Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Misdirection and magic in foreign policy

I'm watching the NBC show "Phenomenon," and although it's presented as if these people have supernatural powers, I've yet to see anything that wasn't a straight math trick or magic trick. Yet people in the audience are amazed, and seem persuaded that these people have supernatural powers.

It makes me realize how easily people are fooled, and not just in such matters. According to a recent Zogby poll, 52% of the American public thinks the U.S. should launch a military strike at Iran to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons.

The magic act is a complete success, but the truth has not been served. THERE ARE NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN IRAN. And worse, IRAN IS YEARS AWAY FROM GETTING THE BOMB.

Yet a majority of fellow citizens believe this. I believe that's why Hillary Clinton, who is surely smart enough to see through the hype, is nonetheless siding with the fearmongers on the Iran issue.

Wouldn't it be a miracle if someone of Hillary's stature stood up and said look, I know how this works. This is all propaganda. Here's the real truth.

But truth doesn't sell. It's usually messy, confusing, and subject to numerous qualifications. The truth is nearly always complicated. In reality, Occam's Razor is usually NOT the correct explanation, because it is oversimplified.

Here's a scary little Halloween gift for you. It's part of a larger film called "Zeitgeist" which I would warn you to view most skeptically. Some of the data presented is provably true. Some is provably not. And then there's the stuff that can't be proved one way or another. It is NOT "the truth". But I believe it's closer to where this all is heading than anything you see on the nightly news. This is just a ten minute clip. Watch it. Then do your own homework.

Yes, there really is talk of creating "the Amero," a cross-border currency between Mexico, the U.S., and Canada to challenge the rising power of the Euro. Yes, there really are plans for a European Union (beyond the economic union - but a union with its own flag, it's own anthem, etc.), an Asian Union, and an African Union. Unmentioned is "Syriana," and I'm not talking about a film. I'm talking about something the screenwriter heard while researching the book. He sat in on high level meetings in the government and heard the term used to describe a hypothetical Middle Eastern Union.

Whether or not a Rockefeller told Aaron Russo what Russo claims, I don't know. I can't verify that. There's another provocative quote assigned to David Rockefeller, but I can find no primary source for that quote - only a repeat of it, not sourced, across the Internet. Quotes can be invented. And context is everything. Maybe that was a punchline to a joke Rockefeller was telling. Who knows?

But all that aside, I do think we're nearly in a dictatorship already, and it terrifies me. My own state, California, just passed a law prohibiting employers from requiring their employees to be microchipped. What scares me is why such a law was considered necessary! Who is planning on forcibly chipping us as a condition of employment?

If we don't get very loud, very vocal, and very visible in the next few years, the America that never was, that we all hoped would be, will cease to exist in any meaningful way.

"Happy" Halloween.

SPOILER AHEAD. Don't read further if you don't want to know how many magic tricks are done. So many are just variations on this simple theme.

That matchbook trick on Phenomenon? That's just the ultimate in misdirection. The trick was not about finding the "needle in the haystack" that matched the card. The trick was to get the woman to pick the right card, and the matchbook was planted. You see?

People want to believe that some people can read minds and have magical power over matter. A deception is not as pleasant as a magic trick. But the deception is the reality.

There is no war on terror. There never can be. That's the magic trick. The reality, the real deception, is that the powers that be can expand empire, reduce the world's population and produce more wealth for the already superwealthy through war. And the "beauty" of the war on terror is that it can never be won. "Perpetual war for perpetual peace." Now that's some genuine sleight of hand, however demonic.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Lisa, on just about every word, except for one phrase: "Truth doesn't sell." I disagree. I believe Donald Sutherland's character in "JFK" was correct when he said, "fundamentally, people are suckers for the truth." The problem is, the major media that still controls and frames the debate in the country not only will not report the truth, but actively participates in its obfuscation. I addressed this issue just yesterday in a post on Joseph Cannon's blog at

He had made the point that more of those polled by CBS News incorrectly identified Barack Obama's religion as Muslim than the correct answer, Protestant. Much to my embarrassment, I had to admit that I would have been among the fooled on that one:

I have to admit, I was among the fooled. If I had been surveyed, I would have been among those who thought Obama was Muslim, because of the story of the alleged Muslim school he was alleged to have attended, and the way that story was refuted (that he didn't really go there.) The subliminal message that he was Muslim was not something I saw refuted, so I just accepted that.

I suppose if I had thought about it, I would have realized it could not be true. If it was, his religion would have been as big an issue (or bigger) than Romney's. But I didn't think about it, because I didn't care. It meant nothing to me, with the possible exception being that the though that he was a non-Christian might have made him even more appealing to me. (Being non-Christian myself, I am especially offended by the emphasis religious affiliation continues to play in politics, despite the separation of church and state that forms one of the cornerstones of this republic.)

You do make a good point about the way issues are covered, and the continued control over the way issues are framed the major media continues to exercise. Many on-line activists assume they can influence the way issues are framed far more than they really can.

There are exceptions to the overwhelming control the major media enjoys, notable because they are exceptions. One of the first was the way the "Dark Alliance" series was covered - or rather NOT covered - by the more influential papers in the country. The fact that this is a notable exception is interesting, because it required that the initial story appear in a traditional paper, a "member of the club" before it could even become a story. When the LA Times and the Washington Post tried to ignore the story, the noise among Internet activists forced them to change course. Of course, they didn't force them to acknowledge the truth, though.

Truth and history are not absolutes, they are perceived, and the major media still controls the way they are perceived, which means they control the truth. The fact is, there could be a million people marching against the war in each of the largest 5-10 metropolitan areas of the United States, and if the major media completely ignored it, the political fallout would be negligible. The frightening thing is that today, for the first time in this nation's history, the major media probably WOULD ignore such a story, and succeed in doing so.

This is not an accidental development. It has been planned and executed over a long period of time, deliberately, by political and economic forces whose interests are served by eliminating the political power of 90% of the country's citizens, with the exception of those who serve their interests. Those citizens get to have their voices amplified. First, the "fairness doctrine" was eliminated. Then the limits on ownership of local outlets by national networks were “relaxed”. Then the limits on numbers of stations where eliminated. Then out went the limits on cross-media ownership. Then the limits on foreign ownership were "bent" severely.

We no longer have a media. We have a propaganda organ of the financial elite posing as a media. Their freedoms remain "protected" so long as they stay on message. The entire process amounts to a coup of enormous proportions, executed with very few well placed shots being fired. The rest of us remain paralyzed, most of us wondering what the heck happened, and few of us having any idea what to do about it.

(end quote)

This is why I am not optimistic about the prospects of better results if we do make our voices heard. It is still worth doing, because it is the only choice we have. But I have my doubts...

4:04 AM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

I wasn't clear in my point, David, so thanks for the correction. The truth absolutely WOULD sell, if given a chance. It doesn't sell because the elite do not want to buy it or share it via their propaganda organs.

I disagree with the statement that truth and history are not absolutes. They are. Rather, it's our understanding of both that will always be necessarily incomplete, the moreso because the key facts are often hidden from us.

Re action - it's our only shot. And I think history has shown that when people stand up and shout out loud together, amazing things happen. When people sit back and do nothing, Nazi Germany happens.

9:36 AM  

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