognize bias and omission when I see it, and I simply don't see it that often in the mainstream press. As Jon Stewart said a couple of years ago, the main bias is toward shallow coverage and sensationalism - which is more due to viewership than an editorial bias.

    By contrast, when I read "independent" news sources, a good portion of the time it's a bunch of conspiracy theory nonsense espoused by Cheeto-munching, tinfoil-hat-wearing idiots who never went to college but somehow think they understand the gold market and believe 9/11 was an inside job. (BTW, Abby Martin thinks 9/11 was an inside job.) Don't get me wrong - there are some really great independent media outlets out there. But the money and clout behind mainstream media organizations, for the most part, attracts talent, honesty, and decent analysis, if you read the right publications and approach them with a solid understanding of where they're coming from and what's happening on the ground. That said, I don't even have a cable subscription. Most of my news comes from Twitter, which tends to link to the AP, Reuters, NYT, and independent blogs. My day job involves media research too.

    As far as First Look Media, I'm reading their article on Venezuela and some of it is accurate. The mainstream press has certainly produced some lame analysis of Venezuela - but again, out of laziness, not because CNN is bought and sold by corporate America. But I know that already, because I'm not an idiot. Some points in this article are good. Some are stupid. Some evince an ideological bias in favor of the Chávez government. Like I suggested, "independent media" too often ends up being a catch-all for vaguely-kinda-lefty-libertarian types with some good investigative journalism creds, but a serious bone to pick with everything status quo that manifests itself as an ideological bias.

    Corporations want economic benefits, just like farmers, labor unions, teachers, etc. We're all rent-seeking actors. The difference is that corporations have a lot of money to play around with, so they can contribute to political campaigns and afford expensive legal fees. That's a really terrible asymmetry, but it's just how the world works, unfortunately. I would contest that that means everything and everyone is corrupt or co-opted, and I think, especially since the advent of globalization, interests, money, and influence are proliferating in such a way that people are more observant of these things. Hopefully this will be reflected in policy changes somewhere down the line, but I think it's also healthy for democracy to respond to the interests of citizens, and businesses act as a vehicle for many of those interests.

    As for Russia vs. the west, I just think there's a fundamental difference in how we operate. No, we aren't perfect, but let's talk about current affairs, not the Cold War. Russia makes its money by selling natural resources, predominantly natural gas, to Europe through pipelines owned by Gazprom. Domestic Russian interests are largely controlled by Putin and a series of oligarchs, with a corruption network extending through Eastern Europe where the pipelines are located. Putin basically wants to keep this network in place, and to deepen it, by co-opting, threatening, and bribing public officials in key countries. I don't hate Russia because of this. It's in the country's national interest, and its behavior is informed by history, the USSR, its physical location, etc. But I do think that this is a reprehensible way of doing business and accumulating power from a human rights perspective. Russia survives on the backs of Europeans that it is impoverishing by distorting governance structures and keeping energy costs artificially high.

    Now for the United States. U.S. business interests are as self-interested as any state-owned firm in Russia. But in large part, especially since we have no state-owned natural resource firms, our moneyed interests abroad are not controlled or used by the government to achieve political ends. Yes, Exxon can pollute a bay and kill a bunch of seals and penguins, and that is terrible. But you simply don't see us invading countries and seizing territory to maintain our economic and political domination over a particular country, nor do you see us actively corrupting governments to get our way. The United States tends to behave reactively by maybe looking the other way when we observe corruption, or selectively responding to criminal behavior from a policy perspective. But there is no grand business-government alliance, greased by corruption, that is used as a critical policy tool in the way that Russia does it.

    Parenthetically, again: the Iraq war was stupid and terrible! But we didn't seize territory, and we didn't set up the oil industry after the invasion in such a way that it favored us. In fact, China is the country that's really benefiting from Iraqi oil, as well as Afghani mining resources. This is because we have institutions and laws that constrain us, which Russia does not observe. If Russia had invaded Iraq on a stupid, trumped-up pretext, it would have asserted its interests and co-opted the government, just like it's doing in Ukraine. We did not do this, which is easily observable in the fact that the Iraqi government is closer to Iran than it is to us.

