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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Dodging Double Dicks at the Freak Dance

"Why of course people don't want to go to war, but voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lacking patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
- Herman Goering

Eoghan O'Suilleabhain

Ok campers, surf's up (again)! Now we're going to have to learn to ride these waves of wartime propaganda, or drown. The first swell up today is from one of the usual wave making machines also known as The Boston Sunday Globe, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of The New York Times, so draw your own conclusions:

JERUSULUM --- Israeli helicopters swooped down on a Gaza Strip neighborhood early yesterday and fired a salvo of rockets at a car carrying a top leader of the militant Islamic group Hammas killing him and his three body guards. *

Now for sake of discussion only, put aside any moral judgements you may have about this as the act of war that it is, and ask yourselves why the USA and its paramilitary (the CIA) has not done same with Sadam Hussein?

Cue bureaucratic computer voice: wouldn't this kind of singular executive action with extreme prejudice be preferable to launching a full scale regionally destabilizing war? Affirmative, if Sadam Hussein is as dangerous as Augusto Pinochet or Winston Churchill was, then have at him. That will compute.

Could it be though that Sadam Hussein really isn't the reason for George Jr. Bush and Company wanting to go to war with Iraq? After all, if Sadam were to be taken out like the Palestinian Hammas Military Leader Ibrahim Makadmeh was as described above, what bogey man fig leaf would Shrub (little bush) have left but the denuded obvious --- oil.

No wonder Russia, France & Germany are concerned. They plainly prefer the devil they know. But I digress. Oops, here comes another wave:

Israel security sources said Makadmeh was a key link to Hammas's military planning and execution, and was considered one of the organization's most extreme leaders. Intelligence officials said Makadmeh had masterminded many attacks against Israelis, including one on an Israeli tank Feb. 15 outside a Jewish settlement in the northern Gaza Strip that killed the tank's four-man crew. **

Let's face it, Makademeh was one effective Nationalist freedom fighter. So he had to go. Sort of like the Vikings having to kill a Celtic Chieftain from Drumcondra for scuttling their illegally docked long boat on the River Liffey. The gall some native people have. They actually think they can fight back against the (ahem) new reality. Will these aboriginal people never learn? Why can't they just get with the global programme and whatever form of subjugation it takes? After all, only foolish romantics loathe foreign occupation and rule.

Poor Ibrahim Makadmeh! He probably could never see the wisdom of Israelis defending Palestine from the Palestinians anymore than a lot of people couldn't see the wisdom of the USA defending Vietnam from the Vietnamese or Britain defending Ireland from the Irish. And Boston Globe correspondents Mitnick & Ghazali (the article's Authors) possibly didn't realize the service they were providing the Israeli Government of Ariel Sharon when they uncritically reported that blurb without any analysis or context.

Ah sure, they're just reporting the facts as mere mechanics in the wave making machine that they are. Leave opinion pieces for the Editorial page. Everything has its place. But fat chance seeing an editorial or commentary in The Boston Globe or The New York Times asking what an Israeli tank was doing in someone else's country guarding an illegal occupation of Jewish settlers. This would be an act of war anywhere else except maybe in Russia's occupation of Chechnya, Turkey's occupation of Northern Cyprus, and thanks to the Belfast Agreement of 1998, Britain's occupation of Northern Ireland.

Fatter chance still of seeing an article or editorial in the Globe or Times asking why there are any illegal occupations of Jewish settlements at all in Gaza or the West Bank? And it will be life in a fantasyland before we ever see either of these two somehow esteemed rags support sanctions against Israel for violating multiple UN Resolutions for the past 30 years. Now do the math, that is 18 more years than Sadam Hussein has been violating UN Resolutions. And that's according to Colin Powell, the USA's Negro up front, who keeps repeating for anyone who will listen that Sadam has been violating UN sanctions now for the last 12 years.

Of course that dove Colin Powell always neglects to ever mention his own fire bombing of Panama City in 1989, wherein at the behest of Bush One he collaterally damaged to death over 2,000 civilians as they slept. All in an effort to extradite the previously installed CIA thug Manuel Noriega on drug charges from which he'll eventually be paroled. Go figure, but with talons like that who needs olive branches?

Moreover, Powell conveniently overlooks Israel's attacks and invasions of Palestine and the fact that Sadam Hussein has never attacked the USS Liberty or hired the spy Jonathan Pollard. Yet, I could have sworn that George Sr. Bush entered the first Gulf War in 1991 because Sadam Hussein had attacked and invaded Kuwait.

I can still remember watching the news one night back then seeing reporters and cameramen following the then Bush down Massachusetts Avenue by Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They pestered him with questions about why the US should be going to war with Iraq over Kuwait, and he answered: " Well, for the right of the people of Kuwait to live free of the tyranny of Sadam Hussein and why yes of course for oil."

