Wednesday, November 21, 2012
“No Easy Day,” Benghazi are Orwellian research opportunities
The coverage of the assassination or targeted killing of Osama bin Laden, Mark Owen’s book “No Easy Day” and the Benghazi attacks among other things provide social psychologists, psychologists and many other researchers with an enormous amount of opportunities to research how people react to the activities of their government and how it is being presented to them. This research could be used for many different reasons both good and bad and there is no doubt that it is already going on, at least to some degree. There are plenty of academic papers being published about this in sources that aren’t widely distributed to the majority of the public although many of them aren’t completely secret.
And it almost certainly is being used for the wrong purposes, at least to some degree; although that doesn’t mean that it is being done in a competent manner.
However if more people become aware of it and start distributing this academic work to a larger portion of the public this can be turned around, with enough time and effort.
(This was originally posted on Open Salon on September 19; and comments about the election may be less important until the next election but the potential for learning from this research opportunity or preparing for the next election is still their and most of the post is not election related.)
This research could include studying how much people believe what their government tells them and how susceptible the public is to political manipulation based on war propaganda. It could be used to study how to run successful political campaigns and how to find friendly target audiences. This doesn’t mean there is a single unified research effort going on; instead there are almost certainly several efforts and the subject of the research wouldn’t be limited to this one book for most of these efforts. Furthermore some of these efforts will almost certainly be done for better purposes; but, under the current circumstances, I suspect that most of these efforts will have fewer resources while those studying the behavior of the public for the benefit of think tanks with corporate funding and influence will have much more resources.
If this receives any significant notice, which it probably won’t, it will probably be dismissed as a wild “conspiracy theory” but this would be misleading. There is an enormous amount of evidence in the academic world to indicate that they routinely do this kind of research and it is routinely published. This clearly indicates that this isn’t entirely conspiracy since it isn’t secret at all nor is it just a theory since they acknowledge it as fact. Some additional aspects of it are almost certainly kept secret and without inside information this would be appropriately considered a conspiracy theory. However there is as I said significant amount of evidence to indicate that they conduct such research on a regular bases for a variety of reasons that aren’t in the public’s best interest including research into this type of behavior and there should be no doubt that they’re doing more.
Some of this research has been openly disclosed to the public in a manner that many people won’t recognize for what it is unless they think it through. The traditional media routinely presents the public with focus groups that are often studied by pollsters like Frank Luntz. It doesn’t take much to realize that he is a political operative that is studying how people respond to certain messages and how it could help the campaigns he advises or Fox News with their propaganda.
The government has also funded research into Obedience to Authority which they claim was done to understand why people obeyed orders during WWII when they were told to participate in the holocaust. This would make much more sense if they tried to teach the public more about when they should and shouldn’t obey authority; however that hasn’t been the case. Instead there is a significant amount of evidence to indicate that this research may have been disclosed in a somewhat incompetent manner when it comes to informing the public but used in a more effective manner when it comes to learning how to run boot camps to teach recruits to obey authority. Furthermore they have allowed some of the work that was funded by the government to be copy-written by private researchers so that the distribution could be partly controlled instead of voluntarily putting it in the public domain so that everyone that contributed to the financing of this research can access it. I went into this in further details in several past blogs including Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect, Stanford Prison Experiment and a more recent follow up Eli Roth’s and Stanley Milgram’s Obedience experiments much more extensive.
The research about the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and the way people responded to it would have begun when he was actually assassinated of course and this would have preceded this book, which is essentially part of the follow up. Actually it would be part of related research that goes much farther back but this is as good a time as any to consider it for the sake of this blog anyway. When his death was reported they explained that they disposed of his body right away in a burial at sea before anyone could ask questions or even telling the public. It is hard to believe there could be any justification for this, but their explanation was that it was in accordance with the Muslim tradition of burying their dead within 24 hours. They didn’t even check with the Muslim community to see if anyone would agree with this. There was no trial for him or anyone else involved in the attack of 9/11 and there has been no opportunity to scrutinize the evidence if there is any for any given claim that has been put out from the United States Government.
