"You hear that, Mabel? Come, watch!" Hank calls from the sofa. "Five of them Iranian swift boats like they used to blow up the Cole just attacked the Fifth Fleet! Don't say how many killed. Just – u2018We've suffered casualties!' Those damn Arab-Iranian-al-Qaeda-speedboat-sand-devils! Get in here, Mabel! Watch!"
It is amazing what can be done in a 90-second "news segment." In just 90 seconds, we learn that five small Iranian speedboats have "harassed" and "threatened" a Navy frigate and two Navy destroyers – telling these monstrous military vessels they are about to explode! Explode? All three warships?
Before we can say, "That's preposterous!" the segment quickly cuts to footage of small craft moving around the wounded USS Cole, just after the attack in 2000.
Then the segment cuts back to a grim-faced admiral as he tells the American people that:
It is important to remember that we have been attacked by small high-speed boats. We have suffered casualties. And we take this deadly seriously.
Cut to footage of a Navy cruiser firing a sea-to-air missile from its forward deck as the reporter informs us that an Iranian airliner has been shot down in a "deadly accident." (Note the customary "tragic accident" is not invoked when Iranian lives are involved.)
But why mention the shooting down of the Iranian passenger plane in the first place when the "accident" happened 20 years ago?
Obviously there is no logical reason. The "accident" has nothing to do with the speedboat "incident" in reality. But as Freud once said: "Time does not exist in the unconscious." Which means that if something is reported now, we experience it as happening now – not 20 years ago. Especially if we see (or think we see) the USS Vincennes actually firing the missile that will bring down the plane. So far as the viewer is concerned, the downing of the Iranian plane, the attack on the Cole, and Monday's "dangerous showdown" all take place within the first 58 seconds of this 90 second clip. Such is the "magic" of television.
And such are the "dark arts" of psychology, I might add. In an article published just before the holidays, entitled, A Christian Christmas in Snowy Iran, I described perhaps the darkest of the dark arts that Pentagon psychologists regularly employ to instill hate and fear of Iran in Americans. And that is the dark art of classical conditioning. Which is much in evidence here. Even down to the timing. In keeping with best practice, the speedboat "incident," the airliner "accident," and the footage of the wounded Cole all take place in less than 60 seconds. Which, from a neuropsychological standpoint, is the precise amount of time required to forge the strongest possible synaptic link between these three visual events.
As I explained in my earlier article, what we think about these experiences really does not alter their visceral effect upon us. What the segment succeeds in doing in a purely associative manner is to bring the word, "Iran," together with words and images of a powerfully fear-inducing, hate-inducing kind. Like talk of our suffering "casualties" (from an al-Qaeda attack 8 years ago).
At the same time, the segment appears to provide a "motive" for those Arab-Iranian-al-Qaeda-speedboat-sand-devils attacking the Cole and killing all those American sailors less than 30 seconds earlier/later. (Order doesn't matter here.) It is clearly an act of revenge for shooting down "their" plane.
That the attack on the Cole was actually the work of al-Qaeda, that al-Qaeda is truly the mortal enemy of Iran, that the attack on the Cole took place long after the shooting down of the Iranian plane, that Iran itself has never been charged with any act of retaliation against the United States for that questionable "accident," and that the vast majority of Iranians are not even Arabs, but Indo-Europeans – all mean nothing to most American viewers. In their media-muddled minds, those damn Arab-Iranian-al-Qaeda-speedboat-sand-devils just keep on "madly" attacking us and killing our servicemen.
"Those evil Iranians!" Hank snarls at the tube: "They're a nest of nasty hornets, Mabel! And you know what you gotta do when you have a nest of nasty hornets after you!"
Psychologists call this process “seeding” the unconscious. As in the American "snuff" film, 300, where hordes of subhuman Persian/Iranians ultimately "crucify" the Greek defenders of Western "civilization."
Remember the Cole! Remember Thermopylae! The indoctrination of the American people is relentless.
For those who want to believe that the recent NIE report has taken the military option against Iran "off the table" for the rest of Bush's Presidency, it should be duly observed that the report gets all of 3 seconds of attention before the segment rushes on to its Hail-to-the-Decider-in-his-Marine-copter ending. (He knows what he's gotta do!)
This altogether unbelievable "incident" of five small Iranian speedboats threatening to "explode" three mighty American warships, bristling with cannons and missiles, bears an eerie similarity to the "false flag" Tonkin Gulf "incident" that Johnson used as a pretext to launch the Vietnam War in 1964, as summarized in this short YouTube video.