Why Propaganda Trumps Truth

By Paul Craig Roberts

September 15, 2009 "Information Clearing House" -- -An article in the journal, Sociological Inquiry, casts light on the effectiveness of propaganda. Researchers examined why big lies succeed where little lies fail. Governments can get away with mass deceptions, but politicians cannot get away with sexual affairs.

The researchers explain why so many Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, years after it has become obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with the event. Americans developed elaborate rationalizations based on Bush administration propaganda that alleged Iraqi involvement and became deeply attached to their beliefs. Their emotional involvement became wrapped up in their personal identity and sense of morality. They looked for information that supported their beliefs and avoided information that challenged them, regardless of the facts of the matter.


Must Read!


Must read? Must edit!

The article is great except Roberts destroys his credibilty by noting that "millions of pieces of unburnt, uncharred paper ... [were] floating over lower Manhatten" and then asking: "What is the explanation of fires so hot that steel fails but paper does not combust?" The answer is simple: the paper was burned in the floors that were on fire, but the millions of papers floating around Manhattan came from the remaining hundred or so floors that were not on fire when the buildings collapsed or were demolished.

Roberts desperately needs to replace the following paragraphs with a decent example:

"I have asked on several occasions and have never had an answer, which does not mean that there isn’t one, how millions of pieces of unburnt, uncharred paper can be floating over lower Manhatten from the destruction of the WTC towers when the official explanation of the destruction is fires so hot and evenly distributed that they caused the massive steel structures to weaken and fail simultaneously so that the buildings fell in free fall time just as they would if they had been brought down by controlled demolition.

What is the explanation of fires so hot that steel fails but paper does not combust?"

Make that change and the paper is good for distribution far and wide. However, with this glaring failure to recognize the obvious I am afraid the paper may do more harm than good.

Omit the whole point. It

Omit the whole point.

It is unconvincing to focus on unburnt paper. There is much better evidence for explosive demolition. Unburnt paper is not strong evidence of anything in particular.

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Sociological Inquiry

Vol. 79, No. 2, May 2009, 142-162

"There Must Be A Reason": Osama, Saddam, and Inferred Justification

Best article I've read in a long time

I read PCR on CounterPunch all the time, and always enjoy his writing there. But I can feel Cockburn squirming when he reads stuff like this. It really describes his mentality to a T.

Yep, I agree

.......... This should help in dealing with the emotional and psychological resistance of people........

Thanks PCR.. for putting it in perspective. And ICH for offering a true counterpunch to censorship.

I've had the same experience

"What I find puzzling is the people I know who do not believe a word the government says about anything except 9/11. For reasons that escape me, they believe that the government that lies to them about everything else tells them the truth about 9/11."

Roberts sums up a lot here - with an abundance of clarity

Another great point that he raises in the article is this:

'Naive people think that if the US government’s explanation of 9/11 was wrong, physicists and engineers would all speak up. Some have (see above). However, for most physicists and engineers this would be an act of suicide. Physicists owe their careers to government grants, and their departments are critically dependent on government funding. A physicist who speaks up essentially ends his university career.'

His comments about antiwar websites being self-defeating in shutting out 9/11 truth are also superb--essentially what I find myself thinking and saying all the time.

I was once an avid reader of antiwar.com, until their unyielding attitude toward 9/11 truth finally drove me away. To hear now that they are having trouble with their fundraising, I can't help but feel a kind of 'schadenfreude.'

Kudos to Roberts and to Information Clearing House.