FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Fabricating the American Worldview

by

“The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis;….. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words ‘the American people’ provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don’t need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties, but it’s very comfortable”

-From Harold Pinter’s Nobel speech, 2005

Much of world opinion considers Americans stupid. Are we really, or is it that the people an empire needs most to propagandize are its own? Have we been duped, or have we decided, in the interest of “getting along”, or perhaps moral laziness, that it’s easier to feign acceptance of an unending stream of lies?

“Yellow journalists” William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer refined techniques for whipping the public into war fever. Their competition to sell newspapers led to wildly inflated stories of Spanish incursion into Cuba — “our” sphere of influence —  and stimulated anti-Spanish sentiment integral to the Spanish-American War.

As the First World War was underway, anti-war America elected President Wilson largely on the basis of his “He kept us out of the War” slogan. But the sinking of the Lusitania changed all that. Despite Germany’s warnings, the ship (which, as Germany suspected, carried war materials) was sent forth in 1915 into waters harboring German U-boats. The sinking, in which 128 Americans died, shifted mass opinion, and America entered the war.

Before the 1941 Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor, 88 percent of Americans were against entry into the European War. Only years later did it became evident that the Japanese had been pressured into the War, and that the US Government knew of the impending attack, in which more than 2000 Americans died, and which, as intended, served to change public opinion.

In 1964, a relatively brief exchange off the coast of Vietnam between destroyer USS Maddox and north Vietnamese torpedo boats was blown out of proportion to such an extent that the US Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that freed President Johnson to escalate military action into what became the Vietnam War full-blown.

That Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, a lie now claimed due to “flawed intelligence”, was reported in 2003 as “slam dunk” fact. The lie served to justify the beginning of the ghastly chain of wars in the Middle East. Every evening now, news anchors report war factoids without reference to the lies that were their genesis. God only knows how many have been killed or maimed or made refugees as a result, and there is no end in sight.

And then there were the Iran-Contra “affair” and  Operation Northwoods and the amazing Kuwaiti baby incubator story and …..

How many lies over the years does it take before a society comes to its senses and realizes that its overriding worldview has been crafted largely by manipulative lies? How many Americans ask themselves what right their country has even to consider “regime change” in sovereign nations no threat to the US, much less carry out military assaults, whether by proxy or candidly with US drones and “boots on the ground”?

In a 2007 demonstration in Brussels, one protester said “I’ve lived in the US for 30 years. Now I’m coming back to Europe, because I saw what happened to the American People. They’ve been taken hostage for the past 20 years by a group of people who destroyed them physically, spiritually and intellectually, and now they’re trying to do the same thing in Europe.” Is he correct?

The immediate reaction from US governmental and media figures to the April 4 gas attack in Syria, was to blame Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Without proof of who was actually behind the attack, President Trump, on April 7, attacked Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles. On April 11, as an ‘after the fact’ justification for the attack, the Administration issued a “White House Intelligence Report” (WHR) regarding the reported gas attack.

The WHR was analyzed by Theodore Postol, Emeritus Professor of National Security Policy at MIT, and he savaged it mercilessly. Postol wrote  “It is now clear from video evidence that the WHR was fabricated; ..… In order to cover up the lack of intelligence to supporting the president’s action, the National Security Council produced a fraudulent intelligence report on April 11;..… This cannot be explained as a simple error.”

No, it is not error, and the “not errors” that are actually bloody lies just keep coming: Russia “invaded” Crimea; Americans feel a “passionate attachment” to Israel, which is, you know, “the only democracy in the Middle East”; Russia caused Hillary Clinton’s election loss; office fires brought down WTC 7; the US has the best health care system in the world; the nations of the world desire America’s leadership. And so it goes in the richest nation ever, where one child in five lives in poverty.

On April 21, Postol wrote  “The critical function of the mainstream media in the current situation should be to report the facts that clearly and unambiguously contradict government claims. This has so far not occurred, and this is perhaps the biggest indicator of how incapacitated the mechanisms for democratic governance of the United States have become.”

