top of page


Caitlin Johnstone

Apr 23, 2024

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

They’re hunting civilians with armed quadcopters in Gaza.

The drones play recordings of crying babies and women screaming in distress in order to lure people out into the open, and then shoot them. 

This is reportedly happening at the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, where people live in total darkness at night and have no connection to the outside world.

Other times the drones play the sounds of explosions and gunshots and rolling tanks, and sometimes songs in Hebrew or Arabic, all to terrorize these refugees hiding in the darkness afraid for their lives.

This is the sort of report that a critical thinker would normally dismiss as absurd atrocity propaganda if it was being made about any other military power, but this is the IDF we’re talking about, and this specific allegation is pretty well-supported now. 

When the destruction of Gaza first began I used to read the jarring claims about the horrific things the IDF were doing and often think, “No, no way. That can’t be the whole story. It’s too cartoonishly evil. There must be some information missing.” Then a few days or weeks later confirmation would come out, showing it’s even worse than I thought before.

I don’t experience that kind of dubiousness when reading such stories anymore. There are only so many atrocities you can see documented, so many videos of IDF troops recording themselves gleefully behaving like monsters, so many hospitals you can see attacked, so many journalists you can see assassinated, before you read a new report about new unfathomable acts of depravity and find yourself saying “Yeah, that sounds about right.”

This baby-crying-sniper-drone story is something else, though. It’s like something out of a weird post-apocalyptic horror movie or something. It’s the kind of information that makes you sort of re-evaluate your previous assumptions about humanity, the world, and the kind of reality we’re experiencing here.

It is really astonishing, how cruel people can be. How cruel a whole nation of people can be made to be, if they’re indoctrinated just right. You spend your whole childhood being indoctrinated into the belief that one group of people are inferior to your own and don’t deserve the same rights and treatment your group receives, and before you know it you’re blockading aid trucks from bringing that group food, and playing recordings of crying babies on an assassination drone in order to murder civilians at a refugee camp.

That’s how Nazi Germany happened, it’s how the genocidal apartheid state of Israel has happened, and it’s how the murderous US-centralized empire has happened. It turns out it’s not all that hard to manipulate a population into supporting shocking abuses at mass scale with modern propaganda and indoctrination from early childhood. It turns out the human mind is a lot more hackable than we’d like to believe it is, and that this can be used to unleash living nightmares upon our world a lot more easily than we’re comfortable acknowledging.

This is how the entire western world has been manipulated into accepting nonstop war, militarism, nuclear brinkmanship, imperialism and exploitation as fine and normal, and into assuming that a better world isn’t possible. As long as the powerful are able to manipulate the way a sufficiently large percentage of the population thinks, speaks, acts and votes, we’re going to be stuck in this horrifying dystopia where the sky rains fire upon the innocent, where war profiteers reap vast fortunes from machines which rip apart human bodies, and where sniper drones cry like babies.

We can help weaken the empire’s propaganda machine by spreading awareness of what it’s doing and how it operates, because propaganda only works if you don’t know it’s happening to you. Help people to see the ways in which the mass media are deceiving them, point out all the signs that we live under an empire of lies, and help spread awareness of what’s really true and what’s really possible.

All positive changes in human behavior of any scale are always preceded by an expansion of consciousness. Spreading awareness is the first step toward a healthy world, and we can each do that in our own small way every single day.

bottom of page