    I would also suggest that our promotion of democracy and human rights is more than just lip service. USAID, the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, the U.S. Institute for Peace, and other organizations do really great work that is unaffected by policy concerns and foments people-to-people ties and economic development in developing countries. Even in military and security-focused agencies, there's been a real shift since the end of the Cold War toward understanding that human rights promotion is a key factor in bilateral relations. Yeah, sometimes it's in our interests to say that X country is abusing human rights, but 10 times out of 10 they are being abused and we should call them out on it. Our complication in this regard is that the U.S. is considered the global guarantor of peace/stability/security, so human rights interests often come into conflict with repressive regimes that we need to interact with for other reasons. But I don't think that's our fault, and when possible, we've attempted to move them toward democracy. Egypt and Kyrgyzstan are great examples of this. In some cases (Saudi Arabia, Uganda), the results have been poor. But I also think we're kidding ourselves if we think we can magically convince the Saudi monarchy to start giving women equal rights, and that shouldn't be counted against us. At least we try. Russia does not try. At all. And it could. The Nordic countries are comparatively tiny, and they have an outsized influence on the human rights debate internationally.

    Sorry for the long post haha. I know some people are going to say I'm being blindly patriotic, but I'm not sure how I can convey that I'm not. I understand and recognize that U.S. foreign policy has major flaws, but Russia's is, to me, self-evidently and clearly worse, and people should recognize that.

    Edit:

    [youtube]55izx6rbCqg#t=23[/youtube]

    Hey look, another person with basic human decency! Takes guts to resign on air like that though, so again, good for her.
     
  12. AD Chaos

    AD Chaos MGTOW

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    I think you were right bumping this thread since the line of events is essentially the same.. regardless of whether you did that intentionally or not. I guess the appeal of those RT reporters (besides the obvious haha) was their sincerity, to begin with.

    As for your post above
    No there isn't.

    You're trying to pretend like the western powers don't care about domination and imperialism all the same as the east :rolleyes:. Money and power are what move this world, regardless which part of the globe (and all throughout history, for that matter).

    Albeit with some minor differences here and there, both sides are essentially after the very same thing: Control over energy resources. Every other benefit or privilege (including currency supremacy) just comes along with that. Whoever controls the energy, controls the world.

    ^ This has to be one of the most naive things I have read in here. As Mago has said before, it's no wonder the west isn't doing so good (and could be about to do much worse) when people so oblivious -like you seem to be- are the graduates in these matters.

    You are indeed being blindly patriotic, because you seem to not grasp the concept that this is the showing of the two major forces in the world going after exactly the same thing, not just a matter of countries.
    The US government (not the people, but the government and the ones with major interests vested in it) may be at the forefront of one of them, but this is much more than the bashing of whatever country's ruling class.
    If ''the people'' are to blame for something, is their gullibility in accepting the paradigm of the banking system and paper money, but I guess that's just becomes part of world's history.


    Putin knows very well he has big cards to play with.
    Both Russia and China have been increasing their military budget (and repeatedly announcing it to the world, like China did once again two days ago), while the US and other nations have had no other option but to shrink it. Just as Obama announced he's retiring troops from the region this past week, Putin sees this sign of weakness as a chance to seize opportunity. He knows full well it's not out that of a sudden attack of morality that this happens to be.

    Besides, Putin has been working very hard -for years, now- on expanding the oil and gas dependance from Russia all throughout the region (including Europe) with full production, strategic partnerships and alliances with other countries, and an ever increasing distributing infrastructure. Nowadays Europe depends more on Russian energy than ever before, so that debilitates it's position as part of the western block. Gold reserves from the west have also been consistently drained, and as a result, the chance of finally displacing the dollar as the dominant world currency (and fucking us all up in the west, while at it) becomes more of a possibility, courtesy of Obama:
    http://scgnews.com/russia-threatens-to-drop-the-dollar-and-crash-the-us-economy-if-sanctions-are-imposed-obama-signs-sa
     
  13. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Well, I've managed to put down the Cheetos long enough to dust my tinfoil hat off, so for the sake of the 3 or 4 people still remotely interested in this thread, let's keep it rolling.

