Dysfunctional Bush and his anachronistic cronies are
leading us right into a catastrophic Middle Eastern
blowout. That much is apparent. But what's not so clear
is why we're allowing it to happen.
Analyzing Dubya's psychological challenges is not
enough - he's the symptom not the cause, and while the
rapidity of societal decline has seemed to accelerate
since 2000's farcical US presidential election, the
framework for rollback was in place long before. If it
hadn't been, citizens quite simply wouldn't have
tolerated the rigged results.
But what mechanisms could have been used to facilitate
the rollback? How can an unwilling population be
trained to blindly accept a new, repressive social
A CIA instruction manual entitled "Psychological
Operations in Guerrilla Warfare" provides some clues. Written in the early
1980s (coincidentally, soon after Bush Sr. headed the Agency) the document was
part of the US government's crusade to bring down Nicaragua's leftist government,
by providing training and weapons to the Contra rebels. Detailing how to gain
a community's support through propaganda and selective violence, the manual begins
"In effect, the human being should be considered the priority objective in a political
war ... Once his mind has been reached, the 'political animal' has been defeated,
without necessarily receiving bullets."
The following are quotes from the original psyop
textbook, along with contemporary examples-
PSYOP quote: "It is appropriate ... to guide the
discussion of a group to cover a number of points and
to reach a correct conclusion." The people "should feel
it was their free and own decision."
Interesting to note that up until early 2000, military personnel from the Fourth Psychological Operations Group based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina were active at CNN's Atlanta-based headquarters - and left only after public outcry when CNN admitted to employing them. Their presence was perhaps not surprising given former CIA director William Colby's boast that "the Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any major significance in the major media."
So much for a democratic free flow of information.
Also striking is how the "discussion" around attacking
Iraq is being guided "to reach a correct conclusion."
After both the House and Senate agreed to give Bush his
blank check to attack Iraq (requesting only that Bush
report to Congress every 60 days if he does decide to
take action) Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle called
the endorsement of war "a statement of American values
and resolve." Apparently Daschle was unaware of the
large anti-war street protests taking place across the
country, and the overwhelming number of anti-war phone
calls flooding House and Senate offices.
Now that the vote is finished, the media will no doubt
bombard with messages echoing Daschle's myopic
observation, and assuring the American population the
vote for war was their "free and own decision."
PSYOP quote: "Always be prepared with simple slogans in
order to explain to the people, whether in intentional
form or by chance, the reason for the weapons." Reasons
such as: "The weapons will be for winning freedom; they
are for you," or "Our weapons are, in truth, the
weapons of the people, yours."
The Bush administration proposes to increase its annual military budget by $120 billion (over one third) by 2007, which would bring the total annual budget to $451 billion; this while the economy crumbles and social services get left behind. The justification?
George W. Bush
"Nothing is more important than the national security
of our country. So nothing is more important than our
defense budget. The price for freedom is high, but
it's never too high as far as I'm concerned.”
“The defense budget is cheap when one compares it to
putting our security at risk, our lives at risk, our
country at risk, our freedom at risk.”
PSYOP quote: "In places and situations wherever
possible ... explain the operation of weapons to the
youths and young men."
A endless war requires an endless supply of cannon fodder; lucky for the military
if enough recruits succumb to the sexy hype about weapons and enlist. If they
don't though, there's always the Universal
Military Training and Service Act (H.R. 3598) which, aiming to bring back
the draft, states: "ALL males residing in the U.S. between the ages of 18-22 (must)
receive military training for at least 6 months" and imposes additional time on
high school dropouts.
Chew on that quote for a second. The high school
dropout part is self-explanatory; longer military
sentences would effectively be forced on poor kids and minorities, those most likely to drop out of school. The "residing" part is odd though - apparently, even citizens of other countries who happen to live in the US will be obligated to complete military service for Uncle Sam.
So it appears every trick in the book will be used to
get our youth on the battlefield, but once those boys
come home wounded or in body bags, they and their
families will be abandoned, at least if Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld has his way. Addressing the
Armed Services Committee, Rumsfeld recently claimed he
had no knowledge of the US having ever shipped any
biological weapons to Iraq; Rumsfeld said he had no
knowledge despite the existence of substantial proof,
including a widely-distributed 1994 Senate Report
documenting the US sale of bacteria and viruses to Iraq.
The medical issue becomes even more serious when considering the fact that
biological warfare agents don't affect only those service members directly exposed:
they can lie undetected and later be transferred to family and friends back home.
This is the stuff
of epidemics, and the DOD's head-in-the-sand handling of the physical maladies
of Gulf War veterans has only exacerbated the danger to us all.
Small wonder that, unlike hawkish politicians who have never seen battle, many
Gulf War vets oppose an attack on Iraq. And Rumsfeld had better take notice: the
American Gulf War Veterans Association (AGWVA) is so appalled by his claim of
ignorance about the weapons sale - and attending denial about the dangers of a
new war with Iraq - they've officially called
for his resignation.
PSYOP quote: "Established citizens ... will be
recruited initially as 'Social Crusaders' in typically 'innocuous' movements in the area of operations. When their 'involvement' with the clandestine organization is revealed to them, this supplies the psychological pressure to use them as 'inside cadres' in groups to which they already belong or of which they can be members."
Operation TIPS, US Attorney General John Ashcroft's plan to enlist citizens
in spying on one another is down, but definitely not out. Due to public outcry,
postal and utilities workers may have been exempted but employees of "industry
associations and groups" in the broadly-defined transportation sector are still
being "invited to receive information" on the program.
It's anyone's guess who the invitation will be extended to next...
PSYOP quote: "Bring about uprisings or shootings, which
will cause the death of one or more persons, who would
become the martyrs ... in order to create greater
In "Body of Secrets," respected journalist James
Bamford explores official government records in which
the Pentagon "called for innocent people to be shot on
American streets, for boats ... to be sunk on the high
seas, for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington D.C., Miami and elsewhere," for "people to be framed for bombings they did not commit" and for planes to be hijacked, all in the name of convincing Congress and the American public to support a new war. Bamford writes about the early 1960s, but many of the Pentagon's proposals then seem uncomfortably reminiscent today.
So whatever happened to the basic foundations of "life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness"? Have we really
gone so far astray that independent thought is a thing
of the past, trampled in the dirt by an artificial
Time to read through those Amendments once again,
slowly. Then take a careful look at the insidious ways
we're being controlled, and throw off the shackles.
Heather Wokusch is a free-lance writer. She can be contacted via her web