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Manufacturing Consent for Corporate Wars in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave

Posted in the database on Saturday, June 17th, 2006 @ 16:04:51 MST (4047 views)
by Siv O'Neall    Axis of Logic  

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What Did You Learn in School Today
(Tom Paxton)

What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned that Washington never told a lie
I learned that soldiers seldom die
I learned that everybody's free
That's what the teacher said to me
And that's what I learned in school today
That's what I learned in school
What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned that policemen are my friends
I learned that justice never ends
I learned that murderers die for their crimes
Even if we make a mistake sometimes
And that's what I learned in school today
That's what I learned in school
What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned that war is not so bad
I learned about the great ones we have had
We fought in Germany and in France
And someday I might get my chance
And that's what I learned in school today
That's what I learned in school
What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned that our government must be strong
It's always right and never wrong
Our leaders are the finest men
So we elect them again and again
And that's what I learned in school today
That's what I learned in school
Copyright Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co., Inc.

Hiding the truth

The reality behind the distorted version we generally receive, via the authorities and via the media, of U.S. war games and aggression is completely hidden in the massive rewriting of history. The true reasons for the war games before and while they are enacted is not for the people to see. The reality is that the United States has been heading in one direction only, for well over a century, that direction being a consolidation of power and world domination through whatever means are available, through lies and distortions, insidious propaganda and the shrill denunciation of ‘unpatriotic’ individuals. In fact, all independently thinking people are unpatriotic according to the powers that be.

The U.S. politicians and historians have always been superbly qualified to invent ‘acceptable’ pretexts for invading and killing civilians and rebels in countries that didn’t live up to the norms of desired cooperation with the United States. Which is to say that the countries that did not willingly let themselves be subjected to U.S. domination, to a subordinate role in the commercial dealings with ‘the greatest democracy in the world’, had to put up with the dire consequences of their insubordination. They either got invaded or they were forced to toe the line.

The ‘enemy’ is always made out to be somewhat subhuman and with no respect for life. ‘We’ have all the moral rights, ‘they’ are savages who either have to be killed or civilized. This is a staple in U.S. foreign policy. History never plays a part in ‘our’ decisions. History is irrelevant. ‘We’ create history and ‘we’ create the world we live in. ‘We’ are the center of the universe. All else is of secondary importance.

The propaganda and the biased writing of history that followed the wars of aggression were primarily intended for the American people themselves, for the history books and, before that, for the engineering of consent within the country. Cases in point would be the hyped-up aggressive wars and punitive sanctions, such as the continued aggression against Cuba and the ludicrous invention of a massive Communist threat, from the war on Grenada in 1983-84 to Nicaragua and El Salvador during the presidency of Ronald Reagan in the eighties.

Going back in history

The Mexican war (1846-1848) was fought to gain control over the overall important cotton production in Texas and neighboring states. It was the beginning of the U.S. history of expansionism, except for the inhuman extermination of most of the Native Indians in the ‘Westering’, one of the most cruel and demeaning chapters in U.S. history.

From Encarta:

“Mexico’s territorial losses signified the end of any likelihood that Mexico, rather than the United States, would become the predominant power in North America. As the first conflict in which U.S. military forces fought almost exclusively outside of the country, the Mexican War also marked the beginning of the rise of the United States as a global military power.”

The Spanish-American war in 1898 was not wholeheartedly supported by the U.S. government but the business community saw their advantage from a war. The ever increasing weakness of Spain most certainly also contributed to the decision to go to war.

From the Wikipedia:

A U.S. Senator from Nebraska declared that "War with Spain would increase the business and earnings of every American railroad, it would increase the output of every American factory, it would stimulate every branch of industry and domestic commerce."

A state-run propaganda machine is born

The use of state propaganda was developed in Britain before World War I and as an effect of this clever method they managed to get the U.S. incensed about the war and in furthering British imperial interests. Quite an accomplishment. Britain had much to lose at the time and the era was still far in the future when it would be willing to play second fiddle to the U.S. It was still the era of ‘Rule Britannia, rule the waves’. The time of U.S. predominance in world affairs would come after World War II. However, the British propaganda system during WWI so impressed the Nazis that they took it as the model for their own Ministry of Propaganda.

