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How Media Spread CIA’s Sectarian, Anti-Iran ‘Mideast Cold War’ Narrative


How Media Spread CIA’s Sectarian, Anti-Iran ‘Mideast Cold War’ Narrative

Ben Norton

A new Vox video (7/17/17) is the latest addition to a media onslaught that propagates numerous misleading talking points to demonize Iran—just as the US government, under Donald Trump’s vehemently anti-Iran administration, is ratcheting up aggression against that country.


Translation: You have to justify the trillion dollars we currently spend on the national security state. You need enemies - real or contrived - to keep pumping billions into private hands. There has never been a bigger welfare queen than the MIC. What a business model! Guaranteed yearly contracts at name-your-cost prices with virtually no competition or oversight. What rich investor needs to buy any regular stock when they can collect on defense stocks? Yes, most are slow movers but they pay handsomely in dividends. Especially when you own millions in shares. That’s how the uber rich have avoided the periodic market downturns and recessions. They don’t have to gamble; bonds, treasury bills and defense stocks keep the golden eggs rolling in. With money markets at historic low returns, the rest of us are forced to roll the dice in the market, competing against huge brokerage firms whose computers can process trades at warp speed.

Seeing what a goldmine the public’s money been in defense, they’ve now turned their gaze at another enormous pot of funds - education. Can you imagine how much is spent on schools across the country every year? That’s why we have the big push for vouchers and privatization. They tried to seize our social security funds but failed. Convincing people that vouchers are a way to help those poor inner-city kids is an easier sell. And it’s working.


Worm, I like what you are saying here, and I’m sure others here do too.

Please keep writing on.


You might try addressing the content of the article! You didn’t translate - you hijacked the discussion into something else. Unfair to the reporter!


Geez Ben! How about considering the word ‘concise’ next time you write a tome? Too many add ones, too many paragraphs and too many words. I am being honest about that. You need to condense your wording and concentrate many sentences into a few!

You do recognize that you were debating the involvement of the USA rather than the way the media acts as a propaganda tool? You brought a lot of valuable info but then you editorialized each one. Too many commentary add ons for these points make them get lost in the forest!

It isn’t really possible to address your points because there are too many and many of those are peripherals.

This article represents a lot of work. Too many words, add on commentaries, asides and peripheral editorializing diluted your focus for the reader.

I hope you don’t mind my comment. You are a detailed researcher and useful to read but ‘concise’ is a word you need to reflect on.


Trump goes to Saudi Arabia and kisses butt—why- the videos are comical -dancing around with swords and hands on the magic globe??? Trump was doing this for a 300b arms deal----I will bet that Trump has no idea or wants to know the ramifications of this deal. The US media go on for weeks about a baby in England on life support----but not a word about baby’s being killed every day in Yemen by US war machine? We live in a nightmare of greed bringing horror to the world---------AND US CITIZENS DO HAVE THE POWER TO BRING THIS NIGHTMARE TO AN END. Stop funding the military-we could create more jobs putting this money into local communities.


Mirroring the smoke


Geez Ben! That was a great article. Thank you for writing it.
It’s amazing how overdue other journalists are to really hammer down on the Iran farce, and pretty sad what sort of unappreciative, convoluted commentary is made to distract from our most urgent and important civic oversights to having a fair and informed Democracy.
Your writing was comprehensive and I appreciate how you covered relevant actors, events, and touched on peripherals as well.
This article is a new standard for understanding what we (the US) has been doing with regard to immoral, disdainful and unethical relationships and conflicts in the middle-east.
Maybe the next one will be about the neo-cons who lead the war cries and their backers and allies, and the consequential Semeticizing of the people of the United States of America.


A big problem with the US talking points that Iran is a major sponsor of terrorism is that 9/11 was perpetrated and financed largely out of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia has been a major funder of the jihadist groups everywhere. Iran has never had any direct attack on the US, but Saudi Arabia definitely has. Furthermore, the Saudis are financing a worldwide string of religious schools that push the Wahhabism branch of Islam, the most fanatic ultra orthodox of the major branches. Women in Iran are treated a lot better than they are in Saudi Arabia, and Iran doesn’t depend on a bunch of foreign workers to do everything while living in conditions that make our migrant worker camps look posh. It kind of puts the kibosh on another talking point about how mean the Iranians are to people.

As for treaties and honesty, the Saudis have a much worse reputation for skullduggery and talking out both sides of their mouths than the Iranians do. It’s what happens when a particular group gets too much power and thinks that it deserves it. There is a strong resemblance between the drumpf family and the Saudi royal family in behavior and life style.


Sometimes it takes more than just a few paragraphs to get the information across. There is an article in Vanity Fair on the way that the Dept of Energy was run and the drumpf administration’s reaction that takes about half an hour to read, but it is well worthwhile. This article, too, is worth the time to read.

Is it possible that our attention spans are becoming shorter? I’ve seen this postulated starting with TV programs that run too long and can’t attract viewer attention and now about the internet where people can’t bring themselves to spend more than about five minutes reading a single article.


Excellent insight, Glacierworm,

Thanks for putting our Attention WHERE IT BELONGS.


I found the article excellent and important. The truth we need with respect to the Middle East, to extricate ourselves from the morass into which Israel has led us, … by the nose.


Did you even read the article? Your comment is generic and barely connected to what was covered in the article. I read it through before I commented on it, taking an editor’s position. Did you?


Comprehensive as an overview but not really all that much discussion of how the media creates a specific narrative.


Clearly your perspective is not in appreciation of the richness and validity of the information offered by Norton. Maybe you prefer the shallowness of tone over content, and informative and educational material is not your thing.

Mr. Norton has very generously and responsibly offered information about factual actors, means, and methods by which the general public is preyed on and deceived, and our Democracy harmed leading to corruption, waste, and many innocent people killed, hurt and unfairly prejudiced that should not be. \

Clearly that’s the focus we are offered a choice to have, when the likes of the worst regimes in the Near and Middle East have become our accomplices in the worst humanitarian calamities and crimes human-kind currently exhibits. Maybe you [Wereflea] should reflect on what your positions stand for.
Again, the information provided is hugely important and little reported. I don’t even see it any longer in the Wed. archives.


My perspective was solely in the style of writing not its subject matter. I have no issues with the content but was simply offering advice from a reader to an author.


Aside from your insulting insinuations, I offered constructive criticism about the writing not criticism of its content. Sorry if you didn’t understand that!