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PROPAGANDA 101
James Campion
-A Seminar in Wartime Follies
'crank up the engines, I'm back in the game!'


PROPAGANDA 101

The clear-headed faithful crammed into a miniscule conference room not far from the Reality Check News & Information Desk headquarters at Fort Vernon this week for a special war-room conclave. Drinks flowed, punches were thrown and the minutes revealed serious headway, the results of which will be presented in this space throughout the length of this fifth or sixth chapter of the War on Iraq.

The names and affiliations of those hearty souls are not as important as their findings, but suffice to say they have forced this reporter to face 12 years of failed Desert Storm demons better left in the pages of "Fear No Art". And to that little puissant going by the anonymous moniker of Randak, who has pummeled its author with furious e-mails accusing me for two months of "shirking your responsibility to rouse a rabble and admit the president is a puppet of the Pentagon", I say crank up the engines, I'm back in the game!

Now most of the evidence culled from our two-day orgy of debate and rancor suggests a full-scale bulldozer of War Propaganda finally reaching saturation. Midway through the summit, WCBS News led its telecast with nearly eight uninterrupted minutes of "High Alert" lunacy from Times Square and Newark Airport. Munitions dogs sniffing out bus compartments and a jabbering idiot with piano wire in his carry-on being stripped searched by 40 state cops.

The panic was palpable. On FOX NEWS, anchormen with serious scowls kicked it to nattily attired cub reporters introducing frightful video of tanks backing into malls in downtown DC and uncovering blueprints to build a bubble car to truck Dick Chaney to his weekly heart transplant.
High Alert? You mean to tell me that unless the CIA gets an anonymous tip its blasé fare?
Jesus, wait! Shhhh. There's another tape of Osama bin Laden speaking from the grave. It's not video, and it's raspy, almost unintelligible and, most importantly, its in fucking Arabic! But government experts confirm it might, it could, it IS most probably him! He is saying something about infidels and the Devil West and all those other things he says and has said for a decade and something about...Hold it! He mentioned Iraq! Now MSNBC is running a controlled Hate Poll, which has reached
98% with a bullet. The talking head says our enemy lives and has a hard-on for Saddam and the bombs could not start falling soon enough!

It was about then when one of the recently enlightened among us processed that it had been exactly two weeks to the day approval numbers on the Bush Crusade had dipped to new lows and nearly 70% of Americans were more than skeptical that whatever clusterfuck appeared as a military victory in Afghanistan would not make mincemeat out of this latest piss fight with Iraq.

Interestingly, it was one week to the day that Colin Powel walked into the UN with his woe-begotten slide show causing gas prices to spike and what is left of the Stock Market to sink sickly into oblivion.
Many argued that the one man with soaring poll numbers had kept the Texas whoops to a minimum for six months of this miserable shit, but now there he was with aerial photographs of missiles hidden in mounds of goat dung.

Hold on a minute.
What am I writing here? Am I saying that a few caffeine addicts holed up in a mountain barn somewhere in Jersey has concluded that the US Military is force feeding a pack of media lies to the American people to send the lukewarm into a rabid angst frenzy by dragging the popular African-American war hero into the roll of carnival barker and fashioned a bogus tape of a dead terrorist? Never mind feeding off the fears of a fractured nation.
Check the transcript!

Think what you must. Take what you can from evidence. It is only that, evidence, compiled knowledge of events. Johnny Cochran can poke holes in that motherfucker. Ask O.J. Hey, but don't attack the messenger. I only print the results of investigations. If you feel the need to press charges, you always have the Constitution. But know this, when a government, any government, and history tells us our government, is gearing up for an inevitable conflict with a foe that has merely generated a modicum of public support, laws and creeds and lofty moral objectives, whether written down or uttered by long dead patriots, mean little.
There are several basic tactics to pushing war agenda.

First there is economic, political and social need. This country is in big financial trouble. Unemployment has reached a ten-year high, the word "investment" is currently an anathema and the final retail numbers for 2002 were so bad Allen Greenspan actually showed up last week in full banshee rant. Whoever's fault this is, if anyone's, is not the concern. Herbert Hoover barely warmed his seat at Pennsylvania Avenue when the Market crashed, and he was nearly tar and feathered on Capital Hill for crippling a generation.
The motive is clear. Without this perpetual War on Terror and rousing speeches about Evil Doers, Georgie Junior is a laughable bust.
Captain Shoe-in needs a victory over something, badly.

Second, there is always a clear and present enemy. America has had one in Saddam Hussein for three presidents, the first one conveniently being the father of the current one. He is the symbol of Middle-Eastern tyranny and loose-cannon mania, and despite the cynical slant of the Desk's findings, most likely responsible in some way for 9/11, whether directly or otherwise. This is not news. The right people knew this two weeks after the disaster, but the Taliban was the flavor of the month then.
There is no time for the rest. I've written too much as it is. But peace protesters should save their breath. Prepare for this war.

Embrace it as your own. You're getting it whether you think it God's will or the biggest mistake since allowing cameras around Michael Jackson for five minutes. At least know your government cares enough to put on a show to help you enjoy it.

© James Campion 14.03.2003
realitycheck@jamescampion.com

The Price of Safety Rises
Would you feel safer if the cops knew your every move? James Campion
email: realitycheck@jamescampion.com

jamescampion.com
(Log and on and buy James's brilliant collection of essays about contemporary Americana FEAR NO ART)


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