Thinking about the massive failure of the US media to report truthfully is sobering. The United States, bristling with nuclear weapons and pursuing a policy of world hegemony, has a population that is kept in the dark–indeed brainwashed–about the most important and most dangerous events of our time.
The power of the Israel Lobby is an important component of keeping Americans in the dark. Recently I watched a documentary that demonstrates the control that the Israel Lobby exercises over Americans’ view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The documentary is available here.
As a result of the US media’s one-sided coverage, few Americans are aware that for decades Israel has been ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their homes and lands under protection of America’s veto in the United Nations. Instead, the dispossessed Palestinians are portrayed as mindless terrorists who attack innocent Israel.
If one reads Israeli newspapers, such as Haaretz, or publications from Israeli organizations, such as the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, one gets a radically different view of the situation than the propagandistic version delivered by US media and evangelical pulpits.
Most Americans know of the 2000 attack by Muslim terrorists on the USS Cole in Aden harbor that resulted in 17 dead and 39 wounded American sailors. But few have heard of Israel’s 1967 attack on the USS Liberty that left 34 American sailors dead and 174 wounded. Pressured by the Israel Lobby, President Johnson ordered Admiral McCain, father of the Republican presidential nominee, to cover up the attack. To this day there never has been a congressional investigation.
The failure of the American media is again evident in the coverage of the Georgian-Russian conflict. The US media presented the conflict as a Russian invasion of Georgia, whereas in actual fact the American and Israeli trained and equipped Georgian military launched a sneak attack to kill and to drive the Russian population out of South Ossetia, a separatist province.
Russian peacekeepers, together with Georgian ones, had been stationed in South Ossetia since the early 1990s. On orders from Mikheil Saakashvili, the American puppet “president” of Georgia, the Georgian peacekeepers turned their weapons on the unsuspecting Russian peacekeepers and murdered them.
This action by Saakashvili, elected with money from the neoconservative National Endowment for Democracy, an election-rigging tool of US hegemony, was a war crime. In truth, the Russians should have hung Saakashvili, as he is far more guilty than was Saddam Hussein. But it is Russia, not Saakashvili, that the US media has demonized.
Americans have become perfect subjects for George Orwell’s Big Brother. They sit stupidly in front of the TV news or the New York Times or Washington Post and absorb the lies fed to them. What is wrong with Americans? Why do they put up with it? Are Americans the nation of sheep that Judge Andrew P. Napolitano says they are? Americans flaunt “freedom and democracy” and live under a Ministry of Propaganda.
Two decades ago, President Reagan reached agreement with Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev to end the dangerous cold war. But every one of Reagan’s successors has sought to pick a new fight with Russia. In violation of the agreement, NATO has been taken to Russia’s borders, and the US is determined to put former constituent parts of Russia herself into NATO. In an effort to neutralize Russia’s nuclear deterrent and compromise her independence, the US is putting anti-ballistic missile bases on Russia’s borders.
The gratuitously aggressive US military policy toward Russia will lead to nuclear war. I am confident that if Americans elect John McCain, or the Republicans steal another presidential election, there will be nuclear war in the second decade of the 21st century. The neocon lies, propaganda, macho flag-waving, and use of US foreign policy in the interests of a few military-security firms, oil companies, and Israel are all leading in that direction.
The November election is perhaps the last chance to avoid nuclear war. But the opportunity might already have been missed. The Republicans have chosen as their candidate one of the most ignorant warmongers alive. The Democrats’ choice was between one of the most divisive women in America and a man of mixed race with a funny name. Considering American’s taste for war, the Democratic candidate could fail to defeat the GOP war candidate.
Many Americans will vote against Obama because he is black. Why does mixed ancestry confer the black label? If America’s population was predominantly black, would Obama be considered white?
Race and propaganda are more likely to determine the outcome of the November election than any awareness or consideration of real issues by voters.
The real issues are suffocated by the media. The American middle class is being destroyed by jobs offshoring and work visas for foreigners, while the incomes of the super rich are soaring. The US dollar’s reserve currency status is eroded. The US is massively in debt at home and abroad. Health insurance is unaffordable for the vast majority of the population. Injured veterans are being nickeled and dimed, while Halliburton’s profits escalate. Americans are losing their homes, while the US government bails out banks. Wars with Iran, Russia, and China are being planned in order to secure US hegemony.
Americans no longer have a government that is for the people and by the people. They have a government for and by special interests and an insane ideology.
But Americans have war, which lets them take out all their frustrations, resentments, and disappointments on “Muslim terrorists” and “Russian aggressors.” Few Americans are disturbed that 1.25 million Iraqis and an unknown number of Afghans have died as a result of American invasions based on Bush regime lies and deceptions. Even Americans, like Senator Biden, Obama’s selection for vice president, who understand that the wars are based on lies, still want the US to win. So, it was all a mistake and a deception, but let’s win anyway and keep on killing.
I know people who still complain that the US did not nuke North Vietnam. When I ask why Vietnam should have been nuked, they reply, “if we had nuked them we would have won.”
What would America have won? The answer is world loathing and the loss of the cold war.
For many Americans, war is like a sports contest in which they take vicarious pleasure and cheer on their side to victory. Millions of Americans are still bitter that “the liberal media” and war protesters caused America to lose the Vietnam war, and they are determined that this won’t happen again. These Americans have no realization that there was no more reason for the US to be fighting in Vietnam 40 years ago than to be fighting today in Iraq and Afghanistan or tomorrow in Iran.
Obama, if elected, is no guarantee against nuclear war. Obama has shown that he is as much under the Israel Lobby’s thumb as McCain. Obama’s foreign affairs advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is not a neocon, but he was born in Warsaw, Poland, and has the Pole’s animosity toward Russia. The Bush administration has already changed US war doctrine to permit preemptive nuclear attack. With the US government determined to ring Russia with puppet states and military bases, war is inevitable.
Presidential appointees face confirmation in the Senate. Any of Obama’s appointees who might be out of step with plans for US and Israeli hegemony could expect opposition from large corporations and the Israel Lobby. There is no assurance that an Obama administration would not be positioned on “the issues” by the same special interests that have positioned the Bush administration.
Americans are filled with hubris, not with knowledge. They have no awareness of the calamity that their government’s pursuit of hegemony is bringing to themselves and to life on earth.
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com