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When Private Ryan is shamed by quiet heroes in the Syrian Arab Army

14 131 472
09.06.2018

It is the victory of fantasy over realism that distances the American public from the horrors of war.

Wars that are never on US soil but waged in distant lands, but always in the “interests of national security”. Consent is manufactured for these wars by fabricating fear and insecurity, the amplification of terrorism threats as the ever-present danger menacing the American people, held at bay by military intervention at an imagined ‘source’.

“US airstrikes on Syria were in the "vital national security and foreign policy interests" of the United States” President Trump told Congress, after the tripartite alliance of US, France and UK had unlawfully attacked Syria. An attack carried out under the pretext of a trumped-up charge of chemical attacks by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the last moments of Douma’s liberation from Saudi-financed and UK-promoted extremists, Jaysh al-Islam.

Cinema is escapism and Hollywood excels in distracting a public already bamboozled by a corporate media’s expert distortion of fact to generate the narratives that instil fear and dehumanize the latest foe in the foreign policy crosshairs.

In Saving Private Ryan, the horror of battle is surround-sound deafeningly conveyed. Unremitting reality confronts our sensibility, the scream of bullets tearing into flesh, the clamour of the dying; nothing is left to the imagination. It is full frontal war.

In the movie, a detail of American soldiers is dispatched to France to bring Private Ryan home to his mother after General Marshall learns that his three brothers were killed in action. We are led to believe that the assuaging of Mama Ryan’s grief is of paramount national importance. It is an all-American feel-good-factor movie with the familiar “true grit”, the hard-bitten courage of ‘real men’ fighting to save the world and their own souls. As the movie’s tagline informs us: “In the last great invasion of the last great war, the greatest challenge for eight men... was saving one.”

As US Defence Secretary, James Mattis, said recently, when trying to explain away the wholesale devastation in Raqqa following a sustained bombing campaign by........

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