Atlantic Council Explains Why We Need To Be Propagandized For Our Own Good

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via,

I sometimes try to get establishment loyalists to explain to me exactly why we’re all meant to be terrified of this “Russian propaganda” thing they keep carrying on about. What is the threat, specifically? That it makes the public less willing to go to war with Russia and its allies? That it makes us less trusting of lying, torturing, coup-staging intelligence agencies? Does accidentally catching a glimpse of that green RT logo turn you to stone like Medusa, or melt your face like in Raiders of the Lost Ark?

“Well, it makes us lose trust in our institutions,” is the most common reply.

Okay. So? Where’s the threat there? We know for a fact that we’ve been lied to by those institutions. Iraq isn’t just something we imagined. We should be skeptical of claims made by western governments, intelligence agencies and mass media. How specifically is that skepticism dangerous?

Trying to get answers to such questions from rank-and-file empire loyalists is like pulling teeth, and they are equally lacking in the mass media who are constantly sounding the alarm about Russian propaganda. All I see are stories about Russia funding environmentalists (the horror!), giving a voice to civil rights activists (oh noes!), and retweeting articles supportive of Jeremy Corbyn (think of the children!). At its very most dramatic, this horrifying, dangerous epidemic of Russian propaganda is telling westerners to be skeptical of what they’re being told about the Skripal poisoning and the alleged Douma gas attackboth of which do happen to have some very significant causes for skepticism.

When you try to get down to the brass tacks of the actual argument being made and demand specific details about the specific threats we’re meant to be worried about, there aren’t any to be found. Nobody’s been able to tell me what specifically is so dangerous about westerners being exposed to the Russian side of international debates, or of Russians giving a platform to one or both sides of an American domestic debate. Even if every single one of the allegations about Russian bots and disinformation are true (and they aren’t), where is the actual clear and present danger? No one can say.

No one, that is, except the Atlantic Council.

In an absolutely jaw-dropping article that you should definitely read in its entirety, Elizabeth Braw took it upon herself to finally answer the question of why Russian propaganda is so dangerous, using the following hypothetical scenario:

What if Russia suddenly announced that its Baltic Fleet had dispatched an armada towards Britain? Would most people greet the news with steely resolve in the knowledge that their governments would know what to do, or would constant Kremlin-influenced reports about the incompetence of British institutions make them conclude that any resistance was pointless?

I mean, wow. Wow! Just wow. Where to even begin with this?

Before I continue, I should note that Braw is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, the shady NATO-aligned think tank with ties to powerful oligarchswhose name comes up when you look into many of the mainstream anti-Russia narratives, from the DNC hack to the discredited war propaganda firmBellingcat to Russian trolls to the notorious PropOrNot blacklist publicized by the Washington Post.Her article, published by Defense One, is titled “We Need a NATO for Infowar”, and it argues that westerners need to be propagandized by an alliance of western governments for our own good.

Back to the aforementioned excerpt. Braw claims that if Russian propaganda isn’t shut down or counteracted, Russia could send a fleet of war ships to attack Britain, and the British people would… react unenthusiastically? Wouldn’t cheer loudly enough as the British Navy fought the Russians? Would have a defeatist emotional demeanor? What exactly is the argument here?

That’s seriously her only attempt to directly address the question of where the actual danger is. Even in the most cartoonishly dramatic hypothetical scenario this Atlantic Council member can possibly imagine, there’s still no tangible threat of any kind. Even if Russia was directly attacking the United Kingdom at home, and Russian propaganda had somehow magically dominated all British airwaves and been believed by the entire country, that still wouldn’t have any impact on the British military’s ability to fight a naval battle. There’s literally no extent to which you can inflate this “Russian propaganda” hysteria to turn it into a possible threat to actual people in real life.

It gets better. Check out this excerpt:

Such responses to disinformation are like swatting flies: time-consuming and ineffective. But not addressing disinformation is ineffective, too. “Western media still have this thing where they try to be completely balanced, so they’ll say, ‘the Russians say this, but on the other hand the Americans say this is not true,’ They end up giving a lie and the truth the same value,” noted Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the former president of Estonia.

I just have so many questions. Like, how desperate does a writer have to be for an expert who can lend credibility to their argument that they have to reach all the way over to a former president of Estonia? And on what planet are these people living where Russian narratives are given the same weight as western narratives by western mainstream media? How can I get to this fantastical parallel dimension where western media “try to be completely balanced” and give equal coverage to all perspectives?

Braw argues that, because Russian propaganda is so dangerous (what with the threat of British people having insufficient emotional exuberance during a possible naval battle and all), what is required is a “NATO of infowar”, an alliance of western state media that is tasked with combatting Russian counter-narratives. Because, in the strange Dungeons & Dragons fantasy fairy world in which Braw penned her article, this isn’t already happening.

And of course, here in the real world, it is already happening. As I wrote recently, mainstream media outlets have been going out of their minds churning out attack editorials on anyone who questions the establishment narrative about what happened in Douma. A BBC reporter recently admonished a retired British naval officer for voicing skepticism of what we’re being told about Syria on the grounds that it might “muddy the waters” of the “information war” that is being fought against Russia. All day, every day, western mass media are pummeling the public with stories about how awful and scary Russians are and how everything they say is a lie.