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2003/mar/31/broadcasting.Iraqandthemedia1

    http://fair.org/press-release/some-critical-media-voices-face-censorship/

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/couric-critiques-iraq-war-run-up-coverage/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/21/cenk-uygur-msnbc-leaving_n_905415.html

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/01/28/snow-j28.html

    http://cac.ophony.org/2012/04/16/the-icelandic-revolution-why-didnt-i-hear-about-it/

    In an interesting way, this alludes to a ruling made by your supreme court recently, where corporations were acknowledged to be 'people', and money was acknowledged as 'free speech'. Aside from the overtly-heinous precedent this sets, we would be best to avoid likening the struggles of corporate entities to those of individuals for the sake of rationality. Should we assume corporations retain the rights of individuals, then I suppose we could say that those corporations are some of the most powerful individuals on the planet, and that perhaps might go hand in hand in explaining the status quo of why half of the planet's wealth resides in the hands of 1% of its populace. Regardless of any potential cognitive en masse 'awakening' to this structural violence, it doesn't change the fact that the wealth gap is widening, and the power itself is becoming decidedly more concentrated. If one were to rely on the same legislation which landed this wealth in the hands of the 1% in the first place to somehow redistribute it... well, I really wouldn't know what to say to such an individual that isn't blatantly obvious unto itself.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-177488/US-plans-bases-Iraq.html

    http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/173/30447.html

    http://scgnews.com/washingtons-role-in-the-ukrainian-coup-how-it-may-spin-out-of-control

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_United_States_foreign_regime_change_actions

    Credentialism.

    Credentialism and ad hominem.

    How terrible. She also has a degree in political science. Maybe she just went to a second rate university.

    ---------------

    It is sometimes hard to pin down a post of this nature, as it's so rife with logical fallacies and half truths. On my count in that post alone we have ad hominem, credentialism, straw man, switching the goal posts and I'm sure some others I've missed. I am impressed by the highly politicized nature of the delivery, as I've witnessed a few press releases by our own government of this nature lately. A key give-away is when the reader or viewer is bombarded with so many different points, at first seemingly relevant, but ultimately not at all, to cause a form of cognitive overload and allow the presenter of the statement to reframe the issue in a way of their own choosing. This often allows them to slip in half truths, and fairly opaque statements without immediate recrimination. If nothing else, it's respectable how the academic institutions are educating their students on how to politicize themselves, if not read into the political maneuverings of their own nations.

    I remember being quite impressed when watching Bush Jr. going through all of them after being confronted with the fact that the Iraq war was a false flag. There is one little snippet of him giving a speech that could pretty much be used as a textbook example for logical fallacies of all kinds. It was quite remarkable. Anyway, that wasn't entirely relevant, I was just musing on how this gave me deja vu.

    Before closing it off, I really have to remark on credentialism in general. I'm certain we've been over this before, but it's a pet peeve of mine. This apparent systematically-instituted belief that unless you're accredited by some state-sanctioned institution your viewpoints and observations are somehow second rate. It's absolutely absurd, especially to those of us who see the academic institution as an intellectually repressive force rather than a liberating one. You are so often taught WHAT to think, as opposed to HOW to think.

    There are plenty of political scientists who would agree, and who would disagree on many of these matters. The education doesn't define the viewpoint. Everyone interprets what they learn in their own way.

    Moreover, on a personal level it would be akin to myself going into any thread about audio production here and stating 'audio engineering is my day job, I have a degree in it, I know what I'm talking about' as if that somehow means I hold any more authority on the subject. The gold is in the words. It's in my observations, and in the validity of the message I choose to convey in that given circumstance. Not in some state-issued piece of wank-tissue for academics.
     
