Things said only for effect

”You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.” (US Secretary of State John Kerry, concerning Russia)

We always have to ask ourselves, when public officials make such odd-sounding statements as Kerry’s above, “Who is the intended audience?” In this case, Kerry was on Face the Nation, a US news talk show, and so knew his audience would not be surprised by the remark. It was intended for effect, and had no substantial content. That’s all those shows exist for – effect.

This from Moon of Alabama:

Obama mentor and Russophob Zbigniew Brzezinski seems to push for escalation of the situation as he envisions U.S. weaponized “urban resistance” in Ukraine against an (unlikely) Russian invasion. His rant includes this most hypocritical beauty:

“Above all the president must clarify why we cannot tolerate an international system in which countries are invaded by thugs and destabilized from abroad.”


This quote is from Politico, and again intended for an elite American audience. The Sunday news shows and Politico are organs of propaganda for our more politically astute subculture of college graduates, political scientists, and people who like to stay abreast of the news. These people naturally do not believe in propaganda, or at least know that it has no effect on them. The American state propagandists are aware that in order to reach someone, that person must first be convinced that propaganda is ineffectual and not very clever. Convinced of their own superiority, the audience members for these two outlets are absolutely the easiest target for the lies being told. Hence, Kerry and Zbig know what they are saying, who they are saying it to, and what they are after.

The effect, as far as I can guess, is to instill a sense of moral superiority in the audience as the US goes about its usual criminal bullying abroad. Support from the intellectual classes is an important pillar of American imperialism – it is absolutely essential that these people buy in. Hence they are special targets of Sunday TV and outlets like Politico.

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