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"P" is for Preemptive Patriotic Propaganda

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
August 29, 2002


"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" — Samuel Johnson

One can't pick-up a newspaper or turn on the news without getting doused with a wave of pro-war propaganda, currently being served up by the Bush Administration and their lap dogs in the mainstream media. Undaunted by a lack of evidence and no international support, the Administration is trying to make a case for its unilateral war against Iraq. Redefining greedy aggression as preemptive patriotism, George and company are warning of nuclear strikes, chemical warfare, and terrorist attacks.

Call me naïve, but I'm one of the millions of Americans who have yet to be convinced there is any reason to drop bombs on Baghdad other than continuing to divert attention from the second Bush administration's corporate misdeeds. History is a wonderful teacher, and if we have learned anything from the successive Bush presidencies, is that when things look grim, the Bush Dynasty finds a convenient war to wage.

Let's face it, ever since John Wayne picked up a gun America has loved a good war story, the one caveat being America is always right. From native Americans to Nam, John Wayne was the poster child for warmongering. But since he's gone, and new generations don't buy into the hero myth, the propaganda machine needs villains. And if there is one thing the Bush Dynasty is good at, it's creating villains.

There is no doubt in my mind Saddam Hussein is one of the bad guys. This we know because the when the CIA needed a uber-villain to wage war on Iran, Saddam was the perfect fit. Yes, ladies and gentlemen America made Saddam the monster he is. We put him in power, we gave him money and weapons, and then unleashed him on the big bad Iranians who were the villains du jour at a time when the oil industry wanted Jimmy Carter out of office and the Reagan/ Bush team in.

When all this was being accomplished it was done without the flag waving and patriotic pride, because clandestine affairs work best in the dark, with as little fanfare as possible. If you doubt this, one needs only hit rewind on the way back machine to the Iran Contra hearings. In hindsight we now know why Ronald Reagan couldn't remember anything, but George Herbert Walker Bush, who is still sharp as a tack, claimed administrative Alzheimer's.

Saddam was, and I believe, still is an American puppet whose sole purpose is to foster unrest in the Middle East, thereby allowing the Oil oligarchy that is the Bush dynasty, to continue to protect the world, and their profit margins, from the those that would threaten access to the oil beneath the desert sands. Osama bin Laden, another puppet, was recruited to harass the Soviets when they were trying to have their way with Afghanistan. And now that bin Laden is missing in action, Afghanistan is safe place for western interests to do business, which just happens to included oil and natural gas pipelines.

Creating dictators is best done quietly, while toppling them is reserved for the front page of the New York Times, glossy magazines, and the babbling heads polluting the 24 hour cable news cycle. What the Bush Administration is doing is a textbook case of propaganda 101. Iraq is in no position to hurt anyone, America has seen to that. Since the first Gulf War, Iraq has been the target of an American policy bent on the complete ruination of that country.

The entire infrastructure of Iraq is in shambles. American dictated sanctions have led to the untimely death of millions due to starvation and disease, yet we still say Saddam is threatening his people. In 1997 United Nations weapons inspectors declared that Iraq no longer posed a threat, but since that would mean sanctions would have to be lifted, America decided to break certain agreements. When Iraq protested, America removed the inspectors, told the nightly news they had been thrown out, thereby justifying the continued vilification of a regime of its own making.

The American ideal is based on the concept of liberty and justice for all, it's a shame the Bush Administration has yet to figure out that liberty and justice is not possible without a commitment to the truth, regardless of how ugly it is. If they want to wage a war for oil they owe to the American people, as well as the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of the world, to be honest about their agenda.

Anything else is propaganda, and an embarrassment to the men and women who have died to protect the freedoms the Bush World Order so casually tramples.

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