What we say goes

Noam…  Chomsky, Japan Focus, November 26:

Remember the background. The Iraqi population is overwhelmingly calling for a withdrawal. The US government knows this from its own polls. The US population is calling for a withdrawal. The last congressional election was about this. The response? Escalate. As soon as you saw the surge was announced you could predict that there was going to be a flow of propaganda about how Iran was behind it. What happens? A flow of propaganda about how Iran is behind it. Then comes a debate.

This is the way Western democratic propaganda systems operate. You don’t articulate the party line – totalitarian states do that – they announce the party line, and if people don’t accept it, you beat them over the head. Nobody has to believe it. In free societies that won’t work. You have to presuppose the party line – never mention – just presuppose it. Then encourage a vigorous debate within the framework of the party line. That instills the party line even more deeply and it gives the impression of an open, free society.

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