The official trailer for the latest Call of Duty was released a few days ago, and it features the Syria narrative management operation known as the White Helmets depicted in heroic roles. Characters wearing the organization’s signature headgear are seen clearing rubble in part of the trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
To give you an idea how popular the CoD franchise is, as of this writing the official Youtube version of the trailer has 27 million views.
To be clear, the characters in the game are most certainly intended to resemble the White Helmets of Syria, and their presence there is most certainly intended to increase support for and interest in that group. How do I know? Its game writer has explicitly said so.
“Kurosaki says he wants ‘Call of Duty’ to be spoken of as on par with the best war films, and he hopes ‘Modern Warfare’ will inspire fans to check out the harrowing and eye-opening documentaries ‘The White Helmets’ or ‘Last Man in Aleppo,” the LA Timesreports.
It’s a brilliant invention, really. Have a purportedly neutral group filming on the ground in “rebel”-held areas (where the White Helmets exclusively operate), and you can ensure an endless supply of footage which can be used to paint a longtime western target for regime change as a barbarian who needs to be ousted. And indeed, the extremist jihadist factions which overran Syria with the backing of the US and its allies nearly succeeded in toppling Assad prior to Russia’s intervention, and we may be certain that the agenda to control who rules over the geostrategically crucial region remains as intact as ever.
The pro-White Helmets propaganda is not Call of Duty‘s first foray into US military narrative management. As noted by journalist Max Blumenthal in April, an earlier CoD game depicted the assassination of the leader of Venezuela and, bizarrely, attacking Venezuela’s hydroelectric dam and energy grid with the goal of causing power outages like the ones the nation has been struggling with. Citing public information, Blumenthal documents how such games have been “developed with substantial input from America’s military intelligence apparatus”, as well as the CoD designer’s involvement with the Pentagon and the NATO narrative management firm the Atlantic Council.
War games: Pentagon/CIA push Venezuela regime-change propaganda in video games
How dirty and lowdown can you get?
Published on Apr 15, 2019
The US military and CIA launder propaganda through popular first-person shooter video games like Call of Duty, simulating invasions and sabotage of Venezuela’s socialist government. A video by Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton
People playing these games, mostly impressionable young men, are manipulated into desiring to accomplish the goals that are laid out for them in order to win, all of which involve killing and many of which happen to align with preexisting US military agendas. They are desensitized to mass military violence, trained to support and identify with US military campaigns, and taught that being a member of the military might just be a fun and noble way to spend one’s future.
Propaganda in video games doesn’t get the kind of pushback you see against propaganda in news media and movies, largely because the content in the games is generally only viewed individually by those who are engrossed in playing them. It’s this whole closed-off world that is manipulating minds with very little scrutiny compared to other forms of media, which is troubling, because the video game industry is so vast that for many years its earnings have eclipsed those of the movie and music industries combined.
This needs more attention. The sane, healthy response to learning that one’s government and its allies were arming and training terrorist groups in Syria would have been screaming, earth-shaking rage for months, accompanied by a demand for an unequivocal apology, immediate repair of all damage done, and war crimes tribunals for everyone who was involved. Instead, the news passed by with barely a whisper, and now when you see Syria mentioned it’s generally to condemn its president for fighting back against that unforgivably depraved act of regime change interventionism. This has been happening because people have been propagandized. Nothing will change until we find a way to help human minds unplug from the narrative control matrix and awaken to what’s really going on.
The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me onFacebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.
Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon!
Caitlin Johnstone is a brave journalist, political junkie, relentless feminist, champion of the 99 percent. And a powerful counter-propaganda tactician.