And within a half hour of that foot in mouth, the placards appeared in Harvard Square shouting no blood for oil and hell no we won't fight for Texaco. The White House quickly issued a press release saying the President had misspoken, even though he hadn't, but that was enough for all the wave machines to start cranking the cover stories out just like they are now. Only now, they don't seem to be as effective as they were then in whipping up a war fever. That's because they have a tougher sell.

Sadam Hussein is weaker now then he was 12 years ago because containment works. So how does Dubya justify Sadam as a looming threat to the US when Iraq doesn't have their tanks and attack helicopters in anyone else's country? Answer: keep repeating the same old lies without any meaningful context or analysis and at all times avoid & deny embarrassing comparisons no matter how obvious.

What's the antidote? Reference for starters the written works by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky on propaganda in free market democracies. Their two seminal works on this subject are The Manufacture of Consent (1988) and Necessary Illusions (1989). Both books cover at great length and depth the political economy of the mass media.

Herman & Chomsky's major observation is that the media serves to mobilize support for the special interests that dominate the state and private activity. And for them, one of the most appropriate ways to test their propaganda model or how the media function is by close comparison of paired examples. "Of course, history does not provide perfect examples, but there are many cases that are close enough to permit an instructive test." (Chomsky 1989, 151).

For instance, why did many newspapers like The New York Times correctly make a big deal about Poland's Communist Government crackdown on Polish labour unions in the 1980's, but never mentioned anything about Turkey's crack down on their own labour unions? Why did the Times correctly report extensively on the killing fields of Cambodia during the 1975 - 1979 years of Pol Pot, but hardly ever reported on the Indonesian killing fields of East Timor during the same time period? And why did the Times support the US invasion of Vietnam in the 1960's (refusing to even report it as an invasion), but was very critical of the then USSR's invasion of Afghanistan in 1980?

Such comparisons can only be beyond the comprehension of the severely deluded. Kind of like Dow Chemical Company employees during the Vietnam War who manufactured (among other things) napalm and white phosphorous bombs all the while thinking (because they were so encouraged by management) that their work brings freedom. Sound familiar? Well, it was a lie in the original German too.

Like these employees, we all have to learn how to snap out of it because the wave making machines will work incessantly (as they have been) bombarding us with lie after lie in service to power. And the elementary logic behind being so alarmed about all of this can be found in Political Science 101: "The corporate class control the government and the media for their own purposeful ends." And in Economics 101: "Monopolies and Oligopolies are price makers because they can restrict or expand the supply of their production at a whim thus increasing or decreasing the price of their goods or services in the marketplace."

Let us now go forth and really denude the obvious: both Bush & Blair are front men for the American and British corporate classes whom are at present looking to control at least half the world's oil supply. No conspiracy either, just a coincidence of elite international business interests that are not likely to include your own or an estimated 500,000 Iraqi lives.

So either we help stop this killing train or we will just end up humming unthinking mantras like: "This war with Iraq is not about oil." All the while ignoring a number of other obvious items like Israeli tanks guarding illegal Jewish settlements in Palestine. And Israeli's nuclear arsenal whose weapons of mass destruction are truth be told the real reason behind why other Middle Eastern states are seeking to go nuclear with the they got 'em so we need 'em too rationale. The end is nigh.

Dare to question this dominant blind eye ethos at your own risk. But unlike Ibrahim Makadmeh, you are not likely to be shot at dawn as a result. At worst you'll most probably just suffer the typical slings and arrows of the usual mass media wave makers and their chicken hawk minions like Dick Cheney, Richard Pearl and Paul Wolfowitz. All of who, like Shrub, dodged the draft during the Vietnam War like two dick billy goats at a freak dance.

So you see Oscar Wilde was right: "Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels." And if you still don't think so, then go read Herr Goering above one more time. And then let us commit to stop living like the frightened villagers near Dr. Frankenstein's Castle or else we will always be called upon to slay his monsters whenever they predictably run amok. Better we just defrock the Doctor now and put an end to these present day perverse practices.


* Mitnick, Josh & Sa'id Ghazali, Israel Assassinates top Hammas military leader in
Gaza, BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBE, March 9, 2003, page A3.

** Ibid, page A3 (emphasis added).





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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
- Thomas J. Watson

Index: Current Articles

25 March 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Fitting Ireland into Foreign Moulds
Paul Dunne


Republican Not Bandit Country
Anthony McIntyre


Denigration of Heroes

Proinsias O'Loinsaigh


Dodging Double Dicks at the Freak Dance
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain


Bombing Baghdad Rather than Ankara
Anthony McIntyre


21 March 2003

War In Our Time But Not In Our Name
Anthony McIntyre


Belfast Schools Against War
Davy Carlin


Not Your Father's Socialism

Kevin Donegan


Disturbing Secrets
Liam O Ruairc



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