This is because western mass media outlets are owned by western plutocrats, and those plutocrats have built their empires upon a status quo that they have a vested interest in preserving, often to the point where they will form alliances with defense and intelligence agencies to do so. They hire executives and editors who subscribe to a pro-establishment worldview, who in turn hire journalists who subscribe to a pro-establishment worldview, and in that way they ensure that all plutocrat-owned media outlets are advancing pro-plutocrat agendas.

The western empire is ruled by a loose transnational alliance of plutocrats and secretive government agencies. That loose alliance is your real government, and that government has the largest state media network in the history of civilization. The mass media propaganda machine of the western empire makes RT look like your grandmother’s Facebook wall.

In that way, we are being propagandized constantly by the people who really rule us. All this panic about Russian propaganda doesn’t exist because our dear leaders have a problem with propaganda, it exists because they believe only they should be allowed to propagandize us.

And, unlike Russian propaganda, western establishment propaganda actually does pose a direct threat to us. By using mass media to manipulate the ways we think and vote, our true rulers can persuade us to consent to crushing austerity measures and political impotence while the oligarchs grow richer and medicine money is spent on bombs. When we should all be revolting against an oppressive Orwellian oligarchy, we are instead lulled to sleep by those same oligarchs and their hired talking heads lying to us about freedom and democracy.

Russian propaganda is not dangerous. Having access to other ways of looking at global geopolitics is not dangerous. What absolutely is dangerous is a vast empire concerning itself with the information and ideas that its citizenry have access to. Get your rapey, manipulative fingers out of our minds, please.

If our dear leaders are so worried about our losing faith in our institutions, they shouldn’t be concerning themselves with manipulating us into trusting them, they should be making those institutions more trustworthy.

Don’t manipulate better, be better. The fact that an influential think tank is now openly advocating the former over the latter should concern us all.

*  *  *

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EuroPox Bitchface-KILLAH Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:17 Permalink

BBC, CNN, etc. - they have already lost!

This is a great chart - it shows websites linked from 'false flag' tweets:

People are not turning to the MSM, they are heading straight to: MoA, ZH, PCR, RT... this is where people now turn to find the truth!

The two most frequent, each appearing in six out of seven datasets? ZeroHedge and RT. 

Well done ZH!

In reply to by Bitchface-KILLAH

MoreSun King of Ruperts Land Fri, 05/04/2018 - 20:22 Permalink

The jew supremacists are furiously trying to get the internet genie back in the bottle so they can fully control and dispense their lying propaganda once again.

Some good reads to bring you up to factual historical speed:

" One Nation Under Israel "  By: Andrew Hurley

" It's The jew's Stupid ! -Revisited "  By: R. Vincent Bert

" The Aclu Vs America "  By: Alan Sears & Craig Osten

" Breaking The Spell "  By:  Dr. Nicholas Kollerstrom

" The Bad War " By: M.S. King

In reply to by King of Ruperts Land

uhland62 King of Ruperts Land Fri, 05/04/2018 - 21:42 Permalink

Do not make the Murdoch media look bigger or more powerful than they are.

Fox and Friends, 1.6 million views = 0.5% of US population. Wall Street Journal (only US edition left) 1.1 million print run. 2 readers per copy = 2.2 million readers = 0.7 % of US population.

Last year's loss of News Corp: 643 million USD. If the other media wouldn't always quote the Murdoch media we would not get the false impression they are benchmark. 

In reply to by King of Ruperts Land

Faeriedust uhland62 Sat, 05/05/2018 - 14:09 Permalink

Washington Post, 450,000 on an average day -- 0.01% of the U.S. population.  Also widely quoted as authoritative, but filled with Bezos-inspired political hate to the point where I gladly stopped reading it when they went to a subscription-only mode, even though it's my hometown paper and the articles on the woes of the Metro system are so nostalgic -- when I was young and trying to get a job, you see, there wasn't any Metro, a big part of why I had to leave.

In reply to by uhland62

ConanTheContrarian1 EuroPox Sat, 05/05/2018 - 11:40 Permalink

Euro, beware the pendulum approach to analysis. In VietNam, I seriously questioned the gov't arguments. Years later, lo and behold, I finally put the final piece in my puzzle when I found out that no, the Nguyen and Tranh had been at war since 1540, and the South Vietnamese didn't want to be "reunited". The government was right. Don't assume that because one side lies in one matter that they always lie, and that the other side has to be telling the truth.

In reply to by EuroPox

techpriest Bitchface-KILLAH Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:19 Permalink

“Well, it makes us lose trust in our institutions,” is the most common reply.

I have never been a Trump supporter, but IMO the one positive I saw back in the elections is that his character would bring about exactly this loss of trust. Not "He's bad and we can't trust him," so much as the fact that he's polarizing, and will fight everyone, and has inadvertently caused a lot of bad people to expose themselves.

