Excerpt from Manufacturing Consent 

The United States attacked South Vietnam, arguably by 1962 and unquestionably by 1965, expanding its aggression to all of Indochina with lethal and long-term effects. Media coverage or other commentary on these events that does not begin by recognizing these essential facts is mere apologetics for terrorism and murderous aggression. The United States was “defending South Vietnam” in the same sense in which the Soviet Union is “defending Afghanistan.”

In a revealing article entitled “Lessons of Running Viets’ War,” published in August 1987, Stanley Karnow, a veteran Asia correspondent and author of a highly regarded liberal history of the Vietnam War, argues that the United States erred in Vietnam because it allowed the Vietnamese people to depend too heavily on us. 47 Reciprocally, the South Vietnamese people also “allowed themselves to be lulled into a complacent sense of dependency on the United States,” thinking we wouldn’t back down, not realizing that small clients are expendable. The South Vietnamese people who fought the U.S. invasion are never mentioned, or considered to be “South Vietnamese” within Karnow’s patriotic frame, although they constituted the majority of the population and the only serious political force…

We cannot quite say that the propaganda model is verified in the case of the Indochina wars, since it fails to predict such extraordinary, far-reaching, and exceptionless subservience to the state propaganda system. The fact that this judgment is correct—as it plainly is—is startling enough. Even more revealing with regard to Western intellectual culture is that the simple facts cannot be perceived, and their import lies far beyond the bounds of the thinkable.

You can also read an excerpt from Manufacturing Consent about the Freedom of the Press here: https://chomsky.info/consent02/

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