I suspect that North Americans might not be too familiar with the journalist John Pilger. I'm utterly familiar with him, what with him being a fellow countryman. For mine he's one of the greatest Australians ever. He pretty much tops my list of People Who Aren't Bullshit. I'm a cynical bastard but I've yet to see Pilger set a foot wrong.
Pilger started in Vietnam with his documentary, The Quiet Mutiny. Even now, forty years later, it's still a mindfuck. He makes clear that the Vietnam War didn't end because of the hippy movement, but because the US military was on the verge of total collapse due to widespread revolts and mutinies. The 'fraggings' of officers weren't occasional occurrences, they were well on their way to becoming the norm. But even they were nothing compared to the number of ships and army bases back home that saw complete revolts. For mine, The Quiet Mutiny might just be the only truly anti-war movie ever made. It's not for no reason that you never heard of it, and instead only get served up the usual pro-war anti-war movies.
(And the flipside of this discussion is Dave McGowan's Laurel Canyon series which convincingly posits the hippy movement as a CIA psy-op designed to split the opposition and have everyone stoned and otherwise wasting their time with innocuous shit. Go read it, because afterwards nothing is ever the same again.)
Vietnam aside, Pilger has been everywhere and always with a sharp eye for bullshit. He's never been a stringer, or been embedded, or otherwise run around at someone else's say so. He follows his own nose seeking out injustice and oppression. In this regard he is perfectly catholic. He's covered Palestine, South America, South Africa, Neocons, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Chagos Islands, Timor, the treatment of Australian aborigines, the rise of fascism in the UK, and every time he goes straight to the heart of the matter.
He will never give a platform for motherfuckers to spout their shit. He pins them down and makes them look like the fools, liars, and psychopaths they are. I'll never forget John Bolton tearing off his microphone and stomping out mid-interview pathetically muttering something about 'communist'. Pilger's latest two pieces over at his website about Israel and Palestine are easily the most vicious things I've seen written in the Western Press. And the word 'vicious', when used to describe those seeking the truth is, in my mind, the very highest compliment.
Anyway, there I was in front of the teev and Pilger's brilliant documentary The War On Democracy came on. On Foxtel, believe it or not. It's a perfect primer on the CIA's relentless campaign to crush democracy in Central and South America. We see the smashing of Guatemala, the campaign against Cuba, the death of Allende and the rise of Pinochet, the School of the Americas, on and on. Death squads, torture, massacres, the raping of nuns, the shooting of priests - it's relentless. Members of the CIA actually discuss what they did in terms of it being a 'terror' campaign. They say it, right there on camera, without even a hint of 'Oh shit, did I just give the game away?'
And sure enough, Chavez of Venezuela has his place in The War On Democracy as today's version of Arbenz, Allende, or Ortega. He's another in a long heroic line of democratically elected leaders who are not there to serve a wealthy oligarchic minority. Astoundingly, he's there to serve the sweeping majority who know that without that leader their lives will be an horrific nightmare of fear, deprivation, and death and suffering.
And just like all those who went before him, Chavez is invariably portrayed in the bloc-media as a villain. Back in the day, Arbenz, Allende, and Ortega all had their names blackened by way of the epithet 'communist' - never mind their rejection of communism, their adherence to democratic principles, and the fact that they were wildly popular with all but the tiny oligarchy whose hatred of the masses knew no bounds. Did this newly enfranchised majority get airtime in the US? Of course not. The people of the US got a single message, the message of the motherfuckers. These leaders were communists who 'hated us for our freedom'.
Okay, so that's the current buzzword for Muslims. But it's the lot of the English language to be raped over and over, so that we might shake our fists at those the psychopaths want to throw down. Against all sense and logic, 'Muslim' is now a dirty word. Sure, that's how it works.
How now to portray Chavez? 'Communist' is devalued. No one would buy it. Nor is he a Muslim. So what might they call him? How might they go about blackening his name? And don't be mistaken. They did precisely this every time previously. Because that's how it's done. The CIA has the funds, it has the time, and God knows they have nothing better to do than convince you (yes, you reading now) that it's right that Chavez is a villain who should be brought down.
And now I'm going to break some hearts. Forget the CIA guys in Pilger's doco telling us that, yes, they ran a terror campaign. Whilst it's true that they gave the game away, they also sent us a message. The message is - 'We are ham-fisted and obvious. You can spot us easily. Just look for the guy who is a dead giveaway.'
Thanks CIA! I'll keep it in mind. I'll completely banish from my thoughts the concept that the CIA might be adept as appearing as the very opposite of what they are. Perish the thought that heroic icons of the right-thinking, such as Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison, CSNY, and all those other bards, poets and philosophers, could be spooks. (If you haven't read McGowan's Laurel Canyon, go read it. Sheesh). The CIA could not possibly be clever enough to have those who might otherwise resist their plans perpetually tripping and/or stoned, with the odd moments of sobriety spent endlessly blathering about peace, love, and understanding. (As opposed to taking sledge-hammers to B-52's and that sort of thing).