Why should you trust people who think they have the right to take whatever amount of your money they want, use it for any purpose they want, and also who believe they have the right to harass, torture, stalk, or kill whoever they want, on any pretext they feel like thinking up?

In reply to by Bitchface-KILLAH

Fireman Pol Pot Sat, 05/05/2018 - 06:29 Permalink

"They", the Luciferian anglozionazi filth can no longer "frame the narrative" because their "frame" (using their gung hoer presstitutes peddling crap in the mindless legacy billionaire blogs such as the shit smeared toilet paper Joo Yawk Times, CNN, BBC and the rest of the putrid organs of the pedovores) is now irreparably compromised by so many blatant, outrageous lies even those with Alzheimer's get it. The jig that worked for so long is already over when 6 or 7 or 8% of humans finally get that pervasive stench of the ruling class behind all the evil that plagues this planet. The herd is already turning and the pedovore anglozionazi filth can't do a damn thing about it other than foam at the snout and threaten to kill us all. It truly is a wonderful sight to see as the filth in the anglozionazi sewer splashes up to its neck in shit as they realize that their time is up.


Red Pills everywhere!

In reply to by Pol Pot

ted41776 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:06 Permalink

when the house of cards built on lies falls apart, i would hate to be the face behind the megaphone. it will be the first to get a broken nose regardless of supposed good intentions

nmewn Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:10 Permalink

Now see! If the Alinsky Media were better liars (or told the tooof) there really wouldn't be an issue, would there?


Only two socialist lurkers tonight? This place ain't gonna be any fun at all ;-)

Grandad Grumps Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:11 Permalink

This really is a very nicer world, only the management sucks.

I am not sure that when the management takes our stuff, gets us into wars that we do not want to be in and then tells us how great they are and how stupid we are improves anything.

So, "no"! I do not buy the premise of the article.

Son of Captain Nemo Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:14 Permalink

Continued good tidings from the war machine in Syria that ISN'T REALLY TRAINING TERRORISTS at all (…)

Here is truthful propaganda you'll never hear the MSM talk about leading up to next Friday May 11, 2018 from the 2,977 who lost their lives that were used as an excuse to murder 4 million Muslims and counting...

Yeah!... Keep telling yourselves this will ALL END WELL!!!

navy62802 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:17 Permalink

The Atlantic Council is just another tentacle of the Soros Squid. The man should have been dealt with as a Nazi collaborator in the aftermath of World War 2. Unfortunately for humanity, he evaded accountability for his crimes against humanity during the war.

mc888 navy62802 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 20:43 Permalink

Why did Obama repeal Smith-Mundt? To allow BBG and Dept of State to broadcast propaganda domestically.

Kudos to this author for linking George Eliason's article.…

Ukraine SBU -> Atlantic Council -> BBG…

Chalupa (SBU, DNC) -> Isikoff -> Steele…

In reply to by navy62802

Topper Harley driftr Sat, 05/05/2018 - 02:50 Permalink

Apparently, some people cannot deal with evil in the abstract.

They have to personalize history to get a handle on it, hence the unhealthy fixation on Hitler, Stalin, Johnson, Obama, Netanyahu, and Mr Schwartz...

...when history is actually a succession of class struggles continuously revolutionizing the mode of production ;-) (Happy 200th Birthday, Charlie!)

In reply to by driftr

Topper Harley UmbilicalMosqu… Sat, 05/05/2018 - 03:01 Permalink

These people are as Marxist as the polygamists in Utah are christians.

It might be hip among alt-righters to deliberately confuse neolibcon "progressivism" with Marxism, but it is utterly factually wrong, and quite a bit embarrassing. 

It basically proves you have never read anything relating to political philosophy, but still are confident to chime in on the subject. 

In reply to by UmbilicalMosqu…

Dilluminati Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:35 Permalink

This is why I'm proud to be a NRA member and to have bought the Saint Edge.…

I don't shop at Cunts anyway.. or buy cunt coolers…

funny but a company that doesn't skimp on integrity on what it makes.. had the class to tell cunts no business is good business

41 minute Trump at the NRA

This my friends was the big news of the day!

There is a precision rifle that marksman want for that 3-gun edge


Branded Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:39 Permalink

I'm willing for my life to be expended as useless cannon fodder caught in the crossfire of collateral damage if Trump would only turn loose the military on the Federal Government.

The military won't fix things, but to see the hand of 'god' liquidating the fetid scum that occupy positions of power & influence in this country would be priceless.

He can start with the DOJ, FBI, & Judiciary. next the clandestine services, then move-on to the environmentalists and intellectuals who shove 'science' down our throats everyday - after that, we'll put it to a vote the next group on the list and pay per view it.

Must see TeeVee on the networks will be halftime show public crucifixions of bankers & PR Flacks.

. . . not all of Mao's ideas were bad.


uhland62 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 21:46 Permalink

I did not need Russians or anybody else to lose faith in our institutions.

It happened years ago through the actions of the late German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. The German constitution says one thing but Mr. Kohl did quite another to our family. Chancellor Matter and the Leuna-Minol affair will never be forgiven. 

We all have different lives and experiences. In common we have the abuse of power  by the institutions in many, many countries.