Our ongoing multiple wars are the result of a “policy coup”. By exposing the Government’s plan to attack 7 countries in 5 years, General Wesley Clark took an axe to the concocted and carefully-managed worldview that the US Government is establishing its awesome military around the globe in order to spread democracy and (pause for a patriotic moment) “American values”. Americans should now see the invasion of Iraq, the savaging if Libya, and the ongoing nightmare of the Syrian “civil” war, as points on an imperial to-do list. Understanding that, false-flag events to justify “American intervention”, such as a gas attack to be pinned on the target du jour, Assad, are predictable. There will be more to come, no doubt.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

July 20, 2017
Sebastian Friedrich – Gabriel Kuhn
A New Class Politics
Patrick Cockburn
The Massacre of Mosul: More Than 40,000 Civilians Feared Dead
Paul Street
The Abandonment: Reflections on James Foreman’s “Locking Up Our Own”
Kim Codella
A Practical Education
Frank Scott
America’s Trump, Not Trump’s America
Louis Proyect
Clancy Sigal Goes Away
Don Monkerud
The Real Treason in DC: Turning Our Lives Over to Corporations
Brian Dew – Dean Baker
Are Amazon’s Shareholders Suckers?
Ralph Nader
Detecting What Unravels Our Society – Bottom-up and Top-down
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Covering Islam, Post-Jack Shaheen
Binoy Kampmark
Uhlmann’s Trump Problem
Patrick Walker
In Defense of Caitlin Johnstone
Barry Lando
Those Secret Putin-Trump Talks
Sean Marquis
Thank You, Donald Trump
July 19, 2017
Adam Ziemkowski and Rebekah Liebermann
How Seattle Voted to Tax the Rich
Patrick Cockburn
Why ISIS Fighters are Being Thrown Off Buildings in Mosul
John W. Whitehead
Zombies R Us: the Walking Dead of the American Police State
Mateo Pimentel
Net Neutrality’s Missing Persons
Adil E. Shamoo - Bonnie Bricker
Yemen Policy is Creating More Terrorists
L. Ali Khan
U.S. Misreads Pakistan’s Antifragility
David Macaray
Fear and Trembling in the Workplace
Brian Trautman, Gerry Condon and Samantha Ferguson
Veterans Call on U.S. to Sign Nuclear Ban Treaty
Binoy Kampmark
Militarising Civilian Life: Australia, Policing and Terrorism
Ricardo Vaz
Venezuelan Opposition “Consultation”: Playing Alone and Losing
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Cold-Hearted Agenda is Immoral
Raul Castro
We will Continue to Advance Along the Path Freely Chosen by Our People
July 18, 2017
James Bovard
Obama’s AWOL Anti-War Protesters
Gary Leupp
CNN: “Russia is an Adversary, Ukraine is Not.”
Ryan Shah
Beware the Radical Center
John Carroll Md
Cold Hands Don’t Need Narcotics
Derrick Jensen
Endangered Species Don’t Need an Ark – They Need a Living Planet!
Kenneth Surin
Brief Impressions of the Canadian Conjucture
Arturo Lopez-Levy
Trump’s Cuba Restrictions: a Detour, Not the Future
Russell Mokhiber
State Street Bentley University Business Ethics and Corporate Crime
Laura Finley
Being Too Much
Robert J. Gould
What is Our Experience of our Flawed Democracy?
Taju Tijani
The Burden of Indivisible Nigeria
Guillaume Pitron
China Now Leads in Renewables
Ted Rall
How I Learned Courts are Off-Limits to the 99 Percent
Binoy Kampmark
Militarising Civilian Life: Australia, Policing and Terrorism
July 17, 2017
Gregory Wilpert
Time for the “International Left” to Take a Stand on Venezuela
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Embrace of the Saudi Crown Prince, and a Qatar Nightmare Scenario
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Liu Xiaobo: the West’s Model Chinese
Terry Simons
Why I Did Not Go to Vietnam
Jim Green
Nuclear Power’s Annus Horribilus
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail