THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world. – Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928) 
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Since at least as far back as World War I, propaganda has been a major force in our lives, and a critical factor shaping public support for foreign policy.
With time, this propaganda campaign has gotten more sophisticated. Consider, for example, the 1991 Persian Gulf War, acceptance of which was ramped up following a testimony of an alleged witness of atrocities by invading Iraqi soldiers. The incident was eventually exposed as a massive deception as explained in the following video by Canadian journalist Barrie Zwicker.
The current conflict in Syria would seem to reveal an unprecedented evolution of this process of mind control in service of imperial conquest.
The general public throughout the West, including many self-described progressives and anti-imperialists, see the Syrian conflict as a civil war. An uprising of democratic rebels against a tyrannical dictator. The Syrian regime, together with the Russian military are, apparently, the main cause of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians and the dislocation of millions. He stands accused of using chemical weapons on his own people in 2013, 2017, and 2018.
Enter the White Helmets – a team of volunteers rescuers whose exploits have impressed the sympathetic masses as heroes. A documentary about them won an Oscar Award. They have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. They have also helped foster popular enmity toward president Assad and his government.
As revealed in past episodes of the Global Research News Hour, the Syrian conflict is not a civil war, but an insurgency, backed by the U.S., Qatar,