This provided ample opportunity for researchers to study how much the public accepted this explanation; I posted my own views with a Ding Dong the witch is dead (OBL); long live the witch! blog . There were some conspiracies that were discussed for weeks if not months but then the traditional corporate press stopped reporting on them. While they were being reported they were treated as if the people that came up with these conspiracies were fringe fanatics that always come up with absurd ideas and in some cases they were right but there were also many legitimate questions that many people were raising that were never answered properly if at all. There were also many peace activists that spoke out against war. In many cases these peace activists were also conspiracy theorists, to some degree, but most of them weren’t the fringe “conspiracy theorists” that the government and the traditional corporate media made them out to be. Instead many of these activist were people that studied the history of war and how people responded to them and noticed that after the war is over there has always been an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that the government has been lying to the public and the excuses for the wars have often been based on false assumptions that the government and the media have been promoting, often even when the evidence indicates that they knew better ahead of time.
In other words past wars have routinely been fought based on conspiracies.
This is often a matter of public record now and the peace activists don’t seem to be willing to ignore this. The government have often portrayed them as bleeding heart liberals and in some cases they have been portrayed as people “who hate America” because they haven’t been willing to ignore inconvenient facts. But the truth is that they’re often the people that are looking out for the best interest of America based on a more accurate perception of the facts. This isn’t a guarantee of course; how successful they are may depend on how much they rely on facts that can be confirmed and declining to forget them whether they suit any given ideology or not. In many cases they may have enough evidence to indicate that the government is hiding something but not enough to determine what it is; when this happens it helps to do the best to remember the difference between speculation and facts that have back up sources. Pseudo-skeptics may often attempt to misrepresent these theorists and make it seem as if they “believe” something which hasn’t been proven when the theorists often don’t say that at all. If these misrepresentations are caught they can easily be exposed by those that pay attention but if they’re repeated over and over again in the mass media this tactic can often can be used as effective propaganda targeting those that don’t pay enough attention. Many of the most powerful think tanks controlled by those with the most political power often don’t do this; instead it seems as if they might be allowing their ideologies to impact which facts they’re willing to acknowledge.
Many of these peace activists are some of the people that are almost certainly taking advantage of the Orwellian research opportunity being provided by the killing or assassination of Bin Laden but they’re not trying to do so for Orwellian purposes; while many think tanks controlled by the politically elite may be.
After the killing of Osama bin Laden was reported there was an enormous amount of celebrating in the streets and this was often accompanied by patriotic crowds that were thrilled with the fact that we were part of the winning team that killed the enemy. This was followed by some discussion about whether this was appropriate but an enormous amount of the high profile discussion was limited to whether we should celebrate his death and didn’t go into much if any consideration about whether the circumstances surrounding his death were justified and accurate. Anyone that considered other possibilities might have been quickly portrayed as a wild conspiracy theorist or unpatriotic. But the problem is that the evidence doesn’t support the propaganda that was fed to the people prior to the celebrations.
This would have been a good opportunity to ask some of these people who were involved with these celebrations what they thought of the war on terror; it would have helped any research into crowd behavior. This almost certainly was done to some degree although it may not have been in quite so straight forward a manner. There have been an enormous amount of polling done that might help understand this and there almost certainly were some more in-depth discussions with many people that went into more details that can’t be covered in a poll, although this won’t be statistically representative. These are the typical things done with social research and it has been going on for decades.
In fact the study of crowds is part of the things that social psychologists have been researching and the government and military has been heavily involved in it. One of the researchers that studied crowds or what he called “Groupthink” was Irving Janis in the nineteen fifties. He was the professor that taught Stanley Milgram, who became known for his Obedience to Authority experiments and Philip Zimbardo known for his so called Stanford Prison Experiment. As I explained in the blogs about that cited above I suspected that they may have done some research for the CIA but even if they didn’t they definitely did research for the Office of Naval Research which would have an interest in learning how to teach recruits to obey orders. In those blogs I cited Alfred McCoy who also indicated that he thought Irving Janis and Stanley Milgram were working for the CIA and he cited his evidence in his book "A Question of Torture." He also discussed this on an interview with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, although he doesn’t mention these three researchers in the interview they’re mentioned in the book and he had good reason to believe that the research that they did may have been used to develop the torture techniques exposed recently. He doesn’t mention Philip Zimbardo who is the only one of the three who is still alive but as I explained previously his evidence clearly applies just as well to him. Philip Zimbardo has acknowledge the similarities but denied any knowledge about the possibility that he knew it was done intentionally with his support. I previously indicated why I thought that at best he was probably negligent in not making this more widely known and doing research for the Office of Naval Research while claiming to be an anti-war protester.
There is almost certainly more research being done into groupthink and there are few opportunities to study this as well as the behavior that has followed the death of Osama and now that it is being reported again with some changes to the story it is providing another opportunity to study the way people respond to it and if they even notice that the story is changing. In fact the changes clearly seem to imply either a conspiracy of some sort or at least and incompetent reporting of the story.
A recent poll seems to have been done to study whether or not many people have an accurate understanding of the event; it indicates that 15 % of Republicans in Ohio and North Carolina believe that Mitt Romney deserves more credit for the killing of Osama Bin Laden than Barack Obama; and there were many additional people that weren’t certain who deserved credit. There is no way Mitt Romney was in any position to have any influence over the event. This could be very helpful to know when trying to study the electorate for the purposes of running a campaign and trying to figure out what kind of propaganda to purchase in the form of campaign ads.
It is hard to imagine why they would have done this poll in the first place. It could be helpful in figuring out what the public believes so that they could do a better job teaching them by figuring out what they need to report more but the activities that followed this poll clearly doesn’t indicate that is what they’re doing. Instead they seem to have used it for entertainment purposes or some other purposes which they aren’t bothering to tell us about.
This could and should be a clear indication that the corporate media isn’t doing nearly as good a job at informing the public as we should expect them to. It could also be an indicator that the majority isn’t encouraged to do their part from an early age to keep up to date on current events and scrutinize the information that they receive from the media. This lack of knowledge is almost certainly a major part of the reason why they celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden and don’t even bother to consider the possibility that the government may not be entirely honest with them about the circumstances surrounding his death and that the story has been changing.
It may also explain why the majority of the public supports wars when they come up even though they’ve always been based on lies in the past. Political strategists and think tanks have been studying this for a long time but there is an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that either they have an ulterior motive that is hard to imagine or they’re basing their research on selective acknowledgement of facts that have little or no basis in reality. Many of these people are the foreign policy advisors of both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party although lately the Republican Party has often been portrayed as the one that is more extreme. This seems to have some justification when you look at some of the policies that they’ve been promoting and the fact that they led us into a war based on the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and it clearly turned out to be false. But the Democrats went along with this when Bush was in power and now that Obama is in power the drone strikes have continued and even rising and the US is involved in even more conflicts although the truth hasn’t come out on many of them yet. Additional doubts should be raised about whether they really did believe that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Before the war many people, although not a majority, including myself knew they almost certainly weren’t there and I didn’t have more information available to me than the members of congress including the democratic members. Several credible sources reported about the lack of weapons including Scott Ritter and Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei. Even I was easily able to recognize the fact that the corporate media was no longer reporting in a reasonable manner. This wasn’t hard to do considering the way they were covering things at the time and still are today. There are many other people that easily recognized this as well and some of them were the people that protested the war in the first place. If the members of congress couldn’t recognize the propaganda that was being presented to the public that would make them incredibly incompetent. In many cases they’re presented with briefings that are supposed to be better than what is presented to the public and some of them have their own advisors to check to make sure they’re receiving accurate information; or at least they should have these briefings before making important decisions.
Now over a year after the killing of Osama they’re reporting the first high profile inside story which, as indicated in the media, is a different version but they still don’t consider the possibility that the public was misled about many of the other details or that the larger circumstances have been reported accurately. According to a recent interview with Mark Owen on sixty Minutes he was asked if he recognized Osama Bin Laden and he replied, “Nope. You know, everybody thinks it was, like, you know it's him. No. To us, at that time, it could have been anybody. Maybe this was another brother. Maybe this is a bodyguard. Maybe, it doesn't matter. The point is to just continue clearing.”
Presumably he was given orders to only consider certain aspects of the situation and he wasn’t told to try to figure out too much beyond his own assignment. This isn’t the way marines are taught to behave; they’re taught to obey orders. They’re not taught to figure out why they keep fighting these wars or if they’re justified or if they accomplish the goals they’ve been led to believe. If they did this then they would be more aware of the fact that most if not all wars have been based on lies and they might not be nearly as inclined to follow orders. As indicated before the people in many of these think tanks do this type of research but they seem to do it from an authoritarian manner that only acknowledges facts that meet their agenda.
There are many other researchers that do an enormous amount of research into other aspects of war including the people that formed the American Empire Project , Code Pink and numerous other organization. They have researched many of the details that the government and the mass media downplays and they have found that the reason that we fight wars are the same reasons that we’ve been fighting wars for thousands of years.
We fight wars because we have an enormous double standard and the most powerful people in our country routinely refuse to acknowledge inconvenient facts on a regular basis. They develop their own beliefs or “groupthink” and they adopt them the same way that large crowds that celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden do. The elites selectively deny the views of the people on the other side and the fact that they’re using the same justifications for war as we are and that they’re also adopting the same ideologies only reversed with us as the enemy.
One of the conspiracy theories that were widely distributed on the internet was the possibility that Osama Bin Laden was dead long before the attack on May 1 2011 took place. Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall is one of the people that have reported on this in Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive; one of the sources she cites is a Fox News article from December 2001, Report: Bin Laden Already Dead. If this is true then the entire raid had to have been faked and this would explain why they were in such a rush to dispose of the body without scrutiny. Most reasonable skeptics would probably have serious doubts about this possibility although it hasn’t been conclusively debunked. However even if it is false and this isn’t a bizarre conspiracy there is still enough evidence to indicate that the current corporate press and the government isn’t acting more competently that they were portrayed in the “Wag the Dog” movie. With the government acting as irrational as they are it isn’t surprising that there are these types of conspiracies going around; in fact they’re to be expected.
If this conspiracy theory is true then it would mean that this book isn’t unauthorized as the Mass Media has made it out to be; instead it would be part of a misinformation theory. Once again most reasonable skeptics would have doubts about this as well but this could be true even if the killing of Osama did happen on May 1 2012 as reported. In fact any one familiar with the way the military operates and trains their people and the way the corporate press now works with the government on many issues might be skeptical about the claim that this soldier and the publishing companies and the press all reported on something so important if it would violate the classified information laws which they portray as being so important. I don’t have enough information to be certain but my best guess is that, for one reason or another, a portion of the US government has given some degree of approval to this author and assurances that he wouldn’t be prosecuted for publishing this without official permission. A major advantage of this could be that they could claim that it isn’t the accurate version of the truth if it suits their purposes.
