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From Bana to Neda to Genevieve: The Iconography of Turmoil

By Hafsa Kara-Mustapha | American Herald Tribune | April 2, 2019

In the digital age, conflicts are sold to public opinion via powerful imagery, one that would be ingrained in the national consciousness and make for a solid casus belli.

More often than not they are of women or young girls who are presented as the victims of a brutal regime that only Western benevolence can save.

In Syria, a young girl called Bana Al Abed rapidly turned into the iconic figure of the Syrian crisis when she tweeted about the horrors of the conflict and the perils of life in a war zone.

She soon became the favorite of the celebrity Twitterati and was eventually hosted by Turkish leader Recip Tayep Erdogan, touring Western capitals and doing the talk show rounds before signing, with the help of her more eloquent mother, a lucrative book deal.

Her story precipitated Western intervention in Syria. … continue

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Three Mile Island, Global Warming and the CIA

By Aletho News | January 9, 2012

There appears to be something about launching bombs or missiles from afar onto cities and people that appeals to American military and political leaders. In part it has to do with a conscious desire to not risk American lives in ground combat. And in part, perhaps not entirely conscious, it has to do with not wishing to look upon the gory remains of the victims, allowing American GIs and TV viewers at home to cling to their warm fuzzy feelings about themselves, their government, and their marvelous “family values”. Washington officials are careful to distinguish between the explosives the US drops from the sky and “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD), which only the officially-designated enemies (ODE) are depraved enough to use. The US government speaks sternly of WMD, defining them as nuclear, chemical and biological in nature, and “indiscriminate” (meaning their use can’t be limited to military objectives), as opposed to the likes of American “precision” cruise missiles. This is indeed a shaky semantic leg to stand on, given the well-known extremely extensive damage to non-military targets, including numerous residences, schools and hospitals, even from American “smart” bombs, in almost all of the bombings listed below.

Moreover, Washington does not apply the term “weapons of mass destruction” to other weapons the US has regularly used, such as depleted uranium and cluster bombs, which can be, and often are, highly indiscriminate. … continue

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