[Another awesome contribution from Skye!]
America is known to manufacture consent for its wars overseas. Yes, a lot of the consent is garnered via fear mongering, but there is another aspect of convincing people to go to war; the idea that the enemy is evil simply in order to be evil. This is, as you might tell, not the case.
(SS Op-Ed) You don't have to look far into fantasy literature (or, frankly, fantasy in general) to find the archetype of Unreasoning Evil. Another name I have for this archetype is Orc Syndrome. The archetype describes a character that commits evil simply because he/she/it enjoys doing so, without rhyme nor reason to the evil thing's actions besides the overwhelming desire to be evil.
But it's not just fantasy settings like J.R.R Tolkien's Middle-Earth (Sauron and his armies) or George R.R Martin's Westeros (the White Walkers) where you can find the archetype in use. The U.S government, along with many other states, puts this idea to use in their news propaganda outlets, especially with respect to their portrayals of Bashar al-Assad, the leader of Syria (more on him later).
There is one thing about evil that must be recognized; it is that, no matter how vile someone is in their moral conduct, there are always reasons and logic behind their behavior. Even the ruling elites (i.e., the infamous Rothschild dynasty) does countless evil and sadistic acts every day, but even they cannot be said to commit evil in an unthinking and instinctual fashion. They do it for power, money, and material gains, all of which help them make sure they have everything they could ever desire in their lives.
Perhaps they do enjoy the act of evil, for I cannot fathom their minds; however, they do not commit the actions they do without cause. The same can be said for the vast majority of humanity. A thief might steal in order to feed his starving family. A murderer might be suffering from a mental illness, have exploded in a rage they will immediately come to regret, or could have been blackmailed by someone else to commit the act. But no matter the evil, it is not done without some kind of purpose or reason in mind.
The U.S news establishment is notorious for pushing the idea that the countries that our military attacks (and often the leaders of this country as well) are somehow unreasoningly evil. A common excuse for the post-9/11 wars was that we were defending ourselves from the terrorists' "hatred of our freedom." As simple as the populace would like that to be, it is never just because "they hate our freedom" or "he's simply a sadistic, horrible creature." For example, the media's portrayal of Bashar al-Assad is actually rather hilarious in its lack of consistency or logic in explaining the "reasons" why Assad would attack his own people with chemical weapons; which, by the way, were banned due not only due to their cruelty, but their ineffectiveness in killing large numbers of people.
As this Anti-Media article states:
"As the always excellent Moon of Alabama recently put it, 'Chemical warfare is ineffective. That is why everyone agreed to ban it.' There is nothing about chemical weapons that is inherently more horrific than, say, nuclear weapons; the difference is that they’re just not a very efficient way of killing a large number of people, whereas nuclear weapons are. The Syrian government and its allies are having military victory after military victory over the occupying militias which had taken over large territories, and they have been doing so using far more effective conventional munitions.
Why, after all that success, would Assad suddenly switch to using an ineffective, banned military tactic that is guaranteed to provoke western retaliation and potentially bring about his own downfall? Even if he’s the worst person in the world, there is no motive for him to do such a thing and there is every incentive not to. The only possible explanation would be that Assad receives some kind of personal gratification from committing war crimes, perhaps sexual in nature and that this bizarre, unheard of kink is so alluring to him that it would overwhelm his desire to remain in power and stay alive. Furthermore, he would have to have only discovered this strange, unique sexual fetish a few years ago, coincidentally around the same time the US and its allies decided it was time to remove him from power."
The media's portrayal of "the Dark Lord, Assad" comes down to exactly that; the effort to make him seem like he commits evil solely because he acquires some kind of pleasurable gratification from it. This is why I call it the Orc Syndrome; because only fictitious beings from from fantasy realms (such as the orcs, goblins, and trolls from the Lord of the Rings) commit evil just because they enjoy doing it so much that they would throw away their power and even their lives to satisfy themselves.
Another example of this archetype being used in the media is the oft-seen negative portrayal of the Palestinians' struggle against Israel's occupation of their land. The Palestinians have been forced into what is essentially an open-air prison, proclaimed 2nd-class citizens in Israeli legislation, and massacred by the dozens.
I myself have been told by a few pro-Israeli individuals that Israel is defending their land from "people who are essentially violent terrorist jihad's." The same people
claim that the Palestinians have fired RPGs and rifles at the Israeli soldiers.
Even if the claims of Palestinians using deadly force against the Israelis were true, they would be justified in doing so as the Israelis invaded their land, purged them from their homes, and shoved them all into the Gaza Strip where they are in a constant state of legalized (and internationally ignored) ethnic cleansing. So I'm fairly certain that the Palestinians retaliating against the invaders (which, by the way, has resulted in exactly one dead IDF soldier).
The most recently cited article states:
"However, the atmosphere enveloping the 2 million people in Gaza this week is similar to that which existed just before the outbreak of Israel’s 2012 and 2014 offensives. Israel decided to violate the terms of the Egyptian-brokered deal and send in an undercover unit to assassinate a
leading Hamas commander. The surprise attack was discovered and thwarted by resistance fighters, several of whom were killed when the Israeli forces called in air support to cover their withdrawal. A senior Israeli officer was also killed, and one was wounded."
So far, that is the only IDF soldier to be killed in recent years. And to top off the insult, not only are the Palestinians not allowed to leave their state of oppression, but Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu states the deaths don't matter because all Palestinians are terrorists. So not only does Israel try to justify their massacres, they try and apply Orc Syndrome to the Palestinians as their justification.
But like I said, even the most despicable individuals have reason to commit evil. Israel's reason is presumably to acquire the Palestinian's land as their own so they can use and exploit its space and resources. I would assume the majority of them don't murder Palestinians because they enjoy seeing Arab blood on the sand (though it's likely a few of them do); they do it because they stand to gain material advantages.
So as you, the reader, can see, it is important to be on your mental guard when the news tries to fashion other peoples, leaders, or nations into an image of Unreasoning Evil.
Bashar has been proven not to use chemical weapons (the OPCW confirmed this after the U.S struck Syria for supposed chemical weapon use) and in fact it is the terrorists Assad fights who possess and use the weapons, subsequently blaming it on Syria's leader (after all, it is the terrorists who stand to gain the aid of Western civilization with false flag chemical attacks) .
Though I do not support Assad or his government, I will readily tell you that the stories circulating about him are untrue and he is not afflicted with Orc Syndrome; rather, he is another target in a long line of nations destroyed by U.S foreign policy. The same goes for the Palestinians; they are not unreasoningly evil terrorists who want to kill Israelis "just 'cause"; they are an oppressed population defending themselves from an invader who wants their land and resources. No evil is committed without reason, and in the given examples no evil has actually been committed; the news simply tries to paint it that way. Assad would not be able to hold political power if he was truly randomly gassing civilians; and unless the entire population of Palestinians are homicidally insane religious fanatics, they cannot be blanketed with Orc Syndrome either. These are but two examples of the mainstream media's application of Unreasoning Evil; and if you value the truth of matters, it is something to watch for and be wary of due to its inaccuracy.