Wednesday, 23 August 2017 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

TRUTHOUT NEEDS YOU

As a nonprofit publication, Truthout depends almost entirely on reader donations.

It takes only seconds to show your support for grassroots journalism:

Click here
to donate.

Why Are Americans Oblivious to the Infernal US Machine?

Monday, February 02, 2015 By Evaggelos Vallianatos, SpeakOut | Op-Ed
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

Large corporate media has failed America. They specialize in selling Americans trivia and sudden natural outbursts of rain, snow, and drought. They do that because they have convinced themselves Americans are stupid. In addition, hooking millions on entertainment and sports earns the networks unfathomable amounts of money.

Certainly, such practices serve no public purpose.

Every second, fourth, and sixth year, corresponding to Congressional and presidential elections, the TV and radio merchants of deception rake in more billions for selling politicians like cheese cakes and strawberries.

The second priority of the large media networks is terror and war. They feasted wholeheartedly on the war and terror propaganda of the George W. Bush administration. Any international resistance to US war in the Moslem world was immediately branded terrorism. Not only that, but the canard of terror resulted in the creation of another Pentagon - this one for civilians – the ill-named Department of Homeland Security.

With this war buildup came thousands of new "security" companies and millions of consultants with high national security clearance. Tons of money goes to these paramilitary operatives. Their contribution to making the country safer is extremely problematic at best. In fact, the opposite may be true: that these private Pentagons have set the cornerstone for transforming the United States into an authoritarian state.

The Snowden revelations documented state spying on Americans. This and the CIA's torture of prisoners do not leave much wiggle room for doubt America is on the verge of becoming a police state.

I don't mean to suggest the US has no enemies or genuine needs for national security. The United States has both enemies and security needs. But criminal acts like the bombing of the New York towers on September 11, 2001 should not have triggered wars. Policemen, rather than troops, are best for bringing criminals to justice.

US obsession with fake terror and "resource" wars, especially over petroleum, harms both the US and the rest of the world. But Americans are oblivious to these things because the media misinform them. They also fail to report on the alarming social and environmental decline of America.

State and private military/security institutions, and the media focusing on them, model some of their behavior on Wall Street. Just as Wall Street bankers wrecked the US and world economy for the private profit of the oligarchy, usually identified as the one percent of Americans, the public and private Pentagons have been pushing policies of war and terror that also increase inequality in America. Most of the billions they spend on war and terror end up lining the pockets of a few corporations. These corporations promote permanent war.

I came to the US in 1961. I don't remember a time in these many years that the US has not been at war, planning for war, overthrowing governments, fighting guerrilla insurgencies, or promoting war-like counterterrorism actions.

Second, and just as fundamentally, national "security" policies have all but eclipsed national discussion and policies nurturing the survival of the US as a country with healthy population and a healthy natural world. These are necessary conditions for life and civilization.

Cancer alone has been crippling and killing millions of Americans every year. You would think cancer prevention would be the country's top priority. But instead of eliminating cancer-causing chemicals in the environment, the medical, hospital, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies, with the support of the government, have been building a monstrous industry of death: extracting huge profits out of the misery and death of those suffering and dying from cancer.

The same business logic feeds a massive extinction crisis. This is not merely about bugs becoming extinct. The animals and plants disappearing forever are part of our biological infrastructure without which life falls apart.

We allow timber companies to clearcut, in other words, destroy, forests that support the life of many of the species becoming extinct. We also allow farmers to spread carcinogens and neurotoxins across vast territories knowing full well that those poisons will kill and force to extinction countless animals and plants. These abhorrent practices go on as if they were based on a scientific evaluation of safety.

Clearcutting forests and industrialized farming have nothing to do with science and safety. Industry partners with the state to enforce its voodoo "science" and dangerous policies. For example, spraying deleterious chemicals over our food should be a crime, but it is not. It's how enemies fight biological warfare: target an opponent's crops: destroy or poison them.

Our domestication of such chemical warfare practices has filled our world with poisons. Even mothers' milk is laced with toxic stuff. Finding poisons in mothers' milk should be a crime, but it is not.

No wonder the oligarchy cares less about the country's infernal machine of war, media, terror and profits. The victims of this machine remain invisible. The one percent is too high on the pyramid to grasp the significance of things falling apart – and not merely from bad agriculture and timber companies.

Floods of large cars dominate US towns and cities and highways. You would think the country was designed to accommodate this top- polluting machine burning Earth-warming petroleum. The US has also hundreds of power companies burning coal and natural gas, global warming fossil fuels.

What to do?

I would start by no longer watching commercial TV. PBS and C-Span TV are excellent alternatives for news and entertainment. Join an environmental organization and eat organic food. Finally, become active and resist all local and national tendencies to preserve the infernal machine of war, terror, large media, and oligarchy.

Democracy is good for you.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Evaggelos Vallianatos

Evaggelos Vallianatos is the author of several books, including Poison Spring, published in April 2014 by Bloomsbury Press.

