All too many gullible people are presently surprised by the fact that the mainstream media sold the American public out yet again, inciting them to run riotously into a war justified by an obvious pack of deliberate lies. They erroneously thought that the press was a quasi-public entity charged with a sacred duty to protect the public from lies. But they should have not been surprised to discover that the media had been corrupted by much admired war-mongering and greedy political thugs.
Owners and managers of the mainstream media have traditionally advanced the interests of the war-mongering governments of the United States, as have the leaders of the educational institutions that cultivate youth for brutal economic and political competition including war. The traditional conspiracy among the power elite whom the prostituted press serves so well was very organized for the Great War:
Columbia War Papersries 1, No. 4, New York, 1917, entitled 'Our Headline Policy,' expressed the policy of the pro-war administration of Columbia University. Columbia and other nongovernmental institutions emulated the U.S. Committee on Public Information, which was created by President Wilson to foster war by means of propaganda and suppression of all views opposed to the administration's war plans. The nation's press took the recommendations to heart and voluntarily practiced censorship. While considering 'Our Headline Policy,' we might keep in mind the reasons why President Bush proudly refers to himself as a "war president," and refers not to a "police action" against criminal terrorists but to "the World War against Terrorism" and the "War in Iraq."
"Teamwork and only teamwork will win the war," states Columbia University in its paper to editors. "Our greatest national power... is our public press; and upon you, who direct that press, rests a supreme responsibility...." First of all, "The first requisite is unity."
Of course the American people are independent, sayeth the "liberal" university's administration, but baseball and football has taught them the value of sacrificing the individual to teams.
"It is upon this knowledge that the American people must now act. And the editors of the public press have it in their power to lead them to action by keeping the necessity of it - the very ideal of it - constantly before the people, making them realize that victory can be won only through unity. How is this to be done? Editorials. But to one reader who is influenced once by a given editorial, many hundreds are influenced, day by day, by the headlines of the paper and by the wording and the form of the news...."
Therefore editors should not refer to individual performances but to teamwork, not to grandstand plays but to team play, to assists, to sacrifices of individuals, and be sure to always say "we", and "our" (battles).
In fine, "It is the press of the country that we must look to keep this necessity of unity, this clear vision of our single aim, constantly before us; and it is in the headlines of the papers, in the placing of the news, and in the words that are used in making the news public that this must be done."
Today the propagation of war as the way to make peace is taken to absurd lengths, yet hardly anyone notices now that the hypocrisy of war mongering in the name of peace is commonplace. For instance, in 2004 the publishers and Editorial Board of Knight Ridder's The Kansas City Star propagated public financing for the further glorification of global warfare: a proposition was put on the ballot to increase taxes to fund additions to the Liberty War Memorial - a memorial to heroes who fought and fell for peace in the Great War.
The Star refused to publish the main objection to the proposition; that the plan if implemented would constitute immoral funding for the propagation of war by multimedia means: projecting battle scenes on the 180-foot skirt of the memorial, which is a huge phallic object jutting into the sky on the hill in front of Union Station; planting the seeds of future wars - guns, life-sized objects of trench-war horrors including craters, plasma screens with war images - in the uterine cavity within the pubic mound. Toy machine guns and rifles would be sold at the gift shop to further educate future generations to the manly virtues of violently making peace.
Someone suggested that football games, the next best thing to war, might also be projected on the mammoth screen in order to directly associate teamwork with its best-suited, uniform enterprise. Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes called for unity in favor of the proposal. The voters complied, approved the funding. The mayor, a sports enthusiast, went on to promote a sports arena for downtown Kansas City, where people preoccupied by competition in business and politics and war can unwittingly enjoy themselves while being conformed - a teammate for the football star who was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan said sports' analogies to warfare rang very hollow now that his friend was dead. In any case, people are unified and at-one with the god of death when at war with one enemy or the other.
Unity, indeed. We recall the recent exclamations of the members of Congress, overjoyed by the prospect of war against some enemy besides each other. "Unity at last!" And, "For once this nation unified." Yes, many leaders remarked on the newfound unity of the American people as they wrapped themselves in the flag; and the media, with flags waving all the while, prompted by the lies of the president, conducted the chorus.
Did not one member of congress disagree? I should remember the dissent. Who voted against the male hysteria? A lone woman? How about Hillary Clinton? No, she surpassed many a hawk in her patriotic screeching for war. Women even have a right to be cannon meat nowadays, if not cheerleaders.A female reporter returned from the pre-emptive assault on Iraq to say that in war Americans are at their finest.
Some of us may recall what was written on the subject of Unity by one Randolph Bourne during the Great War (Untimely Papers ed. James Oppenheim, New York, 1919). Bourne claimed that unity in war is the basest and most uncivilized unity of all, the unity of the herd. He said that the State is a mystical or irrational conception.
Now the fundamental motive of mysticism, as we know so well, strives for unity with some indefinite whole, whether it be the one-god, the universe, Nature, Nothing and the like. The individual wants to be submerged like Narcissus in a corporate pool where he shall not be individually responsible; or he would lose himself in oceanic bliss; or recover the infantile feeling of omnipotence, and so on according to an unconscious drive Freud once called the Death Instinct because he noticed people do not always adhere to the Pleasure Principle.
Bourne took up the difference between state and government, saying that the government of a state is not identical with or eponymous with the state. Yet, as we know, a government, and its prostituted press, who would stampede people to war as if they were cattle, make just such an identification, and insist that all who oppose their unified will to war are traitors to the state and nation.
