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Sat May 28, 2016, 11:39 AM

John Pilger - Silencing America As It Prepares For War

27 May 2016

Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when he was shot and I saw his assassin, preparing to kill him. It was a baptism in the American way, along with the salivating violence of the Chicago police at the Democratic Party's rigged convention. The great counter revolution had begun.

The first to be assassinated that year, Martin Luther King, had dared link the suffering of African-Americans and the people of Vietnam. When Janis Joplin sang, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose", she spoke perhaps unconsciously for millions of America's victims in faraway places.

"We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom. Now don't you forget it." So said a National Parks Service guide as I filmed last week at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. He was addressing a school party of young teenagers in bright orange T-shirts. As if by rote, he inverted the truth about Vietnam into an unchallenged lie.

The millions of Vietnamese who died and were maimed and poisoned and dispossessed by the American invasion have no historical place in young minds, not to mention the estimated 60,000 veterans who took their own lives. A friend of mine, a marine who became a paraplegic in Vietnam, was often asked, "Which side did you fight on?"

A few years ago, I attended a popular exhibition called "The Price of Freedom" at the venerable Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The lines of ordinary people, mostly children shuffling through a Santa's grotto of revisionism, were dispensed a variety of lies: the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved "a million lives"; Iraq was "liberated [by] air strikes of unprecedented precision". The theme was unerringly heroic: only Americans pay the price of freedom.


On Obama's watch, a second cold war is under way. The Russian president is a pantomime villain; the Chinese are not yet back to their sinister pig-tailed caricature - when all Chinese were banned from the United States - but the media warriors are working on it.

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders has mentioned any of this. There is no risk and no danger for the United States and all of us; for them, the greatest military build-up on the borders of Russia since World War Two has not happened. On May 11, Romania went "live" with a Nato "missile defence" base that aims its first-strike American missiles at the heart of Russia, the world's second nuclear power.

In Asia, the Pentagon is sending ships, planes and special forces to the Philippines to threaten China. The US already encircles China with hundreds of military bases that curve in an arc up from Australia, to Asia and across to Afghanistan. Obama calls this a "pivot".

As a direct consequence, China reportedly has changed its nuclear weapons policy from no-first-use to high alert and put to sea submarines with nuclear weapons. The escalator is quickening.

It was Hillary Clinton who, as Secretary of State in 2010, elevated the competing territorial claims for rocks and reef in the South China Sea to an international issue; CNN and BBC hysteria followed; China was building airstrips on the disputed islands. In a mammoth war game in 2015, Operation Talisman Sabre, the US and Australia practiced "choking" the Straits of Malacca through which pass most of China's oil and trade. This was not news.

Clinton declared that America had a "national interest" in these Asian waters. The Philippines and Vietnam were encouraged and bribed to pursue their claims and old enmities against China. In America, people are being primed to see any Chinese defensive position as offensive, and so the ground is laid for rapid escalation. A similar strategy of provocation and propaganda is applied to Russia.

Clinton, the "women's candidate", leaves a trail of bloody coups: in Honduras, in Libya (plus the murder of the Libyan president) and Ukraine. The latter is now a CIA theme park swarming with Nazis and the frontline of a beckoning war with Russia. It was through Ukraine - literally, borderland - that Hitler's Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, which lost 27 million people. This epic catastrophe remains a presence in Russia. Clinton's presidential campaign has received money from all but one of the world's ten biggest arms companies. No other candidate comes close.


The election of Trump or Clinton is the old illusion of choice that is no choice: two sides of the same coin. In scapegoating minorities and promising to "make America great again", Trump is a far right-wing domestic populist; yet the danger of Clinton may be more lethal for the world.


Full article: http://johnpilger.com/articles/silencing-america-as-it-prepares-for-war

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Reply John Pilger - Silencing America As It Prepares For War (Original post)
polly7 May 2016 OP
EdwardBernays May 2016 #1
yurbud May 2016 #2
KoKo May 2016 #3
struggle4progress May 2016 #4
nationalize the fed May 2016 #5
Mr_Jefferson_24 May 2016 #6

Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 11:50 AM

1. Well

Americans for a wide variety of reasons live in a bubble. In Europe Syrian refugees aren't an abstract we can vote down. Russia isn't some boogeyman thousands of miles away. We can't be all fanatical fantacists because our reality is a bit more real when it comes to foreign policy.

Plus - mostly due to inward facing propaganda - Americans love war. It's also a huge part of our economy. And of course we ceded political power to corporations - which includes many vastly wealthy weapons manufacturers.

No mystery as to why we are where we are or why Americans as a rule are at best oblivious.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 01:12 PM

2. this is something that gives me pause about "the lesser of two evils"

If the lesser is going to start a war that could lead to a nuclear exchange, we need more choices.

Obama is at least slow-walking the trumped up comp with Russia and China.

There is no indication Hillary will hesitate even that much.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 05:57 PM

3. Recommend...

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sun May 29, 2016, 12:26 AM

4. In the end, rhetorical outrage is really no substitute for careful analysis

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sun May 29, 2016, 01:45 PM

5. k&r

TPP, Nukes, Fracking, Mandatory Corporate Insurance, Drones...

Take Obama. As he prepares to leave office, the fawning has begun all over again. He is “cool”. One of the more violent presidents, Obama gave full reign to the Pentagon war-making apparatus of his discredited predecessor. He prosecuted more whistleblowers – truth-tellers – than any president. He pronounced Chelsea Manning guilty before she was tried. Today, Obama runs an unprecedented worldwide campaign of terrorism and murder by drone.

In 2009, Obama promised to help “rid the world of nuclear weapons” and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. No American president has built more nuclear warheads than Obama. He is “modernising” America’s doomsday arsenal, including a new “mini” nuclear weapon, whose size and “smart” technology, says a leading general, ensure its use is “no longer unthinkable”.

James Bradley, the best-selling author of Flags of Our Fathers and son of one of the US marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, said, “*(One) great myth we’re seeing play out is that of Obama as some kind of peaceful guy who’s trying to get rid of nuclear weapons. He’s the biggest nuclear warrior there is. He’s committed us to a ruinous course of spending a trillion dollars on more nuclear weapons. Somehow, people live in this fantasy that because he gives vague news conferences and speeches and feel-good photo-ops that somehow that’s attached to actual policy. It isn’t.”

On Obama’s watch, a second cold war is under way. The Russian president is a pantomime villain; the Chinese are not yet back to their sinister pig-tailed caricature – when all Chinese were banned from the United States – but the media warriors are working on it.




Truth cuts like a knife

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Tue May 31, 2016, 12:50 AM

6. K&R

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