With or without a bizarre conspiracy on these lines this provides even more opportunities to research how people respond to these conspiracy theories and if they can be used to distract people from more important issues; and they can also study whether people continue to believe what the government tells them without question on issues that are portrayed as part of national security. If so then when they have a crisis they can keep the public under control much more effectively. Whether there is a conspiracy that has been intended to use these kind of distractions to manipulate the public or they’re just incompetent at their jobs the results are the same; the most important decisions aren’t being made on the more reliable research and the most rational way to advance the best interest of the majority of the public, promote sincere democracy and keep peace in the world
Recently there have also been attacks on the embassies and there have been many different contradictory stories about this which still haven’t been sorted out yet; but it appears as if there could be two different incidents or reasons for the protests or attacks. One of them could be large protest about the video that has been in the news but it appears as if the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya may be different. This may be part of a retaliation campaign for a drone strike that took place on the new number two man in Al-Qaeda a couple of months ago. This is just one of many drone strikes that have been increasing under the Obama administration with little or no scrutiny, although they’ve been reported on the government hasn’t been responding to the protests or legal challenges that have been taking place. This may have been the same basic reason why we’ve been fighting wars for a long time; they’ve been retaliating for killings being done by the USA without due process. When these drone strikes kill civilians that is a big recruiting opportunity for the “terrorists” and when they attack a higher person in their organization they use their support that is gained to help them retaliate. A much greater effort should be made to sort out the difference between those with legitimate concerns and those that really are violent terrorists. I suspect that even many of the violent terrorists may not always have been that way; many of them may have become radicalized, at least partly, after seeing attacks from America that were dismissed as collateral damage; others may have been raised violently from birth and taught to hate us and when these4 attacks came it only reinforced this teaching. Unfortunately those that are most inclined to do their best aren’t involved in the decision making process while those who keep talking about how we should never “apologize” continue to make the majority of the decisions.
Ralph Peters recently said on Fox News (as reported by Media Matters) "They Kill Four Of Ours, You Kill 400 Of Theirs." This tactic is an old authoritarian method that has been used for centuries; one the highest profile examples of this is when the Nazi’s adopted this hundred to one tactic to intimidate their enemies. It didn’t work for the Nazi’s nor did it work on numerous occasions since then which haven’t always been reported as often by the mass media or when they do report it in many of these examples they often do it with justifications that sound good as long as the opposition doesn’t have an opportunity to present their case or at least they can’t get it to a larger audience in many cases. The ratio is often not the same more often it may be closer to a ten to one ration but the point is the same. In Vietnam, the West bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and many other conflicts the US and Israel or the country with the most military might and the most control over the mass media always seem to kill many more people than their opposition and this often includes many people that are considered collateral damage.
The corporate media may not report nearly as much on these killings that are considered “collateral damage” as they do on the killings of the members of the embassy staff who have much more political power but the people in other countries that are participating in the protest are almost certainly much more aware of it then most people realize. In fact it is almost certainly major contributing factor to the protests.
This is just a small sample of the details that have been keeping this war going indefinitely. The USA was actually part of the reason that Al-Qaeda was created when they formed out of the Mujahideen which was established to fight the Soviet Union. They grew when the War in Iraq left a presence in Saudi Arabia and there have been many other details which would take to long to repeat in this blog but most of the enemies that we’ve been fighting have been of our own creation. This includes Sadam Hussein, Iran which turned into our enemy after they over threw the Shah that was terrorizing them with the support of the USA and many others.
Additional research done by many academic sources into the early upbringing of children has also indicated that it almost certainly ahs a major impact on whether they have the thinking skills to sort through the lies that have been presented to them by own government and the mass media and it has also impacted how inclined they are to be more violent as well. These sources include Alice Miller author of “For Your Own Good” and Philip Greven Author of “Spare the Child.” Philip Greven even cited the work being done by Stanley Milgram and indicated that he could have learned a lot more if he had looked into the upbringing that the participants in the Obedience to Authority experiments. They have provided an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that strict authoritarian upbringing enforced with corporal punishment teaches children to obey, believe what their told and it is much more likely to make them violent as an adult; furthermore it makes them less capable of sorting through the facts that have been given to them by authority figures.
Research into the reaction of the people in these celebrations and those that buy Mark Owen’s book could help to understand if there more inclined to have come from homes with a strict authoritarian upbringing or not and why they’re might be inclined to go along with the crowd without, in many cases, understanding the issues at stake. Some of this ahs al\ready been done and it has been enough to clearly indicate that early childhood upbringing has an enormous amount of influence on whether or not people maintain this enormous double standard that enables them to see how much damage is being done by these terrorist while they’re unwilling and unable to see how much damage is being done by our own government and the fact that this is a major part of what is inciting these terrorists. Alice miller has clearly indicated that The Roots of Violence are NOT Unknown and if more people understood this and our government acted on it and tried to educate people around the world about it instead of trying to maintain order by using the constant threat of violence against others in what they portray as the way to protect “freedom” and implement “justice.”
This research could have a big impact on understanding both why people on both sides of these conflicts are so violent and why they’re so likely to believe the propaganda from their own side while ignoring the reports that contradict the beliefs of their own side. Further research could also help understand if the peaceful protestors are more likely to have been raised in a less authoritarian manner. I suspect that in many cases this may be the case but in others they may have been peaceful because of the people that have been leading them and that they may have advised them well. And of course there are almost certainly some exceptions and this may be when some of the violence that does break out happens. Judging by many of the reports that I have seen the violence has often been started by the police not the protestors which should raise serious doubts about their legitimacy or training.
The calls for justice against the perpetrators of the attack in Benghazi, which is often considered part of the protests that may have more legitimate grievances, came only a few weeks after they declared that they weren’t going to seek a trial for the most extreme acts of torture that were committed during the Abu Ghraib scandal. These were the only two that they even agreed to investigate when Obama took office. Then shortly after they announced they weren’t going to investigate Human Rights Watch announced that they had even further evidence of more torture that was done under the Bush watch which presumably won’t be investigated or prosecuted if the Obama administration thinks they can avoid it.
They may not think this is worth investigating but many people in the rest of the world do including those that live in the areas that are subject to American abuse and are providing the resistance both peaceful and violent against the USA.
This “collateral damage” is occurring all over the world in many different conflicts; it is only considered outrageous to call it “collateral damage” when it happens to those with political power like when Timothy Mcveigh claimed that the children in the building he bombed were “collateral damage;” the same doesn’t apply to third world countries judging by the way they’re covered in the press.
When the US government has a passionate memorial for those that have political power and simultaneously ignore or cover up an enormous amount of collateral damage and do little or nothing to reduce it in the future it is clear to those that are willing to look at the facts that they have little or no moral authority and there is little or no hope in ending the constant attacks going in both directions. The USA has much more political power and resources which gives them more choices but if they don’t acknowledge inconvenient facts that won’t do them any good. This doesn’t mean that I think the ambassador should have been killed, of course, but this should go for everyone not just those with political power. We have been making many of the same mistakes that the Ancient Egyptians and Romans made before their empires collapse. Our technology enables us to commit our atrocities on a much higher level but that will only make the destruction of our society even worse if this trend isn’t reversed. The research into these subjects can be very helpful for either the reformers that have little or no access to the corporate media to learn how much they need to teach members of the public about what the current establishment isn’t telling them, or the Orwellian researchers that have more political connections and are concerned with promoting their own agenda based on their own ideologies which includes selective research.
It should be clear to many people that have already looked into some of this research that is available, for the most part, only for those that seek it out or have it pointed out to them at the grass roots level that few if any of the traditional candidates that receive much if any coverage from the corporate press are willing to make their decisions based on the most accurate facts. Instead they’re more interested in what is best to do from a short term political point of view. This has already been having an enormous amount of negative consequences for many people and this is only going to escalate if things aren’t changed. On top of that they’re ignoring the most accurate research on many other subjects including the destruction of the environment. This could have an additional impact on foreign policy if people have to fight for clean air or water and that could lead to escalating violence and destruction of the planet that at some point will be much more difficult to stop.
If there is a clear point of no return on this I wouldn’t have any way of knowing where it is but it is reasonable to assume that the farther we go in the wrong direction the harder it will be to fix. We are currently involved in something similar to a massive “chicken race” with our society at stake; if we don’t abandon this course of action soon enough we could eventually destroy everything as we know it. The Romney campaign is so incompetent and absurd that the Obama campaign is trying to make them seem like the more rational choice; but they’re also involved in a “chicken race.” The biggest difference as far as I can tell is that they do a better job pretending to look out for the best interest of the public without actually doing it.