  14. AD Chaos

    AD Chaos MGTOW

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    ^ This second RT reporter, Liz Wahl (the one you were praising) rapidly went on CNN to basically play the victim and bash on RT, painting herself as some kind of pillar of journalistic integrity, while spewing anti-russian propaganda for the American audience. She basically said she quit after her interview on RT with Ron Paul, because allegedly, a vital part of the interview was cut out for the airing, and then of course went onto the bashing:



    HOWEVER, later on Dr. Paul went on his channel to clarify things and (very politely, of course) basically called her lie in it's entirely:

    http://www.ronpaulchannel.com/video/russia-coverage-rt-liz-wahl-media-bias/?utm_source=RPFBG&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=DailyUpdate


    I'm betting a juicy paycheck came along with that CNN note for her. Maybe she got outed from RT and did this as revenge? who knows..

    ..So much for your talents on recognizing bias and omission :lol:

    (I guess I shouldn't hold you accountable for that one though; I was fooled by her at first, too).
     
    #254 AD Chaos, Mar 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  15. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    I can't be the only one who gives more clout to a state-issued piece of wank-tissue for academics than I do to the equivalent amount of time spent in pursuit of a mom's-basement-jerk-off-zeitgeist-parroting-internet-debate for self-aggrandizing-ego-strokery? One of them implies 4-6 years of the rigorous study of peer-reviewed literature and real-world discussion generally facilitated by published and similarly peer-reviewed authors/researchers, and one of them implies arguing on the internet while googling sources and using a right-click->replace thesaurus method in order to give the appearance of substance and gravitas where repetitive drivel would be obvious otherwise.
     
  16. He's Dead, Jim

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    I genuinely was not referring to anyone in this thread! I promise. I'm trying to be as respectful as possible to the forum posters, but I can't say the same for some of the journalists, because I think they're willfully BS-ing people in some cases with phony arguments.

    RE: the articles about silencing anti-Iraq war journalists, it was shameful but I wouldn't characterize it as systematic. Some networks are going to cater to a particular audience at particular times. That's the nature of the beast with privately owned media and people have to be educated media consumers. I don't want to accuse anyone of cherry-picking, because it's a weak argument, but at the same time, there is plenty of good international analysis in mainstream media on Ukraine, on Iraq, on Afghanistan, etc. The articles here are exhibiting some of the instances where mainstream media has failed. They're no less important, but like I said, my day job involves media research, and I've just found that, on aggregate, most media outlets do a decent job of articulating the basic truth about a given situation.

    Couldn't agree more. Money is a tool that produces institutional incumbency and it will be hard to roll back that SCOTUS ruling. One of the areas where I really feel like democracy (at least in the U.S., if not elsewhere) hasn't worked very well.

    We already built the bases and Iraq is in a very valuable geographical position. We have bases in other countries. The war may have been a mistake, but I don't think there's anything wrong with keeping them, especially when we're considered the failsafe security button for most of the world during crises (see: Ukraine).

    The petrodollar theory is an interesting one, but I have a major problem with it. There's an endogenous variable issue. The countries that people suggest we're destabilizing because they switched from dollars to Euros (Iran, Venezuela, Iraq) all have one thing in common: they are/were, to varying degrees, avowedly anti-American states. The impetus to switch from the dollar, and I can say this definitively in Venezuela, is almost certainly due to fears of their assets being seized, having sanctions kill their oil industry, or a simple anti-American gesture, rather than for economic reasons. More importantly, the underlying variable for why we aren't friendly toward them isn't that they switched to the Euro, but that they're anti-American and do things that undermine American interests.

    Even if that weren't true, the hypothesis doesn't hold up. We have basically left Venezuela well alone since the early 2000s and let the PSUV do its thing.

    That first link is bullshit, pure and simple. It's "oooh, I'm going to MAKE THIS SOUND SCARY and use the word imperialism! Never mind the policy merits, the fact that Nuland's job is literally to conduct diplomacy with politically important actors, or a long-standing U.S. desire for Ukraine to become integrated with Europe, as most of its ethnically Ukrainian citizens want. The US is the real problem!" Arguments like this deny agency to real people and make them pawns in a global chess game. Yeah, of course the US is probably probably helping the protesters out. The question is how much, and whether the movement remains organic. I would suggest the answers are, respectively, not a lot, and absolutely.

    The CFR connections the author makes are a pitch-perfect example of why I don't read these sorts of websites. CFR is a giant think tank that attracts people who have been in and will later go into government. Yeah, it attracts former policymakers. DC is a very connected place, and think tanks serve as revolving doors for government officials and academics. Find me a major policymaker who hasn't been at CFR and I'll be surprised.

