Summary: Today we look at an important source of information about our nation — and what’s it’s becoming. And we look at our opposition, sources of disinformation to cloud our minds.
The @FabiusMaximus01 Twitter feed documents the slow sad story of the evolution of the America-that-once-was into The New America. The FM website explains, in brief snippets, how and why. But for deep analysis one source deserves a place at the top of our reading list: Glenn Greenwald’s columns at Salon, and now The Guardian.
Today’s article is one of his most important, a status report on the New America so clear that it should provide a clarion call to the most complacent citizen: “Five lessons from the de-listing of MEK as a terrorist group“. He explains about the “separate justice system for American Muslims, the US embrace of terrorism, and other key political facts.”
- There is a separate justice system in the US for Muslim Americans.
- The US government is not opposed to terrorism; it favors it.
- “Terrorism” remains the most meaningless, and thus the most manipulated, term in political discourse.
- Legalized influence-peddling within both parties is what drives DC.
- There is aggression between the US and Iran, but it’s generally not from Iran.
The other side of the equation: disinformation clouding our minds
Unfortunately the well-funded sources of disinformation are winning the conflict. Here’s one recent example which generated a thousand tweets, emails, and posts: “Iranian Cyber Attacks Step Up“, Bill Gertz (Editor of the Washington Times, a major engine of disinformation), The Washington Free Beacon (website, founded 2012), 18 September 2012 — “Pentagon Joint Staff: Iran cyber attacks, terrorism reveal Tehran engaged in covert war on the West.” Opening:
The Iranian government recently conducted a major cyber attack on a major U.S. financial institution that a military intelligence report said is a sign Tehran is waging covert war against the West.
The cyber attack was not successful but was one of several Iranian-backed electronic strikes detected in recent months that highlights the growing threat from Tehran, a major backer of international terrorism, according to a recent report by the Joint Staff intelligence directorate, known as J-2. “Iran’s cyber aggression should be viewed as a component, alongside efforts like support for terrorism, to the larger covert war Tehran is waging against the west,” the report, dated Sept. 14, concluded.
… Iran’s hostile posture against the United States is well known. However, the Joint Staff J-2’s hawkish assessment of the Iranian threat contrasts sharply with the more conciliatory policies of the Obama administration, a defense official familiar with the report said.
So much insanity in so few words (which might even be leaks from a real J-2 report). The US and Israel have encircled Iran with foes, assassinated its scientists, attacked its nuclear facilities (legitimate under its treaties), and attacked it with cyberweapons. Yet sophisticated propaganda has convinced millions of Americans that Iran is the aggressor.
To call “conciliatory” Obama’s policy towards Iran requires a Birther’s contempt towards the facts. Obama has refused to negotiate with Iran, unleashed a program of assassination and sabotage, started the world’s first cyberwar, and initiated sanctions that will (unless broken) destroy Iran’s economy.
Can the American people be taught to distinguish fact from fiction? Otherwise, can such an easily mislead people govern themselves? Much depends on these answers.
For More Information
(a) Other articles about our decision to take MEK off the terrorist list:
- “More Posturing on Iran“, Paul Pillar (28 year CIA veteran, now visiting Prof at Georgetown U), The National Interest, 23 September 2012
(b) For all posts about this see America – how can we stop the quiet coup now in progress?
