Syrian war gives Russia a chance to test weapons

As was mentioned in a previous post. Syria is just a new playground for Russia & Co.. The “Blazing Sun” missile is but one (latest) example.

 

What happens if the land offensive started by Assad’s forces Wednesday with help from Iranian troops and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia fails to recapture lost territory? Does Russia have a specific goal or at least a time frame? What about an exit strategy?These questions matter only if Russia is in this for the long haul. It has done nothing to suggest that it is, however. The Kremlin only appears to be setting short-term tactical goals for now because it’s not heavily committed to an outcome in Syria. One of these objectives is to battle-test and show off new hardware. Continue reading

U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News To Americans

Even if the intent is good-willed, one shouldn’t be complacent in thinking that over time the overall message or tone of propaganda can’t be used upon citizens and against the country. Anything can be infiltrated and re-directed.

For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government’s mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened?

The restriction of these broadcasts was due to the Smith-Mundt Act, a long standing piece of legislation that has been amended numerous times over the years, perhaps most consequentially by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. In the 70s, Fulbright was no friend of VOA and Radio Free Europe, and moved to restrict them from domestic distribution, saying they “should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics.” Fulbright’s amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky who argued that such “propaganda” should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. “from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity.” Continue reading