Yeah, yeah, sarcasm aside, the above is precisely what happened. They manufactured the LSD and we all know it. And Operation Mockingbird, wherein writers, journalists, and talking heads in every branch of the media were suborned into acting as contracted propaganda agents for the CIA, was blown open years ago. There's no excuse for being confused anymore. Sure enough mockingbird doesn't exist now. Not under that name at any rate. But if anyone thinks that the programme to fuck with our minds stopped with the Church commission, or whatever, you're a fool. There is no way in hell that the insane efforts that took place in the fifties, sixties, and seventies aren't taking place right now. It's neither impossible nor unlikely. I declare it as a deadset certainty.
And what would they look like? These efforts to appear right-thinking, to appear poetic, to appear as someone we should revere as Jim Morrison-style wordsmiths of the new age? Would they repeat themselves and form long-haired pop bands and release a bunch of vinyl LP's? Or would they get with the times and hang out on the internet? Ha ha ha - As sure as eggs is eggs!
Don't forget, the point isn't to preach to the converted. They're already preaching to themselves and can be safely left to it. No, the targets will be us, those who dissent. The purpose of the exercise will be a) to push their memes, and b) to disguise it by way of appearing right thinking - the very sort of person we will all admire and think brilliant things of. And regardless of how savvy we think we are at spotting bullshit artists, some of us will fall for it.
And how would I go about it? It's the old 'what would I do if I was a motherfucker' game. Me, I'd start with the big blogs that had the most readership. Places like WRH, AntiWar, Rense, SOTT, CounterPunch, etc. Sure enough, they're not under my control and might see through me and ban me. Oh well, I did my best, time to move on.
Who else gets big readership and is clearly after the truth, and otherwise against the CIA programme? What's the vibe there? How might I fit in? First comes schmoozing. Toujours Le Schmoozing. Also it pays to be active. This is a paid gig so I'd have to earn my dough. Me, I'd make lots of comments and dominate the discussion. There's no point being shy and retiring. I'd have my own blog sure, but it's not so easy dragging people away from blogs run by the truly charismatic. Mostly I'd just be a major presence in the comments.
And of course, I'm going to fit in. There's no point being there otherwise. If I get it right, I'm going to be admired for my beautifully written versions of whatever today's psycho-babble equivalents of peace, love and understanding are. Of course. Ain't no point otherwise. That's the way it was done then and that's the way it is done now. People will be in awe of what I say. They'll admire the beauty of my soul. Or what I show them of it anyway. I will be Jim Morrison, Frank Zappa, and CSNY all rolled into one. And did any of them talk about their spook backgrounds? Of course not.
The trick will be to keep it simple. Not too many memes. Perhaps just one. If I overdid it, I'd give myself away. These people are sharp, remember. So, I just stick with Chavez. He's the purpose of the exercise and everything else is limited-hangout cover. Okay, but how to distinguish myself and otherwise counter savvy people who know a bit of history? The ideal don't-argue would be to live there. Or, more correctly, to be 'based' there. I couldn't pretend since everyone has a hit-counter telling them where the hits are coming from. Fine, I now have the skeleton of 'being-there-and-knowing-what's-what' on which to flesh out my case. Instant credibility and the perfect all-purpose argument, good for whatever.
And besides, it's not like I wouldn't have company. I'd have Company company! Venezuela is crawling with spooks - NAD, USAID, State Dept, you name it. You trip over a gringo there and it's odds-on he's a spook. And me tapping away at a keyboard wouldn't take up too much time, so I'd make myself handy distributing funds, meeting people, organising. These coups don't run themselves you know! It was always this way. Over and over.
Astoundingly hardly anyone would put the obvious two and two together: CIA agents exist; coups happen; CIA agents misrepresent themselves; CIA agents get sent to countries that are the targets of coups; Venezuela is a coup target; I am in Venezuela; I'm a gringo who hates Chavez. But forget that - as if a spook would write as prettily as me?! Impossible! Ha ha ha ha. That's all it takes. Simple simple shit.
Anyway here's the message in case anyone has missed it - Chavez is a communist, a terrorist, a corrupt tyrant, a wicked villain, he hates us for our freedoms, his people hate him, he's banned the media, he's stolen women's kidneys - he is precisely that fellow that we must hate. Won't somebody do something to stop this rampaging monster?
And so it goes. Are we surprised? It was always this way. Go watch The War on Democracy. But don't view it as a discussion of some isolated thing from the past. Plug it into now. Plug it into you and where you're at, right now, today. Because you're it. The propaganda is for you.
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