The Mind of James Donahue

Programmed to Fear

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Written Before September 11
We Are Being Programmed
To Fear Our "Enemies"

By James Donahue

I don't know if you have noticed how we are being fed propaganda via our nightly television news programs about some evil guy, somewhere in the world, who is plotting to destroy the world with weapons of mass destruction.

It reminds me of George Orwell's prophetic book "1984" in which the author envisions an overpopulated world where humans live in a tightly controlled environment. A major portion of the government control in the book involved an ongoing war with some unseen enemy. Big Brother constantly fed hate propaganda into the minds of the people against that enemy force. It was a way of uniting the people in a form of patriotism. The war also served to pump new energy into the economy.

Orwell correctly described the world we presently live in. He was about 20 years off, but he was an amazingly accurate prophet non-the-less. But then we have been cashing in on the hate machinery of war every since the United States became a nation.

I can remember back to the days of World War II. It was easy to hate Hitler. We also hated Mussolini of Italy and Hiro Hito, the emperor of Japan. Both Hitler and Mussolini died in the war and still are remembered as evil villains. Strangely enough, we forgot what an evil guy Hiro Hito was after Japan became friendly with the United States. Hiro Hito had an honorable death in 1989.

We also hated the North Koreans and the evil Chinese Chairman Mao Tse-tung whose government pumped arms and support to the "puppet Communist regime" in the 1950s when our troops battled in Korea.

When we got to Vietnam, however, it was hard to understand the enemy. His name was Ho Chi Mein, leader of a gorilla group known as the Viet Cong, but other than that, we knew little about him. We rarely, if ever, saw his picture. Because television news cameras were allowed into battle for the first time, it was not a popular war. People watched our sons being killed each night on their television screens. After public resistance grew, we left that engagement with our tail between our legs. For several succeeding years, warfare was not popular among U. S. citizens. We saw and remembered just how ugly war can be.

But there is a new generation out there now that never saw that bloody television footage. Young men and women are starting to believe all over again that there might be something glamorous about going to war. And we are cranking up the war machine once more. Big business is hurting and certain people in high places seem to think we need a war to stimulate the economy again.

If you remember, the nation's propaganda machine was much more controlled during the Gulf War. The news reporters covered that war mostly from a hotel in downtown Baghdad, while U. N. bombs fell all around them. The less brave reporters hung around military headquarters and accepted the daily news briefings and hand-outs of military films shot from the sky. It was a lop-sided war that left thousands of Iraqi solders and innocent civilians dead. No television news cameras were allowed in the field to get pictures of the blood bath we caused. The Gulf War was much more popular, mostly because we won it in a few days, then sent most of our boys (and girls this time) home.

The same thing happened with the little war we conducted in Kosovo. This war, which was fought almost exclusively from the air, also was one-sided. The UN claimed victory in spite of our bungling and the apparent inability of our "sophisticated" high-tech missiles to hit any meaningful targets.

Notice that we have a constant barrage of names of enemy leaders who we are being programmed to hate or fear. You know the most recent ones by heart: Saddam Hussein of Iraq; former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic; Col. Muammar Quaddafi of Lybia; and of course, Osama bin Laden,
the so-called mastermind behind a radical Moslem terrorist group plotting to destroy the United States.

But are these people really as evil as we are led to believe, or is this part of an Orwellian mind-game our government plays with its people?

I uncovered a recent report about our recent bombing episode against Saddam Hussein that might just give a little insight as to what I am talking about.

U. S. Admiral Craig Quigley told reporters at a press conference following the bombing raids on Baghdad that we hit a battery of sophisticated new radar units. He said the units were putting our pilots in increased danger while patrolling the "no-fly" zones of northern and southern Iraq.

But this article suggested that there might have been another real reason for the raids. That was to beef up the U. S. economy and specifically halt the threat of a dangerous slide in the stock market.

Professor Michel Chossudovsky, 
of the University of Ottawa, was quoted saying the barrage of high tech bombs, valued at $300,000 each, "put billions of dollars into the deep pockets of defense contractors and oil companies."

After the bombing, Chossudovsky said, "defense stocks spiraled, oil and energy stocks boomed following news that Iraq's oil industry might be impaired. The value of Exxon, Chevron and Texaco stocks shot up."

A lot of people wondered why President George Bush (the senior) stopped the Gulf War
before U.N. forces could march into Baghdad and destroy not only the Iraqi army, but put an end to the evil villain Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi army was in total retreat and nothing would have stopped us.

It is my belief that Saddam Hussein is more valuable to the U. S. economy as a living villain. His existence, and that constant barrage of propaganda used to continue to keep the people in this country hating him and fearing him as a fanatic bent on making "weapons of mass destruction," is a great tool. Our war in Iraq has continued for the last 10 years. We spend millions of dollars keeping that particular dictator in check. We fly patrols over the so-called no fly zones. We occasionally bomb some installation. And best of all, it is a "safe" war against a little country that can't fight back.

Certain people in the United States continue to make a lot of money selling arms, equipment and fuel to our military adventures in that little insignificant country.

It would not surprise me if we were to learn someday that Mr. Hussein has been on the CIA payroll all along.

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