If anyone needs additional proof of the tremendous censorial control wielded over corporate and alleged “independent” media regarding Western powers’ imperialist projects they need look no further than the thorough news blackout of the August 9 Tehran Consultative Conference on Syria. As this censorship ensued, “progressive” news outlets continued their barrage of dubious and misleading information on the continuing turmoil within Syrian.
The news media’s readiness to accept official pronouncements and failure to more vigorously analyze and question government authorities in the wake of “domestic terrorist” incidents contributes to the American public’s already acute case of collective historical amnesia, while it further rationalizes the twenty-first century police state and continued demise of civil society.
“Human rights have purely instrumental value in the political culture,” Noam Chomsky observed almost twenty years ago. “They provide a useful tool for propaganda, nothing more.”  Since early 2011 Western media outlets have given considerable attention to civilian casualties in Libya and Syria, thus playing an important role in conditioning public opinion for massive military operations that have, in the case of Libya, proven immensely harmful for civilians and beneficial toward forces that stand to profit handsomely from control of that country’s resources. A repeated claim has been that the Qaddafi, Assad, and other autocratic Middle Eastern regimes the US has seen fit to support over the past several decades have suddenly chosen to “crackdown” on their civilian populations, and thus the West must intervene on humanitarian grounds.
“Sanitized killing is cheap and efficient. Rule of law principles and other disturbing issues aren’t considered. Secrecy and accountability go unaddressed.” –Stephen Lendman, “America’s Drone Command Centers: Remote Warriors Operate Computer Keyboards and Joysticks“.
It is estimated that one in three CIA drone strikes in Pakistan kills a child . Between 2004 and 2011 at least 168 children have been killed in America’s drone war in that country alone.
In the purported digital age one is frequently presented with the notion that communication will inevitably make society a more coherent whole. Yet media technology has failed to conquer the combined obstacles of the censorial use of language and geographic distance when it comes to relating the many horrors of modern warfare. Instead, such technology has reinforced a now familiar tradition of language games that cleanses atrocities from the popular memory.