World War II established the Unites States as the superpower, a position which it has ever since anxiously been consolidating with whatever means available. The cold war that followed was of course a wonderful invention to steadily increase the output and the profits of the arms manufacturers. The arms race was just what the industry wanted and it worked to perfection. The Communist demon was ubiquitous and it served miraculously well, again and again, in whipping up popular support for the most absurd wars or, as in the case of Vietnam, the cruelest and environmentally most destructive of wars ever fought.

In all this, the mainstream media were the most willing coconspirators and the corporate powers were steadily gaining strength in the ever increasing rise to become the true rulers of the United States and, as the plans went, of the Planet. The President and the Congress, be they Republicans or Democrats, got to be the front men for the corporations. The people were becoming more and more expendable in the views of the corporate controlled government, and the environment, as in the case of Vietnam, was of no consequence whatsoever.

Wars under the guise of putting down a Communist threat to the Nation

John F. Kennedy, the so much praised ‘liberal’ president and also his brother Robert had an almost psychopathic fixation on Castro, Cuba and ‘vicious’ Communism. They declared Cuba an open threat against the United States and they very nearly put the whole planet in danger of extinction through a nuclear war in their response to the Cuban missile crisis. The Mexican ambassador in 1961 realized the absurdity of declaring Cuba the United States Enemy Number One. In response to the U.S. president’s call to collective action the ambassador is reported to have said: "If we publicly declare that Cuba is a threat to our security, 40 million Mexicans will die laughing."

But even today, the majority of Americans still see Cuba as a Communist threat, and even many Europeans who deplore the poverty in Cuba blame it on the wicked and dictatorial Castro regime. The truth is of course that U.S. sanctions are the foremost cause of this poverty and the mere fact that Castro is still alive (in spite of innumerable assassination attempts by the CIA) and in power and a national hero to boot, is close to a miracle.

The Cuban health system is outstanding. All Cubans are covered by government sponsored universal health care and their physicians, and also teachers, are sent out to assist democratic countries, from Nicaragua and Angola in the nineteen eighties to Venezuela today.

Just as an example of Cuban care for human lives and superior organization – when hurricane Ivan struck Cuba in September 2004, the second major-force hurricane in less than two months, not one life was lost.

From Environmenttimes:

“The authorities sounded the hurricane alarm in good time, mobilising the country’s military-style civil-defence system in exemplary fashion. Some 2 million of the country’s 11 million inhabitants were temporarily evacuated.” (boldface added)

There is much to be said here if we compare with the U.S. government’s dealing with the New Orleans Katrina crisis, which has still not been solved. And it’s even doubtful if the majority of the displaced people will ever get back to anything like the lives they had to flee from – if they were lucky enough to survive in this ‘Sauve qui peut’ (everyone for himself) disaster.

Ronald Reagan’s vicious wars in Central America

Under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, attempts at bolstering U.S. hegemony by terror and overwhelming military power took several forms, all vicious, and of course none led by any humanitarian concerns, which was, however, the message the government always sent out.

Whether the U.S. was aiming at overthrowing a dictator, such as in Grenada (1983 – 84) or in Panama (Noriega 1989 – 90) or whether they were involved in exterminating a leftist rebel organization, the real reason was always the consolidating of corporate U.S. power. The CIA-backed the Nicaraguan army and the vicious dictator Somoza against the Sandinista rebels, they supported the fight against the rebels in El Salvador or they eliminated a popular leader like Salvador Allende in Chile. Human rights and human lives were totally beside the point. The only essential thing was overthrowing the regime that presented a danger to U.S. hegemony, be it a vicious dictatorship or a popular regime.

The open support by the U.S. government for the Somoza dictatorial regime in Nicaragua (1981 – 90) and for the contras who viciously fought the popular Sandinistas in their desperate attempt to achieve some degree of social justice, this shameless piece of maneuvering was just one typical example of U.S. priorities.

When the Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega, the former great ally of the U.S., was becoming too independent for the U.S., the government turned against him and overthrew him in a coup in 1989. Noriega was a ruthless gangster who killed thousands of freedom fighting guerillas in Western Panama. That fact did not in any way disturb the U.S. government, but when George Bush Sr. found that Noriega had lost his usefulness to the U.S. big corporations, he was transferred to the category of ‘evil’ and he had to go. One moment he was hailed as the initiator of the process of democracy, the next moment he was caught in a violent bombing raid that killed thousands of civilian Panamanians. Noriega was brought to the United States and tried for drug trafficking. All this was under the cover of the fight against drug trafficking and typically, in our Orwellian times, this military invasion of Panama was labeled ‘Operation Just Cause’.

