“The first casualty of war is TRUTH”; it’s an old but true saying. And even to an old “cynic” like myself, the fury of the US propaganda machine has been amazing and distressing.
Case One: The Taliban, terrorists and misogynists. Turning on the news in the wake of the Sept attacks, you’d have thought that the Taliban had suddenly come to power without anyone knowing it. They were quickly labeled “the Enemy” and the horrible brutality of their regime was exposed and dissected by everyone from politicians to Jay Leno.
The problem is that the Taliban had been brutalizing the people of Afghanistan, particularly the women, for years, and the USA hadn’t batted an eyelash. It was only the “liberal media” and “crazed feminazis” who hysterically blithered about some repressive regime, one that had been funded by the CIA during the eighties because they were fighting the Soviets. The “real” media did not bother us with such outlandish worries. But suddenly, after they killed 3,000-and-some-odd Americans, everything they stood for was evil. (No, I’m not arguing with depicting the Taliban as evil, because I think they are, as are ALL religious fanatics.) Suddenly Mavis Leno (Jay’s wife, and a major feminist activist) was being interviewed by Larry King to talk about the horrible state of affairs for women under the burqa. Conservative talkshow hosts and even the Fox News bunch were scrambling to talk to her when just a few months before they openly mocked the whining of such bitchy women.
The fact is that the Taliban was an evil group of misogynist murderers when they took control of the country in the mid-nineties, but the US government didn’t give a damn, because they didn’t interrupt the flow of oil. They enslaved a nation of women who’d previously been among the most progressive and educated of all Asia (empowered, educated, and free even by American standards, really). But they weren’t bothering us, so who cares? Not the US government, that’s for sure. But in just forty-eight hours, the US Propaganda machine had convinced everyone of the immediate and imminent need to wipe this evil regime off the face of the Earth.
Side Note 1: Since then, if any crazy liberal or feminazi who’s tried to raise such points, or open a discussion on the fact that the USA funded this group or ask why we didn’t do something to help these people sooner, they’ve quickly been silenced by the media and labeled a traitor.
Side Note 2: No mention is ever made by our government, or by any media other than the “evil liberal media” that there is another country in the middle East with laws just as cruel and misogynist. That country, of course, is Saudi Arabia. Saudi women are baby machines and nothing else. They have to stay covered, just as Afgan women did, and they cannot drive. They have very few rights and can be publicly beaten for breaking Islamic Law. But the Saudis sell the USA oil, so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with their regime. At least until they blow up a few buildings, I guess.
Case 2: The “Hostages”. Back in May or June or some time before the Taliban was suddenly deemed public enemy number one, a group of Christian missionaries had been arrested for breaking the law in Afghanistan. They had been distributing literature the was clearly illegal under Taliban law, and they knew this and freely admitted it. They were not political prisoners or hostages; they were simply criminals. Sure, the laws they had broken were silly and not laws here in our country, but when you go to another country, you have to respect their laws or pay the price (Germans or Dutch or people from some country with sensible laws about alcohol still have to obey our age-21 drinking laws; if they don’t, they’ll be prosecuted).
And yet, suddenly, after nine-one-one, these foolish people were suddenly “courageous and heroic hostages”.
Case 3: Anti-Drug propaganda jumps on board: I’ve never seen a more devious and clever bit of corporate-sponsored propaganda than the anti-drug adds during the Superbowl. You know, the ones that said if you’re buying or using drugs, you’re helping to fund the terrorists. If you smoke pot, you helped kill Americans. If you by a rock of crack, you just killed a DEA agent. Etc, etc.
This is such a load of crap that I don’t even know where to start. Do they really think we don’t know about a little debacle called “Prohibition”. When alcohol was made illegal, it became the domain of criminals and made many of them rich and powerful. Well, why the hell would making pot or crack be any different? You know why my buying pot might be funding a terrorist? Simple: because our stupid, hypocritical laws have made pot illegal (even though it’s FAR less harmful than many legal drugs). I’m not going to say much more on this one, because there’s plenty more out there on this subject, and I have a whole other page devoted to the marijuana legalization issue.
Case 4: President Bush is doing a Great Job. Bullshit. Plain and simple bullshit. He’s a bumbling idiot, just like he was BEFORE the terrorist attacks. It’s the same old propaganda machine that tells us that a child who falls down a well is suddenly a “hero”. Just because he’s “leading” our country in a time of national crises, we’re supposed to drop any ounce of critical thinking and say everything he does is great. The government is handling the situation the way any administration would. The president is just a figurehead in times like this, and GW is even more of a puppet than most, since he’s barely capable of speaking coherently, much less of making executive decisions. For a specific case of how GW has NOT handled things since the attacks, see my previous rant, The Importance of Having a Literate President.