GET DAILY TRUTHOUT UPDATES
Optional Member Code

FOLLOW togtorsstottofb

Popular On Speakout


Why Are Americans Oblivious to the Infernal US Machine?

Monday, February 02, 2015 By Evaggelos Vallianatos, SpeakOut | Op-Ed
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

Large corporate media has failed America. They specialize in selling Americans trivia and sudden natural outbursts of rain, snow, and drought. They do that because they have convinced themselves Americans are stupid. In addition, hooking millions on entertainment and sports earns the networks unfathomable amounts of money.

Certainly, such practices serve no public purpose.

Every second, fourth, and sixth year, corresponding to Congressional and presidential elections, the TV and radio merchants of deception rake in more billions for selling politicians like cheese cakes and strawberries.

The second priority of the large media networks is terror and war. They feasted wholeheartedly on the war and terror propaganda of the George W. Bush administration. Any international resistance to US war in the Moslem world was immediately branded terrorism. Not only that, but the canard of terror resulted in the creation of another Pentagon - this one for civilians – the ill-named Department of Homeland Security.

With this war buildup came thousands of new "security" companies and millions of consultants with high national security clearance. Tons of money goes to these paramilitary operatives. Their contribution to making the country safer is extremely problematic at best. In fact, the opposite may be true: that these private Pentagons have set the cornerstone for transforming the United States into an authoritarian state.

The Snowden revelations documented state spying on Americans. This and the CIA's torture of prisoners do not leave much wiggle room for doubt America is on the verge of becoming a police state.

I don't mean to suggest the US has no enemies or genuine needs for national security. The United States has both enemies and security needs. But criminal acts like the bombing of the New York towers on September 11, 2001 should not have triggered wars. Policemen, rather than troops, are best for bringing criminals to justice.

US obsession with fake terror and "resource" wars, especially over petroleum, harms both the US and the rest of the world. But Americans are oblivious to these things because the media misinform them. They also fail to report on the alarming social and environmental decline of America.

State and private military/security institutions, and the media focusing on them, model some of their behavior on Wall Street. Just as Wall Street bankers wrecked the US and world economy for the private profit of the oligarchy, usually identified as the one percent of Americans, the public and private Pentagons have been pushing policies of war and terror that also increase inequality in America. Most of the billions they spend on war and terror end up lining the pockets of a few corporations. These corporations promote permanent war.

I came to the US in 1961. I don't remember a time in these many years that the US has not been at war, planning for war, overthrowing governments, fighting guerrilla insurgencies, or promoting war-like counterterrorism actions.

Second, and just as fundamentally, national "security" policies have all but eclipsed national discussion and policies nurturing the survival of the US as a country with healthy population and a healthy natural world. These are necessary conditions for life and civilization.

Cancer alone has been crippling and killing millions of Americans every year. You would think cancer prevention would be the country's top priority. But instead of eliminating cancer-causing chemicals in the environment, the medical, hospital, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies, with the support of the government, have been building a monstrous industry of death: extracting huge profits out of the misery and death of those suffering and dying from cancer.

The same business logic feeds a massive extinction crisis. This is not merely about bugs becoming extinct. The animals and plants disappearing forever are part of our biological infrastructure without which life falls apart.

We allow timber companies to clearcut, in other words, destroy, forests that support the life of many of the species becoming extinct. We also allow farmers to spread carcinogens and neurotoxins across vast territories knowing full well that those poisons will kill and force to extinction countless animals and plants. These abhorrent practices go on as if they were based on a scientific evaluation of safety.

Clearcutting forests and industrialized farming have nothing to do with science and safety. Industry partners with the state to enforce its voodoo "science" and dangerous policies. For example, spraying deleterious chemicals over our food should be a crime, but it is not. It's how enemies fight biological warfare: target an opponent's crops: destroy or poison them.

Our domestication of such chemical warfare practices has filled our world with poisons. Even mothers' milk is laced with toxic stuff. Finding poisons in mothers' milk should be a crime, but it is not.

No wonder the oligarchy cares less about the country's infernal machine of war, media, terror and profits. The victims of this machine remain invisible. The one percent is too high on the pyramid to grasp the significance of things falling apart – and not merely from bad agriculture and timber companies.

Floods of large cars dominate US towns and cities and highways. You would think the country was designed to accommodate this top- polluting machine burning Earth-warming petroleum. The US has also hundreds of power companies burning coal and natural gas, global warming fossil fuels.

What to do?

I would start by no longer watching commercial TV. PBS and C-Span TV are excellent alternatives for news and entertainment. Join an environmental organization and eat organic food. Finally, become active and resist all local and national tendencies to preserve the infernal machine of war, terror, large media, and oligarchy.

Democracy is good for you.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Evaggelos Vallianatos

Evaggelos Vallianatos is the author of several books, including Poison Spring, published in April 2014 by Bloomsbury Press.