    These "independent journalists" make connections that have a layer of truth - yes, these people who work at X also work at Y, and are involved with policy Z - but they can't prove anything beyond that, because nothing exists. Implying malfeasance doesn't actually prove malfeasance. They're just using scare quotes and scary words to make people feel like something shady is going on.

    I don't want to sound like an arrogant jerk when I make these posts, because I fully understand and realize that you don't need a degree to be an educated media consumer, or to understand foreign affairs. But there is a reason I mention education-related stuff:

    It means I've spent a lot of time doing research, reading media reports and academic journal articles, talking to professors, talking to practitioners, and talking to peers about these issues. So when people suggest that the wool has been pulled over my eyes and I'm so stupid not to see what's really going on, it's tremendously insulting and arrogant. Education gives you access to diverse viewpoints, and academia in general lends much more credence to the sorts of views embedded in these independent media sources than the mainstream press. But the thing is, they provide data, supporting argumentation, etc., and they're critiqued by their peers. These independent journalists you're citing operate in a bizarro-land intellectual vacuum where they all see a nefarious fairy at the bottom of the garden, and nobody seems willing to say, "Hey, uh, that's crap and you offer no supporting evidence."

    Some of this is kind of abstract, so at risk of becoming even more long-winded, I am going to explain what I mean by picking apart a piece from the site mentioned earlier, First Look Media, about Venezuela. Obviously one article isn't the be-all-end-all of independent media, but it exemplifies the things I'm talking about.

    (1) Again, think tanks were created to host public intellectuals and former and current policymakers. Having former policymakers is not some shady thing.

    (2) Chávez didn't "depose" anybody, but it sure sounds like they were a nefarious bunch, right? In fact, Chávez staged a military coup in 1992. He failed and was put in prison. He was later elected in 1998. The previous government was a two-party democracy. It was awful, corrupt, and didn't represent the interests of average Venezuelans, but the author wants to make it sound as if it was Castro deposing Fulgencio Batista, which is not the case.

    (3) This is a fair point, but how much funding, proportionally, does IAD receive from each of these organizations? The author doesn't discuss that, because it would involve substantiating his point.

    (4) Read the Wikileaks cable. USAID's stated purpose is to consolidate democracy and human development, and the people mentioned in the cable correctly noted that the chavista movement has systematically excluded and harassed political opposition to make the PSUV the only guarantor of social progress. USAID programs, then, were necessarily going to run afoul of the government. And the programs cited focus on civil society, providing essential public services, and deepening public engagement to counter the "PSUV is the only provider of public services" narrative. I see nothing wrong with any of that.

    Again: oooh, allegations of malfeasance that sound very naughty!

    Again: they receive funding from corporations (which, let it be noted, fund all sorts of other things, too), so therefore they're corporate shills, bought and sold by monied interests. But the author also discounts that, hey, maybe that's just their opinion? I haven't received any funding from ExxonMobile, but I also think the PSUV is a thuggish, authoritarian institution. If I were working for CFR or IAD, I would say the same thing. That's not journalism. That's an ad hominem attack. Don't you hate those, Ermz? :lol:

    Nick Miroff articulates EXACTLY my point. Here's the authors' causal mechanism:

    Chevron gives $$$ [we don't know or say how much] to IAD --> Michael Shifter works for IAD, knows Leopoldo Lopez (who went to Harvard and has strong ties to the US academic community) --> OMG CORPORATE SHILL, BOUGHT AND SOLD

    Here's Nick Miroff's, and my, causal mechanism:

    People know people. Companies make donations. DC is a kind of incestuous place, intellectually speaking. Merely drawing connections on a white board doesn't make you a good analyst. It makes you a Glenn Beck of the left.

    It's made all the more ridiculous by the fact that Michael Shifter and Moises Naim are just exhibiting a mainstream DC policy/think tank community view of Venezuela. It's what most academics, students, journalists, and human rights officials think about the country. So unless Chevron is paying literally everybody in DC, including me, a 23-year-old grad student, to think similar things, that's some weird convergence of opinion!