It’s hard to imagine why they don’t see how dangerous their current course of action is and that if they stay on it then the amount of damage will be enormous and it won’t even be in their own best interests. One possible explanation is that they simply believe their own propaganda; this theory is flawed since there are almost certainly many of them that can’t be that foolish but there may be enough in the most powerful positions to continue with this course of actions and more that have been raised to go along with the program and not challenge authority. As indicated above many researchers including Alice Miller and Philip Greven have done research into how early childhood upbringing that involves strict authoritarian upbringing can be used to encourage authoritarian beliefs where people accept what their told from authorities without question; Chris Hedges does a good job explaining how this authoritarian upbringing is continued through the college years in the third chapter of “The Empire of Illusion.” many people are taught in college to believe what they’re told and not to challenge authority if they want to get ahead. The result is that those who conform continue to have access to power and those who don’t are no longer able to advance their careers or gain any access to the political system or the mass media.
Essentially, this may mean that we have a class of ruling elites that are in control of the most powerful institutions who don’t feel that researchers should tell them what is or isn’t true unless it suits their ideologies and advances their narrow short term goals. When research suits their purposes they will use it to the best of their ability but when it doesn’t they will distort it and cover up the damage it does and blame it on something else. This could be very dangerous since the consequences of their actions falls on those without political power while they can continue making decisions for others without acknowledging reality.
Or to put it more bluntly researchers don’t tell them what is true based on rational thinking they dictate the truth to researchers and us.
Naomi Klein also reviews this among other things in The Shock Doctrine. (save the PDF copy of this while you can if you don’t already have one in case it is taken down again which it has already been on several occasions.) Naomi has explained how powerful corporations have promoted Milton Friedman’s fiscal ideologies in times of panic around the world during major crisis’ like wars or natural disasters. This essentially involves planning their ideologies ahead of time and developing a general course of action that they’re ready to use when a disaster comes up and when people are desperate they come in with their plan and funds to help people out of the crisis on the condition that they go along with these ideologies and make permanent long term commitments in return for the bailouts. These long term commitments have often been much more extreme than many people realized at first and they found that they were doing more long term damage than the original crisis due to the debt that they owed to multi-national corporations. They wound up being forced to abandon many of their rights, including the right to participate in their own government in many cases. This ahs been going on around the world for decades where the multi-national corporations have been extending their power and it has only led to more global crisis’. One exception may be in many parts of South America where they are finally learning not to accept the ideology of the multi-national corporations.
We are now approaching another moment of crisis and the multi-national corporations are trying to promote the same ideologies that they have in the past here in the United States; they have been successful at this in the past partly because the people in many countries facing a crisis didn’t fully understand what to do and didn’t have a plan worked out of their own so it didn’t seem like they had any options. If the corporate press ahs their way then they may be able to convince the public that they’re the only ones with ideas that could get them out of this trouble. There are two big problems with this. This time they’re no longer the only ones with ideas; there are many other researchers that have other options and they’ve been educating a small but significant percentage of the public about this. These academics include some of the people I have already mentioned, Naomi Klein, Alice Miller, Philip Greven, Chris Hedges, the contributors to the American Empire Project and Code Pink and many more including Richard Wolff, Robert McChesney and others. These are just a small sample of the academic sources that aren’t able to get much if any access to the corporate media.
The fact that they have little or no opportunity to access the mass media should raise serious doubts about whether or not we really do have equal right to free speech as many of us have been led to believe.
That doesn’t mean that I think we should and power over to them and make long term commitments; but they should have an opportunity to present their research to the majority of the public with a reasonably equal access to the mass media. Milton Friedman’s ideology relied on the fact that they were the only ones ready with ideas ready to go in case of disaster. They used this to essentially force the public in many parts of the world to accept their terms in a manner somewhat similar to the tactics that are tried by hostage takers that we often refer to as “terrorists.” In the case of terrorist they routinely say that they won’t negotiate with them and in some cases they say that commitments made under unreasonable pressure shouldn’t be considered binding. The difference is that when the followers of Milton Friedman extracted commitments they did so against people that didn’t have the information and education to realize that they were being extorted in a more sophisticated manner.
