Dissecting the war on terror

By James Cooke, see also his mail, and the blog ‘Socialist Perspectives‘.

(Excerpts, read the whole long article on on nyc indimedia, September 09, 2006).

Since fascism is a sign of capitalism in crisis, the interests of business versus wage-worker come into even sharper conflict, creating the need for the corporate-spokesmen (government) to resort to ever greater aggression, lies, and demagoguery; the confusion and fear involved in the often cartoonish ‘war on terror’ is a necessary policy— society has not suddenly become irrational and crazy, but hysteria and fear are the last remaining tools of government to foment war and mask social reality.

If in fact the ‘war on terror’ is a ploy by the elite to hide the class divisions of society, the specific propaganda techniques used to promote the farce should work directly to achieve these aims; as it turns out, the inner workings of the ‘war on terror’ abide by all the effective techniques employed by the earlier fascist regimes, adjusted only slightly for context. The goal is a subservient, class-blind society.

At its foundation, the ‘war on terror’ intends to give all Americans a common cause; this is done most effectively by promoting nationalism, or patriotism. These ideas inexorably lead to the historically useful ‘clash of cultures’ propaganda, which dual function serves to dehumanize the enemy while consensus building at home. A recent excerpt from a Bush speech epitomizes the ‘clash of cultures’ ideology:

“We face an enemy that has an ideology, they believe things. The best way to describe their ideology is to relate to you the fact that they think the opposite of the way we think.”—no typo here, it’s verbatim.

Thus, Islamic fundamentalists, or Muslims in general, are barely recognizable as humans, since the way they think is incomprehensible, making it all the easier to invade their countries and slaughter them. The goal is to create an atmosphere where there is no longer rich versus poor, but U.S. citizens versus their irrational terrorist enemies. Fortunately for the warmongers, the Middle East is dominated by a different religion, aiding in the ease of the ‘clash of cultures’ propaganda. Religion has always served fascist regimes well, since it serves the function of community building on a national scale, excluding all who pray under a different set of beliefs.
After five years of post 9/11 government, U.S. foreign and domestic policy continues to be dominated by the all-encompassing ‘war on terror’. Events have since exposed this so-called war for what it is: a gross propaganda campaign used to suppress civil liberties and launch global war. It is of course impossible to declare war on a tactic of war, which is what terrorism is— a technique used by those incapable of defeating a regular army in open combat. The media propagandists cannot call the ‘insurgency’ in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Lebanon by its proper name, ‘occupation resistance’, because doing so would expose the imperialist nature of U.S. foreign policy, and undermine the fear that is produced and exploited by blaming U.S. casualties on ‘Islamic fundamentalists’, or as they are misnamed now, ‘Islamic-fascists’ (Orwell would be especially proud of the creativeness) … //

Every democratic revolution has experienced the same problem once it began: the inability for the new arrangement of society— that of owners and workers— to match the ideals of liberty, freedom, and equality that first spawned the changes. Once the new social system cemented itself, all the ancient forms of repression were resurrected out of necessity, due to the inequality that remained and in fact increased under capitalism; the myriad results from the various democratic revolutions consist of: constitutional monarchies, police-states, theocracies, two-party systems, and corporate domination of social life— real democracy under capitalism is, and has always been, an unrealizable goal. The various types of democracy-stifling governments are needed to create ideal business environments (especially low wages and corporate subsidies), while securing the extravagances of those who most benefit from societies inequity; most importantly, repressive state powers are needed so the ‘unruly elements’— the majority of the population— keep their demands limited and their mouths shut. Gigantic state forces, combined with creative indoctrination programs, are needed to legitimize the fact that, in the U.S., one man has 40+ billion dollars while 40+ million people squander their lives in poverty … //

… The U.S. population experienced a ‘great awakening’ during and after the Vietnam War. After the military defeat, a generally mistrust of government, mixed with a healthy dose of identity crises—something that happens to all imperialist populations after military defeat— invaded all corners of U.S. society. The ‘fight against communism’ propaganda was largely exposed; general political consciousness was on the rise; another trick promulgated by the elite was extinguished.

After the fall of the USSR the U.S. was the sole super-power in the world. There was absolutely no reason for U.S. taxpayers to maintain the gargantuan military budget that guaranteed U.S. corporate interests the world over. Americans, sensing the opportunity of social progress, started to demand changes. The elite would have none of it: enter the ‘the war on terror’.

To complicate matters for the ruling class, their international economic clout had eroded— due in part to the growing stature of Europe, as well as the rising industrial might of China and India. On an international level, the amazing corporate growth-rates experienced after WWII had ended, renewing the stagnant economic conditions that created the social upheavals of past generations. The ‘war on terror’ was a necessary venture that killed two birds with one stone: it allowed for the continuance of U.S. imperialism around the world, while distracting and repressing the social issues created by the worsening economic situation … //

… Since fascism is a sign of capitalism in crisis, the interests of business versus wage-worker come into even sharper conflict, creating the need for the corporate-spokesmen (government) to resort to ever greater aggression, lies, and demagoguery; the confusion and fear involved in the often cartoonish ‘war on terror’ is a necessary policy— society has not suddenly become irrational and crazy, but hysteria and fear are the last remaining tools of government to foment war and mask social reality.

If in fact the ‘war on terror’ is a ploy by the elite to hide the class divisions of society, the specific propaganda techniques used to promote the farce should work directly to achieve these aims; as it turns out, the inner workings of the ‘war on terror’ abide by all the effective techniques employed by the earlier fascist regimes, adjusted only slightly for context. The goal is a subservient, class-blind society.

At its foundation, the ‘war on terror’ intends to give all Americans a common cause; this is done most effectively by promoting nationalism, or patriotism. These ideas inexorably lead to the historically useful ‘clash of cultures’ propaganda, which dual function serves to dehumanize the enemy while consensus building at home. A recent excerpt from a Bush speech epitomizes the ‘clash of cultures’ ideology:

“We face an enemy that has an ideology, they believe things. The best way to describe their ideology is to relate to you the fact that they think the opposite of the way we think.”—no typo here, it’s verbatim.

Thus, Islamic fundamentalists, or Muslims in general, are barely recognizable as humans, since the way they think is incomprehensible, making it all the easier to invade their countries and slaughter them. The goal is to create an atmosphere where there is no longer rich versus poor, but U.S. citizens versus their irrational terrorist enemies. Fortunately for the warmongers, the Middle East is dominated by a different religion, aiding in the ease of the ‘clash of cultures’ propaganda. Religion has always served fascist regimes well, since it serves the function of community building on a national scale, excluding all who pray under a different set of beliefs … //

… The most successful aspect of nationalism is fear-conjuring. This emotion is evoked so that citizens will discard their freedoms, forget their social position, and abandon their reason, placing all hope in a government that acts as both protector and neutral arbiter of interests. This tactic has been overused to such an extent in the U.S. that it need not be dwelled on; needless to say it functions in the same way as the above fascist techniques— it distracts from domestic concerns while creating a ‘national’ identity exploitable by a corporate-led, imperialistic government … //

… This perspective, inspiring nobody, is especially worthless to those who never achieved satisfaction under the rule of capital, i.e., the majority of humanity. A truly worthwhile principle is something naturally intuited, but disregarded by professional economists as ‘utopian’: the social ownership of society’s wealth. This idea is creating revolutionary conditions all over Latin America, where thanks to the under-education of the people, demands of socialism are stirring the sleeping masses awake. Thanks to the rapid impoverishment within the United States, similar conditions are being created, where equally unrealistic demands are starting to appear.

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