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Shock and Awe: The Case against the War on Terror

The ‘War on Terror’ as it has been presented to us, post-9/11, has been a ‘masterwork’ of propaganda (or put more sensitively, ‘public relations’) tradecraft. As any military strategist worth their salt -or any upper command statesman knows, 98% of war starts before the troops hit the ground. The real war is fought on an ideological battleground. Sun Tzu knew this too in his ‘Art of War’. Without getting too deeply into polemic or ‘subversion’, and it’s precedents and/or psychology (for those who wish to explore some of these concepts more deeply – please click here! ) – we will have a look at some writings on the current state of affairs in the middle east and on the ground at home.

While we can only speculate upon the ultimate goals of this exercise in consolidation of power (see also: ‘The Ralph Peters Map’ for one such example) we can handily explore current events with an eye to precedent in a way that will clarify the manipulation that goes on daily at home and abroad.

Suspicious Pretexts for War

Whether we’re discussing the ‘false intelligence’ for the existence of WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq or JFK’s ‘Operation Northwoods’ or even the Reichstag Fire that launched the collapse of civil freedoms in Nazi Germany – illegitimate wars have always required a pretext which stirs up deep emotions – usually coming from Nationalist, neo-colonialist mythology.

As Hermann Goering (aka ‘The Butcher’) said about such concerns:

"Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

( from the Nuremberg Trials )

What is truly shocking is that Goering’s matter-of-fact statement shouldn’t be shocking at all – but rather is likely more common knowledge for heads of state than most people would be comfortable admitting. If this seems at all surprising perhaps it is a good barometer of the sort of psychological division that exists between the citizen and the head of state. The very belief in individual autonomy and the stock we place in it is one of the most impressive pieces of propaganda the world has yet known.

[editorial note: article candidates below – click and evaluate please]





Agents Provocateurs

As every good advertising executive knows – it’s hard to pull off a successful media campaign without great actors. And so it is in the War on Terror. We are far beyond the Blackwater maneouvers in Afghanistan and Iraq – mercenaries and SAS troops dressing in turbans and setting off car bombs… it’s gone well beyond that. The use of mercenaries (actors) has been so successful that now we are well into the next phase – not only are a skeleton cast and crew used – but a full cast of ‘extras’ in the War on Terror. By hiring locals to publicly demonstrate or dissent against entrenched power has become a powerful new tool in the hands of the power consolidators. It’s also rather clever – rather than attacking entrenched power directly, peer pressure is used in conjunction with media pressure to enact the classic ‘divide and conquer’ manoeuver. This is precisely what was attempted in Iran (via the now exhausted and unfunded ‘Green Movement’) and what was far more successfully employed in Egypt and in it’s ultimate form (with a little help from NATO forces) in Libya.

The parallel between the advertising executive and statesman is more than just punnery – government and the advertising industry are NO strange bedfellows. The state has been cozying up to the advertising industry increasingly over decades since Edward Bernays first appeared in North America as they have been sold on the benefits of being able to sway public opinion in their direction. See also: Media Influence and The Art of Deception

[editorial note: article candidates below – click and evaluate please]


Syria: A Case Study

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