"War is the health" of such a state, Bourne indited. Society feels rejuvenated by war as the soil is watered with the blood of its young and strongest. War reveals the fanatic ideal of the State; in war is the urge for obedient unification greatest. Each individual has a fragment of the mystical unity, hence he feels worthy indeed, significant, important for a change; thus does war bring individualism to its apotheosis, making of each individual a god. Wherefore warmongers hate novelty, nonconformity. People are punished for their mere opinions if those opinions are contrary to the war movement. The super-patriot identifies with the state, thus the distinction between state and government are lost as far as he is concerned. However, Bourne notes (before Hitler came on the scene to renew the war to end all wars) that people do not all act as a homogeneous herd; actually, the vulgar herd-instinct is stronger in the "better" class, for whom war is a game, the best of all sports.
Who remembers today the hackneyed phrases of President Wilson when he called Congress to war? "The right is more precious than peace.... make the world safe for democracy.... American is privileged to spend her blood and might for the principles that gave her birth."
European soil was dutifully fertilized with American blood in the war that did not end all wars as expected but rather set the stage for even worse wars and police actions. Senator LaFollette of Wisconsin objected to entering the war, pointing out that the allies "in defense of democracy" included autocrats just as bad as Germany; that both England and Russia "preyed on shipping"; that if the question were submitted to referendum, there would be no war - conscientious objectors were later jailed under the sedition act for advocating such referendums.
And who remembers what the first United States congresswoman said as she violated the 140-precedent of saying nothing when she voted against entering the war? "I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war. I vote no." The vote was 374 in favor, 50 opposed, 9 abstained.
Jeanette Rankin was the only member to vote against the war on Japan. She held to the traditional view that the coasts of the United States and its protectorates should be defended; otherwise no war should be waged. As for Pearl Harbor, retaliation would only waste more lives. She was one of many who believed Roosevelt actually provoked the Japanese attack so that the white man's interests in Asia could be protected.
"Americans are peace loving on the whole and can only be led into war by deceitful leaders. The attack cold have been foreseen, for everyone knew American military action would be required to prevent the destruction of the white power in the Far East...." said Congresswoman Rankin in the remarks entered in the Congressional Record, December 8, 1942. She said that Roosevelt provoked the attack. Of course hardly anyone believes that Roosevelt, a Navy man, knew that Pearl Harbor would be attacked; if he did, he certainly would have made certain that the attackers were defeated. Still, we know very well that Roosevelt &Co. were itching to enter the war. We know about the meetings. We know that Winston Churchill admiringly called Roosevelt a "traitor" for his conduct. Still, Roosevelt refused to make a pre-emptive strike. Why? Because, he said, "We are a democracy." No more, not in that sense.
Journalists and devout ministers subjected Ms. Rankin to the worst sort of calumny for her vote against America's entry in the Great War; however, the congressMEN who voted against the war were not thus contemned. She was called a "dagger in the hands of German propagandists", "a dupe of the Kaiser", "a member of the Hun army", "a crying schoolgirl." (see Helena Independent)
Independent press? Hardly. But let the record show that there were independent publishers, journalists and thinkers in those days.
For instance, Oswald Garrison Villard, publisher of the New York Evening Post, pointed out in 1916 that preparedness is militarism, and said that there will always be someone to protest against state-organized mass murder:
"Against the god of might; against the god of force; against the policy of murder of millions and millions, there will be American citizens to protest as long as there are stars in their courses. Against every preparation for war men henceforth will rise to say NO, event with their backs to the wall and rifles in front of them. For there is no slavery in the world like this to arms, none that today so checks the growth of liberty, of democracy, of the coming of the kingdom of heaven on earth. They will bear readily and willingly the imputations of fanciful, unpractical idealism, of lack of patriotism; only it must never be said of them that they were afraid to die for their ideals, or that they were traitors to the Prince of Peace in thought or deed." For more, see Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, July 1916.
American citizens who protest against war and against the perversion of Christianity to justify war and condemn dissent against militant unity are called "traitors" by the so-called super patriots. Many citizens, for instance, protested against the insertion of 'One Nation Under God, Indivisible' in the Pledge of Allegiance during the Cold War.
They did not object because they were ungodly atheists, but because the clause was inserted and the ritual pledge was imposed in the schools for the express purpose of brainwashing students into wrapping themselves in the flag and into waging hot and cold religious wars in the mere name of an abstract one-god against "ungodly" communists; against the so-called Evil Empire. Reagan-Bush supported, help organize, and condone the war against despised "humanists" and "socialists" and "leftist" priests and "activist" nuns - nuns were murdered and raped pursuant to the rationale of the fundamentalist Crusade against "evil" (as Reagan-Bush looked on) - that any one who does not believe in the barbarian version of the one-god must burn in hell; therefore they should be murdered forthwith lest they infect others.
Thus are many crimes of humanity perpetrated by the organized thugs, the lords of darkness and corporate board tribalism who would dominate the world in the name of their one-god or any other name convenient to the purpose. The blinded believers murder each other in the name of the same one-god, and dare to say that god of hate is the god of love - their love is hate-based love. If the truth were known, they would realize that their one-god is the god of war; a lying and false god; a slanderer, a satan; and they would know that those who advocate war in the name of the Prince of Peace are perjurers and blasphemers.
And who will hear this instant protest? Not many, not if the owners and editors of the press and other civic misleaders have any say in the matter; and they do have a say because they run the only game in town.