If the sources that I cited and many more have their chance to address the public then they will have a chance to review their work and accept only the part of it that stand up to scrutiny and if they run into problems the tactics can be adjusted as they go.
The second big problem is that the establishment in power is failing so miserably that it is hard not to recognize how bad both parties have become; or at least those that m[pay a minimal amount of attention have to recognize this. Mitt Romney’s campaign ahs been a major disaster with one problem after another and he clearly doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. His latest gaff is so bad that if his campaign wasn’t already finished it surely is now. Even if he could get over this latest gaff it will almost certainly be followed by another since he has nothing to offer and this is that pattern he has been setting for himself since his campaign began. It is hard to understand how he even got the nomination; but that clearly is due largely to the pathetic field that ran this year and the fact that the Republicans have become so extreme.
The Obama campaign isn’t much better when you consider his record in his first four years. Laura Ingram recently said, "If you can't beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut down the party. Shut it down. Start new, with new people." She’s right about how bad the Obama presidency but it’s not just the Republican Party that should be shut down and started over again; it’s the Democratic Party as well. Neither of these Parties have been doing a good job and it is incredibly obvious; furthermore it is obvious that the reason they’re doing such a bad job is the race to collect money which they use for campaign ads that have little or nothing to do with the most important issues that we face. They don’t answer to the people at all on many if any issues; instead they rely on the corporate media to convince the public that they on;y have these two parties to choose from. This isn’t true at all and a growing percent of the public is almost certainly aware of it. This is why there are massive protests in the street from many different groups including Occupy Wall Street that corporate media hasn’t been reporting on adequately. Just because the corporate press doesn’t report on this doesn’t mean that the word isn’t getting out to those that are looking for it or those that the protesters can contact throughout the country; fortunately there are many other sources to check including those that I have been listing in my List of Alternative Media outlets and many more.
There are also many other alternative candidates including at least two that have access to the ballot in a large percentage of the country, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. With the two major candidates running mainly on the horrible records of the other candidates this could easily provide an opportunity for these alternative party candidates to do much better than they have in the past especially with so many people fed up with the establishment. As I indicated previously when I took a closer look at Jill Stein I think she is much better based on her position on many of the issues plus the fact that she isn’t beholden to the corporations that have bought and paid for the political establishment. She is much more inclined to listen to the academic sources that have been shut out of the political debate as it has been presented to the majority of the public. Unlike Mitt Romney or Barack Obama she is not totally committed to doing the will of the corporations and supporting the current state of permanent war based on lies, economic corruption and many other things. Bruce Dixon made it clear that when it comes to the most important issues that the traditional candidates are “Closer Than You Think: Top 15 Things Romney and Obama Agree On.” this includes the fact that neither is serious about stopping the damage to the environment or promoting Single Payer heath care or anything else.
The strongest argument that the two candidates presented by the corporate media has isn’t that they represent the people; clearly they don’t. It is the claim that they’re the only ones that have a chance due to the fact that the same corporate media that is declining to cover many of the most important issues also refuses to cover them. They routinely argue that if you don’t chose from the candidates pre-selected by the corporate press and the Party establishments then you are “throwing away your vote” since you’re voting for someone that “doesn’t have a chance;” or at least these candidates don’t have a chance if people accept the corporate lies. Under the circumstances it is virtually guaranteed that an enormous number of people are going to finally smarten up and abandon the traditional candidates that have nothing to offer except that they claim they’re not as bad as their opponents.
With the sorry state of Mitt Romney’s campaign it is virtually guaranteed that many people on the right will abandon him for Gary Johnson although some might vote for another candidate or even Jill Stein. On the left many others might just as easily vote for Jill Stein especially since there should be little or no chance that Mitt has a shot at the presidency so it won’t involve throwing the race to him.
This makes it a four way race.
In a four way race there is no good reason to vote for the candidates that are guaranteed to vote against the best interest of the public.
That is what would really be “throwing away the vote!!”