(c) Posts about the birth of the New America:
- A soft despotism for America?, 22 July 2008
- What comes after the Constitution? Can we see the outlines of the “Mark 3″ version?, 10 November 2008
- US Army – the antidote to US civil disorder, 3 January 2009
- Origins of what may become the 3rd American Republic (a plutocracy), 8 April 2011
- America is the new Rome. Late Republican Rome (not the best of times), 13 October 2011
- What will replace the Constitution in Americans’ hearts? Let’s check for Fascism., 29 March 2012
- A look at the future of the Republic: we will choose leaders that we trust, 14 May 2012
- A look at the future of the Republic: we will choose leaders that we trust, not the ones we need (part 2), 15 May 2012
- More evidence that the military is slowly cutting itself off from civilian control, 15 July 2012
- Gallup’s polls show who we trust, pointing to a dark future for our Republic, 15 August 2012
1 thought on “Bulletins about the birth of the New America, and the disinformation driving it”
The fact is that this disinformation — at least as far as Iran is concerned — has been going on ever since the 1950’s when the CIA under orders from the US government instigated a coup in that country to subvert democracy, overthrow the newly-elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, and reinstate the Shah (Operation Ajax). We did this because Mossadegh intended to nationalize the country’s oil fields so that the Iranian people could receive more benefit from their own resources — which would have been detrimental to our petroleum interests in that region. From the 50’s to the 70’s, the American press depicted the Shah as a progressive leader who was modernizing his country…conveniently glossing over the fact that the appearance of anything like a Western democracy was at best a veneer and that the Shah was a corrupt dictator ruling with an iron fist, using the Savak (the secret police) to persecute and torture those who disagreed with him.
When the Iranian people deposed the Shah in 1979, we refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the anger against the Shah and offered him refuge within the United States. (While President Carter’s decision may have been prompted by his religious principles, the fact remains that it was politically disastrous.) The Iranian people had neither forgotten nor forgiven what we did in 1953 (any more than we would have been inclined to forget or forgive them if our positions had been reversed), and our decision to offer refuge to the Shah — as well as rumors that we were making plans to reinstate him just as we had done in 1953 — touched off the hostage crisis. At no point during the year that followed did the American media or government ever acknowledge or even mention Operation Ajax, or acknowledge that the Iranian resentment could be in any way legitimate or justified. Instead of accepting any responsibility for the problem, we (conveniently) depicted the Iranian people and the Ayatollah as violent extremists and the hostile actions taken against us as irrational and wholly unjustified.
With our customary short-sightedness, we chose to amplify our error by putting our faith in the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, supporting Saddam Hussein (yet another corrupt and oppressive dictator) in his war with Iran and supplying him with funding as well as materiel. It is thought by some that this funding actually encouraged Hussein to extend the war to the point that it nearly ruined Iraq financially — and that this in turn prompted Hussein to invade Kuwait, compelling us to launch the first Gulf War in order to (again) protect our petroleum interests in the region. This, of course, is believed to have provoked the anger of Osama bin Laden, whom we had also once provided support to during the 80’s when he was part of the mujahideen force fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. Thus, it can be plausibly argued — as the documentary “Why We Fight” discusses in detail — that most of the problems we have had in the Middle East since 1979 are linked (either directly or indirectly) to Operation Ajax.
To make matters worse, even though the US government in 2000 finally offered an official acknowledgement of their participation in Operation Ajax, the vast majority of the American people continue to remain largely ignorant of these events — they are generally not discussed in history classes and the media for the most part does not acknowledge them (this was not our finest hour, after all). The US government has been rattling its saber against Teheran for the past five years or more, primarily at the instigation of the neoconservative Republicans who controlled the Bush administration and who continue to promote the establishment of a de facto American empire — the fact that Iran is the only one of the five countries with the world’s largest proven oil reserves that we have not befriended or invaded probably has something else to do with this as well, given our countries extreme dependence on petroleum. If there’s any truth to the argument that our current problems in the Middle East are all related to the unforeseen negative consequences (or “blowback” as it’s termed in the intelligence community) resulting from one abysmally bad decision in 1953 — especially given the fact that the domestic petroleum industry was still in full swing at that time! — one really shudders to think about what kind of horrors could potentially result from taking the kind of actions that many people in the government, the military, and the popular press are saying we should take against Iran. This is especially true given the reports that both Beijing and Moscow have made statements indicating their support for Teheran, including statements from the Russian government indicating that an attack either by Israel or by the US against Teheran will be interpreted as an attack on Moscow. Let’s remember one important thing…the Chinese and the Russians have nukes.