by Eric Margolis
by Eric Margolis
- I am shocked, shocked to learn the US military has spent over $100 million planting stories in newspapers and on TV and radio in Iraq, Afghanistan and various Mideastern countries.
This is the latest glaring example of the rapid Sovietization of the US government. As the Taoists say, we have become what we hated.
'Well, it's all part of information warfare,' explained red-faced Pentagon spokesmen when this nasty business was revealed. Another big lie. This is propaganda, pure and simple. But not just that. Credulous US reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan, cooped up under the wing of US military forces, know only what the Pentagon and its rent-a-journalist tell them. When you see reporters from the major networks reporting in from Iraq, they are all doing so from the safety of the fortified Green Zone and must rely on press handouts from the US military. They have no more ideas what's going on in Iraq than your average corn farmer in Iowa.
So, what happens is that propaganda cooked up in Washington by fancy, high-priced contractors (friends of the Bush Administration, of course), stories like - 'Iraqis turn against terrorism and embrace democracy,' or 'Afghanistan's women greet liberation with joy..' — are then picked up by US reporters and sent back to US media as news. Thus the Pentagon is shaping US media content and the views of Americans. It's only a matter of time before we have the Department of Truth.
- The upcoming elections in Iraq are mostly more political kabuki staged by the US — fake elections that will ensure pro-US politicians are 'elected.' Sunni voters who could scupper the poll will be kept from the polls by chicanery and US troops. Nevertheless, there are genuine political stirrings in Iraq. Individuals and parties that do speak for many Iraqis have emerged from post-invasion chaos and will one day become that nation's new generation of leaders. But for now, Iraq looks ever more likely to be heading into civil war between majority Shia and minority Sunnis, with Kurds in the north attaining virtual independence.
As former US National Security Agency chief Gen William Odom recently observed, the US occupation is driving Iraq into civil war. When Bush preaches about 'government forces standing up,' what he really means is Shia militias and murder squads who are quickly turning Iraq into a larger version of the murderous civil war I covered in El Salvador during the 1980's.
- Paris is again becoming a refuge for increasing numbers of thoughtful Americans fed up by their nation's takeover by religious fanatics and neo-fascist empire-builders. We may be looking at a new 'lost generation' fleeing Dick Cheney's Mussolini America.
December 15, 2005
Copyright © 2005 Eric Margolis