Merriam Webster’s definition of “Propaganda”:
1. The spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
2. Ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also: a public action having such an effect
Now that we have the definition, let’s think a bit about “timing.”
The Islamic uprising comes at a time when the defense budget is threatened with automatic cuts—so-called “sequestration.” And the uprising is likely to result in billions more in arms sales to our “allies” in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, among others. And if the Pentagon of today is anything like the Pentagon of our past, defense contractors have already begun salivating over the billions they’ll make selling weapons that all-too often end up in the hands of both sides of a conflict.
Meanwhile, unwitting Americans are kept so much in the dark that still—even after Iraq and Gitmo and countless drone strikes—people naively ask “why do they hate us?”
Some like to say simplistically, “they hate us because we are wealthy and free.” Neither is true. But the question itself exposes exactly how the lies from America’s recent past have turned us into an angry, tribal country in our own right.
Consider the lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Consider the lie sold to the American public that Iraq and Saddam Hussein were tied to Osama Bin Laden and 9/11. They, in fact, were enemies.
Here’s a news flash: “They” hate us because we have become a global empire in the service of oil giants and military contractors. They hate us because the almighty dollar buys the drone bombs that kill without context…making any Islamist (woman or child) walking down the street a potential enemy combatant. They hate us because American weapons have put more than one ruthless dictator in power to rule over their God-forsaken lives. They hate us because of the American mainstream media’s shameless slant on news regarding Israel and Palestine. They hate us because they believe America hates anything or anyone Islamic. We call them tribal, while acting like barbarians.
It goes on and on, except that now we Americans have to understand that the propaganda used on our enemies is, all too often, also used on “We the People.” Consider politicians who rail against the national debt while promising to fight wars in other Middle East quagmires we Americans helped create. Thankfully, selling that (bombs away) argument to the American people is getting harder. Most of us have lived with economic hardship long enough. That’s where the Pentagon’s domestic propaganda campaign becomes crucial to those defense contractors who make money off war. And getting that propaganda out makes for some interesting bedfellows—G.E. makes all sorts of weapons, including the mass destruction kind…and G.E. also owns 49 percent of NBC. America’s broadcasting company. Oh, the tangled webs woven.
Technically, domestic propaganda campaigns are illegal. But, with the tangled sheets of cozy bedfellows, it’s rarely exposed.
Recently, two USA Today reporters had the gall to ask about the Pentagon’s budget for domestic propaganda campaigns and “What that money was used for”. They got their answer the hard way. A ruthless, extensive domestic propaganda campaign was released to discredit the reporters. And we wonder why reporters have fallen silent and scantily clad beauty queens and skip-along men now inhabit anchor chairs.
With both foreign and domestic propaganda campaigns in full swing, and a press willing to carry any corporate/pentagon/government message it is fed, if you think you are different from those in Islamic lands—that you are free from manipulation and propaganda—well, it’s time to reassess. In the past eleven years we’ve been told just about anything to stir up war. But this domestic propaganda did not begin after 9/11.
Consider this: After planning to pull troops out of Vietnam, Kennedy was assassinated and LBJ immediately sent thousands upon thousands more troops to Vietnam and then Nixon went further—by carpet-bombing Cambodia. As Nixon began taking a dovish turn by reaching out to China (without the Pentagon’s permission), he’s pushed out of office following political dirty tricks most politicians in America would consider child’s-play in today’s back-room backstabbing land of the free and home of the brave.
This “don’t mess with America’s war machine” list could go on for some time, but I’ll stop with a smelling salts memo from the Joint Chiefs who, in 1962, were itching for a war with Cuba so badly they would do almost anything to get one. In this “Northwoods” memo, the Joint Chiefs propose shooting down an American “drone plane” supposedly filled with idealistic kids and blaming the tragedy on Fidel Castro. Would Americans agree to go to war with Cuba then? Here is an excerpt from the Northwoods memo: (page 9 and 10)
“8. It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner in route from the United States, Jamaica, Guatamala, Panama, or Venezuela. The destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plans route to cross Cuba. The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday or any grouping of persons with a common interest to support chartering a non-scheduled flight. “
If all hell breaks out across the Middle East, who in the United States stands to benefit most? Just follow the money. It’s a very unholy trifecta: Big Media, Big Oil and Big Defense.
Shakespeare said “Past is Prologue.”
It’s carved in stone on the National Archives building, where, by the way, the Northwoods document was dug up.