Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Constant Mind Rape

The physical violence of a crime is often accompanied by another kind of violation, an assault against the mind, for the criminal must disguise his evil deed. A murderer, rapist or merely adulterer will lie and spin, to conceal and/or rationalize what he has done.

For an empire, then, whose crimes are myriad, for it takes so much violence to maintain worldwide dominion, this assault against the mind is relentless, a blanket of nonsense that suffocates night and day, a miasma of photo ops and jive that poisons the conscience.

Thus, a chirpy CNN reporter talked about “terrorists” attacking the US Embassy in Afghanistan. She didn’t even called them “insurgents,” but simply and unequivocally “terrorists,” “terrorists,” “terrorists,” like a mantra, as she excitedly recounted how they had disguised themselves as women before overwhelming Afghan cops guarding a unfinished high-rise, killing them. Their aim was to gain a vantage point to rain rockets onto the US Embassy.

Of course, the CNN reporter could not point out that these men were classic nationalists, for a nationalist is one willing to defend his homeland against a foreign invader. Also, this paid-for mouth piece could not admit that these men were courageous and bold, as well as noble and selfless, for they had no escape plan. They were trapped inside that building. They knew that as they attacked, they would be surrounded by American soldiers, yet to do what was just and laudable to their own people, these brave individuals were willing to be killed by their hated enemy. They chose death and honor before subjugation and humiliation. Patrick Henry should be proud of them.

After this incident, US officials accused Pakistan of being the mastermind. Besides justifying continued drone and missile strikes against Pakistan itself, this charge also discredited the attackers as foreign agents and mercenaries, but let’s think about this for a second. A mercenary fights for money. He doesn’t choose certain death. Any Afghan willing to die battling foreign invaders, be them Americans or Soviets, is a nationalist, period.

Similarly, a Libyan is a nationalist if he’s fighting the vast American-led coalition, this oil-soaked crusade of mostly white, Christian countries that’s been attacking Libya for over six months now, but, no, the American media is calling him a “Gaddafi loyalist.”

Such deformation of facts also affects American victims of empire. When Pat Tillman was shot at close range by an American soldier, he was presented as a hero killed in action, a victim of the Taliban. A death loses its meaning and dignity when it’s perverted to serve someone else’s interest, and when a corpse is used to glorify the murderer, you have one of the worst of possible crimes, something akin to necrophilia. The empire will kill you, then screw you. It will derive pleasure from your cadaver.

Likewise, though it has been proven in court that the US government was behind the killing of Martin Luther King, he now has a huge statue on the National Mall, the very Mall where he organized Resurrection City, a poor people’s protest which hastened his assassination. With typical cynicism, our government is celebrating and appropriating a man it exterminated in cold blood.

Likewise, 9/11. It was nauseating for me to watch the ten-year commemoration of that tragedy without any airtime given to those who desperately wanted to probe deeper into exactly what happened. The many architects, engineers, pilots, first responders and relatives of victims who doubted the official version 9/11 were shunted aside so a self-justifying and congratulatory narrative from this criminal government could proceed without interruptions. This was the moment for sinister butchers like Bush and Obama to appear caring and statesmanlike, as father figures consoling us in our moment of grief, when they are in fact the authors of so much past and ongoing grief.

The truths about many key events in this nation’s history, Pearl Harbor attack, Gulf of Tonkin Incident, Martin Luther King’s, John’s and Bobby Kennedy’s assassinations, etc., have never fully come out, or only came out decades after the fact, so Americans should have learnt to suspect, by now, routine duplicity from Washington, yet many of us continue to believe. Such is the power of brainwashing. As they kill and lie in our names, we keep nodding and nodding.

We are not expected to ask questions, but merely to swallow whole the spoon-fed kitsch and bullshit. Recently, Americans were shown a photo of a dog that refused to leave the coffin of his master, a dead SEAL member, one of those “heroes” who supposedly killed Bin Laden. Though there was no physical proof whatsoever, no corpse, film or photo, we were told that a successful raid had occurred, and though an American helicopter tail was left behind, no American had died, incredibly, then we were told, three months later, that 22 of the SEALs involved, i.e., potential witnesses who could contradict the official narrative, were conveniently killed in an unprecedented attack by the Taliban.

These fairy tales are so bizarre but, before you can pause to parse one, if you’re so inclined, and most of us are no longer inclined or capable, another one comes down the chute, then another, then another. When one commits as many killings, lootings and rapes as this government does, one must lie constantly.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a just released novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.

More articles by:

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.

May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Wild at Heart: Keeping Up With Margie Kidder
Roger Harris
Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly
Michael Slager
Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees 
John Laforge
Don’t Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste
Carlo Filice
The First “Fake News” Story (or, What the Serpent Would Have Said)
Dave Lindorff
Israel Crosses a Line as IDF Snipers Murder Unarmed Protesters in the Ghetto of Gaza
Gary Leupp
The McCain Cult
Robert Fantina
What’s Wrong With the United States?
Jill Richardson
The Lesson I Learned Growing Up Jewish
David Orenstein
A Call to Secular Humanist Resistance
W. T. Whitney
The U.S. Role in Removing a Revolutionary and in Restoring War to Colombia
Rev. William Alberts
The Danger of Praying Truth to Power
Alan Macleod
A Primer on the Venezuelan Elections
John W. Whitehead
The Age of Petty Tyrannies
Franklin Lamb
Have Recent Events Sounded the Death Knell for Iran’s Regional Project?
Brian Saady
How the “Cocaine Mitch” Saga Deflected the Spotlight on Corruption
David Swanson
Tim Kaine’s War Scam Hits a Speed Bump
Norah Vawter
Pipeline Outrage is a Human Issue, Not a Political Issue
Mel Gurtov
Who’s to Blame If the US-North Korea Summit Isn’t Held?
Patrick Bobilin
When Outrage is Capital
Jessicah Pierre
The Moral Revolution America Needs
Binoy Kampmark
Big Dead Place: Remembering Antarctica
John Carroll Md
What Does It Mean to be a Physician Advocate in Haiti?
George Ochenski
Saving Sage Grouse: Another Collaborative Failure
Sam Husseini
To the US Government, Israel is, Again, Totally Off The Hook
Brian Wakamo
Sick of Shady Banks? Get a Loan from the Post Office!
Colin Todhunter
Dangerous Liaison: Industrial Agriculture and the Reductionist Mindset
Ralph Nader
Trump: Making America Dread Again
George Capaccio
Bloody Monday, Every Day of the Week
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Swing Status, Be Gone
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail