Monday, July 21, 2008

Dark Knight of the Soul: Deconstructing NeoCon Con Jobs

Corporate Media Headline
Obama: Afghanistan Is Central Front in War on Terrorism

There is no such thing as a War on Terrorism. It doesn't exist and could not exist. It's sheer nonsense intended to frighten the public with meaningless propaganda. Nonsense.

The citizens of the US suffered the crimes of September 11, 2001 where a couple of dozen criminals killed people and destroyed property. Two matters come to the fore: Why did they do this? What should be done about it?

The Why I won't address today, except to say that when a group of people are so angry that they resort to violence to express their feelings, understanding why they did it is imperative. They had reasons, far too complex to go into today, but the matter has been addressed most succinctly by Chalmers Johnson in his prophetic book Blowback, as well as more recent works in his US foreign policy trilogy. Basically, if the US foreign policy is to act as if we own the world, other people will eventually have something to say about it. This is poignantly the case for those of whom we have handed out guns and ammo. The CIA handed out guns and ammo to Bin Laden and associates. As if a modern Shakespearean tragedy, events took corporeal substance: what goes around, comes around. Blowback.

Now, as for what we should do about it, Howard Zinn has cogently summarized an effective, rational, non-hysterical outline for response. If I may try to paraphrase, work with the international community to find the criminals, then bring them to justic. This means working with the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and neighboring countries to find and bring to a court of law the perpetrators. Nothing new here in this approach, but it's too boring to sell advertising on CNN. Can you see the headlines now? Instead of "Let's Roll!" or "Shock and Awe Campaign" it's more like, "US government officials form alliance with Mid-East countries to apprehend Bin Laden." Boring, Very boring. Selling Chevy Cobalts on CNN with that kind of news lead is a hard sell.

To the great detriment of the world, what sells TV ads and what is moral, and just, and rational, and civil, doesn't mix.

We're stuck, folks. We're stuck with a profoundly corrupt politico-economic system in the US that thrives on lies and hysteria. When confronted with questions about how CNN has managed the so-called War on Terror, Wolf Blitzer replied, "CNN is a business," without blinking an eye or a single facial tic that would have represented the macabre irony. CNN is a business. What we all need to do, we powerless TV watchers, is understand what that means, and understand why that statement fell dead to the floor without the obvious followup.

What does it mean that CNN is a business? It means that we could safely assert that CNN made vast sums of money functioning as a cheerleader for war, far more than if CNN has chosen to function as "boring" journalists seeking the truth. Therein lies the rub. The vast sums of money have so corrupted the TV and newspaper corporations that a TV celebrity, Wolf Blitzer, can stare into a camera and state the plain truth that money is what makes the world go 'round--not truth, or justice. Wolf Blitzer surely can't be wrong.

There is no such thing as a War on Terrorism. This is a propaganda term dreamed up in the Reagan administration to justify US military atrocities committed in Central America. It worked so well as a propaganda tool, that it was brought back into service by Dubya and friends, many of whom are retreads from the Reagan era.

Recent Headline:
6 civilians killed in Afghan attack on fuel truck
Quote from the Associated Press story: "Insurgents regularly attack supply convoys for the U.S.-led coalition and NATO troops in Afghanistan. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in insurgency-related violence this year."

More Nonsense: There is no such thing as insurgents in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

The so-called "U.S.-led coalition and NATO troops" is a falsehood. The truth of the matter is that what other troops are there have been acquired through US coercion. The reason the UN is not in charge of any forces in the region is because the international community, outside of a few countries bullied by the US government, is appalled by the US invasion in the region. There is no international consensus supporting the US invasion.

What the Bush administration, and the corporate media call insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, are freedom fighters acting to rid their respective countries of the US invasionary forces. Bush directed the US military to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. Both countries are central to US corporate control of oil and oil pipelines in the region. The reason no one has found Bin Laden yet is because he's not the mission target. US troops will not leave until control over oil and oil pipelines have been secured for US corporations to exploit. Pure nonsense. If Luxembourg ordered troops to invade the US, anyone in the US resisting the invasion by Luxembourg would be called freedom-fighters.

Watch the words. Words used by powerful interests which are associated with feelings of deep fear should be scrutinized. Do you believe everything you read, and hear, and "see?" Think for yourself. Consider that 98 percent of the US population is controlled by the 2 percent with the money and the power. They own the media lock, stock, and barrel. They use the media to put us under a barrel of fear so they can maintain economic control, not just of the US, but of the world.

Unlearning the vast volume of propaganda that spews out 24.7/365 from corporate TV is a job for a lifetime. We are encapsulated from birth in the glowing ever-present TV tube. The most empowering act I have ever committed is to quit watching TV and newspaper "news." It's pure propaganda. TV and newspapers are in service to wealth and power. This should be taught in the fourth grade, but instead, takes a lifetime to escape.

There is no greater joy than speaking truth to power. If I never have another computer system client, I will rest easy. The single most important, and shocking, discovery for an American is that he or she is not a consumer.

We are not consumers, and we are not corporate drones. And we need not assume the roles of fools, even in the face of massive, pervasive propaganda. If you so choose. The trick is to recognize that we are not alone. US foreign policy really is criminal, but isn't concocted by the people. We, the people, have almost no power in a political system that offers the lie. The Big Lie of Western Democracy...that we are effectively powerless. When people recognize that they are powerless in the presence of persistent lies and abuse, the people go into states of unreality in an effort to protect the integrity of the inner self...

When the self, and the cultural equivalent of self, is under continuous, unrelenting attack, the self and the Self go underground. Cultural PTSD as in Klein's Shock Doctrine. We are witnessing the abuse, neglect, and abandonment of the American body politic by the mass media, the White House, and Congress (yes, Mr. Obama, too).

The movie Dark Knight grossed a record 6o million dollars in 24 hours last Friday. This tragic irony should not escape us now, for we are observing the unconscious collusion between fantasy and reality. The return of the repressed. For we have entered a very dark cultural night, indeed... Never, ever, take the banal for the benign.

The way out of any "dark night of the soul" is to speak truth to power.

Yes, the price is very high. I have already lost clients and will surely lose more, but there is no path to personal "integrity" in the sense of feeling whole after decades of fragmentation through propaganda, without paying a price. Nothing good comes for free. The rich and the powerful know this, and work hard to 1) frighten us, 2) convince us we are alone, and 3) coerce through the false attribution of "unpatriotic" for anyone who can see that the emperor wears no clothes. The price for a cup of truth is ostracism from state and corporate power, yet do not lose sight of the fact that the power we witness is illegitimate. Resist the lure of false respectability.

No cultural candy for you; bad boy for talking back to Big Daddy.

...but we should leave that one for perhaps another day...

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