Independence and nationalism had to be resisted. And for the country which labeled itself the ‘greatest democracy in the world’, the American people and hopefully the rest of the world to some extent as well, had to be indoctrinated into the belief that U.S. aggression was all in a humane cause. Either it was the fight against Communism or some such ‘evil’, or there was a direct threat to the Nation or even to world peace. ‘War is Peace. Peace is War.’

The overthrow of a nationalist hero who won’t toe the line

The U.S. governments have never thought twice about toppling people-friendly regimes like Sukarno’s in Indonesia (1965) which had mass support by the people. However, Sukarno was too friendly with the Communist regimes and he was thus a threat to the world-dominating role that the United States was in the process of establishing. In a CIA-backed military coup the democratically elected Sukarno was overthrown in 1965. He was replaced by one of his generals, Suharto, who ruled as a tyrant, viciously putting down rebellions in East Timor and Aceh, until he was toppled by the people in 1998. He was the instigator of one of the worst politically-engineered mass murders of this century, but the U.S. at the time considered Indonesia a particularly friendly regime. (See (A Brief History of CIA Sponsored Involvements 1953-2004)

After the cold war comes the war with no end

When the cold war was over, the United States was desperate for a war that could now replace the Soviet block as the hyped up public demon and serve as the pretext for endlessly increased arms and high-tech manufacture with the purpose of ultimately militarizing space. The post-cold-war era was of course saved for U.S. world-dominating aspirations when 9/11 splashed on the scene. The stage was set, the war could begin.

This was to become the television / entertainment war in a television / entertainment era. The show business war of all wars, the war with no end, the war that was going to make the United States into the one and unique world power, the undisputed power that would be in a position to dictate to all the minor powers the conditions for their continued existence. To win this media war, it was of course essential that the press and the television, all the various media, go along in this carefully staged hoopla, cleverly hyping the Viciousness of the Enemy for the benefit of the masses. And the media were more than willing to do their part in this game of deception.

The role of the media

Obviously, in this strategy of convincing the world that the United States is a superior democracy, a beneficent power that is inevitably and consistently on the side of ‘good’, the mainstream media have to play the game from the very beginning. The world has to believe that the United States is a beacon of freedom, of civil rights, of altruism, of humanitarian principles, of true ethos. The truth behind U.S. imperialism must at all costs be covered up and the media are willing and powerful tools in this effort. The fact is of course that the corporate media are part of the big scam. They constitute one essential sector in the system of corporate rule in the United States.

It has barely dawned on the American people that they are being had in a most obscene way. People are expendable. The planet is expendable. Money flows from the bottom up and is being concentrated in the hands of a small number of corporate lords who will not think twice about screwing their very base if it concentrates power and capital in the hands of the very few. The widening of the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ is intentional, since it creates the kind of instability that will facilitate the domination of the few over the masses.

The money goes to the military machinery and to the arms, oil and pharmaceutical industries, to all the big corporations with powerful Washington lobbies. The people pay for the wars and for the little that is left of social expenditure, and the corporate lords collect the profit. Education and health care are being starved to death and that is precisely the intention.

Make the people easy victims of the relentless propaganda that is dished out via television and advertising, make them impervious to truth and reason, hypnotize them through the creation of false values, make them addicted to ostentatious consumption, make them blind to the real values in life by the creation of artificial values, dull their senses so as to turn the people into robots who obediently accept whatever the advertisers tell them they want.

It all amounts to a systematic game of manipulation, where the goal is to create the kind of people you can easily deceive and control. The people are the willing victims, the corporate lords are the omnipotent rulers of a sterile world.

As long as the corporate media go on playing their essential part in this absurd game, there is small hope that people will ever revert to being individuals and cease to be robots.

The outcome of this deadly game is up to us

The remaining question is now whether there is one last chance to turn the clock back and return to a world where living can mean intellectual stimulation, the deep pleasure of learning, the appreciation of beauty, artistic creativity – all those fragile values that the dead-at-heart rulers of today don’t even know the existence of. Or are we just going on satisfying our accumulation addiction and remaining blind to the intricate business of living?


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