For example, during World War 1, the US media whipped up a frenzy by claiming that the Germans were bayoneting Belgian babies. The atrocities never happened.
In the run-up to the Gulf War in 1991, Americans were told that Iraqi soldiers were ripping babies from incubators in Kuwaiti hospitals. President George H.W. Bush later repeated the story. It was a pivotal event that increased support for the war. Later, the incident was revealed to be fake, and the woman making the claims was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington, someone who had a motive to get the US involved in the war.
More recently, the media told us about the Palestinian Hamas beheading 40 Israeli babies. President Joe Biden repeated the incident. It was later revealed not to have occurred.
These are just a few examples of this propaganda tactic.
What is your take on all of this?
Doug Casey: It's long been said, quite correctly, that "The first casualty in war is truth." Especially when it comes to war reporting, you never know what to believe. It's impossible to separate truth from propaganda most of the time. Emotion almost always triumphs over reason.
Americans are particularly vulnerable to emotional arguments because they always see themselves as the "good guys." Although their interventions almost always made things worse—starting with the US fomenting the Spanish-American War, then prolonging World War I and setting up the conditions for World War II. Foreign disasters have gotten worse since—in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
Now, in the Ukraine and Gaza. And lots of others on the runway. Americans are particularly vulnerable to seeing themselves as saviors when they should just mind their own business.