Monday, October 5, 2015

Narrative Warfare: An Example

Narrative Warfare can be further summarized as bad science: you start with your conclusion, gather elements that you call evidence to support it (if you bother to try at all), smother it in emotionally-manipulative language (rhetoric) to smooth over the rough spots and shut down naysayers, and keep at it until your bullshit is accepted as fact and folks begin acting on it en masse. What is actually true--what the facts are, how they are, how they interact, etc.--matters only if it advances the Narrative; otherwise, it is denied or decried until shut out of the perception of the audience you're targeting.

Let's take a simple example, encapsulated in this quote:
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials
Let us make one verifiable claim: the late Saddam Hussein, formerly the despot rule of Iraq, had sweet fuck-all to do with 9/11. Yet said event led to the U.S. leading an invasion of that country in revenge for it. Subsequently, it lead to Saddam's capture, trial, conviction, and execution.

That is Narrative Warfare in action.

The American Establishment, the oligarchy (extant in both major parties) that rules the United States and dominates the institutions in and around the Federal Government, wanted Iraq put down and Saddam removed. 9/11 was the pretext used to launch such overt operations against the former U.S. client regime, despite neither the despot nor the regime being involved, and the very process that Goering explained happened to gain domestic and foreign political cover to do it.

I say that this is a simple example. There are two big reasons for saying so: it is an example executed at a tactical level of time to achieve a tactical geopolitical objective, not something at the strategic level, and its methods are crude by today's standards of what Narrative Warfare is able to do- and was thought so then, almost 15 years ago. However, for those of you not accustomed to such matters such a simple example better illustrates what the system is and how it works.

Narrative Warfare is based on well-told lies, not well-made lies.

Nevermind the 9/11 official report and its dissenters; that's something for another post. I want you to focus on what you heard from the media about who did it, and where they're said to have been, in the wake of 9/11. Remember that guy? Osama bin Laden, in Afghanistan, are the correct answers. Had the U.S. Federal Government confined its military response to entering Afghanistan specifically to apprehend Osama bin Laden, and then to extradite him back to the U.S. for trial, no one would have batted an eye. That response, if anything, would be criticized as a half-measure by those seeking to use it for their own gain.

Instead, not only did the U.S. lead an invasion and occupation of Afghanistan (and it was just that), but the U.S. did the same to Iraq and got just enough political cover to do so without significant political difficulty at home or abroad. Does this not make you wonder what the hell went on?

They created a Narrative, and hammered it until it stuck.

Again, it's a well-told lie- not a well-made one. When the Bush 43 Administration put out the first claim of Saddam being involved, in the wake of the now-infamous Axis of Evil speech, it was routinely criticized as being wrong. There are posts, articles, videos, etc. ripping this claim apart. However, the reason that this criticism didn't work is that they attempted to use Dialectic speech (critical and skeptical analysis of the logic, evidence, etc. of a presented claim) to counter Rhetorical speech (emotional manipulation intended to bypass logic and get folks to act on Muh Feelz, not on The Real).

Vox Day explained in SJWs Always Lie and again at this post at his blog (taken from the post so linked) why those who wage Narrative Warfare build their campaigns on Rhetoric:

"Rhetoric often strikes those outside its emotional impact range as stupid. Think about the nasty little comment about her new dress that absolutely crushes the teen girl; the same comment made to anyone else might not only seem stupid, but insane. However, as I seem to keep having to point out to those who are quite stupidly attached to the idea that flawless logic and reason are genuinely capable of persuading 100 percent of all human beings of anything, rhetoric is devoid of information content. It is not intended to instruct or inform. It is intended to emotionally influence".
The well-told lie is a work of Rhetoric, not Dialectic.

Remember the anti-war marches? Some up to a million in number? Blacked out by the media in most places where public opinion was at all in doubt, and blacked out because video of massive marches are Rhetorical in effect. This is why "spin" matters to the Public Relations crowd and all those like them. They want to control what information you received, including how you are supposed to feel about what information you do get, and push you where they want you to go through gut reaction based on that emotional manipulation- not based on logic, evidence, or reason. You can verify that shit--it's Dialectic in effect--but gut reactions are not. It was gut reactions that suckered the U.S. population into such a state that they either got demoralized and let the Iraq debacle happen, or wound up and blindly supported via a false equivalency with past wars or improper identification with the military personnel sent to do the breaking.

So, what was the story sold? "Saddam has Weapons of Mass Destruction and is willing to use them because he's part of the Axis of Evil, as were the terrorists who hit us on 9/11, so you're either with us or with the terrorists." That summary has the key fraudulent claim, the false claim of association, made via a Rhetorical device intended to use your feelings to con you into associating Saddam with Osama and thus back the push to invade Iraq. It's a terribly-made lie, but it was told very well by the mainstream media, so it worked well enough to get the job done- and we are still feeling the consequences nearly 15 years later.

That was just one example of one moment. Scale it up and be appalled.

So, ready to go back to that post on the Trivium now and start learning how to defend yourself? Until you do, you're going to continue being Shanghaied on to one Ruse Cruise after another and there's sweet fuck-all you'll be able to do about it.

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