    (6) Hugo Chavez beat Henrique Salas Romer in the 1998 election, not Carlos Andres Perez. CAP was the one he tried to unseat in a military coup. But hey, facts, right? Also, Naim was in that position for one year, and left after the caracazo to which the author refers.

    Hopefully this shows that I'm not talking out my butt, and why I have such an aversion to "independent" media outlets.

    BTW, I worked briefly for a foreign NGO doing fundraising, and 90% of all international NGO funding comes from multinational corporations. I am not exaggerating. Fully 90%, if not higher. Does that make them corporate shills, too? Corporations give money to think tanks because think tanks are non-profits and it's tax-deductible. I've spent time in academia, the NGO world, and I know a lot of government people. Yes, corporations make donations. But there's no smoke-filled room where we get together with bankers and the UN and government agencies and Exxon and decide what to say.

    It is, though, important to recognize that I don't necessarily agree with these public intellectual think tank types, because yeah, Moises Naim is influenced by his background in Venezuela, his role in the AD-COPEI party system government structure, and his connections to people in the opposition. But I'm an educated media consumer, so I realize these things. The mainstream media outlets could do a better job of getting impartial experts, but that would basically require hiring academics, and the level of analysis they provide is too nuanced for most mainstream media consumers. So instead, they revert to think-tanks, which are admittedly part of a somewhat intellectually incestuous "beltway bandit" community that isn't a secret to most people.
     
  17. xFkx

    xFkx gain induction

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    oh for fuck's sake
     
  18. Melb_shredder

    Melb_shredder Orpheus: Melodic Death

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    But that would almost imply that these 'educational institutions' have some merit, if not for the institution itself, but for the endless research and years of writing and improving on other people's research done by peers... And we can't have that can we? Where would all the internet warriors go! :/


    You don't need education to have an opinion... But it doesn't make you automatically right just because you oppose consensus...
     
  19. SocialNumb

    SocialNumb Damn Christians!

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    I'll just leave this here incase anyone needs it.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, I'm bored.
     
  20. AD Chaos

    AD Chaos MGTOW

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    Yes exactly. A critical opinion doesn't automatically have validity or truth to it, anymore than credentialism alone would.

    On my end I can say that -for some reason- I end up becoming vested into these topics more than I really should (to an even somewhat uncomfortable point, sometimes), which might end up giving some sort of wrong impression. Not that I really care that much if I do, I guess; I'm merely offering my point of view and trying to have some understanding of the matter based on the information available out there (I'm not making it up) while hearing the opinion of others willing to advance the discussion in a productive manner.

    That in no way means I'm some self-declared expert on any or all matters.. Again, if I may across like that to someone perhaps it's more the nature of the debate; trying to construct or defend an argument, hoping to having it contested by someone else (with something other than rage episodes towards other forumers, and no actual point in the discussion).


    My point in contesting He's Dead Jim's argument is that while his academic formation does give him background and a say, that doesn't equate to him not having a bias, it is actually precisely the opposite; by his own admission, he's making use of his personal situation (having a job in Washington, and a pending diploma in the field) along with a patriotic sentiment (by his own words) a justification why he can't be open to any other line of thought than the side of peer-reviewed, academic perspective of things he has been taught to believe and defend.

    That's why I was pointing out the situation with Liz Wahl from RT; Jim was the one who contested before in the thread why RT was a biased source of information for Russia (and implying why, because of that, no content in it -or better yet, nothing the anchors said- could be considered as truth). That is, of course, until she decides to go on to the American mainstream media and pretend like she's being persecuted by some evil Putin (even though she's American, not Russian), posing as even the possible target of an assassination. What a ridiculous thing. But they (Wahl and CNN) appealed to base sentimentalism and media sensationalism, then Jim all of a sudden decides he now admires her. Even though she's lying. I could think of fewer things more biased than that. What does that have to do with academic credentials? He gets played right into the warmongering rhetoric, just like any other American without any degree of specialized studies would. All of this, while the narrative of war spending and imperialism on the background keeps being fed to all of you viewers in the US.
     

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