Friday, October 14, 2011

The One Percent Warmongers

Arthur Ponsonby (1871-1946)
Here's a recommendation: If you want to get sensitive for all kinds of war propaganda lies, read Arthur Ponsonby's Falsehood in Wartime, Anne Morelli's  Principes élémentaires de propagande de guerre in quick succession, then inform yourself about the most famous case of warmongering by now - the Incubator Lie (Nayirah), sit back and relax while watching Colin Powell's infamous speech before the UN General Assembly (but don't forget to enjoy one or the other documentation about it) and finally remember Susan Rice's Viagra Hoax - it's only a few months ago! If this doesn't help, you're a hopeless case. If this does not give you a clue that, historically, politicians "have rarely been above the average, either morally or intellectually, [but] often below it", you will never be prepared for the worst.

This selection of crude propaganda hoaxes consists only of a small fraction of all the lies that led to wars or have been spread during wartime. If children and young people study a historiography defining wars as the main framework of history of mankind, then these lies ought to be studied in the first place.

Due to the very obvious incredibility of the "alleged plotting to murder Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States", even mass media infotainment production around the world could not resist announcing serious doubts. "Why didn't the Iranians use tried and tested Hizballah networks and keep Iranian nationals, much less unknown Mexican narcos, out of it?" A deputy to the German Bundestag called the alleged plot "highly irrational, it wouldn't make any sense to attack this ambassador who is not even a big shot in the Iranian system, despite of all the rivalry between both countries. It doesn't make sense to perform such an action on the territory of a state, because it would be clearly the strongest possible provocation which would also carry the strongest possible reactions. This irrationality must not lead to an irrational response." [translation by base2014]

But irrational fiction has convinced whole populations in the the past and has led to military barbarism throughout history. The crux with propaganda lies is that they go a long way in the human mind, just as advertisement does. After a while the remembrance of the alleged plot on American soil will fade away, but the previous ones as well as the next one will add up to a pile of bias. For example, who still remembers the chock-and-bull story of "Iran digging mass graves for US troops in case of invasion", told by some unknown ominous "General Hossein Kan'ani Moghadam", just a little bit more than one year ago? Forgotten, but somehow still present. The picture of "le visage du diable (or l'affreux de service)" becomes clearer and clearer, political steps are taken one after the other, and finally they say war is inevitable.

Throughout history, wars have always been incited only by a handful of warmongers and war profiteers. The propaganda lies applied - even more surprisingly - only slightly differ from each other through time. Nevertheless - and this can be called another tragedy of human beings - virtually the same war propaganda lies are successfully applied over and over again to outwit whole populations and to postpone civilization.


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