Hillary mentioned the children of Syria in last night’s debate, mentioning a tragic picture making the media rounds, which is of course a good way to stop our brains from functioning, and to touch our hearts.

The problem is that pictures can be faked. I know about this because my family  has been involved in medicine, surgery, nursing and rescue work since I was born, and I have, for over sixty years, seen “simulated wounds.”

I think the first simulated wounds I saw were a plaster sequence of gory abdomens simulating the surgical removal of an appendix,  donated by the Massachusetts General Hospital to  the Museum of Science just down the street, around 1959. Since then they have gotten better and better at simulations, especially in regards to training ambulance workers.

The first wound I saw that could “spurt blood” was around 1975, and was invented originally to train medics in the Vietnam war, and then the simulations evolved further in order to train EMTs how to handle disaster situations involving triage, where first responders have to swiftly decide who has the best chance of survival and will die without treatment, who will survive without treatment, and who is likely going to die even if treated.

Unfortunately this skill is now being used for propaganda purposes, and there are some fine examples of wounds being created to cause our hearts to lurch.


The media should be on guard to avoid being made into chumps.


Unfortunately, there is some evidence our media is gladly performing as chumps, in order to support our presidents policy in Syria.

War is hell. It is vile, and hard on the hearts of even the toughest men. Post-traumatic-stress has a long history, past the times it was called “battle fatigue” and “shell shock.” War is even harder on women and children, even when soldiers try to make sure they are protected. When women and children are instead beheaded,  we are entering a lower level of hell.

In times like this it behooves our media to be especially hard-hearted and cynical about all pictures it receives. Sadly, they are merely behaving like chumps and tools of governments. It is up to us, the people, to harden our hearts and examine the grim evidence for signs of fraud and forgery. The really good reporting now occurs on small websites. Here is an interesting example:

I am disappointed in the mainstream media’s failure to do due diligence. If individuals at small websites can utilize the ability of modern computers to identify a picture (even when it is clipped), and see when a picture from an earlier time and place is “reused” for propaganda purposes, why cannot a major network do the same?

Modern computers are able to utilize “face recognition” to identify the same individual in a wide variety of pictures. If independent bloggers can use this feature to spot a good actor who appears in dramatic poses in too many “action shots” for coincidence to credibly allow, why cannot a major network with millions of dollars do the same?

I used to think the reason for the media’s failures was laziness, or perhaps reduced budgets, but increasingly I suspect the media is a willing accomplice of those who do not wish the public to know the Truth, the Whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.

The American people must refuse to allow their heart strings to be plucked, and played like banjo’s, by opportunistic politicians using sound-bytes and pictures.


It should be noted that, if any journalist claims they “had no idea false images might be involved”, as if this is some new phenomenon they were not prepared for, then that journalist must be very poorly educated. A little over a decade ago Reuters was caught changing images involving Israeli missile strikes in southern Lebanon.

The primary difference between 2006 and 2016 seems to be that, in 2006, journalists at least pretended to be ashamed.


5 thoughts on “HOW TO BREAK OUR HEARTS

  1. Thank you Caleb for bringing this awful propaganda to our attention. I’ve long stopped unquestionably believing most of what I see, hear and read in the media. Through the UK media (notably the BBC & Grauniad, surprise, surprise), we are currently bombarded with news about the so-called “children” of the migrant camps around Calais. Their voices choked with emotion, they describe their sad and sorry plight and declare that all these unaccompanied, desperate “children” must be allowed to come across to Britain. I saw some photos of the successful migrants yesterday, all male of course and more than one or two of them with conspicuous five o’clock shadows. Children my a**e!

  2. It is sad when children are used to forward an agenda – that agenda being to create a basis for starting direct American ground involvement in the Syrian conflict. I cannot call it a “civil war” when the majority of those opposing the current government are paid mercenaries, as people do not go to Syria from the US and the EU to “fight the evil Assad” unless they are getting paid to do so.

    But I did see part of an interview with Assad’s wife, Asma, who made a very obvious point. She mentioned the names of the children that are broadcast all over the western media by name, saying that it is a tragedy that these children have had to suffer. Then she named children that are not mentioned by the media, children that have been maimed and slaughtered by “the rebels” in the war, and said something to the affect that aren’t these children suffering just as tragic, yet you don’t hear of them because their deaths and disfiguring doesn’t fit the agenda of showing the world “the evil Assad regime.” As she said, all Syrian children matter, not just those that can be used to further an agenda.

    And of course, she is correct – all children do matter. The tragedies suffered by the people that support the current regime are just as great and just as real and just as heart breaking as those in areas where the government isn’t supported. But this is something that would have played out to a finish by now if “western agenda” wasn’t a factor in this terrible conflict.

    We destroyed Iraq to “save it from Hussein.” We destroyed Libya “to save it from Qaddafi.” And we are now destroying Syria “to save it from Assad.” Wouldn’t it be nice if we stayed home and “saved everyone from being destroyed by us?”

  3. We are all compassionate, but need to be very skeptical regarding any attempts to tug on our emotions (and wallets) for financial or political gain. As they say, a fool and his money are soon parted.

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