Swans Commentary » swans.com December 19, 2005  



2005: Annus Propagandus


by Jan Baughman





"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."
—George W. Bush, May 24, 2005


(Swans - December 19, 2005)  A friend was recently summonsed for jury duty in a capital murder case in Oakland, California, in which a group of six teenagers who called themselves the "Nut Cases" were alleged to have randomly, nonchalantly murdered five people from 2002 to 2003, taking their pastime of playing the videogame Grand Theft Auto III to the streets. Perhaps the reality in which they live -- a world of violence and drugs and little hope for the future -- was given some meaning by a game through which the players attain a sense of control, domination, and influence over the world around them, experiencing no difference between life and death. The jury is still out on this case, and most of us cannot fathom the world in which the Nut Cases live, though its desperate inhabitants are growing in number. Hence the elite's necessity of dividing and conquering the Gulf -- whether it be the Gulf States, the Persian Gulf, or the Gulf of the Haves and Have Nots.

In his second-term inaugural address on January 20 of this year, Mr. Bush declared America a theocracy and outlined his mission from God:

America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.

Mr. Bush and his powerful group of Nut Cases -- his administration and the power base lurking behind the scenes and setting his agenda -- are intent on dividing and conquering the world in the name of advancing democracy (with the altruistic aim of ensuring US security and control of resources, of course...). The Nut Case sphere is seemingly impenetrable to the multitudes outside its circle, and the wall of lies, rhetoric, and propaganda reached unimaginable heights in 2005, escalating to ridiculous levels at year-end as they attempt to plug the holes being poked in their armor.

Throughout the year, Mr. Bush made public appearances only at staged events, replete with Madison Avenue backdrops, screened audiences, prepared speeches, and prefabulated answers to pre-submitted questions. It is no wonder then that he is confident in his calling. Listening to him read his rhetoric, one can only conclude that he has come to believe his utterances as truth, while those on the outside of the Nut Case wall listen in amazement to proclamations of "we do not torture," "tax cuts for the wealthy keep our economy strong," and "every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value." Those outside the wall live in a nation that doesn't care about the poor, the hungry, the uninsured, the unemployed, the elderly, the evacuees in Super Domes and trailer parks; all lives whose sanctity ends once they exit the comfort of the womb into the Darwinian world of the pious Nut Cases. Yet no matter how many photo ops in disaster zones with button-down shirt sleeves rolled up; the brush clearing and the mountain bike riding; the Texas drawl and grammar worse than any child left behind, the president of, by, and for the elite is struggling to keep up appearances, and seeing his wall slowly erode, facing criticism from the religious right that even he is no longer religious enough for them...

Still one can only wonder why so many continue to support him and his Nut Cases, no matter the evidence to the contrary. It certainly helps to buy press coverage in the American and, as we've now learned, the Iraqi media. Doesn't hurt when the newspaper of record withholds for a year a story that might expose even further the extent of the great democracy's hijacking of civil liberties via domestic wiretappings. Tough questions have no venue outside the legendary cat-and-mouse game played by some members of the press and White House Press Secretary Scott McClelland. The questions and their non-answers at least make it into the public record; though even that record is subject to blatant revisionism, despite video and audio evidence to the contrary. The Nut Cases can only pray to god that the ongoing investigations -- into Libby, Rove, DeLay, Abramoff, Frist, et al. keep on going until the second term is up and the press briefings become someone else's nightmare. In the meantime, we don't talk about ongoing investigations; we don't talk about sources and methods. Don't talk about ongoing intelligence operations. Don't talk about casualties, and by all means don't allow anyone to challenge, question, debate, criticize any of the policies because that would be irresponsible and send the wrong message to the troops, the evildoers, and the rest of the countries on our liberation list.

The war on terrorism is a dream war for the Nut Cases -- that is, infinite, unwinnable, self-perpetuating -- and they won't give it up without a serious fight. Perpetual war is the life-blood of the Nut Cases. The US presence in Iraq, the country we tore down and offered up as the central front in the war on terror, was never intended to be short-term, but to join the list of strategic, permanent bases around the world. When the heat was turned up a bit and support for the war took a downturn, the propaganda team renamed the insurgents "terrorists and Saddamists" in order to strengthen the tie between Iraq and al Qaeda. Propaganda 101: regroup, readjust, respond.

Rather than question, challenge, debate, and criticize the Nut Cases' real agenda, the poor senators and representatives who were duped into supporting, oh dear, an illegal war, are attempting to reposition themselves and appear Commander-in-Chiefworthy by demanding timetables, exit strategies, and more investigations that will last months and years, while the 2006 elections are just a heartbeat away.

Meantime, the Nut Cases' propagandists have put their leader on the road, in a year-end campaign to do some damage control, reaffirm the righteousness of their crusade, and reinforce the wall that shields them from exposure. When you listen to him speak, and stutter, and stammer; when he dodges practical questions with lofty rhetoric; remind yourself to:

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

In 2006, we must, each of us, continue our efforts to penetrate the propaganda, and through our collective voices demand, "Mr. Bush, tear down that wall." This is the humane, responsible, patriotic thing to do. This, Mr. Bush, is "the calling of our time."

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Years in Review

America the 'beautiful'

Patterns which Connect on Swans


About the Author

Jan Baughman on Swans (with bio).



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This Edition's Internal Links

Michael Neumann's The Case Against Israel - Book Review by Gilles d'Aymery

Reflections On 2005 And The Future - Edward S. Herman

After The 2004 Elections - Louis Proyect

2005: Navigating The Doldrums...An Unprogressive, Sulking Year - Gilles d'Aymery

2005: A Look Back In Anger - Charles Marowitz

2005: Earth Responds, Illusions Crumble, Vision Needed - Eli Beckerman

2005: A Lamentable Year - Robert Wrubel

2005 And Its Possible Impact - Philip Greenspan

The Good Gardener - Gerard Donnelly Smith

2005: Pessimism Unleashed - Milo Clark

Resistance Is No Longer A Choice - Joe Davison

Blips #31 - From the Editor's desk

Letters to the Editor

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URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art11/jeb151.html
Published December 19, 2005