• Welcome to Orwell's World 2010

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    In
    Nineteen
    Eighty-Four
    , George Orwell described a superstate called
    Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that "passed into
    history and became truth. u2018Who controls the past’, ran the Party
    slogan, u2018controls the future: who controls the present controls
    the past’."

    Barack
    Obama is the leader of a contemporary Oceania. In two speeches at
    the close of the decade, the Nobel Peace Prize winner affirmed that
    peace was no longer peace, but rather a permanent war that "extends
    well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan" to "disorderly regions
    and diffuse enemies." He called this "global security"
    and invited our gratitude. To the people of Afghanistan, which America
    has invaded and occupied, he said wittily: "We have no interest
    in occupying your country."

    In
    Oceania, truth and lies are indivisible. According to Obama, the
    American attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was authorized by the United
    Nations Security Council. There was no UN authority. He said the
    "the world" supported the invasion in the wake of 9/11
    when, in truth, all but three of 37 countries surveyed by Gallup
    expressed overwhelming opposition. He said that America invaded
    Afghanistan "only after the Taliban refused to turn over [Osama]
    bin Laden." In 2001, the Taliban tried three times to hand
    over bin Laden for trial, reported Pakistan’s military regime, and
    were ignored. Even Obama’s mystification of 9/11 as justification
    for his war is false. More than two months before the Twin Towers
    were attacked, the Pakistani foreign minister, Niaz Naik, was told
    by the Bush administration that an American military assault would
    take place by mid-October. The Taliban regime in Kabul, which the
    Clinton administration had secretly supported, was no longer regarded
    as "stable" enough to ensure America’s control over oil
    and gas pipelines to the Caspian Sea. It had to go.

    Obama’s
    most audacious lie is that Afghanistan today is a "safe haven"
    for al-Qaeda’s attacks on the West. His own national security adviser,
    General James Jones, said in October that there were "fewer
    than 100" al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. According to US intelligence,
    90 per cent of the Taliban are hardly Taliban at all, but "a
    tribal localized insurgency [who] see themselves as opposing the
    US because it is an occupying power." The war is a fraud. Only
    the terminally gormless
    remain true to the Obama brand of "world peace."

    Beneath
    the surface, however, there is serious purpose. Under the disturbing
    General Stanley McCrystal, who gained distinction for his assassination
    squads in Iraq, the occupation of one of the most impoverished countries
    is a model for those "disorderly regions" of the world
    still beyond Oceania’s reach. This is known as COIN, or counterinsurgency
    network, which draws together the military, aid organizations, psychologists,
    anthropologists, the media and public relations hirelings. Covered
    in jargon about winning hearts and minds, its aim is to pit one
    ethnic group against another and incite civil war: Tajiks and Uzbecks
    against Pashtuns.

    The
    Americans did this in Iraq and destroyed a multiethnic society.
    They bribed and built walls between communities who had once intermarried,
    ethnically cleansing the Sunni and driving millions out of the country.
    The embedded media reported this as "peace," and American
    academics bought by Washington and "security experts"
    briefed by the Pentagon appeared on the BBC to spread the good news.
    As in Nineteen Eighty-four, the opposite was true.

    Something
    similar is planned for Afghanistan. People are to be forced into
    "target areas" controlled by warlords bankrolled by the
    Americans and the opium trade. That these warlords are infamous
    for their barbarism is irrelevant. "We can live with that,"
    a Clinton-era diplomat said of the persecution of women in a "stable"
    Taliban-run Afghanistan. Favored western relief agencies, engineers
    and agricultural specialists will attend to the "humanitarian
    crisis" and so "secure" the subjugated tribal lands.

    That
    is the theory. It worked after a fashion in Yugoslavia where the
    ethnic-sectarian partition wiped out a once peaceful society, but
    it failed in Vietnam where the CIA’s "strategic hamlet program"
    was designed to corral and divide the southern population and so
    defeat the Viet Cong — the Americans’ catchall term for the resistance,
    similar to "Taliban."

    Behind
    much of this are the Israelis, who have long advised the Americans
    in both the Iraq and Afghanistan adventures. Ethnic-cleansing, wall-building,
    checkpoints, collective punishment and constant surveillance — these
    are claimed as Israeli innovations that have succeeded in stealing
    most of Palestine from its native people. And yet for all their
    suffering, the Palestinians have not been divided irrevocably and
    they endure as a nation against all odds.

    The
    most telling forerunners of the Obama Plan, which the Nobel Peace
    Prize winner and his strange general and his PR men prefer we forget,
    are those that failed in Afghanistan itself. The British in the
    19th century and the Soviets in the 20th century
    attempted to conquer that wild country by ethnic cleansing and were
    seen off, though after terrible bloodshed. Imperial cemeteries are
    their memorials. People power, sometimes baffling, often heroic,
    remains the seed beneath the snow, and invaders fear it.

    "It
    was curious," wrote Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-four,
    "to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia
    or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also
    very much the same, everywhere, all over the world … people ignorant
    of one another’s existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies,
    and yet almost exactly the same people who … were storing up in
    their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day
    overturn the world."

    January
    1, 2010

    John
    Pilger
    was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He has been
    a war correspondent, filmmaker and playwright. Based in London,
    he has written from many countries and has twice won British journalism’s
    highest award, that of "Journalist of the Year," for his
    work in Vietnam and Cambodia. His latest book is Freedom
    Next Time: Resisting the Empire
    .

    John
    Pilger Archives

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